Views of a Veteran

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Vets on the Hill

Well with a week left before the Vets on the Hill event, I have started to prepare myself for what may or may not come. the biggest thing that may or may not come are the protests. The last time I was in DC for the first Vets on the Hill, our rally was protested by everybody and their grandma’s. It was during our rally that a Blue Star Mom was assaulted, and would lead to my trip to DC in Feb. to testify against the guy (he was found guilty!!)

Hopefully this time around that will not happen. But with the moonbats out and about, and it being just a few weeks after the 5 year anniversary, I would not be surprised if there are out in force!

With a week left to go, it has me wondering and pondering what the future holds. With the election not so far in the future, it has me wondering what will happen to this great country?

i had dinner this weekend with my wife’s boss, her soon to be husband, and a couple that my wife and her boss knew. While we were eating the topic of my being in the Army and me having the possibility to go back to Iraq came up. I tried not to get to political, because a. my wife threatened me if I did, and B. I did not know what the 3rd couple believed in. One of the questions that came up was about the “intense mortar attacks in the Green Zone”. They wanted to know if I knew anything about this. That questions opened a door that I was able to bring the entire Army thru. i was able to inform them that attacks like those go on all the time. Granted the number of attacks have sub-dued, it still happens. in fact I told them that while I was in country if I had a dollar for every rocket and mortar that was shot at my base, i would not have to be working right now! now don’t get me wrong, since the surge started and the year that has passed these kinds of attacks are becoming rare, what the issue at hand is the MSM (main stream media), are only reporting the bad things when they happen. I explained to this nice couple that not everything you hear on TV or read in the newspapers is true. That if you want to know what is really going on then ask someone ho has been there, seen what is going on, and had first hand knowledge of the events. Hopefully this one conversation has cleared some of the confusion for them and will lead them to get the real news from better sources. Now what does this have to do with Vets on the Hill, well not a whole lot, but it gets me into the correct mid frame I need to be in when I sit down with my Congressmen and Senators next week and discuss these issues.

So many things have happened since Sept. I have to hope that i can remember them all, to talk about. Things from the surge, working, to the moonbats going nuts in Berkley, and even to some of the crazy events in the elections so far! Granted this will be a huge challenge, but I believe that as the State Captain for Vets for Freedom here in Arkansas, and as an Army engineer for over 11 years, I can handle this challenge and I look forward to taking it on head first. Just like the Engineer creed: Can do! Will do!!

I look forward to talking about the trip when I get back, and I look forward to meeting new folks, and visiting with friends made on the last trip!

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why do we fight?..Part 2

The following was on the liveleak.com front page about “Fitna” :

Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers. This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realized LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.

With that being said, do you know I have to question why we fight? Terrorists threatening people because they believe in the freedom of speech?? Imagine if you will this happening here??!!! The fact the the Islamic religion preached hate, preached the deaths to all that do not believer in Islam, a religion that actually gets so pissed off that they are willing to kill over a freaking movie!! That would be like the the catholic church getting mad and its followers threatening and killing the baptist folks because they said something bad about the pope! Lets get real here people! When are we going to grow up and start acting like adults and not freaking 5 year olds?? My own daughter knows better then this and she is 7!!! The root of all evil are not the people that do evil but the religion that tell them to do evil in that god’s name!!

UPDATE:
The video was pulled from live leak, but I have found it again and I will keep finidng it to make sure that everyone sees the truth!!

UPDATE 2: The video is back on Live Leak, you can watch it here below or thre on live leak!

FITNA (ENGLISH)
Uploaded by tongeren92

March 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why do we fight?

After I returned from Iraq in 2004, I was asked alot of questions. Questions like: how is the weather, is it really that bad over there, did you do anything good, and the biggest and toughest question I have ever received “Why do you fight?” Well this is a loaded questions from the start. It can be answered in many ways:
1. I fight for the man next to me on my left and my right.
2. I fight to protect the freedoms of this country.
3.I fight to protect the citizens for this country.
4. I fight because I was trained to fight and ordered to fight.
5. I fight so those who do not serve do not have to.
6. I fight because of the radical Islamic terrorists want not only American soliders dead, but they want every last non-Muslim dead! That include men, women, and children!

If you have not seen or heard of the short film by Geert Wilder, then listen up! This is some ting you need to watch. You need to watch this if you are on the fence on why we fight in Iraq and why we fight in Afghan. If you believe everything that is written in the media or shown on TV then you need to watch this video and see what is really happening.

Over the last year and half, I have read portions of the Koran, along with books that go into detail about the meaning of some of the items in the Koran. But after watching Geert Wilder’s file “Fitna” I have realized what I was reading. If you are curious or just want to see I have put the film here, it can also be found at liveleak.com It takes a minute to load so please be patient:

March 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Vets for Freedom National Heros Tour

Thank you to Michelle Malkin for the following story, it was so good I felt the was no need to improve on it:

Vets for Freedom Heroes Tour spurned by Minneapolis high school
By Michelle Malkin • March 25, 2008 09:33 AM
I told you about the non-partisan Vets for Freedom National Heroes Tour last week. Jim Hanson at Blackfive has a blood pressure-raising update on how some of your fellow Americans are responding to the tour. He minces no words:

The National Heroes Tour is in Minneapolis today for a number of events however we will not be visiting Forest Lake High School, because the right of whiny left-wing buttheads to censor the troops out weighs the right of American students to hear from and meet the folks who have risked their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy. This is Pete Hegseth’s High School and he had personally arranged for a non-partisan event where students could hear from the vets and ask them questions about their service. This so offended the delicate sensibilities of the usual suspects that they began hassling the Principal and threatening protests.

From the Star Tribune:

Steve Massey, the school principal, said the decision to cancel was prompted by concerns that the event was becoming political rather than educational and therefore was not suitable for a public school.
He said the school had received several phone calls from parents and others, some of whom indicated that they may stage a protest if the event took place.
“The event was structured to be an academic classroom discussion around military service. We thought we’d provide an opportunity for kids to learn about service in the context of our history classes,” Massey said. “As the day progressed, it became clear that this was becoming a political event … which would be inappropriate in a public setting.“We decided to cancel,” Massey said. Organizers of the National Heroes Tour then scrambled to relocate the event to the American Legion building in Forest Lake. The visit, which U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, had been scheduled to attend, is sponsored by Vets for Freedom, a national organization run by Pete Hegseth, a 1999 graduate of Forest Lake Area High School who served with the 101st Airborne in Iraq in 2005-06.
“I think it’s extremely unfortunate that a school would bow to the political pressure of outside groups and not bring in a veterans organization,” Hegseth said. “Are we saying that patriotism and duty and honor have no place in our public schools?”

Yes, that seems to be the message, doesn’t it?

Again Thanks to Michelle Malkin: http://michellemalkin.com/2008/03/25/vets-for-freedom-heroes-tour-spurned-by-minneapolis-high-school/

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

5 years in Iraq

Well yesterday marked the 5 year anniversary of Iraq, and one day that will always be in my memory. This is the day that would change everything in my life, this one day would make me the man that I am today. Now I was not in Iraq when the war started, I was in a hotel room, outside of Ft. Hood, TX watching the war start with my ex-wife and daughter. I was suppose to be there, my unit was suppose to be the “tip of the spear” heading to Baghdad, from the north. We were suppose to come from Turkey, but at the last moment, the Turkish government would not allow troops into their country, so that threw a wrench into the plan.

It was 3 weeks later before I was on a plane going over the pond on my way to Kuwait, then another 3 weeks before we actually got into country. Talk about a long time to site and wait! Being in the middle of the desert in Kuwait, waiting to get into country and to do my job was the worse thing ever!! Once we got the word we were heading north, the nervousness that was there at the end of Feb, in Ft Hood started to set in again. Not knowing what to expect, not knowing what has happened over the weeks that we waited to head north, not knowing if I would ever see my daughter again, these things were the worse. I have had people ask me was I scared to die, or scared of being shot while I was there, and I would be an idiot if I said I wasn’t, bu the fact is the biggest thing that scared me was the one thing I nor anyone could see…GAS!

While at Ft. Hood we trained over and over and over to put or protective masks on within the 9 seconds. Having to carry your mask everywhere you went. From the chow hall, the PX, even to the latrine! This is the one thing that scared me the most, would Saddam use the gas he was know to have on us while we moved north? Would I be able to get my mask on in time? What would happen if I didn’t?? Talk about stress!!!! Well as we all no this did not happen, thank goodness.

After moving north my unit ended up on an Iraqi air force base in Balad, better known as FOB Anaconda. We spent a month at this lovely s**t box of a place, dealing with sand storms and boredom. As a combat engineer we train to be in front of the infantry or with the infantry depending on the mission, We are trained to take the fight to the enemy, destroy their obstacles, and place our own obstacles as well. Well this war was not like that, their were obstacles for us to destroy, there weren’t infantry units that needed us, we were left in Bald to go and inspect UXO (un-exploded ordinance), which is boring and stress full! Nothing like looking at a 500lb bomb that hasn’t blown up, hoping it doesn’t blow up while you are staring at it taking pictures of it for some sort of record!! Luckily I was tasked to go a security detail. Now for some this doesn’t sound like fun, and i would normally agree, but this one was different!

I was tasked along 6 others from my unit to go to Baghdad, and be a security detail for some Corps of Engineers folks from the states. They were tasked to inspect all of the waterway systems in Iraq. What this means is we drove the entire country going from one dam to the next seeing if they worked, and if not why. While on this mission, I got to see Iraq for a distance, Syria from a distance, and Jordan from a distance. This was an experience I would never forget!! But there were some events during this mission that I would never forget as well. There were a few time that we were lucky to have missed a few attacks by bear minutes! There was an attack on a convoy that happened minutes before we got there, there was another attack on a convoy literally 1/4 mile in front of us that we missed by 2 or 3 minutes..and all of this was on the same day!! During this mission I got to live in one of the palaces for a week, talk about crazy! t o be in this palace with all of its glory and beauty and look out to see Iraqi’s living in shacks was nuts! At that moment it became clear.. we did the right thing!

The right thing was to get rid of Saddam! Now alot of people out there think other wise, and that fine that is their opinion and that’s the great thing about this country, you can have your own opinion. But after seeing how those people lived while that asshat was living it up, my mission was clear! We went there not just to look for WMD’s, but we went there to liberate people-men, women, and children- people like you and me that did not have the freedoms we all take for granted!

Once I arrived back to Balad, we were moving again this time to Fallujah, were i would spend the rest of my time in country. From here I would do what we refer to as “trash missions”. These were mission where as engineers we would go into the city and help re-build. We would go into the city, set up security and proceed to clean an area all day, once that area was clean would turn the open area into a soccer field. Having kids around us all day while we worked, and once we were done to go and play soccer against them was amazing. I would bet money that most people did not know this was happening due to the fact the main stream media did not report these kinds of things. We did these types of mission for a month and half, in the middle of Falljuah, with out incident! We had religious leaders of the city buying us ice cream, we had locals providing trucks and heavy equipment to move the trash (for a nice fee–$5), and we had kids all around us, it was an experience. This was not the only thin we were doing, we were also picking up UXO and destroying it, so civilians would not get hurt. Then one in July would change that forever.

In late July an insurgent fore attacked one of my unit’s conveys on the way back from Baghdad. the official report says it was a RPG attack, but in reality it was one he first IED attacks in country. This attack kid the youngest person in my unit, he was 19. It also wounded several others, one enough to send him to Germany. From there he was suppose to go home for treatment, but he had a different idea. He left the hospital, got a plane leaving for Kuwait and came back. He wasn’t done yet, he was mad and wanted to find the person or person that did this to him and to our friend that died! From that point our lives would change forever as would our mission.

Our mission was now to be IED hunters! We were mostly a security force for EOD teams that responded to IED’s pre and post blast. From this we would see just how the insurgents were going to fight this war, we saw that they were going to hide like rats, mix themselves with in the crowd and attack us no matte what. they did not care if their own people around, they one one thing in mind..Kill Americans!! Now fast forward to Nov.04, the second push into Fallujah, the battle that would change that city!

I could go on and on and on about the events over the last 5 years, from Iraqis hold a true election fort eh first time in over 30 years, the counter-insurgency mission being put into place, and even the countless attacks that were going on up until a recently. But I won’t, what I will do is leave you with this:

For those who think this war is a farce, we should not be there, we need to leave now I saw thank you for your opinion! But it is time to step back into the real world and open your eyes! Iraq is on its way to be a better country then it was 5 years ago, people are rising up against the insurgents, US deaths are down, the government is in place! Now is it perfect? Of course not, is our government perfect? Did the US as we now it today become this way in 5 years? NO! It took time, money, and blood to get this country to were it is now, and it will continue to be that way! Freedom is not free one bit! The cost of freedom is the blood, sweat, and tears that the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen have given to make this country free! It the pain and suffering of love ones being gone for extend periods of time, or the pain of losing a love one in battle that families have done for 200 plus years that makes this country free. Just remember one thing the next time you go out to protest the war or recruiting stations in your city; You would not be able to do that if it weren’t for the people you are protesting! If it weren’t for the military fighting the fight that the “left” is to afraid to fight, we would be living in a dictatorship! You would not have the freedom to speak out against the government!!

So today, the 5 year and 1 day after the start of the war I would like to ask all of you, left, right, middle, vet, non-vet, war protester, war supported, and all people of this country- put yourselevs in the shoes og an Iraqi for one minute and ask youesefl this: Was the war worth the freedoms you now have or would you rather have the tyrannt Saddam back??

March 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

RE: Calling all Iraq and Afgan Vets!!

For those of you that have been hearing about the Vets on the Hill happening April 8th in Washington, DC and think it is to late to sign up…well I have good news for you, there is still time! If you are a Iraq or Afgan vet and agree that the missions in both countries need to continue until the job is complete then go to http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/heroestour/voth_signup.aspx and sign up! It’s that easy. Once you sign up you will get a link to a web site, similar to Orbitz to set your flight up. Now for those vets that served during peace time or during a different war, do not feel left out, Vets for Freedom would like you there as well. But due to the overwhelming sign up by vets from all service times, Vets for Freedom is asking that any vet that has not served in Iraq or Afgan. to go out and recruit 4 vets that have. Send those 4 names and your name to travel@vetsforfreedom.org

Once the names are receives the names and the vets sign up to go, you will receive a link to make your flight arrangements. Its that easy! Now if you have any questions regarding this please email me at jacob@vetsforfreedom.org and I will gladly help you out!

Remember on thing: the trip is paid for!! Your flight and hotel will be provided by Vets for Freedom and you will only have to miss the one day from work!!

March 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calling all Iraq and Afgan Vets!!!

There is still time to sign up to attend Vets on the Hill, April 8th. Just go to http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/heroestour/voth_signup.aspx and sign up!

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freedom of Speech?!

Well I have been doing a lot of reading lately. Reading that involves no only books but different blogs floating around the Internet. Some of these blogs are pro-war, some anti-war, and some are about finger painting.
After reading these blogs it make me proud to have been able to fight for my country and for the freedoms we have. The main freedom everyone seems to throw out if Freedom of Speech. According to Wikipedia the 1st amendment is as follows:

First AmendmentEstablishment clause, freedom of religion (Free Exercise Clause), speech, and press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now that is what is says in the Bill of Rights, but if you were to ask an ordinary person on the street it would be more like this:
“The first amendment means I can say what I want, about whomever I want.”
The problem with that statement is, you can not go around slandering people, that is not covered under the first amendment. For those who do not know what slander is her is the definition from Dictionary.com :
slan·der /ˈslændər/
–noun
1. defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
2. a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
3. Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc. –verb (used with object)
4. to utter slander against; defame. –verb (used without object)
5. to utter or circulate slander.
Now with that all covered lets get to whats on my mind.
How can a person, weather its a mom, dad, politician, or solider/Maine have the right to go around the country and the world for that fact, write books, and DVDs about the atrocities that may or may not be occurring in Iraq? How can these people get away with “slandering” their former commanders, team mates, and friends? How can they go around blowing lies and rumors around without actually evidence to back them up? How can the media be allowed to report on these people, repeating what they are saying without proving them to be true or false?
Well I have a few answers in my mind, but i would really love to hear what other folks have to say about it. In my mind the media and the folks spewing this crap unchecked can get away with it, because we allow it to happen. We as a country and society allow these people to go around saying these things with out backing them up with some kind of evidence.
If the killing of civilians was happening on purpose in Iraq, there would be more then a handful of soldiers or marines talking out. Especially if commanders and leaders were ordering their troops to perform such act would not fly. As a squad leader, I would never follow a command form a higher up that stated to kill innocent civilians. That is an unlawful command, and as such I am obligated not to follow it no matter the punishment I might receive. this is a right that every U.S. Solider, Sailor, Marine, and Airmen has. We have the right to dis-obey a direct or indirect order if it is unlawful according to the UCMJ.
Now I know that in the “fog” of war that civilians get killed, and that is a shame. But, and this is the biggest but in the world, they are killed in cross fire, or fire that was brought upon them because of a threatening act the had committed towards American forces. In other words, if a battle is raging in an alley and a man, woman, or child walks out of a building into the middle of that firefight, then that is a painful accident. If a car full of civilians does not stop at a checkpoint that is clearly marked and proceeds to speed up towards American or Iraqi forces, that vehicle is fired upon. Afterwords if that car is full of civilians then again that is a painful accident. these types of things are covered with in every soldiers ROE (rules of engagements).
While I was in Iraq we were made to carry the ROE in our pocket. We were provided with a lamented copy of it to carry on us at all times. If a anyone were to ask you for it, you better have had it on you or there was punishment for not having it.
The one thing that I have a problem with is this: if these things were going on and these people saw this or did this, were is the proof? Where are the countless stories that would come out about these incidents? If a line company of Marines (that’s 200 Marines) or even a platoon (that’s roughly 30 Marines), were to fire upon innocent civilians or demonstrators on purpose, wouldn’t there be more then 1 or 2 of them speaking out? Wouldn’t there have been some kind of evidence like photos by a embedded journalist of this happening? If not, then why is it that 1 or 2 people are able to run there mouth about things that never happened and get away with it? how can they right books and make DVDs and get paid large amounts of money for a bunch of lies? Where are the “media” that is suppose to investigate these claims and bring out the truth? How can guys like Jimmy Massey able to live off of these lies? (http://www.jimmymassey.com/), but yet when a journalist writes a story de-bunking his claims:(here is an excerpt of Ron Harris de-bunking Massey’s claims: http://michellemalkin.com/2005/11/06/an-anti-war-smear-artist-exposed/) Again I look forward to hearing some other views of this issue, and this isn’t the only story out there like this, I am sure there are plenty more that I have yet to read about.

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment