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God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

R.I.P. Sgt. Dale Griffin

Name: Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin

Age: 29

From: Terre Haute, Ind.

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Incident: Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin died Oct. 27 in Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an IED. Also killed were Sgt. Fernando Delarosa, Staff Sgt. Luis M. Gonzalez, Sgt. Issac B. Jackson, Spc. Jared D. Stanker, Pfc. Christopher I. Walz and Sgt. Patrick O. Williamson.

Died: October 27, 2009

(Taken from TERRE HAUTE October 30, 2009 11:15 pm

It was earlier this month when U.S. Army Sgt. Dale Griffin, 29, last spoke with his mother on the telephone. He was calling from Afghanistan where he was serving as part of operation Enduring Freedom. It was not an ordinary call.

“He wanted to be sure that we knew how much he loved us,” said Dale’s mother, Dona, speaking in her southern Vigo County home Friday afternoon. In that conversation, Dale asked his mother why people always seem to have to lose something or someone before they realized what they had lost.

“He said he was passing up a free vacation to Australia” to come home for Thanksgiving, Dona said. “That’s how much I love you,” he said.

Then, on Tuesday, Dale Griffin and six other U.S. Army soldiers on patrol in southern Afghanistan were killed by a roadside bomb. An Afghan civilian was also killed in the blast.

Several hours later, just before midnight, Gene and Dona Griffin learned their son’s fate. There was a knock on the door of their home and two uniformed members of the U.S. military very compassionately broke the terrible news.

Coming Home

Sgt. Griffin’s body was flown from Afghanistan to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and arrived early Thursday morning. Gene and Dona flew at the Army’s expense to Philadelphia late Wednesday and were driven to the base where they arrived around 12:30 a.m.

Prior to leaving for Dover, the Army gave the Griffin’s a document asking how much media coverage of their son’s arrival in the United States they would allow. They checked the third option, which was for essentially full media access.

“We wanted more people to know” how much each soldier had sacrificed, Dona Griffin said Friday. They had no idea how much that decision would affect their lives for the next 48 hours.

After arriving on the east coast, the Griffin’s received a telephone call to verify their decision regarding media coverage. They confirmed the decision and were then informed the President of the United States would be at the base for the transfer. Within a few hours, the Griffins met President Barack Obama and were able to speak with him briefly. Later, the president stood at attention as the caskets of all of the servicemen were carried from a military transport plane.

“I was glad to see that he made that choice,” Dona Griffin said of President Obama’s decision to meet with grieving families and stand at attention on a very cold and windy night at the air base.

In addition to helping people understand the sacrifice of American troops serving overseas, the Griffins also wanted to create relationships with and show support for – other families of lost servicemen and women, they said.

Dale had “spoken very highly” of the men he was serving with in Afghanistan, Gene said. All seven members of Dale’s unit were killed in Tuesday’s blast.

A Champion

Dale Griffin, by all accounts, was an incredibly strong and athletic young man. He was the runner up in his weight class in the Indiana high school wrestling championships in 1999, his senior year at Terre Haute South Vigo. More recently, he defeated every other member of the Fort Lewis, Washington, Army post in a mixed martial arts competition.

But Dale was also emotionally strong, always looking for ways to improve himself, his parents said. Through Army language school, he had recently become fairly fluent in Arabic and was learning a third language when he was killed. Once, when Dale was younger, Gene and Dona discovered a list he had written of things about himself he wanted to improve. Another time, after losing – based on a likely officiating error –an important sporting event, he handled the incident with dignity, Gene aaid. “That’s when we came up with the expression, ‘a trophy does not a champion make.’”

While serving in Afghanistan, Dale thought U.S. efforts were making a difference, he told his parents. He loved the Afghan people, especially children. He would ask his mother to send him crayons and paper that he could give to young Afghan children, Dona said. Dale was planning to seek a master’s degree and a law degree after leaving the Army, in which he served for just under four years.

“He was quite a young man,” Gene Griffin said, fighting back strong emotion Thursday at their home, the house in which Dale and his two brothers and sisters grew up as a closely knitted family.

“He wanted to make a difference,” Gene said. “And that’s what he’s doing.”

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