Tuesday, December 19, 2006

82nd Airborne

82nd Airborne Division: "The 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, provides the ability to begin executing a strategic airborne forcible entry into any area of the world within 18 hours of notification. Their primary mission is airfield and seaport seizure. Once on the ground, they provide the secured terrain and facilities to rapidly receive additional combat forces. The division is the nation's strategic offensive force, maintaining the highest state of combat readiness.
On any day, a third of the division is on mission cycle, ready to respond to any contingency. Another third is on a wartime training cycle, and the rest of the division is on support cycle. These support units prepare vehicles and equipment for deployment and support such other division and post activities.
As the largest parachute force in the free world, the 82d Airborne Division is trained to deploy anywhere, at any time, to fight upon arrival and to win. From cook to computer operator, from infantryman or engineer, every soldier in the 82d is airborne qualified. Almost every piece of divisional combat equipment can be dropped by parachute onto the field of battle. "

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Army Financial News

Thrift Savings Plan provides important benefits to Soldiers: Dec 11, 2006
BY Sgt. Sara Wood
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 11, 2006) - More servicemembers need to take advantage of the Thrift Savings Plan, because it's an attractive investment option with unique benefits for military members, the military officer in charge of the Armed Forces Tax Council said.

TSP, a retirement savings plan for servicemembers and civilian federal employees, right now draws participation from about half of the military, Army Maj. John Johnson, director of the Armed Forces Tax Council, said in an interview. "

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

So Brave Song

This is from another military mom who has a son arriving home from Iraq in 2 weeks. Click on the CD to hear the song and then order from the official web site by clicking on the title above.

"Military Mothers and Supporters of SO BRAVE,

The debut of SO BRAVE on ABC RADIO Station KSFO AM 560 San Francisco took place
today on Melanie Morgan’s Talk Show! Melanie has posted the CD and its link on
the front page of the KSFO Website! http://www.KSFO.com Now, an update on the
inspiration for the song, Jonathan will be returning home in less than 2 weeks!
Just in time to be with me at the scheduled appearance at Ft. Bragg December
15th & 16th. He is coming home in time for Christmas! Thank you all for
emails full of prayers & well wishes for my son and his best friend Brandon
in Baghdad.

Godspeed, Angela Lashley… Jonathan’s Mom"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Iraqi forces can take over by June 2007

Iraqi forces can take over by June 2007, says PM Top News Reuters.com: "AMMAN (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Thursday his government's forces would be able to take over security command from U.S. troops by June 2007 -- a move which could allow the United States to start withdrawing.
'I cannot answer on behalf of the U.S. administration but I can tell you that from our side our forces will be ready by June 2007,' Maliki told ABC television after meeting President Bush in Jordan.
Bush offered him strong backing in their talks and said Iraqi forces would be trained more quickly to take over but rejected suggestions he was seeking a 'graceful exit' for U.S. troops. "

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pentagon Announces Troop Rotations

ABC News: Pentagon Announces Troop Rotations: "The 3rd Infantry Division and the 4th Brigade of the 1st Infantry are part of the 57,000 troops who were notified by the Defense Department that they would serve as replacement forces in Iraq. The total includes 20,000 combat troops from five combat brigades, as well as 27,000 active duty troops and 10,000 reservists.
The other major units identified for deployment are the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis, Wa; the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Benning, Ga; the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C.; and the 173rd Airborne Brigade from Vicenza, Italy."

As proud as I am of my son I still do not think I am ready for this.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The United States Army News

The United States Army News Army announces temporary ACU boot policy: "WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 15, 2006) - The Army announced yesterday that in certain geographic areas for the next six months the black Intermediate Cold Wet Boot will be authorized for wear with the Army Combat Uniform in lieu of the tan ICWB, which is currently in short supply."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Hard Day's Night for Echo

A training video from the Ft Benning/Columbus Ledger Enquirer


armyvideo: "Live camera shots of US snipers taking out Taliban with 50 caliber sniper rifles in

Pay close attention to the beginning of the video. A Taliban is lying on top of the
peak in front of you... When you hear the shot fired... Watch what happens. Our
sniper is about a half mile away... or more.
These are some examples of the fight in Afghanistan. These video shots are not
made through the shooter's telescopic sight..... They are made looking through the
spotter's scope. The spotter lies right next to the sniper and helps the sniper to
find and home in on the target. The sniper is using a 50 caliber rifle. A 50 cal.
round is about 7-8 inches long and the casing is about an inch in diameter. The
bullet itself is one-half inch in diameter and roughly one and one-half inches long."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

2007 Military Basic Pay Charts -- Enlisted

2007 Military Basic Pay Charts -- Enlisted: "Congress has passed the FY 2007 Military Authorization Act, and President Bush signed the act into law on October 17, 2006. "

Friday, November 10, 2006

Strike Hold

It seems to me that having been preparing for the past 15+ years that I would maybe be prepared. Not so -- and when Dallas mentioned on the phone last night that he would be going to Iraq as early as June I wasn't ready.

For now, though, he's stationed at Ft Bragg -- 1st and 504th of the 82 Airborne -- a Red Devil.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ft Benning -- Echo 2-54

On Pins and Needles
A video from the Columbus Ledger showing the current Echo 2-54 group going green as they get fitted and issued their class A's.
Other videos from the Echo 2-54 training are archived in the September Archives in a blog called Basic Training Ft Benning.

Canadians war over troops

TorontoSun.com - Thane Burnett - Canadians war over troops: "'As a Canadian walking down a street you see one individual assaulting another. What do you do?
'I have enough faith in my fellow countrymen to think that any Canadian would step in and stop the violence or tyranny and help the weak. If we choose to walk by, we condone the violence.'
If Canadians believe we should not help the weak, then let them stand up and say it, he said. Otherwise, he continued, step forward and loudly lend the troops your full support. "

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Insurgents kill Canadian serving in US army

Insurgents kill Canadian in U.S. Army
Nov. 1, 2006. 01:00 AM
HALIFAX—Insurgents killed a Canadian serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq this week, just days before his return home.
Cpl. Michael Seeley, 27, of Fredericton was on patrol south of Baghdad with Bravo Company of the 28th Infantry when he died Monday.
Theresa Seeley, his mother, said yesterday her son was due to return to the United States last Saturday but his stay was extended until Nov. 5. Those extra days cost Seeley his life.
The Mi'kmaq joined the Canadian Forces in 1998 before enlisting with the U.S. Marines the next year.
He served with the U.S. Marines in Japan, South America, Africa and Iraq before getting an honourable discharge after four years. He then joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, when he was deployed to Iraq.
Theresa Seeley, interviewed in New Brunswick's capital, said her son was dedicated to the military to a fault. "It's what he wanted to do and that is what he kept telling me. He said: `If it ever happened, I died doing what I wanted to do.' But that doesn't help right now."
Seeley said the RCMP informed her of his death Monday night. He was on a training exercise with replacement troops who were being shown the ropes, such as what roads to take. "They were in a convoy and met a vehicle ... and they fired at them. By the sound of it, it was something big they fired and Michael was hit. I am not sure what it was (but) I know that he had on all his armour and his helmet."
Burial will be in Fredericton.
Betty Ann Lavallee, chief of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council, in a statement expressed pride in Seeley. "Like so many young aboriginal men and women ... Seeley volunteered to serve."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stuck in Irak

-- Sen. John Kerry issues a statement saying: "I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended" by comments he made about being "stuck in Iraq."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

On leave -- New orders

Its been good to have DJ visiting this past week. His new orders have him reporting to Ft Bragg.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Soldiers Creed

The US Army Soldiers Creed...HOOAH

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Army Strong

New Army PR -- Army Strong!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Farmington Airport

Originally uploaded by Wildflower Tech.
The storm was coming in quickly just prior to departure but Dallas has reported a lot of cloud with not much turbulence,

Happy Thanksgiving Day Canada

In honor of Columbus Day Dallas got a long weekend, a 4 day pass and, with a little help from a booking agent at Frontier Airlines in Las Cruces, he was able to fly home for a visit. It was great timing since Monday was Turkey Day in Canada so we celebrated and gave thanks with the turkey and all the trimmings.
It was great to have Dallas home for a visit and I think he enjoyed the break from his routine.
He flew back to Atlanta late yesterday, arriving around midnight, so I suppose he only had time for a shower between his arrival at his barracks and his morning PT muster.
It is still unknown when he will be going into his next phase of training but his shin splints and hip seem to be giving him less grief.
For the Canadians reading this -- I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

Jump photos now online

Check out contact sheet #13

Re-posted from Yahoo 360 (5/24/06)

My current (5/24/06) thoughts
Dallas is in Reception at Ft Benning and starts OSUT on Friday. His destination -- Army, Airborne Ranger. I am occasionally asked how I feel about this but even more frequently I hear 'that's too bad'.
Well I wouldn't go so far to say he has chosen the world's safest occupation but it has been his dream since kindergarten. In Grande Prairie he came home almost in tears one day because somebody said the war was over (Desert Storm) and he didn't get a chance to be there. Before we left GP I took him to a military vehicle show at the Armory there and watched his eyes light up at the sight of the soldiers in attendance. In Lethbridge he got even more excited about his objective because both Melody and Trevor were in cadets and he often got to come with us to the army surplus store and to the parades at the armory. We attended a Tattoo at Lethbridge that had both the Canadian forces and the US forces putting on various exhibitions and drills. He decided then and there (partly because I managed to sing as many lines of the US anthem as I did of the Canadian and he had asked how I knew it) that it was going to be the US Army or Marines that he joined as soon as he was old enough. Eventually he decided on the Army and has been a regular visitor to GoArmy.com since we have had the internet in the 90s. By the time he was in grade 5, in Hudson's Hope, clothes shopping meant getting something green or camo and gifts could be anything at all that came from a military surplus store. Even in cadets in Kamloops he frequently told them he would eventually be enlisting in the US Army and that was the reason behind my first contact with the US consulate in 2000 to find out how to establish my status so we could get him enlisted when the time came. Of course that was pre-9/11 so he didn't even have to prove his citizenship. I was assured that moving here and getting my status was simply a matter of moving down when ready and dropping in at an SSA office with my registration record from Taylor School in Sheridan and mom's SSN. Who knew how much THAT scenario would change following 9/11.
For the past 3 years Dallas has frequented the recruiting offices from Arkansas to New Mexico and has worked with me at using every resource possible to establish his citizenship and get the necessary paperwork to finally be able to enlist. It was no surprise he was at the recruiters the day before his SSN card arrived in the mail.
In answer to 'what I feel' I would have to say pride -- pride at seeing my son move closer to his lifelong dream, pride at watching him overcome all the obstacles that have landed in his way -- pride at watching him win out on the waiting game over the past 3 years. I also feel fear but no more than the fear felt watching him drive on his own the first time, or the fear of watching him climb the derrick at the oil rig.
What irks me most are the suggestions of his absolute demise or of being 'wasted' because all of these comments are political, opinionated and based on erroneous or misleading statistics. Dallas has not been given a life sentence, nor has he been sentenced to death -- I do not need, nor appreciate the condolences -- I am proud of his perseverance and his achievements. How many others are living the dream they had when they were 5?
I feel additional pride because he has not allowed others opinions to sway his decisions and he can cheer his accomplishments on his own without needing friends or family who agree. I wish I could do that.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Turning Blue

Turning Blue
Originally uploaded by Wildflower Tech.

August 31, 2006, Fort Benning GA

Taken with cell phone

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Basic Training Fort Benning

Graduation Sept 1 from: At the End of the Desert...: Ft Benning

Enlisted May 2006

videos of Echo 2-54

Back to Basics part 2

Overcoming obstacles

Bayonets & Grappling


My Son has Wings

From At the End of the Desert...: My Son has Wings

'Alone in the clear black darkness with not a sound other than the distant drone of the plane and the flutter of the chutes occasionally interrupted by a barked command regarding the target location -- and after landing I laid back to undo my chute and looked up into the night sky and stars and thought to myself -- I just came from up there."

Fort Benning Ledger-Enquirer

The video above is of the new Echo 254 -- immediately folllowing PV2 Hanson's graduation from basic training -- with an introduction to the training program.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Rocky Mountain Rangers Cadets

Nothing changes and everything changes...