Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jill Carroll Freed

It's all over the news now, American reporter, Jill Carroll, has been freed after 3 months of being kidnapped on January 7th in Baghdad. Jill's translator was killed in the ambush. Jill is a freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor. A group referred to as the "Revenge Brigades" took responsibility for the kidnapping. Jill, who reports now that she was not harmed throughout the ordeal, was released near an office of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the main Sunni political organization, in western Baghdad. She reportedly came into the office carrying a letter written in Arabic asking for help. Carroll has stated that she is unsure what changed or why they decided to let her go. She said that they came into her early in the morning and told her, "Ok, we are letting you go now." She also has made it clear that she was treated well by her captors.
This does seem somewhat strange, for those of us that remember that her captors had demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraq by Feb. 26, and said Carroll would be killed if that did not happen. The Feb. 26th date came and went with no word about Jill or if they had killed her or what had happened to her. On Februsry 28th, Iraq’s Interior Minister Bayan Jabr had said that Carroll was being held by the Islamic Army in Iraq. Also, in the past three months, she had appeared in three different video broadcasts on Arab television, pleading for her life.
It had been reported that a large ransom had been demanded in exchange for Jill's release, yet U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has made it known that no one in the U.S. mission was involved in paying a ransom, and that no kidnappers had been taken into custody.
Jill Carroll is the fourth Western hostage to be freed in eight days. On March 23, U.S. and British soldiers, acting on intelligence gained from a detainee, freed Briton Norman Kember, 74, and Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, from a house west of Baghdad. The three had been kidnapped with an American colleague, Tom Fox, 54, on Nov. 26. Fox was killed and his body was dumped in western Baghdad on March 9. They belonged to the Christian Peacemakers Teams group.

You can read more about Jill Carroll, her work, her kidnapping and release, at

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Courtesy of Rick Bias

Rick Bias was a reader kind enough to share this incredible poem called "Freedom is Never Free" by posting it in the comments section of my last post. I know that not everyone takes the time to read the comments section. Many only glance through the posts, especially if it is their first visit. So I've decided to share this with all of you, courtesy of Rick.
Rick is a veteran of the U.S. Army. (1975-1986)
Thank you Rick.


I watched the flag pass by one day, it fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it, and then he stood "At ease."
I looked at him in uniform, so young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square, and eyes alert, he'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought, "How many men like him have fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil; how many mothers' tears?"
"How many pilots shot down, how many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?"No, Freedom isn't free!
I heard the sound of "Taps" one night, when everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play, and felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times that "Taps" had meant "Amen",
When a flag had draped a coffin of a Brother or a Friend.
I thought of all the children, of the mothers and the wives,
Of, Fathers, Sons and Husbands, with interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard, at the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington,No, Freedom isn't free!


"Patriotic Freedom Rock"

Check out the "Patriotic Freedom Rock", located alongside Highway 25 near Greenfield, Iowa. Each year a local artist there, Ray "Bubba" Sorensen, (pictured above in photo next to his work), paints murals on the rock for Memorial Day, honoring our Veterans. I've seen this rock in person and it is incredible. People come from all around to see it and take photos and I am looking forward to seeing what Bubba will come up with for this year. Thank you Bubba for sharing your talents!

If you enjoyed these photos of the Patriotic Freedom Rock, you should go by Bubba's website and check out more photos of past murals that have graced the rock, and you can even buy t-shirts and other merchandise sporting the Patriotic Freedom Rock. Proceeds from the purchases go to Bubba's paint and supply costs.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Local Support

Check out the article in today's Kansas City Star newspaper,
called "Weston Walks to Remember Vets"...

This article features a story about "A Walk to Remember" that will be held in Weston, Missouri. The walk will honor military personnel from Missouri & Kansas who have been killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Army Roll Call

It was early morning at an Army camp and the first sergeant was calling out names for the daily work parties listed on a piece of paper:
"Seeback"" -- "
"Seeback!"" -- "
"SEEBACK!!!"" -- "
At that point, someone whispered into the first sergeant's ear. He looked again at what the last name really said, quickly turned over the list and continued calling the names printed on the other side.

Hope you smiled...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

As You Serve...

To those who wear the uniform -

As you serve, remember...

(Art used with permission by


As most people know, I am not in the military myself. I have several family members and friends who are either active now or who have been active and are proud veterans of our U.S. military service. I don't put up this blog as a political voice for any party, I don't represent any branch of service or government, and I don't receive any profit from this blog other than the satisfaction I get from knowing that it is viewed by those who serve and have served my country, and that I might get to thank them for their sacrifices and dedication. I refuse to divide people by posting offensive and biased opinions, and I refuse to get into arguments with people who feel they need to challenge my support for our troops. The only bias you may find here is that I am a strong supporter of our active military, our veterans, the POW/MIA effort, and other military families and friends.

If you can handle that, come on in and sit down for a minute.
If you can't, please leave.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tab's thoughts for today:

"America will never be destroyed from the outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
~Abraham Lincoln

"There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American Dream."
~Archibald MacLeish

"The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission."
~John F. Kennedy

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's Been Said:

"The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
- Douglas MacArthur

"We must be the change we wish to see."
- Mahatma Gandhi

And just for a laugh:

“If women ran the world we wouldn't have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”
- Robin Williams

My Soldier, My Friend

For Jason:

For 15 years we have been friends...
We have walked, and ran,
in sunshine and in rain...
We have splashed in mud puddles,
sung with the radio, played in the snow,
made wishes on stars,
and danced as only we dance...
We have laughed, and we have cried...
We have talked about the past,
enjoyed the here and now,
and shared dreams of the future...
We've discussed politics, religion, philosophy...
We have challenged one another to grow...
You taught me how to drive a manual transmission,
I got the car stuck... and we had to get it out in the dark...
You taught me how to stand up for myself and think on my feet...
I started to win more arguments, with you, a feat entirely worthy of a medal...
I taught you that it's okay to be human -
and you began to acknowledge that you were... sometimes...
admitting that even a soldier has to have feelings once in awhile...
We've argued, wrestled, and made up...
We both agree that the other is the most stubborn person we've ever met,
yet we choose the company of each other-
over those who cannot make up their minds on their own.
We've rebelled together, challenged authority together,
gotten into trouble, and out of trouble, together...
and blazed many a trail side by side...

Now, I'm here, and you are there...
I can't be with you on this journey,
and I can't walk beside you on the path you must take...
You will be accompanied by a band of brothers,
and you will affect their lives, as they will yours.
I will be here waiting...
I already miss your face - that cocky grin and mischievious smile...
And when you return, as I pray every day that you will,
we will share more of the things in this life that make fighting for freedom worthwhile...

I love you.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Random Quote #3

"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." ~unknown

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

You've Just Gotta Laugh

Murphy's Laws Of Combat Operations:

Friendly fire - isn't.
Recoilless rifles - aren't.
Suppressive fires - won't.

If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.

Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo and not want to waste a bullet on you.

If at first you don't succeed, call in an airstrike.

If you are forward of your position, your artillery will fall short.

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.

Never go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself.

Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush.

The enemy diversion you're ignoring is their main attack.

There is no such thing as a perfect plan.

Five second fuzes always burn three seconds.

There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.

A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.

The easy way is always mined.

Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.

Don't look conspicuous; it draws fire. For this reason, it is not at all uncommon for aircraft carriers to be known as bomb magnets.

Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you.

If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone.

When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too.

Incoming fire has the right of way.

If the enemy is within range, so are you.

The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire,
is incoming friendly fire.

Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren't.
Things that must work together,
can't be carried to the field that way.

Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support.

Radar tends to fail at night and in bad weather,
and especially during both.

Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.

Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you won't be able to get out.

Tracers work both ways.

If you take more than your fair share of objectives,
you will get more than your fair share of objectives to take.

Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs.

Military Intelligence is a contradiction.

If you can't remember, the Claymore is pointed towards you.

Air defense motto: shoot 'em down; sort 'em out on the ground.
'Flies high, it dies; low and slow, it'll go.

The Cavalry doesn't always come to the rescue.

Napalm is an area support weapon.

Mines are equal opportunity weapons.

B-52s are the ultimate close support weapon.

The one item you need is always in short supply.

Interchangeable parts aren't.

When in doubt, empty your magazine.

Combat will occur on the ground between two adjoining maps.

If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you may have misjudged the situation.

Whenever you lose contact with the enemy, look behind you.

The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map.

If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.

There is nothing more satisfying than having someone take a shot at you, and miss.

If your sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.

You'll only remember your hand grenades when the sound is too close to use them.

The ping you heard was the antenna snapping off at 6 inches above the flexmount, while a fire mission was being called in on a battalion of hostiles who know your position.

Why is it the CO sticks his head in your radio hooch to see if anything has come down from DIV when you are listening to the VOA broadcasting the baseball games?

How come you are on one frequency when everyone else is on another?

The enemy "Always" times his attack,
to the second you drop your pants in the Latrine!!

The ammo you need "NOW" is on the "Next" airdrop!!

(This was emailed to me sometime back, not sure who the author is, but thought the piece was rather sarcastic and funny!)

Food For Thought:

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
- Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004)

It's Been Said...

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things...
The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

~John Stuart Mill~

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The 1/34th

Today was the deployment ceremony for the 1/34th, and these, my beloved Redbulls, are on my mind today. I wasn't able to get down to Mississippi for the ceremony, but have been in close contact with my best friend, Jason, who is in the 1/133rd Infantry and is a part of this group. I wanted to share with you a couple of photos taken of the "Redbulls". These photos were taken from the Redbulls' website at

The first of the "animated crest" photos was taken Aug. 18, 1918 at Camp Cody, New Mexico.

The "new" animated crest photo was taken March 14, 2006 by Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Wood at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. A special thanks to for these photos.

Rock on Redbulls!!! Yeah IRONMAN Battalion!!!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Hello Hello Hello

Just wanted to give a big hello to our troops at FOB Echo -- Keep up the good work! Each of you is appreciated and I thank you all for all the hard work you are doing on your deployment! A special "wassup" to SPC Borchers, who I grew up with! You all are remembered daily in my prayers!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Shout out to the Redbulls!

I wouldn't feel right if I didn't start this off with a shoutout to my friends of the 133rd and the rest of the Redbulls!

To all my buddies, you know who you are, I am so proud of you and I am supporting you all 110% throughout this deployment! Keep your heads on straight and your butts low!

Fink, Croson, Mailman, Rich,Woo-tang, Fletch, Smith, Artie, Blue, ALL OF YOU, you guys rock!


I'm starting this blog to show my support for our troops. I'm not a member of the military, but I am a proud supporter and I am so grateful to all of our men and women in the military who get up and do their jobs every day so that we can continue to live in a free society.
I won't say that I agree with all of the politics, and I won't get into political debates. I am simply here to express my gratitude toward our military and to show my support for each soldier and military person who protect my rights as a U.S. citizen.
Freedom isn't free.