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January 02, 2007

H&I Fires* 2 Jan 2007

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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Associated Press back to their old Jamil Hussein tricks? Quite possibly

And the NY Times has a scandal on its hands:

This is major journalistic scandal, not so much for the initial error (bad as it is, especially the reliance on advocates for basic translation services) but for the stonewalling which has followed revelations of the lie. It is one thing to be sloppy, even unethical in journalistic practice, using biased sources as translators. It is quite another to stonewall in the face of facts.

Update on wounded milblogger JR Salzman at Blackfive (earlier updates by Laughing Wolf here and here). He's continuing to post on his own blog with his wife's typing assistance, though he will soon have the software and training for a voice-controlled laptop via Valour-IT.

Jim Sheeler of Rocky Mountain News continues his superb coverage of the fallen with an article on the burial at Arlington of Christopher Anderson, Corpsman of Marines and a man whose life he saved. An earlier article covered the fellow sailor (and dear friend) who brought him home. More links at the bottom of my post.

And finally, something to balance the darkness of the above... Posted on Christmas Eve, I suspect it got lost among the Holiday festivities: Christmas Spirit at the USO. - FbL


O. Scott Card. Decent guy.

This is his iteration of something John has said quite forcefully in this space before: don’t hurl feces in Church during a memorial service.

You’re pissed that there’s a war. Fine. You hate the military and everything it stands for. Fine. Let the family be.

There are other places and other times for you to have your say. There are people of real power to change things to whom you can say your spiel to. But the family, they only get to live through this once. Let them get through it, ‘kay? Don’t add to their pain, and yes, you are definitely adding buttloads of pain, by being a jackalope---which you would be if you’re picketing the casket coming off the plane or hurling eggs at the hearse--- during their time of grief. Show some human decency and compassion.

It ain’t always about you.

[Update - just in case Ry's commentary didn't inspire you to read the linked piece, how about this extract?

Instead, his experiences were with demonstrators of an older, more familiar variety. "Hippie college students," he called one such group. "They egged the hearse."

On that occasion, the brother of the dead soldier was so hurt and angry at these strangers who dared to defile his brother's memory and worsen his family's suffering that "he clocked one of them."

So the brother was arrested for assault and could not be with his family for the rest of the services in honor of one of America's fallen.

The demonstrators suffered no penalty. In fact, they received extra credit from a college professor because they had "taken part in a demonstration."

Emphasis mine. Feh. -the Armorer]

This is a sad story, on several levels. But it does indicate our commitment to honor the dead (now if we can just get VA the funding to honor the commitment to the living...)

HEIDELBERG, Germany — She had traveled many miles in her short life.

She had lived on three continents, known several languages, become a soldier and an American citizen. But after she died, her father wanted her remains taken home to her birthplace.

In November, Pfc. Lena Karungi — accompanied by 10 V Corps soldiers and a U.S. Army Europe chaplain — was buried with military honors on a farm in Uganda.

Read the rest here.

This is another interesting story:

Day to Day, January 1, 2007 · Helen Gerhardt enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2000. She was 33 years old. Three years later, having just completed a double undergraduate major in fine arts and English literature, she found herself in the Middle East with the Missouri Army National Guard, 1221st Transportation Company.

Gerhardt drove eighteen-wheeled tractor-trailers throughout Iraq. In an e-mail to loved ones back in Missouri, Specialist Gerhardt shared her first impressions of the Iraqi people and their country. The e-mail, entitled "Here Among These Ruins," was chosen as part of the book Operation Homecoming.

Helen Gerhardt is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh. She is writing a book about her unit's experiences in Iraq and the larger culture wars which divide us both nationally

Read the whole thing at NPR, here. Creative Non-fiction? Isn't that a NYT in-house training program? 8^)

Bouhammer writes a long story about a long trip to Kabul.

The other day we had a mission to Kabul and to our Task Force HQ. It was a short mission that only had us from our home FOB for a few days. We had to take a lot of guys up there to drop them off for leave and pass. We also had some administrative business to take care of while we were there. We have done this mission many times, and except for the snow that we expected on some of the dirt roads, it should not have been any different than normal.

Read the rest here.

A little smidgen of good news:

(CBS/AP) NEW YORK An 8-year-old boy from Afghanistan stood in Times Square Monday welcoming a new year that will bring him corrective surgery thanks to the concerns of twin Army doctors who met him while they worked for six months in his war-ravaged country.

"I'm happy. It's the first time I've seen something like this," Khatibullah Farqirzada said on a morning that also marked his birthday as he stood in the bright lights of one of the world's most famous landmarks.

"In Afghanistan, everybody celebrates in their homes. Here, everybody comes out to be together," he said.

His father, Shafi, said: "My hope is my son (has) a new year and a new life."

And you can catch the rest of that here. -the Armorer


Scott Ott, the master of satire, responds very seriously to a so-called real editor. Must read goodness ... h/t to Teresa at Technicalities.

With all the grim news in the world, I just felt the need to declare my satisfaction with 2006. Nothing special, but it felt good to get it posted.
Year's end '06.

Happy New Year! -Sanger

*A term of art from the artillery. Harassment and Interdiction Fires.

Back in the day, when you could just kill people and break things without a note from a lawyer, they were pre-planned, but to the enemy, random, fires at known gathering points, road junctions, Main Supply Routes, assembly areas, etc - to keep the bad guy nervous that the world around him might start exploding at any minute.

Not really relevant to today's operating environment, right? But, it *is*

The UAVs we fly over Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for targets of opportunity are a form of H&I fires, if you really want to parse it finely. We just have better sensors and fire control now.

I call the post that because it's random things posted by me and people I've given posting privileges to. It's also an open trackback, so if (Don Surber uses it this way a lot) someone has a post they're proud of, but it really isn't either Castle kind of stuff, or topical to a particular post, I've basically given blanket permission to use that post for that purpose. Another term of art that might be appropriate is "Free Fire Zone".

Comments on H&I Fires* 2 Jan 2007
Barb briefed on January 2, 2007 08:54 PM

Ahh, Sanger - that was good to read. Good to remember that life having ups and downs is to be expected, and that we should appreciate the good more in perspective against that which tests us. Well said, and Happy New Year!

ry briefed on January 2, 2007 11:06 PM

Ah, Sanger. Glad you're still with us, dude. And the Rant Mantle is yours whenever you choose to reclaim it. ;)

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