Saturday, December 17, 2005

KC Soldiers Weekly Edition III

Welcome to the third edition of Kansas City Soldiers Weekly. KC Soldiers Weekly is posted every Sunday to give a face and a voice to soldiers, their families and support organizations in and around the Kansas City area, including bi-state coverage of our largest bases in Kansas and Missouri.

If you have information about local soldiers, units, deployment, redeployment, family or events, please contact me at kehenry1 at hotmail dot com.


Tankers of Task Force 2/34 AR., Ft. Riley, Kansas return safely to Camp Warhorse on December 5, 2005 after assisting Iraqi Forces in the blocking and securing of Rt. Cheyenne leading into the city of Udaim, Iraq. Udaim was evacuated and secured the evening prior. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc Danielle Howard) Centcom

6 nabbed in UdaimAn IED discovery along a road near the village of Udaim north of Baqubah, resulted in the capture of six suspects. A patrol from Task Force 2-34 Armor discovered the IED and cordoned off the surrounding area. After an explosives ordnance disposal team conducted a controlled detonation to destroy the IED, the six men were searched and IED-making materials were found among them.

2-34 Armor Ft Riley
2-34 Armor Ft Riley Gives Gifts KAN’AN, Iraq – Families of 25 Iraq army soldiers piled into the small conference room at the IA Headquarters in Kan’an, Iraq, Nov. 7, and seated themselves across from 6 boxes overflowing with a rainbow of presents.

The multicolored toys and shoes in the boxes were dim compared to the smiles on the children’s faces as they sat in anticipation of what the American Soldiers had brought them. The majority of the families attending the event were representing one of the 14 IA soldiers who were killed in an attack on a traffic checkpoint within
the city limits in January. The remaining were families of soldiers who were killed in action in various incidents around the Kan’an area.[snip]

Capt. Salman Hasonay Abdulla, from the Iraq army, and Nasir Ridha Majeed Aswad, a leader in the Kan’an community, faced the crowd as Lt. Col. Richard Creed, operations officer for 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, offered words of support for the families losses.

2-34 Partners with Iraq Battalion for trainingWe are also thankful today that we have partnered ourselves with an Iraqi Army battalion that has observed, listened to and learned from the example we have set. They have made tangible, noticeable improvements and have taken great strides towards taking charge of responsibility for their country and taking the fight to the enemy.

For example, last month, the 4th IA Battalion conducted a cordon and search of a densely populated part of Baqubah to apprehend suspected AIF cells planning to disrupt the Constitutional Referendum scheduled for October 15th. With minimal presence from TF 2-34 AR soldiers, the Iraqi Army soldiers of the 4th IA Battalion executed the mission flawlessly and apprehended several suspected insurgents. [snip]

In another operation earlier this month, Iraqi Army soldiers detained six suspected insurgents in a raid based on actionable intelligence targeting an AIF cell near Baqubah. Shortly after that, an Iraqi Army Commando Brigade conducted a series of point raids with one of our partnered Iraqi Army companies that netted over 20 individuals suspected of AIF activity.

2-34 is Capt. Ziegenfuss's Battalion.

Big Story Missed by MSM Dec 5, lead up to Iraq Elections 52 suspected terrorists nabbed

MO 1438th National Guard in IraqJust a day before the 1438th Engineer Multi-Role Bridge Company arrived in Mussayib a suicide bomber initiated an attack that took the lives of over 100 residents in that community, marking it as one of the largest casualty losses. As the 1438th arrived on site early the following morning, having no idea of the preceding day’s events, unit members stood on the bridge assessing their task. Anti-Iraqi Forces (AIF) had damaged the bridge seemingly using a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosion Device (VBIED).

Springfield, MO - Ryan Lenz embedded with 101st blogBEIJI, Iraq.

The radio had crackled just minutes before with a soldier screaming that his Humvee had hit an IED planted on the side of the road near Sharqa.

No one was injured, a tire was destroyed, and soldiers from the 33rd Cavalry Regiment's Bravo Troop had begun searching nearby homes for someone, something, anything that might have been used as a detonator.

Photos Iraq - AP

Home Front

Little PatriotsWASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2005 - A Missouri-based nonprofit organization uses the power of teddy bears to comfort young military family members with one or both parents deployed in the war against global terrorism.

Little Patriots Embraced Inc. was incorporated in 2004 "to show support from the American people to the immediate family members of military personnel," according to the organization's Web site.

The group solicits donations from individuals and corporate sponsors to buy and assemble gift packages, including teddy bears, that are distributed to service families at military bases, said Michelle Williams, president of Little Patriots Embraced for about a year.

Ft Riley, KS - Annual March of the ToysAt the Operation Santa Claus Headquarters, Bldg. 261, volunteers wrap the sacks of toys that are dropped off at the building and collected at distribution points in the area.

"Even if I cannot donate to children, I enjoy giving to the children through the program," Bonneau said. "At least I know they will get something."

Bonneau's husband, Sgt. 1st Class Cory Bonneau, is deployed to Iraq as a part of the 2-34 Armor Battalion.

This morning approximately 25 soldiers with the 70th Engineer Battalion's Rear Detachment along with Morris Hill Elementary School students participated in the annual toy march. The route was from King Field House to the Operation Santa Claus headquarters.

Gardner Woman Mades CD for the TroopsAfter Laura Moyers' husband's U.S. National Guard unit was activated to Iraq, she had to find a coping mechanism.

The longtime Gardner music teacher turned to her musical talents to express her emotions. The result is "Soldier's Tribute," an album expressing gratitude for the sacrifices soliders and their families make in serving our country. [snip]

Proceeds from the album, available at Borders Books and Music in Olathe, will go to the Army Emergency Relief fund. "Every dime is going to go to the soldiers," she said. Moyers produced another benefit CD in 2001, "Christmas in Red, White and Blue," which raised funds for an infrared imaging device for the Gardner Fire Department

Welcome Home!

Kansas National Guard, Home for the Holidays!
Iola, KS -- A happy holiday homecoming for members of a National Guard unit based in Iola, Kansas.

The 891st Engineer Battalion has been in Iraq for a year. Its duties included military and civil engineering projects, and handling missions to locate roadside bombs and explosives.

On Saturday, members of the unit will head home from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where they're receiving briefings and medical exams.

Welcoming ceremonies are planned in Pittsburg, Coffeyville and Iola. WDAFTV4

Iola, KS - Spouses Await 891st ReturnFor the better part of 18 months, Angie Linn and Debbie Jones have served others as their husbands were in Iraq serving their country.

As director and co-director of the 891st Engineer Battalion's Family Readiness Group, respectively, Linn and Jones have organized a number of meetings and activities for family members left behind as the 891st was de-ployed the better part of a year in Iraq. They've also served as liai-sons, disseminating information about the 891st's doings, and in recent days about the battalion's return.

Come Saturday, they get to shed those duties, if only for a while, as the community welcomes home the 891st, which returns from its deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"All I'm going to be on Saturday is Sean's wife," Linn said. "I don't want to have to worry about anything else."

Digging at site of suspected IED Nov 2005

Hard to do stealth with an audience Nov 2005

Controlled Detonation of IED

Sgt Paulsen gets Army Commendation Medal 05-05 for fabricating gun mounts and protective steel shells on unit's trucks contributing to the safety and survival of many 891st Guardsmen and Women.

Megan L. Widner, 891st Engineer Combat Battalion, awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

See 891st in Action

891st Preparing to Deploy 10/04Fort Sill, Okla. — Crackling gunfire, a thunderous explosion from a dummy grenade and curses. The men and women of the Kansas-based 891st Engineer Battalion were having a rough morning.

"I do believe we're dead," Sgt. Jason Lane of Manhattan muttered as green smoke cleared.

891st in Iraq 02-05His soldiers are responsible for some of the most dangerous work of the war, clearing insurgents' makeshift bombs from the roads where American troops and Iraqi citizens travel.

"There's a lot of debris and trash around a lot of the road areas, so we find them in a lot of different places," Tafanelli said. "But mostly we see where they've been dug" into the road.

But the engineers are also responsible for some of the work that might leave a positive American legacy behind when the war is over -- rebuilding bridges and roads and meeting with sheiks to fix up old schools and build new ones.

The truck that Sgt Paulsen built.

Fallen CommradeA Kansas Army National Guard soldier killed in Iraq will be remembered Thursday at a funeral in Goodland.

Sergeant Derrick Joseph Lutters, 24, died May 1, a car bomb exploded near his armored Humvee. Lutters and other soldiers from the the 891st Engineer Battalion had been inspecting a Baghdad bridge for sabotage.

891st Re-enlist 22 at Ur, Iraq 8/05Early this year the 891st Engineer Battalion, Kansas Army National Guard, held a special reenlistment ceremony at the Ziggurat, near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq. BG Jimmy Welch, Commander of the 194th, read the oath as 22 members of the Battalion held up their right hands and repeated it.

What the soldiers of 891st Say On the Return Home
Sgt. Shaffer, though, had other activities.

“I’m going to go out with the boys,” he said of his sons. “Hunting, fishing, feeding the cows and taking care of the farm. Things America takes for granted.”


As Seen On Michael Yon's blog "Americans Among Us", Sgt Walter Gaya in his own words and photos.

In Memorium

Four Ft Riley Soldiers Die in IraqFORT RILEY, Kan. (AP) -- Four soldiers from Fort Riley were killed Tuesday northwest of Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded near their Humvee.

The soldiers were part of the Army's 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. Their deaths bring to 65 the number of active duty soldiers from Fort Riley killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.[snip]

The casualties were identified as Spc. Peter J. Navarro, 20, of Wildwood, Mo.; Staff Sgt. Michael S. Zyla, 32, of Elgin, Ore.; Sgt. Brian C. Karim, 22, of Talcott, W. Va.; and Spc. James C. Kesinger, 32, of Pharr, Texas.

1st Lt. Debra Banaszak, 35, a resident of Bloomington, Ill. and a member of the 1035th Maintenance Company, died of a non-combat related injury while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom on Oct. 28.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of Debbie Banaszak," said Brig. Gen. King Sidwell,
Missouri National Guard adjutant general. "My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the members of the 1035th Maintenance Company as they struggle in their
bereavement." The 1035th Maintenance Company, based in Jefferson Barracks and DeSoto, is currently stationed at Camp Victory, Kuwait. The unit was mobilized in late January and arrived overseas in April 2005.

Things Military

Liberty Memorial RevitalizationKANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The association governing the nation's largest World War I memorial says it has raised the full $26.6 million needed to pay for the expansion of the monument's museum.

Now under construction, the Liberty Memorial's museum will rely heavily on audiovisual elements. It also will feature large and small historical objects. The memorial towers above parkland on a hill at the edge of downtown. On Armistice Day in 1926, leaders from five allied powers, Belgium, Italy, France, Great Britain and the United States, gathered in Kansas City for its dedication.

Shut down in 1994 because of deterioration, the memorial was restored and rededicated in 2002. During the restoration, an area was created beneath the monument for the new museum, an auditorium, an education area and research space.

KC, MO - John Lewis Barkley WWI Medal of HonorOn October 7th, 1918 near Cunel, France, Barkley was stationed in an observation post half a kilometer from the German line. Using his own initiative, Barkley repaired a captured German Machine gun and mounted it in a disabled French tank near his post. Shortly afterward when the enemy launched a counterattack against our forces, Pvt. Barkley got into the tank, waited under the hostile barrage until the enemy line was abreast of him, and then opened fire completely breaking up the counterattack and killing or wounding a large number of the enemy. Five minutes later an enemy 77 millimeter gun opened fire on the tank point blank. One shell struck the driver wheel of the tank but Barkley remained in the tank and after the barrage ceased broke up a second counterattack, thereby enabling allied forces to gain and hold Hill 253.

After hostilities had ceased, there were over 4000 expended machine gun rounds found in the tank.

For these actions, John Lewis Barkley was

Residents at the Eudora Nursing Center honored eight men Dec. 7 for their work and sacrifice during World War II.

The veterans' combined experience spanned across battlefields and bases on different sides of the world.[snip]

The memories were especially strong for Kermit Broers.

Broers was in the Army and stationed in Hawaii around the time of the attacks. He said he helped with the aftermath.

"I helped clean all the explosives from the docks, and we put them in caves in the mountains in Hawaii," Broers said.

Broers also said he remembered his time as war raged in the Phillipines.

During that time, he worked with General Douglas MacArthur becoming "his right hand man," Broers said.

Springfield, Mo - Making a Marine

Opinion - Atchison, KS American troops winning war, doing a fine job in Iraq
The American troops are winning the war in Iraq. So politicians should be saying positive things about the war, and also about President Bush.

This Christmas, let’s pray for the American troops in Iraq. The American troops are doing a good job in Iraq.

Dec 18 Lawrence, KS War Protestors Chain Themselves to Recruit Station DoorsLawrence Police arrested seven protesters Saturday morning after they spent hours chained by their necks to the doors of a military recruiting office.

Protest organizers said members of the group locked themselves to the doors of the Army-Navy recruiting office, 2223 La., in honor of others who have faced more serious consequences(?) for opposing the war in Iraq.[snip]

On the sidewalk next to the protesters, a group of military recruiters waited to get into the office, where they said they had planned a Christmas party. They said they could not comment beyond that, and recruiters did not return a message left for them later in the day.

Outside the MoKan Area

IED School Eglin, FlaEGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) -- A new town has sprouted on this military base, with businesses, a well-stocked library, even its own airport passenger terminal. It's part of a new school the military hopes will help bomb squad leaders detect and disarm the deadly improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, that kill American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Advanced Explosives Device Disposal School officially opens next month, and on Friday the military showed off its X-ray cameras, chemical sensors and advanced robotics.

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