Friday, April 29, 2011
To our troops out there - stay safe
Remember, no matter what the job or branch of the military, all active duty personnel generally have somebody at home who miss them and worry about them. All of our troops are in danger in various forms whether on the street searching house to house, in the ocean off the coast of Japan washing down the deck of an aircraft carrier for radiation, moving cargo or explosives to be deployed to other areas or sitting silently under the ocean as the world situation grows in volatility.
Our troops deserve respect and the highest level of support when they come home that this country has to offer regardless of cost. God knows this country spends enough money on things that mean so much less.
To the men and women holding positions at the highest levels in our government: Stop bickering and fix your priorities at least in this one area - Support our troops whether they are on their way to serve, are in service or are back at home.
Afghan children approach a U.S Forces convoy to ask for spent brass, pens and water in the Alingar district of Laghman province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2011. The convoy includes members of the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction team, en route to check on a school construction site and talk with Alingar leaders. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane
U.S. Air Force Capt. Dawn Russell treats an injured Afghan boy while Provincial Reconstruction Team personnel hold flashlights at Forward Operating Base Smart, Afghanistan, June 9, 2011. Russell is a physicians assistant assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul. The patient was transported to FOB Smart from Zabul after an improvised explosive device detonated, injuring two civilian children. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson
U.S. Army soldiers make their way to the Zabul Juvenile Detention Facility in Afghanistan's Zabul province, May 11, 2011. The soldiers, assigned to 25th Infantry Division's 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, are members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul. Photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson
The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise performs a replenishment with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic in the Mediterranean Sea, Feb. 4, 2011. The Enterprise is deployed as part of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alex R. Forster
U.S. Army soldiers air assault from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter into a village inside Jowlzak valley in Afghanistan's Parwan province, Feb. 3, 2011. The soldiers, assigned to the 101st Division's Special Troop Battalion, Company A, and Afghan police searched the village while soldiers provided security and met with leaders. Photo by Spc. Scott Davis
Sea Stallion helicopter assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on May 9, 2011. Both the Helicopter Squadron and Combat Team supported operation Aero Hunter to disrupt suspicious activity and counteract enemy drug and weapons trafficking in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo by Lance Cpl. Robert R. Carrasco, U.S. Marine Corps.
. Marine Corps Sgt. Christan A. Marlow (left), with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, talks to Afghan nationals while conducting a reconnaissance patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, on May 4, 2011. By Lance Cpl. Kowshon Ye, U.S. Marine Corps.
So, you think the Air Force has it easy? U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James Weber (right), an explosive ordnance disposal technician with the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron, assists Staff Sgt. Amber Goedde, an EOD technician with the 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron, in donning a bomb suit at Forward Operating Base Azizullah, Afghanistan, on May 6, 2011. By Staff Sgt. Stephen Schester, U.S. Air Force.
Serving at home too. If you feel that our military is not of value perhaps you will thank them if their actions are what saved your home. U.S. Army soldiers construct sand-filled basket barriers on top of a levee along Lake Palourde in Morgan City, La., on May 10, 2011. The soldiers, members of the Louisiana National Guard assigned to the 927th and 928th Engineer companies, are adding three feet of protection to the levee to block possible flooding from the rising Mississippi River. Photo by Sgt. Michael Owens, U.S. Army.
U.S. Marines talk with an Afghan civilian during an aerial interdiction mission in southwestern Afghanistan on May 4, 2011. The Marines are assigned to Regimental Combat Team 1. Cpl. Rashaun X. James, U.S. Marine Corps took this shot.
Afghans children look on as U.S. Army Pfc. Loren Gaboni and other soldiers interact with the village leaders during a joint combined patrol with Afghan police in Baghoulmast village, Afghanistan, April 29, 2011. Gaboni is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 84th Field Artillery Regiment, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Peter Lee
U.S. Air Force airmen survey the area during a routine patrol outside Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, on May 1, 2011. The airmen are assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Photo by Senior Airman Sheila deVera, U.S. Air Force.
U.S. Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines load an Afghan boy onto a CH-47 Chinook medical helicopter after he received emergency medical treatment at the battalionís aid station in Sangin, Afghanistan, on April 25, 2011. The boy was seriously injured by an improvised explosive device and was transported to a medical treatment center for more extensive care. Photo by Cpl. Logan W. Pierce, U.S. Marine Corps.
An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 25 is positioned on catapult No. 4 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in the Arabian Sea on April 30, 2011 . The Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing 17 are conducting maritime security operations and close-air support missions in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James R. Evans, U.S. Navy.
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Ben W. Gibson (right), with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, sweeps for explosive devices with a metal detector during a reconnaissance patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, on April 22, 2011. U.S. Marines conduct reconnaissance patrols to survey the local populace and maintain familiarity with the area of operations. Photo by Lance Cpl. Kowshon Ye, U.S. Marine Corps.
As U.S. Army Sgt. Albert Smith pulls security, two Afghan boys navigate around him in a village near Qalat, Afghanistan, April 26, 2011. Members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul visited the village to discuss agricultural issues with the residents. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jerome Cinco holds his 3-year-old daughter close before he leaves Marine Corps Base Hawaii on a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan, April 25, 2011. Cinco is a hospital corpsman with Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Reece E. Lodder
Seaman Nathalie G. Sanchez operates an advanced combat direction system console in the commanding officer's tactical plot room aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in the Arabian Gulf on April 26, 2011. The Enterprise and Carrier Air Wing 1 are conducting operations supporting Operation New Dawn in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. DoD photo by Seaman Jared M. King, U.S. Navy.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jerris Bradley stands watch aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) as the ship transits the Panama Canal en route to Peru in support of Continuing Promise 2011 on April 26, 2011. Continuing Promise is a regularly scheduled mission to countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean, where the U.S. Navy and its partnering nations work with host nations and a variety of governmental and nongovernmental agencies to train in civil and military operations. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric C. Tretter, U.S. Navy.
The Wall. These folks are from my generation. The names of two close friends which I served with have their names on this wall. There are others who I knew or crossed paths with whose names are on the wall.
Below are a few more photos that show that all branches of military can end up in harm's way. Air Force troops are on the ground as well as in the air. The Army and Marines are in force in many theaters of operation. The Navy supplies the corpsmen for the Marines (as the Marines are a branch / department of the Navy) as well as the SEALs. All branches of the military are pressed into service which has been the case for decades.
Keeping proficient while at sea
U.S. Airforce Officer on the ground
Air Force on the ground
Stage 1 radiation washdown in the Sea of Japan
Radiation washdown off Japan
Marines and Navy train prior to debarkation
Things may look easy ... until things go very wrong very quickly which is common
This ISAF soldier is a member of the U.S. Air Force
In my own case it was a lifetime ago. Heck, the magazine does not exist anymore. Back in those days the ignition key to start a car went in the dashboard rather than the steering column. Guitar players played the same guitar for an entire show. You could get "frisky" with a total stranger and not end up with a disease that would kill you.
Some of you have seen the photos I took when I was in the military which came back to the USA by somewhat unconventional means. I think these shots are better than my 4,000+ shots and the technology has changed dramatically. Thankfully for me, much of the basics of training and marksmanship remain the same, the ballistics have not changed and this allows me to be involved in helping train others today.
Try to remember that no matter what the job or branch of the military, all active duty personnel generally have somebody at home who miss them and worry about them. Our troops deserve respect and the highest level of support when they come home that this country has to offer regardless of cost. God knows this country spends enough money on things that mean so much less.
To the men and women holding positions at the highest levels in our government:
Stop bickering and fix your priorities at least in this one area -
Support our troops whether on their way to serve, are in service or are back at home.
Many of my friends are on active service. Many of my friends have friends or family on active service. Please feel free to send me any photo you may have and I will be happy to add them to blog posts such as this one on a regular basis.
My original blog post on this subject was inspired by my good friend David Hayes, a disabled Veteran (and master amp builder) when he was having issues with the V.A. That original post can be viewed at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2011/04/veteran-treatment.html
Joblessness among post-Sept. 11 vets remains high - Forbes.com: http://onforb.es/mSCj1t
New Data on High Unemployment Among Recent Veterans - NYTimes.com: http://nyti.ms/kQTDOV
Vets unemployment higher than non-vets, study says - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: http://bit.ly/jCGgrT
Joblessness among post-Sept. 11 vets remains high - http://bit.ly/lcnfso
Joblessness among post-Sept. 11 vets remains stubbornly high, The Republic: http://bit.ly/ml7LcA