Monday, July 25, 2011

Joseph A. Graves, Army, MP -- Rest In Peace

Joseph A. Graves, 21

Army, Specialist
Based: Ft. Hood, Texas
110th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 25, 2006
Baghdad, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Discovery Bay
High School: Liberty High (Brentwood)
Burial: Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, Calif.

"One of the last conversations I had with him was -- 'Aww Dad,' he says, 'There's a lot worse places in Iraq to be than here, so don't worry about me,' " Kevin Graves recounted Thursday in the living room of his Discovery Bay home on the eastern edge of Contra Costa County where his son grew up.

The elder Graves remembers being surprised when his son, after completing basic training, went off to jump school at Ft. Benning, Ga., for airborne training. "This was a kid I could hardly get to ski down a ski slope, because it was too intimidating," he said. "And now he's jumping out of airplanes." 
The soldier's wife, Cori, 20, said she didn't press her husband for details of combat duty and knows little about the mission that took his life. The two started dating as teenagers in Discovery Bay, about 45 miles east of San Francisco.
"I'm at peace with the little things that I have been told, and it's been minimal, to protect myself from getting hurt or upset," his wife said. "I don't need to know any more. He was there, he was doing a job that he wanted, and I'm OK with that."
One memory of Joseph A. Graves
what cant i say about this guy? he was my friend my brother and great guy to just be around. the time that i new joseph we were in iraq together and he was the one that i went to if i wanted to talk to someone. we were stationed in fort hood and he was the one that always had a smile on his face and addored his wife to death. most of all he was our friend and our brother. we all miss him and wish we can turn back the hands of time.
love you man
jason rodriguez
— jason
October 1, 2009 at 1:33 p.m.
Read more about Army MP Joseph A. Graves 
at the Iraq Page here, 
in the LA Times here 
and at SFGate.

Portrait of Joseph A. Graves courtesy of Fallen Heroes Project.
Army MP Joseph A. Graves last remembered at Boom3 on Sunday, July 25, 2010.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Daniel S. Noble, Navy Hospitalman -- Rest In Peace

Daniel S. Noble, 21

Navy, Hospitalman
Based: Camp Pendleton
1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force Pacific
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 24, 2007
Rushidiyah, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Whittier
High School: La Mirada High (La Mirada)
Burial: Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier

His uncle and surrogate father remembers Daniel S. Noble as "a hands-off kid."
"You didn't have to worry about him doing the right thing," Kelly Thomas said. "If he had questions about what the right things were or had a problem, he would come to me. He always came to me for the tough problems that he didn't think he could talk to his mom about. And we worked it out."
Athletic and formidable at 6 feet 7 and 260 pounds, Noble nonetheless decided after graduating from La Mirada High School in 2004 not to pursue college-level football.
His grandfather and godfather had both served in the Navy, and Noble decided to follow their path, said his mother, Julie Ann.
He was aiming for the Seabees. But he broke a hand just before he was scheduled to start basic training. By the time he had recuperated, there were no Seabee openings, so he had to make a quick decision.
"He decided to be a corpsman, and he loved it," his mother said.
In addition to his mother and uncle, Noble is survived by his father, Barry; a brother, Andrew, 24; and a sister, Katlin, 18

Go here to see a MySpace page dedicated to Daniel S. Noble and here for a memorial page, both with pictures.

Read more about Navy Hospitalman Daniel S. Noble in the LA Times here and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here.

Navy Hospitalman Daniel S. Noble last remembered on Boom3 Saturday, July 24, 2010.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Travon T. Johnson, Army Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Travon T. Johnson, 29

Army, Sergeant
Based: Vicenza, Italy
1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: July 23, 2007
Sarobi district, Afghanistan
Married, 2 children
Gender: Male
Hometown: Palmdale
High School: Ontario High (Ontario)
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Hollywood Hills

Michael Shotlow was the proud and protective stepfather who raised Johnson as his own from the age of 5. "A gentle giant" is how he described his stepson, who was about 6 feet 4.
"He was a cheerful kid, honest and trustworthy. A kid who never gave us any trouble," Michael Shotlow said. "He would help people."
Teachers at Ontario High School, where Johnson was a student until 1996, have similar memories. "He was not a bully," said Laurie Zappia, head of the school's special education department. "He was a sweet young man who had the best interest of everybody at heart."
Read about Army Sergeant Travon T. Johnson in the LA Times here, and find pictures of Sergeant Travon T. Johnson here.

Army Sergeant Travon T. Johnson, Army Sergeant previously remembered at Boom3 on Friday, July 23, 2010.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Shabbat Shalom -- Jews of My Old Neighborhood, West Coast Division

American Motorways

You are roadtripping. My favorite thing to do.
For those of you who this way come, tried posting this for ya on your FaceBook place but it was either too tall or too skinny, or perhaps both -- just like me.
Godspeed and traveling mercies and alla that.

Crowder, Steven

Via Big Hollywood.
Previous Peace Prize Crowder.

Shawn G. Adams, Army Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Shawn G. Adams, 21

Army, Sergeant
Based: Ft. Richardson, Alaska
3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 22, 2007
Owaset, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Dixon
High School: Vanden High (Fairfield)
Burial: Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Dixon, Calif

At 17, he enlisted in the Army and found more thrills as a paratrooper, throwing himself out of airplanes and flying in helicopters.
The night before his first parachute jump, he called his mother, Laura Gillis, at her home in Dixon, Calif.
"He said, 'Mama, I'm going to call you on my cellphone on the way down,' " she recalled. "I said, 'Oh, my gosh! You call me when you're safe and back on the ground.' "
The jump went off without a hitch -- and he didn't call while in free fall.
"He was just incredible," said his mother. "He never had any fear in his life."
In mid-July, Adams was nine months into his first tour in Iraq. He called his mother to say that he was holed up in a military base south of Baghdad. While fellow soldiers enjoyed the respite from fighting, finally able to shower and relax, the 21-year-old Army Ranger longed for action.
"He was bored and he wanted to do a job, go out on a mission and do what he was trained to do," she said.
It was the last time they talked. Adams was killed July 22 after an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while he was on patrol near Owaset. The date marked his first wedding anniversary.

Be sure to read the whole story Army Sgt. Shawn G. Adams in the LA Times here, and more here. And visit Army Sergeant Shawn G. Adams' Guest Book here.
Shawn Adams is survived by his wife, Wilhelmina Elizabeth Adams (Beth) of Anchorage, Alaska; his mother and stepfather, Laura and Robert Gills of Dixon; his father and stepmother, Darcy and Gaye Adams of Vacaville; three sisters, Lacy and Samantha of Dixon and Mary of Vacaville; grandparents, Jim and Gloria Paisley, Mike and Beatrice Bruno, Robert C. Gillis Sr. and Marijo Gillis.

Army Sergeant Shawn G. Adams previously remembered at Boom3 on Thursday, July 22, 2010.

Because we love this picture:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ivan I. Wilson, Marines, Pvt. 1st Class -- Rest In Peace

Ivan I. Wilson, 22
Marines, Private 1st Class
Based: Twentynine Palms, Calif.
2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: July 21, 2008
Helmand province, Afghanistan
Gender: Male
Hometown: Clearlake
High School: Lower Lake High (Lower Lake)
Burial: Lower Lake Cemetery
Willie, we all miss you and wish you were here with us still. You were a great friend and a damn fine Marine. You will never be forgoten. Miss ya buddy.
Love ya,
— Byron McDonald III
July 9, 2010 at 10:21 a.m.

Ivan, just a note to let you know I miss you so much and as I go forth, I want you to know I will always love you and you will never be forgotten-Your in my heart forever. May you rest now...your work is done here on earth and I will continue to share your legacy with all those that have loved and supported us this past year! Save me a place where ever u are.
Love ya, mean it Your Momma
— Denise Wilson
July 19, 2009 at 4:16 p.m.
From the LA Times:
The opening line of Ivan Wilson's last letter home to his mother had a poignant resonance at his memorial service.

"I guess you might say we've reached our final destination."

Father Ron Serban read Wilson's words, describing his Marine unit's arrival at a desert base in Afghanistan, for the overflow crowd gathered Aug. 16 at his hometown church in the small Northern California town of Clearlake.

The 22-year-old lance corporal penned the upbeat note, complete with smiles and doodles, in May. He was killed in a bomb explosion July 21.

The letter reached his mother just days before his funeral at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, where Wilson grew up taking religious classes and attending youth group activities.

He was the first member of the military from Lake County, which stretches through the forests north of San Francisco, to die in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Stocky, red-headed and with an inquisitive mind, Wilson struggled at times to find his way, Serban said, but appeared to have taken a turn for the better in the Marines, which he joined in September 2005.

"It looked like he had found his niche," the priest said. "I think his life was in a very positive transition."

Fellow Marines recalled that Wilson would volunteer to be the point man, the first one to get out of their Humvee to check out a suspicious situation. "He had really risked his life, putting himself in front of other troops," Serban said.
Read the entire LA Times article about Marine Private 1st Class. Ivan I. Wilson here, Find more here at the Press Democrat and here at Lake County News. Visit Ivan I. Wilson's Guest Book.

Portrait of Marine Private Ivan I. Wilson is found at Fallen Heroes Project. Marine Private Ivan I. Wilson previously remebered at Boom3 on Wednesday, July 21, 2010.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Resignation Interlude -- Art by Bosch Fawstin -- Text By Smitty

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago, over at The Other McCain, Smitty, writing from Afghanistan, [Update: Mr. Smitty is home today.] foresees the end times of Hope and Change.
BHO Does Not Even Complete Term, Much Less Run For Reelection

by Smitty (h/t Instapundit)

This prediction is served without malice. I feel nothing about the Commander-in-Chief, one way or the other.

1.The economy appears to be dead in the water, but are only that good if you squint and believe government figures which, unexpectedly, are later adjusted down.
2.Government actions, like those of the EPA, are inimical to economic recovery.
3.As the third year after winning the election closes, BHO’s Daily Presidential Tracking Poll remains mired in the negative teens.

 Against those, and other equally negative inputs (Pigford), BHO will have to arrive at a means to avoid losing the election. I predict Eric Holder will be the vehicle, or, rather, dude going under the vehicle, to achieve this. The means to avoid losing in an election BHO cannot win will be to resign, Nixon style, because the integrity of the administration has been unexpectedly (did I already use that word in this post?) tarnished.
This occurs at the point where the maximal amount of cash has been squeezed from the donors. Of course. “BFD” Biden generates a bit of work for the portrait guy, and finishes out the term. It’s not as classical as OediPUTUS Wrecks, but there you have it.
[Internal links not in the original.]
Me? I say hope is for chumps. However, in my experience, Smitty is not often wrong, leaving room for some hopeychangery around Boom3. Thank you Smitty for the hope and the change and for your service.

Derek J. Plowman, Army Specialist -- Rest In Peace

Derek J. Plowman, 20

Army Specialist
Everton, Arkansas
Army National Guard
1st Battalion
142nd Fires Brigade, Rogers, Arkansas
Died: July 20, 2006 
Baghdad, Iraq

Pfc. Derek J. Plowman, 20, of Everton, Arkansas, died on July 20, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq, from a gunshot wound.
While still a Senior in high school, he joined the Army National Guard. After he graduated, he started his basic training. He knew where he was going when he enlisted, but he wanted to serve his country and he knew it could help pay for his college. He hoped to someday be a Psychologist. Derek was always the life of the party, laughing and joking. Everybody wanted to be around him. He did whatever he could do to be involved with people. He never made it about Derek. It was about what he could do for them. He died from a gunshot wound at age 20.

Derek Plowman is survived by his mother and stepfather, Kim and Andrew Campbell of Everton, Arkansas; father, Donald Plowman Jr. of Cape Coral; grandfather Bill Riley of Lakeview Arkansas; sisters, Ashley Plowman of Des Moines, Iowa, Angela Campbell, Zoie Campbell, Jodie Meeks, Josie Campbell, all of Everton, Arkansas; brothers, USAF Staff Sgt. Corey Plowman of Warner Robins, Ga., Mike Plowman of North Fort Myers, Bryce Plowman and Dustin Plowman of Everton, Arkansas.
Read more about Army Specialst Derek J. Plowman here and at the Iraq Page and see his guest book here.

This is a slightly modified version of
originally posted at Boom3 on Tuesday, July 20, 2010.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dalai Lama and White House Trash

Here's how a real man meets with a real man.

Here's how a real man is treated by a pretender.

At the Obama White House, the Dalai Lama sidesteps trash as he exits through the back door. 

The Christian Science Monitor notes:
At White House, the Dalai Lama sidesteps trash
When the Dalai Lama went to exit the White House Thursday via the back door, a mound of trash awaited him.
No mention of how much trash awaited His Holiness inside the White House.

Book Report -- Daniel Silva, Andrew Klavan -- Publication Day

Well, pre-ordering books is still a good thing, but on certain publication dates I'm used to staying awake until midnight and voila, clock strikes twelve, carriage turns to pumpkin, and new book shows up on my Kindle at midnight. Or twelve-oh-two, or twelve-oh-six. Thanks, Amazon.
But that midnight thing was a west coast thing, an Amazon corporate time thing, a Seattle thing.
Back here in America, in the Ouachita's, Daniel Silva's new book didn't appear until two-ish.
I'm not complaining, merely describing. But that was a long moonlit wait for Gabriel Allon.

Hugh Hewitt on Portrait of a Spy:
Silva's great contribution isn't the extraordinarily high entertainment value of the amazing series of 11 Allon thrillers that began with "The Kill Artist" in 2000.
It is that Silva is explaining the realities of the world we live in through his fiction. A handful of novelists have been climbing this mountain in recent years: Alex Berenson, Robert Ferrigno, Vince Flynn, Brad Thor and others.
Some have created characters like Flynn's Mitch Rapp who embody the American hero who is every day on the front lines of this long war. Others try to communicate the possible consequences of a long war on national character and international relations as Steven Pressfield does in his new offering "The Profession."
Silva's great contribution, though, is to communicate Israel's situation and Israel's perspective. Allon is a great ambassador for the Jewish state, and Israel's real ambassador, the historian Michael Oren, would do well to keep boxed sets of the Allon novels close at hand for the Americans he finds uncommonly dense as to the way the world really works and how it is understood by -- and must be understood by -- the realists within Israel.
Read all of Hugh Hewitt's piece on Silva and Gabriel Allon in the Washington Examiner.
Hewitt interviewed Silva today, and the transcript may show up here sometime soon. Usually does...

Adding to today's literary perfection, making June 19, 2011, a good-good day for a bookass such as yours truly, also released is the fourth and final installment in Andrew Klavan's Homelanders series: Final Hour.

Written for the Young Adult market, suitable for all of us. American boy vs. Islamists. Yeah.

If that weren't enough, proving that life is good, still to come this year:
Mitch Rapp in Vince Flynn's Klll Shot

and Jack Reacher in Lee Child's The Affair

No Golf Sundays

Watching the USA Women's Soccer Team on a Sunday afternoon with the family in the White House.
Pedal extremities exposed.

More From The Subtitles Files -- Le Fil

Ronald L. Coffelt, 36

Army, Sergeant
Based: Ft. Bragg, N.C.
503rd Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 19, 2007
Baghdad (eastern part), Iraq
Married, 5 children
Gender: Male
Hometown: Fair Oaks
High School: Del Campo High (Fair Oaks)
Burial: Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Dixon, Calif.
Coffelt enlisted in the Army right after high school and served eight years. He rejoined after a stint in the Army National Guard in New Mexico.
"He definitely hated the desert," his father said.
Otherwise, he added, his son did not speak much about Iraq, including the hazards he faced there as a military police officer.
"I would question him about it, and he would usually change the subject and want to talk about family," he said. "I would say something to him about it being dangerous, and he said, 'Dad, that's what I do. It's my job and it's what I do.' "
Coffelt died July 19. He served in the 503rd Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), 18th Airborne Corps.
Among his other survivors are his mother, Janice; a sister, Kimberly Conner; and his grandmother, Pauline Coffelt, of Carmichael, Calif.
"My husband was a wonderful man," Debi Coffelt said. "He was a great father, and a very loving, caring and compassionate husband. And he loved his country."
Please look here for Army Sergeant Ronald L. Coffelt's Guest Book and messages from his loving daughter; and here for his FaceBook memorial and here for more about Army Sergeant Ronald L. Coffelt.

Reposted from Boom3, Monday, July 19, 2010.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Quote of the Week -- Nolte on Wasilla and Bristol Palin

I don’t know what’s in that Wasilla water, but we should bottle it with the label: Leftist Kryptonite.
-- John Nolte

In a post at Big Hollywood on July 15, John Nolte praises Bristol Palin for her growth, strength and poise. Read the whole thing and watch the video here:
While the desperate Left tries to label as hypocrisy the act of learning from your mistakes, Bristol just keep on keeping on. And that she’s chosen to bring her values into a venue where it is most needed — the world of pop culture — is especially gratifying.

I don’t know what’s in that Wasilla water, but we should bottle it with the label: Leftist Kryptonite.

Trig Palin

Holy Trinity

Those who know us know that some things simply silence us here at Boom3.
To speak of them, to add our jibberjabber to the occassions, ends up pointing more toward us than to the required silence, or to its sacred cause, so we shut the hell up every now and then.
Get out of the way, we tell ourselves, knowing it is not about us.
No, really, that much we know: Very little is about us.
And silencers?
Boy angel Angel Boy was such.
He took our breath with him.

Leiby Kletzky

Today we found our opening, our segue, our permission, not to forget, not to look away, not to move on, nope. Today we found the grace to breathe a little again. Showed up in a photograph of two more Little Misters Perfect.

Trig Palin and his nephew Tripp Johnston

G*d bless the little ones.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Yes Shabbat, Shalom No -- Leiby Kletzky

Yeah, Shabbat approaches, but the shalom will be missing.

Didn't publish our posts on Tuesday when good folk were still looking for young Leiby Kletzky in Brooklyn.
Didn't publish any post once angel boy was found Wednesday.
There are no words, as we all know.
And there's no need to look up the story, to know the details.
You could find them, sure. But why?
Use your time to say a prayer for the boy.
And for his family.
Then find your own children, look at them, thanking G*d all the while.

And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! 

Wild Flower Interlude

Needing something pretty today, yeah?

Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive
Saturday, July 2, 2011

Andres J. Contreras, Army Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Andres J. Contreras, 23

Army, Sergeant
Based: Ft. Polk, La.
519th Military Police Battalion, 1st Combat Support Brigade
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 15, 2006
Baghdad (southern part), Iraq
Single, 1 child
Gender: Male
Hometown: Huntington Park
High School: Bell Senior High (Bell)
Burial: Riverside National Cemetery

As an 11-year-old, Contreras took charge of his five younger brothers every day when his father left their Huntington Park home at 6 p.m. for his job as a security guard.
He changed diapers and helped his mother clean up after dinner. He chased his brothers into the bathroom in order to brush their teeth and tucked them in with bedtime stories.
It was the same in Iraq, where Contreras made a habit of putting the welfare of his fellow soldiers ahead of his own.

Read more about Sergeant Andres J. Contreras here, visit his Guest Book here and MySpace page here and watch his brother's video tribute here:

In Loving Memory of my brother: Andres J. Contreras

Danny | MySpace Video

Andres J. Contreras was previously mentioned by Boom3 here.

This remembrance of Army Sergeant Andres J. Contreras was previously published on Boom3, Thursday, July 15, 2010.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Undefeated -- Sarah Palin -- Opening Day

Sarah Palin.
Let's talk true true grit.
Just saying.

Opening day Arkansan time...
Nah, not seeing this on opening day. It's not playing in Arkansas.
The Undefeated is playing these theatres.
And though we received the invite to the NYC previews in June, and we were in NY, we could not get from Long Island to NYC that day.
Makes one want to say damnit.
You may see three Sarah Palin trailers for Sarah Palin The Undefeated at Texans For Sarah Palin.

Big Hawk Out My Kitchen Window

Occasionally one is rewarded for standing at the kitchen sink and doing the dishes.

Monday, July 11, 2011
Contento, Ltd.

Thomas B. Turner Jr., Army Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Thomas B. Turner Jr., 31

Army, Sergeant
Based: Ft. Campbell, Ky.
1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 14, 2006
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
Married, 2 children
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cottonwood
High School: Mercy Catholic High School (Red Bluff)
Burial: Cottonwood Cemetery, Cottonwood, Calif.
Growing up in San Francisco, a bashful Turner played checkers and helped his dad tinker with motorcycles. "Him and his dad were inseparable," family friend Cindy Lopes-Sykes said. "There was a bond and a strength between them."

Turner was buried next to his father, Thomas B. Turner Sr., at a cemetery in Cottonwood, the Northern California town where he and his wife, Jennifer, planned to raise their 21-month-old son, Ethan, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Cantrell.

Turner had doted on Sarah, guiding her through homework and playing the game Memory as many times as she wanted. He sent her a birthday card early in July, even though she didn't turn 8 until month's end -- Turner wanted to make sure it arrived on time. After his death, Coghlan said, "My sister had to explain to my niece that Daddy is sleeping and he won't wake up. Sarah's comment was, 'Does this mean he won't e-mail me back?' "

Find pictures and read more about Thomas B. Turner Jr. here and here.

This remembrance of Army Sergeant Thomas B. Turner Jr. was previously posted on Boom3 Wednesday, July 14, 2010.