By unitedweroll on Jan 28, 2012 | In Military News and Support
Five Korean War Heroes Reach Home Soil This Month.
Would it be too much for our mainstream media to acknowledge the homecoming of these
Heroes of Freedom who have been away for far too long?
May these Heroes rest in peace and may their families feel the comfort of knowing they
are finally home.
We wish the Recovery Mission success in bringing more of our MIA Veterans home from
Korea as they begin this Spring.
Recovery Mission to Begin This Spring in North Korea
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2012 - Members of the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command are preparing for their first mission to North Korea in seven years to search for remains of missing U.S. Korean War veterans, a defense official reported.
The mission, expected to begin this spring, will bring together U.S. and North Korean military members for the humanitarian mission, said Air Force Maj. Carie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office here.
U.S. teams will work in two areas in North Korea: Unsan County, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang, and near the Chosin/Jangjin Reservoir, where more than 2,000 soldiers and Marines are believed to be missing, Parker said.
Of approximately 83,000 Americans missing from all conflicts, 7,967 are from the Korean War, she said. Of those MIAs, 5,500 are believed to be in North Korea.
U.S. specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Command had conducted operations in North Korea for 10 years, recovering remains believed to be more than 225 servicemen since 1996. However, the United States halted those operations in 2005 due to increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
U.S. and North Korean officials agreed following three days of talks in Bangkok last October to resume the recovery missions, Parker said.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs Robert J. Newberry led the U.S. negotiating team, which included representatives from DOD, the State Department, U.S. Pacific Command and United Nations Command-Korea.
Their agreement with the North Koreans includes details on logistics and other issues to ensure effective, safe operations for U.S. recovery teams operating in North Korea, Parker said.
Based on this plan, North Korean soldiers are expected to begin preparing the two sites that will serve as base camps for the operations.
A small advanced team from JPAC will then travel to North Korea to assess the sites, evaluate the conditions and determine what other preparations are needed before a full recovery team deploys there, probably in the late spring timeframe.
The recovery is considered a humanitarian mission, and North Korean military will assist with logistics, support and security, Parker said.
"They understand the importance of this mission," she said, emphasizing that the mission is not tied to any other issues between the two countries.
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command has the sole mission of achieving the fullest possible accounting of all Americans missing as a result of the nation's past conflicts, command officials explained.
In support of that mission, the command sends teams that include forensic anthropologists, forensic archeologists and scientific directors to potential crash and burial sites around the world.
Once remains or other personal artifacts such as dogtags are repatriated to JPAC's headquarters in Hawaii, experts at the command's Central Identification Laboratory -- the world's largest forensic anthropology lab -- use the most advanced science available to match them to a specific missing service member. Among the tools they use is mitochondrial DNA, which includes unique signatures from the maternal line and helps the JPAC staff make identifications once not considered possible.
These capabilities, plus support provided by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Rockville, Md., has enabled JPAC to identify 94 missing service members from Vietnam, Korea and World War II since January 2011, Parker reported.
Of those, 44 were from the Korean War, including five who were accounted for this month.
One, to be buried today with full military honors in Somerton, Pa., is Army Pfc. George A. Porter. The 21-year-old Philadelphian went missing Feb. 11, 1950, when he and his Battery B, 15th Field Artillery Battalion comrades were supporting South Korean forces in a major offensive near Hoengsong, South Korea.
Porter and more than 100 men were taken prisoner when Chinese forces attacked in what has become known as the Hoengsong Massacre. He was never accounted for following the war, officials said.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of human remains believed to be those of 200 and 400 U.S. servicemen. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the remains were recovered in Suan County. That, officials said, was the location of the Suan Mining and Bean camps, where Porter was believed to have been held.
A metal identification tag bearing Porter's name was included among the remains, they reported.
Scientists from the JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used forensic identification tools, circumstantial evidence and mitochondrial DNA that matched that of Porter's sister and nephew to make an official identification. DOD announced the identification Jan. 23.
Other previously missing Korean War veterans accounted for this month were:
Army Pfc. Frank P. Jennings. He was lost near Jeon-Gog, South Korea, on April 25, 1951, while serving with E Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. Jennings was accounted for on Jan. 18.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Edris A. Viers. He was lost near Pongam-ni, South Korea, on Aug. 12, 1950, while serving with Battery A, 555th Field Artillery Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team. Viers was accounted for on Jan. 17.
Army Cpl. William R. Sluss. He was serving with Service Battery, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, near Kuni-ri, North Korea, when he was captured by enemy forces in late November 1950. Sluss died at POW Camp 5 in April 1951 and was accounted for on Jan. 17.
• Army Cpl. Chester J. Roper. The Battery A, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, soldier was captured by enemy forces on Dec. 1, 1950, near Somindong, North Korea, and died in early 1951 in POW Camp 5 at Pyoktong. He was accounted for on Jan. 4.
Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command
By unitedweroll on Jan 28, 2012 | In Military News and Support
Must See Video with Chuck Woolery Talking About Budget Cuts
This YouTube video is just too good not to see -
By the way, there are some other Chuck Woolery videos with more comments on our government and more.
By unitedweroll on Jan 26, 2012 | In Military News and Support
Apparently avalanches are not too rare in this part of the world and our Heroes of Freedom have come to the
rescue more than once or twice! Photos can be seen at the original site of this article (below) or on our
Facebook page at www.facebook.com/unitedweroll.
Is it no wonder we are so proud of the many, many ways our military members reach out to others
as they serve across the globe?
Airmen assist victims of avalanche, downed aircraft in Afghanistan
Posted 1/26/2012 Updated 1/26/2012
by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Larlee
438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
1/26/2012 - KABUL, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- A team of U.S. Air Force and Afghan air force aircrew and support personnel snapped into action Jan. 24 to provide life-saving support to 31 Afghan victims of an avalanche.
Additionally, the team supported an Afghan aircrew that had downed their aircraft in an effort to rescue the victims of the avalanche in Northern Afghanistan near the city of Fayzabad.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Chas Tacheny, the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group deputy commander, was in charge of putting a team together for the mission. He said his first priority was to ensure that this mission didn't add additional victims to the situation.
"First thing you think about in Afghanistan is the ability to survive," Tacheny said. "You don't want to do any more damage to your crew or equipment."
The Portland, Ore., native said he made sure to include medical and force protection personnel in the team of people spread out among two Mi-17 helicopters. He also wanted to ensure that everyone was properly equipped with cold weather gear because temperatures at the site were minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
The rescue team showed off some flexibility in performing the mission. They were originally assembled to perform an air safety inspection of the crash site, but about an hour before their arrival, they learned of the avalanche victims, which added a humanitarian wrinkle to the mission. Airlift of all victims would require two flights. The aircrew of the downed aircraft communicated with the new rescue team to provide triage information about which victims needed to be on the first flight. They also combined forces with the local villagers to shovel out a landing zone for the rescue team.
"This aircraft recovery mission changed very quickly from a safety mission to a humanitarian effort," said Lt. Col. John Conmy, the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron commander and a Mi-17 pilot who participated in the mission. "The landing zone was much smaller than we anticipated. Not too many teams could've pulled this off."
Tacheny said the biggest challenge was getting to the site safely. The site was at an elevation of 9,000 feet and tucked into the difficult-to-traverse Hindu Kush mountain range. The Afghan air force members were an integral part of the navigation as they helped direct pilots to the rescue site.
"The Afghans know this country and the terrain well," Tacheny said. "They did a great job of leading us through the mountains to where we needed to go."
The Afghans also sent safety officers and maintenance personnel on the mission. They were eager for a chance to pitch in to help their countrymen.
"It makes us happy to help others who are facing danger," said Afghan air force Maj. Farid Samin. "The crews of all the aircraft worked together as a team to make this happen."
Even with expert direction, traveling safely to the site was no easy task, said Capt. Mark Morales, an instructor pilot with the 438th AEAS. Morales piloted one of the two helicopters.
He said that the combination of the high altitude and a small landing zone required the best efforts of everyone involved in the mission. The landing was complicated by the snow, which was up to five feet deep in some areas, obscuring the landing zone.
"The mission presented very challenging flight conditions and to see our crew execute it effectively makes me extremely proud of them," Morales said. "It was not just the aircrew, though; a lot of people came together to help us get up the mountain and help save (the victims) from additional suffering."
Master Sgt. Chris Banks, a ground medic with the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, played a vital part in the mission as well. As the sole medic, he was in charge of making sure all 31 victims of the avalanche and the aircrew of the downed Mi-17 received urgent care.
"That was probably the most intense mission I have ever worked on," Banks said. "When you are working with that many patients, it really gets your adrenaline running."
During the approximately 15-minute trip back to Faizabad, the sergeant, a native of Orlando, Fla., hustled from patient to patient swapping out wet dressings for new dry ones and treating wounds as best he could. He said if the rescue mission had come any later, they may not have been able to save all of the victims.
"It was the worst case of frostbite I have ever seen in person," he said. "I have only seen cases that severe in pictures."
Morales, a native of San Antonio, Texas, said it was a true team effort. In addition to the Afghans providing guidance through the mountains, a German provincial reconstruction team provided timely reconnaissance pictures that provided valuable information for the mission.
"Teamwork and communication between the U.S., the Germans and the Afghans was the lynchpin for this whole operation," Morales said. "Without the German intelligence, we would have been burning precious time and fuel searching for the crash site and village."
Tacheny said he regrets not being able to do a safety ground inspection of the downed aircraft, but he said the most important part of the mission -- saving lives -- was a success.
"The humanitarian piece of the mission was an absolute homerun," he said. "I'm extremely proud of the team. They did an admirable job."
By unitedweroll on Jan 26, 2012 | In Military News and Support
This story reminds me of the movie character Rooster Cogburn and "True Grit"! Our appreciation to Mr Slone for standing guard over our freedom. We are sending wishes for many happy years on that ranch with those beautiful horses.
South Texas' One Armed Cowboy
By Robin Risemas, STVHCS Office of Public Affairs
South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)
Ray Slone, the self titled "One Armed Cowboy" is a 65-year-old Vietnam Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, who receives his health care through the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS). Diagnosed with skin cancer on his right hand, he underwent surgery at a civilian hospital expecting to have a finger or two removed, but when the surgeons got in, they discovered the cancer had spread and they had to amputate the lower part of his arm.
Losing part of an arm might be a devastating thing for a ranch owner and horse trainer, but to Ray Slone, it was just a small bump in the road. Having dealt with other health issues in the past, losing part of an arm was another challenge he had to rise to meet and make it work for him rather than against him.
Prior to his amputation, Slone had a successful and lucrative job with a construction company. The job provided him with his health insurance because, at that time, Slone didn’t know he qualified for VA health care. Not thinking about the financial aspect, Slone agreed to surgery. It turned out to be more expensive than expected and his insurance didn’t cover all of it. Slone had to come up with a way to pay for it on his own. “I sold my prize Appaloosa horse, Dodgers Chick, to pay for my surgery” Slone says with sadness. He goes on “My horse sold for $32,000 but my surgery cost $38,000.”
In addition to the financial stress of the surgery, Slone now had to consider how he was going to keep working his 18 acre ranch, located five miles outside Bandera, TX. Because prosthetics are expensive, two days after discharge from the hospital, Slone and his saddle maker friend sat down together and designed a prosthetic “arm” that Slone could use while tending the ranch. The homemade prosthetic is tooled leather with a burnished aluminum hook. The “arm” came in very handy while working the ranch. It allowed him to continue working with his horses and other ranch tasks.
Slone’s civilian Oncology doctor suggested he check his eligibility at VA. After working with a STVHCS social worker, he was assigned a primary care provider who referred Slone to prosthetics. The first prosthetic, a metal hook, took him "from 50% - 70%” he said. Then Slone heard about a new "bionic" arm and approached STVHCS staff expecting to be denied due to the cost involved, but was pleasantly surprised when the bionic arm was approved. This new arm would take him from 70% - 90%! He jokingly said he wanted the new arm for his birthday and, to his amazement, he received it just one day before his 65th birthday and he is only the 5th person in the country to receive this kind of arm.
Because STVHCS staff was able to work with this Veteran and provide excellent customer service, he has been able to continue doing the things that are important to him. “My plan was to retire at 70 and raise horses” he says. “Of course that plan changed when I lost my hand” he continues. But, thanks to STVHCS, he is still able to do some of the things he wants on his ranch. “I thank God for the VA," he said. "I could never say anything bad about the VA.
Between bouts of cancer and other health issues, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the VA." Having served as a hospital administrator in the past, Slone has seen his share of hospitals and he says "Audie Murphy is as good, if not better than, any hospital I've ever observed."
By unitedweroll on Jan 25, 2012 | In Military News and Support
We salute the Special Ops Forces members who performed this rescue! For your skills, your dedication and
for what you do each and every day, Thank You!
God Bless & Stay Safe.
Special Operations Forces Rescue Hostages in Somalia
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2012 - Special operations forces rescued an American woman and Danish man who had been held captive in Somalia for three months, President Barack Obama announced early this morning.
Both are well and are in a secure location, and there were no American casualties in the operation.
Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted were working as part of a Danish demining group when Somali criminals kidnapped them near Galcayo, Somalia, on Oct. 25, according to a statement from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. Galcayo is near the border with Ethiopia. There was no word where the two were held.
"This successful hostage rescue, undertaken in a hostile environment, is a testament to the superb skills of courageous service members who risked their lives to save others," Panetta said in the statement. "I applaud their efforts, and I am pleased that Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted were not harmed during the operation."
The president said he had spoken with Buchanan's father and told him that all Americans are thankful that his daughter is safe and will soon be home.
"The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice," Obama said in his statement. "This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people."
Panetta stressed the rescue was a team effort and required close coordination between the Defense Department and the FBI. "They are heroes and continue to inspire all of us by their bravery and service to our nation," Panetta wrote.
The Danish Demining Group trains local people to defuse and render safe landmines and other ordnance left in the wake of war. In addition to Somalia, the group is working in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Liberia, South Sudan and Uganda.
At the beginning of the president's State of the Union address last night, TV cameras caught Obama shaking Panetta's hand and saying "Good job." No one knew then what he was talking about.
During his address, Obama lauded service members' commitment and ability to work together. The rescue operation is another example of that.
"As commander in chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission, and the dedicated professionals who supported their efforts," the president said in his statement.
By unitedweroll on Jan 23, 2012 | In Military News and Support
United We Roll World Tour Show
Stardust Radio www.stardustradio.com
Tuesday 1/24/12 2:00pm – 4:00pm Central (Live)
Wednesday 1/25/12 6:30pm – 8:30pm Central (Repeat)
Welcome Stardust Listeners! Thank you for joining us on United We Roll
Tuesday, the 24th day of January, 2012.
We have three wonderful interviews with deployed members to share with you today. Our show will end just about 4:05pm Central. Remember, if you are not able to stay with us through the afternoon, this show will repeat again tomorrow evening - that is Wednesday, Jan 25th at 6:30pm Central.
(2:07pm) Our first interview comes to us from Transit Center Manas in the Kyrgyz Republic where we visit with MSG Gloria Torres, who is deployed with the 376th AEW (Air Expeditionary Wing). MSG Torres works with the traffic management office where her mission is moving cargo and passengers to home stations, on TDYs (Temporary Duty Assignments) and emergency leave. Her job contributes to the overall mission by shipping, receiving and tracking the parts needed to keep planes flying. As the daughter of a retired Air Force Veteran and the wife of an active duty Air Force member, service and helping others is more than a job it is a way of life.
(2:42pm) Our next visit takes us to the state of Kansas where we catch up with an Army member who we last spoke to during her 3rd deployment to Iraq in 4 years. Having returned home in December of 2011, SPC Dawn Van Horn is now on her final leave from the Army and will officially retire from the 2nd HBCT, 1st ID (2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division) as of February 4th. But this soon to be Veteran has not taken much time off as she is already hard at work in her new job where Dawn assists other Veterans to find work, is involved in erasing the stigma of PTSD in hiring Veterans and much more. You can also find a variety of information by visiting the site at www.Kansasworks.com. Welcome Home, SPC Dawn Van Horn - Job Well Done!
(3:28pm) Our final interview for today takes us back to Transit Center Manas, where we have yet another outstanding conversation, this one with SrA Thomas Adkinson who is deployed with the 376th AEW/ EFSS (Expeditionary Force Support Squadron). Transit Center Manas is a major transfer point for many thousands of our troops and SrA Adkinson is in the Force Support unit that works hands on with processing everyone who passes through the center either on their way home from or on their way to duty in Afghanistan. SrA Adkinson and his team maintain a strong level of support, hospitality and compassion for their guests during their short stay at TC Manas. It is comforting to hear the amount of concern from those who watch over our loved ones as they travel to and from harm's way.
Folks, once again we are very grateful to have the opportunity to bring you these beautiful visits with our Heroes of Freedom today and every Tuesday. We hope that you have enjoyed them and will join us again next week, Tuesday, January 31st for more interviews and news.
As always, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of our military members and Veterans, our first responders and to all their families, who also serve.
Of course, we thank all of you, our Stardust Listeners, for tuning in to United We Roll and to all of our programs here at Stardust Radio today and over the past ten years.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL & MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!
JOIN US FOR UPCOMING INTERVIEWS WITH
ARMY UNIT AS DEPLOYMENT PREP WINDS UP AND
MEMBERS HEAD TO AFGHANISTAN
We are pleased to announce that we will once again link up with an Army unit for regular interviews as they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan and throughout the deployment. We will have a full announcement with more details for you shortly and look to bring you the first interviews on Tuesday, February 7th.
Valentines for Vets
A complimentary, “Valentines for Vets,” concert will be at 7 p.m., February 14 at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside, Iowa featuring country music artist Lorrie Morgan. This concert is sponsored by the Iowa City VA Health Care System and Help Hospitalized Veterans.
Veterans can reserve their complimentary tickets by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (319) 339-7155.
The tickets are complimentary because our Veterans have already paid the price.
Again, the tickets are complimentary and can be reserved by calling (319) 339-7155 or emailing to email@example.com.
By Iowa City VA HCS staff
Shoutouts For Our Troops
If your organization would like to schedule a
date and time to record shoutouts for our troops,
please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
... "We Thank You" ...
Stardust Radio Network Inc
Sundays 6pm CT - Rick Townsend brings you Firebase Network with an hour of Veteran issues and discussions. Join Rick and his guests each week and call in with your comments. The phone number during the show is 877-213-4329.
Tuesdays 2pm CT - United We Roll World Tour Show brings current news and stories of personal experiences from deployed troops and those who support our military/Veteran communities.
Relocating To Another Night - Stay Tuned - 6pm CT - Press 1 For Enough where we talk about a wide range of topics that are important to our fellow Americans and our country. Have a comment? Call in and share it. The phone number during the show is 877-213-4329. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, just let us know!
Wednesdays 6:30pm CT - United We Roll World Tour Show repeat of Tuesday's show
To hear our broadcasts - go to www.stardustradio.com and click the Listen Live button. A sound box from Live 365 will appear where you can adjust the settings to suit your listening pleasure. If you see red colored bars in the volume indicator, that means that station sound is buffering and it will turn to green and begin to play shortly. There is no fee for the service as provided.
Local Area Riverside, Iowa - Tune in to 1690 AM radio
Past Show MP3 Tapes - Are available on our show archive site at www.stardustradio.info. Go to the main page, click on the show name button on the left, then scroll down to the show you wish to hear or download.
For more news & articles on current happenings, please visit our United We Roll sites at:
Stardust Radio – www.stardustradio.com
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