Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Grey Eagle needs an assist

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.

Also, any of said a$$hats that you manage to corner - head 'em in Bill's direction, he'd love the exercise!

What's wrong with *this* picture?

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 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:

click to view video

"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."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just in time snow!

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!

For those not familiar with Whistler, it is located about two hours north of Vancouver. The locals love the holiday weekend, with the large influx of Americans who head up for the early skiing over the 4 days. So here's an image to honor of our Canadian hosts ...

click for hi-res

Since part of the plan was to break out the skis, we were just a tiny bit disappointed that there was little to be found in the Whistler Village. Whistler / Blackcomb is a dual mountain ski resort, but only Blackcomb had been open for the past 3 weeks, and the early snow had hardened and suffered from the warmer temperatures.

Still, we enjoyed a ride up the gondola to the Whistler Roundhouse, and wandered about on top enjoying the view. Then we headed down to wander the village shops before making our way to the restaurant. After stuffing ourselves silly at dinner, we made our way back to the condo to vegetate sleep.

When we woke up Friday morning, we found it drizzling rain in the village, so the Hubster and I geared up and headed to the gondola. As we rose from the base at around 2000 feet, the gondola rose through cloud layers and the temperature dropped, so that we emerged at the 6000 foot level into snow. About 2.5 inches had fallen overnight, and it was still snowing. Yippee!!

Saturday night it started again, and on Sunday morning the snow was falling at the base of the hill as well. In the late morning, the clouds broke, and the view from the summit was stunning.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Giving Thanks ... Good News from Iraq

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
By Paul Martin
November 25, 2005

Iraq's Red Crescent relief organization found its own way to mark the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday by announcing that it had sent a $1 million "thank you" donation to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The sum, transferred by wire on Sunday, amounts to 20 percent of the organization's annual budget.

"I wish we could have a billion dollars to give," Said Hakki, the organization's president, said by telephone from Baghdad. "Even then, it is not enough to show our appreciation for what the U.S. has done for Iraq and is still doing."

The donation was made with the approval of the office of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and is thought to mark the first time that Iraq has sent aid to the United States.

"Giving thanks is an Iraqi tradition as well as an American one. This is the minimum we could do after the Americans shed their blood in our country, mixing their blood with ours," he said.

He said the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein was "a blessing from God, and the U.S. was His tool."

H/T to LindaSoG, who posted this at It's a Matter of Opinion, as well as at Something ... and Half of Something.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I'm Thankful

... for a great many things.

I have a loving husband, a great family, good health, wonderful friends (some of whom I have yet to meet in person!), a challenging and rewarding job, and so much more. For all of these things, I am very thankful.

Most of all, I'm thankful that I live in a free country, and for that I need to thank all of our veterans, and the great folks serving in uniform now around the world, along with the amazing families who love and support them.

One of the great joys of blogging is the connections I've made with troops and vets, and with their families. While I'm off gallivanting around the PNW for the weekend, feel free to use my milblog list in the sidebar if you feel the urge to visit a few and let 'em know you care. And if you happen to have some spare time - visit AnySoldier to find addresses for those who are deployed, and who would love to hear from you.

Enjoy your family, try not to eat too much turkey and fixin's, and count your blessings!

Future press conference

Best picture of Rummy anywhere ... heh!

Monday, November 21, 2005

To Lose ... Just Quit

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.

I pray that we are not so far gone as to allow that to happen.


November 21, 2005 -- QUIT. It's that simple. There are plenty of more complex ways to lose a war, but none as reliable as just giving up.

Increasingly, quitting looks like the new American Way of War. No matter how great your team, you can't win the game if you walk off the field at half-time. That's precisely what the Democratic Party wants America to do in Iraq. Forget the fact that we've made remarkable progress under daunting conditions: The Dems are looking to throw the game just to embarrass the Bush administration.

Forget about the consequences. Disregard the immediate encouragement to the terrorists and insurgents to keep killing every American soldier they can. Ignore what would happen in Iraq — and the region — if we bail out. And don't mention how a U.S. surrender would turn al Qaeda into an Islamic superpower, the champ who knocked out Uncle Sam in the third round.

Forget about our dead soldiers, whose sacrifice is nothing but a political club for Democrats to wave in front of the media. After all, one way to create the kind of disaffection in the ranks that the Dems' leaders yearn to see is to tell our troops on the battlefield that they're risking their lives for nothing, we're throwing the game.

Forget that our combat veterans are re-enlisting at remarkable rates — knowing they'll have to leave their families and go back to war again. Ignore the progress on the ground, the squeezing of the insurgency's last strongholds into the badlands on the Syrian border. Blow off the successive Iraqi elections and the astonishing cooperation we've seen between age-old enemies as they struggle to form a decent government.

Just set a time-table for our troops to come home and show the world that America is an unreliable ally with no stomach for a fight, no matter the stakes involved. Tell the world that deserting the South Vietnamese and fleeing from Somalia weren't anomalies — that's what Americans do.

While we're at it, let's just print up recruiting posters for the terrorists, informing the youth of the Middle East that Americans are cowards who can be attacked with impunity.

Whatever you do, don't talk about any possible consequences. Focus on the moment — and the next round of U.S. elections. Just make political points. After all, those dead American soldiers and Marines don't matter — they didn't go to Ivy League schools. (Besides, most would've voted Republican had they lived.)

America's security? Hah! As long as the upcoming elections show Democratic gains, let the terrorist threat explode. So what if hundreds of thousands of Middle Easterners might die in a regional war? So what if violent fundamentalism gets a shot of steroids? So what if we make Abu Musab al-Zarqawi the most successful Arab of the past 500 years?

For God's sake, don't talk about democracy in the Middle East. After all, democracy wasn't much fun for the Dems in 2000 or 2004. Why support it overseas, when it's been so disappointing at home?

Human rights? Oh, dear. Human rights are for rich white people who live in Malibu. Unless you can use the issue to whack Republicans. Otherwise, brown, black or yellow people can die by the millions. Dean, Reid & Pelosi, LLC, won't say, "Boo!"

You've got to understand, my fellow citizens: None of this matters. And you don't matter, either. All that matters is scoring political points. Let the world burn. Let the massacres run on. Let the terrorists acquire WMD. Just give the Bush administration a big black eye and we'll call that a win.


The irresponsibility of the Democrats on Capitol Hill is breathtaking. (How can an honorable man such as Joe Lieberman stay in that party?) Not one of the critics of our efforts in Iraq — not one — has described his or her vision for Iraq and the Middle East in the wake of a troop withdrawal. Not one has offered any analysis of what the terrorists would gain and what they might do. Not one has shown respect for our war dead by arguing that we must put aside our partisan differences and win.

There's plenty I don't like about the Bush administration. Its domestic policies disgust me, and the Bushies got plenty wrong in Iraq. But at least they'll fight. The Dems are ready to betray our troops, our allies and our country's future security for a few House seats.

Surrender is never a winning strategy.

Yes, we've been told lies about Iraq — by Dems and their media groupies. About conditions on the ground. About our troops. About what's at stake. About the consequences of running away from the great struggle of our time. About the continuing threat from terrorism. And about the consequences for you and your family.

What do the Democrats fear? An American success in Iraq. They need us to fail, and they're going to make us fail, no matter the cost. They need to declare defeat before the 2006 mid-term elections and ensure a real debacle before 2008 — a bloody mess they'll blame on Bush, even though they made it themselves.

We won't even talk about the effect quitting while we're winning in Iraq might have on the go-to-war calculations of other powers that might want to challenge us in the future. Let's just be good Democrats and prove that Osama bin Laden was right all along: Americans have no stomach for a fight.

As for the 2,000-plus dead American troops about whom the lefties are so awfully concerned? As soon as we abandon Iraq, they'll forget about our casualties quicker than an amnesiac forgets how much small-change he had in his pocket.

If we run away from our enemies overseas, our enemies will make their way to us. Quit Iraq, and far more than 2,000 Americans are going to die.

And they won't all be conservatives.
(bold emphasis added)

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 :
  • Our troops are Winning in Iraq

  • The Iraqi Constitution has been approved in open elections

  • Our troops are Winning in Iraq

  • In December, the Iraqi people will vote for the National Assembly

  • Our troops are Winning in Iraq

  • Iraq now has 212,000 trained security forces

  • Our troops, combined with the Iraqi forces are Winning in Iraq

Here's an idea -- let's finish the fight, and leave Iraq as a Democratic and stable state in the Middle East.

Don't be a Useful Idiot

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.

It takes more than warm bodies willing to die for their cause. The full success of terrorists like Zarqawi and Bin Laden requires negative propaganda from their victims.

Terrorism Inc: How To Be A Successful Terrorist

Using your enemy's "morality" against them, even if you have no morality yourself.

This section will tell you how to use the "useful idiots" and the media to point out every mistake of your enemy. This is an extremely successful propaganda technique against a much larger enemy. Because you are the "underdog" you are allowed 200 atrocities for every one of their mistakes that results in the death or maiming of innocents. We will teach you how to use this to your advantage, how to use "useful idiots" and the media to spred the word; subcontracting work to actors to stage events and even committing actions yourself that you can get the "useful idiots" and the media to present as the work of your enemy.

Read the whole thing here. Then decide whether you want to fight the terrorists, or give in to them ... and act accordingly.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Wrap up and follow up - New Links!

Added 11/19
Matt has an update on Sgt. Wright posted at Blackfive, straight from the Marine's mouth.

Original post

The blogger challenge was a great success - with $88k raised for Project Valour-IT! A huge Thank You to everyone who participated, and who donated to this terrific cause!

During the first week of the challenge, I displayed a picture of a young Marine saluting proudly. I found that great picture at Capt B's One Marine's View, and used it to illustrate the point.

I didn't know the Marine's name or how he came to be wounded. I had no clue when the picture was taken, or what he was up to since that day. This weekend, by sheer luck, I found some of the details to fill in the blanks, and I think the story just got even better.

First -- the original picture, with a proper caption ...

Sgt. James 'Eddie' WrightSgt. James Wright, who received the Bronze Star Medal with valor device from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, salutes during the national anthem at the June 1, 2004 presentation ceremony in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va. Wright was given a speed boat as appreciation for his actions while serving in Iraq. Photo by: Cpl. Richard Stephens

During the fight, a round from a rocket-propelled grenade struck his humvee and changed the Marine’s life forever.

The blast severed both of Wright’s hands and severely wounded his left leg. Incredibly, Wright maintained his composure, instructing his Marines to use a radio to call for help and to apply tourniquets to his wounds. Wright also directed his Marines to concentrate fire on enemy machine gun positions, assisting in the demise of 26 enemy fighters. For his actions, Wright was later presented the Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device for valor.

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.

click to read article
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.

The powerful speed, ski and scuba vessel was rigged with voice-controlled navigational and operational gear that can be operated by Wright alone.

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

Looking around the Milblogs

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!

Meanwhile, Capt B provides another data point (the chart is quite full now) regarding the lack of intelligent reporting from the general media. Take the time to read The Wrong Story. Then we need to go execute on his orders for us : "Be smart America, support your leaders, we are winning! Semper Fi!"

Chris Muir's Day By Day cartoon for today shows he is engaged in this battle. Well done, Chris!

Check out the positive items at Castle Argghhh as well, courtesy of the Armorer. He also had a good time pooh-poohing the WP allegations.

Meanwhile, Sgt B has a bone to pick over an icon, and takes apart the unintelligent 'bring home the troops now' sentiment. Of course, you KNOW what happens when you ask a Marine to take something apart, don't you? heh!

What do the troops Really need for the holidays? To find out, wander over to AnySoldier.Com, Books For Soldiers, Soldiers' Angels, Adopt a Sniper, or Holly Aho's. Show your authentic support by sending packages, cards, pictures and letters.

We are the reason that these men and women are willing and proud to serve ... We are the Republic for which they Stand!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Blog life meets real life

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!!

I have to agree with BCR - Bloggers do have more fun. Especially when that blogger is me, and I'm sitting with two fun and very funny people who also happen to be excellent story-tellers! Never a dull moment, let me tell ya!!!

I was tickled to find out that Bill tells 'em just like he writes 'em. And don't be thinking that he's exhausted his supply - there's always another one to be told. We drank and ate and told stories ... okay, they told the stories, I mostly listened!

We had a grand time. The only downer is that neither BCR or I managed to take a clean photo for publication. Bill's camera may hold the only pictorial proof that exists of our tiny little blogmeet.

Heh ... this could be bad ...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank You, Veterans!

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!

One of my first blog entries was on this day one year ago. It's still the best way I can say this :

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.

Do something nice for them : Donate your time or money to an organization which works to improve the lives of vets and their families, or one which supports the families of those currently serving in the Armed Forces... GO - Do it NOW!

I've never served in the military, and have incredible respect for anyone who has - at any level, for any length of service. It's an amazing sacrifice for them as well as for the families who wait behind for them.

American LegionIt'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.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

Remembrance Day

Visit your favorite Milblogs and pay your respects today! Here's a small sampling :
John, Bill & Dusty
Sgt B
MSG Keith
Sgt Hook
Mudville Gazette / Milblogs
Capt B
Major K (and his new son!)
One Big Dog

... adding some ladies for balance ...
Army Girl

... or check the sidebar at any of the above!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy 230th Birthday, Marines!

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!

Here are the blogs of just a few active and former Marines so you can visit and leave a Birthday greeting:
The Gun Line
One Marine's View
Straight White Guy
Drunken Wisdom
Adventures of Chester
Grim's Hall
The Word Unheard
Major Mike
Halls to the Shores
Evangelical Outpost
Grendel's Dragon
Random Firings
Stacking Swivel
Flight Pundit
Social Sense
Daisy Cutter

The US Postal Service is giving the Marines a birthday gift ...

Distinguished Marines

In honor of the 230th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps, the U.S. Postal Service is scheduled to release the U.S. Marine Corps Heritage Collection of four distinguished Corps postage stamps.

The Distinguished Marine Stamps honor four of the most reputable Marine Corps war heroes including Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, Sgt. Maj. Daniel J. Daly, Lt. Gen. John A. Lejuene and Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller.

Purchase of the stamps will be available exclusively on Marine Corps installations Nov. 10 at $7.40 for a book of 20 stamps. Other post offices will begin sale of the stamps on Nov. 11.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., are scheduled to host the unveiling ceremonies Nov. 10. Brig. Gen. Michael Lehnert, Commanding General Marine Corps Installations West, is scheduled to speak at the West Coast event.
(H/T to Wild Thing)

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.

Their faces wind torn and chapped, uniforms faded from the hot sun, body armor stained with sweat marks, dirt and smoke. Many of them serving multiple tours defending America and freedom, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but places like Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima and Vietnam. Some people don’t support war for whatever reason but I ask all of you to respect the warriors for the person they are, no the American that they are and always will be. For the fact that which ever war they fought in, they fought bravely. Some are gone now. Some never made it home but many are still with us. Some people on that wall may have wondered what would be said about them once they are gone. As on that wall, many names reside on the black Vietnam memorial wall in DC and the many walls, memorials to come which hold words of gratitude and honor, strength, determination and hope.

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

Fusileers Alert!

Attention on the net ...

Chuck Ziegenfuss (AKA Capt Z of From My Position) has posted some extremely time-sensitive information. His amazing wife, Carren, is going to be on Connected - Coast to Coast on MSNBC tomorrow!!

Publicity Stunt

Mkay... I dragged my drugged and temporarily one-handed body out of the hospital bed to tell ya'll about something most important.

Carren is gonna be on national TV (and live national TV at that) to let everyone know about Project Valour-IT. She will represent me (the nerd who thought of this project), and the many people who have made this project a success.

She is going to be on "Connected coast to coast" a show run by MSNBC. Don't know how long she'll be on, but for the love of god, please tune in, put your hands on the top of your TV, and talk to Jebus when the show is over. The show runs from 1200-1300 (noon to one fer ya civlians out there)(and that's eastern time) My beloved is supposed to be on around 1240, but I will rest assured that her looks, personality, and general charm will either get her on early, or the show will go into extra rounds like Rocky and the Big Ruskie in Rocky IV.

Here's how you can help. Send this to every one you know, post it on your blog, get them to post it on theirs. One side will say it's a failure of the gummint to not prvide this for the soldiers, others just see it as a way to help our brothers and sisters who have fallen but will be getting up. However they spin it, just get the word out.

There's less than 18 hours to game time, so let's get our blog on!


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!

OpOrders for Civilians

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!

Then use his button to donate, if you haven't already. Heck - if you have, you can do it again!

Veterans Day is almost here - time to give back, with interest.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Project Valour-IT Update

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.

Here are the current totals ...

Army$ 15,119.99
Marine$ 10,345.00
Air Force$ 4,625.00
Navy$ 14,051.00

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!

graphic by Wild Thing

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 :

Cox and Forkum

Thanks to Cox and Forkum for creating the perfect image to keep us focused.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Just say NO to Bell Bottoms!

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!

As of midnight (pacific time), the team numbers stand at:

Army$ 7674.99
Marine$ 5700.00
Air Force$ 2560.00
Navy$ 9675.00

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!

Gun Pr0n!

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!!

Here's a teaser related to the post. See if you can tell me what it is *before* you go over to RNS to read my post!

click for hi-res

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Flex that blogging muscle!

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)

Even better - Holly has collected several great Podcasts and links in one power-packed post for those who want to Learn More. Take the time to listen to the Podcast of Chuck Ziegenfuss - it's a hoot!

The Navy team surged forward in the last hour, so that as of 10:15pm (pacific time), the team numbers stand at:

Army$ 5434.99
Marine$ 3390.00
Air Force$ 1670.00
Navy$ 5435.00

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!

Where's your Marine Spirit?

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.

Helping our wounded is what Project Valour-IT is all about, and the picture speaks in volumes much better than I can write. The best words I can share are from my blog-challenge teammates, like Gunn Nutt, and Sgt. B.

Our original inspiration came from Chuck Ziegenfuss, who I met through his blog From My Position. Chuck was wounded this past June, and is once again back at Walter Reed undergoing procedures to graft skin on his damaged arm. He has been able to blog, when he isn't under the influence of medications, by using a voice-controlled laptop. This led directly to the formation of Project Valour-IT.

So here we are - in Day 2 of the Blog Challenge, with a goal of $21,000, and a friendly rivalry to spur on the bloggers. As you can see in my sidebar, the Marine Team (headed by Soldiers' Angel - Sally Aho) has raised over $1800 - Whoo Hoo!!! That's barely ahead of the Navy team, and far behind the leading Army team, although happily leading the Zoomies.

Show your spirit! If you are a Marine with a blog, please join the team! If you don't blog and want to join, download the flyers (Thanks to the Armorer for hosting them!) and spread the word. Take some time to read down the Marine Team blog list in my sidebar - leave a comment to let them know of your support. Most importantly - Dig into your pockets and spread some green for this great cause, please.

In the words of my blog bro Sgt B, let's Get Some!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blogger Challenge - Join the Team

The blogger competition for Project Valour-IT is launching today - and I'm joining the Marine team of Soldiers' Angel Holly Aho.

The concept was to create the teams around the military services, and use that friendly rivalry via a Blog Challenge. Holly has taken the lead for the Marine team. No, she has not served in the Marines, or any of the services, directly. But as a Soldiers' Angel she works hard to bring comfort to members of every service. Holly couldn't let her Marines down, so she's leading the way.

What: Friendly online blogging competition to raise money for Project Valour-IT, a Soldiers’ Angels operation.

There are 4 3 teams competing so far.
Army – Led by blogger BlackFive
Air Force – Led by the Mudville Gazette
Marines – led by Holly!

Goal: The goal of the Project Valour-IT fundraiser is to raise enough money for 30 new laptops with voice activated software for our wounded soldiers with hand and/or arm injuries. Each laptop costs approximately $685 plus shipping, so the fundraiser’s total goal is to raise $21,000.

How: Donate online with Paypal (button at top of this page) or send in a payment to:
Soldiers Angels
Valour-IT Fund Marine Team
1792 East Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91104

When: November 2 – November 11

The men and women in the military give so much, it's our turn to repay them. Watch this space for updates often, and go give some Green!!

Marine Team Donations