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Man’s Best Friend

Man's Best Friend

Mans Best Friend. Because you can’t strap a cat across your waist and parachute into Afghanistan.


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Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson: his dog refused to leave his side during the funeral

The dog of slain Marine Jon Tumilson refused to leave his side during the Navy SEAL’s funeral earlier this week in Rockford, Iowa. The heartbreaking photo taken by his cousin, Lisa Pembleton, shows Tumilson’s dog Hawkeye lying by the casket. (via The Daily Treat: Animal Planet)

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Mike Burghardt: Classic American resilience.


Mike Burghardt flips off the Iraqi insurgents that failed to blow him up. Classic American resilience.

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FET works with Now Zad District governor to improve, rebuild area


Female engagement team in Now Zad, Helmand province, Afghanistan

Maj. Aniela K. Szymanski, the Civil Affairs Group team leader in Now Zad, Helmand province, Afghanistan, greets the deputy district governor, Haji Saied Abdul Quyum, at his compound, April 8. The meeting between Szymanski, Marines with the Female Engagement Team, and the district governor, Saied Murad Sadat covered the growth of the Now Zad women’s center, the local schools and other upcoming community improvement plans.

Story and phots by Lance Cpl. Katherine M. SolanoSmall RSS Icon

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The female engagement team in Now Zad, Helmand province, Afghanistan, is pushing for the speedy development of a women’s center, new school and other community projects.

In an effort to move the plans along, the Marines and their interpreter met with the district governor, Saied Mourad Sadat, at his compound, April 8.

They have made progress in the short time they have been here, but acknowledge there is still a long way to go.

“I wish things would work short term, but everything takes a long time to accomplish,” said Sgt. Habiba Abida, a team leader with FET 12, Now Zad. “It’s hard to give yourself deadlines for certain goals.”

The focus of the meeting was largely on the efficient development and management of the women’s center, but also on the female population in Now Zad as a whole.

“I’ve heard FET go and talk to females and ask what problems they have,” Sadat said. “Then [FET] comes and tells me what the women said so I can help, and it is positive for Now Zad and its people.”

Staff Sgt. Martha Warren, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the Regimental Combat Team 8 FETs, asked the district governor what specific problems women in his district were having.

“There is nothing for the widows,” Sadat replied. “We are in the process of getting [females with skills] to work and teach each other to provide for themselves.”

Warren, of Stone Park, Ill., also asked what specific impact FET was having on the local community.

“FET is a very good thing, because for the past five years with the war, lots of people have lost everything,” Sadat stated in response. “Females should know how to take care of themselves and their children.”

This is one of the main objectives of FET: to give women the skills and knowledge they need to make a living for themselves or to help support their husbands and families.

“Females are important, because a lot of families here are poor,” Sadat said. “Husbands go to the Taliban for work, but if the wives can teach husbands to work with the government instead of with people who are trying to destroy the country or villages, it will be good.”

They also discussed the hiring of a custodian for the women’s center, and how to teach local woman skills such as agriculture and sewing.

“I would love to say that by my first [mission break] I will have a full-time custodian at the women’s center, chickens for the coops, and sewing machines so the women could sew uniforms for Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan public schools,” said Abida, an Arlington, Va., native.

Abida felt that progress was made, and plans to meet in the near future to continue discussions were set. The district governor closed the meeting with an invitation for the FET Marines, and others with their unit, to join him for a dinner at his compound later that evening.

The dinner included a bonfire, traditional Afghan meal, music and hookah, but little talk of business. The dinner was more about a celebration of the growing working relationship between the Marines and the people of Now Zad.

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Gurkha gets UK´s 2nd Highest Medal for Bravery

From: The Himalayan Times

Sergeant Dip Prasad Pun

Sergeant Dip Prasad Pun - Pun fired 400 rounds, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine to thwart the assault by Taliban fighters

KATHMANDU: A British Gurkha soldier who single-handedly fought off an attack by at least a dozen Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan has been awarded the United Kingdom’s second highest medal for bravery, British media reported.

Acting Sergeant Dip Prasad Pun, 31, who hails from western Nepal and serves in the British Army, exhausted all of his ammunition and resorted to using the tripod of his machine gun to repel the militants who were in 15 to 30 in number.

According to the BBC, he said he was very proud to be given the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

“I think I am a very lucky guy, a survivor,” he added. “Now I am getting this award, it is very great and I am very happy.”

From: Google

He said he thought the assault would never end and “nearly collapsed” when it was over, admitting: “I was really scared. But as soon as I opened fire that was gone — before they kill me, I have to kill some.”


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Michael Yon – Back in Afghanistan

From: Michael Yon

Am back in Afghanistan but for now am outside the wire and not with troops.  I saw these US troops today as they searched for bombs in Kandahar City.

Bomb Sniffing in Afghanistan

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USS Green Bay fires a missile from the Rolling Airframe Missile launcher

The amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay fires a surface-to-air intercept missile from the Rolling Airframe Missile launcher during Combat System Ship Qualification Trials off the coast of Hawaii. The trials are a series of underway tests to evaluate Green Bay's combat readiness. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Larry S. Carlson

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9 arrested, weapons cache confiscated in Mexico

“It looks like you can get whatever guns you want in Mexico. Face it, if they have the network in place to get drugs from Central America and meth ingredients from Asia, the cartels have the network in place to get whatever weapons they want, from wherever they want.

Maybe if the people of Mexico were armed they wouldn’t have to cower beneath a corrupt government and criminals. Until the people down there are armed you’ll keep licking both of their boots.”

– by Anonymous

In response to a citizen complaint about the presence of armed persons, authorities arrested nine males, and confiscated the following weapons in Amacueca, Jal.:

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Dismounted Patrol near Combat Outpost Herrera

U.S. Army Sgt. Zachary Adkins, from Sweetland, W.Va., conducts a dismounted patrol with his platoon near Combat Outpost Herrera, Paktiya province, Afghanistan, Oct. 11, 2009. The Soldiers were searching for sites from which the Taliban has been using to fire rockets at the outpost. Adkins is deployed with Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment. Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

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Maggie Reese/Team Surefire at USPSA Multi-gun Nationals

Press Release

Team SureFire Stands Tall on the Podium at USPSA Multi-gun Nationals

Fountain Valley, CA — SureFire, LLC, manufacturer of high-end illumination tools and tactical products, is proud to announce Team SureFire’s incredibly successful weekend at the USPSA Multi-gun Nationals. Women’s shooting captain, Maggie Reese, was crowned the female Open Division National Champion for the second time in a row, and every member of the team placed third place or above in their divisions.

Maggie Reese

Maggie Reese

“Last year’s championship was so incredible that it was hard to wrap my head around because it was my first win and just my second competition,” said Reese. “This year is just as exciting, but it’s also more satisfying because now I have a whole team to share it with.”

Reese, a Southern California native, just started shooting competitively three years ago. Now she’s a back-to-back national champion in her only two attempts. Reese signed on as SureFire’s female shooting captain only two months ago and now has won another national championship for one of the most dominant teams in the sport.

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Enhanced Marksmanship Program Shoot

A Marine assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2/5, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit participates in an enhanced marksmanship program shoot aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49). Harpers Ferry is part of the Denver Amphibious Ready Group conducting a fall patrol in the western Pacific Ocean. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Wahl

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Reconnaissance SPIE Exercise

Marines from 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit remain suspended from a CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter from Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 162 (Reinforced) during a Special Purpose Insertion and Extraction exercise in Djibouti, March 24. Various non-infantry Marines received the opportunity to participate in the SPIE exercise for their first time. The 24th MEU Marines performed a series of sustainment and joint exercises alongside the French and Djiboutian military throughout their visit in Djibouti. The 24th MEU is currently on a seven month deployment aboard Nassau Amphibious Ready Group vessels as the theatre reserve force for Central Command. Photo by Sgt. Alex C. Sauceda

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173rd Airborne Brigade Soldiers arrive at Forward Operation Base Joyce

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrive to Forward Operation Base Joyce, Afghanistan in a CH-47D Chinook helicopter, Dec. 17, 2009 Photo by Sgt. Teddy Wade

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Operation Copper Cactus

Border Patrol agents patrol the U.S. border with Mexico seen on Aug. 25 near Nogales, Ariz. Up to 1,200 National Guard troops are deploying to the four Southwest border states in support of the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill

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“The war in Iraq is not a glorious cause … it is a job”

Staff Sgt. Lucas C. Trammell has had four tours in Iraq. He said what was most important to him was that he had not lost a soldier in his squad. Joao Silva for The New York Times

“A lot of people at home are tired of this,” said Staff Sgt. Trevino D. Lewis, sitting outside a gym at Camp Liberty, the dusty rubble-strewn base near Baghdad’s airport and coming to a point many soldiers made. The people back home can tune out; they cannot.

“The way I look at it, it’s my job,” he said, recounting and dismissing the shifting rationales for the war, from the weapons of mass destruction that did not exist to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein to the establishment of democracy in the Arab world. “It’s my career.”

The sense of duty among those who serve here, still strong, is nonetheless tempered by the fact that the war is winding down slowly — or, as one officer put it, petering out — with mixed results.

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