Saturday, June 30, 2007

Standing Strong

Soldier's widow gives birth less than a week after his death in Iraq
By The Associated Press

Article Launched: 06/29/2007 01:23:15 PM MDT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A young woman whose husband was killed in Iraq last week has given birth to the couple's first child. Alia Dahl, 19, of Los Lunas, went into labor Thursday and gave birth to a boy, Kaiden Anthony, Thursday evening. Doctors had planned to induce labor on Friday. Her husband, Army Sgt. Joel Dahl, 21, of Los Lunas, was killed June 23 during small arms fire south of Baghdad. He had been scheduled to leave Iraq on July 2. Alia Dahl was trying to plan his funeral and prepare to give birth to their baby when thieves made off with her 1998 Honda on Tuesday. Inside the car were pictures of her husband, a CD he had made for her and things she needed for the baby, including a quilt the soldier's grandmother made. When the car was recovered Thursday morning from the parking lot of a private school, the photos, CD and quilt were missing. "The things that were inside were what was really important," Alia Dahl said. The report of her stolen car prompted an outpouring of offers from people who offered to provide cars to her and sent or pledged thousands of dollars, said Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White, who is heading a fundraising effort. He said the money would still go toward a new car

War widow welcomes baby Dahl -- Video

Los Lunas Iraq war widow's stolen car to be replaced
Tribune staff and wireThursday, June 28, 2007

Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies are raising money to replace a car stolen from the pregnant widow of a soldier killed in Iraq.
Alia Dahl's 1998 Honda Civic was stolen on June 27 at night while the 19-year-old Los Lunas resident was staying in Albuquerque. She's overdue to give birth and her doctor wanted her close to the hospital.
Her husband, Army Sgt. Joel Dahl, 21, was killed on June 23. He was scheduled to leave Iraq next week.
U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici said in a release, he called Dahl to offer condolences. When he learned her car had been stolen, he called Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White, who volunteered to lead the purchase effort.

More ... - Los Lunas soldier killed in Iraq: "Los Lunas soldier killed in Iraq ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Another New Mexico soldier has died in Iraq. Twenty-one-year-old Army Corporal Joel Dahl died Saturday south of Baghdad. His stepfather, Joe Aragon, says Dahl died during a small-arms fire attack. Aragon says Dahl had been scheduled to return home just days after the birth of his son, Kayden. He says doctors are planning to induce labor on Dahl’s wife, Alia, on Friday. Dahl was to leave Iraq on July Second. Aragon says Dahl’s wife, Alia, had wanted to suprise her husband with the new baby boy. Dahl graduated from Los Lunas High School and joined the military soon after. Aragon says Dahl had wanted the experience to jump-start a career in law enforcement. Aragon says his son always enjoyed helping other people.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Blue Star Mom's send love to U.S. Troops

Photo by Terry Faust Main Story: "Blue Star Moms send care packages laced with love to U.S. troops abroad"


Serving in Afghanistan or Iraq can be a challenging task these days.But that burden can be somewhat lightened for a young man or woman in the military when it feels like a dozen mothers are sending love from home to each service member.That description of the Blue Star Moms, a Saint Paul branch of the Blue Star Mothers of America, was recently offered by Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) William “Jesse” Kelley, 3rd Special Force Group Airborne, US Army.His mother, Pattie Kelley, joined the Blue Star Moms, a group of mothers who have a child currently serving or who has served in any branch of the military. “Finding and joining the Blue Star Moms has had a definite and obvious positive effect on my mother and her well being,” Sgt. Kelley said. “The same way military members understand and can be sympathetic to military issues other service members have, so can military moms understand each other in unique ways and rely on one another for support.”Pattie agreed. “It’s just been a lifesaver,” she said.Her son, Jesse, joined the military five years ago and is in the active army branch. After basic training, he went to Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas, which provides intelligence training for all branches. He attended airborne school, learning to “jump out of a perfectly good plane,” as his mother puts it. He spent a year in Korea, and then was at FT. Briggs, NC, his home base. He became attached to the 3rd Special Force Group Airborne and found out he was going to Afghanistan.When she knew he was going on his first deployment, Pattie found out about the Blue Star Moms and attended some meetings in north Minneapolis. Less than a year ago, Cindy McLean started a chapter in Saint Paul.“We meet the first Tuesday of each month,” said Pattie, who serves as chaplain and is on the board for the Saint Paul chapter. She said anyone can also send out an e-mail saying they need to talk, and any members who can will get together and provide support.Support is the primary benefit the group has to offer.“Nobody knows what you’re going through more than another mom,” Pattie said. “My family is so supportive, as are friends, but nobody knows like another mom. They are experiencing exactly the same thing.”


Extreme Home Makeover: Iraq Edition

Detonating caches of weapons uncovered in insurgent safe houses eventually becomes boring, so one group of US troops decided to make things more interesting for themselves, turning a routine job into an episode of
'Extreme Home Makeover: Iraq Edition.'"

It might not be army but it's definitely worth the watch. I found it on Iraq Slogger

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

U.S. Soldiers' Heroism With Neglected Iraqi Children

Army Staff Sgt. Kyle Richey cares for one of 24 starving boys in the back of an Iraqi army ambulance. Civic leaders escorted the abused and malnourished boys, found by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers in a Baghdad orphanage, to the Iskan Hospital for medical treatment. Photo by Lt. James Cook, USN

U.S., Iraqi Troops Rescue Malnourished Boys From Baghdad Orphanage
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, June 20, 2007 – U.S. and Iraqi army forces found an orphanage housing 24 severely malnourished and abused boys in Baghdad's Fajr neighborhood June 10, military officials reported today.
The 24 boys, ranging in age from 3 to 15, were found naked in a darkened room without any windows. Many of the children were tied to their beds and were too weak to stand, officials said. In a nearby locked room, the soldiers discovered food and clothing that could have been used to aid the children. Three women claiming to be the caretakers, and two men -- the orphanage director and a guard -- were on the site when the soldiers arrived.
CBS Plays Story of U.S. Soldiers' Heroism With Neglected Iraqi Children Posted by Justin McCarthy on June 19, 2007 - 11:38.
CBS’s Lara Logan performed a rare act: Reporting a story of heroism among U.S. soldiers. Both the June 18 edition of 'The CBS Evening News' and the June 19 edition of 'The Early Show' ran an extensive story some members of the 82nd Airborne rescuing neglected Iraqi orphans.
The soldiers discovered malnourished children living in extremely unsanitary conditions. Logan then gave played sound bites of several U.S. soldiers describing the horrific conditions and even gave a human face to those serving their country.
Captain Jim Cook noted he 'got a little angry' and Logan reported the children are now being cared for at another facility. At the end of the report, the CBS even ran footage of soldiers playing with and nurturing the children. The entire transcript from 'The Early Show' is here."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Missing Soldier's ID Gives Family Hope

ABC News: "The U.S. military's announcement this weekend that it recovered the ID cards of two American soldiers provided some hope to one family.

Gordon Dibler, stepfather of missing Pvt. Byron Fouty, 19, from Michigan, said the family holds on to the idea he still may be alive.
'It's exciting, but I'm pulled both ways, of course,' Dibler said on 'Good Morning America Weekend Edition' from Madison Heights, Mich.
After a gunfight in Samarra June 9 in which two Americans were wounded, they burst into what's been described as an al Qaeda safe house to find the ID cards of two soldiers who have been missing for over a month.
The second card belonged to Spc. Alex Jiminez, 25, of Kansas. "

More: Missing Soldier's ID Gives Family Hope:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Guide Offers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resources

DefenseLink News Article: America Supports You: Guide Offers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resources: "America Supports You: Guide Offers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resources
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2007 – After watching her own son return home from combat with post-traumatic stress disorder, an Army mom wants to share the lessons she learned -- and resources she found -- with others who find themselves faced with the same challenges.
Emily Afuola said she’ll never forget the emotions that tugged at her and her family when they learned that Pvt. Matthew Afuola had been diagnosed with PTSD during his deployment to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division. "


Blue Star Mothers Inc.

America Supports You

The National Anthem Project

"WASHINGTON, June 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Anthem Project, a multi-year effort to re-teach Americans to sing the 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and spotlight school music programs, kicks off its Grand Finale today in Washington, D.C. Thousands of school children, teachers and music supporters traveled to the nation's capital to participate in the culmination celebrations on June 14-16, all of which are open to the general public. "
More... :: The National Anthem Project Hosts Grand Finale Events in Nation's Capital June 14-16

National Anthem Project Video

I have my own thoughts on this because I very clearly remember the day Dallas first realized we had US citizenship as well as our Canadian citizenship. We were at a Tattoo in Lethbridge Alberta with dispalys by both US and Canadian forces. At the start of the show we sang both national anthems -- and I sang along. Dallas turned to me in amazement and asked how I knew the words to the American national anthem (although I confess I did not knowe them all). I explained I had learned them in school as a child and the discussion went on from there to me explaining our dual citizenship status. It was at that moment that Dallas realized he not only had a choice of branches ion the Canadian military but also had a choice of all the branches of the US military.

With the memories of that day still in my mind I must admit it was with more than a little disbelief that we were at group events in the US after we moved here and that when the anthem was played -- no voices were heard. At first I though it was maybe just a new trend -- we don't sing along anymore but when I attended a rodeo in Stratford, Ontario last year and both national anthems were played -- very few sang along to the US anthem but the Canadians heartily belted out the words to O'Canada.


O Canada Edmonton Oilers Style

The lyrics for all of the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, 1814, Words by Francis Scott Key, Music by John Stafford Smith can be found here.

And of course -- the lyrics for O Canada are here or download the MP3

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Peace River Born Soldier

"Serving in Iraq a lifelong mission for Peace River born soldier

By Kristy Lesh
R-G Editor
Tuesday June 12, 2007

View PDF version of complete article
Dallas Hanson in his yearbook photo.
More photos in PDF

For a Peace River-born man, getting deployed to a war-torn county is a realization of a lifelong dream.
Dallas Hanson, a Private First Class in the United States Army, has been deployed in Iraq since December 2006."

More... Peace River Record Gazette, Peace River, AB:

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tim Horton's for the Troops

"How one man is working hard online to send our troops a taste of home."

More... CityNews International: World Wide Web - May 28, 2007:

See Tim Horton's for our Troops on Facebook

or the website

War is Hell

Well I'm officially on day three of the worst week of my life. Although I'm not alone, 2/3rds of my platoon is suffering with me, including our medic, life is misery for everyone right now.
We don't know exactly what it is, other then it really messes your stomach up, making it almost impossible to eat without wanting to vomit.
Aside from that, it's impossible to go longer than an hour without having to run to the latrine.
But yea, thats my update for now.