Gung Ho!

Main Entry: gung ho Pronunciation: 'g&[ng]-'hOFunction: adjective Etymology: Gung ho!, motto (interpreted as meaning "work together") adopted by certain U.S. marines, from Chinese (Beijing) gOnghé, short for ZhOngguó GOngyè Hézuò Shè Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society: extremely or overly zealous or enthusiastic

Gung Ho!
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Gung Ho!
And The Cost of War In Lives!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sixteen Taliban dead in two days of battles, school torched (AFP)

KABUL (AFP) - US and Afghan troops backed by helicopter gunships and warplanes killed five suspected Taliban, the military said, bringing to 16 the number of rebels who have reportedly died in two days of clashes.

The deaths came during a series of joint operations across southern
Afghanistan to boost security ahead of the country's landmark parliamentary elections on September 18, it said on Thursday.

The statement added that the five guerrillas were killed on Wednesday in the Kandahar area, the birthplace of the Taliban, when US and Afghan troops located an "enemy observation post" and called in air support.

"With the combination of US A-10 aircraft, attack helicopters and direct fire weapons, five additional enemy were killed," it said, adding that there were no US casualties. There was no independent confirmation of the deaths.

Earlier, Afghan officials reported the deaths of 11 alleged Taliban insurgents during two raids in southern Afghanistan's restive provinces of Zabul and Uruzgan on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Semper Fi

U.S. Commander: Iraq Violence Could Worsen (AP)

WASHINGTON - A senior U.S. commander in Iraq predicted Friday that insurgent violence will increase in the Sunni-dominated areas he commands north of Baghdad, but he also said there is a growing confidence among Iraqis that the insurgents will fail to stop planned elections in October and December.

Army Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, commander of the 22,000-soldier Task Force Liberty, also said that while his election security plan does not require any additional U.S. troops, he could use extra help if it were offered by Gen. George Casey, the top overall commander in Iraq, who is assessing election security needs.

Earlier this week the Pentagon announced that 1,500 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., would be sent to Iraq for election security duty, but it did not say where in Iraq they would operate.

Semper Fi

Email From Barbara Boxer: Knocking on the White House door

Dear Carl,

Cindy Sheehan's courageous protest outside George Bush's ranch in Crawford, TX has captivated tens of millions of Americans from coast to coast. Her poignant and heartfelt pleas have focused the nation's attention on Iraq in a way that nothing else could.

Yet after 28 long months of our occupation of Iraq, and after 1,873 brave American soldiers -- including Casey Sheehan -- have lost their lives, President Bush has still failed to develop a success strategy. This cannot continue any longer.

Shortly after the Senate reconvenes in early September, and when George Bush returns to Washington from his five-week vacation in Texas, I am personally going to deliver our petition to the White House, calling on President Bush to spell out his plan for Iraq. And I want your name to be on it.

Call on President Bush to develop a success strategy for Iraq -- sign my petition now!

I'm proud to stand alongside my colleague Russ Feingold from Wisconsin as a co-sponsor of Senate Resolution 171, calling on President Bush to define a timeframe for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Because it's time -- in fact, it's more than time -- for President Bush to clearly lay out a strategy for the American people that can succeed in Iraq, defuse the terrorist insurgency, and bring our brave men and women home.

That will only happen when the President brings credibility, accountability, and responsibility to a war that has been lacking in all three.

* Credibility: It's time for President Bush to stop using sound bytes like "Mission Accomplished" and be honest and truthful with the American people.

* Accountability: We need to hear from the Bush Administration about exactly how many Iraqi forces are needed; how to meet that goal; and by when.

* Responsibility: We must honor our soldiers and their families -- including mothers like Cindy Sheehan -- every day, by giving them the equipment they need while they are deployed and the health care they deserve when they come home.

Add your name -- today -- to the petition that I will deliver to the White House next month!

More than 40,000 Americans have already signed my petition, urging President Bush to develop a success strategy for Iraq.

But we need tens of thousands more to make our voices heard, loud and clear.

We need tens of thousands more to stand with us, urging President Bush to set a timeframe for withdrawing American forces.

We need tens of thousands more to stand with Cindy Sheehan and all the grieving mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and family members who have lost loved ones in this war.

Urge President Bush to develop a success strategy for Iraq -- sign my petition to the White House now!

Thank you so much for your support. I'll keep you updated on our progress in collecting petition signatures and will let you know exactly when we'll be delivering them.

I look forward to carrying your name with me to the White House in September.

In Friendship,

Barbara Boxer

Semper Fi

Poll: Many Back Right to Protest Iraq War (AP)

WASHINGTON - An overwhelming number of people say critics of the
Iraq war should be free to voice their objections — a rare example of widespread agreement about a conflict that has divided the nation along partisan lines.

Nearly three weeks after a grieving California mother named Cindy Sheehan started her anti-war protest near
President Bush's Texas ranch, nine of 10 people surveyed in an AP-Ipsos poll say it's OK for war opponents to publicly share their concerns about the conflict.

"Part of the Constitution is the First Amendment," said Mike Malone, a salesman from Odessa, Fla. "We have the right to disagree with the government."

Semper Fi

wo Danish soldiers wounded in bomb blast in Iraq (AFP)

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Two Danish soldiers serving in southern
Iraq were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded next to their vehicle.

The two were taken to a British military hospital in the southern city of Basra following the blast Thursday night, the Danish military said Friday.

"They have slight injuries and are doing fine," said a military spokesman, Captain Filip Ulrichsen.

Denmark has deployed 530 troops in Iraq, most of them in the Basra region under British command. One Danish soldier so far has been killed during the deployment, a victim of "friendly fire" in August 2003.

AFP/File Photo: Danish soldiers on patrol close to the southern Iraqi city of Basra in October 2004....

Semper Fi

Tribune Regional: Hobson-area guardsman honored with Purple Heart

Tribune Regional Reporter

LEWISTOWN — A soldier from the Hobson area was honored with a Purple Heart on Thursday in Lewistown for injuries he received when an explosive device destroyed his Humvee in Iraq.

Sgt. Glenn Davis, a member of the Montana National Guard with the 163rd Infantry Battalion, received the medal during a low-key ceremony at the Lewistown Armory.

Davis, a sniper and security officer, was injured when an improvised explosive device detonated against the right side of the Humvee he was driving.

The impact from the explosion destroyed the Humvee. Three other soldiers and an interpreter, who were passengers in the Humvee, survived and returned to duty, said Sgt. 1st Class Greg Fox, spokesman for the National Guard in Helena.

Davis' Humvee was part of a convoy that was operating out of Hawijah, Iraq — the same area where Sgt. 1st Class Robbie McNary of Lewistown was killed in combat in March.

Davis suffered a lower back injury and returned to the United States for treatment and evaluation. He remains on active duty. No determination has been made about his possible return to Iraq, Fox said.

Lt. Colonel John Walsh of Helena presented Davis with the purple and gold medallion, which is awarded to wounded American soldiers in the name of the President of the United States.

Semper Fi

Observer: Jefferson soldier injured

BY CARA HOST, Staff writer

A soldier from Jefferson was shot in the neck last Friday while fighting near Mosul, Iraq.

Sgt. Daniel Lama, a member of the Army's 25th Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade, was hit by sniper fire while his unit was patrolling the area, according to the soldier's uncle, Carl Lama of Newell.

"It was a bad wound, but through the grace of God, he's still with us," Carl Lama said. "It's almost like a miracle."

Daniel Lama is now recovering in a military hospital in Fort Lewis, Wash., where his unit is headquartered. The bullet apparently missed major arteries as well as his spine, Carl Lama said.

The soldier's parents, Daniel and Connie Lama, traveled to visit their son and were not available for comment Wednesday and Thursday.

Carl Lama spoke with his nephew by telephone and said that Daniel Lama was in good spirits despite his injury.

"I'm so proud of him. In my eyes, he's my hero," Carl Lama said.

Semper Fi

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Aid Agency Said to Hide Iraq Insurgents (AP)

ROME - Italy's Red Cross treated four Iraqi insurgents and hid them from U.S. forces in exchange for the freedom of two Italian aid workers kidnapped last year in Baghdad, an official said in an interview published Thursday.

Maurizio Scelli, the outgoing chief of the Italian Red Cross, told La Stampa newspaper that he kept the deal secret from U.S. officials, complying with "a nonnegotiable condition" imposed by Iraqi mediators who helped him secure the release of Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, who were abducted on Sept. 7 and freed Sept. 28.

"The mediators asked us to save the lives of four alleged terrorists wanted by the Americans who were wounded in combat," Scelli was quoted as saying. "We hid them and brought them to Red Cross doctors, who operated on them."

They took the wounded insurgents to a Baghdad hospital in a jeep and in an ambulance, smuggling them through two U.S. checkpoints by hiding them under blankets and boxes of medicine, Scelli reportedly said.

Also as part of the deal, four Iraqi children suffering from leukemia were brought to Italy for treatment, he said.

AP Photo: Simona Pari, left, Simona Torretta, center, and Italy's Red Cross Chief Maurizio Scelli smile upon...

Semper Fi

Iraq parliament cancels constitution session (AFP)

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The Iraqi parliament has cancelled a meeting to vote on the country's draft constitution.

"The meeting has been postponed without setting a new date... until meetings are finished and (leaders) reach an agreement on pending issues," an official at the national assembly's media department told AFP on Thursday.

Drafting of the constitution, which was initially due to have been submitted to parliament on August 15, has been dogged by disputes over a number of key issues including federalism, the role of Islam and sharing of oil wealth.

Semper Fi

36 executed bodies found in Iraq (AFP)

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi police found the bodies of 36 men executed with a bullet to the head and dumped in a stream south of Baghdad.

"Thirty-six bodies of men aged 25 to 35 ... all shot in the head, were found dumped in a stream in Oraida, 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of Kut," 175 kilometers (110 miles) south of Baghdad, an interior ministry source said Thursday.

The decomposing bodies, all wearing civilian clothes, were thought to have been dead around five days and had their hands bound or handcuffed, he added.

AFP Photo: An Iraqi grieves outside the emergency room of the general hospital in Baquba. Iraqi police...

Semper Fi

AP: Marine wounded in Iraq

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) A Marine from Wisconsin was seriously injured in an explosion that killed another Marine in Iraq.

Cpl. Adam Kisielewski, 21, of Kenosha, was injured when a bomb exploded at a vacant school earlier this week, about a month after he arrived in Iraq. He lost an arm and a leg in the attack, which killed a lieutenant, said Kisielewski's mother, Sandy Moran of Kenosha.

``If his squad had not been right there ... and jumped right on things right away, he would've died too,'' she said.

Kisielewski arrived at a hospital in Germany on Tuesday. The military will transfer him to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland on Sunday, Moran said.

Semper Fi


CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team-8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed in action Aug. 21st by an improvised explosive device.

The incident took place during combat operations near Al Karmah, Iraq.

The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense.

Semper Fi

1st Lt. Carlos J. Diaz, 27

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

1st Lt. Carlos J. Diaz, 27, of Juana Diaz, P.R., died on Aug. 23, 2005, in Baqubah, Iraq, when enemy forces detonated an explosion near his position. Diaz was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

Semper Fi

Staff Sgt. Victoir P. Lieurance
Sgt. Joseph D. Hunt

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on August 22, 2005, in Samarra, Iraq, when they were conducting patrol operations and an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV. Both soldiers were assigned to the Army National Guard's 3rd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Sparta, Tenn.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Victoir P. Lieurance, 34, of Seymour, Tenn.

Sgt. Joseph D. Hunt, 27, of Sweetwater, Tenn.

Semper Fi

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Two Infantry Battalions to Deploy to Iraq for Election Period

On August 23, 2005, the Secretary of Defense approved a request by the commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) to deploy two additional infantry battalions to Iraq.

Two battalions from the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq for an anticipated duration of approximately 120 days to support security efforts during the election period. Adjustments to troop levels in Iraq occurred prior to the transfer to Iraqi sovereignty in June 2004 and during the January Iraqi elections.

These troops will join 180,000 Iraqi security forces and 138,000 coalition forces in helping set the security conditions for successful elections.

Gen. Casey’s request for this additional capability was made in close consultation with, and with the support of, the Iraqi government. This approved request temporarily adds an additional 1,500 active duty soldiers to the troop level in Iraq.

This decision follows a decision in July 2005 to deploy a battalion to Afghanistan in support of security efforts during the upcoming September elections.

Commanders continue to assess security conditions, and additional adjustments to troop levels for the elections are possible.

Semper Fi

Lance Cpl. Phillip C. George

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Phillip C. George, 22, of Houston, Texas, died Aug. 18 from enemy small arms fire while conducting combat operations near Taleban, Afghanistan. George was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

Semper Fi

Suicide Bomber Strikes in Iraq, Kills Several Americans, Iraqis

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2005 – A suicide bomber killed one Task Force Liberty soldier, one U.S. civilian, and five Iraqis in Baqubah, Iraq, at 12:50 p.m. today. Nine U.S. soldiers and several Iraqis were wounded.

The attack occurred in the Diyala Provincial Joint Coordination Center. One U.S. civilian contractor, four Iraqi employees of the center, and one Iraqi police officer died in the attack.

Nine Task Force Liberty soldiers were wounded, along with one U.S. civilian contractor, six Iraqi civilians, and four Iraqi police officers. All the wounded were evacuated to a coalition forces medical treatment facility, officials announced. Two of the wounded soldiers have been returned to duty.

Semper Fi

Pfc. Ramon Romero

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Ramon Romero, 19, of Huntington Park, Calif., died Aug. 22 when the vehicle he was in was struck by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Fallujah, Iraq. Romero was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Semper Fi

Pfc. Elden D. Arcand
Staff Sgt. Brian L. Morris

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on August 21, 2005, in Mosul, Iraq, where their M915A1 tractor pulling a 7,500-gallon tanker accidentally rolled over. Both soldiers were assigned to the Army's 360th Transportation Company, 68th Corps Support Battalion, 43rd Area Support Group, Fort Carson, Colo.

Killed were:

Pfc. Elden D. Arcand, 22, of White Bear Lake, Minn.

Staff Sgt. Brian L. Morris, 38, of Centreville, Mich.

Semper Fi

2nd Lt. James J. Cathey

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2nd Lt. James J. Cathey, 24, of Reno, Nev., died Aug. 21 of injuries caused by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Al Karmah, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Semper Fi

Spc. Joseph C. Nurre

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Spc. Joseph C. Nurre, 22, of Wilton, Calif., died on Aug. 21, 2005, near Samarra, Iraq, where an improvised explosive device detonated near his M916 tractor during convoy operations. Nurre was assigned to the Reserve's 463rd Engineer Battalion, Weirton, W. Va.

Semper Fi

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

AFP: Two US troops killed in Iraq

A US marine and a soldier were killed in separate attacks in Iraq on Monday, the US military announced Tuesday.

The marine was killed when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb during a combat operation near the former rebel bastion town of Fallujah, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad.

Earlier Tuesday, the military said a soldier was killed in a rocket attack by rebels in the south of Baghdad Monday.

Semper Fi

Spc. Blake W. Hall
1st Lt. Joshua M. Hyland
Sgt. Michael R. Lehmiller
Pvt. Christopher L. Palmer

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died on August 21 near Baylough, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV during patrol operations. The soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Vicenza, Italy.

Killed were:

Spc. Blake W. Hall, 20, of East Prairie, Mo.

1st Lt. Joshua M. Hyland, 31, of Missoula, Mont.

Sgt. Michael R. Lehmiller, 23, of Anderson, S.C.

Pvt. Christopher L. Palmer, 22, of Sacramento, Calif.

Semper Fi

Sgt. Willard T. Partridge

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Willard T. Partridge, 35, of Ferriday, La., died on August 20 in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Partridge was assigned to the 170th Military Police Company, 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Semper Fi

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sgt. Nathan K. Bouchard
Staff Sgt. Jeremy W. Doyle
Spc. Ray M. Fuhrmann, II
Pfc. Timothy J. Seamans

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on August 18, 2005, in Samarra, Iraq, where an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV following a mine assessing mission. The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Killed were:

Sgt. Nathan K. Bouchard, 24, of Wildomar, Calif.

Staff Sgt. Jeremy W. Doyle, 24, of Chesterton, Md.

Spc. Ray M. Fuhrmann, II, 28, of Novato, Calif.

Pfc. Timothy J. Seamans, 20, of Jacksonville, Fla.

Semper Fi


BAGHDAD, Iraq – A 42nd Military Police Brigade Soldier was fatally injured Aug. 20 when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

He was evacuated to 86th Combat Support Hospital where he died as a result of his injury.

The name of the Soldier is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Semper Fi


TIKRIT, Iraq – One Task Force Liberty Soldier was killed and three were wounded by the detonation of an improvised explosive device on a combat patrol southwest of Samarra at about 12:40 p.m. Aug. 22. The three wounded Soldiers were taken to a Coalition Forces medical treatment facility, where one later died of wounds.

The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Something wrong with this press release. Headline states 2 but copy has only one

Semper Fi

Gennett: Miss. soldier killed in Iraq

Natchez native serving 2nd tour when vehicle hit by roadside bomb

By Lora Hines

Only days after receiving medical clearance to return to duty, Army Sgt. Todd Partridge was killed over the weekend by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

The Natchez native was a great man who loved his family, said his sister, Darlene Moon.

Partridge, 35, was looking forward to January, when he was scheduled to come home from his second tour of duty in Iraq, Moon said.

The Humvee Partridge was driving hit a roadside bomb, Moon said. He had been based somewhere near Baghdad, she said.

The Army has not officially confirmed Partridge's death on Saturday.

Semper Fi

MNF-Iraq: 20th Engr. Brigade Soldier killed by IED (Confirmed)

BAGHDAD , Iraq – A 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat)(Airborne) Soldier was killed Aug. 21 in Ad Dwar when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

The name of the Soldier is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Semper Fi

MNF-Iraq: Two Soldiers killed by vehicle roll-over

LSA ANACONDA, BALAD, Iraq – Two 1st Corps Support Command Soldiers were killed when their vehicle rolled over while conducting a combat logistics patrol near Tall Afar about 11:00 p.m. Aug. 21.

The incident is currently under investigation. The names of the Soldiers are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

Semper Fi

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Baez Performing Near Crawford War Protest (AP)

Iraq war protesters camping out near
President Bush's ranch are getting support from a prominent figure in the anti-Vietnam war movement: folk singer Joan Baez.

"In the first march I went to (opposing Vietnam) there were 10 of us. This is huge," Baez told relatives of fallen U.S. soldiers Sunday as she prepared to perform a free evening concert in Bush's adopted hometown.

The concert was expected to draw more than 1,000 people to a 1-acre lot offered by a landowner who opposes the war. Not far away, protesters continued a camp-out started by grieving mother Cindy Sheehan.

AP Photo: Peace activist and singer Joan Baez performs at Camp Casey near President Bush's ranch in...

Semper Fi

U.S. Soldier Killed by Iraq Roadside Bomb (AP)

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. soldier was killed Sunday when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in northern Iraq, the military said.

The soldier, who was assigned to the 20th Engineer Brigade, was killed in Dwar near Tikrit, the statement said.

AFP Photo: A US soldier of Ironhawk Troops, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment walks beside a...

Semper Fi

Air Force Officer MIA From Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Air Force Col. Gregg Hartness of Dallas, Texas. He is to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., on Sept. 14.

On Nov. 26, 1968, Hartness and lst Lt. Allen S. Shepherd, III, took off from Da Nang air base in South Vietnam, on a forward air control mission. While flying over Salavan Province in Laos, their O-2A ‘Skymaster’ was apparently struck by enemy fire and began to spin out of control. Shepherd bailed out and was rescued by an Air Force search and rescue team about nine hours later. He did not see Hartness bail out.

About 30 minutes after that rescue, the airborne team located the crash site of Hartness and Shepherd’s aircraft about 200 meters (660 feet) south of the rescue pickup point. The aircraft had been burning, but no contact with Hartness could be established. Enemy forces in the area precluded further rescue attempts, and electronic searches of the loss location detected no signals from the lost aircraft or pilot.

Between 1993 and 2003, joint U.S.-Lao investigators interviewed more than 60 witnesses in 39 different settlements in Laos before selecting a site for excavation. In January and February of 2005, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, with assistance from the Lao government, excavated a site in Salavan Province. They recovered human remains, aircraft wreckage, life support equipment and personal effects.

Of the 88,000 Americans missing from all conflicts, 1,815 are from the Vietnam War, with 372 of those within the country of Laos. Another 756 Americans have been accounted for in Southeast Asia since the end of the Vietnam War. Of those, 197 are from losses in Laos.

Welcome home.

Semper Fi

Ohio Holds Last of Marine Funerals (AP)

WEST CHESTER, Ohio - As the 2-month-old son he never met quietly mouthed a pacifier, Marine Sgt. David Kreuter was remembered Saturday as a fun-loving adventurer, passionate about both the military and his family.

"I promise you, Christian will know you every day of his life and how much you love him," Kreuter's wife, Chrystina, wrote to him in a letter read by the Rev. Tim Williams. "You paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect him."

Hundreds of mourners, many of them veterans and military parents, came to Tri-County Baptist Church for the funeral that capped eight days of vigils and memorials for five southwest Ohio Marines killed in an Aug. 3 roadside explosion in
Iraq. They were among 16 Ohio-based Marines who had been killed within days of one another.

Kreuter, 26, was posthumously promoted from corporal on Saturday.

Semper Fi

Army Planning for Four More Years in Iraq (AP)

WASHINGTON - The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq — well over 100,000 — for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday.

In an Associated Press interview, Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the "worst case" in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq. He said the number could be adjusted lower if called for by slowing the force rotation or by shortening tours for soldiers.

Schoomaker said commanders in Iraq and others who are in the chain of command will decide how many troops will be needed next year and beyond. His responsibility is to provide them, trained and equipped.

About 138,000 U.S. troops, including about 25,000 Marines, are now in Iraq.

"We are now into '07-'09 in our planning," Schoomaker said, having completed work on the set of combat and support units that will be rotated into Iraq over the coming year for 12-month tours of duty.

AP Photo: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker testifies on Capitol Hill in this Nov. 19,...

Semper Fi

Marine Charged in Shooting Saw Death Up Close in Iraq (Los Angeles Times)

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Even before he went to Iraq, the noise from nightclubs in his neighborhood here infuriated Marine Sgt. Daniel Cotnoir. The 33-year-old reservist regularly called police to complain about raucous crowds spilling onto Broadway, one of this hardscrabble city's busiest boulevards.

But after he returned late last year from a 10-month tour in the Marines' mortuary affairs unit, Cotnoir's patience snapped. He screamed at revelers outside his family's funeral home that his wife and two kids were trying to sleep. When a bottle hurtled through his open window in response at 2:50 a.m. last Sunday, Cotnoir grabbed his shotgun and fired once — injuring a 15-year-old and a 20-year-old.

The incident did not entirely surprise those who knew Cotnoir and who had heard his stories about his grisly work in Iraq. "He was not the same person when he came back as when he left," said Bruce Reynolds, who has known the Marine since Cotnoir was 7 years old.

With Cotnoir undergoing a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation at a state hospital, the case has emerged as a beacon for the toll of stress and trauma on troops in America's latest war. Cotnoir, selected by the civilian-run Marine Corps Times as the 2005 Marine of the Year, has pleaded not guilty to charges that include two counts of attempted murder.

Just get this Marine some help, please. Don't charge him with anything. It won't help him and his family.

Semper Fi

Aqaba attack may signal new Zarqawi front in Jordan (Reuters)

AMMAN (Reuters) - A rocket attack which narrowly missed two U.S. warships in Jordan may be a signal Iraq's al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi has opened a new front against Washington's closest Arab ally, security experts said on Sunday.

The two U.S warships were likely to be carefully chosen targets, the experts said. The vessels are among those that have been regularly docking and unloading supplies in the Red Sea port of Aqaba since the U.S. led the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Jordanian intelligence experts say the attack using Katyusha rockets indicates Zarqawi may favor expanding military attacks to pro-U.S. ally Jordan to hurt Washington's war effort in Iraq.

"Zarqawi appreciates more than ever that by hitting the U.S. military in Jordan he would score not just a symbolic victory but maybe disrupt a hitherto safe supply route for the U.S. army into bases in the western desert (of Iraq)," said one intelligence expert and official who requested anonymity.

Semper Fi

Ex-US Sen. Cleland urges new strategy on Iraq (Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States needs to either develop a new strategy for winning the war in Iraq or one that would bring American troops home, former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland said on Friday.

"The Bush administration's plan for victory is not working," said Cleland, who lost three limbs in the Vietnam War and worked for unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004.

In remarks prepared for Saturday's weekly Democratic radio address, which follows Bush's broadcast message, Cleland blamed Bush for ignoring military planners who called for a larger U.S. combat force to win the war in Iraq and then secure the country.

"The Bush administration needs to step up to the plate. It's time to face the truth. It's time for a strategy to win in Iraq or a strategy to get out," said Cleland, who lost his Senate seat from Georgia in 2002.

Bush has rejected ideas floating in Congress to set a date for the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq, saying it would only encourage insurgents who have waged a bloody campaign with suicide bombers and roadside exploding devices.

More than 1,850 American troops have been killed in Iraq and thousands more wounded. With the U.S. war in Iraq now in its third year, public opinion polls show growing impatience with the combat and pessimism that the United States can win.

Cleland said the war has "completely overextended" the all-volunteer military.

"I learned in Vietnam that the best way to support our troops is to either give them the forces and equipment needed to win or bring them home so we can care for those who have borne the battle," Cleland said.

I agreed Max. Get a overwhelming U.S. force to deal with insurgency and secure the borders. Or, get out now!

Semper Fi

Ex-Halliburton Subsidiary Worker Guilty (AP)

PEORIA, Ill. - A former employee of a Halliburton Co. subsidiary pleaded guilty Friday to accepting more than $100,000 in kickbacks from an Iraqi company in exchange for securing it a U.S. military construction contract, prosecutors said.

Glenn Allen Powell, 40, of Cedar Park, Texas, will be sentenced Nov. 18 in federal court for major fraud against the United States and violating the anti-kickback act. He faces 10 years in prison on each count and up to $1.25 million in fines.

Dang, it wan't Cheney.

Semper Fi

U.S. Soldier Killed in Baghdad Explosion (AP)

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. soldier was killed Saturday by a roadside bomb in the Iraqi capital, the military said.

The soldier, assigned to the 42nd Military Police Brigade, died at the hospital after the blast in Baghdad, the military said. No other details were released.

Semper Fi

Oldest Active-Duty Navy SEAL Retires (AP)

CORONADO, Calif. - The oldest Navy SEAL in uniform has retired at age 60 after a career that included a tour in Vietnam, 24 years in the reserves and a return to active duty to help reorganize the reserves.

Capt. William "Wild Bill" Wildrick signed on with the SEALs in 1968, before the highly specialized Sea Air Land commandos became a household name. He served all but two of his 39 years in the Navy with the SEALs.

"There was a time when our compound wasn't even marked and we didn't wear patches," Wildrick said at his retirement ceremony last week. "Now you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the world who doesn't know what a SEAL is."

Wildrick, who lives in La Jolla, was the last active-duty SEAL platoon officer who had served in Vietnam and the second-highest ranking SEAL nationwide.

It was good to have served and trained with you , sir. Co. B went to Coronado in 1977 and trained with Seal Team 1.

Semper Fi

Bush Begins 5-Day Push to Defend Iraq War

CRAWFORD, Texas - With anti-war protesters continuing their vigil outside
President Bush's ranch, the commander in chief began a five-day push Saturday to tell Americans why he thinks U.S. troops must continue the fight in

In his weekly radio address, Bush argued that the war in Iraq will keep Americans safe for generations to come. He'll try to drive the point home with speeches in upcoming days in Utah and Idaho.

"Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy," the president said in the recorded broadcast.

"They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war, and they know we will prevail."

Same old message, different day. Not going to help your poll numbers bushco.

Semper Fi

U.S. probes killing of Iraqi by marines (Reuters)

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Sunday it had opened a criminal investigation into the killing by U.S. Marines of a relative of
Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations.

A statement from the military said the commanding general of the II Marine Expeditionary Force had referred the case of the death of Mohammed al-Sumaida'ie to the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service for further investigation.

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Four US soldiers killed, three wounded in southern Afghan bomb attack (AFP)

KABUL (AFP) - Four US soldiers were killed and three wounded in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan, the US military said, as American casualties mount during their bloodiest year so far in the country.


"Four US soldiers were killed today and three were wounded in an improvised explosive device attack south of Deh Chopan," in southern Zabul province, a military statement said on Sunday.

The three soldiers were wounded trying to pull their comrades to safety as secondary blasts were triggered by a fire started by the initial explosion, the statement said.

The three wounded "were evacuated to a nearby forward operating base for treatment of shrapnel wounds and are in stable condition at this time."

AFP/File Photo: Four US soldiers have been killed and three others wounded in a bomb blast in...

It looks to me, that the Taliban are using tactics perfected in Iraq.

Semper Fi