Front Page Archive

11/30/04 - Site Updates

I am working on visual and content changes to the site. The most obvious of course being the template update. I hope you like it and please send along any comments. The main page is operational but subpages act odd in Internet Explorer so I'm holding back uploading them. Do me a favor and upgrade to Firefox.

First off, thanks to Mike Bowman for passing along information on Dustin Hill's progress. Best of luck to Dusty on pulling through his injuries.

Courtesy of Jim Doherty, some info for Quad Cities viewers (those of Galva/Kewanee note singled out):

A tradition at KWQC-TV6 for many years has been to provide a holiday greeting to family and friends around the QCA from military personal stationed overseas. We have compiled an alphabetical list of the military personal that we will show on KWQC-TV6. Along with their name and hometown, we have included the date and time of when the military greeting will air. In the next few weeks, we hope to again have the military greetings on our website.

Army SPC Paul Calhoun
Kewanee , IL
12/2: Noon, 12/10: Noon, 12/20: 5:00PM

Army SPC Ryan Carlson
Annawan , IL
12/2: 4:30PM, 12/10: 4:30PM, 12/20: 6:00PM

Army Staff SGT Derrick Glisan
Galva , IL
12/2: 5:00PM, 12/10: 5:00PM, 12/20: 10:00PM

Army SPC Lucas Siemers
Galva , IL
12/3: 6:00AM, 12/11: 9:00AM, 12/21: Noon

Army SPC Andrew Trigg
Kewanee , IL
12/3: Noon, 12/11: 10:00PM, 12/21: 5:00PM

Navy Petty Officer Jennifer Wirth
Kewanee , IL
12/3: 4:30PM, 12/12: 5:00PM, 12/21: 6:00PM

The entire list may be found here.

Bonus story on a new type of egg for the military courtesy of Dave Clarke. Sorry guys, it probably won't hit the line until late next year.

09/30/04 - Time Change

Thanks to SSG Osbourne from Battery G out of Marseilles who IM'd me and gave the heads up that you guys experienced a daylight savings time change. I have updated the time script to reflect this. Though I imagine having an extra hour in Iraq probably isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Good news...kinda. Not sure if this will affect you (and I hope it will) but the Army is assessing shortening the length of tours (use wallenfeldt and guest to login). Another story on the new ACUs coming out late next year.

09/23/04 - Leave

It has been great to be home and to have Tom here. Tempered with that has been the news about Todd Engstrom and the reports of five injured Guardsmen in Iraq. God speed to all you guys and safe recovery to all.

05/25/04 - I'm late, I'm late....

Have belatedly updated the recent news articles. More on the way as soon as I can get my scanner warmed up. Have found another newsfeed source which I hope will suffice for the time being. Need to dial it down to Iraq news but we'll see how that goes.

04/27/04 - Good News, Bad News

Hopefully most of you have had a chance to read the story concerning Jeremy Wrotny. If not, its in the Articles. KCEN TV is hosting a couple stories; one relating to up-armored 1st Cav vehicles and another on the EOD teams that make travel a bit easier over in Iraq. Meanwhile, Newsweek takes a critical look at the problem of force protection in the area at large.

Stars & Stripes continues the coverage, focusing on sandbags, Strykers, and training.

On the lighter side, the Army, in an effort to replace hardware as quickly as possible, is asking a couple ski lodges to return howitzers loaned to them. Strange but true folks.

(NOTE: Tom, some pics for you to look at over at the gallery. Enjoy.)

04/20/04 - Pardon Our Dust

I decided to unveil a new banner for the site. Hope you like it. If you don't for purely cosmetic reasons, pop me an email. Also noticed the time script doesn't account for Daylight Savings Time. I adjusted the Galva and Vegas times and they should work properly now. I'm sure I'll forget again come the fall. And yes, my wife and I live in Vegas so that's why that city is up on the list. I know some of you have been curious.

Still not sure what to do about the Moreover news headers or the Weather Channel's lack of current reports. But I should figure something out soon. I hope. Also have updated about every page (more links for instance) and have diverted old front page stuff to an archive page like I do with the main domain. I may pop other changes on you in the near future, who knows?

Talked quite a bit with Tom this morning. I was finally able to spend more than a few moments with him and that's fantastic. Nice to hear things have calmed down around the unit's sector and that he is settling into his routine. I also want to give a shout out to all the guard members who have visited this site. At least I finally found out where my bandwidth is disappearing to. Seriously, once you get your internet access up, let me know what you might need and I'll see either where to find it or how to host it myself.

Have a pile of news stories to pass along for everyone's FYI needs. Without going into too much detail I have a couple stories to pass along concerning the duty Tom has been reassigned to conduct and one of the locations where the guys patrol and check for IEDs and any threat in general. Both are stories about other units, but it is just for your information.

If the following is more info than I should release, let me know. I figure if has you guys basically mapped down to where your latrine is, I should be safe to post it, but I genuinely would like to know if it is too much.

With that in mind, here are a couple stories about the unit's location. The first about the construction of Camp Victory North, then a report on the original Camp Victory and its environs, and one story concerning the PX opening up in a couple days. I know Major Kessel contributed some pics to the Galva News concerning the living quarters as well if you want to hunt up that old issue (I have to scan that one yet).

I won't bother you with much more today but to tell the guys over there that I know some of you have done and seen things you never imagined you'd be asked to, and regardless of how and why you got there, know that we are all proud of you. It can't be easy, but know that we here at home are concerned but are behind you 100%. Do your best and get yourselves home. Take care of each other and keep your heads down gang.

04/18/04 - I Find it Sad....

I have been pointing family members and interested parties to Jim Doherty's Armed Services Yahoo group for awhile now. From the looks of it, some of those folks have signed up and participated because it a valuable service to those family members looking for information and a sense of community without fear that their contribution would be belittled. In short, I check it many times daily and look forward to seeing news about the various member's loved ones. Its very cathartic really.

After a spurious commentary earlier this week, today I find a post that berates and belittles the news posted by Jim on a regular basis, basically pointing out that the poster only pays attention to FOXNews. Let me offer a simple suggestion for expanding your mind: one source can not and can never be accurate or complete. Basically, attempting to discredit all but one (by its own admission) biased and officially politicized news source and telling everyone else they are wrong is not only unintelligent, it is insulting to those of us who crave news about our family members from various sources. This same individual has also stopped my posting on the Galva message board because of her harangues and opinionated showboating.

I sent an email to Jim concerning my feelings on it. Basically, I do not want anyone - even those I agree with - bludgeoning their opinions onto those who come to that site for information and some small comfort that they are not alone. There are other, more appropriate places to debate politics. Lives of our loved ones are on the line, and any news related to that endeavor is fair game - without the sarcastic blather of those who may disagree on purely partisan standards.

I would also appreciate those without family or friends in immediate danger to use the site as a resource and not a place to abuse those who are in that situation. They are welcome to participate, just not to beat us over the head with their opinions. That is merely my view on it. Jim and anyone else on the board may have another one entire. In any case, my official protest is filed and I hope the rules are adhered to in the future.

Finally, Jim, thanks for the links to all the recent stories. I am attempting to archive a few of them.

04/14/04 - Into the Fray

By stories in the Star Courier, the Bureau County Republican and via phone calls from Tom, Battery F has gotten involved in combat in Iraq. This follows on the heels of Chris Doherty and his compatriots in 1/82 Field Artillery getting banged up in Sadr City last week. News reports are available via the Articles link.

First off, our thoughts are with the family of Jeremy Wrotny, a member of Battery F wounded in recent days. God speed on his recovery.

Second, apparently food in the field has been a bit bad so a call has come for snacks to be sent. In a related vein, the Galva American Legion is continuing to gather donations to send kits to our guys overseas, so if you have some extra funds, make a check payable to "American Legion" and write "Troop Fund" on the description line. Send to:

American Legion
P.O. Box 64
Galva, IL 61434

Finally, a report from KWTX in Texas concerning Easter in Baghdad. I don't know if any of our guys got a chance to commemorate the day but the story does put the situation into perspective.

04/04/04 - Tom's Address and other things

Have what is apparently the verified actual address for Tom (had some difficulties getting the proper APO):

SPC Thomas Wallenfeldt
1 Cav. 4-5 ADA
ATT. F 1-202 ADA
HQ Platoon
APO AE 09379

This may be of some interest to you. First, a list of suggested items from a group that works to send items to troops. These may be helpful tips for you as you make care packages. Also, I've linked the USPS list of restricted items and their FAQ, just to make sure we're all trying to abide by the rules.

Also have received word that little plastic sunglasses are liked by the kids there, so if you've got any laying about, clean 'em up and send them over. Anything to make those who support our being there feel appreciated is all to the good.

03/26/04 - News and Stuff

Am receiving news that the guys made it safely into Baghdad. So far so good.

As we worry about their safety, consider this story concerning body armor and how troops and their families are having to pay for proper gear out of pocket. Similar stories on how, after a year, our government is finally realizing that Humvees need protection are available through many news channels. We know their training is good, we know our troops are the best there is. Let's hope this gear situation works itself out soon. Its not a political debate; its asking our leaders to do right by our troops. Thus far, they've come a bit lacking and it should stop.

Noticing a pretty significant bump in bandwidth use due to the Galva News story. At least the month is ending soon and my usage stats will reset. Welcome to all newcomers.

03/18/04 - Site Re-organization

Taking a bit of a cue from Jim Doherty's Yahoo group, I have broken out the information here onto separate pages. The ongoing posts will probably earn their own page soon as well. You'll notice the menu just above has been retooled to reflect the changes.

I also plan on branching out and relaying general military stories here just to try to get a grasp of the bigger picture. The first is a report on how basic training is changing for our newest troops. To follow it up more locally, the Peoria Journal Star is - I expect - running a series on F Company of the 106th Aviation Battlation, normally based out near the Peoria Airport. The first story I've been able to find is here.

03/07/04 - Over There

Got woken up to a call from Tom today. After some delays in Maine, he has made it to Kuwait via a stop in Germany and is currently escorting officers around in preparation for going into Iraq sometime near month's end. He wanted to pass along that he (and the rest of the guys) should have an address for us by that time. I want to pass along that the satellite connection he used to call from is really spotty and it is hard for them to get in queue to make those calls. He said he would try again later this month but just called to say that he's fine and that it is getting warm there. (If you need to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, I have the old conversion page still up.)

02/27/04 - About That Time....

I've been in contact with Tom over the past couple days (his cell phone connection permitting) and he is about to leave with the advance team to Kuwait. This means that we are all about to get - at the least - a lump in our collective throats as, yes, this whole ordeal becomes "reality". Granted, it will be a month plus before they move into Iraq but its been a nice fiction up 'til now to think something might change.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to talk to him once more to let him know I'm proud of him and to do his duty and come back to us all. Of course, I've got a big brother way of saying all that. I hope you all get the same opportunity.

Apparently this site has obliquely made the Kewanee Star Courier. For those who jump the hoops and have found the site, I say welcome and please, please be gentle with the bandwidth. Also, as you may curiously navigate the rest of the site, be aware that while I back my brother and his fellow soldiers 100%, I may say things elsewhere that you may not agree with. As I am paying for this chunk of cyberspace I see that as my right to have an opinion and I hope we can all respectfully disagree on some things. More on that available here.

02/05/04 - Resources

Found out from Tom that the unit is now part of the 4/5th ADA; so, yes, they are Air Defense again. At least as I understand things.

From, I found a document called Iraq - A Geography, and another document named A Guide to Cultural Awareness in the Middle East. I think both require a looking over by us here at home if just to get a glimpse at the changes our friends and family are about to experience.

12/07/03 - Topical News Stories

Basically, a collection of news stories that may be of interest.

News on possible M-16 phase-out.

List of companies making the extra effort for their Guard/Reserve employees. Spurred by an email from Earl Stuckey about Sears that you may have received as well.

11/02/03 - News You Can Use

I received a phone call from my brother Tom letting me know that the unit made it to Fort Hood without incident. I'm sure most of you already know the same news from your respective family members.