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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gathering of Eagles update...27JUN07

1st Annual Eagles of Valor Dinner

Posted: 27 Jun 2007 01:26 PM CDT

On September 22, 2007, Gathering of Eagles will be Honoring our Veterans and Active Military Service Personnel at the First Annual Eagles of Valor dinner. The dinner will take place in Chicago, IL.

As members of Gathering of Eagles, GOE wishes you to provide input to ensure that this event is implemented to the best of our abilities. Please take a moment to answer the poll in the sidebar, and leave us a comment on this article letting us know any thoughts about the points below.

Thank you for helping us make this an event you will be proud to attend.

1. This event will be ticketed. The price of the tickets will include the meal, retainer of the venue, speakers, and additional items. Ticket prices are determined by the meal choice, and range from $60 per meal to $100. Would this affect your decision to attend?

2. The venue offers:
a) a buffet dinner,
b) a four course plated meal,
c) or a dinner package that includes a four course meal with appetizers and an Open Bar.

Which one would you prefer?

3. Do you think this is a positive event for GOE to sponsor?

4. Would you attend this event annually if GOE agrees to sponsor it annually?

Thank you for your input! We will review your responses and announce the details at a later date.

Daily Contemplation: 2 More Republicans Down

Posted: 27 Jun 2007 10:34 AM CDT

(Excerpt from AP Press story written by Anne Flaherty)

”We must not abandon our mission, but we must begin a transition where the Iraqi government and its neighbors play a larger role in stabilizing Iraq,” Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, wrote in a letter to Bush.

Voinovich, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released his letter Tuesday - one day after Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the panel’s top Republican, said in a floor speech that Bush’s strategy was not working.

“The longer we delay the planning for a redeployment, the less likely it is to be successful,” said Lugar, who plans to meet later this week with Stephen Hadley, Bush’s national security adviser.

Lugar and Voinovich are not the first GOP members to call for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Gordon Smith of Oregon made similar remarks earlier this year. But their public break is significant because it raises the possibility that Senate Democrats could muster the 60 votes needed to pass legislation that would call for Bush to bring troops home.

Click here to view full AP story

Daily Contemplation: What is a Veteran?

Posted: 26 Jun 2007 05:15 PM CDT

(Excerpt from letter by Mike Lake, IL VFW Post #2992)

In the history of the world only two defining forces have ever OFFERED to die for you. Jesus Christ, for your soul. And the American G.I. for your freedom”.

We did not ask the Japanese to bomb and strafe Pearl Harbor . We did not ask the North Koreans and Chinese to cross the 38th parallel and attack their neighbors.

We did not ask the North Vietnamese to infiltrate
the south and force their will upon the people. And we did not ask for two commercial airliners to fly into the towers of the world trade center, killing thousands of innocent people.

No, we did not ask for any of these world changing events. But when we were asked to do something about it, we did. And we did not ask what the pay was nor how long the hours were. We did not ask about working conditions or benefits. We did not
ask where we would be going nor how long it would take.

For freedom has no price and the American serviceman will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to get the job done. No one knows better than we veterans that freedom is not free. We paid a
price for it, a price in years and tears. A price who’s final payment won’t come due until we are resting in a flag draped casket. But a price we were willing to pay and THAT is what sets us apart.

So what is a Veteran?

He is an ordinary yet extraordinary human being, a person who’s given some of life’s most vital years in the service of his country. A Veteran is a warrior, a savior and a sword against the darkness. “In the history of the world only two defining forces have ever OFFERED to die for you. Jesus Christ, for your soul. And the American G.I. for your freedom”.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served his country say the four words that mean more than parades and medals.

Say Thank you , Welcome home!

Eagles Needed to Rally in Maine!

Posted: 26 Jun 2007 12:02 PM CDT


When: Saturday-Sunday June 30-July 1

Where: Kennebunkport, Maine
Why: To counter the planned protest by leftist anti-war groups and pro jihad sympathizers.

Once more the radical left is rearing its ugly head! This time in the wilds of Maine. They plan to shout their lies and propaganda in an attempt to disrupt the summit meeting of our President with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. They accuse both presidents of starting wars against oil-rich muslim countries to steal their resources.

These people ignore the fact that the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, in New York City and Washington, DC. These people ignore the reality of the massacre of innocent school children in Beslan and theatergoers in Moscow. They ignore the evidence of radical Islamofascism evident in many regions of the world. If we allow these people to have their way unopposed, millions more Americans, Russians, Indians, Thais, Iraqis, Afghans, Sudanese, Lebanese, Israelis, Filipinos, Turks, French, Germans, British, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and atheists will die in the future. They sow the seeds of apocalypse and they do it in the name of ‘peace’.

Please try to free up your weekend and take a ride to Maine with your family and friends to wave your flags and signs supporting our troops. Counter the lies of the left with our steadfast love of our country.

We will try to arrange buses on Saturday night to pickup groups along the way to Kennebunkport.

Respond to this email if you need rides from your location. Tell us your location and the number of people needing a ride. We will do our best to accommodate you.

Dan Maloney

New York State Coordinator

Gathering of Eagles

The Passing of a Hero

Posted: 26 Jun 2007 09:51 AM CDT

Hero from Another Era
Credit to: James Bancroft

Charles W. Lindberg died Sunday. Not a common household name. Yet he is a hero from a war past. A Marine, recipient of the Silver Star medal, the last survivor of the Iwo Jima flag raising. Although not of the Marines immortalized by Joe Rosenthal. Mr. Lindberg was one of six who raised the first American flag over Iwo Jima. It is a sad footnote that monthly we are losing hundreds of our heroes from WWII. A generation the likes of which we thought we would never see again. Yet, every time our country has gone to war, we have been proud to say our men and women serving are the best our great nation has. Today is no exception.

A Marine
A Marine is an American Hero,
when called he’s prepared to go.

A Marine gives nothing but his all,
for his country he will take the fall.

When his country is in need,
he is there to take the lead.

America knows she can depend,
on her Marines to be there to defend.

A Marine has earned America’s respect,
America owes him for giving his life to protect.

In a Marines darkest hour,
a Marine will never cower.

Through war’s dark and violent wrath,
Bravery will guide him to freedom’s path.

Strength and courage he defines,
facing the enemy on the front lines.

To his country a Marine is loyal,
valiantly fighting on enemy soil.

Through every challenge and test,
a Marine proves he’s America’s best.

A Marine is dedicated and dutiful,
to his country America the beautiful.

A Marine fights for the Red, White and Blue,
he is America’s proud, the brave and the few.

America thanks you for the service you give,
because of you in freedom we live.
Dedicated to my nephew Wesley D. Swain, PFC USMC
By Jamie Badour
Copyright 2006
Listed 01/04/2007

Last survivor of Iwo Jima flagraising dies in Minnesota

RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) The last survivor of the first American flag-raising over Iwo Jima during World War Two has died. Charles Lindberg of Richfield, Minnesota, was 86. He grew up in Grand Forks.

Lindberg died yesterday at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina (ee-DYE’-nuh), according to the director of the funeral home that’s handling arrangements.

Lindberg spent decades explaining that it was his patrol, not the one captured in the famous photograph by Abe Rosenthal of The Associated Press, that raised the first flag over the island. In the late morning of February 23rd, 1945, Lindberg fired his flame-thrower into enemy pillboxes at the base of Mount Suribachi and then joined five other Marines fighting their way to the top.

He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery.

After his discharge in January 1946, Lindberg went home to Grand Forks until 1951, when he moved to Richfield and became an electrician. In an interview with the A-P in 2003, Lindberg recalled two of the men found a big, long pipe there, “tied the flag to it, took it to the highest spot we could find and we raised it.” The moment was captured by Sergeant Lou Lowery, a photographer from the Corps’ Leatherneck magazine, but three of the six men never saw his photos. They were among the 59-hundred Marines killed on the island.

Last month, Lindberg attended groundbreaking at the site of a new veterans memorial in Richfield. Funeral arrangements are pending.


Posted: 25 Jun 2007 06:35 PM CDT

(Story by Ian Urbina, New York Times)

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich., — The Stars and Stripes in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars lodge here flies at half-staff because Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm issued a statewide order to lower the flag for 24 hours to honor a Michigan soldier killed in Iraq

But, at a federal veterans’ hospital in Iron Mountain, Mich., the flag stayed at full staff. A bill would let governors order flags to half-staff.
Just blocks away, however, at the veterans’ hospital run by federal officials who say they do not answer to the governor the flag flutters at full staff.

A revered and emotionally fraught symbol, the flag is no stranger to differing opinions about its proper handling. Soldiers have laid down their lives for it, protesters have burned it and lawmakers have considered altering the Constitution to protect it.

But in Michigan, the differing response to Ms. Granholm’s order is part of a broader and, perhaps, more universal wrangle over how to commemorate tragedy when there is so much of it and whether lowering the flag each time a soldier is killed cheapens the tribute by doing it too often.

Since the start of the Iraq war, more than half the states have decided to lower their flags for 24 hours or more when a local soldier dies in combat.

Opponents of lowering the flag see it as a subtle antiwar gesture that may run counter to federal guidelines, which reserve the action for “officials,” not soldiers.

Others say that governors have the authority to order such tributes and that fallen soldiers are at least as deserving as politicians.
“In the past, soldiers have not been treated well, even though they are giving their lives, so any sign like this of respect is appreciated,” said Patricia Walker, legislative chairwoman of the 6,000-member Society of Military Widows. “For military wives, the American flag is part of our family, and showing respect for it and us is deeply important.”

Last week, federal lawmakers passed a measure that would give governors the authority to order all officials in their states, including federal authorities, to lower the flag. President Bush has until next week to sign or veto the measure.
Although Congressional staff members involved with the measure say

Mr. Bush may want to sign it for patriotic reasons, he may also be reluctant to appear to be ceding power over federal officials to the states.

Under the bill, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington, a Democrat, would have the same authority as governors, meaning that he could instruct the White House and other federal buildings in the capital to lower the flag.

In states where flags are lowered, the extent of the governors’ orders varies.

Each time a soldier from California is killed, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, orders American and state flags lowered at the Capitol. In Wisconsin, Gov. James E. Doyle, a Democrat, lowers the flag at all state buildings in such cases. Virginia and New Mexico, both with Democratic governors, lower just state flags.

In Michigan, Ms. Granholm has ordered the lowering of all flags at all state buildings, and urged the same for rest of the state, each time a soldier from the state was killed, or 127 times since December 2003, when she began the practice.

“It is not a statement about the war, but it is a statement about service and about soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” she said.

Signed into law in 1942, the United States Flag Code offers nonmandatory flag etiquette guidelines.

Joyce Doody, executive director of the National Flag Foundation in Pittsburgh, said governors had the authority to order flags flown at half-staff, though her organization suggests lowering state, not American flags, for fallen soldiers.

In times of conflict, the flag should remain at full staff except when a significant numbers of lives are lost, Ms. Doody said. “Of course, one is a significant number lost for the family of the fallen soldier,” she added.

In 2004, Paul Vogel of Barrington, Ill., a member of Military Families Speak Out, an antiwar group, helped persuade Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois, a Democrat, to lower flags at state buildings for soldiers from the state killed in combat. Last week, state lawmakers passed a law requiring the governor to lower the American and state flags at all state and local buildings. “The half-staff tribute is a way to honor the warrior, not the war,” said Mr. Vogel, whose son served in Iraq for a year in 2004.

Other critics of the war take a different view.
“I think there is a lot of cheap patriotism, and that includes coming from the president,” said Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio, a Democrat who opposes the war but does not lower flags for killed Ohio soldiers. “I think putting the flag at half-staff is a strong symbolic thing to do. But quite frankly, it’s a fairly easy thing to do. It doesn’t require anything of us either as political leaders or as citizens.”

Asked whether lowering the flag might be interpreted as antiwar, a spokesman for Mr. Schwarzenegger, Aaron Mclear, said, “There is no politics involved when it comes to honoring the bravery of California’s fallen soldiers.”

Representative Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat who sponsored the measure passed last week, said, “No matter what you think of the war, it really hurts military families when there is a lack of consistency in the show of respect.”

He said that when the funeral procession for Specialist Joseph P. Micks, after whom the bill was named, passed through the three neighboring towns where he had lived, grown up and worked, some flags at post offices and other federal buildings were up and that others were at half-staff. “The family said it really hurt and confused them why that was the case,” Mr. Stupak said.

Behind the counter at the post office in Crystal Falls, Gary Burk said the flag in front was not lowered despite the governor’s order because the decision lay with the postal director of each district.
“When we lower it now, people notice it and ask why,” Mr. Burk said. “If you lower every time a soldier dies, it will be down so often that people will only notice and ask when it’s up.”