Saturday, December 3, 2011

Twin suicide blasts injures 3 in Kandahar province

Saturday, December 03, 2011 – According to Afghan security officials in southern Kandahar province, at least 3 people including an Afghan police officer were injured in twin suicide bomb blasts in this province.
The officials further added, the first took place in Shahwalikot district of southern Kandahar province early Friday after the explosives attached to the body of a suicide bomber went off before he reaches his target to storm a gathering of Afghan local police forces in the area.
District police chief for Shahwalikot Gen. Pacha confirming the incident said, only the suicide bomber was killed as a result of the incident, causing no casualty to Afghan civilians and security forces.
The second suicide bomb blast took place in the same district late Friday around 6:30 pm after a suicide bomber while attempting to storm the house of district police chief was killed by the Afghan police before he reaches his target.
Gen. Pacha district police chief for Shahwalikot in southern Kandahar province said, the suicide bomb attack was carried out by an insurgent who had disguised himself in women dress.
According to Gen. Pacha, at least three people including the an Afghan police and two women were slightly injured in the incident.
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10 injured in bicycle bomb blast in S. Afghanistan

Ten people were injured when a bicycle bomb went off Friday in Shahjoy district of Zabul province with Qalat as its capital, 340 km south of Afghan capital Kabul, the country's Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
"An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which was placed by enemies of peace and stability on a bicycle exploded in Shahjoy district of Zabul province at 11:00 a.m. local time Friday. As a result of the blast, 10 people were wounded including eight civilians," the ministry said in a statement.
In an unrelated incident, Taliban insurgents opened fire on a vehicle in neighboring Kandahar province, killing a civilian and injuring his wife.
A statement released by the Kandahar provincial government on Saturday said the incident occurred in Zhari district on Friday afternoon.
However, the motive behind the attack was not cleared at the moment.
The Taliban stepped up their attacks on Afghan and NATO-led troops since a rebel offensive was launched in May this year in the insurgency-hit country.
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Largest air load ever dropped in eastern Afghanistan

Combined Joint Task Force 1 - Afghanistan
Story and photos by Sgt. Andrea Merritt
Nov. 23., 2011.
PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan — With the inhospitable, mountainous terrain surrounding Forward Operating Base Curry making vehicle maneuver nearly impossible, units have relied heavily on air assets to receive supplies.

U.S. Army soldiers from B Company, 9th Engineer Battalion usually recover water, food, fuel and other classes of supplies from the drop zone, but this delivery, Nov. 23, was unlike all others and was the first of its kind in the history of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“Today we air dropped a 16-foot platform carrying an all-terrain forklift. It is one of six platforms ever dropped in theater,” said Eagle, Colo. native, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Chelsea Craig, the 11th Quartermaster Detachment commander. “It is the first forklift dropped in theater and weighing in excess of 15,000 pounds, it is the heaviest platform ever dropped.”

As the C-130 Hercules aircraft flew overhead, the back hatch opened and the crew pushed the platform carrying the historic load from the plane.

 Within seconds, three parachutes opened and the platform descended onto the drop zone. Upon landing, the platform made a loud cracking noise as it came in contact with the earth’s surface.

“Uh oh. That didn’t sound good,” said U.S. Army Maj. Michael Laporte, the 172nd Infantry Brigade support operations officer, as he watched from a tower overlooking the drop zone.

Once on the ground, engineer soldiers ran over and inspected the new piece of equipment. Although the packing material encasing the equipment broke during landing, the forklift remained intact.

Continue to read more and hi-res photos at APACHECLIPS.COM

When You Wish

Images courtesy: HN Samantha Paulson
When I spoke with Hospitalman Samantha Paulson over the summer, she repeatedly made a wish. She wanted her husband, Hospital Corpsman Second Class Chris Paulson, a fellow Navy Corpsman, home from Afghanistan. At the time, he was in the middle of a very tough deployment that included the tragic loss of a brave Marine he was caring for on the battlefield. 

 an awesome report/story by TOM SILEO from "The Unknown Soldiers"

When I spoke with Hospitalman Samantha Paulson over the summer, she repeatedly made a wish. She wanted her husband, Hospital Corpsman Second Class Chris Paulson, a fellow Navy Corpsman, home from Afghanistan. At the time, he was in the middle of a very tough deployment that included the tragic loss of a brave Marine he was caring for on the battlefield.

Last week, I got an e-mail from HN Paulson. She got her wish -- her husband came home safely in September -- but she was actually e-mailing The Unknown Soldiers to relay another wish from U.S. troops on the front lines.

As a July column about the Paulsons explained, the first year of their wartime marriage has been filled with sacrifice and uncertainty, with one rarely knowing where the other will be ordered to go on a given day. But instead of asking for gifts during this holiday season, HN Paulson wants to give them, and is asking us to do the same.

"I'm sure that you are well aware of the (Wishbook) that the USO has created online for deployed troops," she wrote. "Of course it is a charity incredibly close to my heart along with Toys for Tots but I was hoping that you could mention to your readers that for as little as $15 they could make a service member overseas smile while they are away from their family during this holiday season."

I worked as Director of Story Development at the USO before joining the Travis Manion Foundation as Communications Director. The USO is a wonderful organization that does a stellar job of connecting deployed troops with family members, friends, and supporters on the home front. The USO Wishbook program is just the latest example of the forward-thinking organization's efforts to lift the spirits of our troops and their families.

While the USO Wishbook is billed as "an alternative giving catalog," it is much more valuable than the dozens of catalogs filling your mailbox from department stores this holiday season. This catalog sells dreams that money usually can't buy, like a phone call home for a deployed service member, bedtime stories for children who will spend the holidays without a mom or dad to read to them at night, or sports equipment for forward operating bases, so troops can play football together while the NFL playoffs and college bowl games are going on back home.

HN Samantha Paulson is trained to care for the sick, injured, and wounded. This holiday season, as she feels thankful for her husband being home but worries about troops still deployed overseas, she is unfortunately facing some serious health challenges of her own.

"On a lighter note, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my husband, our roommate (whose husband is deployed to Afghanistan), as well as some co-workers who did not have anywhere else to go," she wrote. "I hope that your Thanksgiving was as equally as wonderful and full of family and good food!"

My wish is that this Navy Hospital Corpsman feels better, and that her New Year is just as happy as last week's holiday. To demonstrate that, I plan to support the cause that is so close to her heart: sending happiness to troops serving overseas.

As my family celebrates Christmas, we will send our wishes to men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan and around the world through the USO Wishbook program. I hope you will join The Unknown Soldiers -- and HN Samantha Paulson -- in supporting this noble endeavor.

Justice after 3 years....Luttrell's Dog murderers convicted

i'm sure everybody remember that story when former NAVY SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s dog being murdered at his home in Texas a few years ago.
(Marcus Luttrell: author of the "Lone Survivor" book, only survivor of the "Operation Red Wing", Navy Cross and Purple Heart awarded)

here is the story with video, and photos of the two d******d from 2009, on

but today the good news coming....
By Cody Stark
Staff Reporter at
December 02., 2011.
HUNTSVILLE — Former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell still feels upset about the shooting death of his service dog DASY almost three years after the fact.

When the local war hero took the stand Thursday in the cruelty to non-livestock animals trial of Alfonso Hernandez, one of the two accused in the case, Luttrell said he was so angry the night his dog was killed that he drew a pistol on the car the suspects were riding in.

“I wanted to take a shot at the driver, but I figured if I missed and shot out the back window, I would not be able to catch them,” Luttrell said.

An hour after DASY was shot on April 1, 2009, law enforcement officers eventually caught up to the car with Luttrell’s help. And Thursday, Luttrell got some closure in the case.

Hernandez was found guilty of a state jail felony by a Walker County jury of four men and eight women in the 278th District Court.

Two days earlier, Michael Edmonds pleaded guilty to the same charge and admitted he was the one who fired the shot that killed DASY, a Labrador retriever that was given to Luttrell by friends to help him cope with emotional and physical injuries he sustained while fighting in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Edmonds and Hernandez, who was charged as an accomplice, will have to wait for a pre-sentence investigation to be conducted before a punishment is handed down, which is expected to take place in February. Cruelty to non-livestock animals carries a sentence of up to two years in a state facility and a $10,000 fine.

Luttrell, who left as soon as he finished testifying Thursday morning, is best known for being the lone survivor of a mission in June 2005 when his SEAL team was pinned down in a firefight with Taliban forces in Afghanistan. He was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006.

Luttrell had DASY, whose name is an acronym of the initials of Luttrell’s team members who were killed in the firefight, for four years. He testified Thursday that at around 2 a.m. on April 1, 2009, he let DASY out and sat down in his home on Four Notch Road in southeast Walker County, to watch television because he had trouble sleeping.

Luttrell said he heard a single gunshot, grabbed his pistol and ran next door to his mother’s residence to check on her. He then made his way down to the roadway, crawled underneath a fence and saw DASY had been shot.

“I saw my dog in a ditch and two men standing outside the car,” Luttrell said with his new service dog by his side on the stand. “I could hear them laughing.”

The car, which belonged to Alfonso Hernandez, was being driven by Caleb McGough. Edmonds and Arturo Hernandez, Alfonso’s brother, were also passengers. McGough and Arturo Hernandez did not face charges in the case.

Edmonds testified that he shot DASY, but that the others wanted to go back and look at the dog. He said that Alfonso Hernandez then got out and started beating the dog with a wooden baseball bat.

Luttrell chased the suspects through Walker, San Jacinto and Polk counties before a patrol officer with the Onalaska Police Department pulled the car over on Highway 190 near the bridge over Lake Livingston.

The jury heard testimony this week from Texas Ranger Steve Jeter, who helped investigate the case, and Edmonds that Alfonso Hernandez and Edmonds were connected to other dog shootings prior to the incident on Four Notch Road.

“This time they shot the wrong dog, the dog of a man who can’t sleep at night,” Walker County Assistant District Attorney John Hafley said during closing arguments. “ ... Everyone else would have been sleeping. They shot the wrong dog and this time they were stopped. ... (Alfonso Hernandez) is a dog killer who celebrated like they scored a touchdown.”

Defense attorney Fritz Barnett challenged the state’s lack of evidence that his client knowingly and intentionally took part in DASY’s death. He said Alfonso Hernandez was out hunting varmints and had no idea Edmonds was going to shoot a dog.

“(Alfonso Hernandez) was out hunting rabbits, coons and possums,” Barnett said in closing arguments. “... It would have been like if Mr. Luttrell had been out on patrol in Afghanistan and one of his men up and shot a woman or a child and Mr. Luttrell was held responsible. Alfonso was not responsible for what Mr. Edmonds did.

“... Going out and shooting dogs might have been in (Edmonds’) mind, but there is no shred of evidence it was in Alfonso’s mind.”

Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Stroud went back to the testimony of Luttrell and Edmonds before the state rested its case. Luttrell said he heard laughing and Edmonds said Alfonso Hernandez laughed while he hit DASY with a bat.

“(Alfonso Hernandez) got out and kicked and beat that dog and thought it was funny. They thought it was just another dog,” she said. “To Marcus Luttrell it was so much more. It was a symbol he carried around for what happened to him. He was reminded of the people it was named after. To Marcus Luttrell that was just not another dog.”

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