JULY, Normandy, France – A cold, rainy day greets my wife and I – a day that might have easily resembled the conditions encountered by Allied soldiers as they fought their way from the sea onto the enemy held shoreline, followed by the inexorable grind inland toward the goal of ending the tyranny of Nazi Germany.
Today, more than 66 years after the Normandy Invasion, we begin our journey attempting to get our heads around the experiences of my father, Charlie Mullikin, an American soldier who landed here on the Normandy coast and was ultimately wounded in action.
On this day, we SCUBA dive onto the great shipwrecks lying offshore.
White caps are pounding our small, rubber Zodiac boat. Visibility is near zero—no more than five feet at best. I can only imagine the violent and terrible cold shock to those American, British, and Canadian soldiers carrying their packs, weapons, and ammunition through the bloody, churning surf.
I am also reminded of the Navy frogmen who suffered 50-percent casualties as they removed the defensive obstacles placed on the beach and in the surf by the Germans.
I made this trek to celebrate my 50th birthday. More importantly, I wanted to recognize the price of freedom and remember the selfless contributions made by my father and other citizen soldiers of his era—appropriately christened, “The Greatest Generation.”
I am particularly proud of my father, a member of a special reconnaissance unit of the 407th Infantry Regiment, affectionately known as “Rogers’ Raiders.” Their actions – though little known – were stellar at Normandy, and the fame of the exploits would spread Army-wide during the period of the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.
The Raiders – composed entirely of volunteer combatants trained for direct action operations and deep reconnaissance – were led by 1st Lt. Roy “Buck” Rogers.
Army records describe one of their night raids:
“At exactly 0300 Buck Roger’s Night Raiders of the 407th Infantry pushed out into darkness, out into the narrow torrential Roer (River). … A German machine gun opened up not 50 yards away … Two long minutes later … the boats hit the Roer’s east bank. …With clocklike precision dark figures fanned out around the ominous machine gun. …One man returned the fire. Another grasped his grenade. A good throw. A dull thud. A scream. Silence.
“One group… swung toward the railroad bounded by a dense minefield … The rest of the patrol slugged south mopping up one nest after another. At H-hour—30 minutes later—the first assault wave of the 407th Infantry crossed without a hitch. Their bridgehead, the first across the Roer, was established.
“When the 30 minutes of intense action had ended, the Raiders had destroyed five machine gun nests along with six other automatic weapon positions, killed 15 and captured eight of the enemy … all without losing a single American.”
~Last week there were only four chosen. I picked 5 BUT yay, four of them were picked. Thanks to Charter cable, I missed Tuesday’s show but JUST finished watching it online. I will not watch the results show until after I have posted this. ~Enjoy, if like me you had not seen it…
~My # 1 pick for the show is Haspop:
My number two choise is Jeremy Vanschoonhoven, this kid is phenomenal. Coming from a wee town of TALENT, Oregon. No kidding he lives with his wife above a barn.
I have to give the next four much props. Maybe not my preference but surely talented.
Kaya and Sadie for the fellas…
Studio One Young Beast Society
This next babydoll will be only 12 next month- Piers calls him “cheeky”. I predict Timbaland is going to sign him!… CJ Dippa
This cute lil’ bugger wins the adorable award…Harmonica Pierre
And I have a HONORABLE mention award. She sings like a lost angel. She looks like an inoocent angel. I think She’s Stevie Nicks child -g- What impresses me most is her character & strength! While our children & grandkids are self-absorbed, this sweet child was raised in foster homes, which who can phantom what horrors she’s been through?…Debra Romer
~Now I go see who made it…
Two bylines that are very telling are:
* Bin Laden spotted in meeting with Taliban chief in 2006
* Al Qaeda boss ‘had hand’ in plot to poison UK troops
Secret files leaked about the war in Afghanistan have revealed tantalising glimpses of Osama Bin Laden despite public CIA claims that they are clueless as to the whereabouts of the Al Qaeda boss.
The claims are among 91,000 U.S. military records obtained by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Note that Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, said last month that there have been no firm leads on Bin Laden’s whereabouts since the ‘early 2000s’.
This ‘threat report’ from the International Security Assistance Force regional command (north) on suicide bombers in August 2006 contradicts this & has suggested Bin Laden had been attending regular meetings in villages on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It said: ‘Reportedly a high-level meeting was held where six suicide bombers were given orders for an operation in northern Afghanistan. These meetings take place once every month.’
THIS is important friends,The Guardian, which has received the documents, the report went on: ‘The top four people in these meetings are Mullah Omar [the Taliban leader], Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Dadullah and Mullah [Baradar].’
If in fact this is true, it could mean forces came close to having the opportunity to wipe out the senior leadership of the Afghan insurgency that has so far claimed the lives of 320 British soldiers.
The war logs also show that Bin Laden had a hand in a plot to poison coalition forces by adding a powder to food and drink consumed by troops as they passed through villages.
Then we have this today, which is infuriating to me…
This ‘traitor’ may be a freckled-faced looking innocent, but could very well & mostly likely IS, responsible for leaking a massive file of secret military documents revealing chilling details of the Afghanistan war and civilian deaths.
He was a U.S. Army intelligence expert (Bradley Manning, 22,) who boasted he had downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents, according to computer hacker Adrian Lamo.
He has been purported to is said to have contacted Lamo out of the blue and then claimed he had saved high-security files onto CDs, ready to hand to Wikileaks, while pretending to listen to Lady Gaga.
‘Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public,’ he apparently told Mr Lamo.
The hacker got in touch with the U.S. military and later met with them in Starbucks to hand over a printout of his conversations with Manning.
Manning has already been charged over a separate leak of a classified helicopter cockpit video earlier this month.
He was picked up in Iraq, where he was working.
Manning is said to be locked up in a military prison after being shipped across the border to Kuwait.
He faces trial by court martial and, if found guilty, a heavy jail sentence.
Mr Lamo believes Manning did not work alone, saying he did not have ‘the technological expertise’ to carry out the gathering and leaking of the documents.
‘I believe somebody would have had to have been of assistance to him,’ he said.
~ I am putting together all that Blackie SM has sent me in a cohesive piece to give you more bakground & updates you will only read here, after the original sources of course ~JP
Today is the day gun-rights advocates have had in their sights for a long time.
Starting today, Arizona residents at least 21 years old can carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
The change is part of a broad weapons law by state Sen. Russell Pearce passed by the state Legislature in April that eases restrictions on concealed carry and stiffens penalties for committing a crime while carrying a concealed weapon.
The law is one of many passed by the state Legislature this past session that go into effect today.
Arizona joins Alaska and Vermont as the only states to allow concealed weapons without a permit.
However, the impact of the law is likely to be different in Arizona than those states because Arizona’s population is much larger and because the state has major metropolitan areas.
Janet Napolitano vetoed at least a dozen different weapons bills – several similar to the law going into effect today – that would have eased restrictions on gun owners.
But Napolitano’s departure and the appointment of Gov. Jan Brewer in January 2009 gave the Legislature and gun-rights groups an ally in the executive office. Brewer signed the law April 16.
The law makes several changes to the permitting process and rules regulating concealed carry:
• It removes the requirement that individuals have a permit to carry a concealed weapon anywhere that open carry is allowed. Individuals will still need a permit to carry a concealed weapon in bars and restaurants and to qualify for reciprocal privileges when in states that require permits.
• The new law lets individuals obtain permits through means other than the eight-hour training course mandated under the previous law. These other means include any NRA firearms- or safety-training course and a hunter-education course administered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
• It requires individuals to answer honestly if police ask if they are carrying a weapon. The law also allows police officers to take temporary custody of a weapon during stops.
• It stiffens penalties for individuals who commit crimes while carrying a concealed weapon.
The law’s provisions have already reached into the firearms community, local businesses and law-enforcement offices.
Local companies that offer the training course for permits have seen business drop about 80 percent since the law was signed, said David White, owner and instructor of Desert West Firearms Training Center in Mesa.
Many of these companies have either lowered their prices or created new, shorter courses to get gun owners to conduct some training before carrying concealed weapons.
Gun-rights advocates see the new law as a major victory in their push to further deregulate the carrying of weapons.
Some provisions of the law were removed as the bill wound its way through the Legislature. Advocacy groups said they will pick up the fight next year to have those provisions passed.
According to Denver Post
Former Republican Tom Tancredo, who is officially announcing his candidacy for governor at 3 p.m. today in Lakewood, has rushed to put a campaign staff together in three days — and it shows.
The campaign press release sent out last night reads: TOM TANCREDO TO ANNOUNCE HIS GUBINATORIAL CANDIDACY.
Yes, you read it right: g-u-b-i-n-a-t-o-r-i-a-l.
Tom Tancredo for gubinor?
Hopefully the staff quickly learns how to run spell check.
Brewer Reacts to Immigration Law Ruling-Arizona governor on next step for state after partial blockade of illegal immigration policy
Rancher Reacts to Immigration Ruling-Has bite been removed from Arizona immigration law?
Arizona to Appeal Ruling-Immigration law takes effect without main provisions
Inside Arizona’s new tent city – Arizona’s immigration law sparks Sheriff Joe Arpaio to build a new tent city. CNN’s Amber Lyon reports.