Withered leaves sadness


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Complete air assault school

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Sgt. 1st Class Greg Robinson has become the first amputee to complete Army air assault school, a course so grueling his prosthetic leg broke twice over the 10 days spent rappelling down ropes, navigating obstacle courses and completing long road marches executive gift .

Each year thousands of soldiers are physically and mentally tested to their limits at the Fort Campbell school. Instructors said Robinson accomplished everything other participants did and trainers cut him no slack even though he lost part of his right leg in a 2006 deployment to Afghanistan.

When he joined his teammates at a brief graduation ceremony Monday at the Sabalauski Air Assault School, it was a testament to what can be achieved by amputees. War wounds from Iraq and Afghanistan and the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon have highlighted the challenges that amputee patients face to recover.

An inspiration to the bombing victims? Robinson, a 34-year-old noncommissioned officer from Elizabethtown, Ill., said his attitude was one of just wanting to complete the same program he sends soldiers to who are under his command gift premium.

"Right now, I am a platoon sergeant," Robinson told reporters after graduating. "I have roughly 30 men in my platoon. As a leader, I didn't want to tell my soldiers that they needed to go to air assault school, if I am not air-assault-qualified."

Robinson toughed out Monday's 12-mile road march even after he had to repair his leg during the march. Earlier, he learned to rappel from a 34-foot tower and pushed through the strenuous obstacle course.

Robinson was wounded during an attack in a major military operation in 2006. Robinson said his traumatic injury wasn't going to prevent him from meeting some of the Army's toughest standards.

The 101st Airborne Division, unlike other airborne units that use planes, uses helicopters to quickly drop troops into combat and move equipment around the battlefield.

Each day of the course begins with running a couple of miles, and troops are expected to carry a 35-pound rucksack as they complete their tasks gift and premium.

His instructor, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Connolly, said that at first there was concern whether he was going to make it through when a piston in his leg stopped working during the obstacle course.

"He got down and fixed it, reattempted the obstacle and went back on," Connolly said.

Capt. Greg Gibson, an Army nurse with Robinson's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, said in his experience treating amputees, attitude and will are critical to recovery. He said Robinson's attitude was what pushed him to finish the course.

"Some of these guys never even learn to walk on a prosthesis, let along go through the air assault course," Gibson said.
by seungdd | 2013-04-30 12:49 | News

China is increasing its influence

After a speech to the Foreign Correspondents' Association in Sydney on Thursday, Ms Gillard was asked if Australia's influence was waning as China stepped up its presence in places like Fiji.

The prime minister recognised China's growing power.

"As China's weight and power continues to rise then of course it will have a stronger and more diverse relationships around the world, including in the Pacific," she said.

Ms Gillard said Australia wanted to see more countries working in aid and development in the Pacific, but believed there needed to be more accountability cheap furniture stores.

"We believe that aid and development money needs to be the subject of proper accountabilities and transparencies so people can see the work that is being done," she said.

On Fiji, Ms Gillard said Australia continued to look forward to "free and fair" elections next year being held in the island republic which has been run by Commodore Frank Bainimarama since a 2006 military coup International Relocation.

"We stand ready to assist with preparations for those elections, for the conduct of those elections," she said.

"We believe that Commodore Bainimarama needs to be held to his promises and accountability and they need to be held on time and property done Claire Hsu."
by seungdd | 2013-04-05 17:14