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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gathering of Eagles update...21JUN07

**Personal note from Mike: I try not to let these pile up like this, but this week work has been more insane than usual until today. Not that today was any less insane than the other days this week, but at least I made it in earlier**

Concert to Benefit Our Troops

Posted: 21 Jun 2007 01:08 PM CDT

Concert to Benefit Our Troops
July 21, 2007 at 7:30 PM
Cantigny Park, Wheaton, IL
CSI: NY’s Gary Sinise
and the Lt. Dan Band!

Presented by
International Truck and Engine Corporation

To US Servicemembers, From a War Eagle

Posted: 21 Jun 2007 12:54 PM CDT

(written by GOE’s Erin_Coda)

To the members of Regimental Combat Team 6:

I want to let you know that, despite the discouraging words aired and printed daily by our news media, there are a great number of Americans who support both the troops and their mission, and who have pledged their faith in a thousand ways both great and small. This is the story of my experience with one such group.

In February of this year, I joined a little-known group called Gathering of Eagles (GOE), which was formed with the originial intent of protecting our monuments and memorial sites against vandalism by anti-war groups. These anti-war groups were planning a march from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Pentagon on March 17, 2007, in order to commemorate the 40th anniversary of another famous march during the Vietnam War. The anti-war event was being sponsored by a number of fringe groups with Communist or Socialist ties, such as ANSWER and World Can’t Wait. Guest speakers were to include Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan. Members of the GOE had already found postings on the Internet indicating that some of the protesters were planning to bring spray paint, etc. It was obvious that something had to be done.

That something was us.

We came in trickles, walking downhill from the Metro station to the Lincoln Memorial. We came in droves, caravanning across the United States with Move America Forward and collecting flags as we came. We flew in from as far as Hawaii and Belize. We came on foot, on motorcycles, in wheelchairs. We came in the biker leathers of Rolling Thunder and the Nam Knights, the flattened caps of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the face paint and patriotic t-shirts of hot-blooded kids, and the heavy winter coats of ordinary citizens. We stood in the mud left by the previous night’s sudden snowfall, in a sea of snapping flags in front of the GOE main stage, where veterans and Gold Star Mothers told us stories of sacrifice and honor. We stood guard by the Vietnam memorials, the Iwo Jima memorial, the gates of Arlington Cemetery. We stood in a large mob on the side of the Lincoln Memorial, shouting our resolution and our outrage back at the opposition by means both vocal and silent that we would never surrender our ideals or r country. We stood on the Memorial Bridge with our faces stinging in the icy wind, and met the signs of the marchers with thousands of American flags.

Some of us left that day knowing only a piece of the story– a shouting match with a protester here, a cold and uneventful vigil there. But soon enough the reports began to pour in. Unofficial estimates said that we– with a de-centralized command structure, a few short weeks to plan, and NO corporate sponsorship– had outnumbered the 10,000 anti-war protesters by as many as 3 to 1. (Jane Fonda, incidentally, never showed.) Several groups reported potential vandals stopped in the act by the sight of Eagles standing watch. It looked like we had indeed accomplished our mission.

And then the stories began to grow. Whispered through the ranks, stated openly in local newspapers, shouted triumphantly in blogs and online forums came the news that, for the first time, anti-war groups were beginning to face direct opposition from supporters of the U.S. troops and the War on Terror. The Communist and Socialist roots of many anti-war groups were exposed publicly and in print. In Indiana, in Hawaii, in front of the Coast Guard Academy and in Times Square– suddenly, wherever anti-war groups planned to disrespect the United States and her protectors, Eagles were there to look them in the eye. And– to put it succinctly– the opposition blinked. I don’t know how much credit we can take for things like Cindy Sheehan’s resignation or the internal crumbling of certain anti-war groups, but the fact is that they are crumbling, and we are not. Perhaps that’s because they define themselves by what they oppose, while we define ourselves by what we support.

For those of us (like myself) who have never been in the military, we are learning– possibly for the first time– what it’s really like to stand strong with our brothers and sisters, to guard our country’s assets and our buddies’ backs under harsh conditions. And while getting windburn on the Memorial Bridge is hardly a patch on what you all are going through, we bear it gladly for your sake. Like you, we sometimes reap a pile of scorn for standing up for our beliefs. And like you, we find that it often brings out the best in us. Disabled veterans travel thousands of miles to pay their respects and stand guard again after all these years. Normally inarticulate people find the words and the courage to write letters to their newspapers and their representatives. Those in hardship somehow find the means to make another trip or another donation. The timid find courage, and the courageous find strength, and the strong find solace. We do it not to glorify ourselves, but to support you, our protectors, by any means we can.

Those things– strength, courage, and solace– are what I wish for you, today and always: the strength to bear what must be borne, the courage to do what must be done, and the solace of knowing that a great number of your countrymen and -women stand with you in spirit. You are our foundation and our future. May God grant to you the blessings of a fair fight and a just outcome, and to us the grace never to let you down.

Daily Contemplation: What if?

Posted: 21 Jun 2007 12:41 PM CDT

(Sent with Author’s permission)

The speech George W. Bush SHOULD give:

Normally, I start these things out by saying “My Fellow Americans.” Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don’t know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you’re really not fellow Americans any longer.

I’ll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: there’s been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.

The reason I’m quitting is simple. I’m fed up with you people. I’m fed up because you have no understanding of what’s really going on in the world or of what’s going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let’s start local. You’ve been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media.� Polls show that the majority of you think the economy is in the tank. And that’s despite record numbers of homeowners including record numbers of MINORITY homeowners. And while we’re mentioning minorities, I’ll point out that minority business ownership is at an all-time high. Our unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton Administration. I’ve mentioned all those things before, but it doesn’t seem to have sunk in.

Despite the shock to our economy of 9/11, the stock market has rebounded to record levels and more Americans than ever are participating in these markets. Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there’s increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.

We face real threats in the world. Don’t give me this “blood for oil” thing. If I was trading blood for oil I would’ve already seized Iraq’s oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell. And don’t give me this ‘Bush Lied People Died’ crap either. If I was the liar you morons take me for, I could’ve easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be ‘discovered.’ Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty. Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named ‘Clinton’ established that policy. Bet you didn’t know that, did you?

You need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to outspend and out-tech them.

That’s not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don’t care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That’d be fine, as long as they weren’t also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill you. And the bastards are all over the globe.

You should be grateful that they haven’t gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you’re not. That’s because you’ve got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I’m disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of ‘Survivor’.

Instead, you’ve grown impatient. You’re incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat’s political campaign, well, dammit, you might just as well Fedex a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it’s easy enough to find the truth. It’s all over the Internet. It just isn’t on the pages of the New York Times or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you’d be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol.

I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, even if you’re too stupid to leave a city that’s below sea level and has a hurricane approaching. I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from. But I’ve come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So I quit. I’m going back to Crawford. I’ve got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I’m done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney’s quitting too. That means the smiling, vacuous nitwit Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there’re just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.

So that’s it. God bless what’s left of America. Some of you know what I mean. The rest have stopped reading by now.

If George W. Bush were to give this speech and this became our reality, do you realize then that 3,961 soldiers will have perished in vain? Since March 2003 the USA has seen more than 3,900 servicemen and servicewomen give their lives in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now you tell me, what would Pelosi do to honor them?

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First Annual GOE “Date Night” Auction

Posted: 20 Jun 2007 09:04 AM GMT-06:00

GOE is auctioning off an enchanted “date” with one of five amazing Eagles! Who will you choose? (Click to view contestants)

To participate:

Choose your Eagle!
Sign in to First Annual Date Night Auction Forum
Place your bid!
Bid high and bid often
Check in routinely to view highest bidder.
Auction ends August 15th.
Winners will be announced on the GOE site August 16, 2007.

GOE wishes you the best of luck!

Daily Contemplation: Terrorists

Posted: 20 Jun 2007 08:14 AM GMT-06:00

“Terrorists often claim to be fighting wars, and to be doing no more than is necessary in war. This is nonsense. War is certainly the natural expression of collective resentment; but it occurs between organised groups and is fought openly, against a collective enemy. It is possible to fight a war with undiminished respect for the rights of the enemy individual. Indeed, that is the duty of every soldier. But the terrorist must disregard this duty and disobey the law of war. His feelings towards the individual are abolished by his loathing of the group, and it is this -rather than his cowardice, cruelty, or intemporate hate- that constitutes his true moral corruption.”

—Roger Scruton (b. 1944), British philosopher, author. Waging War on the Individual, Untimely

Tracts, St. Martin’s (1987).

AAR: Illinois Freedom Run

Posted: 19 Jun 2007 06:06 PM GMT-06:00

I had the incredible experience of attending the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run at the invitation of the founder, Tony Cutrano. Tony has been doing this run to support the troops for 5 years now and, without any governmental funding, has built a memorial to all those who have perished in the Middle East Conflicts

Twenty-Nine Thousand motorcycles started out 50 miles from the memorial and then roared into the small town of Marseilles, IL. There, vendors and the town welcomed the patriots who respectfully attended a service at the memorial, where the name of every service member who has been lost in the Middle East was read aloud. I was so moved at one point that I had to walk away to collect myself. Upon returning some minutes later, the first name I heard was the name of a 20 year old paratrooper, whose funeral I attended last month. Tony Cutrano invited me because one of our Band of Mothers, Blue Star Beverly Perlson, had told him that he and I are kindred spirits. I cannot effectively relate here how profound an experience it was, and how proud I was to be among so many patriots.

I spent a great deal of time with two Gold Star mothers. Both were in a great deal of pain, but were staunch in their support for what their sons had sacrificed. In fact, as I was leaving the motorcycle run campground to catch my return flight to Philadelphia, one of the Gold Stars stopped me and said, “I’m sorry for your pain at the loss of our men. Just don’t let my son’s sacrifice be for nothing.” With tears filling my eyes, I promised to keep up the fight to see that her son is remembered as both a hero and, eventually, a victor in the war. This mother has sacrificed literally everything. All she wanted to do was to put a balm on the pain I feel. That speaks volumes and, in my opinion, defines motherhood. Her words will never make the national media, but Cindy Sheehan can utter all sorts of vile, anti-American venom and it is the lead story in every media outlet. I cannot do anything to change that, but I can keep my word. As long as I have breath, I will continue to fight for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coasties who are currently protecting us all.

If I were to attempt to distill the experience down to a sentence or two I would have to include the words of one of the bands who has played the Freedom Run every year since its inception. The lead singer of a truly raucous rock and roll band paused in the middle of their set to say, “Everybody take a moment to say thanks to the warriors fighting for us over in the Middle East. They’re protecting our right to do this!” You see, after the memorial ceremony a celebration of life takes place with a day of bands. Every performer said something similar, but none struck me with the same impact. Men and women are fighting, bleeding, and dying in the desert for our right to do whatever pleases us. Most rational people recognize that, but what gets lost is the other half of that equation. The other half of that equation is not lost on Tony Cutrano. I heard family members of those lost in the War on Terror thank him multiple times for his tireless efforts. To every one of these families he said the same thing. “Don’t thank me. It is my honor and obligation to support them.” You see Tony gets it. I do what I do because my sense of honor demands it. I owe both those fighting and those who have died the respect they have earned. We all do.

Some days it seems like all my efforts are for nothing. I feel like Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill, only to see it roll back to the bottom. It is on those days that I look to my wall of heroes. I look to the photos of Spc. Pat Tillman, SFC Paul Smith, and Cpl. Jason Dunham. When the going got tough they did not quit, and neither will I. All participants in the Freedom Run receive a POW/MIA bracelet and a single dog tag. The dog tag lists the name, rank and age of a hero lost in the Middle East. I made sure to get two: Sgt Brian M. Romines, age 20 and 1st Sgt William T. Warren, age 48. They are around my neck now and will remain so until the war is won. That keeps them, and all the other warriors close to my heart. My brothers and sisters in uniform, you have my word: You take care of business over there and I will watch your back over here. It is my obligation to do so and never will I forget it.

View photo of Chris Hill with founder Tony Cutrano

Chris Hill
Gathering of Eagles
National Director for Operations

Profile of an Active Duty Eagle

Posted: 19 Jun 2007 03:55 PM GMT-06:00

Eagles, Michael is an American freedom fighter who thinks enough about what GOE is doing to send us $100 every two weeks. That’s an incredible sacrifice for a young soldier, but it clearly demonstrates the appreciation the troops have for what we are doing in their behalf.

To say that Mike’s note is humbling is to grossly overstate the case. This outstanding young American is fighting on two fronts–Iraq and America. He clearly understands the importance of what we’re doing, and he makes me ever more determined to make sure that his commitment, along with that of the other 155,000 Americans in Iraq, to the cause of freedom is fully appreciated.

Here is the e-mail that I sent Mike:


I hope we hear from Mike again, and soon. In the meantime, keep him and his brothers and sisters in your prayers.

Eagles Up!

Larry Bailey

PS: Read Mike’s last line; that made my day!

(Note: The letter has been edited to comply with OPSEC and other concerns.)

Hello, sir,

My name is Michael. I’m 21 and a Specialist Fourth Class about to be promoted to sergeant. My Military Occupational Specialty is 21B (Combat Engineer). My profession is just the same as the infantry’s, except that we are trained in dealing in high explosives. Our main duty here in the Middle East is conducting IED sweeps and handling any IED’s or unexploded ordnance. We do, though, contribute to the daily patroling and holding of houses here in Baghdad.

I’m not Special Forces, but a buddy of mine and I are trying to get our SF packets together for when we get back to [our post]. I would be honored to give some form of notice or article weekly, but a sudden change in basing, along with our missions, probably won’t allow that. Its been on the news already, so I guess it’s no longer much of a secret that we’re moving out of [location] to another city. Unfortunately, the base where we are to be stationed doesn’t have enough computers or phones for everyone to use freely. I’m not sure if there’s cell phone coverage and wireless internet, but I shall be bringing my cell phone, just in case. With our mission, being able to communicate with anyone will be slim, but if you and the rest of the GOE community would like, I will try to send some kind of word or answer any questions as soon as possible.

I try to make my contributions every 2 weeks (every paycheck), but I feel that there’s always more that I can do. I would give more, but with car payments and cell phone bills, $100 is all that I can cough up. However, something is better then nothing. I will be in [location] for a max. of 2 months, then we’re coming back here to start packing, cleaning and doing paper work preparatory to going home. We are to be stateside in late September, so this next 2 months is the last of fighting for us. We are very, VERY excited to come home. I’m hoping on my return [to home base] that I can get more involved and help out more with GOE.

I could express my thoughts and feelings and my plans, but I don’t want to leave you with any more of a novel, so I’ll leave that for another time to explain. I must get going–duty calls–but please do feel free, sir, to send an e-mail any time asking whatever or for any news. I will gladly respond soon as I can. Thank you for your time and support in reading this.

Before I go, you should know that YOU guys make us proud!



Posted: 19 Jun 2007 10:41 AM CDT

At a Baghdad news conference, Defense Secretary Gates stated that the military buildup was beginning to show dividends. Gen. David H. Petraeus said the operation was intended to take the fight to Al Qaeda’s hideouts in order to cut down the group’s devastating campaign of car bombings.
The comments by General Petraeusa are signal that the United States military has yet again entered a new phase in Iraq, four months after the start of the so-called troop surge and a security plan focused on dampening sectarian violence within Baghdad .


additional contribution by ALISSA J. RUBIN

With the influx of tens of thousands of additional combat troops into Iraq now complete, American forces have begun a wide offensive against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia on the outskirts of Baghdad, the top American commander in Iraq said Saturday.

Despite Calls for Restraint, Sunni Mosque Is Bombed in Southern Iraq City (June 17, 2007) The commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, in a news conference in Baghdad along with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, said the operation was intended to take the fight to Al Qaeda’s hideouts in order to cut down the group’s devastating campaign of car bombings.

The comments by General Petraeus were a signal that the United States military had yet again entered a new phase in Iraq, four months after the start of the so-called troop surge and a security plan focused on dampening sectarian violence within Baghdad. They reflected an acknowledgment that more has to be done beyond the city’s bounds to halt a relentless wave of insurgent attacks that have undercut attempts at political reconciliation.

The offensive also comes at a time in the war when there are increasing American casualties and rising domestic pressure to show results or begin troop withdrawals, and just three months before a formal assessment of the military buildup President Bush ordered.

The new emphasis on attacking the insurgent cells and bomb-making factories outside the capital is expected to be a sustained one, involving tough fighting. But creating lasting effects from such pushes has been challenging; in the past, insurgents have repeatedly been driven from one location only to resurface in another.

The heart of the American buildup of 30,000 extra troops is the deployment of five American brigade combat teams, a fighting core of more than 20,000 soldiers. Along with an additional Marine Expeditionary Unit, the last of those forces arrived in the past few days, bringing the total number of American troops in Iraq to about 155,000.

The additional American forces, General Petraeus said Saturday, would allow the United States to conduct operations in “a number of areas around Baghdad, in particular to go into areas that were sanctuaries in the past of Al Qaeda.”

Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a largely Sunni Iraqi group thought to have foreign leadership, has intensified its bombing campaign recently. Its attacks are thought to include the bombing this week of the Shiite shrine in Samaria, which was heavily damaged in a previous bombing last year.

Shiites have been the most heavily hit by the insurgent attacks, and officials in the Shiite-led government have bluntly said that no political deal with Sunni Arabs would be possible until the violence eases.

The scope, timing and details of the new American operations are classified. But one sign of the stepped-up activity was apparent in a recent operation reported by the Third Infantry Division, which is operating in the Sunni Arab belts south of the capital. In that case, American attack helicopters and Iraqi forces struck an insurgent cell, killing several and capturing others.

The decision to mount more attacks in the Sunni belts is a trade-off in a military sense because it will limit the number of American forces available to secure neighborhoods in the capital. General Petraeus appeared to allude to that on Saturday.

“There has never been a military commander in history that wouldn’t like to have more of something or other,” he said. “That characterizes all of us here.

“The fact is, frankly, that we have all that our country is going to provide us in terms of combat forces — that is really it, right now.”

This is not the first time that American forces have taken on Qaeda strongholds. Over the past year, for instance, the military has had success in driving insurgents out of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, west of Baghdad.

The military has also begun working with Sunni tribes in Anbar who oppose Al Qaeda, and is hoping to expand this approach to other areas.

But even that partial success has highlighted the flexibility of the insurgents. As gains have been made in Anbar, commanders say, the group has shifted their fighters to Diyala Province and elsewhere, flowing away from pressure and creating new pockets of violence.

In the Baghdad news conference, Defense Secretary Gates insisted that the military buildup was beginning to show dividends.

“The full impact of the surge is just beginning to be felt,” said Mr. Gates, who was making his fourth visit to Iraq in his six months as defense secretary.

Mr. Gates arrived in Iraq to express Washington’s disappointment with the pace of political reconciliation under Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, and to urge accelerated efforts to reach a series of political benchmarks to lower tensions among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

Mr. Gates also met with the American ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, who said that no outside power could compel the Iraqis to reach accommodation.

“These have to be Iraqi decisions and Iraqi compromises if they are really going to take effect,” Ambassador Crocker said. “We can’t come up with solutions as the United States and expect to impose them or impose timelines and say, ‘You’ve got to do this for the future of your country.’ ”

Earlier Saturday, Mr. Gates visited a joint security station in the Karada region of southeastern Baghdad, where American forces conduct missions along with Iraqi military and police units from inside a secured, walled compound.The American commander at the compound, Maj. Christopher Wendland, of the Second Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, said attacks in his area had dropped to 5 or 6 per week from 15 to 16 per week about a month ago. But at the same time, the number of improvised bombs planted in the area had gone up.

Earlier, in the news conference, General Petraeus acknowledged that the results of the Baghdad security push had been mixed so far.

“We are ahead in some areas and behind in others,” he said.

He said troops would continue operating in neighborhoods of Baghdad to calm Sunni-Shiite tensions and “ensure that fault lines do not once again produce a spiral of violence.” In addition, the general said, Iraqi and American forces will be operating more intensively in larger population centers outside of Baghdad, like Diyala Province and other areas where Al Qaeda has moved in.

Patriotic Hollywood of the 40’s

Posted: 18 Jun 2007 11:27 PM CDT

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WW II MOVIE STARS In contrast to the ideals, opinions and feelings of today’s “Holly wonk” the real actors of yester-year loved the United States. They had both class and integrity. With the advent of World War II many of our actors went to fight rather than stand and rant against this country we all love. They gave up their wealth, position and fame to become service men & women, many as simple “enlisted men”. This page lists but a few, but from this group of only 18 men came over 70 medals in honor of their valor, spanning from Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Distinguish Service Cross’, Purple Hearts and one Congressional Medal of Honor. So remember; while the “Entertainers of 2006″ have been in all of the news media lately I would like to remind the people of what the entertainers of 1943 were doing 63+ years ago. Most of these brave men have since passed on. “Real Hollywood Heroes” Alec Guinness (Star Wars) operated a British Royal Navy landing craft on D-Day. James Doohan (”Scotty” on Star Trek) landed in Normandy with the U. S. Army on D-Day. Donald Pleasance (The Great Escape) really was an R. A. F. pilot who was shot down, held prisoner and tortured by the Germans. David Niven was a Sand Hurst graduate and Lt Colonel of the British Commandos in Normandy. James Stewart Entered the Army Air Force as a private and worked his way to the rank of Colonel. During World War II, Stewart served as a bomber pilot, his service record crediting him with leading more than 20 missions over Germany, and taking part in hundreds of air strikes during his tour of duty. Stewart earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, France’s Croix de Guerre,and 7 Battle Stars during World War II. In peacetime, Stewart continued to be an active member of the Air Force as a reservist, reaching the rank of Brigadier General before retiring in the late 1950’s. Clark Gable (A Mega-Movie Star when war broke out). Although he was beyond the draft age at the time the U.S. entered WW II, Clark Gable enlisted as a private in the AAF on Aug 12, 1942 at Los Angeles. He attended the Officers’ Candidate School at Miami Beach, Fla. and graduated as a second lieutenant on Oct. 28, 1942. He then attended aerial l gunnery school and in Feb. 1943 he was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group at Pole brook, where flew operational missions over Europe in B-17s. Capt. Gable returned to the U.S. in Oct. 1943 and was relieved from active duty as a major on Jun. 12, 1944 at his own request, since he was over-age for combat. Charlton Heston was an Army Air Corps Sergeant in Kodiak. Ernest Borgnine was a U. S. Navy Gunners Mate 1935-1945. Charles Durning was a U. S. Army Ranger at Normandy earning a Silver Star and awarded the Purple Heart. Charles Bronson was a tail gunner in the Army Air Corps, more specifically on B-29’s in the 20th Air Force out of Guam, Tinian, and Saipan. George C. Scott was a decorated U. S. Marine. Eddie Albert (Green Acres TV) was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroic action as a U. S. Naval officer aiding Marines at the horrific battle on the island of Tarawa in the Pacific Nov. 1943. Brian Keith served as a U.S. Marine rear gunner in several actions against the Japanese on Rabal in the Pacific. Lee Marvin was a U.S. Marine on Saipan during the Mariana’s campaign when he was wounded earning the Purple Heart. John Russell: In 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps where he received a battlefield commission and was wounded and highly decorated for valor at Guadalcanal. Robert Ryan was a U. S. Marine who served with the O. S. S. in Yugoslavia. Tyrone Power (an established movie star when Pearl Harbor was bombed) joined the U.S. Marines, was a pilot flying supplies into, and wounded Marines out of, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Audie Murphy, little 5′5″ tall 110 pound guy from Texas who played cowboy parts: Most Decorated serviceman of WWII and earned: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, 2 Silver Star Medals, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Star Medals with “V”, 2 Purple Hearts, U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 2 Distinguished Unit Emblems, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at&nbs p;Sicily and Southern France) World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar, French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre, French Legion o f Honor, Grade of Chevalier, French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Medal of Liberated France, Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm. So how do you feel the real heroes of the silver screen acted when compared to the hollywonks today who spew out anti-American drivel as they bite the hand that feeds them? Can you imagine these stars of yester-year saying they hate our flag, making anti-war speeches, marching in anti-American parades and saying they hate our president? I thought not. .. Neither did I!

Thanks Jim D.

States, It’s Time to Ante Up!

Posted: 18 Jun 2007 05:39 PM CDT

State Coordinators and Fellow Eagles,

It is time to “ANTE UP!”

I am proud to officially announce the first ever Eagle’s Nest Competition. The Eagle’s Nest Competition is a Fundraising competition between all states and all Eagles to race towards this year’s fundraising goal of $175,000.00

Each state is to hold 3 fundraising events, approved by GOE’s fundraising committee, on 3 seperate dates between now and September 30, 2007.

The top three states to raise the most funds will win prizes. The Grand Prize winners will not only receive some excellent “GOE bling,” but will also be featured on the front page of the GOE website and noted at GOE 3 (on stage). Prizes will be exciting and listed at a later date.

Please have your events and dates emailed to by June 24, 2007.

Fundraising Requirements

Eagles UP!

Gathering of Eagles
Colorado to Eagles: “Bring It On!
Posted: 18 Jun 2007 10:48 AM CDT

(An excerpt from Colorado State Coordinator, Dale Lanham’s letter to Fellow Eagles)

“I think Eagles in Colorado with a higher elevation and ATTITUDE can soar better than the other states. Don’t be surprised to see us win the fundraising competition , and I hope everyone sees exactly how we’re going to do it. Maybe Gabi wanted me to tell you, so if we knock your socks off in this competition you won’t be surprised; Colorado’s thinner air, 41 years of pent up Vietnam Veteran anger, and GOE II can do a lot, and that’s before I get anybody else to help.”

Hello State Coordinators and Fellow Eagles,

I’ve been busy trying to get organized and serious about this fund raising activity. I am holding my first state meeting on Tue 6/19 and hope to get more coordinators in the state. This problem led me to look into the VFW & American Legion for help since they are established, and I thought would be very helpful. I discovered their conventions had over-lapping times and are this week 6/20-6/23 for VFW in Colorado Springs and 6/21-6/24 for American Legion in Longmont. On 6/14 I put the last of my 41 years of anger aside and joined both of these groups on Friday 6/15.

So, needless to say we are too late to have a table reserved at either of these conventions. We are instead going to crash them so to speak, walk in and find the very best table and strike up a conversation about what they do, and tell them what we do. I intend in creating an Eagle on the spot of whomever I meet. Our membership is so much simpler than the VFW’s or American Legion’s; read our mission statement and if you agree, then you are an Eagle.

I’ve been given a lot of support by Gabi, Chris Hill and Charles Wardell. This weekend we printed 600 of the brochures that Charles created, and are stuffing them with 600 letters dated June 9th that Captain Larry Bailey signed. We will also have GOE Business cards and a jug to collect money on the spot. Their convention agenda’s are kinda crowded and I may not be able to speak there, but I’ll be sure working the speakers to see if they can “put in a good word for us in their speeches. Saying something like “the uninvited Eagles in the lobby want you to know who they are and why they felt the need to ‘Crash’ our convention”.

Ed, the Legion person was very supportive of my idea and did not think it out of line. After all “Membership has been paid and applied for”. He also stated how they have so many members frustrated at their organizations because they are slow moving and cannot even change the membership rules to keep from offending possible veteran members.

For example, the Legion person, a Vietnam Vet, was stationed in Japan during Vietnam, and he does not qualify for VFW membership. Further, in talking to the VFW state staff, a past VFW post commander, does not qualify for American Legion membership because he was just in Lebanon, and the dates weren’t quite allowed. Chris Hill put it in better words I think when he said this morning in a email to me:

The rules for the VFW and the Legion constantly get into the way of good works. I hear their members complaining all the time. We can fill in the gaps between all these national organizations and the local efforts. Remind everyone that we can and are going to be political to the extent that we will protect veteran’s rights. We won’t endorse candidates, but we will identify legislation that helps/hurts veterans and identify legislators who have hurt/helped our cause.

We as the GOE can help these organizations attract new members which they need. If you are qualified to join them do so, they are your brothers and have been helping veterans for a long time as best as they could.

Find out when your conventions are and “Crash them”. They don’t know us yet, and most of them are Eagles, and they don’t know that either until we tell them!

Also, I think Eagles in Colorado with a higher elevation and ATTITUDE can soar better than the other states. Don’t be surprised to see us win the fundraising competition , and I hope everyone sees exactly how we’re going to do it. Maybe Gabi wanted me to tell you, so if we knock your socks off in this competition you won’t be surprised; Colorado’s thinner air, 41 years of pent up Vietnam Veteran anger, and GOE II can do a lot, and that’s before I get anybody else to help.

AFTER these conventions — we will have local coordinators all over the state. Then, we’ll just follow the 12 pre-approved fund raising things Gabi told us. After all, we will have Aspen, Vail and Colorado Springs coordinators on the high side of the state, and Boulder (moonbat headquarters) on the low depressing side of the state. All in between these extremes are Eagles ready to be hatched.

So Bring it on! Eagles UP!
Dale Lanham
Colorado GOE Coordinator
Vietnam USN 63-66

“We Came For Each Other”

Posted: 18 Jun 2007 12:07 AM CDT

(An excerpt from US Army Capt. Dan Sukman’s Blog, courtesy of FOXNEWS.COM)

..When I got into the airplane to come over here, there were no political thoughts, just thoughts on the soldier boarding in front of me, and the soldier walking up the ladder behind me. When I took my seat, the thoughts were focused on the soldier sitting to my left and to my right.

When you go overseas for a deployment, you understand there are risks you are taking. You put your life in danger and you may be asked to take the lives of others, be it directly or indirectly. Despite all the risks associated with our job, we go to work each day, knowing each of us is a small cog in a big wheel. The hope is if you do your job, perform it to the best of your ability, you made it possible for someone, at least one person to come back and return to their family…

With our time here coming to a close, I was struggling a bit to think of something to write about. I had a small entry ready to send out last night, but then the news came over the net, we had lost another soldier to an IED strike. Once again, a memorial ceremony will be conducted early next week. I thought it would now be a good time to reflect on our year here, and write about some of those thoughts. The first thing I will talk about is probably the easiest to discuss — why we are here in Iraq. As with any of my entries, take it for what it is: One soldier’s perspective. We still have our collective goals and missions but that is not the focus for this entry.

When I was on leave, I had many discussions and heard many reasons why U.S. soldiers are in Iraq. The opinions varied from person to person, and when you turn on a TV, or read a paper, there always seems to be an op-ed piece with someone explaining what brought us here.

The opinions have a wide range; some will tell you we are here for the noblest of causes — to bring democracy to the freedom loving people of Iraq. Others will tell you we came over here for oil, to keep the price of oil up, and others will say to keep oil prices down. Some say we are fighting for the president, while others will say we are fighting for Halliburton.

You can read stories about soldiers who refused to come over here. Some go to Canada, others call the media to make their case. Some people make them out to be heroes. The immediate thought is they have no idea what is means to be a soldier. The real heroes in those cases are the soldiers who came over and are doing the job for them.

When my brigade operations officer was promoted a couple of months back, he told us why he loved being a soldier so much. If you love being a soldier, it’s because you love soldiers. It never really hit me until he said that. Combine those words with a year spent in south Baghdad and you quickly realize why you are deployed over here.

When I got into the airplane to come over here, there were no political thoughts, just thoughts on the soldier boarding in front of me, and the soldier walking up the ladder behind me. When I took my seat, the thoughts were focused on the soldier sitting to my left and to my right.

When you go overseas for a deployment, you understand there are risks you are taking. You put your life in danger and you may be asked to take the lives of others, be it directly or indirectly. Despite all the risks associated with our job, we go to work each day, knowing each of us is a small cog in a big wheel. The hope is if you do your job, perform it to the best of your ability, you made it possible for someone, at least one person to come back and return to their family.

I am not a big fan of the movie “Black Hawk Down,” but there is a great scene near the end with the character portrayed by Eric Bana. He explains to a young NCO [non commissioned officer] why he is out fighting, and tells him ‘it’s about the guy next to you.’

We did not come here for democracy; we did not come here for oil. We came here for each other. If you cannot understand that, I am sorry, but I can explain it no further.

AAR - Fort Monmouth, NJ

Posted: 17 Jun 2007 10:22 PM CDT

The Fort Monmouth action is a recurring event held every Saturday at noon just across from the front gates of Fort Monmouth.

The regular attendees of this event were joined this weekend by NJ Eagle reinforcements. We were honored by the attendance of a wounded Iraq war veteran and his wife who came to join us as well. Just a block away from us a lone Vietnam Veteran stands by himself and presents his own personal statement against the protestors. When asked, the rally organizers said he is there every week, regardless of weather.

The protestors seemed to be quite surprised and a bit annoyed that people kept coming to the other side of the street. At one point they attempted to get a verbal exchange going, but the enthusiasm for that on their part was rather weak. We were cheered on by passing motorists with lots of honks, waves and thumbs up. We were also informed that the main organizer for the protestors was not in attendance today and that could account for why they were so quiet.

The New Jersey Eagles are committed to attending this event and will continue to do so. The New Jersey Eagles are also looking forward to Capt. Larry Hoffa and George Samek’s presence in the next upcoming weekend! Eagles Up!

Elyse A. Buongiorno
New Jersey State Coordinator