Updated 18-Sep: Welcome to the Schriefer Blog, my name is Tavis Schriefer. Recently, my wife Jill and I raised money to supply driFIRE shirts to every soldier in Apache Company of the 1-501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. We were successful in raising over $6500 and we would like to thank everyone for all their support to make this happen.
Please read our entire message here...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Great Thanksgiving for the Schriefer Family

This has truly been a great Thanksgiving for the Schriefer Family. Nick is finally out of Iraq and on his way back to the USA. Jill and I are spending this weekend doing our Christmas Shopping, like many Americans. But our greatest Christmas gift has already been received. For the first time in years, neither of our sons will be at war. Nick will soon be back from serving 15 months in Iraq and Jon was recently informed that they would not be deployed on his second tour to Iraq for quite some time - hopefully never.

I feel guilty feeling this way, while so many other families have sons and daughters still there, and many who will never return. But I'm confident that all the other parents understand my selfishness, and for that - my thoughts and prayers are with you this holiday season.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Article: A village blossoms in Iraq, while U.S. support lasts

By NANCY A. YOUSSEF, McClatchy Newspaper

(excerpts) JURF AL-SAKHR, Iraq In this desolate tiny town in what was once called the Triangle of Death, signs of the violent past mix oddly with evidence of today’s more tranquil life.

Large plots of land emptied by car bombs sit next to refurbished buildings. A new water treatment plant looks out to blast walls that have not been necessary for months. A newly opened clothes shop is next to one that has been shut for ages.

The U.S. calls this former al-Qaida stronghold a paragon of post-surge Iraq. Violence has come to a near standstill. Yet the government that has emerged is far from the democratic republic once promised...

...“This place is about all kinds of agreements,” said Lt. Col. Robert Balcavage, the commander of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment based at Fort Richardson, Alaska. “The central government right now is too far removed. I mean, if these people were to rely on the central government, they don’t see any hope there. So what we are doing is bringing government from the ground up.”...

Entire Article

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day

Please take a moment to remember those who have served and those continuing to serve on this Veteran's Day.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Article: U.S. posts drop in Iraq war deaths

This article from the Baltimore Sun mentions the 501st PIR.

...The experience of Balcavage's battalion, the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, shows why.

This summer his soldiers began working with local tribal elders to aggressively recruit Iraqis. To date, they've signed up about 1,480 into the Iraqi army, 400 into the local police and 2,200 as citizen security volunteers.

"That's about 4,000 guys we've taken off the streets," Balcavage said. He said many of them are former hard-core Sunni insurgents, but "they believe they're going with the stronger side."

Rocket and mortar attacks on his battalion, which reached a high of 45 in March, dropped to one in September, he said. Attacks with roadside or vehicle-borne suicide bombs dropped from 61 in March to six in September, and small-arms attacks declined from 39 in January to five in September.

Now, with Iraqi security forces moving in behind him to maintain order, Balcavage's 800 paratroopers are pushing into what he said is "the last stronghold" of the extremist Islamist group al-Qaida in Iraq, northwest of Iskandariyah.

"We went looking for a fight, and we're hunting them right now," he said...

Entire article

Sphere: Related Content