Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday Hero ~ LCpl Matt Croucher

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Mary Ann

Wednesday Hero was started to put a face to the men and women of the American Armed Forces and what they do for us. Vary rarely has there been a member of a foreign military profiled. In fact, in the two years Wednesday Hero's been going on it's only been done once before. Here's the second.


Lance Corporal Matt Croucher
Lance Corporal Matt Croucher
24 years old from Birmingham, England
40 Commando Royal Marines
Royal Marines

L/Cpl Matt Croucher is not only one of the bravest men alive, he's also one of the luckiest men alive. On the morning of February 9, 2008 L/Cpl. and his unit were searching a compound near Sangin in Afghanistan that was suspected of being used to make bombs to be used in attacks on British and Afghan troops. Walking in the darkness among a group of four men, Croucher stepped into a tripwire that pulled the pin from a boobytrap grenade. His patrol commander, Corporal Adam Lesley, remembered Croucher shouting "Grenade!"

As others dived for cover, Croucher did something nobody expected. He lay down on the grenade to smother the blast. Lesley got on the ground, another man got behind a wall, but the last member of the patrol was still standing in the open when the grenade went off.

"My reaction was, 'My God this can't be real'," said Lesley. "Croucher had simply lain back and used his day sack to blunt the force of the explosion. You would expect nine out of 10 people to die in that situation." L/Cpl. Croucher was that 1/10. Not only did he survive, amazingly he only suffered shock from the blast and a bloody nose. He was saved by the special plating inside his Osprey body armor. The backpack he was wearing was thrown more than 30ft by the blast.

"I felt one of the lads giving me a top to toe check. My head was ringing. Blood was streaming from my nose. It took 30 seconds before I realized I was definitely not dead," said L/Cpl. Croucher.

For his actions that day, L/Cpl. Croucher was in line for the Victoria Cross, the highest award for a British Serviceman, but it has yet to be awarded.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pat Dollard on Blog Talk Radio



Pat Dollard has been making trips to Iraq
and filming the reality of War on Terror for some time.
His view of the War on Terror is raw and real.


His documentary,
Young Americans,
is still in the post production phase,
but you can see many great clips at his site.
http://patdollard.com/


Now, you can hear Pat on Blog Talk Radio on
Pat Dollard's Jihadikiller Hour
on Sundays.
Live listeners can call in and talk to Pat.
If you can't listen live, you can listen to the archives anytime.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/welsh


Warning - Language is for Mature Audiences


A note on Blog Talk Radio -
It is free. You can register if you want to set reminders and make comments,
but you do not have to register to listen.

Blog Talk Radio



Have you visited Blog Talk Radio? It is a new citizen radio network which streams via the internet. Anyone can host a radio show - and it is free. The topics are varied and so is the quality. But, it is a fun time. Most shows also host a live chat room where you can chat with other listerners.

The Department of Defense has a radio broadcast at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stations/PentagonRadioNetwork/bloggersroundtable

Heading Right Radio Channel reruns right side political shows and has links to those shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/channels/HeadingRightRadio

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday Hero ~ Cpl Mark Bradley Vincze

Cpl. Markbradley Vincze Hands Out Backpacks To Iraqi School Children
Click To Enlarge



U.S. Army

Cpl. Mark Bradley Vincze gives students from al-Raqhaa School backpacks in the Monsouri area of Iraq. Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-76th FA, 4th BCT, 3rd Inf. Div., delivered backpacks, soccer balls and notebooks.




These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

SSG Jesse A Ault ~ Farewell and Walk with God

Staff Sergeant Jesse A. Ault
Farewell, and Walk with God
February 18, 1980 ~ April 9, 2008

Jesse and Betsy Ault (then Allen) served in the same unit in Iraq.
This picture was taken in 2005 at Camp Anaconda in Balad.


An IED explodes on a convoy in Iraq. A soldier is killed. On the other side of the world, hearts are broken as the family is notified and the tentecals of awareness reach out across the country to family and friends and friends of family and friends. Those of us who didn't know the soldier may know someone who did. The death touches our hearts and our lives. Suddenly, we realize that each tick mark on the casualty wall is someone who can touch our heart. In January, I lost a friend to an IED. This month, my friend has lost a cousin. Today, I share with you the life of Jesse Ault - may he walk with God.

Staff Sergeant Jesse Ault, 28, of Dublin, Virginia, lost his life on April 9, 2008 in Baghdad, Iraq, from wounds suffered in Tunnis, Iraq, when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to Company E of the 429th Brigade Support Battalion, Virginia Army National Guard, Roanoke, Virginia. His unit is due home May 11.

SSG Ault was serving his second tour in Iraq. He graduated from Tyler Consolidated High School, in Middlebourne, West Virginia, in 1998. He joined the US Army and served four years with the 82nd Airborne Unit from Fort Bragg, N.C. Upon completion of his contracr, he joined the Virginia National Guard. He met his wife, Sarah Elizabeth "Betsy" Allen, while they were serving in the same unit. After his deployment to Iraq, he was discharged, but Betsy had time left to serve and was recalled for a second tour in Iraq. However, Betsy was pregnant and Jesse reenlisted to take her place.

Rachel Ault was born Jan. 17, and was greeted by her proud father, who was able to return home for the birth of his daughter. Also happy about the new addition to the family were Rachel’s two brothers — Adam, who is 15-months old, and Nathan, who is 10. Although Jesse Ault’s eldest son was not his by birth, Nathan loved his stepfather very much. “They were just like a son and father,” Jesse's father said. Jesse's life was about his family. He called home to speak to them daily.

“He lived wide open,” said Ginny, his mother, whose emotion was shared by Jesse Ault’s stepfather, Eric Billiter. “He packed a lifetime of adventures into 28 years.”

Jesse is survived by his wife, Betsy, his children Rachel, Adam and Nathan, his mother and stepfather, Virginia (Eric) Billiter of Paden City, W.Va., his father and stepmother Ronald (Debi Wise) Ault of Bethesda, Ohio, a brother, Andrew Ault of Greenbrier, Tenn.; maternal grandmother, Billie von Dran of Greer, S.C.; paternal grandfather and stepgrandmother, Roger and Phylis Ault of Cameron, Ohio; stepsisters, Adrianne Billiter of Virginia Beach, Va., Erica Billiter of Buffalo, N.Y., Crystal (David) Phillips of Bethesda; and a stepbrother, Bryan (Becky) Hull of Belmont. He is also survived by a distant cousin who is my friend.

Farewell, Young Warrior, and Walk with God

Jesse's wife released the following statement: WSLS News Staff, Published April 11, 2008
Statement from Mrs. Betsy Ault:
Good afternoon, my name is Betsy Ault. I will talk to you about my husband, Jesse Ault. I will make a very personal statement, and I ask that the media respect my wishes and not contact me, my family or friends after this.

I am here today to tell you about Staff Sergeant Jesse Ault. Jesse was a loving and dedicated father and husband and a brave and loyal Soldier.

Jess was born in Wheeling, West Virginia and grew up in Middleburg, West Virginia, and graduated from Tyler County High School.

He and his best friend, Travis, joined the U.S. Army before they even graduated from high school. Two months after graduation, they shipped off to basic training and ended up in Fort Bragg. Travis and Jesse were always together. Travis and Jesse were like brothers. After serving four years on active duty, Jesse and Travis moved to Virginia and joined the Virginia National Guard.

I met Jesse during annual training the summer of 2002. I was in the 229th Chemical Company, and he was in the 1710th Transportation Company. We were alerted that we may be deployed. Though we did not deploy, our units trained together during the next two years.

My maiden name is Allen, and the Army does everything in alphabetical order. So, Jesse was always in line behind me. We did a lot of things together in groups. One day, while standing in line, I turned to him and said, “When are you ever going to ask me out on a date…alone?”
The units were alerted in 2004 and combined and deployed as the 1173rd Transportation Company to Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq. You can say that we were dating each other when were on deployment.

When Jesse met my son, Nathan, we were on a 5-day pass for Christmas. Though Jesse was quiet and shy, Nathan just crawled right up on Jesse’s lap. Jesse and Nathan became best buds then and there – it was instant.

Jesse loved Nathan, and after we returned from Iraq, he told me that he loved Nathan so much and wanted a baby of his own. We got married on the front steps of my father’s house, and not too long after that, Adam was born.

When Jesse found out he was going to have a son, he bought Jeff Gordon outfits and West Virginia gear for “his little man.”

Jesse loved all things University of West Virginia and Jeff Gordon. He cheered for the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Braves. He liked fishing and golf and loved to ride sleds down the hill with Nathan.

Jesse separated from the Guard after the deployment, but I was still serving when my unit was alerted early 2007.

Jesse loved our family so much and saw how important it was for me to stay with my sons. He joined the National Guard again to take my place on the deployment.

The day he landed in Kuwait, I found out we were pregnant. He was allowed emergency leave to come home to see the birth of our daughter, Rachel, she is 4 months old.

He called me every day when he was Iraq, even the day he died. He would always ask how his “little man” and “baby doll” were doing.

I want you to know Jesse Ault. When he was not in uniform, he was 100% family. That was what meant the most.

When he put on his uniform, he believed that he had a responsibility to his guys. He took his job seriously. He considered himself a leader and a protector.

Even when he was at home for the birth of his daughter, he worried that he wasn’t there to take care of his guys in Iraq.

The guys from Iraq called me to talk about Jesse, and I know that he meant a lot to the Soldiers and that he will be missed by everyone who knows him.

Thank you


From the Wheeling News-Register:

Here in the Ohio Valley, it means something when we refer to someone as “a good man.” It is praise not conferred lightly, not given to or about those who have not proven to us that they deserve it.

Jesse Ault was a good man, to judge by what those who knew him have said about the young soldier.

War took him from us.

Ault, just 28, was serving with the Virginia National Guard in Iraq last week — when he was killed by a roadside bomb near Baghdad. He left behind his parents, a wife, a 10-year-old stepson and two younger children.

He already had served one tour of duty in Iraq. It was there that he met his wife, Betsy, who also was serving with the National Guard.

Ault was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He was scheduled to return home on May 11.

Ault grew up in Middlebourne; his father lives in Belmont County. So, though he and his family were residing in Virginia at the time of his death, he was one of us — a good man known by many area residents.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family on the loss of a son, a husband, a father. In thanking God that such good men are willing to serve our country — to serve us all — we know we speak for others in the valley in mourning the loss of Jesse Ault.


Jesse's Guest book at Legacy can be found here: http://www.legacy.com/roanoke/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=107442076


News Articles about Jesse:
http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/wb/157899
http://news-register.net/page/content.detail/id/508219.html
http://news-register.net/page/content.detail/id/508448.html
http://www.wtrf.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=37137
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/11/AR2008041103544.html?hpid=topnews

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday Hero ~ Major Mark E Rosenberg

Maj. Mark E. Rosenberg
Maj. Mark E. Rosenberg
32 years old from Miami Lakes, Florida
3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
April 8, 2008


Mark Rosenberg grew up in South Florida. "All boy," his aunt, Madelyn Rosenberg, remembers. "Very active, but very lovable." As long as she can recall, Maj. Rosenberg wanted a military career like his father, Burton Rosenberg, had.

He attended New Mexico Military Institute and entered the Army in 1996. Later, he met a woman, Julie, and they married one day after his sister's wedding. He and Julie had two boys, now 3 and 22 months. They settled in Colorado near Fort Carson, where he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division.

Maj. Rosenberg was on his second tour of duty when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by an IED in Baghdad.

"He would say he's over there to do a job," Madelyn Rosenberg remembered. "He loved what he was doing."


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Letters from Home

A message on this video's You Tube page:

this is ens. patrick murphy from the U.S. Navy and I love letters from home the song and teh real things aint nothing better to us over seas knowing that at least someone cares about us. keep'em coming folks and thankyou for all ya'lls support. thankyou love from the persain gulf

Now go to the post below and send a e-letter

to a sailor on the USS Russell

Friday, April 11, 2008

Letters from Home for the USS Russell


It’s time for a new Letters from Home project. This time I will be collecting letters for the Navy. I’ll be sending them off to the USS Russell — DDG-59. So, just like last time, please send generalized supportive emails to me, and I will make sure that they get to the men and women aboard the Russell. When you send your email, please be sure and put “Letters from Home” in the subject line. We’re aiming for about 250 emails, so I’m hoping to have them collected and packed up by the end of the month. As with last time, anything you all can do to help spread the word would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, they have their own blog there on the Russell. There’s some great writing going on there! Their crew gives you a good close look at life aboard a modern destroyer at war.

This news comes from Jim at the great blog Thinking Right.
Surely we can each write a supportive email to these sailors and send them some great love from home!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wednesday Hero ~ PO2 Michael T Williams


Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams
(Click Image For Full Size)



Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams, a kennel master with Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, and his dog "Kitt", search for ordnance and firearms during a route reconnaissance operation through the western Anbar province of Iraq April 1. The dog handlers conduct operations in support of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion to bring peace and stability to Iraq and its people.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

General Petraeus and 'Vets on the Hill'

Today, Vets for Freedom will bring our message to Congress, when over 400 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans descend on Capitol Hill for "Vets on the Hill."

Our guys will enjoy breakfast with the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Richard Myers, before heading to Capitol Hill for a bi-partisan press conference with two-dozen members of Congress, including Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsay Graham.

General Petraeus will be making his report to Congress.

It is a very big day on the hill. We are in this to win and I am grateful for the Vets who have gone to Washington to remind Congress of that!!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Rock Star to Soldier!!!!

Frank Cavanaugh, former bass player with the bank Filter,
reunites with the band in Kuwait.

Frank Cavanaugh has taken a path most people would never expect. He was the bass player in the rock band FILTER for eight years. He gave up being a rock star and enlisted in the Army Reserves. He is a Sergeant and Paralegal and will be deploying to Iraq in April.

In March, Sgt Cavanaugh reunited with the band to play in Kuwait in the Operation My Space concert.

When the age limit for entering the military was fast approaching, Cavanagh said, he knew he had to take action. "At the time when I joined, the age limit was 35 and I was 34. ... I thought, 'I really want to do something with the military before I can't anymore; I never want to look back and regret it.'"

Cavanagh said it's important for servicemembers to understand what their sacrifice means to America.

"Political or not, if you live in America, it's a country that allows you to express yourself politically," he said. "And the whole reason behind that is the people in the military have made sacrifices so that our country can be what it is."

To read more about Sgt Cavanaugh - go here: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=49407

To hear an interview with Sgt Cavanaugh about the band and his Army service - go here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stations/PentagonRadioNetwork/ASYLive/2008/03/27/A-Rock-Star-Military-Sergeant-

Operation MySpace was a concert to honor American military soldiers by MySpace that aired on the internet on myspace.com. The event was held on March 10, 2008 in Kuwait. It will be re-broadcast for television on Saturday April 12, 2008 at 11p.m. on FX.

And, kudos to Dr Pepper who foot the bill to get Sgt Cavanaugh to Kuwait for the reunion concert~~

This You Tube video some of the concert: http://youtube.com/watch?v=nuPn91EDz3I

Sgt Cavanaugh is at the beginning and at about 2:50 into the video.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston ~ The Passing of a Great American


Charlton Heston
October 4, 1924 ~ April 5, 2008

Charlton Heston, 84, has died. Heston is best known for the heroic figures he portrayed ~ Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and his Oscar winning role in Ben Hur. He was also a leader off screen. He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute. He was active in the civil rights movement. In June 1998, Heston was elected president of the National Rifle Association, for which he had posed for ads holding a rifle. He delivered a jab at then-President Bill Clinton, saying, "America doesn't trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don't trust you with our guns."

In 2003, Heston was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. "The largeness of character that comes across the screen has also been seen throughout his life," President George W. Bush said at the time.

Throughout his life, he entertained us with bold and heroic figures ~ figures of history and the imagination. As a person, he stood up for civil rights and gun rights. He championed conservative causes.

Thank you, Mr Heston, for your role in the world's stage. Thank you for the entertainment. Thank you for the principled stands you took in our country. We are better for your presence amongst us.



Saturday, April 05, 2008

Coming Home ~ Major Perry H Jefferson

U.S. Air Force Airmen with the Air Force Honor Guard carry the remains of Air Force Maj. Perry Jefferson to his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., April 3, 2008. Jefferson, who went missing in action in Vietnam 39 years ago, was an intelligence officer with the Colorado Air National Guard's 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron. More than 150 people attended Jefferson's service to watch Colorado's last reported Vietnam-era MIA service member be laid to rest.
DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. MikeR. Smith, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

Major Perry Henry Jefferson
Born August 13, 1931 - Casualty April 3, 1969
Laid to Rest Arlinton National Cemetery April 3, 2008 - 39 years later
Welcome Home ~ Rest in Peace

The final member of the Colorado Air National Guard missing in Vietnam has returned home to his resting place in Arlington National Cemetery ~ Major Perry H. Jefferson, U.S. Air Force, of Denver, Colorado.

Dozens of men from the Colorado Air National Guard's 120th Fighter Squadron who served in Vietnam with Maj. Perry Jefferson of Denver, flew via a Wyoming Air National Guard C-130 to Arlington National Cemetery to attend the ceremonies. The Patriot Guard Riders were also in attendance. The pallbearers were followed by the POW/MIA flag bearer.

Maj Jefferson's Arlington Tribute page is here: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/phjefferson.htm

Article from Buckley Air Force Base: http://www.buckley.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123080285

Video of Maj Jefferson's Brother: http://cbs4denver.com/local/Major.Perry.H.2.613846.html



Retired flight chief Art Sharpley, right, and dozens of Vietnam War veterans and Colorado National Guard members board a Wyoming Air National Guard aircraft traveling to Washington, D.C., for an interment and remembrance ceremony at Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery for Major Perry Jefferson.


Official Press Release

Air Force Officer Missing In Action From Vietnam War Is Identified
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Maj. Perry H. Jefferson, U.S. Air Force, of Denver, Colo. He will be buried April 3, 2008 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

On April 3, 1969, Jefferson was an aerial observer on board an O-1G Bird Dog aircraft on a visual reconnaissance mission over a mountainous region in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. The pilot of the aircraft, then U.S. Army 1st Lt. Arthur G. Ecklund, radioed Phan Rang airbase to report his location, but contact was lost soon after. An extensive, three-day search and rescue effort began, but no evidence of a crash was found. Hostile threats in the area precluded further search efforts.

In 1984, a former member of the Vietnamese Air Force turned over to a U.S. official human remains that he said represented one of two U.S. pilots whose aircraft was shot down. In 1994 a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), interviewed two Vietnamese citizens regarding the incident. The witnesses said the aircraft crashed on a mountainside, the pilots died and were buried at the site. They said two other men were sent to the site a few days later to bury the pilots. The team excavated the crash site described by the witnesses and found aircraft wreckage. No human remains were found.

In 2000, the remains turned over in 1984 were identified as Ecklund's.

In 2001, a Vietnamese national living in California turned over to U.S. officials human remains that he said were recovered at a site where two U.S. pilots crashed. These remains were identified in 2007 as Jefferson's.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in identifying Jefferson's remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at [u]http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

Last Colorado Air Guard MIA Laid to Rest in Arlington Cemetery
By Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith, USAF Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., April 4, 2008 - The remains of Colorado Air National Guard Maj. Perry H. Jefferson, who vanished during an observation flight 39 years ago over the jungles of South Vietnam, were at last laid to rest yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Three days of events here were a high-profile attempt to put closure to a missing-in-action mystery, but what exactly happened to the intelligence officer and his Army Reserve pilot, then-1st Lt. Arthur Ecklund, during their fateful observation flight may never be known.

A closed-casket viewing was held at a funeral home here April 1. Families, fellow servicemembers, veterans and friends to both men attended full-honors funerals April 2 and 3, which started at the Old Post Chapel on Fort Myer, Va., followed by platoon, band and caisson escorts to their gravesites on the nation's most sacred property.

Ecklund was interred at Arlington on April 2; he was previously interred in Knoxville, Ill., by his family in 2004. The Reservist attended Arizona State University and was drafted in 1966. He attended helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft training prior to his combat deployment.

More than 150 people attended Jefferson's services here, including nearly 100 from Colorado who watched the state's reported last Guard Vietnam MIA put to rest.

Jefferson was an intelligence officer at Colorado's 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron, which flew the F-100C Super Saber. He received his bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist College and worked for Aramco in the Middle East before joining the Air Guard. His wife, Sylvia, died in 1992.

Jefferson and 375 other Colorado Air Guard members deployed to Phan Rang, Vietnam, in April 1968. They were the first Air Guard fighter squadron assigned to active duty in Vietnam.

For retired Col. Don Neary, an F-100 pilot who served with Jefferson, thinking of his friend still brought up a mix of tears and happy memories of home at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., and deployed to Vietnam.

Neary said Jefferson didn't need to fly on visual reconnaissance missions from Phan Rang.

"I think what his motivation was he probably wanted to be a pilot, ... but also the aircraft was our forward air control airplane," Neary said. "I think it gave him an appreciation for us, and he went out to get that experience for when he would come in and brief us in the morning."

On April 3, 1969, 37-year-old Jefferson was flying aboard an O-1 Bird Dog observation aircraft piloted by 24-year-old Ecklund. They never returned to their base.

Defense officials said a three-day search found no evidence of a crash, and hostile forces in the area prevented other searches. Both men were listed as MIA.

"We were within a month of coming home," said Maj. Gen. John L. France in "Colorado Pride," a Colorado Air Guard history book.

France was the unit's operations officer in Vietnam and later served as Colorado's adjutant general. In the book, he shares the moments leading up to Jefferson's disappearance.

"Clyde Seiler and Don Neary were on (an F-100) mission together; Clyde got shot down and went into the jungle, ... (and with) no parachute, he didn't get out. ... Then, we lost Perry Jefferson a few days after Clyde. It was a rough time," France said.

The unit returned home in April 1969, and the Air Guard members who served at Phan Rang were immortalized later in the National Guard Heritage Series painting "Scramble at Phan Rang."

Across the nation, 22,745 Army and Air Guardsmen mobilized during the Vietnam War. More than 9,000 deployed to Vietnam.

Jefferson's and Ecklund's case remained unsolved, and there were even rumors of them being seen after the fateful flight.

After defense officials received human remains in 1984 from a suspected military crash, eyewitnesses were interviewed. One witness said the aircraft crashed on a mountainside, and that the pilots died and were buried there. An excavation led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command uncovered the aircraft's wreckage, but no human remains were found at the crash site.

In 2000, the remains turned over in 1984 were identified as Ecklund's. Defense officials said Jefferson's remains were not identified until 2007, after a Vietnamese national living in California turned them in.

The day before Jefferson's interment ceremony, visiting Colorado Guard members walked among blossoming cherry trees to the Vietnam War Memorial to lay a wreath. They also located Jefferson's name on the dark granite and took a rubbing for their military museum.

"Perry was everybody's friend. ... He took off on a normal observation run and never returned. He just vanished," France said.

The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office's Web site states "efforts continue to recover nearly 1,800 Americans who remain unaccounted for from Vietnam."

(Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith serves at the National Guard Bureau.)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Music of CPL David Thibodeaux







Cpl David Thibodeaux


answers the Dixie Chicks


A fellow Marine and I wrote, and I recorded a song titled "Not Ready To End The Fight." This song was inspired by the fact that I, like many Americans, don’t particularly appreciate the underlying message behind the Dixie Chicks’ song "Not Ready To Make Nice." While I did like the underlying music from the song, the lyrics’ just didn’t sit well with me, many of my colleagues and other Americans. After being urged on by friends, family, and colleagues I decided to record "Not Ready To End The Fight" to make a point, criticize, comment and answer the Dixie Chicks song and all the other Hollywood stars that constantly overestimate my interest in their personal politics and their level of competence in foreign policy and about how our Country should be run and how they imply they know what is better for this Country than our elected officials. (Read the rest at his My Space Page)



Visit his site: http://www.davidthibodeauxmusic.com/


Download the song for 99 cents!


His My Space: http://www.myspace.com/davidthibodeauxmusic


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wednesday Hero ~ SPC Jeffrey Jamaleldine

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Mary Ann


Spc. Jeffrey Jamaleldine

Spc. Jeffrey Jamaleldine
Company C, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor


"How can I say to my sons, stand up for something,
fight for what you think is right,
if I don't do anything myself?"

The Jeffrey Jamaleldine that you speak to today is a complete 180 from the Jeffrey Jamaleldine that you would have spoke to in the past. In 1991, Jamaleldin was living in Germany when joined in anti-American protests on Berlin's Kurf├╝rstendamm boulevard during Operation Desert Storm. "That was the way it was back then," he says. He was 15 and "America was simply the enemy." And today, Jeffery Jamaleldine is a wounded veteran of the U.S. Army. On June 6, 2005, after the terror bombing in Madrid, Spain, in the middle of the Iraq war, he showed up at the U.S. Army recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas, to enlist. His father, Bashir, told him at the time: "Son, this won't be a picnic."

On June 30, Jamaleldine was on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq. The patrol ahead of him had been ambushed by at least 70 combatants and were now under fire. During the fight, Spc. Jeffrey Jamaleldine was hit in the face by a bullet. In the end, the battle lasted into the next morning and the soldiers were able to stop the enemy from returning to Ramadi.

The article on Spc. Jeffrey Jamaleldine is five pages long, and I simply can not condense it down to only a few paragraphs. You can read the entire story here.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.


This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Navy Air Power

Mar. 30, 2008 - U.S. Navy aircraft from Carrier Air Wing Two fly in formation over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) March 30, 2008, during an air power demonstration while under way in the Pacific Ocean.
DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans, U.S. Navy. (Released)

Doesn't this make you want to say -

'GO NAVY!'

And, as my friend Sarge Charlie would say, Click on the picture to biggify!