You can vote for whomever you choose to. Just vote.
Energizer battery is having some sort of competition and this soldier, was chosen as a contender! When Bush visited him at Walter Reade W promised Christian he’d go running with him once he was able and back in 2006 they did! Christian is a purple heart recipient and has lost both his legs in Iraq.
Christian Bagge, a Purple Heart recipient who lost both of his legs while serving in Iraq, was chosen for his enduring spirit, Energizer spokesperson Jeff Bachmann said.
like the saying goes; vote early vote often! 🙂
Hat Tip to GL of NYC for the email!
Marines Speak Out On the Haditha Marines Case
June 14th, 2007 ·
Former Marines are speaking out!
Captain Greenlaw a retired Marine officer has written a letter about the lack of support the Haditha Marines are getting from their superiors. These good men have had their careers ruined and personal finances (and their families) drained defending against criminal charges that should never have been filed.
This first letter is from Troy Watson who issues an invitation to those who read this to show your support for these marines by forwarding Captain Greenlaw’s letter along with your comments to Lt Colonel Riggs.
Dear Marines and family,
I have copied Capt. Greenlaw’s email to LtCol Riggs below – I am giving you an opportunity to show our solidarity & agreement with all the hard work and effort that Capt Greenlaw does.
Please copy and paste his message and add your comments – if only to say that you agree wholeheartedly with Capt Greenlaw – – then email it to LtCol Riggs at this e address: RiggsB@marcent.usmc.mil.
Capt Greenlaw has been on the firing line for us and a helluva lot of other Marines for quite awhile and the ‘powers that be’ are probably thinking that he is the only one who is speaking for our Marines – I want them to know that we support Capt Greenlaw and agree with his comments and that he is not all by himself. Please take the time to send LtCol Riggs an email.
Here is Captain Greenlaw’s letter; please read and see if you agree!
This is a msg I received from another Retired Marine Officer who is unhappy about the way the Corps is now looking after their young Marines.
I, for one, have a strapping young grandson, who lives here in Oceanside and, at this point in time, I would not recommend that he join the Corps. If this everlasting circus going on with K/3/1 & K/3/5 continues much longer, the Commandant is going to experience rough days ahead on recruiting and I don’t think these huge bonus’ he’s offering will entice these young, very intelligent, Marines to extend or reenlist, as we did years ago, when we were sure our leaders were watching our 6′oclock & not locking us up for doing the job we enlisted to do and that is to fight this country’s wars.
When I read some of these articles where the Prosecutor gets some witness on the stand and they discuss bullet holes in the heads of civilians, etc., that tells me that the Prosecutor or the witness has never been in a fire fight with lead flying all around you. You put a weapon on full automatic and start firing at enemy positions that you are receiving fire from and some innocents are bound to get killed. War is hell. Some body ought to educate this Mr. Parks, the DOD expert, who supposedly wrote the “rules of war”. Give this Mr. Parks an M-16 & Flak Jacket, send him in- country, put him on the line with the Sgt’s, Cpl’s, Pfc’s & 2ndLt’s and let’s see what he can do. I think he will come back and re-write the book. I’ve attended 3 or 4 of these hearings and the Bacos trial. Very rarely, if ever, do you see a Defense Counsel get up and object or do anything. It has all appearances of a well scripted Broadway Play.
It would now appear we have lost two good 2ndLt’s. First, it was Patano and if Phan is smart, he will resign his commission. His career has now been wrecked by thoughtless actions of those who should have stood by his side.
V/R & S/F,
Don Greenlaw Captain,
USMC(Ret’d) Marine Mustang
Here are Troy Watson’s comments he forwarded along with Captain Greenlaw’s letter;
Dear LtCol Riggs,
I am sending my 2bits along with the email you received from Capt Greenlaw. It is my fear that because Capt Greenlaw is fighting battles on behalf of Marines in trouble – that you will ignore his comments or that you may think that he is ‘all by himself’ – – I hope this email will clear up that notion if that has been your thoughts and hopes.
Don Greenlaw, on his own volition and because of the helluva Marine that he has always been -has become a spokesperson for 100’s of Marines who absolutely agree with him 100% as I do and we all are very appreciative of his efforts.
I have always been on the firing line touting our Marine Corps to young folks wherever I go and encouraging them to enlist in the finest. I have to admit that I have not been doing that for over a year now – quite frankly, have been very po’d off about the way the Haditha Marines have been treated and think its a damned shame – it seems like they are getting railroaded and have been since the very beginning. There are two young folks that I visit with at the local grocery store (Sprouts) and they see me with my MC shirts and covers and are continually asking me about whether or not they should join the Corps. I have not been very encouraging in light of the forementioned.
I served in Korea during 1952 with E 2 7, 1st Mar Div as a machine gunner receiving a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. I guarantee you we had great leadership back then – very firm but also always taking care of us.
Here is an excerpt of a letter that expresses concerns for the Corps ability and desire to take care of their own (edited to remove personal names/details);
Subject: Re: Fw: “THE CORPS”
Thanks (name removed) , I needed that. I am so disappointed in the Marine Corps leadership these days that it nearly breaks my heart. The Commandant recently sent a letter asking all retired Marines to help with recruiting.
I’m sorry General Conway, I can’t in all good conscience suggest to a Mother that the Marine Corps will take good care of her son. […]
Another letter of support and this letter points out how these Marines have been judged GUILTY before they have had a trial of even a hearing.
I am writing this letter in support of all the things that, Capt. Greenlaw has stated in his letter, As you know, the Capt. was a former mustang and has been my friend and the spokesman for all of the old red hats that attend most functions at Camp Pendleton.
I am a former Marine Sgt.who saw action in Korea including stints on, Bunker Hill, Reno, Carson and Vegas. I am familiar with the , ROE’S and believe me when you are fighting any enemy, you must engage when fired upon. We did not have the same restrictions as todays troops have.
I am the Sr. Vice Commander with the XXXXX county XXXX Org. I am also a member of two Marine Clubs and the reunion coordinator for, XXXXX vets. In my daily communications with combat Marine veterans, I have yet to find one that is not appalled at the treatment of the Haditha Marines and spouses.
First,it appears that they were convicted before they got back from Iraq. Yes convicted by “Senator Murtha’, and the press. I still remember seeing, Lt Col Chessani holding his new baby when they returned. He wasn’t allowed to finish his leave before being releaved of duty for lack of confidence.
I have spoken to most of his troops before and after deployment and they would follow him to hell as I would. This is such a tragedy. When did the Corp. start eating it’s own? This is too political. I am afraid of what is happening to our Corp. I am sure that recruiting will be affected because of,”lack of confidence.”
The young men volunteering to extend their deployment is commendable,but I am afraid it is out of loyalty to their buddies and not to the Corp.
Sir, I apologize for rambling but my feelings are strong,as are those of my friends. We know and respect Gen. Mattis and his fine reputation as a excellent and fair leader. If possible, I would appreciate it if you would forward this letter to him on his return. I know the ultimate decisions on this whole trial event will end up in his hands.
It is my sincere feelings that he will make the correct judgement on these men. I know there must be alot of political pressure on this case,but as a group of combat vets we all believe this whole thing was a farce and unjust to all Marines.
Lets correct this in the name of justice.
God bless these men and our Corp.
former Sgt. USMC
The disservice and damage the MSM and Rep John Murtha have done to the Armed Forced and to the Haditha Marines in particular is shameful. Equally shameful is the Marine Corps reluctance to take care of there own. Please take a few moments to express your concern about the Haditha Marines case to Col Riggs at RiggsB@marcent.usmc.mil. Then please pass along to others to do the same.
I haven’t forgotten the men I carried out nor the men that carried me out. I haven’t forgotten the faces of the demons that visit me every night…when they come. I haven’t forgotten the horrors of war. I haven’t forgotten the screams of pain or the screams of rage. I haven’t forgotten the tears for fallen comrades and I haven’t forgotten the idiots in congress, either.
I haven’t forgotten the physical and psychological scars…I see them every day. I haven’t forgotten that my eldest son is serving, protecting the idiots in congress and the idiots that support the idiots in congress.
I haven’t forgotten the words of the platitudes rendered by the idiots in congress. How can I forget and how can YOU forget? I see them every day. Don’t you?
Thursday, May 31, 2007 2:30 AM
“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were Treated and Appreciated by their nation.”
— George Washington
If Harry Reid and John Kerry have their way, is this the picture you will see coming from Iraq?
Do you remember the utter CHAOS… the carnage… innocent people clinging to roof-tops desperately trying to save their own lives…
This carnage occurred because WE pulled out — turned tail and ran — in the face of an enemy that was WATCHING and WAITING for that withdrawal.
Take a good look at that photo again because that’s the same EXACT road that Harry Reid and John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, cut-and-run John Murtha and the rest of the anti-war crowd in Washington and Hollywood want to take us down when they demand an EXACT date of our withdrawal to a savage, brutal and blood-thirsty enemy — an enemy that wants either our submission or our death —PERIOD!
Do you want to see one just like it from the American embassy in Iraq? Well, you may — if Senators Harry Reid and John (“It might. It may change over years. It may change over months. I can’t tell you, but I’ve said very clearly I don’t consider myself out of it forever.”) “Mr. Flip” Kerry have their way.
What is the message that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and John Kerry send to patriotic Americans and our brave men and women in uniform when they hear “this war is lost”?
That message will embolden the terrorists not just to step up their attacks in Iraq and around the world, but here on our shores. It will be only a matter of time before they attempt to bring their terrorist attacks to our own backyards. The just–thwarted attack on Fort Dix in New Jersey could be just the beginning.
We must send a message to our troops and the world that we as a nation stand behind our Armed Forces of today and those who gallantly served in the past. As Veterans, we know first hand what the cut and run anti-war crowd can do to the troops, to morale and to America’s military position in the world.
America is hungry for the truth!
We are in a huge fight to clear the name of America’s fighting forces. It is a fight that is intensifying — a mark of the fear our opponents hold of the truth. Especially the truth about the gallantry of America’s fighting forces. Go here to Contribute
The same slanders — unfounded accusations of routine atrocities and war crimes — leveled against soldiers during the Vietnam war by Jane Fonda and now-Senator John Kerry have already been used against America’s heroic fighting forces in Iraq.
Their purpose, now as then: to make Americans sufficiently ashamed of its troops to shake American political will and force an ignominious retreat. We must prevent this from happening.
This strategy worked before. It represents not just a vicious lie against our fighting forces but a mortal threat to America’s honor, safety, and role as champion of democratic and human rights throughout the world.
This is why your generous help is urgently needed and respectfully requested. Because the exact same people are at it again and they will never stop unless we stand up to them!
At stake is ultimately nothing less than the integrity of the American military. Beyond the pure cause of justice, which is sufficient for some, there is a compelling reason to clear the reputation of those who fought in Vietnam, to restore the honor of the men who served their country—many with their lives, and to uncover the truth of America’s history: By restoring our veterans’ stolen honor, we — you, my colleagues and I together — will make it impossible for those who oppose American military action anywhere and any time, to cause another disgrace by forcing our heroic winning forces to cut and run. Visit the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation
Until and unless we do correct the existing record, the American military may never be free of the myths and smears of Vietnam. The honor and integrity of our military must be restored as it fights to defend freedom at home and around the world.
I do not approach you casually. I believe in self-sufficiency. I was a POW in North Vietnam for five years, seven months and 13 days. I served in three wars (WWII, Korea, and Vietnam) and wear the Medal of Honor with the greatest pride. As president of the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation, Inc., it is my ongoing passion to educate the public about the Vietnam War, its events, its history, and the men and women who sacrificed to serve their country.
But this is simply too big, and important, a job for a group of former POWs, our “Band of Brothers,” to carry the entire burden on our own. We need resources to finish our job establishing evidence that the allegations of systematic atrocities and war crimes in Vietnam are a lie. Demonstrating the nobility, gallantry, and self-sacrifice of American troops who fought in Vietnam is my continuing mission.
And I hope you will give it your full support.
Our “Band of Brothers” have embarked on a long and historic mission to expose the lies and tell the truth that has its adversaries terrified. We need your help to finish that project and win our case before the court of public opinion.
We will put the truth before the American public in ways that simply cannot be ignored.
We will broadcast the truth throughout America and the world on the Internet through our website: Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation.
We have tens of thousands of members of VVLF who will help in getting the facts out to millions of Americans and around the world.
We will “fight to the last man” to get these facts in front of millions of people through any medium courageous enough to face and reveal the truth, to dare to correct history.
We will finish our new documentary and find venues to get the truth broadcast.
By the way, John Kerry’s comment above, “It might. It may change over years. It may change over months. I can’t tell you, but I’ve said very clearly I don’t consider myself out of it forever,” was made during a book-signing in Denver on April 15, and then again during a radio interview with Denver’s 9news. John Kerry again flip-flopped when asked if he will run for President.
If the truth is not told and John Kerry or any of his liberal cohorts is ever elected President, he (or she) will just hand the keys to Iraq over to the terrorists.
I know your time is valuable and your attention is greatly respected. It’s a long story — but an urgent and historic one. Whether or not you go here to contribute, I consider it of utmost importance that you yourself have a chance to find out the truth and to spread it, in your own ways, to all your loved ones.
Thank you again for giving this request for your support the full consideration it deserves.
George E. Day
Col. USAF (Ret.)
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 5:38 PM
I received this is my email today…
Feel free to pass it around…
FROM THE CHIEF OF CHAPLAINS WRAMC
I have had enough and am going to give my perspective on the news about Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Please understand that I am speaking for myself and I am responsible for my thoughts alone. The news media and politicians are making it sound like Walter Reed is a terrible place and the staff here has been abusing our brave wounded soldiers; what a bunch of bull!
I am completing my 24th year of service in the Army next month so you decide for yourself if I have the experience to write about this topic. I have been the senior clinical chaplain at Walter Reed for four years and will leave to go back to the infantry this summer. I supervise the chaplain staff inside Walter Reed that cares for the 200 inpatients, the 650+ daily outpatients from the war who come to us for medical care, the 4000+ staff, and over 3000 soldiers and their families that come for clinical appointments daily. Walter Reed has cared for over 5500 wounded from the war. I cannot count the number of sick and non-battle injured that have come through over that timeframe. The staff at this facility has done an incredible job at the largest US military medical center with the worst injured of the war. We have cared for over 400 amputees and their families. I am privileged to serve the wounded, their families, and our staff.
When the news about building 18 broke I was on leave. I was in shock when the news broke. We in the chaplains office in Walter Reed, as well as the majority of people at Walter Reed, did not know anyone was in building 18. I didn’t even know we had a building 18. How can that happen? Walter Reed is over 100 acres of 66 buildings on two installations. Building 18 is not on the installation of Walter Reed and was believed to be closed years ago by our department. The fact that some leaders in the medical brigade that is in charge of the outpatients put soldiers in there is terrible. That is why the company commander, first sergeant, and a group of platoon leaders and platoon sergeants were relieved immediately. They failed their soldiers and the Army. The commanding general was later relieved (more about this) and his sergeant major has been told to move on–if he gets to. The brigade sergeant major was relieved and more relief’s are sure to come and need to. As any leader knows, if you do not take care of soldiers, lie, and then try to cover it up, you are not worthy of the commission you hold and should be sent packing. I have no issue, and am actually proud, that they did relieve the leaders they found who knew of the terrible conditions some of our outpatients were enduring. The media is making it sound like these conditions are rampant at Walter Reed and nothing could be further from the truth. We need improvements and will now get them. I hate it that it took this to make it happen.
The Army and the media made MG Weightman, our CG, out to be the problem and fired him. This was a great injustice. He was only here for six months, is responsible for military medical care in the 20 Northeast states, wears four “hats” of responsibilities, and relies on his subordinate leaders to know what is happening in their areas of responsibilities. He has a colonel that runs the hospital (my hospital commander), a colonel that runs the medical brigade (where the outpatient wounded are assigned and supposedly cared for), and a colonel that is responsible to run the garrison and installation. What people don’t know is that he was making many changes as he became aware of them and had requested money to fix other places on the installation. The Army did not come through until four months after he asked for the money, remember that he was here only six months, which was only days before they relieved him. His leaders responsible for outpatient care did not tell him about conditions in building 18. He has been an incredible leader who really cares about the wounded, their families, and our staff. I cannot say the same about a former commander, who was my first commander here at Walter Reed, and definitely knew about many problems and is in the position to fix them and he did not. MG Weightman also should not be held responsible for the military’s unjust and inefficient medical board system and the problems in the VA system. We lost a great leader and passionate man who showed he had the guts to make changes and was doing so when he was made the scapegoat for others.
What I am furious about is that the media is making it sound like all of Walter Reed is like building 18. Nothing could be further from the truth. No system is perfect but the medical staff provides great care in this hospital. What needs to be addressed, and finally will, is the bureaucratic garbage that all soldiers are put through going into medical boards and medical retirements. Congress is finally giving the money that people have asked for at Walter Reed for years to fix places on the installations and address shortcomings. What they don’t want you to know is Congress caused many problems by the BRAC process saying they were closing Walter Reed. We cannot keep nor attract all the quality people we need at Walter Reed when they know this place will close in several years and they are not promised a job at the new hospital. Then they did this thing call A76 where they fired many of the workers here for a company of contractors, IAP, to get a contract to provide care outside the hospital proper. The company, which is responsible for maintenance, only hired half the number of people as there were originally assigned to maintenance areas to save money. Walter Reed leadership fought the A76 and BRAC process for years but lost. Congress instituted the BRAC and A76 process; not the leadership of Walter Reed.
What I wish everyone would also hear is that for every horror story we are now hearing about in the media that truly needs to be addressed, you are not hearing about the hundreds of other wounded and injured soldiers who tell a story of great care they received. You are not hearing about the incredibly high morale of our troops and the fact that most of them want to go back, be with their teammates, and finish the job properly. You should be very proud of the wounded troopers we have at Walter Reed. They make me so proud to be in the Army and I will fight to get their story out.
I want you to hear the whole story because our wounded, their families, our Army, and the nation need to know that many in the media and select politicians have an agenda. Forget agendas and make the changes that have been needed for years to fix problems in every military hospital and the VA system. The poor leaders will be identified and sent packing and good riddance to them. I wish the same could be said for the politicians and media personalities who are also responsible but now want it to look like they are very concerned. Where have they been for the last four years? I am ashamed of what they all did and the pain it has caused many to think that everyone is like that. Please know that you are not hearing the whole story. Please know that there are thousands of dedicated soldiers and civilian medical staff caring for your soldiers and their families. When I leave here I will end up deploying. When soldiers in my division have to go to Walter Reed from the battlefield, I know they will get great medical care. I pray that you know the same thing. God bless all our troops and their families wherever they may be. God bless you all,
Chaplain John L. Kallerson
Senior Chaplain Clinician
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Friday, March 02, 2007 4:49 PM
What have we here?
Two men, Army Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman and now Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey have resigned amid accusations of less than poor and healthy conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for our veterans and wounded military members in the Global War on Terror.
Could this be an issue we veterans have been stating for YEARS? Could it be? Could it be that FINALLY, the Leftinistra will be EXPOSED for their cutting the budgets of Veteran’s Affairs? I surely hope so.
I say that the Leftinistra “socialist give-away” programs should be sliced and diced and reroute those funds BACK to the Veterans Administration…PERIOD!!
We shall see what we shall see.
<a mere drop in the bucket..Me Thinks This Is The Tip Of The Icegerb>
One can only hope so…