Flights of passage

Flights of passage


Staff Writer

Army parachute rigger students are required to complete five jumps in airborne school prior to enrollment in Fort Lee’s rigger course.

But ask any rigger student to put those five jumps up against their first student jump in the rigger course. They’ll tell you that the rigger jump is the most important jump they’ll ever make because for the first time, they’re directly responsible for the jump’s success — or failure.

“It’s a wonderful feeling because you get to jump in the parachute that you pack,” said Pfc. Channing Bartley, assigned to Company C, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion. “You wake up in the morning wanting to do it.”

Bartley and 60 or so of his fellow rigger students awoke the morning of Sept. 7, some with a measure of uneasiness, but most with anticipation, of their first and second jumps as riggers at the McLaney Drop Zone. Those jumps serve as a rite of passage for each Soldier-rigger, validating his or her skill at the craft of packing parachutes.

“It’s significant in the fact that the students build confidence in the equipment they’re rigging,” said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Baricuatro, rigger instructor. “In airborne school they are jumping someone else’s equipment. At Fort Lee, they are getting hands on (experience) with the equipment they’re actually packing.”

The day at McLaney began with a thick layer of fog that blanketed the weedy, dew-soaked fields. The students and instructors were discouraged by the sight, because when visibility is poor, the jump is sure to be postponed for safety reasons. Students, who were juiced with adrenaline in anticipation of the jump, were suddenly sunk by the dreary weather.

“It kind of gets you a little irritated,” said Pvt. Chelsea Raduziner of C Co., “but once it (the helicopter) shows up…it pumps you right back up in two seconds.”

The fog soon burned off, the jump pushed back 90 minutes and the students readied themselves, falling into their flight orders and checking each other’s equipment. When the sound of rotary blades could be faintly heard in the distance, the students assumed a posture of seriousness.

“Being their sixth jump, most of them are scared,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Hamm, Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department instructor. “If they aren’t, they wouldn’t be normal.”

Being “scared” added Hamm doesn’t mean being paralyzed with fear.

“Once the first one jumps, they’ll all do it and meet the challenge because they are airborne Soldiers,” he said.

Eight-five airborne Soldiers in all — mostly students, but some instructors and others — filed on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter for several flights over McLaney at about 1,300 feet. This particular airborne operation was a tailgate jump, one in which the jumpers exit the aircraft via the large door opening from the rear, rather than the small door exit on the side of the aircraft. The students definitely prefer the tailgate jumps.

“This is the best jump I had,” said Bartley, after the jump, “because when you jump tailgate, you get the best exit….”

Like most of his fellow students, Bartley said he felt the rush of adrenaline just before and during the jump with an underlying feeling of fear.

“I was scared out of my mind,” he said. “If you don’t get scared or at least nervous before you jump, something’s wrong with you. It’s just human nature not to know what’s about to take place, but once you gain control of the situation, once that chute kicks in and everything is all right, you get that feeling that you know what you’re doing.”

The mood after the jump was more relaxed than before the operation. The fact that all students were able to jump and that there were no injuries all contributed to the ambiance.

“Aside from the delay, everything went smoothly,” said Hamm. “It was a successful jump.”

Most of the students who jumped Sept. 7 still have several weeks of schooling that remain. It will include a “Heavy Drop” in which they will pack cargo or equipment for the jump and subsequently jump behind it. The remaining students have about two weeks until graduation. Upon graduation, they will be awarded the red distinctive baseball-style caps that symbolize the career field and that represent the trust others have in their competence.

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Quinceañera

Started off shaky but grew on me quickly.  Very nice; sensative, real and poignant, though some might see it as a Canadian ‘after-school special’ or Lifetime ‘Movie of the Week’.

Gitas for the Troops Featured on SastraDana.com

Aristide LaVey is a US Army soldier, a devotee of Sri Krishna. He first found out about the Bhagavad-gita as a child when he received a copy from a sankirtana devotee. Ever since he’s been a regular reader of Srila Prabhupada’s books and a visitor to the Iskcon Los Angeles temple. Recently he was called to active duty service in the Army and is based in Ft Bragg, North Carolina.

Aristide distributes Bhagavad-gitas to Army Chaplains and Chapplain assistants. He gives them a few copies to give to the soldiers who are looking to read the Bhagavad-gita. He also gives them out to anyone who sees him reading his and asks about it. “I try to be a good devotee through my service and example.” says Aristide.

Though the Department of Defense has authorized the recruitment of “Hindu” Chaplains since 1998, they have yet to attract any. It is Aristide’s dream to become the first.

Currently Aristide distributes the soft bound Bhagavad-gitas because that is what he can afford, but the vinyl Bhagavad-gitas would certainly be much better as they are more convientient and can fit in soldiers’ uniform pockets.

Please note that many Christian groups print and distribute to US soldiers vinyl Bibles of the same dimensions like our vinyl Bhagavad-gita. Certainly we can then distribute Bhagavad-gitas.


Aristide getting ready for parachute jumping


A Bhagavad-gita study session conducted at the army base by Aristide


Aristide distributes soft bound Bhagavad-gitas to an US Army Chaplain’s Assistant


Aristide distributes Bhagavad-gita to a soldier


Srila Prabhupada (SB 4.22.47):
“Knowledge of Krsna is such a great gift that it is impossible to repay the benefactor.”

To sponsor vinyl Bhagavad-gitas for distribution to soldiers by Aristide

go to DONATE page.

Please include a note that your donation is for Aristide. Thank you.

Bhagavad-gita Vinyl = $6.50

If you’re interested to help in any other way with the “Military Ministry” CONTACT US and we’ll put you in touch with Aristide.


Bhagavad-gita vinyl

http://www.sastradana.com/html/newsletterarchives/htmlarchive/09.13.htm

India names first female president

Fun times with Yahoo Avatar

I thought it would save the one I originally had, but I guess this changes every time I change my avatar.

Erin D.

Lotus, Kerala – India

from Erin’s Travelblog.

Sexi-tea

Very nice, I like.  How much?

Eva Solo/ teamaker                    Tebrygger              Teezubereiter

Eva Solo, an award-winning Danish design firm, was launched in 1997.  Eva solo combines youth with experience.  From http://www.evasolo.com/info-aboutevasolo-design.html.
 

Natalia Fabia on UP: Art and Culture

Soldier to Offer First Ratha Yatra in Iraq

Partha-sarathi dasa, a Sergeant First Class in the active duty US Army and is currently on hiscurrently on his fourth tour in Iraq.  He has received permission from his Commanding Officer to have 2 Ratha Yatra’s, on US Bases, one being Mosul then other being Talafar.  He passes along this word:

Last time I was deployed I was given facility to have Bhagavat Gita classes, and do book distribution to the soldiers. I am requesting the devotees to adopt a brahmacari and help facilitate my preaching. Our Ratha Yatra is scheduled for August 15th, I am expecting 200 – 900 soldiers to participate. Any help would be very much appreciated. Also devotees who would like to sponsor a soldier, please let me know. 15 months is along time in war, together we can make it the best experience the soldiers ever had.

your servant Partha-sarathi dasa

partha-sarathi.kks@pamho.net

Religious Bigots Attack Hindu Priest in U.S. Senate

Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D.
President – International Sanatana Dharma Society
Press Release
July 12, 2007

Religious Bigots Attack Hindu Priest in U.S. Senate

History was made on Thursday, July 12th when a Hindu priest delivered
the opening prayer at the U.S. Senate for the first time ever. Mr.
Rajan Zed, a journalist and Hindu priest, delivered a minute and a
half prayer in which he offered God thanks and prayed for peace.

However, before Mr. Zed could offer his short prayer to God, three
Christian activists disrupted the ceremony with angry shouts and
denunciations of Hinduism to the shock of on-lookers. “This is an
abomination!” the Washington Post reports one of the disruptors as
screaming. “We are Christians and patriots!” yelled another before
being led away by police.

Shockingly, far from being an isolated and spontaneous incident of
hatred, it is reported that a large number of well-organized
fundamentalist Christian groups throughout the nation had been
clamoring against allowing a Hindu priest to lead a prayer in our
nation’s capital. The American Family Association has been on the
forefront of urging Christians to take direct action against
religious tolerance and asked their followers to contact the Senate
to ban a Hindu from leading prayer.

For further information on this dark and disturbing incident, please
review the following sites:

USA Today:
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/07/christian-prote.html

YouTube:

America has been celebrated throughout the world as a society that
cherishes religious tolerance, freedom of faith, and respect for
different cultures. Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is the most ancient
continuously practiced spiritual tradition on earth. Hinduism is a
dignified and highly respected religion that has always fostered
peace, respect of cultural diversity, and freedom of thought.

Article and Photos Published

a23.pdf

My article in the Ft Lee (VA) Traveller.

Gitas for the Troops!

Gitas for the Troops (www.gitasforthetroops.org) is an organization that is making available copies of the Bhagavad-Gita to all soldiers/airmen/sailors/marines/coast guardsmen that request one.

Once I aquire the Gitas they are distributed to Chaplains and Chaplain’s Assitants/Religious Program Specialists to give/distribute to any one that desires one.

Seeking donations of pocket-size black vinyl Gitas (http://www.sastradana.com/html/catalogpages/bgvinyl.htm) to distribute to our soldiers.  The black vinyl version is nice because it fits in uniform pockets and one doesn’t have to worry about it bending or getting creased. Japa malas would be nice too.

I have been distributing them free of charge to soldiers and Army Chaplains locally (Ft Bragg/Pope AFB, NC).
I would like to increase the distribution, nationwide, to members of all the Armed Forces. We could use a Military “Ministry” and I am trying to get that going!

To donate Gitas (great price @ www.sastradana.com) or funds to purchase said Gitas, please contact me at director@gitasforthetroops.org

Thank you.

Gitas for the Troops!

Gitas for the Troops is an organization that is making available copies of the Bhagavad-Gita to all soldiers/airmen/sailors/marines/coast guardsmen that request one.

Once I aquire the Gitas they are distributed to Chaplains and Chaplain’s Assitants/Religious Program Specialists to give/distribute to any one that desires one.

Seeking donations of pocket-size black vinyl Gitas (http://www.sastradana.com/html/catalogpages/bgvinyl.htm) to distribute to our soldiers.  The black vinyl version is nice because it fits in uniform pockets and one doesn’t have to worry about it bending or getting creased. Japa malas would be nice too.

I have been distributing them free of charge to soldiers and Army Chaplains locally (Ft Bragg/Pope AFB, NC).
I would like to increase the distribution, nationwide, to members of all the Armed Forces. We could use a Military “Ministry” and I am trying to get that going!

To donate Gitas (great price @ www.sastradana.com) or funds to purchase said Gitas, please contact me at aml@massagewallah.com

Thank you.

Food for Life Global

Food for Life Global Goals:

  • To help co-ordinate and expand the distribution of pure vegan/vegetarian meals all over the world.
  • To produce promotional and training materials for the development of Food for Life projects worldwide.
  • To represent Food for Life to the government, media and public through public lectures, newspaper articles, the Internet, and through mail.
  • To promote the Vedic food culture and the art of hospitality based on spiritual equality
  • To raise funds on behalf of Food for Life projects worldwide
  • To coordinate and sponsor emergency relief efforts conducted by Food for Life volunteers

Background on the Food for Life Project:

The distribution of sanctified vegetarian meals has been and will continue to be an essential part of India’s Vedic culture of hospitality from which Food for Life was born.

Since its inception in the early 70’s, Food for Life has tried to liberally distribute pure vegetarian meals (prasadam) throughout the world with the aim of creating peace and prosperity. The Food for Life Global office, directed by Paul Turner, facilitates the expansion, co-ordination and promotion of prasadam distribution throughout the world.

Details:

FOOD FOR LIFE is a nonprofit organization, bringing food and life to the needy of the world through the liberal distribution of pure vegetarian meals. The project started in 1974 when an elderly Indian swami, Srila Prabhupada, implored his yoga students not to allow anyone within a ten mile radius of his ashram to go hungry. The program grew quickly, and today Food for Life is active in over 60 countries worldwide.

Over 700,000 meals daily!

With volunteers serving more than 700,000 free vegetarian meals daily from free food restaurants, mobile kitchens, to schools and to disaster areas, FOOD FOR LIFE is the largest vegetarian/vegan food relief in the world.

Community Based

Food for Life Global’s volunteers are made up of vegans, vegetarians, and the socially conscious public. Food for Life Global is a non-sectarian organization. Everyone is welcome to participate in our community projects.

Summary of Food for Life Global Achievements:

  • Produced Food for Life Friends Newsletter (Since 1991)
  • Provided grants of more than $400,000 to FFL projects worldwide since 1995
  • Published Food for Life Training manual (260 page instructional manual)
  • Designed and developed Food for Life Web site
  • Produced Prasadam Sevaya music CD
  • Produced Training/promotional supplements to FFL manual, guidelines, videos, music CD, flyers, prospectus, posters, etc.)
  • Conducted over 100 training seminars in 29 countries and regions of the world
  • Innaugurated Feed the World Week
  • Represented at world vegetarian conferences
  • Authored articles for vegetarian magazines and newspapers
  • Director, Paul Turner was elected a Council Member of IVU (International Vegetarian Union in 1999)
  • Coordinated numerous disaster relief projects, including the tsunami of 2004, Gujarat earthquake, and Katrina hurricane, etc.

 

Facebook users join my cause and/or donate @ http://apps.facebook.com/causes/view_cause/7059?recruiter_id=2242412

Others can dontate directly at the site http://www.ffl.og

Thanks!

Weekend in Myrtle Beach

Robert Mapplethorpe

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