Home > Uncategorized > Where was the California National Guard?

Where was the California National Guard?

As the wildfires that ravaged southern California are gradually brought under control, speculation grows over what could have been done to reduce the damage.

Locally, officials have focused on the need for modernized and coordinated disaster-response efforts, while again questioning the prudence of building houses in areas prone to fire.

On a national level, however, the discussion is much broader. Within political circles, the California wildfires have yet again thrust the debate over the Iraq war into the spotlight, this time by calling into question how America uses its National Guard.

According to the office of California’s Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, the state’s National Guard is under-funded, mismanaged, and stretched to the breaking point. Approximately 2,500 of its members were deployed overseas at the time of the fire. Its equipment is generally 30 to 40 years old. And, according to a recent USA Today article, at least 800 Humvees, 700 medium tactical vehicles and 50 heavy lifter trucks were unavailable, primarily because they were being used in Iraq.

When disaster struck this week, a large portion of the responders had to be brought into California from other states, including two firefighting experts from Montana. For many Democrats, this reflects a larger, more frightening trend; that the lack of National Guard personnel and equipment is leaving America vulnerable at home.

On Capitol Hill, news of the fires and the Guard shortages provided a forum to revisit legislative battles over the war. An amendment introduced (for the second time) last month by Sen. Jim Webb, D-VA, would have given National Guard units a three to one ratio of dwell time at home, compared to the current one-to-one system. Had the measure not been filibuster twice in the Senate, Webb’s office noted, more guardsmen would have been available to help combat the wildfires.

“Extended troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan compromise the long-term ability of states to respond adequately to natural disasters of this magnitude,” Webb told the Huffington Post. “Not only are we burning our ground forces out, but states are feeling the impact of this extended service.”

Indeed, several recent government reports point to a Guard that is poorly utilized and stretched too thin. In January 2007, the Government Accountability Office stated that “the types and quantities of equipment the National Guard needs to perform domestic missions have not been fully identified using an analytic based process, particularly for large-scale, multi-state natural disasters.”

In March 2007, the Congressional Research Service found Army and Air National Guard units to be “not ready” domestically, “primarily on current military equipment shortages and concerns for long-term operation reserve capacity.”

And in an August 2007 letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, acting Army Secretary Pete Green wrote that California’s National Guard “has adequate capability to respond to small and medium domestic missions. However, equipment shortages could potentially limit their capability to fully respond to large scale emergencies such as a catastrophic earthquake or major flood.”

These reports, coupled with news of the half-a-million displaced and 500,000 acres burned in southern California, prompted a number of Democratic figures, including several on the campaign trail, to rail against the Bush administration’s foreign policy.

“Governor Schwarzenegger has had to ask other states for help because so many of California’s National Guard, who provide critical support to the citizens while you are fighting the fires, were deployed to Iraq,” Sen. Chris Dodd, D-CT, declared on Wednesday. “In a Dodd Administration, never again will our houses be on fire because our troops are taking fire in Iraq.”

The California fires are not the first time a national disaster has been used as a medium to debate the Iraq war. In the aftermath of Katrina, questions were also raised as to whether America had overlooked national security and disaster preparedness by funneling too many resourced to the Middle East. And this past May, when tornadoes wiped out the small town of Greensburg, Kansas, anger erupted after it was reported that rou

  1. Rich from Paso
    October 26, 2007 at 5:02 am

    Let me tell you all somethings you may not like to hear:

    First, The California National Guard is in shambles. It is terribly led and mismanaged. That is one reason why I refuse to join a state guard unit.

    Second, when I was stationed at Fort Riley before the Iraq War kicked off, my unit was deployed to Oregon to fight forest fires in July/August 2002. Where was the Oregon National Guard then that necessitated the need for an active duty Field Artillery Battalion to come in and fight the fires? They had “Hot Shots” (professional forest fire fighters) coming in all the way from Canada. If you recall, some of the worst arson started fires occurred that year in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona among other places. Final point here, fighting a raging forest fire does not get put out with manpower. The strategy of the National Inter-agency Fire Command (NIFC) is to create fire breaks and back burns to rob the fire of fuel while keeping the fire from burning homes and other structures. This fire is out of control because there is a crap load of fuel for this fire and the only firebreak in place is that sole body of water known as the Pacific Ocean. Physics and eco-terrorism (from the Earth Liberation Front kooks) or out of work Hot Shot people (as in Arizona 2002), not the Iraq War, has more to do with the uncontrolled nature of this fire. Please keep this in perspective when you go and want to make a blanket causality relationship between this fire and anything else.

    While this fire is having a tragic impact on the lives of the people in the area, I emplore all Anti-war people to try and not politicize this like you all have done in the past, such as with Hurricane Katrina.

  2. Rich from Paso
    October 26, 2007 at 5:10 am

    Also, before I forget, there is a systemic problem within the National Guard that directly impacts the issue at hand. There is no overarching oversight from the US Army on the activities, personnel and equipment readiness, or disaster planning. There is the National Guard Bureau at Fort McCoy, WI and then there are 50 state Adjutants General. I proposed, in the wake of the Katrina response, that the US divide the nation into five regional Corps commands and realign the national guard divisions into those Corps. The Corps Headquarters, commanded and staffed with Active Duty personnel, would develop contingency plans, track equipment, personnel and training readiness, and be the authority to bridge the interstate lines of separation between the state national guard units. These five corps would report to the Army CoS and the NG Bureau Chief on recommendations for funding, equipment fieldings and training dollars. Also, these Corps would be responsible for the train-up, readiness, deployment and redeployment of Guard units within their Corps areas of responsibility. I think it is a good idea that unfortunately has not gotten any traction.

  3. Marilyn
    October 26, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Everything in life is political. I am assuming the reference to “eco-terrorists” is related to pro-environment people? Unfortunately that term is used by people on both sides of the issue.

    Fires are being started for political and criminal reasons and the inability to fight them in a timely and effective manner has both environmental as well as logistical causes related to political policies.

    I do not know if you have been hearing about the Greek and Lebanese fires this last summer. Those fires were started deliberately for strictly political reasons. Historical and olive farm areas were destroyed. That is one way political terrorists are fighting their battles across the world and they are not “eco-terrorists.” They are “cultural terrorists” and are a product of the political and economic strife that is going on across the world. I anticipate that we will see a rise in such acts of terrorism for political reasons on the part of those whose agenda is to wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people for political motives.

    I would not doubt one bit if such terrorist acts are state as well as group sponsored and everyone, and I mean everyone, is a suspect.

    The fact that the National Guard is not in the greatest of shape is no excuse to minimize the help they could have offered had they been available to do the job they were created to do in the first place. If the Guard is in such bad shape, why are they in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place?

    Maybe we should focus on fixing the problem instead of continuously trying to excuse the lack of leadership and the nepotism that has plagued the government of this country in all its levels for the past 8 years.

    We have a system in place that was designed to tackle disasters on the home front. The wise thing to do is to strengthen it to allow it to do its job properly, not by using it in its current state to wage a war far more costly in life and property than what it was designed to deal with at home.

    800 humvees or airplanes or whatever are designed to perform limited state functions, not fight a global war on terror with 50 year old men who have joint and heart problems and belly fat. Maybe such a job is better left to the regular military while the guard should be doing the jobs they were trained to do (set up field hospitals and help logistically in coordinating the rescues and the building during disasters)?

    If the Guard is in such shambles, why are they carrying the burden of fighting the most difficult and most brutal war in recent history?

    We can’t have it both ways and, ultimately, if things continue the way they are, there will come a time when the Guard will be unfit to do either and then that will become one more reason why we should privatize the war on terror, protecting the homeland, as well as handling disasters.

    After that, when there are no more laws left to protect the average citizens from the rule of mercenaries, all this discussion will be water under the bridge and Republicans and Democrats will still be blaming each other while people here and abroad continue to die and become displaced.

    This could just the beginning, if we are not careful.

    But history has a great knack for repeating itself, not because it has nothing better to do, but because human beings have an uncanny ability to ignore the lessons of history for the comfort of greed, conformity, and partisanship. Fear and greed are what drive most people and we hog both as if by chasing after those two things we think we are going to be happy and live forever.

    Tell you what, someone or some people are having a big laugh at our expense right now. The fact that you like them or vote for them means nothing because they really couldn’t care less if any of us dropped dead tomorrow due to war, natural disaster, or inability to get proper medical care. They don’t care if we lose our homes to fires. They don’t care that our college kids can’t even read. They don’t care if all the ice on the planet melted tomorrow and if Miami went under water as long as they have their homes and their little hideouts to go to when the rest of us peasants hit the dirt.

    Some of us will hit the dirt is some god awful desert in the Middle East, probably in two or three pieces, some will die from a brain tumor because Blue Shield would not authorize a timely MRI until an expert panel reviews the case to see if they can save 100 bucks somewhere or if they can completely deny it.

    Meanwhile, those same people we voted for will be having free breakfasts and dinners courtesy of corporate and foreign state lobbies. They will have free and timely health care for themselves and their families. They have other homes to go to in case things get too rough for them. They will still brag about how much they all support the troops (whatever that means). The louder and nastier they say it the more it means they support the troops.

    Maybe we can all work for Blackwater and the modern-day crusader, Eric Prince. Hey, maybe they will have a better health plan than the national health insurance everyone is talking about!

    Oh, I forgot. They don ‘t give their contractors health insurance and they have no liability or obligation to protect you. You are not their employee; you are self-employed.

    Hey, maybe they should fight the fires in San Diego? Is that far fetched?

    Cynicism and sarcasm are some of the ways, for me, at least to be able to stomach this blasphemy at this point in time.

    By the way, I was in Louisiana as a volunteer two days after the storm hit. Had it not been for the generosity of the American people and the volunteer organizations, despite the criticisms leveled at many of them and despite the parasites who are always waiting for tragedy to get rich, the people of Louisiana, Texas, and Florida would have faced a more horrendous fate. Forget FEMA, the National Guard (they were there in a small presence later), or any government agency (except maybe the local cops). Had it not been for the nurses who really took care of people in the shelters and made all the decisions, and had it not been for the doctors and psychiatrists and police who were constantly vigilant among the sea of humanity that was terrified for a number of reasons, the people of Louisiana would have faced a far worse fate.

    There are systems in place to deal with such events. We have to strengthen those systems and continue to improve them to maximize their efficiency to the benefit of everyone. Denying the problem and shuffling it onto someone else helps no one and continues this cycle of blame and victimization.

  4. trusting americans
    October 26, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Our beloved national Guard was right where they should be!
    On the job & ready to serve!
    You libs have to politisize everything…
    The families and evacuated have never wanted for anything.
    The firefighters are doing a fantastic job.
    Why do you have do to this?
    Why do you hate America?

  5. Wilson
    October 27, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Drive by Camp San Luis and you can see over 150 Humvees and large transport trucks sitting there.
    Maybe Barbara Boxer and Chris Dodd should check in with reality instead of Moveong.soros.

  6. a retired guardsman
    October 28, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Dave —

    You ask the question:

    “Where was the California National Guard?”

    And then you start with:

    “As the wildfires that ravaged southern California are gradually brought under control, speculation grows over what could have been done to reduce the damage.”

    The implication appears that you think the Guard could have reduced the damage.

    I served in the California Army National Guard from the late 70s into the mid-90s after an active duty career that included service in Vietnam, and I can tell you that the Guard does not “fight fires.” The Guard has always served in a support role — primarily transporting ground crews to the fire lines in our 6×6 trucks. I was a Guard commander for a wildfire in Orange County in the early 80s. In those days, we were about the only organization with trucks capable of moving a ground crew into rough terrain, and that is exactly what we did, and we did it well and safely.

    Our drivers were/are good, but you can bet that they can’t outrun a fire being pushed by winds at a reported 50-90 mph. It would be foolhardy to put ground crews in that danger in the first place, but those inside the beltway in DC and behind microphones in SLO may not recognize real danger or may not be particularly concerned that others be placed in that danger.

    A commander wants to bring home every soldier he takes into harm’s way and does not take foolish risks to satisfy the politicians or the media.

    Firefighting is serious, dangerous business that is best left to the professionals (including the well-trained ground crews within our state’s prison system). Fire departments from throughout the state (and beyond) responded to mutual aid requests — exactly as the system is designed to work. They sent fire trucks with crews of firefighters trained in fighting structure fires and wildland fires; the Guard is neither trained nor equipped to do either, and neither are police officers, utility workers, or average citizens. Highly dangerous work is best left to professionals who know what to do and how to minimize risk of loss of life.

    If any senator or representative has said anything intelligent about these fires and the Guard’s involvement in them, I sure missed it, but I’ve certainly heard more than enough wild statements to once again confirm that the best and brightest are not serving in the legislative branch in DC.

    It would be more worthy of your time to seek out some Fire Chiefs for their perspectives on fighting these fires than it is to pay any attention to a politician who tries to tie it into his/her views on Iraq or military readiness. I saw some excellent interviews with firefighting professionals on CNN and Fox in the early days of the fires; now that the usual “news” shows are back on, I’ve gone back to ignoring the cable “news” channels, so I’ve no idea who they’re talking to, but from your column, I can sure guess.

    PasoRich doesn’t know much about the National Guard. Its headquarters is in DC (I’ve been to Fort McCoy, WI, and it is just one of hundreds of Guard facilities — not unlike Camp Roberts and Camp San Luis Obispo), and the last thing it needs is overarching oversight from the Army, but that’s another story for another time.

    He is correct about the mismanagement of the California Guard at its Sacramento headquarters, however. Gov Jerry Brown started it on a long downhill slide that continued under Gov Davis, and it is just now beginning to turn around under Gov Schwarzenegger’s recent appointee. But the latest Adjutant General has a rough row to hoe with our own brand of politicians in Sacramento. And that is yet another story for yet another day.

  7. Rich from Paso
    October 28, 2007 at 9:49 am

    I stand corrected. The NGB is headquartered in Arlington, VA.

  8. Downtown Bob
    October 30, 2007 at 7:56 am

    “a retired Guardsman”: Thank you for your comments, you write like you really know your stuff. My question for you is: If we had all of our National Guard members (and equipment) available here in the United States, specifically in California, do you think that there would have been any difference in how the fires in Southern California were handled? I defer to your experience here, so if you say that it would have made no difference, I will believe you. A thoughtful response would be appreciated, thank you.

  9. Anonymous
    October 30, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Ummm Bob?
    The National Guard doesn’t fight fires!
    Asking if they could or should would be like asking where were all the mailmen! Why didn’t they help? Or the teachers? or DMV workers!
    You do get it don’t you?
    “national” means national, not what ever the state of California needs done?
    Where you out there fighting the 41 fire? No! And you shouldn’t have been…and why? becuase you are not trained to fight fires!
    Fighting wild fires in 100 mile per hour warm winds is at best a dangerous life threatening business.
    It’s best to let those specifically trained do it.
    The eutopia you created in your head must be an interesting place to spend time. Bust some experiances are best kept to one’s own self.
    The goverment can’t, won’t and shouldn’t do everything for you!

  10. God bless our troops
    October 30, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Your answer was just posted on line by the CNG itself!

    10/30/2007, 2:14 PM PST

    Southern CA – In mid-October, wildfires destroyed more than half a million acres of drought stricken California real estate. The fires were, for a time, uncontrollable. Over a million people had to be quickly evacuated from their homes. The skill with which this unprecedented relocation was handled is a testament to the abilities of the emergency personnel that serve the state of California as well as the Soldiers of the National Guard. The Guard was right there, in the front lines doing everything they could to save lives, rescue victims and ease the suffering of the evacuees.

    From the first hours of the fires, the National Guard was on the scene. Soldiers serving on the border as part of Operation Jump Start were immediately mobilized to provide support for all responding agencies. These troops, and their 2,500-plus brothers and sisters who also responded, worked long hours providing security, transportation, medical and aerial operations in southern California.

    When GX arrived on the scene, the situation was well in hand and the Soldiers lacked nothing they needed. As LTG H. Steven Blum, National Guard Bureau Chief said, “There is absolutely no skill, no capability, no piece of equipment that’s in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, the horn of Africa or any place where the Guard is serving overseas that would be required and essential to the fire fighting capabilities that are needed in California.”

    Not only were they well equipped, but they were also obviously well rehearsed for the mission. This may be the largest fire to strike California in some time, but it’s hardly the first.

    GX spoke with former Guard member Bill Payne, currently serving as chief of flight ops for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. He had this to say about the Guard’s assistance: “This is an established relationship. We have an ongoing agreement with the Guard. We train together, we know these guys well…so when the time comes, there are no problems.”

    CPT Michael Keehn, the officer in charge of several security and humanitarian operations, told us about troop morale. “We’re working at a pretty brisk pace here. We are running two 12-hour shifts, so everyone is working hard. Morale is good. We have a lot of faith in what we are doing. After all, this is why we joined the Guard…you know, the save your neighbor, save the world type stuff.”

    1SG Gary Cooper grinned as he discussed the missions his Soldiers were running. “It’s everything from guarding stacks of MREs (meals ready to eat) to conducting security patrols. We are also providing medical support for illegal immigrants who have been injured in the fires while they were trying to cross. This is the perfect mission for my Infantry guys…get out and sleep in the field for days at a time so we can help people? Oh, yeah! Cots? We’re Infantry, we don’t need any cots.”

    CSM William Clark, the State Senior Enlisted Advisor, had an unmistakable look of pride as he told GX about the superb performance of the California National Guard. “I’m extremely pleased. The Guard did what the Guard has done for the past 300-plus years. Additionally, we had some great support by our leadership. Governor Schwarzenegger is a big proponent of the Guard. Both he and our A.G., MG William Wade, really understand the needs of the Soldiers.”

    They all made it sound like just another day on the job. Save a few lives, protect some property, fight back the worst Mother Nature has to throw at you and be home in time for dinner. We at GX know better. When we see the pilots rolling off the flight line with a tired, but proud swagger, their faces covered in smoke, soot and sweat, we know that’s not just your average guy. That right there, my friend, is a genuine American hero.

    Copyright © 2007 GX: The Guard Experience® GXonline.com

    God bless our heros in the California national Guard! Waty to go soldiers! We are proud of you!

  11. a retired guardsman
    October 31, 2007 at 5:35 am

    DownTown Bob —

    Thank you for your comments.

    To answer your question —

    The absence of 2,500 Guardsmen (per Dave’s post) would make little to no difference in the California Army National Guard’s ability to respond to this situation.

    The Guardsmen who were serving on the border made for a quick reaction force, but with the large number of Guard units in Southern California, once the call went out for volunteers, they’d have had all they needed in fairly short order.

    My experience with anything short of a full call-up (kind of like what we had with the LA Riots after the Rodney King verdict) is that the troops can’t wait to get called out to help — be it floods, fires, earthquakes, mudslides or whatever else Mother Nature dreams up to throw at us in California. I’m proud to say that we never had any difficulty at meeting any mission requirement and usually had to turn down plenty of volunteers.

    It is difficult to put into words the feeling that one has when fellow Californians thank you for being there and protecting or helping them or when you’re in a convoy on your way home from a fire or other emergency and you see homemade cardboard signs tacked to a tree or fencepost saying, “Thank you National Guard.”

    * * * *

    The press release quoted above is like so many others in that it is full of overly positive statements, and looks like it was written by a PR-type (which it was). That doesn’t mean that the points made aren’t true — they are simply over-hyped like so much of what we see from whatever source.

    * * * *

    Our Guardsmen are well-trained and hard working, and they’ll knock themselves out trying to do anything that we ask them to do. That’s why we have to be careful in what we ask them to do; as a leader, you have to know your troops’ capabilities and limitations (just as I had to know my own).

    As I mentioned before, you always want to bring every troop home safely from every mission.

    Sorry if I got off on a few tangents, but I hope I answered your question.

    A Retired Guardsman

  12. Downtown Bob
    October 31, 2007 at 6:56 am

    anonymous: To quote you, “umm”, did I ask if they were available to fight fires? No, I asked if there would have been a difference in the response to the fires. As you can see by the two comments that followed yours, the California National Guard did help out, quite a bit apparently, and did their jobs quite well.
    GBOT: Thank you for the nice cut’n paste. Well done.
    Retired Guardsman: Thanks for your response. I find it educational when someone knowledgeable contributes to the discussion, especially when they do it in a non-political manner as you have done. I don’t care if you are a Democrat or Republican or whatever your politics are, I hope you come here again and contribute when you feel you can instill some knowledge to the readers here. Take care.

  13. deeply respects our soldier
    November 1, 2007 at 3:01 am

    SAN DIEGO, Ca. (10/30/2007) – The governor, the San Diego Chargers and a cheering crowd of 60,439 football fans consoled and thanked four National Guard Citizen-Soldiers in pre-game ceremonies here Oct. 28.

    Despite personal losses from the Southern California wildfires, the four members of the California Army National Guard stayed on duty

    The four Guardmembers honored at the game returned to duty afterwards, helping to provide communications, performing administrative functions and providing other assistance to their communities.

    “I was told that I didn’t have to stay,” Adams said. “It’s just what I was taught to do. I’m not trying to be heroic or anything. I’m just trying to do my part.”

    WASHINGTON (10/26/2007) – Thousands of servicemembers have been aggressively and selflessly fighting deadly wildfires this week, a top defense department leader said today.

    “It is awe-inspiring to see the kind of response that is now being executed by civilian first responders, National Guardsmen and other military personnel in Southern California,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Paul McHale told online journalists and “bloggers” during a conference call from the Pentagon.

    “Many of these individuals are putting themselves in harm’s way for the protection of the rest of us,” he said, “and when you see that kind of selfless sense of purpose, it is inspiring.”


    C-130 Firefighters Face Special Challenges
    By 1st Lt. Jody Ritchie
    USAF Special to American Forces Press Service

    CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ca. (10/28/2007) – Military crews in the planes dropping fire retardant on wildfires in southern California face hazards and challenges unique to their humanitarian mission.

    Heavy smoke hangs in the air as the Poomacha Fire in northern San Diego County, Calif., continues to burn on Oct. 26, 2007. Military crews on six specially equipped C-130 Hercules aircraft are supporting firefighting efforts by strategically releasing fire retardant in the area. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Roy A. Santana, USAF (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

    “We’ve got people that wait for years to get an opportunity to get certified for this mission,” said Lt. Col. Dave Condit, the Air Force Reserve Command MAFFS program coordinator and a 302nd Airlift Wing pilot based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. “We only take the most experienced aircrew members, and we go through a lot of training and preparation for this.”

    ARLINGTON, Va. (10/29/2007) – Four specially equipped Modular Airborne Firefighting System (MAFFS) C-130 Hercules aircraft from the North Carolina and Wyoming Air National Guard joined the massive firefighting effort in Southern California this week as weakening winds allowed an aerial assault on the state’s destructive wildfires.

    In all, more than 2,500 Army and Air National Guard members continue their fight to save lives, rescue victims and ease the suffering of those affected by the wildfire devastation in Southern California.

    “The size of this operation is enormous,” said Lt. Col. Brian Ratchford, an aircraft commander with the 145th. “The size of the response, the size of the fire is so much larger than I have ever done.”
    ESCONDIDO, Ca. (10/26/2007) – The National Guard is providing critical help to civilian authorities fighting Southern California’s mammoth wildfires, national leaders said here Thursday, Oct. 25.

    “Our National Guard personnel have provided very important assistance,” President George W. Bush said during a visit to the fire scenes.

    Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Maj. Gen. William Wade II, adjutant general of the California National Guard, were among leaders accompanying the president.

    More than 2,500 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were assisting civilian authorities with firefighting efforts by the end of the week.

    Among the National Guard’s contributions:

    Air National Guard crews are dumping retardant from C-130 aircraft equipped with Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS).
    Full Motion Video Downlink on a National Guard RC-26B aircraft is providing imagery for incident commanders.
    The National Guard is providing state-of-the-art communications capabilities that are being used by local, state and federal agencies.
    CORONADO, Ca. (10/26/2007) – Before Mike Maury could thank the firefighters who he thought had prevented his house from going up in flames, he thanked the California National Guard for protecting it from looters.

    When a convoy of Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry (Light) approached his home on Cabella Drive in the Carmel Mountain area north of San Diego, Maury was overcome with gratitude, going from Humvee to Humvee shaking hand after hand; his wife other family members and neighbors doing the same.

    “I got the call on Monday at 1:05 a.m. and by 1:10 we were moving,” said Lt. Col. Dirk Levy, commander of the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry (Light). “Within 20 hours we had Soldiers on the ground.”

    Why do liberals hate our military? Why do they impune everything they do? What is the point to destroy the morale of those that live to serve and protect us…at home and abroad.

    Thank God at least the conservatives love and respect and support our military.
    If I were in uniform I’d be voting republican! I have had enough of this military bashing!

  14. Downtown Bob
    November 1, 2007 at 3:44 am

    To: deeply respects our soldiers; Where did anyone here disrespect the military? Marilyn repeated what Rich said; Rich is ex-military, and Republican; did he disrespect the military? Or did Marilyn when she repeated what Rich had written? Are you saying that I disrespected the military somehow? Please explain yourself; who disrespected the military in this thread, and how did they do that? I await your response, thank you.

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