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Archives: May 2007

May
30th

Tommy McFall

Fort Lewis released a statement on behalf of Emily McFall, the wife of Staff Sgt. Thomas McFall, killed in action May 28 in Baghdad by a bomb blast as his unit conducted a foot patrol.


“Tommy was my husband, a proud dad, a great son, and a friend to many. We opened our house to many for Christmas and Thanksgiving, so his Soldiers would not be alone for the holidays. We also hosted many a barbecue. Somehow, he always took over the barbecue, even if it was someone else’s house. He was the “BBQ King.” (He made) the best

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May
30th

It ain’t a democracy, but …

… votes on The News Tribune’s “Hot Button” poll are running strong against Fort Lewis’ new policy to hold one consolidated memorial ceremony each month for its soldiers who die in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Check it out here.

May
29th

Consolidated memorial ceremonies

It appears as though Fort Lewis is going to stop holding individual memorial ceremonies for soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a memo by acting post commander Brig. Gen. William Troy that is posted on the United for Peace of Pierce County web site. Instead the post will hold one ceremony each month for all the soldiers lost in that time.


Troy, according to the UFPPC site, in a May 22 memo wrote:


As much as we would like to think otherwise, I am afraid that with the number of Soldiers we now have in

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May
29th

More Matt Green

Lt. Col. Matt Green follows up: Col. B’s shurta awarded for their bravery, and the story of Snake the terp takes an even sadder turn.

May 28, 2007

We are back in the palace, waiting patiently in the entry hall. A worker is mopping the Italian marble floors which reflect the dim light of an enormous chandelier that hangs from a carved Moroccan ceiling three stories above us. We have been moved around from one side of the chamber to another twice already, photographers and assistants trying to figure out the right location for the ceremony. As is true of most things here, the exact nature of the ceremony is a matter of some conjecture. The night before Col. B informed me that we had to be here at 8 a.m. with six members of his personal security detail for an awards ceremony. Later that night, sifting through a stack of e-mail I find one that sheds a small amount of light. Buried in the thread is a comment from Gen. Petraeus to the corps commander saying he will be the one to give out the awards, but there is little meat on the bones other than that. Given the names of the Shurta involved, Lt. Mahmoud, Gazi, Nabil, Mohammad, Nour Adin and Daud, I can only assume it has to do with the car bomb from a few days ago.

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May
25th

Jacoby confirmed

The Senate on Friday confirmed Army Maj. Gen. Charles Jacoby, Jr., for promotion to lieutenant general and assignment as commanding general at I Corps and Fort Lewis.


No word yet as to when he’ll arrive from his current job – commander, U.S. Army Alaska – to set up shop at Fort Lewis.


Meantime two other new Fort Lewis leaders will arrive later in the summer. Col. Michael Okita, a former commander of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, will come from Iraq to be the next I Corps chief of staff. He is currently chief of staff at

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May
25th

The SecDef gets it right

Among the many inspiring words that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates chose to impart Friday to the graduating class of 2007 at the U.S. Naval Academy, we kind of liked these:


“The press is not the enemy and to treat it as such is self-defeating.”


He also said we, and Congress, “are the surest guarantees of the liberty of the American people.”


Can I get a witness?

May
24th

Memorial Day events

I’m compiling a list of events and observances that will run in the paper later on in the week, but for now I’ll post them here. If you know of an event that you would like to have included on the list, please send me the particulars.


&bull Key Peninsula Veterans will stage their "aisle of honor" flag ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday at Vaughn Bay Cemetery at Bliss-Cochrane Road at 100th Street KPN.


&bull The Garden of Remembrance at Benaroya Hall in Seattle will hold a ceremony Monday beginning at 9 a.m. The names of Washington state

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May
24th

Survivor of the May 6 Baqouba strike

Spc. Larry Clark, the driver of the Fort Lewis Stryker that was destroyed in the May 6 attack that killed the seven other men on board, is visiting family in Yorktown, Va., and told his story to the local TV station.


He said he credits his squad leader, Staff Sgt. Vincenzo Romeo, with saving his life by assigning him as the driver.