FOB Tacoma

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Archives: Jan. 2007

Jan.
31st

Controversy over Leija coverage

New York Times reporter Damien Cave’s story Monday about the death of Staff Sgt. Hector Leija brought readers painfully close to the war in Iraq – into the very room where the Stryker squad leader fell under fire in Baghdad, and where his fellow soldiers struggled in vain to save him.


But the story, accompanying pictures by Getty Images photographer Robert Nickelsberg and a video may have been too close for U.S. military officials in Baghdad and at the Pentagon. They have reportedly suspended the pair from embedding with American troops, following complaints by Leija’s family and some

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Jan.
30th

Strykers all over the place

Had to figure things would be different for the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division once they all got down to Baghdad, and they have. The Strykers’ operations have received wide coverge on TV, the Internet and in the newspapers.


CNN, The New York Times and Army videographers have been embedded with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry during the heavy fighting along Haifa Street in the heart of Baghdad. NBC has also been along with the Tomahawks lately and filed this report Monday about three soldiers’ feelings about what they perceive to be happening back home.


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Jan.
29th

Two Watada charges dropped

You can click here to see my earlier post with the full text of all five counts against Lt. Ehren Watada.


The two that were dropped Monday in a deal with the Army are:


Specification 2: In that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, U.S. Army, did, at or near Tacoma, Wash., on or about 7 June 2006, give a public interview in which he communicated the following disgraceful statement, to wit: "I could never conceive of our leader betraying the trust we had in him. … As I read about the level of deception the Bush administration used

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Jan.
29th

New gig for Allardice

allardice.jpgBob Allardice was one of the more colorful wing commanders to pass through McChord Air Force Base the past several years. Before he got here he led the humanitarian aid drops in Afganistan. And while the McChord wing king he commanded the big March 2003 drop of U.S. paratroopers into Northern Iraq. He was in charge two bosses back, from 2002-04.


Since promoted to brigadier general, Allardice is now to be put in charge of the Air Force transition in Iraq as commander of the Coalition Air Force Transition Team, Air

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Jan.
29th

War stories

They come in all the time via the e-mail. This one is a great read:


Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 19:21:36 EST

Check this story out


Hi everyone. I’m still alive but freezing my tail off. We got 8 inches of snow last week and it reached 5 degrees below zero that night. That’s not why I’m e-mailing though.


You may have heard about a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul last Thursday. It was at one of our FOB’s (Forward Observation Bases) about 27 miles from here.


But the real story is why

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Jan.
24th

Soldiers special guests at concert

Promoters of guitar virtuoso Andre Feriante are setting aside at least 50 tickets for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from Fort Lewis for his Feb. 10 Peace and Love concert at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.


They’d hoped to find a corporate sponsor to underwrite the gifts to soldiers, but short of that, they’re putting out the word to ask the public for help. Click on the link if you’re interested.


Feriante played and signed copies of his latest CD Dec. 16 at the Fort Lewis post exchange and was struck by the response to his music. So he’s

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Jan.
23rd

More from the Mental Health Task Force meeting

In 20 column inches in Wednesday’s paper I didn’t have room to get into more of the stories people shared at Tuesday’s DOD Mental Health Task Force meeting.


Although the meeting has passed you can still submit your testimony by following this link.


I went with retired Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Adams’ account because it was the first time he’s told his story in public – a senior leader from one of the Fort Lewis Stryker brigades speaking bluntly about how emotionally tough it was for him and his troops. Adams said he is battling

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Jan.
23rd

LA Times in Mosul

It’s kind of a rear-view mirror thing for Fort Lewis folks these days but the LA Times had an interesting story on the situation in Mosul.


It quotes 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division commander Col. Steve Townsend and his deputy, Lt. Col. Fred Thompson, although they’ve been in Baghdad more than a month. Sometimes reporters gather information one day that they’ll use for stories they’ll write days or weeks in the future.