Monday, May 08, 2006

First Battle in War on Terror

What was the first battle in the current war on terror? 9-11? Oklahoma City? Somalia? No, the first battle in the war on terror was fought on the sands of Lebanon.
In reality the first three battle were fought there, the battles spanned 3 decades and involved thousands of US Troops and cost hundreds of lives.

In 1958 American Marines and Army Personnel landed in Beirut to push the Syrians back to the border, in 1976 during one of the many Civil Wars in Lebanon again the Navy and Marines arrived to rescue Americans from the Embassy.
August 1982 Americans were once again committed to Lebanon along with French, Italians and British Military as a part of a Multi-National Peacekeeping Force.
The goals were mixed but the world was told we had arrived to stop Israel from slaughtering the PLO, in reality we had arrived at the request of the Christian Phalangist Government of Lebanon to once again deter Syria and others from toppling their goverment.
On April 18th 1983 a van stolen from the Embassy the year before detonated it's load of explosives and the modern era war on terror began. 63 people were killed, most were Lebanese Civilians who worked for the embassy.
I am not writing this as a history lesson but to make the point that this war began over 23 years ago and not in 2001. the brave men who stood on the sands of Lebanon and fought these battles have been forgotten by the very government they voluntarily served.
The biggest attack of this early battle was the morning of October 23rd 1983.
At 0622 that morning a truck carrying over 12k pounds of explosives drove into the B/L/T HQ and detonated killing 241 servicemen. How many still remember where they were when they heard the news? I am sure other than those involved and of course their Families very few remember that it was a Sunday Morning in Beirut and late Saturday here, 1122 PM EST.
Why is this day not remembered? It is not because the American people don't care, it is because the government doesn't want this day remembered.
All Americans owe the brave men who perished that day a debt of gratitude, so on October 23rd of this year and every year there after take a few minutes out of your day and reflect on the sacrifice they made and decide what small sacrifice you will make in the coming year to honor their memory.
We are planning a walk of 270 miles for October 2008 to honor our Brothers and their Families, maybe everyone who reads this could decide to set aside 23 days of their lives and join us.
If not please sit and write a letter to your Representitive asking that the Government honor those who perished and those who survived.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Duty

Every Sailor, Marine, Soldier or Airman will know of what I am saying. When we serve we all know of the danger, the possibility that we will not return home. A bond is formed and silent promises are made, you know that if your Brother falls in battle that you will not only carry his memory but you will look after his Family whether it be his Wife and Children or Parents or Sibling or even a dog.
Our duty as Veterans is clear, we must remember our Fallen and we must look after their Families but we are not the only ones with a duty. The Family of the Fallen also have a duty and that is to the living Veteran, when we are weak from carrying the memory they should step up and lend a hand. We must all support each other no matter the sacrifice.
Together we have to honor the memories of our Fallen with selfless sacrifce. So if you are bound by this duty, step up and band together we have work to do.