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Tuesday, April 29, 2003  
Key Volunteers Newsletter For Families of 4th LAR Marines Alpha Company – April 2003
In this world of two-minute popcorn… and two day shipping…we would like to see a two week war. I bet many of you watch the media coverage and it looks as though the war is over as it’s been just over two months since our Marines deployed. It sure would be great if it was that simple. Unfortunately for the families back here at home, there’s more work to be done overseas. I hope that this has gotten a little easier for you as most of the heavy combat seems to be over. I also hope you’ve learned as much as I have about the Marine Corps and the military in general. Before this deployment, I didn’t get very involved in my husband’s second career as he often went off to play “Rambo” for the weekend or longer. This whole thing has been Military 101 for me. Many questions have been asked and the Key Volunteer Network has been working on getting them answered. Please be patient when calling or emailing Key Volunteers. Be sure to put “Alpha Co 4th LAR” on the subject line of all emails so it can be distinguished from junk mail.

Status of Alpha Co: The men of Alpha Company are attached to 1st LAR Battalion. 1st LAR has completed its mission with Task Force Tripoli in Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein. The Battalion has now moved to a city 120 Kilometers south of Baghdad in an Assembly Area (very much administrative, not as dangerous as before). They are continuing with the current mission of stabilization and security. As they focus on that primary mission, they are also beginning preparations to retrograde back to CONUS (the Continental United States). Please note that no further plans are in place.... There is still much to be done. When finalized plans do arrive, I will get those out via email asap! The weather is starting to heat up. They have plenty of food & water and are getting more sleep these days. They do not have access to phones or emails. They have seen enough combat to have a few good war stories and at the same time have managed to keep each other safe. As of the writing of this newsletter, there have been no serious combat injuries or casualties! The morale is good and the general consensus is that our Marines are glad to be doing what they are doing. For the most part, the Iraqi people around them have been “cheering and waving and are really appreciative,” to quote one Marine’s letter. Some of their duties include looking for and finding caches of weapons, patrolling the area to maintain law and order, setting up checkpoints and searches, and helping establish the government in the area. Light Armored Vehicles are very versatile in that area of the world as they can travel on roads, in sand and even occasionally through bodies of water. They have armor to protect them from fire, yet are quicker than heavy armored tanks making them the perfect vehicle to use in a variety of reconnaissance missions. Unfortunately for us, this means the command over there will still have many uses for our very well trained men. Many of you know this from my emails, but it’s worth repeating. The Commanding Officer for the 1st LAR Battalion, Lt. Col. Duffy White, made a point to mention what an outstanding job the Alpha Company Marines have done in combat in Iraq. Let’s just say, he’s quite pleased to have your Marine associated with his unit.



The following gives you a better idea of the numbers in our units and explains the terms often used in the media:


1st Marine Expeditionary Force (1st MEF or I MEF) (30,000 marines)

1st Marine Division (1st Mar Div) (12,000 marines)

1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (1st LAR) (1,000 marines)

4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (4th LAR is a Reserve unit which supports active units)

(4th LAR has 5 companies of app. 150 marines in each – all Companies are currently deployed in Iraq)
Alpha Company of 4th LAR is currently not with the rest of the 4th LAR Battalion and is attached to 1st LAR.

4/29/2003

Monday, April 28, 2003  
LiL Bro You Ranged
The message you left was garbled. Sounded like you said; still in one piece, getting plenty of food and water everyday. We're just doing our thing. Starting to get letters, running about a month late. Hoping to get to come home soon. Tell everyone thanks for their letters and prayers. Love, LiL Bro.


LiL Bro, Mail Sent US Mail Snail Mail
[From the KV Newsletter]

Mail: I must concur with all of you that the mail delivery to our beloved Marines has been incredibly poor! Right now there are over 100 congressional investigations into the problems involved with getting mail to the troops. Here’s why: “The Postal Service said military mail volume has jumped from 21,000 pounds per week in October to more than 750,000 pounds per week in March. Paul Vogel, USPS vice president of network operations, cautioned that "customers have to understand, because the troops are constantly on the move, this is very much a 'moving mailbox' situation." About one-third of the Postal Service's 740,000 employees have a military background. So far, more than 4,000 of its 12,500 workers who serve in the Reserves or National Guard have been called to active duty.” The situation is currently being improved. The U.S.P.S. has chartered two Boeing 747 cargo jets to deliver a huge amount of mail. Major Miner that the mail is starting to pour in to our Alpha Company Marines has confirmed it! While they
were in combat, the supply chain concentrated on making sure they had enough ammunition, food and water. That means there’s a good chance that soon you’ll get a letter saying something along the lines of, “Thanks for all the wonderful letters! I knew you didn’t forget about me!” I’ve heard from many of you that the opposite sentiment has been conveyed in the letters you’ve received. It’s taking approximately two to three weeks for the letters from your Marines to get here. With the main fighting over, your Marine will have more opportunities to write home.



E-mail from the Commanding Officer of 4th LAR Alpha Company:
Friends and Families of Alpha Company,

The Company is currently located 120 kilometers south of Baghdad in the city
of Ad Diwaniyah preparing for a short security mission. The operation is
expected to last about a week and should be our last mission in Iraq. We
expect shortly after that, meaning mid to late May, to be tasked with moving
down to Kuwait.
Once in Kuwait the company will begin to embark gear in preparation for
returning to the United States. We will either put our equipment on
commercial ships and fly back or perhaps embark on Navy ships and float the
company back. It would take about 24 hours to fly, while it would take 30
days to float. The bottom line is that our Marines could be home between
the beginning of June or July. Please understand that plans can change. We
will keep you up to date.
Upon our arrival in the United States, the Marines will need to turn in all
their personal weapons before being released for 3 to 4 days. After this
short liberty period, the company will either continue regular garrison duty
or begin out-processing. Much of this depends upon when our equipment
arrives.
Mail is flowing at a very rapid pace and definitely boosting morale. Thank
you for your letters of support and wonderful care packages.

Semper Fi,
Major Mark Miner


Float back, be a vacation for you, cramped in the hull of a ship with a bunch of men. Ha ha...Have to laugh, because LiL Bro, now imagining you out swimming the ship so you can return home quicker.

4/28/2003

Thursday, April 24, 2003  
Arrgg! The Military; Hey your safe that's what counts.

Hi Everyone,
In my eagerness to get the last email out, I forgot to mention that now that the mission with Task Force Tripoli is complete, you do not want to put in that extra line as I mentioned in a previous email. Things are changing at such a rapid pace over there. In my effort to give you the most up to date information, occasionally there will be overlaps like these. If you've sent something with the added line, fear not, it should get there in the same "timely" manner as the rest of the mail! So once again, the address for our Marines/Sailors with 4th LAR Alpha Co. is:

Rank Name, USMC (for example: Sgt. John S. Brown, USMC)
Co. A, 4th LAR Bn
UIC #####
FPO AP 96613-9844
Thanks and sorry for the confusion!

Hi Everyone!
I received an email from the Key Volunteer Coordinator (KVC) for 1st LAR. She received a call on the night of 4-21 from the 1st LAR battalion Chaplain. Major Miner was close by and asked that she send me an email to let me know that all of the Alpha Co Marines are safe and doing well. (Yahoo!) They are still with 1st LAR.
Below is the Command Statement that was passed from the Battalion Commanding Officer:
"1st LAR has completed its mission with Task Force Tripoli in Tikrit. The Battalion has now moved near a city south of Baghdad. We are continuing with the current mission of stabilization and security. As we focus on that primary mission we are also beginning preparations to retrograde back to CONUS (that means Continental United States). Please note that no further plans are in place.... There is still much to be done. When finalized plans do arrive, we will get those to the KVN immediately. Now that we have finished up, mail has begun to arrive. Please keep those letters and packages coming but remember that the weather is starting to heat up. Sailors and Marines and also writing to you and those letters should begin flow in a more timely manner."

Just wanted to pass on the good news! Isn't it amazing how wonderful one little paragraph can be! Hope this gives you that much more peace of mind! Of course I want to emphasize that they do not have any date set or idea of when they will return. Sadly, I don't expect it to be any time soon. There's much to be done after the overthrow of a regime. Please try your best to be patient. April newsletter to come out soon! If you know of an April birthday or anniversary, email me right away and I'll add it in!
Take Care,
A Co. KVA


Thanks you KVS.

4/24/2003

 
Updates & New Mail To
[E-mail from the Marine KVs]

Hey Everyone,
Just a reminder that no news is good news! Our Marines are out of immediate combat danger, but unfortunately they're not home. Better than before, but not quite where we want them to be. I hope their return is sooner than later, but I don't really have any new news to give you on their whereabouts or destination. What I do have is an addition to the mailing address that will hopefully get things there a little faster. Please add a line in after your Marines name.

***Please make sure to verify this with the Family Contact first, as this was passed to me from my mom, the Family Contact.***
Rank Name, USMC (for example: Sgt. John S. Brown, USMC)
Task Force Tripoli
Co. A, 4th LAR Bn
UIC #####
FPO AP 96613-9844

Also, if you'd like to send your Marine a few care package items but don't want it to get held up with the rest of the big packages, consider using a large manila or padded envelope to throw a few small items into. They have been getting to the troops on the front lines with letter mail. I've heard from the 866 number that 1st LAR has received some mail. I can't 100% guarantee that this applies to Alpha Company, as they did not specifically mention our Marines. But there's a very good chance that soon you'll hear from your Marine something like, "Thanks for all the mail! I knew you didn't forget about me!" That way you can ignore the other letters that might have implied the opposite!
Here is a website that has pictures of Light Armored Vehicles in Tikrit. They are about half way through the slide show. There's a good chance it's our Battalion:http://marinecorpstimes.com/
Click on the small section on the right - Frontline photos.
Scroll down until you see "view image archives" and select April 15th.
I don't personally recognize any of the Marines in the photos from Tikrit, but you may. Thank you to those of you who sent me information about these photos. The above website is a good one to put in your favorites section and keep checking it once in a while for 1st LAR sightings. I believe the writer from the San Diego Union Tribune, James Crawley, has returned and is no longer writing about 1st LAR (Darn!).

Hope you all had a nice Easter and Passover weekend! I'd like to pass onto you what my pastor said in his homily on Sunday. >From watching TV the last 2 weeks, he observed the following:
1) Never build a statue of yourself as it will come crashing down eventually.
2) A life lived for yourself will eventually destroy you, but a life lived for others will give you eternal life.
Your Marines are truly living their life for others and so many people are truly grateful for their sacrifices.
Take Care,
A Co. KVA


Thank you for the news and your work KVs; bet my LiL Bro thanks you more, since he is unable to give us the news.

4/24/2003

Tuesday, April 22, 2003  
Embedded Reporter Comes Away From Front Lines Torn

4/22/2003

Monday, April 21, 2003  
Wow, LiL Bros You Both Should Be Proud of Yourselves, I am
[From Marine KV's e-mail about my LiL Bro]

Hi Alpha Company Marine supporters,
As if you weren't already incredibly proud of your Marine, here's more to brag to your friends about. Lt. Col. Chene passed a message onto me that he'd heard from reliable sources about our Marines' performance of their duties in Iraq. The commanding officer of 1st LAR Battalion (the battalion to which our 4th LAR Alpha Co. Marines are currently attached), mentioned how incredibly well Alpha Co. Marines did their job. This commanding officer is currently the "mayor" of Tikrit. He made a point to specifically acknowledge how the Alpha Co. Marines not only completed their missions, but performed beyond his expectations. In other words, he was quite pleased to have your Marine with his battalion during combat. Looks like all those weekends of our men "being Rambo" have paid off! As of now, Alpha Company has no casualties or combat injuries! They've been fighting hard and keeping each other safe. According to the 866 Hotline, our Marines are part of Task Force Tripoli, so you may wish to look for that in the media.
Below is a copy of an email sent out to the Marines and Sailors who are supporting our Marines overseas by keeping everything running on base at Camp Pendleton. I'm passing it onto you because it talks about how the mission of the Marines is changing to a humanitarian role. I know how we all see in the media things that seem to say the war is over. Although it is a relief that the more dangerous aspects of combat have subsided, there is more work to do in Iraq to complete the mission. Our Marines are well trained and very versatile in that area of the world. They can be used to secure one area at a security checkpoint and then run a reconnaissance mission in an unsecured area the next day. I want to emphasize that the letter below does not say our Marines are coming home any time in the immediate future. As I've stated a few times, I don't want to give you all an incorrect impression that may lead to disappointment. Hopefully soon all will be as secure as can be expected and other non-Marine troops will replace ours. Keep the good thoughts and prayers up.
Take Care,
A Co. KVA


Thanks again KVs

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am Colonel Giron, the Officer in Charge of 1st Marine Division
Rear. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many of you over
the past few months. For those that I have not had the pleasure of meeting,
I hope to soon.

The outstanding successes of our Marines and Sailors during Operation Iraqi
Freedom continue to astound me. I know that their accomplishments during
this operation have come as no surprise to anyone in our Navy and Marine
Corps family
. Our men and women worked demanding hours and spent many
nights away from their loved ones preparing themselves and their equipment
for this operation. As a nation, we have reaped many of the benefits
brought on by their dedicated preparation.

As we watch the progress of the Division, anticipation of their exciting
homecoming grows. Even though it appears that we are coming to the
conclusion of hostilities in Iraq, work still lays ahead. We expect that
Division's role will transition to humanitarian assistance for the people of
Iraq, possibly extending deployments into the fall. At some point that role
will be turned over to another service or agency and the Division will
prepare for return to Camp Pendleton.

During this process of returning to Camp Pendleton, the Division will work
through multiple phases of redeployment; many of these tasks relating to the
logistics of moving large amounts of equipment back to Camp Pendleton or
onto MPS ships. In addition, returning units' timetables will be affected by
the tasks of re-establishing MEU and UDP rotations, deciphering and
reorganizing the effects of "stop-loss" such as delayed retirements and
special duty assignments. Although there is absolutely no way at this time
to exactly determine when the Division will return, it is certain that the
goal of all involved is to get your Marines and Sailors home as soon as
possible.

Again, I want to express my gratitude for all that you have given
during this difficult time. Your support has directly contributed to the
overall success of the 1st Marine Division. Thank you. I am very proud of
you and our Marines and Sailors for all we have accomplished over the past
few months. If I can be of any assistance to you, please let me know.

B. A. GIRON
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Officer in Charge of 1st Marne Division (Rear)

4/21/2003

Friday, April 18, 2003  
Latest News
[From the latest KV e-mail] {One of the news pieces was already posted, a way a head of this game on my part LiL Bro, the first news link on the 15th was news the KVs wanted us to see.}

Hi everyone,
1st Light Armored Reconnaissance (the unit to which Alpha Company is currently attached) has been spotted in the news. On the MSNBC website below you'll find them mentioned. Thanks to Sharon Kersey for finding this piece! 1st LAR is also mentioned in the San Diego Union Tribune article I've copied below. It looks like 1st LAR is in Tikrit as of April 15th. Light Armored Reconnaissance vehicles are designed to travel lighter than vehicles of tank or infantry units. Because of this, these units often move around quite rapidly from checkpoints in one city to, perhaps, performing a reconnaissance mission the next day in another city. Also, there may be a multitude of checkpoints that one company covers. Keep this in mind when you spot 1st LAR in the media. It makes it more difficult to pinpoint our Alpha Co. Marines. According to these articles, all was successful with the mission in Tikrit. It looks as if the main fighting is over as I watch the news tonight. That's got to relieve many of you. I don't want to give you false hope that our Marines will be on a plane tomorrow, but it looks like our guys are in slightly safer conditions now. I hope this gives you some peace of mind. We're almost at the 2 month point! That seems like an eternity to us family and friends. However, that is an unbelievably small amount of time to liberate the Iraqi people from an oppressive regime! You all must be quite proud of your Marine!
Take Care,
A Co. KVA

Thank you Marine Key Volunteers.

Major battle over, U.S. declares
Tikrit falls; all key cities in Iraq taken

{from the article}
"There were small groups of three to 10 guys," said Lt. Greg Starace of Paramus, N.J., whose 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance unit of grime-covered armored personnel carriers sat on a bridge spanning the Tigris River.
LIL Bro, remember bath time growing up? Yes, you hated to take them; bet now you would love one...still like to pour out ALL the bubbles in you bath?

4/18/2003

Wednesday, April 16, 2003  
The whistle tip, so we can hear you come home.

This way you can be heard coming home.
PS, You can blow through any stop sign, like BuBB RuBB did, your vehicle is armored, it's ok.Woo WOOHMMM!
Home

4/16/2003

Tuesday, April 15, 2003  
Not Confirmed, Guessing with the Information from the Phone # & News Articles.

Now with Marines 5th Brigade; notice the color of these LAVs, green.
Remembering {From the KV e-mail dated march 24, 2003} There will be a lack of information regarding Alpha Company for a while. Please try your best not to worry.
News & more news.

Trying to find word on you my LiL brother. Know for one thing: you’re in the desert; now seeing mirages of you like this picture. Is that you drawing, LiL Bro?

4/15/2003

Monday, April 14, 2003  
Brother Sited

Newsweek/Lynch's Story Cover: drawing pictures in his LAV about 20 pages or so into the Newsweek -- he is above a guy with chess-its.
Now to go find an issue and see for myself...


4/14/2003

Friday, April 11, 2003  
Being in the Presence of True Character and Heroism
*Warnig, a box of tissues is needed*

*
Subj: A letter from Germany; circulated by e-mail.
This is a 'forwarded letter ' received; and written by the wife of the Commanding General, United States Army Europe and 7th Army (General Burwell B. Bell III) in Germany.
==========================================
Dear Family:
We are so grateful for your concern and for your prayers. Most of our German friends are so puzzled by their government's decision. The hoards of demonstrators we have had are, for the most part, young. The older folks know how we saved Europe some 60 years ago. My opinion is that the younger generations see us as having everything they want. I am convinced that their hatred stems from envy, on several layers.
I want to tell you all about today. Today was a defining moment for me; it ranks with my wedding day and the day Buck was born as a day so meaningful that I am filled with too much emotion to handle. B. B. and I went to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, one of the three Army hospitals left in Germany. As you all know this hospital is where almost all injured soldiers
are brought from operations in the Middle East.
We arrived there around 1:30, were briefed by the hospital commander about the patients we would see and then headed up to the second floor. The first patient we saw had had his hand crushed. It was wrapped up in bandages as thick as a pillow but you could see the black fingers. They are trying to save it. He faces skin grafts and maybe worse if they can't save it. He was medivaced from Kuwait a week ago and two days ago his wife gave birth to their second child in Weiden, Germany. His was anxious to see her and the baby, to get well and to head back to the front. He did not complain at all about his pain and had such a positive attitude. The next fellow we saw was a marine who had been run over by a tank in the desert. Only the softness of the sand saved his life. His entire pelvic area was crushed, creating many urology nightmares. He has had a colostomy and faces months of surgeries. The Docs believe he can fully recover, a miracle if you think about the tonnage that rolled over him. He was absolutely adorable. He was from Kansas and he and B. B. got into pheasant and deer hunting right away. His spirits are good and he kept trying to sit up tall in the bed even though it was apparent he was in pain. He kept asking about his unit, "Where are they?” "How close to Baghdad?”
B. B. asked me to leave the room a couple of times so that he could talk top-secret stuff with this soldier.
The next fellow we saw was from Alabama. A bullet entered his lower abdomen and traveled up and exited through his back. He was on oxygen but pulled the mask off and refused to put it back on. He wanted to tell B.B. that he had met him at Fort Knox when he was there for his initial training. He was 21 years old and had been married for one year. He was frantic to know about his buddies, where they were, how they were doing. He said he had such guilt about leaving them. He looked at me as if he were deciding whether he should say something or not. Then he somehow raised himself up on an elbow, took B.B.' s hand and said, Sir, when I got hit I want you to know that I took a couple of the sons of bitches down." His commitment and his focus were still there and all he can think of is getting well and rejoining his unit.
The last two guys were in Intensive Care. Their rooms, by request were side by side. The first one had no legs. He had stepped out of his track onto a mine. He does not remember anything but the pain. He choked up when he told B. B., "Sir, what I did was stupid." B. B. assured him that "stupid" was thinking that he did anything wrong in a war where there was so much to think about and sleep was a rare commodity. As he lay there in the desert, a medic ran up to him, stepped on a mine and lost a leg too. These were the guys who were side by side. The soldier who had lost both legs said, in response to B. B. asking him what he could do for him, "Sir, I am fine. I have everything I need. I have nothing to complain about." Well, that was it for me. I just cried. I left the room but the soldier asked me to come back. "Ma'am".don't cry for me. Let's pray for all who are carrying on." Even now I have to cry. I wear a Hooah pin that Patty Shinski gave me and I took it off and gave it to him.
Today, for the first time ever, I was in the presence of real heroes, indescribable bravery and I can't tell you how honored I am to have touched them. I held their hands and told them the entire how proud nation and we are and that I love them. At the end of the visit I was totally wrung out and just wanted to get home and go in my room and be by myself and thank God for these young men and women who are giving so much. My blood boils with the protests of the Hollywood elite whose easy and privileged lives exist because of these soldiers lying in that hospital.
They have no idea how they hurt these men and women and their families with their rhetoric. Their shallowness is sickening after being in the presence of true character and heroism.

*
Like to share about the last two Soldiers. Buddies, best of friends, met in the Army. The Medic was responding to a wounded Soldier down; it was not until giving aid did he learn who he was, his friend. Both their mothers had just met prior to this war. This is the reason they are next to each other, Buddies. [Saw this on the local news; could not find a link.]

4/11/2003

Thursday, April 10, 2003  
Updates By Phone{Thanks to two of you, who e-mailed.}

1-866-676-0662, an automated line for The Marines out of Camp Pendleton.
3,9,1 & 5 were the #’s keyed to listen to word on my LiL Bro.


LiL Bro, forgot to write you that, been shopping for a couch…seen anyway lately, my colors schemes are red white & blue.

4/10/2003

Wednesday, April 09, 2003  
Fall of Baghdad



Reminded:
It has been a month since most of our troops have bathed, two weeks since they changed their uniforms, how long could you stand yourself, forget about the other guy. Sure we didn't stink them out of Baghdad.

It’s not over until the fat lady sings; have not seen a fat lady in Iraq.

You deserve a break today, Soldiers; think they have a Golden Arches, this is Baghdad, sure our Soldiers would love a burger about now, with fries & a cold shake.


Hopes
LiL Bro, hope you find a drive thru, not sure if the LAV will fit.
Been seeing pictures of Saddam’s bathrooms, golden fixtures and all. So even to bathe in a golden sink would be a once in a lifetime chance, go for it.
But pass on the fat ladies singing to you…


4/09/2003

Tuesday, April 08, 2003  
{KVA - e-mail}
Hello 4th LAR Alpha Company Families,
Some of you have emailed me saying you heard Rick Levinthal mention 4th LAR on Fox News Network. I did not see it, and I've gotten conflicting reports so I thought I'd try to clarify a few things.
4th LAR Battalion consists of five companies. Three of these companies are still in the U.S. and are preparing to deploy very soon. That leaves Alpha (originally based out of Camp Pendleton) and Bravo (originally based out of Maryland). Bravo Company left for Kuwait before Alpha Company and had their Light Armored Vehicles prior to the start of the war. Bravo is currently attached to 3rd LAR (Light Armored Reconnaissance), regularly an active duty unit. Rick Levinthal is embedded with 3rd LAR. When he referred to 4th LAR, he is referring to 4th LAR's Bravo Company (which has been renamed 3rd LAR's Echo Company). The reason they have been "redesignated" is that 3rd LAR already has a Bravo Company, so it was easier to identify them this way.


*{ Received an e-mail on April 4th mentioning this but sender added: Rick Leventhal said some guys just pulled up, he asked "Who are you" his voice came back with "The 4th LAR - a reserve unit out of Camp Pendleton"...no idea if they will travel on with the 3rd LAR but thought you may want to know.}
Wait, it gets more confusing so, hold on...
There are many Battalions in the Marine Corps. Most of them have an Alpha Company, Bravo Company, Charlie Company, etc. The same way you'd outline a paper with points A, B, C, etc. If you hear the words "Alpha Company" mentioned, it could be the Alpha Company from any of the Battalions over there, not just our Alpha Marines. Each Battalion, whether they are Infantry, Artillery, Tanks, or even Combat Service Support units have "companies" and they are named, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, etc.
I don't know where our Marines are, but this is what I do know.
They are considered attached to 1st LAR. 1st LAR had their vehicles at the start of the conflict and set off on their objective. Based on the articles I've read from the San Diego Union Tribune (reporter J. Crawley is embedded with 1st LAR), it does not seem that 1st LAR is headed straight for Baghdad. Alpha Company did not receive and prepare their vehicles until about 5 days into the conflict. They were on their way to meet up with 1st LAR when some of you received a call from your Marine in Iraq. Alpha Co. has now joined up with 1st LAR and you may hear about them on the news or read about them in the paper. I believe they are in the Southeast portion of Iraq. Remember, they are "attached" to 1st LAR Battalion and are still considered Alpha Co, 4th LAR .
This is why it becomes even more important that we stick with using the 4th LAR address. Your Marine may keep telling you to use a different address based on which unit they are near when they wrote that letter. The letters you receive from your Marine may be 3-4 weeks old and your Marine may not know if he is giving you the correct information. Not all Marines are aware of the incredible back up of the Federal Post Office. It may take a month or so before they get the mail you send them today. So, much could change over there in a month. They could be attached to a different unit by then or not be attached at all. Do not worry if you haven't received a letter from your Marine. They have little time to write and it is doubtful that there is any way for them to get the mail sent from where they are.

As I watch a little of the news this morning, it looks like our troops are doing very well in Baghdad! I hope all of you can find a little more hope that the end of the main conflict is closer.
Please try to keep a positive attitude that this will all be over soon.
Take Care,
A Co. KVA



4/08/2003

Saturday, April 05, 2003  
A better look my LiL Bro’s LAV’s, "hammer-head" mount that fires the TOW missiles...


attached is a pic of the mount that spews fire out the rear
and a tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided (TOW)
missile out the front. By the way, the TOW missile is designed
to defeat armored vehicles and other targets such as bunkers
or other fortifications from ranges up to 3,750 meters.
{from my Middle Bro}

4/05/2003

Friday, April 04, 2003  
Shed-a-tear-news

CNN REPORT--"Where do they get young men like this?"

Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was
talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN.
He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been looking
out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell
about the many hardships the Marines had endured since the war began and
how they all look after one another. He turned to the four and said he
had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his video phone
to call home. The 19 year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he
would allow his platoon sergeant to use his call to call his pregnant
wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A
stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request shook his head and
the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant. Savidge recovered after a
few seconds and turned back to the three young Marines still sitting
with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first, the
Marine closest to him responded with out a moments hesitation " Sir, if
is all the same to you we would like to call the parents of a buddy of
ours, Lance Cpl Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida who was killed on
3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing". At that Martin Savidge
totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before
signing off was "Where do they get young men like this?".

[Pleasse excuse the wet screen.]

4/04/2003

Thursday, April 03, 2003  
Crossing the Tigris River


Why am I wondering LiL Bro, you're seeing the Bible live...baAAAAA

4/03/2003

 
Collectable? {not an advertisement}
Have you folks seen this,



Funny, thought about sending one of these when my brother’s vehicle arrived.



Hey, how many in Iraq have one on their dashboard, none, probably against the law too.
{Sniff, sniff}…the lil guy reminds me of my LiL Bro, looks just like him really.
Now wondering if LiL Bro can mount one on his Marine issued vehicle,
naaa, no dashboard.




4/03/2003

Wednesday, April 02, 2003  


US Marines of Alpha Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance, prepare their 6 wheeled personnel carriers for transport after arriving Saturday, March 22, 2003, at Port Al Shuiba in southern Kuwait. From millions of bottles of water to spare tires to spare tanks, the goods are received from sea, sorted, then mounted on convoys to the front lines to keep the American and British armies fighting. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

6 Wheeled...he hee, take a look at your photo guys.

Guess was wrong thinking the vehicles would be camouflaged desert colors like the ones we have been seeing with The 1st Division...Oh yea the Euphrates River nice plush greenery.


This was the day my mother recieved a cell-call from my LIL Bro.
Hey, talkin on the phone during work hours...

4/02/2003

 
Thousands of Pendleton Marines close in on Baghdad


[Excerpts from KVA e-mails]

Hello families and friends of Alpha Co. 4th LAR Marines,


KV, {name excluded}, called me today to tell me that her husband was able to call her. He was near a communication unit and got a brief chance to make a quick call! That's so amazing to me! Isn't modern technology fantastic! So, I'm passing on the information he gave her.

1) The Alpha Company Marines are still with 1st LAR although they are not all in the exact same location.

2) As of yet they have not seen combat which must frustrate the men but is a big "Pheeewwww!" for us.

3) They are near the Euphrates River, which is good to know so that you know what area to listen for on TV. Of course, this location could change at any time.

4) They are not receiving mail out in the field and don't expect to until they return to base camp. They don't know how long that will be. But keep writing letters, they will enjoy them even more when they get back.



So that's what I can pass on for now. Just a point of clarification. Some people may think that I have access to classified information about the Alpha Company Marines' status, well-being or location. I guarantee you; I'm not holding anything back.



I know today's news brings the reality of war closer to home. I hope that you'll all join me in sending thoughts or prayers of condolence to the family of our fallen hero in 1st LAR and all those brave men fighting for our freedom.
Take Care, A Co KVA

4/02/2003

Tuesday, April 01, 2003  
Another good Link to The Marines
Please be sure to check this out, Family Readiness Preparation.

4/01/2003

 
Great link to read word & to see our Marines.
Be sure to check out the Photo Galleries
Also a Big, {{{thanks}}} to the one who e-mailed me the link.

P.S.: If you see your Marine in a picture, please write him. See it was my job to do this growing up,
making sure LiL brothers were in the photo and not being there well. So ask your Marine to tell my
LiL Bro where to stand to have a camera lens on him. Smiles too, what makes the world spin round.


4/01/2003

 
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