Here's to a wonderful 2006!!
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
It's a hard thing to lose a loved one at any time, but especially hard during a holiday which is typically marked by family gatherings. My heart goes out to Jack Grant, who is finding his way through this hard reality, having lost his beloved father, William Martin Grant.
You can leave a kind word for Jack at his blog, Random Fate.
Posted by Barb at 9:49 AM
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
About this time of year, the airwaves and elevators are filled with insidious tunes that play over and over. Some of them are classic beauties, and others are just plain goofy, and as hard to get out of your head as "It's a Small World".
Posted by Barb at 11:45 AM
Thursday, December 22, 2005
John of Argghhh! shares a Politically correct version of an old standard. I don't know, though, it just doesn't seem to have the right rhythm ... what do you think?
Posted by Barb at 12:02 PM
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Take the Iraqi Army 1st Brigade, 1st Division - add in the Teufelhunden of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines and supporting aircraft from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing - and what do you have?
It's 1815, Tuesday evening. Bingo and I have just returned from assisting the Iraqi Army in Operation Moonlight; a "cordon and knock" mission along the Euphrates river. There were three Iraqi battalions from the 1st Iraqi Brigade involved in the operation which covered a large swath of desert on either side of the river just East of the city of Ubaydi.
There's a lot more ... Go read the whole thing here. Make sure you include a pat on the head for his 4-footed partner as well.
Also, if you aren't already following Bill Roggio's reporting from Iraq (and why aren't you??), check out these articles :
Posted by Barb at 5:02 PM
Monday, December 19, 2005
We have all wondered who would be sick enough to send the horrible card to soldier Joshua Sparling at Walter Reed Medical Center.
It's that time of year, when stories appear that tug on your heart strings and make you grateful for what you have.
Posted by Barb at 5:02 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I am just getting connected to the internet again after a 4 1/2 hour break, due to our cable service disappearing. I'm still experiencing the withdrawal symptoms ... *shudder*
Posted by Barb at 2:22 PM
Friday, December 16, 2005
The elections yesterday are another great achievement in the progression toward peaceful democracy in Iraq. Congratulations to the Iraqi people, and to our men and women in uniform who have been doing the mission every day to keep this happening. America's Son offers his perspective on the day ...
Since I have been here in Iraq, I have not heard celebration such as what I witnessed yesterday. It was a surreal atmosphere. At one time, I looked at one of the Iraqi soldiers and asked him "Are they happy?", as a flag waving throng made their way down one of the streets of the city. "Yes. They say 'Long live Iraq' and 'Today is a great day for all Iraq', he responded as he thrust his ink stained finger in the air. It was indeed a great day for all of us.
Go read the rest.
In other good news from Iraq, Jim Hake of the Spirit of America reports on the success of a different kind of mission - Operation Snapshot.
"The pictures were the hit of the day. I showed the Iraqi Soldiers how to take pictures and just let them go with it."
Some missions just need different tools, that's all.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Yes, the Iraqi elections are today, and there's a great post at Iraq The Model, which has been updated all day with reports from around Iraq. Fantastic pictures and tons of first hand reports!
Posted by Barb at 6:53 AM
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Call me a sick puppy, but I love this T-Shirt design! I think it would makea great gift for all the warfighters on my Christmas list.
Monday, December 12, 2005
I haven't posted on the statements made by Sen. Kerry the other day on "Face the Nation" regarding our troops in Iraq, comparing them to terrorists. It's been covered everywhere from the political side, and I have no great insight to add to the discussion, except to say that it is yet another ball in play in the political game.
On Friday I posted about supporting our wounded servicemembers by sending cards and letters (scroll down). Just as important is our support for the men and women in the sandboxes, who are going to be spending this Christmas away from their families and the comforts of home (again, in some cases). I've been sending packages to some great folks, and even gained a Blogson out of it (*grin*), but this request is too important to pass up.
Dear Barbara Way,
Friday, December 09, 2005
Looking for a way to support the troops? There are a lot of our amazing men & women in all the services who are recuperating in various military medical facilities around the world. Truth be told, they could use to hear from us all year long, but as Christmas is rapidly approaching - let's show our spirit of giving in a very simple way.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Contagion had a fit when Oddybobo tagged him with another meme, which would just be funny. But he decided to tag me with it ... great. I'm supposed to bare my soul and tell you all about five of my weird habits.
Thanks to Gunn Nutt for highlighting a great take on a Christmas classic from a FreeRepublic post. Go check out The Liberal Night Before Christmas!
Posted by Barb at 7:05 AM
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
My parents' generation were galvanized to action sixty-four years ago, when the Sunday morning attack on Pearl Harbor shocked the nation. My Dad was a high school lad of 16, and had to wait almost two years before his 18th birthday to join the Army. He was never an athlete - even after his service he remained a bookish and geeky young man. But he became a soldier, and he did his duty gladly. He's been gone these past 5 years, but he once told me that his memories were only of the men he served with.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
AFSister tagged me with the 5 things meme. What 5 things? I'm supposed to come up with facts about me that you likely don't know. Given all of the other memes I've played along with, finding 5 might be a challenge.
Monday, December 05, 2005
** UPDATED **
Posted by Barb at 11:45 AM
Sunday, December 04, 2005
I'm lazy, but here are some fine reads for today ...
Posted by Barb at 8:06 AM
Thursday, December 01, 2005
ALERT -- New military blog!! I have been corresponding with America's Son for several weeks now, since hooking up with him through Books For Soldiers. I was going to ask him if I could post up a picture of his K9 partner. Well, now I don't need to - he's decided to start blogging. And as cool as pictures are, you need to pay close attention to the words, because the man has something important to say ...
I often find myself lying in bed awake at night. I am surrounded by war and the tools of its trade. I am required to sleep with my rifle at an arms reach away. There are tanks parked yards away from where I live. Attack helicopters are constantly flying over my head. Every night, I hear about troops in contact, casualty updates and a host of other issues relating to war. I cannot escape the sights and sounds of destruction and I would be lying if I said that this has not affected me. It has. I lie awake at night and ask myself what brought us to this? As a civilization of human beings, what kind of lunacy causes one people to reach a point where the death of another is the only solution to conflict? We as Americans believe that democracy and liberty is a gift from God bestowed to every man regardless of his socioeconomic status, religious affiliation or ethnicity. Our enemies disagree. They hold that democracy has led to the moral decline of this planet and will eventually result in its demise. And because of this, at this very moment, our country is at war with terrorists and we are killing each other.
That's just a taste - please go read the whole thing here, and let him know you visited.
Welcome to the blogosphere, America's Son. Keep up the good writing!
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
BillT sounded the call to action this morning at the Castle - Grey Eagle of A Female Soldier's Story 2 has a hacking problem, and needs support and assist. Please go help her out in any way you can ... it is just plain wrong for a$$hats to get away with hacking an active soldier's blog.
Seems that the sad little vignette thought up by the MoveOn forces for Thanksgiving has just a tiny bit of falsehood to it. Not that they should let truth get in the way of smearing the President and this administration.
From James Taranto's Best of the Web at OpinionJournal.Com ...Yesterday we got an e-mail from an old friend who is a captain in the U.S. Army. He writes:
I just got back from my third deployment from Iraq on Friday, and I happened to be at the dentist and saw a completely offensive ad from the idiots at MoveOn.org this morning. Anyway, it is a Bush-bashing ad that pretends to be arguing for American soldiers families as they will miss the holidays and it shows turkey and crying wives and blames Bush for it all. Here is the crucial part of the ad that I would like to bring to your attention. As they pretend to argue on my behalf, they show a group of soldiers standing around a table in the Middle East.
Here's the scene to which our friend refers:
"A hundred and fifty thousand American men and women are stuck in Iraq," according to the narration that accompanies this scene. Our friend (we've cleaned up a bit of his language for civilian consumption) continues:
These are not your normal everyday U.S. soldiers though. If you look at the frame they are actually British soldiers. One is in shorts (we don't have shorts as a normal combat uniform) and the others are all clearly wearing British pattern fatigues. So, my point is that these [turkeys] pretend to argue on my behalf and bash the president in the name of my crying wife, and they don't even know what an American soldier looks like! Anyway, it really [ticked] me off.
The only thing that would have made this more galling is if the ad had mentioned that the liberation of Iraq was "unilateral."
Posted by Barb at 12:02 AM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I don't intend to produce a complete AAR on the dining experience at the Westin Hotel in Whistler last Thursday. Let me just say that having a fine restaurant produce a generous feast, complete with both goose and turkey, and all of the fixings, would have been a great treat by itself. Making it a buffet guaranteed I would eat way too much!! An excellent place, indeed ... Yum!
Posted by Barb at 7:59 AM
Monday, November 28, 2005
Check your own local newspapers to see if this nice little item made it to print where you live. I couldn't find it here in Seattle's papers at all ...
Iraqi Red Crescent thanks U.S. with $1 million for Katrina relief
H/T to LindaSoG, who posted this at It's a Matter of Opinion, as well as at Something ... and Half of Something.
Posted by Barb at 9:22 PM
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
... for a great many things.
Posted by Barb at 7:56 AM
Monday, November 21, 2005
It's a simple method, and can't fail. All we need to do is quit the fight ... in Iraq, in Afghanistan, anywhere our troops are engaged ... in order to Lose the GWOT.
HOW TO LOSE A WAR
You see, it simply isn't true that we will be safe here in the US if we pull out of Iraq before the country is secure. If we leave now, with the job half done, and other Americans will lose their lives. We may not see another attack like 9/11 immediately - but it WILL happen, if we give up now.
And why would we quit when we're ahead???
Here's a few facts to ponder :
Here's an idea -- let's finish the fight, and leave Iraq as a Democratic and stable state in the Middle East.
When I grow up, I want to write like my friend Kat of The Middle Ground. She takes laser aim today at the tools used by successful terrorist groups.
Terrorism Inc: How To Be A Successful Terrorist
Read the whole thing here. Then decide whether you want to fight the terrorists, or give in to them ... and act accordingly.
Posted by Barb at 12:01 PM
Saturday, November 19, 2005
During the fight, a round from a rocket-propelled grenade struck his humvee and changed the Marine’s life forever.
As I finished the article, I realized two things : Sgt. Wright is from Seattle, Washington -and- he has just been presented with the gift of a fine custom speed boat by a San Diego based company called Ultra Boats.
Jason Ewing of Ultra Boats shows Marine Sgt. James 'Eddie' Wright, who lost both hands in a combat-related explosion while serving in Iraq last year, the interior of Wright's new 28-foot, custom-made powerboat. The vessel is specially outfitted so that Wright can drive the boat using his prosthetic arms, before the boat was put in the water at Camp Pendleton on Thursday. The boat was given to Wright as part of a reality television show called 'Rock the Boat.'
HAYNE PALMOUR IV Staff Photographer
Check out some of the details of Sgt. Wright's new boat :
The 425-horsepower boat was custom-airbrushed with scuba-fitted skeletons ---- a stylized Marine reconnaissance team ---- swimming through blue flames with Wright at the lead ---- his new prosthetic arms with hooks in full stroke.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
If there are any Southern California based folks reading this - please tell your friends and neighbors to consider a visit to Ultra Custom Boats for their next boat purchase. This is the kind of military supporting business we need to encourage!!
Well done, John and Leah West -- Good on You!
The Ultra Boats site notes that the Outdoor Life Network (OLN TV) runs a series called Rock the Boat. An episode showing the custom design of this special boat will air again on Sunday night, Nov. 20th, at 7pm Pacific time. Sounds like a LOT more fun than 60 minutes to me !! Check your local listings, just be case.
Friday, November 18, 2005
If you read nothing else today ... go check out the Punishers' Ball report at Michael Yon's! It's a good read, and the pictures of the men of the Deuce Four are wonderful!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I added another notch to my sidebar. Down in that little section reserved for the bloggers I've actually met in person, there is a new entry. This past Monday night, I met up with Bad Cat Robot of Snark Patrol and Chief(ret) Bill of Castle Argghhh!!
Posted by Barb at 9:44 PM
Friday, November 11, 2005
Today is Veterans' Day ... Many thanks to the military veterans, and to those currently serving. You are all heroes, and it's because of your that America is the greatest nation on the planet!
If you do NOTHING else today, thank a veteran for his/her service. Find as many as you can to thank, and let them know how much you appreciate their contribution. Without them we wouldn't be free to Vote, to speak openly, and to live in prosperity.
It's still true, and I plan to continue to do what I can to show my appreciation. Not just today, because there are good things to be done every day. But Especially today, let them know you care, please.
Last year I had the absolute best, and absolute worst, response possible from a co-worker when I thanked him for his Navy service. He looked up at me and said "Thank you. No one ever thanked me before!". The best part was how happy he was to be thanked, and how good it made me feel. But it was sad, too - that he had been out of uniform for 13+ years, and no one had thanked him on Veterans Day.
Originally celebrated as armistice Day, there are celebrations in many countries on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour. JMH reminded me that in Canada, it is called Remembrance Day -- and you can visit this site to find links to a slew of great places.
Visit your favorite Milblogs and pay your respects today! Here's a small sampling :
John, Bill & Dusty
Mudville Gazette / Milblogs
Major K (and his new son!)
One Big Dog
... adding some ladies for balance ...
... or check the sidebar at any of the above!
Posted by Barb at 8:10 AM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
As a proud member of the Marine blog challenge team, under the inspired leadership of Holly Aho, I want to wish all active and former Marines Happy Birthday!
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif.
This is a fine idea, and the timing is wonderful with Veteran's Day on Friday. Keep in mind that not all heroes get their faces printed on a stamp, though. Capt B reminds us about the nature of the Real American Hero ...
The title of veteran is a term of great respect due to the patriotism, willingness to serve, and dedication to a larger cause. As the holiday approaches if nothing else Americans should remember the vets who made this country what it is today. I stand in front of a unit’s memorial board here in Iraq. A wall of warriors killed in action. I stare at the many fallen Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen, many so young and full of life, determined and brave. I stare at the memorial walls and a silent crowded wall stares back at me holding me accountable to complete the job we were sent here to do. They gave their all. It’s a shame we cant display all of the pictures from all of the battles that show these brave men so people could see who was number 7 and who was number 2001. So people can feel the eyes of men and women looking at them and telling them so much without saying a word.
There's more - go read it, and leave the Captain encouraging words while you're at it. He knows why he's in Iraq, let him know you understand.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Attention on the net ...
Check your local listings - set your recorder if you will be at work ... Spread the word ... send emails to your friends and family ... Cross-post and trackback to as many sites as you can think of.
Why are you still here?? GO!
I meant to link from the post below to the orders for the 1stCivDiv at The Word Unheard. Go there and try to follow his orders, it's instructive!
Monday, November 07, 2005
When I checked the totals in the blog competition this evening, I was ecstatic to see that the Navy ship was floundering!! Of course, it would have made me even Happier to say that the Marine team was the leader ... but the Army team has that honor (right now), while the Air Force team is struggling to gain altitude.
That's over $44K - which is more than a third of the total amount to complete Phase 2, and more than twice the original goal for this competition!
But ... The Army has the lead.
So Listen Up out there ... The Marine team has done fine work, in spite of the technical difficulties experienced by our fearless leader (Holly's blog is down right now, partly due to traffic!). But let's make a push to the top!
There are other things you can do ... Print off the flyers and hang them, so others can see their chance to help. Tell your friends and family, even small donations are powerful!
If you know people who need a visual, try this one :
Thanks to Cox and Forkum for creating the perfect image to keep us focused.
Friday, November 04, 2005
The lead gained by Navy last night was maintained today, darn it! Sgt Hook said it right, though ... We're still not wearing the damned bell bottoms!
Come ON, Marine supporters ... you're not going to let Navy beat us, are you??!
Seriously - if you don't already know why this project is a worthy cause, take a moment to read some of these examples from Capt Z (who is currently undergoing more treatment), or Sgt B, or Sgt Hook, or Holly Aho.
* * * Special Offer * * *
I'll even give you an extra reason to give. I'll give the first person who donates $100 to the Marine Team (using the donate button at the right) a special gift.
A Fighting Aces T-Shirt. These shirts were sold by Chuck's unit to help fund a Welcome Home party, and are not available any longer. However - I bought two of them, and I will send you one if you donate $100 or more on Saturday, the 5th. Leave me a comment so I know who you are, and I'll email you!
For a quick change from the Blog Challenge, head over to Random Nuclear Strikes, where I posted a little Gun pron. That's what Analog Kid gets for letting me have the keys to the blog for a few days!!
Thursday, November 03, 2005
The Fearless Leader of our rapidly-growing (check out my sidebar!!) Marine Team is quite the artist. Check out the Comic of the Day at Holly Aho's place! (note : you may need to scroll down a bit)
I can't believe that Army and Navy are separated by $.01, and the total is a great stride towards the Blog Challenge goal!
Keep spreading the word -- we want to blow past that goal. Remember that the completion of the first phase totals about $110,000 - Don't Stop!
I found this picture at One Marine's View. This young Marine fought alongside his brothers, and saw things I am sure I can't imagine. He lost his hand, and may have lost fellow Marines as well.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
The blogger competition for Project Valour-IT is launching today - and I'm joining the Marine team of Soldiers' Angel Holly Aho.
Monday, October 31, 2005
If you don't already have Michael Yon's Gates of Fire post tattooed onto your consciousness, then hie yourself over to his blog and catch up to the rest of us. You'll understand the image below better after reading...
Paying Respect to Those Who've Earned It
The soldiers of the Deuce Four have earned the right to relax, to spend a night of pleasure with their friends and spouses. So has Mr. Yon - whose amazing blog has brought the war front directly to our desktops.
He is also taking the time to honor those who died, and I'll leave you with his thoughts ...
...Nearly 600 soldiers were killed or wounded from the 1st Brigade (Stryker), 25th Infantry Division, while fighting in Iraq. I visited the newly built 1st Brigade Memorial, and as I read the names of the fallen etched in the granite face of the memorial, I was humbly reminded of the great price our soldiers continue to pay for my freedom to write and to speak.
(cross-posted at Random Nuclear Strikes)
NOT just because this article in the USA Today starts with the withdrawal of Ms. Miers from consideration, NOT because of the use of the phrase 'botched nomination', and NOT because it proceeds to give a stale re-hash of Justice O'Connor's history.
Posted by Barb at 7:59 AM
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Hmpf - Who says I don't deserve being looked up to? Anyways - check it out and tell me your type. If we get at least one of each, it's D&D time!!
H/T to Graumagus, the D8.
Posted by Barb at 8:40 AM
Friday, October 28, 2005
Buzz has been discharged from Walter Reed and flown to Augusta Georgia!!! They told him Wednesday night at 11:30 PM that he would be leaving DC for Georgia at 6:45AM Thursday morning!!! Sarah was up all night packing first her motel room and then Buzz's hospital room. They flew via military cargo .....not what you'd call first class. They were both pretty worn out by the time they reached Augusta. Sarah is staying in a Comfort Inn within walking distance of the hospital.
Buzz and his wife, Sarah, very much appreciate all of the kind attention. Send a note of thanks, or just keep them in your prayers.
You might remember that Buzz is one of the soldiers who has received a laptop through the Soldiers' Angels Valour-IT project. This project is so very important for providing a means of communication and independence for our wounded warfighters, so we are launching a new fundraising competition. The Fuzzilicious one has all the details here - please go visit her site, add your suggestions, and start thinking about how you'll plan to participate.
We need to spread the word far and wide to ensure the success of the project - don't delay!!
New Flyers are available at Castle Argghhh! Print them up and post them to spread the word!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
No - not mine! Blogfather Graumagus marked his second blogoversary yesterday, and I missed it. Argghhh!
Posted by Barb at 11:59 AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
We all know how much the MSM likes to use and abuse numbers to their own benefit, and the casualty toll in the war is their favorite number to use as a bludgeon. As always, they miss the real meaning behind the numbers they wield.
New York Post
Over at Fuzzilicious Thinking, the Lioness further ponders the intent of the MSM. Go read, and give her your thoughts.
Posted by Barb at 7:33 AM
Monday, October 24, 2005
I'm not referring to myself, as I support the war in Iraq ... the Mission *AND* the warfighters. But I hear it occasionally when listening to talk radio. I really love it when someone invokes Cindy Sheehan (for example) and then tries to prove that *Most* of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan want the President to bring them home now, based on some bogus extrapolation.
It's coming down to the wire for this election season, with some important initiatives on the Washington State ballot for voter approval (or denial). The most important of these is I-912 - "No New Gas Tax". The purpose of I-912 is to repeal the gas tax hike legislation enacted by newly minted Governor Gregoire this January.
Posted by Barb at 7:43 AM
Today is cause for celebration - two of my fellow Denizens are celebrating Natal Anniversaries. Both Jack of Random Fate and Keith of My Army Life were born on this day, and the Castle celebration is on!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Let's see ...