Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pentagon identifies another fallen

Yesterday the Pentagon identified the soldier who died in Tal Afar on November 16th: "Staff Sgt. Ryan L. Zorn, 35, of Upton, Wyo., died Nov.16 in Tal Afar, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle roll-over. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation." Jeremy Pelzer (Casper Star-Tribune via Billings' Gazette) quotes his mother JoAnn Zorn stating, "He loves his country, and he loved serving his country, and that's what he lived for." Ryan Zorn was on this third tour of Iraq when he was killed. 22-year-old Sgt Jordan Michael Shay died September 2nd of this year while serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. Chris Stevens (Daily Item) reports:

Danversbank and Hospice of the North Shore are working together this holiday season to keep alive the idea of one local soldier who was killed while fighting for his country in Iraq.
[. . .]
Hospice of the North Shore, where Shay's mother Holly works, wanted to do something to honor the memory of Jordan and so the company formed Little Wheels of Tribute. The plan is to collect Matchbox, Hot Wheels and other small metal cars, which will be packed up and sent to Shay's unit, still serving in Iraq, so they can continue to distribute cars to the kids.
Glen Boutchie, AVP regional manager of Danversbank in Peabody, said it was easy for the bank to jump on board because his wife also works with Hospice.

Those in the area can consult the article for places to drop off cars. Those outside the area can use the following address, through December 5th, to mail a Hot Wheel car(s) to:

Sully's Attn: Little Wheels of Tribute,
119R Foster St.,
Building 4,
Suite 3,
Peabody, MA 01960.

In Greenbay Wisconsin, the school district is doing something similar. Matt Smith (WBAY) reports that they are collecting for US troops and for Iraqi children: "Donations can be dropped off at Franklin Middle School or Green Bay West High School." The link provides a list of the supplies they're asking for -- for children and service members -- and the drive ends on Friday.

Lt Col Dominic Baragona was killed while serving in Iraq on May 19, 2003. Jonathan Riskind (Columbus Dispatch) reports on the family's continued efforts to honor their son -- who was known as Rocky -- who was killed when a contractor hit the vehicle he was in:

The Baragonas, who retired to Florida from Niles, have had the backing of Ohio lawmakers, including Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, and now the support of Sen. Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's subcommittee on contracting oversight. McCaskill is conducting a hearing on a bill she named the "Lieutenant Colonel Dominic 'Rocky' Baragona Justice for American Heroes Harmed by Contractors Act."
"What a great legacy this would be for the Rock," Dominic Baragona said in an interview, using his nickname for his son, which he borrowed from 1950s Cleveland Indians standout Rocky Colavito.
The legislation would allow lawsuits in U.S. courts to be brought against foreign contractors doing business with the federal government. It would not apply retroactively, however.

That article was noted by a visitor who was wondering about the hearing? That's the first I've heard of that hearing. We didn't attend it (it was yesterday). We were at the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing yesterday. We attended an Armed Services Hearing on Tuesday that I haven't written of (and may not write about it here, we may just cover it at Third -- and that was not covered in Tuesday's snapshot because a friend serving in Iraq called and said the election law was probably about to be vetoed -- which is why Tuesday's snapshot opens with that long, long thing on the elections) and today we have two hearings we're trying to catch. But I'll ask around and, if I find out anything about it, we'll note it tonight in "I Hate The War."

Turning to the topic of contractors, Sapa (Johannesburg Times) reports on the efforts of four women whose husbands were contractors in Iraq and were kidnapped three years ago and remain missing:

Speaking to the media in Pretoria today, the women cried as they spoke of their sadness and hope that they might one day find out what had happened to their husbands -- whether they were dead or alive.
"As the wives, we are here to plead for help. Would someone out there please show compassion and human kindness," said Marie Enslin, whose husband Johann was kidnapped on December 10 2006 along with Hardus Greef, Callie Scheepers and Andre Durant.
"We are sincerely appealing to our new leader Mr Jacob Zuma to assist us and our children."

Jacob Zuma is the president of South Africa, sworn in May 9, 2009.

The following community sites updated last night:

And Ruth's "Parking garages," Marcia's "On that which we can agree," Trina's "A joke re: economy," Elaine's "Brief," Ann's "Arnold visits Iraq," and Kat's "Senate Veterans Affairs Committee."

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends