I don’t like to beat up a topic; that is, once I publish it, I try to temper my enthusiasm and not continually post on the story. So Lt. Col. Will Adams surprising his daughter Alayna Adams at a baseball game is not new. But these get me every time. I can’t help myself.
Sometimes the stories I read about military members are bizarre. Like Army Sergeant 1st Class Naida Hosan changing her name to SFC Naida Christian Nova because her Soldiers thought she was muslim:
Or that Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn Jackson are being accused of making their foster children eat red pepper and assaulting them to the point of breaking their bones:
I surely hope this last story is not true. . .
There are days when I burst with pride at being English, as well as being British.
Cancel both today for at least 24 hours…
Quick background introduction…
The previous Labour Socialist Government (courtesy of Tony Blair & Gordon Brown) tore the heart out of the United Kingdom, as well as its economy, and left us in serious debt. The fight to regain solvency and dignity began when David Cameron’s Conservative party ousted the Champagne socialists. They got my vote…
They [Blair/Brown] also lied to us, the people! ‘Blatantly lied’ over how many immigrants, legal and illegal, had been allowed into the country under their watch. Not the 120 thousand or so that they were forced to admit to; but several hundred thousand, which was discovered through hard nosed investigative journalism. Good old Tony B’liar & Gordon ‘the clown’ Brown even suspended and relaxed immigration controls to allow them through. In doing so they also allowed, war criminals, terrorists, rapists, murderers, thieves, organised crime syndicates, and slave traffickers, a means of access to conduct their business from the United Kingdom. Each taking benefits and free housing along the way!
And why, you may be asking you’re self? Why did they allow the dregs of Europe to enter and rape and pillage our country and benefits system? Easy answer, it allowed them to plant and sow hundreds of thousands of potential Labour voters into the UK electoral system, which they would reap the benefit from through the following family’s generations. Hooray for Socialism!
Having vented my spleen somewhat, and provided you with a quick heads up, I will continue with the value of a life; but allow me to digress a little further…
Both wars in Iraq cost us dearly, through the loss of life as well as financially. From the first war we did not learn any real lessons from a military point of view. Through constant surveillance on the ‘Soviets’ throughout the cold war, we understood the workings of ‘Soviet tactics’ that are influenced upon any regime that purchases their military hardware (as it happens Soviet tactics do not work against the West’s military stratagem, especially when they are used in defence).
This point was proven in the second Iraq war, by allowing the Iraqi’s to sit and fester within ‘dug in’ defensive positions for a few months. Their Main Battle Tanks were not maintained, the *batteries of the MBT’s as well as light Armoured Fighting Vehicles were drained due to their secondary use of running lighting, fridges, TV’s, and radios. Adding to the problem was the difficulty of operating in desert conditions in front line positions over a long period, *dysentery becomes endemic, especially with an army known for its lack of hygiene standards at base level.
When the war started and the attack began, Iraqi *MBT’s and AFV’s were unable to electrically traverse their turrets toward the line of battle as it advanced towards them; they had to be slowly ‘organ-grinded’ by hand. No batteries no power, which also meant the vehicles could not withdraw; hence the graphic turkey shoots witnessed by all on TV. *Dysentery also destroyed effective manpower as well as morale.
Back to the value of a life (we are almost there)…
Once the battle for Iraq had been won, the real war started. We all know how the downtrodden people of Iraq turned their freedom into martyrdom, Muslim good- against-Christian evil, etc, etc… To turn the tide and to win over the people it required a few good Iraqi men to assist the coalition forces. The same genuine men who believed in true freedom, and the further belief that the liberation of their country would only truly happen when the internal conflict ceased. Step forwards the Iraqi (soon to be professional) Interpreter.
The coalition forces were fortunate in that most Iraqi’s speak decent English as a secondary language. The first POW’s taken from the first firefight surrender (as the first round went down), handed over information that an Intel officer could only dream of. For a packet of cigarettes handed through the barbed wire holding pen, the Iraqi would sell his soul to the devil; they also wanted shot of Saddam Hussein so it was a win, win, situation for all concerned.
As the hostilities continued after the fall of Iraq, there was only one way to gain true Intel, and that was through the services of Interpreters in the pay of the coalition forces. Initially the source was poor, until the wheat was separated from the chaff. Eventually, at the level required, trust and equal respect from both sides emerged, as the interpreters stood side by side through numerous firefights whilst monitoring electrical traffic and transferring the ‘devils tongue’ to a Christian passage. They also brought local knowledge and information from hard line areas that would normally take weeks, if not months, of groundwork and hard patrolling. The death toll and serious injuries amongst Interpreters remains shrouded for obvious reasons; many remain anonymous by name, and still live within Iraq, ready for a call if and when required in the future.
When it was discovered that the same people were receiving death threats, as well as being murdered for assisting the British Armed Forces; David Cameron offered a place of sanctuary here in the UK, and accepted those who chose to leave, they were granted ‘political migrant’ status.
Afghanistan, modern day; we are now at the point required…
The same Prime Minister, David Cameron, now denies the same ‘political Status’ to those Interpreters who have worked with every branch of the British Armed Forces on active duty, as well as those whose skills were sought within the British Foreign office in Kabul. There are those amongst them who have stood shoulder to shoulder with British troops engaged in long firefights; as well as actions unreported due to the restrictions of Special Forces clandestine ops. The same conduct would merit medals of courage and bravery had they been British. Twenty-six have been killed, some whilst attending to the wounded in battle; many have been seriously maimed. More than enough have been murdered for plying their trade.
The Foreign office is now dismissing the same people with a months wage in their pocket (£710-), giving them two hours to pack and then leave their place of work to ‘return from whence they came’, to the strong possibility of a death sentence. Some have served with distinction for over six years; they now live in total fear as their parental homes are literally daubed with the mark of death by extremist groups.
Without being dramatic over the issue, these same people have saved countless lives, as well as expensive military equipment through their interpretational skills and services. In comparison it would cost nothing to allow those who deserve the right to ‘political migrant’ status, to enjoy a quality of life within the United Kingdom. Their services could be better employed over here in the fight against terrorism, which has now spread throughout Europe.
Afghan interpreters launch UK legal bid
Former British soldiers Patrick Hennessey, left, and Jake Wood, right, and Interpreter “Mohammad”, centre, hold a wreath outside the Foreign Office in London, Friday, May 3, 2013. Campaigners and two former British soldiers gathered to deliver a box with over 70,000 signatures calling on the UK government to grant Afghan interpreters asylum, a wreath was laid in memory of the 26 Afghan interpreters who have already been killed while serving with British forces. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
£710- or $1,103- is the price of a life in Afghanistan according to the Foreign Office.
For those who have served with honour and distinction it is priceless…
P.S. In 2008, the fighting tenacity of the British actress Joanna Lumley, supported by the general public, shamed the Labour Government into giving the Gurkha Regiment the rights to British citizenship. It is hoped that ‘Mohammad’s crusade will be supported by the decent people who stepped forward in support of ‘Johnnie Gurkha’; each have unflinchingly assisted our Armed Forces in their time of need.
I am highly supportive of women doing whatever job in the military they have the skills to accomplish. Pilot, sure. Subs, hell yeah. I never wanted to sink below the waterline myself.
I have been wary with the argument that women are fit for ground combat in direct contact with enemy troops. Medics, nurses, doctors, in the field or at a FOB is one thing, but all-out warrior? I have my doubts. It remains a question of strength and psychology. Do females possess the requisite upper-body strength to perform the duty and what are the ramifications of integrating them into a platoon, squad, fire-team that spends weeks right on top of each other?
I do applaud this article on high school girls in Queensland getting a shot to chat and work with some female Army Soldiers:
About 20 female students from high schools in south-east Queensland are taking part in the five-day work experience program.
The young women are trying their hands at everything from engineering, medical work, catering and aviation.
Today they were even able to experience a flight in a Black Hawk helicopter.
Participant Tiffany Hofmeier says the camp has encouraged her to pursue her Army ambitions.
“Yeah it has. We spoke to two veterans last night and their stories were really inspiring,” she said.
“They pretty much gave across the message that women can do anything and we can do just as much as the guys.”
Head mentor Captain Jessica Boyd has described her eight years in the Army as the “ultimate career”.
Go get ‘em, ladies! (Hand Salute for the tip: Pax, thanks!)
As much as I like to poke the Army (and as much as one or three Army Sergeants drove me crazy when I was enlisted with their lack of communication ability), many genuine heroes have come out of their corps. Like MSgt John Hartley Robertson:
An elderly man found living in south-central Vietnam has claimed to be a U.S. war veteran who was presumed dead after his helicopter was shot down during a special ops mission over Laos in 1968.
But despite the potentially astonishing discovery, the man’s two daughters – whom he has never contacted since disappearing – have refused to take a DNA test to prove his identity.
The wife and daughters of Sgt. John Hartley Robertson, a one-time Green Beret, initially agreed to participate in DNA testing, before changing their minds last year, according to a filmmaker behind a new documentary asking whether the man is indeed who he says he is.
‘Somebody suggested to me maybe that’s (because) the daughters don’t want to know if it’s him,’ said Unclaimed director Michael Jorgensen. ’It’s kind of like, “That was an ugly war. It was a long time ago. We just want it to go away”.
‘I don’t know. What would compel you not to want to know if this person is your biological father?’
A 34-year-old Sergeant, who lost his leg during a 2006 military operation in Afghanistan, has become the first amputee to complete Army air assault school.
Sgt. 1st Class Greg Robinson, of Illinois, completed a course so grueling his prosthetic leg broke twice over the 10 days spent rappelling down ropes, navigating obstacle courses and completing strenuous road marches.
Each year thousands of soldiers are physically and mentally tested at the Fort Campbell school in Kentucky.
Instructors said Robinson accomplished everything other participants did and trainers cut him no slack even though he lost part of his right leg on a deployment to Afghanistan seven years ago.
Heroes, the Army has ‘em. . .
Before you all chuckle about intelligence officers and handbags, know that there is an active-duty intel o who takes discarded military gear and makes, you guessed it, urban rucks:
A female army intelligence officer is set for success in the fashion world after coming up with the idea to transform discarded tents, sleeping bags and parachutes into handbags and backpacks.
Emily Nunez, 23, who is stationed in Colorado and will be deploying overseas this June, started working on her military-inspired line of accessories called Sword & Plough last year.
And this week, in a bid to get her fledgling business off the ground, she started a 30-day campaign on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. In just two days her project has attracted $75,663 in donations – more than three times her original goal of $20,000.
To get the bags made Emily partnered with Green Vets Los Angeles, a nonprofit started by U.S. Army Reserve Major Jim Cragg in 2009 that gives veterans, both injured and non-injured, jobs in sewing factories.
Each of the khaki green tote bags and rucksacks, which range from $195 to $269, are finished with locally sourced leather from Colorado and brass hardware. A key fob, T-shirt, iPhone and iPad case are other products included in the range.
And while I think this a great idea, I will still give the intel-types I work with a hard time.
C’mon Lt. Tim McLaughlin! The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico wants that flag Sen. Chuck Schumer gave you (that was subsequently draped around Saddam Hussein’s statue.) But you don’t want it used as propaganda.
You would think that ABC News would get someone vaguely knowledgable on the military to write their Army stories. Any self-respecting Sergeant would turn four shades of red on hearing the word officer assigned to their rank. The tragic backstory, Michelle Miller was allegedly killed by her recruiter, SGT Adam Arndt. Who is referred to by the offensive term officer:
The father of a teenager who enlisted in the Army Reserves and was apparently killed by the sergeant who recruited her said his “smitten” daughter rushed to the officer’s side because she feared he was suicidal.
“He shot her,” Kevin Miller told ABCNews.com, choking up. “She went to help him and he shot her for it.”
Michelle Miller, 17, left her Rockville, Md., home at around 9:15 p.m. on Sunday night after receiving a text message from someone in her reservist platoon about Staff Sgt. Adam Arndt, according to her father Kevin Miller.
Arndt, 31, had recruited the Rockville High School senior to the Army Reserves, which she enlisted in to help pay her tuition for Arizona State University.
Miller rushed out of her house believing that Arndt was suicidal and told her family she had to help a friend. Her father asked her to send the exact address, but he only received one vague message from her.
I think the authorities are still unraveling the case. RIP Michelle and the whole Miller family. RIP SGT Arndt and his family also. . .
When is a rat not a rat?
When he is a Desert Rat!
One who served when called upon, and fought with distinction against incredible odds! Who, when ordered to “fight to the last man, the last round, and not to retire” did just that. With a ram-rod for a backbone, this Desert Rat engaged the enemy with a 25 pounder artillery gun at point-blank range, against overwhelming odds:
Former Sergeant Ray Ellis, of the 426th Battery of the South Nottinghamshire Hussars, was the last man standing; who did indeed fire the last round in action of that bloody battle that destroyed the Panzer tank he took aim upon.
The regiment around him was cut down and slaughtered to a man, each as they stood by their orders and their guns.
Ray Ellis, a 92-year-old veteran of the Second World War reflects upon a true story that happened on 6th June 1942. “The Battle of Knightsbridge” (reputed to be one of the bloodiest battles of WWII), which raged for three relentless days in the deserts of North Africa, against ‘Field Marshall Irwin Rommel’ and his advancing Panzer Korps.
We all should remember the sacrifice made by those who fought for our freedom, as they gave their own to secure it.