Ma Deuce Gunner

Ma Deuce Gunner


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

The wife and I are off to Honolulu to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. Enjoy your holiday with your family, and remember that God is the whole impetus behind everything you are thankful for this holiday season.

I am thankful most of all to be home with my family. I am so thankful for God protecting me while I was in harm's way. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

Stay tuned for photos of the MDG vacation to Hawaii!!!

El Capitain... this one's for you...COWABUNGA!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

2005 Milbloggies

JP Borda, formerly of and has now opened, an index of Mil-Blogs. It is a great resource to finding milblogs.

He is hosting the 2005 MILBLOGGIES, a reader driven survey of the best milblogs of 2005.

This site is listed, and has been in and out of the top ten since the inception of So, go over and vote.

Matty O'Blackfive occupies the top spot by a wide margin, and I doubt I have the clout to unseat him, but lets give him a run for his money. B5 is a friend and a blog-mentor to me, so a little friendlly competition is in order.

If, perchance I do win an award, any monetary prize will be donated to either Project Valour IT or OP Iraqi Children, and I will leave the decision up to you guys.

Soooo, go and vote, will ya??



Monday, November 21, 2005

A Few Links

Here are some excellent letters from soldiers who have been there or are there, and who understand and believe in the war.

A Redleg's Perspective: Last night in Iraq

SGT Hook

Read them, for they are good. VERY GOOD.

Monday, November 14, 2005

An Open Letter to the Anti-War Crowd

To my loyal and supportive readers...this is not directed towards you. I know that you all support, encourage, and agree with me, the leadership of this country, and this war.

To all you anti-war folks, I have to get something off my chest.

You all are a disgrace to the country you call home. You abuse the freedoms that I, and many others, have sweated and bled to protect with your vitriolic rants and seditious acts and statements.

You hide behind the First Amendment, claiming the bile you spew forth is protected under the right to free speech. Some of you claim that you "Support the Troops, but not the war". I submit to you that this is a preposterous assertation. In order to truly and honestly support the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who have sworn to "Uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America", you must also support the endeavor that they are currently undertaking. Our job is to safeguard you, to kill, disable, or catch the human scum who have made it their mission in life to blow you into chunks of human gore, sever your head from your torso, incinerate you, collapse your office building, gas you on the subway, or murder your children with television cameras rolling live.

Their aim is to scare you into submission. Scare you so much, inject so much fear into your mind that you willfully throw your freedoms out of the window in the name of 'security'. If we can kill them, disable them, or catch them before they are able to inflict the horrors of their idiom on you, then you should be grateful.

I am not attempting to heap praise upon myself. The words you are reading are not for my glory, nor are they intended to glorify anyone, but to show the fallacy of your words and actions. True, you are free to believe what you wish and to voice your opinion as such, but I am also free to do the same.

The words on your screen that you are reading now are intended to cause you to think about the ideology to which you cling. To make you see that folks like 'Code Pink', Fred Phelps, Cindy Sheehan and their ilk are morally bereft individuals. Dark, vile people who do not want others to have their freedoms, but abuse the same to do the shouting.

Your inability to understand the gravity of the situation in which we, as a nation, are embroiled is appalling. In my eyes, you do not understand what dangers this country faces from these terrorists, nor do you understand what it takes to protect you from this peril.

I think back to the Jews who were led out of Egypt whined that they were tired of eating manna, trekking through the desert, facing the danger of wild animals, desert heat, and uncertainty as to what the next mile in the sand might bring. They longed to be back in bondage, slaves to the Egyptians, with full stomachs, roofs over their heads, and a place to call home. They would have rather been forced to perform manual labor by Draconian task-masters rather have their freedom. They knew that they would be fed, have a permanent house, regardless of the way they were treated, as slaves doing forced HARD labor.They were not willing to travel the hard road, to fight for their freedoms. It was easier to go back and be oppressed by the Egyptians rather than press forward and fight for their own nation, for their own freedom. I use the word fight. I mean the term both militarily and in simple reference to the struggle to maintain resilience of spirit.

Some of you will immediately discount the previous reference for the simple fact it is Biblical. Regardless of what you believe spiritually, the parallel draws the conclusion. People who are willing to trade freedom for security are sorry individuals. Freedom is costly to maintain, financially, but also costly of life, resolve and dedication.

Some of you will argue that Iraq has nothing to do with 9-11. It has everything to do with that terrible fall day. The terrorist action on that day was not simply an attack against four airliners, two high profile structures and the people in the planes and buildings, but on the sovriegnty and safety of the USA. In the Declaration of Independence, we all know the clause, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". The terrorists want nothing more than to take those rights from you, and they did, from almost 3000 people on that day. A great majority of the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. That is one of the anti-war crowd's talking points. The concept which I believe you fail to grasp is that they were part of a larger network, a community of evil people who despiseus. Let us use illegal drugs as an example.

For instance, if a person is arrested for selling drugs, do the law enforcement agencies stop there?? Do the stop with the person who carries out the crime at the lowest level?? No, they attempt to take down the whole network, and go as high as they can to try and eradicate the problem at the top. They go to the mid-level suppliers, then the clearinghouses of the nation, the couriers, the financiers, and the kingpins and cartel bosses. An investigation that starts somewhere say, Cleveland, could lead to Chicago, thenMiami, then Cuba, and then to Bogota. The trail could branch anywhere in the chain, and in our instance, the trail led to Iraq.

Another parallel can be drawn from the example of narcotics. A proactive stance is essential in taking care of the problem. We can sit back inside our borders, hoping to catch the drug runners at the borders, or we can go on the offensive, find the problem at its source and deal with it at its origination. Similarly, do we set up treatment centers and simply hope that addicts will happen to decide to come in for help with their problems, or do we seek them out, advertise, reach into the community and try to bring aid to them??

Our expedition into Iraq and Afghanistan is the exact same concept. We are attempting to stop the terrorists where they breed, where they are steeped in their radicalism, where they do not harm OUR citizens, my family and yours. It may seem callous, but I mean no insult towards anyone of different nationality. Another hypothetical example...a ship is sinking. A seaplane lands to rescue the people on board.The seaplane is owned by a ficticious nation...let's use Atlantis. The seaplane is capable of carrying 30 people other than the aircraft crew. There are 34 people in need of rescue. Thirty of the passengers on the ship are Atlantean. Who are the crew of the plane going to take with them?? The Atlantean's, of course. They will rescue their countrymen first, and if possible, they will come back for the others, if possible. You take care of your own. You protect your countrymen, protect your homeland and its people. Not to say that others are worth any less as human beings, but you take care of your own.

We are taking care of our national interests. Making sure that OUR borders are safe, fighting the enemy in their homeland, not ours. I would rather fight the enemy where they do not put American civilians at risk. It is my job to fight the enemy and remove his ability to attack Americans. Would you rather wait and have us fight in the streets of St. Louis or New York or L.A. or Smalltown, USA, or would you rather we kill them before they can even pose any danger to you in your hometown??

We removed a regime that supported terrorism. He supported an ENEMY of the United States of America, and was an evil person. Saddam Hussein was a terrorist in his own right, against his own people. A friend of my enemy is my enemy.

So, enough with your venomous, acrimonious rantings. If you don't like the fact that your government is making aCONCERTIED EFFORT to preserve your freedoms, go somewhere else. You are parasitic dregs, stealing from the people who secure yourfreedoms, abusing the freedoms to malign them, all the while being behind the shield of protection they so willingly provide.Let me define parasite for you :

"something that resembles a biological parasite in dependence on something else for existence or support without making a useful or adequate return"
Now, ask yourself...does this in any way apply to you??

You are stealing my blood, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Go back to your dark holes and brood, for you and your logic isnot welcome, and many more people than you think feel the same way I do. You are evil, as evil as our enemies.

This is something I have wanted to get off my chest for a long time, but I did not think that while I was in Iraq I should post this. Now that I am home, and see and hear the anti-war crowd and their message through a different set of eyes, I believe my words are appropriate. Jen over at Jennifer's Musings emailed me a month ago and asked me for my opinionand what I would say to the Anti-War protestors. She posted it here. You will find many sentiments in this article were echoed in that one, as that post kind of became a rough draft for this one.




Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Its official!!!

He's actually coming HOME today. MDG called me early this morning to tell me he'll be flying in this afternoon. I don't know how I'll make it through till then! Thanks again for all your support. You probably won't hear much out of us for a day or so. . . . .

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Straight Word, Straight From an Iraqi Citizen, Final Installment

This is the answers to the questions below, submitted by you, my readers, have not been altered in any way. These responses are from straight from the mouths of, well, extraordinary Iraqi citizens, men who are willing to work to better their country.

Jay and Doc are brothers, and were both interpreters for my company during my time in Kirkuk. Along with their other brother, Bob, these three were the most outstanding three Iraqis I had the priviledge to work with. They were always punctual, motivated, enthusiastic, and prepared when we needed them to be. They truly want their country to succeed, and both their words below, and their actions on the battlefield are irrefutable proof of their patriotism, and I believe, representative of the main body of the Iraqi nation.

Jay, Bob, Doc; Shukran, A Salaam Alaaykum...Thank You, May Peace be Upon You.
You have forever changed my opinion of Iraq's good people, I count you among my brethren in arms,for you sweated and bled with us, so we could be safe, and you could be free.

Q. How do they see the future of Iraq in 10 years? Do they see a free country still growing or do they see a longer more drawn out fight for freedom between their own people?
A. Jay: I dont think a civil war will happen, because they have been trying to incite one for the last three years. Most people here are educated enought to recognize the dangers of that for this country.
[MDG] Do you still think it will be free in ten years?[/MDG]
Jay: Yes, I do.

Q. Are women being treated with any more equality now than they were before the fall? (All within religious guidelines I'm sure.)
A. Doc: Unofficially, its the same. It depends on the area, religion, and tradition. Ethnicity and religious affiliation has a affect. Some cities, suchas Baghdad, Dahok and Suleimania, it is more liberal, than say, Arbil or Mosul.
[MDG] What about Kirkuk??[/MDG]
Jay: Kirkuk is 'middle of the road' when it comes to the treatment of women. Ramadi and the Sunni triangle are the most 'conservative' where they have the least rights, along with Basra and southern Iraq.
Doc: Officially, Traditions take more precedence than the new law, but under the new law, they have equal rights.

Q. Do most Iraqis feel safer from random violence than they did before? (Not war related violece, but robbery, rape, etc)
A. Jay: It is worse than before. Saddam released all the criminals from all the jails before you invaded. He did it intentionally, because he knew that they would play a role in the insurgency. The terrorists are paying the common criminals to carry out the insurgency. Saddam knew they would help the terrorists, because the terrorists would pay them to set bombs or shoot rockets or mortars.

Q. Are Iraqi girls beginning to get the same educational opportunities that boys have?
A. They have always had the same rights to education. Nothing has changed in this regard.

Q. Is there anything that they have learned/gained from you guys (military) that you'll keep with them for their lifetime? (Culture, skills, knowledge etc)
A. Jay: Social skills...being around different people of faith, personality. We have leared to be tolerant of other people, and the knowledge that the regular American soldier is a good person.

Q. How do you view the world differently now than they did before?
A: Doc: We see the Americans in a different light. We saw the Americans as a 'bunch of jerks'. Now we see that the Americans are right. I want to keep working as an interpreter, because I believe in our cause. I believe in the way you (the American's and British) are dealing with the other countries.

Q. How do they want the people of the world to view them now?
A. Jay: There are a lot of people who think Iraqis are uneducated, and that we are always fighting each other, but that's not right. I just want to prove to the other world that the conflict here is POLITICAL, to the common man, the racial divides do not exist as large as they would lead you to think.

Q. What do they hope happens to Saddam? (put to death quickly, prison, long time waiting to be put to death, released and expelled, etc)
A. Jay: Exile is not an option. I don't want to think about Saddam. He is no longer in power, and that is the main issue. His punishment should be the rest of his life in jail, having to witness the growth of the nation without him, to see the people he repressed to take part in the affairs of state. I think he would suffer more seeing this country succeed. Death would be the endof his suffering.
[MDG] So you think it would be better to rub it in his face??[/MDG]
Jay: Yeah.
Doc: Death. There are still people who worship him, and want him to return to power.
[MDG] So you think as long he is alive, they will have hope that he will come back to power.[/MDG]
Doc: Yes, they will continue their activitiesuntil they know he is dead.

Q. If they could tell Saddam one thing, what would it be?
A. Jay: Why?
Doc: Any punishment you recieve could never measure up to the crimes you committed.

Q. Do they see the American and indeed the "Western" style of life as a threat to Iraqi's way of life.
A. Doc: We will retain our national identity, but we need their support, to take the good things. To learn from culture, technology, science, and such to improve our way of life, while still being myself. To share and aid in successes.

Q. Do they feel that they are Iraqi's first and whatever: tribal, religious, regional allegiance second. I guess what I'm after here is: Is there a strong Iraqi national identity?
A. Doc: I am from Iraq. Nowhere else. We are Iraqis, first and foremost. There is a STRONG national Identity.

Q. There are still a few people in America who believe we should not have gone into Iraq. What would your interpreters tell us to tell them?
A. Doc: They dont know the job that was done by the Americans. You did a very good job, and gave us our freedom.
[MDG]Some opponents of this war say itsa war for oil.[/MDG]
Doc: You deserve to be able to buy the oil, we know you are not stealing it. We are waiting for the country to become stable enough for the other civilian companies to come and help develop Iraq. We believe that Saddam was a threat to the world, and that the world is safer without Saddam in power."

Q. What did you think the Americans would be like before we arrived?
A. Doc: We knew you were coming to help us. We didn't think we were gonna steal, rape and pillage, or anything like that. Saddam spent a lot of time to make us think we were evil, to distort our view of America, but we didnt believe it. He showed us movies about your culture, to try and demean the US, but we knew it was just propaganda. It was like a miracle when you came here.

Q. What is his personal favorite moment with the Americans? (something like the tea party you participated in)
A. Jay: When we captured some bad guys who were kidnappers. The lady in the house told us that the bad guy was a kidnapper, on a general knock and search.
Doc: When you stop the bad guys. That is the best times we have, when you stop the people who want to stop the progress of Iraq.

Q. What is his personal worst experience with the Americans?
A. Doc: Bad attitudes toward the populace, sometimes a racist treatment, because of previous casualties, maybe.
Jay: We dont like seeing the AIF released after being caught and incarcerated.

Q. Once the insurgency is defeated and Iraq is peaceful, should the oil revenue go to the government, so they can waste it on subsidies and ill conceived projects and pork barrel, or should majority of it go directly to Iraqis in monthly payments?
A. Doc: We believe that the oil money should go to the people. It should go to government programs, and the excess that the government doesnt need to run itself, that the extra money should go to the people. Taxes arent required in that sort of arrangement.

(Just a note, and no insult to the submitter of the question...I wonder, since it is a predominately Muslim country, if they call "Pork Barrel" spending something else?!?!?!

This is my last post from the sands of Northern Iraq. Even though I may be on American soil when this actually is posted,it was completed and authored in Iraq.

To tease you about my next upcoming post of substance (I am sure there will be short, elated posts from my wife announcing my arrival in the USand finally at home), brace yourselves, you Anti-War folks, I have some words for you...and they are not nice.



Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Demob. . .

MDG finally made it to his demobilization site at Ft. Lewis. At this point we have absolutely no idea how long it will take him to go through that process. It seems to be completely random and unorganized (big shock there). I think the wives should be in charge of organizing it - we'd have them all home in a matter of days :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Update. . . .

He is still on foreign soil, but not for long. MDG just called me from Ireland and was getting ready to board his flight to the US!!!!!! YYEEEAAAHHHH!