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2005.07.27

Comments

KAT IN GA

Hey there ~ been reading your blog for some time now, and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your blog, your service, and the service of those over there with you. Each and every one of y'all (and your families) is in my prayers daily. I am truly greatful for your service ~ please, let everyone over there with you know that the Orr family in Loganville,Georgia, says,

"WE LOVE YOU! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SERVICE!"

Hang in there... we are standing behind you all the way.

NOTR

Well said. Rip out the bad apples if they do exist and drive on! One thing to keep in mind is that the Army in which you serve is so different from any other. I am not talking about it being all volunteer. Nope! What I am talking about is you are held to a politically correct standard that is next to impossible to meet in any war. The fact that you guys are able to soldier on in that environment is a Hell of a testament to what patriots you all are. Thanks for what you do for us.

Howard Veit

I posted about this. Two different stories and there is a MAJOR difference between the first and second. $30,000 shrunk to $4K. Extortion changes to a mistaken rental agreement. And the Iraqi Wolf Batallion may have been the prisoner abusers. Hang in there.

Brad Johnson

AWESOME POST RUSTEN! I could only stomach the first paragraph of the LA Crimes article.

I didn't get a chance to read your prior post yet. I'll get over there and look at it.

You are one hell of a "junior officer". I wish I served under you when I was in the service.

Sgt. B.

Every now and again, you kicked in the cubes...

I spent many years with outstanding combat units, and then did time in the rear echelon, where there was time for this sort of garbage to pop up...

You take it hard, yes... (I'm a Marine, and anytime some Jarhead dihonors the Corps because he was a criminal, the whole danged Corps takes it personally, so I know what you're going through...)

But you work through it... You have to...

Leadership, the type that you displayed, will go far towards turning a dispirited group of young soldiers back into the motivated war-fighters that they really want to be. (Heck, this you know, so I'll stop preaching...)

But, as you know, it will take time. Train up the new guys, and get them into the saddle.

In the meantime, I can't say that I agree with your belief regarding whether the term "murder" applies...

Kill, yes... Murder, I don't think so, and I think that there is a difference. If, for no other reason, than to keep the damage to your own soul to a minimum. But, as you so refreshingly reveal, you are ultimately responsible for your own deeds, and thus, you have to call them as you see them, and noone has a right to try to change your mind...

In the meantime, we worry at the desparate tones as of late. Don't let the dark times cloud over the fact that you are doing great deeds. Anchor yourself to the fact that you are accomplishing great things. Hold fast to the knowlege that we support you, your unit, and your mission.
It will take time, but good progress is being made...

Semper Fidelis.

chris

Russ,
As expected, the LA Times has printed a follow-up story. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-guard28jul28,0,3691865.story?coll=la-home-local
Interestingly enough, the story has changed a little bit from the day before.
At a time when we need you all doing your job the most, the Army has other ideas.
My view is that these insurgents attacked American Soldiers who were defending an Iraqi installation.
These cowardice insurgents were captured and..., well, they got off easy.
It's best that I do not expound my feelings in an open public forum such as this.
Take Heart Brave Soldiers.
As always, we continue to keep you and the rest of those with you in our thoughts and Prayers.
Take Care and God Bless.

Tony B

Lots of us out here who really do care about what you're doing. We recognize the sacrifices you are making on all of our behalf. We are extremely grateful for it.

Gryph

After reading your post I'm not sure what to say, but I'm a native and long-time resident of California, so I guess I still think of you all as "our guys" even though I've never met any of you or read your blog until today.

Still I want you to know that there are lots of people like me on the outside, praying for you, and believing in you. We don't expect you to be supermen and in fact since your not bullet-proof we don't want you to even try. Just be what the Army National Guard has always been, a group of friends and neighbors who decided to stick together in order to protects us from harm and to lend a hand in dire times of need.

Office politics and the actions of a few jerks must I think must have different and much worse consequences on the battlefield than in a corporate tower in downtown LA.

Please try to remember that there will always be honor in the service that you have given to us. Your sacrifices are not unrecognized and you are not alone. Even those that may be the occasional Jackass. I'm sure Jackasses need lovin too. ;-)

So keep your heads held up high. Your pride and honor are the things that cannot be taken away from you by the words and actions of others.

And above all else please take care of each other. Thats more important than anything. Yes, even more than flag and country. America is at heart a community and you are a vital part of it.

We will be here for you when you are over there, and we will be here for you when you come home.

As always, you remain in my family's prayers. God Bless.

Koop

The Night Stalkers aren't the only ones dealing with this. A British regiment with an even longer distinguished lineage faces the same problems. The 184th is inherently good--I know, I helped forge it--and will emerge from this trial even better than when it went into it.
Thanks for maintaining this blog. It pains me that I can't be there now.

Subsunk

Russ,

Been through some tough times sort of like that quoted in the article. Sometimes when folks do wrong their entire organization gets painted with the same brush. You and I know that isn't the Truth.

The best way to recover your reputation and your pride is to keep doing the little things which must be done every day, stick to the routine, and dig deep inside and do your duty, because that is what America expects of everyone in uniform. You are well on your way to digging your battalion out of any hole they are in. Keep pressing on the good and right things to do, and keep the bad things in perspective. I'm sure you will all come out of this stronger and tougher than when you went in. And you'll be better Men than the rest of us for it.

Press on, youngster. Victory, and return to the states with pride and honor, is in sight.

Subsunk

Cricket

Hold fast. When you and others you know are innocent, sustain yourself and others in that innocence. You will be vindicated.

Rosemary

I'm glad you feel better. I still hate JAG!

There was a bus full of lawyers going on a tour while at a convention. Suddenly, without warning, there came a long, twisted curve on the blind side of the driver, who was also a lawyer. Before he could get his bearings, the bus was veering on between the cliff and the road. In an instant, they were all killed. It was sad, someone said. Yeah, said the guy next to him who saw this happen. There were two empty seats! LOLOL.

Have a good day.

Keith, Indy

Keep your head up, and stand proud. As long as you've lived true to your code, then I know you've done nothing wrong.

Edward

Now THAT is the Rusten who is a leader. Welcome back to the real you.

Nulle Bastardum Carborundum Est
(Idiot Latin for Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down that I mumble to myself at least once a week, but an incantation you may want to make at least once a day.)

Curt

You're quite a work of art. I'm glad the men were there and I trust your talk helped them, and the payoff was you feeling the pride.

Many times I'd go below and sit in Central Control (the engineering control on the ship) and just talk to the men. It was refreshing and educational for me. They were great men who taught me many things about life and about how to run a ship.

Tina Mundy

There are times in life when we are sent on a quest. Often we don't ask to go, even beg not to go, but we journey far and wide on this quest trying to complain as little as possible. Most times I don't realize until after I finish my quest and I am sent on another that I realize that there was a reward. Discovery of self and purpose is usually my reward. You discovered a little bit more the reason why you are there, those men needed to hear your words at the moment you spoke them. You are doing good things there!

Chris

Russ,
The link to the story seems to be broken, but I think you are referring to this one: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-guard27jul27,1,97704.story?coll=la-headlines-california
Just wanted to remind you that we are still here and still care about you guys. All of you continue to be in our thoughts and Prayers.
Take Care and God Bless.

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