Yours truly has been keeping his ear to the ground with reference to several things going on…..
A heartfelt goodbye to the US Army EOD Technician killed while working in Iraq. His name has been requested withheld by the family. While some of you are on both sides of the argument about current politics, we all stand together knowing that this individual volunteered to go halfway around the world and gave his life in support of the belief of freedom for Iraqis.
It is with a heavy, but proud heart that the stonesmith adds this brave Techs' name to the panel at the Memorial.
Speaking of the Memorial, have YOU donated to either (and preferably BOTH) National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial ( www.nleomf.com ), or the EOD Memorial ( www.eodmemorial.org ) ? I realize times are tight, but, at the risk of sounding like a late night TV ad, your contribution DOES make a difference. In fact, a brick drive is underway at Eglin. Contact Jason Terrill Jason.Terrill@Navy.mil for more details.
For those of you keeping up with the recent rash of eco-terrorism events in our Western states, an arrest has been made. For those of you out of this loop, eco-terrorism is a flavor of criminal act that seems to be getting more frequent of late. It is a branch of terrorism favored by ecological fringe activists, who see humans as a parasite on nature (I'm not making this up). In response, they damage newly-built subdivisions, release laboratory animals, and vandalize any property they feel contributes to the "…unabated rape and pillaging of Mother Earth". Arson and bombings are a frequent mode of sabotage, and two of the largest subversive groups claiming responsibility are the US - based 'Earth First' and the ALF / ELF (Animal / Earth Liberation Front). Google their sites at your own risk.
Ryan D. Lewis, 21, was arrested at his Newcastle, California home Wednesday and charged with an attempted firebombing of a commercial building in nearby Auburn. The FBI/JTTF continues to investigate this and other incidents in its region.
On a more Northern note, I've been told that at least one Hazardous Devices Unit, and possibly two in Pennsylvania, may be forced to stand down as the State Patrols' new Squad comes into operation. I think this cost-cutting measure by certain departments will not only expose them to increased liability, but will wind up hurting their citizens. There obviously is enough work, because we all know the FBI takes call volume into consideration when they accreditate a new Squad. Regardless, I would hate to be an idled Tech when a call came out in their (former) jurisdiction.
And, Finally -
Here is a story that demonstrates the type of foe we face in the Middle East, and potentially here. US Soldiers with the 2nd BDE Combat Team, 2ID, were patrolling with the 1st Marine Division when a car pulled up to their position. Their attention to detail paid off when one trooper noted that one of the vehicle's occupants left the vehicle and approached a small child. When the adult handed the child a grenade and pointed towards the patrol, soldiers fired a warning shot, sparking off a small gunbattle that resulted in one terrorist dead, and two wounded. The child, bystanders, and all of the US Troops were unhurt.
Keeping in mind the power of the copycat, this is an excellent lesson in your own continued vigilance. Unlike the Cold War, our current threat has no face. Maintain your situational awareness!!
Till next time,