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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/12/2008 11:39:04

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,791th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3960
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3821
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3499
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3102
Since Election (1/31/05): 2522

Other Coalition Troops: 307
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 482

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through:

$ 493, 723, 975, 000. 00

You'll notice that the total is rapidly approaching $500,000,000,000.



Turning to our friends at IAVA, we see that they have released their legislative agenda for 2008. As we head towards the next election, veteran's issues and the war are no less important than they have been...but in the mounting domestic crisis, it's becoming easier to push this aside. We can't forget.
Drawn from our 28 recommendations, the six IAVA 2008 Legislative Priorities are actions Congress must take this session to ensure that troops and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan receive the care and support they have earned.

Priority Build a New GI Bill. IAVA supports a modernized WWII-style GI bill that fully covers the cost of an education at any public school or equivalently-priced private school. Benefits for Reserve/National Guard servicemembers should be based on the cumulative length of their deployments and not on their single longest deployment. Tuition costs should be paid up front and directly to the college, allowing veterans access to education without forcing them to rely on loans. See recommendation 2.1

Priority Ensure Thorough, Professional, and Confidential Mental Health Screening. IAVA supports mandatory and confidential mental health and TBI screening by a mental health professional for all troops before and after a combat tour. See recommendation 1.1

Priority Overhaul the Military and Veterans’ Disability System. The DOD and VA disability systems must be streamlined to provide adequate compensation for the injuries suffered by today’s military personnel. See recommendation 3.2

Priority Make VA Health Care Funding Sufficient and Mandatory. Every year, veterans are forced to fight for funding for veterans’ health care, and the VA budget is regularly late. This irregular funding system means that it is difficult for veterans’ hospitals to plan ahead for hiring or hospital repairs. IAVA believes the only way to ensure timely funding of the VA is to make VA health care funding mandatory. In addition, IAVA endorses the annual Independent Budget, produced by leading Veterans Service Organizations as the blueprint for VA funding levels. See recommendation 3.1

Priority Combat the Shortage of Mental Health Professionals. According to the Pentagon’s Task Force on Mental Health, the military’s “current complement of mental health professionals is woefully inadequate.” Immediate and innovative steps must be taken to recruit and retain military mental health professionals. See recommendation 1.2

Priority Protect Servicemembers from Unfair Contracts. Students who are deployed overseas should be reimbursed for tuition paid towards interrupted coursework. Returning students must be reinstated with the same academic status they earned before they were deployed. The 6% interest cap in the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA) should apply to student loans. See recommendation 2.2


And do check the source material...there's much more, including a link where you can forward the entire agenda to your congressman.


Moving on to Iraq Veterans against the War, there's a rather stunning confession from one of the members there. He's admitted to being a traitor...but I doubt anyone will really notice.
To the Men and Women who wear America's freest colors,
To The Red, White and Blue,
To The Gathering of Eagles,
To LT Emerson,
To Every Anonymous commenter,
Here is the apology you have been waiting for:

It has come time for me to admit my faults. I have tried answering comment after comment on message boards across the length of the internet (internets if you're George Bush), but I have trouble responding to everything.

Some people have nothing but nice things to say about me.
Some people wish me death.

And though I sincerely do not fear for my death, I find it quite strange that people would wish death upon someone asking for peace in the world and an end to bloodshed and yet at the same time elevate a tyrant, such as George Bush, to near sainthood.

So this has made me think about my decision over this last year.

The insults I have had directed at me is something that I will never get used to.

I have been called a Traitor to my country and a Traitor to my family, by my Step Father. A wonderful man but still somehow thinks the world is in such a crisis by this new wave of Islamo-Fascist Extremism, or whatever McCain calls it (by the way, McCain, you're a joke). As if somehow this hatred for the West has just appeared and we have done nothing to provoke it. But maybe that is the case. Maybe America isn't to blame for the world's problems. So, I have battled with my conscience and I am ready to come before you as a changed man.

Okay, here I go. I submit. You are right. America is the greatest country on the planet. And I, James Circello, am a traitor. I deserted Legion Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry while serving on the front lines of this War on Terrorism in 2007. If I wouldn't have listened to those Vietnam Veterans that opposed their genocidal occupation of Southeastern Asia during the 1960's and 70's, I probably wouldn't have done what I have done. I let garbage and filth corrupt my mind.

If only I had access to Youtube.com and was able to play loops of George W. Bush speeches, I would have known who the real enemy was. "The Terra-ists"

I regret that I have to admit it to myself and to the Iraq Veterans Against the War that what I have said is nothing more than half truths and lies, the liberal media brainwashing machine has affected my thinking and manipulated me in such a way that I found myself on television talking about the horrible things that members of my unit had done during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

Forgive me, the 2003 LIBERATION of Iraq. I need to get my head back on straight. It wasn't an Invasion, we brought them Democracy. Okay. I have it now.

Okay, I too now have realized that the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees that I spoke of wasn't mistreatment of Iraqi detainees at all. I understand that under the Bush administration, they weren't Prionsers of War and don't deserve the right of the Geneva Conventions. These people that were mistreated were obviously Al-Qaeda and were on their way to get a bus ticket to the U.S.A. to probably spread their crazy religion and blow something up.

Thankfully I was in a unit with certain individuals that recognized this and roughed them up a little bit just so those Al-Qaeda would know who's the boss.

I realize now that when a certain Squad Leader in my platoon shot a man in the back it was only because he feared for his life that this particular man, that he knew to be unarmed, probably had a suicide bomb strapped to his chest and he was running all the way to Boston. Thankfully he was such a great shot.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't deploy to the mountains of Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigadein 2005. Again the Brigade brought Freedom and Democracy to the People of Afghanistan. What I thought to be a War Crime, turns out was just good old fashioned Texas Justice.

You might not remember this, because most of us in America have short term memories and the liberal media uses that fact to their advantage, but those Communists in the media played video of some guys from Legion Company burning the dead bodies of some Taliban fighters. I know that I am not the first person to tell you that "All is fair in Love and War", so what was the problem with burning this Al-Qaeda Islamo-Fascists?

At the time I thought it was monstrous to say the things that they did to the nearby village. I'll put the article here for you to read. You'll forget about it in 5 minutes anyway...



So...
It's another Tuesday, so that means another primary as we wind our way through this season...if you're there, don't forget to vote!

195 comments (Latest Comment: 02/13/2008 05:47:43 by shelaghc)
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Comment by BobR on 02/12/2008 13:21:19
Excellent post!

Comment by shelaghc on 02/12/2008 13:34:38
I know I should read the figures on the cost of the war, but it only depresses me nowadays.



Nothing we do seems to make one ounce of difference. At least before we could say it was Republicans who did as their masters demanded. But now Dems are in the majority and look where it's got us.



It's depressing and frustrating and it pisses me off. All we can hope for is a new president who might possibly, maybe, could it be? bring an end to this mess. And then we still have the unimaginable debt to get rid of.



I hate money anyway......

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 13:48:25
Good Morning. Today's ask a vet is very powerful tri.

Comment by Grumpymann on 02/12/2008 13:59:50
As always Tri GREAT job!

Comment by Grumpymann on 02/12/2008 14:02:05
Quote by Raine: Good Morning. Today's ask a vet is very powerful tri.


Hey Raine I heared you on Mama yesterday!

But I have to say that I disagree with you on what you said.



There has to be a line drawn in the sand about this kind of shit.

Someone somewhere has to make a stand and make it plain that this kind of shit will not go anymore.

Comment by m-hadley on 02/12/2008 14:10:48
Mornin' Everybody ;)

Another excellent post... I'll try to check in as often as I can this morning, but have a buttload of work to do before I head to the doctor around lunchtime. Raine, I heard your comment on Steph last night (via the StephCast) and I must say that I agree with your comment that the Clinton's reaction is suspect - that doesn't mean I think that Schuster's comment was okay, but I do have questions about the Clinton's (over)reaction. Just my humble opinion... ;)

later...

mfaye

Comment by velveeta jones on 02/12/2008 14:16:50
Damn great blog TriSec!!



The letter from James Circello made me laugh and cry and angered. All before enough coffee when my emotions are mostly non-existent.

Comment by Grumpymann on 02/12/2008 14:18:24


Comment by velveeta jones on 02/12/2008 14:18:29
BTW, Raine and BobR, did ya'll get a card from me? I forgot to ask last night.

Comment by Grumpymann on 02/12/2008 14:36:00
String him up!

Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 14:36:00
MOrning!





I got a card from VJ! :hug:

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 14:39:46
Quote by velveeta jones: BTW, Raine and BobR, did ya'll get a card from me? I forgot to ask last night.


:( nuttin yet... maybe today?

Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 14:41:50
Okay voted this morning and I picked Edwards. I know it's a vote that will go the person who gets the most in the district and that's fine, but I just couldn't bring myself to pick anyone else.



Last night we got 3 calls from Hillary's campaign, unfortunatly it was mom who took the calls. But they asked who we were voting for and she said Edwards and we didn't hear from them the rest of the night.



I even got a call from Huckabee! I really wish I'd been home for that one!



The one thing that kinda has me ticked off is that Obama still has not asked for my vote, I think they are just assuming they are going to get it.

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 14:41:55
Quote by Grumpymann:
Quote by Raine: Good Morning. Today's ask a vet is very powerful tri.


Hey Raine I heared you on Mama yesterday!

But I have to say that I disagree with you on what you said.



There has to be a line drawn in the sand about this kind of shit.

Someone somewhere has to make a stand and make it plain that this kind of shit will not go anymore.


I figure a lot of people disagree with me. The world would be pretty boring if we all always agreed.

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 14:43:24
the crusty ol' coot sounds pretty sleepy.

Comment by Grumpymann on 02/12/2008 14:46:18
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Grumpymann:
Quote by Raine: Good Morning. Today's ask a vet is very powerful tri.


Hey Raine I heared you on Mama yesterday!

But I have to say that I disagree with you on what you said.



There has to be a line drawn in the sand about this kind of shit.

Someone somewhere has to make a stand and make it plain that this kind of shit will not go anymore.


I figure a lot of people disagree with me. The world would be pretty boring if we all always agreed.
I know I know. I'm an asshole!



Comment by Grumpymann on 02/12/2008 14:47:52
Quote by wickedpam: Okay voted this morning and I picked Edwards. I know it's a vote that will go the person who gets the most in the district and that's fine, but I just couldn't bring myself to pick anyone else.



Last night we got 3 calls from Hillary's campaign, unfortunatly it was mom who took the calls. But they asked who we were voting for and she said Edwards and we didn't hear from them the rest of the night.



I even got a call from Huckabee! I really wish I'd been home for that one!



The one thing that kinda has me ticked off is that Obama still has not asked for my vote, I think they are just assuming they are going to get it.
Did anyone tell him/Her to go to hell?



Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 14:50:41
MALA! for you and Momma Mala. I am glad you voted!

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 14:53:15
Quote by Grumpymann: I know I know. I'm an asshole!





What... for the fact that we disagree? oh puhleez, that just silliness grump!



Dunno if you read my blog entry yesterday, but I did feel that it was appropriate to suspend him.



Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 14:53:44
Quote by Grumpymann:
Quote by wickedpam: Okay voted this morning and I picked Edwards. I know it's a vote that will go the person who gets the most in the district and that's fine, but I just couldn't bring myself to pick anyone else.



Last night we got 3 calls from Hillary's campaign, unfortunatly it was mom who took the calls. But they asked who we were voting for and she said Edwards and we didn't hear from them the rest of the night.



I even got a call from Huckabee! I really wish I'd been home for that one!



The one thing that kinda has me ticked off is that Obama still has not asked for my vote, I think they are just assuming they are going to get it.
Did anyone tell him/Her to go to hell?





No, wish I'd been there though - I have to wonder if they knew what households they were calling.



Trust I could have voted in either Primary this morning and voted Huckabee just to mess with it. BUt thought it probably wasn't worth it.



Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 14:54:36
Quote by Raine: MALA! for you and Momma Mala. I am glad you voted!




Now I just have to get Mom registered to vote in the election.



Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 14:57:04
BTW - I heard the Big Dawg on local radio talking about Hills. I have to say that no matter what goes on in private, in public he talks very lovingly and supportive of her. It was very sweet.

Comment by Grumpymann on 02/12/2008 14:57:20
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Grumpymann: I know I know. I'm an asshole!





What... for the fact that we disagree? oh puhleez, that just silliness grump!



Dunno if you read my blog entry yesterday, but I did feel that it was appropriate to suspend him.

Not just for that!





Comment by TriSec on 02/12/2008 14:57:54
skimming through before heading to my meeting...



Ask a Vet was that good this morning? I never know how they're going to turn out on any given day....(considering that I write these long before I'm even thinking about coffee for the day.)



Always glad to be of service!





Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 14:58:51
How about we just stop saying things like pimping out or bitch slap?

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:02:13
Quote by Grumpymann:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Grumpymann: I know I know. I'm an asshole!





What... for the fact that we disagree? oh puhleez, that just silliness grump!



Dunno if you read my blog entry yesterday, but I did feel that it was appropriate to suspend him.

Not just for that!



:D



It's why you are so loved, grump!



Comment by livingonli on 02/12/2008 15:04:20
Good morning everyone.



Now that we have the weekend finally settled, are we going to look at the hotels again today?

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:04:55
BEAGLES!!! I love that dog! Uno rocks!







Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 15:07:22
Quote by livingonli: Good morning everyone.



Now that we have the weekend finally settled, are we going to look at the hotels again today?




I thought we were going with Holiday Inn Key Bridge? Or because we have a later date look for something else?

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:09:17
... and the fart jokes.... :P

Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 15:09:51
Steph and Thom - the Fluffer Nutter of Progressive Radio.

Comment by starling310 on 02/12/2008 15:10:26
Yeah, Thom Hartmann is a moron. Totally.





Comment by livingonli on 02/12/2008 15:11:19
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by livingonli: Good morning everyone.



Now that we have the weekend finally settled, are we going to look at the hotels again today?




I thought we were going with Holiday Inn Key Bridge? Or because we have a later date look for something else?


It may come down to price. I like that Holiday Inn too, I can get a $105/night rate from AAA but it's $124 from Orbitz. THe $84/night rate on Orbitz is only if you stay until Monday.

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:11:36
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by livingonli: Good morning everyone.



Now that we have the weekend finally settled, are we going to look at the hotels again today?




I thought we were going with Holiday Inn Key Bridge? Or because we have a later date look for something else?
I don't know anymore, everytime we found a place, it seemed like something else was thrown in the pot becuase of one reason or another...



:D



If we liked the Key bridge, I say let's just do it. That one was close to the metro, correct?



Comment by livingonli on 02/12/2008 15:12:45
Quote by starling310: Yeah, Thom Hartmann is a moron. Totally.





I'm sure that person must be the joy of Mensa meetings.

Comment by livingonli on 02/12/2008 15:16:14
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by livingonli: Good morning everyone.



Now that we have the weekend finally settled, are we going to look at the hotels again today?




I thought we were going with Holiday Inn Key Bridge? Or because we have a later date look for something else?
I don't know anymore, everytime we found a place, it seemed like something else was thrown in the pot becuase of one reason or another...



:D



If we liked the Key bridge, I say let's just do it. That one was close to the metro, correct?







It's one block from the Subway and there are a number of restuarants in walking distance so it does have some advantages. For this time of year an indoor pool will be a plus.



Too bad there won't be any other hotel with a bunny farm on the roof.

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:17:36
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by starling310: Yeah, Thom Hartmann is a moron. Totally.





I'm sure that person must be the joy of Mensa meetings.


I have been to Mensa meetings... very peculiar things they are.

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:19:03
So the Holiday Inn, key bridge is the Hotel!!! I say YES!!! YESS!!!

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:19:51
:( No More Amsterdamn?

Comment by livingonli on 02/12/2008 15:20:58
They want to close down the Red Light District. I have never been to Amsterdam and they want to suck the fun out of that too.

Comment by BobR on 02/12/2008 15:21:33
Quote by Raine:

I have been to Mensa meetings... very peculiar things they are.


Ain't that that truth! :lol:

Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 15:22:05
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by livingonli: Good morning everyone.



Now that we have the weekend finally settled, are we going to look at the hotels again today?




I thought we were going with Holiday Inn Key Bridge? Or because we have a later date look for something else?
I don't know anymore, everytime we found a place, it seemed like something else was thrown in the pot becuase of one reason or another...



:D



If we liked the Key bridge, I say let's just do it. That one was close to the metro, correct?







It's one block from the Subway and there are a number of restuarants in walking distance so it does have some advantages. For this time of year an indoor pool will be a plus.



Too bad there won't be any other hotel with a bunny farm on the roof.




You mean and crack bunny farm don't you



Comment by starling310 on 02/12/2008 15:23:47
Have we decided on the weekend of the 4/26?



Comment by Grumpymann on 02/12/2008 15:24:55
Still waiting for my invite!

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:25:13
:pancakebunny: that was the singular most bizzare thign I had ever seen at a hotel!!!

Comment by livingonli on 02/12/2008 15:27:43
Quote by Raine: that was the singular most bizzare thign I had ever seen at a hotel!!!


Fixxity. But it was so cute. I know you had trouble getting me to turn around to get my picture.

Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 15:28:21
Days like today always bring this to mind





fixxity.

Comment by starling310 on 02/12/2008 15:31:12
MIGHT LOSE KSAC!?!?!?!

That is the only stream for Momma that I can still get at work.



:cry:

Comment by Raine on 02/12/2008 15:32:30
Quote by Grumpymann: Still waiting for my invite!


You don't need no stinking invite! You are a member of 4F, and it is assumed that if you can make it, you will be there!



To YES! we finally decided on the weekend of the 26th of April. We will be staying at the Holiday Inn Key Bridge.



Bob and I are going to be there friday night and Saturday nite. That is the plan. Those that live south of us are more than welcome to come to the ATL and we can carpool, I have spoken with to the people who live north of us... and we shall carpool with them as well should those parties decide to participate!



We cannot right now book our hotel room, but if others want to to get the best deal they can, I suggest that they go for it!



I am going to make a general announcement on the MB in case there are members there that would like to get together, if that is ok with our blog members. (if it isn't, then I won't.)



:peace:

Comment by wickedpam on 02/12/2008 15:32:33
Star - can you not get the Phoneix station?