May 2, 2021
This week’s one hour radio broadcast with host Dale Throneberry has two guests.
- Bart E. Womack, sharing his first hand account of the heinous actions of an “Embedded Enemy” at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait, 2003
- Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families, established in 2013 serving active military families
- Justin Schmitt, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at USAA
- CarryTheLoad.org, “a decade of honor”
"Embedded Enemies" and Blue Star Family Support Programs
“Embedded Enemy” – March 2003, Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait
Embedded Enemy is the true story of the unprecedented deadly attack against the men and women of Headquarters and Headquarters Company First Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
Shortly after deploying for the war in Iraq, the Bastogne Brigade was staged at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait where they prepared for combat against Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime. During the eerie, pitch-black, early morning hours of 23 March 2003, a fellow American soldier, Sergeant Hasan Akbar, executed the unthinkable and unlikeliest of scenarios by throwing hand grenades into his Chain of Command’s tents. He then followed up with small-arms fire while his Commanding Officers slept in preparation for war. The wicked aftermath killed two officers and wounded 12 others. Six soldiers were evacuated, never to return—all were vital to the unit’s arduous mission.
Despite the tragic deaths in the most unfathomable way, the Bastogne Brigade received movement orders to cross the border into Iraq just 48 hours after the attack. This story is about how the soldiers bonded together to rescue, treat, and evacuate their brothers at arms in the midst of the shadows of darkness, massive explosions, rapid gun fire, suffocating smoke, body ripping shrapnel, and complete and total chaos and confusion.
All of this was accomplished while simultaneously searching for a ruthless killer that had taken the same oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against foreign enemies. Little did they realize they would meet the most improbable of adversaries—one of their very own—an “Embedded Enemy.”
This event shocked the Armed Forces, America, and people around the world. It forced everyone to more carefully consider whom we really trust and to begin to digest the idea that threats to our personal safety might now come “from the inside.”
Bart E. Womack, Command Sgt Maj (Ret) and Author, Speaker, Actor, Military Advisor
Command Sergeant Major Bart E. Womack is the recipient of two Bronze Stars, one for Valor. Serving in positions of great responsibility throughout the period of 18 February 1977 through 30 June 2006, his career is distinguished by exceptional meritorious service. His evaluations list him as the standard by which others are measured. (Ret.) CSM Bart Womack distinguished himself as a consummate trainer of soldiers by consistently demonstrating the highest standards of military discipline, professionalism, and leadership.
Blue Star Families Organization
Frequent moves and deployments make it challenging for military families to set down roots, make friends, find new employment and take care of their families. Blue Star Families is helping military families overcome these challenges and thrive in their communities as they serve.
USAA has served military families for nearly 100 years and firsthand realizes the challenges military kids face. Together, with nonprofit alliances such as Blue Star Families, they work to raise awareness of these challenges and the resources and support that is available. According to the 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, released on March 30, 2021 by Blue Star Families, 40 percent of active duty family respondents say their children’s education is one of the most concerning issues of military life, and only half say they can access high-quality mental health care for their children.
Blue Star Families offers a wide variety of programs:
- that enhance family life,
- help spouses find jobs,
- provide caregivers with essential peer support, and
- connect families with their civilian neighbors to build strong communities.
More Information: www.bluestarfam.org
Carry The Load, A Decade of Honor
What started as a mission to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day in 2011 has grown to include more than just our military heroes and more than just the one holiday. Carry The Load works to bring all Americans together to participate in honoring our nation’s heroes every day.
More Information: www.carrytheload.org
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