Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bill Gate's Dad gives a comencment address

Pretty good for a guy who's son never finished college. Wait.........I didn't either. Son of a bitch. Anyway here is a link to the article:

Here's the link!!!!!!!!

How the world sees me

My Chaplain

Chaplain Dan Knight conducted the ceremony at my marriage and gave one of the best prayers I have ever heard. We were about to go on a "cordon and search" in Fallujah in '03 and he was asked to give a prayer before we rolled out........

"Lord, there are bad people out there tonight. Help us kill 'em. Amen"

Of course there was a Time magazine reporter in the crowd and that quote made it into the magazine. His superiors (chaplain - wise) did not find the prayer too...........whatever.

Anyway, here is a little article about him.

I have known some really great Chaplains in my day in the military. Chaplains in the Airborne and Special Operations always seemed to be more into their jobs than others...I once had a Green Beret Chaplain who always motivated the troops and put smiles on their faces, called cadence in unit runs, and was the most proud member of the unit. I wasn't very religious and didn't see the Chaplain for religious support, but it was very comforting to know that he was there, ready to listen, ready to be a medic for my heart and soul.

Here is someone you should know about - Captain Dan Knight - a former Green Beret A-Team Commander, Gulf War vet, HALO and Scuba qualified...Chaplain. I don't know Captain Knight personally, but I think he was an 18E in the 5th SF Group in the early 1990's. Some of you might have known him.

This via the Detroit News/Washington Post:

VOLTURNO BASE, Iraq — By day, this military camp is a self-contained American bubble in a bizarre setting. Off-duty soldiers listen to country music, watch big-screen basketball, eat grilled steaks, read e-mail from home and jog around an artificial lake, built on a landscaped former resort for Saddam Hussein’s cronies.

By night, the base becomes a launching pad for forays into another world that is equally surreal but far more dangerous. Lightless convoys rumble into the nearby city of Fallujah, where troops hop out and creep through deserted streets, searching houses for enemies and weapons. Then they rapidly withdraw, listening for the crack of gunfire and praying they will make it back to the base without a bomb exploding in their path.

On most missions, the raiders of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment are accompanied by Dan Knight, a strapping captain with a shaved head, an aw-shucks drawl and an awesome resume: 12-year Green Beret, Persian Gulf War combat veteran, Special Forces company commander, demolitions expert, high-altitude jumper and deep-sea scuba diver.

Knight carries no weapon, though he mightily wishes he could. Instead, tucked in his rucksack is a book covered in camouflage canvas that says “Army of the Lord.”

...Out in the field, though, the soldiers’ appreciation for his presence is clear. When the commando chaplain jumps into an armored Humvee bound for Fallujah, the nervous jokes stop and a sense of calm seems to pervade the soldiers gripping their rifles in the back of the vulnerable, open vehicle.

By the way, another interesting fact about him. He and his wife are high school friends with Faith Hill. After we got back from Iraq he invited her to come and do a free concert at Fort Bragg. And she did.

Memorial Day

Next monday is Memorial day. For those of you who think its just for BBQs and enjoying a free day off, here is an article about the holiday and why we observe it.

that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed in 2008 on May 26). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It is also traditionally viewed as the beginning of summer by many, since many schools are dismissed around Memorial Day.
----Courtesy Wikipedia

Some of you may know personally someone who has died in the service of their country. For those of you who do not, here are three I personally knew. One was a colleague, one a friend, and one a Private I helped train while I was a Drill Sergeant.

Staff Sergeant Paul J. Johnson
Specialist Jeffery Wershow
Private Junior Sanchez

Keep these people, and all people who died far away from home, scared, hurt, and missing their families. They died for you.

A haiku

The Day is Dragging
Tomorrow I fly to Knox
and hug my two boys

Saturday, May 10, 2008

War Dead Cremated at Facility for Pets

Haven't these people ever read Steven King?

Essay by Garrison Keillor

As our story continues, we find Sen. John McCain resting in his tent, plotting his fall campaign, as the Democrats continue the longest primary in human history, which has left the pundit club and the blogoswamp with nothing new to say whatsoever. You might as well write about your sock drawer. Hillary Clinton is a great woman and a leaden campaigner who makes even loyal supporters want to crawl behind the couch, and Barack Obama has lost his charisma—it wore off him like tread off a tire. I love him like a brother, and my brothers have no charisma either.

Nor do I. What I have is self-consciousness, far from the same thing. I sometimes (realizing that someone is looking at me, say, in the library or at a cafe or even on the train) purse my lips and furrow my brow to make myself appear to be thinking about something important such as Canada rather than trying to remember the first verse of "Ghost Riders in the Sky."

When I go in a store, I almost never look at price tags for fear the sales clerks will consider me cheap, and so I have once or twice paid phenomenal sums for a T-shirt or pair of socks. Like 30 bucks. When I pose for a snapshot, I never smile because what I had thought was a smile turned out, on film, to look like a pained grimace, as if I'd just taken a shot to the kidneys.

The cure for self-consciousness is to get engrossed in something of consequence, which is why so many people work so hard: They like it, and they like not thinking so much about their hair.

Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor Bio | Recent columns

A couple weeks ago I was feeling trapped at a party of perfectly nice people and their self-conscious blither-blather and fake concern and gushiness of the sort that drove poor Holden Caulfield out of town, and I snuck into the kitchen and there stood a man and a woman in their early 30s gazing out the window and comparing the back yard with one they'd had in Utah. They were friendly, straight-talking, no-nonsense people, nothing whimsical or sardonic or attitudinous about them. Unlike everyone else, they weren't working to make a big impression. And it didn't surprise me at all when they turned out to be professional military, husband and wife, full-time National Guard. Good people.

So we talked about Iraq, where they'd done two tours of duty, which they considered a big mess. But they talked about it in more measured terms than those of us would who managed to not be there. It was a mess, but it was their job. They were loyal to the mission, though honest about its failure.

What is mysterious to us civilians about the military is the Semper Fidelis part, the discipline to march into extreme danger to carry out wholeheartedly a mission about which you yourself are deeply skeptical. "Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die," as the poet Tennyson wrote of the Light Brigade that rode into the valley of death on the orders of an arrogant idiot, and men have been riding off to death in behalf of many arrogant idiots ever since, including the ones who are in the White House at the moment. This is a heroism that is not expected of you or me, and it's the expectation of heroism that gives the two in the kitchen the gravity that was so appealing to me.

Many men have been carried to the cemetery with honor guards and rifle salutes who, if the truth be known, knew their missions were not worth the price but went anyway. Many, many of our honored dead were dissenters.

What makes no sense at all is when the arrogant idiot expects us civilians to support his unprincipled policy as a way of "supporting our troops." The troops are not mercenaries, they are American soldiers in a long, proud tradition going back to Gen. Washington's Continental Army at Valley Forge, and what gives their mission dignity and meaning is that it comes from a constitutional government in which war is not a point of personal privilege but a matter to be openly debated, opposed, protested, reported. For the troops to fall into line is a noble thing; for civilians to fall into line is shameful.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

spiders everywhere

Robobugs. Need I say more?

By the way, the picture is of the "camel spider" or "wind scorpion" which is technically not a spider or scorpion. My theory is that they are aliens.

Link to wikipedia article about these freaky things.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Reporters request


I'm a reporter with The Associated Press in Louisville. I'm assisting a
reporter with a piece about the conditions of barracks at various
military posts around the country and I ran across your blog and noticed
you stationed at Fort Knox. Would you speak to me or email me about the
living conditions at the Fort Knox barracks?

I've spoken with public affairs officer Ryan Brus at the post, but would
also like a soldier's perspective on the living quarters.

I can be reached at this email or at the number listed below.



Brett Barrouquere
The Associated Press
Louisville, Ky.