Video Tribute to President BushRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Another hero – professor Mark Campbell of the US Naval Academy – tells it like it is!! Wouldn’t it be nice if liberals actually listened and weighed the facts and the evidence. Unfortunately they are too busy jumping on the latest bandwagon to worry about facts.
Calling out warmist bullies
It should come as no surprise to find courage coming from the United States Naval Academy. But when the subject is global warming, it is a pleasant confirmation of a more general point. Professor Mark Campbell of the USNA is yet another hero from Annapolis. His response to name calling from a Baltimore Sun editorialist deserves an audience beyond Maryland.
The good professor wrote the following letter, published yesterday in the Sun:
According to the editorial “A New Year’s resolution” (Jan. 2), tens of thousands of scientists like me are “flat-earth types.”
I guess my doctorate in chemical physics from Johns Hopkins doesn’t give me nearly the qualifications to analyze the science associated with the global climate as an editor with an agenda.
If we are going to stoop to name-calling, an appropriate name for people with the view The Baltimore Sun endorses could be “Chicken Littles.” But instead of claiming that the sky is falling, they claim the sky is burning.
The editorial claims that there is a consensus among scientists that man-made carbon dioxide is causing global climate change; however, consensus in science is an oxymoron. From Galileo to Einstein, one scientist with proof is more convincing than thousands of other scientists who believe something to be true.
And I don’t even grant that there is a consensus among scientists; it’s just that the press only promotes the global warming alarmists and ignores or minimizes those of us who are skeptical. To many of us, there is no convincing evidence that carbon dioxide produced by humans has any influence on the Earth’s climate.
Arguing that our country should decrease its use of fossil fuels is a laudable goal, but the reason to do so should be to reduce our reliance on energy from foreign sources, not to reduce the danger from some imaginary boogeyman.
The sky is not burning, and to claim that it is amounts to journalistic malpractice.
Mark Campbell Annapolis
The writer is a professor of chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy.
The liberal media have taken upon themselves the role of enforcers of Al Gore’s global warming con game, resorting to insults to dismiss legitimate questioning of what is, after all, only a theory, one that has not been proven. It is very important to stand up and confront these bullies, challenging them, to defend their insults. The one thing that warmists fear most is a serious scientific debate. That’s why they always fall back on the phony claim of “consensus” – a claim that makes no sense, as science is not decided by consensus, and as more and more scientists stand up and puncture the claim.
Professor Campbell strikes me as a man worthy of his institution. And that is saying a lot.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
This is great!! We know what great guys we have fighting in our military, but it’s nice to hear it from a French infantryman.
American troops in Afghanistan through the eyes of a French OMLT infantryman
The US often hears echoes of worldwide hostility against the application of its foreign policy, but seldom are they reached by the voices of those who experience first hand how close we are to the USA. In spite of contextual political differences and conflicting interests that generate friction, we do share the same fundamental values – and when push comes to shove that is what really counts. Through the eyes of that French OMLT (Operational Mentoring Liaison Teams) infantryman you can see how strong the bond is on the ground. In contrast with the Americans, the French soldiers don’t seem to write much online – or maybe the proportion is the same but we just have less people deployed. Whatever the reason, this is a rare and moving testimony which is why I decided to translate it into English, so that American people can catch a glimpse of the way European soldiers see them. Not much high philosophy here, just the first hand impressions of a soldier in contact – but that only makes it more authentic.
Here is my translation :
“We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while – they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army – one that the movies brought to the public as series showing “ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events”. Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day ? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company.
They have a terribly strong American accent – from our point of view the language they speak is not even English. How many times did I have to write down what I wanted to say rather than waste precious minutes trying various pronunciations of a seemingly common word? Whatever state they are from, no two accents are alike and they even admit that in some crisis situations they have difficulties understanding each other.
Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine – they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them – we are wimps, even the strongest of us – and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans.
Here we discover America as it is often depicted : their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by promiscuity lack of privacy and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley. Honor, motherland – everything here reminds of that : the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels. Even if recruits often originate from the hearth of American cities and gang territory, no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner. Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission. And that is a first shock to our preconceptions : the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.
And they are impressive warriors ! We have not come across bad ones, as strange at it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be. Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest. On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger. No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days. At night, all movements are performed in the dark – only a handful of subdued red lights indicate the occasional presence of a soldier on the move. Same with the vehicles whose lights are covered – everything happens in pitch dark even filling the fuel tanks with the Japy pump.
And combat ? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all – always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks : they switch from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the ennemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting : they just charge ! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later – which cuts any pussyfooting short.
We seldom hear any harsh word, and from 5 AM onwards the camp chores are performed in beautiful order and always with excellent spirit. A passing American helicopter stops near a stranded vehicle just to check that everything is alright; an American combat team will rush to support ours before even knowing how dangerous the mission is – from what we have been given to witness, the American soldier is a beautiful and worthy heir to those who liberated France and Europe.
To those who bestow us with the honor of sharing their combat outposts and who everyday give proof of their military excellence, to those who pay the daily tribute of America’s army’s deployment on Afghan soil, to those we owned this article, ourselves hoping that we will always remain worthy of them and to always continue hearing them say that we are all the same band of brothers”.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
HERO ALERT! HERO ALERT! Now, THESE are real men and I’m so proud of what they do for us!!! They do what they have to while others cower in their beds back here at home and have the audacity to criticize them. Go get ’em marines!! We love you!
Outnumbered Nearly 10:1, Marines Make ‘Em Pay
by Bill Dupray
Looks like 250 terrorists picked the wrong day to screw with 30 U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. Frankly, is there ever a good day to screw with the Marines?
In the city of Shewan, approximately 250 insurgents ambushed 30 Marines and paid a heavy price for it. . . .
“The day started out with a 10-kilometer patrol with elements mounted and dismounted, so by the time we got to Shewan, we were pretty beat,” said a designated marksman who requested to remain unidentified. “Our vehicles came under a barrage of enemy RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and machine gun fire. One of our ‘humvees’ was disabled from RPG fire, and the Marines inside dismounted and laid down suppression fire so they could evacuate a Marine who was knocked unconscious from the blast.”
The vicious attack that left the humvee destroyed and several of the Marines pinned down in the kill zone sparked an intense eight-hour battle as the platoon desperately fought to recover their comrades. After recovering the Marines trapped in the kill zone, another platoon sergeant personally led numerous attacks on enemy fortified positions while the platoon fought house to house and trench to trench in order to clear through the enemy ambush site.
“The biggest thing to take from that day is what Marines can accomplish when they’re given the opportunity to fight,” the sniper said. “A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they were wrong.”
And of all mistakes the terrorists made that day, the worst one was picking the patrol with this guy in it.
“During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn’t miss any shots, despite the enemies’ rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position.
“I was in my own little world,” the young corporal said. “I wasn’t even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on target.”
The most amazing thing about the battle: Not a single Marine was seriously hurt.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Thanks, Jeremiah!! Another Hero Answers the CallMy daughter’s boyfriend, Jeremiah, left 5 days ago to join the Navy. He will be in their nuclear engineering program and will end up on a carrier.
I tell you this because I am very proud of him and appreciate all the young men and women who join our military. We need to let them know how grateful we are for their sacrifice.
It is because of THEM that we are free.
It is because of THEM that we can go about our daily lives as if there is no war.
THEY are standing between us and the bad guys and making sure this war does not come to our shores!
THANK YOU JEREMIAH for being one of our heroes. We are proud and we will be praying for you!!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Good news!!!! Now let’s get Chessani exonerated also! This whole Haditha thing was a disgusting fiasco that Murtha tried to capitalize on. Give these marines some peace and thank them for risking their lives for us!
Jury acquits another Haditha Marine
Verdict eliminates charges filed after Murtha accusations
Posted: June 05, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A military jury of seven officers acquitted Marine 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson of all charges stemming from what a law firm has described as a political attack on the U.S. military over a firefight with insurgents in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005.
Grayson immediately came to the defense of another Marine still facing accusations for the incident that left one Marine and 24 Iraqis dead.
He said Lt. Col Jeffrey Chessani was “one of the most steadfast men. … He led by example and he knew the difference between right and wrong,” according to the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., whose lawyers are representing Chessani.
“The government ordered these Marines to the front lines, they ordered them to attack the insurgents. … Marines, risking their lives, followed those orders without hesitation; their reward – criminal prosecution,” Richard Thompson, president of the law center, said today. “There must be some righteous person in the chain of command that will say ‘enough is enough.'”
Hearings continue in the Chessani case. Earlier this week, Military Judge Col. Steven Folson heard arguments over several defense motions but delayed a decision until June 16. He also delayed the start of the trial until July 21.
Just weeks ago, Folsom concluded there was evidence in the Chessani case of unlawful command influence, which is considered the “mortal enemy” of justice within the military judicial structure.
The judge’s conclusion was based on evidence two generals who controlled Chessani’s case were influenced by Marine lawyer Col. John Ewers, one of the investigators assigned to the case. Ewers was allowed to attend at least 25 closed-session meetings in which Chessani’s case was discussed.
Defense lawyers note that shifted the burden of proof to prosecutors to convince the judge that the facts presented by the defense were untrue, don’t constitute unlawful command influence or would not affect the proceedings.
Although the case awaits rulings, Folsom might have offered a hint during this week’s hearings, asking both sides what they would recommend to remedy the unlawful command influence issue. Robert Muise, a Thomas More Law Center defense attorneys, asked that the case be dismissed.
Grayson’s attorney, Joseph Casas, said the acquittal of his client “sets the tone for the overall whirlwind Haditha has been. It’s been a botched investigation from the get-go.”
“I believe in the end all of the so-called Haditha Marines who still have to face trial will be exonerated,” he said.
The Associated Press reported cheers erupted in the Grayson courtroom when the acquittal was announced.
Grayson was not on the scene of the house-to-house firefight but was accused of telling a sergeant to delete photographs of the dead from a digital camera.
He was acquitted of two counts of making false official statements and other counts, and could have faced as many as 20 years in prison.
The Nov. 19, 2005, firefight also resulted in 14 Marine casualties, including one death. Prosecutors allege the Marines were attacked by a bombing, then Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and another Marine shot five men at the scene. They alleged Wuterich then ordered his men into nearby houses where more Iraqis were killed in the firefight.
Defense lawyers have reported the insurgents deliberately attacked the Marines from hiding places where they surrounded themselves with civilians to use as shields.
Eventually eight Marines were charged, but counts against five have been dropped. Those defendants are Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, Capts. Randy Stone and Lucas McConnell, Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz and Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt.
Wuterich’s and Chessani’s cases remain.
The enlisted Marines had been charged with murder and the officers accused of failing to investigate the deaths.
Critics have described the charges as a vendetta against U.S. Marines following a public condemnation of the troops by U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., before the conclusion of the investigation.
The Thomas More Law Center said the officers involved in the firefight handled its aftermatch according to military protocol.
“Even though Lt. Col. Chessani promptly reported the events of that day to his superiors, including the deaths of 15 noncombatant civilians caught in the battle, nobody in Lt. Col. Chessani’s chain of command believed there was any wrongdoing on behalf of the Marines,” the law firm said.
But months later, a Time magazine story “planted by an insurgent propaganda agent,” caused Pentagon officials to order the investigation, the law firm said.
The article was followed quickly by Murtha’s comments. The congressman held a news conference and announced he’d been told by the highest levels of the Marine Corps there was no firefight and Marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
“All the information I get, it comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they’re talking about,” Murtha told reporters.
Murtha’s statements conflicted with investigative results from the military itself. An initial investigation by Army Col. G.A. Watt found “there are no indications that (Coalition Forces) intentionally targeted, engaged and killed noncombatants.” Later, Army Maj. Gen. Aldon Bargewell found no coverup, the law firm said.
For those who continue to speak out against America this should wake you up. We are the most generous country in the world – from private citizens, churches and the gov’t. In total we give $129.8 billion, and coming in second is Britain with $20.7 billion. We are the 911 for the world and it’s time people acknowledge and appreciate that!!!
America’s generosity is unmatched
By Star Parker
Americans are hearing so much these days about how bad we are that we’re starting to believe it.
In a recent Gallup poll, 68 percent said they are “dissatisfied with the position of the United States in the world today,” and 55 percent said they think that the rest of the world views us unfavorably.
However, as I page through a publication called the Index of Global Philanthropy, which is produced annually by the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute in Washington, it becomes obvious that these American feelings of self-deprecation are misguided.
This is the just released third annual edition of this index. It produces a unique snapshot portraying the full extent of American generosity to developing countries, by amount and by source.
Usually when the question of aid to the developing world arises, we think of government funds. But this index shows that, whereas it may be the rule in the rest of the industrialized world that most aid is government aid, in our country this isn’t the case. Most of the contributions that Americans make abroad are private and voluntary. And they are large.
In 2006, the latest year for which data is available, the index reports that Americans contributed privately and voluntarily $34.8 billion to individuals and organizations in developing countries.
Philanthropy is distinct from government aid in that it originates with private citizens and is voluntary, but also the recipients are private individuals and organizations, as opposed to governments. Private to private versus government to government.
The $34.8 billion in philanthropy from private Americans exceeded the $23.5 billion in official U.S. government aid abroad by $11.3 billion, or 48 percent.
This private philanthropy is flowing from foundations, corporations, private and voluntary organizations, universities and colleges, and religious organizations.
Of particular interest in this year’s index is the $8.8 billion reported from religious organizations. According to Carol Adelman, who directs this work, the data was produced by commissioning “the first national survey of congregational giving to the developing world” ever done.
The average contribution of congregations was $10,700.
To put this in some kind of perspective, the $8.8 billion in giving from American religious institutions to developing countries was $1.5 billion more than the total giving from all private sources in 30 of the world’s major industrialized democratic countries combined.
When consolidating all assistance funds flowing from the United States to developing countries, the total is $129.8 billion. This is the total of government aid, philanthropy, and remittances — funds sent directly by private individuals to other private parties in developing countries, often family members. A far second in total giving behind the United States is the United Kingdom at $20.7 billion.
There are a couple of important messages here.
First, of course, is the incredible compassion and generosity of Americans. American largesse does not need to be pried or forced by the government. It flows organically from free, civic minded and often religiously motivated citizens. And it comes from citizens of every income strata. The religious giving data shows that whereas the average congregation gives $10,700, the median number is $2,500, indicating that there are many smaller, less wealthy congregations engaged.
The other headline is the central importance of the private sector in both generating prosperity, but also in sharing it.
Bookshelves now strain with studies showing the failures of government-to-government aid.
It is individuals who create wealth. Compassion and personal responsibility reside in the breasts of those same individuals. Neither can be said of government bureaucracies.
Barack Obama spoke at the commencement ceremony at Wesleyan University the other day. He talked about national service and, recalling John F. Kennedy, committed to doubling the size of the Peace Corps if elected president.
From what I see and what the data shows, Americans don’t need government to make them care, contribute, and volunteer. If anything, they need less government so they’ll retain and keep control of more of what they produce and subsequently share with those in need.
Other countries may have their own motivations for what causes them to view Americans the way they do. But the data is clear. Americans are unmatched in creating prosperity and sharing it.
It’s time to pay closer attention to what Americans do rather than what others say.
I really, really, really, really, really want you to read the following excerpt from the book Lone Survivor. The one survivor of this incident wrote the book. It honestly made me cry AND it made me angry at those who would criticize our military.
This shows the reality of what our fighting men have to face and the decisions they have to make in a split second. It’s easy for people back home to say what they “should have done”, but it’s heart-wrenching to hear about what they actually have to face.
The idea that these men felt they had to make a decision based on how the media would spin it is awful, and even more awful is the fact that all but one lost their lives because of the decision they made. They didn’t want to be labeled murderers by the media just for doing their jobs, so they let these goatherders go free, which resulted in these SEALs’ deaths.
The blood of these men is on the hands of the liberal media and every liberal who is spinning this war and making our men second-guess their every decsion.
Excerpt from ‘Lone Survivor’
By Mark Luttrell
It was almost noon on June 28, 2005, when three Afghan goatherds stumbled upon a four-man Navy SEAL reconnaissance team high in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. The SEALs – Lt. Michael Murphy, Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Matthew Axelson, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Danny Dietz and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell – faced an agonizing decision …
The question was, what did we do now? They were very obviously goatherds, farmers from the high country. Or, as it states in the pages of the Geneva Convention, unarmed civilians.
The strictly correct military decision would still be to kill them without further discussion, because we could not know their intentions.
How could we know if they were affiliated with a Taliban militia group or sworn by some tribal blood pact to inform the Taliban leaders of anything suspicious-looking they found in the mountains?
Mike Murphy said quietly, “We’ve got three options. We plainly don’t want to shoot these guys because of the noise. So, number one, we could just kill them quietly and hurl the bodies over the edge. That’s probably a thousand-foot drop. Number two is we kill them right here, cover ’em up as best we can with rocks and dirt.
“Either way we get the hell out and say nothing. Not even when the story comes out about the murdered Afghan goatherds. And some f—ing headline back home which reads, ‘Navy SEALs Under Suspicion.’
“Number three, we turn ’em loose, and still get the hell out, in case the Taliban come looking.” …
Axe said firmly, “We’re not murderers. No matter what we do.
“We’re on active duty behind enemy lines, sent here by our senior commanders. We have a right to do everything we can to save our own lives. The military decision is obvious. To turn them loose would be wrong.”
If this came to a vote, as it might, Axe was going to recommend the execution of the three Afghans. And in my soul, I knew he was right. We could not possibly turn them loose. But my trouble is, I have another soul. My Christian soul. And it was crowding in on me. Something kept whispering in the back of my mind, it would be wrong to execute these unarmed men in cold blood. And the idea of doing that and then covering our tracks and slinking away like criminals, denying everything, would make it more wrong.
To be honest, I’d have been happier to stand ’em up and shoot them right out in front. And then leave them. They’d just be three guys who’d found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Casualties of war. And we’d just have to defend ourselves when our own media and politicians back in the U.S.A. tried to hang us on a murder charge.
Lieutenant Murphy said, “Axe?”
“No choice.” We all knew what he meant.
“As before. I don’t give a sh– what you decide. Just tell me what to do.”
“I don’t know, Mikey.”
“Well, let me tell you one more time. If we kill these guys we have to be straight about it. Report what we did. We can’t sneak around this. Just so you all understand, their bodies will be found, the Taliban will use it to the max. They’ll get it in the papers, and the U.S. liberal media will attack us without mercy. We will almost certainly be charged with murder. I don’t know how you guys feel about that … Marcus, I’ll go with you. Call it.” …
I looked Mikey right in the eye, and I said, “We gotta let ’em go.”
It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lamebrained decision I ever made in my life. I must have been out of my mind.
I had actually cast a vote which I knew could sign our death warrant. I’d turned into a f—ing liberal, a half-assed, no-logic nitwit, all heart, no brain, and the judgment of a jackrabbit.
At least, that’s how I look back on those moments now. Probably not then, but for nearly every waking hour of my life since.
No night passes when I don’t wake in a cold sweat thinking of those moments on that mountain. I’ll never get over it. I cannot get over it. The deciding vote was mine, and it will haunt me till they rest me in an East Texas grave.
Mikey nodded. “Okay,” he said, “I guess that’s two votes to one, Danny abstains. We gotta let ’em go.”
After releasing the goatherds, the SEALs moved back up the mountain and took up defensive positions. But within two hours, a force of about 140 Taliban fighters was upon them. Battling desperately, the SEALs retreated downhill, trying for the flat ground where a village offered the opportunity of cover to make a stand. But Dietz didn’t make it, succumbing to a shot to the head – the sixth bullet he had taken in the fight. Murphy and Axelson had also been shot, but were still fighting hard when Luttrell reached their position …
Finally I caught up with them. Axe was out of ammunition and I gave him a new magazine. Mikey wanted to know where Danny was, and I had to tell him that Danny had died. He was appalled, completely shocked, and so was Axe. Although Mikey would not say it, I knew he wanted to go back for the body. But we both knew there was no time and no reason. We had nowhere to take the remains of a fallen teammate, and we could not continue this firefight while carrying around a body.
Danny was dead. And strangely, I was the first to pull myself together. I said suddenly, “I’ll tell you what. We have to get down this goddamned mountain or we’ll all be dead.”
And as if to make up our minds for us, the Taliban were again closing in, trying to make that 360-degree movement around us.
And they were doing it. Gunfire was coming in from underneath us now. We could see the tribesmen still swarming, and I tried to count them as I had been trying to do for almost an hour.
I thought there were now only about fifty, maybe sixty, but the bullets were still flying. The grenades were still coming in, blasting close, sending up dust clouds of smoke and dirt with flying bits of rock. There had never been a lull in the amount of ordnance the enemy was piling down on us.
Right now, again tucked low behind rocks, the three of us could look down and see the village one and a half miles distant, and it remained our objective.
Again I told Mikey, “If we can just make it down there and get some cover, we’ll take ’em all out on the flat ground.”
I knew we were not in great shape. But we were still SEALs.
Nothing can ever take that away. We were still confident. And we were never going to surrender. If it came down to it, we would fight to the death with our knives against their guns.
“F— surrender,” said Mikey. And he had no need to explain further, either to Axe or me. Surrender would have been a disgrace to our community, like ringing the bell at the edge of the grinder and putting your helmet in the line. No one who had made it through this far, to this no-man’s-land in the Afghan mountains, would have dreamed of giving up.
Remember the philosophy of the U.S. Navy SEALs: “I will never quit. … My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates. … I am never out of the fight.”
Those words have sustained many brave men down the years.
They were engraved upon the soul of every SEAL. And they were in the minds of all of us.
Mikey suddenly said, above the rage of the battle, “Remember, bro, we’re never out of it.”
I nodded tersely. “It’s only about another thousand yards to flat ground. If we can just get down there, we got a chance.” …
They’d knocked us back again. … But once more we landed up in a good spot, a sound defensive position, well protected by the rock face on either side. Again we tried to take the fight to them, picking our targets and driving them back, making some ground now toward the village.
They were up and screaming at us, yelling as the battle almost became close quarters. We yelled right back and kept firing. But there were still so many of them, and then they got into better position and shot Mikey Murphy through the chest.
He came toward me, asking if I could give him another magazine.
And then I saw Axe stumbling toward me, his head pushed out, blood running down his face, bubbling out of the most shocking head wound.
“They shot me, bro,” he said. “The bastards shot me. Can you help me, Marcus?” What could I say? What could I do? I couldn’t help except by trying to fight off the enemy. And Axe was standing right in my line of fire.
I tried to help him get down behind a rock. And I turned to Mikey, who was obviously badly hurt now. “Can you move, buddy?” I asked him.
And he groped in his pocket for his mobile phone, the one we had dared not use because it would betray our position. And then Lieutenant Murphy walked out into the open ground. He walked until he was more or less in the center, gunfire all around him, and he sat on a small rock and began punching in the numbers to HQ.
I could hear him talking. “My men are taking heavy fire … we’re getting picked apart. My guys are dying out here … we need help.”
And right then Mikey took a bullet straight in the back. I saw the blood spurt from his chest. He slumped forward, dropping his phone and his rifle. But then he braced himself, grabbed them both, sat upright again, and once more put the phone to his ear.
I heard him speak again. “Roger that, sir. Thank you.” Then he stood up and staggered out to our bad position, the one guarding our left, and Mikey just started fighting again, firing at the enemy.
He was hitting them too, having made that one last desperate call to base, the one that might yet save us if they could send help in time, before we were overwhelmed.
Only I knew what Mikey had done. He’d understood we had only one realistic chance, and that was to call in help. He also knew there was only one place from which he could possibly make that cell phone work: out in the open, away from the cliff walls.
Knowing the risk, understanding the danger, in the full knowledge the phone call could cost him his life, Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy, son of Maureen, fiance of the beautiful Heather, walked out into the firestorm.
His objective was clear: to make one last valiant attempt to save his two teammates. He made the call, made the connection.
He reported our approximate position, the strength of our enemy, and how serious the situation was. When they shot him, I thought mortally, he kept talking.
Roger that, sir. Thank you. Will those words ever dim in my memory, even if I live to be a hundred? Will I ever forget them? Would you? And was there ever a greater SEAL team commander, an officer who fought to the last and, as perhaps his dying move, risked everything to save his remaining men? I doubt there was ever anyone better than Mikey, cool under fire, always thinking, fearless about issuing the one-option command even if it was nearly impossible. And then the final, utterly heroic act. Not a gesture. An act of supreme valor. Lieutenant Mikey was a wonderful person and a very, very great SEAL officer.
If they build a memorial to him as high as the Empire State Building, it won’t ever be high enough for me.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Good for this school!!!!
Brother’s keeper! Warrior! Champion!
Desert Christian High School honors Marine alumnus, fallen GI grad
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press Saturday, March 29, 2008.
By: Dennis Anderson
Valley Press Editor
LANCASTER – The football team at Desert Christian High School rose as one Friday morning, standing at attention to celebrate a Marine alum’s return from Iraq and to honor another Desert Christian graduate, an Army soldier killed in action on Easter Sunday.
“What is a Knight?” the team shouted in unison. “I am my brother’s keeper! I am a warrior! I am a champion!”
Each student-athlete was signaling respect, rejoicing and mourning.
Rejoicing at the safe return of a former teammate, Marine Lance Cpl. Patrick Lee, who received 50 “care packages” from students at his alma mater while stationed in Fallujah during the Christmas holiday.
Mourning the Easter Sunday loss of Army Pvt. George Delgado, 21, class of 2004.
Lee, 19, who graduated from Desert Christian in 2006, recited the Knights chant along with them, wearing his Marine dress “Charlie” tan and green uniform and ribbons for service in Iraq and the global war on terror.
“I got 50 care packages,” the Marine said. “Everyone loved them. The Iraqi children got the candy. It was just a huge blessing for all of us.”
Lee, who served in the Anbar province city of Fallujah, formerly the most violent area of Iraq, said, “Contrary to what you hear people say, Fallujah is now a great area to be in. It’s turned around about 200% for the better since 2004.”
There was solemn and heartfelt mourning for Delgado, killed Sunday with three other soldiers in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device killed them and wounded another GI. Their deaths are counted in the more than 4,000 killed in action so far.
Killed with Delgado were Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Hake, 26; Pfc. Andrew J. Habsieger, 22; and Spc. Jose A. Rubio Hernandez, 24. The four were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat team, 3rd Infantry Division, based out of Fort Stewart, Ga.
About 400 students gathered in the Desert Christian High gymnasium for a Friday assembly that mixed routine announcements with gratitude for the troops, living and killed in the line of duty.
“We want everyone here to remember that there are people standing and fighting for our freedom and to make things safe for you and me,” said Cecil Swetland, executive director of Desert Christian Schools.
Swetland cited Philippians, Chapter 4, verses 6-7, in urging a spirit of mourning but also hope for God’s protection on all the troops in the fight and respect and affection for Delgado and all those who lost their lives.
Swetland read the verse, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The educator noted that the students were in eighth grade when Delgado graduated, but doubtless had older siblings who remember their classmate fondly.
Swetland continued, “We cannot know the timing or the why of it … but we know He will not leave us or forsake us.”
The soldier’s mother, Maria Calle , told Swetland on Thursday about the loss of her son.
“He came to us in his senior year, and it wrought a change in his life,” Swetland said. “George became a Christian at Desert Christian, and his mother said he found himself and found an absolutely fabulous experience.”
Devin Thomas , dean of students, recalled how Delgado expressed keen interest in learning what it takes to become a teacher. He transferred to Desert Christian after moving with his family from San Diego in 2003.
Delgado’s family runs the Inka Kitchen restaurant in Palmdale.
“He would come back, time and again. He always wanted to know what was the best way to teach, because he was set in his desire to one day be a teacher,” Thomas said.
The dean of students told the students assembled that the reward and fulfillment for educators arrives when their students return, engaged in honorable duties and responsibilities and wanting to revisit their school.
“You are a tremendous bunch, just a great group,” Thomas told the students. “I want to thank you for being sensitive to others, and that the memory of you stays with us when you leave, that you are something special to us.”
In that light, Thomas said, the memory of George Delgado was special.
Swetland said memorial services were pending, but depending on the family’s wishes, Desert Christian students plan a high turnout in respect for Delgado.
Swetland and Thomas asked for “continuous prayer to be offered up” for Delgado’s family and all those serving.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Pvt. George Delgado, who gave his life to defend freedom and protect the people of the United States,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement issued by his office. “George served our country with honor, integrity and steadfast loyalty to his fellow soldiers. California has lost a true patriot. Maria and I send our sincerest condolences to his family during this difficult time.”
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, and state Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, also issued statements on the death of Delgado.
“Our prayers go out to the family of Private Delgado during this difficult time,” Sharon Runner said. “The Antelope Valley lost a great American – a true patriot and protector of our freedom.”
“Private Delgado’s courage to defend our country and commitment to further the cause of freedom is truly remarkable,” George Runner said. “His service to our country will always be honored and never forgotten.”
Adding her condolences was Col. Nancy P. Wharton, 95th Air Base Wing commander at Edwards Air Force Base.
“Although Private Delgado was a soldier in the U.S. Army, his death affects all the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines stationed here. We are one family, and we will do whatever we can to assist his family and his Army brethren in coping with this tragedy,” Wharton said in a statement.
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