I've introduced you to my Air Force friends Emily (see Sew Domestic #2 post below) and Sarah (2nd picture, far left). Their husbands know Maj. Jill Metzger. She has gone missing. I can't imagine how ill and nervous her family must be right now. Please pray for their peace. But even more, pray for hers.
She's been FOUND! I want to cry for her family, I'm so happy. It's not often that these kind of stories have happy endings. Click for Full Story
I didn't know him well but I do remember him. Phil was a quiet, sweet guy. We graduated high school together. He and his sister Laura were in orchestra with me. I can picture him being totally dedicated to whatever he did and I am praying and crying for his family tonight.
For civilians who may not understand the above article, here is the bottom line: I have a friend whose husband is attached to the unit mentioned. She has been running around her house excitedly getting things ready for her Hubby to finally come home. In fact, some of the guys from the unit have just gotten home. And today they learned, that after a full year of service in Iraq, they are being extended up to another four months in order to help quell increasing violence in the Middle East. And those that just arrived home these last few days will be turning around and going back.
I've posted this news because as difficult as it has been to be in the Army, it just got worse for a dear friend. And I'm sad and upset about it.
J. asked me if I knew anything at all about getting people to the U.S. I thought it was a random question so I asked why he needed to know. The Team's intepreters (and many of the interpreters in Iraq) are actually Sudanese refugees. They speak English and Arabic and have found work as intepreters for American soldiers partly for the money, but also for the temporary safehaven from Iraqis (Shiites in particular).
Sudanese interpreters escaped a certain hell in Sudan, only to now find another in Iraq (in J.'s case, his interpreters are from the notorious Darfur region).
According to J., Sudan is seen as having supported Saddam and his
terrorist activities back in the 90's. Add to that the assassination
of the Grand Ayatollah's brother in Sudan, and you can see why they
have no support among Shiites. They were probably never "welcome" in
Iraq, but now that Saddam (a Sunni) is no longer in power, the Sudanese
refugees (of which there are apparently many in Iraq) are especially
unwelcome among the largest population of Iraq - Shiites - and have
been known to be kidnapped and murdered.
For now, J. and the Team are trying to shuffle their Sudanese
interpreters around by finding work for them at various Army camps.
But he has also been given the task of finding out if there is any hope
for getting them to a safer place (i.e., America or Canada). They
aren't officially from anywhere, so a passport is a pipe
dream. J. has contacted the Red Cross and the Embassy, but he expects
to be told to "file the proper paperwork" and never see a result.
Note: I remember reading that a good blog should be focused - that is, centered around something. I
guess this blog would fail such a litmus test. My life has a foot in
two worlds and it is impossible for me to not nod at all those sides of
me. Since marrying J., my vocabularly has expanded to include words I
never thought would be so relevant - Ayatolla, refugees, Muhajadeen. Ignorance really is bliss. I would give anything for that kind of peace again.
In this letter to the the 3rd ACR, the Iraqi Mayor of Tall Afar, Iraq, describes the American soldiers (3rd ACR) that deployed to their city as "lionhearted saviors." The letter is actually a plea for the soldiers to stay (so much for the left's assertion that Iraqis don't want us there, and for the theory that we should pull out of Iraq yesterday).
One of J.'s friends, C., is with the 3rd ACR referenced in this letter. I'm proud of C. for being a part of this mission and I think its hugely important that SOMEONE call attention to this Thank You from the Iraqis for U.S. troop involvement in their community.
Note: there is another, more effusive "letter" that is being circulated on blogs and in emails, but it has yet to be authenticated by anyone. The letter I have posted here is actually referenced in transcripts from General Casey himself.
"11-Man Deployments" - when I saw this headline on the front page of the Army Times, I immediately recognized the description of my husband's current mission in Iraq and I swooped up a copy, glad to see attention was being called to the important work he's doing.
"Picture hundreds of elite teams of U.S. soldiers
embedded in Iraqi combat units — living with them, training with them, fighting
with them — for up to a full year.
The Army began
fielding such teams about a year ago, when a tenacious insurgency demanded a
new approach to strengthening a sluggish Iraqi army.
Today, U.S. military
leadership is on a campaign to grow more of these 11-man Military Transition
Teams and intends to staff them with 'the best and brightest' officers and
NCOs, according to an Army war planner in the Pentagon."
"The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air
force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by
loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were
"Mr. Sada, 65, told the
Sun that the pilots of the two airliners that transported the weapons of mass
destruction to Syria from Iraq approached him in the middle of 2004, after
Saddam was captured by American troops. The pilots told
Mr. Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by
removing the seats, Mr. Sada said. Then Special Republican Guard brigades
loaded materials onto the planes, he said, including 'yellow barrels with skull
and crossbones on each barrel.' The pilots said there was also a ground convoy
"The flights - 56 in total, Mr. Sada
said - attracted little notice because they were thought to be civilian flights
providing relief from Iraq to Syria, which had suffered a flood after a dam
collapse in June of 2002."
Read Full Story Here ps. Bush conceded that they were "never found." He didn't say they never existed.