Accidentally Internet-Free

I’ve been out of state to visit family for the passed week or so. It turns out that my family has dial-up, which is equal to no Internet access as far as I’m concerned. Actually, I didn’t mind it at all. No politics, no bad news, and nothing to get my dander in a bunch.

Here’s a photo of my legal counsel conferring with a possible client.

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He rarely says “neigh” to anyone in need.

Yeah, I went there.

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Hardcore. Soldier.

Females proud to wear Sapper tab | Article | The United States Army.

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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 25, 2012) — Women are not allowed to serve in certain combat occupations — but that’s not stopping female engineers from taking on the grueling 28-day Sapper Leader Course, becoming Sapper qualified and wearing the coveted Sapper tab.

“I saw it as a great opportunity to prove to myself I could do it,” said Maj. Jennifer Etters, the first female officer Sapper Leader Course graduate in March 2002.

She recalls her schooling in the Sapper Leader Course at Fort Leonard Wood as the hardest thing she has ever done, but is thankful for the demanding training.

“The course taught me a lot about myself and what I could handle physically, mentally and emotionally. I believed it prepared me for some tough situations down the road — especially in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Etters said.

Etters said being the only female in her class was not always easy, but that didn’t change her affection for her profession.

“A few classmates did not want me there, particularly during the patrolling phase,” Etters said. “I love being an Engineer and our motto ‘Let us try.’ I think it’s important for any Soldier that truly has the heart of an Engineer be given the chance to be a Sapper.”

Six years later, Sapper tab recipient Capt. Emily Hannenberg had a contrasting experience in her class containing 32 Sappers — four of them women.

“I was very proud to be part of such an amazing group of strong, confident and determined women. It was great to be there with sisters in arms, and I know that because of our hard work we were able to represent women well to our fellow Sappers,” Hannenberg said.

According to the Sapper Leader Course’s records, the female graduation rate is 35 percent, compared to 52 percent for their male comrades.

“Entry and graduation requirements are the same for female students as they are for male students,” said Sgt. 1st Class Troy Winters, Sapper Leader Course chief instructor. “Our instructors are trained to treat all Soldiers equally.”

Hannenberg said she experienced this as she and her classmates were held to the same high expectations.

“There is absolutely zero difference between the standard for female and male students. Females never once were given a different packing list for a ruck, a slower time standard for a run, or a lighter weapons system during patrolling. In my experience, the Sapper Leader Course did an exceptional job of being gender blind and adhering to unwavering high standards of performance for all candidates,” Hannenberg said.

Although the Sapper Leader Course is designed to be brutal, both Etters and Hannenberg have fond memories of the time they spent on Fort Leonard Wood.

Etters particularly enjoyed her hands-on education at the demolition range.

She enjoyed the challenge of being a Sapper so much that she entered the Best Sapper competition in 2011 with teammate 1st Lt. Robert West.

No Gender but soldier. No Color but service colors. You can either do the job or you can’t. Everyone deserves the opportunity to prove that they can serve their country in whatever capacity they can achieve.

My Grandfather’s Field Jacket

My Grandfather gave me his uniform jacket, after Desert Storm. It is the only thing that I have, that was his. He served in WWII and Korea.

He died in 2008.He was so proud of me for joining the Army. He was a lifetime member of the VFW; they put up yellow ribbons all over town in my honor, and in honor of the rest of the troops. There was never any grey area, as far as me being a soldier. My parents weren’t happy, but my Grandfather bragged about me constantly. Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about what he did, because he would just make jokes about it whenever I queried about it. Or he would tell me all the “fun” stuff he did while in Germany.

RIP Grandpa.

OFF TOPIC

Kansas gov. signs measure blocking Islamic law | Fox News.

The new law, taking effect July 1, doesn’t specifically mention Shariah law, which broadly refers to codes within the Islamic legal system. Instead, it says courts, administrative agencies or state tribunals can’t base rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions.

During the Kansas Senate’s debate on the bill earlier this month, Sen. Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican described a vote for the measure as a vote for women’s rights, adding, “They stone women to death in countries that have Shariah law.”

Hooper said supporters of such proposals have made it clear they are targeting Islamic law.

Underlying all of this is demonizing Islam and marginalizing American Muslims,” he said.

I’ve made a personal decision regarding Islam. That decision is that I have no problem demonizing a religion that would even consider allowing:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/04/25/210198.html

Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) has appealed to the Islamist-dominated parliament not to approve two controversial laws on the minimum age of marriage and allowing a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours of her death according to a report in an Egyptian newspaper.

She was referring to two laws: one that would legalize the marriage of girls starting from the age of 14 and the other that permits a husband to have sex with his dead wife within the six hours following her death.

There are a lot of kooky laws still on the books, that we get to smile and shake our heads over, but when a contemporary parliament actively considers the merits of child marriage and necrophilia, then I seriously have no problem DEMONIZING THIS STUPID ASS RELIGION. There are a lot of religious activities that I find ridiculous, as I am agnostic, and take a dim view on the strict interpretation of any religious doctrine. I could point to many silly-ass traditions within the various Christian sects, but luckily they have no affect on me, because they are not LAWS.

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Mourning an Ally

Mourning an Ally

U.S. Army Captain Michael Kelvington, commander of the Battle company, 1-508 Parachute Infantry battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, bows next to the remains of Gulam Dostager, a member of the Afghan Local Police, who was killed in an IED blast during a joint Tor Janda (Black Flag in Pashtu) operation, in Zahri district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, May 25, 2012.
REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Never Forget

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Image courtesy Defense Tech

The Daily Beast

He is believed to be the only American soldier held in captivity by the Taliban—and about three months ago he made a daring break for freedom.

One night in late August or early September, 25-year-old Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, jumped from a first-floor window of the mud-brick house in Pakistan in which he had been imprisoned and headed into the nearby underbrush and forested mountains, according to three reliable militant sources who got the story from fighters who were present during the prisoner’s attempted escape. They spoke exclusively to the Daily Beast.

Bergdahl has been in militant hands since June 30, 2009, when he was captured in Afghanistan’s Paktika province by a guerrilla force under Mullah Sangin, a senior commander in the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network. In a July 2009 video, the first of five videos that the militants have released, Bergdahl is sitting cross-legged on a blanket, with a glass mug in front of him. He explains that he was captured after falling behind on a foot patrol with his unit: the First Battalion, 501 Infantry Regiment, Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. As he talks he stops several times so he can choke back tears.

I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know about this. For a number of years, I avoided, any and all, news about the military and the Iraqi/Afghani operations. The desire to still be in service was painful, and the constant barrage of bad news and casualty updates made me feel guilty that I was no longer able to assist. Well, at least I can assist in reminding people that SGT. Bergdahl is still a POW. The amazing Michael Yon has made an attempt to see SGT. Bergdahl, and even received emails from the Taliban captors.

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