Sunday, March 30, 2008

He's been found

Matt's remains have been found.
"Matt is coming home; he has completed his mission," said Keith Maupin in a news release Sunday. "After years of prayer and hope, we learned today that Matt died while in captivity. While this is not what we had hoped for, at least we know."

"It hurts," Carolyn Maupin said at a news conference earlier Sunday. "After you go through almost four years of hope, and this is what happens, it's like a let down, so I'm trying to get through that right now."

It hurts me too, Ms. Maupin. I feel like going outside and howling at the dark; crying just isn't enough. It's not what I hoped for either, Mr. Maupin. But at least we know. We know he's not being held and tortured. We know his remains will be back home soon. We know the lights have shown him the way home. And now we all know that everyone has done their damnest to bring him home... and succeeded.

I never knew Matt, but I've met your parents, brother, nephew, and cousins. Melissa was able to get tickets to last year's scholarship dinner, an event I will never forget. I know enough about him to mourn his loss and cry with your friends and family. It's been almost exactly four years since he disappeared. Some day very soon, we'll be able to say "Welcome home, Matt. Well done, Soldier. Well done.... now rest easy."

The Survivor Succombs

Dith Pran has died.

Don't know the name, do you... but I bet you know his story.
Dith Pran is the subject of the movie "The Killing Fields", about his survival and escape from Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. If you've never watched "The Killing Fields", you should- just know that it is extremely hard to watch, yet you find yourself unable to pull away from the screen until the whole story is told.

When Pol Pot died back in 1998, Dith compared his death to that of Hilter's: "The Jewish people's search for justice did not end with the death of Hitler and the Cambodian people's search for justice doesn't end with Pol Pot." Well put, don't you think? It would be like Saddam dying of natural causes after decades of torture and mass murder, never to be held accountable for his actions. Thank GOD that did not happen, and the Iraqi's have seen justice for Saddam and many of his top leaders.

Rest in peace, Dith. There is no pain, no cancer, and no Pol Pot's in heaven.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Small Headline; Big Impact

TV, Flag Stolen From Military Recruiting Station

That's the headline. The article isn't much longer:
UNION TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Police said someone broke into a Union Township military recruiting station last week.

The burglar broke into the Armed Forces recruiters’ office March 23, caused extensive damage and stole several items.

Investigators said the intruder stole a 37-inch LCD television with the serial number VDRN7B210287 and an American flag that had been on display after covering the casket of a soldier killed in Iraq.

No arrests have been made, and the break-in remains under investigation.

Things like this are happening all over the country. The most visible was the attempt to blow up the recruiting station on Times Square in NYC. All over the country, people claiming to be "peaceful" are breaking into our recruiting stations and stealing government property, destroying government property, and preventing access to government facilities. But here's the thing that stands out the most in this latest incident, which occurred here in Cincinnati:

the intruder stole ... an American flag that had been on display after covering the casket of a soldier killed in Iraq

These assholes didn't just break in and steal a TV and an American flag; they stole a legacy. They stole a memory. They stole a sacred object. And in the process, they have dishonored and showed the ultimate disrespect for the soldiers they claim to be protecting.

So many anti-military, anti-war protesters believe that by bringing our troops home now, we will prevent the deaths of other American soldiers, which is true. But they also believe that bringing the troops home now is the best way to honor those who have already given their lives in war. Their warped minds believe that these men and women would rather us give up and lose this war than continue the job they left undone and see it through.

If these people really want to honor our deceased soldiers, they wouldn't steal their flags or destroy military property. They wouldn't try to erase the memory and good deeds of our fallen heroes. Instead, they would take the time to visit the grave sites of our dead, and see to it that these sites are considered sacred. They would volunteer at the VA Hospital or Fisher House, to see the faces of the men who nearly died, and know soldiers who did- possibly in the same incident that left them injured. They would read books like "Lone Survivor" so that they can hear how dedicated these men and women are to finishing this job in the right way- the way that shows the families of the fallen that they did not sacrifice their loved one in vain. They would read "House to House" and Medal of Honor decrees to learn about the incredible bravery under fire shown by our men, and learn about these special men who would give their lives for their brothers.

It makes me sick to think about the family of this fallen soldier to know that his (or her) flag is now in the hands of an anti-war, anti-military asshat who doesn't seem to realize that the privileges we enjoy as Americans were paid for with blood, sweat, and countless tears.

I hope they get the people who did this, and I hope they prosecute them under federal statutes. Make them an example to others who chose to dishonor our military and show protesters that this sort of behavior will NOT be tolerated in this country.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


It's been unformally announced that David Bellavia will run for Congress against a IVAW member, and if impromptu speeches like these are any indication... I'm sayin McCain just found his running mate. DAMN. What a motivator!!

If you haven't read "House to House"... you need to. Otherwise you'll miss out on reading the story of a man who is very likely to be the next living recipient of the Medal of Honor. And while you're at it, make sure you pick up a copy of "Lone Survivor", Marcus Luttrell's story of death, and survival, in the mountains of Afghanistan- and the story of a recent Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. Michael Murphy.

The Daily Show takes on Berkeley

Honestly, when I saw the link on Chuck's site, I thought.. "Oh GREAT... another classic anti-military Daily Show skit". But, I watched, and LAUGHED MY ASS OFF.

I really is too bad we don't have an organization in this country dedicated to protecting our right to freedom of speech, eh? Oh, and violence in the streets would, like, TOTALLY stop if we didn't have any weapons on the streets. Uh huh. Thank GOD there aren't any crazies out there who can get illegal weapons or use legal items, like cars and alcohol, to kill people with.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Politicians..... BLECH!

I swear.
I am so fed up with the elected and appointed officials in this country.

The new NY governor, David Paterson, takes office under the shadows of scandal- Eliot Spitzer stepped down as governor after admitting to regularly using high-dollar prostitutes.... only to admit to having an affair of his own just days after being sworn in. Now, a week after being sworn in, Paterson's admitting to early adulthood usage of pot and cocaine. New York needs to throw this baby out with the bathwater.

Hillary Clinton, who has never really been known for her memory, has an all-new memory of her trip to Bosnia in 1996. A week ago (and a couple of other times, too), Hillary and Chelsea came off of their military transport, "ducking" to avoid sniper fire. Today, however, she has a new memory- jogged by video of their Bosnian arrival. "I was told we had to land a certain way, we had to have our bulletproof stuff on because of the threat of sniper fire...Now that's my memory of it". Yeaaaahhhh... THAT'S the ticket! Wonder if Morgan Fairchild was there too. Jeesh.

And then there's B. Hussein Obama, who is desperately trying to distance himself from his hate-whitey church and pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. You cannot tell me that after 20 years of friendship, mentoring, advising, and sermons, Obama simply "didn't know" about Wright's dedication to his black agenda? Oh, please....

I swear. Politicians lie more than a dog on a hot day.

Monday, March 24, 2008





I cannot win.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Our Eeeeeeevil Air Force At Work

Al-Amreeki has known nothing but war, fear, death, and destruction since his birth three years ago. Sounds bad, eh?
In January, it got worse.

Al-A was severly burned in a stove fire at his Salah ah Din home. He is suffering from second and third degree burns over approximately 40% of his body, plus inhalation burns.

But he's one of the lucky ones: His uncle found his way to the American military hospital in Balad, Iraq . The uncle was told by the Air Force doctors he would likely die, but it's been 2 months, and Al-A has proven himself to be a fighter. Our military also fought- first for Al-A's life, and then to find his family. After the uncle heard he would probably die, he left Al-A at the hospital, never to return. The military took over the search for any relative of the small boy, eventually finding his mother. Al-A's father was killed by insurgents a year ago, and AL-a was her only child. She feared the soldiers would tell her that her tiny son was dead, but instead, they brought news of his survival and their plan to get him help in the United States.

The Air Force medical staff arranged for Al-A and his mother to be transported via US military and civilian aircraft all the way from Iraq to Cincinnati. They arrived this weekend for what will probably be at least 6-8 weeks of surgery and care. An Air Force combat nurse accompanied them the whole way, mostly on US Air Force transport.

He's not the first Iraqi child to receive extensive, free, medical care from US military and civilian forces, nor will be the last. Just one more shining example of our "evil, oppressor, invading, baby-killing, torturing" military improving, and saving, the lives of people around the world.

Way to go, USAF!!!
I am so proud you!



Easter is a great day for Christians around the world, for it is on this day that Jesus returned from the dead following his death upon the cross.
It is this day that we celebrate the birth of spring (even though this is the earliest Easter we've had in nearly 100 years!).
It is this day that children partake in egg hunts and explore baskets filled with goodies, inexplicably left by a small, furry, four-footed, long-eared creature we call the Easter Bunny.

And it was just this morning that my son, Kevin, discovered that the Easter Bunny has a sense of humor, leaving a whoopie cushion in his basket.
Upon discovering the toy, Kevin exclaimed "SWEEEEET!!!! A back-up!!"

"A back-up"???

"Yeah!!", he says, smacking his rear end and shaking it, "For when I can't get this thing to work on demand!!"

Good Grief....

Friday, March 21, 2008

More than a number


It's only a number, right? But to the family and friends associated with that number, it's so much more. It represents the number of American lives lost in Iraq over the past five years. They are, indeed, more than just a number.

But since so many anti-military types are focused on that number, let's take a scientific look at that number. USA Today broke it down nicely today:
Worst month: Nov. 2004, 137 dead
98% of the dead are male
25% of the dead are non-Caucasian
Median age at death: 21
91% are NCO's and enlisted
Ft. Hood has lost more than any other military installation
New York City has lost more than any other hometown
52% were killed by bombs
20% were killed by non-hostile acts (including 15 electrocutions which are now under heavy scrutiny- and should be.)
Worst single day: Jan. 26, 2005, 37 dead, 31 of which died when their helicopter crashed in a sandstorm
Least deadly month: Feb. 2004, 21 dead
No one died on 460 days out of the past 1,825 days (that's just over 25%)
In addition to the nearly 4,000 killed in Iraq, nearly 500 have been killed in Afghanistan and other locations related to the GWOT.
Some of those 4,500 are people I "know" either in real life or through blogging, but most are strangers to me. Regardless, they are all people I wish I knew before their death, so that I could have thanked them for their sacrifice and service.

Now, let's put the 4,500 in perspective:
It's less than 2/3rds of the US fatalities during the 1 month battle of Iwo Jima
It's less than US losses on each of the first three days of the Battle of the Bulge
It's less than 1/4 of the US losses in Vietnam in 1968 alone
And finally, this war was started as a response to the 9/11 attacks, a day which saw over 3,000 Americans lose their lives on our soil. One day, on OUR soil...

I don't know how many have been seriously injured, and I don't know how many foreigners (including citizens and insurgents) have been seriously injured or killed, but I do know that since 9/11, not one American life has been lost on OUR soil. I also know that the men and women in Iraq now are reporting a dramatically different Iraq than two years ago. I know that Afghanistan continues to be a hard battle with little press coverage or appreciation for the fight there.
And I also know that I have more friends and family in Iraq right now than I ever have before: Tori, Bill, MP, Doc, Hook, JP, Ryan, and the soon-to-be-deployed Taco Bell and Free.

And I've never been more proud of them than I am right now. Tori and Ryan are on their first deployments, but all of the others are on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th deployments. They know that this war is worth the fight, or else they wouldn't keep going back- many times voluntarily.
I just wish the rest of America knew what I know, and what they know.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I am the One

Kat has really outdone herself today, the 5th anniversary of the current war.
You must read, from beginning to end, with Kleenex in hand.

Here's a tiny bit of what you will read, and if you're like me, will find yourself realizing that you too are "the one" in many cases.

I am the one.

I am the one that sent you to war.

I am the one who did not see, even during this time of relative peace, that the shadow of war was coming.

I am the one that believed, and still do, that we could not leave Iraq to fester in its terror and murder, to become like Afghanistan, forgotten and abandoned to those same forces that had already wrought such death and destruction.

I am the one that debated while you sacrificed, fought and sometimes bled in a theater of war whose value I questioned.

I am the one that did not pay attention to our veterans' care or the care that your wounded brothers and sisters were receiving. I am the one that did not ask what our government was doing for these deserving citizens of our nation. I am the one that thought that our nation would take care of them and did not worry or wonder after their care.

I am the one that has watched bad movies, read many books, stayed on the internet too late at night, ordered pizza to be delivered, driven to the store for a late night snack and, generally, done all of the things that I have always done here at home; the things that you cannot do, without giving you a thought.

I am the one that sent you those Christmas cookies that probably arrived there hard as a rock and as tasteless as cardboard.

I am the one that sat next to your wife in the restaurant, talking too loudly about the war, as if I knew anything really about it.

I am the one that had to turn away for a moment as his young wife cried and his family hugged each other. Not because I was embarrassed, but because I was ashamed that I had ever thought my own struggles and strife were so great or tragic. She will not remember me. I am the one that will remember her.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Brown, Brown Grass of Home

The video isn't very good but make sure you listen closely to the lyrics...
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you... President George W. Bush!

*saunters into the sunset singing ... and then I look at Haircut Scooter... finally free of the prosecutor.. it's good to touch the brown, brown grass of home.... *

Yep. I'm gonna miss that man.

Another man I'm gonna miss for a very different reason, the Right Reverend Jim. My friend, who always TYPED IN ALL CAPS, NO MATTER WHAT HE HAD TO SAY; who could always make me laugh with his ass and Elvis stories- and make me cringe at some of his more creative recipies; who loved his wife and family above all, with our country and soldiers taking a very close second place.... has passed away. Take the time to read what Taco has to say about Jim, and the comments.

Jim has been quiet for a few months now, apparently due to failing health. I had no idea. None. Jim is a former Marine and ardent supporter of our troops, with a particular affection for our female troops. He saw them as overlooked and of need of special attention that Jim and his wife, Susan, were more than happy to provide. My cousin Tori benefited greatly from his attention. He loved, and I do mean LOVED, his troops, and they loved him right back.

Yes.. we're all gonna miss you, Jim. Somehow I think he'd like this warped tribute which started out with a funny song from our President.

*clinks glass, and goes back to humming 'the green, green grass of home' *

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Through the eyes of a child

Kevin and I were driving in the car last night, silently listening to the radio.

From the backseat I hear "Mommy! I see a crocodile in the clouds! See it? Its mouth is open, and there's a llama and an axe on it's head. See it, Mommy?? It's in the clouds over there!"

Sadly, I confessed that no, I could not see it. I saw the croc, but not the llama and axe. Kevin tried again to point out the picture in the clouds, but my adult imagination just couldn't quite see it the way a 7-year-old did.

It made me think about creativity as a child, and how we lose that ability as we grow up. Kevin can spend hours playing "Harry Potter" or "Knights" or "Dragons" or "Bionicle" all by himself- and I don't mean with little characters or Lego sets. The child can act out entire scenes, with dialog and action, for multiple characters.

I LOVE listening to him play for this very reason- he's able to escape into his own world and make it come to life. He play-acts with vigor and unparalleled excitement. He creates scripts in his head or remembers movie scenes, word for word, and recites them- complete with accents. He can set up a castle scene in his head and make it come alive. I envy that.

Some day I hope to recapture my youthful imagination and again be able to see crocodiles with llamas and axes on their heads when my gaze turns toward the sky.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ohio Primary Surprises

I live in southern Ohio, so yesterday was our day in the presidential primary spotlight.
Some things were predictable (McCain won; Huckabee dropped out).
Some things, however, were extremely unpredictable (Hill took Ohio- and got twice as many votes than McCain; huge Democratic turnout).

It's the unpredictable stuff I'm interested in tonight.
Last week Rush Limbaugh called upon Republicans to throw their primary vote to Hillary in a very "Survivor"-like tactic- get rid of the one you fear the most in favor of the one you think you can beat. Rush's explanation is that it will keep the Democrats in a state of flux for a while longer, allowing the Republicans to unify behind McCain. Considering how similar Hill and Obama are, I really don't see that as much of a benefit. Choosing your opponent, however... yeah- that's a huge benefit.

So there I was yesterday morning, at the polling center. I was asked if I wanted the Republican or Democratic ballot. I was SO tempted to say "Democrat" just so that I could influence McCain's opponent selection. In the end, I decided that voting FOR something/someone was more important than voting AGAINST someone, so I went Republican. (GO JEAN SCHMIDT!!! You can beat the pants off of that human medical experiment approving, anti-war beyotch Victoria Wulsin!!)

Southern Ohio was settled by German immigrants, and later, southern immigrants, giving us a conservative slant historically speaking. Northern Ohio was settled by more liberal New Englanders who pushed westward, only to stop in what later became Ohio. As such, southern Ohio has a LOT more registered Republicans than Democrats. So imagine my surprise as everyone who came in to vote while I was there asked for a DEMOCRATIC ballot! It was pretty surprising. I don't ever remember being so outnumbered in previous years.

My county's Board of Elections ordered twice as many Democratic ballots than they needed according to the number of registered Democrats, but THEY RAN OUT. Yep. RAN OUT of ballots! There were plenty of Republican ballots, but there was a sizeable shortage of Democratic ballots in Clermont County and other counties around the state. The cited reason was cross-over votes (registered Republicans asking for a Democratic ballot).

We may never know for sure if those cross-over voters were purposely voting for Hill or Obama, or if they were strategizing and picking McCain's opposition in the final race, but my gues is the opposition vote. I don't know any Republicans who are throwing their support to Hill or Obama, but I do know of some who are voting against McCain. Perhaps there is a cell out there trying to actually help the Dem's chose their final candidate. Interesting theory, eh?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sky Soldiers

Nearly 200 men of the 173rd Airborne, the Sky Soldiers, have been lost during their current tour in Afghanistan. They are stationed in the Korengal Valley near the Pakistani border, living in harsh, primative conditions. We are 5 years into this war, and these men are still taking baby wipe showers, living in barely heated tents, and only get to a decent base about once a month. Carhartt recently sent them 5,000 pairs of wool socks and 750 sets of thermal underwear due to the undying support of one Ms. Leta Carruth. Leta has put her heart, soul, and pocketbook on the line looking for support for these men. Read her blog, and you'll see what I mean. I'm proud to call her my friend.

My friend recently sent me a link to a New York Times article about the 173rd; an article that made them all out to be psychotic, depressed, and angry men. She knows their mental and physical states due to her contact with the Sky Soldiers and their families. She knows what kind of challenges they face, and it frustrates her beyond words, but this most recent article has her outraged and ready to launch a "Surge" of her own.

Her "surge" involves one of the most powerful weapons in the world: WORDS.

She's looking for letters and emails of support for "her boys", as I have nicknamed them. It doesn't have to be a long letter or a support package- just a note to tell these men that we appreciate them, love them, support them AND their mission, and telling them that they're making a difference. They need to know that not all Americans drink the Kool-Aid and wear tinfoil hats, guarding themselves against those "harmful and dishonest" POSITIVE stories about their successes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Please. Take a few minutes and write two things:
1. An support email to
2. A written note for the Sky Soldiers, sent to Leta Carruth, P O Box 100
Cordova, TN 38088

Sky Soldiers thank you.
Leta thanks you.
Matt thanks you.
Domestic Diva thanks you.
And I thank you....

And I can say that in advance because I know my readers (all 3 of you) will not let me down and you'll let these men know you think they ROCK.
OK, first of all... The point of this post is to generate email and letter lovin' for the 173rd.
Secondly... I mistakenly wrote that over 200 Sky Soldiers have been lost. As two of you have pointed out in comments, there have been 30 killed. One said "I don't know where you get your information"... I got it from the website you linked, I clicked on OEF Casualties, thinking that it would report 173rd casualties, and made a rough estimate because there were so many listed. Looking at that site now, it appears you have listed all casualties (which, as I obviously forgot, means injuries and deaths), not just 173rd casualties. There are many.

I'm not really sure why I've upset either of you by this error. No offense was intended. This is a little blog, with very low readership. I almost didn't post on this at all because anyone who reads my site has already seen this on Blackfive, but the two driving this campaign are good friends of mine and asked me to post it. As I said before, the point of this post is to generate letters and emails of support. In doing so, I pointed out the harsh conditions they've endured- including the deaths and injuries. This is pro-military, pro-victory site. No offense was meant by my mistake- please do not take it as such.