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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/30/2007 at 11:30 PM
Oh yes....big typo....I don't do well first thing in the morning! Thank you!

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 3/31/2007 at 08:45 AM
If any of you get a chance, pick up the 2 April issue of Newsweek. The issue is entitled "Voices of the Fallen" and in it, the men and women who have given their lives in the war, tell their story through the letters and emails that they had sent to their familes and friends. Very powerful issue. btw, here's a link to one of the articles.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17773294/site/newsweek/

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/31/2007 at 10:49 AM
Soldier Deaths

March - 81
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,246

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,808
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 24,108

Mission Accomplished day 1,447

Bush in office - 661 left





[Edited on 4/1/2007 by bigann]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/31/2007 at 10:52 AM
quote:
If any of you get a chance, pick up the 2 April issue of Newsweek. The issue is entitled "Voices of the Fallen" and in it, the men and women who have given their lives in the war, tell their story through the letters and emails that they had sent to their familes and friends. Very powerful issue. btw, here's a link to one of the articles.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17773294/site/newsweek/



That's one of the most painful things I've read and seen. I hope everyone will take the time to read the stories and listen to the men.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/1/2007 at 01:23 PM
Wish I could say this was an April Fool's joke....but it's not.

Soldier Deaths

March - 81
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,246

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,808
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 24,108

Mission Accomplished day 1,448

Bush in office - 660 left

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2007 at 08:17 AM
While we remember those who have given their lives, let's also remember those that have to go on living. An example would be PFC Nicholas Addis, who's story is told in this article from the American Conservative magazine. PFC Addis has a long road ahead of him in getting over his "survivor's guilt", and I certainly hope and pray that the examples and sacrifice of SFC Borea and Sgt Casitillo help him "move on" and become the soldier, the man and the brother that they wanted him to be. Thoughts and prayers to them all incuding "Terp" who I assume was an Iraqi interpeter.

Band of Brothers
American troops fight less for democracy than for the men next to them.

by Stewart Nusbaumer

MOSUL, IRAQ—“That’s a day I’ll never forget,” Private First Class Addis says slowly, gently rubbing his M16 rifle.

Three weeks ago, when driving through Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, PFC Addis steered his Humvee around a big pothole and pile of garbage and right into the full blast of a roadside bomb. “It was a loud-ass boom and then everything went dark. When I woke up, I said, ‘I don’t want to die.’ I know that sounds really selfish.”

We are sitting outside my military quarters on an Army cot under a warm, soothing sun. The gloomy winter darkness and dampness has only recently passed; the searing summer heat has yet to arrive. This is the best weather in Iraq. But for Private First Class Addis, this is the very worst time, probably in his entire life.

“I immediately knew Sergeant Borea was dead,” the young 1st Calvary Division soldier says slowly, each word pulsating with agony. “He was missing a big chunk of his body. Terp [the interpreter] was hanging out—both legs were gone. One of Sergeant Casitillo’s legs was barely attached.”

Nicholas Addis, now 21, was born in Galesburg, Illinois and later moved to Chicago. He looks several years younger. With light freckles, clear eyes, and soft features, he has a classic all-American face. What you first notice, however—what you cannot help but first notice—is a dark red mark on the side of his nose. Tiny, yet obvious, it is an unnatural imposition on his unblemished face. Shrapnel wound, he says—adding that he was also wounded in the shoulder.

When your platoon sergeant is killed, your interpreter has both legs blown off, your fire team leader has one leg amputated, and you, the driver of the vehicle, get off relatively easy—well, you haven’t gotten off relatively easy. Survivor’s guilt is a haunting, ruthless wound, a cruel demon that stalks and terrorizes the mind.

“I’m the only one walking around,” he says rocking back and forth on the cot as his eyes remain fixed straight ahead, “but I’m the one without a wife and kid. Mind if I smoke, sir? People say I should be happy that I’m not dead.” His voice trails off into pain too deep to speak.

“You see these things on TV,” he stops in mid-sentence. “I used to have expensive clothes and all that, but I don’t care about that stuff anymore.”

There are several dull thuds, probably incoming mortar rounds landing somewhere on this sprawling U.S. Army base, called Forward Operating Base Marez. If only one loud boom, normally that is EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) blasting a cache of captured ordnances —not an unusual occurrence here. A few short bursts of small arms fire occasionally flare on the perimeter wire. Few soldiers pay much attention to any of this.

In Iraq, the main weapon of death and destruction is the IED (Improvised Explosive Device), which grows in both number and intensity. IEDs are usually placed on roads. According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, they have caused approximately 70 percent of U.S. causalities in Iraq. This means that nearly 3,000 American military personnel and contractors have been lost to IEDs. One of those killed was Sergeant First Class Russell P. Borea.

“He was a really good guy, I miss him,” says PFC Addis. “We looked sort of alike, so they gave us nicknames.” The corners of the Addis’s mouth curve up and slowly push out a smile. “I was Mini Rue, he was Papa Rue. He was a father to me.”

He gazes across the low rolling hills of brown dirt and rocks, past the perimeter wire and guard towers, beyond the buildings and streets of Mosul in the far distance and sees absolutely nothing. With eyes locked, he has the thousand-yard stare, which could just as well be called the million-mile stare. His eyes see nothing because his mind sees so intensely.

Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of the U.S. Army’s 7th Regiment, 1st Calvary Division in Mosul, tells me that those who plant IEDs are mostly unemployed young Iraqi males. “We need to provide them with employment, with skilled jobs,” he says, “we need to get factories up and running, get stores open. That will take care of much of the problem.”

Yet there have been only 120 projects, costing $102 million, for the reconstruction of the entire Ninewa Province, and most of the effort has gone into short-term programs, such as building wells. “What is needed is an infusion of money for long-term employment,” Colonel Twitty says.

“Sergeant Borea was a good soldier,” Addis says as he slowly rocks back and forth, rubbing his rifle. “All he cared about was teaching other soldiers—even those not staying in the Army.” Another smile peeks through, “He just wanted to help everyone to become a better man. Good father figure, he cared for everyone, a great man. I want you to write that, sir. And he had a family, a wife and child.” The PFC hesitates, and then, in nearly a whisper—I strain to hear the words—“I wish it was me.”

Survivor’s guilt has pushed Addis from “I don’t want to die” immediately after the bombing to “I wish it was me.” For three weeks, wrenching questions that cannot be answered have bombarded his mind. Why did Sergeant Borea die? Why did I live? He has a family and I don’t—why him and not me?

Addis’s eyes brighten: “Sergeant Casitillo was another good guy, my team leader.” (Fire teams are composed of four soldiers and are the smallest unit in the military.) “When we were in the hospital I couldn’t sleep, so I went to his bed and held his hand all night. When he woke up we tried using sign language, but we couldn’t understand each other.” Another smile struggles out. “The nurse got us pen and paper, and the first thing he asked was about Sergeant Borea.” The PFC’s eyes narrow. “I was the one. I was the one that had to tell him Sergeant Borea didn’t make it.” He looks away again.

“I would like you to write the Borea and Casitillo families are always in my prayers. And Terp’s family, he paid the same as us.”

I ask softly, “You ready to go home?”

“No, I don’t want to go,” he responds quickly, throwing me a quick glance. “Sir, why would I want to leave my brothers behind?”

“Well, I thought—”

“I would feel so guilty if I left—Sergeant Borea would say that. He wouldn’t leave his guys.”

“Yeah, but you’ve been through a—”

“Sergeant Casitillo said to me when medevacked out, ‘We’re brothers for life.’ Sir, I want to stay right here with my brothers.”

A shiver rips down my spine. I turn away as water forms in my eyes. I turn toward the rolling hills of brown dirt and stones, the perimeter wire and guard post, the buildings and streets of Mosul, and I see none of it.

The words “loyalty” and “sacrifice” are used ubiquitously in America, by self-assured pundits, by self-proclaimed patriots, in ordinary malls and in all kinds of bars, everyday, everywhere. When one young American soldier in Iraq doesn’t use the words but believes whole heartedly in their meaning, I’m suddenly emptied of every word I ever knew.

Several quick thuds; the mortars hit closer this time. I barely hear them. I’m thinking of the weapon of destruction and death in Iraq. I’m thinking PFC Nicholas Addis will soon return to the lethal streets of Mosul, and I will soon return to the safe streets of America. I’m wondering when I steer around a big pothole back home, what I will think—I’m thankful that my front-end alignment is still good? How about, I don’t want to die? .
___________________________________

Stewart Nusbaumer is embedded with various Army and Marine units in Iraq.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2007 at 12:05 PM
Thank you for that article. We needed to read it.

Soldier Deaths

April - 6
March - 82
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,252

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

April - 21
March - 1,889
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 15 months - 24,210

Mission Accomplished day 1,449

Bush in office - 659 left

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2007 at 12:58 PM
Eight more from Fort Drum:

Breaking: Fort Drum Loses 8 Soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan
Monday, April 02, 2007, 1:12pm

Eight 10th Mountain Division soldiers stationed at Fort Drum were killed overseas since last Thursday, a post spokesman told 7 News.

Seven soldiers died in incidents in Iraq over the weekend, according to post spokesman Ben Abel.

Another soldier was killed in Afghanistan last Thursday, Abel said.

Abel said details of the deaths would be released over the next several days.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that roadside bombings claimed the lives of six American soldiers in incidents Saturday and Sunday.

Two of the soldiers were killed late Saturday.

Soon after, four others died responding to the first attack.

The bombings, which came southwest of Baghdad, appeared to be coordinated attacks.

- 7 News staff & Associated Press

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2007 at 01:05 PM
I guess those are the soldiers represented in yesterday's 6 and the incresase in the March total on the last day. I'm so sorry....seems as if your area is losing more than most.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2007 at 02:02 PM
From the AP today:

WASHINGTON -- For just the second time since the war began, the Army is sending large units back to Iraq without giving them at least a year at home, defense officials said Monday.

.....what a mess!!!!

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2007 at 05:45 PM
Does anyone have access to the statistics of how many divorces have occurred in the military since the war started or how many people in the national guard have lost their businesses or jobs due to lengthy deployments? There is a lot for this administration to answer for!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2007 at 08:47 PM
If you haven't seen it in the other threads, we got great news today!

My daughter Amy will not be deployed to Baghdad with her unit.

Her knee was torn up during training and she'll have to have surgery.

I couldn't be happier.

[Edited on 4/3/2007 by PhotoRon286]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2007 at 09:15 PM
And in all honesty, Ron, we couldn't be happier for you and your daughter either! I thank God for answered prayers!

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/3/2007 at 01:11 AM
quote:
Does anyone have access to the statistics of how many divorces have occurred in the military since the war started



quote:
It is the soldiers, their families, and the people of Iraq that pay the human costs. The tab so far: more than 3,000 dead U.S. troops, tens of thousands of wounded, over half a million Iraqi casualties, roughly 250,000 American servicemen and women struggling with PTSD, and almost 60,000 military marriages that have been broken by this war.



Anyway, here's the link to the article where the above quote came from.

http://www.shoutwire.com/viewstory/56513/More_Casualties_From_Iraq_Nearly_6 0_000_U_S_Divorces

Ron,

God does have interesting ways of answering prayers. Sorry about your daughter having to have knee surgery, but if it keeps her out of harm's way, then it's worth it. In any case, glad she doesn't have to go to Iraq.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/3/2007 at 11:13 AM
Thank you Ron.....When you read the numbers it's staggering and when you realize that in addition to those figures are even more effected by the divorces and PTSD....husbands, wives, children, mothers, fathers, siblings.....and I keep asking myself...for what! The numbers of Iraq dead and all those others effected by this mess is just unimaginable. No wonder Bush ended up 4th...right after Michael Jackson and ahead of O.J. Simpson on the Biggest Fools list this year. Only this isn't foolish....it's just wrong.

Now, for today's report

Soldier Deaths

April - 12
March - 82
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,257

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

April - 79
March - 1,889
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 15 months - 24,268

Mission Accomplished day 1,450

Bush in office - 658 left

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/3/2007 at 02:16 PM
quote:
I guess those are the soldiers represented in yesterday's 6 and the incresase in the March total on the last day. I'm so sorry....seems as if your area is losing more than most.


Yes, it seems so doesn't it? Incidentally, the story on the local evening news right after this report was of a funeral for a young marine killed last week in Afghanistan. It was held in a small community about an hour from Fort Drum. Since he was a Marine, he was not stationed at Fort Drum (a United States Army base). Between both stories, it made for a rather depressing day here in the "North Country," as we're often referred to.

Just last week I had a young student in my office explaining that he had committed to the Marine Corps and would be heading to Paris Island in mid August. In his words, he "couldn't wait to get the chance to kill some "towel heads" in Iraq." It made me sad to think there's a good chance his photo will be hanging on the wall in our school lobby along with the other two young men who left with the same attitude and lost their lives six months after graduating.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/3/2007 at 05:16 PM
I spoke with a friend who was in Vietnam and asked him what happened. Of course then there was the draft. He told me during boot camp they disassembled everyone and built them back into fighting machines who couldn't wait to kill a commie. He said that lasted for about three months and after that everyone he knew just prayed they'd stay alive to make it back home......a lot didn't.

When I hear someone so pumped up to go kill another human being I can't help but think there is something seriously wrong. I'd shoot to kill if someone threatened my family in a heartbeat....but I have a difficult time justifying going into someone else's country for the reasons we're there to kill another human being. This young man needs our prayers as much as those who serve...... reluctantly yet proudly.

 

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Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 
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