www.albasrah.net
 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

10.19.04

Print it out (color best).  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 2#B95

 

HOW MANY MORE FOR IMPERIAL WAR?

U.S. Marines at memorial service for 1st Marine Division Combat Photographer Cpl. William Salazar, 26, of Las Vegas, NV, at Camp Blue Diamond, on the outskirts of Ramadi Oct. 18, 2004.  Salazar was killed in action in Anbar Province on October 15th. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)

 

“You Better Listen To Him Kid, Because The Army Will Fuck You!”

 

From: A Soldier In Baquaba

To: GI Special

Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 5:59 PM

Subject: RE-ENLIST?!

 

…one of their best lines, “Why in God’s name do you want to get out now when you’re country needs you the most!”

 

Yea, okay.  The American public loves the US soldier. When he is fighting and dying for our country’s “freedoms”, the masses see him as a hero.  However, the neocon infringement on liberties back at home leaves the soldier disillusioned with his purpose in the war.  He feels forsaken by his leadership, and most importantly, his government.

 

Have you ever known someone who just couldn’t get the hint?

 

No matter how many times you tell that individual that you simply loathe him or her, they just never catch on.  You try being polite at first, subliminally rejecting any associations with that person.  When this doesn’t work, you try being overly evasive, continuously avoiding that person at all costs.

 

Eventually, all measures prove futile and still that person cannot see the blatant disgust you feel for him or her.  At this time, brute honesty is the best way to go.  Express your discontent with that person, your disgust in his or her ways, and finally top it all off with a firm explanation… “I hate you, please leave me alone!”

 

I have been propositioned to stay in the United States army so many times that I’ve lost count.  I’ve told this clusterfuck operation many times my disposition with the army and my dismal chances of staying enlisted.  The army never gives up.  They never get the hint.

 

Today was another formal meeting with a high echelon retention officer.  These guys are always type-cast for the job.  Gung-ho lunatics with crew cuts, pressed uniforms, and an unwavering conviction for the service spread all over their grinning faces.  The best way to describe them is overly-enthusiastic car salesmen from Dallas who bleed red, white and blue and wear green fatigues instead of cheap polyester suits.

 

These are the retention officers, and there is no doubt in my mind that they are the most controlled, manipulated tools in the army.

 

They have to be, the only way that they can be effective is if they truly believe in all the bullshit.  They are just like civilian recruiters, but twice as evil.  Civilian recruiters will openly lie to a young punk kid, someone who has no idea what the army is about.  But these “re-up guys” will lie straight to an experienced soldier, knowing well that both you and him are fully aware of how fucked up the army really is.  But there he goes, telling you how great it is to be a soldier in the army nowadays.

 

On one occasion a year ago, I was ordered to pay a mandatory visit to the retention office.  What fun it was going to be!  I had been waiting a very long time for this talk with the retention officer, just so I could hear his inane babble and immediately shoot down his flimsy efforts.  But this meeting was somewhat different than what I had normally experienced.

 

At that time, our unit was still in Germany, preparing to deploy to Iraq. I was called to his office to talk about plans of me volunteering for a year long deployment.

 

The salesman started by telling me that our whole division was now officially Stop-Lossed, meaning that I would not be getting out of the army on my scheduled date.  I would have to serve time in Iraq for up to fifteen months, with no chance for parole.  I was expected to wallow in my own misery for an entire year, plus ninety days after the deployment.

 

I took this rather distasteful, and somehow knew that this was concrete proof that both God and The Government hated me with a passion.

 

Never the less, I was called into his office to discuss my course of action in dealing with the stop-loss.  It was like applying for a loan on bad credit.  My options were horrible at best.

 

He told me that I could voluntarily extend to stay with the unit for one year.  There would of course be no financial gain or signing bonus for signing that malevolent and depraved piece of paper.  The salesman told me that the advantage in signing this extension would be that, no matter what happens with the stop-loss, I would be guaranteed an exodus date.

 

I of course had my suspicions, so I asked him the ramifications of this “set in stone” deal. If, by chance, the stop-loss were to get nullified (which had been a standing rumor at the time) would the contract then be void of merit?  The salesman approached this question very ambiguously and told me that the stop-loss was never going to be canceled.  I had better sign that dreaded contract if I were to be guaranteed an exit date a year after the closure of the deal.

 

As I was shaking my head in disbelief, another commanding officer approached this baleful orgy to tell me, “You better listen to him kid, because the army will fuck you!”

 

I decided that the time had finally come to appraise my grim situation.  I would never in hell sign any contract for this army again!  Somehow I knew that signing that dotted line would end up fucking me harder than the original contract I signed three years earlier.  I tossed the pen back on the desk and respectfully told the salesman to go fuck himself.  I decided that there was no way another fictitious contract would solve this problem.

 

Many steps are taken to ensure that a healthy number of soldiers stay in the army.  Good old fashioned bribery usually works the best.  More money with bigger signing bonuses, more college tuition, or simply that soldier’s choice of duty station.  More money means a new car, a better stereo, or surround sound television!  More tuition pay for a college education that either (1) the soldier will end up dying for in Iraq, or (2) for an education that the soldier will never see, as his life drifts closer and closer to a life time career in the service.

 

Any duty station that the soldier wants, well…everyone wants Hawaii, but no one ever gets it…how ironic!

 

To convince soldiers to stay in, other mind trickery has been effective.  The used car “Con-Man” will instill doubt into the soldier’s self-esteem.  Such examples of this bile is, “All you know is the army, its all you’ve done since you graduated high school.  You’ll never make it in the civilian world.  Why don’t you stay with us, receive health care benefits and a steady pay?  Why not stay with the winning team?”

 

…or, “Well, have you talked this over with your wife?  Maybe she’s happy being a soldier’s wife.  Maybe she takes pride in the fact that her husband is protecting her and her family and her children’s freedoms.  Maybe she wants to rely on a husband who can always put food on the table and clothes on the kids’ backs.”

 

(But does she want to see her husband disappear for a year at a time while he fights in some random war in the middle east?  Does she want to see her husband return in a body bag, and then explain to little Jimmy why there is no dad to play catch with him anymore?)

 

…one of their best lines, “Why in God’s name do you want to get out now when you’re country needs you the most!”

 

Yea, okay. The American public loves the US soldier. When he is fighting and dying for our country’s “freedoms”, the masses see him as a hero.  However, the neocon infringement on liberties back at home leaves the soldier disillusioned with his purpose in the war.  He feels forsaken by his leadership, and most importantly, his government.

 

In our current situation, there are not as many volunteers for an “all volunteer” army as there once was.  War mongering politicians in Washington are demanding more boots on the ground, yet they are hesitant to make any drastic changes in replacing units serving in the middle east theater.

 

Who could blame a civilian for his/her hesitance in signing up, or for that matter, a seasoned veteran for wanting out?

 

No good can come from an immoral war, and many soldiers are opting never to return to the front lines.

 

Some returning soldiers have had to deal with severe emotional problems from trauma they received from combat.  Suicide rates for wounded or disfigured veterans are on a steady rise.  Deployment time tables have now been capped at two years in a combat zone, twice what it was for soldiers who served in Vietnam.

 

The stop-loss program has also added to low morale within the ranks. Many troops now feel that they will never see the civilian life they once saw at the end of a long, gruesome road.

 

So the question remains, “Why the hell should I re-enlist?!”

 

Today, while I was four days away from my original exit date, I was summoned to the retention officer’s presence to discuss a possible re-enlistment.  Once again, I would have to hear the mendacious talk about a “one big happy army family”.  Once again, I would patiently sit through my options that the army seems to think are predestined for me.  After hearing many of the possibilities for re-enlisting, the captain asked me if I had any questions or concerns.  Or more specifically, if I needed to borrow his slick government pen.  This is always my favorite part…

 

I informed him that, in just four short days, I was supposed to leave the army forever.  I reminded him about a stop-loss that had prevented me from doing such.  I respectfully informed him of my complete and raging hatred I have for the army, and that no sum of money nor status of rank could convince me to stay in.

 

He looked at me as if I were completely insane.  How could I hate the army?  How could I turn my back on an organization that has royally fucked not only me, but countless friends in the same situation?  How could I not think that the army was the greatest thing in the universe; an unstoppable war machine with a killing efficiency far superior to any weapon of mass destruction?  Why would I not sign that dotted line?  Why would I not forfeit even more of my young life to mindlessly serve a fascist’s empirical quest for world domination?

 

The _expression on the captain’s face when he heard such blasphemy was priceless.  As I look back on today, my only regret is that I failed to bring a camera.

 

After setting back in his chair, carefully analyzing the seditious rhetoric he had just heard, he finally asked, “Well then, what else could you possibly do with your life?” I replied very nonchalantly, “I don’t know, maybe live under a bridge.”

 

At that point I stood up from his desk, shook his hand, thanked him for a great conversation, and made my way to the door.

 

As I walked outside and lit a cigarette, a staff sergeant cursed me for smoking within fifty feet of a building.  Of course, how could I forget?  What a strange society we live in.  Somewhere on this camp, a soldier was most likely doing push-ups for forgetting to screw in a light bulb, or some other menial infraction.

 

The dust from the ground puffed into my nose with each step I took.  The blazing hot sun continued to bake the entire landscape at a consistent 102 degrees.  As I continued to walk down the hazy road, I couldn’t help but to notice the 10x20 foot aluminum boxes that soldiers live in; their homes completely surrounded by a thick layer of sandbags to protect them from incoming mortar shells.

 

To the south, a billowing black cloud of smoke was hanging ominously over downtown Baquba.

 

In the distance, an AK-47 was chattering away at some arbitrary target.

 

Without a doubt, someone was now dead.

 

Almost to compliment the heavy gunfire, two Kiowa assault helicopters screamed over my head and into the horizon, looking for whatever trouble they might find.

 

I took a long drag from my cigarette and thought to myself, “Goddamn, I sure do miss the good life.”

 

HEkLe

Baquba, Iraq

 

www.ftssoldier.blogspot.com

 

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to contact@militaryproject.org.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.

 

 

Soldiers Saw Refusing Order As Their Last Stand

 

LYING STACK OF SHIT AT WORK

Says “The disobedience not indicative of wider U.S. Army morale or maintenance problems.”

U.S. Brig. Gen. James E. Chambers, commanding general of the 13th COSCOM, during a press conference in Baghdad, Oct 17, 2004. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

 

October 18, 2004 By NEELA BANERJEE and ARIEL HART, The New York Times.  Monica Davey contributed reporting from Chicago for this article, and Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Dexter Filkins from Baghdad & By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer Oct 17, 2004 & Salon.com

 

"My husband has been in the Army more than 20 years, but refused to take those men in that convoy.  He said it would be suicidal.''

 

"So, I'm going to ask you to pray for me," she said, "because he is not going to take no other men's children into the land of death."

 

JACKSON, Miss., Oct. 17 - What does it take for a man like Staff Sgt. Michael Butler, a 24-year veteran of the Army and the Reserve who was a soldier in the first Persian Gulf war and a reserve called up to fight in the current war in Iraq, to risk everything by disobeying a direct order in wartime?

 

On the morning of Oct. 13, the military says, Sergeant Butler and most of his platoon, some 18 men and women from the 343rd Quartermaster Company, refused to deliver a shipment of fuel from the Tallil Air Base near Nasiriya, Iraq, to another base much farther north.

 

The Army has begun an inquiry, and the soldiers could face disciplinary measures, including possible courts-martial.  But Jackie Butler, Sergeant Butler's wife, and her family in Jackson say he would not have jeopardized his career and his freedom for something impulsive or unimportant.

 

The soldiers, many of whom have called home this weekend, said their trucks were unsafe and lacked a proper armed escort, problems that have plagued them since they went to Iraq nine months ago, their relatives said.  The time had come for them, for her husband, to act, Ms. Butler said.

 

"I'm proud that he said 'no,' " Ms. Butler said. "They had complained and complained for months to the chain of command about the equipment and trucks. But nothing was done, so I think he felt he had to take a stand."

 

As the soldiers involved in the refusal in Tallil and others begin to speak out, it is growing more apparent that the military has yet to solve the lack of training, parts and equipment that has riddled the military operation in Iraq from the outset, especially among National Guard and Reserve units.

 

Brig. Gen. James E. Chambers said preliminary findings showed that the unit's trucks were not yet armored and were among the last in his command to get such protection, because they usually functioned in less dangerous parts of Iraq.  None of the trucks in his command were armored when they arrived in Iraq, General Chambers said.  Since February, the unit's engineers and private contractors have been working in impromptu maintenance yards to weld heavy metal "boxes" over truck cabs.

 

As a result of the incident, the entire 343rd is in the midst of a two-week "stand down," bolting on new armor and upgrading maintenance on its vehicles.  The 18 soldiers under investigation must complete additional training and win re-certification to regain permission to perform convoy missions, Chambers said.

 

"Based on results of this investigation other actions may be necessary,'' the general said, but he added, "It's too early in the investigation to speculate on charges or other disciplinary actions.''  [No asshole, it’s not one minute too early.  You just wish people would get off the case and turn their backs on these soldiers.  Never happen GI.]

 

Chambers downplayed the incident, saying the disobedience not indicative of wider U.S. Army morale or maintenance problems.  [What a liar.]

 

A number of Army officers contacted in recent days said such an apparent act of insubordination was very unusual, particularly among such a large number of soldiers in a single unit and especially since the military is all volunteer.  [Guess these “Army officers contacted” are completely, utterly ignorant of what happened in Vietnam.  When soldiers there figured out that war was bullshit for Empire, defying officers was commonplace, at least defying officers who lived long enough to get defied.]

 

The incident has prompted widespread interest among military families who have complained in months past of inadequate equipment and protection for their soldiers.

 

Nancy Lessin, a leader of Military Families Speak Out, which opposes the war, said she had been flooded with calls and e-mail from families with a simple message:  What had happened to the reservists echoed the conditions their own soldiers experienced in Iraq: a shortage of armored vehicles, especially for part-time soldiers' units; convoy missions through dangerous stretches without adequate firepower; and constant breakdowns among old vehicles owned, especially, by National Guard and reservist units.

 

"This is absolutely striking a nerve," Ms. Lessin said. "People are saying, 'This is the same thing that happened to my son,' and if the Army tries to spin this as 'just a few bad apples,' people need to know that these are common problems and what these soldiers did required a tremendous amount of courage."

 

Nothing seems to separate the men and women who defied their command in Tallil from the tens of thousands of others now in Iraq, their families say.  The 343rd was drawn mainly from Southern states like the Carolinas, Alabama and Mississippi, and the military said Friday that the 343rd had performed honorably during its tour in Iraq.

 

Ms. Butler did not want to speak for her husband on his feelings about the war.  Better he should do that when he is finally home, she said, which is scheduled to be sometime next year.  But Sergeant Butler knew he would be called up, once the war against Iraq was begun in March 2003.  Late last year, he reported to Rock Hill, and quickly, his confidence was shaken, his wife said.  He saw that the equipment to be shipped with his unit was "not very good," Ms. Butler said.

 

Once the unit arrived in Iraq, the inadequacy of the platoon's equipment and preparedness was thrown into sharp relief against the dangers the country posed. Although the unit is based near Nasiriya in the Shiite-controlled south, which is not as volatile as Sunni-dominated areas, the whole country has been convulsed by battles and uprisings during most of the 343rd's tour of duty.

 

"This is not the first time that there has been a problem with these charges and stuff, with them not having armor, not having radios," said Beverly Dobbs, mother of Specialist Dobbs.  "My son told me two months ago - he called me, he said, 'Mom I got the scare of my life.'

 

"'I said what's wrong?'" Ms. Dobbs said. "He said, 'They sent us out, we come under fire, our own people was shooting and we didn't even have radios to let them know.'  They're sending them out without the equipment they need.  I don't care what the Army says."

 

The soldiers in the platoon are described as devoted to the military and unabashedly patriotic.  A wall of Sergeant Butler's living room is covered with certificates and citations from the Army.  Another member of the 343rd, Specialist Joe Dobbs, 19, of Vandiver, Ala., had his bedroom painted the dark blue of the American flag.  And another soldier in the unit, Sgt. Justin Rogers of Louisville, Ky., liked to walk around town in his uniform when he was home on leave, said Chris Helm, a 14-year-old high school student and his first cousin.

 

Relatives say that Sergeant Butler, Sgt. Larry McCook of Jackson and Specialist Scott Shealey of Graysville, Ala., have been identified as three of five "ringleaders" of the incident and reassigned to other units on the air base.  Specialist Shealey's parents said their son said in a telephone call that he was going to be discharged.

 

"He'll be home in three to four weeks, that's what he's being told," said Ricky Shealey, Specialist Shealey's father, a retired Postal Service supervisor and former sergeant in the Army.  "He's depressed," Mr. Shealey said.  "He just can't believe it's happening."

 

Ms. Butler said her husband did not know what he might be facing and had heard nothing about a discharge.  Other families said the military had yet to contact them to explain the situation.  The families have not hired lawyers yet, in large part because they are uncertain what charges might be brought against their relatives.

 

Some families are reaching out to one another through e-mail and phone calls, offering help and discussing strategy.  They have contacted their members of Congressmen. Others, like Ms. Dobbs and her family, are glued to television news, awaiting some clarification of the incident.

 

Ms. Butler has her big family to lean on, and on this Sunday, the day after the phone call from her husband, they went to church and turned to their neighbors, friends and faith. Ms. Butler went to the altar rail of Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church and told the congregation:

 

"My husband has been in the Army more than 20 years, but refused to take those men in that convoy.  He said it would be suicidal.''

 

"So, I'm going to ask you to pray for me," she said, "because he is not going to take no other men's children into the land of death."

 

She bowed her head, and so did everyone else. "Lord, Sister Butler needs you," the Rev. Daniel Watkins said, shutting his eyes tight.  "Her husband, he needs you.  All the soldiers in Iraq, they need you."

 

MORE:

 

Five Platoon Members Reassigned For Refusing Mission

 

October 17, 2004 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) & NY Daily News

 

The grandfather of an Army Reserve soldier whose platoon refused to deliver supplies in Iraq said his grandson told him some of the soldiers already had been reduced in rank. He said Rogers’ rank had been reduced from sergeant to specialist and he and another soldier, Sgt. Larry McCook of Jackson, Miss., were being transferred to the Alabama-based 2101st Transportation Company.

 

McCook’s wife, Patricia McCook, told The Clarion Ledger of Jackson her husband said five members were reassigned because "they said these five really instigated the entire process."

 

Military officials said the commanding general of the 13th Corps Support Command, Brig. Gen. James Chambers, had appointed his deputy, Col. Darrell Roll, to investigate and a team under Roll’s command was questioning soldiers about the incident.

 

MORE:

 

Five Troops Who Defied Orders May Get General Discharge

 

10/17/2004 Jeremy Hudson , Clarion-Ledger (Mississippi)

 

"I would be happy with that if it is true," she said.  "At least I would have him and wouldn't have to worry about him being over there."

 

Five members of an Iraqi-based platoon who refused a convoy order earlier this week were told they would be punished with a general discharge, the father of one of the soldiers said Saturday.

 

"My son said they are getting ready to be discharged and would be home in three or four weeks," said Ricky Scott of Quinton, Ala., father of Spc. Scott Shealey.  "It's just a boot ... some way to put some type of close to this while using them as scapegoats."

 

Shealey, 29, and four other members of the 343rd Army Reserve Quartermaster Company from Rock Hill, S.C., were reassigned to other units after 17 members of their platoon on Wednesday refused an order to take part in a fuel convoy because of "deadlined" or unsafe vehicles, officials said.  Sgt. Larry McCook and Sgt. Michael Butler, both of Jackson, are among the five reassigned, said Patricia McCook, wife of Sgt. McCook.

 

A general discharge can be given by a military administrative discharge board without a hearing, said military law expert Mark Stevens of Rocky Mount, N.C.  "It is not necessarily a bad thing," Stevens said. "It's certainly better than being charged with a crime.  It is sort of a wimp's way to get it done and get rid of this thing."  A soldier's benefits usually remain intact following a general discharge, minus some education allowances, Stevens said.

 

Second District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Bolton Democrat, said he has not been told the soldiers will be discharged.  He requested a congressional inquiry on Friday as the commanding general of the 13th Corps Support Command began its investigation into the platoon's refusal of orders.

 

"Because so much attention has been paid to this issue and the question of whether our soldiers are adequately equipped, I do not expect formal charges to be filed," he said.  "A discharge is another thing altogether, though."

 

The unit remained on a safety and maintenance stand-down Saturday after a preliminary investigation revealed the soldiers had "valid concerns," officials said.

 

Jackie Butler, Sgt. Butler's wife, said her husband told her "a lot of stuff is going on, and he's just taking it day-to-day" right now.  She said Butler on Saturday did not mention a discharge.  "I would be happy with that if it is true," she said. "At least I would have him and wouldn't have to worry about him being over there."

 

Scott said his son told him some members of the 343rd, a supply unit whose general mission is to deliver fuel and water, left their station at Tallil Air Force Base for Taji, Iraq, days before the ultimate refusal of orders.  The fuel was denied in Taji because it was contaminated and could not be used for aviation purposes, he said.  The soldiers, who were not being escorted by armed personnel, were fired upon during their return trip by about 50 insurgents but were able to make it back without casualties.

 

The trip took five days, Scott said, and the soldiers were ordered to deliver the same fuel to another base about two days later with what Shealey termed "civilian vehicles" with speeds no higher than 40 mph, Scott said.  "That is when they said they had enough," he said.

 

The mission was later carried out by other soldiers, officials said, but those who refused the mission were ordered to write statements on why they refused, Scott said his son told him.  "After they reviewed those statements, they separated him and the four others and put them in different units," Scott said.

 

Patricia McCook said her husband told her on Saturday he has started working with a new company.  "He said it was only thanks to the media that they got some work done of their vehicles," McCook said. She and Jackie Butler are scheduled to be on ABC's Good Morning America in Jackson this morning.

 

Nancy Wessin of Boston, co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, said "People say you are disloyal or unsupportive when you speak out, but we feel the best way to support the troops is to really let people know what is going on by sharing your story."

 

Do you have a friend or relative in the service?  Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.  Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and in Iraq, and information about other social protest movements here in the USA.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

15 Marines Wounded In Mosul;

Platoon Attacked With Car Bomb

 

18 October 2004 Focus 1 News

 

A U.S. marines’ platoon was attacked with a car-bomb in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Reuters reported.  According to the initial information, there are at least five civilian Iraqis who were killed, and 15 marines were wounded.

 

 

“She Didn’t Want Her Son To Go To Iraq”

Bellingham Soldier Dies In Combat

 

 

October 18, 2004 By The Associated Press & October 19, 2004 By Katie Worth, Pacific Daily News

 

BELLINGHAM — Army Spc. Jonathan Santos of Bellingham has died from injuries suffered in an attack on his vehicle in Iraq, his mother said.

 

Santos, a 22-year-old linguist with the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion out of Fort Bragg, N.C., was injured Friday afternoon when an explosion hit his vehicle during combat operations, Doris Kent said.

 

He died less than four hours later. "He didn't make it into the hospital," Kent told The Bellingham Herald.

 

Santos left for his first tour in Iraq on Sept. 7 and celebrated his birthday there on Sept. 23, Kent said.  He had enlisted in the Army's Delayed Entry Program in 2000 and entered the service with a four-year commitment after graduating from Sehome High School the following spring.

 

Sehome High School's wrestling coach, Scott Schroyer, remembered Santos, a member of his team, as a quiet, solid, hardworking young man who went out of his way to help his teammates and did whatever was asked of him.

 

"He didn't want me to pay for college," Doris Kent said. "He said he wanted to do it on his own."

 

Kent said her son loved being with people and was an avid reader.  "When he was in Iraq he gathered about 75 books, so somebody named him 'the librarian,' " she said.

 

She had spoken with her son twice since he went to Iraq, the last time two weekends ago.

 

Kent said an Army chaplain and another soldier knocked on the family's door at 6 a.m. Saturday.  "You know what they came to say," she said.  "You don't really want them to say anything. ... If they say it, it makes it real."

 

"She's taking it really hard because she didn't want her son to go to Iraq. She really went off the handle when she found out he had to go there. She called me up crying, telling me he's been ordered to go to Iraq and she didn't want him to go," he said.

 

"She couldn't sleep or eat. It was just very hard for her to know that her son was in Iraq."

At first, said his uncle, Agat resident Felix Pangelinan said, he assumed his sister was so distraught because she knew it was a dangerous place.

 

"But now that this incident has happened, to me, it's like a mother's intuition," he said.

 

 

''He felt like he shouldn't have been there.”

N.H. National Guardsman Dead At Age 24

 

10/16/2004 LANDAFF, N.H. (AP)

 

A New Hampshire National Guardsman died in Iraq after a car bomb went off near his patrol Friday, authorities said. Spc. Alan J. Burgess was 24.

 

Burgess, of Landaff, was on patrol as a vehicle gunner in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul when he was struck by shrapnel around 1:30 p.m. local time, according to a statement released by Gov. Craig Benson on Saturday night. He died at a Mosul field hospital of severe head injuries.

 

Burgess was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 197th Field Artillery Forward, which is headquartered in Berlin and has armories in six North Country towns. Burgess joined the state National Guard in 2002. He was a member of Detachment 1, B Battery, based in Woodsville.

 

''He had a love for his family and for his country,'' said his mother, Karen Moore. ''He was looking forward to coming home and seeing his son.

 

''He was a good boy, a good father and a wonderful son. His needs were always last everyone else came first,'' his mother said.

 

''He felt like he shouldn't have been there, but they were all there because they had to go,'' she said.

 

 

NO MORE: BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW

Mosul: One dead in attack on Humvee (Albasrah photo)

 

 

Humvee Burning In Falluja

 

10.18.04 By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

 

On Sunday, the crackle of automatic weapons fire and the thud of artillery echoed across Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, as fighting between American troops and insurgents raged on the eastern and southern edges of the city, witnesses said.

 

Clashes blocked the main road leading to Baghdad, and plumes of smoke rose above the flat-roofed houses in the city's Askari and Shuhada neighborhoods.

 

Witnesses said a Humvee was seen burning in the eastern edge of the city, and hospital officials reported three civilians were killed. The U.S. military reported no casualties.

 

 

Basra Roadside Bomb Attack

 

17-10-2004 TVM

 

A British and two Iraqi civilians were wounded in a roadside bomb attack in the southern Iraqi town of Basra.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

“I Feel Greatly, That My Husband Is Being Betrayed By His Own Command.”

 

Please add

 

Oct. 18, 2004

 

Tony, I am home.  Please call me it is important in the most way.  I will be home all day on the 19th.  Please whomever reads this at the Abu Ghraib.  Please tell Sgt. Lampin to call his wife on the 19th. It is VERY IMPORTANT!!!!

 

Brandie

 

(After being found medically unfit for duty, Brandie Lampin’s husband was sent to Abu G anyhow.  She has been leading a determined campaign to right this wrong.  She asks your help.  She is getting organized backup from veterans, military family members and activists in Louisiana.  She will not retreat, proving the truth of the old saying, Do Not Fuck With A Marine.)

 

From: Brandie Lampin, (USMC ret’d)

BLampin4036@aol.com

To: GI Special

Sent: October 13, 2004 10:12 AM

 

Please if there are any others who know anything, do not email me.  Just send your comments to GI Special and I will get your message.  Thank you all, and God Bless.

 

I would like to thank those who have left a comment, thank who ever that soldier is for what they did, that took a great risk.  Also I would like to thank NOPG C3 for what they had posted.

 

In response to the Soldier coming home. I am glad for that Soldier.  Now Colonel Short send my husband home.

 

I have written another letter to the President, Vice President, the Congressmen and Senators, and it is also addressed to America, and to the Command of the 115th Field Hospital. This is what it says.

 

I have told you about the command, 115th Field Hospital, losing his medical records, and now after going to sick call even more because of pain, he is being denied medical attention.  He tells me that he goes in to sick call, and some of the doctors tell him that there is nothing else they can do for him, and send him away.  Why are they saying this if they know that there is something else that they can do, and that is send him home?

 

I feel greatly, that my husband is being betrayed by his own command.

 

On Oct. 7th, I received a letter from the AG here at Fort Polk, La.  There are quite a few things in it that are untrue according to my husband.  One of the passages tells about a Major John Chance, 115th Field Hospital Orthopedic Surgeon. 

 

It reads:

 

Information provided by Major John Chance, 115th Field Hospital Orthopedic Surgeon, indicates that Sergeant Lampin was evaluated on one occasion in his clinic.  Major Chance further stated he was unaware of any sick call visits by Sergeant Lampin and the soldier has not returned to his clinic since his initial evaluation in Aug. 2004.

 

Major Chance stated Sergeant Lampin removed the annotations from his medical records made during his August visit: therefore, the Doctor relied on his memory to provide information for this response.  He recollects prescribing Ultram, a non-narcotic medication, to Sergeant Lampin in August, and if the soldier experienced side-effects from the medicine it was never reported.  The Doctor's assessment of Sergeant Lampin's current medical condition was chronic knee pain secondary to degenerative changes with intermittent pain related to certain activities.  Major Chance recalled offering Sergeant Lampin a steroid injection as a treatment option: however, the soldier declined and has not followed up since that visit.

 

My husband's response to this, was unmentionable.

 

According to my husband, this doctor never looked at him physically, that he only read the medical report when it was there at the time.  He did not take anything out of his records, and he did not receive a prescription of the drug Ultram., and it is his right to not have to take a steroid injection (Cortisone), because of what it could do to him side-effect wise.  I looked up the medical information pertaining to this drug and this is what I found on the web site called OA KNEE INFO.COM, under knee injections. In it, it reads this:

 

It should be noted that although cortisone is a steroid, it differs from the performance enhancing steroids used by some athletes and discussed in the media.  Injectable cortisone does not have the side effects associated with such steroids.  There are however some risks associated with cortisone injection.  Repeated injections may promote the breakdown of articulator cartilage, which is the cause of osteoarthritis in the first place.  For this reason, multiple injections are not usually recommended.  There is also a small risk of infection or allergic reaction to the steroid preparation.  Some patients may experience a "steroid flare" in which the joint becomes more inflamed for 2 - 3 days following injection.  Anti-inflammatory medications and/or ice may prevent or control this reaction.  Doctors should explain all the risks and side effects prior to giving any steroid injection.

 

Now, if you were my husband, would you want to take this shot?  According to one of the doctors that my husband has seen, he said that his knee is 3/4 gone.  Which in laymens terms means that the cartilage is just about gone.  Why would he want to take a shot that could just eat away what is left.

 

As for the so called prescription of Ultram.  My husband said that he did not receive a prescription for this medicine.  It was a good thing, because I looked it up to and this is what I found.

 

ULTRAM (Tramadol)

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities.  Tramadol may cause dizziness or drowsiness.  If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.  Seizures have been reported as a rare side effect of treatment with tramadol.  The risk of seizures may be increased in patients who have any of the conditions or are taking any of the medications listed below:  down the list show this:  are taking a narcotic pain reliever such as oxycodone (PERCOCET)

 

If you remember in my very first letter that was published, I mentioned the drugs that my husband is taking for his pain.

 

One of those drugs is PERCOCET.

 

What I want to now, that if the doctor said that he prescribed ULTRAM, did he realize that he would have given my husband a drug that is not to be taken with PERCOCET?

 

As for the Maj. saying that he did not say that my husband should not remain in Iraq:  Colonel Short, it's because of you, that he said that, but yes for once in your life I guess I will have to say this, it's his word against my husband's, but he needs to think about who he talks too and he needs to be more aware of his surroundings.  "WALLS HAVE EARS" 

 

One other thing Colonel Short, DON'T CALL MY HUSBAND A LIAR, WHEN IT IS YOU THAT HAS LIED SINCE BEFORE THE START OF THE DEPLOYMENT. 

 

I told my husband about what was written about his physical therapist Capt. Richard Todd and how he said that my husband failed to place the physical therapy notes in his medical records as directed.   My husband said that was a lie and that the only thing that he received from him was a copy of what he wrote in the report, and I have a copy of that so that it doesn't get lost like all the other records that are mysteriously missing and still have not been found. 

 

More fuel to the fire from AG letter:

 

Without compromising protected information, Doctor Granger did relay that is his professional medical opinion, sergeant Lampin, under his current profile and medical condition, was able to deploy with his unit.  As stated above, Doctor Granger did have a conversation with Colonel Richards regarding the possible deployment of Sergeant Lampin, and Colonel Richards did state he would take into consideration the medical advice provided by Doctor Granger.  Consequently, Colonel Richards chose to place Sergeant Lampin on the unit's deployable roster.  According to Bayne-Jones, your husband's medical records are well dictated and documented indicating his medical profile with limitations.  Doctor Granger did recommend Sergeant Lampin for a Medical Evaluation Board and a non-deployable status; however, these were only recommendations.

 

I have a copy of my husbands medical records, and I know what they say.  As for Maj. Granger saying that he could be deployed, that is a lie, because he told me, and again, I have it on recording, that he recommended that he did not go.

 

If he said that he could be deployed, then he shouldn't have written NONDEPLOYABLE on the profile.

 

Again, before deployment, Colonel Short told my husband that if his doctor told him that he did not recommend him to be deployed, he would not take him.  But he never did give the doctor a call after the doctor left a message for him to do so.

 

I was told about Army Regulation 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness.  Well, I looked up this AR 40 - 501 and I found a lot of interesting things.

 

This is the current issue of AR 40-501.

 

According to Chapter 3 Medical Fitness Standards for Retention and Separation, Including Retirement:

 

3-1 General

This chapter gives the various medical conditions and physical defects which may render a soldier unfit for further military service.

 

3-2 Application

These standards apply to the following individuals

a. All commissioned and warrant officers of the Active Army, etc.

b. All enlisted soldiers of the Active Army, etc.

 

3-3 Disposition

Soldiers with conditions listed in this chapter who do not meet the required medical standards will be evaluated by an MEB etc.

d. Physicians who identify soldiers with medical conditions listed in this chapter should initiate an MEB at the time of identification..... Many of the conditions listed in this chapter fall below retention standards only if the condition has precluded or prevented successful performance of duty.

 

3-14 Miscellaneous conditions of the extremities

c. Osteoarthritis, with severe symptoms associated with impairment of function, supported by x-ray evidence and documented history of recurrent incapacity for prolonged periods.

 

Chapter 7 Physical Profiling:

 

7-4 Temporary vs. permanent profiles

If the profile is permanent the profiling officer must assess if the soldier meets retention standards by chapter 3.  Those soldiers on active duty who do not meet retention standards must be referred to an MEB as per Chapter 3.

 

7-11 Preparation, approval, and disposition of DA Form 3349

DA form will be prepared as follows:

Item 2, Code designations are limited to permanent profiles for administrative use only and are to be completed by the profiling officer.

Item 3. Enter under each permanent and temporary PULHES factors the appropriate profile serial code (1, 2, 3, 4, as prescribed) for the specific PULHES factor.  A soldier may have a permanent profile for one condition and a temporary profile for another.

 

Item 5. Answer YES or NO To items 5a through 5f.  These functional activities are the minimum requirements to be considered medically qualified for worldwide deployment.  If any answer is NO then the appropriate profile serial should in most cases be at least a 3.  This will ensure that the soldier's case will be individually reviewed by either an MEB OR MMRB.

 

Item 11. This is optional.  It allows the profiling officer to put specific limits on some common functional activities with respect to time, distance, weight and repetition parameters. If no values are listed it will be assumed these are within the normal limitations of a healthy individual.

 

Items 19, 20, and Item 21. Action by the unit commander.  This paragraph is optional and used if the commander disagrees with the profile and wants the profiling officer to reconsider the profile.

 

In the 7-1 table Physical profile functional capacity guide.  Under the letter L (P-U-L-H-E-S), with the number 3  it says Defects or impairments that require significant restriction of use.

 

In the table 7-2 Profile codes:  Code C says Limitations in running, marching, standing for long periods etc.

 

What all does this mean?

 

Well, under each of these things, this is what is written on my husbands profile.  In the Item 2 block, there is the letter C.  That letter means Limitations in running, marching, standing for long periods etc.  That, etc., includes climbing and crawling, things of that nature.

 

Item 3 block, there is the number 3 under the letter L, of the P-U-L-H-E-S.  A 3 under this letter says Defects or impairments that require significant of use.

 

Item 5b, Able to move with a fighting Load at least 2 miles (48lbs. includes helmet, boots, uniform, LBE, weapon, protective mask, pack, etc.), Item 5e, Able to do 3-5 second rushes under direct and indirect fire, and Item 5f, IS SOLDIER HEALTHY WITHOUT ANY MEDICAL CONDITION THAT PREVENTS DEPLOYMENT? The answer to these questions are NO.

 

Under Item 11, on my husbands profile says this Lifting or carrying max weight 30  or  1  distance; Running maximum distance  0 ; Prolonged standing-maximum time per episode   20 ; Marching with standard field gear except rucksack max distance  0 ; Impact activities such as jumping max # reps in one day  0 .

 

Now here is where is gets interesting.  I have a bit of a question.  It says that if the commander does not agree with the profile, that the commander is to write remarks under Item 20, and Item 21 he is to give name and grade, Item 22 Signature, and Item 23 the date.

 

Now I know it said that it is optional, but if Colonel Short says that my husband is able to perform his duties of his MOS 63B LIGHT WHEEL VEHICLE MECHANIC, wouldn't that mean that he is disagreeing with the profile?

 

If so then why is there nothing typed in these Item blocks on the profile that is typed and in my husbands medical records here at Fort Polk.  There is only two other names that are on this profile besides my husband, one is Maj. Grange, and the other is Col. Tucker the senior profiling officer or approving authority.  Signed and dated June 17, 2004, and June 22, 2004. 

 

Back to my husband's military occupational skill.

 

On the AG letter a question was asked. Was he medically able to perform his duties as a light wheel mechanic?  No, the command is using his MOS to keep him there and hiding under the word light.

 

Well, guess what?  I looked up the Army Enlisted Job Descriptions & Qualifications of 63B Light-Wheel Vehicle Mechanic. This is what it says;

 

Major duties. The light-wheel mechanic supervises and performs unit maintenance and recovery operations on gasoline and diesel fueled light-wheeled vehicles (prime movers designated as five ton or less and their associated trailers), and associated items: supervise unit maintenance and recovery operations on track and heavy-wheel vehicles, and on material handling equipment.

 

Physical demands rating and qualifications for initial award of MOS. Light-wheel vehicle mechanics must possess the following qualifications:

 

(1) A physical demands rating of VERY HEAVY, meaning Lift on an occasional basic over 100 pounds with frequent or constant lifting in excess of 50 pounds. This information is found under the physical demands ratings.  It says; The physical demands rating indicates the relative physical work requirements of a soldier to perform the MOS in a combat environment. My husband cannot lift or carry a max of 30 pounds.

 

(2) A physical profile of at the most a 2 under the L of P-U-L-H-E-S of the military physical profile serial system.

 

This proves that my husband is no longer medically fit to perform his job as a mechanic, that the command is saying that they need him for.

 

They said that they have a total of 4 mechanics.  I was told, and not by my husband, that the base at the Abu Ghraib, is a community base, and that there are other mechanics there.  This proves that if they send him home they will still have not only 3 mechanics of their own, but they will have access to other mechanics that are there at the Prison.

 

I will ask this question again, "If God forbid, something happens to my husband what would the command do, pack up and go home?"  You know that that will not happen, they would carry on with the 3 other mechanics that they have.  Again, if he is so important, then why did his command try to get rid of him before his second surgery on Feb. 19th of this year?

 

Back again to the AG letter.

 

It says that my allegation the chain of command is attempting to conceal issues surrounding my husband's medical condition and the decision made to deploy the soldier are unfounded.

 

Lets see, records are missing, my husband is not physically fit to perform his duties, he goes to sickcall only to be told that there is nothing else they can do for him and turned away, and some of medical staff are now saying that they did not think that my husband should be redeployed, when others said they did.  What is that song; " Things that make you go HUMMMMMM."  What do you think America?  

 

I would like to leave this letter with a note to those of you who have posted that you are supporting me.

 

Thank you so much.

 

This helps me, because now, for sure, I am not the only one doing the talking.  Please if there are any others who know anything, do not email me.  Just send your comments to GI Special and I will get your message.  Thank you all, and God Bless.

 

Brandie Lampin,

165 Eubanks Rd.

Leesville, La. 71446

(337) 238-0121

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation, the cuts to veterans’ benefits, or the dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling Soldier is necessary.  But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.  Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

Australia Refuses To Send More Troops To Iraq

 

Oct 17, 2004 CNN.Com

 

Australia will not dispatch additional troops to Iraq despite a U.N. request for more manpower for the country's elections, scheduled for January, a foreign ministry spokesman said Monday.

 

"We're supporting the U.N. presence in Iraq by providing equipment and training for the Fijian contingent," spokesman Chris Kenny said.  But Australia would not add to the 850 non-combat troops it already had in the region, he said.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

 

“Amber Alert”

 

Watch your precious son during this war in Iraq, because the military draft will suck him out of your life. 

Mike Hastie,

Vietnam Veteran

 

Photo: Veterans Day Parade in Albany, Oregon 1993

 

 

Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q  ( I  Remember  Another  Quagmire ) portfolio of Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71.  (Please contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) for more examples of his outstanding work.  T)

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Car Bomb Kills Four Occupation Cops, 11 Wounded

 

Oct 18 The Straits Times, BAGHDAD (Iraq) & By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer & BBC News

 

A car bombing occurred late on Sunday in Baghdad's fashionable Jadiriyah district, supposedly one of the city's safest districts, home to the Australian and other embassies.  The Interior Ministry said the dead included four policemen and the driver.  Among the 26 wounded, were 11 policemen.

 

Sunday's car bomb in Baghdad's Jadiriyah district hit a cafe near al-Hussein Square late Sunday night, said spokesman Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman.  The vehicle was loaded with 1,100 to 1,300 pounds of explosives, he said.

 

The cafe is located in an area with several foreign embassies and corporate offices. Brig. Peter Hutchinson, commander of Australian forces in the Middle East, said the blast occurred a few hundred yards from the Australian embassy, though no Australian casualties were reported.

 

Witnesses said the policemen were eating a meal to mark the end of the daily fast undertaken during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when the blast happened.

 

Shards of metal, glass and body parts were scattered over a large area.

 

 

Two Occuguards Killed

 

October 17, By Fadel al-Badrani (Reuters) & IRIB News

 

In Baghdad, attackers fired a mortar round at an arms collection site in Sadr City, a sprawling Shi'ite slum district, killing two Iraqi National Guards and a civilian in the attack on the Sina'a club football stadium used to store weapons collected from militiamen.

 

 

Nine Occupation Cops Killed

 

October 17, By Fadel al-Badrani (Reuters) & (AP)

 

The resistance killed nine Iraqi policemen returning home from a training course in Jordan late to Karbala on Saturday.  "No one survived and the attackers escaped," said a police spokesman in the southern city of Kerbala, describing the ambush south of Baghdad.

 

The bus they were traveling in was attacked in Latifiyah, 25 miles south of Baghdad, said Karbala police spokesman Abdul-Rahman Mishawi.

 

 

Two Military Employees Dead

 

Oct 18, 2004 DUBAI (Reuters)

 

A militant group in Iraq said it had killed two Macedonian hostages.

 

Macedonia has 32 soldiers in Iraq. The three Macedonians known to be hostage were builders for United Arab Emirates-based Soufan Engineering, catering to the needs of the U.S. military and its private contractor firms.

 

 

Falluja Peace Bid Called Off;

"Who Asks For Peace While Bombs Strike?”

 

18 October 2004 Aljazeera.Net & By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

 

A top Falluja negotiator who has been released from US custody says peace talks with the interim Iraqi government have been called off.

 

"The people of Falluja have suspended negotiations, despite the fact they had made progress, because of arrests like mine and American policies," Khalid Hamud al-Jumaili said.

 

Al-Jumaili said the four men were taken to a marine base outside Falluja and then transported by helicopter to another location -"a very far place".  "Whenever we asked them for the reason for our arrests, they said they were just following orders," al-Jumaili told Aljazeera.  The other three men have not been released, he said.

 

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of homes damaged in the continuing US onslaught on Falluja under the pretext of weeding out Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

 

Battles between US forces and insurgents in Falluja lasted for nine hours on Sunday and were punctuated by air strikes.

 

"I think the residents of Falluja don't want this sort of peace.  They want real peace, not a peace that stabs in the back and strikes and destroys homes and kills women," Jumaili said.

 

"Who asks for peace while bombs strike?  Who agrees to peace when women are being killed?"

 

Al-Jumaili is a member of the Mujahideen Shura (council) of tribal notables and insurgent leaders in Falluja, which has been in the hands of guerrillas since a US offensive in April failed to dislodge them.  Police there do not answer to Baghdad.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

Mahdi Army Sells Junk,

Keeps The Good Stuff

 

October 17, By Fadel al-Badrani (Reuters)

 

In Sadr City, a U.S. officer said Shi'ite militiamen have handed in few serviceable weapons under the cash-for-guns scheme meant to halt weeks of fighting with U.S. forces there.

 

"Our expectations had been that thousands of weapons would be handed in," said Captain Brian O'Malley of the First Cavalry Division in Sadr City east. "We haven't seen that many."

 

He told Reuters many of the surrendered weapons were old and broken. It did not appear that militiamen loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr had completely disarmed, he added.  [Duh!]

 

 

Received:

 

You are doing your country and the world a great service.  thank you.

 

 

From: "M S” Redwood City CA.

To: GI Special

Sent: Sunday, October 17, 2004 12:59 AM

Subject: RE: www.militaryproject.org

 

Thank you so much for what you are doing.  Keep up the good work!

 

REPLY: The people doing their country and the world the real service are the men and women in the armed forces organizing to oppose this war, and the military family members, veterans and activists offering them aid and comfort.  GI Special tries to help by reporting what’s going on.

 

 

 

Web Copies

For back issues see: GI Special web site at http://www.militaryproject.org/

The following that we know of have also posted issues:

http://www.notinourname.net/gi-special/ ; www.gifightback.org ; http://www.albasrah.net/maqalat/english/gi-special.htm

 

If printed out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you.  “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.”  DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 3.5.1.2.