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 www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/jungle-law.htm and http://bdelapla.typepad.com/firepowerforward.The 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