Category Archives: The Troops

Another Shooting At Fort Hood

Ford HoodA mentally disturbed soldier shot his fellow service-members at Fort Hood yesterday, killing three and injuring sixteen. I wonder how many times this base needs to be attacked before we trust the Army with guns?

An Iraq war veteran who suffered from mental health issues opened fire on fellow service members at Fort Hood on Wednesday, killing three and injuring 16 before turning the gun on himself, military officials said. The attack was latest mass shooting at the post since a 2009 massacre that left 13 people dead.

NBC News identified the deceased gunman as 34-year-old enlisted Army soldier Ivan Lopez, but military officials declined to name him Wednesday, pending notification of family members. Military officials said the gunman’s rampage was stopped after he was confronted by a female military police officer, which led to the shooter turning the gun on himself.

Of course, the “commander-in-chief” had top men on the case:

President Barack Obama addressed the shooting in brief remarks in Chicago, where he was attending a fundraiser Wednesday night.

Top. Men.

Oh, and at the risk of offending my readers, let me say a word. There has always, in my personal experience at least, an animosity toward police officers by some – some – in the military. I cannot count the amount of times people have sent me e-mails ranting about the time I referred to citizens as civilians. “You’re not military! That’s our word!” (As if I called people the N-word.) And if it’s not that, it’s the omnipresent complaints of the “militarization of the police.” I carry a .40-caliber Glock 22 pistol. I guess that makes me Rambo.

That said, this story verifies what I thought all along. The military – like the police – has its share of f**k-ups and malcontents. While I support the military wholeheartedly – people who read this blog know that – I don’t lionize every single soldier. I take them on a case by case basis. There are bad cops, and there are bad soldiers. The people who agree with the former and deny the latter are the problem.

America Loses A Hero

Walter Ehlers Medal Of Honor D-DayWalter Ehlers, the last surviving D-Day Medal of Honor winner, has passed away. Ehlers was 92 years old.

Staff Sergeant Walter Ehlers, 92, of Buena Park, CA., earned the nation’s highest honor and multiple other medals for his heroic actions during the taking of the small sliver of French beach from German soldiers. He also received three purple hearts and a silver star.

He “repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership.”

Ehlers defended his unit from “withering machine gun fire” and mortars, personally killing at least seven Nazi soldiers, taking out multiple enemy positions and even carrying a wounded soldier back across enemy lines to safety despite being shot in the back himself.

He then went back through the hail of bullets to retrieve a US Army-issued automatic rifle which he had to previously leave behind to carry the rifleman to safety. Ehlers refused to leave his unit after being treated for his bullet wound upon returning and continued to lead his squad deeper into France.

Wow. Godspeed, Staff Sergeant Ehlers. Thank you for your service.

What The Frigate Just Happened?

USS TaylorA US frigate ran aground near Turkey this week while on an Olympic security patrol. Initial reports claim the helmsman tried to ram an Islamist surfer.

One of two US naval ships sent to the Black Sea as a security precaution for the Sochi Olympic games ran aground at a Turkish port, officials said Tuesday.

The frigate USS Taylor briefly ran ground last Wednesday as it was preparing to moor at Samsun, where it was due to refuel.

The ship was able to dock at the port and an initial inspection indicated the ship’s propeller blades suffered some damage, but there was no damage to the hull, officials said.

The only injuries were to the ship captain’s career. Welcome to Desktown, skipper. Population? You.

150 Years Ago Today, America Was Reshaped…

LINCOLN 1863

As Wyatt is holed up, and doing quite well I might add, there was no way I could pass up a chance to write about one of my favorite subjects: US History. For those not in the know, or if you didn’t Google anything today, 150 years ago today a man from Illinois visited the great state of Pennsylvania and delivered one of the greatest speeches in American History. NO! It wasn’t a Cubs World Series Victory speech!

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Today Is Veterans Day

Over The Top Doughboy Park PhiladelphiaRemember when you were a little kid and you would get pissed because there was a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, but no Kid’s Day? You thought everyone else gets some little celebration, while the kids get squat. Then your parents would say something lame like, “Every day is kid’s day.”

That’s what today should be. Veterans still get little to no accolades during the year. Today and Memorial Day are the exceptions.

The problem is every day should be Veterans Day. These men and women should receive our thanks every day. Thank them. Tell them how much we appreciate them. Honor them.

I know I have veterans who read and comment here. Thank you all for your service. Our country owes you a debt we cannot possibly repay.

Of course, if we could repay it, we would do so with a list of free stuff for veterans today.

It’s Maiden Voyage Will Be To Caaaaannes!

DDG 1000

A familiar name will command the U.S. Navy’s newest destroyer.

The commander of the U.S. Navy’s sleek new guided-missile destroyer, which launched late last week in Maine, has a name to match its space-age look: Captain Kirk.

Captain James Kirk, the prospective commanding officer of USS Zumwalt, will lead the 610-foot vessel, the Navy’s largest destroyer and first of three new Zumwalt-class ships “designed for littoral operations and land attack,” the Navy said. (H/T – 911)

Ironically, the destroyer will be named Slave 1.

Twenty Years Ago Today…

Sold 12 NwsThe Battle of Mogadishu, depicted in the film Black Hawk Down, occurred. U.S Army Rangers and Delta Force personnel captured Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s lieutenants inside the Olympic Hotel. The capture was successful, but the aftermath erupted into a city-wide firefight between 160 American servicemen and 4,000-6,000 militia and civilian fighters.

The U.S. won the battle – 18 American dead, versus 800-1,000 Somalis killed – but we lost the war, so to speak. Three days after the battle, President Clinton stopped all actions against Aidid, and announced the U.S. withdraw by March 31, 1994. There are countless accounts of American heroism that day, and two veterans of the battle recently returned to the scene.

Sergeant Jeff Struecker was 24 years old when he led a squad of men through Mogadishu in an assault mission that quickly took a horrific turn. In an interview with ‘This Week,’ Struecker remembers the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu and his recent return to Somalia, which was documented and made into a short film, “Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down.”

The US military intervention intended to restore peace to Somalia, but quickly ended as soon as it turned deadly for the American elite army team, whose black hawk helicopter was brought down by warlord militiamen. The episode was the inspiration for both a book and a Hollywood film – “Black Hawk Down.”

“I went through what is still to this day the most intense gunfight I’ve ever been in, in my life … One of the men that I was responsible for was shot in the head and killed instantly right behind me as I was driving back to our base,” Struecker said. “And there was nothing that I could do about it.”

You can watch the Struecker film here. It’s only ten minutes long, but it is worth your time…

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Obama Administration Closes WWII Memorial

101st AirborneThe Obama administration tried to deny World War II veterans access to the World War II Memorial yesterday, citing the government shutdown. The memorial is not a building; it’s an open-air memorial smack dab in the middle of public space.

The White House and the Department of the Interior rejected a request from Rep. Steven Palazzo’s office to have World War II veterans visit the World War II memorial in Washington, the Mississippi Republican told The Daily Caller Tuesday.

Palazzo helped the veterans commit an act of civil disobedience against the Park Service Tuesday, when the heroes stormed through barricades around the closed memorial.

These men stormed Omaha Beach. A few iron bicycle racks weren’t going to stop them.

“We got the heads up that they will be barricaded and specifically asked for an exception for these heroes,” Palazzo told TheDC. “We were denied and told, ‘It’s a government shutdown, what do you expect?’ when we contacted the liaison for the White House.”

Palazzo’s office was in touch with the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior and the Capitol Police. He says all these officials rejected his request to allow the veterans, many of whom are octogenarians and some of whom are in poor health, to attend.

As Palazzo said, the memorial is normally open around the clock – whether Park Service personnel are there or not – and it takes more time and effort to shut it down. What kind of person goes out of his way to deny WWII veterans access to a public memorial?

UPDATE: Today, the administration has reinforced the barricades around the memorial, and threatened veterans with arrest.

Active Shooter At NAVSEA HQ

NAVSEA Shooting

Bumped. Reports claim possibly multiple shooters are inside the NAVSEA building in D.C. This is the heart of the U.S. Navy. Police are claiming at least two people are shot, and the shooter is armed with a rifle.

Pray for those affected, and for a swift end to the shooter.

UPDATE: One shooter, a black male, is confirmed dead. Police are searching for two more gunmen. There are reports of multiple injuries and fatalities. As always, take all information in the first 24 hours with a huge grain of salt.

“We Will Accept Nothing Less Than Full Victory”

Approaching Omaha Beach

Sixty-nine years ago today, Allied forces took the first step to liberate France from tyranny.

The cost of the Normandy campaign was high for both sides. From D-Day to 21 August, the Allies landed 2,052,299 men in northern France. There were around 209,672 Allied casualties from 6 June to the end of August, around 10% of the forces landed in France. The casualties break down to 36,976 killed, 153,475 wounded and 19,221 missing.

Split between the Army Groups, the Anglo-Canadian Army Group suffered 16,138 killed, 58,594 wounded and 9,093 missing for a total of 83,825 casualties. The US Army Group suffered 20,838 killed, 94,881 wounded and 10,128 missing for a total of 125,847 casualties.

To these casualties it should be added that 4,101 aircraft were lost and 16,714 airmen were killed or missing in direct connection to Operation Overlord. Thus total Allied casualties total 226,386 men. (H/TWikipedia)

Freedom isn’t free, my friends. Please remember those heroic men and women who participated in “the longest day.”