December 18, 2009
The video begins like so many others. Above a bright blue sky – below, a dusty tortured terrain of brown and green. The place is Salman Pak on the outskirts of Baghdad on March 20, 2005. The sounds of Kalashnikov and RPG fire has become the familiar staccato background in a scene that we think will end the way that so many others have. Suddenly the mood changes – three up-armored HMMWVs careen into view laying down hellish suppressive fire while being pounded by dozens of rounds from the hot barrels of determined insurgents. The viewer can almost smell the sweat and fear as the insurgents mutter “Allah-hu-Akbar” whilst advancing on a convoy of supply trucks. Within moments the video upends and skews wildly before going blank. This was the beginning of a battle that would see the first Silver Star Medal awarded to a female Soldier since World War II. Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester of the Kentucky National Guard’s 617th Military Police Company (Combat Support), in Iraq made history by doing exactly what she was trained to do - locate, close with and destroy the enemy. While certain influential persons in Big Army would see the role of women in combat rolled back, SGT Hester proved that not only were females in combat a reasonable proposition – but a winning one.
December 11, 2009
The New York State Campaign, also known as the Saratoga Campaign was an effort by the British Army to secure the Hudson River valley. The Primary thrust was made by General John Burgoyne with 8,000 men toward Saratoga, down the Hudson that culminated in a series of battles that would end with his surrender. Colonel Barry St. Ledger would support the thrust with a thrust toward Albany and General Sir William Howe would mistakenly drive toward Philadelphia in spite of plans being made to thrust north from New York City.
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