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Iowa Marine may be candidate for Medal of Honor (latest on First Sergeant Brad Kasal)
Gazette online dot com ^ | 2-26-05 | AP

Posted on 02/26/2005 5:53:00 PM PST by doug from upland

Iowa Marine may be candidate for Medal of Honor

Associated Press

Saturday, February 26, 2005, 2:59:02 PM

DES MOINES -- An Iowa Marine is receiving widespread praise for his bravery after leading a daring rescue mission in Iraq last fall. Sgt. Brad Kasal, of Afton, said he learned three fellow Marines were wounded inside an enemy-controlled house during house-to-house battles with insurgents in Fallujah on Nov. 13.

"The insurgents would kill them, or worse -- torture them and then kill them, so time was essential," Kasal said. "So I gathered up a bunch of young Marines and tried to enter the building to rescue them."

Kasal, 38, was shot seven times after leading his men into the house, and he suffered more than 40 shrapnel wounds after he bear-hugged a wounded Marine inside to protect him from a grenade explosion. He killed one enemy fighter in an exchange of rifle fire at point-blank range.

One Marine died in the rescue mission, but the other Americans came out alive.

More than three months later, a photo of the bloodied Kasal, still clutching his 9 mm handgun as he is helped by two fellow Marines from the Fallujah house, is displayed on dozens of Web sites.

An online newsletter published by the nonprofit Soldiers for the Truth reports it has learned that Kasal and another Marine could become the first Marine Corps recipients of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest decoration for heroism in combat, and it requires the approval of Congress after extensive scrutiny by military officials.

Kasal's family and friends in Iowa said they are aware of talk that the Iowan may receive the Medal of Honor, and they are elated he may be under consideration.

"I'm damn proud, that's how I feel," said Gerald Kasal, 67, the serviceman's father. Kasal was raised on a family farm near Afton in southern Iowa.

A spokesman for the Marine Corps declined comment.

Kasal, who graduated from East Union High School in 1984, always wanted to join the Marines, friends say. He has spent the past 20 years in the Marines, including two tours in Iraq, stints in Somalia and Afghanistan, and many other overseas operations.

After Kasal was severely wounded in Iraq in November, he was transported to military hospitals in Germany and Maryland, where doctors worked to repair his shattered right leg and to remove shrapnel from his body.

Kasal lost about 4 inches of leg bone after being struck repeatedly by bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle, and he still faces a bone-grafting operation in about a month. He is recuperating at his home in Oceanside, Calif., near the Camp Pendleton Marine base.

He hopes to be mostly healed in about three to four months, but for now he must use a wheelchair and crutches.

"The support has been astounding from the Marine Corps and friends," said Kasal, who was a senior leader for about 170 Marines with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. "I get a lot of letters and cards of well wishes."

The incident occurred on the fifth day of the assault on Fallujah, known as Operation Phantom Fury. There had been heavy street fighting the previous day, and the Marines were entering the most dangerous part of Fallujah.

Kasal led his men as they moved down the street, clearing one house after another. A wounded Marine told Kasal that he and three comrades had gone into a building full of enemy fighters and all of the Americans were wounded, but he was the only one who made it out.

Kasal rounded up a half-dozen other men to storm the two-story brick and stucco house. The men barged into the house and found several dead insurgents on the floor, along with a wounded Marine.

Kasal and another Marine, Pfc. Alexander Nicoll, then went to clear a room that hadn't been checked yet, and Kasal began peering around the doorway to avoid exposing himself.

He found himself almost face-to-face with an enemy fighter who yelled something in Arabic and fired a burst from his rifle. The bullets missed Kasal, and he was able to get his M-16 rifle over the top of the enemy fighter's weapon.

"I shoved it into his chest and just started pulling the trigger. I kept pulling the trigger, about seven or eight times until he finally went down. Then I put two more rounds into his forehead just to make sure he was dead," Kasal said.

Somewhere behind him an insurgent opened fire with an automatic weapon. A hail of bullets struck Kasal in his lower right leg, and he heard Nicoll scream from being hit by gunfire. Kasal, who was crawling to safety, went back to grab Nicoll and was shot again, this time in the buttocks.

Kasal began treating Nicoll's wounds. As he wrestled with Nicoll's protective vest, he saw a hand grenade about 4 feet away with the pin pulled. Kasal rolled on top of Nicoll and pushed him down, absorbing most of the grenade blast.

After about 30 minutes, other Marines made their way into the house from a different direction. Eventually, the Marines reached Kasal and Nicoll, carrying both to safety, although Nicoll later had his lower right leg amputated.

Killed in the assault was Marine Sgt. Byron Norwood, 25, of Pflugerville, Texas, whose parents were recognized by Bush in his State of the Union address.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Iowa
KEYWORDS: americanhero; anamericansoldier; byronnorwood; cotw; fallujah; freedom; genuinehero; gutsandglory; hero; iraq; kasal; marine; marines; marinestory; military; moh; purpleheart; qfn; quagmirefreenews; soldier; soldierstory; wheredowefindsuchmen; wheredowegetsuchmen; woundedhero

1 posted on 02/26/2005 5:53:03 PM PST by doug from upland
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To: doug from upland

Thanks for posting this Doug.

Iowa proud, here.


2 posted on 02/26/2005 5:59:01 PM PST by Iowa Granny
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To: doug from upland

It is criminal that men like this are not given as much exposure as the anti-American cowards shown on MSM TV everyday.

Fallujah will go down in history alongside the great battles that the Marines have won for our country. MSM said we couldn't do it and that it would be a bloodbath. They were right about one thing, it was a bloodbath, but once again we've learned NEVER to doubt the abilitiy of the USMC.


3 posted on 02/26/2005 5:59:46 PM PST by HRoarke ("There cannot be an absence of moral content in American foreign policy,..We are not Europe")
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To: doug from upland
Anyone have a picture of this Marine?

I want to show my nephiew the definition of honor and bravery.

thxs

4 posted on 02/26/2005 6:04:32 PM PST by bubman
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To: Iowa Granny

All I can say is God bless The United States Marine Corps...Semper Fi


5 posted on 02/26/2005 6:07:40 PM PST by skimask
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To: bubman

See this link:

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2005/02/brad_kasal_a_us.html


6 posted on 02/26/2005 6:10:07 PM PST by combat_boots (Dug in and not budging an inch.)
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To: bubman
Here is the original thread with the story, picture, and a song written for Brad. The song has been recorded by our own uncleshag, and I hope it will be heard on the radio.
7 posted on 02/26/2005 6:11:37 PM PST by doug from upland (Ray Charles --- a great musician and safer driver than Ted Kennedy)
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To: bubman

I have some pictures of my son, a 1st Lt. in the Corps...He was in Fallaujah, no pictures from there were allowed....but I dont know how to post a picture here...can anyone help me?


8 posted on 02/26/2005 6:12:51 PM PST by skimask
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To: bubman

MIDI - FAITHFULLY

From a town...small town in Iowa
Came a hero whom you ought to know
Brad Kasal would protect his men
To the end he was prepared to go

Fallujah had been a living hell as they fought for their lives
Then, oh my God, he saw that grenade
He used his own body to protect his wounded comrade
He wouldn't let him die
Sacred words for you, Brad...Semper Fi

We are blessed to have such fine young men
Men who sacrifice so willingly
They stand up proud...it's their duty, they say
Heroes for all our kids to see

He now lives in constant pain but says there's no regrets
He says that he would do it all again
This is the measure of a real Marine
He wouldn't let him die
Sacred words for you, Brad...Semper Fi

Sacred words for you, sacred words for you, sacred words for you
Sacred words...Semper Fi

Sacred words for you, sacred words for you, sacred words for you
Sacred words...Semper Fi

Sacred words for you, sacred words for you, sacred words for you
Sacred words...Semper Fi

(fade out)

9 posted on 02/26/2005 6:14:02 PM PST by doug from upland (Ray Charles --- a great musician and safer driver than Ted Kennedy)
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To: doug from upland

10 posted on 02/26/2005 6:20:47 PM PST by skimask
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To: skimask

To post the picture, it has to be hosted on a site so you can link the URL.


11 posted on 02/26/2005 6:21:55 PM PST by doug from upland (Ray Charles --- a great musician and safer driver than Ted Kennedy)
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To: Iowa Granny

Grasnny: This brave Marine deserves a commendation from the Legislature. God bless him.


12 posted on 02/26/2005 6:23:14 PM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: doug from upland

I believe, sadly, that in today's environment, the CMH will only be won posthumously.. There is absolutely no correlation between the events/actions, the decorations. Over the last 12 months I've carefully read the citations and incident reports of four Marines who were awarded the Navy Cross..the threads were posted here, and from what I can determine, the ONLY reason they were NOT recommended for the CMH is that happily they survived.


13 posted on 02/26/2005 6:36:42 PM PST by ken5050 (The Dem party is as dead as the NHL..)
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To: doug from upland
Kasal and another Marine could become the first Marine Corps recipients of the Medal of Honor

Possibly this hero ?

SACRIFICE Troop cradled grenade to save others

14 posted on 02/26/2005 6:43:14 PM PST by in the Arena (James Wayne Herrick, Jr. Captain/US Air Force - MIA - Laos - 27 October 1969)
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To: doug from upland

"I shoved it into his chest and just started pulling the trigger. I kept pulling the trigger, about seven or eight times until he finally went down. Then I put two more rounds into his forehead just to make sure he was dead," Kasal said.

He's obviously seen SCREAM.


15 posted on 02/26/2005 6:45:05 PM PST by rbg81
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To: doug from upland; snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Professional Engineer; alfa6; PhilDragoo

Marines are close to my heart.

The "Marines' Marine", Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller said that "There is nothing finer than a good Marine". The General was a genius at understatement.

Puller is interesting. He left the Virginia Military Institute in 1917 and enlisted in the Corps so as to not miss WWI. He recieved a direct, battlefield commission in Nicaragua, I believe, and his medals include five Navy Crosses, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit with "V" device, the Bronze Star with "V" device, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. All real, not an ounce of Kerry in that man.

Some quotes:

"Paper-work will ruin any military force"



When an Army captain asked him for the direction of the line of retreat, Col Puller called his Tank Commander, gave them the Army position, and ordered: "If they start to pull back from that line, even one foot, I want you to open fire on them."

Turning to the captain, he replied "Does that answer your question? We're here to fight." (At Koto-ri in Korea)


At the Frozen Chosin Marines were cut off behind enemy lines and the Army had written the entire 1st Marine Division off as being lost because they were surrounded by 22 enemy divisions. The Marines prevailed inflicting the highest casualty ratio on an enemy in history and destroying 7 entire enemy divisions in the process. An enemy division is 16500+ men while a Marine division is 12500 men.

Puller was in charge of those Marines. Quotes from that time:

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time!" At this point in time the Marines were outnumbered thirty to one.

"They are a damn site better than the U.S. Army, at least we know that they will be there in the morning."
- Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller when a journalist asked him about being surrounded by 22 enemy divisions.


Sargent Brad Kasal is nothing more, and nothing less, than a Good Marine. There is nothing finer.


16 posted on 02/26/2005 6:53:37 PM PST by Iris7 (.....to protect the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Same bunch, anyway.)
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To: doug from upland
Just a reminder for the others reading this thread.

The one marine who perished during this particular attack is also up for the CMH.

His story is here:

Sgt. Rafael Peralta, American Hero

17 posted on 02/26/2005 7:16:48 PM PST by Maigrey ("... I will stand in front of the box to put my heart in it." - Mohammed from Iraq the Blog)
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To: doug from upland

OK. So I might be wrong.....


18 posted on 02/26/2005 7:19:54 PM PST by Maigrey ("... I will stand in front of the box to put my heart in it." - Mohammed from Iraq the Blog)
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To: Iris7

Thanks for the ping Iris7

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


19 posted on 02/26/2005 7:23:50 PM PST by alfa6
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To: doug from upland
I hope this young Marine gets the recognition for his heroism that he so richly deserves. However when he is presented his award I sure hope Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin is no where near the event. That pacifist loony would just use the occasion to further his own anti-war causes.
20 posted on 02/26/2005 7:30:50 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: alfa6

My pleasure, Alpha6. Back on nights?


21 posted on 02/26/2005 7:41:17 PM PST by Iris7 (.....to protect the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Same bunch, anyway.)
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To: Iris7

there were a lot of good men died at Chosin, Army and Marine-my old man (3rd Division, 7th INF Reg) earned a Bronze Star with V device there- he didn't get it by running, and he was one of the last off the Port of Hungnam...


22 posted on 02/26/2005 7:48:48 PM PST by nicko (CW3 (ret.) CPT, you need to just unass the AO; I know what I'm doing- that goes for you too, Major)
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To: Iris7

On days till a week from Tuesday, March 8th I think? Yippee

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


23 posted on 02/26/2005 7:51:33 PM PST by alfa6
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To: Iris7
Lucky for America we have the Marines we could never win a battle with the Army ..... then again we did manage North Africa, Italy, Normandy, the Rhine, and I seem to remember a few in the Pacific, Vietnam, and in Baghdad waiting for the Marines to show up.

A bunch of damn fine men in my family have worn the uniform and when I put down a Marine, he's a friend and knows it's a joke. I will say this about you and your type, once the Marines understood they were the smallest most unneeded branch they went into high PR mode.

Thank said, God Bless First Sgt. Kasal and all like him.

24 posted on 02/26/2005 7:59:26 PM PST by HoustonCurmudgeon (Redneck from a red city, in a red county, in a red state, and a former Red Leg.)
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To: doug from upland
That certainly puts Sgt. Norwood's sacrifice into perspective. They both deserve the MOH.

SALUTE!

25 posted on 02/26/2005 8:02:55 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: Iris7

Thanks Iris7. God Bless the Marines and all our troops, past, present and future!


26 posted on 02/26/2005 8:21:51 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: HoustonCurmudgeon
My wife's father was a United States Army Infantry 2nd Lieutenant under MacArthur. A friend in Iraq (3rd tour) is an Army Reserve snake eater. An old Okinawa Marine, since deceased, a good man, friend, said that on Okinawa the Army and Marines were closer than brothers. Old Deano would never allow any teasing about the Army. He sure did tease everybody else, though!

I did not mean to slight the United States Army. I think I did, some, and am trying to make amends.

There is a young lad I watched grow up around here, don't know if I should publish his name, call him "C". Recent West Point graduate. Rescued a cut off platoon in Sadr City last summer. Took his five tanks in. The cut off platoon said there were hundreds of them. Helicopters were driven off by the heavy fire. An ambush of course.

So, "C" went in, lost two machines, two killed, four badly wounded, through the terrorist ambush and relieved the cut off platoon. The ambush was set up for tanks, and each Abrams was hit scores of times by RPG fire, usually plunging, and holed again and again. "C" had to stick his head out enough to see targets and said that three RPGs went by close enough to touch.

I always figured "C" would make a good man. Sure didn't expect him to be the man he is.
27 posted on 02/26/2005 8:40:35 PM PST by Iris7 (.....to protect the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Same bunch, anyway.)
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To: skimask
To post a picture on Free Republic, locate the picture file on your hard drive. Make sure it’s under 250k in size, a GIF, JPEG or bitmap file.

Go to http://tinypic.com/ and click on the ‘Browse’ button. A dialog box based upon the Windows Explorer program opens. Use it to locate the file on your hard drive. When you select the file, it will appear in the address bar beside the ‘Browse’ button.

Click on the ‘Host It’ button. TinyPics will copy the file from your hard drive, and duplicate it on their server. When this process is complete, a window will appear saying “Successfully Hosted!” and below that, four address bars.

Select, highlight and copy the contents of the address bar labeled TAG, and paste that line of code in your post on Free Republic, where you want the picture to appear.
28 posted on 02/26/2005 8:58:29 PM PST by Fatuncle (Do you suppose the Dixie Chicks will admit that they are ashamed of Dan Rather being from Texas?)
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To: snippy_about_it

Hi, Snippy.

Clearing those houses is really the pits. Just so dangerous. I can see why it has to be done the way it is, and that we, I, have to pay the price with tremendously good young men's lives. Don't like it much, though. Better to send guys like me. Not that I am brave, for sure, but those young ones deserve their lives, and we need their children. Mine are grown up.


29 posted on 02/26/2005 8:58:49 PM PST by Iris7 (.....to protect the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Same bunch, anyway.)
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To: in the Arena
I'm not sure who they are talking about, Sgt Peralta or a Marine who was killed last summer when he dove on a hand grenade to protect his squad (sorry, I don't remember his name, but the story was posted here on FR). The Marine tried to use his helmet to help muffle the blast, but was struck under the chin by a piece of shrapnel that penetrated his brain and he died a few weeks later.
30 posted on 02/26/2005 9:06:24 PM PST by Stonewall Jackson (Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. - John Adams)
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To: nicko

Quoting Puller so freely I have crossed the line and insulted the United States Army. I was wrong to do that.

I figure even old Puller was mighty happy to find the 7th Infantry Regiment waiting at the end of the road from Chosin.

If you will take my #27 for an apology I would appreciate it.


31 posted on 02/26/2005 9:12:39 PM PST by Iris7 (.....to protect the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Same bunch, anyway.)
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To: Iris7

no apology needed...I'm a Chesty Puller fan myself, and I understand the point you were making...stop by VFW Post 8587 in Georgetown, Texas sometime, and we'll raise one to all of our finest...there's usually a half dozen guys there who were best friends with Chesty...and Doug McArthur...and Ike...and....


32 posted on 02/26/2005 10:13:41 PM PST by nicko (CW3 (ret.) CPT, you need to just unass the AO; I know what I'm doing- that goes for you too, Major)
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To: Stonewall Jackson

Thanks...


33 posted on 02/26/2005 10:41:36 PM PST by in the Arena (James Wayne Herrick, Jr. Captain/US Air Force - MIA - Laos - 27 October 1969)
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To: Iris7

Semper Fi Bump


34 posted on 02/27/2005 7:10:08 AM PST by SAMWolf (I came. I saw. I stole your tagline.)
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To: Iris7
Sorry if I went off on you and will accept this as an apology.

You caught me at a bad time as I went to a funeral at the National Veterans Cemetery (Houston) of Friday and had viewed one of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Walls in Sugar Land on Saturday. I was in no mood to have the United States Army slighted.

35 posted on 02/27/2005 8:34:31 AM PST by HoustonCurmudgeon (Redneck from a red city, in a red county, in a red state, and a former Red Leg.)
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To: Iris7

The Hobbit Hole sent this Marine a couple of our knives...


36 posted on 02/27/2005 8:43:47 AM PST by 2Jedismom (http://kimsbug.blogspot.com/)
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To: doug from upland; 300winmag

Bump!


37 posted on 02/27/2005 8:44:30 AM PST by 2Jedismom (http://kimsbug.blogspot.com/)
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To: skimask

How are you doing with posting the picture?


38 posted on 02/27/2005 8:57:04 AM PST by andyandval
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To: HoustonCurmudgeon

Ralph Smith could have used a blowhard mouthpiece like you.


39 posted on 02/27/2005 10:37:24 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

......and thank you for your input, I'm sure it strained your imagination given it's great insight ......


40 posted on 02/27/2005 10:43:57 AM PST by HoustonCurmudgeon (Redneck from a red city, in a red county, in a red state, and a former Red Leg.)
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To: doug from upland
"I shoved it into his chest and just started pulling the trigger. I kept pulling the trigger, about seven or eight times until he finally went down...."

Point Blank! I sure hope that they adopt that .280 or a .30 service rifle ASAP. This kind of thing is just BS. 22's are best used on squirrels.

41 posted on 02/27/2005 10:48:06 AM PST by D Rider
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To: doug from upland

Uncommon valor appears common among these fine young men!


42 posted on 02/27/2005 10:57:29 AM PST by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?")
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To: 2Jedismom
The Hobbit Hole sent this Marine a couple of our knives...

A couple of our special knives...


43 posted on 02/27/2005 4:16:37 PM PST by 300winmag (FR's Hobbit Hole supports America's troops)
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To: 300winmag
I went to high school with Brad and would expect nothing less from him or one of his brothers. Brad your good man, Marine, and American.
44 posted on 02/28/2005 7:00:06 AM PST by railroad94
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