The Common Soldier April 20, 2016



The Common Soldier

Citadel May Allow Hijab Uniform

China Lands First Plane on Disputed Reef

Meet Evy and Ricky, Canine Coasties


Destroyer Named After Politician, Vets Snubbed

VA Shredding Claim Documents

Russian Jet Buzzes USAF Plane, Second in Week


Coming Home


An Unforgettable History Lesson

SVSMF Award Presented to Montana Cadet


Today, April 20th, marks the 12th anniversary of the loss of Pvt. First Class Scott Vallely, son of General Paul Vallely and Muffin Vallely.  Let us never forget the price of our liberty!

The Common Soldier


Before, During  and After Deployment

The Common Soldier Video A MUST SEE!

Citadel May Allow Muslim Student to Have Hijab Uniform

The Citadel is going to unprecedented lengths to accommodate a female muslim student who is demanding to wear traditional islamic head and body coverings while attending the military college.  Such an exception, which is still under review, would be the first for the school–which was founded in 1842–and the controversy surrounding such an exemption is palpable. The Citadel has never made a single exception to its uniform in its 175 year history.  USHerald, Washington Post



Editor’s Note:  Once again, political correctness is taking over our esteemed institutions.  The goal of military conformity is to obtain cohesion for the sake of acting as a disciplined unit.  If we continue to kow-tow to our sworn enemy out of political correctness, then the war is already lost.  The question begs to be asked–What is a muslim, whose religious doctrine is diametrically opposed to the tenets of our constitution, doing at the Citadel, if not to distract, upset, obfuscate and otherwise blur the lines of a disciplined unit?


China Lands First Military Plane on Disputed Reef

Beijing landed a military plane on a disputed South China Sea reef it has built up into an artificial island, state media said on Monday, in the first official confirmation of such a flight.  A Chinese Air Force plane landed on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago on Sunday to evacuate sick workers, the official for the People’s Liberation Army Daily said.  China claims nearly all of the strategically vital sea, even waters close to its Southeast Asian neighbors, and has created artificial islands in an effort to assert its claims.  Agence France-Presse




Editor’s Note: China’s activities in the South China Sea have been a major point of contention between the United Sates and China. The United States has sent a destroyer to the disputed area while China, in a recent move, has deployed fighter jets to the contested island.  China’s militarization of these islands can potentially enable that nation to close off the entire South China sea.  Taiwan and Vietnam have also disputed this provocative activity.

Canine Coasties


Coast Guard Dogs Gear Up for Life-Saving Missions

Photo by US Coast Guard Maritime Safety & Security Team

Meet Evy and Ricky

These Coast Guard Dogs have just finished helicopter training by completing helicopter operations and hoist training with the California Air National Guard 129th Rescue Squadron. These dogs are now serving the US Coast Guard as explosive detection dogs.  ABC News

Navy Names Newest Destroyer After Politician, Snubs Vets

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus named a new warship after a politician, and one that has never served in the military.  Contrary to Navy guidelines and tradition, Mabus announced that the new Raleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer will be named the USS Carl Levin, snubbing a long history of naming destroyers after deceased Medal of Honor recipients, admirals or generals, and other combat heroes, and angering vets and politicians. One congressional staffer noted that it was who Mr. Levin presided over the committee during the Obama administration’s major drawdown of troops and weapons systems. A spokesperson for Mabus responded by saying, “…the naming conventions are guidelines set by the Secretary.  He can deviate from them if he desires.”  American Military News

VA Has Been Shredding Documents Needed for Vet Claims

Department of Veteran Affairs investigators conducted spot checks at 10 veteran benefits offices around the country and came to a disturbing conclusion:  The VA has been systematically shredding documents related to veterans’ claims–some potentially affecting their benefits.  Stars and Stripes

Russian Fighter Buzzes USAF Plane Over Baltic Sea

A US Air Force reconnaissance plane was intercepted by a Russian fighter plane over the Baltic Sea in what American officials said on Sunday was an unsafe and unprofessional manner, the second such instance in a week.

The Wall Street Journal

Russian Jet Buzzes US Destroyer


A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack jet makes a low altitude pass by the USS Donald Cook April 12, 2016.  The Arleigh Burke-class guide-missile destroyer, forward deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting a routine patrol in the Baltic Sea.  Navy mulls whether jet encounter violates agreement.   Stars and Stripes, Photo US Navy

Coming Home


The Veterans Site photo

An Unforgettable History Lesson


Click here to view the story.

In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, did something not to be forgotten.  With the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom.  When the first period students entered the classroom they discovered that there were no desks. “Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?”

Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund and Leadership Award Presented to University of Montana Graduate

Cadet Emily Olson 

Grizzly Battalion, accepts 2016 SVSMF Award

Editor’s note:  Your generous donations help sponsor these scholarships and other assistance for our veterans and their families.  Photo: Tyler Bryant

Soldiers Memorial Fund

PO Box 1596

Bigfork, MT  59911


Associated with the National AmericaSupports You program

The purpose of SMF is to memorialize PFC Scott Vallely and his service to our country – to carry on his name by individuals making contributions and donations to Veterans, Members of the Armed Forces and their families.  We are a 501 (c)(3) tax deductible organization.

Over 90% of donations go directly to veterans!


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