Saturday, September 17, 2005

I Really Feel Sorry for Cindy Sheehan

Thanks Wizbang

As a Service Member, it pains me everytime we lose a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine. It must be more painful for a Mother to lose her son. However, Cindy Sheehan has really gone off the deep end now. He latest comments on clearly shows that the lady needs help.

I don't care if a human being is black, brown, white, yellow or pink. I don't care if a human being is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or pagan. I don't care what flag a person salutes: if a human being is hungry, then it is up to another human being to feed him/her. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power. The only way America will become more secure is if we have a new administration that cares about Americans even if they don't fall into the top two percent of the wealthiest.

Everyone from the Mayor of New Orleans, the Governor of Louisana, and President Bush knows that troops are needed in Louisana to help with the recovery and establish law and order. We all saw what happened at the Superdome, Convention Center, and the City of New Orleans when there was no law and order.

Now I see Michael Moore and the extreme radical wing of the Democratic party using exploiting her for their own political agenda. Don't they see that Cindy Sheehan needs support on how to move on with her life? The support they are giving her is doing nothing to help her with her lose. All the hatred for George W. Bush is not going to bring back Casey.

Last year, I had four friends killed in an Aircraft Mishap. Their wives were stricken with grief and the thought of having to live their lives without their husbands. In one tragic moment, their lives were changed forever, their children being without a father. They relied on the support of family, friends, and members of the Squadron. Perhaps, people like Michael Moore and radical groups can leave her alone and allow members from Casey's platoon to ease the burden on Cindy.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Carrier Qualification Detachment on the USS Ronald Reagan

I have two more days until I have to report on board as the Assistant Officer In Charge (AOIC) for the upcoming Carrier qualification Detachment (CQ DET). This will be my second time doing this since I checked into my new Squadron last April. Most people do not like the ship, but it really isn't all that bad. The way I look at it:

1. All my meals are cooked for me and I can have them 4 times a day. Yes, 4! Midrats is so good.

2. My laundry is done by someone else. Sure, I light lose the occasional sock or full sea bag every once in awhile.

3. I don't have to deal with fighting traffic to work. I am already there.

I'll see if I can take some pictures and post them here.

Mr. Kerry, when will we have a Military Draft?

If you watched the News before the 2004 Presidential Election, you may remember the rumor of President George W. Bush reinstating the draft in order to have enough troops around the world. Let me refresh your memory:

ABC News

USA Today News

"With George Bush, the plan for Iraq is more of the same and the great potential of a draft."

This was a hot topic in 2004, where Democrats and Liberals continued to insist that there was going to be a Military Draft if George W. Bush was elected to a second term. It is almost one year after the election. We just experienced the one of the worse natural disasters in United States history where 40,000 National Guardsman were called back up. There are troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as Japan, Korea, and Europe. So, when is the Military Draft going to happen? It's not. Plain and simple. The use of the draft before the 2004 Election is the same old tactic by Democrats, just substitute 'Military Draft' for 'Social Security'.

Yes, there are a little over three years left in George W. Bush's term, but there will be no draft. At least not from the President. Seriously, if anyone reinstates the draft it will be a Congressman from New York. Does anyone remember Charlie Rangel (D)? If you are worried about a draft, you better know his name. After all, he did initiate a bill to re-implement a draft in January of 2003. Read it for yourself at CNN.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

CNO Speaks on Hurricane Katrina

(Source: LT Smash)

People can point fingers at who did or didn't do what at the different levels of the government, but you can not point them at the Military.


I made a day trip to the Gulf Coast this weekend to visit with and thank our Sailors for the extraordinary work they are doing in the recovery and relief effort. I spent time in at the Seabee base in Gulfport, NSA New Orleans and NAS/JRB New Orleans, as well as aboard HARRY S TRUMAN, BATAAN, TORTUGA and IWO JIMA.

It was at once both a grim and an incredibly uplifting experience. Some of my impressions.

First, the pictures on TV don't even begin to do justice to the scope of the devastation. I saw whole neighborhoods completely obliterated; the only evidence they ever existed at all being the faint outline of cement blocks that once formed the foundations of houses.

I saw massive casino barges in Biloxi thrown hundreds of yards inland, wooded areas so shredded they looked from the air like a spilled box of toothpicks, and much of New Orleans still a tepid, festering lake. There were very few people on the streets that weren't military or emergency workers.

Comparing it to a war zone is not at all a stretch.

Things are starting to turn around. The JTF has really taken shape, becoming more efficient and more organized every day. Communications across the region have improved dramatically. Dewatering efforts are proceeding ahead of the projected pace. And currently rescue teams are finding fewer and fewer people in need of immediate help.

The Navy's contribution to this success has been critical. I don't need to tell you that. We've been there since practically before the storm made landfall -- BATAAN chased it in weathering 12-14 foot seas and began flying SAR missions within hours of the storm's departure -- and we are still there making a difference.

Joe Kilkenny is doing a bang-up job as the JFMCC. He's got a plan, and he is executing it with great effectiveness.

The Seabees are repairing infrastructure and clearing debris at such a pace they have actually inspired local citizens to feel more optimistic about the future.

Sailors from TORTUGA are going door-to-door looking for and rescuing the house-bound.

Helicopter aircrews from TRUMAN and BATAAN are still delivering food and water and other basic necessities.

SHREVEPORT Sailors are cleaning up the St. Bernard Parish Courthouse.

In fact, just about all our ships pierside are housing and feeding and caring for people in

Then there's IWO JIMA, who put up POTUS overnight on Sun. Pierside at the Riverwalk, IWO has become a command center, hospital, airport, hotel and restaurant all rolled into one.

I ran into VADM Thad Allen in the p-way. Thad, as you may know, is the senior federal officer on scene, running the whole show. He said, "Mike, you should consider renaming this ship The City of New Orleans." That says it all.

I couldn't help but sneak a smile, having just given a speech up in Newport about the power of naval forces to win hearts and minds by serving as "cities at sea." I used our contributions to the international effort in the wake of last December's tsunami as my prime example in that speech. How little did I realize we'd be doing that sort of work on our own soil so soon.

It just goes to show you how very unpredictable this world really is. But, as I made sure to tell the Sailors I talked to, it also goes to show you how very flexible and adaptable naval forces really are.

If you want a picture of the future of sea basing, consider the image of BATAAN, a Mexican amphibious ship and a Dutch frigate anchored offshore sending boatloads of supplies to the beach ... or HST anchored not far off and the only things flying off her flight deck are helicopters ... or Mexican and U.S. Sailors, side by side, combing the beach and clearing debris ... or a JTF -- with significant civil and non-governmental agencies represented -- headquartered aboard a U.S. Navy ship, led by a two-star Army general reporting to a three-star admiral in the Coast Guard, who is also headquartered aboard that same ship.

Perhaps the most moving thing I did Saturday was visit with a group of ombudsmen in Gulfport.

Many of them had lost everything. They were hurting, barely getting by on their own, and yet here they were at the FFSC looking for ways to help other Navy families. You could see the desperation and the hope on their faces, hear it in their cracking voices. Tough on the heart, to be sure, and yet somehow good for it at the same time.

I was humbled just to be in the room with them. You want to talk about courage? These ladies had it to spare.

There are, we estimate, about 10,000 Sailors affected by the hurricane in some form or fashion. There may be more. I pledged to those ombudsmen our Navy's full support in getting them and the families they represent back up on their feet. We have a lot of work to do to return their lives to some sense of normalcy, but we need to make it the highest of priorities.

It is most certainly mine I can assure you. And I know I can rely on your support.

Again, truly an unforgettable day. In the face of unspeakable disaster and suffering, our Sailors have stood tall and helped provide relief to thousands. They are not alone, of course. It's a total team effort, involving city, state and other federal agencies, not to mention our sister services, allies and relief organizations. But they have accorded themselves well as part of that team and reflected nothing but the very best back on each and every one of the rest of us.

At NAS New Orleans I came across a bunch of Seabees working feverishly on the wooden platform for what was going to be a temporary dining facility. It was a contract job, but the contractor was having problems rounding up the necessary manpower and resources. The Seabees didn't ask permission, didn't wait for orders. They simply rolled up their sleeves and went to work.

"Hey, they needed help," one said. "And we know how to do this stuff."

We do, indeed, know how to do this stuff, and we are doing it exceptionally well. Standing amongst them, I was never more proud to call myself an American Sailor.


Smash took the words right out of mouth, "Me too!"
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Semper Fi, Lance CPL Stephen Sensing

Thanks to Michelle Malkin.

My best wishes to Lance CPL Stephen Sensing and his platoon as they prepare to leave Camp Lejeune, NC for Iraq.

Being a Navy Man for the last 16 years, I grew to repesct the Marine Corps, as we work closely with them. After all, they are part of the Department of the Navy too. It wasn't until the last few years when I was stationed on Marine Corp Air Station (MCAS) Miramar that I fully appreciate what an outstanding job the Marine Corps does. I remember in NROTC at the University of Idaho when one Marine said out loud, "If you want to stand out in the Navy - Iron your uniform. If you want to stand out in the Marine Corp - don't."

As I looked over the pictures of Donald Sensing saying good bye to his son, I see the pride in his eyes. He has a fine son who will do his father proud. Come back safely.