Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Somehow I missed posting this-Medal of Honor

Lieutenant Michael Murphy, USN was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor Monday.
Lt. Michael Murphy USN
Summary of Action
Operation Redwing
June 28, 2005

On June 28, 2005, deep behind enemy lines east of Asadabad in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan, a very committed four-man Navy SEAL team was conducting a reconnaissance mission at the unforgiving altitude of approximately 10,000 feet. The SEALs, Lt. Michael Murphy, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz, Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Axelson and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell had a vital task. The four SEALs were scouting Ahmad Shah – a terrorist in his mid-30s who grew up in the adjacent mountains just to the south.

Under the assumed name Muhammad Ismail, Shah led a guerrilla group known to locals as the "Mountain Tigers" that had aligned with the Taliban and other militant groups close to the Pakistani border. The SEAL mission was compromised when the team was spotted by local nationals, who presumably reported its presence and location to the Taliban.

A fierce firefight erupted between the four SEALs and a much larger enemy force of more than 50 anti-coalition militia. The enemy had the SEALs outnumbered. They also had terrain advantage. They launched a well-organized, three-sided attack on the SEALs. The firefight continued relentlessly as the overwhelming militia forced the team deeper into a ravine.

Trying to reach safety, the four men, now each wounded, began bounding down the mountain's steep sides, making leaps of 20 to 30 feet. Approximately 45 minutes into the fight, pinned down by overwhelming forces, Dietz, the communications petty officer, sought open air to place a distress call back to the base. But before he could, he was shot in the hand, the blast shattering his thumb.

Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.

Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire. This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy. While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Severely wounded, Lt. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.

An MH-47 Chinook helicopter, with eight additional SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers aboard, was sent is as part of an extraction mission to pull out the four embattled SEALs. The MH-47 was escorted by heavily-armored, Army attack helicopters. Entering a hot combat zone, attack helicopters are used initially to neutralize the enemy and make it safer for the lightly-armored, personnel-transport helicopter to insert.

The heavy weight of the attack helicopters slowed the formation’s advance prompting the MH-47 to outrun their armored escort. They knew the tremendous risk going into an active enemy area in daylight, without their attack support, and without the cover of night. Risk would, of course, be minimized if they put the helicopter down in a safe zone. But knowing that their warrior brothers were shot, surrounded and severely wounded, the rescue team opted to directly enter the oncoming battle in hopes of landing on brutally hazardous terrain.

As the Chinook raced to the battle, a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter, killing all 16 men aboard.

On the ground and nearly out of ammunition, the four SEALs, Murphy, Luttrell, Dietz and Axelson, continued the fight. By the end of the two-hour gunfight that careened through the hills and over cliffs, Murphy, Axelson and Dietz had been killed. An estimated 35 Taliban were also dead.

The fourth SEAL, Luttrell, was blasted over a ridge by a rocket propelled grenade and was knocked unconscious. Regaining consciousness some time later, Luttrell managed to escape – badly injured – and slowly crawl away down the side of a cliff. Dehydrated, with a bullet wound to one leg, shrapnel embedded in both legs, three vertebrae cracked; the situation for Luttrell was grim. Rescue helicopters were sent in, but he was too weak and injured to make contact. Traveling seven miles on foot he evaded the enemy for nearly a day. Gratefully, local nationals came to his aid, carrying him to a nearby village where they kept him for three days. The Taliban came to the village several times demanding that Luttrell be turned over to them. The villagers refused. One of the villagers made his way to a Marine outpost with a note from Luttrell, and U.S. forces launched a massive operation that rescued him from enemy territory on July 2.

By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit and inspirational devotion to his men in the face of certain death, Lt. Murphy was able to relay the position of his unit, an act that ultimately led to the rescue of Luttrell and the recovery of the remains of the three who were killed in the battle.

This was the worst single-day U.S. Forces death toll since Operation Enduring Freedom began nearly six years ago. It was the single largest loss of life for Naval Special Warfare since World War II.

The Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community will forever remember June 28, 2005 and the heroic efforts and sacrifices of our special operators. We hold with reverence the ultimate sacrifice that they made while engaged in that fierce fire fight on the front lines of the global war on terrorism (GWOT).


Sunday, October 21, 2007


I want a midnight snack badly...Am I getting one? No. Know why? 'Cause Julie turned out all the lights before she came upstairs....No way am I going downstairs in the dark all by myself...No dogs, no lights, just poor stupid Byron, waitin' to be zombie food....Everyone knows you leave a light on downstairs at night, because then the zombies don't get you. And if you do forget, and turn it off, you freakin' go downstairs with the person who's hungry, because the zombies don't come after two people,not at first. They only go after the stupid people who wander off alone, then there's a big crash and the zombie's trying to get at you, so you run, and the zombie follows you back to the previously secure location where everybody is holed up, and then you get back in, but now there's a hole in the fortifications,and the zombies know about it and they come in full force, and you all have to run before you'd planned, and your getaway vehicle isn't ready yet, so not everybody makes it. Only a couple people get away, all because somebody turned off the stupid freakin' lights downstairs, dammit!
What the hell....turnin' off all the lights..I don't know what she was thinking, here I am on the midnight scared of zombies diet, sittin' up on the web instead of eating...
Yes, I know there are no zombies downstairs,andthey aren't real...
Still not going down there, zombies ain't gonna get me, man. It's always that guy who gets eaten, the one who stands there and says, "there's nothing to be afraid of, (insert monster here) isn't real, you guys are chicken!!!*CHOMP!*
Yeah, I'm staying upstairs until daylight. Maybe noon. And when I do go down, I'm takin' a flashlight, man...AND Julie's gonna go down in front of me,'cause she turned off the "no zombie" light......

Yeah, I'm a freak. So?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Not much to say...

I don't have a lot to say today. I've been fighting a bug off again on again for two weeks now. Haven't been able to take off of work, too much to do. I really need a couple days rest. However, between work, a three year old, and business stuff, there's no time to get well. I guess I oughta see a doctor, but I haven't been able to find one since we moved to Oregon three years ago. The ones nearby are all overbooked and not taking new patients. Closest I've found is an hour away, and even those are hard to find. about six months ago, I found one. An hour away, but he was a great doctor, didn't try to talk down or act superior, worked with me on my problems. I saw him twice, then he left the office to work elsewhere. It takes about two weeks to get an initial appointment. I live so far off the beaten path, doctors can't make a lot of cash here, so to find a really good one is rare. Urgent care is $100 out of my pocket if I go. Funny, you'd think I would have good medical care, working for local government...Our healthcare plan sucks...
But, overall things are looking up...

Thursday, October 18, 2007


As a kid, one of the first cartoons I remember, after looney toones, is Transformers. I saw the movie Tuesday night, and I have to say, the 20 year wait was worth it. Getting the original actor for the voice of Optimus Prime was perfect. When I heard that voice, I got chills. Watching the movie was like being a kid again. I bought the movie expecting to be disappointed, but hoping for more. Wow. The eye candy....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So, I knew it had been a while since I'd posted, but I hadn't realized just how long...
Today, I saw that Strings(over in the link sidebar) had posted about me, so I thought I'd better write something for you good folks to look at. When I logged in, I see I haven't posted since JULY??!! Thor's Beard!!!
Well, what's on my mind? The wife and I own a belly dance studio in the small "city" where we live. 8700 people, not what I consider a city, but I digress. Anyhow, there is an organization here called SHEM. It's a group put together by various local churches. They help out the needy with food, utility bills, sometimes shelter, and so forth. We read in the local paper a few weeks back that they are having financial trouble, and might be forced to close. Wife and I discussed it, and offered to do a fund raiser for them, inviting other styles of dancers and performance groups. I was going to do some fire breathing, a little fire staff spinning, a good time, and helping a good cause. The office staff were overjoyed to have our offer, moved to tears on the phone.
Yesterday, wife calls the SHEM office, and finds out the Board of Directors has refused our fund raising offer. They do not feel as though belly dance is appropriate, but they'd like our fire dancers at their luaus!!!! Umm, WTF, over! Aren't hula dancers mostly naked??
I am appalled(but not too surprised) that we are not allowed to help, due to ignorance and bigotry. Many of our students are very conservative Christians. We have children who take our classes. This is NOT exotic dancing like you would find in a strip club...
Oh, well. Anyhow, welcome to y'all, and thanks to Strings for the link. I will make sure to post more often.....