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Remember Our Soldiers
I would like to personally say to all of the men and women
who are now, or who have ever, worn the uniform...thank you...
4TH MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER IN IRAQ
Michael "Mikey" Monsoor
Master At Arms, 2nd Class (MA2)
U.S. Navy SEAL
Master At Arms Second Class (MA2) Michael "Mikey" Monsoor, a US Navy SEAL, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save his fellow SEAL's.
During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEAL's were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route, forming a column of twos, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.
The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.
Watch an overwhelming video that shows parts of his funeral, and at the end, shows his fellow SEALs putting their Tridents on his coffin.
"The Bumper Of My SUV"
The Return Of General George S. Patton
WARNING: The language used in this video may not be appropriate for all viewers.
Parental discretion is advised.
A MOTHER'S LOVE
CAMP PENDLETON, CA: March 2nd, 2006. Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some salutes from people when she drove from Benton, AK., to Camp Pendleton, CA, in her newly-painted, custom Hummer H3 on March 2nd, 2006. The vehicle is adorned with the likeness of her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, who where all killed by the same improvised explosive device blast in Fallujah, Iraq, in December, 2005.
For Karla Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on Iraq's urban battlefield.
"I wanted to let people know (Marines) are doing their jobs
honorably, and some of them die," said the 39-year-old from
Leading up to her son's death, Karla Comfort had received several letters from him prior to his return. He had been deployed for five months, and Comfort "...worried everyday he was gone until she got the letters and found out the date he was coming home," she said.
Marines knocked on the front door of her home in
"I let my guard down when I found out he was coming home," she said. "There are times that I still cannot believe it happened. It's very hard to deal with."
Karla Comfort came up with the idea for the rolling memorial
when she and her two other sons attended John's funeral in Portland,
"I saw a
She purchased the vehicle in January and immediately took it to
AirbrushGuy & Co. in
"I only had the vehicle for two days before we took it in," she joked.
Two hundred and fifty man-hours later, Powell had completed the vehicle. The custom job would have cost $25,000. Out of respect for Karla Comfort's loss and the sacrifices the Marines made, AirbrushGuy & Co. did it for free. Comfort only had to purchase the paint, which cost $3,000.
"I love it," she said. "I'm really impressed with it, and I think John would be happy with the vehicle. He would have a big smile on his face because he loved Hummers."
Karla Comfort gave Powell basic instructions on what to include in the paint job But in addition to the image of her son in Dress Blues and the faces of the nine other Marines, there were several surprises. "He put a lot more on than I expected," she said. "I think my favorite part is the heaven scene."
On the left side of the vehicle, a detail of Marines are depicted carrying their fallen comrades through the clouds to their final resting place. The American flag drapes across the hood, the words, "Semper Fi" crown the front windshield and the spare tire cover carries the same Eagle Globe and Anchor design that her son had tattooed on his back.
"All the support I have been getting is wonderful," she said.
Karla Comfort decided to move back to her hometown of Portland,
and making the cross-country trip from
"Along the way I got nothing but positive feedback from people," she said. "What got to me was when people would salute the guys (Marines). It's hard to look at his picture. I still cry and try to get used to the idea, but it's hard to grasp the idea that he's really gone."
AIR POWER OVER NEW YORK CITY
Photographs taken at the recent Jones Beach Air Show over New York City, 2007:
A SIMPLE "THANK YOU"...
Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.
"No", he responded.
"Heading out?", I asked.
"No...I'm escorting a Marine home."
"Going to pick him up?" I asked.
"No...He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq. I'm taking him home to his family."
The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the Marine, he had delivered the news of his passing to the Marine's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said: "Thank you...Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do."
Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow Marine. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."
Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.
So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do.
Stuart Margel, Washington, D.C.
Maybe you'd like to hear about something other than idiot Reservists and naked Iraqis. Maybe you'd like to hear about a real American, somebody who honored the uniform he wears.
Meet Brian Chontosh...
Churchville-Chili Central School class of 1991. Proud graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Husband and about-to-be father. First lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
And a genuine hero...The Secretary of the Navy said so yesterday. In California Brian Chontosh was presented with the Navy Cross, the second highest award for combat bravery the United States can bestow.
That's a big deal.
But you won't see it on the network news tonight, and all you read in Brian's hometown newspaper was two paragraphs of nothing. Instead, it was more blather about some mental defective MPs who acted like animals. The odd fact about the American media in this war is that it's not covering the American military. The most plugged-in nation in the world is receiving virtually no true information about what its warriors are doing.
Oh, sure, there's a body count...We know how many Americans have fallen. And we see those same casket pictures day in and day out. And we're almost on a first-name basis with the pukes who abused the Iraqi prisoners. And we know all about improvised explosive devices and how we lost Fallujah and what Arab public-opinion polls say about us and how the world hates us. We get a non-stop feed of gloom and doom.
But we don't hear about the heroes...The incredibly brave soldiers who honorably do their duty. The ones our grandparents would have carried on their shoulders down Fifth Avenue. The ones we completely ignore...Like Brian Chontosh.
It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad. Brian Chontosh was a platoon leader rolling up Highway 1 in a humvee...When all hell broke loose.
The young Marines were being cut to ribbons. Mortars, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades. And the kid out of Churchville was in charge. It was do or die and it was up to him. So he moved to the side of his column, looking for a way to lead his men to safety. As he tried to poke a hole through the Iraqi line his humvee came under direct enemy machine gun fire. It was fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish.
And Brian Chontosh gave the order to attack. He told his driver to floor the humvee directly at the machine gun emplacement that was firing at them. And he had the guy on top with the .50 cal unload on them. Within moments there were Iraqis slumped across the machine gun and Chontosh was still advancing, ordering his driver now to take the humvee directly into the Iraqi trench that was attacking his Marines. Over into the battlement the humvee went and out the door Brian Chontosh bailed, carrying an M-16 and a Beretta and 228 years of Marine Corps pride.
And he ran down the trench. With its mortars and riflemen, machineguns and grenadiers. And he killed them all.
He fought with the M-16 until it was out of ammo. Then he fought with the Beretta until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up a dead man's AK-47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up another dead man's AK-47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. At one point he even fired a discarded Iraqi RPG into an enemy cluster, sending attackers flying with its grenade explosion.
When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his platoon's flank. He had killed more than 20 and wounded at least as many more. But that's probably not how he would tell it. He would probably merely say that his Marines were in trouble, and he got them out of trouble. Hoo-ah, and drive on.
"By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, 1st Lt. Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."
...That's what the citation says. And that's what nobody will hear.
That's what doesn't seem to be making the evening news. Accounts of American valor are dismissed by the press as propaganda, yet accounts of American difficulties are heralded as objectivity. It makes you wonder if the role of the media is to inform, or to depress - to report or to deride. To tell the truth, or to feed us lies.
But I guess it doesn't matter. We're going to turn out all right.
...As long as men and women like Brian Chontosh wear the uniform.
Woman Receives Silver Star
"Where The Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly"
In God We Still Trust
Todd Heisler, The Rocky Mountain News
2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arriving at the Reno Airport
Todd Heisler, The Rocky Mountain News
The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."
Honoring A Fallen Father
One-year-old Alexander Montgomery, dressed in a Marine uniform, looks towards the flag-draped casket containing the remains of his father, Lance Corporal Brian Montgomery, at Western Reserve Memorial Garden in Chester Township, Ohio, August 10th, 2005. Montgomery was one of 14 Marines killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol on August 3rd, 2005 in the Euphrates River Valley in Iraq.
"When I have your wounded."
Click on the helicopter image to view Ken Grove's video tribute to the Dust Off pilots and the Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter.
(NOTE: The video is 28.1MB in size, so it will take those visitors with a dial-up connection a while to see it)
You Are NOT Forgotten
Daddy's Little Girl
by Lee Teter
USS New York
It is the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft. Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite , LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003, "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. "It was a spiritual moment for everybody there." Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up." "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back." The ship's motto? - 'Never Forget'.
SOMEWHERE IN RURAL IOWA...
First Image Painted On The Side Of A Rock In Rural Iowa
Second Image Painted On The Side Of A Rock In Rural Iowa
Third Image Painted On The Side Of A Rock In Rural Iowa
Fourth Image Painted On The Side Of A Rock In Rural Iowa
Fifth Image Painted On The Side Of A Rock In Rural Iowa
Sixth Image Painted On The Side Of A Rock In Rural Iowa
THE FINAL INSPECTION
The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shows were shining
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek"
To My church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and said:
"No Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns
Can't always be a Saint."
"I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent
Because the world is awfully rough."
"But I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I've worked a lot of overtime
When the bills just got too steep."
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears."
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears."
If you've a place for me here, Lord
It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne
Where the Saints had often trod,
As the soldier waited quietly
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you soldier
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets
You've done your time in Hell."
~ Author Unknown ~
Number Of Visitors since 05/01/2006
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of Evil is for good men to do nothing."