1

Love and Jealousy, Three Marines Sentenced to Prison

Three former Marines were sentenced August 24 for attacking a man who had an affair with a Marine’s wife while he was deployed. (Photo: Twitter Snapshot)

Three former Marines were sentenced August 24 for attacking a man who had an affair with a Marine’s wife while he was deployed. (Photo: Twitter Snapshot)

August 30, 2016

By Lorra B.

“Come in the door is unlocked,” called the woman’s voice.

What happened next would change their lives forever.

Noman Early III planned an evening of fun and love that night in Bakersfield, California when he entered the house of the woman he was allegedly in love with. What he did not plan for that night was almost losing his life at the hands of three Marines when he entered the home.

Sergio Medina, Rodrigo Sanchez and Leonardo Ortiz seized Early III, bound him with zip-ties, beat him and threatened to kill him, according to Bakersfield Californian.  Though he tried to fight back, Early III was pinned down on his stomach. When he tried to shout a sock was stuffed into his mouth and secured with duck-tape. Finally, Early III was almost rendered unconscious when a belt was secured around his neck and tightened.

The hockey-mask clad Marines claimed to have beaten Early III because they thought he was sleeping with one of their wives.

Early III was then held captive for about 30 minutes before he was threatened to be shot with his own gun.

Early III was then asked by the three Marines is he knew the woman he had come to see was married. According to court document, Early II stated, “She told me she was separated and getting a divorce.”

The attorney for Ortiz, Richard Middlebrook, stated that there was never any intention of killing or permanently injuring Early III, that “their training kicked in and they acted as they would have overseas by binding and interrogating someone.”

Before the three Marines were sentenced to prison, Early III told the court, “I knew what my fate was…I was going to be murdered.” Early III went on to say that the men never deserved to wear their uniforms and that they were simply ‘animals’ who needed to be taken off the streets.

Diane Reyes, Medina’s wife, tried to break off the affair, according to USMC Life, but accused Early III of being determined and refusing to back down.

The judge in the case, Judge John S. Somers, indicated that the three were ‘lucky’ not to have gotten life sentences because of the severity of the beating.

Early III was placed on dialysis after his kidneys failed and endured an orbital fracture and several head contusions.

All Early III’s injuries were sustained after Medina discovered that his wife and Early had shared a kiss while Medina had been deployed overseas.

Medina received six years in prison while both Sanchez and Oritz will serve three-year sentences.

The prosecutor, Brad Taconi, stated that the stupid decisions they made changed the path of their lives, changed the path of their families’ lives and changed the path of the victim’s life.”

 

20

Another Tragic Veteran Suicide Outside VA Hospital; VA Trying to “Piece Everything Together”

Buddy-to-Buddy sends volunteer veterans to help other veterans or service-members. (Photo: Public Domain)

Buddy-to-Buddy sends volunteer veterans to help other veterans or service-members.
(Photo: Public Domain)

August 26, 2016

By Lorra B.

The story of veterans believing that there is no way out, other than to end it all, is sadly becoming a familiar one. On Sunday afternoon, in the parking area of the Northport Long Island VA Medical Center, 76-year-old Peter Kaisen, after being denied service, took own his life.

Just outside of the nursing home, building 92 of the VA hospital, the man from Islip shot himself.

After being denied service at the E.R., stated a worker who wished to remain anonymous, “he went to his car and shot himself,” reports The New York Times.

“The hospital is part of the Veterans Affairs medical system, the nation’s largest integrated health care organization, which has been under scrutiny since 2014, when the department confirmed that numerous patients had died awaiting treatment at a V.A. hospital in Phoenix,” reports the Times.

“Officials there had tried to cover up long waiting times for 1,700 veterans seeking medical care. A study released by the Government Accountability Office in April indicated that the system had yet to fix its scheduling problems.”

Kaisen had been refused service, according to the report, because of the state of his mental health.

But why, then, was Mr. Kaisen not referred to the VA’s mental health building?

One worker was quoted saying that, “They should not have turned him away…Someone dropped the ball.”

The ball at the VA seems to be getting kicked around quite a bit and veterans are either dying or taking their own lives as a direct result.

In April the Government Accountability Office issued a report that the problems plaguing the VA system had yet to be fixed and that wait times are still very much an issue.

Of all U.S. suicides veterans account for 18 percent. A staggering number when you take into consideration that “former service members make up less than 9 percent of the entire population,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.

There were more than 7,400 veteran suicides in 2014 alone.  In 2015 it was estimated that between 18 and 22 veterans committed suicide daily.

In a statement, spokesperson Todd Goodman gave condolences for the VAMC:

“There are no words to adequately convey our heartfelt sympathy to the family, friends and neighbors regarding the death of a 76-year-old Veteran found on the grounds of Northport VAMC…The employees here at Northport feel this loss deeply and extend their thoughts and prayers to all those impacted by this tragedy.”

Veterans show much higher risk factors of taking their own lives than the general population. Last year nearly one-third of veteran suicides were VA hospital patients and while the VA is trying to “piece everything together” the suicides continue with no real plan of attack and no end in sight.

By Lorra B.

22

Cowardly Grave-Robbers Defile the Final Resting Place of Veteran Heroes

Medallion of bronze shown just under the American Flag. (Photo: Public Domain)

Medallion of bronze shown just under the American Flag. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 25, 2016

By Lorra B.

In a despicable show of the ugly and cowardly side of the human condition, thieves vandalized and robbed many graves of our veteran heroes in Laporte, Indiana.

Over 300 medallions of bronze were snatched from Patton Cemetery, according to The South Bend Tribune.

The resolve of our military heroes, however, show no boundaries and veterans are banding together to raise the money needed to replace the precious medallions that honor our fallen.

James Hiles, the financial officer for the American Legion Post 83, stated, ”People don’t have any morals anymore, apparently.”

With appalling acts of vandalism such as this being done against the very heroes protecting the lives and rights of even these wicked individuals, it’s hard not to reach the same conclusion.

“’This isn’t just a piece of bronze. This means somebody’s life has been given for this country,” Hiles went on to say.

An employee at a post near the cemetery, Bridgett Smith, stated, “We switched to a cheaper metal that’s not expensive, and they’re not taking those.”

The thieves are not even after the bronze medallions but the brass rods that holds the medallions in place. The brass rods they can sell but the medallions would be recognized and draw the attention of the police. The bronze medals, therefore, are simply tossed away like so much trash.

Each piece of Bronze ‘trash’ snatched from a heroes resting place reportedly cost $35 each. Because of this, military officials will now be replacing the bronze with a much less costly material, aluminum and steel. The cost of the new medallions will be as low as $13 a piece.

The American Legion has already raised close to $2,000 to not only replace the stolen medallions but medallions for our future veteran heroes as well.

Post commander Wayne Zeman stated, “It’s bad enough robbing graves and robbing veteran’s graves of, like I said, in a lot of cases the only thing that notates it’s a veteran’s grave in the first place.”

There should be a special place in prison for the unconscionable deeds of these cowards.

Related Videos:

Grave Robbery, Military medallions

By Lorra B.

15

Soldier Carries Thank-You Letter from 8-Year-Old for 10 Years Through Several Deployments – Watch Their Reunion!

Soldier Saves Boy’s Touching Letter, Tracks Him Down After 10 Years. (Photo: Public Domain)

Soldier Saves Boy’s Touching Letter, Tracks Him Down After 10 Years. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 24, 2016

By, Lorra B.

Young 8-year-old Collin Martin was attending Kennesaw Elementary School in 2007 when Lt. Col. Sharlene Pigg, a Major in the Army and on leave at that time, came to speak to his second grade class. The boy was so impacted by this soldier that he wrote her a thank-you letter, a letter that Lt. Col. Pigg carried with her for over ten years and through numerous deployments.

After 10 years the retired Army Lieutenant colonel decided it was finally time to find this now teenager and take him up on the free pizza he had offered in his letter, reported Fox 5.

“Many of the students wrote letters thanking her for speaking to them — but Collin Martin also invited her to share a pizza at his family’s restaurant upon her safe return.”

Other than Martin’s declaration in his letter for his love of flag football and soccer, it was his love of Pizza that would unite the two.

“When you get home, please come have pizza with us.”

To have been a fly on the wall when Martin received the phone call that Lt. Col. Pigg was actually taking him up on his offer would have been priceless. But, would he even remember her? Of course he did! He remembered her visit very well. He did admit, however, that he did not remember writing her the letter.

For Martin, it was “just an amazing experience” seeing her again. “I never thought she’d actually come in and meet me.”

“I just really wanted to meet the boy behind the letter,” stated Lt. Col. Sharlene Pigg.

Imagine the stories that could be told if more of us actually followed through with invitations such as the one sent from the then young Collin Martin.

 

By, Lorra B.

17

Pledge of Allegiance Is Waived In Some Schools, The Death Of Patriotism?

Schools may not require that children recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (Photo: Public Domain)

Schools may not require that children recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 23, 2016

By, Lorra B.

A Tallahassee, Florida, public school has found itself at the center of controversy after sending students home with Pledge of Allegiance waivers.

The parents were asked to sign and return the waiver if they wished their child to be excused from Pledge of Allegiance participation.

According to Fox News, the notice stated:

I understand my rights as a parent and I request that my child, noted above, be excused from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. This request includes standing and placing his/her right hand over his/her heart.

Michah Brienen, a resident of Bonita Springs, Florida, was stunned by the waiver and thought the request his niece received was a joke. It was no joke.

“I was immediately shocked by it,” said Brienen. “I thought it was a fake.”

Brienen’s sister-in-law was also very surprised by the waiver and returned the form to the school with a message of her own. Her message read, “This is the dumbest thing I have ever read and I am so ashamed of this.”

Frustrated with this school and what they are teaching our children, Mr. Brienen decided to take this matter public and vented on Facebook.

“My niece brought this home from school today…What is happening to our country?!?” This initial post was shared more than 23,000 times.

 

Brienen does not usually jump on the political band-wagon on Facebook but he was still angry several days later and posted once again to Facebook asking friends and family to get involved by letting the school’s superintendent know exactly how they all felt about the situation.

 

“I thought it was definitely something that needed to be out on social media,” Brienen stated. “I believe it’s another stop in the progressive political movement to destroy the education system. We have a lot of American values and traditions that seem to be whittling away.”

What might surprise you is that this decision to present the waiver was made by Republicans, not just liberal Democrats, according to Fox News.

A spokesman for Leon County Schools, Chris Petley, stated that Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature voted into law Florida Statue 1033.44 that states, “to all school districts in Florida that, ‘each student shall be informed by a written notice published in the student handbook or a similar publication pursuant to s. 1006.07(2) that the student has the right not to participate in reciting the pledge.”

Brienen uttered the same sentiment that many are feeling, “If we don’t make a stand now – we might not have the Pledge of Allegiance in school.” “What’s next, removing the flags? It’s only the beginning.”

What will happen to patriotism in our country? Will our children grow up with the same Love of Country that we, our fathers and their fathers before them did? What will the impact for future generations be?

ol-glory

By, Lorra B.

26

No Easy Way: Ex-Navy SEAL Learns a $6.6 Million Lesson the Hard Way Over Book On Bin Laden Raid

Former Navy SEAL, Matthew Bissonnette; Osama bin Laden (Photo: Public Domain)

Former Navy SEAL, Matthew Bissonnette; Osama bin Laden (Photo: Public Domain)

August 22, 201

By Lorra B.

Matt Bissonnette, a former navy SEAL, has been ordered to pay the U.S. Government $6.6 million for failing to first get permission from the Department of Defense before writing a book about his experiences during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.

No Easy Way was published two years ago under the pseudonym Mark Owen and has stirred much controversy and publicity, none of which was lost on the government. An investigation by the Pentagon was opened to decide whether or not any classified information was leaked in the book but no criminal charges against Bisdonnette were ever filed.

The Justice Department released a statement, declaring that the action reinforced service members obligations “to protect classified information after leaving the U.S. military and government in an effort to protect our nation’s national security.”

Not only is Bissonnette ordered to pay all profits and royalties from the book or any movie rights that so far total $6.6 million but he also has just under 30 days to pay an additional $100,000.

According to the settlement, Bissonnette gave presentations using slides that he failed to first get approval from the Defense Department to use.

“As a Navy SEAL, Bissonnette signed a non-disclosure agreement that would prohibit him from releasing sensitive information from his time in the military,” stated RedState. “His book, the Justice Department claimed, contained sensitive and classified material. Under the agreement made, Bissonnette will acknowledge his mistake of not submitting the book for review. Between that and the payments, the U.S. Government will not pursue more liability claims.”

The accuracy of the story itself is not being questioned but simply the way with which Bissonnette went about telling it.

Bissonnette, however, had no problems when his second book detailing his journey as a SEAL Team Six member was published. The Government gave him the nod on No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL with only a couple of redactions.

No Easy Way was on The New York Times best seller list and sold out of 575,000 copies on its first run.

By Lorra B.

23

U. S. Military Put at Risk By Faulty Helmets Made By Prison Inmates

U.S. Military (Photo: Public Domain)

U.S. Military (Photo: Public Domain)

August 19, 2016

By Lorra B.

report released on Wednesday by a Justice Department Inspector General stated that thousands of faulty military helmets were produced by a prison facility which put service members at risk.

The Federal Prison Industries (FPI), a U.S.-government owned business, manufactured the helmets for both the Marine Corps and the Army but the contract was actually awarded to ArmorSource LLC—a private company.  So FPI was the subcontractor while ArmorSource received $30.3 million for the contract between 2006 and 2009.

According to The Washington Post, the facility was plagued with problems “including the use of degraded armor and the submission of pre-selected helmets for inspection to make sure they would get approved.”

The thousands of ballistic helmets made by the prisoners have a number of flaws including ‘serious ballistic failures,’ blisters, improper mounting-hole placement and unauthorized or degraded materials, according to the report, and were sold to the military anyway.

“Helmets also had other defects such as deformities and the investigations found that rejected helmets were sold to the DOD [Department of Defense],” the report stated.

The FPI received a contract to produce the Marine Corps Lightweight Helmet (LMCH). Approximately 23,000 were produced for $23,019,629. The Department of Defense were sold 3,000 of those helmets.

Ballistics indentation of a head form after tests were performed on defective military helmet. U.S. Department of Justice

Ballistics indentation of a head form after tests were performed on defective military helmet. U.S. Department of Justice

“However, the FPI did not receive payment for these 3,000 helmets because more than half of them were subsequently determined to be defective, and all 23,000 helmets were ultimately quarantined,” the report stated.

“The investigations further disclosed that the ACH helmets produced by FPI were also defective, and that both the ACH and LMCH helmets posed a potential safety risk to the user.”

Investigations determined that both the ACH and LMCH helmets were not manufactured in accordance to specifications.

In 2010 the Army recalled 44,000 helmets, including many that were in use in Afghanistan. There was an open investigation into ArmorSource at that time.

“Helmets were manufacturing with degraded or unauthorized ballistic materials, used expired paint (on LMCH) and unauthorized manufacturing methods. Helmets also had other defects such as deformities and the investigations found that rejected helmets were sold to the DOD.”

The Justice Department announced that ArmorSource had agreed to a settlement of $3 million “to resolve false claims.”

According to the inspector general the Defense Contract Management Agency is supposed to oversee the manufacturing for the military but failed to do so. They lacked training, turned in false reports and did not conduct reviews.

In all, 126,052 helmets were recalled and the cost a whopping $19.1 million to the American people.

Federal prosecutors, however, will not be pressing charges. The report stated that a Justice Department spokesperson, Peter Carr, said the department does not give any explanation about charges that were not filed, it’s a matter of policy.

The facility was closed and all staff were transferred to other positions within the Federal Bureau of Prison systems…no criminal prosecutions.

By Lorra B.

 

18

Are The Armed Forces Suffering From Post-Traumatic BIBLE Syndrome?

Soldiers openly praying. (Photo: Public Domain)

Soldiers openly praying. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 18, 2016

By Lorra B.

Once again the Armed Forces find themselves in the news over Christian preferences when Air Force Major Steve Lewis left an open and highlighted bible on his desk.

Recently a lance corporal had been court’s marshaled for pasting bible verses on her desk. Now, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is demanding a stop to Lewis’s declaration of Christianity.

The bible “is very obviously a statement of Christian preference, Christian primacy,” MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein stated. “Had that been the Book of Satan or the Koran there would be blood in the freaking streets.”

Col. Damon Feltman, the commander of the 310th Space Wing, said, “He has removed the Bible voluntarily because he didn’t want this to cause attention or disruption to his unit. I’ve performed a walk-through of the office and everything seemed to be in compliance with Air Force regulation.”

So, it’s not having a bible on the premises that is a problem, it is what you do with it.

Major Steve Lewis's Desk. (Photo: Public Domain)

Major Steve Lewis’s Desk. (Photo: Public Domain)

Col. Feltman said, “As long as he’s not doing something excessive, the existence of a Bible or the Koran or the Torah or some other religious article is not prohibited, It’s what you do with it when you have it.”

Weinstein described the incident as a “repulsive violation of USAF regulations” as well as the U.S. Constitution. Considering Weinstein gets paid trying to obliterate Christianity from the Armed Forces perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.

This is the email from an individual who is around Lewis regularly:

“It certainly gives the appearance of favoritism toward one religion,” says a Peterson military member who insisted on anonymity for fear of retribution. “I’m a Christian myself, and it’s concerning. I don’t think people should be promoted or given opportunities based on whatever [religion] they are. It should be about your performance.”

Weinstein certainly agreed and wrote a letter to AFB Col. Feltman:

The egregious Constitutional and DoD regulatory violations of such a brazen display of sectarian Christian triumphalism and exceptionalism have been noted by many USAF members through the years but they have not sought to officially seek redress and remediation from this outrageous display of callous and bold Christian primacy from their respective USAF chains of command due to all-too-credible fears of reprisal and retribution from same.

It is fine, of course, if he wishes to keep his Christian bible, replete with yellow-highlighted verses, in a desk or office drawer or even in a handy, nearby office bookcase but NOT open, yellow-highlighted and at the very epicenter of his USAF work desk for all of his helpless subordinates and many others to view continuously on a daily basis.

Another Airman snapped photos of the open, highlighted bible to turn over as evidence. Yet another whined that the bible is a “blatant case of Christian defiance and Christian discrimination.” This airman wasn’t only offended the open bible but he was “outrageously offended,” according to Fox New.

According to Air Force Instruction:

Every Airman also has the right to individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs, to include conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs, unless those expressions would have an adverse impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health and safety, or mission accomplishment.

Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.

“Major Lewis has created an around-the-clock Christian Bible Shrine on his official USAF workstation desk that has been in prominent static display for years,” Weinstein said.

Really? A Bible Shrine? The picture clearly shows a bible and nothing else.

Why is the bible such a threat to non-Christians? Is a bible that gives comfort to a large percentage of our Armed Forces so hazardous that soldiers need to be punished with reprimands or even court’s marshaled?

Perhaps when a non-Christian soldier implodes or starts speaking in tongues there would be reason for alarm. Until then, I say let the soldiers have their comfort in their God.

“Perhaps the Air Force should offer complimentary counseling for those personnel suffering from PTBS (Post Traumatic Bible Syndrome)?”

Related Videos:

By Lorra B.

 

9

Watch The Intense Footage of Navy Pilots Saving Plane Before It Plummets Off Aircraft Carrier

The Navy awarded three pilots– Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Browning, Lt. Cmdr. Kellen Smith, and Lt. Matthew Halliwell– from that plane the Armed Forces’ Air Medal in a ceremony aboard the Eisenhower this month. (Photo: Public Domain)

The Navy awarded three pilots– Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Browning, Lt. Cmdr. Kellen Smith, and Lt. Matthew Halliwell– from that plane the Armed Forces’ Air Medal in a ceremony aboard
the Eisenhower this month. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 17, 2016

By Lorra B.

The U.S. Navy released footage of a near disaster on the aircraft carrier USS Dwight Eisenhower but the brave pilots aboard saved the plane before it plummeted off the aircraft carrier on March 18.

When the E-2C Hawkeye, the biggest plane to fly on and off the carrier, tried to land on the USS Dwight Eisenhower two pilots were aboard from the Screwtops of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123.

The E-2C has a wingspan of over 80 feet and weights more than 25 tons.

Unable to stop, the Hawkeye almost plunged into the water when it reached the end of the runway because of an arresting cable snap. In the footage you can see the plane vanishing over the side then reappearing as it recovers.

Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Browning, Lt. Cmdr. Kellen Smith, and Lt. Matthew Halliwell were awarded the Armed Forces’ Air Medal earlier this month while aboard the Eisenhower.

The Copilot, Kellen Smith, stated, “”When we would normally be coming to a stop, we weren’t,” Smith said in a statement. “Our years of training kicked in and we reacted on instinct. I slapped back the ditching hatch (Hawkeyes do not have ejection seats) as we cleared the deck and began a deep settle (significant descent).”

“It was a bit of an eternity. But in that instant things just clicked. The training that we’ve done for years of flying, myself I’ve been flying for over 12 years now, we were able to hold our set attitude and Matt was able to expertly keep us climbing away and get us away from that water.”

They were only 10 feet from the water when they were able to gain control of the plane.

By Lorra B.

 

21

Obama Released 15 More Guantanamo Bay Prisoners. Does This Make You Angry?

A holding area at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay in 2002. (Photo: Public Domain)

A holding area at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay in 2002. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 16, 2016

By Lorra B.

Guantanamo Bay, long a thorn in the side of the Obama administration, is in the news again with the recent release of 15 detainees.

In the largest transfer under Obama, detainees were shipped to the United Arab Emirates in an effort to close Guantanamo Bay permanently.

The recently released detainees, mostly held without charges ever having been filed against then, had been there approximately 14 years, according to the Associated Press.

The Periodic Review Board cleared the detainees for release and includes representatives from six U.S. government agencies.

“The Pentagon says 61 detainees now remain at Guantanamo, which was opened in January 2002 to hold foreign fighters suspected of links to the Taliban or the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. During the Bush administration, 532 prisoners were released from Guantanamo, often in large groups to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia,” reports the Associated Press.

Of the 61 detainees, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, 20 have been approved for transfer, 7 are facing criminal charges and 34 remain in continued detention. At its peak in June of 2003 Guantanamo Bay’s population reached 684 detainees.

The State Department’s special representative, Lee Wolosky, stated that the administration was ‘grateful’ that the detainees were accepted by the United Arab Emirates.

“The continued operation of the detention facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists.”

It is Obama’s contention that keeping Guantanamo Bay open will severely hinder relationships with other countries that the U.S. needs to help in the fight of global terrorism. Guantanamo “undermines our standing in the world,” Obama stated.

With a majority Republican congress since 1929, it has been a challenge for Obama to close the facility that has a price tag of $445 million annually.

“In clearing [one of the detainees] for transfer, the review board said he hasn’t expressed any anti-U.S. sentiment or intent to re-engage in militant activities. However, a Pentagon detainee profile also said he provided little information and they had little “insight into his current mindset.”

Arguing the danger these detainees pose to the U.S., some politicians from both sides stated their frustration at the prison still being open saying that they are too dangerous to remain in either civilian prisons or on American soil.

But what has happened to the detainees already released thus far? According to the Director of National Intelligence, 21% of the detainees released under George W. Bush went straight back to militant motion.

Under the Obama administration 5% have been confirmed to have reengaged in militant activities that they know of.

There is, however, a huge resentment of the U.S. by Afghans who felt their treatment was deplorable and they were confused at why they were sent there in the first place.

The Pentagon, however, feels that the resentment felt by the detainees was due more to “an emotion that probably is motivated more by frustration over his continuing detention than by a commitment to global jihad.”

By Lorra B.