Thursday, May 29, 2008

Palisade mother welcomes son home from Iraq

"GRAND JUNCTION (KJCT)- A Palisade mother welcomed her son home from Iraq today after seven long months.
Twenty one-year-old Justin Aysse is a Field Lineman with the U.S. Marines.
He's from 29 Palms California... And his mom, Julie Dominguez, says it was the first time they've been separated for this long.
She says they communicated by e-mail, but sometimes she wouldn't hear from Justin for weeks.
Julie says not a day went by when she didn't cry... worrying about her son."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Northampton Commons renamed for Dembowski

Park renamed to honor a fallen son.
By Peter Ciferri, Advance Editor

"For future generations, whenever Richboro and Northampton Township residents visit Northampton Commons Park, they will remember Robert Dembowski Jr.That's because this Memorial Day, one year and two days after his death in Baghdad, Iraq, the Northampton Board of Supervisors, area veterans groups, local politicians and community members came together to rededicate the park in honor of their fallen son.
"Northampton Township is home to many veterans and military personnel, who deserve recognition for their service," Northampton Township Board of Supervisors Chairman George Komelasky said. "The rededication of this park is one way that we can all say thank you."
He explained that the Northampton Commons was originally dedicated in early 2001 to volunteers in the Northampton community, who donate their time in a number of roles from firemen to township committee members.
Komelasky went on to explain that in a post 9-11 world, he is happy to rededicate the park to honor all those who protect our nation. "These are our fathers, our brothers, our sisters, our husbands, our wives our sons, our daughters. They are our friends of our community and they call Northampton Township home."
The park was officially rededicated before a crowd of about 150 supporters during an afternoon ceremony on May 26.
Fran Dembowski, mother of Robert Dembowski Jr., was among the afternoon's first speakers. She reflected on the sacrifice American servicemen and women through the reading of a poem she recently penned while visiting Fort Bragg.
Dembowski's father, Robert Dembowski Sr., unveiled the sign officially renaming the Northampton Commons "Robert H. Dembowski Jr. Veterans Memorial Park."
Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8) spoke on the lasting impact Robert Dembowski has left both in the community and with his comrades in the Army.
"Committed to serving his country, Bobby volunteered to make the rest of the world a better place and give back to the country he loved so fiercely," Murphy said.
Dembowski was killed in action on May 24, 2007, when his unit came under small arms fire from enemy forces in Baghdad. Murphy said that while the park is named in Dembowski's memory, it serves to reflect on all those lost in battle.
"By remembering their sacrifices and the lives that they led, in time the wounds of Bucks County will heal," Murphy said. "It will be in Bobby's name, but it will stand for veterans as a sign of our appreciation."
While the two never served together, both Murphy and Dembowski were members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
"Today is a solemn day, but a proud one as we honor a hero from our community, and the spirit of patriotism and devotion that Bobby embodied," Murphy said.
State Rep. Scott Petri said it was a "true pleasure" to spend his Memorial Day honoring Bucks County soldiers who stepped forward to serve their nation.
"Memorial Day is not simply a day for picnics and pool openings, parades and speeches, it is a day to reflect on the lives of those who made those things possible for the rest of us through their sacrifice in defense of freedom," Petri explained.
He said Dembowski understood that idea and cited a 2005 speech that the Army Private gave at Newtown's Chancellor Center.
Dembowski, a Council Rock North and Middle Bucks Institute of Technology graduate, joined the Army in 2006 and was the recipient of a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Also speaking was the director of Bucks County Veterans Affairs Dan Fraley and the chairman of the Northampton Township Veterans Advisory Committee Larry Rubini.
Fraley spoke on the important role Gold Star Families have in helping to secure land for veterans memorials and cemeteries, including the Dolington National Veterans Cemetery in Upper Makefield."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Presidential Remarks -- Ft Bragg

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bush to focus on troops and his war policy

If his Fort Bragg speech is an early indicator, the commander-in-chief may be readying himself to end the war Mindy Belz

"President Bush began Memorial Day weekend last Thursday with a speech in Fort Bragg, N.C., to five brigades of the 82nd Airborne Division—the first time in two years all five were assembled for review following extended deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The president saluted a flyover of helicopters, watched as parachuters landed on the field, hugged family members whose husbands and sons have died in the war, and gave the crowd the traditional 'Hooah!'

The event marked the beginning for the president of a week focused on the troops and on his war policy. On Sunday at the White House lawn he will speak to a group of veterans and POW/MIA activists. On Monday he and the first lady will participate in the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, and on Wednesday he will deliver the commencement address at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. "

While flags unfurl this Memorial Day weekend, U.S. combat casualties in
Iraq stand at 16—on track to make May perhaps the lowest casualty months in
years, perhaps of the entire war. It's a good time to remember the lives lost,
and saved, and to contemplate the possibility of bringing this war chapter
to a close.

If the Fort Bragg speech is an early indicator, then beneath the pomp-and-circumstance of this holiday when Americans honor their war heroes is a message from a commander-in-chief who may be readying himself to end the war.
The president outlined four conditions for "success in Iraq":
• a country that can protect its own people
• one that supports itself economically
•a democracy that governs itself effectively and responds to the will of its people
•and a country that is an ally of the United States in the war on terror.
The president acknowledged there remains "tough fighting ahead" and cautioned against "withdrawal from Iraq before we have achieved success." But recent events on the ground suggest—remarkably—that the four-point test can arguably be met:

More...WORLD Magazine Today's News, Christian Views:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Iraqi troops welcomed in Sadr City for first time

"BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces entered Baghdad 's Sadr City in large numbers on Tuesday for the first time since followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al Sadr agreed two weeks ago to let them in.
No U.S. troops accompanied the Iraqi forces. The agreement specifically barred Americans from entering the Shiite Muslim enclave.

"This is entirely an Iraqi-led, planned and executed operation," said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, the U.S. military spokesman for Baghdad operations.
Stover said the latest action was a high point for both Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi government.
"It shows they are committed to unifying their country, ridding their country of criminal and terrorist elements and they're taking decisive action," Stover said.
Residents said Sadr City had returned to relative normality. Weeks of violence had kept residents inside or forced them to flee. On Tuesday, people were in the streets and shopping, and schools were open."

McClatchy Washington Bureau 05/20/2008 Iraqi troops welcomed in Sadr City for first time:

Iraq war deserter faces deportation from Canada

"TORONTO (Reuters) - A U.S. soldier who fought in Iraq before deserting and coming to Canada now faces deportation next month, but says he shouldn't be returned to the United States to face 'unjust punishment.'

Canada is set to deport in June the first of possibly hundreds of American
soldiers who sought asylum to avoid military duty in Iraq, a group backing the
US deserters said Wednesday.(IRBC)

Corey Glass, 25, came to Canada in August 2006 after serving in Iraq as a military intelligence sergeant.
Authorities told him on Wednesday that his application to stay in Canada was rejected and he would be deported in early June, a spokeswoman for the War Resisters Support Campaign told AFP.

According to the group, several hundred Iraq War resisters are currently in Canada, many of them living underground. Glass would be the first of them to be deported, it said."

More...Iraq war deserter faces deportation from Canada - Yahoo! News:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bush Salutes Mothers' Sacrifices in War on Terror

"American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2008 – President Bush praised America’s mothers, especially those who’ve lost sons or daughters during the war on terror and those who gave their lives in service to their country, during his weekly radio address yesterday. An excerpt from the president’s remarks follows:

“On this Mother’s Day weekend, we think of the many mothers who raised the brave men and women serving our country in uniform. And to those mothers, I offer the thanks of a grateful nation."

“Your sons and daughters are defending our freedom with dignity and honor, and America appreciates the sacrifices that your families make in the name of duty. “On this Mother’s Day weekend, we remember the mothers grieving a son or daughter lost in the service to their country, as well as the children who lost a mother in uniform. “We share their pride in these wonderful Americans who have given everything to protect our people from harm. Nothing we say can ever make up for their loss. “But, on this special day, we hold them in our hearts, and we lift them in our prayers. “I wish every mother listening this morning a blessed Mother’s Day, including my own. And I have a message for every son and daughter listening this morning: Remember to tell Mom the first thing tomorrow how much you love her.”

DefenseLink News Article: Bush Salutes Mothers' Sacrifices in War on Terror:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chrysler Kicks Off Military Appreciation Month

"By John J. Kruzel American Forces Press Service DETROIT, May 5, 2008 – Patriotism was in full gear at the Chrysler headquarters today, as hundreds gathered inside the star-spangled atrium of the automaker’s main hub to honor America’s men and women in uniform.

On the tiered floors of the glass-enclosed plaza here, employees hung over railings to watch while their chief executive kicked off Military Appreciation Month by signing an agreement strengthening Chrysler’s ties to Reserve and National Guard troops, and recognizing past and present servicemembers on the automaker’s roster.

“I just want to thank all the men and women who give of themselves, who are apart from their families, who are enduring tremendous hardship to maintain the freedom the democracy on which this country was founded,” said Robert Nardelli, Chrysler’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are truly blessed.”

As an expression of Chrysler’s gratitude to servicemembers’ sacrifice, Nardelli today signed a 5-Star Military Support Agreement. The document promises Chrysler’s commitment to continue supporting employees who are called into active military service.

“A lot of times people ask, ‘Gee Bob, isn’t that an expense?’” Nardelli said of the pledge. “But I think it’s an investment. People say, ‘Well, isn’t this a burden?’ I say, ‘It’s a responsibility.’ "

In an event that included remarks from Defense Department and military
officials, local radio personality Paul W. Smith, the master of ceremonies,
listed the names of more than 40 Chrysler employees currently deployed to U.S.
operations abroad.
With each name Smith read, a camo-clad servicemember on
the second story of the circular plaza draped a flag with a blue star over the
railing. A tradition since World War I, the blue flag is a symbol displayed by
family members in remembrance of their loved ones serving in harm’s way. In a
somber postscript to the presentation, the family of Army Master Sgt. William
Balinski accepted a flag embroidered with a gold star.

DefenseLink News Article: America Supports You: Chrysler Kicks Off Military Appreciation Month:

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Army OKs $248M in barracks repairs

"but housing still aging
May 7, 2008 (6:39p CDT)
By KRISTIN M. HALL (Associated Press Writer)

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Spc. Loren Dauterman, who trained at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin last month with the National Guard, found something good to say about the falling-apart floors and ceilings in her quarters.


After a soldier's father posted a video on YouTube last month showing the
dilapidated barracks for paratroopers at Fort Bragg, N.C., Defense Secretary
Robert Gates called those conditions appalling and ordered base commanders to
ensure their troops have proper quarters. News: