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Top US commando says strain of war limits forces elsewhere

May 5th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are making such heavy use of the nation’s Green Berets and other elite warriors that they cannot fulfill their roles in other parts of the world, the military’s top commando told The Associated Press on Monday.

“We’re going to fewer countries, staying for shorter periods of time, with smaller numbers of people than historically we have done,” Adm. Eric T. Olson said in his first interview since becoming commander of U.S. Special Operations Command last July.

Olson, himself a combat veteran, saw little chance that the demand for his special operations forces in Iraq will decline anytime soon. Even as the overall American force there shrinks - from about 158,000 now to about 140,000 by the end of July - the number of special operations forces in the war zone is likely to increase, he said.

More of these specially trained, often secretive forces may be required in Iraq in order to fill a niche role in the development of Iraqi security forces as the number of conventional Army troops goes down, he said.

“Nothing I’ve been told leads me to believe that there will be a reduction” in special operations forces in Iraq, “and the door is always open for an increase in demand, so we’re just trying to prepare for that the best we can,” Olson said.

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Top US commando says strain of war limits forces elsewhere

I sincerely hope the ‘powers that be’ are listening, Spec/Ops guys are stretched, that’s one of the reasons there are so many top shelf ‘private’ contractors out in the field now, our entire military is stretched, and that is a dangerous position to be in…

Special Forces, SEALS, Recon, Rangers and the like are ALL troopers, they can and will fight just like the grunts, when they have to, but that’s not their intent and purpose, it’s called Spec/Ops for a reason, these guys are set up to do things that the average troop will only dream of and civilians think only happens in the movies, garrison life dulls a Spec/Ops warrior, long and drawn out deployments to places like the streets of Baghdad only dull them even more, they have risen above the rather mundane, day to day duties of the regular troops, that’s why they are Spec/Ops…

Our military needs to be expanded but the ‘all volunteer’ system doesn’t generate the numbers needed, it does, or should I say, did generate a more well educated and highly motivate troop but there’s just not enough of them to go around, the guys and gals we DO have are awesome but they need some relief too, not just the Spec/Ops folks, the grunts, the sand and mud Marines, all of them, you can run a good horse to death, and that is something we can’t afford to have happen…

The Army has lowered it’s standards of acceptance as I understand it, they are overlooking minor arrests and drug charges, they are accepting what was once considered to be a less than desirable candidate, and granted, many of these guys turn out to be great troops, some just need a chance at making a new start, but for the most part you’re not finding guys with college degrees hitting it every morning for PT at Benning, enlisted Infantry can’t draw that caliber of soldier…

I have close personal friends and relatives that are soldiers, some full time, some reservists and some are National Guard troops, Guard that’s doing 50% of the work in Iraq and Afghanistan, National Guard troops, and right now our U.S. Army would be up the creek without a paddle if it weren’t for the Guard and their magnificent troops and officers…

But even our Guard troops are stretched now, some are on their 2nd and 3rd deployments, just like the regular troops, the big difference is, these ‘citizen soldiers’ make even more of a sacrifice when they deploy to Iraq or other parts of the world, they leave behind their civilian jobs for months at a time, in most cases jobs that pay them and their families a much higher wage and afford them a much more lavish lifestyle, but they and their families make whatever sacrifices they must make for this nation…

But here’s my big question, what do we do when the regular troops are too exhausted to go?? And then our Guard and Reserves are pushed way past any expected limits of human endurance?? What do we do when our depleted forces are so run down that they just don’t have a lot left to give this nation??

And think about this, the Spec/Ops guys are a small force, and they can do some pretty amazing things, but they can’t take up all the slack that we are leaving out there…

It can happen, our guys and galls will give it a 110% effort, but they can run out of gas, and unless our government has some grand scheme to enlist more volunteers, fresh meat so to speak, we’re either going to have to scale back somewhere or risk the loss of even more troops due to sheer mental burnout and physical exhaustion…

And when the troops are too tired, too sick, too old or they are suffering from severe PTSD and can’t serve anymore, what then?? Do we expect that the V.A. is going to provide for them and take care of them??

You can read all the ‘rah-rah’ so-called military support sites you want to, some serve a great purpose, but some are blowing smoke up your lacy bloomers, that’s not going to happen here, I ask the questions some folks are afraid to ask, I call it when others ’spin’ and tout the Bush administration as the greatest warfighting group America ever had, well folks, most of us know that’s not the truth, we need to listen to these warriors that return from Iraq, Afghanistan and other places, these guys that have dedicated their lives to fighting for this nation, we need to listen when they tell us of the strain, we have to get our forces ‘fresh’ and at full strength, and it just isn’t going to happen in today’s economy…

There ya go, I said it, it’s ALL about the money, and if you doubt it, you aren’t paying attention, folks don’t soldier for the money, they soldier out of dedication, money keeps the ranks running, and sadly, the all American taxpayer is stretched pretty thin right now too…  

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‘Miracle’ Marine dies

May 2nd, 2008 . by TexasFred

A Marine sergeant who became a symbol of resilience as he strove to recover from a roadside bomb blast in Iraq that blanketed 97 percent of his body with burns has died, the Defense Department said. He was 22.

Sgt. Merlin German died April 11 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he was continuing treatment for the injuries he suffered in combat on Feb. 22, 2005, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The former turret gunner was dubbed the “Miracle Man” for his determination in facing his wounds, which cost the former saxophone player his fingers and rippled his face with scars. He endured more than 40 surgeries, spent 17 months in a hospital and had to learn to walk again.

Meanwhile, he started a charity, Merlin’s Miracles, to aid child burn victims and considered college and a career.

“Sometimes I do think I can’t do it,” he told The Associated Press last year. “Then I think: Why not? I can do whatever I want. … Nobody has ever been 97 percent dead and survived, and lived to walk.”

Born in New York City, German moved to its suburbs as a teenager. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2003, according to his charity’s Web site. He was medically retired four years later, the Defense Department said.

German had been stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the state Capitol’s flags would be flown at half-staff in German’s honor, saying the sergeant’s “courage and unfailing loyalty serve as an inspiration to Americans everywhere.”

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‘Miracle’ Marine dies

Semper Fi Bro, you gave it EVERYTHING you had to give, a man can do no more than that.

Rest in Peace.

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Obama Seeks to Affirm His Patriotism

April 7th, 2008 . by TexasFred

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - Barack Obama wants to make something clear: He loves America.

After a series of incidents that prompted questions about his patriotism, the Democratic presidential candidate is peppering speeches with explicit statements on his love of country.

“I love this country not because it’s perfect but because we’ve always been able to move it closer to perfection,” he told an audience in North Dakota.

And in Montana: “It’s a country where … I’ve seen ordinary Americans find justice, where I’ve seen progress made for working families who need leaders who are willing to stand up and fight for them. That is the country I love.”

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Obama Seeks to Affirm His Patriotism

For a guy that claims to LOVE America, he sure has a funny way of showing it, actions speak a lot louder than words and Barack Hussein Obama’s actions say more than he cares to share with the voting public! And as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. - United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171

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Remains ID’d As Missing Ohio Soldier Matt Maupin

March 30th, 2008 . by TexasFred

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) - The father of a soldier listed as missing-captured in Iraq since 2004 said Sunday that the military had informed him that his son’s remains were found in Iraq.

Keith Maupin said at a news conference in suburban Cincinnati that an Army general told him DNA testing had identified the remains of his son, Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin, or “Matt” as he was commonly known.

Lt. Lee Packnett, an Army public affairs officer in Washington, confirmed that the Maupins were notified Sunday that their son’s remains had been identified. Packnett said an official statement about the identification would be released Monday.

Matt Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured April 9, 2004, after his fuel convoy, part of the 724th Transportation Company, was ambushed west of Baghdad.

A week later, the Arab television network Al-Jazeera aired a videotape showing Maupin sitting on the floor surrounded by five masked men holding automatic rifles.

That June, Al-Jazeera aired another tape purporting to show a U.S. soldier being shot. But the dark and grainy tape showed only the back of the victim’s head and not the actual shooting.

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Remains ID’d As Missing Ohio Soldier’s

Rest in Peace Matt, you served bravely and you did your duty, you’re coming home now, and your Mom and Dad can have some peace in just knowing your fate, I hate the word closure, but for lack of a better word, maybe they can finally have some closure.

All our love and sympathy to the Maupin family, and to ALL the families of our brave troops that have given their lives in the line of duty.

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A special thanks to these wonderful folks, they all either commented, blogged or did both regarding Matt Maupin, you folks are the very best!! If I have missed anyone, I DO apologize, drop me an email and let me know, I will gladly include you in this list of GREAT bloggers!!

The Ranando Report, Bloviating Zeppelin, RTaylor, Right Truth, Marilyn, Chicago Ray, The BoBo Files, Patrick Sperry, GM Roper, GuyK, ablur, Jenn of the Jungle, An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings, Driving Out The Snakes , I’m Thinking of the “O” Word, Southern Sass on Crime, ARRA News Service

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Barack Hussein Obama, WRONG for America…

February 25th, 2008 . by TexasFred

Look at Obama, he won’t put his hand over his heart during the playing of the National Anthem or during a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance…

When he is making public appearances, when he is doing political advertisements or when he is involved in a debate, he WILL NOT wear an American flag pin on his lapel…

Obama claims he loves America, Obama claims he is the one that can and will bring ‘change’ to America but he can’t tell you what that ‘change’ will be, he claims to be ready to lead from Day 1 but he’s not even done with a 1st term in the Senate, what prepares him to lead anything??

This individual is a disgrace to America, the flag and the people of the United States of America and anyone that can support this ‘empty suit’ is as hollow as he is, to the American Dems, ask yourselves, is that the guy you really want in the White House?? A guy that won’t even make a half-hearted attempt at patriotism??

Barack Hussein Obama, WRONG for America…

None of the Above and a viable write in candidate is looking better all the time…

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How well did Senator Clinton handle the tragedy?

February 23rd, 2008 . by TexasFred

Senator Clinton drew an enthusiastic crowd in Dallas this morning but the tone of her day quickly changed.

The Clinton campaign had to make several last minute changes to adjust to the news.

The theme of Senator Clinton’s campaign is: Ready to lead on day one.

Today, she reacted to events beyond her control and made a series of split decisions.

She started with an impromptu news conference after her rally in Oak Cliff.

“I just want to express my deepest condolences to the family and the Dallas police department and this tragic tragic loss,” she said.

From Dallas, Clinton’s motorcade drove to Fort Worth, as scheduled.

But, by the time she took the stage, she’d decided to cancel the rally.

“Because of this tragedy, I know you understand, we can’t have a rally. It would not be appropriate,” she told fans.

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How well did Senator Clinton handle the tragedy?

Yesterday I saw something happen that gave me great pause concerning the way I look at Sen. Hillary Clinton…

Sen. Clinton exhibited more class than I have seen in a long time, which is a lot more than I can say for some of her supporters, her reaction to the death of Sr. Cpl. Victor Lozada was totally compassionate, and I don’t believe it was staged, it was too emotional to be staged, nor do I believe it was in any way a political ploy, Sen. Clinton was obviously quite moved by Lozado’s death and her reactions were, in my opinion, genuine and commendable…

Read the full story and I think you’ll agree, she may not be the best choice for POTUS, she’s surely not MY choice, I haven’t become a Clinton supporter over this one incident, but she truly is a compassionate and caring person, and yesterday, it showed…

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Senators’ emergency landing in Afghanistan

February 21st, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON - Helicopters carrying three senior U.S. senators made emergency landings Thursday in the mountains of Afghanistan because of a snowstorm.

Sens. John Kerry, Joseph Biden and Chuck Hagel were aboard the aircraft. No one was injured, according a statement from Kerry’s office. The senators and their delegation returned to Bagram Air Base in a motor convoy, and have left for Turkey.

“After several hours, the senators were evacuated by American troops and returned overland to Bagram Air Base, and left for their next scheduled stop in Ankara, Turkey,” the Kerry statement said. “Sen. Kerry thanks the American troops, who were terrific as always and who continue to do an incredible job in Afghanistan.”

The lawmakers were on a trip this week that included stops in India, Turkey and Pakistan, where they observed the elections earlier this week.

Kerry and Biden are Democrats from Massachusetts and Delaware, respectively, and the Republican Hagel is from Nebraska.

Senators’ emergency landing in Afghanistan

I am, quite frankly, amazed that they didn’t come under fire from some Taliban war lord, I guess they’re all still hiding out in the caves, waiting for the winter to end, but you know, if they had come under fire, what with Kerry being a war hero and all, I’m pretty sure he’d have taken up a .50cal with a full bandolier and gone all Rambo on the attackers as he saved the entire mission, much like he did somewhere in the Mekong delta back in the day…

Seriously, kudos to our troops for making the extraction and bringing them all back alive and well, our military guys and gals are the very best there is…

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