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US Soldier Receives Bavarian Lifesaving Medal - and other Military News

•  Bavaria's state prime minister awarded the Bayerische Rettungsmedaille to Specialist Joshua Smith. From the First Infantry Division (HT: Davids Medienkritik):
SCHWEINFURT, Germany – Flames burst through the windows on the roof, and before his buddy could finish the question, "Should we go help?" SPC Joshua Smith was racing toward the burning building. (…) For his heroic effort on that early morning last July in Kitzingen, Smith, with the 57th Signal Company, received the Bavaria Lifesaving Medal from the state prime minister, Dr. Edmund Stoiber, in a Munich ceremony May 15. Smith, a fellow Soldier and an off-duty police officer risked their lives to save a woman who had slipped and fallen while trying to escape the blaze.
It is not all that special for a soldier to risk his life to save other people's lives, but it does not fit into the set of stereotypes described in part in the Atlantic Review post: Tagesspiegel Blames Haditha partly on a Military Dominated by "White Trash" and Minorities.

• Shawn, who blogs at Asia Logistics Wrap, has emailed this article on a Department of Defense website about a German Bundeswehr officer, who wants to join the Marines as an enlisted person:
All freedom-loving people have a stake in the war against terrorism, [German 1st Lt. Jens] Praetzas said. He added that he believes the conflict constitutes a struggle of democracy versus tyranny. He said his heart goes out to U.S. servicemembers who've paid the ultimate price for freedom while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. (...) A possible hurdle that could thwart his goal of joining the Marines is obtaining a U.S. residence certificate, or "green card." He's sought to obtain one -- so far unsuccessfully -- via the lottery process. Praetzas recalled making friends with U.S. servicemembers when he was in charge of a detail of German soldiers that had taken up guard duties at U.S. military installations in Germany at the end of 2003. This operation freed up American troops for deployment for other war-related duties.
The Chicago Tribune wrote on July 23rd that a Franco-German company won a contract from the U.S. army:
France and Germany opposed the war in Iraq, but that's not stopping their corporate interests from seeking to arm U.S. troops. The Franco-German company European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (EADS) last month won a helicopter contract from the U.S. Army potentially worth up to $2 billion. And the company isn't stopping there. (...) To soothe the opposition, the Europeans regularly form alliances with U.S. defense companies and promise to open factories and create jobs on American soil. EADS, for example, will expand a facility in Mississippi to build helicopters currently produced in Germany.
Last but not least DefenseNews wrote in July: "The German government has agreed to lift its opposition to the sale to Israel of German-made Dingo 2 armored vehicles."


Atlantic Review on : Stryker Cavalry Regiment moved to Germany

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Wasn't the U.S. military supposed to leave some German bases and move to New Europe after the disagreements over Iraq? Well, the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment just moved to Bavaria, reports the American Forces Press Service: About 3,000 regiment soldiers u


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Shawn in Tokyo on :

Hi Joerg, Thanks for the plug, and no problem with the delay--it is the type of story that doesn't need immediate posting. I recently met a nice guy from France here in Tokyo and our conversations are a nice break from talking Asia--I am getting some more insight into French perspectives after having the chance to speak with German friends regularly at Thunderbird in Arizona. Anyway, I will keep checking in and keep up the great work. Best Regards, Shawn

Chris on :

Something tells me Praetzas will soon get his wish.

Nelly on :

Jens is a very passionate young man. If someone has the heart of a Marine, it's him. He's a close friend of mine and he truly wants to join the Marines.

tom smith on :

hello...back in 1974 I discharged from the u.s. army ft Riley kansas...I went to work for cessna in hutchinson kansas which now is the eaton corp...but i see that pfc smith got the bavarian lifesaving metal .. ........i also got the bavarian lifesaving medal from germany...and so did two other smiths from the 1st infantry div.......i was asked to go to topeka ks to be given this honor back in 1974,but money was so tight back then. it was mailed to me.... i didn't feel like a hero..i just love life.....if you asked pfc smith this...most probably be the same answer....i always wanted to say something about this and it took me 33 yrs.....thank you

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