Wednesday, August 03, 2005

great web page

Chances are if you've been to Boots In Baghdad more than once or twice you may enjoy GoInfantry. I would encourage you to check it out and consider joining the forum. It is free and it is fun. I joined and there are some really great discussions. Anytime there is an opportunity to learn a little and teach a little it is hard to lose. If you do join make sure you let them know you heard about it here.

I added another video to Boots In Baghdad Films. The video was taken by CPL Wes Mathews of a weapons cache getting destroyed by EOD. If you recall the post Courage, about an Iraqi woman that approached us while on a foot patrol with all sorts of great information, this was the cache of weapons found the next day thanks to her.

To view the explosion fast forward to about four minutes and forty seconds. Be advised there is explicit language.

On April 12, 2005, Membrain posted the following post on his blog The View From Here

Cpl. Glenn Watkins
This is a follow-up post to my last regarding the tragic death of Cpl. Watkins. I found this information on Red2Alpha's blog 'This is Your War'. I can't recommend his blog to highly. His writing style is unique and riveting and offers a different perspective than some of the other Soldier's Blogs I've been following. Here is Red2Alpha's account of the Memorial Service for Cpl. Glenn Watkins.
Saturday, April 09, 2005

Saying Goodbye

The memorial for CPL Glenn Watkins was held on the dusty basketball court near Battalion Headquarters. Bars of sunlight stabbed through the steel grey layer of clouds, shifting with the winds aloft.

C for Charlie sat on rough wood bleachers, in front of us sat Alpha Company on folding metal chairs. I felt like and intruder, like walking in on a family fight at your friends house. This was Alpha's private grief and I wouldn't have wanted all these outsiders watching as I said goodbye to one of my buddies. For the most part it was a good memorial, the Battalion Commander, LT COL. Tall, spoke, the Chaplin, Major Blessing, and two of CPL Watkins buddies - both of whom were visibly upset. What bothered me most. Though, was all the pomp that went with it. It could have been much simpler, a formation, the field cross, and some words about the man. This was to parade ground, it was somebody's idea of how to have a memorial, like a movie set and we were all just actors in the scene. The video cameras and photographers didn't help either. To me it cheapened the man's life and all he sacrificed by extending an extra year so he could serve with his old friends in Alpha. CPL Watkins was married, with four children. And he stayed here, in Iraq, so he could be with his old unit... And paid for it with his life. Think about that next time you have to stay late at the office or some other bullshit that you think is a burden to do in your safe civilian life.

Nobody spoke in the crowd, which is unusual for a group of Grunts. Usually somebody will make some kind of comment on something. I thought a lot about my reasons for being here, about my Dad, and Wendy. I wondered, if I were him would I stay an extra year? I tried to feel something for this Soldier that I had never met. I did feel a nameless loss, there was and empty place in my chest for the loss his family feels but I was never really sad until the end when the Alpha

Company 1SGT called roll.
"PVT Smith!"
"Here First Sergeant!"
"SGT Jackson!"
"Here First Sergeant!"
"SPC Alpert!"
"Here First Sergeant!"
"CPL Watkins!"

Everyone stands at attention, in the quiet a flight of Blackhawk helicoptors peels off to the north.
"CPL Glenn Watkins!"
I can feel my throat tighten up and tears come to my eyes.
"CPL Glenn James Watkins!"

At the end, we all stood and waited for or turn to saulte the memory of the man, embodied in the field cross. A pair of dusty desert boots, at the base of his M-203, muzzle down, helmet placed on the stock. Watkins dog tags fluttered and clanked in the breeze. We all saluted the cross and photos of him at the base, some knelt and bowed their heads in prayer, others left something, spent casings, notes, pictures. I had nothing to offer, though I wanted to leave something. Instead, as it came to be my turn, I promised to not forget this man or those he left behind.It's the least I can do."Everybody's acting like we can do anything and it don't matter what we do.

"Maybe we gotta' be extra careful because maybe it matters more than we even know." - PVT Eriksson, from the movie 'Casualties of War'

Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
When they come I will stand my ground
Stand my ground I’ll not be afraid
Thoughts of home take away my fear
Sweat and blood hide my veil of tears
Once a year say a prayer for me
Close your eyes and remember me
Never more shall I see the sun
For I fell to a Germans gun
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone

Where before many more have gone

Joseph Kilna McKenzie: Lyrics

Thanks to Membrain for the good find. I got chills when I read it.

Web pages to check out:
Jack Army
Mudville Gazette
The Armed Forces Site Ring