Sunday, March 16, 2008

woman to recieve silver star

This chick is awesome.
2nd woman since WWII to receive Silver Star

By Fisnik Abrashi - The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Mar 11, 2008 10:49:58 EDT

CAMP SALERNO, Afghanistan — A 19-year-old medic from Texas will become the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest medal for valor.

Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province in April 2007, the military said.

After the explosion, which wounded five soldiers in her unit, Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away, the military said.

“I did not really think about anything except for getting the guys to a safer location and getting them taken care of and getting them out of there,” Brown told The Associated Press on Saturday at a U.S. base in the eastern province of Khost.

Brown, of Lake Jackson, Texas, is scheduled to receive the Silver Star later this month. She was part of a four-vehicle convoy patrolling near Jani Kheil in the eastern province of Paktia on April 25, 2007, when a bomb struck one of the Humvees.

“We stopped the convoy. I opened up my door and grabbed my aid bag,” Brown said.

She started running toward the burning vehicle as insurgents opened fire. All five wounded soldiers had scrambled out.

“I assessed the patients to see how bad they were. We tried to move them to a safer location because we were still receiving incoming fire,” Brown said.

Pentagon policy prohibits women from serving in frontline combat roles — in the infantry, armor or artillery, for example. But the nature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with no real front lines, has seen women soldiers take part in close-quarters combat more than previous conflicts.

Four Army nurses in World War II were the first women to receive the Silver Star, though three nurses serving in World War I were awarded the medal posthumously last year, according to the Army’s Web site.

Brown, of the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, said ammunition going off inside the burning Humvee was sending shrapnel in all directions. She said they were sitting in a dangerous spot.

“So we dragged them for 100 or 200 meters, got them away from the Humvee a little bit,” she said. “I was in a kind of a robot-mode, did not think about much but getting the guys taken care of.”

For Brown, who knew all five wounded soldiers, it became a race to get them all to a safer location. Eventually, they moved the wounded some 500 yards away, treated them on site before putting them on a helicopter for evacuation.

“I did not really have time to be scared,” Brown said. “Running back to the vehicle, I was nervous [since] I did not know how badly the guys were injured. That was scary.”

The military said Brown’s “bravery, unselfish actions and medical aid rendered under fire saved the lives of her comrades and represents the finest traditions of heroism in combat.”

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, of Nashville, Tenn., received the Silver Star in 2005 for gallantry during an insurgent ambush on a convoy in Iraq. Two men from her unit, the 617th Military Police Company of Richmond, Ky., also received the Silver Star for their roles in the same action.

H/T to cabaker27 over at my favorite chick site. Original source here.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

berkeley and the maries: a daily show perspective

I am a big Daily Show fan. They don't discriminate who they make fun of, and they had the boss from the USAF Thunderbirds on once. This is almost 5 minutes, but worth every second.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

anathallo at mohawk

There are just so many bands to see during SXSW, you really have to be picky about what you choose. Since this is my first time attending, I'm totally paranoid that I'm going to be stuck out in a line while my favorite band is playing. But most bands play short sets during the day at different bars that are sponsored by various companies. Anathallo only played four songs (they are a bit longer than your average song) but it was well worth it for me to make the hike over to Mohawk.

I was excited to find out that Anathallo is better live than they are emitting from my horrible computer speakers. Their music is at times intricate, others simple. At least five members of the band take part in the harmonies with the lead singer and I'm pretty sure everyone but the drummer played more than one instrument, so you know those kids have talent. As they played with such passion and a couple of the guys danced around the stage I felt like I was watching a religious rite rather than a music concert. As I listened, some parts of the music would be at home in a Dr. Seuss musical while others moved more dramatically. It was a great set. Glad I made it out to listen to a band I have been listening to for awhile.

Here's their myspace if you'd like to give them a listen.
And I got the tip to listen to them from Just Pete at the Bored-Again Christian. He has great taste in tunes.

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chic[k]pilot at sxsw

Austin is one of my favorite towns. My grandparents live here, it has so much character, the Texas hill country is beautiful, there is just so much to do. Every year Austin hosts a movie and music festival known as South by Southwest (for those of you who do not keep up with that kind of stuff). Now Austin may be known for its more, shall we say free spirited attitude, so you will think a military chick like me would want to steer clear of all that stuff. But you'd be wrong. I'm totally into new kinds of music of all types. And who doesn't love good live music? We don't get much of that in MS...

Today is the first day of the music festival. I'll be keeping up with the bands I see with photos and maybe some of my own impromptu reviews. I'll also be taking pictures of the strange, weird, and just plain crazy things/people/situations I might find. So if anything, the weekend should be interesting. Hopefully you'll get a few laughs and some new music to try. Until then, I'm off to enjoy some free parties and rockin tunes.

More info here and here if you're curious like a cat.

Just remember the reason your out there rockin' and just how lucky us spoiled Americans really are:

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