July 2, 2008
This issue bothers me on several levels, which I’ll address in this post. As many of you know, I work in the field of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as a Victim Advocate. In that capacity, I see a lot of victims of domestic violence. This story rang a lot of warning bells in my head, as I can see the potential for problems occurring in relationships where this occurs. But besides the obvious impact something like this could have on Domestic Violence incidents, is the financial aspect and how it can impact not just the military spouse who choses to become a surrogate mother, but other military spouses and spouses of veterans.
In the military, while the service member pays a small monthly premium for their family’s health care, as long as that family member receives their healthcare on a military installation, there are no deductibles or co-pays. It’s apparent that surrogacy groups are taking advantage of that and putting other military families at risk of having their monthly premiums increased or even causing them to have to begin paying deductibles and co-pays. By using a military wife as a surrogate mother, surrogacy groups avoid paying about $20,000 for a standard surrogacy medical policy. They also don’t have to pay the deductibles and co-payments. Because of this advantage, some surrogacy groups will pay an additional $5,000 premium to military wives. After reading this article, I spoke to several military wives, wives of retirees, as well as Soldiers and military retirees. To a person, they all said that this angers them, because things like this drive the costs up for everyone else and they felt it was unfair that a military wife would take advantage of the Tricare medical insurance, in order to put some extra money in their pocket. I tend to agree with them. Tricare for retirees and their families does require the retiree to pay deductibles and co-pays, as well as a much higher premium each month. We’ve all seen the news reports about retiree Tricare being on the rise. Things like this just make those rates continue to increase. Then you also have the issue that the military wives who are surrogates are commiting fraud at the expense of American taxpayers.
Now I’ll more thoroughly address the issue of how this can possibly affect Domestic Violence rates. For myself, I see this type of thing compounding the numbers of domestic violence cases, that are already seen in the military, numbers that are a direct reflection of domestic violence incidents seen in American society. With the stressors of multiple deployments occurring and stressors that are caused from injuries and illnesses, I can see this creating a situation ripe for domestic violence. Sometimes, with a Soldier deployed, there are doubts about what their spouse is doing back home. Some wonder, sometimes with good reason, if their wive is being faithful to them while their deployed. By adding surrogate motherhood into the mix of an already possibly volatile situation, the potential of a domestic violence incident occurring increases. I did find it interesting in the article, that it wasn’t mentioned the thoughts of the husbands. No husbands were interviewed about their thoughts and feelings. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I know it did me.
While I don’t condem anyone who is unable to have children, for chosing the route of using a surrogate mother, I do feel that in this situation, it’s not only fradulent, but ripe for so many potential problems. In this instance, as in other instances of surrogate motherhood, the standard surrogate insurance plan should be purchased, instead of expecting the American taxpayers to foot the bill. I’m sure this topic is going to create some interesting conversations and hopefully get many people to thinking. I know that I’ll be letting my Congressmen know my thoughts on this issue. I would be interested in hearing what others think about this issue.
June 11, 2008
Our troops, daily face the prospect of IEDs and their aftermath, as they do their jobs in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Because of the threat our Troops face encountering IEDs, they go through extensive training prior to deployment, to make sure they’re as prepared as possible for the threat they face. The military is constantly creating new techniques and vehicles to counter IED attacks. Even then, IEDs remain one of the top threats to Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Citizens in the United States, are used to traveling the roadways in our country, without worry that someone has implanted such a device. On Friday morning in Simsbury, Ct a motorist driving on Powder Forest Drive noticed what appeared to be a whole chicken lying on the side of the road. Inside the chicken, someone has stuffed a pipe bomb inside. Authorities had to close the roadway for part of the morning, so that the Hartford Police Department’s bomb squad could detonate the device.
Imagine if that motorist had ignored what he saw on the side of the road. Imagine what could have happened if someone had unknowingly ran over it and it detonated. It’s a scary thought, huh? To think that someone would plant such a device here at home and put many innocent lives at risk. To put it mildly, this pisses me off! It definitely is a slap to the face and reminds us that regardless of where we are in the world …. On the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, or here at home, that there are some evil people in the world who don’t care about human life or suffering, that such an act might cause.
It brings home the fact that we can never be too complacent, even in our own neighborhoods. We should remain constantly vigilant for any signs of something that isn’t right. Our safety and the safety of our family, friends and neighbors rely on it. So, be aware of your surroundings and if something seems out of place, don’t hesitate to notify the authorities. It’s definitely better to err on the side of safety. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world today, where many people place no value on human life and where many people do their best to victimize other people.
March 31, 2008
Just a few minutes ago, I went through my evening routine of stopping by to see what CJ and CplM had posted for the day. It’s one of my routine reads. I was pissed off, to say the least when I encountered this:
A Soldierâ€™s Perspective
A Soldier’s Perspective has been shut down indefinitely. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have been ordered to cease and desist. We have secured legal representation to aggressively combat the charges against us. We appreciate your support over the past few days, and ask for your continued support as we fight for truth, justice and the American way.
CJ (cj-at-soldiersperspective-dot-us) and Marcus (marcus-at-artitumis-dot-com
I’m asking our readers to continue to show their support to CJ and CplM. Let them you that you’re behind them and support them, as they continue to fight this battle. I’ve spoken to CJ and he vows that he’s not backing down, that he’ll continue to stand up for what he believes is right. Let’s show him that we’re behind him and ready to stand beside him.
March 30, 2008
Last year, we commented on the new Army regulations about milblogging, where Soldier/Bloggers were instructed to register their blogs with their chain of command and in order to maintain OPSEC, to clear all postings with their chain of command in order to ensure that they weren’t violating policy. This new regulation, Army Regulation 530-1, was a matter of much debate in the bloggosphere and many milbloggers felt that it would “tie their hands” so to speak, in what they could or could not blog about. Here at ASM, we weren’t too worried about that, as we took pains to ensure, that anything we blogged about, especially when it came to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, had already been released publically by the military.
Well, apparently, one of our fellow Milbloggers, CJ from got caught up in this new policy. On Friday, CJ posted this article about a letter he received from the Pentagon’s OPSEC Coordinating Authority on Nontraditional Media, ordering him to cease and desist operating his milblog, due to complaints that they had received from an unnamed source. To make matters worse, CJ and his co-author Cpl M were ordered to refrain from communication with each other, until the investigation was complete.
CJ has since, received a Memorandum For Record detailing the complaint against A Soldier’s Perspective. CJ has vowed that he won’t quit blogging without a fight, and as we all know, he knows that he, or any of the authors at A Soldier’s Perspective, have violated Army Regulation 530-1, or said or done anything that would in any way, put OPSEC at risk. I know for a fact that they all take great pains to ensure that nothing inappropriate is released on their blog.
I’m asking our readers, to show CJ some support. If you visit A Soldier’s Perspective, take some time to read the articles there. CJ’s posts are always informative, interesting and provide an accurate view of the military. Don’t hesitate to leave comments and let him know that you support what he’s doing.
March 22, 2008
This is likely to really piss off a lot of readers. I know it did me. Everytime I read about some idiot who lies and claims to be a veteran and who claims that they have received medals for valorious action in combat, I want to throttle them. How dare they claim to have served, when so many brave men and women have bravely served and these cowards are using their lies to further their own careers or gain attention that they wouldn’t get otherwise (and deservedly so, I might add). We’ve talked about this in the past, but this particular one, because this asshole is screaming “Freedom of Speech,” really gets me fired up.
A member of a local water board in California was asked to say a few things about himself, last summer at one of their meetings. This is what Xavier Alvarez, decided to tell him fellow board members.
“I’m a retired marine of 25 years. I retired in the year 2001. Back in 1987, I was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I got wounded many times by the same guy. I’m still around.”
Of course it was quickly discovered, that the only thing true about what Alvarez told his fellow board members was the last three words. He was NOT a Marine and he sure as hell never was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Xaviar Alvarez is a bold face liar and according to the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, that makes him a criminal as well. The Stolen Valor Act of 2005, was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate and became law on December 6, 2006.
SEC. 3. ENHANCED PROTECTION OF MEANING OF MILITARY DECORATIONS AND MEDALS.
(a) Expansion of General Criminal Offense- Subsection (a) of section 704 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `manufactures, or sells’ and inserting `purchases, attempts to purchase, solicits for purchase, mails, ships, imports, exports, produces blank certificates of receipt for, manufactures, sells, attempts to sell, advertises for sale, trades, barters, or exchanges for anything of value’.
(b) Establishment of Criminal Offense Relating to False Claims About Receipt of Decorations and Medals- Such section 704 is further amended–
(1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c);
(2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:
`(b) False Claims About Receipt of Military Decorations or Medals- Whoever falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States, any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal, or any colorable imitation of such item shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both.’; and
(3) in paragraph (1) of subsection (c), as redesignated by paragraph (1) of this subsection, by inserting `or (b)’ after `subsection (a)’.
(c) Enhanced Penalty for Offenses Involving Certain Other Medals- Such section 704 is further amended by adding at the end the following:
`(d) Enhanced Penalty for Offenses Involving Certain Other Medals- If a decoration or medal involved in an offense described in subsection (a) or (b) is a distinguished-service cross awarded under section 3742 of title 10, a Navy cross awarded under section 6242 of title 10, an Air Force cross awarded under section 8742 of section 10, a silver star awarded under section 3746, 6244, or 8746 of title 10, a Purple Heart awarded under section 1129 of title 10, or any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law, in lieu of the punishment provided in the applicable subsection, the offender shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.’.
That’s spelled out pretty clearly to me and I sure it is as well to our readers. Alvarez is scheduled to go on trial next month in Federal Court in Los Angeles for violating the Stolen Valor Act. As the prosecutor in the case, Craig H. Missakian says, the whole rationale of the Stolen Valor Act is to protect the reputation and meaning of military decorations and medals.
Alvarez continues to serve on the Water District Board in his city in California. He also continues to receive his pay for each meeting, as well as health insurance. The board has censured him as well for another lie, when he put a woman, whom he falsely claimed to be his wife, on his health insurance plan. They claim that they’re powerless to remove him from the office he holds. The water district board’s president, Bob Kuhn has made this statement.
“There’s no question he’s pathological,” said Mr. Kuhn, as he recalled some of the things Alvarez has claimed. “He’s had three helicopter accidents. He’s been shot 16 times. These are all fabrications.”
“We’ve had 40 or 50 veterans parade before our board, asking him to publically apologize,” Mr. Kuhn said. “He has refused to do that. With that said, I have no problem with the prosecution.”
If found guilty, Alvarez is facing the possibility of 2 years in prison and a fine of $200,000. He is being represented by a federal public defender and has filed a motion to dismiss the case. The motion claims that he is protected by the First Amendment giving citizens the right to free speech. Experts on Freedom of Speech feel that his motion is very likely to not succeed. Alvarez was contacted by media to provide a statement. He didn’t respond to that request and his attorney refused to comment, saying that was her office policy.
Shortly after his indictment, Alvarez did make a statement to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. He claimed that his words were taken out of context, until he was informed that his words, as everything said at the board meetings, were recorded and on tape. He then changed his story and said this:
“I was just nervous, saying anything,” Alvarez said. “There’s no truth to that. What harm did that do to them?”
Apparently, Alvarez, has no clue as to what it takes to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Apparently he has no sense of the courage and bravery our Troops display every day and how his actions, his words and his nonchalance about what he’s done, is almost as bad as spitting on one of these brave Heroes. How dare he do that and then claim freedom of speech. I hope he receives punishment to the fullest extent of the law. He deserves to have to pay a $200,000 and sit in prison for 2 years and really think about what he’s done.
February 12, 2008
Often when the anti-war folks rant and rave about why they feel our Troops should leave Iraq, one of the reasons they give is what they believe is the exhorbiant amounts of money we’re spending to finance the war. Often, they’ll even claim that the reason our country is headed for a recession is because of the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Honestly, I have to call bullshit on that claim. Especially after reading the following information that I recently received.
A few days ago, I received information about the cost of illegal immigration in our country as opposed to the cost of the war on terror and quite frankly, I was amazed. I never realized just how much money we were spending. Spending on people who have entered our country illegally! I checked the facts provided and became more and more convinced that our priorities as a nation are totally screwed up. Quite honestly, I don’t want my tax dollars paying for welfare and other benefits to someone who enters our country illegally. As far as I’m concerned, they should be immediately sent BACK to their country of orgin, and receive NO benefits from our country whatsoever. If they can’t follow the proper proceedures to enter our country the legal way, then they don’t deserve to be here and they sure don’t deserve any benefits. I’ll provide the information that I received, as well as links, so that you can verify the information for yourself. I think most of our readers will be as disturbed about this as I am.
1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each
2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as
food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens. http://www.cis.org/article
3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.
4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school
education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of
5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born
children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies .
6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.
7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.
8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare and
Social Services by the American taxpayers.
9. $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by
the illegal aliens.
10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s
two-and-a-half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their
children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US.
11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that
crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from
Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and
marijuana, crossed into the U. S from the Southern border. Homeland Security
12. The National Policy Institute, ‘estimated that the total cost of mass
deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of
between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.’
13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances back to
their countries of origin. http://www.rense.com/general75/niht.htm
14. ‘The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes
Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States’.
Total cost is a whooping… $338.3 BILLION A YEAR!!!
Bank of America is now giving credit cards to Illegal Aliens without any
identification! Snopes is provided for doubters:
I don’t know about you all, but I’d much rather my tax dollars be spent to ensure that the men and women servinng in our Armed Forces are able to continue to do their jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan, than to foot the bill for Illegal Immigrants in this country. I’m outraged that we’re spending that much to take care of these people, who could give a damn about our country and what it stands for. The only reason that they’re here is to take advantage of our generosity. Why the hell else do you think that Illegal Immigrants call the United States, “The Land Of The Big PX?” This is truly disturbing and disgusting. Next time someone uses the excuse of the cost of the war, as a reason to bring our Troops home, feel free to provide them with this information.
February 7, 2008
For those of us who’ve participated in various Troop Support efforts over the years, one of the things that we commonly send to deployed Troops are phone cards, so that they can call their families back home. When a Soldier is overseas for a deployment or a tour, such as in Korea, where their families aren’t able to move with them, phone calls are a crucial link to maintain that connection with their families. Currently A T & T is under contract with the military to operate call centers in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. They operate 70 such call centers. It’s often the most reliable way for a Soldier to call home. To utilize the phones in the call centers, Soldier must talk to an operator who prompts them to call an 800-number and then enter a personal identification number that comes with each prepaid phone card. The recording they hear tells them how many minutes they have left on the card…. never what the card has printed on it.
Recently Colin Sawyer, a US Army gunner serving in Iraq received a 550 minute prepaid phone card from his mother. As you can imagine, Colin was pretty excited to get the phone card, knowing that he would have plenty of minutes to be able to call back home and speak with his family.
“I went to use it one night after patrol and an automated voice came on and said, ‘You have 55 minutes left for this call,’” said Sawyer, recently home on leave to visit family. “I had barely used the card, so I thought that was strange. The thing is, letters can take two weeks or more through mail. Where I’m based, I don’t have Internet access or phone access every day, so I can go three weeks without contact. So when I can call home, I don’t want to worry about whether my call will go through or if I have enough minutes to talk,” Sawyer said. “It’s happened on other cards she’s sent me, too. I never get the number of minutes it says I get on the card.”
Sawyer isn’t the only one that’s experienced this problem. It’s not a glitch in the system or an error. With the pre-paid phone cards, whether they’re used by the military overseas, or perhaps the general public here in the United States, regardless if it’s AT&T or another carrier, the number of minutes stated on the cards and the number of minutes they actually get to talk are often quite different. In fact the amount of time the card user actually gets to talk, may not even be close to what is shown on the face of the card.
“Why can’t AT&T just tell you exactly what you’re getting?” asked Kathleen Sawyer, Colin’s mom. “How is it that when you buy a 550 minute phone card, your son or daughter is not even going to get half of that when they use it?”
Mrs. Sawyer isn’t real happy about this. She’s spent over $1000 purchasing 1,200 minute, 300 minute and 550 minute AT&T phone cards for her son and her 22 year old daughter who is on a Navy carrier in the Persian Gulf, so that they could call home. Often both of her children, wondered about the discrepancy in the amount of minutes listed on the phone card and the actual amount of minutes they could really call.
Other phone cards will also work at the AT&T call centers, but the costs for a call made with a non AT&T card is higher than the AT&T cards, because that company must pay a fee to AT&T in order to access it’s private network. Because of that, most Soldiers use the AT&T cards.
The best value for Soldiers are the AT&T prepaid phone cards that were designed specifically for military members. The rates we extend are more competitive than you would see for commercial long-distance,” said Amanda L. Ray, a spokeswoman for AT&T’s pre-paid service.
The special international AT&T phone cards can be purchased by anyone online at the AAFES website. Phone calls made with these cards cost 19 cents per minute. While it sounds good that AT&T has created a special phone card for military members and true that the rates are less expensive than most other phone cards, the way the cards are marketed to military family members is flawed and gives them the impression that they are getting more minutes for their money than they actually are. In my opinion, that borders on fraudulent advertising on the part of AT&T and other phone card companies. While the cards purchased through AAFES cost 19 cents per minute, an AT&T card that is purchased elsewhere can cost as much as 55 cents per minute. If a buyer isn’t aware of the difference, their loved ones and themselves are seriously being shortchanged and even mislead, especially if they don’t read the fine print carefully. On the AT&T cards, the number of minutes is displayed in bold letters on the card. The fine print underneath says “Within the US/International rates are higher.”
Lets see just how much talk time a person actually gets with an AT&T phone card purchased at AAFES. If a Soldier in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait uses a 550 minute AT&T/AAFES phone card, they aren’t actually getting 550 minutes, but instead 143 minutes.
According to Ms. Ray, US law requires that the cards sold in the United States must disclose how many minutes they get of domestic calls. In other words, calls made within the United States. That doesn’t do the Soldiers or their families who are purchasing these cards, much good. It really doesn’t make much difference to them how many minutes they can call in the United States, when they’re standing at the phone center on a FOB in the middle of Iraq.
Myself, this angers me. You’d think that AT&T could provide a bit more clarity for the family members and Soldiers that these cards are marketed for. While AT&T claims that they care about the military and their families, this practice doesn’t prove it to me. They should stop and think about the fact that many military families are living paycheck to paycheck and many of those deployed Soldiers are young and not making a lot of money due to their rank. To me, it’s about honesty and integrity and the fact that we expect that from our Soldiers, so we should expect the same from the companies that are contracted with to do business with our government and provide services to our Soldiers.
January 20, 2008
I just wanted to bring everyones attention to yet another email scam that is going around, purporting to be from one of our fine US Soldiers. This person even went so far as to use a phony email address that looked pretty close to the ako emails that our Troops use. He didn’t quite have the proper format, but the regular citizen would know that, and could easily fall for the scam. I’ll post it here, for you to watch for something similar and I fully intent to report this to the FBI’s Cyber Fraud Unit. I highlighted the phony ako email address. Watch closely for this scams and pease don’t respond to them, but instead report them to the FBI’s Cyber Fraud Unit.
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 10:55:10 -0200
From: “Sgt. George Green” Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: IMMEDIATE RESPONSE PLS.
How is everything going, I hope great?
Though i have not considered this medium to be the best manner to have approached you on this issue being that the internet has been greatly abused over the recent years and is very unsecured for informations of vital importance.
I have decided to take the chance seeing that no other means could have been faster and more efficient than the E-mail. I write to you irrespective of the fact you do not know me,but please do consider this letter as a request from a brother in dire need of assistance.
My name is George Green(Sgt)an American soldier, I am serving in the military of the 1st Armored Division here in Iraq. As you know we are being attacked by insurgents everyday and car bombs, it will come worst now Saddam Hussein was executed. During one of our rescue Mission we came across a safe that contains the total sum of $21,000,000 (Twenty-one Million Us Dollars) that belongs to the revolutionaries, which I believe they use in buying weapons and ammunitions, and it was agreed by all party present that the money will be shared amongst us. You can go to this web link to read about events that took place here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm
Out of the total fund my share was $8,000,000 (Eight Million US Dollars).
I am seeking your assistance to evacuate my share of the money, which is $8,000,000 out of here to you, in as much as you can assure me that my own share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here.
This is no stolen money,and there are no dangers involved, as I have made arrangements with a UN representative based in Asia who promised to deliver the fund to any of my choosing destination. I shall be compensating you with US$2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred
Thousand Dollars) on final conclusion of this project,while the rest shall be for me for my investment purposes.
One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with a third party, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please destroy this e-mail as any leakage of this information will be too bad for me.
I do not know for how long we will remain here, and I have survived two suicide bomb attacks, which prompted me to reach out for help because I will be migrating to you to invest and start a new life not as a soldier anymore.
Please if this proposal is acceptable by you, kindly send me an e-mail signifying your interest including your most confidential telephone numbers for quick communication also your home address where the fund would be delivered.
As soon as I receive your email with the information, I will furnish you with full details on when and how the fund shall be delivered to you by the diplomat and he will make a contact with you before anything move.
Waiting for our urgent reply.
Sgt. George Green
Following the link that this supposed Sgt George Green provides, it does talk about a stash of money that was discovered in April 2003, after the fall of Baghdad, by Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division, not the 1st Infantry Division, this fake claims he is from. It further states that 5 US Soldiers were questioned after part of that money went missing. And this idiot wants us to believe, that even if he was one of these people, that it’s legit? Only more reason to dsbelieve what this idiot has to say and more reason the Cyber Fraud Unit needs to be involved.
December 30, 2007
This news yesterday, caused my blood to boil. To think that a parent would condone and perhaps even suggest that their child do what this child did, says a whole lot to me about our society and the fact that to some people, integrity and honesty don’t mean a damn thing, but instead, it’s all about winning by whatever means necessary.
I was outraged when I read about the 6 year old girl who won 4 tickets to a Hannah Montana concert by writing an essay, in which she claimed that her father died in Iraq. The contest was sponsored by a retail chain called Club Libby Lu. Friday officials at a mall in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas suprised the little girl, providing her with a makeover, that included a blonde Hannah Montana wig and airfare and four tickets to see Hannah Montana perform in Albany, N.Y. on January 9th; a concert which had been sold out.
“With this decision, we hope to revive the intended spirit of the contest, which was designed to make a little girl’s holidays extra special,” Club Libby Lu chief executive Mary Drolet said on Saturday.
Thankfully the store checked and found out that what the little girl claimed in the essay was a complete hoax, according to a company spokeswoman Robin Caulfield. On Saturday, the prize was withdrawn and it was awarded to another contestant, whom store officials did not name. They found out that not only did the store find out that the little girl’s father was not killed in Iraq, but that NO US Soldiers deaths were reported that day in Iraq. Apparently, the mother of the child, Pricilla Ceballos admitted later that day that the essay and the military information that was provided about the child’s father were untrue.
“We did the essay and that’s what we did to win. We did whatever we could do to win,” Ceballos said in an interview with KDFW-TV in Dallas. “But when Caulfield asked me if this essay is true, I said ‘No, this essay is not true.”
After this story broke yesterday, Marty and I discussed this at length. For ourselves, we try to stress the importance of honesty and integrity to our children. Had Marty’s daughter, or any of our children, made up a similar lie to win a contest, we’d have made them sit down and write a letter of apology to each and every family of fallen US Soldiers. I think what angers me the most about this, is that the childs mother condoned what her child did and most likely helped to write the essay. It’s sad…. no downright disgusting that this parents value system is so skewed that they’d resort to having their child lie, just to win.
More Iranian Made Weapons Turned Over To US Forces
December 14, 2007
Despite the claim by Iran that they are no longer fueling the insurgency in Iraq, evidence to the contrary continues to surface. Most recently, US forces said on Thursday that Iraqi civil defence members recently found 14 Iranian made rockets and turned them over to US Forces. The 107 mm rockets were made in Iraq and dated to 2006 and were turned over to US authorities on December 4th in Baghdad.
“This is another indication of the cooperation of Iraqi officials who in all earnestness want to have a better society,” said Col. Peter Baker, in a statement.
US Forces have accussed Iran of supplying weapons for the insurgents in Iraq, an accusation which Iran continues to deny and instead claims that the US military presence in Iraq is a factor that is destabalizing the area.
This is not the first time that Iraqi officials have turned over Iranian made weapons that they have discovered. It paints a clear picture to me, that Iran is doing their damnest to continue to try to cause more instability to the region, instead of accepting the fact that the Iraqi people are ready to move on to a more democratic society, free of the terror that is visited upon them by the Iran-fueled insurgents. In my opinion, Iran is a major threat to the stability of Iraq and it’s other neighbors. The fact that Iraqi officials trust the US led coalition enough to turn these weapons over to them, says a lot for the relationship that has developed between the two countries and the Iraqi desire to make changes in their country for the betterment of it’s people. Iran definately needs to be watched closely and in my mind, it will take the collective effort of not only the US led coalition but many of Iran’s neighbors to put an end to the threat that they impose upon that area of the world.