Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The fallen and still deploying

September 7th, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on US soldiers killing 2 and wounding nine. One of the two killed in the attack was 22-year-old Pfc James McClamrock. News 14 Carolina (link has text and video) speaks with the family and reports Susan McClamrock, James' mother, immediately prayed for the families involved not knowing, until 15 minutes after she heard the news, that her son was one of the soldiers killed. She states, "People understand that you're suffering and that's provided us each step along the way." Today James McClamrock's body returns home and WCNC notes:

Wednesday’s processional route will be as follows:

* I-85 to Exit 60, and proceed down Copperfield Blvd. and Lake Concord Rd.
* Left onto Church St.
* Right on Corban Ave. and right on Union St
* Right on Buffalo, Left on Church St.
* Right on Brookwood to Hartsell Funeral Home

Timeline of Events:

* 11:08 a.m. - PFC McClamrock’s body arrives at Wilson Air Center at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, located at 5400 Airport Drive.
* 12:30 p.m. - procession exits I-85 at Copperfield Blvd.
* 1:00 p.m. - presentation of Keys to the City in Memory of PFC McClamrock by Mayor and City Council in front of Municipal Building, 26 Union St. S
* 1:15 p.m. – procession continues to Hartsell Funeral Home located at 460 Branchview Dr NE, Concord

Also today, but in Ohio, at 11:00 this morning the Tri County Assembly of God will host a send-off ceremony for 270 National Guard members with the 1-74 Air Defense Artillery who will be deploying to Iraq. Jeb Phillips (Columbus Dispatch) reports on that and notes:

This is the first Ohio Guard deployment under Operation New Dawn, a name meant to indicate that the U.S. military's primary role is to advise and assist Iraqi forces, as of Sept.1. But the 1-174's job is the same now as it would have been a year ago, [Lt Col Greg] Gustafan said.
"Combat operations are over, but read the newspaper," he said. U.S. troops are still in danger, and his unit's job is to help protect them.

Kelle Barr (Kalamazoo Gazette) reports on yesterday's send-off ceremony for 600 members of the Michigan National Guard who now head to Fort McCoy for two months of training and then on to Iraq. 8-year-old Jasmine Marie Poulias was there to say goodbye to her brother Spc Matthew Schafer and worried, "What if he dies? What if he gets hurt?"

Many soldiers have been hurt wearing bad body armor and there may be some justice in the fact that David Brooks has been convicted. John Marzulli and Larry McShane (New York Daily News) report that the war profiteer "faces 25 years in prison after his conviction on 17 counts ranging from securities fraud to conspiracy." A.G. Sulzberger (New York Times) notes the convicted is "[a] former military contractor who made bullet-resistant vests and other body armor used in Iraq and Afghanistan"; the company was Point Blank Solutions (now bankrupt, having filed Chapter 11).

The following community sites updated last night:

Plus Mike's "Iraq." Miliary Families Speak Out notes:

As you may know, there has been a call for a One Nation Working Together, a major demonstration in Washington, DC on Saturday October 2nd, calling for Jobs, Justice, and Peace.
One Nation Working Together is pulling together hundreds of national and local organizations, some uniting for the first time. Hundreds of buses are being reserved and filled from all over the country. MFSO has just endorsed the One Nation Peace Table, calling for the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the recognition of the exorbitant costs of these wars to our country.
As military families, our voice is critical in this rally!
  • It is our voice of conscience that will strike a chord among this gathering - that while we can all focus on the financial cost of war, we must not neglect the human costs to our troops, our families, and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • With the other organizations participating in the Peace Table, we will create a resounding message that we cannot talk about the economy without talking about the 1 billion being spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Depending on how many members are interested in participating, we may be able to have a member gathering or lobby day on Friday.
Here's what you can do:
1) Let National Organizer Nikki Morse know if you are interested in participating. She can be reached at or 347-703-0570.
2) Find out if there's an organized coalition in your area that is planning buses. Click here to see a list of what's already in place. (If you have trouble viewing it, please let us know and we can send it to you as an attachment.) Join their conversations to ensure that the message of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is at the forefront.
3) Encourage other military families to attend. Volunteer to make phone calls to others in your area to answer any questions they may have and encourage them to go.
4) Help shape the message. We will be pulling together a small team to craft signs, press releases, and other messages.
To participate, contact Nikki at and let her know how you would like to be involved.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends