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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Unsung Glory#10
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[”Stickied” to the top of the page because it’s bloody well needs to be. The usual incoherent rants from yours truly will appear below this post for today — Emp. Misha]

I promised Joe D a story about a paratrooper many weeks ago. Well, better late than never.

Heroism comes in many forms. Often times it involves saving your buddies lives while under fire, other times it is one courageous act which turns the tide of battle, maybe even the war. All of our warriors are doing their part to win the war, and much of the time the impact of their individual service can not be seen. It is easy to tell that you have won an engagement, you possess the field of battle and the only enemy remaining are the corpses bleaching in the sun. That is a visible indicator of progress. Other signs of victory are harder to immediately see. The candy bar you give to a child today may only bear fruit when he becomes of voting and military age and decides whose side he is on.

Sometimes though just a soldiers natural love for children in a war zone can transcend even his death and continue to have a positive impact on the real future of Iraq, the children watching our soldiers everyday.

Specialist Michael Rodriguez with the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division had an intense love for the children of Iraq. He was one of those soldiers on patrol giving candy to the kids, sharing high fives, and playing soccer with them on down time and he wrote his family often of how much he cared for the children of eastern Diyala Province.

In April he was killed when several terrorists driving VBIED’s attacked is base at As-Sadah. His family decided to turn their grief to something positive and remembered his affection for the kids of Iraq. They began collecting school supplies and other gifts for them in Spc. Rodriguez’s name.

On November 26th Capt. James Goethals, a Civil-Military Affairs officer, and Capt. Tony Keller with the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry distributed the school supplies to 100 girls of the Dur-Mandali Primary School for Girls in the city of Balad-Ruz.

Capt. Goethals, accompanied by the Mayor of Balad-Ruz, Mohammed Rouf Hussein and the Superintendent of Schools, Morat Kadum, read the note sent by the Rodriguez family to the assembled girls.

“The school supplies that we are giving you today are from the family of a Soldier who died in Iraq, who loved the children of Iraq. His name is Specialist Michael Rodriguez.”

After the assembly the school girls started behaving like American school kids, running and playing, and staring in awe at the gruff, combat hardened soldiers who accompanied the shipment of paper and pencils and the other assorted accoutrement of learning. The soldiers, being American soldiers, played right along with the girls and followed them into their classrooms where they snapped pictures and spoke in broken English with the giggling girls, basically doing what American GI’s do best.

Before leaving Capt. Keller summed it up by saying; “I want to thank all of you young ladies here today for going to school. You guys are the future of Iraq. Don’t let anyone stop you from getting an education. Always remember Specialist Rodriguez.”

I’m sure they will, and they will remember the laughing and smiling soldiers who came to visit that day, winning the war the way American soldiers do.

25 Responses to “Unsung Glory#10”
  1. LC Hardclimber54 Comment by LC Hardclimber54

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    LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

    As usual, a fine post! And how well it depicts the “other side” of war. Battles aren’t only won by destroying the ennemy, but also by making friends along the way. Damn hard to do in a war-torn piece of real estate, but the soldiers have their hearts in the right place.

    An infinite Thank you…

  2. LC Hardclimber54 Comment by LC Hardclimber54

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    And foist!!!

  3. Panzermann403 Comment by Panzermann403

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    Thanks a lot Crunchie, that was really good. This stuff needs to be told in today’s world.
    Cheers

  4. hilljohnny Comment by hilljohnny

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    Crunchie thanks for the uplift. heres some links i found linka and linkb the dems must be foaming at the mouth. P.S. how is your son doing on his ‘island vacation’? :em93:

  5. Unregistered Comment by mindy1

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    I read this story before on other sites and it always tears me up. I wish the girls of iraq well, and thanks for men like spc rodriguez and their families. :em69:

  6. LC Hardclimber54 Comment by LC Hardclimber54

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    hilljohnny

    the dems must be foaming at the mouth.

    And I sincerely hope they choke on their own bullshit while trying to find a way to “reverse” the comments of Mr Murtha! (see how polite I am, I called him mister…) :em99:

    Traitorous, back-stabbing, vile, stinking, pus-oozing bastards. Yeah, choke on your shit you fucks.

    One day, I’m REALLY gonna let go, just you watch…

  7. hilljohnny Comment by hilljohnny

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    Hardclimber watching…watching…watching…… :em93:

  8. SoCalOilMan, LC Comment by SoCalOilMan, LC

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    To Murtha’s typical “but-monkey” response on the surge:

    “I think the ’surge’ is working….But the Iraqis “have got to take care of themselves.”

    I was over at Hot Air this morning and ran across this:

    What I see every day in Iraq: locals turning against the insurgents

    Fallujah was once the backbone of the insurgency. Today, as First Lt. Barry Edwards put it, “They avoid Fallujah now like it’s the plague. … They’re afraid of the Iraqis.”

    “Security is good now because the coalition, Iraqi Army, and Iraqi police all work together,” said an Iraqi fruit stand owner. “One hand does not clap.”

    Another Iraqi who works as a money changer told me, “They are finished. It will be a shame on all of us if the terrorists ever come back.”

    The hell with the Iraqi politicians, it sounds like the people are making their choice.

  9. hilljohnny Comment by hilljohnny

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    ot but have you seen this :em98:

  10. Unregistered Comment by PhantomOfTheOpera

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    Okay, I gotta say it….

    “Winning the war by doing what American GIs do best”….

    What, you mean trying to charm a bunch of young girls?

    *snicker*

    Seriously though… I recently talked to a guy I first met in 1994 when he was 11. He’s an ex-girlfriend’s son.

    Tough kid. In the 6 years I was with his mom and around him, he had 4 close friends move away, a fair amount of his stuff was stolen, his dad was not only robbed but shot through the heart and spine (he lived and is fine), a close friend of his committed suicide, and another friend blew 2 fingers off making improvised explosives from fireworks.

    Through all that, I never once saw that boy cry. Not once.

    A couple of months ago he came home on leave from his first tour in Iraq. By the time he got home he’d already asked his chain of command to go back.

    Now me, I’m ex-Navy. I learned that those letters stood for Never Again Volunteer Yourself, so of course I had to express surprise that he *asked* to go back.

    Perhaps you can imagine how it affected me to see this “tough kid who never EVER cries”, wearing the uniform of a US Marine, tearing up as he said, “We need to be there. We BADLY need to be there.”

    Yes, I could express pride in this young man that I halfway think of as one of my sons. But I don’t feel that this was anything to do with me. That strength of character, that automatic assumption that yes, even total strangers can be worth risking your life for… that came from inside him, not from me.

    What I felt wasn’t pride so much, not really. It was something I have felt before, many times. It was a sense of privilege.

    Giving each other a hard time and raggin on each other HARD is the ancient right of sailors and Marines. Neither service has ever gone anywhere without the other one at their back. More than ever, I find myself feeling the depth of the privilege bestowed upon me for, as a sailor, I am permitted the unique privilege of calling Marines by the most honorable title a Navy man can bestow.

    My “son” is only one of many. And one and all, I feel privileged beyond my ability to express that I am able to call them shipmates.

  11. Tonto Comment by Tonto

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    Some times ya just need a break from all that “shock and awe”. Airborne! All the way, and then some!

  12. Tonto Comment by Tonto

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    by the way, I’m glad yer back in all yer glory…had me worried there for a bit.

  13. SoCalOilMan, LC Comment by SoCalOilMan, LC

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    First off, PhantomOfTheOpera, your post really moved me. You must be proud that you helped direct this mans life.

    Next, these are the stories that people like me don’t hear. I only occasionally brush by Milblogs, usually from a link here. I know good is going on, but outside of death and failure, I’d forget Iraq exists with what I hear from the MSM.

    If there is a problem with how we are working to get electricity, food, the way schools are lacking, I could understand, but we hear nothing, like it isn’t going on at all. There is nothing on how many schools opened up this month, the power has been extended father out to other cities/towns, a local hospital just received a needed dialysis machine…nothing.

    Specialist Michael Rodriguez is indeed deserving of a post on this site, and his family is to be honored for their work to help these children that he cared about.

  14. Intellectual Conservative Comment by Intellectual Conservative

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    Indeed .. ever notice how the MSM tends to ignore anything which doesn’t have ‘American Defeat’ written all over it?

    Oh, and if you all want some amusement, I’m told some wanker named KB / Kropotkin Beard likes to post here. He also posts on BlameBush and gets his ass handed to him there by myself and others .. just like here :)

    Love the site, by the way ..

  15. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    I admire the Airborne, period. A proud member of the hundred and first was a drinking buddy way back when. I used to tease him telling him only a crazy man would jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Funny thing was he agreed with me. I bought him a lot of beers over time, he sharing some harrowing stories from his past. Guts of iron and balls of steel, that bunch. I salute them all. without them I cannot imagine.

  16. LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H. Comment by LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

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    Intellectual Conservative Don’t know that I’ve seen ya ’round these parts before. If not, welcome to the Rott sir! Buckle up and enjoy the ride. Remember, the pack nips its own every now and then, but it’s all good in the end. P.S. Don’t open any of BC’s or Radical Rednecks links unless you have Brain Bleach handy.

    hilljohnny

    P.S. how is your son doing on his ‘island vacation’?

    At Camp Geiger School of Infantry learning how to spend 20K of your tax money every time he pulls the trigger on a TOW, and enjoying every second of it! Thanks for asking.

    Tonto

    by the way, I’m glad yer back in all yer glory…had me worried there for a bit.

    Thanks buddy, just a little bug. I shot him and left his corpse to rot as a warning to others. :em96: :em93:

    Phantom #10, beautiful sir, just plain beautiful. When did they teach squids to write? :em99: Seriously though, well written and eloquently put sir.

  17. Unregistered Comment by LC Roguetek

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    And now for something completely stupid, and deserving of… well, -something- bad.

    http://www.komotv.com/features/kenschram/11929911.html

  18. Intellectual Conservative Comment by Intellectual Conservative

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    That does not surprise me at all.

    :DANGER .. SARCASM BELL RINGING:

    After all we are talking about Seattle, a place in the vanguard of the Progressive movement.

    How dare we badmouth that hard working Federal employee, doing the thankless job of being completely FREAKIN’ INCOMPETENT, when all the TSA moron wanted to do was to belittle those baby killers oops I mean our heroes in uniform?

    I’m sure the ACLU, also known as Al-Qaeda’s US office these days, would have something to say for us being so insensitive to the TSA asshat’s political views. I detect a class action lawsuit by the ACLU against anyone who would ever voice an opinion like ‘that complete pile of crap wearing a TSA uniform should be strung up by his nads for such a stunt’

    OK … I turned off the sarcasm bell :)

    Freakin’ asshat …

  19. Unregistered Comment by LC Roguetek

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    what gives me the giggles is the soldiers;

    1. had already loaded something onto the plane ( a coffin. ) This pretty much renders any concerns about security null and void.

    2. had a police escort.

    3. had ID and orders.

  20. Intellectual Conservative Comment by Intellectual Conservative

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    My two cents? The TSA asshat was making a political statement.

  21. Intellectual Conservative Comment by Intellectual Conservative

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    And for those who think we’re such a bad, insensitive, evil country … who are oppressing the Muslim world … I say let’s send the Muslims food aid … consisting entirely of pork products. Yummy rashers of bacon, sausage .. mmmMMMmmm :)

  22. Intellectual Conservative Comment by Intellectual Conservative

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    <- Mormon here

  23. Unregistered Comment by red_sleeves

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    PhantomOfTheOpera,

    Nice post. Wonderful kid.

    I was corpsman with a Marine dad, he served mid-sixties. My uncle was at Chosin. I popped out in the early ’70’s as a rebellious smart-ass. I called home during boot camp to let my dad know I had joined the Navy.

    But yes, after having had the honor and the privilege of serving in a rifle platoon as a grunt corpsman I can assure you that it is indeed the responsibility of every Marine to improve U.S. / foreign diplomatic relations, ……one girl at a time. S/F!

  24. Intellectual Conservative Comment by Intellectual Conservative

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    Spoken like a true Marine, RedSleeves …. My birth dad went MIA in Vietnam in March 65 (US Army) … I’m former Air Force myself, but I’ve always had the utmost respect for those who charge headlong into rifle fire for a living … I salute you sir :)

  25. Thresher Redux Comment by Thresher Redux

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    Very good Crunchie! As I said Sunday, you are doing a tremendous service to the military and the memory of these men.

    By the way, the package is in the mail….

    I always wanted to say that.