Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

It is time again to honor the Service and Sacrifice of our Veterans, their families, and all who support our military efforts around the world. I wanted to honor two men who became family for me while I was in Iraq. They were both assasinated about a month after my tour was over. Safaa and Jack were a father and son interpreter team that supported me in the Bayji Civil Military Office. Every day they assumed the danger of entering our post to work and support coalition efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi citizens. Both went on patrol with me and so I claim they took great risk to make sure my missions were successful. I have no way of contacting their family now that they are gone. I miss them.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sergeant First Class David Broderick, a former Task Force Dragoon Platoon Sergeant who is now serving in Afghanistan for his continued efforts to make sure his troops are trained and remain safe during their combat tour. God Bless you David and please stay safe and bring all your troops home.
A final note, I would like to honor Master Sergeant Scott Ball who was 38 years old/ Born in Mount Holly Springs, Pa.; assigned to the 55th Brigade, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Scranton, Pa.; died Aug. 27 at Forward Operating Base Naray, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Also killed were Maj. Henry S. Ofeciar and Sgt. Jan M. Argonish. God Bless Scott's family and the families of the fallen.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

4th Annual G.I. Film Festival

I had the honor of visiting Washington, D.C. with my new Army Brother Captain Dan Bulkley of Tip of the Arrow (... and the PA Army Guard). We saw two shows. The first, Honor in the Valley of Tears featured 1st Seargent David H. McNerney who is a Medal of Honor recipient and his trooops. This compelling story of Service and Sacrifice in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds was mind blowing. Also, many of the Company A troops were present including 1SG McNerney and it was my honor to shake his hand after the show.
The same evening, we saw two documentaries by Gary Sinise of the famed USO Lieutenant Dan Band (based on his Forrest Gump character). I highly recommend this event. It has motivated me once again to serve our country and our Veteran population in any way I can. Visit their web site and prepare to attend the 5th annual event during Armed Forces Week in 2011. I know I'll be there!

Please visit the site and consider donating to the cause.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Ultimate Warrior Career Workshops and Job Fair

I was provided this information from my associate CPT Dan Bulkley of Tip of the Arrow. Please pass it along.

Out there looking for a job? Looking to change career fields?
Come to The Ultimate Warrior Career Workshops and Job Fair at
The Timmerman Center on June 9 and 10 for workshops, services
and opportunities to meet with companies who are hiring.
On June 9, from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. there will be technical workshops
and services. Workshops include interviewing tips and techniques
and meeting with career and job coaches.
On June 10, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., a job fair with recruiters from
defense contractors and private sector employers will be present.
For more information on the event or to register to attend,
contact Sgt. Maj. James Clark at 301-674-9427, james.clarksr1@ or Sgt. 1st Class Loranda Taylor, 609-864-2559, loranda.
Uniform for the event will be ACUs. No child care is available
on site. Everyone must have a copy of their resume on a CD or
hardcopy; thumb drives are not authorized.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Draft book cover

Everyone, I'm seeking comments on the draft book cover. Also, I'm not sure if I took this picture, but I'm positive it was taken by one of our Charlie Company Engineers. I'd appreciate your feedback or name if it was yours! I suppose this lets the tentative title of the book out of the bag! Take care and God Bless America and our Troops wherever they may be serving!

The Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network

When I find out about new services and organizations, I check them out. I think for those of us who have deployed and live in the Philadelphia area, there would be a great advantage to network. GPVN is not yet registered as a charity in the State of PA, but they are worth looking into. Visit their website and event blog and please make your own determinations. I think this one is going to be a winner!

Posted here from (hello Alex!)
If you haven't heard GPVN has partnered with the biggest Social Media Conference taking place later in May. You qualify for a free ticket ($350 value). Please share with others you know and I do encourage you to apply:

SocialMediaPlus Conference, Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network Announce 5 FREE tickets for Military Veterans/Reservists (Operation Social Veterans)

The one-day SocialMediaPlus summit features four education tracks - Executive, Sales & Marketing, Human Resources, and IT - and 28 seminars where business owners, executives, vice presidents, directors and managers will learn proven strategies and tactics for utilizing social media and the technology that drives it. Planned session topics include:

Social media 101
Exploring the current landscape of social media
Web 2.0 sales tools and techniques
How small business is using social media
Social recruiting
Social media in healthcare
Cloud and mobile computing
Legal pitfalls of social media
Social media is more than Facebook & Twitter
Earn more with social media

The May 25th event in Philadelphia, PA is FREE for veterans/reservists of Operation Iraqi Freedom / Operation Enduring Freedom. Veterans/Reservists interested in applying can apply online: .

For more info about Operation Social Veteran:

God Bless America and our Troops, wherever they may serve.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Update from Afghanistan - SFC David Broderick

Everyone, I served with David during Operation Iraqi Freedom III. He is a great team leader and I ask your prayers for him and for the safe return of his team later this year. This is also his address if you want to send a care package.
Thank you and God Bless our Troops.

>>from SFC David Broderick, PRT Zabul, FOB Lagman, APO AE 09383

Hello Everyone,
This message is coming to you late Saturday night (your time), so I hope all of you are enjoying yourselves, AND staying out of trouble. Remember, that's my job! LOL
Not too much to tell over the last month. Just dealing with how our role in the area is evolving, and getting used to NOT being a kinetic type Soldier. Basically the role of the PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team), of which my guys are the Security element, is to help support the training of GIRoA (Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) in Agriculture, Governance, Education, and Security. Through our activities, we try to help legitimize GIRoA in the people's eyes, and in turn, help them secure their own country. This is a challenging task to say the least. Countering that are our "friends" in the Taliban, who can hide in plain, wield a LOT of power (especially here in Zabul), and who want Afghanistan to revert back to a Sharia law state. Sharia law is a very strict form of Islam much like you see in Saudi Arabia. The Taliban also likes to hit U.S, coalition, and Afghan forces with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). They are getting better & better at this task, so that is a little worrisome. In the middle we have our Special Operations brethren, who go out and look for the Taliban, but also stir up the people because the people feel disrespected by being stopped & searched, or searched in their homes. If something gets damaged, broken or destroyed, the PRT comes in to apologize and ask how they can help - so I get to deal with lots of angry and/or frantic people.
On the good side, where we live is actually one of the better FOBs (Forward Operating Base) in Afghanistan, so we feel very lucky for that. The air is relatively clean, the bathrooms are ALWAYS clean, and we don't have to wait for food/laundry/internet when we have the time. Another note of good news, is that we've been replacing old armored vehicles with new MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) type vehicles over the last month. Look up MATV, and see how cool those little buggers are. As a representative of the U.S. Military to you, the American Taxpayer, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! My platoon also got the opportunity (which we've been begging for) to go out and go "Army stuff" to assist in searching for insurgents & IED makers, and overwatching key terrain. That was a cool few days and the guys were very excited.
Well, I will quit rambling and close for now. I hope that all of you are well, enjoying the Spring, and that life is going good for you. I look forward to seeing you again in the not-to-distant-future. I'll be home on leave, En Sh'allah Sept 8-22. Take care, be cool, and stay safe.