color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: August 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Andrea Shea King Radio Interviews

I'm going to be doing some radio interviews in the next week... if you're interested...

Radio interview on "The Andrea Shea King" show Sunday, Sept. 3 at 7:05 p.m. Pacific/10:05 p.m. Eastern about 20 minutes in two segments) Broadcast throughout Central Florida on AM 580 and on live stream net at They also have a live Chat Room feature that is up during showtime. Listeners on the internet stream may access it by logging on to
I'll also be doing a radio interview on "Constitutional Public Radio" on Friday, Sept. 8 at 1:05 p.m. Pacific/4:05 p.m. Eastern... about 30 minutes. Broadcast throughout Florida's Space Coast on AM 1510 and on live stream net at (repeat at 9 p.m. EDT)Listeners on the internet stream may access it by logging on to
I am honored... and delighted to be a guest! And a special thanks to Third Wave Dave for suggesting me to Andrea (I'll try to live up to whatever you told Andrea!!)
You can read Andrea's blog at
Constitutional Public Radio - CPR for the Heart of America) in Brevard County, Florida (home to Kennedy Space Center and Patrick AFB, the Naval Ordnance Test Unit at Port Canaveral, etc.)
The Andrea Shea King Show is broadcast throughout Central Florida on Sunday nights on Orlando's #1 Tallkradio station, WDBO.
Both programs also are streamed on the internet and are pro-military, pro-USA.
They have interviewed Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), Hugh Hewitt (, Marathon Pundit, Brainster, Ankle Biting Pundits, and Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

One Son on His Way to Lebanon

well, to the waters off of Lebanon... the Navy son... Highly unlikely that J will have to go ashore for any reason, but still a little disconcerting to have him anywhere near that volatile region. Apparently, the trip had been rumored for weeks... they received orders Tuesday... put to sea yesterday. Four days to get ready for a deployment that could be from 3-9 months... In typical style, when we asked when he'd be home, our son said, "When the job's done." We hope sooner than later.
Safe journey, son. Home soon. We'll watch after all "your girls" (that would be wife and daughters.)
Here's the story from the Hampton Roads paper... you might need to register to read it, but it's free

here's the story with access to a few videos... from WAVY-TV (via
The Navy Hymn (listen here)

Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Through the Mind... Darkly

Isn't it amazing how certain simple phrases can evoke such intense emotions?

“I love you.”

“Will you marry me?”

“It’s a boy.”

“Head up, ass down, son.”

“Your son has been wounded in a VBIED attack.”

Yup. That about covers it. But it’s the last one that stabs at me to this day. Just saying those words will bring tears to my eyes… alarm to my heart… pain to my spirit.

It was a year ago that my view of the world was skewed: the day the angle of the prism in my head twisted just enough to remind me almost every day since of the evening that we received the “phone call from Hell”… the words that rendered the eye in my head myopic … the eye through which I view all of life’s events and the comings, goings and experiences of my life… and my children's lives... forever altered.

I still have dreams and nightmares where parts of my conversation with Sgt. F from the Rear Detachment pass through the dreamscapes and sometimes it wakes me. It always distresses me.

While our son’s physical injuries have pretty well healed, I’m not certain all his invisible wounds will heal in my lifetime. I worry about the stealth of the anger and the agony that remain in recesses of his psyche -- not just for the events of that August 23rd, but also for
the deaths of his friends when he could not be there for them... and other events while he was deployed. How do you heal those hurts? Can they ever be mended? I don’t want him -- or anyone -- to ever forget the goodness of the lives we’ve lost or the sacrifice these and many others have made, but I want it not to hurt him as much. I don’t want the pain to be what he remembers. As a parent, you worry. You always worry.

The fear and panic and utter helplessness that overwhelmed us that night still live in my memory as if it were yesterday. That night, I discovered how many tears lived in my heart and how fast they could make it out my eyes. I learned that there are not enough tears to make the world right. That night -- when worry unlike any other consumed me and found me gasping, begging and bartering with God to spare my youngest son’s life -- I learned how caring and loving people could be in an hour of need when thousands of people came by this journal to hold vigil, offer prayers, stand in wait with us and join us in celebration.

And I admit that facing our son’s mortality and the horror of that confrontation lives in me like some parasite lurking in my head. I can feel it waking as talk of the next deployment starts to work its way through the Division’s community, and I admit that this fear nudges me and I occasionally can feel it creeping at me. I resist and struggle with it. Like an overstuffed closet, I push against that door to restrain it and put it some place where I cannot see it and it cannot see me. I know that it is so much harder on those that have been there and done that.

You just can't imagine how your soldier's deployment will color your world forever... how it will affect you. Just ask Stacy and Cathy and Andi and Army Wife and Mrs. G and Melinda... And none of us could have ever imagined exactly how it would change our soldiers... how deep their hurt is... and how hard it would be to heal. It does change your world... our world, and no matter how hard you try, we will never be the same again.

I joked before the first deployment that I would need mainline Valium IV to get through that deployment. I don’t think it will be a joke when he deploys again. I will never again be able to dismiss the lack of emails, instant messages or phone calls with “no news is good news”. It will be impossible the next time to keep my knees from melting every time the phone rings. An unexpected car in the driveway will rob me of heartbeat and breath. I have been stripped of my innocence in this. I have “been there”… to that dark place… I know the terror. As hard as I try, I cannot forget.

But just so you don’t think I’ve become or will deteriorate into a dark and brooding recluse, I also regularly recall another simple phrase that -- just ten hours after a conversation that had slashed at me like a sickle -- served to lift the crush of those earlier words… two of the most beautiful words to cross transatlantic phone lines from Iraq and allowed me to breathe… five letters that unleashed the most joy I had experienced up to that moment since my soldier’s birth: “Hey, Ma!”

Copyright Some Soldier's Mom 2006. All rights reserved.

And so today I fast in honor of our wounded and disabled Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen... a part of the Rolling VICTORY Fast ...

And Happy Birthday, MaryAnn!!! Being 50 ain't so bad... if you're a tree...

I knew I wasn't alone... and today, Mrs. Dadmanly writes in this same vein from a wife's perspective...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Brought Tears to My Eyes...

Back in July, a bunch of my favorite milbloggers and I were promoting the opportunity for you all to help send a bunch of disabled vets SURFIN' out in Cali... and today I received this message via the comments... it brought tears to my eyes... literally.
Good Morning "Mom,"
I just want to thank you and all of the others who helped to support and get the word out about the Surfamp clinic in Pismo Beach this past weekend. As a member of the Pismo Beach Longboarders, I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer working with the vets all week, and it was an experience I'll never forget. We helped them to surf, but they showed us so much more. I'll think twice before I ever complain about lousy conditions or poor wave selection again. These vets didn't care about what board they were riding, how big the waves were, how many other guys were snaking their waves, or whether they had zero, one, or two legs to stand up on. They were going for it no matter what!

After exhausting themselves surfing for 4-5 hours in the mornings they also had the chance to go outrigger canoeing, golfing, and ocean kayaking in the afternoons. Their stamina is unbelievable; their determination unfailing. I'm still finding sore muscles I didn't know I had.After dinner found most of us arranging rides to town so that we could continue the stoke with a little local social scene playing pool, checking out farmer's market, and dancing until the wee hours of the morning; only to get up and start again in just a few hours. I know that it's a week we'll never forget, and that many of the guys will keep in contact and be back on the shores of Pismo soon. I know I'll be looking forward to their next visit, and maybe being able to help with some of their other events as well.
Again, thank you for all of your support.
So if you missed the chance to do something good, Operation Comfort has a few trips still planned this year:
*** Galveston Sailing trip... Sept 7-10th
-- sailing, biking, skiing... and YOU CAN HELP send some more of our Guys on some great excursions for LOTS OF FUN and physical, mental and spiritual rehab to boot.
THANKS! Know that you can -- individually -- one person at a time -- make a difference!
PS WHHHOOOO! Way to go my NY Yankees!!! (But I've changed... I really feel for the Boston fans... )

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fasting with the Family of Sgt. Michael Stokley

If you haven't read or heard about this yet, those of us who support the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan also have a "Rolling Fast" -- but ours is a Rolling VICTORY Fast ...

Today is the anniversary of the death of Sgt. Michael Stokley, the beloved and cherished son of Robert Stokley and his family, and I -- and many, many others -- are joining Robert in a fast today to honor Sgt. Mike and all that he stood for... fought for... and died for.
I have always felt a special kinship with Robert as a parent... of course, I cannot truly imagine his grief, but I understand completely the love for his child. It is especially meaningful to me because Sgt. Mike and I share a birthday.

Robert has written a moving tribute to his son over at the Tanker Bros. site... Please take a moment to read the tribute and to leave Robert and the Stokley family a message of support on this most difficult day.

We are with you Robert. We will remember Michael always.

Some Soldier's Mom

Feel free to sign up for a day -- or two -- of the fast... in honor of our soldiers. It will do your body -- and your spirit -- good. You can order one of these t-shirts from Melinda at Most Certainly Not... all profits go to Soldier's Angels!!

Copyright Some Soldier's Mom 2006. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


This is a way longer post than usual… a measured rant…

I have been thinking a lot lately about why some people don’t understand that we really are fighting a war -- the war on terror is a real war… with bullets, bombs, and casualties. I just don’t understand how they can think that if we just “leave them alone” they will leave us alone. (See second post below for a list of leaving us alone.)

Now I have done no scholarly research or polling on this, but in my view, I believe that much of the disconnect of a large segment of the American populace with the War on Terror is for three principle reasons.

First, there is no defined place that people can say, “we landed at Normandy”, “we held at Bastogne” or “the French held the Maginot Line” (no need… the Germans went through Belgium). All wars with which Americans are familiar -- how they view war -- had identifiable theatres: the Pacific, Europe, Vietnam, Korea. They do not view the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan as having anything whatever to do with the War on Terror because they define wars as being attacked and they argue that Afghanistan and Iraq didn’t attack us. They judge all things based on empirical knowledge -- an
a posteriori mind set. And this “war on terror” doesn’t fit their experiences… it is ephemeral, disjointed. In most peoples’ minds it has no start date and isn’t represented by a daily confluent timeline. It ebbs and flows -- they can't get their arms or minds around it. In most minds, it pivots solely on the events of 9/11 -- and none before and few after (because we haven’t been attacked again.) They do not connect all the attacks that preceded 2001. They aren’t connecting the dots. (See post below for a timeline of this war on America). They haven't accepted yet that the battlefield is Planet Earth. Any time. Any place.

Secondly, with a “mere” 137,000 troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan -- compared to 16 MILLION deployed in WWII (457,000 in Vietnam) -- 99% of the American people are unaffected by the battles that occur across oceans, continents and time zones and, therefore, disconnected from those who fight and the real face of the war on terror. The only view of the war they have is what the legacy media tells them… and they’re too lazy or too unaffected or perhaps too naïve to search out other sources of information that might give them perspective. Except for perhaps those who live or work in NYC, LA and Chicago on occasion, virtually the entire population of the United States is oblivious to any threats posed by terrorists. They live in smaller cities and towns and think “Terrorists are not going to do anything to this town…” and they go to Starbucks, and work and the gym and baseball games and soccer practice every day and never give it a second thought… that there really are people out there that want them and their children dead just because they are Americans. Frankly, just because you are not "them".

Finally -- and I think the most significant of the three -- Americans cannot IDENTIFY their enemy. They cannot point them out in pictures. The enemy can be Saudi, Pakistani, Iranian, Syrian, British, American... The “enemy” is faceless and amorphous: people just can’t identify the “bad guys” in a personal and real manner; they could be anyone and everyone and that keeps many from understanding and from focusing on the danger. It keeps them from accepting that it’s a real war.

In World War I, everyone knew the enemy was the Germans. In WWII, everyone knew it was the Japanese and the Germans (some even considered the Italians the enemy). During the Cold War it was the former Soviet Union and other Iron Curtain Countries. And there was Cuba. People could point to all those places on maps and globes. They could name the “bad guys”: Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Khrushchev, Castro, Hirohito. The enemy could be found in each case all in one place. Each of these countries had a government that was responsible for its actions and the engagements of its militias. The armies wore uniforms and the uniforms had insignia and other identifying marks. They had identifiable command structures.

During the violent years of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, in the aftermath of all the wars and conflicts, sets of “rules” about how war would be waged and how soldiers would conduct themselves evolved. In fact, after most of the wars since man stood upright, each war -- or its aftermath -- occasioned men to decide what were the “right” ways and the “moral” ways to fight wars. The rules covered treatment of prisoners, retrieval of the wounded and the dead, the use of chemical weapons, the use of conventional weapons and the policies covering civilians in the field of warring nations.

So horrified were the peoples of the world about the horrors and atrocities that after the “great” wars they formed commissions and tribunals to determine the guilt or innocence of those accused of committing crimes against humanity -- those having broken the Rules set out in many treaties and conventions that were supposed to govern the “civility” of war -- and to punish them accordingly.

So horrified were the peoples of the world that after the “great” wars great world bodies were formed to codify the conventions of conflict and to act as intermediary to resolve disagreements and to write rules on the use of weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, biological, chemical. Again, mostly honest and honorable men came together so that there would be no more world wars and whatever wars were still to be fought (after all, this is humankind we’re discussing), that people sought to write rules of engagement that would ensure that future wars would be kinder and gentler.

And people in “Western” societies frame all discussions of conflict and war -- they define them -- by these rules, guidelines, conventions and treaties.

Then, starting in the 1970’s, a war broke out and the world hardly noticed. Americans certainly didn't.

The enemy -- the attackers in all cases -- wore no uniforms. They answered to no government.

They did not come from any one country… but represented membership in a violent and bastardized form of Islam. They believe that all non-Muslims need to be killed, converted to Islam or forced into slavery and they don’t care how long it takes them to accomplish this goal. And they don’t care how they achieve it… don’t care who or how many they kill or how they die.

They fight under no rules -- not rules of war and not by rules of civilized societies. They are not bound by morals except their own monsterized version of their own -- skewed and twisted and contorted to fit the murder they promote. They are not signatories to any of the treaties and conventions and think of them as “infidel” words. Their tactics are to terrorize and kill. The aim is death -- theirs, yours, ours. Death is both their aim and their reward.

They do not have negotiable goals. They do not want property, goods or money. They want to deprive you of your freedoms which encompass and embrace ideas and ideals that run contrary to their oppressive theocratic doctrine. They use death… preferably civilian deaths, which instill the greatest horror -- the greatest terror -- in the general populace. Their aim is to terrorize -- to deprive citizens of their freedoms. And horrific death of innocents -- children, women, men -- without warning is the greatest degree of terror possible. And they are not afraid to die themselves… they believe that death glorifies their God and grants them entry to Paradise. Life is meaningless to them.

They say that they do this for justice… they say they have political grievances… they say that their religion demands this of them. They lie. Those are excuses to murder innocents… not reasons. They need reason to die and these excuses are expedient.

Until Americans modify how they view war -- how they view this war… and accept that there is a whole new set of “rules” and a whole new enemy, they will never “get it”. And sometimes I don’t care if they ever understand; I just want them to not get in the way of the rest of us who do.

And two small rants for the day. Was watching the press conference with the representatives of a number of Islamic and Arab organizations and the FBI in Washington DC (it was a pretty complimentary and reasonable group of people... and those organizations speaking unanimously condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist plots and reiterated numerous times that everything these terrorists espouse are in contravention of Islam. CAIR did not speak). But my response... Until the Islamic community stops making excuses about disenfranchised Islamic youth… until the Muslim community no longer permits imams to preach hate and death from their mosques, they have no grounds to object to the use of the term “Islamic Fascist” or “Islamofascist”. I certainly am not an “Islamophobic”. I understand and accept -- as I believe the huge majority of Americans, British, Australians, Canadians, etc. -- that not all Muslims are terrorists (we are not idiots), but that those terrorists currently undertaking this campaign of terror call themselves Muslims, base their attacks on mandates of the Muslim religion (whether that is right or wrong) and they advance the return of a fascist Caliphate. What term would you have us use?

Second, I heard this news talker (they’re not really newsmen or newswomen… even if they are standing on the Israeli/Lebanon border) say, “Well, it’s not like you can disarm Hezbollah and make it go away. After all, Hezbollah is an ideology… a philosophy.” Which of course made me start talking at the television, saying, “OK… even if this is their ideology -- doesn’t entitle them to guns, bullets and missiles that they can fire at the country next door!” An ideology? It's T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-M. They are TERRORISTS. That's not an ideology any more than is any other form of criminal behavior.
An ideology?? Get a grip, boy!

Copyright Some Soldier's Mom 2006. All rights reserved.


The War on America

March 1973. Palestinian terrorists take over Saudi embassy in Khartoum. The next day, two Americans – including the United States' ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel – and a Belgian were shot and killed.

November 1979. A group of Iranian students -- during Iran’s religious and political upheaval to a radical Muslim Shia’t theocracy -- attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This seizure was an outright attack on American soil. The attack on this sovereign US embassy set the stage for the events to follow for the next 23 years.

April 1983. A large vehicle packed with high explosives was driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut. When it exploded, 63 people were killed.

October 1983. A large truck heavily laden down with over 2,500 pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut. 241 US servicemen are killed.

December 1983. Another truck loaded with explosives is driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait, and America continues her slumber.

September 1984. A van was driven into the gates of the US Embassy in Beirut.

April 1985. A bomb explodes in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid.

August 1985. A Volkswagen loaded with explosives is driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main, 22 are killed.

October 1985. A cruise ship, the Achille Lauro is hijacked and an American in a wheelchair is singled out of the passenger list and executed.

April 1986. Terrorists shift their tactics to bombing civilian airliners when they bomb TWA Flight 840 that killed 4.

December 1988. Pan Am Flight 103 blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland killing 259.

January 1993. Two CIA agents are shot and killed as they enter CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

February 1993. A group of terrorists are arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people are killed and over 1000 are injured.

November 1995. A car bomb explodes at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing seven service men and women.

June 1996. A truck bomb explodes only 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It destroys the Khobar Towers, a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500.

August 1998. The US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania are simultaneously attacked and 224 were killed and more than 1,000 injured.

October 2000. The USS Cole docked in the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling is attacked with a small craft loaded with explosives killing 17 US Navy Sailors.

And of course you know the events of 11 September 2001.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Mass murder on an unimaginable scale... indefensible. These terrorists don't care about religion. They don't want to "talk" or "negotiate". And you can't reason with them and there is no level of appeasement that does not require your death or complete subjugation.
The plot as we all know by now involved British born young men of Pakistani descent (the first stories said Muslim, but that "civil rights organization" CAIR must have gotten out the "we're so offended" message early 'cause the "Muslim" thing disappeared from the airwaves right quick) to bring liquid explosives onto planes and detonate the bombs in mid-flight on UK flights bound for the USA... more than 20 arrests made with continuing apprehensions and investigations...

So MILLIONS of people are inconvenienced, flights cancelled, time and money lost... and it just makes me want to ask the following:

Why aren't we just prohibiting young middle eastern men from traveling?? Perhaps if we inconvenienced the entire middle eastern population enough they would start cooperating and policing their own communities and become intolerant of those in their communities that preach hate and death under the protections of "freedom of speech" and "freedom of religion".
I don't believe "profiling" is tantamount to discrimination. If someone said today, "Some Japanese men will bomb Pearl Harbor" do you think we'd be looking for white, middle-aged women? I think if you want to claim discrimination you should have to prove long term detriment -- and not just an extra 20 minutes getting searched before you board an airplane -- especially a plane I'm on or my kids are on or my family or friends are on! I'm not promoting that they be put in interment camps for heaven's sake (although if this crap continues I could be swayed...), just that we come to our senses and get over the whole "we might offend someone" thing.
Do you think that woman with the two small children on that plane plumeting into the sea would care whether she had been offended when we stopped her husband or brother and asked their intentions? If she is more concerned about her being offended than the safety of her children, she should take a car or a train. And as Lisa's Mama told her, "Walking ain't crowded." I care enough about my safety AND hers to tell them all to "get over it." What's that saying, "Put your big [girl] [boy] panties on and deal with it."
Frankly, if someone said that they had reason to believe that 50-something, grey-haired, white American women with a Chicago accent posed a threat, I'd be the first to say, "Not me. Come take a look."
I'm not saying that all middle eastern men are guilty -- but we know that SOME are. I'm sorry you're in that group. And frankly, I don't give a damn that you're offended. You can do something about this, but you don't so now we all have to live with the consequence.
And I just have to wonder if the Brits caught these guys and saved thousands of lives because they tracked the money and listened to phone calls from known terrorists to British citizens??

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

World Trade Center (the movie)

Definitely a must see (of course I viewed it with a slightly skewed perspective...)
For me, being able to recognize (fondly) all the landmarks and bridges and street scenes made the whole movie more personal... especially the Port Authority Bus Terminal where the movie starts was like being in my neighborhood -- I've walked it so many times. My memories of NYC that day are vivid, but it was surprising how many of the scenes made me remember things I'd forgotten... A wonderfully told story with no politicking (a first for Ollie Stone). Worth seeing.
My only comments? Not enough dust... Not enough red (fire glow)... and not enough of the sense of community New Yorkers and the world shared that day (and for a time after) until too late in the movie. Don't wait for the DVD... it's worth seeing on the big screen.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sending Good Wishes

Head on over to Jack Army... He's getting ready to deploy and he is looking for those WILLING TO ADOPT his "guys" one by one... You can also visit just to pass along your good wishes to his unit before they deploy.
Go On! Git over THERE!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

They Just Want You Dead

According to, the following piece about how Americans should have interpreted and reacted to a series of events occurring well before the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. began hitting our inbox in March 2003. It originated with a speech given by Navy Captain Dan Ouimette before the Pensacola (Florida) Civitan Club (a service organization) on 19 February 2003. (Although many versions of this speech describe Captain Ouimette as "Executive Officer of Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida," March 2005 news reports of a training crash identify him as "commander of Training Air Wing 1." Bravo Zulu, Capt. Dan! BZ!



That's what we think we heard on the 11th of September 2001 and maybe it was, but I think it should have been "Get Out of Bed!" In fact, I think the alarm clock has been buzzing since 1979 and we have continued to hit the snooze button and roll over for a few more minutes of peaceful sleep since then.

It was a cool fall day in November 1979 in a country going through a religious and political upheaval when a group of Iranian students attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This seizure was an outright attack on American soil; it was an attack that held the world's most powerful country hostage and paralyzed a Presidency. The attack on this sovereign US embassy set the stage for the events to follow for the next 23 years.

America was still reeling from the aftermath of the Viet Nam experience and had a serious threat from the Soviet Union when then, President Carter, had to do something. He chose to conduct a clandestine raid in the desert. The ill-fated mission ended in ruin, but stood as a symbol of America's inability to deal with terrorism. America's military had been decimated and downsized / right sized since the end of the Viet Nam war. A poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly organized military was called on to execute a complex mission that was doomed from the start.

Shortly after the Tehran experience, Americans began to be kidnapped and killed throughout the Middle East. America could do little to protect her citizens living and working abroad. The attacks against US soil continued.

In April of 1983 a large vehicle packed with high explosives was driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut. When it explodes, it kills 63 people. The alarm went off again and America hit the Snooze Button once more. Then just six short months later a large truck heavily laden down with over 2500 pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut. 241 US servicemen are killed. America mourns her dead and hit the Snooze Button once more. Two months later in December 1983, another truck loaded with explosives is driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait, and America continues her slumber. The following year, in September 1984, another van was driven into the gates of the US Embassy in Beirut and America slept.

Soon the terrorism spreads to Europe. In April 1985 a bomb explodes in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid. Then in August a Volkswagen loaded with explosives is driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main, 22 are killed and the Snooze Alarm is buzzing louder and louder as U.S. soil is continually attacked. Fifty-nine days later a cruise ship, the Achille Lauro is hijacked and we watched as an American in a wheelchair is singled out of the passenger list and executed.

The terrorists then shift their tactics to bombing civilian airliners when they bomb TWA Flight 840 in April of 1986 that killed 4 and the most tragic bombing, Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 259. America wants to treat these terrorist acts as crimes; in fact we are still trying to bring these people to trial. These are acts of war ... the Wake Up alarm is louder and louder.

The terrorists decide to bring the fight to America. In January 1993, two CIA agents are shot and killed as they enter CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The following month, February 1993, a group of terrorists are arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people are killed and over 1000 are injured. Still this is a crime and not an act of war? The Snooze alarm is depressed again.

Then in November 1995 a car bomb explodes at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing seven service men and women. A few months later in June of 1996, another truck bomb explodes only 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It destroys the Khobar Towers, a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500. The terrorists are getting braver and smarter as they see that America does not respond decisively. They move to coordinate their attacks in a simultaneous attack on two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These attacks were planned with precision, they kill 224. America responds with cruise missile attacks and goes back to sleep.

The USS Cole was docked in the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling on 12 October 2000, when a small craft pulled along side the ship and exploded killing 17 US Navy Sailors. Attacking a US War Ship is an act of war, but we sent the FBI to investigate the crime and went back to sleep.

And of course you know the events of 11 September 2001. Most Americans think this was the first attack against US soil or in America. How wrong they are. America has been under a constant attack since 1979 and we chose to hit the snooze alarm and roll over and go back to sleep.

In the news lately we have seen lots of finger pointing from every high official in government over what they knew and what they didn't know. But if you've read the papers and paid a little attention I think you can see exactly what they knew. You don't have to be in the FBI or CIA or on the National Security Council to see the pattern that has been developing since 1979. The President is right on when he says we are engaged in a war. I think we have been in a war for the past 23 years and it will continue until we as a people decide enough is enough.

America has to "Get out of Bed" and act decisively now. America has changed forever. We have to be ready to pay the price and make the sacrifice to ensure our way of life continues. We cannot afford to hit the Snooze Button again and roll over and go back to sleep. We have to make the terrorists know that in the words of Admiral Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor "that all they have done is to awaken a sleeping giant."

Thank you very much.

Dan Ouimette
As I said at the close of my last post, We are fighting an enemy that doesn't think twice about blowing up civilians and the planes they ride on... or the buildings they live and work in... schools where our children should be safe... hospitals that should be havens... They don't care. Understand? They.don' They just want you dead.