Saturday, June 30, 2012

Armed Forces Day: Wherever you are

Because the families also serve....

Military Wives

Armed Forces Day 2012

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day will be on Saturday, 30 June 2012.

It's an opportunity to do two things. Firstly, to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, Secondly, it gives the nation an opportunity to Show Your Support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets.

Across the country people are getting involved: communities hold local events and business show their support.

The National Event will be held in Plymouth, but there are many more events up and down the country being held in support of Armed Forces Day.

If you want to know more about the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force or meet members of local units, then why not attend an event or hold one yourself? Find out how you can get involved and what's going on in your area so that you too can celebrate Armed Forces Day in support of our nation.

Much more info - with lots of pictures - here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

WWII Bomber Command finally recognised

From the Beeb:

28 June 2012

Queen Unveils RAF Bomber Command Memorial

A £6m memorial to the 55,573 airmen of Bomber Command who died during World War II has been unveiled by the Queen.

At the ceremony in London's Green Park, Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Dalton said Bomber Command's "service and raw courage" had been recognised.

Some 6,000 veterans and families of the deceased watched a Lancaster bomber drop thousands of poppies in a flypast.

Criticism of large-scale area bombing by the RAF near the end of WWII had stalled plans for a memorial for years.

Veterans from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other countries who served alongside the British crew also attended the ceremony....

Much more - and some great links - here. For the Canadian perspective on this historical event, go here.

Navajo Code Talker Frank Chee Willeto laid to rest

Native American Times:

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.Frank Chee Willeto, a Navajo Code Talker and former Navajo Nation vice president, has died, the Navajo Nation announced this week. He was 87.

Officials said Willeto died Saturday in his home in Pueblo Pintado, N.M.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly ordered on Monday the Navajo Nation flag be flown at half-staff in honor of Willeto.

“(He) served his country and returned home and served his people in many ways,” Shelly said in a statement. “His life is an example of how to help people continuously until his last days. The Navajo Nation's prayers and condolences are with the family of Mr. Willeto.”

In 1944, Willeto enlisted with the U.S. Marines 6th Division, where he took Code Talker training classes. He then served in the Pacific Theater in Saipan and Okinawa.

He received the Congressional Silver Medal in 2001 for his role as a Navajo Code Talker.

Willeto was born in Crownpoint, N.M. After World War II, he returned to the reservation and worked with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs roads department from 1946 to 1974.
He was elected as a tribal councilman in 1974 and served until 1986, when he was elected president of the Pueblo Pintado chapter. He served as vice president of the Navajo Nation under the Milton Bluehouse administration.

Willeto's funeral services were scheduled for Thursday at Tse Yi Gai High School in Pueblo Pintado with burial Friday in the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Military police cleared in Afghan detainee transfer report

From the CBC:

Report compares commission process to stonewalled Somalia inquiry
By Laura Payton, CBC News
Jun 27, 2012

The Military Police Complaints Commission says there was no wrongdoing by Canadian military police in the long-running controversy over the torture of detainees in Afghanistan.

The mandate of the commission's inquiry was tightly restricted to the question of whether a small group of eight military police officers had a duty to investigate the risk that detainees handed over to Afghan authorities might be tortured. It's illegal under Canadian law to knowingly transfer prisoners of war into a situation where they'll be tortured.

The MPCC report was also harshly critical of the government, devoting a chapter of the report to taking the government to task for stonewalling the commission....

Much more here ...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Hero

SP4 Donald Ward Evans, Jr.
SP4 Donald Ward Evans, Jr.
23 years old from Covina, California
Company A, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
January 27, 1967
U.S. Army

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Specialist Fourth Class Donald Ward Evans, Jr. (ASN: 56413728), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company A, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Tri Tam, Republic of Vietnam, on 27 January 1967. Specialist Fourth Class Evans left his position of relative safety with his platoon which had not yet been committed to the battle to answer the calls for medical aid from the wounded men of another platoon which was heavily engaged with the enemy force. Dashing across 100 meters of open area through a withering hail of enemy fire and exploding grenades, he administered lifesaving treatment to one individual and continued to expose himself to the deadly enemy fire as he moved to treat each of the other wounded men and to offer them encouragement. Realizing that the wounds of one man required immediate attention, Specialist Fourth Class Evans dragged the injured soldier back across the dangerous fire-swept area, to a secure position from which he could be further evacuated. Miraculously escaping the enemy fusillade, Specialist Fourth Class Evans returned to the forward location. As he continued the treatment of the wounded, he was struck by fragments from an enemy grenade. Despite his serious and painful injury he succeeded in evacuating another wounded comrade, rejoined his platoon as it was committed to battle and was soon treating other wounded soldiers. As he evacuated another wounded man across the fire covered field, he was severely wounded. Continuing to refuse medical attention and ignoring advice to remain behind, he managed with his waning strength to move yet another wounded comrade across the dangerous open area to safety. Disregarding his painful wounds and seriously weakened from profuse bleeding, he continued his lifesaving medical aid and was killed while treating another wounded comrade. Specialist Fourth Class Evan's extraordinary valor, dedication and indomitable spirit saved the lives of several of his fellow soldiers, served as an inspiration to the men of his company, were instrumental in the success of their mission, and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

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.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fly your flag...Canada???!


I have written in the past of Americans (usually Veterans) who have run afoul of HOA 'rules' when they have flown their American flags proudly, only to be told they are 'not allowed.' because it 'spoils' the look of their homes, or some such nonsense.

It seems that this is happening in Canada, too. Hot on the heels of an Edmonton man (yes, a Veteran) being fined $250 for his contravention of local rules telling him where and when he can fly the flag he fought for, a MP is now steering a private member's bill through Ottawa to enshrine Canadians' rights to fly their flag. From the National Post:

Wavin’ flag: Bill to protect right to fly Canadian flag nears royal assent
Jake Edmiston
Jun 24, 2012

Bill C-288, dubbed the National Flag of Canada Act, passed through its final Senate reading on Monday and is expected to receive royal assent next week.

Conservative MP John Carmichael says he hopes the new law will settle disputes between condo boards and residents nationwide.

He presented the bill in the House of Commons in September 2011 after hearing complaints from “a dozen or so” tenants living across Ontario who were barred from hanging flags from their balconies because they were seen as an affront to the building aesthetic.

“I found that Canadians in fact don’t have the right to fly the flag, they assume it twice a year: Canada Day and Flag Day on Feb. 15,” Mr. Carmichael said of his motives at the flag-raising celebration held at CNIB headquarters in Toronto on Friday. “The more I got into it, I realized it was a problem.”

The latest complaint came to the MP’s attention from an Edmonton couple who were fined $250 by their condo board for failing to remove a Canadian flag windsock from their balcony. William Nienhuis, 72, put up copies of the fine notice he received from the condo board, with “No Freedom” written overtop.

He was fined another $250 for littering....

Unbelievable that this should even NEED to be legislated, but there it is. For the rest of this sorry story, go here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

9/11 Museum: Ten years on

Still all politics all the time, which means still no completed Museum. Read on:

Petty political bickering puts 9/11 Museum at standstill

June 24, 2012 David Seifman

This is getting to be an embarrassment.

The battle between Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg over funding of the 9/11 Museum has entered its 10th month with no resolution in sight, despite optimistic statements from both sides just a couple of weeks ago that a deal was near.

In the meantime, work on the historic project has ground to a virtual halt.

Thousands of visitors from around the world who swarm to the haunting 9/11 memorial every day were supposed to be able to visit the accompanying museum starting in September. That opening has been pushed back indefinitely.

One insider said questions about whether the Port Authority or the museum foundation should be responsible for an estimated $150 million in infrastructure costs has narrowed to as little as $5 million that’s still in dispute.

“It’s a joke,” said the insider. “You’re dealing with $11 billion in construction [at the World Trade Center site], and they can’t get past this $5 million?”

Other larger numbers have also been tossed around. But they appear not to be major stumbling blocks.

“We’re down to a few things, a very small amount of money where we disagree,” the mayor announced on June 6.

The Post reported last week that Cuomo is holding the museum’s funding hostage out of distress that his dad, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, was treated shabbily at last year’s 10th anniversary Ground Zero ceremony....

You just know there is more to this bs. Go here.

Note to the politicians dragging their heels: Enough already! This is NOT all about you. Get your fingers out and do what needs to be done to ensure that our 9/11 families have a Museum to be proud of.

To everything there is a season

Thursday, June 21, 2012

For President Obama aka Leaker In Chief: Tell on me

Had to share this:

Tell on me: The Ballad of US Agents

Jun 15, 2012 by

A song to the Leaker-in-Chief from America's friends, based on the immortal song of Ben E. King, "Stand by Me." Produced by Latma, Israel's premiere satire group

BHO: What IS the truth?

"Something a little shaky going on.." So said the Mouth In Chief at the beginning of the current never ending campaign.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you'll have heard over the last year of the Fast and Furious disgrace that bears direct responsibility for the murder of a patriotic American Border Guard, Brian Terry.

Wake Up America and others have been closely following and documenting all the lies, the weaving and bobbing of the self-proclaimed 'most transparent' government, as they have worked overtime - when the MIC isn't golfing, that is - to subvert justice.

These last few days the contempt of this administration for the rule of American law has been on full display for any but the most determinedly wilfully ignorant. Please go over to Wake Up America and see the latest attempts to hide the truth.

One of the things the *most tech savvy* POTUS ever seems not to have grasped is that, once there is a video documentation of all his utterances, those words stay on the internet FOREVER. Sometimes, those words, courtesy of the very technology that helped sweep BHO and his criminal cohorts into 1600, DO come back to bite him on the ass. That's what happens when you have never met a mic you don't like..

Take a look:

So back then, BHO was against the use of Executive Privilege. Fast Forward (furiously???!~) to just yesterday, and apparently now the Truth Team leader is no longer against Executive Privilege, choosing to shield Eric Holder from the consequences of his hiding the truth of this administration's dealings.

Over the last 3+ years, I have often wondered aloud just what the tipping point will be for the American people to stand up and say "NO more" as BHO and his sycophants have proved their total disregard for America's laws, her Constitution.

Could this latest most blatant middle finger act by the Truth Team be the straw that breaks the camel's back?

NOW, more than ever, Amerians (and those of us who love America) need to be extra vigilant as BHO et al attempt to do their sleight of hand behind closed doors.

You want the TRUTH? Don't count on the Mouth In Chief to volunteer..he wouldn't recognise the Truth if it bit him on his Pinnochio nose.

Man Bites Dog - in North Carolina

From Homeland Security NewsWire:

June 21 2012

A 22-year old man name Keith Glaspie, running away from police officers in Wilmington, North Carolina was chased and caught by well-trained, 2-year old police dog named Maxx; when Maxx would not let go of the Glaspie’s pants, preventing him from moving, Glaspie tore into Maxx’s ear with his teeth, severing the dog’s ear in two.

Last Friday, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Keith Glaspie, 22, allegedly opened fire on an occupied vehicle while riding by on a bicycle. No one was killed or injured in the shooting.

On Sunday, the Wilmington police, acting on a tip, spotted Glaspie walking on Henry Street, and surrounded him. He refused to surrender and began to run, so the officers ordered a well-trained, 2-year old police dog named Maxx to run after him.

Maxx easily caught up with Glaspie, and grabbed Glaspie’s trousers, not letting go. Glaspie then tore into Maxx’s ear with his teeth, severing the dog’s ear in two. Maxx responded by escalating its tactics, biting Glaspie’s leg and pinning him down until the officers arrived.

Maxx’s ear required more than fifteen stitches. Glaspie was treated for wounds to his thigh at New Hanover Regional Medical Center before police took him to jail.

“When [Glaspie] was biting the dog, it was something we haven’t seen,” Cpl. David Pellegrino told ABC affiliate WWAY in Wilmington. “Yes, our dogs do get assaulted, but no one has ever tried to cannibalize one of our animals before.”..


*Bratdog approves this story - and says: throw away the jail cell key.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Hero

Pfc. Joshua Ummel
Pfc. Joshua Ummel
U.S. Marines

Pfc. Joshua Ummel, Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon member, spins his M1 Garand rifle in the inspection line as part of the SDP's performance during a Tuesday Sunset Parade at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., June 5

Photo Courtesy U.S. Marines

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

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.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Vietnam: Thank you for your Service

May 25, 2012 by

[H/T Mike]

9/11 health fund to cover cancer

I have long advocated that all levels of government should do the right thing by our First Responders of 9/11. I have often written about those survivors who not only have to fight the diseases and illness they got as a direct result of their actions that terrible day, but have also had to fight their governments to have those diseases and illness recognised and treated appppropriately and honourably. At the beginning of June I wrote this:

Feds’ 9/11 cancer decision delayed for “no significant reason”

I have often written about the legacy of illnesses which our 9/11 First Responders live with 11 years on. Ever since 9/11, the politicians have dragged their heels against paying the surviving men and women what they are owed for their courageous acts on that terrible day. If you put 'Zadroga Bill', or any combination of '9/11,' or 'First Responders' in the search thingie at the top left of this site, you can trace the battles being fought by our First Responders and those who love them continue to fight

One of the recurring issues has been whether cancer should be included in the criteria for compensation. I have written of Firemen, Policemen and EMT survivors who have had to fight to their last cancerous breath to have the politicians do the honourable thing, and acknowledge that cancer is a direct result of what happened on September 11, 2001, and that these personnel and their families should be compensated.... (read the rest here)

Now, finally, comes this:

9/11 health fund to cover cancer

By Elise Viebeck - 06/11/12

People exposed to toxic World Trade Center dust will now see cancer covered under the health fund created to treat their illnesses.

The highly anticipated decision means that anyone exposed to fallout from the towers' collapse can apply to receive treatment if they develop cancer — whether the cancer can be definitively linked to the 9/11 event or not.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the law that created the fund, praised the decision by Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

"I think it’s an important statement that the country’s going to take care of the workers and people who are there to save the lives of the people of the city,” she told The New York Times.
Some have wondered whether the decision is fair because it is hard to establish whether a case of cancer — 50 types will be covered — developed specifically because of Ground Zero debris. Others point out that the $4.3 billion health fund will now have fewer resources for illnesses that are definitively linked to the 9/11 fallout.

Those living, working or attending school in Lower Manhattan between Sept. 11, 2001, and May 2002 are among those eligible for compensation for pain, suffering and economic loss, according to the Times. (source: Healthwatch)

This is a step in the right direction, but I - for one - will not be happy until every politician stops playing politics with the lives of our 9/11 Heroes, and opens up the purse strings. Period.

It is wrong, wrong, WRONG that these Americans should ever have to concern themselves with anything other than taking care of themselves and their families.

Keep Calm and Carry On: The history behind the icon

Uploaded by on Feb 28, 2012

To find out more about Barter Books visit to download the 'Keep Calm' iphone app visit

A short film that tells the story behind the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' poster. Its origins at the beginning of WWII and its rediscovery in a bookshop in England in 2000, becoming one of the iconic images of the 21st century. Film, music, script and narration by Temujin Doran. Concept and production by Nation.

[H/T Brenda]

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Some Gave All: Corporal Alex Guy

Corporal Alex Guy killed in Afghanistan

A Military Operations news article

16 Jun 12

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Alex Guy, of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, was killed in action on Friday 15 June 2012.

Corporal Guy, aged 37, commanded a fire support section in Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province. His section was conducting a partnered patrol with elements of the Afghan National Army when they were caught in an insurgent ambush. Corporal Guy was leading his section forward to assist a group of Afghan soldiers who were pinned down by enemy fire when he was fatally wounded.

Corporal Alex Guy

Corporal Alex William Guy was born on 13th September 1974 in Norwich and grew up in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. He enlisted into the British Army aged 18 and joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, 'The Vikings', in 1993. He was quickly identified as a talented young leader and was promoted to Lance Corporal in 1995.

In 2000 he was selected for training as a specialist in the Anti-Tank Platoon and was promoted to corporal in 2003. After a spell as an Army recruiter he returned to the Battalion in 2010 to begin preparations for deployment on Operation HERRICK 16. He deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012 where his section was attached to B Company of the Estonian Scouts Battalion, part of the 1 Royal Anglian Battlegroup.

During his nineteen years of loyal service he deployed on no fewer than eight operational tours, including Bosnia, Iraq, three of Northern Ireland and three of Afghanistan. He had also been recently selected for promotion to the rank of Sergeant.

Corporal Guy was a proud member of the Vikings, much loved by all who knew him. He was a natural soldier and a hard-working and popular leader who cared deeply about those in his charge. He threw himself into everything he did and his humble yet consummate professionalism set the example for others to follow.

He was a devoted husband to his beloved wife Emma and a friend to so many within the Regimental family. In every respect he embodied the strong family ethos of the Regiment and his loss will be mourned by all.

Corporal Guy leaves behind his wife, Emma, mother and father, Aileen and Andrew, and sisters Rebecca and Martha.

Corporal Guy’s mother Aileen said:

“Alex was born on Friday 13th September 1974 at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital into a military family, as the family was stationed at RAF Coltishall at the time. We went to live in St. Neots in 1979 and Alex went to Bushmead Infant School in 1980.

“He was a happy, friendly child who loved joining in with any activities – in and out of school. He went to Ernulf Community School (now Academy) in 1986. As a teenager he was in the St. Neots RAF Cadets and loved it.

“He left school in 1991 and eventually decided to join the Army in 1992. The comradeship and discipline and ‘sense of family’ meant everything to him.

“He was a wonderful and loving son, husband, brother, friend and comrade.”

Corporal Guy’s wife Emma, whom he married in 2006, said:

“Alex was kind. A happy, full-of-life and kind hearted man, with a passion for his work and family.”

Emma’s mother, Glencora Todd, said:

“A gentle, kind-hearted, generous much missed son-in-law who was devoted to our daughter.”

Much more about this precious Fallen Hero here.

Rest in peace, Sir.

Some Gave All: Lance Corporal James Ashworth

Lance Corporal James Ashworth killed in Afghanistan

A Military Operations news article

15 Jun 12

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal James Ashworth from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 13 June 2012.

Lance Corporal Ashworth, aged 23, died as a result of enemy action while on patrol with the Reconnaissance Platoon of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal James Ashworth

Lance Corporal James Ashworth joined the British Army in 2006 when he was 17 years old. Following his training at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, he joined Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards and completed a stint of ceremonial duty in London.

He was quickly identified as being a fit, capable soldier and thus suitable for the Guards' Parachute Platoon, part of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment. He spent three years with the Guards' Parachute Platoon, deploying on Op HERRICK 8 and exercising in Belize, Norway and Kenya.

On returning to the Grenadiers during the build up for Op HERRICK 16, Lance Corporal Ashworth deployed to Canada with The Queen's Company before moving across to the Reconnaissance Platoon for the remainder of Mission Specific Training for Op HERRICK 16.

A talented football player, he represented the Battalion, most notably during their successful recent French military tour.

Lance Corporal Ashworth came from a strong lineage of soldiering: his father was a Grenadier, and one of his brothers, Coran aged 21, is currently serving with the Army in Northern Ireland.

Brought up in Kettering, he continued to live there with his mother and girlfriend. When at home he played football for his local team and loved spending time with his girlfriend and friends.

Lance Corporal Ashworth was an excellent soldier with a bright future ahead of him. He was an exceptional individual with a great deal of proven combat experience. Although only recently promoted as a Non Commissioned Officer, he was already working hard to further progress his career by assuming greater responsibility.

He was a very fit, popular young man and will be remembered for his strength in the field and his sense of fun when back in barracks. Lance Corporal Ashworth was a typical Grenadier: fit, capable and a professional soldier to the core.

The gap left by his loss will be difficult to fill, and he will be sorely missed by all who served with him. The thoughts and prayers of the Regimental family are firmly with James' family during this difficult time.

Lance Corporal Ashworth leaves behind his mother, Kerryann, father Duane, sisters Lauren and Paige, brothers Coran and Karl, niece Darcie, aged 4, and his girlfriend, Emily.

Lance Corporal Ashworth's family paid the following tribute:

"We are devastated by the loss of our son, brother, uncle and boyfriend. He meant the world to everyone and has left an irreplaceable hole in our hearts.

"We ask that we are given time to grieve and we sincerely thank everyone for their condolences."..

Go here and spend some time learning about LCpl Ashworth in the words of those who know and love him the most.

Rest in peace, Sir.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Canadian Minister STILL shirks his duty to Veterans

As a follow up to a story about one of Canada's Veterans which I brought you June 4, it appears that the Minister responsible is STILL refusing to do the right thing. Read on:


Opposition Joins Advocate in Condemning VAC Minister

St. John’s – While Steven Blaney was in Halifax touting his support of veterans to the Legion Convention, the NDP added their voices to the growing condemnation of the Minister of Veterans Affairs over his inaction towards a homeless veteran.

NDP VAC Peter Stoffer declared, “Once again Minister Blaney shows his true colours when it comes to the quality of life of our veterans. Mr. Melanson is a decorated soldier who deserves our utmost respect. Minister Blaney must fix this appalling situation immediately.”

“It’s hypocritical of the Minister to be talking about how much he listens to veterans, about how committed he is to meeting their needs, while the bank is preparing to sell Fabien Melanson’s home,” said advocate Jeff Rose-Martland, “Veterans Affairs destroyed that veteran’s life and the Minister won’t lift a finger, but he’ll stand before a crowd and talk about his dedication to former soldiers. It’s unbelievable.”

In 2004, a VAC error deprived Melanson of his pension for 5 months, setting off a chain of events which resulted in destruction of his home and a suicide attempt. The lost income halted renovations, leading to significant weather damage to his house. The financial stress aggravated the Bosnia-Croatia veteran’s PTSD and he wound up in hospital. He has spent the last 8 years homeless, fighting for compensation from Veterans Affairs.

Last week, Minister Blaney claimed that Melanson’s case had been addressed long ago. NDP Deputy VAC Critic Sylvain Chicoine was appalled at the response: “If the issue had been resolved, this man would be living in his house!” said Chicoine.

Rose-Martland agreed: “The Minister is saying that the case if over because VAC paid the back-pension. That’s nonsense. You can’t deprive someone of their income for months and not accept responsibility for the results. The situation wasn’t resolved, it was just brushed aside.”

Bridgewater Bank has now seized the property because the former Van Doo was unable to fix his house. “We’ve been appealing to Minister Blaney for a year,” said Melanson’s advocate, “But he has been ignoring Fabien ever since he became Minister.”

Two weeks ago, the Green Party condemned the Minister. Their 30 May release said, “This is inexcusable, heartless and shameful. All Canadians should be disgusted by this dithering and inaction.”

“Minister Blaney has a perfect opportunity here to demonstrate his caring for veterans,” said Rose-Martland, “He can perform the duty of his office and take responsibility for VAC’s error. He can give this veteran back his life.”


For Fabien Melanson
Jeff Rose-Martland, President - Our Duty Inc,

For the NDP
Youssef Amane, Caucus Press Secretary,

For the Green Party
Debra Eindiguer, Press Secretary,

(Falklands) War is Over

From the BBC:

14 June 2012

Falkland Islands marks the end of 1982 war with Argentina

The Falkland Islands will mark 30 years since the end of the war with Argentina later, with services at Port Stanley's cathedral and Liberation Monument.

Britain liberated the UK territory from Argentine occupation on 14 June 1982.

David Cameron issued a message saying Britain's support for the islands had "not wavered in the last 30 years and it will not in the years ahead".

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has demanded talks on the islands' future through adverts in the UK press.

The liberation of the islands after 74 days of Argentine occupation will be marked with a service of thanksgiving at Christ Church Cathedral in the Falklands capital, Port Stanley.

Veterans of the 1982 war will then lead a military parade to the Liberation Monument for an act of remembrance....

We lost 255 British Military as they defended the sovereignty of the Falklands. Read more - check out the links - here, and remember and honour them all.

Fly your flag, America!

Created by

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday Hero

Gary Sinisel
Gary Sinise

Everyone knows Gary Sinise, the actor. But Wednesday Hero is profiling Gary Sinise, the patriot. Since 2004, Sinise has been playing for our troops around the world with the Lt. Dan Band as well as for charities and benefits. In 2004 he, along with author Laura Hillenbrand, founded Operation Iraqi Children, now known as Operation International Children, to get school supplies to children children in Iraq. The program has since expanded to help children around the world. He serves as the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial raising awareness for the memorial and other veterans' services. And in 2010 Sinise started the Gary Sinise Foundation to honor defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

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.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

4,000 more UK Military affected by latest cuts

From the BBC:

MoD tells 4,000 military staff of job losses

12 June 2012

More than 4,000 military personnel have received redundancy notices in the latest round of armed forces cuts.

About a third are compulsory redundancies in a second wave of job losses which follow 2,860 job cuts announced in August and September 2011.

It is the last major round of redundancies for the RAF and Royal Navy, but the army faces more job cuts.

The defence secretary says the cuts are to plug a black hole in the defence budget inherited by the government.

In this tranche, 2,900 posts will go from the Army, 900 from the RAF and 300 from the Royal Navy.

The MoD wants to cut 29,000 military and 25,000 civilian posts by 2015, to plug a £38bn defence budget gap....

Go read the rest - and check out the other links - here.

Domestic Drones coming to a neighbourhood near you

From Homeland Security NewsWire:

Day of wide-spread domestic drone use nears
12, June 2012

So far, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration( FAA) has issued 266 active testing permits for civilian-drone applications, but has yet to allow drones wide-scale access to U.S. airspace; law enforcement and industry officials say that it is only a matter of time before the FAA would allow the more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and departments to begin to use drones for surveillance

If you thought that the use of drones in the war against terrorists is controversial, wait until drones are used more widely in domestic surveillance and law enforcement missions. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already issued permits to several police departments to use UAVs, but the practice is not yet wide-spread.

The Daily Mail reports that on 23 April, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley issued a 30-page memorandum discussing the issue of drone use in domestic missions. Donley says that drones may be used to “collect information about U.S. persons,” and that the photos that these drones will collect may be retained, used, or even distributed to other branches of the U.S. government as long as the “recipient is reasonably perceived to have a specific, lawful governmental function” in seeking to have access to the photos (Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, offers a different take on the legality of domestic drone use; see his Washington Times article)....

More, that YOU need to know here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I can see November from here

No style, no substance. Yankeemom has a great video and commentary up today:

Yankeemom has much more: Four More Years? No, we Won't!

Folloing the Mouth In Chief's declaration last week that the private sector is 'doing fine', the RNC actually got on it, and produced a response:

The truth of the matter is, that BHO et al has made so many terrible decisions as they have rushed to reshape America, that all ANY opponents need to do is ensure that the FACTS - you know evidence-based statistics - are hammered to the American voting public.

The truth of the matter is that America - nor the rest of us - can afford another 4 years of the BHO philosophy and administration.

Wake UP, America.

Royal Gibraltar Regiment shares medical training with Afghans

A People In Defence news article

11 Jun 12

A Royal Gibraltar Regiment soldier is currently working with an advisory team in Helmand to provide lifesaving medical training to Afghan soldiers.

Corporal Chris Milliken at Forward Operating Base Shawqat in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan
[Picture: Sergeant Andy Reddy, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

Corporal Chris Milliken, from Belfast, is one of a number of members of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment who are currently augmenting other units in Afghanistan and playing an important part in operations.

He is one of two dozen British Army advisors working alongside the Afghan National Army in Forward Operating Base Shawqat, both during routine barrack training and also in patrolling the local area.

The aim of the training Cpl Milliken is providing is to get a number of Afghan soldiers to an increased level of medical skills so that they can treat any injured comrades. Following the medical training, the British advisors will continue to ensure the Afghans maintain all their skills to a high standard. Cpl Milliken said:

"Keeping your mucker next to you alive is the most important thing to me, and I think it's exactly the same with the Afghan National Army. It gives them the confidence that if anything goes wrong then there's somebody there that will be able to treat them.

"Like any soldier in any country, the Afghans can take a while to learn new skills, but when they get to grips with it they really show their professionalism."

Cpl Milliken and his team are not only training soldiers in basic skills but also making sure that each part of the local Afghan Army unit is operating to its full potential and ready to maintain security in the area.

(c) MoD

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Words to live by: Do it Anyway

In a stroke of what can only be Divine Timing, just heard this one:

(And yes, I absolutely AM singing, always!!!)

Friday, June 8, 2012

For Kevin

Soar free through the heavens, Kevin......

I love you, Nancy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feds’ 9/11 cancer decision delayed for “no significant reason”

I have often written about the legacy of illnesses which our 9/11 First Responders live with 11 years on. Ever since 9/11, the politicians have dragged their heels against paying the surviving men and women what they are owed for their courageous acts on that terrible day. If you put 'Zadroga Bill', or any combination of '9/11,' or 'First Responders' in the search thingie at the top left of this site, you can trace the battles being fought by our First Responders and those who love them continue to fight

One of the recurring issues has been whether cancer should be included in the criteria for compensation. I have written of Firemen, Policemen and EMT survivors who have had to fight to their last cancerous breath to have the politicians do the honourable thing, and acknowledge that cancer is a direct result of what happened on September 11, 2001, and that these personnel and their families should be compensated.

Recently I wrote that it looked - finally - as if the lawmakers were going to concede to what has been obvious to the rest of us that, yes, indeed, previously healthy men and women who ran in to save lives, while others ran away, have got cancer from the severely noxious chemicals they breathed in. Material that has long been on scientific record as cancerous, was finally going to be added to the list of those diseases that our 9/11 First Responders- and Ground Zero recovery workers/crews who worked months in the aftermath - MUST BE compensated for.

On February 27 I wrote about The Cancer of 9/11

The cancer of 9/11

February 25, 2012,
Help might finally be on the way for heroes of 9/11 who have fallen ill with cancer. The disease has slowly been overtaking all too many of the first responders at Ground Zero.

Now a federal panel has advised that a $2.76-billion program for people sickened by World Trade Center toxins ought to be expanded to include cancers.

The Zadroga Act, which covers asthma, breathing problems and other ailments, excludes cancer from the list of illnesses eligible for treatment and compensation.

This must change as soon as possible. As we have urged before, those who have been sickened from working on the pile of toxic debris - police, firefighters, emergency workers and others - deserve government-backed health care and financial support.

Remember they were initially misled by officials to believe that the dust on the ground and in the air was safe.

To this point, the list of covered illnesses has remained limited, partly because federal lawmakers were concerned about runaway costs and illegitimate claims.

But there is no question that known carcinogens - including asbestos, benzene-laden jet fuel and other toxins - were present among the nearly 300 chemicals that Ground Zero workers handled and inhaled day after day.

For some, the results have already been lethal. ...

This is the TRUTH. Read the rest of this one here.

Needless to say, I have been following this issue very closely, and within the last month there were headlines that a decision was finally imminent.

Read this:

Feds to rule on whether to grant cancer aid for victims of WTC dust exposure

Published: Friday, June 01, 2012

NEW YORK A federal health official is expected to decide within days whether to expand an aid program for anyone sickened by World Trade Center dust to cover cancer, a move that would be cheered by many former ground zero workers, but could also prove costly and come at the expense of people with ailments more conclusively linked to 9/11's toxic fallout.

An advisory committee recommended in March that the government open up the $4.3 billion program to people with cancers in 14 different broad categories, including nearly all of the most common forms of the disease....(more here)

BY ALINE REYNOLDS | The jury’s still out on whether or not certain forms of cancer will be added to the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

" penalty for missing it....” ??????? Really? Go read the rest of that here.

To this point, the list of covered illnesses has remained limited, partly because federal lawmakers were concerned about runaway costs and illegitimate claims.

But there is no question that known carcinogens - including asbestos, benzene-laden jet fuel and other toxins - were present among the nearly 300 chemicals that Ground Zero workers handled and inhaled day after day.

We all KNOW that what the Ground Zero workers inhaled on that day and in the aftermath IS killing them, and that IS their ultimate penalty as these dipshit politicians drag their heels.

As one of my First Responder 'peeps' said to me recently: the longer they drag their heels, the more of us will have died off. Sadly, that is the truth.

I promise the politicians that even if every First Responder who has cancer shucks off their earth suit because for the politicians 'there is no penalty,' this unbiased *cough* reporter will NOT rest until the lawmakers do the right thing.

The lawmakers may think they can ignore this pressing issue. They cannot. There are many of us out here who are paying close attention. We will continue to DEMAND that America does the right thing for all the 9/11 First Responders - Ground Zero recovery crews.

Yeah, I am furious, and yeah, thank God for bp meds.

Pay attention, America.

US and counter-terrorism in east Africa

From Homeland Security News Wire:

U.S. readies counter-terror offensive in east Africa

June 7, 2012

Yesterday the U.S. State Department announced rewards totaling $33 million for information about the location of seven key leaders of Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamic militant group, seeking for the first time to target the top leadership of that organization; the increasingly precise, and increasingly lethal, U.S. drone campaign against al Qaeda and al Qaeda-affiliated organizations in Pakistan, a campaign which has killed hundreds of Islamic militants and dozens of their leaders, owes its success to one thing: good intelligence; the United States is now increasing its anti-terrorist intelligence collection efforts in Africa

Somalia's al Shabaab islamists are now on U.S. radar // Source:

The increasingly precise, and increasingly lethal, U.S. drone campaign against al Qaeda and al Qaeda-affiliated organizations in Pakistan has killed hundreds of Islamic militants and dozens of their leaders. Just one example: after Osama bin laden was killed by U.S. Special Forces last spring, there were five leaders in al Qaeda’s top echelons who were considered as potential replacement. Four of them have been taken out by the United States since last August.

The drone campaign against militants in Pakistan, a campaign which began under the Bush administration but the Obama administration has intensified and expanded the campaign dramatically, owes its success to one thing: good intelligence. The U.S. intelligence services, relying on both SIGINT and human intelligence, have been able to breach al Qaeda’s tight security arrangements, compromise the organization’s communications, and penetrate al Qaeda’s cells at the village level....

Go - read the rest of this very interesting article here.

Oh yes: Pay attention!


Diamond welcome for troops back from Afghanistan

A History and Honour news article

7 Jun 12

Soldiers who fly and maintain the Army's Apache attack helicopters have been presented with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal on their return from operations in Afghanistan.

Members of 654 Squadron, 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, on parade at Wattisham
[Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

Some 150 troops from Wattisham-based 654 Squadron, 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, returned from a four-month tour of Helmand province last week.

On Thursday, 31 May, the squadron paraded at Wattisham to welcome home its soldiers and to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Major Mark Ackrill, Officer Commanding 654 Squadron, said:

"It's been a very busy and rewarding tour but it's great to be back to our families, who have been really well looked after by the welfare team.

"It is an honour for the squadron to receive the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal as we celebrate our safe return from operational service. The medal recognises the service of the military to Queen and country, as well as that of the Queen for the country."

Major Mark Ackrill congratulates another member of 654 Squadron

Major Mark Ackrill congratulates another member of 654 Squadron, 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, during the medal parade at Wattisham [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

Major Ackrill, aged 37 from Solihull, has completed three tours of Afghanistan flying the Apache.

He said:

"The amount of engagements Apaches are involved in has remained fairly constant, but I can observe progress. The troops on the ground have stabilised the situation in Helmand, meaning they can set the tempo, and we're providing considered and focused support to operations to help improve security for local people."

For Apache pilot Sergeant Chris Hawkins this latest deployment was his second tour of Afghanistan, having retrained as a pilot since his first deployment as a signaller in 2006. He said:

"It's very different to fly the Apache rather than manning a radio in a tent.

Major Mark Ackrill and Sergeant Chris Hawkins

Major Mark Ackrill and Sergeant Chris Hawkins of 654 Squadron, 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, proudly display their Diamond Jubilee Medals [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

"My ambition on joining the Army was to fly helicopters and before I deployed I'd done almost 300 flying hours during training which I've more or less doubled in Afghanistan.

"It was a very interesting experience and the infantry really appreciate the Apache because our presence is enough to deter things from happening on the ground.

"It's fantastic to receive a medal on our return as recognition of our service at a special time for the whole nation."

664 Squadron, also part of 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, has replaced 654 Squadron and will operate the Apache in Afghanistan for the next four months.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal is being awarded to all Armed Forces personnel with at least five years' service to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.

(c) MoD

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Kathi

Netherlands American Military Cemetery and Memorial
Netherlands American Military Cemetery and Memorial

This week, Wednesday Hero isn't honoring a person or even an organization. It's honoring an entire town. A small town in Holland to be exact. In September 1944 this area of Holland was devastated by retreating Nazis. So much so that when American troops arrived and asked if they could use some of their land to bury their dead they were given 50 football fields worth. In 1960 the Netherlands American Military Cemetery and Memorial was dedicated. The townspeople have even went so far as to adopt each grave and in doing so their family has become responsible for taking care of it.

You Can Read More Here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

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.
Wednesday Hero Logo

D Day: "We will NEVER surrender"

(courtesy CBC)
(Courtesy BBC)

The sun was just coming up over the Normandy coast at about 5 a.m. on June 6, 1944 – D-Day

The Allied navies – Canadian, British, American – had brought a huge invasion fleet from England to France in total darkness. For men on the ships, first light showed the black shapes of other nearby vessels. For the Germans on shore, the dawn revealed a vast armada poised to invade occupied France.

The military planners had given Canada a major role on D-Day: to take one of the five designated beaches where Allied forces were to land to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany. The Americans had Utah and Omaha beaches in the west, then came the British at Gold, then the Canadians at Juno Beach and finally the British at Sword on the east.

The greatest seaborne invasion in history was aimed at 80 kilometres of mostly flat, sandy beach along the Normandy coast, west of the Seine River, east of the jutting Cotentin Peninsula. Canada's objective was right in the middle.

There were about 155,000 soldiers, 5,000 ships and landing craft, 50,000 vehicles and 11,000 planes set for the coming battle. For Canada, 14,000 soldiers were to land on the beaches; another 450 were to drop behind enemy lines by parachute or glider. The Royal Canadian Navy supplied ships and about 10,000 sailors. Lancaster bombers and Spitfire fighters from the Royal Canadian Air Force supported the invasion. (CBC here)

(CBC) Follow this link for lots of Canadian background

Shortly after midnight, three airborne divisions - the US 82nd and 101st and the British 6th, numbering over 23,000 men - take off to secure the flanks of the beaches. En route are myriad naval vessels and landing craft. On their way to France they rendezvous in the Channel at 'Piccadilly Circus'. Thoughout the night positions on the invasion beaches are bombed, although many miss their target. (BBC)

Click on the names above to read veterans' stories and see where they fought

'A lot of the people who got hit you couldn’t do anything for'

Corporal Maxwell Moffatt, 24, US 29th Division, 115th Regiment

"I was a medic in the second wave. Being a medic was dangerous work. Of the 96 men in the medical corps of my regiment, half of them died on D-Day.

When our large landing craft beached, the Germans had zeroed their guns on the ramp. I was the last man and thought about staying aboard and letting it take me back to England, but I felt I couldn't do that to the boys. I wasn't going to go down the ramp where men were getting shot, so I dived over the side since I could swim pretty well. God must have been looking out for me. The landing craft backed on to a mine and exploded. If I'd been on it I'd have been dead.

On the beach, the first wave had really taken a beating. It was pitiful. But I was told to get off the beach and let the navy medics care for the wounded. I didn't want to leave my friends who had been hit, but I ran like a rabbit.

We didn't get far inland, about 1,000 yards. The Germans were putting up heavy resistance. We lost lots of men to snipers – including another medic who I had to fix up. The Germans climbed trees to shoot at us. We weren't used to that, but you learn pretty quick when you're under fire.

I had to be on my knees to fix people – you couldn't do it lying down. To make myself less of a target, I'd drag the wounded behind a hedge....

For more go here)

Churchill: 'This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land ...'

'This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this. Everyone, man or woman, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the unbending resolve of the British nation. God bless you all.'

(For spine-chilling inspiration, go listen to the audios of Churchill on the BBC here)

GI Joe: US Soldiers of World War Two

By Captain Dale Dye USMC (Retd)
Photograph showing US troops landing on the beaches of Normandy
US troops landing on the beaches of Normandy

The American GIs were a crucial component in the defeat of the Axis powers - and they had to be tough to survive. Find out what made them tick - and how they kept going through thick and thin.

Iowa cornfields

They came late to the ballgame by British standards, but they came to play. They were crude, crass and lacking in military finesse according to Montgomery and other Allied leaders, but they won many more times than they lost.

They were a curious mixture of fervent volunteer kids and caustic older draftees. They were soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines from Iowa cornfields and Detroit assembly lines. They sweated through eight abbreviated weeks of basic training, and shipped out to help throw back the tidal wave of Axis aggression in Europe and the Pacific....

Life at war for the American GI was essentially long hours of hard physical labour, painful slogging under heavy weights and tedious boredom - interspersed with moments of sheer gut-wrenching terror.

It was a hard way to live, more like a hobo than a human being, and creature comforts of any kind were hard to find. They were always hungry and usually moving too fast for field kitchens and hot chow to catch up with the advance.

Stomachs shrank and often rebelled at the weeks of steady D and K rations, crammed with calories and carbohydrates, but tasting just a cut above cat food.

No matter what the weather, dehydration was always a concern. Marching made them sweat, and combat left them cotton-mouthed and croaking. Water was often what they could dip out of a shell-hole. Treated with iodine or halezone tablets to kill the bugs. It tasted...well, it tasted like nectar if you were parched and shaking after a firefight.

Of course, there was always French wine or Dutch beer to be liberated if a GI was storming through Europe. If he was island-hopping in the Pacific, a little Japanese sake was said to help kill the intestinal worms that infiltrated through cuts, jungle sores or shrapnel wounds....

(And yes, there is MUCH more on the US allies contribution here)

Winston Churchill

(BBC and follow this link for more)

"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."


D-Day. The 6th June 1944 and Churchill addressed the House of Commons with this speech:

"The House should, I think, take formal cognisance of the liberation of Rome by the Allied Armies under the Command of General Alexander, with General Clark of the United States Service and General Oliver Leese in command of the fifth and Eighth Armies respectively. This is a memorable and glorious event, which rewards the intense fighting of the last five months in Italy. The original landing, made on January 22nd at Anzio, has, in the end, borne good fruit....

It would be futile to attempt to estimate our final gains at the present time. It is our duty, however, to pay the warmest tribute of gratitude and admiration to General Alexander for the skill with which he has handled this Army of so many different States and nations, and for the tenacity and fortitude with which he has sustained the long periods when success was denied. In General Clark the United States Army has found a fighting leader of the highest order, and the qualities of all Allied troops have shone in noble and unjealous rivalry. The great strength of the Air Forces at our disposal, as well as the preponderance in armour, has undoubtedly contributed in a notable and distinctive manner to the successes which have been achieved....

But General Eisenhower's courage is equal to all the necessary decisions that have to be taken in these extremely difficult and uncontrollable matters. The airborne troops are well established, and the landings and the follow-ups are all proceeding with much less loss-very much less-than we expected. ... It is, therefore, a most serious time that we enter upon. Thank God, we enter upon it with our great Allies all in good heart and all in good friendship."

This is a GREAT speech, and you really should go read it all here. There are many great personal stories, and the BBC has a great archive. Go browse, and read them here. Some of my personal favourites, among many, are the Land Army stories here. No surprise to my regular readers, but the women in my family were very active, along with all the men.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them." -

For Ken, my forever hero, who made me... and all the Brat family. Heroes every one.