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875 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2004 :  16:00:27  Show Profile
Alan, many of the bad guys we are fighting in Iraq right now are Alqeda. They are from Syria and Jordan and Saudi Arabia. They simply want to be martyred to get their 72 virgins. Anyone who believes that the US is "The Great Satan" is obviously an evil person.
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Todd Summers

99 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2004 :  16:03:56  Show Profile
Here is some of the "bang" we've got for our buck...

(This is from a National Guardsman from Denison, Iowa - back on
> leave)
> As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I
> wanted to say thanks to all of you who did not believe the media.
> They have done a very poor job of covering everything that has
> happened. I am sorry that I have not been able to visit all of
> you
> during my two week leave back home. And just so you can rest at
> night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I
> thought I would pass this on to you. This is the list of things
> that
> has happened in Iraq recently: (Please share it with your friends
> and
> compare it to the version that your paper is producing)!!
> -Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first
> time
> ever in Iraq.
> -Over 400,000 kids have up to date immunizations.
> -Over 1500 schools have been renovated and ridded of the weapons
> that
> were
> stored there so education can occur.
> -The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off loaded
> from
> ships faster.
> -School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.
> -The country had it's first 2 billion barrel export of oil in
> August.
> -The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did
> before
> the war
> -100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed compared to 35%
> before the war.
> -Elections are taking place in every major city and city councils
> are
> in place.
> -Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.
> -Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.

> -Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.
> -Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by
> side
> with US soldiers.
> -Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.
> -Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques
> to
> prevent the spread of germs.
> -An interim constitution has been signed.
> -Girls are allowed to attend school for the first time ever in
> Iraq.
> -Text books that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for the
> first time in 30 years.
> Don't believe for one second that these people do not want us
> there.
> I have met many many people from Iraq that want us there and in a
> bad
> way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but
> they hope their children will. We are doing a good job in Iraq
> and I
> challenge anyone, anywhere to dispute me on these facts.
> So If you happen to run into John Kerry, be sure to give him my
> email
> address and send him to Denison, Iowa. This soldier will set him
> straight. If you are like me and very disgusted with how this
> period
> of rebuilding has been portrayed, email this to a friend and let
> them
> know there are good things happening.
> Ray Reynolds, SFC
> Iowa Army National Guard
> 234th Signal Battalion
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54 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2004 :  18:04:58  Show Profile
We can get so caught up in the politics of the war. I truly believe we are there for the right reason. Thanks Todd! I thought the following letter to be appropriate.
Ben Glover

"Subject: Fw: President Bush and Laura Bush and True Grace

A rather long note that is worth reading.... A young member of our church was killed in Iraq several weeks ago. His memorial service with full military honors was conducted at our church. Sent to me by a friend at church. TB

This is worth passing on. This young man went to our church and makes it that much more special. For those of you that don't know, Chuck is our Executive Pastor.


Dear Chuck,

Yes, Laura and Lee Andrew told us about Leroy, his young sister, his family, and the magnificent tribute Sagemont helped bring about once again for a fallen soldier. Michael and I would like to write to Leroy's family so I wondered if you would be kind enough to give us an address? I wanted to wait a little while before I wrote, because I want to think carefully about what to say to them. I was so glad Lee Andrew and Laura could represent Ray Joseph and the Hutchinson family during this sad time for Leroy Sandoval's family.

As far as our time with the President: We were scheduled to be at Ft. Campbell from Friday (19'th of March) until the following Sunday---to meet the commanders, the sergeants, and the entire company of men who loved Ray Joseph. No one at that time even knew President Bush and Laura Bush were planning to come to Ft. Campbell that same week.

On Monday (March 15), we received a late night phone call from General Patraeus' staff asking us if we could be at Ft. Campbell on Wednesday (March 17) because of the pending surprise visit of the President who wanted to meet with the families of the fallen soldiers.

President Bush knew about Ray Joseph not only because Ray Joseph is from Texas, but also because of the services our church family at Sagemont ( arranged by you and Buddy), Congressman Delay, the city of Houston, the media that covered all of it, and the Army which had been such a support system in recognizing the sacrifice Ray Joseph's life truly was. We told Pateaus' staff that we would change our arrival time and that we would be there. Southwest Airlines, courtesy of Rich, happily changed our flight time for us.

The slotted time for President Bush and Laura Bush to be at Ft. Campbell was three hours total for that Thursday (18'th). After the actual welcome ceremony, out on the field on base, for all of the 101'st under a bright blue sky, the families of the fallen were taken to the museum on base by the secret service. While we were escorted there, President Bush sent away the television cameras, and went into the Battalion area and ate with the soldiers by himself. He sent away the secret service and just got a tray and sat down with all the young soldiers to eat lunch and talk with them. He was not there to campaign, believe me. I don't care what the news said.

Then President Bush extended his time to include six more hours after lunch----so he could be on the base for the entire day to stay with the families of the fallen. Out of all the families of the fallen soldiers (over sixty), only about thirty came. So we were taken to the museum where there was a lovely buffet and beverages for us. Then we were seated comfortably in different areas of the museum which allowed each of us a private area in which we were going to talk with President Bush and Laura Bush.

While we waited for the President, we met and talked to General Patraeus, General Ellis (four star), and General Schoomaker (four star). If you look them up on the internet you will see that General Ellis and General Schoomaker are amazing soldiers. General Schoomaker is the Chief of Staff for the entire Army. General Ellis is the Head of Army Forces Command called FORSCOM---in charge of all Army forces in the United States. He knew about Ray Joseph, and so did General Schoomaker. That is because General Tom Bostic, who took his training under General Ellis, wrote to them after the services at Sagemont last December. Tom Bostic wrote this message and it went out to them all:

-----Original Message-----
From: Bostick, Thomas P. BG 1CD
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 11:31 AM
To: Bruno, Daniel V COL GOMO

Subject: RE: GO Representative for SPC Hutchinson's Funeral

Dan: Wanted to let you know that all went well at the funeral service for
SPC Hutchinson. I was deeply honored to represent The Army. I was so very
impressed by the outpouring of support by the community for this young
soldier. SPC Hutchinson's mother and father are truly amazing and extremely
faithful people. Not an ounce of resentment from them or anyone that I met.
They spent so much time thanking me for my attendance and thanking the Army
for the opportunity that their son had to make a contribution and serve his

The parents were enormously thankful for all that the Army has done for
their son, the Iraqi people, and for America. I spoke at the memorial
service based on the parent's request. Several televisions stations carried
the service live. Congressman Tom Delay followed me and spoke about SPC
Hutchinson and the Army. I presented the CIB, Purple Heart and the Bronze
star to SPC Hutchinson's mother.

As the funeral procession moved through town, hundreds of people lined the
streets waving American flags. We passed four different schools and all of
the children and faculty were out waving American flags. Fireman and police
cars blocked every street intersection with each officer providing a snappy
salute as we passed by. The soldiers present from the 101st were impressive,
as were the soldiers in the funeral detail...and their presence meant so
much to the family. SPC Hutchinson's battalion commander's wife was present.
She found a baby sitter for her four children and paid for a flight to
Houston to be at the funeral. The Army and the nation are indeed fortunate
to have such selfless people in its ranks.

Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson live in Arizona, but they were in Houston to be with
SPC Hutchinson's grandmother who was about to undergo heart surgery when the
news of their son's death arrived. Mr. Hutchinson last spoke to his son on
Friday, 5 Dec. He said that his son was excited about his mission and said
that what they were doing was for the children of Iraq. SPC Hutchinson
really wanted to be with his grandmother for the operation. There was a
chance that he could be on the next R&R flight, but he told his dad that he
did not want to ask about that flight because he would bump another soldier.
He said that he would just wait his turn which would probably be over
Christmas. Two days later, he died. His parents feel that his continued
service in Iraq was God's calling and what their son wanted to do. I'm
humbled by this soldier, his wonderful parents, this enormously patriotic
community, and the faith that binds them together. I appreciated the
opportunity to be with this family during their time of need; I certainly
received much more than I could possibly have given in return.

Vr, Tom
"First Team"
Pegasus 8
BG Thomas P. Bostick
ADC(S), First Cavalry Division
254-287-8440 (W)
254-681-9121 (C)


So Ray Joseph was known by many at Ft. Campbell. Ray Joseph would have been astonished. I know he is smiling....

Our meeting with the President and Laura Bush was so special. The President walked straight toward me, kissed me and then said, "Well I see where Ray Joseph got his looks!" Then he turned to Michael and said, "Aren't you glad about that, Dad?" He hugged Michael. Then Laura Bush took me in her arms and told me that she was so broken hearted for me to have to lose my youngest child. She said that Ray Joseph was a true Hero and would never be forgotten. I handed her a photo of Ray Joseph and she remarked that he was such a beautiful young man.

I then told the President about Ray Joseph and our Faith. He looked me straight in the eyes and said that our Faith was evident to him. He spoke of his trust in the Lord. He thanked us for Ray Joseph---who was an exemplary soldier and had been noticed by many. He told us that Ray Joseph answered to the highest calling, and was an American Hero of Distinction. Ray Joseph had been slotted to be the "poster boy" for the Army on his return. He would have been photographed for all Army ads and recruiting photos world-wide. He was so outstanding in his appearance as well as his performance---to the letter. We found out that he was to have been a driver for Colonel Anderson---to keep Ray Joseph safe. But the Battalion, A-Company was so short of high-performance soldiers, they could not spare Ray Joseph for the time he spent over in Iraq to be a Colonel's driver and assistant. Knowing Ray Joseph, he would not have wanted to be removed from his Battalion anyway, to have a cushy job like that during his time in Iraq. Our visit with President Bush was good. He held Michael and me and Laura Bush put her arms around us all and we stood and just wept. He is devastated over the loss of each soldier. He told us he covets prayer and is grateful to all who remember to pray for him and for the Nation.

The president is very "hands on" and hugs you a lot. He talks to you very close---eye to eye. He is fit and strong, and he and his wife obviously love each other. They care. His courage to face each one of us is amazing. Some of the families were angry over the death of their sons. Many of the young wives of fallen soldiers fell onto the President's chest and just wept all over him. He said to one young wife, "It is just such a great honor to wear your tears."

We were photographed with him and Laura Bush by his personal photographer. We are waiting for that photo to arrive. I will email you a copy as soon as it does, Chuck.

Some of the soldiers who loved Ray Joseph have asked to have their photos put on the Wall of Honor at Sagemont. Lee Andrew will bring them to the church as he gets them. Our time with Ray Joseph's company of men for the remainder of the days we were on base was wonderful. I got to put my arms around each one---from Colonel, to Captain, to Lieutenant, to Sergeants, to Infantrymen---one by one. I thanked them for loving Ray Joseph and for taking care of him. They feel so guilty over his loss, so I told each one of those men that Ray Joseph was, and still is, in the Lord's keeping. Nothing happened that the Good Lord did not have in his plan for Ray Joseph's life. They were so hungry to hear that from me and from Michael. Especially those who were there on that convoy. Some of their injuries are terrible to see. But the hurt inside from the horror of war is the worst of all to see in their eyes. They are all brave.

I am convinced that the Lord spared Ray Joseph from memories he would not have been able to live with. These young men, including my son, had to watch little children run toward them with bombs strapped on them as they blew up one by one. Ray Joseph had seen too much. They have all seen too much. Pray for them to be able to heal. So many of them need Jesus. Of all the soldiers, Ray Joseph was the one who was most ready to go Home to be with the Lord. I am sure he would have told the Lord Jesus, "Take me and not the others, because I am ready and they are not...."

Michael and I remain grateful to you, Chuck,


"Oh, my son! What an honor to be your mother...."
SPC Ray Joseph Hutchinson 101'st Airborne Screaming Eagles
2/502 Killed in Action December 7, 2003 Iraq
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231 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2004 :  19:15:22  Show Profile
I do hope that somehow the good side gets told as well but the news media has long since stopped reporting the news but now tries to shape the news.

Edited by - Gale on 04/16/2004 19:16:09
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20 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2004 :  19:25:38  Show Profile
What a wonderful account, thank you for sharing!
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Steve H

30 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2004 :  22:15:22  Show Profile
Remember the Maine!
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875 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2004 :  22:26:04  Show Profile
Is that a shot at yellow journalism?
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16 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  08:24:39  Show Profile
Bush is the greatest threat to world peace since adolf hitler!
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875 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  08:59:58  Show Profile
That's funny. You don't think Sadam Hussein was a threat to world peace? What about Bin Laden and Al Queada? How about Iran and North Korea? If you think Bush is the bad guy, maybe you need some medication because your values are completely upside down. Bush is the only hope the world has of not being over run by Islamofacists and other terorists. Wake up! Have you totally forgoten September 11th, 2001. What about the Cole, Kobar Towers, African Embassy bombings, Beiruit Marine Barracks bombing, Lebanese embassy bombing, Pan Am Flight 103, the Germen Discoteque bombing, Palestinians straping bombs to 14 year olds and sending them to blow themselves up to kill innocent civilians? WE ARE THE VICTIMS. It's about time we have a President with the intestinal fortitude to say enough is enough. Nothing that we have done so far has stopped any of this and it just keeps getting worse. GWB is this country's only hope to destroy this evil that has us in the crosshairs.
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9 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  09:32:43  Show Profile
I agree with Kile. What an irresponsible statement to make. Saying GWB is a threat to world peace is like calling Saddam a humanitarian. What a jackass. Don't mess with Texas!
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Todd Summers

99 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  11:14:48  Show Profile
Traitor Leon, treasonous statements like yours and many of your ilk are what caused us to lose the Vietnam war. When the vietcong saw the decline of moral support for the war that was going on here in the states, they increased their efforts and drove us out. People like you (who enjoy freedom of speech rights) should either keep those kind of remarks to yourself or get on board with your country or LEAVE it! Perhaps you'd be happier in Cuba or North Korea. If Kerry gets in we'll all be closer to that. So if you decide to stay, then by all means vote for Kerry (as is your right, of course unless you are imprisoned for treason in a time of war).

Edited by - Todd Summers on 04/17/2004 11:17:49
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126 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  11:23:20  Show Profile
leoncrow: I do not engaging publicly in political and/or religious discussions. So I will make a non-political reply to your political statement.

Maybe you should define world peace for us. To equate our president with is Hitler sickening and unpatriotic. Our president is as much a threat to world peace as Roosevelt was after Pearl Harbor. Radical religious terrorists have declared war on us (you and me included)and they will continue their efforts to destroy us unless we respond to their declatations and acts of war. Or maybe you think we ahould bury our heads in the sand and pretend the threats are meaningless. Ask the survivors of the 9/11 attacks if they believe the threats to be meaningless. I thank god that we have the will and the courage to counter this evil. When the next terrorist attacks come, I hope you are a safe distance away at an anti-war rally. In times of war, public criticism of our leaders only serves to encourage, strengthen and embolden our enemies. It doesn't matter who our president is, when acting as the Commander In Chief of our armed forces. Whether his name is George Bush, John Kerry or Ralph Nader, the president deserves our public support. Unless or until you or anyone else is privy to the same information our president receives, there is no room for criticism. How can you criticize anyone for their actions when you have only a small fraction of the information which they have at their disposal. We elected this man to be our leader and we should publicly support him in defending us. If you don't want to support him then voice that opinion in the privacy of the voting booth this November.

Larry Wright

Edited by - LarryW on 04/17/2004 12:11:52
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112 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  15:06:45  Show Profile
Todd: We lost Nam because we never intended to win there. We never let the military fight the war, it was run by politicians. Those of us who went there and saw this came home and joined the opposition to the war. I was tired of seeing buddies coming home in body bags.

If you believe we wanted to win in Nam, first read Sun Tzu's The Art of War then look at how we conducted the war. 55,000 men and women died because it made political hay.
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1014 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  18:10:28  Show Profile
Originally posted by LarryW


We elected this man to be our leader and we should publicly support him in defending us.


Lest you have forgotten:

Al Gore won the majority of votes from the American voting public.

George Bush was elected by the United States Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote.

I'm reasonably sure Bush enjoys the full support of those 5 puppets/miscreants/tyrants in most any damn thing he wants to do.

Including falsely leading/seducing us down the path into a quagmire that will ultimately be called Bush's Vietnam, through his deliberate obfuscation and mendacity.

One hundred years from now, history will not be kind to the man. Nor should it.

Let's hope God truly blesses America (we'll need it) until we can kick this cowboy out of office and send him back to the ranch.

Edited by - JimF on 04/17/2004 18:20:28
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126 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  18:44:31  Show Profile
JimF: Whether you like it or not, presidential elections are not decided by popular vote in this country. They are decided by electoral votes. Whether you like it or not, the supreme court responded to a legal challenge by the Sore/Loserman ticket. I guess you don't believe in the Supreme Court's right to decide a national legal issue either. Is there any part of our system of government do you like? If you don't like our system, work to change it. Our representative congress voted to authorize the war against this terrorism. I can't remember if Jonn Kerry voted for it and then against it or voted against it and then for it.

Larry Wright
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