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:
A different post this week. I don't know anything about Mr. Berry's
service, all I do know is that he, and his family, need our help.
Mike Berry has served in the Army and National Guard for 23 years and
in 2012 was experiencing strange smells, shakiness and feeling faint.
Then one day, while making dinner, he passed out. He was taken to the
ER where they found a brain tumor.
You can find more information about Mr. Berry, and how you can help,
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.
Most of you are probably aware of the search that is going on for missing Oregon mom Jennifer Huston. It hits close to home literally and figuratively, so I thought I should add my two cents.
Disclaimer: I HAVE NO INSIDE INFORMATION. I'm not Jennifer, I don't know her, I haven't seen her. I wish I could help in the search but I have my own mom-duties. This is my own speculation based on regional knowledge, news reports and life as a mom.
She gassed up her SUV, bought trail mix, Gatorade and OTC sleeping pills, and got less than $100 from an ATM. This isn't suicide. This isn't a woman leaving her husband. This is a woman who just wants a little short-term escape. I get that. When the story first broke and she had only been missing a short time, I had a brief moment of cheering her on, because I imagined her getting some well-deserved sleep in a private parking spot somewhere. Now, of course, it's evident that something went awry.
Ever wonder about those "baby on board" placards on cars? Supposedly they're to remind other drivers to not endanger the vehicle, but in truth they are warnings that the driver of the vehicle is not in prime condition. With the kids in the car, the driver may be running on adrenaline, dodging flying objects and trying to block out screams. But when the parent is alone, the exhaustion hits. You're not directly responsible for another life at that precise moment. And both reckless driving (ah, the freedom!) and being drowsy at the wheel are distinct possibilities. Then you add the landscape in the area surrounding Dundee/Newberg. It's wine country and forests, with lots of roads to nowhere, deep gulleys, sharp curves and no shoulders to the roads. I used to drive that area a lot when WatchKitten was a baby and the constant turns would rock him to sleep, but it required both hands on the wheel at all times and constant vigilance. Reaching for a drink or snack on those roads could be deadly. It would also be highly possible to pull into the wrong person's driveway, and that's a scenario no one wants to think about. Family and friends have asked people to drive the back roads looking for disturbed vegetation, dented barriers etc, but unless they close the roads to non-searchers, those drivers could end up in a bad situation as well. You'd have to drive at a snail's pace in order to scan the area safely.
As always, there are questions for the husband and relatives. The husband has passed a polygraph, and to the best of my knowledge there's no reason to suspect that he harmed his wife. But I was uneasy about quotes of "he's the most patient person I know" and general comments about the perfection of the marriage. Perfection is pressure. And parenthood...the pressures in our culture are huge. But I suspect that the pressure got to her, not her husband. And whether it was an accident or a medical issue or simply waking up after her face was already on the news, a few hour's escape turned into something worse.
Jennifer, if you're holed up in some cheap hotel reading this, know that a lot of burned out moms understand your need to escape. We're hoping your sanity time just got a little out of hand. We'll pray and search, and we hope to cheer your homecoming too.
EDIT 8/7/2014: It looks like I was wrong, as her body has been found and her death has been ruled a suicide. It's a reminder that rational thought doesn't apply when someone is thinking of ending their life. After much consideration, I've decided to leave this post up, partly for humility and partly as a reminder that burnout is dangerous on multiple levels. If you feel the ground is falling out from under you, call a friend, call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Your life is worth more than you realize.
The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was a paramilitary aviation
organization. In 1943 they were created when the Women's Flying
Training Detachment (WFTD) and the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron
(WAFS) were merged together. The female pilots of the WASP ended up
numbering 1,074, each freeing a male pilot for combat service and
duties. They flew over 60 million miles in every type of military
aircraft. The WASP was granted veteran status in 1977, and given the
Congressional Gold Medal in 2009. Some 25,000 women applied to join
the WASP, but only 1,830 were accepted and took the oath. Only 1,074
of them passed the training and joined. Thirty-eight died flying in
Samuel Gerald Dean, Edward Joseph Wolbers, Radamés E. Cáceres, Douglas
Laurent Dauphin, Bert Garland Sauls Jr., Kenneth N. Markle, Louis
Karp, James Henry Henderson, Douglas Vincent Schmoker, Howard George
Sewell, George M. Durrett, Robert H. Watson, Harold Edwin Richards &
James Dixon Fore
December 22nd, 1943
Three days before Christmas in 1943, two hours past midnight, 14 men
climbed into an airplane and lifted into the dark sky over the
slumbering hamlet of West Palm Beach. Their journey lasted but a few
moments, and killed every one of them.
After reading the various statements, I have a hard time imagining what Jesse Ventura thinks he's going to accomplish apart from dragging a bunch of good people through a miserable lawsuit. He was humiliated (deservedly so) and now seems to be seeking revenge in a petty, reprehensible manner that is consistent with the original behavior cited.
The article states that there is a discrepancy in the testimony regarding the location of the fight. One witness said patio and one said sidewalk. I've been to McP's. The patio area bleeds into the sidewalk, so unless there's a distinction of "inner patio" I don't see that as a true discrepancy. If anything, such minor variations are more consistent with individuals' memory rather than a made-up story. I also recognize enough names on the witness list to doubt that any of them would have used Michael Monsoor's wake as a context for a smear campaign.
Jesse Ventura is responsible for his own defamation. I wish I could hope he would man up and leave Taya Kyle alone, but his history suggests otherwise. I haven't yet read Chris Kyle's book. But Jesse Ventura has ruined his own reputation, and thus will never get my vote.
Capt. Linda Bray made national headlines when she became the first
woman in U.S. history to lead troops into combat during the 1989
invasion of Panama. As a result she was met with a lot of resistance
and anger to what she had accomplished because she was a woman.
Bray and 45 soldiers under her command, nearly all of them men,
encountered a unit of Panamanian special operations soldiers holed up
inside a military barracks and dog kennel. They killed three of the
enemy and took one prisoner before the rest were forced to
Albuquerque veteran Stan E. White, a Pearl Harbor survivor who was
injured during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, was awarded the Legion
of Honor, France's highest decoration, according to Perry Bendicksen,
Honorary French Consul for New Mexico.
Although he was raised in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, White was a
19-year-old athlete and cowboy living in New Mexico when he enlisted
in the Army. He said he saw it as an opportunity for travel, adventure
and education. He ended up with a life he never could have
"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.