Archive for the ‘military’ Category

Cole: ‘I hope the Dems don’t turn victory into defeat.’

April 10, 2008

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) shared on The Hill’s Congress Blog this morning:

It would take a willing suspension of belief to ignore the progress that has been made as a result of the surge. The consequences of failure as well as the benefits of victory were laid out brilliantly in compelling testimony from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.

By every objective measure security in Iraq is better, political progress has occurred and we have positive as opposed to negative momentum. I just hope my Democratic colleagues do not manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Impeach (Someone) Rally

March 20, 2008

A Tulsa Peace and Impeachment Candelight Vigil was held outside U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe’s office in Tulsa. The event was planned to coordinate with a national 5 Years Too Many protest,

…To mark the 5th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in as powerful a way as possible. We believe that the activities United for Peace and Justice is organizing and supporting — the Winter Soldier hearings, mass nonviolent direct action in Washington DC, and local actions all around the country — have the potential to make a powerful statement … but only with your participation and support.

Protesters were instructed to bring comfortable clothes, candles and matches, signs (optional) and to expect lots of people of like minds, a giant puppet Cheney, a banner drop, and Impeach-me George.

According to the event sign-up page, and as of this morning, fifteen of the hoped-for 100,000 attendees registered…about twenty-five were present while OKPNS was there. The video below is also here on YouTube.

Veterans Honored on the 5th Anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom

March 20, 2008

While some chose to use the fifth anniversary of Operation Iraqi freedom to protest the war (video here), and some chose to use the occasion to further their political agendas, others chose to use the occasion to honor our state’s veterans. The Tulsa World is reporting, “Hundreds of veterans — many in wheelchairs or walking with the aid of canes — crowded into the state House gallery with members of their families for a joint session of the House and Senate that marked the fifth anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Iraq.” House Speaker Chris Benge (R-Tulsa) said:

Our country is currently at war once again. Today is in fact the first day of the sixth year our country has been fighting in Iraq. [Noting that 72 Oklahomans have died in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, 64 in Iraq alone. In addition, 521 have been wounded in action] When America was in danger, you were the first to respond to the danger. Americans are a peace-seeking people, but that peace has been achieved through strength in times of international conflict, and that strength can only be projected because of your willingness to put your lives on the line.

The Norman Transcript reports:

Pete Peterson, chairman of the veterans council, says there are about 365,000 veterans in Oklahoma. Peterson says they pump about $1.7 billion into the state’s economy each year.

Peterson says Oklahoma veterans have the best benefit package in the nation because of the support they receive from state lawmakers. The state operates seven veterans centers that provide housing and health care for veterans.

Jason Murphey: "Higher Ed Officials Should Stop Attack On Veterans"

March 20, 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Vice-Chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee, Rep. Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie), used the occasion of the Veterans Awareness Day Joint Legislative Session on Wednesday to call on Oklahoma Higher Education officials to ease off recent comments that he feels are insulting to Oklahoma’s military men and women:

In their zeal to maintain the status-quo and oppose House Bill 2513, Oklahoma’s higher education elite are bringing into question the judgment of Oklahoma’s military officers.

HB 2513, which is advocated by the National Rifle Association, supports Oklahoma veterans and active duty personnel by giving them the right to defend themselves and others when they are attending or teaching classes at one of Oklahoma’s state colleges and universities, provided they notify the university they are in possession of a concealed carry license.

Murphey said he was especially concerned when, after the passage of House Bill 2513, prominent higher education officials launched a campaign in which they are insinuating that the safety of Oklahoma students will be endangered if Oklahoma’s veterans and active military are allowed to defend themselves on college campuses:

To suggest that Oklahoma’s highly trained military men and women are going to endanger the safety of Oklahoma students is inappropriate. I believe that we have the finest military in the world and I find it offensive that some in the higher education community have begun to question the judgment of our military men and women.

Earlier this year, the Governor received a report from a task force which recommended that millions of dollars be spent on enhancing campus security. This proposed expenditure comes at a time when Oklahomans are already forced to deal with massive tuition increases, high taxes and a government that continues to incur long-term debt. What better way to solve some of our security challenges than to take advantage of the training of our military veterans and active duty military personnel who also maintain concealed carry licenses? House Bill 2513 would allow them to defend themselves and their fellow students and teachers. In many cases, these personnel have training that is equal to or exceeds the training of the law enforcement officers charged with protecting our campuses. This is a service that would be provided with little or no cost to the state.

It is inconceivable that we are willing to ask our military officers to work with local government in securing such dangerous areas as the Green Zone in Baghdad, but we don’t trust them to work with local law enforcement officers to enhance safety on our own college campuses.

House Bill 2513 cleared the House of Representatives by a vote of 65-35 and is now headed to the Senate for consideration. (More info on OKPNS here.)

Mary Fallin Supporting Federal Legislation to Help Women in the Military

March 10, 2008

U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin (R-OK) chairs the military women’s task force, and according to a report in the Army Times and the Military Timis, supports legislation to:

…make sure sex-related crimes against women are prosecuted aggressively, and that programs are in place to help women suffering from sexual harassment and trauma, and from combat-related stress…[and help with] child care for parents who serve in the military.

According to the report, Fallin, who has some experience in dealing with military issues as Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor says,

Some single mothers in uniform have told her they are reluctant to report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder out of fear that their mental health problems could be used against them in a custody dispute. Others have said it would be helpful if installations maintained lists of people available to provide emergency child care.

Flags at Half-Staff Tuesday to Honor Micheal "Pokey" Phillips

March 4, 2008

KXII in Ardmore today is reporting:

Governor Brad Henry has ordered all American and Oklahoma flags on state property to fly at half-staff from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Rep. Brian Reneger (D-McAlester) pays tribute to Spc. Michael “Pokey” Phillips, in the McAlester News-Capital:

Michael “Pokey” Phillips, [was] a 2006 Ardmore High School graduate, who turned down admission to the San Francisco Art Institute to serve in the 101st Airborne.

Since the age of 5, Pfc. Phillips wanted to be a GI Joe. To no one’s surprise, he joined while in high school and left for basic training shortly after graduation. On Sunday, at the age of 19 years, Michael died near Baghdad after the vehicle he was in was hit by an explosive device.

See KXII video here.

To sign Legacy Guest Book, and pay your respects for Spc. Michael E. Phillips online, click here.

Police Standoff at Tinker AFB Ends: Three Dead (UPDATED)

February 26, 2008

UPDATE, from

An airman reportedly killed his two children and then himself after arguing with his ex-wife Feb. 25 at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.


None of the victims or the airman have been identified, pending notification of family members.

The Oklahoman quotes Oklahoma County John Whetsel:

A member of the military and his ex-spouse had an altercation. The ex-spouse left the residence. She had heard gunshots upon her departure from the residence…[The mother, who has been informed of the deaths] is not responding well, as you might expect.

FoxNews is reporting live from Tinker Air Force Base on Shepard Smith’s show, that a police standoff has ended. In what is allegedly a domestic disturbance gone horrifically wrong, a man and his two children are dead, with a woman in the hospital for observation:

A male member of the military and ex-spouse had an altercation, officials said.

She heard two gunshots when she left, officials said at a news conference.

Officials said the names of the victims were withheld pending notification next of kin.

Proud to be an Okie…

February 14, 2008

…I’m proud to be an Okie from Muskogee, a place where even squares can have a ball. We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse, and white lightnin’s still the biggest thrill of all.

We don’t make a party out of lovin’; We like holdin’ hands and pitchin’ woo;
We don’t let our hair grow long and shaggy, like the hippies out in San Francisco do….

-Merle Haggard, 1969

Well, some of us let our hair grow longer than others, but that song comes to mind while looking at these photos, taken of the February 12, 2008 protest in Berkeley, CA. Today, I’m proud to be an Okie, and an American. I’m also proud, of course, of the Marines, and the brave citizens of Berkeley and the San Francisco area that came out to face Code Pink, and the Berkeley City Council.

What was all the fuss about? Melody Morgan, of Move America Forward reported in World Net Daily reported on February 1, 2008:

…the Berkeley City Council and instigators from the extreme left have crossed the line this time. The council Tuesday night passed two anti-military, anti-American resolutions and agreed to send a letter to the city’s only Marine recruiting office saying the military are “uninvited intruders.”


The first resolution says that the Marine Corps recruiting station “is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.” [The second resolution] gave the anti-American Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m..

On Tuesday, Move America Forward, the Marines, and citizens from the area attended Berkeley’s City Council meeting to voice their objection. Members of Code Pink also showed up in support of the council.

On Wednesday, in response to the protests, and under the threat of losing Federal funding for the city of the Marine recruiting station is moved:

Berkeley’s City Council voted two weeks ago to send a letter to a downtown recruiting station advising the U.S. Marines they are not welcome.

After a marathon session that stretched into early Wednesday, the council decided not to send the letter, saying they recognize recruiters’ right to be in Berkeley. The council said they still strongly oppose the war and the recruitment of young people into it, but “deeply respect and support” the men and women of the armed forces.

Click on the photos below to visit the photo files of,, and of the event. Warning, some of the photos in the linked files may not be appropriate for children and some places of business.