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Old 03-19-2007, 08:48 AM   #46
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Thanks for the update, Box. It usually takes longer to get back to Iraq from R&R than to get home, so I'll look for Shawn this week.

Here's a few samplings of the Dragon PAO (me) in action...
(What a stud):

http://www.blackanthem.com/News/U_S_...reet5090.shtml

http://www.dvidshub.net/index.php?sc...mage&fid=38306
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:48 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harrison37 on 03-19-2007 at 09:48 AM
Thanks for the update, Box. It usually takes longer to get back to Iraq from R&R than to get home, so I'll look for Shawn this week.

Here's a few samplings of the Dragon PAO (me) in action...
(What a stud):

http://www.blackanthem.com/News/U_S_...reet5090.shtml

http://www.dvidshub.net/index.php?sc...mage&fid=38306
Dang! You know you're mileage is beginning to pile up when Colonels start looking like young whippersnappers! Having had Public Affairs as a collateral duty at one of my units, I can only assume you'd love having a few dozen lads to lead and a nice field exercise! Keep up the good news, some of it may eventually filter through to us. Shawn is back, he lost a close friend right about the time he got back according to his mom. I hope none of the kids are getting cocky after all the boring patrol time they've racked up. Stay safe!
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:18 PM   #48
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I can't believe I waited until right now to open this thread.

You will be in my thoughts every day, Kirk, until you are home safe.

My nephew who is in Baghdad turns 21 this week.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:06 AM   #49
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Hey Kirk!

I never really get over here to the Planet so have missed your posts. Will be getting something off to you this week. Can't believe it's taken me this long!! You're in our thoughts every day, hope all is well with your girls.
Sorry about your Bruins this year!!! Maybe they'll get a little hoo rahhh in their blood next season.
When you get a chance, send a PM with care pack ideas!!!
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:47 PM   #50
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Marc- I'll look for Shawn at his friend's Memorial Service. I'm sure he'll be there. Not the way I want to meet him, but I've spent some time with his battalion and identify more with those guys because they're mech, and I was a tanker in my former life before public affairs. His battalion commander has promised to get me back in the turret of an M1A1, so I'm stoked at that opportunity, but I never forget the dangers everyone who leaves the wire here face every day.

Patti- Thanks for the support. It is people like you who make so much of a difference with just a few encouraging words.

Marty- There you go again! No care pack necessary! But thank you so much for all you did for me the last time I was here in Iraq and what it sounds like you are getting ready to do again.

I love you guys- I really do. For those of you who don't know- Marty F. aka Patschick87 began sending me things and care packages when I was here the last time with the mighty 3rd ID, and I can never thank her (and her family) enough for such kindness. She, like so many Pats Fans who have reached out to me, has a special place in my heart and helps fill a void left by long distance, long hours, and the stress of dealing with situations that only a select few can and ever will comprehend.

From the bottom of my heart- I thank you for your continued support.

Now, here are some links to articles that will help you get to know my brigade/battalions/companies/Soldiers and what we're doing over here. It is my sincere hope that those who are inclined can follow what we're doing here and get to know the Dragon Brigade as we play our role in the ongoing Baghdad security plan.

Regards,

Major Kirk
(H37)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...401422_pf.html
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:07 AM   #51
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Here's another couple of stories on us.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...53.html?sub=AR

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0322/p01s03-woiq.html

Box-

The last page of both stories deals with Shawn's company.

That IED strike (the reporters were in a humvee directly behind the Bradley that was hit) happened the night before he lost his friend to another roadside bomb the following morning.

Overall, pretty fair and balanced pieces on what we're doing. Let's face it- the Washington Post is the Washington Post. That is about as good as it's going to get from that paper. Ditto CSM.

Last edited by Harrison37; 03-22-2007 at 01:19 AM..
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:28 PM   #52
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Kirk,

Thanks for the links, nice to know which articles are making some effort at objectivity and accuracy. Keep it coming as you can. Thanks for letting Shawn know family is still close while he remembers a friend lost. Stay safe and don't forget to update us on your next Abrams adventure.

Oh, since you don't need any care and love yourself, don't be shy about asking for the other guys out there, stuff to share with neighborhood kids, guys who don't have big families to keep them in gedunk, whatever will help.

Quote:
Originally posted by Harrison37 on 03-22-2007 at 02:07 AM
Here's another couple of stories on us.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...53.html?sub=AR

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0322/p01s03-woiq.html

Box-

The last page of both stories deals with Shawn's company.

That IED strike (the reporters were in a humvee directly behind the Bradley that was hit) happened the night before he lost his friend to another roadside bomb the following morning.

Overall, pretty fair and balanced pieces on what we're doing. Let's face it- the Washington Post is the Washington Post. That is about as good as it's going to get from that paper. Ditto CSM.
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:56 PM   #53
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Ben Watson's back from his USO tour.

http://patriots.bostonherald.com/pat...ticleid=190230

Quote:
Watson returns, changed, from visit to Iraq
By Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The next time New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson hears his teammates compare a football game to a war, he’s going to straighten them out.
”We play a game, we win a game, we lose a game. But it’s not the end of the world, life or death, like it is over there,” Watson said Thursday after returning from a USO tour of American military bases in the Middle East. ”It’s just real. It’s a whole other level.”
NFL players have been embarking on USO trips abroad since 1966, with past delegations including Terry Bradshaw, Dick Butkus, Larry Csonka, Mike Singletary and Gene Upshaw. Patriots special teamer Larry Izzo had gone to Iraq, and this year the team asked Watson if he wanted to go.
”Obviously, my first reaction was, ’There’s a war going on. Why would I want to go to Iraq,”’ Watson told reporters at the stadium on Thursday. ”My wife’s reaction was the same. ... My parents tried to talk me out of it.”
But Watson, who’s always liked to experience different places and cultures, decided that the chance to support the troops was worth the risk. He signed up for a 12-day trip to Kuwait, Iraq and Kyrgyzstan along with Kansas City guard Will Shields, Tampa Bay linebacker Shelton Quarles and Atlanta tight end Alge Crumpler.
They were also scheduled to visit the Pat Tillman Center, which was dedicated to the former Arizona Cardinals defensive back who died in combat, but the trip to Afghanistan was canceled because ice and snow kept their plane from landing.
”Watching Fox News and MSNBC does not do justice to actually being over there,” he said, ”just like watching NFL Films doesn’t do justice to being in a doggone huddle.”
After taking a commercial flight to Kuwait and spending his time there at a Western-style hotel, Watson soon discovered that the Americans he was visiting didn’t live quite so luxuriously. He flew around Iraq on transport planes and helicopters, which needed a ring of tanks to secure their landing area.
At Camp Victory in Baghdad, he shared a trailer with one person; when they went to Haditha Dam, they all stayed on bunk beds in the barracks with thin, stained mattresses and no sheets or pillows. Some of the food was good, other food was the just-add-water packets given to the troops.
Bathrooms were across the camp, and sometimes not worth finding.
But mostly what Watson will remember is the sense of danger.
”We all could die here (in the States). ... But you don’t think about it as much,” he said. ” ”The feeling of powerlessness that I had over there. Anything could happen at any time.”
Mortar fire and gunfire could be heard in the distance while he slept. For most of the time they were outside of the major military bases, he would wear flak jackets and helmets that made his NFL equipment seem like a windbreaker.
And whether he visiting injured soldiers in the hospital or just signing autographs, the threat of danger was never far. Watson spoke to one man who was telling him how his best friend was a big Patriots fan.
”I was like, ’Where is he?”’ Watson said, offering to meet him in person. ”He said, ’He died on a patrol.”’
Others told Watson how they would get up in the middle of the morning to watch the Patriots play.
”This is their piece of home,” he said. ”Sports is their one way to connect and feel like they’re home.”
By the end of the trip, Watson was eager to return. But even that was a reminder about how good he had it.
”We’d be like, ’I can’t wait to go home.’ They’d be, like, ’I’ve got five more months,”’ he said. ”But they know it to the day.”
http://www.boston.com/sports/footbal...journey_1.html
Quote:
Watson's journey
FOXBOROUGH –- Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson spoke today about his 12-day trip overseas. The trip was part of the NFL’s USO tour to U.S. military bases in Iraq.

Watson described the trip as a life-changing experience.

“The first three days were the biggest for me,” he said. “We can die here any day, but we don’t think about it as much. There, it is so much in your face. People are wounded, people are dying out there, and they deal with it. I was thinking ‘how can you live this every day and have this be your reality and still go on and smile?’

“To me, I would always be worried. I wrote it down, a letter to myself, just thinking about how these people live like this, and what they’re doing so we can have what we have.”

Watson said he will remember the feeling of powerlessness he felt more than anything else.

“I had no control over what might happen. At any time, something might come in,” he said. “It taught me how to trust God more. Over here, we get kind of used to how things are going and you can say ‘I trust God to keep me safe and His plan’ but really I have more control over my life than I should. When you get put into that situation, you have to totally trust. That was kind of the revelation I had the first three days over there.”

Watson, who was initially reluctant to take the trip, was asked what motivated him to follow through on it.

“One, I like to travel, and I looked at it as an opportunity to put more stamps on my passport. I woke up looking at the Persian Gulf. Who does that? It was a chance to go and experience something I hadn’t experienced. And number two, when Larry [Izzo] told me about his trip, how great it was and how important it was to support the troops, I wanted to do that. I don’t have anyone in my family who was in the military, but I have friends who had family in the military and I know how important it is to feel some type of support.”

Last edited by Box_O_Rocks; 03-22-2007 at 11:07 PM..
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:16 PM   #54
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I'm late to get this up:

http://www.projo.com/patriots/conten...D.3722f2c.html
Quote:
Patriots add CB Jackson
01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Associated Press
FOXBORO — The New England Patriots moved to shore up their defensive backfield yesterday by signing free agent cornerback Eddie Jackson, team officials said.

The Patriots did not disclose the terms of the contract.

Jackson, 26, played for the Miami Dolphins last year, playing in 14 games and starting in two of them.

The 6-foot, 200-pound cornerback originally signed with Carolina as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Arkansas in 2004 and played in 10 games as a Panther in his rookie season.

Miami claimed Jackson off waivers in September 2005, and he played in 15 games during his first season with the Dolphins. He finished that year with 14 tackles on defense and another 12 as a special teams players.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:07 AM   #55
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4bke611YdA
A video montage of our departure ceremony at homestation and training events in Kuwait and early moments here in Iraq.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0323/p01s03-usmi.html
The interview quotes are from guys in our units- 1-28 IN and 610 BSB
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:29 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harrison37 on 03-23-2007 at 09:07 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4bke611YdA
A video montage of our departure ceremony at homestation and training events in Kuwait and early moments here in Iraq.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0323/p01s03-usmi.html
The interview quotes are from guys in our units- 1-28 IN and 610 BSB
Did you have a chance to meet Watson or any of the NFL players?
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Old 03-23-2007, 02:51 PM   #57
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As IF!!!!

We live in mortar/rocket alley down here.

We don't get much in the way of USO shows and entertainment.

It's sad, but the REMF FOBs get those shows, and we get stuck with a very select few acts.

I think the last one we got was the Buffalo Jills, who showed up at the end of Feb. and were here for about 1 hour in the middle of the day.

And where were all the JOES when they were here? Out conducting missions, that's what.

It's BS. It was BS the way they did it when I was here before and nothing's changed. Two years ago, it was Larry Izzo on the NFL tour, and they didn't come anywhere close to where we were.
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:10 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harrison37 on 03-23-2007 at 03:51 PM
As IF!!!!

We live in mortar/rocket alley down here.

We don't get much in the way of USO shows and entertainment.

It's sad, but the REMF FOBs get those shows, and we get stuck with a very select few acts.

I think the last one we got was the Buffalo Jills, who showed up at the end of Feb. and were here for about 1 hour in the middle of the day.

And where were all the JOES when they were here? Out conducting missions, that's what.

It's BS. It was BS the way they did it when I was here before and nothing's changed. Two years ago, it was Larry Izzo on the NFL tour, and they didn't come anywhere close to where we were.
It does suck when you know some big USO troop is in the area and you are not one of the chosen ones.

I can't complain though. I did get to see the "big one".

When I was in Vietnam we went 35 miles to the Bob Hope Xmas show. About a hour into it, Victor Charlie decided it was a good time to send in some ordinence. But the show went on, although Ann-Margaret looked a little spooked.
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Old 03-26-2007, 06:42 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harrison37 on 03-23-2007 at 09:07 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4bke611YdA
A video montage of our departure ceremony at homestation and training events in Kuwait and early moments here in Iraq.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0323/p01s03-usmi.html
The interview quotes are from guys in our units- 1-28 IN and 610 BSB
Hey H37, just a note that there is yet another PP guy here watching your updates, praying for your safety, and appreciating what you and all the military accomplish. Please be careful. You people ROCK.

Craig
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:40 PM   #60
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Reiss news roundup.

On the news front, running back Laurence Maroney underwent shoulder surgery after the AFC Championship Game. That Maroney underwent surgery was first reported by the Boston Herald, and has been confirmed. Maroney will naturally be limited in the team's offseason program, but the injury isn't expected to threaten his 2007 season.

Bob Kraft interview at the Owner's meeting: http://www.boston.com/sports/footbal.../kraft_qa.html
Quote:
PHOENIX -- Patriots owner Robert Kraft just met with a large group of reporters here at the NFL annual meeting.

Here is the Q&A:

The commissioner addressed the owners and other league executives this morning. What was his message?
“He gave a great speech. One of the things he spoke about was something we just dealt with in the [meeting] room by approving the qualifiers of how we’re going to do revenue sharing for the rest of our agreement. So I think there is a feeling from a number of us that we appreciate what a great league we have, and how special it is. We’re partners inside. The real enemies are outside the room. I think we came up with a program now -- which was contingent when we did our labor deal -- that allows us to fulfill the last [piece] of the labor deal: a revenue sharing plan. If we hadn’t agreed, and it only had two negative votes, then the commissioner would have had the unilateral power to decide. So this takes us through the past year and the next three years. He also mentioned that Harold Henderson is retiring. Harold has led the labor negotiations for the last 15 years and has done a very fine job. I think there are new challenges, and the commissioner and Jeff Pash, as well as Greg Levy from the Washington office, are going to take this over and start working on a new agreement. Of course, the revenue sharing and the new [labor] agreement are linked together.”

You said all along the Patriots would spend, but some have criticized you. Was this always the plan in free agency?
“We’ve actually always spent. If you look at the history, this is the beginning of our 14th season. We always spent up to the cap, or over the cap. I think it’s just a different style. There are inefficiencies in the marketplace. Every individual team’s needs are different -- what’s right for us might not be right for someone else -- and we knew that there were 25 teams that had a lot of cap room. So people were going to come fast off the market. We had to decide what was right for our franchise, and then be ready to move in the marketplace. We didn’t like being one minute away from going to the Super Bowl, and anything we could do to make our team better and improve, that’s what our focus was.”

How crucial was Adalius Thomas to that plan, having him be the centerpiece?
“Talk about inefficiency in the marketplace. There is a player who normally would be franchised, but because of the unique situation that Baltimore was in, he came free to the market. They had allocated so many dollars to defense, and what have you, and that was our opportunity to move. I think he liked our system, and his agent worked well with Scott [Pioli]. I think he really appreciated having Bill Belichick as a coach, and what we’re about as an organization and a team. He came off the market fast, but you knew that anyone like that was going to go fast. We adapted to the marketplace rather than wait for things. I think people think we’ve done things differently this year, but we haven’t. Whatever is the right strategy to improve our team, we’re going to employ. Sometimes it’s better to wait, and sometimes it’s better to initiate and act quickly.”

What is your opinion of the revenue sharing plan that was approved today?
“I don’t think anyone is 100 percent happy with it, but when we did our labor agreement it was contingent on having this plan. I think it was a wonderful compromise with the committee. I’m glad it didn’t have to go to the commissioner and we got 30 out of 32 votes. I think it’s a very fair plan.”

Back to the Patriots, at these meetings, what’s most important to the franchise that is being decided?
“I think the most important thing is passing this qualifier [for revenue sharing]. We have a great partnership in this league, as a business. We have to get the room back together as a whole. I think in this last labor negotiation there was a lot of division from within, and a lot of fracturing, and I think we have to work very hard to bring it together. I think taking this qualifier issue off the table now allows us to try to get back to a balanced partnership with the union.”

There has been plenty of talk on the personal conduct policy, and the commissioner will address that. What is your take on that?
“I think since we’ve bought the team we’ve shown what kind of people … we actually cut a player [Christian Peter] a number of years ago who was drafted who didn’t fit the profile of what we want. I don’t think the general public wants to see overindulged athletes getting a lot of money who don’t respect the responsibility and privilege they have. I don’t think major sponsors want to brand with us if we’re not diligent in that area. I think we’re going to come out of this week with a much stronger player-conduct policy, and I think a majority of the owners are very supportive of that.”

Who were the two “no” votes on the revenue sharing?
“Cincinnati and Jacksonville.”
Compensatory picks
The Patriots were awarded four compensatory draft picks today -- a fifth-rounder, two sixth-rounders and one seventh-rounder.

The fifth-round pick is 171st overall. The sixth-rounders are 208 and 209. The seventh-round pick is 247th.

The picks were a result of losing compensatory free agents Tom Ashworth, Matt Chatham, Andre Davis, Tim Dwight, Christian Fauria, David Givens and Adam Vinatieri.

The lone compensatory free agent signed by the Patriots was Reche Caldwell.

The Patriots' four picks was a league high, tied with the Ravens.

Box note: This puts the Pats back to ten picks. Three picks day one.

Del Rio back tracks on his spearing remark about Brady.
Quote:
Del Rio follow-up
PHOENIX -- With many of the league's head coaches in attendance at the NFL annual meeting, it offers a chance to tie up a few Patriots-related items from the 2006 season.

One is with the Jaguars and coach Jack Del Rio.

In a brief interview on Monday, Del Rio said his words were taken out of context when he said his defenders should have speared Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the Dec. 24 meeting between the teams.

The comments came in the days after the Patriots defeated the Jaguars, a game in which Brady absorbed a hard hit in the back from linebacker Clint Ingram while diving head first on a running play. The play was deemed legal by the NFL, although it appeared to be close to a spear.

In the days following the game, Del Rio was asked about the hit, and he brought up another play in the game in which Brady appeared ready to slide, but instead kept running as Jaguars defenders pulled up.

“They should've speared him then," Del Rio said on Jaguars.com at the time.

Del Rio explained the situation today.

“I was asked a question with that word and I didn’t re-direct, and I answered using that word,” he said. “It wasn’t my thought. The word is not an appropriate word. Obviously, that act is not legal and we don’t teach it. It ended up playing out differently than it was.”

Del Rio said he hasn’t spoken with Patriots coach Bill Belichick about the remarks.

Last edited by Box_O_Rocks; 03-26-2007 at 09:45 PM..
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