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National Guardsmen return home from Iraq ... to ravaged Louisiana

National Guardsmen return home from Iraq ... to ravaged Louisiana
By Jim Krane, Associated Press Writer | September 9, 2005

BANGOR, Maine --The first planeload of 100 weary Louisiana National Guardsmen touched down here Friday morning, returning from the carnage of Iraq on their way to the their home state that has been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

At Bangor airport, elderly members of a U.S. veterans group waved flags and offered the soldiers cell phones and chocolate chip cookies.

"It's good to be back," said Pvt. Joshua Dumas, 23, of Slidell, La.

After seeing 35 of their number killed in Iraq, members of the 256th Brigade Combat Team readied to take care of relatives made refugees, or, perhaps, mourn family members killed or hurt by Katrina and its devastating aftermath.

For Spc. Nathan Faust of Chalmette, La., it's a total loss. His family home is flooded to the peak of the roof. His fiancee's home in Plaquemines Parish is at least as devastated. He said his uncle, the warden at the Orleans Parish jail, was trapped in his office by riots for 30 hours in knee-deep water.

"All my stuff, all my family, everyone's homeless," said Faust, his worry-lined face making him appear older than his 23 years. "I want to move out of the city and start over someplace else. I can't put my life on hold for two years and wait for the city to get back on its feet."

The 100 returnees were mainly soldiers from the New Orleans-based 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery Regiment, which left Kuwait on Thursday night on a charter flight. The few hundred remaining battalion members are expected to fly home from Kuwait over the next few days.

Since Katrina struck, soldiers knew their homecoming would be a complicated affair. They would trade one disaster zone for another.

"Bittersweet isn't the word for it. It's worse," said Sgt. Joe Partin, 34, of Harahan, La.

Before their flight to Alexandria, the soldiers were processed out of the war zone at Camp Victory, Kuwait. A U.S. Navy customs official who briefed the glum Louisianans tried to whip up some fervor for their flight home.

"Are you all happy to go home?" the Customs agent yelled. A few troops replied with a halfhearted "hoo-ah," the Army's standard rallying cry. The agent tried again, louder, and failed to raise enthusiasm.

"I'm going to be in your place in 2 1/2 months and I'm going to be going nuts," he admonished the Guardsmen.

Later, when informed that he was addressing troops from New Orleans, the customs agent apologized, Partin said.

"Normally, we'd be yelling and screaming," Partin said in an interview aboard the plane.
Page 2 of 2 --Partin, like everyone else, had been gearing to celebrate his homecoming with friends and family. Now those people are scattered, some of them hundreds of miles away.

Now we're going back to chaos. It's very anticlimactic."

The chartered Boeing 757 stopped in Budapest to change crews and then in Shannon, Ireland, to refuel.

Soldiers streamed into Shannon's airport bar and ordered pints of draft beer and glasses of cognac -- their first drinks in almost a year. Some gathered around a television showing news reports of their devastated city.

Sgt. Charles Unruh, 24, and Pvt. Larry Alston, 35, carried beers in one hand and double-shots of cognac in the other.

"To the big dogs," Alston said with a growl as the pair clinked glasses and drank.

"It's been six months for me," Unruh said, sipping his beer.

Nearby, Sgt. Andrew Hines, 26, of New Orleans and Sgt. Johan Mackay, 25, of Kenner, toasted with pints of beer.

"To a safe flight home," said Mackay. Told it was time to reboard, Mackay said "Happy Mardi Gras" and gulped his beer.

Both men said their families had fled New Orleans -- Hines' to North Carolina and Mackay's to Houston. Neither soldier was certain where he would live on return.

"They still can't locate one of my aunts. But she's OK, we think," said Mackay, who swaggered with a burly weightlifter's build. Mackay said he'd had enough of Army life for a while.

"I'm done. I love the Army, but I did my time," he said. Mackay said Guardsmen who hadn't served time in Iraq were better suited to the hurricane relief duties that many believe await the returning unit.

The hurricane, Faust said, "was like a bad dream." He had been looking forward to getting back to work, plinking away at his bachelor's degree, and perhaps going to law school after graduation.

He planned to marry his fiancee in Southern Oaks, a big wedding hall on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain.

"That place is under water. My fiancee's wedding dress is underwater," Faust said. "It's all surreal. I figure we'll go to a justice of the peace and when life gets back to normal we'll have a big wedding."

As Faust spoke with tightlipped intensity, in the seat in front of him, Alston, just returned from the airport bar, was cracking jokes and carrying on.

"How good it will feel to get back to the crib after 11 months of disaster in Iraq?" Alston shouted, then asking a passing flight attendant for vodka and cranberry juice. The flight attendant declined, citing the soldiers' M-16 rifles at their feet. "We can't have drinks because we got guns? Hell, we ain't got no magazines," Alston shouted.

Some soldiers guffawed. Faust did not even smile.

Pvt. Joshua Dumas, 23, of Slidell, also lost the house he and a group of friends rented on the flood-prone shore of Lake Ponchartrain. Asked where it was now, Dumas said: "Probably at the bottom of the lake."

Unlike the others, set adrift without a compass, Dumas has a plan.

The redheaded Army medic is also a guitarist and saxophonist and now-homeless roommates are band members. His group, Euphonic, plans to buy a motor home and tour the United States, playing in bars from coast to coast. The Federal Emergency Management Agency relief check will help fund the idea.

"Everything is lining up," he said. "We may even get some extra cash."



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Beware "Right Man" Double Standards - Dr. Ben Marble, the physician who told Vice President Dick Cheney to, "Go Fuck Yourself" was "arrested/detained" by M-16 toting Military Police.

(full story)

Of course, we infer from this that it is okay for the "Right Man Ruling Class" to tell anyone, including our elected officials, to go "fuck themselves", but not for we peasants to address the "Master Race" in such a disrespectful manner. ;-)

Perhaps, as we white-trash folks here in North Carolina often suggest to such "blue blood wannabees", it would aid immensely in the New Orleans rescue efforts to cut down on the smell of all those damn poor corpses floating around aimlessly (or "probably trying to cash in their welfare checks" as Bill&Rush would have us belive), to cut down on this horrible death stench that you "Ruling Class" are so above, if you could find it in your "Ten Thousand Points of Light" hearts to come and take a big ol' "dump" right in the middle of Bourbon Street for us, why I'm sure that purfumed Lilac smell would just make everyone forget all about their problems and worries . . .

Especially you, Mama Bush, your Church Lady Wild Rose of Sharon feces could make the deserts bloom, I'm sure . . .

Could you do that for us, sir? Please, sir? May New Orleans have some water, please sire?

Oh, in addition to being North Carolina White Trash, on my stepfather's side . . .I'm also 50% French Cajun Coon-ass on my mother's side . . . and you rich PNAC NEO CON frat brats have REALLY fucked up now.

We'll see your tired-ass "royal" butts in DC the weekend of the September 23-26!!!! Looks like the court "Fools" are going to have to put the "King" back in his place . . . "psstt, pass it on, the emperor has no clothes!!!!" If there is one thing we "Fools & Lovers" know how to do is to communicate!!! And WE are Fools with an audience now!!!

Tommy Jong proved you are barbarous enough to throw a "Fool" a fellow Fool in prison!!! A "Fool" who's only joy in life is to make other people laugh and see that things aren't that bad for just a little while. You screwed him just like your PNAC NEO CON "brethren" screwed Charlie Chaplin and Lenny Bruce.

This latest New Orleans harassment of a physician, proves that you are sick and barbarous enough to bully a fucking DOCTOR on a RESCUE MISSION to SAVE AMERICAN LIVES!!!! What fucking part of "M*A*S*H did you not understand???? Or did mommie and daddy not let you watch such trash??? Man, I always hoped you fuckin' Frat Brats would grow up after college, but no, you just get worse as the "stakes" go up. Dr. Wilhelm Reich and Dr. Timothy Leary were both right!! You guys ARE INSANE!!!! No wonder you had to completely destroy them and their objective scientific research!!! (You know, the kind where you DON'T start out with the "Right Answer" and work from there???)

You are insane and you just proved it to the world. Only an Insane Fascist would be the enemy of a Lovable Fool and a Dedicated Healer!!!
(uh, Dr. Ben Marble was THERE and NOT on the "whites only" golf course like so many NEO CON "DOCTORS" were this past week)


"Power to the People
Power to the People
Power to the People, RIGHT ON!!!!"
- John & Yoko Uno Lennon


It is time to impeach these lawbreaking scumbags...Dubya Gump and The Dick Cheney must go!

In Iraq to secure your oil anymore at all. If you want security over your oil, go guard it yourself asshole!

Military National Guard deployed in Iraq HURT response to Hurricaine disasters

The official news Donald Rumsfeld WON'T let you hear since he is not part of the reality community

National Guard deployed in Iraq hurt nation's largest states

Admin plays political points again, tries to save face by pulling the national guard home and out of IRAQ: While Bush talks about never withdrawing troops and spins lies, 2500+ soldiers return home to spurring chaos

National Guard withdraw from Iraq

"Brigade commander Brig. Gen. John P. Basilica Jr. said Friday that the more than 500 soldiers who'd sustained losses in the storm would be sent home first. Some 200 already have returned to Louisiana, and the rest should return home by Saturday night.

"Some will require more services than others," Basilica said, speaking by video link from Baghdad. "Either way, we will come up with a plan and come up with the support that they need to help them get their lives back together."

Basilica said soldiers who'd volunteered for hurricane relief work would be sent home next. The rest of the 2,500-person brigade is scheduled to return to Louisiana between Sept. 20 and Sept. 23.

Basilica said returning troops would be given the choice of remaining on state active duty or returning to their civilian lives. About 800 have expressed interest in serving in some capacity when they return, the general said. Another 1,500 have said they plan to return to their civilian lives and the rest remain undecided, he said."

Ok Bush you've permanently failed on all accounts, as has Cheney. Will you RESIGN NOW BASTARDS BEFORE WE IMPEACH??!???

Doug E.

These united states of America now stand on the edge of a very dangerous precipice. The actions or inactions that We the people engage with in the coming days WILL decide our futures, and our children's futures. Make no mistake...We the people are crossing the threshold of Historical and Biblical Proportions right now, right here!
To those of you out there in this country that are still "on the fence" as to the behavior of our government with their flagrant abuse of our Constitution in the Post 911 era, I say WAKE UP! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND! There is no excuse for ignorance, especially now in this so-called "Information Age" we live in.
And to those of you out there in this "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" who still have not made up their minds whether it is "OK" to allow the government to conduct torture of foreign POW's and to order the shooting of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, I ask What in HELL makes you think that pretending "It's all OK" is going to get you make you safe, or that your indifference is going to keep you from the Hell of your own making?
And to those of you out there in this country who call themselves Christians, who claim the "moral high ground" and who see "terrorists" lurking everywhere that are "evil" and have to be smitten by our "Righteous and Godly Society of Benefactors for Humanity", I bow my head in sorrow, for you have fallen for the Great Lie. You have played right into the prophecy of Revelations and without realizing it, you have become the "masses" blindly following your false prophet, believing that yours is the righteous cause, to the very end, when you will be destroyed.
Your "leader", that is supposedly "chosen by God", directly ordered the murdering of civilians... mostly women, children and little babies for "psychological effect" in his "Shock and Awe" campaign. Jesus Christ would never bomb or kill or murder, for any reason. Any Christian that thinks already lost. Every member of the Bush Administration has committed felonious crimes, some individually in their pasts, and all since they were "elected".
And to those of you out there in this country that maybe don't believe in God, you should be the most concerned because according to your paradigm, the only way that you are going to be "saved" is for you to take action to save yourself.
The Pentagon has already admitted to having Martial Law plans in place just in case, you know, terrorists...Excuse me? The idea that OUR government of OUR supposed "free" society would even have this authority is offensive to the extreme. They do NOT have the authority!
The people of this country need to remember their own turbulent history and NOT hand over the keys to our future to common dictators! We...every one of us...We ALL have a very serious problem that We must deal with. It is OUR Responsibility and OUR Duty to ALL the people that have died in both our history and in our present. And that is... to Defend our Constitution above all else.
We HAVE the power, if only we would remember who We are and where We come from. We cannot allow the powerful corporate and wealthy elite in this country to dictate OUR future to us. We must come to the aid of the Katrina Refugees and We must ALL act to protect their interests from those that would so willingly see the good people of the Gulf Coast region cast aside for greed and power. We must act NOW!
Power to the people!
Rev. Paul Fisher
Paradise California

Yeah for the good Doctor!!!! If Cheney can yell at a Senator that way, then any citizen can surely yell his same words to him...Cheney is disgusting. His Secret Service henchmen were misused against an American citizen. I saw the first sound clip and did not know the final outcome until reading this. It is maddening what Bushco is allowed to get away with....sick of it!!!!

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