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Archives: April 2009

April
30th

Controversial author makes stop in South Sound

Susan Galleymore, the author of “Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War and Terror,” is in Seattle tonight and will be in Lakewood this weekend as part of a book tour.


Galleymore’s son, Nick, served in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he deployed to Iraq in 2004, she linked up with an advocacy group and traveled to Iraq to meet her son.


“During her trip to Iraq was moved and inspired by the stories she heard from the mothers of Iraq,” a press release said. “This started her on a journey interviewing mothers in war zones including Iraq,

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April
29th

A race to train the next generation of 4th Stryker Brigade soldiers

These roadside bombs weren’t much of a surprise.

A convoy of three Strykers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division rolled down the muddy roads of a Fort Lewis range Wednesday afternoon. Each time, the mock bomb exploded near the second vehicle. Soldiers discovered a copper command wire leading toward a house at the base of a hill. Gunners in the vehicles fired at the house with Squad Automatic Weapons while a dismounted patrol closed in on the building and eventually stormed inside.

Then they’d regroup, reload their ammunition and repeat the scenario. It doesn’t quite mimic the exact situation on the ground in Iraq, where the brigade will deploy this fall, but Wednesday’s live-fire training was as realistic as some of the unit’s newest members have seen since joining 4th Brigade.

“We tell the guys, ‘Look, it’s not always going to be like this in Iraq,’” said Lt. Grant Carriker. “Things are going to be faster, more hectic. You’ll have to think on the fly. But we’re laying the groundwork now.”

But Carriker, a platoon leader with Alpha Battery of 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, and others in the brigade have less time than other units to prepare. The Defense Department announced in March that 4th Brigade will deploy to Iraq this fall, about nine months ahead of schedule.

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April
29th

Counterinsurgency, counternarcotics

The New York Times reports on the American military’s strategy of cutting off the main source of the Taliban’s money by deploying troops to the three southern provinces where the group harvests opium. And guess what unit appears to be scheduled to spearhead the effort?


Many of the new American soldiers will fan out along southern Afghanistan’s largely unguarded 550-mile-long border with Pakistan. Among them will be soldiers deployed in the Stryker, a relatively quick, nimble armored vehicle that can roam across the vast areas that span the frontier.


All of

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April
29th

Could Strykers end a genocide?

One of the Internet’s greatest achievements (and curses) is that it allows people to debate just about any topic and propose any solution, no matter how outta-left-field it might seem.

A Facebook group seems to exemplify this: More than 90 members have joined a group advocating sending a Stryker brigade to the Darfur region of western Sudan.

(If you need a crash course on Darfur, Wikipedia provides a comprehensive crash course on a topic.)

The group’s three administrators all are soldiers (according to their profiles) and say they live in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Here’s what they advocate:

Did you ever occur to activists that throwing aid money and food will not make a problem go away? Well here is a solution. Send a Stryker Brigade Combat Team in and make zone of separation between the janjaweed militia and people of the Darfur region of the Sudan. Once this is established. Anyone entering the zone of seperation without authorization will be terminated. This will allow the activists to then come in and help rebuild Darfur in addition to helping them eventually provide for their own defense.

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April
28th

Soldiers Project NW organizers seeking therapists

The folks who are running the Soldiers Project NW are looking for psychotherapists and other medical personnel who can help service members and their loved ones.


Organizers are hosting a meeting tomorrow at St. Leo’s Church in Tacoma to teach about the project, which offers confidential counseling to active-duty personnel, veterans and family members.


Kathryn Kosko, a military family life consultant at Fort Lewis, will speak on the emotional cycles of deployment, according to organizers.


What: The Soldiers Project NW informational session

Where: St. Leo’s Church, 710 S. 13th St., Tacoma

When: 7-9 p.m. Wednesday

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April
28th

A day on the range for Lakewood business leaders

Michele Bostic didn’t know much about the Stryker armored vehicle before Tuesday. But there she was, along with 21 other business and civic leaders from Lakewood, wearing body armor and a Kevlar helmet while riding in the back of the eight-wheeled vehicle as it tore through the mud of Fort Lewis.

Later that afternoon, as she and the others sat down for lunch at the headquarters building of 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Bostic was raving about the experience.

“It was phenomenal,” the Graham resident said. “I had no idea what it would be like.”

Bostic and her husband, Meco, took part in the half-day event that links the brigade with its partner city in the community connections program. The participants received a briefing on the history of 4th Brigade, rode to the range on a Stryker, watched squad-level exercises where the soldiers reacted to a mock roadside bomb strike and then had a chance to check out the different Stryker variants. Soldiers were on hand to answer their questions.

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April
28th

Stimulus money will repair infrastructure at Fort Lewis

More than $50 million in stimulus money is coming to Fort Lewis.


The Department of Defense has allocated $54.696 million to the Army post for infrastructure repairs, including upgrades to roads, small-arms ranges and heat-distribution piping. The money is part of the $787 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.



“Investing in our military infrastructure here in Washington state is absolutely critical as we work toward economic recovery,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement. “This funding will provide a boost to our economy while ensuring that our men and women in Fort Lewis have

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April
27th

Shoot ‘em in the face!

The New York Times’ Baghdad Bureau blog has a piece about a clearing barrel at FOB Prosperity in Baghdad’s International Zone painted like a pig with the phrase “Shoot ‘Em in the Face” painted on it.


Why, it sounds like the Gray Lady made a stop with the 81st Brigade Combat Team’s own Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment. 1st Sgt. Terrence DeFever told me a couple of months ago that they grabbed one of the clearing barrels during premobilization training at Fort McCoy, Wis., painted it pink, added some flair

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