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June 30, 2006
James: 7 months in...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Just got this from James:

Past the seventh month marker. I have a head full of thoughts but don't even know how to start or what is appropriate to talk about. First, a apology for such a long time with no contact. All 11 of us are well and alive. However we have had over 40 of our National Police killed in action since we started. Fourty KIA in seven months. Double, maybe triple those numbers for wounded. The murders in the streets during the day are starting to slow down a bit...for a while we were disposing of more than thirty dead bodies a week, all killed in broad daylight. I've seen more killing and dead here than I saw during the fight for Fallujah. Which brings me to the subject of mental health. I'd like to write a blog about who I was and what I've become. What I've seen, where I've been, and things that you wouldn't believe anyone of us could ever do. If MAC would aprove of the topic, I would write it, send it to him and see what he thought...print or not. Maybe the people that read and respond to the blogs would like to hear the insight into our minds???

Bring it on James. Lots of people are making their thoughts known in the media about what you guys are going through. Many of us would like to hear it straight from you.

God Bless you!


Pulled by Emcee on June 30, 2006 at 09:36 PM
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March 19, 2006
Our hero James...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Got a note from James today that India Company 3/5 is back in Fallujah again.

Thank you India Company for your continued and constant service to this great country! God Bless!


Pulled by Emcee on March 19, 2006 at 12:27 AM
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March 04, 2006
From James...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

James sent this in today:

Still breathing.

I love living in Iraq, it brings a true reality check. We as Americans take so much for granted. I think most Americans have a basic idea of what we have that other countries don't, but unless you actually take the time to live and learn the culture you can never truly understand.

Our "Special Police" control the infamous Dora Market area in southern Bagdad. Since we have arrived we have had more than 20 SP killed in action and double that injured. We brought with us four more Marine teams to train and live with other SP teams. We have had four Marine Casualties to include one KIA.

Currently our area is under curfiew. No vehicles on the road until after four pm. All persons inside before eight pm. The words civil war have been throw around in the media from time to time. I don't think Iraq is at that point yet, but standing on the endge of the cliff it is.

Shite vs Sunni...In the market area every day there are broad daylight murders. One religious group killing another. Every night our base is shook with the explosions of car bombs destroying the mosques. And in the middle the Americans get blamed for not protesting both sides' religious rights - not guarding the buildings themselves.

The Police fight with the local Iraq Army, believing that the Army is corrupt. Leaving the US standing in the middle trying to break up the fight without injuring our own. Our area is famous for IEDs. Planted in broad day light on the side of the road. New technology that the insurgents use has produced a explosive charge that will destroy anything, to include an Abrams battle tank.

We train our SP's daily on how to wear their gear properly and how to hit what the are shooting at. How to properly search vehicles and conduct immediate action while under contact. We patrol everywere they patrol beside them through the market and sometimes places they won't go. We are there on every raid they conduct and help process every prisoner they take in. They bring their wounded and sick to us daily because the Iraqi medical system is lacking to say the least.
Some of our soldiers are outstanding and some are militia insurgents that you have to watch your back with non-stop.


Thanks for all the support from back home. Id like to say thanks to Albuquerque Police department for donating five siren systems to us.

This is a true American hero folks. Blessings and God-speed James.

If you want to contact James, you can reach him here:

James Pell
4th PO BDE SPPT
1st BN
APO AE 09361

I know that they can use additional supplies, so if you have anything you can donate please contact him and let him know what you have - he'll let you know what they need.


Pulled by Emcee on March 4, 2006 at 05:25 AM
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December 15, 2005
James: Embedded Marines!
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Heard from James today:

MAC! Happy Holidays from your embedded Marines in Iraq. We are doing great! Hell, we got blown up this morning, what else could a Marine want? No casualties, but loud as hell. Our mission here is just beginning to unfold. We are still in the beginning stages of learning about our Iraqi counterparts. We have done some raids with them and are now currently helping with election security. Their morale is sky high and they love the Marines. They ask every day about Fallujah and Ramadi and other big fights we were in, because a lot of them were fighting patriotically for their country beside us in the same shit holes. So we have a common bond. All hope is not lost here, there is a bright light at the end of a shortening tunnel.

Happy Holidays, yours truly,

HM2 James Pell

James! Take good care my friend. We don't like to hear the 'blown up' stuff. It's really great to hear about the 'bright light'. Blessings on you as you continue this valiant effort. There's nothing we could say that could possibly adequately express our gratitude for what you guys are doing over there! Know that you are constantly in our prayers and that we know you are holding Freedom's banner for so many in your mission there, and in our hearts here.


Pulled by Emcee on December 15, 2005 at 10:26 PM
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History Made...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Every purple finger is a bullet to the chest of the terrorists...

Pictures speak a thousand words...

Iraqvotes

Hey, he's not Satchel, but don't you like the idea of a young man growing up in Iraq guided by the hand of Freedom?

Lineiraqvotes

Today's vote exceeded all expectations," said Brig. Gen. James L. Williams, assistant division commander, 2nd Marine Division. "What we saw today was the result of months of hard work by the Iraqi government, the U.S. Ambassador and his staff, the international community, ... and Iraqi and coalition forces. Most of all, it clearly demonstrates the resolve of the local Iraqi people to take their rightful place in the democratic process."

h/t Jeff for the bullet quote... Defense Link for the pictures.


Pulled by Emcee on December 15, 2005 at 06:17 PM
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What they leave behind...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Sometimes we take a moment to think about what the brave heroes who serve our great country leave behind. We know that they leave loves and kin but we satisfy ourselves that if something happened to love or kin they would get some leave time to tend to it.

Well, it's not always true. There are some losses that are every bit as painful as losing a loved one or a relative. But there's just no leave to succor the loss. Here's a note from one of those times - just this week - from a terrific tough guy with four stripes on his shoulder:

Old Man

The other day I found out that my cat died. His name was Simba. Simba was a cool cat, not just as an animal but as a homie. We used to watch TV together, eat pizza, sometimes share a packet of Carl Budding meat and if I was lucky he would let me pet him, but only if I needed to. This was a lot.

He was funny too. He had brain problems. Probably why we got along so well. He loved chasing shadows. I was always like "dude, it’s a shadow, you can't catch it"...

And he was always like, "Well if I had that kind of 'tude, of course not. But eventually I will. It’s all a part of my ninja training."

So he’d practice and I'd laugh at him, but he did not mind. He knew what was up.

From his Ninja training he gained a heightened sense of danger, a kind of spidey sense, if you will. This caused him to be aware instantly if someone was making a loud, sudden noise. He would then alert me by running like hell behind the couch. Even if I was the one making the noise. He would always take care of me like that.

Simba was a great roommate; I won't degrade him by calling him my pet. You don't own your buddies. Anyway, he never was loud, never crowded my space, and never made fun of me if I was hung-over: just that constant Zen serenity radiating from him (until the next shadow or loud noise).

The greatest thing Simba ever did for me was take care of my girlfriend for me. I had to leave for Korea and was sad that I had to leave my beautiful girlfriend behind. He said "Look Buddy, I know that I'm not feeling too well, but tell you what, I'll watch after her for a while, you know, just to get her through the initial shock, but then I've got to go. I'll be needed other places." So he stayed with her until he decided to move out but stayed in the area so she could still visit him. He was a good shit for that, and I could never repay him, but I know he wouldn't accept it if I could. He’d just say "Screw it dude, get me next time."

I am not sad that he died, death is natural, I'm sad that I won't see his face or share my food with him again. You know that you’ve found a friend, when you can just sit together for hours and not say a word and be comfortable. We did that all the time! I will miss that, but he was needed for other things, but that doesn't mean that he'll be forgotten. Now that you read this you know about the Old Man and though it’s trite to say, he'll
live on.

You may think it foolish to miss a cat and for that I feel sorry for you and hope that one day you could have a buddy like Simba.

Serving half-way around the world, there's no time to grieve for this little friend. There's too much duty to attend to. There's maybe just a brief chance for a strong, strong man to write a note to others that he has had to leave behind to commemorate a passing that he could not attend to.

Oh, Robert, sir, I'm sorry that you didn't have the chance to take Simba down for his last visit to the vet. I know it hurts. I know that it's a burden that you choose to bear. Please know that we are eternally grateful that you choose to fly and fight in our stead and we hope that the pain of all of your losses will be eased by our constant and abiding love.


Pulled by Emcee on December 15, 2005 at 02:49 PM
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December 12, 2005
Those terrorist insurgents we don't hear about...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Road Hazards

WARNING: Extremely graphic night vision video of elimination of terrorist targets.

We hear from the LSM about roadside bombs and ambushes that take American and Iraqi lives. We seldom hear about those terrorists who fail to set up their bombs because of interdiction by those who serve our great country in Iraq.

Click on the image to the left or here to see a video of an operation that took out the terrorists that were in the process of setting up a roadside bomb in an attempt to ambush an American convoy that passed by some time after the events on this video occurred.

This video was taken through gunsite over two miles away from the targets.

What if CNN broadcast something other than the toll the insurgents took this week? Something like...

This is Christiane Amanpour, reporting from Iraq: [video starts]

You can run but you cannot hide.

That's the message that our great country is sending to the terrorists that continue to plague the cause of Freedom in this emerging Democracy. Just as a warning to all those who consider themselves as insurgents or terrorists in Iraq - this is what you can expect if you attempt to set up roadside bombs or ambushes for those who serve in the American or Iraqi armed forces. We're sure you will agree that anywhere you attempt to do this, you will be shot on sight - and from miles away when you least expect it.

Instead of giving hope to our enemies, which the LSM and some of our left wing politicos are doing, something like this might assist the terrorists to think that there are severe consequences awaiting their actions. At least Christiane might feel that her reporting was 'unmuzzled'.

Hey, a guy can dream...

H/T Faithful reader Charles.

UPDATE: No, what we get from the LSM is a clickable map of the terrorist attacks in Iraq.


Pulled by Emcee on December 12, 2005 at 04:54 PM
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An Armed Services Christmas Poem
Filed in: Current Affairs, Poems Offered, War on Terror

I have seen a Christmas tribute poem or two in places that I cannot remember on behalf of those who serve in our armed forces. Today, I received in an email this beautiful poem from friends at Nellis Air Base who have a son overseas. The original author is unknown to me. My friends, please read it to your family sometime before Christmas and say a prayer for those who pay Freedom's exacting price so that we might celebrate this wonderful Season.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A Marine, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
All dressed in cammies, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear, "
Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light.
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother...
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us".



God Bless the men and women who serve our great country!


Pulled by Emcee on December 12, 2005 at 04:10 PM
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November 24, 2005
Ein jeder kehr’ vor seiner Tür, da hat er Dreck genug dafür.
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Investment maven J. Christoph Amberger sent this along in his email last night. I thought it had fairly universal application:

The Monday before Turkey Day, the busy public servants at the Baltimore City Council took a breather from the onerous distractions of local government. Unanimously, the council approved a resolution instructing President Bush and Congress to “commence a humane, orderly, immediate and comprehensive withdrawal” from Iraq.

Apart from opportunity becoming, well, opportune in the current climate of global armchair fifth-columnism, the council declared it was the concern for the lives of Marylanders that compelled them to act.

(Plus, it may have helped that they really didn’t have to put a lot of effort into the details: A local newsman observed that the resolution “exactly mirrors Sacramento’s resolution except for the word ‘immediate.’ The California capitol’s council used ‘rapid.’ ”)

Which is all very noble and heartwarming, to be sure. After all, the temperatures have dropped considerably in the Mid-Atlantic region and it is getting a bit too nippy to stand outside and distribute MopeOn.org pamphlets on the streets.

But the same day, a report by Morgan Quitno Press of Lawrence, Kansas, ranked Baltimore the sixth most dangerous city in the country - “worse than Atlanta, Washington and Gary, Indiana” - and the second most dangerous of all the largest US cities.

In fact, the number of Marylanders murdered in Baltimore City in the first ten months of this year alone is a multiple of the number of Marylanders killed in armed conflicts involving US troops since the invasion of Grenada. And despite all their posturing, our City Council men and women have made nary a dent in that.

An old German saying comes to mind: “Ein jeder kehr’ vor seiner Tür, da hat er Dreck genug dafür.”

Everyone sweep in front of his own door. There’s plenty of dirt right in front of you.


Pulled by Emcee on November 24, 2005 at 08:25 AM
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November 23, 2005
More thanks...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Like many of my fellow Americans I'm thankful and look forward to the festivities of the holiday during the next few days. I'll loosen my belt for the upcoming feast of turkey, mashed potatos, stuffing, cranberry dressing, string bean casserole, and some yams perhaps. Even more, I'll enjoy the next few days of turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce. Yum!

But I continue to be completely overwhelmed with thankfulness for the great men and women that serve this great country - with great staying power. They aren't moved by the slings and arrows of outrageous liberal stream media. They continue to heed freedom's call. Whatever thanks and accolades that can be bestowed on them - they deserve. God Bless freedom's defenders!

It's not unlike my feelings last year - we are still a nation at war. I pray that we all have the determination and the staying power to stay the course.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday...


Pulled by Emcee on November 23, 2005 at 07:34 PM
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Emcee - "Don't encourage him!" Jeff Goldstein



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