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Archives: 2006


Job troubles for returning guardsmen and reservists?

USA Today has a story today that says complaints to the U.S. Labor Department are up from National Guard and Reserve service members who say they’ve lost benefits or had other work troubles after returning to civilian life.

Any of you returning service members having these kinds of problems here? I would be interested in hearing your story.


Deployments by the numbers

The Army Times is out this week with a big batch of Department of Defense statistics about the deployments of U.S. forces to Iraq and Afghanistan. Download and crunch them yourself here.

Just over 1.4 million service members have been deployed to one country or both since Oct. 1, 2001 — nearly a third of them more than once. The stats show breakdowns by service branch, rank, race, gender and home state.

Some might be mildly surprised to know that Washington ranks in the top 10 in numbers of deployed service members for all branches but

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Pearl Harbor anniversary

phblast.jpgThere’s some erroneous e-mail traffic that might make it your way as we near Thursday’s 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Good remembrance sites here and here.)

The message usually has a reference to some friend of a friend in the Navy who got these never-before-seen photos of the attack that have been sitting around, undeveloped, all these years on some sailor’s old Brownie camera.

But the attached photos are in fact all classic images that have long been part of the Navy’s historic archives – including

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Arrowhead soldier’s ballplayer brother

Sean introduced readers to Spc. Ryan Nielsen with his stories back in October (here, here and here) about Lightning Platoon – the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment’s reconnaissance platoon working in Iraq with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Nielsen, a Stryker driver, was the one with a brother playing pro baseball.

A Winnepeg Sun columnist caught up Monday with Nielsen’s brother, Eric, a prospect in the Toronto Bluejays organization. It’s a good tale of an older brother learning to look up to his kid brother – and there’s even a Baghdad reference slipped in there for

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Figured some might want this

There will be lots of Army vehicles on the local highways Monday and Tuesday and maybe some during the rest of the next week. It’s part of a big training operation to prep the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division for their trip to Iraq next summer. The area’s roadways offer a half-decent fill-in for those in the box – minus the snipers and IEDs, of course.

If you are inconvenienced and feel the need to complain, the Fort Lewis public affairs external communications hotline is 253-967-0852. You’ll get a recording and then a beep for you to leave your message.


More on the Strykers to Baghdad

Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of the Multi-National Division North (which includes the Fort Lewis Strykers in Mosul), passed up a couple chances at a briefing Friday to confirm the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division’s move south to Baghdad.

Mixon, who leads Task Force Lightning, briefed the Pentagon press corps via videoconference from his Tikrit headquarters. You can read the transcript for yourself.

Here’s what he said:

Q Thanks. Hi, General.This is Pam Hess with UPI. … Could you also talk to us about the move of the Stryker Brigade from Mosul to

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Arrowheads to Baghdad

After our Sean and Tony pulled out, there wasn’t a lot of news out of the 3rd Brigade up in Mosul.

That’s bound to change now that they’re moving south to Baghdad, where they’ll be the only Strykers in town now that the 172nd is on its way home to Alaska.

We’d been tipped about 10 days back about the move, but weren’t getting much traction in our efforts to confirm.

My theory as to how the story broke yesterday: Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace said they’d move a couple of battalions into Baghdad. Reporters peppered

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