A Thread to honor our Military in Iraq

Discussion in 'Military' started by bornright, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. bornright
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    bornright Gold Member

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    I hope that others can truely show some respect and pride in our military. My 1st story is of an earlier event, to which there have been many, in Iraq. Many on this board will look negatively on these great heros and I personally don't care.

    The odd fact about the American media in this war is that it's not
    covering the American military. The most plugged-in nation in the world
    is receiving virtually no true information about what its warriors are
    doing.
    Oh, sure, there's a body count. We know how many Americans have
    fallen. And we see those same casket pictures day in and day out. And
    we're almost on a first-name basis with the pukes who abused the Iraqi
    prisoners. And we know all about improvised explosive devices and how we
    lost Fallujah and what Arab public-opinion polls say about us and how
    the world hates us.
    We get a non-stop feed of gloom and doom.
    But we don't hear about the heroes.
    The incredibly brave GIs who honorably do their duty. The ones our
    grandparents would have carried on their shoulders down Fifth Avenue.
    The ones we completely ignore.
    Like Brian Chontosh.
    It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad. Brian Chontosh was a
    platoon leader rolling up Highway 1 in a humvee.
    When all hell broke loose.
    Ambush city.
    The young Marines were being cut to ribbons. Mortars, machine
    guns, rocket propelled grenades. And the kid out of Churchville was in
    charge. It was do or die and it was up to him.
    So he moved to the side of his column, looking for a way to lead
    his men to safety. As he tried to poke a hole through the Iraqi line his
    humvee came under direct enemy machine gun fire.
    It was fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish.
    And Brian Chontosh gave the order to attack. He told his driver to
    floor the humvee directly at the machine gun emplacement that was firing
    at them. And he had the guy on top with the .50 cal unload on them.
    Within moments there were Iraqis slumped across the machine gun
    and Chontosh was still advancing, ordering his driver now to take the
    humvee directly into the Iraqi trench that was attacking his Marines.
    Over into the battlement the humvee went and out the door Brian Chontosh
    bailed, carrying an M16 and a Beretta and 228 years of Marine Corps
    pride.
    And he ran down the trench.
    With its mortars and riflemen, machineguns and grenadiers.
    And he killed them all.
    He fought with the M16 until he was out of ammo. Then he fought
    with the Beretta until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up a dead
    man's AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. Then he picked
    up another dead man's AK47 and fought with that until it was out of
    ammo.
    At one point he even fired a discarded Iraqi RPG into an enemy
    cluster, sending attackers flying with its grenade explosion.
    When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of
    entrenched Iraqis from his platoon's flank. He had killed more than 20
    and wounded at least as many more.
    But that's probably not how he would tell it.
    He would probably merely say that his Marines were in trouble, and
    he got them out of trouble. Hoo-ah, and drive on.
    "By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited
    courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty,
    1st Lt. Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the
    highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval
    Service."
    That's what the citation says.
    And that's what nobody will hear.
    That's what doesn't seem to be making the evening news. Accounts
    of American valor are dismissed by the press as propaganda, yet accounts
    of American difficulties are heralded as objectivity. It makes you
    wonder if the role of the media is to inform, or to depress - to report
    or to deride. To tell the truth, or to feed us lies.
    But I guess it doesn't matter.
    We're going to turn out all right.
    As long as men like Brian Chontosh wear our uniform.
    - by Bob Lonsberry C 2004
     
  2. bornright
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    bornright Gold Member

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    Iraqi war hero returns to King County Sheriff’s Office

    After two tours of Iraq, a Purple Heart and a few medals, Deputy Cameron Lefler has returned to the King County Sheriff's Office. He received the Oath of Office on July 21st.
    Several deputies from the Sheriff's Office were called to active duty over the last several years. But Deputy Lefler's story is different. He wasn't in the Reserves; he joined up after 9-11.



    Cam Lefler became a deputy in March of 1993. But after September 11th, he was moved by patriotism and the need of the military for soldiers to fight the war on terrorism. So he took military leave and enlisted in the Marines in December of 2001…with a four-year commitment!

    Fully expecting to be deployed to Afghanistan, he ended up in Iraq attached to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. He was in one of the first infantry units into Iraq. Cam was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with a Combat V for valor.

    Lefler's unit returned to the US in July 2003. He met and married his wife, and they have since had a son. Cameron was sent back to Iraq for a second tour, and spent time in Fallujah in April of 2004. He earned another Combat V for valor in combat, and the Purple Heart after he was nicked by an enemy's bullet.

    He was sworn in again as a sheriff's deputy and was given the same badge he wore before he went to war. The badge was kept safe and sound for the last 3½ years, and the King County Sheriff's Department was very pleased Cameron returned, safe and sound, to wear it again!

    The Oath of Office took place in the Sheriff's Office at the King County Courthouse. Deputy Lefler's wife and new son were in attendance. Cam is 36 years old.

    I appreciate and respect Cameron Lefler.
     
  3. bornright
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    bornright Gold Member

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    Army Staff Sgt. Ian Newland spotted the enemy grenade inside the Humvee. Almost simultaneously, he saw Spc. Ross McGinnis, 19 — a gunner standing in the turret of the vehicle — lower himself onto it.
    "I saw him jam it with his elbow up underneath him," says Newland, who was sitting inches away. "He pressed his whole body with his back (armor) plate to smother it up against the radios."

    The heat and flash of an explosion followed, and McGinnis was killed. Hours later, after surgery for shrapnel wounds, Newland realized the enormity of what happened: McGinnis had sacrificed himself to save four other soldiers in the Humvee on Dec. 4. "Why he did it? Because we were his brothers. He loved us," Newland says.

    Since the Iraq war began, at least five Americans — two soldiers, two Marines and a Navy SEAL — are believed to have thrown themselves on a grenade to save comrades. Each time, the servicemember died from massive wounds.
     
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    bornright Gold Member

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    (CNN) -- The elderly woman got stuck in a haze of smoke and bullets as she tried to cross a bridge south of Baghdad.

    Capt. Chris Carter did not hesitate. He ordered his Bradley armored vehicle onto the bridge while he and two men followed on foot.

    Taking cover from Iraqi bullets behind the bridge's iron beams, Carter tossed a smoke grenade for cover and dashed toward the crying woman.

    Then the 31-year-old company commander pointed his M-16 rifle and provided cover for his men to carry the wounded woman to the safety of an ambulance.

    Details of the March 31 rescue impressed readers around the world who read the account written by an Associated Press reporter riding with Carter and his troops.

    But to his parents back in Watkinsville, Georgia, Carter's feat was not surprising.

    "You can see they showed a lot of compassion," said his father, Michael Carter, 63. "That's Chris all the way."

    The stocky soldier, who loves to hunt, fish and sing Hank Williams Jr. songs, told CNN a few weeks before he was sent into Iraq that he was ready for war.

    "If our country asks us to go, we are absolutely ready to go," Carter said, looking confident standing in front of a tank in the Kuwaiti desert.

    After rescuing the woman, Carter's unit -- the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division -- took control of the bridge and the whole town, Hindiya, within a matter of hours.

    Searching the town's police station, they found three men who claimed they were taken prisoner for deserting the Iraqi army. Carter handed them some food rations after hearing they had not eaten in three days.

    Before the day was over, Carter's troops also destroyed tons of ammunition and weapons found at the area's Baath Party headquarters.

    In the days that followed, a constant stream of reports filed by The Associated Press turned Carter into a semi-battlefield celebrity -- a combination of deadly fighting machine, insightful commentator and quipster.

    Take the comment he made to the AP after his troops seized Saddam Hussein's seat of power, the sprawling New Presidential Palace in central Baghdad: "I do believe this city is freakin' ours."

    And then on April 14, the unit uncovered what one soldier called "Saddam's love shack," the '60s-style home of the deposed dictator's longtime mistress.

    "Yeah, baaabeee," Carter joked with an AP reporter, doing his best imitation of film character Austin Powers.

    His parents are collecting many of the news clippings for their son to see once he returns to Fort Stewart in Georgia.

    Even though much has been reported about Carter, who joined the ROTC while attending the University of Georgia, his parents say there are still many acts of kindness the public does not know about.

    Case in point: the "adopt-a-soldier" program he asked them to organize at their church in December so that his troops -- all 160 of them -- could have a wrapped present in Kuwait in time for Christmas.

    "Captain Chris Carter displayed unparalleled bravery on the battlefield to save an innocent Iraqi woman," said U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia. "He loves his family, his country, not to mention fishing and Hank Williams Jr., too. Now that's my kind of all American hero."
     
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    Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, who spent his boyhood in Tampa, became a man in the Army and died outside Baghdad defending his outnumbered soldiers from an Iraqi attack, will receive America's highest award for bravery.

    What Paul Smith did on April 4, 2003, was climb aboard an armored vehicle and, manning a heavy machine gun, take it upon himself to cover the withdrawal of his men from a suddenly vulnerable position. Smith was fatally wounded by Iraqi fire, the only American to die in the engagement.
     

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