War dispatches

1. To start with, checkout U.S. Marine Walks Away From Shot to Helmet in Afghanistan. It begins:

It is hard to know whether Monday was a very bad day or a very good day for Lance Cpl. Andrew Koenig.  On the one hand, he was shot in the head. On the other, the bullet bounced off him. 

Wall Street Journal author, Michael M. Phillips, does a nice job of bringing home this little vignette.  Our leatherneck Koenig has just given new meaning to the moniker "jarhead."  God bless LCpl. Koenig and his mates...and God bless the men who developed our Kevlar helmets; that's what you call good gear! 

2. We also suggest you jump over to read David Bellavia's excellent report and update with photographs on the offensive against the Taliban stronghold in the southern Afghan town of Marjah.   Here is just a sample of his report:

Thankfully in the early phases of Marjah we are seeing that this is not shaping up to be Fallujah III as some analysts had expected...

The urban environment is by far the most difficult terrain to fight any enemy. With all due respect to the many brave warriors of other conflicts, two machine gun wielding enemy combatants in one barricaded room can do as much damage as two platoons in the open. The pill boxes of Iwo Jima could be flanked and jungle OPs could be suppressed from orbital platforms.

When you fight an enemy in an urban environment with a civilian population...present, everything you do must be surgical and precise. As we have seen with errant rockets impacting a home and killing twelve civilians, our boys must be perfect 100% of the time. The foreign media carried this story above the fold on the frontpage all across the globe. Our military's mistakes will always trump our many successes. The price paid for being the greatest military the world has even seen.

This ain't easy. If you don't like it go to Dental School.

Our nation should be proud of those that have volunteered to serve in our place.

Read the whole report.  Bellavia is the man and because he's not a product of one of the nation's schools of journalism (he is instead a highly decorated Iraq War veteran), he brings tremendous creditability to his work.   He is also the author of the acclaimed war memoir House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, which is about door-to-door close combat in Iraq.  Read about him and follow his informative reports from the front.  Here is a summary bio from Wikipedia:

David Bellavia is a former Army Staff Sergeant who served in the 1st Infantry Division (Task Force 2-2). He was recommended for the Medal of Honor, nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross, and received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star (v), and the Conspicuous Service Cross. In 2006 he was invited to attend the President's State of the Union address as an honored guest. Bellavia has been the subject to some notoriety in the military for action he took on November 10, 2004, where he single handedly stormed a house full of insurgent fighters at night. He not only fought the attacking insurgents off, he managed to kill them all. Out of ammunition, Bellavia stabbed the last attacking insurgent to death with his pocketknife in a hand to hand combat.

Bellavia is what war correspondents should be, along with the likes of the superb Michaels Yon and Totten.   

Hat tip: the boys at BLACKFIVE.

Alan Fraser is the father of a United States Marine.  He can be contacted at alanfraser62@gmail.com.
1. To start with, checkout U.S. Marine Walks Away From Shot to Helmet in Afghanistan. It begins:

It is hard to know whether Monday was a very bad day or a very good day for Lance Cpl. Andrew Koenig.  On the one hand, he was shot in the head. On the other, the bullet bounced off him. 

Wall Street Journal author, Michael M. Phillips, does a nice job of bringing home this little vignette.  Our leatherneck Koenig has just given new meaning to the moniker "jarhead."  God bless LCpl. Koenig and his mates...and God bless the men who developed our Kevlar helmets; that's what you call good gear! 

2. We also suggest you jump over to read David Bellavia's excellent report and update with photographs on the offensive against the Taliban stronghold in the southern Afghan town of Marjah.   Here is just a sample of his report:

Thankfully in the early phases of Marjah we are seeing that this is not shaping up to be Fallujah III as some analysts had expected...

The urban environment is by far the most difficult terrain to fight any enemy. With all due respect to the many brave warriors of other conflicts, two machine gun wielding enemy combatants in one barricaded room can do as much damage as two platoons in the open. The pill boxes of Iwo Jima could be flanked and jungle OPs could be suppressed from orbital platforms.

When you fight an enemy in an urban environment with a civilian population...present, everything you do must be surgical and precise. As we have seen with errant rockets impacting a home and killing twelve civilians, our boys must be perfect 100% of the time. The foreign media carried this story above the fold on the frontpage all across the globe. Our military's mistakes will always trump our many successes. The price paid for being the greatest military the world has even seen.

This ain't easy. If you don't like it go to Dental School.

Our nation should be proud of those that have volunteered to serve in our place.

Read the whole report.  Bellavia is the man and because he's not a product of one of the nation's schools of journalism (he is instead a highly decorated Iraq War veteran), he brings tremendous creditability to his work.   He is also the author of the acclaimed war memoir House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, which is about door-to-door close combat in Iraq.  Read about him and follow his informative reports from the front.  Here is a summary bio from Wikipedia:

David Bellavia is a former Army Staff Sergeant who served in the 1st Infantry Division (Task Force 2-2). He was recommended for the Medal of Honor, nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross, and received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star (v), and the Conspicuous Service Cross. In 2006 he was invited to attend the President's State of the Union address as an honored guest. Bellavia has been the subject to some notoriety in the military for action he took on November 10, 2004, where he single handedly stormed a house full of insurgent fighters at night. He not only fought the attacking insurgents off, he managed to kill them all. Out of ammunition, Bellavia stabbed the last attacking insurgent to death with his pocketknife in a hand to hand combat.

Bellavia is what war correspondents should be, along with the likes of the superb Michaels Yon and Totten.   

Hat tip: the boys at BLACKFIVE.

Alan Fraser is the father of a United States Marine.  He can be contacted at alanfraser62@gmail.com.

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