Monday, October 18, 2004

LCpl Daniel R. Wyatt

One of my closest friends Anthony, serves in the United States Marine Corps in
the 2nd Batallion 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division. It comes as no
coincidence for me that we are both deployed in this fight against
terrorism. Myself on the supply side, and he on the combat side.
However I might wish to be in his position and fighting for our country
and for the freedom of the Iraqi people, my place is to serve where I am
at. I read the Stars and Stripes paper every day and in it there is a
small article that announces the number of servicemembers killed in
Operation Iraqi Freedom. I noticed a name someone from his unit, LCpl Daniel R. Wyatt 2nd BN,
24th Marines, 4th MarDiv out of Chicago. LCpl Wyatt was from Caledonia,

Below is an email from the LtCol in charge of their unit, as he speaks
of the death of LCpl Daniel R. Wyatt. Please keep LCpl Wyatt's family
and his fiancee in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their son, and
husband to be.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Smith LtCol Mark A"
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004
Subject: Weekly Update 15 Oct 04

It is with the deepest sadness and most profound grief that I must report
to you the loss of Daniel Wyatt, LCpl, Fox Co, 2nd Bn, 24th Marines, USMC.
Daniel was killed in the line of duty, while conducting foot patrolling
operations in Yusufiyah Iraq. Daniel was killed by a command detonated
improvised explosive device. He died instantly, suffered no pain and was
immediately recovered by his fellow Marines. My command security element
and myself personally recovered Daniel's body and escorted him back to the
forward operating base, and then onto the helicopter for the beginning of
his final ride home. I cannot even begin to express to you the soul
touching sight of combat hardened Marines, encrusted with weeks of sweat
and dust, who have daily been engaged in combat, coming to complete and utter
solemnity and respect in the handling of the body of one of their own. It
puts on display a level of brotherly love you just cannot see anywhere

We conducted a memorial service for Daniel in the battle space owned by his
fellow Marines, as well as one the following day at the Bn forward
operating base. I have spoken with his fiancee and expressed the sorrow and sympathy
of the entire Battalion. If I might for a moment, I hear and see some of
the media coverage. I hear the accusations and charges. I hear what could
almost be labelled as hysteria over the situation in Iraq. Let me tell you
something from ground level. The town of Yusufiyah that Daniel and his
fellow Marines seized, had not seen government structure or security forces
for over 8 months. FOREIGN FIGHTERS, TERRORIST AND THUGS have had free
reign and have routinely murdered people in the market for no reason other
than one day they MIGHT support a democratic process and speak for
themselves. For nothing more than they MIGHT choose a version of religion
even slightly different than the terrorists and foreign fighters. They
live in squalor and fear. The Marines of Daniel's unit have not had a shower
since seizing the town. They have eaten MREs day on stay on. They live a
Spartan existence that few can imagine. And, on all my trips to their
position for planning, coordination and command visits, I ask them if they
want to be relieved. To a man, they look me in the eye and tell me NO WAY.
Why? Well, I am not going to soften it for anyone, the primary reason why
is to kill terrorists. Please remember, that is what they are trained and
paid to do. But, they also tell me, they want to help the people of
Yusufiyah. They want to show all of Iraq that they can stand on their own
feet, push back against extremism, and with our help live the life of freedom that all men yearn for.
Yes, from the mouths of these young and hardened warriors, this is what they tell me.
And then...and then...they ask me how I am doing! Unfreakingbeliveable!
They worry about everyone else but themselves.

So believe what you want. That is your right as Americans. But I am
telling you, there are no heroes on any football fields, basketball courts
or halls of government. Their are honorable and decent people all over
America. However, the heroes are on the battlefields of Iraq. Suffering,
killing and DYING that others might live, and live in FREEDOM. Americans
free from terror, Iraqis free from opression and tyranny. I am an
under-educated gun toter from Indiana who is just lucky there is an
organization like the USMC where a half-wit like myself with some
rudimentary combat skills can succeed. But I do know heroes! I am
surrounded by over a thousand of them. And I am not the least bit ashamed
to tell you I have wept like a baby for Daniel Wyatt. Because when one of
these heroes falls, it is if an Angel of God himself has fallen from
heaven! I will not profess glory of battle or any other such hype. I will profess
duty and sacrifice. Daniel showed us all true duty and ultimate sacrifice.
I have no doubt that the instant he died, he was whisked to heaven on the
wings of Angels and placed before the unapproachable light of Jesus, who
himself said: "greater love hath no man, than a man lay down his life for
his friends."


Yours in profound sadness

Mark A. Smith, LtCol
TF 2/24 Cmdr
Mahmudiyah, Iraq

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ads...Adsense : -)

I know everyone hates ads, but I have some put on the blog from Google. I can't say enough things about this company they are one of the coolest I know and their search technology is the best there is IMHO. Anyhow, I have signed up for Adsense, it is a program where Google will put text ads on your site, and you can earn money for people clicking on them. Now I know what you are thinking, "He wants me to click on his ads to make him some money". Well yes, but only if you find an ad useful please click on it, otherwise ignore them. I doubt you can even see the ads on my website, you might have to try hard to find them : )

Thanks for visiting my blog folks. I'll post more later

Happy Sweetest Day!!!

For those of you out there who aren't in the know. Today is Sweetest
Day. This holiday works both ways in my opinion, and you can give a
gift as well as get one.

I wanted to wish my wife a Happy Sweetest Day!!! Shanon I love you very
much, you are always there to support me when I have my bad days...and I
do have them. You are a very strong woman and have risen to the
challenge of raising our daughter alone while I am away. I know I have
said this before on this blog, but it bears repeating again and again
until I am home :) which won't be too much longer. I miss you and
Lauren very much. I want you to know that I am thinking of you this
Sweetest Day 'cause you are my sweetheart. I know you've already
received your gift from me ;) ... thank you for the wonderful cards and
letters and poems of encouragement you have sent me. They mean a lot to
me and I read them all the time. I promise I will get better at
writing, I know we keep in touch a lot via email and phone, but you will
get letters :) I promise. I love you very much.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

New Google Tool

Hey everyone,

I am a big fan of Google anything.  I think they are the coolest internet company around.  Their technology in search is the best there is, and that's all they focus on.  They have a new tool that allows you to search your computer with the same technology they use on the web.  Currently it only searches Microsoft office documents, internet history and AOL, AIM messages.  You can check it out at this link.

Take care

Monday, October 11, 2004

Update at home...

I talked to Shanon earlier today. She's doing well, she's been able to catch up with things around the house and that's a good thing. Lauren is getting bigger everyday, and stronger too. I can't wait to get home to be with them. One night this week on the webcam I watched her as she was laying down on our bed, and it looked like she was doing exercises, swinging her arms up and down and her legs up and down as if she were trying to touch her toes on the bed. She wasn't fussing or crying or anything...just swinging her arms and smiling and laughing. Children are such a blessing and a lot of hard work with two parents, and even harder with one parent. Shanon has been doing a great job keeping things squared away, as we like to say in the Navy, at home. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers during this time as it does get challenging at times. The days are going by fast and I will be home soon, and I've already been made aware that I will be doing everything but feeding Lauren when I am home :) not that I mind she is the cutest little thing ever, I think we should enter her in the cutest baby contest. Anyhow here's a somewhat recent picture of her.

Shanon I love you and you are doing an excellent job at home, don't ever doubt yourself. Give Lauren a kiss for me.

take care

R.I.P. Superman

I was just checking up on the news, and saw a small link on Christopher Reeve has passed away at the age of 52.

Here is a link to the MSNBC article / eulogy for him.

Gas Gas Gas... :)

Hello everyone,

Sorry I haven't posted in a whle. My schedule got kinda changed up and the wireless network here is going through growing pains. For the past few days I was moving equipment between the yards it's a lot of fun and a change of pace from what I was normally doing. The days flew by pretty quick. We had a chemcial release yesterday and like anything else the groups responsible for reporting it took their sweet time. We were moving between the yard and the pier at Ash Shuaiba when we started to smell ammonia, and it smelled like someone had just dumped millions of gallons of Windex, you kno what Windex smells like, well imagine that smell 100x stronger and you get what we smelled yesterday. I betcha that wasn't safe, but about an hour and a half after that there was an alarm and then we were told to stay in our containers or tents wherever we were at. By that time the air had cleared and we could breathe normal again. Not to worry they do provide us with paper masks and gas masks and we can use them if we feel individually believe the air quality is poor enough and dangerous enough. Nice to know that atleast we control our own destiny when it comes to that. Other than that things are pretty slow around here, it's hot and humid today. Really humid. I've started working out, and probably should have started since I got here but you know how it is. I'm doing my best to keep it up. We have a Physical Fitness Assessment coming up in November so I have to be ready for that, but I should be working out for my own sake, not just the assessment.

Take care

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Sunday...a day of rest

AHHHHH.... what a week. I almost forgot it was Sunday. The days here run together here, and I usually only go by the date. I can't really remember the last time I actually looked at a calendar. Mostly I keep track of time by the paychecks :) We get paid on the 15th and the 30th of the month. Today I'm taking it easy, I am right now watching a movie and blogging it doesn't get any more relaxing than this. The days get cooler here now in the evening, winter is coming they say, the sun sets sooner, and the humidity is going away thankfully. I can't imagine what winter is going to be like. They say that sometimes it gets to about upper 30s lower 40s at night here. If I ever see frost, I'll make sure to take a picture of it and post it.

Anyhow, back to the movie.

BTW A friend of mine, Greg, passed on a link that helps to figure out what time it is here based on your local time zone.
Check it out sometime. The blog posts in Kuwaiti time, so currently it is 9:19am, and I started this at 9:05am. Anyhow for what it's worth.

Take Care.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Forwarded Email

How many times have you received forwarded emails from others? Plenty I am sure. Today I was forwarded an email about the Congress reinstating the draft, or a draft like measure. The email proclaimed that a draft would begin June 15th 2005, just after a presidential election. Yeah right I thought, so I decided to take the email's advice and look up the two bills associated with the so-called draft. S 89 and HR 163. These bills actually exist, here are links to their content.

(Note I copied the HTML from search this website for any and all information regarding any Senate or House bill, including S89 and HR163)

Senate Bill 89
House of Representatives Bill 163

The email went on to say that Congress is trying to sneak these bills by while the American people are busy with the elections and campaigns. I would hope the American people aren't so naive. Since the Republicans are in control of the House and Senate and I vote Republican I thought, crazy bastards. Why would they want to have this kind of publicity circulating around the internet while we're fighting a war in Iraq, have 1,053 casualties to date 10-1-2004, and a sitting Republican president is fighting hard for re-election. Someone's got it all wrong. Turns out, this bill is sponsored only by Democrats. If you look at HR 163 you can see that REP Charles Rangel (D-NY) is the author, along with a few other democrats from around the country. The Senate bill is also sponsored by a lone democrat Senator Hollings from South Carolina. Also not a wise move for someone to distribute when a democratic candidate is working hard for election. If you look further this bill was created before the war in Iraq started, and was created with Homeland Security in mind. The bill has since been referred to committee where it has stayed. You can check the validity of this, by clicking on the Bill Summary and Status link at the top of either bill's web page. Now having this bill in some committee means it might be as good as dead. Although I don't want to take that chance. I would urge that people contact their senator AND representative to tell them that they don't want these bills even considered, and they should be removed from debate in committee.

Why would any social program loving democrat want, whose primary stance is to avoid conflict at the cost of american lives, to initiate a bill that would bring back the draft you say. If you look at our military a vast majority are minorities, a large democrat constituency, who are tired of seeing their loved ones die while the rich kids go to college, and onto an MBA, and etc, etc. I believe the thought process is one that is noble (to share the burden equally) but, detrimental to our military service. If you enforce a draft that means all individuals, young 18-26 year olds as the bill states, men and women, as the bill states would have to serve in some form or fashion with the United States Armed forces. All of them. Rich, Poor, Black, White, Hispanic, Minority, or not would serve. While we would then have the numbers, and the burden would be equally shared, I fear however the value of military service would be drastically minimized. The difference between the men and women who are dying now and those who would be drafted, is that those men and women CHOSE to serve, and CHOSE to if necessary die for their country, whether or not they agreed with the decision that put them in harms way. To institute a draft NOW would be tantamount to pissing on their graves in my mind. To those who served honorably under draft conditions I applaud you, and thank you for your service. That was a different time, and a different world. The draft is not something that will keep American society moving forward in my opinion. I chose to serve in the Navy reserve, knowing that we were going to war against terrorism, and knowing that I could be called up at any time to leave my comfortable lifestyle (and my wife, and my newborn baby daughter) to share in the burden of supporting my comrades in arms, and protecting my country, and it is a choice that was easy for me to make. Don't force that on anyone!!!! Not everyone believes in America and the founding principles of our democracy that make our country what it is today. Not everyone can handle the monotony and extremely hard and dangerous work. Not everyone can put politics aside and take orders. Not everyone can see the greater good. Don't make them serve.

Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are the best there are because they choose to serve. They are a unique cross section of American society. To institute a draft will only corrupt that, and cause us to falter in our mission of protecting our homeland, and divide the people we are sworn to protect.

At any rate, I felt that email was created to spur on fear, through no fault of the individual who forwarded it to me. I felt the need to offer a rebuttal and a chance for a somewhat objective picture of what the email was trying to convey. The prospect is real, but not impossible to stop. I urge you all to go to or and look up your representatives and send them an email, stating that you do not want these bills to pass.

Stepping down from the soap box