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The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (UPDATED With An E-Mail From Iraq)

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Monday’s broadcast will be devoted to covering theInjured Marine Semper Fi Fund’s work with wounded warriors from across the country.  Many of the Marines and sailors I will speak with have been recovering from wounds for years, and others are just weeks into their rehabilitation.  As with the two previous broadcasts of this sort, the interviews will inspire and humble you.

Be sure to listen to the broadcast and to help the Semper Fi Fund help many of America’s greatest wounded warriors with a donation via this link.

UPDATE:  A “Palace Update” from my pal Colonel Marc, who is a week short of completing his year of duty in Baghdad:

Hello All,
This posting will constitute the last of my Palace Updates.  I have only 8 more days in Iraq.  I will turn over my duties and depart on 21 Nov for Kuwait and then on to Ft Benning where I will process out of the Army and return to the Retired List.  I should be back home in early Dec and be able to celebrate Christmas at home.  I intend to be back in the classroom teaching ROTC in January.  I  am greatful to God for giving me this opportunity to serve my country during this time of conflict and stress.  I am grateful to my wife and family, to my students, and to friends for supporting me in this endeavor.  While there have been many Retirees who have volunteered for a recall we represent a small group of soldiers who have been allowed to contrubute to the fight.  I am thankful that I was able to make the small sacrifice to insure that the United States remains safe and free.
The war here goes extermely well.  Attacks and casulties stand at 50% of what we were sustaining at the beginning of the surge. We have effectively driven Al Qaeda out of Baghdad and their safe areas around the rest of the country.  Anbar provance is quiet and relatively safe.  Iraqi citizens are beginning to return to their homes and are increasingly participating in the community councils that are taking control of the neighborhoods and driving out the terrorists, and are the beginning of a true reconciliation of the Iraqi nation.  Jam the Madhai army of the Shiia is in disarray and many elements are splintering where they no longer have the cover of the politicians, so we can get them.  Attacks on the IZ have stopped.  The training and support the US Forces, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines provide is making the Iraqi army a professional force able to secure the Nation.  As they take over missions we will increasingly pull back and let them fight the war.  However we still need to give them time and support. We are winning this war and we are killing and stopping Al Qaeda here in Iraq.[# More #]
The neax question is where do we go from here.  Well we certainly cannot pull out of Iraq.  We need to remain here for some years to bolster the democracy in Iraq to confront Islamic terror in its backyard and to forstall the regional and world ambitions of Iran.  The next major issue we must confront is Iran.  I have often said that Iran is the greatest supporter of international terrorism.  Iran has been at war with the US for 30 years and has declared that fact many times.  They covertly undermine U.S. positions around the world.  They fund, train and direct terrorists againist us and they kill US Forces with their direct support of terrorists groups from both the Sunni and Shiia sides in Iraq.  The radical leadership in Iraq want regional control of the Middle East.  They are seeking a nuclear weapon and I believe will use it because they want a cataclysmic religious war.  They believe that it is only in that type of war that the 12 Imam will return and reestablish the Shiia Calaphate and rule the world.  If you dont believe that this could happen it was only 60 years ago that the Nazis in Germany thought war would allow them to rule the world and they went for it.  It took a 6 year catastrophic war involving the entire world to end their ambitions.  This will happen again if we do not take effective action.  If diplomacy does not work, if ecomonic sanctions do not stop them then we will have war wheather we want it or not.However it will be on ground of their choosing and a time advantagous to them.  It has happened before even though we chose to ignore the signs.
Often peace is not the option of peace loving people because the agressor imposes the war on the world.  The United States has been put in a position to be the only effective force for freedom and peace in the world.  However we cannot make countries and peoples peaceful who want to use war to gain dominance and impose their rule on the rest of us.  People in the US are fearful of a theoracy ruling America.  We dont have to worry because we have a constitution that defines our government.  However there is a theoracy that is governing a country under religous constraints and dictates to a wider religious community and wishes to rule the world, that country is Iran.  We need to confromt that theoracy and not allow it to expand.
In my analysis of where we go from here is we must continue to support and to maintain a presence in Iraq while training the Iraqi Army and Government and turning over greater responsibility for their security to them.  This has to be accomplished on an event and achevement basis and not on an imposed timetable.  A stable friendly Iraq is the greatest bulkwork aganist terrorism and aganist Iran that we can establish.  We also must confront Iran either with an effective economic coalition that can force Iran to stop their nuclear and terrorist activities, or with force if necessary.  We must continuily track and destroy Al Qaeda everywhere we track it down. 
  I thank all of you who have followed these occasional posts and have supported me with mail, thoughts and prayers.  I also want to thank the individual who sent me a bottle of 18 year old malt scotch.  I would like the opportunity to share it and a cigar with you.  A year seemed a long time when I started this tour of duty and it was.  It was especially hard on my wife who has been through 7 deployments to combat zones between myself and my son and daughter.  When I leave I still leave several students and my son in law here.  I am proud to have served with all of them and ask that you remember them in your thoughts and prayers and remember all of the great Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who are sacrificing for our safety and freedom.  It has been a privilege to once again serve with them.  I am in awe of their dedication, intelligence, and humor.
Now I will go back in to retirement and pick up my quiet life of teaching and mentoring students.  As Gen Douglas MacArthur once said “like the old soldier, I will fade away having done my Duty as God gave me the vision to see my duty.” I hope to see you when I return. 
Fight Irish War Dog


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