Vietnam Wall

This is really sobering. Click on the link and find the city you went to high school and look at the names. Click on the name and it will give details of the death.

Go to: http://www.virtualwall.org/iStates.htm

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Armed Forces Retirement Home

The mission of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) is to fulfill our Nation’s commitment to provide care through a comprehensive range of services for America’s Armed Forces Veterans. They support their residents’ independence, dignity, distinction, heritage and future of continued life-enriching experiences.

Together, the AFRH family of residents and staff create a place of caring and continual learning. They are committed to providing the best housing and support services possible and creating a true community of accomplished, independent residents, who are free to explore their talents, pursue their interests, and follow their dreams.

  • Residency fees for AFRH are 35% of income and the fees are capped at each campus. Since the fee is a percentage of income, it is affordable to all, and the one low fee covers not only living quarters, but also three full meals per day, including special dietary needs, wonderful recreation facilities and program, from bowling and ceramics to a 9-hole gold course on the Washington campus & covered swimming pool on the Gulfport campus, bus trips to local and regional attractions such as museums, theaters, sporting events, shipping and sightseeing.
  • Dormitories are available for independent living which provides each resident with a private room with a private bath and shower in Washington and private room in Gulfport.
  • There are state-or-the-art health care facilities with top rated primary medical care and direct entry to the world class health care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the VA Medical Center located in Washington, DC and Kessler AFB located in Gulfport, MS area.

Residency at the AFRH is open to veterans from the armed services whose active-duty service was at least 50% enlisted, warrant officer or limited-duty officer and who meet at least one of a few required criteria.

For more information go to: http://www.afrh.gov/

And be sure to read some of the fascinating stories that can be found under the heading

“Residents’ Military Heritage”

 

Touched…by a Blue Angel

     Each one of us – from the youngest aircrewman to the squadron skipper, from the newly winged ensign or second lieutenant to the Chief of Naval Operations – can recall that time when we pondered a future in Naval Aviation and decide: “That’s for me!”

For many of us, the seed of that idea was planted in our minds by an angel…a Blue Angel to be precise. And it was the precision in every aspect of the performance, from the pilots marching to their waiting aircraft to the carrier”break” prior to landing that caught our imaginations and fueled our desires to be a part of it all.

Still today, there are thousands of youngsters young Americans – past and present – who, after seeing firsthand the awesome teamwork that is the lifeblood of Naval Aviation, decided that they just might find a place for themselves on the Navy-Marine Corps team. And it’s those youngsters who are the real story of the Blue Angels.

Numerous books and articles focus on the aircraft and their crews, but the mission of the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron can be summed up in one word: recruiting.

It all started after WWII when Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Chester W. Nimitz observed that the newly emerging U.S. Air Force, with its bases scattered throughout the country, was luring young Americans into the same high-flying careers that were also available in the U.S. Navy.

Hampered by the fact that our “air-fields” were at sea, our bases were on the coastlines and that most Americans knew about the Navy only from newsreel footage, the CNO directed that “a flight exhibition team be organized within the Naval Air Advance Training Command to represent the Navy at air shows and similar events.” Lieutenant Commander Roy M. “Butch” Voris, ace and combat aviator in the Pacific campaign, was selected to organize and lead the U.S. Navy Flight Exhibition Team. Voris knew that the team had to be the best, they ad to be the best while being safe, and he was determined to achieve both.

If a certain senior officer had had his way, the team would have been called the Blue Lancers, but none of the pilots liked that name. Paging through the New Yorker magazine while on the road with the show, number 2 pilot Lieutenant Wick Wickendoll spotted an article about one of the city’s hottest nightclubs, the Blue Angel Cafe, and said: “Boss, this is it!” The team promptly leaked the name to reporters who put it in bold headlines, calling them THE BLUE ANGELS. Thus, 67 years ago, a legend was born.

Today, the Blues are the premier “power tool” in the Navy Recruiting Command’s workshop. All of the team members represent us as recruiters, goodwill ambassadors, dream fulfillers for young children through the Make a Wish Foundation, volunteers for countless worthy causes and, most importantly, living examples of the Navy adventure to the folks in our hometowns throughout America.

On their 50th anniversary in 1996 the Blue Angels were saluted by the media as the Navy-Marine Corps team who represent the best of what each of us strives to be: dedicated, talented team players.

Bravo Zulu and congratulations – again – to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, as we look forward to many more years of world-class professional excellence!

Article by: RAdm. Dennis V. McGinn, Director, Air Warfare – posted in the Flightline magazine  Nov-Dec addition 1996

Pearl Harbor Eternally

Go to: http://www.wimp.com/memorialhonors/

Let Us Never Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

Veterans’ News

VETERANS’ NEWS – March 11, 2013

Members of the military communityveterans, active-duty, reserve, National Guard or their family members – have the opportunity to join or otherwise benefit from several types of associations and organizations. Ranging from fraternal to charity these military specific organizations can provide advocacy, help members network to access job opportunities, tap into benefits, lobby congress, or find support. The internet provides easy access to veteran associations at

http://www.military.com/spouse/military-life/military-resources/military-and-veteran-associations.html . 

Veterans’ organizations complying with federal codes are exempt from federal income tax. They also may conduct a broad range of activities without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.

To be recognized as exempt, a veterans’ organization must meet the following requirements. It must be organized in the United States or any of its possessions. At least 75% of its members must be past or present members of the Armed Forces of the United States and substantially all of the other members must be cadets or spouses, widows, or widowers of past or present members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of cadets. And no part of its net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. The organization’s organizing document must not provide that the assets of the organization may be distributed to members upon dissolution. Note: Membership requirements were modified for years beginning after November 11, 2003.

Veterans’ organizations may also qualify for exemption as charitable organizations,  as social welfare organizations, as social clubs, or as fraternal organizations, if they meet the requirements for exemption under those sections.

A war veterans’ organization must also be organized and operated for furthering comradeship among persons who are or have been members of the Armed Forces; Honoring the memory of deceased veterans and members of the Armed Forces and aiding and comforting their survivors; Encouraging patriotism; and Aiding hospitalized, disabled and needy war veterans and their dependents.

Contributions to an endowment fund established by an exempt war veterans’ organization for the care of disabled war veterans, some of whom are members of the organization, may be deducted as charitable contributions.

Contributions to an organization, 90% of the membership of which is comprised of war veterans of the Armed Forces of the U.S., are deductable . The fact that a small percentage of members have not served in a branch of the Armed Forces will not preclude the organization from being classified as a war veterans’ organization

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans. 

Hundreds of local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the nation one community at a time. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation’s most successful amateur athletic programs, educating young people about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship and fitness. The Heroes to Hometowns program connects local Legionnaires with recovering wounded warriors and their families, providing a variety of support activities. The Legion raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families and to provide college scholarship opportunities.

The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence perpetuated by its grass-roots involvement in the legislation process from local districts to Capitol Hill. Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington. The Legion stands behind the issues most important to the nation’s veterans’ community, backed by resolutions passed by volunteer leadership.

The American Legion’s success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) is a congressionally chartered (Title 36 USC Chapter 2301) war veterans’ organization in the United States. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri,  VFW currently has 1.5 million members belonging to 7,644 posts, and is the largest American organization of combat veterans.

Members must be a U.S. citizen or national with an honorable discharge from the U.S. military, or currently serving in the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy Air Force or Coast Guard.  Membership also requires military service overseas during an operation or conflict and decoration with an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a campaign medal (or ribbon). A Leave and Earnings Statement showing receipt of hostile fire or imminent danger pay is also acceptable proof for membership eligibility.

VFW works on behalf of American veterans by lobbying Congress for better veterans’ health care and benefits. The VFW also maintains a nationwide organization of employees and volunteers to assist veterans with their VA disability claims.

VFW also donates much money and lots of hours for work for the city. One of their most popular programs provides free phone calls to overseas active military members.

A war veterans’ organization must also be organized and operated for furthering comradeship among persons who are or have been members of the Armed Forces; Honoring the memory of deceased veterans and members of the Armed Forces and aiding and comforting their survivors; Encouraging patriotism; and Aiding hospitalized, disabled and needy war veterans and their dependents.

Contributions to an endowment fund established by an exempt war veterans’ organization for the care of disabled war veterans, some of whom are members of the organization, may be deducted as charitable contributions.

Contributions to an organization, 90% of the membership of which is comprised of war veterans of the Armed Forces of the U.S., are deductible . The fact that a small percentage of members have not served in a branch of the Armed Forces will not preclude the organization from being classified as a war veterans’ organization.

FOR VETERANS/EX-SERVICE PERSONNEL NEWS go to: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/sections/veterans/

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Veterans Association of America Inc., will be to serve, assist, revitalize and restore the preferential rights of veterans that have been routinely compromised. The organization will service those by providing legal assistance, housing, employment opportunities, business ownership, discharge upgrades, medical assistance, family outreach, and other pressing issues that stand as debilitating factors preventing veterans and their families from receiving the “quality care” deserved throughout mainstream society.

VAA is a 501(c)(19) nonprofit organization which focuses on veteran and family concerns effecting their daily living conditions. The displacement of current and former veterans of all branches seeking the rights and opportunities to dispell the social, economic, educational and employment stigmas that continue to befall upon them.

Veterans Association of America, Inc., was founded in 2001, during many requests from veterans to have an organization that would focus on issues that effected their military and civilian careers. Go to: http://vetsaa.org/

Volunteer Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC)

Purpose/Mission…monitors legislative activity affecting Military Veterans across the country by coordinating legislative activities through lobbying, providing speakers, and organizing campaigns designed to initiate legislative input from the Veteran Association of America, Inc. Members and its numerous Chapter members in New York State as well as throughout the continental United States.

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Official seal of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Go to: http://www.va.gov/

Death of a Navy Seal – Chris Kyle

From a friend in Texas

The following came from a childhood friend who had her son, Derek (Derek mentioned below). Derek is still a Seal serving proudly. He following communicates the good and the support given by some companies for our heroes and their families.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Kyle

Patriotism, Texas and Chris Kyle

Out of a horrible tragedy we were blessed by so many people.  Chris was Derek’s teammate through 10 years of training and battle.  They both suffer/suffered from PTSD to some extent and took great care of each other because of it.  In Ramaki in 2006, it was horrible for young men that never had any more aggressive physical contact with another human other than on a Texas football field.  They lost many friends.

Chris became the armed services number #1 sniper of all time.  Not something he was happy about other than the fact that in doing so he saved a lot of American lives.  Three years ago, his wife Taya asked him to leave the SEAL teams as he had a huge bounty on his head by Al Qaeda.  He did and wrote the book The American Sniper.  100% of the proceeds from the book went to two of the SEAL families who had lost their son in Iraq .  That was the guy Chris was.

He formed a company in Dallas to train military, police and I think firemen as far as protecting themselves in difficult situations.  He also formed a foundation to work with military people suffering from PTSD.  Chris was a giver not a taker.   He along with a friend and neighbor, Chad Littlefield, were murdered trying to help a young man that had served 6 months in Iraq and claiming to have PTSD.

Now it needs to be told about all of the blessings resulting from this tragedy.  Southwest Airlines flew in any SEAL and their family from any airport free of charge.  The employees donated buddy passes and one lady worked for 4 days without much of a break to see that it happened.

Volunteers were at both airports in Dallas to drive them to the hotel.  The Marriott reduced their rates to $45 a night and cleared the hotel for only SEALs and family.  The Midlothian , TX. police department paid the $45 a night for each room.  I would guess there were about 200 people staying at the hotel.  100 of them SEALs.  Two large buses were chartered to transport people to the different events and they also had a few rent cars.  The police and secret service were on duty 24 hours during the stay at our hotel.

At the house the Texas DPS parked a large motor home in front to block the view from reporters.  It remained there the entire 5 days for the SEALs to congregate in and all to use the restroom so as not to have to go in the house.

Taya, their two small children and both sets of parents were staying in the home.  Only a hand full of SEALs went into the home as they had different duties and meetings were held sometimes on a hourly basis. It was a huge coordination of many different events and security.  Derek was assigned to be a pall bearer, to escort Chris’ body when it was transferred from Midlothian Funeral Home to Arlington Funeral Home and to be with Taya.  Tough job.  Taya seldom came out of her bedroom.  The home was full with people from the church and other family members that would come each day to help

Nolan Ryan sent his cooking team, a huge grill and lots of steaks, chicken and hamburgers.  They set up in the front yard and fed people all day long. The 200 SEALs and their family.  The next day a BBQ restaurant set up a buffet in front of the house and fed all once again.  Food was plentiful and all were taken care of.  The church kept those inside the house well fed.

Jerry Jones, the man everyone loves to hate, was a rock star.  He donated use of Cowboy Stadium for the services as it was determined that so many wanted to attend.  The charter buses transported us to the stadium on Monday at 10:30.  Every car, bus, motorcycle was searched with bomb dogs and police.  I am not sure if kooks were making threats trying to make a name for themselves or if so many SEALs in one place was a security risk…it was no known. All willing obliged.  No purses into stadium!  We were taken to The Legends room high up and a large buffet was available.  That was about 300 people.  We were growing.  A Medal of Honor recipient was there, lots of secret service and police and Sarah Palin and her husband.  The service started at 1:00 and when we were escorted onto the field all were shocked.  We heard about 10,000 people had come to attend also.  They were seated in the stadium seats. It was a beautiful and emotional service.  The Bagpipe and drum corps was wonderful and the A&M men’s choir stood through the entire service and sang right at the end.  All were all in tears.

The next day was the 200 miles procession from Midlothian, TX. to Austin for burial.  It was a cold, drizzly, windy day, but the people were out.  There were dozens of police motorcycle riders, freedom riders, 5 chartered buses and lots of cars.  You had to have a pass to be in the procession and still it was huge.  Two helicopters circled the procession with snipers sitting out the side door for protection.   It was the longest funeral procession ever in the state of Texas.

People were everywhere.  The entire route was shut down ahead of us the  and people were lined up on the side of the road the entire way.  Firemen down on one knee, police officers holding their hats over their hearts, children waving flags, veterans saluting as we went by.. Every bridge had fire trucks with large flags displayed from their tall ladders….people all along the entire 200 miles standing in the cold weather.  It was so heartwarming.  Taya rode in the hearse with Chris’ body so Derek rode the route with us.

The services were at Texas National Cemetery .  Very few are buried there and you have to apply to get in.  It is for people like from the Civil War, Medal of Honor winners, a few from the Alamo and all the historical people of Texas .  It was a nice service and the Freedom Riders surrounded the outside of the entire cemetery to keep the crazy church from Kansas that protests at military funerals away from us.  Each SEAL put his Trident ( metal SEAL badge) on the top of Chris’ casket one at a time.  A lot hit it in with one blow, Derek was the only one to take 4 taps to put his in and it was almost like he was caressing it as he did it.  Another tearful moment.

After the service the governor’s wife, Anita Perry, invited us to the governor’s mansion.  She stood at the door and greeted each of us individually and gave the SEALs a coin of Texas.  We were able to tour the ground floor and then went into the garden for beer and BBQ.  So many of the team guys said that after they get out they are moving to Texas.  That they had never felt so much love and hospitality.  The charter buses then took the guys to the airport to catch their returning flights…Quite an emotional, but blessed week.

Let Us Never Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

Annin Flag Co.

The American flag was scarcely 70 years old in 1847 when brothers Benjamin and Edward Annin founded Annin Flagmakers flag–makers on Fulton Street in New York City. The business had begun with their father, Alexander Annin who had been sewing flags and supplying them to merchant ships from his sail-making shop on the New York City waterfront as far back as 1820. There, the company prospered and grew along with our nation.
Annin's First Factory Fulton Street, NY circa 1890's
Fulton Street, New York, NY circa 1890’s.
In 1865 Annin Flagmakers experienced its first big surge in business when the Civil War ignited the fires of patriotism in the American populace. This was the first time in America’s history that private citizens purchased American flags in significant numbers to display on their homes.In 1910 Annin Flagmakers relocated to 5th Avenue and 16th Street, a location that later came to be known as ‘Old Glory Corner’. Increased demand for American flags coincided with our country’s industrial revolution in the latter part of the 19th century. Annin Flagmakers, on the forefront of technology, then as it is today, made the sewing machine, invented in 1846, a standard piece of flag-making equipment.Demand for U.S. flags boomed again in 1917 with our involvement in World War I and it was during this time that Annin Flagmakers built its flagship plant in Verona NJ. The new facility was fully modernized for its time, with all of the latest equipment and a dedicated and skilled workforce. Brand new machines, such as mechanized die-cutters for stamping out stars, were invented specifically to automate the flag-making process and were installed at the Verona plant. Assembly lines, popularized by Henry Ford, were also set up to increase efficiencies. The management of Annin Flagmakers made certain that the methods of production in their factories kept pace with 20th Century progress.Historically, the domestic political climate and world events have affected U.S. flag sales in a way that is unique compared with other products. While sales of American flags dipped during the depression years, they rose again during the patriotic fervor of World War II. The addition of the new states of Alaska in 1959 and Hawaii in 1960 generated a avalanche of orders from Americans who wanted to replace their outdated forty-eight star U.S. flags with the new fifty-star version. The anti-Viet Nam War sentiment during the turbulent period of the late sixties and early seventies made those years lean ones for U.S. flag sales but America’s Bicentennial in 1976 brought Old Glory back stronger than ever.Annin Flagmakers grew both in physical size and in production capacity in the last twenty–five years of the 20th Century. Annin purchased competitive flag companies Colonial Flag Company of Coshocton, Ohio in 1975 and Dettra Flag Co. of Oaks, Pennsylvania in 1998. Dettra Flag Company had been Annin’s largest commercial competitor since its inception in 1902.By mid-twentieth century, Annin Flagmakers had become known as the premier flag maker in the United States. It had the best quality products, broadest product line, best-known brand, largest inventory, best service, highest fill rates and the greatest production capacity in the industry.

The patriotic fervor that gripped the people of the United States after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 led to an unprecedented demand for American flags. Orders poured in for quantities of U.S. flags that were twenty times that of normal. Annin Flagmakers rose to the occasion and dramatically increased production.

In 2005, Annin Flagmakers joined with other domestic flag manufacturing companies and became a founding member of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America (FMAA). This industry organization is dedicated to promoting the manufacture of U.S. flags in America by Americans with domestically made fabric.

Today Annin Flagmakers prides itself on embracing the best of 21st century technology. Annin’s state-of-the-art SAP ERP business system allows it to offer its customers improved service through best –in- class forecasting, purchasing and manufacturing planning. Annin’s Mass Market customers can order with EDI and ASN capabilities. A FTP (File Transfer Protocol) site is available for uploading art files for custom flag and banner products

In Annin’s two largest domestic factories, US flags are manufactured with advanced cellular production techniques; state, international and custom flags are digitally and screen -dyed to exact color specifications; the in-house research and the development testing laboratories, together with the art department are constantly monitoring dye formulas. Our Distribution systems are in real-time synchronization compliance with customer requirements.

Presently, Annin Flagmakers is still family owned and operated by the Beard and Dennis families. On January 1, 2011 Carter Beard became the President and CEO of Annin Flagmakers. Carter and his cousin Sandy Dennis Van Lieu, Sr. Vice President, are supported by a strong team of managers, many of whom have over twenty to thirty years of experience with the company. Annin Flagmakers employs over 500 Americans and prides itself on the quality of its products and the experience of its people.

Annin plans to extend its flag-making tradition well into the 21st century and is committed to expanding and upgrading its manufacturing and distribution capabilities.

With promises to its customers to make the best quality products and to offer the best levels of service, Annin Flagmakers anticipates retaining its position as America’s largest manufacturer and distributor of US flags for the indefinite future.

High Speed Sewing Machines Schiffli Embroidery Machine
Literally miles of red and white stripes. They are joined every day by batteries of high speed, automatic sewing machines. Our huge machines produce hundreds of star fields simultaneously and with incredible precision. The only flag manufacturer with in-house Schiffli embroidery capacity.
Stars And Stripes Come Together Quality Control
Stars and stripes come together. A cascade of red, white and blue. At this stage flags are finished except for hemming and heading. An extremely critical phase in our quality control process. Annin’s  thorough inspection of each individual flag prior to its being packaged.
Annin Flagmakers participated in NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in 1969. Neal Armstrong salutes the US Flag on the moon. FREE DVD – History of American Flagmaking
 

On November 3, 1929, Robert Ripley drew a panel in his syndicated cartoon, Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, saying “Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem”. This news startled a great many people who thought The Star-Spangled Banner, written as a poem by Francis Scott Key, had long been America’s official national anthem. It hadn’t. For years, Hail Columbia had served that purpose on official government occasions. My Country ‘Tis of Thee was also frequently used. In 1931, John Philip Sousa published his opinion in favor of the Star-Spangled Banner, stating “…it is the spirit of the music that inspires” as much as it is Key’s “soul-stirring” words. By a law signed on March 3, 1931 by President Herbert Hoover, The Star-Spangled Banner was finally adopted as the national anthem of the United States.

Taps

                                                                     All is well, safely rest’ 

On the occasion of Taps’ 150th anniversary (July 16, 2012), the origin of America’s most recognizable bugle call was sounded by many buglers. 

Almost 20 times a day at Arlington National Cemetery, a military ritual occurs that is both familiar and moving. An escort of honor comes to attention and presents arms. A firing party conducts a salute of three volleys. After the briefest of moments, a bugle call sounds. The flag held by members of the honor guard is then folded into a triangle reminiscent of a cocked hat from the American Revolution, and presented  to the veteran’s next of kin as an expression of gratitude from a grateful nation. 

Taps is that bugle call. It may be the most performed piece of music in America, played every day in virtually every corner of the country. 

Composed for the bugle and unique to the U.S. military, Taps is sounded at funerals, wreath-layings and memorial services. Its plain but haunting melody consists of just 24 notes. And is usually recognized within the first three. With four different tones and lasting less than a minute, Taps has the power to evoke emotion from the most battle hardened warrior. The military’s only bugle call played slowly throughout, it has the dual purpose of signaling the day’s end and serving as musical honors to servicemembers who have died. 

Like “The Star-Spangled Banner”, Taps was born during a war, but its origin has been clouded by competing accounts. Until the Civil War, the infantry bugle call for “lights out” was To Extinguish Lights, found in most U.S. military manuals. Like most infantry calls, Lights was copied note for note from French military manuals. But Union General Daniel Butterfield changed the evening signal music for his brigade in July 1862. 

                                           Learn more about Taps’ history at www.tapsbugler.com .