Category Archives: CURRENT CONFLICTS

A SHORT POEM YOU WON’T FORGET

 A SHORT POEM YOU WON’T FORGET
“A bump in the road” …. remember that calloused statement?
I do recall, the President referring to the Benghazi incident as “a bump in the road.”
Today I heard an ex-Navy Seal being interviewed on Fox News regarding a book he has written about how to handle crisis situations in our lives.  At the end of the interview he asked if he could make a comment on Benghazi and of course the anchor said yes.  He then thanked Fox News for keeping the Benghazi story in the news, since other news organizations are not.  He said the Seals who died deserve the public knowing the truth about the whole affair.
The poem was written by a MARINE CORPS Officer (ANON).
THE BATTLING BOYS
OF BENGHAZI 
We’re the battling boys of Benghazi
No fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell
Defending our country we loved so well. 
It wasn’t our job,
but we answered the call,
fought to the Consulate and scaled the wall.
We pulled twenty Countrymen from the jaws of fate
Led them to safety, and stood at the gate. 
Just the two of us, and foes by the score,
But we stood fast to bar the door.
Three calls for reinforcement,
but all were denied,
So we fought, and we fought, and
we fought ’til we died. 
We gave our all for our Uncle Sam,
But Barack Obama didn’t give a damn.
Just two dead seals who carried the load
No thanks to us………
we were just “Bumps In The Road”.
So will this reach every American with a computer?  Or do we act like the press and give a pass to the incompetent people who literally sat there in the White House and watched the Seal’s execution on live streaming video and did absolutely nothing?  The Obama Administration obviously won’t be held accountable because we apparently accept Hilary Clinton’s statement, “What difference does it make?”

You never know when an ordinary person will become the days hero.

mime-attachment

Pilots often claim that the two worst things that can happen to a pilot are:

(1) Walking out to the aircraft knowing this will be your last flight or
(2) Walking out to the aircraft NOT knowing this will be your last flight.

This pilot’s story adds another possibility….

The events of September 11, 2001, put two F-16 pilots into the sky with orders to bring down United Flight 93.

Late on that Tuesday morning of September 11th, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly.  She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders, “Bring  down United Airlines Flight 93.”

The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington.  Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

“I genuinely believed that was going to be the last time I took off,” says Maj. Heather “Lucky” Penney, remembering the September 11 attacks and the initial U.S. reaction.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition.  Or missiles.  Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.  Except her own plane.  So that was the  plan.

Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer planned to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757.

“We wouldn’t be shooting it down.  We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day.  “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”

For years, Penney, one of the first generation of female combat pilots in the country, gave no interviews about her experiences on September 11 (which included, eventually, escorting Air Force One back into Washington’s suddenly highly restricted airspace).

But 10 years later, she is reflecting on one of the lesser-told tales of that endlessly examined morning: How the first counterpunch the U.S. Military prepared to throw at the attackers was effectively a suicide mission.  “We had to protect the airspace any way we could,” she said last week in her office at Lockheed Martin, where she is a director in the F-35 program.

Penney, now a major but still a petite blonde with a Colgate grin, is no longer a combat flier.  She flew two tours in Iraq and she serves as a part-time National Guard pilot, mostly hauling VIPs around in a military Gulfstream.  She takes the stick of her own vintage 1941 Taylor craft tail-dragger whenever she can.

But none of her thousands of hours in the air quite compare with the urgent rush of launching on what was supposed to be a one-way flight to a midair collision.  First of her kind!

She was a rookie in the autumn of 2001, the first female F-16 pilot they’d ever had at the 121st Fighter Squadron of the D.C. Air National Guard.  She had grown up smelling jet fuel.  Her father flew jets in Vietnam and still races them.  Penney got her pilot’s license when she was a literature major at Purdue.  She planned to be a teacher.  But during a graduate program in American studies, Congress opened up combat aviation to women and Penney was nearly first in line.  “I signed up immediately,” she says. “I wanted to be a fighter pilot like my dad.”

On that Tuesday, they had just finished two weeks of air combat training in Nevada.  They were sitting around a briefing table when someone looked in to say a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York.  When it happened once, they assumed it was some yahoo in a Cessna.  When it happened again, they knew it was war.

But the surprise was complete.  In the monumental confusion of those first hours, it was impossible to get clear orders.  Nothing was ready.  The jets were still equipped with dummy bullets from the training mission.  As remarkable as it seems now, there were no armed aircraft standing by and no system in place to scramble them over Washington.  Before that morning, all eyes were looking outward, still scanning the old Cold War threat paths for planes and missiles coming over the polar ice cap.

“There was no perceived threat at the time, especially one coming from the homeland like that,”  says Col. George Degnon, vice commander of the 113th Wing at Andrews.  “It  was a little bit of a helpless feeling, but we did everything humanly possible to get the aircraft armed and in the air.  It was amazing to see people react.”

Things are different today, Degnon says. At least two “hot-cocked” planes are ready at all times, their pilots never more than yards from the cockpit.

A third plane hit the Pentagon, and almost at once came word that a fourth plane could be on the way, maybe more.  The jets would be armed within an hour, but somebody had to fly now, weapons or no weapons.

“Lucky, you’re coming with me,” barked Col. Marc Sasseville.  They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eye.  “I’m going to go for the cockpit,” Sasseville said.

She replied without hesitating, “I’ll take the tail.”  It was a plan.  And a pact.  ‘Let’s go!’

Penney had never scrambled a jet before.  Normally the pre-flight is a half-hour or so of methodical checks.  She automatically started going down the list.

“Lucky, what are you doing?  Get your butt up there and let’s go!” Sasseville shouted.

She climbed in, rushed to power up the engine, screamed for her ground crew to pull the chocks. The crew chief still had his headphones plugged into the fuselage as she nudged the throttle forward.  He ran along pulling safety pins from the jet as it moved forward.  She muttered a fighter pilot’s prayer – “God, don’t let me [expletive] up”- and followed Sasseville into the sky.

They screamed over the smoldering Pentagon, heading northwest at more than 400 mph, flying low and scanning the clear horizon.  Her commander had time to think about the best place to hit the enemy.  “We don’t train to bring down airliners,” said Sasseville, now stationed at the Pentagon. “If you just hit the engine, it could still glide and you could guide it to a target.  My thought was the cockpit or the wing.”

He also thought about his ejection seat.  Would there be an instant just before impact?  “I was hoping to do both at the same time,” he says.  “It probably wasn’t going to work, but that’s what I was hoping.”

Penney worried about missing the target if she tried to bail out.  “If you eject and your jet soars through without impact… ” she trails off, the thought of failing more dreadful than the thought of  dying.

But she didn’t have to die.  She didn’t have to knock down an airliner full of kids and salesmen and girlfriends.  They did that themselves.  It would be hours before Penney and Sasseville learned that  United 93 had already gone down in Pennsylvania, an insurrection by hostages willing to do just what the two Guard pilots had been willing to do: Anything, and everything.

“The real heroes are the passengers on Flight 93 who were willing to sacrifice themselves,” Penney says. “I was just an accidental witness to history.”

She and Sasseville flew the rest of the day, clearing the airspace, escorting the president, looking down onto a city that would soon be sending them to war.

She’s a single mom of two girls now.  She still loves to fly.  And she still thinks often of that extraordinary ride down the runway a decade ago.

“I genuinely believed that was going to be the last time I took off,” she says.

Remembering Camp Tarawa

Seventy years ago in 1943, tens of thousands of war-weary U.S. Marines arrived on the Big Island, survivors of the amphibious assault and bloody three-day battle against the troops of the Imperial Japanese Special Landing Forces (Japanese Marines) at Tarawa, on the Betio Atoll, in the Gilbert Islands in the South Central Pacific.

They were transported by train and truck to their short-term home in the town of Waimea, where a tent camp had been set up as a base for training and recuperation. During the next two years, more than 50,000 troops lived and trained at this site, named Camp Tarawa, in recognition of their sacrifices far from home.

In 2006, a few local Marine veterans formed the Camp Tarawa detachment of the Marine Corps League, a national organization that bands together active duty Marines and veterans to perpetuate the traditions of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The mission of the Camp Tarawa detachment is “keeping history alive,” said Bob Strickland, Marine veteran and member of the detachment, during an informative presentation at Puu Kohola National Historic Site last Saturday.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

Did you know his trial is over?
Did you know he was sentenced?
Did you see/hear any of the judge’s comments on TV or Radio?
Didn’t think so.!!!

Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his ‘allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,’ defiantly
stating, ‘I think I will not apologize for my actions,’ and told the court ‘I am at war with your country.’

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

Judge Young: ‘Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That’s 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that’s an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government’s recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not——, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You’re no warrior. I’ve known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said:

‘You’re no big deal. ‘

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom’s sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That’s the flag of the United States of America . That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

So, how much of this Judge’s comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need more judges like Judge Young. Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.

Please SEND this—-so that everyone has a chance to read it.

WHEN A SOLDIER COMES HOME

My sister forwarded this on to me and it has a great perspective on soldiers and coming home.

This email is being circulated around the world~~~please keep it going

When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard……to listen to his son whine about being bored.

….to keep a straight face when people complain about potholes

To be tolerant of people who complain about the hassle of getting ready for work.

…to be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night’s sleep.

..to be silent when people pray to God for a new car.

….to control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower.

..to be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying.

….to keep from laughing when anxious parents say they’re afraid to send their kids off to summer camp.

….to keep from ridiculing someone who complains about hot weather.

….to control his frustration when a  colleague gripes about his coffee being cold.

….to remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog.

…..to be civil to people who complain about their jobs.

…..to just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year.

 ….to be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house.  

 The only thing harder than being a Soldier… 

Is loving one. 

I was asked to pass this on and I will gladly do so!!  Will you???

No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only  get 50% of their pay on retirement. While Politicians hold their political positions In the safe confines of  the capital, protected by these same men and women, and Receive full-pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.

If each person who receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The  United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United  States.”