Two prayers....

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.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What our troops are doing while we whine about the economy...

This AP sourced story was in our local fishwrap the other day. Instead of being on page one WHERE IT DAMNED WELL BELONGED, it was buried back in the "man-bites-dog" section".

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Capt. Kyle Walton remembers pressing himself into the jagged stones that covered the cliff in northeast Afghanistan.

Machine gun rounds and sniper fire ricocheted off the rocks. Two rounds slammed into his helmet, smashing his head into the ground. Nearby, three of his U.S. Army Special Forces comrades were gravely wounded. One grenade or a well-aimed bullet, Capt. Walton thought, could etch April 6, 2008, on his gravestone.

By the end of the six-hour battle deep within the Shok Valley, Capt. Walton would bear witness to heroics that on Friday earned his team – two of them from Texas – 10 Silver Stars, the most for a single battle in Afghanistan.

Capt. Walton, of Carmel, Ind., and his team from the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group had been sent to kill or capture terrorists from a rugged Shok Valley that had never been penetrated by U.S. forces. Besides his team, there were two other Special Forces teams and a company from the 201st Afghan Commando Battalion.

The helicopters couldn't land on the jagged rocks in the valley, so the Special Forces soldiers and Afghan commandos dropped from 10 feet above the ground.

Staff Sgt. John Walding, of Groesbeck, Texas, and Staff Sgt. David Sanders, of Huntsville, Ala, led the way on a narrow path that zigzagged up the cliff face to a nearby village where the terrorists were hiding. Capt. Walton followed with two other soldiers and a 23-year-old Afghan interpreter who went by the name C.K., an orphan who dreamed of going to the U.S.

Sgt. Walding and Sgt. Sanders were on the outskirts of the village when Staff Sgt. Luis Morales, of Fredericksburg, Va., saw a group of armed men run along a nearby ridge. He fired. The surrounding mountains and buildings erupted in an ambush: The soldiers estimate that more than 200 fighters opened up with rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and AK-47s.
C.K. crumbled to the ground.

Capt. Walton and Spc. Michael Carter, of Smithville, Texas, dove into a small cave. Staff Sgt. Dillon Behr couldn't fit, so the Rock Island, Ill., native dropped to one knee and started firing. An F-15 made a strafing run to push back the fighters, but it wasn't enough.

Sgt. Sanders radioed for close air support. The nearest house exploded; the firing didn't stop. "Hit it again," Sgt. Sanders said.

For the rest of the battle, F-15 fighters and Apache helicopters attacked.

Sgt. Behr was hit next – a sniper's round passing through his leg. Sgt. Morales tried to help his wounded comrade and kept firing until he, too, was hit in the leg and ankle.

Sgt. Walton and Sgt. Carter dragged the two wounded men to the cave. Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer, a medic from Pullman, Wash., fought his way up the cliff to help.

Sgt. Walding made it to the cliff when a bullet shattered his leg. He watched his foot and lower leg flop on the ground as Capt. Walton dragged him to the cliff edge. With every heartbeat, a stream of blood shot out of Sgt. Walding's wound.

Capt. Walton was sure his men would be overrun. He sent Sgt. Sanders to find a way down. He found a steep path, then made his way back up.

Down below, Staff Sgt. Seth E. Howard, of Keene, N.H., took his sniper rifle and started climbing with Staff Sgt. Matthew Williams, of Casper, Wyo.

At the top, Sgt. Howard used C.K.'s lifeless body for cover and started to shoot. He fired repeatedly, killing as many as 20 attackers.

Master Sgt. Scott Ford of Athens, Ohio, organized a counter-assault. He was wounded in the arm.

All the Americans survived.

Months later, Sgt. Walding wants back on the team even though he lost a leg. Sgt. Morales walks with a cane.

The raid, the soldiers say, proved there will be no safe haven in Afghanistan for terrorists. As for the medals, the soldiers see them as emblems of teamwork and brotherhood. Not valor.

"When you go to help your buddy, you're not thinking, 'I am going to get a Silver Star for this,' " Capt. Walding said.

When the enemy shows up, he brings fighters. When the Americans take to the field, we send warriors. Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force, whatever, ours are the best. As such they deserve our support.

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