Military Resistance 9K2
“Sgt. Richard Corder And His Wife Dharma, Were Charged $41 For A Four-Second Credit-Card Call To The U.S.”
“She Said The Confusing Rate Structure Was ‘Ridiculous’ And Called On Military Families To Fight Back”
“At The Time, He Was Headed To Iraq And Was Not Carrying Change”
“This Model Was Set Up As A Complete Rip-Off”
11.7.11 By Joe Gould, Military Times [Excerpts]
A company accused of charging hidden payphone fees to troops traveling to and from the war zone is facing a possible class action filed by a soldier from Fort Hood, Texas, and his wife.
The lawsuit accuses BBG Global of not disclosing “unconscionable” credit-card fees for its payphones in the Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany, a popular refueling destination en route to and from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The lead and, so far only, plaintiffs, Sgt. Richard Corder and his wife Dharma, were charged $41 for a four-second credit-card call to the U.S. in May. At the time, he was headed to Iraq and was not carrying change.
“They’re taking advantage of soldiers in a vulnerable state, calling their wives and families to tell them they’re OK after they’ve just left them,” said Dharma Corder, of Round Rock, Texas. “It’s the perfect setup to take advantage of them.” The Corders are asking a federal court in Waco to force BBG to refund fees it charged service members and post more complete information about its rates on its pay phones.
“This model was set up as a complete rip-off,” she said. “I guarantee that no one would use these phones if they knew what they were being charged.”
According to BBG Global’s website, it owns and operates 350,000 payphones in airports, train stations and hotels in more than 30 countries.
The Corders’ attorney, John Mattes, is spearheading a separate but similar class action in San Diego against BBG’s domestic affiliate, BBG Communications.
Mattes argues that members of the military are “captive” while waiting at the Leipzig airport, often without European pocket change.
Without signs indicating otherwise, these “unsuspecting victims” are left to assume the rate for credit card calls is the same as the advertised rate, which is much lower and only for cash calls.
Because of the unpredictability of military travel, the Leipzig stop is often the first time troops on their way to and from home have a sense of their arrival time, Mattes said.
“It’s incredibly deceptive, it’s a bait and switch,” Mattes said.
“The people serving their country and heading to the war zone didn’t sign up to get ripped off in Germany.”
Corder is an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, and was being deployed to Iraq for the third time when he called his wife from Leipzig, she said.
He left a four-second voice mail, saying he had arrived safety, and that he missed her and their children.
Soon after, she received an email notification from their bank about the charge and called BBG in an unsuccessful attempt to dispute it. “They wouldn’t talk to me because I wasn’t Richard and I didn’t have his card number,” she said. “They wouldn’t help me, and I thought that was crazy.”
She said the confusing rate structure was “ridiculous” and called on military families to fight back.
“There’s no excuse for that,” she said. “When you pay for gas, its $3.19, and you know what you’re getting.”
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
U.S. Soldier Killed In Kirkuk When “Boys Attacked An American Convoy” With A Thermal Bomb
BAGHDAD — A US soldier has been killed in northern Iraq, the US military said on Friday, the first American service member to die in an attack here since the US announced its forces would depart by year’s end.
"A US service member was killed Thursday while conducting operations in northern Iraq," the military said in a brief statement, without providing further details.
An Iraqi security source told AFP that boys attacked an American convoy in the ethnically divided oil city of Kirkuk with a thermal bomb on Thursday.
A similar bomb was used against another convoy on Friday, the source said, without specifying if it resulted in casualties.
The hand-thrown thermal bombs are especially effective against armoured vehicles.
Pro-American Militia Members Killed By Explosion In Iraq;
“What Happened Today Was A Clear Security Breach”
2011-11-05 Taiwan News
Six members of a pro-American Awakening militia died in an explosion while waiting in line for their salaries near Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, on Thursday.
The attack highlighted growing frustration with how the Iraqi government deals with their security.
The Awakening militias were originally created and paid under U.S. military auspices, but the job of disbursing their pay has gradually been handed over to the Iraqi government over the past three years. Tensions have developed over what militia members say has been late pay and other shabby treatment.
On Thursday, the militiamen arrived early in the morning at an Iraqi army barracks outside Baquba and were told to stand in line and wait.
Such lines of security service employees at recruiting stations or elsewhere are known to be a favored target for insurgents.
“What happened today was a clear security breach,” Ziyad Ahmed, an official in the Diyala provincial council, said in an interview.
A second bomb, planted in a car parked nearby, blew up a few minutes after the first, hitting people who were trying to help the wounded. Together, the two bombs killed six and wounded 35, a regional health official said.
The Iraqi government has said it intends to replace militias with police officers where it is feasible to do so, and to offer civilian jobs in government agencies to militiamen who stand down.
Awakening members, though, complain of grudging treatment by the central government, including the hassle in being paid.
A prominent militia leader in Baghdad, Ali Hatim Suliman, said members were now receiving salaries as irregularly as once every three months. Back pay is owed to about 5,000 members, he said.
“They deal with us just to satisfy the Americans,” he said.
In a sign of the tension in Baghdad, the police Monday raided Suliman’s office in a villa in the capital, after he criticized Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in a television interview last month and called al-Maliki’s cabinet members “animals.”
The police denied that the raid was retaliation and said they were merely investigating whether Suliman had proper title to the building.
About 50,000 Iraqis now serve in Awakening units, the Al-Mada newspaper reported Wednesday, down from about 180,000 at the peak of the movement in 2007. The Ministry of Water Resources said this week that it had hired 559 militiamen, a meager contribution to the job of winding down the militias.
More Resistance Action
Nov 3 (Reuters) & Nov 5 (Reuters) & Taiwan News
BAGHDAD - Insurgents in a speeding car, using silenced weapons, shot dead police Brigadier Jalil Ibadi, the deputy commander of border crossings, in Baghdad’s eastern Zayouna district, an Interior Ministry source said.
MOSUL - A roadside bomb went off near an Iraqi army patrol, wounding two soldiers in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a local police source said.
BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb exploded near a restaurant in Baghdad's central Karrada district, killing four policemen and wounding six others, the sources said.
QAIYARA - Insurgents stormed the home of a policeman and killed him in the town of Qaiyara, 290 km (180 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
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AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Oklahoma Soldier Killed In Paktia
Oklahoma National Guard 19-year-old Pfc. Sarina Butcher of Checotah, Okla. Butcher and 26-year-old Spc. Christopher Gailey of Ochelata died November 1 when their vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Paktia province. Butcher is the first female Oklahoma National Guard Soldier to be killed during wartime and is also the youngest Oklahoma Citizen-Soldier to die in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Oklahoma National Guard)
Army Ranger Killed In Afghanistan ‘Just A Good, Honest Kid’
Pfc. Christopher Horns, 20, died Saturday.
October 24, 2011JAKOB RODGERS, THE GAZETTE
A Colorado Springs Army Ranger killed over the weekend was remembered Monday as an avid outdoorsman who followed his father’s footsteps to the Army and, ultimately, into Afghanistan.
“He was just a good, honest kid,” said Martha Horns, the soldier’s aunt. “It’s hard for us to understand this whole thing.”
Pfc. Christopher Horns, 20, died Saturday when insurgents attacked his unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan, with an improvised bomb, according to the Department of Defense.
Two other soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer Domeij, 29, of San Diego, and 1st Lt. Ashley White, 24, a North Carolina National Guardsman from Alliance, Ohio, also were killed in the attack. Details of the attack have not been released.
Domeij, whose mother lives in Colorado Springs, served with Horns in the 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord outside of Tacoma, Wash.
Christopher Horns’ assignment to the 75th Ranger Regiment was the realization of a long-held dream, his family said.
The career seemed to be a natural fit. His father, Larry Horns, served nearly 30 years in theArmy and the family spent a few years in Colorado Springs. Larry Horns served a tour in Afghanistan near the beginning of the war.
Whenever he visited relatives, all Christopher Horns gushed about was jumping out of planes or popping targets at the shooting range.
“He never talked about girls, he never talked about cars — he talked about the Army,” Martha Horns said. “I’d never seen such pride as I did in his voice when he talked about serving his country.”
His uncle, Martin Horns, said his nephew had trained for boot camp months before he shipped out and lost about 40 pounds in the process. He qualified for Ranger school right out of boot camp, he said.
“There’s a high dropout rate but he made it through and he was so proud to be a Ranger,” Martin Horns said.
He was also a fun-loving kid, he said. Once, to demonstrate his strength, Christopher Horns picked up his uncle and ran up a trail with railroad ties.
“We were going up that hill. I was 220 pounds and he carried me up those steps,” Martin Horns laughed.
Christopher Horns loved Colorado Springs and wanted to call it home.
He drove to the foothills of Pikes Peak to ride his dirt bike or hike, Martha Horns said. And he proposed to his girlfriend — an engagement so recent that he had yet to introduce his fiancé to his family.
“He just fit in,” said his grandmother, Barbara Horns. “He was not shy, he was not boisterous. He loved life.”
His family plans to hold a memorial service in Iowa, where many of his relatives live. When that service draws to a close, his ashes will be flown to Colorado Springs and spread in the nearby mountains. “He’s in heaven,” Martha Horns said. “And we’re very proud of what he’s done for us.”
Marine Who Surprised Family at Christmas Killed
Lance Cpl. Jason N. Barfield: WSFA
October 26, 2011By Beth Ford Roth, KPBS
The large, loving family of Lance Cpl. Jason N. Barfield didn’t think he would make it home to Ashford, Alabama for Christmas last December, because he was assigned to cold weather training at Twentynine Palms.
But Barfield did get leave, and set up a surprise reunion for his young sister at her elementary school, and his mother at the family home. The homecomings were covered by the Dothan Eagle.
It would be Barfield’s last Christmas.
Barfield, just 22-years-old, was killed Monday in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Barfield was assigned to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, according to the Department of Defense.
The Dothan Eagle reports Barfield was one of seven children.
Barfield’s family and friends have set up a Facebook page for loved ones to leave messages of condolence. It now has more than 3,500 members.
Private Matthew James Sean Haseldin Killed In Helmand Province
4 Nov 11 Ministry of Defence
It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Private Matthew Haseldin from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (2 MERCIAN) in Afghanistan on Thursday 3 November 2011.
Private Haseldin was killed in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, while on an operation to maintain freedom of movement for the local population. His patrol came under attack from insurgents and sadly, during the attack, he sustained a fatal gunshot wound.
Private Haseldin joined C Company Group just after they had deployed to the Nahr-e Saraj District in Helmand province as part of Combined Force Burma. The Battalion is responsible for securing freedom of movement along Route 611, which is a key Main Supply Route linking Gereshk city with other district centres in Helmand province and beyond, including Kandahar City.
On the morning of 3 November 2011, Private Haseldin's patrol deployed from their operating base to clear and secure areas along Route 611, a key ground line of communication.
Whilst conducting a check, the patrol came under attack from sustained small arms fire and underslung grenades during which Private Haseldin was fatally wounded.
POLITICIANS CAN’T BE COUNTED ON TO HALT THE BLOODSHED
THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WARS
“Bombers And Attackers Besiege The Office Of A Logistics Company Working With Foreign Forces” On The Outskirts Of Herat City
Foreign support base attacked in Herat November 3, 2011. Photo by MOHAMMAD SHOIB/REUTERS
November 3, 2011 By Aref Karimi (AFP) & By RAY RIVERA and SHARIFULLAH SAHAK, New York Times
HERAT, Afghanistan — Two Afghan guards were killed Thursday when bombers and attackers besieged the office of a logistics company working with foreign forces, near the NATO-led force’s western HQ.
After the explosions, three insurgents, also in army uniforms, stormed the compound and took positions inside a building, he said, exchanging gunfire with Afghan guards and security forces as helicopters flew overhead.
The final attacker was killed around 1:30 p.m., said Col. Abdul Zahir, director of the provincial Criminal Investigative Directorate.
Western troops were deployed to quash the attack at the offices of Monaco-based international firm ES-KO on the outskirts of Herat city, where NATO soldiers passed control to Afghan forces four months ago.
It happened a few hundred metres (yards) from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in western Afghanistan, which is Italian-led, as well as Herat’s airport.
Afghan and coalition forces evacuated 31 civilians from the compound during the attack, which took place about a half mile from NATO’s regional headquarters in Herat Province, said Sgt. Juan Ardura Santa Engracia, a spokesman for the regional NATO command.
One foreign soldier was among five people injured in the three hour battle attack, according to Herat governor’s spokesman Mohayddin Noori.
An AFP reporter saw a wounded Italian soldier being walked away from the scene.
Officials said the attack happened when two bombers detonated a car bomb at the gates of the office, allowing three accomplices to get inside.
A vehicle smashed into a second checkpoint and detonated seconds later, he said.
The bombers were wearing Afghan Army uniforms.
"Five attackers were killed along with two guards working for ES-KO company," Noori told a press conference after the attack finished.
"Five people -- one policeman, one ISAF soldier and one intelligence officer along with two other guards of the company -- were wounded in today’s attack."
The Taliban, leaders of the decade-long insurgency in Afghanistan since the late 2001 US-led invasion ousted them from power, claimed they carried out the raid, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
Taliban spokesman Muhammad Yusuf, in a statement monitored by SITE, said one of the fighters detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gates, enabling other attackers to enter.
The ISAF spokesman in western Afghanistan, who declined to be quoted by name, said it had provided ground and air support to Thursday’s operation, which took place outside the compound of Regional Command West.
Noori said that ISAF helicopters had been scrambled.
Noor Khan Nekzad, a regional police spokesman, said foreign forces killed the insurgents but the ISAF spokesman could not confirm this.
One witness, who did not give his name, told AFP he saw several wounded people evacuated after two men with guns and rocket-propelled grenades ran into the office and opened fire.
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