What you can do - right now - for our troops
I am frequently asked the question, "What can we as individual Americans do for our troops, particularly those serving overseas?"
I have two answers and a recommendation. The two answers are to pray for them and to say, "Thank you," when you encounter serving military personnel and veterans.
The recommendation is to "send a few dollars to Operation Call Home."
Operation Call Home is the brainchild of Ladd Pattillo, an Austin, Texas, businessmen, U.S. Army Reserve colonel and personal friend.
"Operation Call Home," by Austin Bay, TCS Daily, December 21, 2006
You can buy calling cards for our troops through a Department of Defense Military Exchange program: Military Exchange Prepaid Calling Cards. Cards are distributed through the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, USO, and the Soldier & Family Assistance Center.
Battleships and DD(X)
Robert Novak has an editorial on the Navy's plan to decommission it's last two battleships, the Iowa and the Wisconsin. He's pitching a line for the Marine Corps, whose commandant General Mike Hagee told Congress two years ago that the loss of naval surface fire support would place his troops "at considerable risk." . . . These battleships are old, they're expensive to maintain, and the industry doesn't support manufacture of the ammunition for the big guns. The Marine Corps does have air support and field artillery systems for fire support. I don't see the justification to keep battleships just so you have an option to fire on North Korean military structures, as Novak alludes. Maybe it's time for the big guns to go silent.
"Big Guns Go Silent," by Jason Sigger, DEFENSETECH.org, December 6, 2005
- "The Current Status Of The Iowa Class Battleships," Warships1
- "The major reason for decommissioning the Iowa class battleships was economics." The Warfighter's Encyclopedia, NavAir, U.S. Navy
- "Information on Options for Naval Surface Fire Support," GAO Report, November 19, 2004 (31-page pdf )
- "DD(X) Multi-Mission Surface Combatant: Future Surface Combatant," GlobalSecurity.org
- "DD(X) Class Multimission Destroyer, USA," naval-technology.com
- DD(X) - official web site
- "Navy plans for expanding the fleet," General Quarters, December 4, 2005
- "Deep budget cuts coming to the Navy?" General Quarters, October 25, 2005
- "Navy News," Kinshasa On The Potomac, December 3, 2005