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Archive for the ‘Army’ Category

Taking a break this Veteran’s Day friday evening from our regularly scheduled apologetics and theology blogging to remember those who served.  This is a 1951 movie that I recently found online and I was surprised that a movie like this was made in the early 50s and that it was made that close after the war.  If you don’t know anything about the Japanese American infantry unit known as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, you ought to do a little online reading this weekend which would be more than appropriate for Veteran’s Day.  They are still today the most decorated Army unit on the record, with the highest casualty rate sustained by any unit.  And they were serving in a time when Japanese American loyalty were being questioned and their family held in internment camps back in the States which makes the amount of sacrifice shown by these brave men even more phenomenal.  I kind of wish a 21st century movie of this unit would have been made today of the quality of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan.  I think it would sell.

I was struck with how the movie capture so much reality rather than being another sugar coat war propaganda movie: they did a good job showing the reality of racism, conveying GI culture, referencing specific things that’s Japanese American and made honest allusion to the reality of the internment camp experience.  That was probably the more surprising part of the movie, to see that being acknowledged back in the 50s!  The US government would acknowledge this sad chapter in American history in the 1980s (but that’s another subject, another post and another time!).  On the lighter side of things, I found it funny the movie’s reference to one of the guys being a graduate of USC (I’m a UCLA Bruin) and the small size of Asian infantryman.  As an American Marine of Asian descent, the last part struck a chord with me.  More than one time throughout the movie I was surprised at how it did not caricature Japanese American compared to other movies showing Asian during this time period.  I highly commend this movie in able to capture of slice of reality, conveying bravery and folly, sadness and humor, irony and patriotism with even a consciousness of civilians caught in the mix of war.  Well done film for it’s time.

Enjoy!  I just hope I didn’t hype it too much.

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I first heard the news of the Fort Hood shooting during Thursday Night Bible study, when a lady informed me that there was a horrific shooting by a Major who didn’t wanted to go to Afghanistan.

At first it sound like someone who really lost their mind with no other sinister motive other than that of a wicked man who has “snapped”

Then it turned out Nidal Malik Hasan was muslim.  My first thought was, “Let’s give the man the benefit of the doubt. Most muslims I know are just normal Americans who are trying to make it in life, just like any American.” Then you hear the typical Public Media Campaign of Islamic propaganda group like C.A.I.R crying that they fear Muslim backlash.  Which reasoning struck me as odd, because last I check it was Nidal Malik Hasan who was a muslim who did the shooting, and it was non-muslim who did the dying. If anything, it should have been more of a campaign to assure non-Muslims their safety, that true Muslims will not go ballistic.

The campaign to explain whitewash Nidal Malik Hasan has begun.  Some bring up the explanation that those who are muslim in the U.S. military often suffer from harassment for their faith, and Nidal Malik Hasan must have snapped because of it.  No actual statistics or studies have been cited to document this alleged Post 9-11 growing phenomenon. On the contrary,  a Muslim-American Veteran Groups even have said that there is no report of Islam solidiers harassed for their faith.

Then there is the ridiculous suggestion that Hasan went ballistic because he didn’t wanted to go in a dangerous war zone, because he heard how dangerous it was from traumatized soldiers.  For the uninitiated, it sounds plausible but those in the Military knows that this guy is a medical physician not an infantryman who will be “seeing things”.  Plus, it’s ridiculous to see the rationale that the guy doesn’t want to risk dying, and tries to get out of it by risking his own life when he shot up 12 soldiers dead, and 31 injured.  That’s really leveling the playing field for his chance of not getting hurt, does it not?

Or perhaps Hasan’s faith had nothing to do with it because he was not a practicing Muslim. The morning before the shooting, he was giving out Koran, even a copy of the Ali’s translation to his neighbor:

Fort Hood Shootings

Then that same morning he went in his muslim attire to 7-11:

Of course, some might say that the above is rather superficial: How are you going to tie Hasan’s religious motivation as his motive on the basis of him giving out a Koran and dressing Arabic? Isn’t that a slippery slope? Good point, I agree, I bring up the above to make readers to come to the conclusion themselves that it’s really what the CONTENT of his religion and not just the superficial religious observances that manner.  What are the exact content of his Islamic teaching?

We get an insight from NPR of the teachings of Hasan faith, when Hasan took an opportunity to lay down what he believe to other soldiers:

But he seemed almost belligerent about being Muslim, and he gave a lecture one day that really freaked a lot of doctors out.

They have grand rounds, right? They, you know, dozens of medical staff come into an auditorium, and somebody stands at the podium at the front and gives a lecture about some academic issue, you know, what drugs to prescribe for what condition. But instead of that, he – Hasan apparently gave a long lecture on the Koran and talked about how if you don’t believe, you are condemned to hell. Your head is cut off. You’re set on fire. Burning oil is burned down your throat.

And I said to the psychiatrist, but this cold be a very interesting informational session, right? Where he’s educating everybody about the Koran. He said but what disturbed everybody was that Hasan seemed to believe these things. And actually, a Muslim in the audience, a psychiatrist, raised his hand and said, excuse me. But I’m a Muslim and I do not believe these things in the Koran, and then I don’t believe what you say the Koran says. And then Hasan didn’t say, well, I’m just giving you one point of view. He basically just stared the guy down.

If these are beliefs that he openly shares to those in the military, what kind of beliefs does this guy keep to himself???

Hasan has even attended radical Islamic Mosque, the same one that two of the 9/11 hijackers attended:

Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother’s funeral was held there in May that year.

The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.

Other military officers were concerned about Hasan’s view of suicide bombers:

Another student had warned military officials that Hasan was a “ticking time bomb” after he reportedly gave a presentation defending suicide bombers.

Even another soldier who was a recent convert to Islam sadly believe Hasan was perhaps guided by his religious conviction:

Using the name Richard, the recent convert to Islam described how he frequently prayed with Hasan at the town mosque after Hasan was deployed to Fort Hood in July. They last worshipped together at predawn prayers on the day of the massacre when Hasan “appeared relaxed and not in any way troubled or nervous”. But Richard had previously argued with Hasan when he said that he felt the “war on terror” was really a war against Islam, expressed anti-Jewish sentiments and defended suicide bombings.

“I asked Richard whether he believed that Hasan was motivated by religious radicalism in his murderous actions,” Mr Pasha said.

“Richard, with great sadness, said that he believed this was true.


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Those of us here at Veritas Domain are former military and have an ear still to the military’s current misson

For those of you who are not aware, the battle of Wanat was the incident which 9 Americans were killed in a small outpost

Special Washington Post entry page: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/battle-of-wanat/

Of most particular interest: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/battle-of-wanat/correspondence/documents/2-Army-Historians-Report.pdf

It was very similar to the incident where 8 Soldiers died on October 4th

This ought to be a wake up call concerning Afghanistan, things are getting more violent

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The French soldier is writing about the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan

While the guys here at Veritas Domain are heavily manned by Marines, it’s good to see a tribute of the Army also

At the least it gives you some perspective of what operating alongside with US forces is like through the French soldier’s eyes

Translation from here

“We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while – they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army – one that the movies brought to the public as series showing “ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events”. Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day ? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company.

They have a terribly strong American accent – from our point of view the language they speak is not even English. How many times did I have to write down what I wanted to say rather than waste precious minutes trying various pronunciations of a seemingly common word? Whatever state they are from, no two accents are alike and they even admit that in some crisis situations they have difficulties understanding each other.

Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine – they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them – we are wimps, even the strongest of us – and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans.

Here we discover America as it is often depicted : their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by promiscuity lack of privacy and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley. Honor, motherland – everything here reminds of that : the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels. Even if recruits often originate from the hearth of American cities and gang territory, no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner. Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission. And that is a first shock to our preconceptions : the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.

And they are impressive warriors ! We have not come across bad ones, as strange at it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be. Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest. On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger. No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days. At night, all movements are performed in the dark – only a handful of subdued red lights indicate the occasional presence of a soldier on the move. Same with the vehicles whose lights are covered – everything happens in pitch dark even filling the fuel tanks with the Japy pump.

And combat ? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all – always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks : they switch  from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the ennemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting : they just charge ! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later – which cuts any pussyfooting short.

We seldom hear any harsh word, and from 5 AM onwards the camp chores are performed in beautiful order and always with excellent spirit. A passing American helicopter stops near a stranded vehicle just to check that everything is alright; an American combat team will rush to support ours before even knowing how dangerous the mission is – from what we have been given to witness, the American soldier is a beautiful and worthy heir to those who liberated France and Europe.

To those who bestow us with the honor of sharing their combat outposts and who everyday give proof of their military excellence, to those who pay the daily tribute of America’s army’s deployment on Afghan soil, to those we owned this article, ourselves hoping that we will always remain worthy of them and to always continue hearing them say that we are all the same band of brothers”.

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http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/18_months_the_army_wont_forget.html

I believe more now than ever, that there is a chance for moderate success in Iraq

I hope that as a result of recent military success, this would afford the opportunity for the Iraqis to be able to sustain their own government, and a government that would bring peace within their country…

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Lately, the climate in Iraq seems to be moving towards a positive direction.

This is another entry that is of interest of what’s going on behind the scene, with a captured Al Qaeda map, from a recent news source:

A map drawn by Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — who was killed last year by U.S. forces — turned up last December in an Al Qaeda safe house and essentially gave U.S. war planners insight into the terrorist group’s methods for moving explosives, fighters and money into Baghdad.

“The map essentially laid out how Al Qaeda controlled Baghdad. And they did it through four belts that surrounded the city, and these belts controlled access to the city for reinforcements and weapons and money,” said Maj. Gen. Bob Scales, a FOX News contributor who recently visited Iraq.

“And [U.S.-led forces] simply made the decision to reduce these belts one at a time, and essentially what that did was it choked off Al Qaeda’s access to the city. And once that was done, Al Qaeda had no alternative but to leave the city, to leave the belts and to retreat into the city of Baquba,” Scales said.

The map showed four rings around Baghdad, nearly identical to rings former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein once created to protect the city.

U.S. military planners used those maps to choke off Al Qaeda, moving ring by ring, hunting and destroying Al Qaeda in Baghdad, flushing them out of their urban strongholds and picking them off as easy targets in the desert.

The troop surge was announced Jan. 10 and began soon after that. Gens. David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno took a risky but calculated move to send U.S. troops out of main base camps and set up small patrol stations that were jointly manned with Iraqi forces, essentially living among Iraqis in Baghdad. It made it easier for intelligence to surface but made U.S. troops easier targets.

U.S. forces seized on an opportunity as Al Qaeda gathered in the northern city of Baquba. The surge allowed troops to encircle Baghdad, and the insurgents fled into the desert, making them even more vulnerable to U.S. forces.

“What this offensive did is it essentially cut the head off the snake,” Scales said.

The explanation for the turning point came as new reports of a more peaceful Baghdad surfaced.

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I am always wary of the media in how they portray stories. I will provide some thought on points the investigation portrays.

The investigative report suggested the banning of Dragon Skin was because some of the procurement officers now work for the companies of the Interceptor vests. Although possible, another equally valid reason (albeit politically incorrect) is the recent 167 million dollar contract. That’s 167 million dollars of tax dollars lost, not including the funds required to purchase the new Dragon Skin armor. Although Congress or the taxpayers might be willing to make such a sacrifice in the military budget -allocating additional dollars to purchase Dragon Skin- the Army would never give up the 167 million dollars of armor without promise for more money replacing them with Dragon Skin.

The idea that the ban took place in March, before the Dragon Skin testing in May also is misleading. In the Marine Corp, a ban was placed on any synthetic shirts outside of camps with the same, “safety of use message.” Especially where body armor is concerned, forcing troops to use the tested Interceptor Vest is better than the allowing untested Dragon Skin. If the Army had any interest in my opinion, I would make such a ban provisional, until Dragon Skin was tested independently of any preconceived answers considering the financial or procurement bias. Desired objectivity might even justify why the Army reportedly didn’t allow the Mechanical Engineer -and Dragon Skin proponent- to the Dragon Skin testing. However, the news special said the Army didn’t give a reason.

I digress. The Army didn’t use such a reason, and according to the Brigadier General Mark Brown’s response to the interview with Lisa Myers, “13 of 48″ Dragon Skin tested suffered full penetration in a variety of testing conditions. Thus, they are not claiming it’s because of money, but because of legitimate testing (see Brigadier General’s press release).

I can’t answer if the US Army or Pentagon banned Dragon Skin due to corruption. A more realistic answer is perhaps the Army testing may have purposely produced negative test results (see Pinnacle Armor’s account of testing); the Army testers creating certain testing conditions to produce unfavorable results.

Such questionable testing occurred when the Army tested the AR-15 in Alaska without telling Stoner -with improperly assembled rifles!

Despite this, I’m still on the fence on who to believe, the US Army or Pinnacle Armor? Although I don’t doubt the testing by the media and numerous demonstrations by Pinnacle Armor, I believe Pinnacle Armor and the media have not addressed the accusation of failure at different temperatures (-60, 120, and 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Such a failure makes all the difference, I wouldn’t use the armor in combat knowing the adhesive might fail- regardless of how awesome it is at normal room temperature (however, see ballistic test with Dragon Skin in 170 degrees Fahrenheit). On the other hand, does the Army standards, specify testing armor at multiple temperatures? Or did the Army decide to do so because they wanted to produce instances of Dragon Skin failing like the M16 testing in Alaska? If indeed the Army was not using the test standards as an article from Defense Review states, it discredits many of the soldier’s trustworthiness (see Pinnacle Armor’s response to SOUM for particular instances of vagueness on the verge of lies).

More youtube videos:

PBS Newshour Debate (note the difference between what Col. Maginnis says about the lack of ballistic testing and Defense Review’s findings on ballistic testing)

For more details following this issue see:

Soldiers for the Truth Foundation

Defense Review

History Channel’s Test Lab feature on Dragon Skin

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You know, I feel very strongly about guys that have never been in the military, that pretends to be veterans, and then use the oppourtunity to tell lies that are not even real and falsify alleged immoral violent acts.

Those of you who read this blog might also as well, especially those of you with prior service or are currently still in the military…you know what I’m talking about. 

Meet Jessie Macbeth

macbethredux.jpg

Jessie Macbeth’s interview and documentary, which I’ve seen the whole thing (and I can’t stomach it) made me rather upset some time ago; as a military history buff at a young age and an avid Sun Tzu ‘young grasshoppa’  who believe that there is power in the knowledge of one’s opponent and one’s side (not just marines, our other military branches as well…), everything just didn’t seem right in the interview….and it didn’t require me to dig deep either, through old Army uniform regulation in his ‘graduation’ photo nor did I have to consult Army’s Table of Organization, Ranger SOP or research about base instillation and bases…the talking head was a wannabe.

Well, after a fake documentary, earning a place of being a hero to the anti-war crowd, slandering our military, falsifying alleged military documentation of military service, collecting $10,000 of Veteran’s benefits (how this guy get away with it when guys who really need the money don’t even see any money?!) and last week being arrested finally for assulting a girl (now that’s low, let me tell you),

Mr. Jessie Macbeth has finally been detained.

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On CNN, an article talks about the public’s response to John and Elizabeth Edwards decisions to continue the 2008 Presidential campaign. Though the article gave a lot of quotes none of them in particular seemed to defend their decision. However, another article did clear up some possible misunderstandings: The cancer though uncurable, “The doctors likened the situation to living diabetes, which can be managed but is a lifelong decision.” Though I can’t say anything about their decision, I can say something about newlyweds.

I thought this scripture gave some insight about what God thinks about newlyweds:

“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.”
-Deut 24:5

Several observations:

  1. This verse specfically applies to newlyweds.
  2. Public duty or the army entails:
    1. Frequent traveling
    2. Being away from home and consequently his wife
    3. Possibility of death or public scrutiny
  3. It is good to spend a year with his wife

This scripture englightens the trouble in marriage for both military servicemen and celebrities. Both work long hours, spend hours away from home. The servicemen is in danger of death while the celebrity is under public scrutiny. Unfortunately both experience a high rate of failed marriages and divorce. Does this mean spending a year at home in the first year of marriage will prevent problems or a divorce? No. But if you are willing to do so, it does speak of the importance you hold to marriage.

I think God makes clear a principle here. If you are involved in business, music or movie industry, police or military, if possibile you should make arrangements to spend time that year near your wife. Avoid volunteering for extra duty or work. Take a year off of business trips or music tours if possible. God has made it clear- “he shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.”

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PRINCE HARRY, THIRD IN LINE TO THE BRITISH THRONE, DOING WHAT IS RIGHT AND WANTING NO FAVORS TO AVOID DOING HIS DUTY…

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:

When Harry, 22, left Sandhurst Military Academy last year, he became a second lieutenant and joined the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry. At the time, the defense ministry said he could possibly be deployed to Iraq, but that there might be situations when the presence of a member of the royal family could increase the risk for his comrades.

Harry himself was having none of it.

“There’s no way I’m going to put myself through Sandhurst, and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country,” he said in a television interview to mark his 21st birthday.

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THose of us who write here for Veritas Domain have either served or are still in the Military

THe military is a place of oppourunity to share the gospel

Are you currently in Seminary?

Is God calling you to minister in the military?

THe National Guard is short on people for Chaplains right now…

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070215/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/chaplain_shortage

Obviously, its not about the 40,000 dollar bonuses, but thought I post this

THis is something that interests me…perhaps

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1_GoArmyLogoHigh.jpg

Here is a description of the New and ‘Improved’ Modified Boot Camp on the news today from an article titled, “Army Tone Down Drill Sergeants”:

That means “less shouting at everyone, in essence, which some of you may remember from an earlier generation as being the modus operandi,” he said.

The changes started about a year ago, as defense officials looked for ways to make drillmasters more effective, said Lt. Col. Mike Jones, head of Army National Guard recruiting.

(QUOTED FROM: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061010/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/nice_drill_sergeants)

For those that are afraid of being yelled at and wash out in boot camp, it might be a better thing than to go to Iraq and find bullets flying instead of Spit.

Likewise, this should be an analogy as well for our Christian faith: If we don’t follow him and pick up our cross and be willing to suffer for Christ, you have to wonder about your faith and your service to him.

One Verse sums it up:

“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2Timothy 2:3)

–GIDEONRECON

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