Because of an excess of spambot activity, I have blocked new registrations. I hate taking such drastic measures, but I don't have time to clean up all the false registrations that result from whatever attack list I landed on. I will likely revise this in the future once I've upgraded some of my code, but until then, please email me if you would like a user account. Most days, you'll get a login within a few daylight hours. Please let me know:
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The WatchCat spent a year in Russia and the Middle East in preparation for a government career. Unfortunately she got in a little too deep, and health problems sabotaged her career before it began. The future? Now there's an open question. She gets her paws in the action whenever possible, with or without a paycheck. WatchCat keeps busy supporting the troops, recruiting pararescue candidates, yelling at traitors and helping people navigate the grey areas on international everything.
A close family member is active duty US military, but due to OPSEC (and the general need for family peace), WatchCat is unable to write about that person's activities. She makes the most of the opportunities that God gives her, knowing that she should be dead by now.
And yes, she is married & is going to stay married. Smacks upside the head are delivered as needed to those who don't understand this.
Any Amazon.com shopping you do via these links will help keep WatchCat in cream & ammo:
by Senior Airman Christine Griffiths
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
7/16/2013 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- An Airman assigned here earned the Silver Star medal for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan April 23, 2011.
Maj. Gen. Frank Padilla awarded Staff Sgt. Zachary Kline the Silver Star in a ceremony here July 14, citing Kline's role is rescuing two U.S. Army pilots while under fire, defending a crash site and coordinating aerial counter-attacks. Kline, a pararescueman, is assigned to the 306th Rescue Squadron at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
"The Silver Star is way up on the continuum of honor," said Padilla, the deputy inspector general of the Air Force. "That means you voluntarily risked your life to save others, voluntarily risked your life to expose yourself to great danger in the service of your country. And that is exactly what Zach Kline did that day."
Kline endured approximately six hours under enemy fire, while in the process of recovering two U.S. military members.
"It's an honor being recognized for just doing my job," Kline said. "I worked with some awesome guys and was nice being a part of it."
According to the award citation, Kline was a part of a rescue team tasked to recover two U.S. Army pilots from an OH-58D Kiowa that had gone down. While on the ground, Kline fought enemy fire while coordinating with aircraft by radio to target threats located behind his position.
During the engagement, an incoming round ignited fuel within the wreckage, which then erupted in flames. He continued to push through enemy fire to an alternate site while still guiding overhead aircraft to adversarial positions by radio.
"He leaves us with an example of an Airman that bands together with other Airmen to get the job done and to save others so that they may live," Padilla said. "When Zach leaves our Air Force he's going to leave it just a little bit better because of his accomplishments while he was here."
The Silver Star is the third highest military decoration for valor and is given for gallantry in action against enemies of the United States.
To sum up, Jesse Ventura is going after Taya Kyle for the proceeds of "American Sniper."
What the article doesn't say is that the initial confrontation between Ventura and Kyle occurred when Ventura allegedly mouthed off about a whole slew of issues....at Mike Monsoor's wake. I'm trying to be objective since I can only work with other people's reports, but I have to come down on the side of Chris Kyle because it's a lot more plausible that someone would say something stupid at a wake (and be made to pay for it) than that a group of SEALs would just make up a story to discredit another retired SEAL. Maybe there was bad blood that wasn't getting talked about, but I just don't see it. So the inciting incident just adds to my fury.
But WHATEVER the truth of the matter is, it needs to stop at the grave. Going after the widow of a fellow SEAL is scum-sucking low, and it reinforces my opinion that Ventura's ego has overridden his brain. The SEALs can best decide how to handle Ventura; I'm more concerned about Taya Kyle.
Common decency demands that Ventura drop the suit against Taya Kyle, but it doesn't look like that's happening. While I don't know how big or small the book proceeds have been (and what the author gets is usually smaller than you'd imagine) Taya shouldn't have to use those funds for a legal defense. Someone has started a support page on Facebook, and I know that there's at least one memorial fund out there. I'm going to ask around about their legitimacy before posting any direct links. But decent people have to stand up and say that going after Taya Kyle is morally wrong.
I've written a lot on integrity over the years. so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that my thoughts on the subject are regularly challenged.
Yet I am also weary. Weary because the demands are often conflicting. Some of the hardest times of my life were when someone thought it was their "duty" to do something that ended up hurting me. Their motives might have been good but their actions were not. But I don't know if I get to complain, as various people have successfully gotten me to do the wrong thing for a supposedly good reason. Glass houses, you know.
Still, I've squirmed in a few recent conversations with people who evidently have stricter standards than I. They've challenged me. While part of my mind wants to accuse them of smug self-righteousness, another part says that their standards are better. Or perhaps it really is a question of the heart: what motivates us to do what is right?
I wonder if a lot of people lower their standards because they dislike feeling as though they don't measure up. Don't bother trying... see me as a rebel... or perhaps all kinds of nameless fears prompt us to choose falseness as a route to self-gratification.
As you can see, I don't have the answers. Black and white thinking has its value but it leaves a lot of us struggling to find our way back after a bad decision. I'm thinking as I type here...a strict code makes people feel safe. I've been on both sides of that. And right now I'm torn between the desire to do better and utter frustration with people who judge too quickly.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of
Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant
Richard William O'Neill, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism
on 30 July 1918, while serving with Company D, 165th Infantry, 42d
Division, in action at Ourcq River, France. In advance of an
assaulting line, Sergeant O'Neill attacked a detachment of about 25 of
the enemy. In the ensuing hand-to-hand encounter he sustained pistol
wounds, but heroically continued in the advance, during which he
received additional wounds; but, with great physical effort, he
remained in active command of his detachment. Being again wounded, he
was forced by weakness and loss of blood to be evacuated, but insisted
upon being taken first to the battalion commander in order to transmit
to him valuable information relative to enemy positions and the
disposition of our men.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so
others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When
There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more
information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on
your site, you can go here.
If you have PTSD or know someone who might, this is well worth your time. I especially liked, "...our souls can often heal through nothing more than being allowed to speak freely in the light of day."
This came into sharp focus with the incident a week ago. In years past I would have internalized the guilt, letting it fester until it became part of me. Instead, I wrote about it. I talked about it. And I hashed it out with God immediately instead of trying to deny that it mattered. I'm so grateful to those friends who said what needed to be said and no more. They cleaned the wound and then let it scab over and heal. No emotional steri-strips or sutures required.
Just friendship, crashing waves, and acceptance. Now silence is something to embrace, not fear.
Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 31st
Marine Expeditionary Unit
Lance Cpl. Sean J. McSweeney, an amphibious assault vehicle crewman
with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines,
31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and native of Palmyra, N.J., cleans
the barrel of a .50 caliber machine gun inside an AAV here, June 29.
The Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU are constantly engaged in
training, education and gear maintenance while embarked aboard the
ship, taking advantage of their time at sea. The 31st MEU is the only
continuously forward-deployed MEU and is the Marine Corps’ force in
readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.
Something funny happened on the road on my way to vacation.
But that's not the point of this. This post is catharsis for what happened next.
Traffic was backed up, allowing the drivers to laugh at something going on in one of the cars. The location was so well-managed that we thought it was road construction or some other planned event.
We got the signal to move and we began driving through a large gathering of people. I saw debris on the road. Accident? Someone was lying on the ground, well away from traffic, with people clustered around. But the scene was so well-managed...
I got to the end and realized I hadn't seen any emergency vehicles. The whole thing while we were stopped had been so funny that I just wasn't on the lookout for a crisis.
And I was on vacation, my first extended me-time in a year. And traffic would have made it hard to pull over. That's what I told myself. Not to mention that my certifications are expired.
Still, I felt terrible. I'd just about talked myself into turning around when the emergency vehicles started flying past. One two three four five.... they didn't need me any more. But a response like that, on this particular road, meant it was a bad call in every sense.
Lord, have mercy upon me, the sinner.
I'm still searching for the report so I can fight this out with God. If the man died waiting for help... forgive me, God. Nice intentions and "no obligation" weren't enough. My choice was selfish, and cause for a lot of self-examination.
Still, as I thought about that possible conversation with my confessor, I could predict part of what he would say: there's guilt we should own and there's guilt we shouldn't own. Patients die, even when we do everything right. That's God's call. If someone is friends with God...is death so terrible?
But it's too easy to delude ourselves into believing that our character has "arrived." Life will always find the flaws. Just one question: What do you do when you discover them?
I hesitate to share my thoughts on this, particularly as I have no special information on this case. But I'm disturbed by the correlations with John Frueh's death several years ago.
I'm asking the question, not answering it. It's not unusual for families to have shock and denial in the case of a suicide. No one wants to believe that their loved one would make that decision, and it's common for someone to hide their despair.
Still...another person with a great future dies of a gunshot wound in an odd location? I'd be asking questions too. I pray that the family may find closure and peace.
"Even to the death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you." -Sirach 4:28
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -Isaiah 6:8
As many of you are aware, the PJCountry blog disappeared in November 2008.
I'm doing my best to help the pararescue community by sharing PJ-related news and events on my blog. The following information may be helpful:
You will find answers to many questions at pararescue.com and specialtactics.com
If you're ready to become a PJ, you'll need to decide between Active Duty and Reserve. This will determine who will handle your official recruitment. Visit Contacts and POCs to find the appropriate person or email me.
304th Pararescue Team (Reserve) (Oregon)
If you're on the west coast near Oregon and are considering being a PJ/CRO on the Portland Pararescue Team (commitment of 4 years beyond training), contact TSgt Stanley Iakopo at stanley.iakopo AT us.af.mil or email me.
I have no official role with pararescue or other SpecOps but I know enough to get you connected to the right people. Email to CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET
Jubilate Agno, Fragment B
[For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]
by Christopher Smart
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.