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.
I just got back from San Diego and it feels like I was away much longer than the reality. It was a great trip, lots of fun with friends, and I learned things about myself.
My favorite discovery is that I'm evidently a decent speedboat operator. It wasn't exactly a shock to anyone (except for the fact that I did it on about 2 hours of sleep) but I can navigate harbor waters pretty well. I can fly over someone else's wake, make tight or wide turns as needed, and outrun anyone in a similar boat. I'm also cautious enough to stay out of trouble, but flying through the water (and air, occasionally) didn't rattle me. Rather, it was a great adventure.
I also had the opportunity to visit Michael Monsoor's grave at Ft. Rosencrans National Cemetery. There were things I needed to say, things that will never be written here. But the simple words on the bottom of the headstone spoke back to me:
We don't know what may be in the waters ahead. But we have to move forward if we are to find our joy. If considering a choice, I have to ask myself what I'm likely to regret, and then I make the bold, no-regrets move.
Cut through the wake, fly over the waves, feel the salt spray on your face. Choose joy, full speed ahead.
This pretty much sums up the review: " It’s trying to tell us that whatever we may think we think about what our country did over the past dozen years – this SEAL team was based at Bagram Air Force base, where some of the worst acts of CIA or military torture were committed – dying for the red, white and blue is still a holy enterprise." The whole attitude of that statement angers me, but the ignorance is what really makes my head explode. How many thousands of soldiers have gone through Bagram? I have a good friend who was a postal worker there; will you accuse her too? The Left has been inbreeding for far too long; their brain function is diminishing.
I liked Dakota Meyer's response: Call it whatever you want to call it, but it was factual.
And facts upset the people who would rather ignore them.
Tech Sgt. Charles Coolidge was born in 1921 in Tennessee, where he
still live and works in the family business. In 2006 he was awarded
the Légion d'honneur by officials of the French consulate.
From his Medal Of Honor citation:
Leading a section of heavy machine guns supported by 1 platoon of
Company K, he took a position near Hill 623, east of Belmont sur
Buttant, France, on October 24, 1944, with the mission of covering the
right flank of the 3d Battalion and supporting its action. T/Sgt.
Coolidge went forward with a Sergeant of Company K to reconnoiter
positions for coordinating the fires of the light and heavy machine
guns. They ran into an enemy force in the woods estimated to be an
infantry company. T/Sgt. Coolidge, attempting to bluff the Germans by
a show of assurance and boldness called upon them to surrender,
whereupon the enemy opened fire. With his carbine, T/Sgt. Coolidge
wounded 2 of them. There being no officer present with the force,
T/Sgt. Coolidge at once assumed command. Many of the men were
replacements recently arrived; this was their first experience under
fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge, unmindful of the enemy fire delivered at close
range, walked along the position, calming and encouraging his men and
directing their fire. The attack was thrown back. Through 25 and
October 26, the enemy launched repeated attacks against the position
of this combat group but each was repulsed due to T/Sgt. Coolidge's
able leadership. On October 27, German infantry, supported by 2 tanks,
made a determined attack on the position. The area was swept by enemy
small arms, machine gun, and tank fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge armed himself
with a bazooka and advanced to within 25 yards of the tanks. His
bazooka failed to function and he threw it aside. Securing all the
hand grenades he could carry, he crawled forward and inflicted heavy
casualties on the advancing enemy. Finally it became apparent that the
enemy, in greatly superior force, supported by tanks, would overrun
the position. T/Sgt. Coolidge, displaying great coolness and courage,
directed and conducted an orderly withdrawal, being himself the last
to leave the position. As a result of T/Sgt. Coolidge's heroic and
superior leadership, the mission of this combat group was accomplished
throughout 4 days of continuous fighting against numerically superior
enemy troops in rain and cold and amid dense woods.
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.
Much of today was great. Probably the best part was conspiring with my best friend for various plans for our upcoming getaway (generously funded by our long-suffering husbands.) Second-best was getting someone to watch to WatchKitten for a bit so I could take care of various bits of business.
But as usual, there was too much to do in the time allotted, and I quickly transitioned from happy future vacationer to dangerously close to yelling at my child, the babysitter, the felines and anyone else who crossed my path. And I don't yell. If I slam a door people pull out the binoculars to see how far back it was that they crossed the line. Granted, chasing a toddler has shortened my fuse a bit, but that's only because it's been lit so many times. But back to this evening...
I had a situation. A safety issue in the house, requiring a very simple fix. Except I forgot that nothing is ever simple to fix in this house. And by the time I remembered that, scheduling flukes meant that the dwindling list of available helpful people was now comprised of people who would have to get out of bed and/or be paid exorbitant amounts of money to fix this idiotic problem. And while I can put up with a lot, I'm pretty sure that the WatchKitten would not sleep with the alarm squawking every 30 seconds.
Deep breath. Check my work. Squawk. Stare at it and pray. Squawk. Ask my favorite macho saint for help and try again. Squawk. Meanwhile the toddler is fussing, the kitties are yowling and the babysitter needs to be driven home. But I'm certainly not going to let go of my one helper until this is fixed. I take a deep breath and force myself to read all of the fine print on the panel. "May take 7-10 minutes for circuit to reset."
I'm not sure whether I feel like more or less of an idiot. There was absolutely nothing wrong with my work. Had I left it alone, the squawking would have resolved itself a half hour before. Why didn't I trust that I'd done it right?
I'll leave that hanging out there, because I know I'm not the only one. I know many brilliant people who second-guess themselves the instant something goes wrong. It's not an easy habit to shake; I know my triggers but I still do it. How much worse is it if you don't know the roots of your self-doubt?
Maj. Richard Bong is the United States' highest-scoring air ace,
having shot down at least 40 Japanese aircraft during World War II. He
was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) and a
recipient of the Medal of Honor. All of his aerial victories were in
the P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft.
First they reduce retirement benefits. Will they next undermine combat rescue?
It's getting a lot harder to believe that Congress values a strong national defense. Yes, serve your country in the military (if you have no better options, like getting elected to Congress) and if you get into a tight spot, maybe you'll be lucky and the old helicopters will make it through the round trip. Of course, if you actually make it to retirement, you won't get the benefits you were promised when you signed up...
Maybe I shouldn't write something so cynical right now, at a time of year when many veterans struggle already. But I write it because I'm angry about how you're being treated. You deserve far better than this from your country.
I'll keep fighting for you, and so will many other Americans. We're here if you want to talk and we'll keep telling Congress to get it right.
Sgt. Greg N. Riewer, 28, of Frazee, was killed while on patrol March
23, 2007 in Fallujah with soldiers from the Bemidji-based Company A,
2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry, when his vehicle was struck by a
roadside bomb, the Guard said.
"The loss of Sgt. Riewer is a tragedy," Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, the
adjutant general of Minnesota, said in a statement. "He was proudly
serving his state and nation in a combat zone when he was taken from
Most of you already understand the impact that reducing military retirement pay will have on our veterans and on future readiness. If that's you, then skip to the end of this post and use the link to send a letter.
But if you're wondering why this is such a big deal, especially as others are "tightening their belts" let me point out a few factors to consider.
For 20 years or more, these retirees (and often their families) were government property. They wrote a blank check to the government up to and including their lives. Their spouses and children had health problems and anxiety disorders. No one had a guarantee that they would make it through. They served proudly with a white-knuckle grip. But they had a golden hope: if and when they served long enough, those that lived would have a taste of that security that they had given to their country. Their families would receive not a folded flag but a livable pension from this "grateful nation."
But this isn't just about honoring the past. This is about securing our future.
You're right if you're thinking that military service is about far more than money. Honor is the heartbeat of our all-volunteer military. Honor respects honor, and when it is violated, that is when our military falls apart. Our enemies know this and use false allegations to undermine the honor of the men and women who serve. They served with the knowledge of the government's promise to take care of them and their families. To change retirement benefits for current retirees and anyone who is currently serving reeks of dishonor. Will they continue to love this country when its government breaks its promises to them? Only they can answer that, but such treatment of our veterans is akin to what veterans experienced after Vietnam.
A nation that breaks promises to its veterans will be ill defended. Morale plummets when soldiers don't trust the government they serve. I saw this in Russia; they have failed their veterans and their military is much weaker as a result.
For these reasons and many others, this is one of those times when we all need to speak up. The Military Officers Association of America has an editable form letter available that you can send to Pres. Obama and our senators. Please, take 5 minutes and send it. These veterans gave 20 years for you.
"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.