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November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

From an email. H/t, Dave F.


This morning I went to my local US Post Office to mail 7 care packages to my son Daniel. (and his fellow Rangers)

While I was standing at the counter, talking to the Postal Clerk working on my packages, a man came over from another window after he was done with his transactions and asked if he could pick up the freight? I said "Sure" not fully understanding what was asked until a minute later and I told the gentlemen I had lots of packages and he didn't need to pay that much and I would split it with him. He insisted on paying the whole tab. ($70) and told me to send more next time. I thanked him and he told me to thank my son. I was overcome with emotion to say the least.

After the gentlemen paid and left, the Postal Clerk said "That was awful nice, do you know him."

I said "I have never seen him before in my life."

The postal clerk and I were both awe struck of the moment. We exchanged Happy Thanksgivings and shook hands then I left. I was overcome with emotion. I couldn't even look at anyone else in line because of my tears. I had to sit in my car to gather myself before I drove off. I watched this great American pull out of the post office in his Maroon PT Cruiser and drive off. I never even got as much as a first name or a license plate number.

We truly live in a great country with great people. Everyday people who understand the importance of thanking those who give of themselves for the greater good and wanting nothing in return.

I can't think of a better way to start my Thanksgiving holiday then to follow this man's example of a random act of kindness and be thankful for all that I have and share that with my fellow man.

I am thankful for so much and thankful that I have so many friends and family which I can share this great story.

Happy Thanksgiving

God Bless the average American

God Bless our troops

God Bless each one of you

God Bless America

Dan Alexander

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 23, 2006

October 18, 2006

"Bare is brotherless back"

And Jay over at Stop The ACLU has somebody guardng his back on this particular issue.

Two-point-seven million somebodies, actually.

The American Legion declared war on the ACLU.

Now, picking on the Boy Scouts is one thing -- Scouts are supposed to be Brave (although being assaulted by lefty lawyers would be more a trial of patience than courage). But, in 2002, the ACLU found a flaming a$$hat an Oregon resident who claimed his civil rights were flagrantly violated on those occasions he drove into California because he *gasp!* saw the Mojave Desert Veterans' Memorial -- a cross erected in 1934 to honor the dead of the First World War.

Interestingly enough, the Memorial sits on I-15, which is an east-west 'pike running from LA to Nevada. And, come to think of it, the Memorial is in the Eastern Mojave, right near the -- ummmm -- Nevada border. Now, I don't get out to the Left Coast that much, but I seem to recall that, in order to access California from Oregon, one must travel *south*, rather than one of the other cardinal directions. Such as south-and-then-*east*...

Using the Freedom From Religion clause in its (considerably abridged) copy of the Constitution, the ACLU took the cross to court and the court caved -- it ordered the cross destroyed and awarded the ACLU $63,000 for its efforts.

As I mentioned above, picking on the Boy Scouts is one thing; the living can defend themselves. But dead soldiers can no longer defend themselves, so their surviving brothers must do it.

Clever strategy -- take the profit out of religious litigation and you take the profiteers out of the religious litigation business.

H.R. 2679 has passed the House (check the political pro and con percentages) and went to the Senate, which has it's own version -- naturally -- S. 3696.

Meantime, send 1SG Keith a get well card. Take your pick, but I'd go with the Army version...

by CW4BillT on Oct 18, 2006

September 22, 2006

Mooning the Islamo-fascists to speak...

Major "heh" -Instapilot

by Denizens on Sep 22, 2006

November 10, 2005

Prepping for tomorrow

Okay, I don't get here as often as I should. Sometimes Real Life gets overly-intrusive, sometimes retreating-brain-stall sets in for an extended stay, sometimes priorities change.

But there are a few priorities that should be forged in steel...

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. As the years have gone by, this has become only another, almost meaningless, holiday to many.

Veterans of the Second World War are dying at a rate of 2000 each day.

Never forget to thank them for your way of life. They paid dearly for the freedom we all enjoy.

Think of them tomorrow and thank them.

Soon, all too soon, there will be not one left for you to thank...

Right-click and save-as, then paste the URL to your window. It's only a three-minute show.

Three short minutes.

But that's longer than many lived after the C-47s hit the drop zone, or Lead reached the IP, or the klaxon sounded for an emergency dive, or the portside watch spotted the sunglint from an incoming raid, or the Higgins boats dropped their ramps...

Hand salute* to Vulture Two-Niner
*those who know, know...

by CW4BillT on Nov 10, 2005
» Neptunus Lex links with: Veteran’s Day
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Thank You, Veterans!
» Stuck On Stupid links with: Veteran's Day Blogfest!

July 22, 2005

How do you know you live in an Army town?

Or any military town, really? And of late - this includes "Guard and Reserve Towns." In comparison to non-military towns...

1. More people per capita keep an eye on news of the world than in other places.

2. Kids know a lot of those countries their peers have never heard of or couldn't find on a map... because they've either lived there, visited, or Mom and/or Dad has.

3. They are more aware of national politics.

4. They are more aware of international politics.

5. But you make a mistake if you make assumptions about *their* politics.

6. While they look like any other kids in dress and sound like them in speech... if you bother to *listen* to them... they knowledgeably talk about things many adults are clueless about.

7. Yeah, there's the pawn shops, the surplus stores, and all that other stuff. But it's always the people that strike me. Not better, not worse... but if you *listen*... they are different.

Junction City, Kansas, is an Army town. Right outside the gates of Fort Riley, and Junction has been an Army town for a long time. There is a house on post called "Custer House." Because it was his. There is a long standing joke (undeserved, but when has *that* stopped us?) when dealing with the Installation Staff as a commander... "Yeah, the last thing Custer said before he rode out for Little Big Horn was, "Don't change anything until I get back!" And boy do they follow orders!" The first Territorial Capitol building of the Kansas Territory is on Fort Riley. While it has been home to many storied Regiments and Divisions, it is most closely identified with the 1st Infantry Divsion, which, unless the BRAC panel changes things, will be reassembling all it's component units at Fort Riley again. Well, except for those deployed to the Rock Pile, Sandbox, or wherever...

So, what are some of the visual cues?

When you have a parade, and there is a Junior ROTC unit in it.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

In your park, you have the Civil War Memorial... but you also have the other war memorials... including more recent ones.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

With an emphasis on Regular divisions, not Guard and Reserve Divisions (no disrespect, they bleed as red, but their towns, especially now that the geographic areas they draw from are so large, aren't the same).

But perhaps the biggest sign you are in an Army town right now is that they have Memorial Parks like these...

Hosting provided by FotoTime

With lots of stuff like this...

Hosting provided by FotoTime

And full of markers like this - with the names of people who weren't orginally *from here*...

Hosting provided by FotoTime

And yet, your local artists community is far more likely to produce something like this:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Than they are something like this...

Hosting provided by FotoTime

More about that, can be found here.

Hat tip to Larry K, reader of the Castle, provider of Kewl Pics®, proud resident of Junction City, Kansas, Happy Husband® of Brenda, and the prouder father of a Coast Guardsman.

by John on Jul 22, 2005
» Alphecca links with: Military Towns
» Villainous Company links with: Scoring Political Points On The Dead

February 28, 2005

Fighting Fuselliers Fusileers... battle stations Stand To!

If I misspelled "Fuselliers," sorry.


Did a high-speed pass by Matt's Place and found this.

Let me be brief. I'm giving 100 bucks. Right now. It's personal (my guys spent most of their lives in canvas and fiberglass Hummers and it was BS...all the way).

CHALLENGE: Let's see if we can bust the $3700 by 1700 CST. I was going to make a contest between us and BLACKFIVE but I'm not witty enough to whip up something pithy enough to make this the food fight it probably should be (all in good fun, of course).

Thirty-seven hundred is peanuts if it saves a set of legs, eyes, balls, whatever.

Let's do this.

Spread the word. Call Hugh Hewitt. Call Sean Hannity. Tell them to send people our way and click on the appropriate links. (John's gonna love me for this...heh.)

These guys shouldn't have to worry about this after today.

What say you, Fuselliers Fusileers?


[sigh. Wotta ya expect from a fighter *Attack* pilot [excuuuuse meee!)? A detailed understanding of ground combat organizations - except as targets? I've matched the Instapilot - The Armorer]

Update: Oh, heck - Instapilot Castle mug to the first three people who can provide a Paypal reciept (we'll reward you for ecommerce) that matches the Instapilot's donation (and mine doesn't count).

Update II. They've made what they need for the blankets - but the offer still stands for mugs for the first three people to show up with Paypal reciepts that match the Instapilot's donation - Soldier's Angels has many other projects and can still use the funds.

by Dusty on Feb 28, 2005

January 11, 2005

A Letter from the Lincoln

The following is a letter from a member of the USS Abraham Lincoln off Indonesia who is aiding in the relief effort.

Subject: Letter from the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln

Hello family and friends,

I just spent three days ashore at Banda Aceh working to assist all of those in dire need in Indonesia. I thought you might like to hear what we have been doing.

Stationed aboard the Abraham Lincoln we were in port [at] Hong Kong on the morning of 26 Dec when we heard of the massive earthquake and devastating Tsunamis in the Bay of Bengal. As soon as we were aware of the horrible destruction we departed Hong Kong and headed South at best speed - without any official request from governments.

As we proceeded, we were completely unaware of what we could do or even if we would be needed, but we continued through the Strait of Malacca enroute to Indonesia and Thailand. Our mission was quickly defined and we were tasked to assist Indonesia as best [and] as able. To do so we requested volunteers aboard the ship to assist. The response as you can imagine was overwhelming as all sailors want to do is help any way possible. We also knew that this would be a job for the SH-60 Helicopters we have aboard.

We have currently shut down the flying for all carrier fixed wing aircraft (that's me) as there was no mission or request. For the first time in my 17 year Naval career, I have seen us stop flying tactical fixed wing aircraft- the primary purpose of an aircraft carrier completely as all of our focus is on this disaster.

We arrived off the north shore of Indonesia on the morning of January 1st. I was in the first wave of helos sent ashore to establish a logistical hub and move supplies from Banda Aceh airport - only a few miles from the destroyed north coast of the island. Not knowing what to expect as we lifted off the deck, we were quickly given a glimpse as we could see numerous corpses floating in the water. There were large clusters of debris that looked like one time houses floating in piles scattered all over the ocean. As we approached the decimated shore we saw a cargo ship that was at least 300 feet long capsized on the beach. Proceeding further inland we were amazed that the coastal town was gone. You could see outlines of where foundations once were, but as the earthquake shook them loose, the Tsunamis washed everything out to sea. As we continued inland, the devastation was evident more than 2 miles from the coast. We then approached very green and lush mountains - a sharp contrast to the leveled brown terrain of the decimated coast. We climbed in the helos over these 2,000 foot peaks and entered an area of surreal, beautiful countryside. We arrived at the airport to a scene of confusion and near chaos. Six days after the disaster and there was no infrastructure in place to assist these people. About 500 displaced Indonesians who had survived had made their way to the airport in search of a flight out of the area - southeast to the safe havens of Medan or Jakarta where there is little or no damage. Upon arrival, there was one only other American military member at the airport - an Army Major who had made his way up from the Embassy in Jakarta. A few Australians were already there and had set up a basic logistics hub to accept supplies. The Indonesian military had a base here as well and were accepting supplies but had no way other than trucks which could not travel on the destroyed roads to move the food and water.

Being a Prowler pilot with NO helicopter flying abilities, I was sent in to be the Carrier Air Wing Two liaison to move supplies. Realizing there was no one to liaise with, myself and my squadron mate, Lt _________ became the primary coordinators to make this relief effort happen. Arriving at 0900, we were able to coordinate with the Indonesians and the NGO's (Non-Government Organizations), and within an hour have our first load of relief supplies moving down the west coast. The two primary NGO's, USAID and IOM (International Organization of Migration) have been invaluable in the establishing of assistance. They have a small medical tent with trained doctors capable of triaging and stabilizing patients. USAID has amazing logistical support to gather supplies from all over the world. The one thing both of these organizations lacked was the ability to distribute supplies to the people in need. That is were we came into play.

We have set up a system now to have twelve of our Helicopters flying from sunrise to sunset to assist. We have been carrying everything from biscuits, rice, noodles, milk, water and medical supplies. We transport doctors and medical staff as well. The Indonesian people are in need of everything. Their homes along the coast have been washed away and we are finding them wondering aimlessly with no ability to acquire food, water or badly needed medical assistance. They all lack the ability to communicate as all phone lines are destroyed and there is no electricity. As our pilots drop off these supplies there are stories of the Indonesians hugging them with relief and joy. Our pilots then fly North to return back to Banda Aceh for resupply and they are finding small pockets of personnel who do not have any aid. They are able to pick many of them up and fly them to Banda Aceh. Most are near death. Yesterday we had a helo land with seven badly injured or dehydrated personnel all in critical condition. One was a seven year old little girl. The doctors told me we saved her life as she would not have lived through the night. I couldn't help but think of my beautiful daughters and it was then that I realized the gravity of what we really were doing.

We will continue this effort as long as we are needed. It is difficult to imagine shifting back to fixed wing flight ops and leaving the area any time soon as the work to be done is almost insurmountable. We have been working hard with the hordes of press who badly need to tell this story. I enlisted the support of my squadron mate, LCDR __________ to specifically deal w/the media. With every flight or two that we send down the coast, we embark a two man journalist team, as well as member of the IOM to coordinate with any injured or displaced persons who need our help. Yesterday we hosted Dan Rather and his CBS crew for a 60 minutes evening magazine special he was doing that should air sometime this week in the states. I had breakfast with Mr. Rather aboard the carrier as we discussed the days' events and what he would like to see. He and his staff's graciousness and professionalism impressed me. We have flown Mike Chinoy from CNN and correspondents from all the major US and international networks and newspapers. If something is coming from Banda Aceh, the US Navy has helped them get their story.

I must say a few words about the volunteer effort here - it is truly an effort of amazement. I see on the news the incredible outpouring of support from the US - it is a wonderful and necessary thing. The effort here at sea is equally as impressive. These young sailors are all extremely eager to get ashore and do whatever is needed despite the threat of disease and the obvious destruction. My squadron alone has already put numerous sailors ashore to assist with the loading and moving of the helos. I have never been so proud to be a member of the US military. We often are focused on keeping the peace and deterring evil acts. To now be able to have a direct impact in saving lives and attempt to rebuild a society is a testament to the United States' amazing resolve and capabilities. I thank you all for your efforts and your support. Please continue to keep the Indonesians in your thoughts and prayers. As of today this country alone is approaching 100,000 deaths from this disaster- we need to do all that is possible to mitigate any further suffering or loss of life.

My best to all,

by Dusty on Jan 11, 2005
» links with: Tsunami relief work by the United States Navy.
» EagleSpeak links with: First responder report from the tsunami zone
» Common Sense Runs Wild links with: U. S. Military Gives Aid

December 15, 2004

Spirit of America

This is kewl. (It's still cool - but Dusty just blogged it one post up and better, too)

This is important. Mickey at Intellectual Intercourse makes the final plea for the Spirit of America Blogchallenge, laying out why, if you're gonna get beat, you want Americans doing the beating.

The Armorer will also donate custom-made mugs with Arsenal graphics of choice to the first 10 individuals who provide a receipt, dated today, for a $100 or better donation to Spirit of America, credited to the Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers for Freedom! Send the receipt to: johnbethd (at)

Thanks to those of you who have already given!

How can you resist the charms of Sam, hottie from Day by Day?

How can you support the Northern Alliance of Bloggers - who do things like this?

So, join with us now - and find some of that extra pocket-change! As CAPT H, my fellow-traveler in the Canadian Forces said (paraphrased, I deleted the email) when he donated $250 on the first day:

"I gave enough so that I would notice it, if not so much that I was pinched - and I challenge all your readers to do the same."

Remember, Ladies and Gents - that is from a Canadian soldier - who officially doesn't have a dog in this fight. Can we do less?

$6110 raised so far (that's donations in the bank folks, not promises) I'd like to get to $9000 if it's possible!

by John on Dec 15, 2004
» Random Fate links with: If doing the right thing isn't sufficient enough reason...
» Technicalities links with: Spirit of America - Down to the Wire
» A Texan Abroad links with: The Armorer's Gift
» Mind of Mog links with: Fusileers Final Push For Spirit of America

December 14, 2004

Spirit of America!

Dean Esmay on the Spirit of America...

Thanks to all who have donated thus far (such as recent donees Nate and Jim) and those who I'm sure will donate today and tomorrow...!

BTW - I may have stepped on some toes inadvertently, like someone going down the row of seats at a movie theater...

My blogroll for SoA and such consists of people who have formally 'enlisted' in the Fusileers, and show up as such on the Fighting Fusileer page at Spirit of America... including non-bloggers. For the record:

1. SoA does NOT tell me about individual donations. The only people I know anything about either told me, or forwarded me an email with their donation receipt. That's policy, so people can give quasi-anonymously. I don't get a list of donors, etc.

2. SoA doesn't even tell me if people 'joined' the Fusileers, I have to go to the webpage and check.

So, please, don't feel slighted if you haven't been mentioned by name... it just means I don't know - not that I don't care!

by John on Dec 14, 2004
» Cowboy Blob links with: Hugh Can Cook

December 13, 2004

Spirit of America

Kate, at the Last Amazon, is one of the Canadian Fighting Fusileers. And despite the pain of some serious dental work she shares her thoughts on the deserter seeking immigrant status in Canada and his allegations of what is going on in Iraq vice what people who are just trying to "git 'r done" are doing - and why you ought to help, if you haven't already! Of course, if you have already, you can do so again... 8^D Interestingly enough - some of our largest single donations have been from Canadians - people who obviously feel they have a dog in this fight.

C'mon, give Spirit of America the equivalent of a six-pack a week in December - you won't miss it!

These good people did - and enlisted in the Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers for Freedom!

And these non-bloggers: AFSister, Barb, and CAPTHam!

Thank you, each and every one!

by John on Dec 13, 2004
» University Blog links with: There's still time...