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Iraq

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NEWS
December 22, 2004
My name is Maj. Bill Williams. I am an American soldier serving in Iraq and I have a request. I would like you to publish my thanks to the students of Burbank High School in your fine community for sending the soldiers in my battalion packages of holiday gifts. It is pretty tough being so far from home during the holidays, away from our families, and under pretty difficult circumstances. I wanted your young people to know that our soldiers really appreciate their thoughts.
NEWS
March 22, 2003
Ben Godar Many residents were reluctant to talk about the United States' invasion of Iraq this week as they ran errands in downtown Burbank, but those who did held a variety of opinions about the situation. A 91-year-old Burbank woman who opposes the war declined to give her name because she said her neighbors are hostile toward her opinion. She said it seems leaders are seeking revenge for the 2001 terrorist attacks, but doesn't think evidence supports the theory that Iraq was involved in the attacks.
NEWS
By Tom Risen | January 28, 2009
American troops facing adversity this cold winter in Iraq can feel reassured knowing Burbank students’ hearts go out to them. To salute their courage and remind them of home, Bret Harte Elementary School students made valentines for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan for the school’s annual Art Day. The inspiration for this year’s focus came from PTA Art Day Chairwoman Lisa Dyson. “We’re already a very art-oriented school, so every year we try to get a community service focus while we’re at it,” Dyson said.
NEWS
September 8, 2004
Josh Kleinbaum Rep. Adam Schiff couldn't resist. A handful of pilots on the U.S. aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, deployed in the Arabian coast to support coalition forces in Iraq, sat down for a midnight meal and a poker game late one night. They asked Schiff, part of a five-man congressional delegation to the Middle East, to join them. A few hours later and a few dollars poorer, Schiff went to sleep. "I'd like to say that I threw the hands, but they took me," Schiff said in his Pasadena office.
NEWS
August 25, 2009
Looking at Paul McKenna Jr., one thing is clear. “It’s not a young person’s war anymore. I turned 50 on my way to Iraq,” he said. “But to look at young people who I met for the first time and then six months later was in a combat zone with them, and to see the growth, it gives us a lot to be proud of.” McKenna, a Unites States Marine from 1977 to 1985, tried his hand at acting, teaching and served as vice president of a transportation company before joining the Army National Guard about 16 years later.
NEWS
October 2, 2002
Gary Moskowitz Downtown Burbank was the latest locale for a string of peace vigils and anti-war protests that have sprung up throughout parts of Los Angeles County in the last few weeks. A group of more than 20 Burbank and area residents gathered Saturday along the sidewalk at the corner of Magnolia Avenue and San Fernando Boulevard in front of the Media City Center with one purpose in mind -- to get people thinking about a war against Iraq. Jean-Claude Chamaa, a 37-year-old Burbank resident, believes citizens need to be better educated about Iraq and the intentions of the U.S. government.
NEWS
November 17, 2004
Mark R. Madler After serving in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps, Leo Plascencia was set to be part of the boys' soccer coaching staff at John Burroughs High School. But the 22-year-old's coaching plans had to be put on hold when he was ordered to return to duty in Iraq. Plascencia died Nov. 8 following a fatal car crash on the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway after losing control of his car and being struck by another vehicle, according to the California Highway Patrol.
NEWS
By: Sarah Hill | September 24, 2005
Burbank Neighbors for Peace and Justice joined other groups to march and rally in Los Angeles today to protest the war in Iraq. Protesters will meet at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Broadway and march to the Federal Building, where several speakers, including Ron Kovic, whose autobiography, "Born on the Fourth of July" became an Academy Award-winning movie, will rally. "We do it primarily to educate people and let them know that war never solved anything," said Anna May Nelson, a member of the Burbank group.
NEWS
August 20, 2005
Sarah Hill Holding candles and signs that said "Meet with Cindy," about two dozen people stood along Hollywood Way waving to honking cars and holding fervent discussions on President Bush and the war in Iraq. They were participating in one of several vigils that took place nationwide Wednesday night to support Cindy Sheehan, a California woman who camped outside of President George W. Bush's Ranch in Crawford, Texas, asking that he meet with her to talk about her son, Casey, a U.S. Army specialist, who was killed in Iraq in April 2004.
NEWS
November 12, 2003
Ryan Carter At 23, Matthew Chagolla of North Hollywood knows war. In September, the Marine returned from duty in Iraq, where he served for more than seven months. "It makes me feel good to know that people are grateful and give us the support we need from them," Chagolla said Tuesday as he studied the McCambridge Park War Memorial. Chagolla was among hundreds who attended a Veterans Day ceremony at the park sponsored by the city and the Veterans Commemorative Committee.
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SPORTS
By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com | March 18, 2011
BURBANK — As a U.S. Army combat soldier in Iraq, Ryan Welker has seen the devastation a war can reap on a country. However, his time in the Middle East couldn't have prepared him for the situation he has encountered the past eight days. Welker, who grew up in Burbank, is a sergeant stationed at Misawa Air Base in Aomori, Japan. Although his residence is 200 miles north of the epicenter of the massive earthquake that hit near Sendai on March 11, he has witnessed his share of damage, heartache and trauma associated with the tremor and a tsunami that struck the East Coast of the country.
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NEWS
August 25, 2009
Looking at Paul McKenna Jr., one thing is clear. “It’s not a young person’s war anymore. I turned 50 on my way to Iraq,” he said. “But to look at young people who I met for the first time and then six months later was in a combat zone with them, and to see the growth, it gives us a lot to be proud of.” McKenna, a Unites States Marine from 1977 to 1985, tried his hand at acting, teaching and served as vice president of a transportation company before joining the Army National Guard about 16 years later.
LOCAL
By Paul W. McKenna Jr | June 10, 2009
As I sit here in Iraq missing Father’s Day with my family for the second time since Sept. 11, 2001, my mind wanders to the promise I made to my son the day he was born. As a former Marine who lost 241 brothers in the Beirut bombing on Oct. 23, 1983, Sept. 5, 2001, was the first time in 18 years that I knew why I wasn’t in that building. I held my son for the first time and thought of the Four Freedoms as four things I would promise him. If I could provide him these things, I would be a successful father.
NEWS
By Christopher Cadelago | May 27, 2009
BURBANK — For hundreds of local residents who turned out for Memorial Day ceremonies across Glendale, Burbank and La Cañada Flintridge, the hours of tribute — complete with bagpipes, benedictions, names of fallen service members, patriotic hymns and roses — serve as an annual exercise in remembrance. But for Liam McKenna, a second-grader at St. Finbar School, such an exercise takes place weekly. “Every Sunday, I take a marble from the ‘Iraq’ circle and put it in the ‘home’ pile,” said Liam, dressed from head to toe in Army fatigues and wearing his dad’s rank, Sgt. 1st Class.
NEWS
By Christopher Cadelago | May 26, 2009
BURBANK — For hundreds of local residents who turned out to Memorial Day ceremonies across Glendale, Burbank and La Cañada Flintridge, the hours of tribute — complete with bagpipes, benedictions, names of fallen service members, patriotic hymns and roses — serve as an annual exercise in remembrance. But for Liam McKenna, a second-grader at St. Finbar School, such an exercise takes place weekly. “Every Sunday, I take a marble from the ‘Iraq’ circle and put it in the ‘home’ pile,” said Liam, dressed from head to toe in Army fatigues and wearing his dad’s rank, Sgt. 1st Class.
NEWS
By Tom Risen | January 28, 2009
American troops facing adversity this cold winter in Iraq can feel reassured knowing Burbank students’ hearts go out to them. To salute their courage and remind them of home, Bret Harte Elementary School students made valentines for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan for the school’s annual Art Day. The inspiration for this year’s focus came from PTA Art Day Chairwoman Lisa Dyson. “We’re already a very art-oriented school, so every year we try to get a community service focus while we’re at it,” Dyson said.
NEWS
May 24, 2008
Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, honors the U.S. men and women who have died in military service for their country. Instead of us concentrating on having the day off from work or school for the sake of having the day off, we should make sure to honor the day for what it was meant to be about. In today’s atmosphere of consumerism, fast food and multiple choices that weren’t around a few short years ago, it is relatively easy to forget the meaning of Memorial Day. The holiday was introduced to honor Union soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice during the Civil War. Then, after World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.
FEATURES
May 26, 2007
W ith Memorial Day upon us, we are a nation at war. If you could give a Memorial Day message, what would it be? As we observe this solemn day, we must remember all the brave men and women in uniform who gave their lives in the service of our country. Today, we are once again a nation at war — and sadly, the conflict in Iraq seems to have no clear end in sight. We find ourselves locked in fierce debate over the war's legitimacy, with the American people sharply divided between supporters and opponents.
NEWS
By Chris Wiebe | February 10, 2007
LONG BEACH — With his 11-year-old cousin perched on his lap, Cpl. Rudy Saavedra held a modest smile as cameras flashed all around him. Standing to his left, his mother, Martha Saavedra, choked back tears, gazing down at her son, newly decorated with a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in battle, which confine him to a wheelchair. Rudy Saavedra, a Burbank High School graduate, was honored at the Veterans Hospital in Long Beach on Friday, alongside three other Purple Heart recipients "As a mother, we're always afraid for our children," Martha Saavedra said.
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