Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Video: Bring him home, Santa....

One of my absolutely most favourite Christmas songs [with NO apologies for the repost]:

Dedicated to all our military children, with love from Aunty Brat..

Monday, December 21, 2015

Do YOU remember?

The plane was headed for New York

1988: Jumbo jet crashes onto Lockerbie
A Pan Am jumbo jet with 258 passengers on board has crashed on to the town of Lockerbie near the Scottish borders.
Initial reports indicate it crashed into a petrol station in the centre of the town, between Carlisle and Dumfries, and burst into a 300-foot fireball.
Hundreds are feared dead as airline officials said flight 103 was about two-thirds full with 255 adults and three children on board.
Rescue teams have confirmed there are many casualties at the scene including townspeople who were on the ground.
The Boeing 747 left London Heathrow at 1800 GMT bound for New York's JFK airport...

In Context
In total 259 people aboard the flight and 11 on the ground died in the crash which took place 38 minutes after take-off.
The debris from the aircraft was scattered across 845 square miles and the impact reached 1.6 on the Richter scale.
The subsequent police investigation was the biggest ever mounted in Scotland and became a murder inquiry when evidence of a bomb was found.
Two men accused of being Libyan intelligence agents were eventually charged with planting the bomb.
Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was jailed for life in January 2001 following an 84-day trial under Scottish law, at Camp Zeist in Holland.
His alleged accomplice, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was found not guilty.
In 2002 Al Megrahi's appeal against conviction was rejected. [both pieces from BBC here]

Lockerbie memorial
A number of ceremonies are planned
in Lockerbie throughout the day

Special "places to remember" are being opened in Lockerbie, with a wreath-laying ceremony taking place at the Dryfesdale Ceremony.
In the evening there will be services at both the Tundergarth and Dryfesdale Church.
A little after 1900 GMT the exact anniversary of the atrocity will be remembered.
For many who lived through it, the memories remain fresh despite the time which has passed.

We were sitting in our houses at Christmas we didn't have any trees, cards and decorations - we took them down
Maxwell Kerr
George Stobbs, Lockerbie's police inspector at the time, recalls the events of 20 years ago with great clarity.
"Nobody actually knew what had happened, we realised an aircraft had come down but I thought it was a military aircraft," he said.
"Once I got into Sherwood Crescent I could see flames along the roadside, the footpaths were burst and there were gas pipes fractured - there were dancing flames coming up from them.
"Hedges were on fire, drop pipes on the side of houses were on fire and they were in turn climbing up and setting fire to the roofs."
It was only later in the evening that the scale of the death toll at Lockerbie began to emerge.[here]

It is said that those who forget history, are doomed to repeat it. Will YOU forget?

Christmas in New York Again By Shilelagh Law

on Dec 6, 2007

Christmas In New York, a tribute to the victims of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, by the band Shilelagh Law. For more information, visit

Yes, I remember ALWAYS.....

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pearl Harbor: "By 9:55 it was all over. .."


1941: Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor

Japan has launched a surprise attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and has declared war on Britain and the United States.

The US president, Franklin D Roosevelt, has mobilised all his forces and is poised to declare war on Japan.

Details of the attack in Hawaii are scarce but initial reports say Japanese bombers and torpedo-carrying planes targeted warships, aircraft and military installations in Pearl Harbor, on Oahu, the third largest and chief island of Hawaii.

News of the daring raid has shocked members of Congress at a time when Japanese officials in Washington were still negotiating with US Secretary of State Cordell Hull on lifting US sanctions imposed after continuing Japanese aggression against China....


At 0755 local time the first wave of between 50 and 150 planes struck the naval base for 35 minutes causing several fires and "untold damage" to the Pacific Fleet.
The Japanese squadrons dropped high-explosive and incendiary bombs.
A second strike followed at about 0900 when a force of at least 100 planes pounded the base for an hour.

In Context

Within two hours, six battleships had been sunk, another 112 vessels sunk or damaged, and 164 aircraft destroyed. Only chance saved three US aircraft carriers, usually stationed at Pearl Harbor but assigned elsewhere on the day.

The attacks killed fewer than 100 Japanese but more than 2,400 Americans died - 1,000 of those were on the battleship Arizona which was destroyed at her mooring. Another 1,178 US citizens were injured.

The next day, President Roosevelt called the attack on Pearl Harbor "a day that will live in infamy" and America declared war on Japan ending its policy of isolationism. ...


Marine Corporal E.C. Nightingale was aboard the Arizona that fateful Sunday morning:

"At approximately eight o'clock on the morning of December 7, 1941, I was leaving the breakfast table when the ship's siren for air defense sounded. Having no anti-aircraft battle station, I paid little attention to it. Suddenly I heard an explosion. I ran to the port door leading to the quarterdeck and saw a bomb strike a barge of some sort alongside the NEVADA, or in that vicinity. The marine color guard came in at this point saying we were being attacked. I could distinctly hear machine gun fire. I believe at this point our anti-aircraft battery opened up.
"We stood around awaiting orders of some kind. General Quarters sounded and I started for my battle station in secondary aft. As I passed through casement nine I noted the gun was manned and being trained out. The men seemed extremely calm and collected. I reached the boat deck and our anti-aircraft guns were in full action, firing very rapidly. I was about three quarters of the way to the first platform on the mast when it seemed as though a bomb struck our quarterdeck. I could hear shrapnel or fragments whistling past me. As
A captured Japanese photo shows
Battleship Row under attack.
Hickam Field burns in the distance
soon as I reached the first platform, I saw Second Lieutenant Simonson lying on his back with blood on his shirt front. I bent over him and taking him by the shoulders asked if there was anything I could do. He was dead, or so nearly so that speech was impossible. Seeing there was nothing I could do for the Lieutenant, I continued to my battle station.
"When I arrived in secondary aft I reported to Major Shapley that Mr. Simonson had been hit and there was nothing to be done for him. There was a lot of talking going on and I shouted for silence which came immediately. I had only been there a short time when a terrible explosion caused the ship to shake violently. I looked at the boat deck and everything seemed aflame forward of the mainmast. I reported to the Major that the ship was aflame, which was rather needless, and after looking about, the Major ordered us to leave.
"I was the last man to leave secondary aft because I looked around and there was no one left. I followed the Major down the port side of the tripod mast. The railings, as we ascended, were very hot and as we reached the boat deck I noted that it was torn up and burned. The bodies of the dead were thick, and badly burned men were heading for the quarterdeck, only to fall apparently dead or badly wounded. The Major and I went between No. 3 and No. 4 turret to the starboard side and found Lieutenant Commander Fuqua ordering the men over the side and assisting the wounded. He seemed exceptionally calm and the Major stopped and they talked for a moment. Charred bodies were everywhere....
More from Marine Corporal E.C. Nightingale, and other eyewitnesses that day, here.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Video: British MWDs

What's better than MWDs and their handlers?  Take a look.

Forces TV:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

USMC: Happy Birthday

 Tuesday, November 10, marks the 240th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Its roots date all the way back to 1775 when it was established as the Continental Marines. The Second Continental Congress first commissioned Marines to man two vessels in the Continental Navy. Their original purpose was to provide on-board security forces and to protect the Captain and his officers.

 Soon after, they would be used to conduct amphibious combat missions and raids during the American Revolution. One of their first missions was to raid a British armory in the Bahamas just months after the first two battalions were created.

In the air, on land, and at sea, a Marine must be equipped and ready to fight wherever duty calls. With Veterans Day just around the corner, we should all be sure to thank the Marines in our lives for the sacrifices they’ve made to protect our freedom and security, “from the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli.”

To commemorate its birthday on Tuesday, we’ve put together five facts you might not have known about the USMC.

The First Marines Were Recruited in a Tavern

The first commissioned officer of the Continental Marines was a man named Samuel Nicholas. He was part of a well-known Quaker family from Philadelphia, and was nicknamed “the Fightin’ Quaker.” He was appointed the 1st Commandant in 1775 and took charge in recruiting locals to fight for America’s independence from the British.

 And where did he turn in his recruitment efforts? To local taverns of course!

One of his first recruits was Robert Mullan, the manager of Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. Nicholas appointed him as the Chief Marine Recruiter and he would use the allure of cold beer and camaraderie to recruit new Marines.

This is why the Tun Tavern is officially acknowledged as the birthplace of the Marine Corps....

More interesting details at Marine Corps Times.  Go read!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

UK: Video - Military Medics extend their training

EXCLUSIVE: Meet The Military Medics Training To Respond In A Crisis

Ft. Hood: Remember their names

Ft. Hood:  Remember their  names (Part 1)

Ft. Hood:  Remember their names (part 2)

[Put 'Ft. Hood' on the search engine above, for more columns on those we lost that day.  For history about Ft Hood.]

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Navy to Christen Guided Missile Destroyer Rafael Peralta

From DoD:

Navy to Christen Guided Missile Destroyer Rafael Peralta

Press Operations

Release No: NR-414-15
October 29, 2015

The Navy will christen its newest guided-missile destroyer Rafael Peralta, Saturday, Oct. 31, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. 

The future USS Rafael Peralta, designated DDG 115, honors Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for actions during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Peralta is credited with saving the lives of fellow Marines during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004.

"The tremendous efforts of the highly-skilled men and women of the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works team have brought this ship from an idea to a reality," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "Their work will ensure that the heroism, service and sacrifice of Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta will be honored and remembered by all who come in contact with DDG 115 long after this great warship is christened."

General Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Rosa Maria Peralta, Sgt. Peralta’s mother, will serve as ship's sponsor and officially christen the ship Rafael Peralta.

Rafael Peralta is the third of 14 ships currently under contract for the DDG 51 program. The DDG 51 class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs, due to the program's maturity. DDG 51 destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups. DDG 113 and follow on DDGs are being built with Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability.

The 9,200 ton Rafael Peralta is being built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots. 



Sgt. Rafael Peralta-Act of Honor

Office of Rep. Duncan Hunter says Medal of Honor denied for fallen Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

IRS: It ain't over ...

It's official: Lois Lerner who infamously pleaded 'the 5th' when asked questions about her role in targeting Conservatives wielding the IRS hammer, will not face any criminal charges.  Surprised?  No, me neither, given the climate these last few years in DC and the DoJ 'leadership' of Eric Holder.

From Allen West:
Department of Justice announces NO CHARGES in IRS scandal…

 Written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor

 October 23, 2015

Actually, I suppose it shouldn’t be shocking at all. President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced there will be NO charges against IRS official Lois Lerner following its investigation.

As the Washington Times reports:
IRS official Lois Lerner will not face charges following a Department of Justice investigation.
Federal prosecutors announced their decision Friday in a letter to members of Congress....

It is truly sad how unsurprising it is that under President Obama’s administration, targeting people and organizations for the “wrong” beliefs is completely acceptable....


No surprise, either, that Obama’s DOJ chose to slip this announcement quietly through late on a Friday afternoon — no man’s land as far as news goes....

End of story, right? Nothing to see here. Move along.  (That IS the Obama way, after all.) 
Well perhaps not. Today comes word that the House GOP is moving to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  You remember him.  His insistence that  'to the 'best of my knowledge...blah blah...'

House GOP moves to impeach IRS chief

By Peter Schroeder - 10/27/15 

House Republicans have moved to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, arguing he violated the public trust.

Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced an impeachment resolution Tuesday, days after the Justice Department concluded its investigation into IRS targeting of Tea Party groups with no charges filed.

“Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust. He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled,” Chaffetz said in a statement. “Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress.”...


Much of the committee’s impeachment charge centers around the destruction of several backup tapes that could have contained missing emails sent by Lois Lerner, the former official at the center of the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative groups.

Chaffetz’s resolution charges that Koskinen, who took over the IRS after the controversy emerged, failed to preserve 422 backup tapes that could have contained Lerner emails.

Republicans have argued Koskinen was not truthful when he told lawmakers he would hand over all her documents, given the destruction of the backups. Chaffetz also charged that Koskinen failed to notify Congress the evidence was missing....

Finally from Darrell Issa on social media commenting on a CNN report:

The Justice Department’s decision to close the IRS targeting investigation without a single charge or prosecution is a low point of accountability in an Administration that is better known for punishing whistleblowers than the abuse and misconduct they expose. After stating that their investigation confirms that Tea Party and conservative groups were improperly targeted, they dismiss it merely as a byproduct of gross mismanagement and incompetence – ignoring volumes of evidence in the public record and efforts to obstruct legitimate inquires.

Americans’ faith in government and in the IRS in particular, has been greatly eroded by an Administration that when confronted with instances of misconduct appears complicit in shielding those involved from responsibility. Giving Lois Lerner a free pass only reinforces the idea that government officials are above the law and that there is no consequence for wrongdoing.

And there you have it.

Stay tuned.

Video: "The IRS is lying" says Issa

IRS robbers and thugs: A Cautionary Tale

Friday, October 23, 2015

NEVER FORGET Beirut 1983: "They came in peace"

I found this picture at the Beirut Memorial Online, and here you can find a list of the fallen from this terrible day. Go look, and think about the lives cut short, as represented by every name there.

Aerial view of the headquarters of Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 8th Marines, the ground combat element of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, in Beirut, Lebanon where 220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and three soldiers were killed when an explosive-laden truck slammed into the building on Oct. 23, 1983, completely destroying the structure.
Source: U.S. State Department.

[...]October 23, 1983 bombing of the United States Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The United States honors the sacrifices of the 241 American servicemen who lost their lives that day in service of their country while protecting the stability of Lebanon. The Marine barracks memorial on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut reads, “They came in peace.”

(picture: courtesy of University of Maine)

"...Make the people who wished us harm understand...we were not defeated...we are still here..." (source)

1983: Beirut blasts kill US and French troops
At least 146 American marines and 27 French servicemen have been killed after two separate bomb attacks on military headquarters in the Lebanese capital Beirut. Two lorries containing 4000lb (1.4 tonnes) bombs exploded when they hit the buildings, the US Battalion Landing Team headquarters and the French paratroopers base which are situated just four miles (6km) apart.

The death toll is expected to rise to more than 200 as people remain trapped inside the collapsed buildings.

The US Secretary of Defence, Caspar Weinberger, insisted there was "strong circumstantial evidence" that Iran was behind the attacks but did not rule out possible Syrian and Soviet involvement.

"There are no words that can properly express our outrage and, I think the outrage of all Americans at this despicable act " President Reagan

(BBC here)

Arlington Cemetery also has a section dedicated to the fallen of October 23, 1983, here.

On October 27th, President Ronald Reagan gave a national address. He said, in part:

In these last few days, I've been more sure than I've ever been that we Americans of today will keep freedom and maintain peace. I've been made to feel that by the magnificent spirit of our young men and women in uniform and by something here in our Nation's Capital. In this city, where political strife is so much a part of our lives, I've seen Democratic leaders in the Congress join their Republican colleagues, send a message to the world that we're all Americans before we're anything else, and when our country is threatened, we stand shoulder to shoulder in support of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

May I share something with you I think you'd like to know? It's something that happened to the Commandant of our Marine Corps, General Paul Kelley, while he was visiting our critically injured marines in an Air Force hospital. It says more than any of us could ever hope to say about the gallantry and heroism of these young men, young men who serve so willingly so that others might have a chance at peace and freedom in their own lives and in the life of their country.

I'll let General Kelley's words describe the incident. He spoke of a ``young marine with more tubes going in and out of his body than I have ever seen in one body.''

``He couldn't see very well. He reached up and grabbed my four stars, just to make sure I was who I said I was. He held my hand with a firm grip. He was making signals, and we realized he wanted to tell me something. We put a pad of paper in his hand -- and he wrote `Semper Fi.' ''

Well, if you've been a marine or if, like myself, you're an admirer of the marines, you know those words are a battlecry, a greeting, and a legend in the Marine Corps. They're marine shorthand for the motto of the Corps -- ``Semper Fidelis'' -- ``always faithful.''


That marine and all those others like him, living and dead, have been faithful to their ideals. They've given willingly of themselves so that a nearly defenseless people in a region of great strategic importance to the free world will have a chance someday to live lives free of murder and mayhem and terrorism. I think that young marine and all of his comrades have given every one of us something to live up to.

They were not afraid to stand up for their country or, no matter how difficult and slow the journey might be, to give to others that last, best hope of a better future. We cannot and will not dishonor them now and the sacrifices they've made by failing to remain as faithful to the cause of freedom and the pursuit of peace as they have been.

I will not ask you to pray for the dead, because they're safe in God's loving arms and beyond need of our prayers. I would like to ask you all -- wherever you may be in this blessed land -- to pray for these wounded young men and to pray for the bereaved families of those who gave their lives for our freedom.
God bless you, and God bless America.

(The whole thing here)
From the US Marine Corps site:

The 23rd of October; ‘Our first duty is to remember’

ARLINGTON, Va. — Veterans, families, friends and various dignitaries gathered under blue skies at section 59 in Arlington National Cemetery on Oct. 17 to remember their loved ones and brothers in arms.

Since 1984, the remembrance ceremony has been an annual event of sorrow and celebration for the men who gave their lives during a peace keeping mission in Beirut.
At approximately 6:22 a.m., on Oct. 23, 1983, an Islamic terrorist drove a yellow delivery truck into the lobby of the Marine Corps barracks at Beirut International Airport. The vehicle exploded with a force equivalent to 12,000 pounds of TNT, destroying the building and killing 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers. Additionally, 58 French paratroopers were killed in a separate attack just two minutes later as they were mobilizing to assist their fellow service members.

“Most of our countrymen probably believe this global war on terror started on 9/11,” said Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway. “I don’t believe that for a moment. I believe it started in October of 1983 when we first saw a significant strike on the young men – Marine, Navy and Army, who were in that building in Beirut.”
During the ceremony, families of the fallen were called forward to lead everyone in the pledge of allegiance.


“We hope you will be consoled in the knowledge that others remember, you are not forgotten and never will be,” said Carmella LaSpada, executive director of the Whitehouse Commission of Remembrance. “Love has brought us together today, a love for those we honor, and a love for our nation.”


“They lost their lives while in a peace keeping mission,” [Lebanese Ambassador Antoine] Chedid said. “I’m here to pay tribute to them for their bravery. They paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace. Twenty-seven years later, their memory is still in our hearts.”

For the Marines, sailors soldiers who were there, the memory will forever remain etched in their minds.

Craig Renshaw, president of Beirut Veterans of America, said it’s important to remember the lives of the men who died that day. Most Marines knew at least one person who died. For them, the memory is going to be there forever, but it’s up to the chapters, those who were affected and a younger generation to remind others what happened when we suffered the first blow in the war on terror.

“Remembrance is not letting the memory of the guys who gave their lives be forgotten,” he said. “It’s all about them.” [emphasis mine]

Go read the rest here.

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.

Semper Fi, Marines.

Yes, this IS a repost from last year, but this quote still remains true - and always will

“Remembrance is not letting the memory of the guys who gave their lives be forgotten,” he said. “It’s all about them.”

Just the other day I found this video, posted by someone who says:

This is a Tribute to my Fallen USMC Brothers who Died 6:22 am October 23rd, 1983.
I came home from Beirut. They did not.
Semper Fi my Brothers.
I will,,
Remember the Peacekeepers.
You My Brothers ..
You Are NOT forgotten
Uploaded by on Oct 21, 2011

Always remembered. ALWAYS honoured.

Remember and Honor: Marine Staff Sgt. Donald C. May, Jr.

Don's wife Deborah writes of today:

October 23rd is Don's birthday. Please join me in honoring and remembering him and the life he chose to live, full of jokes and laughter. Don was a Guinness or Bushmills man but feel free to consume anything. ♥

Don was a wonderful father and husband. Anyone who met Don remembered him because of his smile and his ability to make everyone laugh. He was the guy with the big smile. Don, you will be in our hearts forever........

On the back of Don's memorial cards I had printed:

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
in the hollow of His hand.

Semper Fidelis

wife Deborah May (here)

Marine Staff Sgt. Donald C. May, Jr. 31, of Richmond, Virginia.

Killed during convoy operations when his tank plunged off a cliff into the Euphrates River. He was assigned to the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. Died on March 25, 2003.

Always remembered and honoured, today and every day.

Semper Fi.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Canada: Cpl Nathan Cyrillo and WO Patrice Vincent remembered

From CBC:

Ceremony to honour Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent to be held today

Public event at National War Memorial to begin at 11 a.m. ET today
22 October 2015

A ceremonial service to commemorate the Parliament Hill shooting and the lives of two soldiers killed on their home soil last October is set to take place at the National War Memorial this morning.

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper, prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau, Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, as well as members of the public and military, will gather around the granite arch of the memorial to pay tribute.

Pat McDonnell, the interim sergeant-at-arms, and the RCMP's Michael Duheme, head of the Parliamentary Protective Service, will also attend.

The ceremony will take place one year to the day after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, was shot in the back three times while standing guard at the memorial, the first event in a five-minute attack during which the shooter stormed Parliament Hill's Centre Block.

The ceremony will also commemorate Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, a 53-year-old Canadian Forces member who was purposefully run down in a hit-and-run attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., just two days before Cirillo was slain....

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, Keith

It is Keith's birthday. 

Ten years ago, on 9/11, we all lost a young man with so much potential; a rising star within the local Floral Park volunteer Fire Department; a dedicated, passionate, compassionate Paramedic, who was only just beginning to fulfill his potential in life. On 9/11 Keith died working to save others' lives.

I have written about Keith many times. His mom, Diane, told us of the kid who couldn't keep his room clean - her beloved son - here. Dad Ken shared his most precious memories of his son Keith here.

Ken and Keith on one of Ken's birthdays. As Ken tells it, they were at the fire house, and they were deciding who would get the biggest piece of this birthday cake.

I often think about who Keith might have become if it wasn't for 9/11. Would he be married, with kids of his own? Or would he still be enjoying a very active social life with the ladies?

How far up the ladder in the EMS profession would he have risen by now? Would he be a Critical Care Paramedic ? Would he be a Supervisor?

Within the Fire Department, would Keith be a Captain by now? Would he be running for Chief?

We cannot know.

What I DO know that is on this day, especially - and most other days, too - Keith is still missed by those who know and love him the most. I have been privileged to come to know and love Keith's mom and dad. I have been blessed to be among those people with whom Keith worked and played, and I know that Keith is remembered - often - with great respect, lots of laughter, and so much love. He IS missed,

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Keith is always around his mom and dad, and his friends. I would lay bets that today - his birthday - he will pull a stunt from Heaven, as he so often does, just because he can..hey, it might even rain!!!

Watch for that penny, Ken...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Keith. You are loved - for always...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

AFG 'Terp gets permission to settle in UK - finally

We have written here a few times of the disgraceful treatment of Afghans who risked their lives daily to work with our Troops, only to be left in harm's way when our Troops officially 'left'  the sandbox.  Broken promises have been the order of the day for a few years, as our governments (UK, Canadian and US) desert these brave locals as they try to stay one step ahead of the Terrorists who are intent on murdering them and their families.

Today, out of England, comes the story of ONE such Afghan 'terp who apparently is now being given permission to settle himself and his family in the UK.

From the Daily Mail: 
Afghan translator who risked his life for Britain wins right to live here along with his family after they were targeted by Taliban assassins
 More than 200 interpreters who worked on frontline now live under threat
Taliban threatened to kill 'Sam' and family, and already murdered brother
  • His is now the first case to be approved and his family will come to Britain
  • Translators hailed decision as victory for 'decency' and The Mail's

By David Williams and Larisa Brown
17 October 2015

A former Afghan translator and his family targeted by Taliban assassins have been granted sanctuary in Britain in a major victory for the Daily Mail’s Betrayal Of The Brave campaign.

The 28-year-old interpreter known as Sam has been told that he should be allowed to come to the UK together with ten members of his family who are also threatened because of his work on the frontline for the British Army.

The unprecedented decision comes seven weeks after the Mail revealed how one of Sam’s brothers, 22-year-old Parwiz, who was also a translator for UK forces, was murdered by the Taliban on the doorstep of the family home.

The family moved to the Afghan capital Kabul but, two weeks later, Taliban gunmen tracked them down. Sam, who spent 18 months in Helmand with UK forces, was not at home so they tried to kidnap two more of his brothers at gunpoint. The pair, aged 17 and 14, escaped but were badly beaten, one needing eight stitches in a head wound.


A defence source said: ‘Investigations found Sam and his family to be under sufficient threat.’ The application has been sent to the Home Office for security checks and for final confirmation.

Last night former translators hailed the decision as a victory both for ‘decency’ and the Mail’s campaign, which highlighted the plight of interpreters claiming they have been abandoned to the Taliban by the UK Government....

This IS a good start but comes nowhere near the governments fulfilling their promises to these brave locals.  All of the 'Terps have more than earned our loyalty by THEIR loyalty to us.

Go read the rest here.

Pay attention.

Friday, October 16, 2015

US: Heroes walk among us - LCpl Matias Ferreira

From FOX News:

Marine who lost legs in Afghanistan rescues baby from smoking car
Fox News Latino

Lance Cpl. Matias Ferreira, left, a marine who lost both his legs to an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan, was just two days away from getting married to his sweetheart when he heard a frantic mother crying for help on a busy road in Queens. (Photo by Matt McClain/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)  (2011 THE WASHINGTON POST)

A war hero in Afghanistan became a local hero in New York City earlier this week when he rescued a baby from a smoking car – and he did it even though he has no legs.

Matias Ferreira, a marine who lost both his legs to an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan, was just two days away from getting married to his sweetheart when he heard a frantic mother crying for help on a busy road in Queens.

The mother was trapped in her driver’s seat after her car plowed into a median pole and needed to get her child out of the smoking car.

Thinking of his own 11-month-old daughter, the 26-year-old Ferreira jumped out of his pick-up truck and sprinted over – on two prosthetic legs – to the car.

"With the Marines, you are taught to be prepared and act," Ferreira, who was leaving his wedding rehearsal at St. Mary Gate of Heaven Parish when he heard the screams, told the New York Daily News

He added: "Instinctively you just react, you don’t freeze, and thankfully we were able to make a difference."...

GO read the rest about this Hero still making a difference...

H/T Tom