14 June 2000 - FLAG DAY

"When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen." General George Washington, New York Legislature, 1775

Soldiers For The Truth Foundation, PO Box 63840, Colorado Springs, CO 80962-3840


SITREP from the President HOT BUTTONS!

Hack's Column:
Article 1 - The King of Trash

"From my Position" -- On the way!"
Article 2 - Number One Threat to the Nation - Political Correctness!

Big Picture:
Article 3 - Past Fiasco dims General's new Third Star
Article 4 -- "Terror in Kosovo"

Voices from the Field:
Article 5 -- Unity vs. Diversity
Article 6 - About Perfumed Princes' Mobile Castles and other Waste
Article 7 - The War that never was Article 8 - Report from Bosnia - Modify Training for deploying Units
Article 9 -- Military / Veterans Health Care Update: Senate responds to "grassroots'" pressure, or did they just shift the blame?
Article 10 -- Offer for Help -- Weapons proficiency Supported

G.I Humor:
Article 11 -- Dead Horses

Medal of Honor:
Article 12 -- MILLER, FRANKLIN D., Vietnam 1970


1. Main topics: 1) Perfumed Princes and their shenanigans 2) Readiness and Training 3) Gulf War Truths 4) Healthcare

2. Future targets: a) Leadership -- veterans speak out about your experiences b) Training c) Political correctness


b. Political Correctness - Article 2
4. Methods of Support

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And with that we once again ready to counterattack -- "LOAD SABOT and DRIVER MOVE OUT!"

R.W. Zimmermann
President SFTT

King of Trash
By David Hackworth

Master Sgt. Donald J. Neil, who's attended the best foreign and American demolitions schools, is perhaps the finest EOD -- Explosive Ordnance Disposal -- specialist in the U.S. Army. He's protected presidents from Carter to Clinton and has defused, made safe, repaired, maintained, moved and blown up everything that goes pop from firecrackers to chemical and nuclear weapons.

Neil has more medals for doing his dangerous craft than a banana-republic dictator. His fitness reports for 21 years of exemplary Army service say he's not only golden, he walks on water.

But his personnel records also testify as to why he's in charge of the trash detail at Grafenwoehr, Germany -- a job for an overweight corporal requiring only enough brains to walk a reasonably straight line and chew gum at the same time. The phrases "moral courage" and "possesses the highest integrity" are repeated over and over again in his evaluation reports. They're his strength, but also, ironically, what got him in serious trouble with the brass.

Neil had the guts to tell the top guys at 7th Army Training Command in Germany that they weren't following safe practices. For example, live dud artillery shells that could've cooked off any second were left above ground just 50 meters from a well-used firing range. And if this and other violations of established safety procedures and environmental rules weren't corrected, he warned, American soldiers would die. It turns out his commanding general doesn't particularly like truth-tellers. Neil was told to sit down and shut up while scores of dud rounds ticked away just waiting for a temperature change, a lightning strike or a curious soldier.

You guessed it. A man like Neil with a double basic load of moral courage couldn't be muzzled. Instead, he reported these violations to the folks above his boss: the Army Inspector General, Army investigators and finally, in desperation, to a U.S. senator. But officialdom only yawned and sent him to a shrink to have his marbles counted -- standard military drill when protecting vested interests and dealing with whistleblowers.

The shrinks said he had more than a full bag of marbles and marked him fit for duty. But the local brass wanted their pound of flesh. His security clearance was pulled, he was placed under investigation, his personal mail was opened by Big Brother, and he was told what he'd already figured out: The powers that be were very disenchanted with him. To put it mildly.

After the brass discovered his complaints were dead on target, especially when Neil's full-colonel commander admitted there'd been safety and environmental problems for years, Neil's thanks was "his position was realigned." And then he was marginalized to become the King of Trash.

Putting Neil in charge of garbage is almost as absurd as making Einstein the dishwasher at Los Alamos.

Noncommissioned officers such as Master Sgt. Neil are the backbone of the U.S. armed forces. They are the ones who run it -- always have and always will. They lead the small units in peacetime and combat, train green lieutenants while keeping them out of trouble and show young captains the tricks of the trade.

They're on the line from well before the rooster crows to way after dark, day after long day, year after year. They're not rotated into comfy jobs like most officers, but spend their 20-plus years down in the mud where the bullets sing. There they make sure your sons and daughters learn to do it right so their chances of making it through the storm of combat are as good as can be.

When senior NCOs are treated like Neil, the word gets out fast. No wonder so many of our nation's best NCOs are hanging it up prematurely or that the Army missed its recruiting quota by almost 8,000 new soldiers last year. Or that morale in the Army is the lowest I've ever seen.

Would you want your son or daughter to belong to an organization whose senior leaders try to fry the bearer of bad tidings, lie and cover up when shown the truth and aren't willing to punish one senior officer for this atrocious, self-serving behavior?

I don't want my kids led by such corrupt men. Do you? *** The End

Http:// is the address of David Hackworth's home page. Sign in for the free weekly Defending America column at his Web site. Send mail to
P.O. Box 5210, Greenwich, CT 06831.
2000 David H. Hackworth
Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.
ARTICLE 2 - "From my Position" -- On the way!"
Number One Threat to the Nation - Political Correctness!
By R. W. Zimmermann
President SFTT

This Nation isn't as much threatened by the Anti-Christ, Red China, a resurgent Russia or North Korea's missiles, as it is by our relentless drive for political correctness.

Americans have become so overly sensitive that we are losing our ability to discern the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, the value from the gimmick. Fearful to affront or confront anyone, we are turning major issues in our lives over to political and a money elites who gladly decide for us while making gangbuster profits.

In education, we celebrate mediocre achievements with fancy certificates, often given to kids who only show up for class. Teachers today are afraid to point out required improvements and to enforce discipline, fearing to be sued by parents who are absorbed in making money and oftentimes won't realize that Johnny isn't the well-behaved kid they imagined. Result of the neglect: Out of control kids who bring guns to school to settle disagreements or hurt feelings.

In business, we are told to avoid religious and political topics so we don't jeopardize the almighty profit making. Conflicts in the work environment are rarely resolved. Many working Americans are turning into mindless extensions of their computers and carry their frustrations home. They release their anger in traffic, on their families, consume useless products and swallow mood enhancing "legal" drugs.

In politics, promising something to everyone and uniting every interest group without critical choice or discussion is a sure shot for election success. The stalemate on many major policy issues shouldn't come as a surprise.

In the military, mediocrity has undermined our ability to draw the best and brightest to pursue a military career. The blander and more cooperative you are, the easier it is to put up with all the useless rules and correctness baloney. Brighter and initiative driven leaders tend to be more rebellious and need no longer apply for today's military top positions.

In a society that is avoiding all political confrontation, any type of criticism is now stamped as "negative" or "dark". Being positive means go along and smile, while being critical is construed as abhorrent and destructive.

I think it's time we go back and remind ourselves what made this country what it is today. It was in all likelihood, the negative and destructive crowd that questioned the tyrannical rule of King George. Jefferson, Washington, Patrick Henry and the likes were negative critical thinkers in the eyes of many. Nonetheless, they weren't afraid of making a few enemies while going out on a limb and they did they create radical and constructive change.

And the list of the creative rebels goes on and on: Sherman and Grant were different but produced victory in the Civil War; Billy Mitchell created strategic airpower, Patton shortened the war in Europe, Truman brought a quick peace to Europe and decisively acted when McArthur went out of control.

What all these leaders had in common was character, creativity and pioneer spirit. They weren't afraid to speak out. There weren't driven by a paranoia to be popular at all cost. They believed in a cause and fought for it. Once their mission was fulfilled, they stepped down, some removed by vote, others faded voluntarily but all left us lasting legacies that still vibrate in our society.

Our situation today is different. I just reviewed a tape in which David Hackworth and organizations like ours were named as enemies of the Army because we don't see the world like the appointed senior leadership.

What concerns me here is that we should never accept that the truth is the monopoly of a leadership elite. Political and social agendas are our business as citizens, especially when the lives of our troops are at stake.

The purpose of our Truth newsletter is to draw you out to confront issues pertaining to the defense of this great nation. To get a response, you'll read things that sometimes should make your blood boil because we want you to participate. Exercise your right to disagree but also help preserve that right for others.

Let Soldiers For The Truth contribute to pass the values and lessons of the past to a new generation of pioneering and outspoken Americans without trying to turn back the clock to the good old days.

Let's confront political and societal issues with a sense of personal responsibility to make a difference without fear of having a couple of disagreements.

Let's shed the looming ghost of national mediocrity.
R.W. Zimmermann, LandserUSA

Past Fiasco dims General's new Third Star
Ed.: There seems to be no end to the crowning of Perfumed Princes. As the following Piece by SUN TIMES columnist Robert Novak indicates, the new Academy Superintendent may owe his success to smooth operating skills, working his way through the 1994 helicopter shoot-down incident over Iraq that cost 26 lives. Trained in aircraft and vehicle recognition, I still can't figure out what made the pilots mistake a US Blackhawk for a Russian made Hind D.

By Robert Novak, SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST, 8 June 2000

Lt. Gen. John R. Dallager was installed in the highly coveted post of U.S. Air Force Academy superintendent. His official biography, relating 31 years of service and more than 600 combat hours as a fighter pilot, does not mention the unprecedented rejection of a 1996 Senate subpoena for him to testify about an alleged Pentagon whitewash.

In 1994, Dallager--then a colonel--wrote the report in effect exonerating two Air Force fighter pilots responsible for shooting down two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters over Iraq with the loss of 26 lives--America's worst "friendly fire" incident. Ignoring contrary evidence, Dallager found the lead pilot's decisions were "reasonable." Nobody was convicted by court-martial.

The Senate on April 27 routinely confirmed Dallager's third star that goes with the academy post, disregarding the Black Hawk catastrophe. That he now has one of his service's plum jobs confirms that the military protects its own, aided by lackadaisical congressional oversight.

On April 14, 1994, two F-15 fighters shot down the Black Hawks in the mistaken belief that they were Iraqi (though no Iraqi choppers ever had overflown this area). Documents suggest a bungled Air Force investigation. Only Capt. James Wang, commanding an AWACS radar plane 300 miles away, was brought to a court-martial, which acquitted him.

Was this outcome manipulated by an Air Force then dominated by fighter pilots typified by Gen. Merrill McPeak as chief of staff? Frank Spinner, Wang's civilian counsel, told the court-martial McPeak made clear he wanted no fighter pilots punished.

Brig. Gen. J. Scott Pilkington, the commander in Iraq, told investigators of "rumors" that McPeak said, "Not on my watch!" referring to punishment of the F-15 pilots. But Pilkington said he could not verify that. A Los Angeles Times report that McPeak "strongly opposed" courts-martial was published in the European Stars and Stripes of June 18, 1994, available for perusal by subordinates wary of crossing their tempestuous chief of staff. Spinner claimed "reverse command influence," which in itself is criminal. He also was concerned that at the time Dallager investigated the fighter pilots, he was their wing commander.

Although Dallager was supposed to decide whether a crime was committed, Air Force documents show he relied on the initial accident report and called no witnesses. He found actions by the lead fighter pilot whose F-15 destroyed the helicopters, Capt. Eric Wickson, were "reasonable." When Wickson subsequently was granted unrequested immunity, chances of prosecuting him ended.

Dallager did bring 26 counts of negligent homicide against Lt. Col. Randy May, Wickson's commanding officer and his wing man in this operation, on grounds that he did not positively identify the Black Hawks. How could May's behavior be criminal but Wickson's reasonable?

May changed his testimony and said he had identified the helicopters as hostile, charges against him were dropped at the next level. Pilkington (whose Air Force career abruptly ended with his forced resignation) testified to a 1995 House hearing that both F-15 pilots violated rules of engagement. They did not get close enough to visually identify the helicopters and, indeed, never had previously seen an Iraqi helicopter. Experts deemed their performance incompetent, if not negligent.

In 1995, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations launched a probe of the tragedy and in late 1996 needed to question Dallager and three other officers who had led the Air Force inquiry. When the Pentagon refused to permit that by claiming their internal investigation constituted a "quasi-judicial" process, Subcommittee Chairman William Roth (R-Del.) issued subpoenas in November 1996. For the first time ever, the Defense Department directed uniformed officers not to comply with a congressional subpoena (based on the unprecedented argument that the 104th Congress had adjourned indefinitely).

In 1997, Roth handed the subcommittee's reins to Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who was preoccupied with probing Clinton campaign finance scandals. The subcommittee's work product of two years was shelved. It is unlikely that Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), now the subcommittee chairman but a former aide to Defense Secretary William Cohen, will take it off the shelf. John Dallager has prospered, as memory of the Air Force fiasco over Iraq grows dim.

"Terror in Kosovo"
Ed.: The truth about Kosovo is still elusive. Was there a War? Did we really win it? Are we supporting the right people? The following piece offers a different perspective and questions our current understanding.

Introduced by Ben Works, Balkan scholar and one of our SFTT Trustees, .

Last October, Colleagues of mine tracked down the head of the small Jewish community in Pristina, Kosovo for an interview. Mr Cedemir Prlincevic confirmed that the Jewish community had been ethnically cleansed by the KLA and associated gangsters from Albania who overwhelmed Kosovo as they flooded into the province in tandem with NATO's occupation troops.

Today, our troops are surrounded by hostile KLA gunmen determined to wrest Kosovo from its native communities, and by sullen Serbs who have about reached their limit of patience. It is an out-of-control situation.

A longer interview with Mr. Prlincevic is accessible at Mr. Israel's website "The Emperors Clothes": ,

By Cedomir Prlincevic
Archivist & head of the Jewish community of Pristina and Jared Israel 24 October 1999

I appreciate very much the invitations from Global Reflexion to address the meeting held last night in Amsterdam, and the invitation from "Association Dialogue" to address the Conference tomorrow in Paris...

For months people in the West, and also, through satellite transmission, those of us in Yugoslavia, have been bombarded with Western media claims that NATO, that is the US and Germany, want to create, in Kosovo, a multiethnic, democratic society.

We tend to believe that other people mean what they say. And therefore I and others in Pristina, believed that when KFOR, that is NATO, marched into Kosovo, they would protect the rights of Serbs and other non-Albanians.

The KFOR troops and the UCK crossed the border into Kosovo together; they entered Pristina together. Immediately the UCK and gangster elements under their leadership took over government institutions and fanned out, going after the homes of non-Albanians and pro-Yugoslav Albanians.

I lived in a large complex of nice apartments inhabited by doctors, lawyers, university professors, managers of various institutions, the intellectual core of Pristina society. Right after KFOR arrived, the gangster elements attacked this section, called Milana. They moved up and down through the buildings, banging on doors, breaking down doors, throwing tear gas into people's apartments, forcing them out on pain of death.

The Western media claims that KFOR has been "unable" to control the action of "mysterious gangs" who unfortunately have targeted Serbs, nor have they the manpower needed to prevent ethnic Albanians from Kosovo from exacting revenge. This is simply untrue.

When the Albanians attacked, one of my neighbors (a doctor) called KFOR. An English Major arrived with his squad. But the Albanians did not flee. I spoke to this Major. I asked him why he didn't do anything. He said "This is a job for the Civil Authorities." But you see, by then there were no civil authorities other than the UCK. He said KFOR was only interested in cases of murder.

I showed him documents, confirming that I was the President of the Jewish community in Pristina. He replied: "Later." He didn't have time to examine these papers. While the Major and his squad were there - before their eyes - the gangsters continued their work. In some cases, when residents appealed to these British KFOR troops, the KFOR people took the part of modern day Solomons. The Albanians explained their plight: "We have no place to stay tonight." So the KFOR people said, "Why don't you share this apartment amongst yourselves!" - in other words, the gangsters were to move in with the prey.

KFOR left, the Albanians moved in, and then the Albanians said, "Now leave or we will slaughter you."

Under these circumstances, who would stay? We lost everything, years of our lives - our lives, and our community, the only place we can ever be at home - gone. Stolen. About 30,000 people were driven from this huge complex in Milana in a matter of days. I have had to flee to tiny quarters in Belgrade, I and my family, including my 81 year old mother.

The behavior of a large part of the Albanian population was terrible. They lied to support the NATO campaign of lies, inventing tales of harassment and mass executions. Secretly, and then openly, they supported the UCK. These people would never have done such terrible things were it not for years of encouragement from two centers - the United States and Germany.

Albanian culture unfortunately includes a strong strain of intolerance; it also has a powerful Clan structure which puts Clan leaders in a dictatorial position. These two cultural traits have been utilized by NATO to provide foot soldiers for modern-day fascism, complete with a liberal rhetorical cover.

Recently I have tried to communicate to interviewers why the Albanians left for Macedonia and Albania during the war. I told them they didn't understand the significance of certain features of modern Albanian culture. It is very closed off, very self-oriented, and very much under the control of the leaders of Clans. The word 'clans' is not used here simply to describe a formal structural feature of Albanian society. Quite the contrary, clans are the actual, functioning social unit of vast numbers of Albanians.

During the bombing, my neighbor, an ethnic Albanian, left. I asked him why are you leaving? We're not getting killed in this housing development, we're all helping each other, and we're all together in the air raid shelter - why are you leaving? And he just looked at me, and he said, "I have to. I've been told to leave now. Everyone will be leaving now."

And that was that. This man and his wife, who were sophisticated intellectuals, whose children played with the Serbian children, whom I had considered to be friends - they were leaving.

Many opponents of the war thought the UCK was making a big mistake by terrorizing Albanians. But it wasn't making a mistake. It was making a point to the clan leaders: we have the backing of NATO and we will kill Albanians who buck us. Given the existence of anti-Serb racism among Albanians, this we're-the-winning-team argument brought the leaders into line.

Huge numbers of Albanians left Kosovo during the bombing. They did not leave because Serbs were slaughtering them, which was a made-up story. They did not leave because they were getting bombed; though they were getting bombed. They left because they were told to leave by their clan leaders.

Vast numbers of people from all over the world have protested the bombing of Yugoslavia. In doing so they have created a movement out of the political shambles of our world.

And yet it is now, after the cessation of bombing, that we have entered the worst hell. This terrible fascist-like invasion has created far worse suffering than the bombing. Some are driven out, some disappear, some are murdered and their murders attributed to forces beyond NATO's control. Some, like the Serbs and Roma of Orahovac, have been imprisoned in a new Warsaw Ghetto.

I urge those who care about Justice not to remain silent.

Unity vs. Diversity
Ed.: National defense should unite us in a common cause.

By John B. Godwin,
MSgt., USAF, Ret.

I agree wholeheartedly with what you said about Vietnam. It is okay for some black inner city kid or white trash (I'm the latter) to do the dirty work while the elite sit on the sidelines and jeer!

I sent letters to my Senators and Congressman about why we needed to return to the draft. Shared burden etc. Strom Thurmond agreed with me, not that it did any good. The best one was there is a guy (Democrat) running for Congress in my district. Mr. Andy Brack did not seem overly impressed with my thesis that a draftee has no career to lose and will blow the whistle on fraud waste and abuse in a heartbeat and tell his elected representative the unvarnished truth (or at least the opposite of the party line). Should have saved my stamp. This former Congressional aide wrote back asking my why have a draft when the "experts" (high ranking officers) do not see a need for it!

Maybe if we had a few Senator's kids in uniform along with those of a couple of Fortune 500 CEO's, Madam Albright would not be as eager to deploy our blood and treasure. Especially when her phone rings at 2am and she gets ripped a new one about "my boy Johnnie going to bumf__g Egypt!"

The NRA 's American Guardian March 2000 had a good article on the Militia by Thomas M Moncure Jr. where he said the "Florentines said that a republic must rest on the men bearing arms for themselves. If they bore arms for another they were little more than mere hirelings ....". I guess anymore that is how we (as a nation) tend to look at our military, something for CNN to entertain us with.

About Perfumed Princes' Mobile Castles and other Waste
Ed.: Before AUSA demands more diversion of budget surplus funds to national defense, let's look if we can save a couple of bucks by cutting senseless waste. The Sergeant's report reminds me of the "luxurious" operations centers we had to build for the many of the most incompetent commanders who could BRIEF the enemy into submission but couldn't move a platoon of ants to a picnic area.

By SGT MORALES, US Army Europe

I just read that the military is hurting for cash for training and deployments. These reports come from a crock of lies that just now came out. If the General Accounting Office (GAO) would deploy to one field exercise with us, Congress would consider stripping many of the fake leaders' birds and stars.

Let me start when I was a troop down on line. We had old expando vans (used for Tactical Ops) that were "directed" by V Corps to turn in. So we cleaned up the trucks to turn in and drove them to our Brigade. 2 years passed -- lo and behold what do I see? The same old vans in the Brigade motor pool at my new duty station. This unit was a Task Force Hawk unit. Turns out, our "turn-in" was a ploy to use the vans for their headquarters!

To top it off, they contracted a refit that goes for around $700,000!!! The day the vehicles rolled out of the contractor's shop, one dropped its transmission and the others still leaked!! Now they have to use civilian tractors to haul these beasts.

Then those damn vans were air-loaded to Albania. It took us 3 weeks to get our crap! The vans would have never survived the mud but guess what rolled (or at least hauled on a low boy trailer) to the next warfighter exercise -- the vans!

For us, tactical Vehicle use never happens. The junior enlisted drive Hummers and the Officers RENT CARS!! You read right -- rental cars are the boom. The amount of money spent on car rental would be able to buy one Hummer for each exercise. V Corps does it so why not us? We want soldiers to feel good about re-upping. You wonder why our soldiers want to get out?

Before the brass complain about needing money, they should stop this ridiculous spending just to make sure that a 3-star or full-bird colonel have a van to drink coffee and talk about "Taking care of Soldiers". This is just the tip of the iceberg.

The War that never Was -- Reader Response
Ed: This is just one of many responses to our article on the Gulf War. Quite a bit different from the official story. A new twist: I never thought about the operational utility of the oil fire smoke to cover a withdrawal from aerial observation (especially satellites).

By Gary S., a Gulf War Veteran

Could not agree with you more on your views of the Gulf War. I liken it to the Ed Sullivan's opening remarks "we have a really big show tonight." The Gulf War was a really big show.

Besides the Iraqi's Army being third rate at best, Saddam was not a complete dummy. He knew that without the Republican Guard, he had no power. The reason the Iraqis torched the oil wells was not simply scorched earth, they wanted to blind our satellites and obscure the guidance systems of our "smart" weapons.

The Iraqis knew after the first 2 weeks of the air campaign that they could not move in the clear, so they withdrew their RG units under cover of darkness and oil smoke. After we captured our first Iraqi prisoners (60 wretched men), I realized what a farce the "fourth largest Army" really was.

These guys had little or no training, wore sand colored helmet liners, and many wore civilian shoes. Most knocked out tanks were T 55s. McMaster's battle with the Republican Guard was the only real tank battle, and that was a rearguard action by the Iraqis.

We were very, very fortunate we were not fighting a first rate Army. I saw many American support units who were very lax in providing their own security, such as posting no security when taking showers during the "battle". A first rate enemy would have cut these units to pieces, knowing that our marvelous M1s, M2s and M3s, would be useless without the food, fuel or ammo to make them tick.

Remember our heroic first female POW of the war? She was captured during a tryst in the desert with a male soldier and after the two were released, the woman was heralded as a hero, and the man was whisked away so he would not tell the truth about how they were captured. The Pentagon had to get involved too.

My active duty operations sergeant in, the reserve unit I am with, told me when he worked in Arcent HQ the Pentagon rotated Lieutenant Colonels and Colonels fresh from the puzzle palace through Arcent HQ on a 30 day basis, each got their right arm patch, bronze star and ribbons. He is not the first to tell me of this happening.

I don't want to sound cynical about the US Army, but our glorious victory was based on bullshit. We could have thrown the Iraqis out with the 3 Marine Divisions and the elements of III Corps that deployed during Desert Shield. (I also believe the SCUD-B crews were Russian mercenaries, no Iraqis could have been good enough to evade the air armada we used to try and destroy them.)

The deployment of VII (I was in VII Corps at the time) was a big show. I was at Hafir Al Batin when all there was in Hafir Al Batin was the VII Corps TAC and a screen line of the 2nd ACR. A first rate enemy would have conducted a spoiling attack or a raid, and waxed us. But then, I don't believe Iraq ever intended, or had the logistics, to invade Saudi Arabia anyway.

I truly believe we left Saddam in power because we need a bogey man in the Persian Gulf. Without him, the Arab states would ask us to leave and we want a footprint in the worlds gas tank. That is why we still bomb him, not because he is threat, but because we need to prop him up as the bogey man.

Report from Bosnia - Modify Training for deploying Units
Ed.: A report from a young troop on Peacekeeping. This is no "whiner note" but a message with constructive criticism to better prepare future "stuckies" with the SFOR mission. The lessons: 1) Learn to read/city maps in detail 2) Learn useful language phrases and 3) Prepare to stay longer than anticipated.

A forward deployed Junior Leader

A quick note from the "Front Line" of Bosnia. I am glad to see you back in the air with the newsletter. I just read the article on the Carolina Guard coming here this fall.

A couple of points struck me. One: the IRT and MRE you talk about and even quote a soldier as saying it's the most fun he's had since leaving active duty. Well, I hope that's not what he is expecting over here. That training was nowhere near what everyday operations are like over here.

What they should really teach is how to read road maps, as all my guys do is drive the cities on patrols. There are contentious areas, to be sure, but everyday life here is pretty calm. The only Bosnian phrase we learned before coming here was Stop or I'll Shoot. Not hello, not how are you doing, or more importantly, No, I don't have any money to give you.

They say we were trained for the worst-case scenario, but its is worlds apart, I guess that's what happens when the trainers at FT. Polk have never been here.

The other point I'd like to make is regarding the 179 day deployment -- what a joke. The HQ personnel from the next unit to deploy will be here for about 12 months as HQ for the follow-up stabilization forces.

I am an cavalry man, actually armor, who has been in the Army for over two years, and not maneuvered a tank once. I was with a tank platoon for 9 months, and actually only went out twice for gunnery. Now I push paper. When I am done, I'll plan to join the Guard - maybe they'll get me on tanks?

Military / Veterans Health Care Update: Senate responds to "grassroots'" pressure, or did they just shift the blame?
Ed.: Late Friday, Senate FY2001 Defense Authorizations were "withdrawn" due to "riders" by Senators McCain and Kennedy. Senator Warner's approved amendment was part of the sidetracked Bill and all is now in limbo. Pete

If we are able to push for unproven space defense systems, and are senselessly restructuring the Army to resemble the Marines, why can't we find the money for healthcare? Zimm

By Pete Peterson, Contributing Editor

Last week, Sen. John Warner, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee introduced an amendment to the FY 2001 Defense Authorization Bill (S. 2549), which sweetened health care provisions for our MEDICARE-eligible retirees. Or, did it? It was a complete surprise to most of us involved in the "Keep our Promises to America's Military Retirees" movement.

It wipes out the 1966 law that forces us into MEDICARE at age 65. It also makes TRICARE a "second payer" to MEDICARE and allows older retirees to again use Military Treatment Facilities (MTF's) and other military facilities, if they can find space.

Sen. Tim Johnson could not get his FEHBP amendment considered. His "solution" was forever, whereas Warner's covers only 2 years.

CBO costs the Warner Amendment at $42 Billion over 10 years, $1.9 Billion in FY 2001 and $3.8 Billion by FY 2003. We are told the "real dollars" being added to the current military health care are $200 - $400 Million. A surprising number, as last month, the House passed FY2000 Emergency Appropriations for an additional $250 Million for TRICARE to cover expenditures DOD had already incurred. The Senate did not act on that emergency request.

What looked like major change in policy by Warner, now appears to be just the latest installment of the Congressional Shell Game.

One point is now very clear. Warner, et al, do not want us on their coveted FEHBP, which is reserved for civil servants, congressmen and senators. Congressmen and Senators, however, still use our MTF's at will. What's theirs is theirs and what's ours is theirs.

"Making Room for Daddy" is not as simple as Warner wants it. TRICARE, as we know it, should have an "Out of Order" sign on it. Adding people to a system that's broken is not a solution, at least until it's fixed. If you can't use something, it's not an improvement. If you don't have doctors, you don't have health care.

Warner acknowledged the "infrastructure" has to be greatly expanded and it will be expensive. None of the dollars for this, however, are in this budget and will have to be added later. Access to TRICARE for retirees is already handicapped, especially in rural areas where no doctors will take it, and there is no "Space A" at many MTF's.

Warner's plan is not going over too well among the "grassrooters." Billboards are going up and there may be another "Muster on the Mall" this September. There is no question many Senators and Congressmen have lost thousands of retiree votes over their shenanigans this past month or so.

Further complicating solutions is SECDEF Cohen and his staff's management. They simply don't know what they have and what they've spent, e.g., $50 Billion in one year with unsubstantiated disbursements. He and his staff have completely failed to make TRICARE work in 7 years! No DOD heads have rolled and insurance companies keep getting fatter.

Warner said this issue is important in the Presidential campaigns this year. A dark suspicion crawled over us. His amendment's true purpose may be to divert attention Senators now receive onto DOD, as they continue to fail to make TRICARE work. Re-address the mail and shift the blame. Also implied, if we don't vote for the right President, the whole "deal" could be off. Since 2 years does not an Entitlement make, we could be back on the firing line in 2003, fighting for a renewal of the Warner provisions.

By putting more millions or billions into TRICARE, the health care insurance industry, most of which has a piece of TRICARE contracting, will make even more money. Subsequent campaign contributions, which are already in the millions should increase proportionally. We believe this is a key ingredient of Warner's plan. DOD is being used as a funnel for feeding the insurance industry.

Sen. Lott was absent during these debates. Perhaps it's better this way, as he never understood the subject, probably because it contained none of "the other white meat."

Congress: FIX TRICARE NOW! Give military retirees a FEHBP option and quit using our MTF's! You are not America's New Royalty!

Offer for Help -- Weapons proficiency Supported
Ed.: America at it's best. Citizens support their troops. A great offer for those who want to improve their marksmanship skills and can't get sufficient training in the forces. Individual weapons proficiency is key to force protection and unit safety in combat.

By Thomas M. Goethe
Florida West Coast Defensive Pistol Club, IDPA A-002

Dear SFTT, I read with great sadness Michael H.'s story of having to buy a Beretta 92 so that his Corpsman son could learn to shoot and qualify with the pistol. This was necessary because his son wasn't being trained by the Navy. Further, Mr. H. had to enlist the help of a friend to provide shooting instructions.

I am a member of the International Defensive Pistol Association and I am sure that many of our members would be honored to help any service members who feel they aren't getting proper training or enough trigger time to maintain small arms proficiency. We have a fair number of certified instructors among us as well as access to AR-15's (the civilian version of the M-16) and assorted models of handguns including the Colts, SIGs and Berettas used by the military.

Any service members who would like to ask for help can go to our web page (in my sig line) and look up the closest club. Call and explain the problem and I'm sure someone will offer to help.

Also, don't forget that the National Rifle Association was formed by military officers for the purpose of improving marksmanship of citizen soldiers. Service members who aren't getting enough training should not hesitate to contact the NRA for help. It has thousands of instructors around the country, many of whom probably feel just as I do.

Again, it would be a privilege to assist service members.

GI HUMOR - Dead Horses
Ed.: Native American wisdom, applicable to all government and military institutions. Submitted by John Wainionpaa. Original author is unknown.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

In modern education and government, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing Riders.
3. Threatening the horse with termination.
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses.
6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
7. Re-classifying the dead horse as "living impaired".
8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.
10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.
11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighters riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
12. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
13. Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses.
14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

Ed.: Vietnam 1970. SF NonCom saves his unit.

Franklin D. Miller retired as a CSM and just recently had a bout with stomach cancer. We just heard that he is doing okay, maneuvering about without a walker and is once again chewing everyone's butt within striking range. SOCOM at Mc Dill has provided great support for the old warrior.

From Jeff Galland, all his friends and the SFTT staff, we wish him a speedy recovery. Interested in reading more about Special Ops and its warriors, check out the following site: .

If you know of any MOH recipient who is hospitalized or has passed recently, please write James H. Also, if you would like more info on MOH recipients and their stories, please email James H at .


Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. place and date: Kontum province, Republic of Vietnam, 5 January 1970. Entered service at: Albuquerque, N. Mex. Born: 27 January 1945, Elizabeth City, N.C.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Miller, 5th Special Forces Group, distinguished himself while serving as team leader of an American-Vietnamese long-range reconnaissance patrol operating deep within enemy controlled territory. Leaving the helicopter insertion point, the patrol moved forward on its mission.

Suddenly, 1 of the team members tripped a hostile booby trap which wounded 4 soldiers. S/Sgt. Miller, knowing that the explosion would alert the enemy, quickly administered first aid to the wounded and directed the team into positions across a small streambed at the base of a steep hill. Within a few minutes, S/Sgt. Miller saw the lead element of what he estimated to be a platoon-size enemy force moving toward his location. Concerned for the safety of his men, he directed the small team to move up the hill to a more secure position. He remained alone, separated from the patrol, to meet the attack. S/Sgt. Miller single-handedly repulsed 2 determined attacks by the numerically superior enemy force and caused them to withdraw in disorder.

He rejoined his team, established contact with a forward air controller and arranged the evacuation of his patrol. However, the only suitable extraction location in the heavy jungle was a bomb crater some 150 meters from the team location. S/Sgt. Miller reconnoitered the route to the crater and led his men through the enemy controlled jungle to the extraction site. As the evacuation helicopter hovered over the crater to pick up the patrol, the enemy launched a savage automatic weapon and rocket-propelled grenade attack against the beleaguered team, driving off the rescue helicopter.

S/Sgt. Miller led the team in a valiant defense which drove back the enemy in its attempt to overrun the small patrol. Although seriously wounded and with every man in his patrol a casualty, S/Sgt. Miller moved forward to again single-handedly meet the hostile attackers. From his forward exposed position, S/Sgt. Miller gallantly repelled 2 attacks by the enemy before a friendly relief force reached the patrol location.

S/Sgt. Miller's gallantry, intrepidity in action, and selfless devotion to the welfare of his comrades are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

For Article Submissions: as a rule of thumb, please try to keep article for possible publication to 750 words or less. Please make every editing effort not to exceed these guidelines and SUBMIT IN WORD FORMAT, if possible!

What we're into is getting the word to as many citizens as possible about what is causing our military machine to fly like a B17 with 3 engines on fire (and that plane still flew!).

Watch your flanks - the bad guys are still out there!!!
R.W. Zimmermann

We've had numerous requests from troops in different branches of the military to establish this link so that we will all know how "all you others" talk that talk. Please see below:
***** BOOK SALES *****
Hack's books About Face*, Hazardous Duty*, The Price of Honor* and The Vietnam Primer can be found at . They make a great addition to any library. We are offering them at special SFTT price.

Defending America Newsletter: Administrative Volunteers:
R.W. Zimmermann, Chief Editor, President of SFTT, Mine Detector and "Gunner" David H. Hackworth, Spirit Guide, and undisputed Y2K Expert Bill Rogers, Senior Assistant Editor and SFTT Vice President Kate Aspy, Contributing Editor and Oracle Barry "Woody" Groton, Chief TECH DROID and Medicine Man Ed "Edgar" Schneider, Copy Editor, Man of Letters and gentleman: Kyle Elliott, Book List Editor and Most Over-worked James H., MOH Editor and NCOIC

Defending America


NOTE: The following list only includes the two primary assistant editors for each service or special area. Please refer to our WEBSITE for the complete listing.
ALL Letters and Articles for considered publication should be submitted to one of our brave, resolute and caring volunteers.

U.S. Army:
Tig Dupre, Civil-Military relations, weapons expert and Senior Editor

CPT Scott Key, Armor, Generalist, Assistant to Chief Editor

Robert L. Duecaster, Legal

U.S. Navy:
Mark Crissman, Naval Aviation, Generalist and Senior Editor

John J. Vanore, Surface Warfare, Reserve and Intelligence issues

Mike Cummins, Surface Warfare, Mine Countermeasures

U.S. Air Force:
Paul Connors, Senior Editor, AF Historian, Grunt experience, Procurement and AirCrew issues

Sean Fermat, Fighters, WSO, Weapons, C&C, Generalist

U.S. Marines:
Maj. Gordon Todd, USMCR, Communications & Tech., Small Arms Training, Senior Editor.

Capt A. McRae, Marine generalist


US Coast Guard
Tom Grabowski **********************************************

Department of Defense
Mike St.Clair Acquisition and Quality Assurance
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