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Sep-07-2008 09:09printcommentsVideo

Rat Patrol in Iraq: Air Wing Marines Fill Infantry Role (VIDEO)'s Tim King rejoins his former Marine Corps aviation group to see Marines in Iraq performing a role normally filled by infantry units.

Photos by Tim King
Photos by Tim King

(Al Asad, IRAQ) - Marines at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq are on a constant vigil, with combat patrols in their area of operation going around the clock.

The unique part is that most of these Marines- doing the work of infantry platoons, have actually been pulled from other jobs in the Marine Air Wing that are related to aircraft and air support. The thing that separates Marines from the other military services is that even those with highly technical training and qualifications, are always able to take the Corps' most basic and often most important role, that of the infantryman, or 'grunt'.

Lance Corporal Dallas Carter explained some of the changes. "Everybody is a rifleman at first, then you go into your specialty. We ain't supposed to be grunts, but everybody isn't doing their MOS."

"My gunner's MOS is avionics," he continued. "But he learned to be a gunner, so he's actually a badass gunner now. And I know I'm doing my MOS now, I'm a driver, we're filling out a grunt billet, which is security for the base; patrols, towers and making sure everything is good. So technically yes, we are grunts, but technically no."

They perform their jobs without complaining, in spite of the 120 degree temperatures, heavy Kevlar vests, and six-hour combat patrols. If you take the time to ask them, they're honest about how they view this job; a modern day rat patrol in one of the hottest, dirtiest and sometimes most dangerous environments on the planet.

When asked 'how it's going out there', Corporal Brandon Arvin answered that nearing the end of their combat tour adds balance to the picture in his mind, "Aw it sucks pretty bad, but we're going home in like two weeks, so it's all good."

One thing that challenges these Marines is the desert environment itself. As we would see throughout the patrol, the land here grinds away at the lifespan of the Marines' HUMVEEs, laden with armor that they were never intended to carry.

As a HUMVEE driver, Carter has to think about it frequently, "The main thing is you think its just a lot of desert, but it's really hilly, it's really bad. We've broken a lot of half shafts on our trucks and had to replace them."

Corporal Arvin says the vehicles are poorly suited for the work here, "We've totaled quite a few, they all go to DERMO, they're broken, they're old. These HUMVEE's aren't supposed to have the armor on them, so, we're still waiting to get the new HUMVEE's."

Lance Corporal Hank Finnell is the HUMVEE's turret gunner. He explains how his unit has found success getting around in the Iraqi desert, "We get stuck pretty frequently, but we have a pretty easy time pulling ourselves, we've had one of the better records of not calling the wreckers out. I know my squad hasn't called the wrecker out at all. It certainly can be tough terrain. It was harder in the beginning because we didn't know the terrain very well and we didn't know the way around. Like some of these wadi's, we've figured out easy ways to get through them and easy ways to get around them, so it's gotten easier as the deployment has gone on."

Along with modified military jobs, the small number of Marines performing these roles are seeing other changes. One of these is the role of the strategic corporal. These non commissioned officers are performing a job normally held by Lieutenants. Brandon Arvin is a strategic corporal.

"Well right now being a Corporal, being a patrol leader, it's an NCO's war, NCO's are being asked to take care of a lot more than they were asked to take care of in the past. So you look around you are seeing NCO's and lance corporals starting to take billets, you are seeing lance corporals in charge where they probably wouldn't be in charge in other places, but lack of Marines, you're got lance corporals stepping up, corporals stepping up, and sergeants starting to fill the roles of staff sergeants and gunnery sergeants," Arvin said.

Another change in the Marine Corps is the emergence of the female Marine in combat, a concept still new in the U.S. military. One Marine this role is 20-year old Private first class Danielle Young. She has been in the Marine Corps for less than a year, and already has spent a significant amount of time as a .50 caliber machine gunner in a HUMVEE turret.

"It's a new experience, a lot different than I thought it would be. It's just something new to learn, it's actually kind of fun," she said.

I asked her if she believes it is inspirational to other women who learn that she is here doing this. "Yeah definitely, it's a good time, I think it's the place to be when we go out on patrols, even though it's not much, you get to see everything Iraq is about when you go in the desert and everything." When I asked how these guys are to work with, she said, "They're fun, we have our moments."

The terrain here is stifling, dry desert with an occasional oasis of water, grass and trees. In spite of the harshness, people still manage to hammer out a living through agriculture.

One of the first stops on this patrol was a remote Iraqi home where one woman stood outside awaiting our arrival. An Iraqi female interpreter traveling with this platoon translated the conversation between the Marine Corporal and this local national.

As in nearly every encounter with Iraqi's, the conversation between the women began with, "Asalam Alikum", which means "peace be with you."

The Marine's main question was whether any males were in the area, and he also asked if anything unusual had taken place in recent days. The woman spoke through the Iraqi interpreter and did not seem surprised or uncooperative with the questions. In the end, the Marines simply took her word. The corporal also asked if the woman had sufficient water.

The story in Iraq today is unexpected for many Americans. The country was technically at peace prior to the U.S. occupation, but it was ruled by the unflinching and egotistical mind of Saddam Hussein and his ruling party that exercised little in the way of humanity or fairness toward its average citizen.

Lance Corporal Dallas Carter says he has been surprised by what he has learned about the people here."Actually I was talking to an Iraqi the other day, its our interpreter, and he said that, I asked him if they all want us to get out of here, because a lot of Americans think that we need to pull out. He was telling me that a lot of the Iraqi people, even in Baghdad, they don't want the Americans out because they say that with the Americans, 'we're safe'.

"I wanted to get out of here 'cause I hate this place, I hate Iraq, but he was telling us that everything is better and it changed my opinion a little bit like maybe we don't need to get out of here. So I don't know, its just a difficult situation I reckon."

For our HUMVEE's gunner Hank Finnell, the job of manning the machine gun carries many variables, and he remains ready for unforseen dangers here in this desert environment.

"Basically what we want to look for is anybody displaying any hostile act, hostile intent, being like pointing a weapon at you, that would be hostile intent, a hostile act would be actually shooting or placing an IED or something. Basically I'm also the the driver's other set of eyes, looking for any rough terrain, like helping him find ways around it, ways through it, basically without damaging your truck or getting anybody inside hurt. Also, looking for any telltale signs of IED's and where they might be placed at."

The next stop was another Iraqi home, where there were several males. A pet dog sounded the alarm of our arrival, and seemed too busy trying to stay cool in a puddle of muddy water to care too much. Along with the adult men in this home were several women and children. They showed no unfriendliness and once again with the help of the platoon's interpreter, they answered several questions.

Corporal Arvin had some concerns over a weapon that was found at this home the last time this platoon of Marines passed through, but they explained that a platoon of Iraqi Army soldiers had passed through recently and confiscated the family's single AK-47 rifle, one of which is legal for them to possess.

The senior man of this household was a man of stature in this part of the world. His red scarf indicated that he was a haji, a Muslim who in his lifetime, had completed the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is a title these Islamic people hold in high regard.

All of the men were quick and willing to show their identification, and they answered the questions the Marine corporal asked without hesitation.

The Marines have always been known as the service that performs the hardest duty with the most minimal equipment. And it wasn't long before another HUMVEE gave up the ghost, requiring these troops to secure another tow rope and haul another one of these several ton beasts out of the sandtrap, and onto more secure ground.

The vehicle is due to be replaced in the future with an improved version that is similar, but has better protection and a v-shaped bottom that will help greatly in deflecting the deadly blasts incurred when an IED, an improvised explosive device, detonates beneath them.

This patrol ended when one of the platoon's HUMVEE's snapped a half shaft in its driveline. A seven-ton wrecker truck was dispatched to haul the broken combat vehicle back to Al Asad. It meant that a six-hour patrol would turn into a nine-hour patrol. It wasn't glamorous, but still a good day in the life example of the U.S. Marines mission in the blazing summer heat of the Iraqi desert.


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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address:

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Henry Ruark September 17, 2008 12:53 pm (Pacific time)

R., J., V.: Old. bald editor reading Comments finds all three of you coming closer to the realities for understanding true status --helped by your own disagreements, even though expressed only partially here within small-space of Comment. Each of you makes strong main points; each of you surely now sees what the other(s) truly meant, perhaps not precisely as you first took it to be. That's the honest, open, AND democratic dialog possible, practical and available here. Thank you all for "intense" but still-civil participation and for your continuing cogitation on points raised by each other. To win change, and remedy the system, think very carefully about WHO can DO that JOB best, and WHY --then VOTE!! It's STILL OUR country, and we deserve to run it, not bow, scrape, kneel to neocon cabal.

Vic September 17, 2008 11:08 am (Pacific time)

Regina and Jamie..I very much appreciate your comments. The thing I am against in this war and the thing that I cannot believe you can overlook is the WHY...Why are your loved ones over there risking everything?? It isnt to protect my free speech or anyone elses..they are there because of a LIE....Saddam Hussein had WMDs that he was going to use on us...LIE Iraq had something to do with 9-11..another LIE..We shouldnt be over there and those who lied us into this war should be arrested and tried for war crimes, including violation of the Geneva Accords re "preemptive" war. And I would be very proud of my daughter if she was in the military repelling an INVASION of our country. Invading another country that never threatened or attacked us?? NO I didnt raise her that way and would be disappointed if she knowingly took part in a brutal and illegal invasion and occupation of an innocent populace. I sincerely hope and pray that all everyones loved ones come home safely and as undamaged as possible...American, Iraqi, Afghani. I dont hate my country nor do I hate the military although I think we give up a lot to have a military that spends 25 times more than its nearest rival and nearly as much as the enrire rest of the world combined. Do you realize the country we could have if we were not being bled dry by the military-industrial complex? Movie stars should pay for social services? Isnt that like a woman clipping grocery coupons to save a few cents while her husband spends $10,000 a day on cocaine? Do you realize how much this oil war has cost our country? As I write this, the tally is nearly $555,000,000,000 !! WHY? Why are we going along with this?? To support the troops? Bring them home...thats how Id support them!

Jamie September 17, 2008 9:02 am (Pacific time)

My husband Cpl. J. Smith is in Iraq with this group and I am very proud of him and always will be. You don't have to agree with the war to support the men and women that are fighting for this countries freedoms and beliefs. I know that some people don't feel that the military is fighting for those things but that is what they were formed to do. I learned that in the basic history books in grade school. Our founding fathers believed that the military was needed to defend what they were building. And as far as the 42 cents of every dollar going to the military and the fact that we have crumbling schools as vic states, I have a question for you! What about the movie stars,professional athletes, politicians,and whoever else is making 6 figure incomes where is there contribution to this country? What about all of the people that are perfectly able to work and sit at home and milk our welfare system? If the government buckeled down on that then maybe there would be more funds for schools. I have a job were I see people everyday trying to get something for nothing and in all reality they could get their but in gear and get a job. So many people in this country don't want to work but they think that they deserve a handout! And as far as all of these movie stars, etc. they send there money to other countries instead of trying to help the people in real need in this one. So why don't you go and bash them instead of the one's investing and sacrificing for our country! Also the fact that you wouldn't be proud of your daughter if she joined the military is rediculus. If you lived in another country she may not be able to go to school and get a higher education because they feel that women are inferer. So please do more research before you come to conclusions and say things like that!

Regina September 17, 2008 7:56 am (Pacific time)

Among everything else Vic, I agree with your right to your own opinions on the war. I do not 100% agree with it but the ones fighting it should be left with respect that they are over there. As the wife of CPL. Arvin I do want to correct you when you call them thugs because he is far from it. I dont agree with everything that this country has done but I am so proud of my husband for having the strength to be away from his family for long periods of time when duty calls. Have you ever experienced that before? Wondering if you would ever see your loved one again or just waiting for that phone call to make sure they are still alive. Please have some respect for the families here as well, we are just as much offended by your comments. And to say that if you would not be proud of you daughter if she joined the Marines disgusts me. Your fellow soldiers are the ones who defend your right to say ignorant comments like that and you should be ashamed for even saying an unthinkable thing about someone elses daughter How would you feel? You need to stop and think before you speak ungodly things about someone elses children because it will all come back to you in the end.

Henry Ruark September 15, 2008 2:31 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Somehow this one came into mind rapidly, for all friends here: "The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny: William Ellery Channing

Henry Ruark September 15, 2008 2:06 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Vic states it well, if not in full disclosure of our current very debasing status re any small remnants of republican democracy. You'll forgive ref. to "republican" and "democracy" so-joined here since that real thing occurred long before the forty-year debacle so clear now to all as major cause for our disasters so obviously neocon-driven --surely including the fearful further collapse underway now in Wall Street and throughout our entire economy. Re patriotism, check out what Pres. G. Washington had to say re presumption of "patrotism" on the part of those defining it in purely self-interest terms. See any McCain campaign ad for demonstration. Meanwhile review-again past few of mine own Op Eds, which present untouchable (so far !) reflection of the realities involved. Feel free to show dissent from any Op Ed point, in full detail, with any factual reference you can bring to bear. That kind of open, honest, democratic dialog is what we must have to make sure we now proceed in the correct direction...I did NOT use "right" since that term is now in continuing disrepute among so many millions, as will soon appear on the national record.

Vic September 15, 2008 5:51 am (Pacific time)

Shane and Sherry ...I appreciate your input, however I do not recall my freedom of speech being threatened by the Iraqi people. Actually, it seems the only entitiy that threatens that is the US government. As far as what side I am on, I think I am one of the most patriotic people I know, as in love this country and the principles it was founded on patriotic. Being a rabid war supporter is more akin to fascism than patriotism. I think the militay is defend our borders, not crusade around the world killing for big business. I hate the misuse of our soldiers and esp the National Guard. This so-called war is about MONEY , not defending freedoms, or bringing democracy to another country. I hate to see 42 cents of every dollar going to the military while our schools are crumbling and we are the only industrialized nation on earth with no medical care for its citizens. That, Sherry, is the reason I "open my mouth"..I love this country and hate to see the way we the people are being scammed, lied to and sacrificed for the almighty dollar by greedy people with no conscience or even loyalty to America. I want the America that I was told about in grade school...a country of fairness, opportunity for all, tolerance and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world...a nation quick to assist those in need and slow to resort to brute force and war. We were told that the Soviet Union had to be countered because they were warlike, wanted to control the world,(we currently have 761 military bases around the world) spied on their own people, squashed free speech and kept their people in poverty while a few elites lived in luxury. We were told that dissenters were dragged off in the middle of the night and locked up without a trial. It seems some of you agree with the Soviet model for the US...I do not.

Henry Ruark September 14, 2008 8:00 pm (Pacific time)

sherry, shane et al: Understand your intensities, and appreciate the honorable motivations, with all due respect...and a bit more, too in this situation. But you are in error re Vic and his right to speak. No matter what choice he makes, he has Constitutional right to make it...just as you do. Am on record here of some minor disagreements with Vic and with others (including a few major ones !), but do recognize, appreciate, honor and will defend their right to dissent, as I do yours, too, if and when under attack or even civil dialog on values, feelings, issues, beliefs, whatever. Open, honest exchange is the thught-currency of democracy, and if we wish to preserve one we had better protect the other --both ways... War creates terrible feelings of dangerous strength among us all; but our own strength is more wisely used in remedying the situations which allow that to happen than it is in beating on each other. That's why change is now so demanded, and must be protected for wise choice by us all. Best wishes to all those now so affected by the war. For the record, I have grandson about to become naval academy scholarship student, and another in Afg. on search assignment, serving his 4th can and do share in your situation.

shane September 14, 2008 5:46 pm (Pacific time)

vic i'm not really sure what chip you have on your shoulder with the U.S. military defending your rights as a citizen and obviously free speech. but you need to go back where you found that thought and leave it there because that attitude wont get you far with the "AMERICAN" people. after your comment i'm not really sure whose side your on?

Sherry September 14, 2008 5:35 pm (Pacific time)

I am the proud mother-in-law of Cpl. Arvin, and I frankly am disgusted by people like you have no right to open your mouth but you choose to do so anyways for what reason i am not sure. but i do know who is over there giving you the freedom to say that, and i think it is a very poor way to repay them.

Anonymous September 14, 2008 8:53 am (Pacific time)

"I believe that the entire effort of modern society should be concentrated on the endeavor to outlaw war as a method of the solution of problems between nations." – General Douglas MacArthur

Carlson September 13, 2008 12:40 pm (Pacific time)

Henry et al-- as I have researched many of your prior posts on different subjects I have noticed that many of those who provide comments (opinions like yours by the way) that provide an alternative viewpoint, you demand that they send you their ID and write an Op Ed, or something like that. Of course neocon and shill are up here also. It may make some people who want to participate and offer an "opinion" feeling that they don't want to hassle with that type of intimidation. I on the other hand do not feel intimidated by you, and frankly find you to be pretty humorous, though I doubt you are aware that you are. Thanks.

Henry Ruark September 13, 2008 11:36 am (Pacific time)

sts, Vic, et al: No wonder you-two confused ! C-son stuff tends to that outcome, the more you read the shallower it gets. His demonstrated method is "duck-and-depart", never, ever answering ANYthing pertinent, especially pointed questions is not a new technique, but he does well at it considering what he has left to work with these days. That reverses more usual situation from other neocon nonentities seen here, who work hard for apparent depth and detail but always fail when confronted with demand to spell it out in Op Ed-length, and provide sources and other checkable documentation. Of course, since we cannot any of us actually cover any of these events by presence there and probing contacts with those involved, source and simple sense from it is key to not only clarity but also credibility. Not possible for them to supply that, so they avoid Op Ed as they would death --as it is sure to be if they ever blundered into real process demanded for honest efforts. :Fun-and-games", sometimes; but also deathblow to realism re revolutionary changes we must soon bring to the broken system --and surely cannot trust in any part to those who broke it.

sts September 13, 2008 8:01 am (Pacific time)

ooops.. :-)

Vic September 12, 2008 8:21 pm (Pacific time)

sts..think U got me confused with Carlson...I did not post any links here...:)

sts September 12, 2008 8:06 pm (Pacific time)

my apologies to Vic.. I came on too strong. I am learning Henry's eloquence. Hope you continue to post. Hope you continue to learn.

Henry Ruark September 12, 2008 7:16 pm (Pacific time)

To all: May I join in sts' best wishes to family ? Did not comment directl in that matter, but feel strongly that hers is excellent statement and I endorse its sentiment but also its common sense re where we are in this world, why it is how it is, and who it is putting us deeper and deeper into...

sts September 12, 2008 6:05 pm (Pacific time)

I want to add something this evening. Even with my concerns over the war and why we are there, I do care for all the soldiers fighting, and truly hope they come home safe to their families. For whatever reason, its most important that you just get home fellow soldiers. I made it home, my brother made it home, you can too. Keep your heads low, and may God be with you. We are all in this mess together, we are not enemies. I also want to apolgize to the father of the young lady who is serving in Iraq. I was so caught up in my own crap, that I did not even take a minute to wish you well, and to let you know I promise to say a prayer now and then for your daughter. My utmost apologies for not speaking up sooner. My prayers are with you for comfort, and my prayers with her for safety.

sts September 12, 2008 4:28 pm (Pacific time)

lets see.. I did look at the video. No name, no rank, no serial number, which 12 months?, which tour of duty? NOTHING to confirm this story. We are supposed to buy this Vic? come on bro..this is nothing but propaganda. I have over 100 videos saying differnt, that actually give their name, give their rank, and when they served and what batallion. They have also admitted killing civilians, with their buddies. If you expect anyone to buy this piece of propaganda, you are more ignorant than I thought.

Henry Ruark September 12, 2008 1:59 pm (Pacific time)

C-son: Note you now retreat to unproven, unlinked, unlikely and undocumented claim to speak for huge majority vs us in "tiny minority". With your credibility here in shreds, sir, you gotta do much better than that ! IF you can do so, put up some checkable sources for your claimed numbers, as is usual custom here. If you cannot now do so, clearly here your written word is of no substance since only mirrors b/b/feeling replacing common sense.

Carlson September 12, 2008 11:18 am (Pacific time)

Ossie below is an excellent American Iraqi war veterans appeal to Sen. Obama and even to people like Vic and Henry et al. Please note the vet's exit after this very brief video.

Carlson September 12, 2008 8:22 am (Pacific time)

Ossie as you can see quite plainly by just acknowledging your daughter's brave and patriotic service, then for some who occupy a tiny irrelevant minority this is improper. Suffice my below post is even more relevant to this irrelevant minority.

Henry Ruark September 12, 2008 8:07 am (Pacific time)

sts et al: Always willing to learn,as one great characteristic of open,honest,demo-dialog... So sought out M. Henry books on Amazon, real bargain there. Have not checked his since early S-school, far too many years ago, but will do so now, again,and thanks. Re "direct", anyone on S-N always welcome to ID self to Editor (snail-mail and email), for return from me if mutual interests indicate and still prevailing starving-freelancer status allows some time.

sts September 11, 2008 5:14 pm (Pacific time)

off topic: quick question of henry. do you read matthew henry commentary at all? know of it? thanks, sorry for going off topic, dont know how to reach henry personally.

Julie September 11, 2008 5:09 pm (Pacific time)

Well said Henry. We must have pity on the less fortunate, particularly of spirit.

Henry Ruark September 11, 2008 4:33 pm (Pacific time)

C-son: Your words are themselves the only reflection needed here to characterize both your character and the value of your values-and-views...both distorted and far from what any real Christian would either profess or proclaim. The most telling thing I can do for you, sir, is to pass along my own revulsion at the same time I send to you my full forgiveness for your own dereliction from what Christ went to the cross trying to teach us all. Thank you for your participation, richly appreciated by this message, sent for several of us who did not find it necessary to nail anyone else up there, too.

Carlson September 11, 2008 3:25 pm (Pacific time)

Ossie I'm also very proud of your daughter. She is what makes America the great country it is, in spite of the uninformed and the spiteful individuals who live off the blood and sacrifice of others. In due time they will see the light, albeit probably quite briefly.

sts September 11, 2008 2:20 pm (Pacific time)

Iraqi Parliament’s Human Rights Commission has found up to 200 malnourished and disease-stricken Iraqi detainees locked in a secret prison in the southern city of Basra. The commission’s spokesman, Amer Thamer, said many of the detainees bore signs of torture. "They are crammed in a circular room surrounded with slabs of concrete with no roof," Thamer said. He said the prison is operated by the Defense Ministry and none of the inmates has ever been tried or given access to legal assistance.

sts September 11, 2008 8:11 am (Pacific time)

In retrospect, I take henry's words more to heart. Anything that anyone can do to promote honesty in regards to what is going on in this country is good. I do hope you can understand my reluctance to not jump on the bandwagon with full support. At least Tim is trying. And as you mentioned Henry, he is experienced, honest, competent, and will do his best. I do give you that.

Vic September 11, 2008 7:27 am (Pacific time)

Ossie...I am glad that you are supportive of and proud of your daughter. If my daughter joined the marines, I would NOT be proud of her. She is going to college to be a dentist, and plans to donate a good portion of her career to serving the community and helping low-income kids that need dental services. It may not be as "fun" as training a 50 caliber machine gun but I hope your daughter makes it back soon and safely and does not have to kill anyone.

Ossie September 11, 2008 6:44 am (Pacific time)

Thank u C what you said about Vic and all the others was right on TARGET! My daughter would much rather be home with her horse but as stated before she loves this Country and is just doing her job and making the best out of a bad situation. Why not have some fun to keep your mind off the things they have to see and do. It's sure in hell not all fun so Vic think if it was your 19 year old little girl who was there how would you feel. I FEEL PROUD!!!

Tim King September 9, 2008 11:44 pm (Pacific time)

Ossie, my apoligies for getting your daughter's age wrong; she is doing very well as you know and I understand that you are proud of her accomplishments, Semper Fi. Tim King

Henry Ruark September 9, 2008 10:34 am (Pacific time)

sts et al:
   Appreciate your kind words, deny and defy "loss of integrity" since seat-here is volunteer, demands courage and commitment from Tim/Bon, and proof of our approach easily available via "see with own eyes" and evaluate with own mind.
  See 90-plus Comments on Op Ed FORCE OF FACTS, and my closing statement, for full evidence of open,honest, and probing application.
  DO believe contrast with political manipulation highly obvious in that whole record now.
  Your own forceful, honest participation truly highlights same-deal here; please continue as you can on whatever topic.

anon September 9, 2008 4:06 pm (Pacific time)

before chaniging my might want to look thru proven history. what really happened. youtube...argentina's economic collapse..... then get back to me about medication..

C. September 9, 2008 1:31 pm (Pacific time)

Vic you sound so much like the sour grapes attitude about the military that I recall hearing from those who were either kicked out of the military or who could not get in because of physical or mental disabilities, usually the latter is the case. Poor guy. Maybe you can go do the paintball thing to help alleviate your hate for us patriots; frankly Vic do you really think the millions of veterans out there have not had dealings with your type before? And guess how much we care? I did not write the above for you, but for others who do respect our military and what they undergo to keep America safe.

Ossie September 9, 2008 9:27 am (Pacific time)

What you had to say about Miss Young is bull crap. Shes 19 last April and from a small town and loves her Country and is will to die for it. Are you doing anything other than running your mouth about something you know NOTHING about.Till you walk a mile in her shoes shut the hell up HER PROUD FATHER

Q Madp September 9, 2008 9:07 am (Pacific time)

I would like a list of those 16.

Vic September 9, 2008 8:30 am (Pacific time)

Gloria, I agree...murder is worse than let me re-phrase....How can you be against murder of innocents, but still consider the ones doing the murdering as heroes just doing their jobs?

Anonymous September 9, 2008 7:23 am (Pacific time)

sts: change medications

Ossie September 9, 2008 7:02 am (Pacific time)

That young girl you talked to is only 19 last April not 20. She is my daughter and we are all sou proud of her.

Bob (El Toro) September 8, 2008 8:21 pm (Pacific time)

Vic, I'm counting on Tim to sort out the truth from the lies. I didn't see anyone being mistreated in Tim's video report. I think we made a mistake in invading Iraq. I'd like to see all Americans come home as quickly as possible. I don't know if "hundreds of thousands" have been killed in Iraq. The Iraqi Army for the most part just cut and ran. There were not any major battles with major forces fighting each other. People were killed in the bombing. As in all wars, some were innocents. We need to withdraw in an orderly manner without causing more deaths. It looks to me like the surge did its job. There are fewer insurgents in-country. The Marines made a good move in getting the Sunnis to take up the fight and to join the Iraqi Army. And, if you wonder where the WMDs went, just look over the border to Syria. Good chance that whatever WMDs were in Iraq were trucked into friendly Syria years ago. No, I don't think that attacking a country even if it has WMDs is justifiable. Lots of countries have WMDs (e.g, India, Pakistan, North Korea, China, etc.). However, Saddam Hussein was not exactly a model of a benevolent leader. Not even his Sunnis tribesmen miss this mass murderer.

sts September 8, 2008 5:46 pm (Pacific time)

Henry...I luv you lots.. but I completely disagree with your last post. Tim will not have the resources to tell us "what is really happening".. In fact, I feel Tim should be here at home, waking people up to 911, the corporate media takeover, the NWO, and other things. I do have a question for you tho.. you are 90 years old? know wonder you have great intelligence. Just not in this subject, in my opinion. You have a seat in this website, and you are compromising your integrity to keep that seat. I am totally open to being wrong, been there. but do like to express opinions to keep dialogue open. Thanks for your patience with me..

sts September 8, 2008 5:18 pm (Pacific time)

my utmost apologies, but if I dont post this link, I am not a true American, the Republic for which it stands. In God We Trust. Tell ya what, if you think for a minute they wont do this on American soil, you are SADLY mistaken. p.s. from previous experience, this link could be taken off the internet by the time it is approved on this website. So, ...well. you know

Dorsett Bennett September 8, 2008 4:55 pm (Pacific time)

I was surprised to read that corporals are doing the work of sergeants and officers. I do not know about the Marine Corps specifically, but in the entire United States military armed forces, there is at least one officer for every seven enlisted men. We definitely have a 'top-heavy military.' I would think they should be able to round up a few more officers to do some of the dirty work.

sts September 8, 2008 3:59 pm (Pacific time)

21 U.S. soldiers made an attempt at suicide in Afghanistan. Yes, all at once. 16 succeeded. This happened 27 days ago. Try and find the article on yahoo or google. You probably wont be able to find it. Since I mentioned that I would not post links often, someone is going to have to ask me for it before I post it. 600 soldiers have attempted suicide since 2003, half succeeded. Also, what you wont hear or see on the news, a central providence in Irag, has no water, and the little they do have is making them sick from cholera. Some have died. But, the Iraqi's are cutting a deal for a bunch of fighter planes. Something else you wont hear in the U.S. news. Also, from news around the world, (other countries) Putin is being regarded as Superman, while the U.S. is being regarded as tyranical, warmongering, hypocrites, and the American people are completely ignorant to what is going on because of the corporate owned media. On a note off topic. If you go to youtube, and search "alex jones two party system" you will find the truth that we truly only have one party. period. You might also note, many countries are backing away from the U.S. Today it was Brazil and Argentina. A week ago is was the Ukraine,(our ally), Pakistan has stopped any type of fuel going thru their country to Afghanistan for U.S. soldiers. We are on the verge of war with a country that was an ally two weeks ago. Too many accidental civilian deaths by the U.S. and its causing more terror, hatred and mayhem. Stuff we dont hear in the U.S. news. But all the high tier candidates say everythinig is wonderful. Ron Paul is the ONLY one (well Dennis K is too) speaking out. Get out of the box!!!! And Vic, you are right, maybe where Tim is wont show it, but youtube has dozens of videos with u.s. soldiers killing Iraqi's and totally enjoying themselves. We are only making MORE terrorists. I say all of this now, because I feel, in not the too distant future, I will have to stop talking like this in fears of an arrest.HR1955, patriot act etc. We have entered the end of liberty, the constitution, and are entering the door of communism in this country. People dont see it, because they are too busy fighting about Obama's church, Mccains temper, Palins inexperience, etc. Just what they want us all to do.

Gloria September 8, 2008 1:42 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for taking us a little further into Iraq Tim. I am always looking for more truth about how the Iraqi people are being treated on a daily basis. It is good for us to see, even if we don't like it. How would any of us like being bothered in our own homes like this? They seem to have an enormous amount of grace and tolerance. However I don't at all agree with Vic. RAPE? Bad analogy. It is not a sin to join the armed forces. Yes, they should be accountable for their actions, but to compare their dedication to serving our country to the crime of rape is wrong and insulting. It is NOT like supporting rapists Vic, and I think you should rephrase your statement.

Henry Ruark September 8, 2008 11:21 am (Pacific time)

Vic et al: Happens I share your strong feelings re some of the realities we face in this situation. Perhaps it may help to have strong character working as honest professionl --named Tim in this case !-- at work to guarantee we get to see --and feel, unmistakably and unavoidably !!-- what is the realdity "out there". We must follow with care, concern AND cogitation, which cannot but bring on the kind of action American wit, wisdom and will has always provided in our past history. GO, Tim !! BUT keep safe, too...we need you here nearly as badly, too...

Vic September 8, 2008 7:46 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for what you are doing, Tim. I believe in your integrity and honesty, but still do not see how one can separate the actions from the actors. Kind of like saying I am against rape, but not the individual rapists. At what point do decent people refuse to be part of this? The "only following orders" defense did not work at Nueremburg. Thanks again, and we are wishing you a safe journey.

G/2-3 September 8, 2008 6:54 am (Pacific time)

take it easy out there Sgt. King.

Tim King September 8, 2008 12:15 am (Pacific time)

Bob, thanks for your comments and observations and they are right on target. Vic, I know you find frustration in all of this but I also know you realize that I am just following along. There are people here who are more than willing to blast their own countrymen into oblivion and they are not cool. That female Marine and all the others have big demands and they are not policy makers. I always hope that my anti-war friends can try to separate the politics from the personal actions on the ground. I will be going into great detail in the coming weeks over some of the more negative aspects of this, and trust me I am running into them.

Bob (El Toro) September 7, 2008 8:36 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, looks like you hooked-up with one of MWSG-27’s squadrons (out of Cherry Point). The video report shows the terrain and you can almost feel the heat and taste the thirst. Not much has changed over the years. The Corps is still getting by on old equipment. The Hummvees used by these Marines looked like they were ready for the junk yard. There’s got to be better equipment in the inventory. It’s one thing to use this stuff in training and quite another to have to rely on it in Iraq. During and after the Kosovo conflict, the US Army decided to protect a small part of its Humvee fleet. The armored version would be heavier – resulting in reduced deployment flexibility. The Marine Corps opted not to protect its Humvees. Were these up-armored vehicles loaned from the Army? I did a little research and the design of the up-armored Humvee adds about 2,000 pounds weight to the standard Humvee. This may explain the mechanical breakdowns. I know it’s a big deal when Marine aircraft not operational (AOCP). It should be when Hummvees breakdown, too. The unit in your video report needs vehicles that don’t break down from the heavy armor. Good job, Tim. Keep the reports coming. These stories never get into the media.

Vic September 7, 2008 4:48 pm (Pacific time)

Our tax dollars at work....and for what??? To harass a few Iraqis..demand ID from citizens who shouldnt have to answer to a bunch of twenty-something invaders? If I were an Iraqi I would resent with every cell of my being having to answer to a bunch of foreign thugs. I'm sure I would be a "freedom fighter" and work to free my people from the invasion and murderous occupation. There are over a million dead Iraqis....wheres the coverage of that? I appreciate what Tim is trying to do, but you cant make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and even though Ms Young may be having "a lot of fun", you cant make an illegal invasion based on lies that has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people anything other than the criminal, murderous and despicable act that it is. When are they going to take you to see the WMDs???? Remember, that is why we are there killing so many people...having so much "fun" !!

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