Friday, January 01, 2010

And so it Begins

Nine hours into the New Year. The only fire works heard around here in the 'hood was the sound of some idiot firing off his pistol and what sounded like a high powered rifle. Of course the weather was drizzling rain and cold.......keeping decent hard working folk snug in their homes.

Unlike most New Years I stayed up to watch the clock tick-tock past twelve. Not to get a kiss or pop a cork on a bottle of bubble, but I was watching the 'Burn Notice Marathon' on channel 105. Twenty-three hours straight of Gabrielle_Anwar. Fear not tho intrepids, I only watched about three hours spaced around musing on what 2010 will bring.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid we'll see more of this...

Click on the link Here to see the full article......and send up a few prayers for our troops far from their families.

Into Thine Hand I Commit My Spirit
by Michael Yon

Arghandab, Afghanistan
New Year’s Eve, 2009

On this small base surrounded by a mixture of enemy and friendly territory, a memorial has been erected just next to the Chapel. Inside the tepee are 21 photos of 21 soldiers killed during the first months of a year-long tour of duty. The fallen will belong forever to the honor rolls of the 1-17th Infantry Battalion, 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and they will join the sacred list of names of those who have given their lives in service of the United States of America.

The symbol of the 2nd Infantry Division is the Indian Head. At night, soldiers of the “Indian Head Division” can be seen passing by the tepee, sometimes stopping to peer inside before walking into the darkness.

Sometimes the soldiers walk by carrying lights that are red or green, or sometimes white. Tonight, Cobra Battery was firing illumination rounds from the cannons, which boom from the darkness, arcing a round into the night, where miles away a canister unsheathes, and the parachute opens, and brightness floats silently, shimmering over the valley where these soldiers died.

The firing is not done in remembrance, but to support ongoing combat operations.

Inside the tepee are the 21 photos, and a Bible. The book is opened to Psalm 31.

In front of each photo, electric candles flicker through the night.

Mostly there is silence.

Soldiers put cigarettes in front of each photo, though they say that many of the fallen did not smoke.

…for thou art my strength.

Only during such times are strong men and women of greatest importance. At all other times we have Hollywood.

Today we need soldiers who never forget their brothers, while they carry forward with devotion and strength.

The War in Afghanistan has truly begun. This will be a long, difficult fight that is set to eclipse anything we’ve seen in Iraq. As 2010 unfolds, my 6th year of war coverage will unfold with it. There is relatively little interest in Afghanistan by comparison to previous interest in Iraq, and so reader interest is low. Afghanistan is serious, very deadly business. Like Iraq, however, it gets pushed around as a political brawling pit while the people fighting the war are mostly forgotten. The arguments at home seem more likely to revolve around a few words from the President than the ground realities of combat here. I can bring the ground realities, but can sustain the coverage only by the graciousness of readers. Please keep that in mind.

Consider clicking on the link at the end of the article and send a dollar to help keep honest reporting of the war coming from someone with feet in the sand instead of getting your news from the talking heads out of New Yack.

Will we be able to avoid having to resort to arms in our own country to kick to the curb our Overlords? This year may be the year we find out.

Entering into my sixth decade of walking around in this skin, I have set and written down my goals and look forward to the opportunity to achieve them. I hope you have done the same.

May the following days bring you happiness and fulfillment no matter what comes into being.

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