Benghazi

[Orginally posted on 28 Sep 2012]

Updated 2 April 2014: [Related post: Next Stop, Libya?]

Ex-CIA chief confirms he ignored Benghazi guidance from top officer on groundFoxNews – 2 Apr 14

Newsletter comment: I listened to some of the testimony by former CIA assistant director Morrell on Benghazi today.

It is clear to me that the brass pays far more attention to what some analyst in Langley believes, then what a station chief or other eyewitnesses are reporting on the ground. That’s messed up.

He also explained that the Langley analysts were not privy to what those on the scene were reporting in real time. Knowing that it begs the question, why is their analysis given so much weight?

Of course this is nothing new. LTC Hal Moore’s after-action report on the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Nov ’65 were ignored by McNamara and his “whiz kids” for what they WANTED to believe. Little changes! – Roger Young, co-editor

Sources on ground during Benghazi attack slam ex-CIA boss Morell’s testimony by Adam Housley – 2 Apr 14

‘Very upset’: CIA sat on Benghazi investigation, US personnel fuming by Adam Housley – 13 Mar 14 

Did CIA official suppress Benghazi narrative? Accounts raise new questions
FoxNews – 14 Feb 14

House GOP’s new Benghazi report lays blame on WH, StateArmyTimes – 11 Feb 14

Commentary: Benghazi Testimony One Year Later: Hillary Clinton Declares “What Difference Does It Make” by Katie Pavlich – 23 Jan 14

Gregory Hicks: Benghazi and the Smearing of Chris StevensWSJ – 22 Jan 14

Opinion by the uncle of Sean Smith: Mrs. Clinton, the truth about Benghazi does make a difference By Michael Ingmire - 16 Jan 14

Lest We Forget – The Ultimate Lie:

Senate Intelligence Committee releases comprehensive Benghazi reportFoxNews – 15 Jan 14

“The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a comprehensive report on the Benghazi attack finding the tragedy was ‘preventable’ and the administration failed to respond to ‘ample’ warnings that security was deteriorating before Sept. 11, 2012…”

The Benghazi Transcripts: Did White House exaggerate Obama’s preparation for 9/11 anniversary? by James Rosen – 14 Jan 14

The Benghazi Transcripts: US military woefully unprepared for attack, documents show by Jennifer Griffin – 13 Jan 14

Newsletter comment: It would appear that everyone in any authority dropped the ball leading up to the attack in Benghazi. A complete failure by all involved from the State Dept, White House, and military commands. Incompetence and arrogance cost the lives of four brave Americans.What was the purpose of establishing AFRICOM when they apparently had no real assets available in Africa? As we know from earlier reports, everyone had to know there were serious security issues in Libya yet NO action was taken at any level to enhance security or position forces! - Roger Young, co-editor

State Department names groups behind Benghazi strikeFoxNews – 10 Jan 14

Families of Benghazi victims press for House select committee to investigate attackFoxNews – 7 Jan 14

CIA Benghazi team clash led to ‘stand down’ report by Kimberly Dozier – 14 Dec 13

‘Pleading’ distress calls made from US consulate on night of Benghazi attack by Catherine Herridge – 20 Nov 13

Congressman: Benghazi attackers knew location of ambassador’s safe room By Catherine Herridge – 15 Nov 13

Memo to Speaker Boehner — time to appoint a Select Committee on Benghazi By John LeBoutillier – 14 Nov 13 

Intelligence Warnings On Benghazi Were Loud And Clear by Susan Katz Keating and Richard Miniter – Posted 13 Nov 13

Opinion: Why is Team Obama so afraid of Benghazi survivors’ stories? By K.T. McFarland – 5 Nov 13

Justice and State departments blocking access to survivors of Benghazi attack by Catherine Herridge – 31 Oct 13

Administration making excuses to block Benghazi survivors? – FoxNews – 31 Oct 13

Ayotte: We’ve been stonewalled at ‘every turn’ on Benghazi – FoxNews – 30 Oct 13

 

Exclusive: Benghazi Whistleblower Says He Was Smeared by Eli Lake, Josh Rogin

Former Guantanamo detainee was on ground in Benghazi during terror attack, source says by Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne – 25 Oct 13

Opinion: The Benghazi Nightmare Revealed by Roger Young – 19 Sep 13

Commentary: A ‘rigorous and unsparing’ review? ARB Benghazi report full of gaps, unanswered questions by Victoria Toensing – 17 Sep 13

Team involved in tracking Benghazi suspects pulling out, sources sayFoxNews – 23 Aug 13

Kerry clears State officials faulted in Benghazi report, allows them back on jobFoxNews – 20 Aug 13

US files charges against Benghazi attack suspects, official saysFoxNews – 6 Aug 13

CNN Exclusive: Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attackCNN – 1 Aug 13

Newsletter comment: With this revelation by CNN, the evidence of a widespread cover-up is only growing…

State Department official says he was scapegoated by bosses over Benghazi - FoxNews – 21 May 13

White House’s Benghazi documentsFoxNews – 15 May 13

Cover Up by Oliver North – 10 May 13

The Benghazi Scandal Grows by Stephen F. Hayes – 10 May 13

Note: Mr. Hayes was the first to report on the internal memos indicating just how the original intelligence assessment was altered.

Benghazi memos reportedly revised 12 times, official ‘concerned’ they would hurt StateFoxNews – 10 May 13

Newsletter comment: I’ve never seen such cowards in the White House & State Department. They want to shift the blame on the intelligence community when Mr. Hicks in Tripoli was reporting from the start of the attack in Benghazi that it was a terrorist attack on that facility as reported to him by Ambassador Stevens.

In my opinion, the talking points were changed to give Sec. Clinton and the White House cover for their actions of cutting security at the facility, period. And they both went out before the television cameras when the bodies of our brave Americans were returned to U.S. soil and in front of the families with the caskets in the background, continued to lie to the families, the American people, and the entire world. And they continue those same lies today. This is an absolute disgrace! – Roger

Whistle-blower: Botched talking points hurt FBI probe of Benghazi attack - FoxNews – 8 May 13

Special ops called for military backup during Libya attack, sources sayFoxNews – 2 May 13

Newsletter comment: From Vietnam until the present the State Dept. has not cooperated well with our military. The fall of Lima Site 85 in Laos, SOG missions compromised in Laos & Cambodia – a case can certainly be made that our inept State Dept. played a hand in those failures and lives were lost. Lessons are never learned when denial is the norm – Roger Young, co-editor

Commentary: Boehner Must Impanel Special Committee to Investigate Benghazi by Terry Jeffrey – 1 May 13

Obama administration officials threatened whistle-blowers on Benghazi, lawyer saysFoxNews – 29 Apr 13

Commentary: BENGHAZIGATE: Obama’s Secret Gun-Running Program by Katie Kieffer – 29 Apr 13

Lawmakers demand access to survivors injured in Benghazi attackFoxNews – 6 Mar 13

Opinion: Obama AWOL during Benghazi Attack by Bob Beauprez – 9 Feb 13

Panetta recalls just 1 conversation with Obama during Benghazi, Sen. Graham vows accountabilityFoxNews – 8 Feb 13

7 Feb 2013:

It is clear after listening to SECDEF Panetta and Gen. Dempsey today at hearings, and listening to some of the questioning of CIA candidate Brennan today before the Senate, there is NOT going to be any accountability regarding the tragedy in Benghazi. And it is equally clear that this President is incapable of leading during a crisis. Roger Young

Panetta on Benghazi: We did all we could doArmyTimes – 7 Feb 13

Opinion: The pygmies vs. the Zulu warrior — how Republicans missed a big opportunity with Clinton by K.T. McFarland – 24 Jan 13

Newsletter closing comment: I believe it is clear that just like Fast & Furious we are never going to get the truth, nor will anyone ever be held accountable for what happened in Benghazi. And the GOP doesn’t have the stomach to ask the tough questions to uncover the truth. It was just another dog & pony show to appease the American people. – Roger Young

Clinton lashes out at senator over Benghazi questioningFoxNews – 23 Jan 13

Newsletter comment: After listening to Secretary Clinton testify today, apparently what happened in Benghazi, stays in Benghazi.

Like Fast & Furious and many other investigations, we never get any answers from this “transparent” administration.  – Roger Young

Senate committee report on Benghazi terrorist attack faults State DepartmentFoxNews – 31 Dec 12

Opinion: The lessons of Benghazi by Sen. Marco Rubio – 26 Dec 12

State Department official who ‘resigned’ after Libya findings reportedly staying on payrollFoxNews – 26 Dec 12

State Department official suggests Libya warnings went to the topFoxNews – 20 Dec 12

Report on Libya attack cites ‘systemic failures’ in security, confirms no protestFoxNews – 19 Dec 12

Accountability Review Board report on Benghazi attackCourtesy of FoxNews – 19 Dec 12

State Department officials resign after scathing report on security lapses in LibyaFoxNews – 19 Dec 12

U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ HandsNew York Times – Posted 6 Dec 12

Special OPs Vets Demand Benghazi AnswersWND – Posted 6 Dec 12

White House denies suggestion it scrubbed terror threat from CIA Libya accountFoxNews – 17 Nov 12

Petraeus testifies CIA’s Libya talking points were changed, lawmaker saysFoxNews – 16 Nov 12

Newsletter comment: Is this all the good General could offer? I don’t care who changed his memo! I don’t care about what Susan Rice said on network TV. These are the questions I want answers for:

1) Who repeatedly denied requests for increased security and why?

2) Who told the SEALS to “stand down” and not go to the aid of the Consulate under attack and why?

3) Who denied them help when they were fighting for their lives at the annex and why?

This is the usual Potomac two-step, just pointing fingers at various agencies without ever getting to the truth.  We are being led down rabbit trails in my opinion. – Roger Young, editor

Obama tells Republicans to ‘go after me’ on Libya, claims Rice had ‘nothing to do with Benghazi’FoxNews- 14 Nov 12

Newsletter comment: Perhaps if the President would answer any direct questions concerning Benghazi, except “it’s under investigation,” we could get some real answers to why four Americans died and their repeated requests for increased security before the attack were denied, and why their requests for help during the attack went unanswered.

It is clear to me that this President does not feel he is obligated to answer any questions to the American people. – Roger

Petraeus agrees to testify on Libya before congressional committeesFoxNews – 14 Nov 12

Three key questions on the Benghazi scandal by Arthur Herman – 13 Nov 12

Newsletter comment: Excellent questions, but the focus has/will turn to the Petraeus scandal. How convenient. Nothing like a good sex scandal to divert the mainstream press and congress from a national security fiasco in Benghazi. – Roger 

Petraeus Just Another Mystery Victim in the Benghazi Triangle by John Ransom – Posted 12 Nov 12

“…Cross the Benghazi Triangle and mysterious, unexplainable things begin to happen.”

EXCLUSIVE: Petraeus mistress may have revealed classified information at Denver speech on real reason for Libya attack By Jennifer Griffin, Adam Housley – 12 Nov 12

Military timeline from night of Benghazi attack begs more questionsFoxNews – 11 Nov 12

Petraeus quits over extramarital affairArmyTimes – 9 Nov 12

U.S. general: Obama paralyzed by fear by Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, U.S. Army (ret.) – 4 Nov 12

Security officials on the ground in Libya challenge CIA accountFoxNews – 2 Nov 12

Opinion: Benghazi: The Set-Up and the Cover-Up by Clare M. Lopez – Posted 2 Nov 12

Sources, emails point to communication breakdown in Obama administration during Libya attack by Jennifer Griffin – 2 Nov 12

FBI granted access to Libya consulate attack suspect detained in TunisiaFoxNews – 2 Nov 12

Editorial: Benghazi blunder: Obama unworthy commander-in-chiefLas Vegas Review-Journal – 1 Nov 12

‘Troubling’ Surveillance Before Benghazi Attack by Harald Doornbos, Jenan Moussa – 1 Nov 12

Classified cable warned consulate couldn’t withstand ‘coordinated attack’ by Catherine Herridge – 31 Oct 12

Republican senators accuse Obama administration of ‘stonewalling’ on BenghaziFoxNews – 31 Oct 12

Opinion: Lingering questions about Benghazi by David Ignatius – 30 Oct 12

Opinion: To live and die in Benghazi, Libya without leadership from America by Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer (ret.) – 30 Oct 12

Early briefings on Libya strike focused on Al Qaeda, before story changedFoxNews – 29 Oct 12

Head of AFRICOM Fired for Wanting to Assist Personnel in Benghazi by GerardDirect Staff – 28 Oct 2012 

Posted on YouTube on 28 Oct 12:

Posted on YouTube on 27 Oct 12:

Obama: ‘Not personally aware’ of security requests before Libya attackFoxNews – 26 Oct 12

EXCLUSIVE: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say By Jennifer Griffin – 26 Oct 12

Newsletter observation: We now know since this deadly attack the following:

1) Leading up to the attack, the State Department repeatedly denied official requests to increase security as recommended by the Ambassador and his security team on the ground in Libya. In fact, the State Department reduced the security prior to the attack according to earlier hearings in the House that took place following this tragedy.

2) As the attack was underway, Jennifer Griffin reported above that the CIA reportedly refused multiple requests for help by its operatives under attack at the annex. The CIA denies those reports – Roger Young

Clinton asked for more security in Benghazi, Obama said no by Christopher Collins – 25 Oct 12

SecDef: Lack of info hampered Benghazi responseArmyTimes – 25 Oct 12

Clinton downplays emails implicating Al Qaeda-tied group within hours of Libya strikeFoxNews – 24 Oct 12

Newsletter comment: It is long past time that our President addressed the American people on this issue which claimed the lives of four American patriots. You decide if this adminstration has been playing it straight with us. – Roger Young

State Department emails from day of Libya attack show Al Qaeda-tied group on radarFoxNews – 23 Oct 12

‘Annex’ hit in Libya terror attack was CIA post, officials sayFoxNews – 22 Oct 12

Documents show Stevens worried about Libya security threats, Al Qaeda before consulate attackFoxNews – 19 Oct 12

Consulate attack may have been aimed at driving US out of eastern Libya, sources sayFoxNews – 18 Oct 12

I’m not big on Super Pac ads, but this video from a GOP Super Pac raises very valid questions that deserve to be answered to the American people from the White House. This President has the time to go on comedy shows to talk about Libya, but somehow cannot address the American people thus far?:

Opinion: Who is responsible for the mess in Libya? by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano – 18 Oct 12

Opinion: Hillary takes responsibility for Libya but Obama’s terror policy is real problem by K.T. McFarland – 17 Oct 12

Opinion: Leaks, Lies, and Libya: How Not to Inform a Nation by Larry Bailey (USN, Ret. SEAL) – 17 Oct 12

Clinton takes responsibility for consulate security, blames confusion on ‘fog of war’FoxNews – 16 Oct 12

Rice blames intel talking points for faulty Libya story; lawmakers raise new questionsFoxNews – 16 Oct 12

Opinion: It’s time for Hillary Clinton to testify about what happened in Libya by K.T. McFarland – 12 Oct 12

Newsletter comment: The debacle in Benghazi which cost the lives of four American patriots, reminds me of a similar debacle during the Vietnam war which led to the fall of Lima Site 85 in Laos. In Benghazi there were repeated requests to the State Department by their U.S. security teams on the ground for additional personnel to guard the vulnerable Consulate at Benghazi.  Those requests were denied according to recent House testimony.

At Lima Site 85, a top-secret radar installation manned by U.S. Air Force personnel disguised as civilian contractors, in early March 1968 MACV in Saigon knew the installation was in imminent danger of attack by the NVA and the U.S. Ambassador in Laos rejected MACV’s evacuation request and the site was overrun on 11 March 1968 and 11 Americans were killed.

Our State Department has many dedicated and brave Americans serving our country around the world.  Unfortunately, far too often, the bureaucrats in D.C. who are career driven guided by politics call the shots from the safety of their desks which can have disastrous outcomes for those in harms way.  Without personal accountability, we are likely doomed to see more such bad calls around this increasingly turbulent world. - Roger Young 

White House moves to insulate Biden, Obama on Libya security questionFoxNews – 12 Oct 12

Ex-security officers testify about frustration at State Department over Libya securityFoxNews – 10 Oct 12

Clinton aide swiftly briefed lawmakers on ‘coordinated’ Libya strike, despite Rice claimsFoxNews – 8 Oct 12

Diplomats asked repeatedly for more security before Libya attack, lawmakers claimFoxNews – 2 Oct 12

“…’Based on information provided to the committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,’ they wrote. ‘In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington’…”

Opinion: Obama Miscalculated Politics of Terrorism by Chris Stirewalt – 28 Sep 12

No threat assessment in Benghazi prior to ambassador’s arrival, source saysFoxNews- 28 Sep 12

Opinion: Could the Benghazi attack be Obama’s Tet? by Earl Tilford – 28 Sep 12

Comment: As the author pointed out, it is unlikely that the Obama administration will take any blame for the deadly attack in Benghazi or the way this tragic event was initially “spun” by the administration and mainstream media. During Vietnam we had a media that was critical of the strategy unlike today a media that avoids asking the tough questions or holding this administration accountable for any of their decisions.

Our individual freedoms have always hinged on a free and independent press that would question power and seek the truth. Unfortunately those days appear to be behind us. Sometimes like the ’68 Tet the press got it wrong – Tet was a major defeat for the Viet Cong, not a military victory – but at least they were asking the tough questions and had every right to question the Johnson/McNamara strategy of ‘escalated response’ that would not take the war to the North or their sanctuaries in Cambodia & Laos

Roger Young, co-editor

US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirmFoxNews – 27 Sep 12

Obama: U.S. Consulate attack was terrorismArmyTimes – 26 Sep 12

Libya latest example of administration downplaying terror strikeFoxNews – 24 Sep 12

Lawmakers urge Obama to clarify Libya attack details, as Clinton calls strike terrorismFoxNews – 21 Sep 12

White House: Libya was a ‘terrorist attack’ArmyTimes – 20 Sep 12

US officials investigate whether strike on Benghazi post ‘coordinated,’ timed for 9/11 anniversaryFoxNews – 12 Sep 12

 

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Veterans Find Help In Going Back to School

Colleges are enrolling veterans at record numbers in 2014 and much of that is thanks to the assistance our country gives to veterans who want to pursue an education. But returning to college after a life in the service is no easy feat. There are social and academic challenges the typical high school graduate doesn’t have to face, but there are advantages for veterans as well.

Tuition

Paying for college is one of the most lucrative benefits from military service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers the GI Bill to veterans who want to pursue a higher education. This often covers most, if not all, of their tuition. But veterans who need more aid have plenty of resources for tuition assistance. Federal Student Aid, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education, offers financial aid to veterans with significantly better interest rates and repayment plans than standard student loans. And if you choose to return to public service after graduation, those loans are eligible for forgiveness after 10-20 years.

Programs & Degrees

Veterans enter college with a specialized skill set, which can be an advantage when compared to high school graduates with no skill set. Veterans don’t just have experience that could aid in areas like criminal justice and technology, but also have leadership skills which give them a huge advantage in collaborative programs like project management. Penn Foster even offers a gunsmith program which could be perfect for veterans with exceptional experience with firearms.

But college (and the career that follows) doesn’t need ties to your military experience. Some veterans want to break ties with their time in the service and major in a creative study (English, art history, etc.) and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Because tuition is mostly taken care of, this is a great time to pursue alternative opportunities.

Social

Getting thrown into the epicenter of the ultimate social experience for young adults is never easy. You’ll likely be at least four years older than every other freshman on campus. And most them who are living away from their parents for the first time won’t understand your experiences fighting overseas. There are two ways to make your social experience in college the most rewarding it can be:

1. Seek out other veterans on campus. You’re not the only one and there will be at least one campus group for you to seek and and meet new friends. The common ground shared with these fellow veterans will be a great way to create a social base when you’re just starting your first semester.

2. Don’t leave civilians out of your social circle. The college experience is about expanding your horizons and excluding your friends to fellow veterans would be robbing yourself of the opportunity to meet new people with different backgrounds and experiences from your own.

Keep an Open Mind

In college, you’ll run into two scenarios that could baffle you, annoy you and possibly even anger you — the maturity level of 18-year-old freshmen and the anti-military views that college campuses often carry. The first thing to remember is that college is not split into veterans and non-veterans. There are dozens of demographics and you should do your part to experience all of them.

Author: Ruth Coleman, Lecturer, academic advisor, avid hiker

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A Nation In Decline?

There is much discussion if the United States is in decline; I for one believe we are.

What happened to the days when America built the hydroelectric dams in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the dams along the Columbia River (BPA) and Hoover dam that power many cities of our once great country and invited industry into those areas?

What happened with the vision of President Eisenhower to create an Interstate highway system that connected our country and enhanced our national security, and yet today we can’t seemingly maintain them?

What happened with the vision of President Kennedy to send Americans to the moon and back which was accomplished with Apollo 11 in 1969, but today we have no manned spaceflight capability? Today we must send our astronauts to the International Space Station and back via the Russian space agency despite our disagreements with a new, rising Russia. The technology that was a spinoff from our space program led to calculators, home computers and enhanced our way of life and staying connected today around the globe, not to mention the rapid advancement in medical treatments and diagnostics.

Yet today, our nation faces record deficits and we seem incapable of inventing or creating anything of real value. This once mighty nation of industry that served the world well in WWII now has outsourced most of our heavy industry, including steel and ship building to the lowest wage earners around the globe for the sake of global trade, but at what price? And what is the damage to our national security?

Today we have a government that has spent well over $600-million on a website for mandated healthcare that still is not functioning properly. Less than 1% of our fellow citizens serve in our military and yet we seemingly can’t afford to maintain it during these very unsettling times.

As I was growing up as a child and a young adult, I was proud of our country, what it stood for, and what we produced as a nation which greatly benefited the middle class and the entire world. The Midwest was the breadbasket of the globe.

Perhaps I was young and naïve, but years back I believe most politicians were true public servants and patriots and today we have a pack of overpaid, spoiled, entitled adolescents constantly squabbling in D.C., lying to the American people and only worried about the next election cycle and the next lobbyist who is going to pad their bank accounts to enriching their way of life. Frankly, I’ve seen more “leadership” from a PFC in Vietnam than I do today from D.C.  We are rapidly approaching the point where we have a ruling class that will completely destroy the middle class and dictate every aspect of our lives.

My question is this, what has happened to our once great country and how do we reverse this downward spiral? How do we encourage younger generations to get involved and believe in our Constitution and the once American Dream instead of sitting on their behinds and watching D.C. strip our very freedoms and way of life?

Roger Young, co-editor

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Run For the Wall: Preparing for a Ride Across the US

MotorcyclistIn 1989, motorcyclists and Vietnam veterans James Gregory and Bill Evans set out on a two-wheeled mission across America to raise awareness about the “thousands of men and women [in the armed forces] still unaccounted for from all of our wars.” Now called Run for the Wall, the tradition continues this May and organizers expect to attract 350,000 participants who will join the cause on a 10-day ride to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC, stopping at schools, memorial sites and Veteran’s hospitals along the way.

If you’ve been on a long road trip, you know the basics of what to expect. But this event is not your typical road trip, to say the least. For riders joining for the first time, there are some things to know before setting out on your two-wheeled, cross country journey:

Luggage rack > Backpack

Just because you can’t pack a suitcase on a motorcycle doesn’t mean you don’t have luggage options. But a backpack will never be one of them, at least not on long-distance runs. According to the experts at OpenRoadJourney backpacks to motorcyclists are “shoulder pinching, posture ruining, loud wind-flapping-ear-drum-popper at speed back attachment you wish you’d never brought.” Instead, they suggest heading to a motorcycle store to invest in a luggage rack that mounts on the back of the bike and can be used to secure a small to medium-sized duffel bag behind the rider. You should also look into purchasing saddlebags for extra storage space.

Everything you need

Safety gear is first and foremost. As a rider, you should already own leathers, gloves and a helmet (and wear them always), but when it comes to everything else, packing light is key. Guy Boutin of BamaRider.com says of packing, “Weight = drag and it will dog you the entire tour if you have too much. I only bring stuff I’m going to use, and use often.” Clothing must be kept light, but remember to prepare for inclement weather. RFTW is in May, so the chances you’ll run into a blizzard are slim, but it is highly likely you’ll get a bit of rain at some point. Water resistant gloves and boot covers are a must, as are rain jacket and pants.

The rest of your bare necessities include:

  • Motorcycle (you’d be surprised)
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Toiletries (including toilet paper)
  • Emergency gear (tools, parts, oil)
  • Wind glasses, sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • First aid supplies
  • Road maps
  • Cash
  • Emergency contact information
  • Items you want to leave at the Wall

From there, the items you pack are at your discretion. If you forget something, that’s where cash comes in handy. RFTW organizers stress participants should never assume that another rider will be willing to loan gear or supplies. They came prepared, and if you didn’t, you might find yourself up Route-66 without a paddle.

Richard Evans - Motorcyclist, attorney, father

The Wall, Veteran's Day 2000 by Ingo Haas - 3/17th Air Cav Trooper

The Wall, Veteran’s Day 2000 by Ingo Haas – 3/17th Air Cav Trooper

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Mansions of the Lord

Awesome video we found with the closing hymn from the movie, “We Were Soldiers”

Performed in the movie by the West Point Glee Club, this video will bring tears to your eyes as we remember our fallen comrades:

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The Transformation of America

Newsletter commentary – 25 February 2014:

Today it has been reported that our president has instructed the Pentagon for a complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Afghanistan will go the way of Iraq in short order in my opinion. So much blood and treasure spent with nothing to show for it. Once again politics rule the day, after all there is an important election coming in November.

Also the past couple of days we have seen massive troop cuts proposed for our military to pre-WWII levels. And scrapping the A-10 Warthog which has been an excellent ground support aircraft with nothing to replace it. But the extremely costly F-35 program will continue, and all of these proposals with the blessing of the Joint Chiefs and SECDEF Hagel. All on the backs of our brave warriors that have served this nation well.

Look for the next major cuts in VA. After all, the wars are coming to an end and who needs veterans or our military – until the next threat surfaces…

But for all of those jumping up and down rejoicing on how they can divide the defense savings for their ever-expanding social programs, when the next war comes and it will, it might well require a draft to get the boots on the ground IF TIME PERMITS!

His transformation of America is right on schedule. – Roger Young, Vietnam veteran and newsletter co-editor

Obama asks Pentagon for complete Afghanistan withdrawal plan, speaks with KarzaiFoxNews – 25 Feb 14

Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on AfghanistanDoD – 25 Feb 14

Hagel to call for shrinking Army to pre-WWII sizeFoxNews – 24 Feb 14

Hagel: Ground forces can fight in one theater, support air, sea forces in anotherArmyTimes – 24 Feb 14

 

Posted in Afghanistan, ALERT! | 1 Comment

Returning Veterans Have Access to Many Benefits

veteransReturning from service overseas can be a difficult transition for veterans and their families. Private citizens, corporate entities, and government agencies may all be grateful for the service that you provided during your time in uniform, but even so, they cannot directly repay you for the opportunity costs that you face for serving the nation instead of using those years to advance yourself in the workplace and the community. Fortunately, each of these sectors have come up with ways to help you make up for time away from civilian life through incentives, discounts, and access to resources.

Education Assistance

Without question, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, commonly referred to as the GI Bill, is the most well-known education benefit associated with service in the United States Armed Forces. Since 1944, the federal government has offered veterans assistance, paying for all facets of higher education. Current information on the bill is available through a dedicated section on Veteran’s Benefits Administration’s website, but here’s the key thing you need to know: According to the Association of the United States Army, the 2014 payment rates for the GI Bill mean that a full-time service member could be eligible for up to $59,000 in tuition, stipends, and other forms of financial assistance, according to AUSA.org.

As rich as the GI Bill is, it isn’t the only education-related resource available to you. The Student Veterans of America, for example, exists to “provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation”, as their site explains. SVA coordinates the work of student veteran groups at colleges and universities across America, and advocates for university policies that are beneficial to those who have served.

Job Hunting Services

While the federal government dedicates considerable resources to helping you transition back to civilian life by paying for training and helping you connect with potential employers, the nonprofit sector is also making its presence known in these important endeavors. Consider the work of Hire Heroes USA, a Georgia-based nonprofit that prides itself on “creating job opportunities for veterans and their spouses”, according to HireHeroesUSA.org. The organization provides resume services, training, and access to job openings reported by their corporate sponsors at no cost to veterans. Not to be outdone, the private sector is also doing it’s part to help. For example, NBC News, in conjunction with the US Chamber of Commerce, has launched Next Steps for Vets (Veterans.NBCNews.com), a web portal that will help you calculate your eligibility for educational benefits, learn the basics of launching your own small business, and connect with potential employers.

Valuable Discounts on Goods and Services

Of course, you don’t have to be headed for Harvard to benefit from your military experience. You could just be headed to your local big box store. Lowes, one of the nation’s largest home improvement retailers, recognizes your service by providing a 10% discount to active and retired military personnel, and members of their immediate families, according to their website. LifeLock, a company dedicated to protecting consumers from credit fraud and identity theft, offers a 10% veterans’ discount on its monitoring services—an attractive incentive for anyone thinking of re-enlisting or concerned about being redeployed. Your service also entitles you to reduced military rates when renting a car from Alamo; spending the day at a Disney Park; or choosing insurance through Geico or American Family Insurance. Information about military discounts is often buried deeply within company websites, so the best way to learn if a retail outlet or service provider offers incentives for active or retired military personnel is to simply ask.

Financial Resources

In times of economic stress, your status as a veteran can open the door to emergency assistance through organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW.org), USACares.org, and—for military parents—the American Legion (Legion.org). On the other hand, if things are going smoothly and you’re interested in securing your financial future through business ownership, the VA has compiled a helpful list of franchise programs tailored to veterans, featuring plenty of options to investigate.

About the author: Kirk Hansen

Kirk owns a thrift store that benefits veterans.

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Why We Died? America’s War Veterans Betrayed Again…

Updated 10 Jan 2014

Newsletter comment: America’s brave Iraq & Afghanistan vets are now asking themselves the very same questions we who fought in Vietnam have done all these many years after the fall of South Vietnam; what was it all for, why did my fellow Troopers perish, what did we actually accomplish? In the end, we fought for one another, not for some grand global cause that our politicians squandered.

It breaks my heart to see this happen again… Roger “Bear” Young, co-editor

Why We Died: Political Validation for Veterans by Thomas Gibbons-Neff – 8 Jan 14

‘Nam comes to Iraq: Losing to al Qaeda, after winning By Seth Lipsky – 9 Jan 14

Commentary: Iraq: The New Liberal Killing Field by Allen West – 9 Jan 14

Opinion: The Worst Defeat for the United States Since 9/11 by John Ransom – 8 Jan 14

“…A Navy veteran of Enduring Freedom, who walked the sand in Iraq, told me that he had been watching the situation ‘unfold for a while now. It’s incomprehensible to me,’ he said ‘that we lost so much there and these guys just threw it all away’…”

Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama’s leadership in ‘Duty’ by Bob Woodward – 7 Jan 14

Rep. Hunter: Obama has abandoned everything US fought for in IraqFoxNews – 7 Jan 14

Al Qaeda-linked militants capture Fallujah during violent outbreak, report saysFoxNews – 4 Jan 14

Posted in Feature Stories | 8 Comments

The USAF Band Holiday Flash Mob at the National Air and Space Museum 2013

Submitted by Bob Himrod, an outstanding video!

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From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Video of our Christmas memories from 2008-2012. God Bless and enjoy the miracle of the season! – Roger

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GM and U.S. Army Partner to Use New Technology in Cars

us-army-carsIn the ongoing pursuit of greener and more fuel-efficient vehicle technology, General Motors has joined forces with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) to develop and test new hydrogen fuel cell technology. Both GM and TARDEC will jointly test hydrogen fuel cell-related designs and materials, according to a recent press release from GM. GM’s bold move in pioneering new fuel cell technology is sure to have positive effects on the future of hydrogen-powered cars in the U.S.

An Explanation of Fuel Cell Technology

Hydrogen fuel cell technology isn’t something you’ll see in today’s new cars. However, it’s a goal that GM has pursued since it first began fuel cell testing in 1964. According to Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, the company ranked number one in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012.

A fuel cell utilizes hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce an electrical current. An anode within the fuel cell breaks down hydrogen gas into positive hydrogen ions and negatively charged electrons. A polymer electrolyte membrane allows the positively charged ions to pass through directly to the cathode while forcing the negatively charged electrons along an external electrical circuit to the cathode, creating an electrical current. At the cathode, both the positive hydrogen ions and negatively charged electrons combine with oxygen, forming water as a byproduct. The majority of fuel cells produce less than 1.16 volts of electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. As a result, multiple cells are bundled together into a stack to deliver the energy needed for an ordinary vehicle.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology is held in high regard for its ability to produce clean energy, but one of the many hurdles faced by automakers involves the expensive, complicated and potentially dangerous high-pressure storage containers needed for storing hydrogen onboard. One of the major goals shared by GM and TARDEC is to design a safe storage tank capable of standing up to the rigors of life in combat zones and everyday use in ordinary passenger vehicles.

A Joint Effort

According to the International Business Times, the U.S. Army’s interest in hydrogen fuel cell technology stems from a desire to develop more efficient ground systems in response to reductions in defense spending. Meanwhile, GM’s collaboration with TARDEC comes in response to Toyota’s efforts in developing clean vehicles. The Japanese automaker is expected to reveal a production-ready hydrogen fuel cell car in Las Vegas sometime in January, with an aim towards bringing it to market by 2015.

The collaborative effort between GM and TARDEC exists for a relatively pragmatic reason – by combining their efforts, both groups believe they’ll be able to work more efficiently and develop viable solutions quicker than with independent efforts. Both groups will conduct their research at TARDEC’s Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) in Warren, Michigan and GM’s new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in nearby Pontiac, Michigan.

GM’s partnership with TARDEC comes after the company’s announcement of a long-term, definitive master agreement with Honda to jointly develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies by 2020.

About the author: Daniel Sloan

Danny is an auto mechanic who specializes in hybrids and EVs. He’s married with two boys and lives on the East Coast.

Posted in Feature Stories | 2 Comments

Remembering President John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy's arrive at Love Field, Dallas, TX. -  22 Nov 1963 Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

The Kennedy’s arrive at Love Field, Dallas, TX. – 22 Nov 1963
Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

50 years ago: JFK’s tragic final hoursFoxNews – 22 Nov 13

Newsletter comment: Anyone that was alive that day remembers this tragedy all too well. I was in Mr. Lumley’s history class when he announced to the class that our President had been assassinated. It hit us all like a blow to the gut. Kennedy was a young, WWII hero President that inspired the youth of our country. He got us through the Cuban Missile Crisis, inspired our space program to go to the moon. He told us; “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Yes, President Kennedy inspired us to believe there was nothing our country couldn’t accomplish, including civil rights, if we all worked together to strive to be a better person, a better country and ultimately a better world.

Something very tragic happened that day. Not only was our young President taken from us but looking back at our history since, a vital part of the American spirit died with him. – Roger Young, co-editor

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The Gettysburg Address

President Lincoln
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863:

LincolnGettysburg

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Posted in History | Tagged | 4 Comments

“The Longest Day” performed by the Cadet Glee Club of West Point

Sent to us from a fellow Silver Spur, Clayton Marsh. An excellent YouTube video:

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20th Anniversary of Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Vietnam Women’s Memorial celebrates 20 years on the MallSeattle Times – 9 Nov 13

20-Years Ago, Pam was there:

Courtesy of Pam Young


Courtesy of Pam Young


Courtesy of Pam Young

Pam’s Tribute to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Vietnam Women’s Memorial celebrates 20 years on the Mall By Ruth Tam

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Auburn, WA – 2013

For Veterans Day 2013, Auburn, WA. once again hosted the 1/2-scale size of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Auburn Veterans Park. Our personal thanks to all those who made this event possible. – Roger & Pam Young

Click on the images for full size photos:

Jeff McIntyre is a organizer for the events each year in Auburn!

Jeff McIntyre is a organizer for the events each year in Auburn!

Quilt on display in honor of the fallen War Dogs from Vietnam:

Quilt in honor of the fallen War Dogs of Vietnam

Quilt in honor of the fallen War Dogs of Vietnam

Cracker was included in the quilt:

Cracker is listed in the upper right-hand corner, 4th from the top

Cracker is listed in the upper right-hand corner, 4th from the top

 

 

Rose left in honor of Cracker, KIA August 19, 1968 Scout Dog handler: Bob Himrod

Rose left in honor of Cracker, KIA August 19, 1968
Scout Dog handler: Bob Himrod

Willing & Able by Bob Himrod

 

3/17th Air Cavalry Honor Roll

3/17th Air Cavalry Honor Roll

 

Fallen Cavalry Brothers are never forgotten...

Fallen Cavalry Brothers are never forgotten…

 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Pam Young

Pam Young

 

Roger "Bear" Young

Roger “Bear” Young

 

Auburn salutes veterans with a glorious parade | SLIDESHOWAuburn Reporter – 10 Nov 13

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Vietnam Bronze Map Dedication

Took place at the Boeing Museum of Flight on November 10th, 2013:

Video Camera

PDF: Vietnam Bronze Map Dedication Program

 

CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE!

CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE!

 

 

CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE!

CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE!

 

Cessna O-2A Click image to enlarge

Cessna O-2A
Click image to enlarge

 

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How to End a War by George J. Veith

PDF: How to End a War by George J. VeithAmerica’s exit from Vietnam should not be our template in Afghanistan

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Help for Active-Duty Military & Vets Trying to Get Out of Debt

Debt Free Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.

More than a quarter of military families carry credit card debt over $10,000, a Finra Investor Education Foundation survey found. In addition, a third of those surveyed found it difficult to make ends meet, and half of them had no emergency savings. Active duty service members and discharged veterans face a number of factors that may case financial insecurity, but you don’t have to suffer with debt. There is help available.

Resources for Those Who Serve

Stressors of military life that can aggravate debt include loss of spousal income due to frequent moves, the inability to sell a home when the serving partner is transferred to a new base, low salaries of junior enlisted troops and the lack of employer reimbursement for military moves.

However, you and your family enjoy some debt protection while you are serving, thanks to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Interest is capped at 6 percent for debt the service member incurred before going on active duty, and you can cancel a lease with no penalty. In most cases, your property can’t be foreclosed on while you are on active duty.

Discharged veterans have to resume debt payment within 30 to 90 days after discharge. After leaving the service, vets may need to find new housing, purchase a car and support their family while job hunting, on top of having to pay back old debt. Federal VA benefits may help vets obtain prescription medication, take out or refinance a home loan, receive educational scholarships, take advantage of tax credits or exemptions and receive job training. It can be hard for newly returned vets to get back on their feet, particularly when they no longer receive protection from the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Like all other Americans, veterans enjoy the protection of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which states that creditors cannot publish your name, threaten you with harm, repetitively telephone you in an attempt to goad you into answering the phone, or call you without identifying who they are. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau provides free resources for veterans who are being harassed by debt collectors. These can offer you peace of mind and help you formulate a debt repayment plan.

On Your Way to Financial Health

After looking into the resources listed above, the next step is to calculate your total debt and income. This can be scary, but you will need to know how much you owe in order to achieve financial health. Make a plan for paying down bills.

You might look into selling stocks and bonds or cashing in a lump sum annuity. You won’t receive the full annuity amount if you cash in early, but if you can use the lump sum to achieve financial health, it may be worth it.

You can also work with a debt consolidator to lump all your debt into one mass amount, obtain a lower interest rate and lower your monthly payments. Reducing your interest rate fast-tracks debt repayment, because more funds go to the principal.

About the author:  Roseanne Sutton is an former Army brat who’s now married to a career Marine. A stay-at-home mom to two boys, she writes about parenting for a variety of blogs.

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Not Paying the Families of our Dead Heroes a National Disgrace!

UPDATE: Statement by George Little on Death Gratuity PaymentsDoD – 11 Oct 13

UPDATE: Obama signs bill to pay death benefits to families of fallen soldiers  – FoxNews – 10 Oct 13

UPDATE: Congress votes to restore death gratuitiesArmyTimes – 10 Oct 13

UPDATE: Statement by Secretary Hagel on Death GratuitiesDoD – 9 Oct 13

Shame on You President ObamaThomas More Law Center – Posted 9 Oct 13

Our fax to Speaker Boehner: Not paying the families of our dead heroes a national disgrace! – 9 Oct 13

Military foundation steps up to cover ‘disgusting’ delay in payments for families of fallenNBC News – 8 Oct 13

Shutdown halts death benefits for military familiesArmyTimes – 8 Oct 13

Newsletter comment: According to Col. Oliver North, the president could have corrected this matter by simply signing an emergency appropriations bill. – Roger & Pam

Posted in ALERT! | 3 Comments