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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sidebar Additions

I should have done this when I added the additional links to my sidebar, but I wanted the time to learn more about them myself before attempting to introduce them in a post and explain what these sites stand for. (In no particular order)

Let me start with Vets for Victory, their mission is stated in the name.

A sample of their content, listed under the tab of "How We Win":

Meet LTC Steve Russell (Ret.):

The unit LTC Steve Russell (Ret) commanded was a central player in the hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein. LTC Russell speaks across the US and Canada, rallying the American public to support the troops with victory, not just words.

LTC Russell retired from the US Army after serving 21 years in Airborne, Light and Mechanized assignments in the Arctic, the desert, the Pacific, in Europe and in the Continental United States. He served more than 7 years overseas and has deployed operationally to Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

During Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, LTC Russell commanded the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry 'Regulars' and conducted combat in Tikrit, Iraq from the spring of 2003 to the spring of 2004. His battalion was broadly covered during the first year of the war by CNN, FOX NEWS, ABC, NBC, CBS, TIME MAGAZINE, Associated Press and Reuters. His unit was a central player in the hunt and capture of Saddam Hussein and has been featured in Discovery's 'Ace in the Hole' and BBC Panorama's 'Saddam on the Run' documentaries.

He is described by the media as "an officer who never misses a chance to be on patrol with his unit. Russell is of average height, wiry and doesn't seem imposing. Yet, he impresses you as a natural leader. He's got the earnestness and intensity of a missionary."

LTC Russell is highly decorated, having received the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Valorous Unit Award.

As a sought after speaker, thought-provoking writer, and media analyst, his mission now is to raise the soldier's voice in the national debate on the war. He serves as the Chairman of Vets for Victory, part of the Valor Network, for which he serves as member.

Remarks by LTC (Ret) Steve Russell at the Oklahoma Victory Rally:

America is a great nation of 300 million souls with great capacity, great resources, and great ingenuity. Do we honestly think then, that our nation can be held hostage by ten thousand insurgents equipped with little more than 'man-dresses' and flip-flops? (laughter, long applause)

What shall we say? What more can we give to our nation than the type of sacrifice we have already given? What words can we the soldiers use to convince Americans at home that the biggest mistakes being made in this war are on the home front, not the battlefront? What will be the value of temporary civilian comforts and the illusion of national safety when a giant shadow of Islamic terrorism is casting itself onto our shores? What will be the meaning of the rhetoric and the political debate when we sift through the rubble of a workplace, a shopping mall or public transit—digging out American bodies targeted for no other reason than because of our way of life and who we are as a people? It is a scene that Oklahomans understand first hand and one that every soldier who has witnessed it abroad will fight with all his might to keep away—but we never thought that our own people would betray our efforts.

We are told by our politicians and opponents of this war that their actions to cut our troops, pull funding and portray the war as a hopeless endeavor are not meant for us but are intended to be a strong message to the president. That is like someone coming up to you at work, slugging you in the gut and saying, “ Oh, that was not meant for you. I like you. That was meant for your boss.” (laughter) If this is the kind of support that opponents of our efforts overseas offer, we reject it! We despise it! (shouts, applause) It rubs against the grain of everything inside us as solders and defenders of America.

You absolutely HAVE to read the whole speech.

My favorite line from his speech is this:

Nothing can be more dangerous to a nation than to wage war by Gallup Poll.

Amen LTC Russell!!!!

Now, the founder of Vets for Victory, meet LTC Scott E. Rutter:

It was LTC Scott E. Rutter's (Ret) unit that assaulted and took the Baghdad International Airport in a daring maneuver, for which his unit was broadly recognized. LTC Rutter was decorated with the Silver Star for this brilliant and deadly action.

LTC Rutter retired from the US Army after serving 21 years in Air Assault, Light and Mechanized assignments in the desert, the Pacific, and in the Continental United States. He served several years overseas and has deployed operationally to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq.

During Operation DESERT STORM, then CPT Rutter commanded C Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 'Rangers' in the 1st Infantry Division and was decorated with the Bronze Star for Valor in 1991. During Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, LTC Rutter commanded the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry 'Cottonbalers' in the 3rd Infantry Division and made the initial assault into Iraq all the way to Baghdad. It was his unit that assaulted and took the Baghdad International Airport in a daring maneuver, for which his unit was broadly recognized. A soldier in his attached engineer unit, Sergeant First Class Paul Smith, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. LTC Rutter was decorated with the Silver Star for this brilliant and deadly action.

He has been described by the media as someone that "likes to get close to the fight, so close that his soldiers sometimes worry about his safety. He insists on traveling into battle with the lead company."

LTC Rutter is highly decorated, having received the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Infantryman's Badge 2nd Award, and the Presidential Unit Citation.

As a much sought-after speaker, established writer, and experienced media analyst and reporter, his mission now is to raise the soldier's voice in the national debate on the war. He serves as principle of the Valor Network and is vice-chairman of Vets for Victory. He also serves as the National Spokesman and Member of the Board for TAPS -- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Part of one of his articles that struck home for me: America Remembers United Flight 93 – by Scott E. Rutter.

In closing, it is my hope that during the upcoming holidays, more people take time to reflect on why this country is so great -- -- we rely on ordinary men and women to make extraordinary sacrifices. From the Revolutionary War through our War on Terror, it is the dedication and love that Americans have for their country that drives them to answer our nations call to duty, whether it is serving in the Armed Forces, the government or in local communities. We must recall and remember United Flight 93, for if we don’t we risk forgetting all of the millions that have stood for this country during our nations history.

Please visit the site and take a look around.

Next we have Gathering of Eagles, in which we introduced you to them in Calling All Eagles, Calling All Eagles update, parts two and three as well as the update on March 17, 2007, when they stood tall and proud with Rolling Thunder, their friends, families and supporers to protect the Vietnam War Memorial.

Gathering of Eagles Mission Statement:

1. Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan. While each member has his or her own political beliefs, our common love and respect for America and her heroes is what brings us together.

2. We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds.

3. We believe that the war memorials are sacred ground; as such, we will not allow them to be desecrated, used as props for political statements, or treated with anything less than the solemn and heartfelt respect they–and the heroes they honor–deserve.

4. We are wholly and forever committed to our brothers and sisters in uniform. As veterans, we understand their incredible and noble sacrifices, made of their own accord for a nation they love more than life itself. As family members, we stand by them, and as Americans, we thank God for them.

5. We believe in and would give our lives for the precious freedoms found in our Constitution. We believe that our freedom of speech is one of the greatest things our country espouses, and we absolutely hold that any American citizen has the right to express his or her approval or disapproval with any policy, law, or action of our nation and her government in a peaceful manner as afforded by the laws of our land.

6. However, we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.

7. We vehemently oppose the notion that it is possible to “support the troops but not the war.” We are opposed to those groups who would claim support for the troops yet engage in behavior that is demeaning and abusive to the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform.

8. We believe in freedom at all costs, including our own lives. We served to protect the freedoms Americans enjoy, and we agree with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

9. We will accept nothing less than total, unqualified victory in the current conflict. Surrender is not an option, nor is defeat.

10. We stand to challenge any group that seeks the destruction of our nation, its founding precepts of liberty and freedom, or those who have given of themselves to secure those things for another generation. We will be silent no more.

Next, Rolling Thunder:

Their Mission is:

The major function of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is to publicize POW-MIA issues: To educate the public that many American prisoners of war were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and to protect future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war-missing in action.

We are also committed to helping American veterans from all wars.

Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a non-profit organization. Members donate their time because they believe in the issues we are working on.

Next we have Move America Forward, which is announcing their new ad: Win In Iraq.

The anti-war crowd is on the run; they failed this weekend with what was supposed to be a big mass protest. Instead of 100,000 people they had less than 5,000 people.

Now, following the hugely successful MAF pro-troop caravan and Gathering of Eagles rally in Washington D.C., we are taking the next step to send this message to the American people: WE WIN IN IRAQ OR FACE THE TERRORISTS IN AMERICA

Please watch the video "Choice Is Clear".

I provided the YouTube link so that you may show your readers this video also.

Last, but definitely not least, we have The Iraq Veterans Memorial.

The Iraq Veterans Memorial is an online war memorial that honors the members of the U.S. armed forces who have lost their lives serving in the Iraq War. The Memorial is a collection of video memories from family, friends, military colleagues, and co-workers of those that have fallen.

There are many worthy causes and sites and organizations out there and as I link to them, I will introduce them also.

Please visit all these sites, they are wonderful people, trying to do wonderful things.