Van Taylor, New Tactics For A New Kind Of Enemy
Will Take First Hand Knowledge of Today's Military to Congress
WACO- - After President Bush elaborated on a new program to combat improvised explosive devises (IEDs) today, Van Taylor, the only Iraq War combat veteran nominated for U.S. Congress on the Republican ticket, applauded his efforts and added his own first hand perspective.
President Bush outlined what he called a new "high-level organization at the Department of Defense, led by four-star General Montgomery Meigs." The lan is separated into three sections: targeting, training and technology.
"The President today outlined the importance of winning the war on terror," said Taylor. "He clearly described what so many of us who fought there know: we can and must win. We can win by training the Iraqi military. The US military is doing great work building a new Iraqi Army and a new Iraq. The President stated precise ways that we are fighting IEDs, which have killed and mangled many of my comrades in arms." Taylor went on to state, "I will go to Washington and use my expertise to make sure that Congress gives our fighting men and women the tools and support they need to win every engagement. Further, I will make sure that politicians in Washington do not betray our brave troops in the field."
The President also gave some statistics on the success the U.S. military has seen recently with the new programs and practices, such as tips from Iraqis which have gone up from 400 last March to more than 4,000 in December, leading to the clearing of close to 4,000 IEDs and the discovery of over 1,800 weapons cashes in the last 6 months- which serve as the heart of the bomb making threat. Funding for efforts to defeat the IED threat has also increased from $150 million last year, to $3.3 billion this year.
Taylor volunteered for duty with the Marine Corps' C Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion and was activated to fight in Iraq where he fought with the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. As a Captain, Taylor led issions behind enemy lines for the 4500 Marine Task Force Tarawa, including the leadership of the Task Force's first platoon to enter Iraq before the start of the main invasion.
During the war to liberate Iraq, Taylor's platoon encountered, and defeated, several Fedayeen ambushes, participated in the operation to rescue American P.O.W. Jessica Lynch and rescued 31 wounded men-under-fire during a counter attack by several thousand Iraqi soldiers. Van was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with "V" for Valor, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Presidential Unit Citation.