Flt 93........So we headed to the movie theater following a nice dinner. Talking about the rare occasion, it was already in the air that we were going to see the movie, Flt 93. My better half mentioned Mission Impossible III and that it would be opening as well and showing earlier. I stated, were going to see Flt 93. No surprises in the movie. Yes, it ends like you’re fearing and know it’s going to. BUT, it does give a very good detailed description of what they have pieced together of the occurrences that transpired that day. As events unfold and footage from the attacks on the World Trade Center are shown, I began to get that nervous chest tightening feeling again as I experienced in theater before going out on convoys. I knew what was coming up in the movie and although not sure of the details I knew the tragic outcome. The story is straight forward of what they believe happened and could piece together. They are many thoughts of what happened. The flight was shot down, mid air break up etc. The bottom line is that even if the passengers never made into the cockpit, they are hero’s as are the other passengers on the hijacked flights during 9-11. I left the theater with that pissed off I wanna go stomp some more Monkey Ass feeling in my gut!. Angry as the movie reminds people in the theater WHY we are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Angry because in the jumbo theater I was in, Flt 93 was only in one theater of 12 in the building. Angry because the theater I was in was only half full. Meanwhile little girlie man “Tommy Cruise� is running around with his wireless mike trying to complete MI III. There should be a line outside of people wanting to see the movie Flt 93. Not ready for it? Scared? Not wanting to face the ending all over again because you know the result?? Bullshit. Get you ass out there and see it. It’s a damn good reminder of what the hell those bastards did to OUR country on that September day!!! If you think your going to drive home after the movie all glum and sad as “wooo as me I am sad because those poor people had to die and it’s a sad movie� NO, your going to feel a since of what the hell our country is made of, HEROS! This was America’s first counter attack on the scumbags that attacked the WTC and Pentagon. Those great Americans made a decision to take a stand there and with all of the input the received from cell phones from loved ones, knew they were destined for a terrorist objective and would probably die as they called and wished love ones good bye. They decided to face fear and take over the plane. They were successful and they saved many, many lives. Maybe even yours. See info on the approved Flt 93 Memorial here. Don’t ignore this movie because of what the public is saying and thinking about the ending. Don’t ignore this movie because you know the ending. GO see it. Go watch how the hero’s on that flight made a difference. Quit thinking about yourself and how you may feel after it and think of it as a way to thank the warriors on those four doomed flights that day. If you were a passenger on Flt 93 that perished, would you want you to go see the movie?? I bet the answer is yes. If you’re going to catch a movie, the least you can do is see Flight 93 first. Mission Impossible III will be out on video soon enough! Here is to the hero's of all the flights that day..........(crisp salute) Time for a CeeGar! Semper Fi Capt B HADITHA, Iraq (May 5, 2006) -- Since their arrival in the Al Anbar Province nearly two months ago, Marines here say Iraqi Security Forces are progressing toward relieving Coalition Forces and stabilizing the region.In this rural region along the Euphrates River valley, the transition from U.S.-led to Iraqi-led military operations is well on its way, according to one U.S. Marine who has spent nearly two months mentoring Iraqi soldiers in this region.But the atmosphere in this portion of western Al Anbar Province has changed since Saddam Hussein was removed from office in 2003. Instead of daily fire fights against an armed, known enemy, similar to what Coalition Forces experienced during the push to Baghdad three years ago, U.S. Marines here are focusing on showing Iraqi soldiers and police how to spearhead security operations on their own. “The progress I have seen the Iraqi Army make in the last few months makes me confident we can withdraw Coalition Forces from the area in the next six to eight months,� said Lt. Col. Owen Lovejoy, the senior advisor for the Military Transition Team, which supports and advises the Iraqi Army unit stationed here. One example of that progress came earlier this month, when a joint-Iraqi and U.S. military operation near Baghdadi – a small town just south of Haditha – resulted in three detained insurgents. Local police, Iraqi soldiers and a group of Marines from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment spearheaded the joint operation – a “collaborative effort which led to results,� according to Maj. Eric W. Kelly, Weapons Company’s commanding officer. Moreover, the operation highlighted the proficiency and cooperation between local police, Iraqi soldiers and Coalition Forces, he said.“Iraqi soldiers and Marines are on a mission to ensure that the people of this area remain safe and that the insurgency has no room to thrive here,� said Kelly in an email response to questions. “The ‘Sons of Iraq’ take this goal quite seriously.�So far, progress seems steady in the region. Iraqi Security Forces have conducted four operations on their own, reconstruction efforts are in the works to rebuild war-torn towns and villages, and local Iraqi leaders are meeting regularly to discuss and plan future efforts with the Marines. Marine leaders say more than 30 insurgents have been captured, and three insurgent cells have been eliminated due to the combined efforts of Marines and Iraqi soldiers. More importantly, security conditions seem to be improving in the Haditha Triad area along the upper western Euphrates Valley, as evidenced by a regular meeting of local city and tribal officials – a meeting which would not have been possible a year ago, according to Lt. Col. Norman Cooling, 3/3’s commanding officer.Thanks to improving security conditions, such a meeting is now possible, according to Cooling. Six months ago, local Iraqi leaders were targeted by insurgents for cooperating with Coalition Forces, said Cooling, who also attended the meeting, which included more than a dozen sheiks, mayors, and other prominent local Iraqi leadership, to discuss security and reconstruction efforts in the area. Now, local leaders can meet to discuss issues which impact the progress of their towns and villages. The councilmen had no qualms about walking to the meeting with Coalition Forces in broad daylight, said Cooling. “Since the councilmen agreed to meet with us, it proves they want to work with us and they believe we are interested in addressing their concerns,� said Cooling. “The Marines have stabilized the security in the city,� said a local tribal leader after the meeting. “One year ago, a meeting like this would never take place because the criminal acts of insurgents would have prevented it.�During the three-hour meeting, Iraqi councilmen expressed concerns such as potential reconstruction efforts of a footbridge destroyed during combat operations last year. The footbridge connects the cities of Barwana and Haqlaniyah, both part of the Haditha “Triad,� and was one of several concerns local leaders discussed during the meeting. They said a refurbished bridge would bring stability to the local economy by providing a way for locals to transport goods between the two cities. “The reconstruction of the footbridge is paramount to the lives of many businesses here,� said a councilman during the meeting. “A better economy means more jobs and less citizens turning to the insurgency for a source of income.� Cooling also elicited support from the Haditha city council for the recruitment of Iraqi police in the area. He strongly stressed the importance of a police force being formed to continue the suppression of insurgency.“The councilmen are considering supporting us in the police recruitment,� said Cooling. “Right now they want to see results from their requests and we are going to make sure they see them.�Last year, police recruitment was attempted in the Haditha “Triad,� but insurgents threatened and intimidated anyone willing to be recruited, according to several Iraqi leaders at the meeting. Cooling said the Iraqi leaders’ concerns would be addressed and plans would be made to rebuild the footbridge, as long as these meetings continue and the city councilmen consider supporting a recruitment drive for potential Iraqi police officers. “We know the Marines are here to help the citizens of Haditha,� said a councilman after the meeting. “When they address our concerns and support our requests, the local people are going to notice this and in turn support them as well.� The meeting also brought about talk of possible modifications to current security measures in the area. Both sides of the table agreed security measures were necessary to stop the flow of insurgents into the city, but the Iraqi said some of the measures, such as traffic control points, are an inconvenience to local residents. Cooling said the issue would be addressed, but made no promises. Modifying the security measures could allow for an increase in insurgent activity, he said. Though such meetings are a step in the right direction to improve security conditions in this volatile area of Al Anbar Province, both Iraqis and American leaders here say more work is needed before Coalition Forces can permanently leave the region, such as the recruitment, training and establishment of a local police force here and reconstruction of key components to local infrastructure.The Marines say they will continue to work with local leadership to improve both security and quality of life for the Iraqi people. “We will we show them through our actions we care about their concerns,� said Cooling. REMEMBER THIS PHOTO?? READ BELOW HOW IS WAS AWARDED!! MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (May 4, 2006) -- Sgt. Maj. Bradley A. Kasal feels he did what any good Marine would’ve done. That includes taking enemy rifle fire on Nov. 14, 2004, absorbing a grenade blast and refusing medical attention inside Fallujah’s “House of Hell� during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn).For his extraordinary heroism and leadership in Fallujah, Iraq, as the Weapons Company first sergeant for 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Kasal was awarded the Navy Cross during a ceremony here Monday.“The word hero is tossed around pretty loosely these days,� said Maj. Gen. Michael R. Lehnert, Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations West, after awarding Kasal with the Naval service’s second-highest decoration, in front of an audience that included the 1st Marine Division’s past and present commanding generals, Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis and Maj. Gen. Richard F. Natonski, respectively.�Some may call a basketball player a hero for scoring the winning goal or a celebrity for donating a small portion of their earnings to a good cause, but Kasal is a true American hero.� When then-1st Sgt. Kasal assisted one of his platoons with an over watch inside Fallujah that day, intense gunfire broke out in an Iraqi home to his immediate front.Seconds later, Marines were rapidly exiting the building, known as the “House of Hell.� “That house was a death trap,� said Maj. Gen. Lehnert.“It was set up for one purpose: to kill United States Marines.� Kasal could have easily stayed out of the house.�When he found out that there were Marines still pinned down inside the infamous house, nothing the insurgents could put on the table would stop him from rescuing his Marines.“Going in for them was the right thing to do,� said Kasal, 39, who hails from Afton, Iowa. “They’re Marines, and I’m a Marine. We look out for each other.� Upon entry of the house, Kasal found himself face-to-face with an insurgent who he neutralized at extreme close range. Shortly afterwards, AK-47 gunfire was coming from all directions, and Kasal was hit from behind.“While I was in that house, I made three life or death decisions,� Kasal said. “I never thought I would live through any of them, but I did what I did to help the other Marines.� The first decision Kasal made was to expose himself to enemy fire in order to pull another wounded Marine out of the line of fire. Kasal took more enemy fire doing this.While both Marines were under cover, they assessed their wounds. Both had multiple injuries, but there were only enough bandages for one of them to live.Kasal made his second decision to forfeit his medical supplies to the other Marine.“It made more sense to use all of the bandages on one of us then to split the supplies and have us both bleed to death,� Kasal said.The insurgents deployed a hand grenade to get the Marines out of cover, and it landed within a few feet of the two bleeding Marines.Kasal then decided to use his own severely wounded body to protect the Marine from shrapnel.By the time he was carried out of the house by Lance Cpl. Chris Marquez and Lance Cpl. Dan Shaffer as Lucian M. Reed, an Associated Press photographer snapped the iconic photo displayed at Marine Corps installations all over the globe, Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood from more than 40 shrapnel wounds and seven 7.62 mm AK-47 gunshots.One day prior to being awarded the Navy Cross Kasal’s father passed away. However, a live video teleconference feed to Kasal’s hometown provided his mother, family members and friends an opportunity to watch him receive the Navy Cross, be promoted to the rank of sergeant major and reenlist for three years. “It’s been a very emotional week,� Kasal said. “I am blessed to recover from my injuries, which the doctors thought would never happen, and regain my place in the Marine Corps. I would take the pain of surgeries any day over the pain of being away from my Marines.�
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