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An email from a Captain in Iraq on Thanksgiving

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by maranelloman, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. maranelloman

    maranelloman Guest

    An Email from a Captain in Iraq

    We knew there was a dinner planned with ambassador Bremer and LTG Sanchez. There were 600 seats available and all the units in the division were tasked with filling a few tables. Naturally, the 501st MI battalion got ourtable. Soldiers were grumbling about having to sit through another dog-and-pony show, so we had to pick soldiers to attend. I chose not to go.
    But, about 1500 the G2, LTC Devan, came up to me and with a smile, asked me to come to dinner with him, to meet him in his office at 1600 and bring a camera. I didn't really care about getting a picture with Sanchez or Bremer, but when the division's senior intelligence officer asks you to go, you go. We were seated in the chow hall, fully decorated for thanksgiving when aaaaallllll kinds of secret service guys showed up.

    That was my first clue, because Bremer's been here before and his personal security detachment is not that big. Then BG Dempsey got up to speak, and he welcomed Ambassador Bremer and LTG Sanchez. Bremer thanked us all and pulled out a piece of paper as if to give a speech. He mentioned that the President had given him this thanksgiving speech to give to the troops. He then paused and said that the senior man present should be the one to give it. He then looked at Sanchez, who just smiled.

    Bremer then said that we should probably get someone more senior to read the speech. Then, from behind the camouflage netting, the President of the United States came around. The mess hall actually erupted with hollering. Troops bounded to their feet with shocked smiles and just began cheering with all their hearts. The building actually shook. It was just unreal. I was absolutely stunned. Not only for the obvious, but also because I was only two tables away from the podium. There he stood, less than thirty feet away from me! The cheering went on and on and on.
    Soldiers were hollering, cheering, and a lot of them were crying. There was not a dry eye at my table. When he stepped up to the cheering, I could clearly see tears running down his cheeks. It was the most surreal moment I've had in years. Not since my wedding and Aaron
    being born. Here was this man, our President, came all the way around the world, spending 17 hours on an airplane and landing in the most dangerous airport in the world, where a plane was shot out of the sky not six days before.

    Just to spend two hours with his troops. Only to get on a plane and spend another 17 hours flying back. It was a great moment, and I will never forget it. He delivered his speech, which we all loved, when he looked right at me and held his eyes on me. Then he stepped down and was just mobbed by the soldiers. He slowly worked his way all the way around the chow hall and shook every last hand extended. Every soldier who wanted a photo with the
    President got one. I made my way through the line, got dinner, then wolfed it down as he was still working the room.

    You could tell he was really enjoying himself. It wasn't just a photo opportunity. This man was actually enjoying himself! He worked his way over the course of about 90 minutes towards my side of the room. Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to shake a few hands. I got a picture with Ambassador Bremer, Talabani (acting Iraqi president) and Achmed Chalabi (another member of the ruling council) and Condaleeza Rice, who was there with him.

    I felt like I was drunk. He was getting closer to my table so I went back over to my seat. As he passed and posed for photos, he looked me in the eye and said, "How you doin', captain." I smiled and said "God bless you, sir." To which he responded "I'm proud of what you do, captain." Then moved on.

    -A soldier who will never forget Thanksgiving 2003. Made me have chills!
     
  2. racedecknc

    racedecknc Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
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    Ed
    That was a great thing for Bush to do.

    Ed
     
  3. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
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    beautiful. regardless of your political view, you can't deny his conviction, heart and belief in what he's doing.
     
  4. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Here's an article about Hillary's visit to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. It speaks volumes about her personal character IMHO, and that of "most" democrats, not that the subject hasn't been covered before and with greater relish.

    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2003/12/2/11616.shtml

    U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton forced U.S. troops stationed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to wait for their Thanksgiving dinner last Thursday while she and her entourage arrived late, then cut in line and were served first.

    A soldier who witnessed the scene tells NewsMax:

    "Thanksgiving Dinner started at 3 p.m. that day, so the line was forming around 2:30 p.m. She didn't show up until around 3:30 p.m.

    "Once she got there," our source maintains, "Clinton and her entourage bumped everyone in line, forcing them to wait almost an extra hour."

    The brass at Bagram apparently had a hard time rounding up New Yorkers who wanted to have dinner with Clinton, D-N.Y. Only six GIs responded to an e-mail sent out last week that stated, "Looking for military members from New York and Rhode Island interested in meeting their Senator/Congressman."

    People magazine was on hand to cover the event and wanted to interview the troops for reaction to Clinton's visit.

    "But they were getting declined left and right," our source said. "People were actually telling the reporters, 'You don't want to print what I think about her and her visit.'"

    After Clinton and her entourage departed, the only topics GIs wanted to talk about were "how great the food was and how fantastic they thought George Bush's visit to Iraq was."
     
  5. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

    Aug 20, 2001
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    Ty,

    You are absolutely correct no matter what your view on the war (everyone here knows mine) I applaud President Bush for his courage, determination, and willingness to risk his security to be there.

    That most certainly took balls. While I am not impressed with much of his domestic policy or the majority of his foreign policy (everything post Afghanistan) he has proven to be a leader in many instances. Both his speech atop the rubble at Ground Zero after 9/11 and his speech in front of the troops this past week are to be applauded.

    I think it may have saved his re-election chances. Though I likely won't vote for him because of the war in Iraq none of the current crop of liberal nitwits running will get my vote either.

    Of all the Democratic candidates only Clark (not really a Democrat) had anything positive to say about the trip. Dean is a real A*sclown. He reminds me of used car salesman!

    None of those idiots would know leadership if it bit them on the #ss!!!!!

    Regards,

    Jon P. Kofod
    1995 F355 Challenge #23
    www.flatoutracing.net
     
  6. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

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    In regards to Hillary........

    ...might I suggest a visit at the US Embassy in Kenya!!!!!!!!!

    Regards,

    Jon
     
  7. maranelloman

    maranelloman Guest

    #7 maranelloman, Dec 4, 2003
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!
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  8. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
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    she's a world-class BEEYATCH. and that has nothing to do w/ politics! i can't believe people consider her the top-democratic candidate for '08. i'd rather have al sharpton in there. well, maybe not, but close!
     
  9. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

    Apr 8, 2002
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  10. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

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    Actually, I believe all the Democratic candidates commented positively on the trip. It definitely took some courage for Bush to fly in there. Very good move on his part and brought the morale back up. Although, I'm still trying to figure out how to interpret this line,

    "• 8 p.m. (noon EST): Air Force One leaves Baghdad.

    On his way home, Bush tells reporters that he would not have made the trip if the press had not been able to accompany him..."
    (From CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/11/27/sprj.irq.bush.tic.toc/index.html)

    Does this mean that he only did it to put on a show and would've cared less about visiting the troops if he didn't get press coverage for it?
     
  11. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Heh.....the old it's not from "our" sources so you can't trust it line.

    Do you want me to start pulling up quotes and items for sale like you mentioned from the supposedly mainstream political sites or those who just set out as being Democratic sites from the start ?

    I do find it funny however that no market exists for a Dan Rather, Al Franken, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore or Phil Donahue doll..........etc.............

    Anyways...without the press the story would not have gotten the coverage that it did and the troops world wide would not have seen those images. That was the point. It's too bad Hitlery's visit didn't have the same effect. I did however notice that her entourage consisted of not just media, but that statue of virtue and truth....People Magazine. Woder if she would have gone alone too.............what do you think ?

    Jon.....good one about Kenya.
     
  12. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

    Apr 8, 2002
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    Not exactly, it's more of a I don't trust it because it relies on revenue from advertising such items as "Pray and Be Rich" books and "Get Fit Fast Master Your Own Body Weight". Yes, I prefer my news from agencies with fact and spell checkers such as CNN, Reuters, MSNBC, etc... To me, that site is more of a Weekly World News than a USA Today...entertaining, but I wouldn't reference the articles for an important presentation to a client.

    Yes, I'm sure there are as many Democratic sites out there, but that's not my point. My point is that the articles on these sites (whether they be Democrat or Republican biased) are obviously slanted one way or the other rather than unbiased reporting.

    As for Bush's visit...that's BS, even without the press the pictures would've made it around to the troops and word would've spread. Not like the military personnel don't have their own cameras, photographers and e-mail. I still give him credit for visiting the troops, just that report about how he wouldn't have gone without the press coverage drops it down a notch to me...not that it really matters.

    Hilary, why did she visit in the first place and why during this time? She's not even campaigning...or is she? She's a Senator from NY...not the leader of the military. It should be obvious that the reaction to her visit wouldn't be as strong as a President.


     
  13. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Alxlee.....

    When you can put any politician from any side, somewhere without the press during such an event, then I will agree with you.

    It just seems odd that people bring up things and criticize GWB over things that they themselves do.

    Anyways.......had their been no "outside press" the reports of the event would have been even more roundly criticized by people as being scripted and staged beyond belief. Then he would have been criticized for not having reporters...yadda, yadda, yadda......

    My only question is......if it really doesn't matter....why did you bring it up ?
     
  14. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

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    He did it to demoralize the opposition. The press broadcast this all over the world and all the terrorosts saw that our leader could drop into their backyard at will...............

    ...........while their cowardly leaders (Saddam and Osama) are hidding in caves and basements scarred to come out and face us on the battle lines.

    Your comment about Newsmax.com!!! That's ok most of us wouln't pay much attention to the New York Times or the Washington Post both of which are as worthlessas the paper they are printed on and not worthy of use to clean up after my dog.

    Regards,

    Jon
     
  15. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

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    Where the hell was Hillary when we had troops in Kosovo?? No where to be found. Where was Bill Clinton???? Under his desk with Monica.

    As far as why Hillary was in Iraq.................ME TOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And who says Hillary isn't running. She could enter the race at any time and crush Dean. I don't think she wants to do that, but word is that she and Bill are scarred to death that Dean will win the nomination. Why might they care you ask? Well Dean is everything that is wrong with the Democratic party and Hillary fears that he will take the party so far left she the Democrats will never recover, or at least not in time for her to run in 08'.

    She and Bill are the major forces behind General Clark's campaign. Both are based out of Little Rock and half of Clinton's old people are running his campaign.

    Personally I want to see Rudy Gulliani vs. Hillary and then see her get her ass handed to her.

    Jon
     
  16. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

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    I'm argumentative by nature! ;-)
     
  17. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

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    Very good point, I hadn't looked at it from that angle.
     
  18. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

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    I've heard the rumors that Hillary might step in and "save" the Democratic party by jumping in the race at the last minute. Honestly, I'm a registered Democrat but none of the Democratic candidates jump out at me.

    Good old Bill...on his behalf, I believe very few Presidents actually dare set foot in war zones. If I recall correctly, he did at least attend a military funeral or two.

    Rudy...definitely a great job with New York. Will he ever or does he want to run for President though?


     
  19. rcallahan

    rcallahan F1 Rookie
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    I'm wondering what aircraft did Bush take to Bagdad? It certainly was not the blue and white 747. does anybody know?

    Bob
     
  20. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

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    It was, but they used Gulfstream 5 as the call sign instead of Air Force One. It also flew dark, no lights and shades closed.
     
  21. redhead

    redhead F1 Rookie
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    Alex, where did you get that info? I was under the impression that it was not ol' Blue and white as well. But, just an impression. Not bickering, just curious.

    Cheers. :)
     
  22. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

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    It was in Newsweek or CNN.com. There's actually two identical 747's that they use, SAM 28000 and SAM 29000 are the tail numbers. Bush apparently took one from Texas to Andrews AFB, then switched to the other one for the trip to Baghdad. I'm trying to remember if there are any pictures of it in Newsweek, but I don't remember right now. There is a quick mention of it being a 747 at least in this article:

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/11/27/sprj.irq.bush.why/index.html
     
  23. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Dirty Harry
    Air Force 1 is the only plane I've heard or read that Fearless Leader was on.
     
  24. redhead

    redhead F1 Rookie
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    from the CNN page...
    "Ground crews at the airport were told Air Force One was taking a maintenance flight, and they were not aware the president had boarded. The plane flew to Andrews Air Force Base, where those aboard transferred to another Boeing 747 for the flight to Baghdad.

    Air Force One did not use its typical letters in flight. And at one point, the presidential plane came within eyesight of a British Airways flight.

    "Did I just see Air Force One?" the pilot asked.

    The Air Force One pilot responded, "Gulfstream 5."

    After a long silence, the British Airways pilot, seeming to get that he was in on a secret, said, "Oh." "

    Thanks .....It seems I read that before that was put in, or before the coffee kicked in.

    I am a big AF1 fan and love following any info on them, no matter who is in it. :)

    R
     
  25. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    On a side note, and not that I care either way, BA stated that the incident in question never took place.
     

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