Monday, March 02, 2009

Friday, January 25, 2008

Where do we go from here?
13 Jan 2008Where do we go from here?I have spent the last couple of months, contemplating life, and what my purpose is on this earth. My name is Glen Delaplane, I am Brian's little brother. You may or may not know the circumstances that have come about in the last three months, but I am going to give you my perspective. My brother was my mentor. I admired him for what he had done in life, and compared my progress in life to his. Brian was someone that I could count on to give me an honest answer whether or not I wanted to here it. He gave me advice, and helped my become the person that I am today.I have told people that the moments that are the hardest are the moments that you would have spent with him. For me those times were too far, and few between. I find myself in certain circumstances that I would have previously fired off an email or made a phone call, to find out what his opinon was. Unfortunatly those moments now leave my in a place of grief for the loss of my bother, and a place of loneliness due the obvious fact that I will not be able to gain his opinon or advice, except by looking back to what he has already told me.Even now I find myself learning from my brother's experiences. What I have learned in the past few months is to not take life for granted. Most of the time that we spend in life involves maintaining our selves, and our lifestyle, but there are those moments that we experience in between the lines of this thing that we call life. Those moments are what we should live for. Watching your first child born, realizing that you are now called "dad". Helping your little girl learn how to ride a bike. Laying on the grass watching the clouds go by, trying to see the bunny rabbit that was just pointed out. The moments are endless, but they will pass you by without you even noticing them. What I have learned from Brian, is that the things that we remember are not the things that we have, the places that we have gone, or how successful we have become. What we remember are the moments. The ones that passed us by, and the ones that we caught. Don't let the moments of life pass you by.
Posted by Disciple186 at 8:15 PM

May 6, 1960 - Oct 9, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel Brian N. Delaplane passed away suddenly on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 in New York following a pulmonary embolism. He was a Logistical Officer in the United States Army currently serving as The Professor of Military Science at Saint Johns University in Queens, New York. Brian Neal Delaplane was born on May 6, 1960 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to Helen and David Delaplane. He graduated in 1970 from Glenwood Springs High School. He joined the Army in 1984. He received his Bachelors Degree from Metropolitan State College, Denver, Colorado and his Masters Degree from St. Bonaventure University, Olean, New York. He continued his career in the U.S. Army for 23 years and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He received multiple medals and accommodations to include the Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. Brian was a man of distinction, character, and integrity and was known for his compassionate leadership, mentorship and friendship. Brian married Pamela Mackowiak on May 22, 1999 in Olean, New York who survives him and lives in Colorado Springs. LTC Delaplane is survived by his wife: Pamela, his parents: Helen Delaplane of Silt, Colorado and David Delaplane of Denver, Colorado. Pam's children: Molly, Matthew and Sarah, children by his first wife, Felice: Matthew and Jessica, and his brothers: Timothy, Mark and Glen. Visitation is planned for 4-7 pm on Thursday, October 18, 2007 at the Shrine of Remembrance Chapel in Colorado Springs. A Vigil Service will follow at 7:00 pm in the Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Friday, October 19, 2007 at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, 8755 Scarborough Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80920. Graveside services with full Army Honors will follow at Evergreen Cemetery. The family and friends will return to St. Gabriel's Church Narthex for Fellowship.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Day to Remember, a Day to be ThankfulPlease bear with me, our communication is still a little sketchy as we continue setting up our operations here. My unclassified computer has been sent away to Bagram's Shaolin Techie Temple where it is being BAFtized in in order to exorcize it of all evil spirited viruses and corrupted files. When I finally get it back it will be a lean powerful machine with a calm and serene spirit. It will aslo be purged of every byte of usable data and totally useless. I would probably be a bit more serene if I could purge my memory once in a while too. In the mean time I am borrowing other computers as they come available to take care of important tasks like this.I want to share a letter that my brother sent me for Memorial Day:I just wanted to take a minute to say hi, and thank everyone there for theirsacrifice. I think that the best way to say thanks would to be to explainwhat I am thankful for. I am blessed to live in a country that is "of thepeople, for the people". The freedoms that I use every day need to beremembered and recited so they are not taken for granted.When I attend church on Sunday, I am thankful for the men and women thathave put their lives in harms way to defend my right to express my beliefs,even when their beliefs may be different.When I vote, I am thankful to these same individuals, that may or may notalign their political beliefs to their current or previous Commanders inChief, and for allowing themselves to be distanced by thousands of milesfrom their families.I am thankful that I live in a country that allows me to keep and bear arms,for the purpose of defending myself, my beliefs, and my country. Thank youfor missing birthdays, anniversaries, and personal family events.I am thankful for my ability to express my beliefs in the local newspaper,without worry of arrest. Thank you for missing the birth of your children,or the loss of a loved one.I am thankful for the men and women that consider it a privilege to defendmy way of life, as well as carry that way of life to others. Thank you for your years of training, moving from state to state, crawling in the mud,choking on tear gas, and being told to do something that every fiber of youbeing is screaming not to, like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Iknow you love it. Thank You.Most of all, I am thankful for my family, for being able to watch mychildren grow and learn in a country that provides every opportunity forthem, for being able spend my life with the woman I love, and for theability to provide a living for myself and my family. I know that the onlyreason that I have these abilities is because of those that are sacrificing the very things I love. Thank You.GlenThanks Glen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Letters to the Editor
On war, weapons and shields

Dear Editor,

I first want to express my thanks to the sons of both Joyce Holman and Kristi Nicholls for their service to our nation during its most trying time of this generation. I empathize with the feelings expressed in their letters of May 8th and 10th. I am both awed and respectful of Sgt. Holman's spirit and would love to hear first-hand the feelings of Ms. Nicholls' son, as I am always wary of making judgments based on second-hand information.As a parent, soldier, and a veteran of the current conflicts, I want to word this carefully out of respect for the anxiety and trepidation of these parents. Personal body armor is designed for protection against small arms fire, and all soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have it. This means that they have the ballistic plates, otherwise it is not armor, but merely a fabric vest. In some cases, the enhanced plates are not issued until troops reach staging areas near Iraq, as it makes distribution more effective. This was not the case in 2003-4, and some troops bought armor at personal expense for which reimbursement has been offered. Personally procured body armor is no longer authorized to prevent the use of inferior and defective body armor, to include Dragon Skin.Losing soldiers to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is preventable, but not through technological means as Ms. Nicholls states. All HUMMWVs that travel the roads of Iraq are armored, some more heavily than others; but as the armor increases, so does the lethality of IEDs. While prudence demands the use of armor against smaller, more easily-identified threats, bombs that leave swimming-pool-sized holes will defeat not only the best-armored HUMMWVs, but Strykers and tanks as well. The race between better weapons and better shields will always be won by the weapon. See both and key to prevention lies in avoidance. That solution is ultimately political, and the responsibility for its implementation lies with all of us. Brian Delaplane
Mehlingen, Germany

Monday, May 21, 2007

Better Bombs Vs. Better Armor

I've been maintaining an ongoing skirmish of words with with a small segment of the population of Glenwood Springs, CO and the encompassing Roaring Fork Valley through the editorial pages of the local newspaper there, Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

The entire Roaring Fork Valley has become decidedly more liberal in it's political views since since my upbringing there and while there is no intent or desire to sway that through my prosiac jousts, it does make for good debate from time to time and I mainly continue the sparring because my mother likes to occasionally see my name in the paper.

There was a recent letter that I think deserves a bit more widespread scrutiny though, that from the mother of a new soldier apparently in or on his way to Iraq. Among other things, Ms. Nicholls states that sustaining casualties from IEDs in Iraq is preventable. All we need to do is provide up-armored HUMMWVs to every soldier in Iraq.

What concerns me about this is that the letter was published on the 8th of May and there have been no rebuttals. Is this the generally accepted point of view in America, that is is all just a matter of money and the only reason troops are dying from IEDs is that we don't care enough to simply provide them with up-armored hummers?

The reality is that the Army hasn't been allowed to send unarmored hummers to Iraq (or Afghanistan for that matter) for more than 2 years and any unarmored vehicle already there is certainly not taken off the FOBs. The sad fact is that the lethality of IEDs has increased far faster than armor technology and it always will (see Michael Yon's "Jungle Law" dispatch).

Deaths of American troops by roadside bombs may very well be preventable but when we are seeing IEDs in Iraq with enough lethality to detstroy Stryker vehicles and M1 tanks, conventional wisdom tells us that throwing more armor on a Hummer isn't the method that is going to achieve those ends. Adding more armor to HUMMWVs has a diminishing marginal utility. More armor is not only expensive but the additional weight reduces the performance and handling of the vehicle which plays its own factor in endangering troops. Additionally, adding more armor requires upgrades to not only the electrical system and air conditioning (putting the windows down on an armored vehicle pretty much defeats the purpose) but significant upgrades to the suspension, all of which gets vaporized when the bad guys simply wire one more artillery shell into their IED.

Militarily, we can't stop the lethality of IEDs from increasing, nor can we achieve a high rate of success in preventing those intent on emplacing them from doing so (see Michael Yon's "Rattlesnake" dispatch). The solution lies in removing the desire to emplace them and that solution is not, primarily a military one, but a political one.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Farewell Tour

So after arriving back in Germany following our whirwind tour of the US, I find myself once agina counting days until I leave a country. I began the process of clearing the military installations as soon as we arrived back and also started trying to squeeze in all those things that we said we would have to do before we left Europe. Good luck with that.

One thing that we did manage to do was finally get to a home game of 1FCK, who are trying to work P5060149 theur way back into the top flight of the Bundes Liga after gettign bumped out last year. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, the bear was cold, and the fans were boisterous, and although the game ended in a tie, the experience couldn't have been any better. The game did coincidentally fall on my birthday and the C-17s that frequently whined over Fritz-Walter Stadion P5060148 on their approach to Ramstein were a constant reminder of a birthday recent past where I endured incessant harassment from my staff in FOB Salerno, and reminded us also of those still spending important occasions far from home and in harm's way.P5060158

Friday night found us at the opening night of the Lauters Kerwe, the annual spring festival in Kaiserslautern. I paid 3 Euro for ten chances to bounce a ping-pong ball towards a large display of beer steins and much to the proprieter's chagrin, ball #10 rattled home into a stein in the back of the top row. Now the proud owner of a limited edition Zoller & Born beer stein, the next logical step was to try it out. So after P5110172 shouldering our way to a table near the band in the fest tent, Pam promptly received lessons for the proper hand and arm gestures for the music, something to do with cowboys, a lasso, and totem poles (hard to believe that its a German folk song).Dscf3587

We have had BBqs and dinners with friends, CPT Parrish, whose departure coincides with ours, will be having multiple parties before she leaves the active Army in favor of grad school at Georgetown, and we will be able to squeeze in Memorial day weekend at the Bodensee on the German, Austrian, Swiss border.

So while we may not complete the "Everything We Wanted to do in Europe" list, I'm sure that by the time we are wheels up for JFK we will have completed enough items to be satisfied with tucking the list away and calling it a win.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Back in Deutschland

We have returned from a 6 week excursion in the States and are now preparing to permanently depart Germany.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pfczizumbo There was a lot of furor two weeks ago when a sucide bomber struck the front gate of Bagram Airbase while Vice-President Cheney was visiting. Most of the uproar was predictable about a resurgence of the Taliban, security lapses and so on. The truth about this incident is that it was an anomally. The Taliban do not have a base of support in the Bagram area and it is more likely than not a mere coincidence that the Vice-president happened to be there when the attack occured. Mr. Cheney was never in any danger and security was not breached, but what is being lost here as everyone grasps at straws as they attempt to validate their own point, is the sacrifices of those who perished.

PFC Daniel Zuzumbo was the U.S. soldier that was killed in this attack. He was a member of the 251st Cargo Transfer Company, a subordinate entity of my old unit, the 191st Ordnance Battalion.

I didn't knDscf2149ow Daniel, he rotated to Afghanistan after I had returned to Germany and given the XO position. I didn't know Daniel, but I know that after serving 4 years in the Marines he struggled with civilian life in Chicago before joining the Army. I know that he was aware of the risks associated with his job and he accepted them. I kDscf2141now the job that he was doing in Afghanistan, and I have walked the ground where his life was taken from him, here where these children gather every day to talk to soldiers. I know that more than 20 other people died along with Daniel that day.

I know that Daniel was honered by thousands in Afghanistan as he began his final trip home. I know that he was honored by hundreds here in Germany in the chapel right across the road from where I work. I know that he was honored by thousands at home in Chicago.

I know that he was a hero. I know that he will be missed.