04/17/2003 17:06


All gave some, some gave all.         All gave some, some gave all. 



I remember those who were and are still there.


Eleanor Vietti



Archie E. Mictchell


Daniel A. Gerber

Paul J. Bates Jr.


Remember the day I borrowed your brand-new car and I dented it?
I thought you'd kill me, but you didn't.

And remember the time I dragged you to the beach, and you said it would rain and it did? I thought you'd say, "I told you so." But you didn't

Do you remember the time I flirted with all the guys to make you jealous, and you were? I thought you'd leave me, but you didn't

Do you remember the time I spilled strawberry pie all over your car rug? I thought you'd smack me, but you didn't.

And remember the time I forgot to tell you that the dance was formal and you showed up in jeans? I thought you'd drop me, but you didn't.

Yes, there were lots of things you didn't do. But you put up with me, and you loved me, and you protected me.

There were lots of things I wanted to make up to you when you returned from Vietnam. But you didn't.

If anyonhe name of the author, please email me and I will give them proper credit.  Email address is listed further down.


Read "One Dollar"

Fallen Soldier

A Soldier has fallen
He will not be forgotten
His spirit dwells in those
Whose lives he touched
He has lead us
He has taught us
He has shown us the way
He gave us all of himself
Because he was made that way
He gave birth to an idea
That will never go away
He did this all
To save us some day
As all heroes do

by CW3 Roque Gonzalez


It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us the Freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us Freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who serves beneath the Flag,
who salutes the Flag,
whose coffin is draped by the Flag,
who allows the protester to burn the Flag.
It is the soldier, not the politician,
who has given his blood, his body, his life,
who has given us these FREEDOMS.

Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC 


Click on graphic to read "Simple Soldier" and more...


Click here, to see a beautiful tribute to our soldiers in the Gulf. Takes a long time to load, but well worth it. Please visit.



By Tom Demerly 

It is dark and Mike Smiths clothing is wet. 

Mike Smith is an athlete, an elite athlete in fact. He is a triathlete, has done ironman several times, a couple adventure races and even run the Marathon Des Sables in Morocco  a 152 mile running race through the Sahara, done in stages. 

Mike has some college, is gifted in foreign languages, reads a lot and has amazing memory for details. He enjoys travel. He is a quiet guy but a very good athlete. Mikes friends say he has a natural toughness. He cant spend as much time training for triathlons as hed like to because his job keeps him busy. Especially now. This is Mikes busiest season. But he still seems very fit. Even without much training Mike has managed some impressive performances in endurance events. 

Its a big night for Mike. Hes at work tonight. As I mentioned his clothing is wet, partially from dew, partially from perspiration. He and his four co-workers, Dan, Larry, Pete and Maurice are working on a rooftop at the corner of Jamia Street and Khulafa Street across from Omar Bin Yasir. 

Mike is looking through a viewfinder of a British made Pilkington LF25 Laser Designator. The crosshairs are centered on a ventilation shaft. The shaft is on the roof of the Republican Guard Palace in downtown Baghdad across the Tigris River. 

Sadam Hussein is inside, seven floors below, three floors below ground level, attending a crisis meeting. 

Mikes co-worker Pete (also an Ironman finisher. Lake Placid, 2000) keys some information into a small laptop computer and hits Burst Transmit. The DMDG (Digital Message Device Group) uplinks data to another of Mikes co-workers (this time a man hes never met, but they both work for their Uncle, Sam) and a fellow athlete, at 21,500 feet above Iraq 15 miles from downtown Baghdad. This mans office is the cockpit of an F-117 Stealth Fighter. When Mike and Petes signal is received the man in the airplane leaves his orbit outside Baghdad, turns left, and heads downtown. 

Mike has 40 seconds to complete his work for tonight, then he can go for a run. 

Mike squeezes the trigger of his LF25 and a dot appears on the ventilator shaft five city blocks and across the river away from him and his co-workers. Mike speaks softly into his microphone; Target illuminated. Danger close. Danger close. Over. 

Seconds later two GBU-24B two thousand pound laser guided, hardened case, delayed fuse bunker buster bombs fall free from the F-117. The bombs enter the funnel and begin finding their way to the tiny dot projected by Mikes LF25. They glide approximately three miles across the ground and fall four miles on the way to the spot marked by Mike and his friends.  

When they reach the ventilator shaft marked by Mike and his friends the two bunker busters enter the roof in a puff of dust and debris. They plow through the first four floors of the building like a two-ton steel telephone pole traveling over 400 m.p.h., tossing desks, ceiling tiles, computers and chairs out the shattering windows. Then they hit the six foot thick reinforced concrete roof of the bunker. They burrow four more feet and detonate. 

The shock wave is transparent but reverberates through the ground to the river where a Doppler wave appears on the surface of the Tigris. When the seismic shock reaches the building Mike is on he levitates an inch off the roof from the concussion. 

Then the sound hits. The two explosions are like a simultaneous crack of thunder as the buildings walls seem to swell momentarily, then burst apart on an expanding fireball that slowly, eerily, boils above Baghdad casting rotating shadows as the fire climbs into the night. Debris begins to rain; structural steel, chunks of concrete, shards of glass, flaming fabrics and papers. 

On the tail of the two laser guided bombs a procession of BMG-109G/TLAM Block IV Enhanced Tomahawks begin their normal plunge. The bombs performed the incision, the GPS and computer guided TLAM Tomahawks complete the operation. In rapid-fire succession the missiles find their mark and riddle the Palace with massive explosions, finishing the job. The earth heaves in a final death convulsion. 

Mikes job is done for tonight. Now all he has to do is get home. 

Mike and his friends drive an old Mercedes through the streets of Baghdad as the sirens start. They take Jamia to Al Kut, cross Al Kut and go right (south) on the Expressway out of town. An unsuspecting remote CNN camera mounted on the balcony of Al Rashid Hotel picks up their vehicle headed out of town. Viewers at home wonder what a car is doing on the street during the beginning of the war. They dont know it is packed with five members of the U.S. Armys SFOD-D, Special Forces Operational Detachment  Delta. Delta Force. 

Six miles out of town they park their Mercedes on the shoulder, pull their gear out of the trunk and begin to run into the desert night. The moon is nearly full. Instinctively they fan out, on line, in a lazy W They run five miles at a brisk pace, good training for this evening, especially with 27 lb. Packs on their backs. Behind them there is fire on the horizon. Mike and his fellow athletes have a meeting to catch, and they cant be late. 

Twenty seven miles out a huge gray 92 foot long insect hurtles 40 feet above the desert at 140 m.p.h. The MH-53J Pave Low III is piloted by another athlete, also a triathlete, named Jim, from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He is flying to meet Mike. 

After running five miles into the desert Mike uses his GPS to confirm his position. He is in the right place at the right time. He removes an infra-red strobe light from his pack and pushes the red button on the bottom of it. It blinks invisibly in the dark. He and his friends form a wide 360 degree circle while waiting for their ride home. 

Two miles out Jim in the Pave Low sees Mikes strobe through his night vision goggles. He gently moves the control stick and pulls back on the collective to line up on Mikes infra-red strobe. Mikes ride home is here. 

The big Pave Low helicopter flares for landing over the desert and quickly touches down in a swirling tempest of dust. Mike and his friends run up the ramp after their identity is confirmed. Mike counts them up the ramp of the helicopter over the scream of the engines. When he shows the crew chief five fingers the helicopter lifts off and the ramp comes up. The dark gray Pave Low spins in its own length and picks up speed going back the way it came, changing course slightly to avoid detection. 

The men and women in our armed forces, especially Special Operations, are often well trained, gifted athletes. All of them, including Mike, would rather be sleeping the night away in anticipation of a long training ride rather than laying on a damp roof in an unfriendly neighborhood guiding bombs to their mark or doing other things well never hear about. 

Regardless of your opinions of the war, the sacrifices these people are making and the risks they are taking are extraordinary. They believe they are making them on our behalf. Their skills, daring and accomplishments almost always go unspoken. They are truly ELITE ATHLETES.


This is a healing process and the beginning of closure for me, I hope.



  Thank you SpirtWolf

Thank you Southern Springer


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