Friday, February 22, 2008

Girl Friday, 22 FEB 08

It's Friday!

I get to put on my monkey suit and go to the Aviation Brigade Formal tonight. Pictured below is my date for this evening.

Not really of course...I heard she's married or something. Also through the grapevine that she's something called "high maintenance" and (I'm not quite sure what this means) a BITCH. Still all in all nice to look at.

Oh well, have a great weekend!



A Story For Our Times

There was this couple. Fell in love, got married, had a nice life but their plans didn't include kids. At least not right now.

Then one day she was pregnant.

Didn't mean for it to happen, but there it was. As it wasn't in their plans to have kids, there was a lot of gnashing of teeth and examination of income, lifestyles etc. In the end they had the baby.

Flash forward 5 years. The baby is a little boy now. The couple still argues about whether he should have worn a condom or if she "forgot" to take the pill one day. One of them suggests that they just quit feeding the child and the problem will eventually go away. It has been suggested by a third party that they just take the child out back and shoot him and be done with it. Others say the baby seems to be a good child and with some care and attention he might actually grow up and amount to something.

Nobody ever said raising a baby would be easy. As a matter of fact I distinctly recall hearing someone with the initials GWB say it would be a long hard road. But everyone was too busy looking at the baby pictures to hear that...and after the "NEW" wore off some of us are bored and want to do something else. Like have a fling with that exotic looking dude from the next block over. Fricking soap opera.

I hate soap operas. Idiots.



Monday, February 18, 2008

I Guess I'm Getting Soft...

This ad for AT&T Wireless features the cutest little girl I've seen in quite some time. Her facial expressions are just precious.


A Touching Eulogy

I didn't realize how old this was this I did a Google search...but I heard this eulogy read on a local radio station this is so touching, familiar and inspiring to me, I felt the need to share.

On behalf of all the soldiers of 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment we thank you for coming to pay tribute to our fallen brothers in arms.

We are here to honor the memory and service of seven men, seven of our brothers in arms.

There is a story about loss in war where one character comments to another, “We are ready for the occasional empty chair, the fond farewell for comrades lost. But we are never, never ready for so many.”

I cannot, as your commander, in anything I say today diminish the impact of losing these men all at once. In fact because we lost them so quickly, it all seems like a bad dream -- that we will wake up tomorrow and they will all be back again.

Each of us, whether present at the scene that day or not, will remember when we first found out. We will remember our inner anguish when we got up the nerve to ask, “Who was it?”

Others will recall the steeled strength it took to calmly and professionally report and verify the battle roster numbers, knowing full well we owed them this calmness and professionalism, so their families would be taken care of.

Others of us will never forget rescuing the four wounded that day and getting them to a helicopter as fast as we could. All these things are true. All these things will be seared in our memories. It was a terrible day and we cannot change that.

We are not alone in mere personal grief, or our desire to honor the fallen. The presence of the general officers here is their effort to acknowledge the sacrifice of this unit and the bravery of these men. Although I have not been able to access every news report, the ones I have read indicate the nation supports us, mourns with us and honors the men we have lost in the recon platoon...

... Because we are all in awe of their great sacrifice, courage and devotion to duty and each other. These men, our men, are fallen on the field of battle. Forever more that is their legacy. Their names are now enshrined on the scroll of America’s hallowed dead. And where they died, where they shed their blood, is sacred ground to us.

We still cannot help think why. Why do we have to lose such good men?

Part of the answer is only good men like these volunteer to serve and defend their country. Here’s two brief examples of their motivations:

SPC Davis had his car packed and had been admitted to the University of Oklahoma when he changed his mind and decided to enlist in the army. His family believes he did so out of pride for his father who had served in the military and had passed away in 2003. There he was -- the excitement and opportunities of college life and getting a degree ahead of him -- and he heard that call, the call to defend and serve his country. At the last moment he could not go through with the easy choice. He chose the harder life of a soldier in a time of war.

Of SSG Gaul his stepmother noted, “Being a soldier was his life. It was what he truly wanted to do.”

I could mention every one of them and tell a similar story. I wish I knew more about Roy’s story, for the courage and guts displayed by our interpreters on a daily basis is an inspiration for us all.

It is still a natural human instinct to ask….But what did they die for? Wasn’t it a waste?

There are several answers to that question but the most basic and simple is they died for us. They entered that house so you and I wouldn’t have to. At that moment they saw it as their duty to clear that house and they acted with discipline courage and bravery. The character of our fallen heroes in the recon platoon is revealed by the actions of the living that day.

As many of you know they were essentially lured to the house by someone that we later discovered had ties to Al Qaida. One of the members of the platoon, on the roof when the blast occurred and the building collapsed -- and wounded himself -- ran down the local who had had lured them to the house ……And then when he found him, did nothing more than detain him.

That professionalism, that discipline, that honor and self-sacrifice speaks of extraordinary nobility of character in the entire platoon. Another soldier, the senior squad leader at the scene with calmness and strength took over the role of platoon sergeant as if he had been doing the job for months.

I could go on and on about the enormous character demonstrated by that entire platoon and entire company that day – a strength and determination that continues to today.

And then there is the unfeigned determination of the recon platoon. It’s not put–on. It’s not fake. They are not trying to be something they are not and failing to express their emotions about this. But the speed with which they have rebounded and insisted to me that they go out on missions again is awe-inspiring.

I do not know where such men come from, except to say they are the kind of men who have made America great and will continue to preserve it.

The act of going in first, the act of willingly doing your duty in a dangerous environment, is by its very nature an act of heroic self-sacrifice for the sake of others. These men we honor today had that spirit of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty to an awe-inspiring degree.

And so I need to speak of what else they died for, and what I believe our honored dead would now expect of us.

I’ll begin by saying what they would not want. They would not wish to be seen as victims of a misguided war, victims of stop loss – or victims of anything else for that matter.

We know we are fighting extremism here in a thousand ways. And as the hometown news articles are getting written several of these fallen heroes are on record stating they believed the war in Iraq is a noble cause.

For those who want to support us by getting us out of Iraq as soon as possible, without a victory, I have but one comment. You’re too late. We have sacrificed too much and all we ask of you is the necessary time to finish the job.

Our children and yours, our grandchildren and yours will be safer for it.

This squadron and the formations on its left and right have in the balance sheet of history, already achieved far more than extremist reckless hatred will ever accomplish.

SSG Dozier once asked his father Carl, “Is it weird to really want to do this?”

His father Carl, filled with pride at what his son had become said "No," "This is what you're trained to do."

On another occasion this brave man, SSG Jonathan Dozier told his father he was prepared to die, “But,” he said, “I don’t want to die for nothing.”

So I ask you Wolfpack to make this promise with me: SSG Dozier, will not have died for nothing. We owe him a victory. We owe him a win. We owe him our own lives if necessary.

If the enemy comes out to fight he will be met with a disciplined lethal ferocity he has never before endured. If he plays the sly game of intimidating, beheading and torturing the innocent people of Iraq when he thinks we’re not looking he will be met with a cunning, a sophistication and a relentlessness that will lead to his utter defeat.

This is my promise to you as your commander and from all of us to our honored dead.

RIP Troopers...til Fiddler's Green.

Specialist Todd E. Davis, 22, of Raymore, Mo.;
Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier, 30, of Rutherford, Tenn.;
Staff Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, 29, of Reno, Nev.;
Sgt. Zachary W. McBride, 20, of Bend, Ore.;
First Sgt. Matthew I. Pionk, 30, of Superior, Wis.; and
Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders, 22, of Roswell, N.M.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Lunchtime Encounter

I got off work the other day just around lunchtime, so before I went to my home I decided to have a little something to eat. I live a few miles from post so the fact that I was in uniform at the restaurant was a little out of the ordinary but not too unusual.

So there I was, minding my own business, enjoying my Schlotzskys, when over my shoulder I hear, "Do you fly helicopters?" I turn around and see an older gentleman sitting a few tables behind me, who begins to regale me with stories of his former soldier son, who didn't know that he could have flown helicopters in the Army and then got out and spent tons of money learning to fly, the school wen tout of business after 9/11 and so on. To be honest after a while it made me start looking around trying to find a way out without being rude. And now that I think of it, especially given that I was in the middle of my meal, wasn't he the one being rude to sandwich growing increasing cold as he and then his wife double teamed me with info I didn't need or particularly care about. Then came the coup de grace, "I know you aren't allowed to comment, but we had no business going into Iraq."

Then I said, "Well as a matter of fact, I just spent 15 months in Iraq and it's not quite as bad as you might think."

They then said, "Did you know there aren't any Christians in Iraq anymore? They've all been run out...they were much better off with Sadam in charge." and on and on.

To be honest it really upset me after a fashion, that this couple would sit there and lecture me about how Iraq is especially after I told them I just got back from there...well, I guess as someone once told me, "Flying over Iraq every day doesn't give you some kind of unique insight as to what is going on there." How can you agrue with logic like that?

Yeah, they don't need us or want us there...

But what the hell do I know...I thought all the nut jobs in Texas lived in Austin?

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Girl Friday, 15 FEB 08...Deal or No Deal?

Seeing as though I have been living on a metaphorical cave for a while I was relatively ignorant of the TV show, Deal or No Deal and it's assorted lovely "case models" me ignorant no more!

Aside from the sorted spectacle which involves mid to low income earners crying about how this money is more than they could make in two years...only to turn around and piss it away in a bad risk move...I guess the show is OK...Oh, come on, what the hell I just turn down the sound and wait for them to focus on the next model.

Which brings us to Girl Friday, Pilar Lastra...also known as the holder of Case #14, and Playboy Playmate of the Month for August 2004. She grew up in San Antonio, TX so she has that going for her as well.

So...Deal or no Deal?

Y'all have a great weekend.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

RAF Queen

Found at Last of the Few

After watching the above, I somehow don't think the following is quite as gay as I used to...

And for the love of GOD, it's just Race Bannon, not Dr. Race Bannon. Jonny Quest's dad was the doctor, Race was the badass pilot...geeze...amateurs.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Girl Friday, 8 FEB 08

Happy Friday!

Although I can't recall anyone I ever went to school with dressing or looking this's a nice look. Reagan Yun, Playboy Cyber Girl and Co-Ed whatever, stops by this Friday with an armload of books and not much else.

Have an great weekend!

Remember guys only 5 more shopping days till that holiday that was made up by restaurants, card and candy companies...your girlfriend/wife/mom etc will appreciate it greatly if you genuflect at the altar of crass commercialization...and if you don't...then GOD help you! :)

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Does Airpower Create Insurgents?

From the website Defense Tech comes this gem...

...the American military's use of airpower is not helping us win the war...

...Operation Iraqi Freedom has rung in the new year with a bang - literally. On Jan. 10, U.S. warplanes dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, one of the largest air strikes of the Iraq war. This attack reflects the increased use of air power as a component of Gen. David Petraeus' counterinsurgency strategy (Gen. Petraeus is the commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq and the primary author of FM 3-24, the Army's counterinsurgency manual). In 2007, the U.S. conducted more than 1,100 air strikes, a more than five fold increase over the previous year...

As someone who has participated in this conflict a couple of times now, I find the carping and armchair generalship displayed by people like these laughable at best and disgusting and counterproductive at their very worst.

The authors and commenters seem to believe that B-52s are carpet bombing Baghdad as I type least that's the impression you get from them. Wanton civilian casualties are causing more people to go over to the other side, causing more harm than good...or so they say. Having seen quite a few airstrikes go in, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. But since when did the truth have anything to do with any of these stories anyway?

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This Looks Like It Might Be Worth Your Valuable Time

At first I said to myself, "Robert Downey Jr?!?"...but that being said it still looks pretty cool.



There's A Snickers Bar in There Somewhere

I know me of all people objecting to scantly clad women cavorting around shamelessly...but what the hell does this have to do with selling a candy bar? And will anyone even notice the product?

From Last of the Few

By the way, dumb Outlaw 13 trivia...I worked at M&M Mars over a few summers making SNICKERS, Twix and Starburst Fruit Chews, and washed a few cars during flight school to raise money...never saw anything like that.



And You Thought It Was Americans Who Were Dumb

Found the link for this over at "Last of the Few"

Quarter of Brits Believe that Churchill Was A Myth

LONDON (AFP) - Britons are losing their grip on reality, according to a poll out Monday which showed that nearly a quarter think Winston Churchill was a myth while the majority reckon Sherlock Holmes was real.

The survey found that 47 percent thought the 12th century English king Richard the Lionheart was a myth.

And 23 percent thought World War II prime minister Churchill was made up. The same percentage thought Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale did not actually exist.

Three percent thought Charles Dickens, one of Britain's most famous writers, is a work of fiction himself...

There's more if you can stand it, click on the link above.



Sunday, February 03, 2008

The OODA Loop and the War in Iraq

There's a great little article over at Eject X3 about COL John Boyd and his theory about combat maneuvering that when applied to ground operations allowed us to prosecute this war in ways that were unthinkable before.

Yeah, I know it's not my usual serving of boobs and broads but actually I am a "little" deeper than that...not much mind you, but a little.

About a hundred miles north of Las Vegas there is a clump of wild grass and cottonwood trees called “The Green Spot.” Not much to look at from the ground, but from thirty thousand feet above the brown Nevada desert it stands out for a hundred miles.

In the mid to late fifties, a fighter pilot could earn himself a quick forty bucks and perhaps a nice steak dinner in Vegas – not to mention everlasting renown, which is to fighter pilots what oxygen is to us lesser beings – by meeting over the Green Spot at thirty thousand feet and taking position just 500 feet behind an arrogant and unpleasant man with precisely zero air-to-air victories to his credit. From that perfect kill position, you would yell “Fight’s on!” and if that sitting duck in front of you was not on your tail with you in his gunsight in forty seconds flat then you would win the money, the dinner and best of all, the fame.

Tank commanders may be charging cavalrymen at heart; sub skippers may be deer hunters using patience and stealth. But fighter pilots are Musketeers. They are swordsmen whose survival depends on remaining on the offensive… that is to say, they are men who survive because they can (and have) initiated 16-to-1 fights because they possess the confidence – actually, the untrammeled ego – to know they will win.

To be challenged in such a manner is an irresistible red flag to men like this, and certainly no less of one because the challenger was a rude, loud, irreverent braggart who had never been victorious in actual air-to-air combat. And yet that forty dollars went uncollected, uncollected for many years against scores of the best fighter pilots in the world.

That is more than luck. That is more than skill. That is more than tactics. That level of supremacy is the result of the ability to see things in an entirely new way. It is the difference between escaping from a maze you are embedded in, versus finding the way out from one that you look down upon from above.

Having your ass handed to you in such a spectacular and repeated fashion causes some men to curse and mutter about ‘one trick ponies’ and so on. But for others, for those who are more invested in victory than in ego, it reveals a level of skill that instantly removes all swagger and competition and puts one in the place of a willing supplicant, eager for knowledge.

Taking a few moments to understand what this odd man learned about airplanes and aerial combat will pay rich dividends later. Because John Boyd – Pope John, The High Priest of the Fighter Mafia, the Mad Major, the Ghetto Colonel – Forty Second Boyd not only wrote the revolutionary tactics manuals that gave American pilots the keys to air-to-air victory… and with it the essential and undisputed control of the battlespace. Nor was his achievement limited to the design of the phenomenally successful F-15 and F-16 fighters. Nor was it merely the codifying of physics and thermodynamics to make a science out of an art form. That John Boyd saw all of these things for the first time would have made him a legend. But this was quite the lesser of his two great achievements. For Boyd not only saw how to perfect the sword. He saw too how to perfect the swordsman.

And for that, Forty Second Boyd may turn out to be one of the most important men of the Twenty-First Century. And he has lain at rest in Arlington National Cemetery since 1997.

Good stuff! But there's alot more. Go see it all HERE.



Saturday, February 02, 2008

One Year Ago...

It was on this day a year ago, that I walked into the TOC and found out that we had lost CW4 Keith Yoakum and CW2 Jason Defrenn. I have posted on this site before about this event, but all of us would benefit if we sat down from time to time and reflected upon the kind of people we have who have given everything for this nation and their brothers in arms.

From is this blurb about the presentation of the Distinguished Service Cross (the second highest award this nation can bestow upon a warrior) to Keith's family.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 15, 2007) -- The Army recognized his determination to continue fighting in a flak-riddled Apache helicopter and Sunday posthumously awarded Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Keith Yoakum the Distinguished Service Cross.

CWO4 Yoakum became just the eighth soldier since Vietnam to earn the award, the military's second-highest behind the Medal of Honor.

CWO4 Yoakum's widow, Kelly, and his two daughters, along with his parents and his two brothers and sister, were among 300 people who attended the awards ceremony on Veterans Day at Gibbel Park in Hemet, Calif. His company commander, Capt. Lee Robinson, flew in from Iraq for the ceremony.

Capt. Robinson, of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, called CWO4 Yoakum a "force for good" who infused in his comrades and the young Soldiers he supervised "the desire to be the best," reported the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Hemet.

The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded for an engagement near Baghdad Feb.2. Insurgents had dug gun positions into irrigation canals and ditches. From these concealed positions, the insurgents fired automatic weapons and 12 mm or 14 mm anti-aircraft rounds on CWO4 Yoakum's Apache and another helicopter.

Even though his Apache had been hit in the fuselage and was losing the hydraulics that kept it flying, CWO4 Yoakum led the two-helicopter patrol, giving directions over the radio to the other Apache crew as they engaged the enemy.

CWO4 Yoakum put his Apache into a climb and told the other helicopter pilot that he was going to try firing rockets at the insurgent gun positions. But then his radio went silent. The other aviators later spotted his burning helicopter on the ground.

Here's a little piece about Jason and his family found HERE

Family of soldier killed in Iraq finds solace in newborn

By Meg Kinnard
The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — For weeks, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason DeFrenn’s family awaited his homecoming, a trip planned as much more than a simple respite from his second tour in Iraq: The nine-year Army veteran was returning to South Carolina to help his wife give birth.

Instead, his loved ones are making plans for the 34-year-old Army pilot’s funeral. DeFrenn’s Apache helicopter was shot down Feb. 2 — two weeks before he was supposed to be back in his native state.

Wracked by grief, his wife went into labor early, giving birth to a boy just days after her husband’s death.

It’s newborn Christopher who’s now providing the family a measure of solace. “A healing child,” is how Jason DeFrenn’s father explains it as he alternately gazes at a photo of the son he lost, and at a card stamped with the footprints of his new grandson.

“It’s a wonderful thing that’s happened here in the last couple of days, in a way,” said Garth DeFrenn. “But it’s going to be a tough month.”...

...Jenny DeFrenn struggled at first with choosing a name for her infant, born four days after the crash. She decided on Christopher Andrew, the name that she and her husband had picked months ago, rather than naming him after his father.

“She always did what Jason wanted,” Garth DeFrenn said last week. “She always followed him and supported him.”

That support took the couple, who met while Jason DeFrenn was managing a Pizza Hut, from South Carolina to Texas, where he was based at Fort Hood after joining the Army nine years ago. He served one tour in Afghanistan before going to Iraq twice.

His father said the military gave DeFrenn the excitement he had sought as a boy while hunting and fishing near their hometown of 5,000 about 60 miles south of Columbia.

“When he was young, he had a spirit of wanting to be a hero,” Garth DeFrenn said. “He was one of those kids who wanted adventure.”

The DeFrenns are now making plans for Jason’s funeral in the small town of Barnwell. He’ll be buried in his family’s plot, as his father believes he would have wanted. The governor plans to grant a request to lower the state’s flags.

On an overcast afternoon last week, during a trip to visit his daughter-in-law and new grandson in a Columbia hospital, Garth DeFrenn walked through a city park that is home to dozens of memorials to war veterans. He paused on a footbridge to look out over the granite monuments and bronze sculptures, and broke into tears.

“I don’t think I’ll ever come back to this place,” he said. “No, I won’t ever come back.”

Yesterday, we the members of the 1st Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment gathered at the Fort Hood Officers Club and hung a painting of Keith and Jason's aircraft that day along with a narrative of the events. We then hoisted a few to their memory.

Here's to those and those like us...damn few left.

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The Kind of Support for the Troops I like to See

Found this on

Kinda goofy, but hey you can't argue with the least you can't from where I'm standing.

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The Military Mind...

For an insight as to what Soldiers and Marines find funny watch this...

The best lines are at the end.

Yeah, I know this is a Marine, but at least this time they are being intentionally funny.