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.
Email: CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET
Any Amazon.com shopping you do via these links will help keep WatchCat in cream & ammo:
For extraordinary and distinguished gallantry above and beyond the
call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of the Engineering Repair Party of
the U.S.S. Yorktown in action against enemy Japanese forces in the
Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. During the severe bombarding of
the Yorktown by enemy Japanese forces, an aerial bomb passed through
and exploded directly beneath the compartment in which Lt. Ricketts'
battle station was located, killing, wounding or stunning all of his
men and mortally wounding him. Despite his ebbing strength, Lt.
Ricketts promptly opened the valve of a near-by fireplug, partially
led out the fire hose and directed a heavy stream of water into the
fire before dropping dead beside the hose. His courageous action,
which undoubtedly prevented the rapid spread of fire to serious
proportions, and his unflinching devotion to duty were in keeping with
the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave
his life for his country.
On a personal level, the blog is for days like today. For those days when there are warning bells in your head and you still don't know how you made it through what unfolded next. For those days when you feel guilty for what might have happened even though you did everything reasonable to avoid it and then some.
In short, we were nearly in a car accident today. My son and I. It would have been purely the other guy's fault; I had the right of way and he turned left into my left turn. I veered right and took every last scrap of road I could to get out of his way, and he missed the driver's side doors by inches. If I'd have stopped or stayed on course, we would have been hit. I'm sure of it. And so I still ask myself if I should have put my turn signal on earlier, and of course I'm mad about the wrong turn that put me on that particular road in the first place.
Thank God for our survival. Thank the angels and the saints. And I'm also thankful for the Muscovites and Cairo taxi drivers who influenced my understanding of what is possible on the road.
It's a lesson in gratitude for all those things "which we know and which we know not." Life is saved or lost by a thread. Remember to be thankful for even the threads we don't understand.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S.
Johnston in action against major units of the enemy Japanese fleet
during the battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. The first to lay a
smokescreen and to open fire as an enemy task force, vastly superior
in number, firepower and armor, rapidly approached. Comdr. Evans
gallantly diverted the powerful blasts of hostile guns from the
lightly armed and armored carriers under his protection, launching the
first torpedo attack when the Johnston came under straddling Japanese
shellfire. Undaunted by damage sustained under the terrific volume of
fire, he unhesitatingly joined others of his group to provide fire
support during subsequent torpedo attacks against the Japanese and,
outshooting and outmaneuvering the enemy as he consistently interposed
his vessel between the hostile fleet units and our carriers despite
the crippling loss of engine power and communications with steering
aft, shifted command to the fantail, shouted steering orders through
an open hatch to men turning the rudder by hand and battled furiously
until the Johnston, burning and shuddering from a mortal blow, lay
dead in the water after 3 hours of fierce combat. Seriously wounded
early in the engagement, Comdr. Evans, by his indomitable courage and
brilliant professional skill, aided materially in turning back the
enemy during a critical phase of the action. His valiant fighting
spirit throughout this historic battle will venture as an inspiration
to all who served with him.
You can read more about Commander Evans here and here
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.
Like many of you, I'm spending a fair amount of my "free time" keeping an eye on what's happening in Ukraine. Perhaps unlike you, I have many Russian friends, some Ukrainian acquaintances and some almost-family types with strong Ukrainian ties. For these and other reasons, I have been very careful about my comments.
I'm not an expert on Ukraine, but I know Russia tolerably well. I know Orthodoxy. And I know a little something of the KGB of Putin's time.
Someone recently said that Russia is playing chess while the US is playing marbles. Keep that comment in mind with every article you read. Yes, it feels like the 1930s. And the 1980s. And 2008. We also need to remember Russia's Christian history and how this impacts their understanding of other territories.
We're getting a little too wrapped up in how Pres. Obama screwed this up. Yes, I predicted that Putin would have Obama for breakfast. But we need to move beyond that to have any real sense of what is happening.
Any simplistic explanation of what Putin is doing is likely wrong.
This is chess. Putin makes a move with his opponent's responses in mind. If he takes a pawn or a knight, was that his endgame? Of course not; he wants the queen to move.
Does Putin want to return Russia to her "former glory?" Probably.
Is it narcissism, like so many Russian leaders of the past?
He takes a knight and moves back a few spaces. So what does he really want?
Probably something most of us don't see.
On this day in 2002, some of our brave heroes lost their lives during the Battle of Roberts Ridge. We will never forget the stories of heroism from that battle and the brave warriors we lost.
USAF Pararescue SrA Jason Cunningham
USAF Combat Controller TSgt John Chapman
USN Seal PO1 Neil Roberts
USA Ranger PFC Matthew Commons
USA Ranger SGT Bradley Crose
USA Ranger SFC Marc Anderson
USA 160th SOAR SGT Phillip Svitak
"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.