Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1ST Burton Gets a Little Extra TLC on His Return to Afghanistan after R&R

A little birdie recently sent word that 1SG Burton, 4th BDE, 4th ID, 3-61 CAV B Troop would be returning to Afghanistan after R&R via DFW (Dallas-Forth Worth) airport.  You may remember 1SG Burton's name, sadly, because of what his men endured at the Battle of COP Keating.

Even before learning that he would be returning via DFW I had planned to travel to Dallas to volunteer with my buddies Caroline and Jamie aka The USO Girls.  Unfortunately it didn't work out for me to be in Dallas but Jamie and Linda (one of the huggin' and kissin' grannies) made sure 1SG Burton got a proper send off.

1SG Burton and USO Girl Jamie

Kissin' & Huggin' Grandma Linda and 1SG Burton

1SG Burton picked a great day to fly via DFW (well, if anything about going back to Afghanistan can be considered "good").  It was Jamie's 4th anniversary of volunteering at the USO.  HOOAH Jamie!

Huggin & Kissin grandmas Linda and Connie with attendee at WLF fund raiser

1SG you may not realize just HOW fortunate you where. I'm sure that hug from grandma Linda was awesome but thank goodness she wasn't dressed like she was in the photo above and selling kisses to raise money for a charity that supports a myriad of active duty personnel and Veteran's needs.

On the other hand ??????

We hope you had safe travels but MOST OF ALL that you and your men continue to stay safe for the remainder of your deployment.  We cannot wait to welcome you all HOME.

Many thank yous to Jamie and grandma Linda and to ALL of the incredible USO volunteers who do what they do for our military personnel and their families day in and day out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

PVT Brennan on Patrol That Captures HVT Responsible for Mastermining Cousin's Death

I've written about SGT Josh Brennan (KIA 26 Oct 2007) on several occassions.  One of those can be found here.  On 4 Oct 2009 I wrote about SGT Josh Brennan's cousin, PVT Joseph Brennan, graduating from Airborne school and being pinned with Josh's wings.

This past Sunday I received a call from Mike Brennan, Josh's dad.  He began relating the story below.  When he got to the part about 4 Taliban being captured but before he got to the details of exactly who was captured the hair stood up on my arms and I said, "DO NOT tell me....." over and over as Mike continued to talk.  I heard what he said but had to ask him to say it again. 

PVT Joseph Brennan's father sent the following to me in an email.  I have his permission to share and have also checked to assure there is no OPSEC violation within.

I want to share a bit of what may seem an unbelievable story with you. The story starts with our "Hero Sgt. Joshua C. Brennan". Josh served with the Army 173rd Airborne, 2-503. Josh was killed in action on Oct. 26th, 2007. Three days prior to Josh's death we had a Marine recruiter in our home. Joseph wanted to serve in the military and was looking at the Marines. Josh's death did not change Joseph's mind about serving his country.

Approximately one year later Joseph and I, at the last minute, went to Italy along with other members of the family to have a HUGE party for the guys from Josh's unit. Joseph was 3 weeks from going to basic training with the Marines. While talking to Josh's friends, they convinced him he should go into the Army instead. Joseph told me later that he wanted to follow in Josh's footsteps and go to Airborne school. Well, he went into the Army in May of 2009 and graduated from Airborne school in early October.

We said our goodbyes to Joseph on Oct. 26 (the 2nd anniversary of Josh's death) and he was off to Vincenza, Italy where the 173rd is based. Joseph joined up with the same platoon that Josh served in and met several of Josh's friends in the platoon. We then learned Joseph would be deployed to Afghanistan. Out of about a 1000 soldiers Joseph's platoon (about 30 to 40 soldiers) and another platoon were chosen to go to Camp Joyce. Camp Joyce is in the Kunar province where Josh was ambushed and killed. Joseph arrived just before Christmas.

Joseph has been on several missions since his arrival to Camp Joyce. This past weekend the Brennan family celebrated Christmas at a hotel in Chicago. Saturday night we had a toast to Josh's memory. About that same time, we later found out, Joseph was on another mission. It would of been early Sunday morning Afghan time. Joseph called me on Sunday at about 11:00 am as we were driving home from Chicago. We talked a little and Joseph said "Dad tell Uncle Mike we got him!" I didn't understand "Got who", I said. "We captured the guy who planned the ambush attack that killed Josh and Hugo Mendoza." "What ?????", I could not believe what I was hearing. "Be sure you tell Uncle Mike, we got the guy", he repeated. I was speechless.

I immediately called Mike and told him the news. He couldn't believe his ears. What is the possibility that Joseph would be taking part in a mission that captured the guy who planned the ambush on that day that took Josh and Hugo's lives and on the same day we were having our family party? Could this be true? Mike, after hearing this story, has verified it through a very reliable military source. I am still shaking my head as to the chain of events that led to the capture of this "High value target". Oh, by the way, this guy captured is not one that will be "Captured and released." we have been told. We are so proud of all our men and women serving our country and we are so Proud of Joseph and his participation in capturing this murderer. The whole platoon did a great job. God's finger prints are all over this story. Please pray for our troops. I just had to share.

God's Blessing to you all,
Terry and Laurie Brennan (parents of PVT Joseph Brennan)

“There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.”

Let's just review some of the facts
  • SGT Brennan was wounded in an ambush on 25 Oct 07 and died of his wounds on 26 Oct 07.
  • PVT Brennan left the US for his duty station on 26 Oct 09 (on the 2 year anniversary of his cousin's death)
  • PVT Brennan was assigned to the same Brigade, Battalion, Company AND Platoon as his cousin had been
  • PVT Brennan's platoon was chosen to go on the mission that would end in the capture of the high value target who masterminded the ambush that resulted in SGT Brennan's death.
  • At the time the Brennan family was together for their annual Christmas gathering and toasting SGT Brennan's memory, PVT Brennan was on a patrol that captured the mastermind of the ambush that resulted in SGT Brennans' death.
Mike and I are still talking about this unbelievable chain of events.  Four Taliban were captured that day.  One was a high value target known to have been a (the) mastermind in planning the ambush when Josh and SPC Hugo "Doc" Mendoza were killed.  I believe that Josh is definitely looking down on Joseph and is celebrating like crazy in Heaven.

Mike forwarded the email from Terry with this comment:

This is a story that my brother Terry wrote regarding the high value target Josephs unit the 173rd Airborne caught over the weekend. If you never thought that Josh was up there overlooking all of them before you will now. This is just incredible.

Mike Brennan

I believe Mike.  I believe.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How Do You Know A Bunch Of Paratroopers Are Bored in Afghanistan?


1) They even have time and the opportunity to be on Facebook


2) They post things like:

  • [Soldier's name] might soon be able to google in his underwear... just like home
  • rosetta stone day one: La nina bebe......Im getting there
  • i think we could use more rockets and less ice cream
  • Something I heard the other day...."Damn girl, you smell like bacon; let me get in that butt" Gotta love hearing Soldiers talk about their personal exploits
  • Everything on my internet is in russian..... I'm probably about to buy a space shuttle online instead of the CD I thought I was downloading....
  • I miss getting shmamered. It gave me ideas for stupid shit to write on here.
  • watching sesame street....letter of the day is 'S' in case anyone was wondering.
  • is happy the poo river that ran past the TOC has now been expertly diverted away... its the little things people
  • So I had a kid throw a rock at me, another one flip me off, a cow stop in front of my truck, and another kid show me his penis. all in one patrol.
  • Fighting nothing but boredom
  • First contact for the new deployment yesterday, weak shit though. Got all wound up in the back of an MRAP and didn't end up doing anything, just made myself tired. Rocket man is getting gay too. Interrupted while I was trying to eat my strawberries.
Wish I'd kept up with them longer.  There have been some that were much more hilarious.

They ARE busy.  My next post will confirm that.  It's a story that still has me in chills (in a good way).

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Old Posts Can Be Found By Clicking Here

OK, I've decided it's time I "grew up" and had a bit more of a real blog. Since I have NO idea how to move my old posts over here you can just use the link to go read them and see photos, videos and more.