Let’s Get Moving on Troopathon 2011: Send a Care Package to a Service Member

Including today, there are only 23 days left to send a care package to a service member in cooperation with Move America Forward’s Troopathon IV. On June 23, the actual event will stream live on the Internet. Celebrities participating, donating and raising money will no doubt be as impressive as last year: perhaps Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Gary Sinise. These care packages make life a little easier for those in the field, especially those on Forward Operating Bases and remote outposts. Click on any photo on this page for information about the care packages and how to donate with your credit card – only takes 3 minutes.

Remember their Sacrifice and Donate a Care Package Today

As a blogger, Maggie’s Notebook has been placed on a team with Hot Air BlogThe Lonely ConservativeNo Sheeples Here and One of Nine, and our team name is The Hot Air Steamers. It is our honor and privilege to compete against other teams, vying to bring in the most donations for the troops. Our prize is knowing that we did something to make life a little easier for our Military. Read about the teams here.

Here is some of the latest news about the troops:

Christian Science Monitor – Medal of Honor: Ranger who grabbed grenade in Afghanistan to receive award:

Sgt. Leroy Petry - Medal of Honor Recipient

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, an Army Ranger originally from Santa FeN.M., will be only the second living recipient of the Medal of Honor for “acts of gallantry” in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan when President Obama bestows the honor at a White House ceremony July 12.

The other living recipient, Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, a rifle team leader in the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, was awarded the medal last September for rescuing a wounded fellow soldier from enemy hands during a skirmish withTaliban fighters in Afghanistan in October 2007. Seven other service members have received the medal posthumously for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Please read more about Sgt. Petry below]

About Sgt. Petry, Army Ranger:

Medal of Honor

Petry is an Army Ranger, who found himself assigned to “a rare daylight raid to capture a high-value target” in May of 2008.  With a fellow Ranger, he was clearing the outer courtyard of the target compound when he ran into an enemy ambush.

The initial burst of enemy fire put a bullet through both of Petry’s legs, and wounded his fellow Ranger, Private 1st Class Lucas Robinson, in the side.  They found cover in a chicken coop and reported the encounter, which brought a third Ranger, team leader Sergeant Daniel Higgins, to their assistance.

An enemy grenade wounded Higgins and knocked the other two men to the ground.  When a second grenade landed right on top of them, Petry – defying the significant wounds he had already received – grabbed the weapon and threw it back at the enemy.  His action saved the lives of all three Rangers… at the cost of Petry’s right hand, which was blown off when the grenade detonated.

He put a tourniquet on himself and continued to make radio reports through the ensuing firefight, in which another Ranger was mortally wounded.

Sgt. Petry was deployed eight times during the War on Terror, serving two tours in Iraq and six in Afghanistan.

Stars and Stripes – Marines wrestle with exasperation in battle for hearts and minds

PATROL BASE MIRAGE, Afghanistan — First Lt. Tor Peery stood in front of a black and white map tacked to a piece of plywood in his command center, raised a massive arm and pointed to a pizza-slice-shaped bit of acreage south of the blue thumbtack representing his current position.

“I call this the Bermuda Triangle,” he said, using his finger to trace the outline of the slice, the pointy end of which comes to within a few hundred yards of Patrol Base Mirage’s doorstep. “If you go in, you probably won’t come out, because this is all just laced with IEDs.”

The triangle is also the nerve center of Taliban activity in their little piece of Afghanistan.

Two months ahead of President Barack Obama’s target date for a reduction in forces, Marines in this part of Helmand province are still fighting daily battles with Taliban militants who have recently returned from their winter hideouts.

The New York Times: U.S. Has Held Meetings with Aide to Taliban Leader (Mullah Muhammad Omar):

The goal of America officials is to make peace with Omar:

Begun well before the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, the meetings represent a clear shift in the attitude of the Obama administration toward peace talks with the Taliban, first signaled by a speech in February by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Western officials said. In that speech Mrs. Clinton said that previous requirements for starting talks could instead be considered “desired outcomes,” opening the way to exploratory meetings without preconditions.

The presence of Mr. Agha, a longtime personal assistant of the reclusive Taliban leader, is a sign that the Taliban are serious despite their public opposition to peace talks, the officials said. Through spokesmen and in e-mailed statements, the Taliban have always rejected peace talks until foreign forces leave Afghanistan. But privately, through intermediaries, they have insisted on direct meetings with United States officials, which would give them official recognition of their movement.

Philly.com – Mullah Omar dead??? (May 23, 2011)

UPDATE: After a day of talking to U.S. and Afghan officials, it’s clear that nobody has any confirmation that Mullah Omar is dead. More reporting to come…

Afghan television is broadcasting the news that Mullah Omar, leader of the Afghan Taliban, has been killed in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan.

USA Today – Petraeus: U.S. still needed in Afghanistan:

First Lt. Daniel Meegan makes friends with an Afghan girl while deployed to the Zabul Province. Meegan was one of 28 company grade officers across the Army to be chosen for the Gen. MacArthur Leadership Award.

Petraeus, who spoke to USA TODAY in an interview at a U.S. military base in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, said that combat operations in the coming weeks and months were crucial to sustaining forces’ territorial gains over the last year, most notably in southern Afghanistan — the birthplace of the Taliban and its spiritual leader Mullah Omar.

Warm spring months are traditionally when fighting between NATO forces and insurgent groups increases significantly, particularly in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

“While we have a spring offensive ongoing, the Taliban also has a spring offensive, and we have seen the Taliban try to carry out sensational attacks and in some cases successively,” said Petraeus…

In September 2011, General David Petraeus will retire from the U.S. Army and take the position of CIA Director. Spring will show up again in 2012, and 2013 and 2014. Petraeus says the North has seen U.S. territorial gains, but in the South:

But southern Afghanistan is not pacified. Fighting has increased in recent days. Insurgents are laying more IEDs and waging increased small arms and mortar attacks on military bases and troops on patrol.

All the more reason to continue the fight, said the four-star general, who in May was tapped by President Obama to become director of the CIA.

But the U.S. will begin it’s drawdown in troops in July of this year, which will coincide with the “handover of security responsibility to Afghan Security Forces in seven areas of the country….” As I reported last week, the goal, before the handover, is to have Afghan troops functioning at a 3rd-grade-literacy-level. – THIRD GRADE!

Troopathon 2011 - Please Donate a Care Package for the Troops Today

There are only 23 days left. Give a little each pay check or one care package today. Click any picture on this page to donate. – it takes only 3 minutes to use your credit card.

Move America Forward is a 501(C)3 so all care package donations are tax deductible.

Most importantly, each care package will include a personal message written by you where you can express your gratitude to our military.

It is our honor and privilege to compete against other teams, vying to bring in the most donations for the troops. Our prize is knowing that we did something to make life a little easier for our Military.Read about the teams here.

Care Packages include include any or all of the following:

Gourmet Organiz Coffee
Oreo Cookies
Candy Diplomacy
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
Hot Chocolate
Hot Apple Cider
Wet Wipes
Battery Operated Fans
Painted Hills Beef Jerky
Chap Stick
Planters Trail Mix
Ocean Spray Craisins Trail Mix
Bug Repellent
“For The Troops” CDs
Diana Nagy “The Journey of Life” CDs
Foot Powder

Related and Background:

Troopathon 2011: Updates on the War Zones and After

Troopathon IV: My First – Please Participate – Care Packages for Troops