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Tag Archive | "Veteran’s Day"

Veterans Day


VA-Veterans2013poster-webMonday, November 11, is Veterans Day. We set this day aside to thank the men and women who have served and are still in the service of our country. We thank them for the sacrifice that both they and their families have made, so that we can remain the land of the free, the home of the brave.

President George Washington showed remarkable insight when he spoke about the country’s treatment of veterans: “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

What have you done for a veteran you know?

In this week’s Post, we have a special section featuring the men and women who have served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are the Hometown Heroes that we run in our paper throughout the year. If you see one of these veterans, or know one who served during another era, please be sure to thank them!

Click link below to download  our special Veteran’s Day  Tribute.

VeteransDay2013.pdf

 

One family, one Veteran, two heroes

 

VET-WarriorLifelineC(NewsUSA) – From the perspective of many veterans, their military service is merely a duty. They were doing their job. They don’t look in the mirror and see a hero. When wounded Air Force sergeant Tom Marcum returned home from Iraq, he was his family’s hero every day. But his wife April would soon step up to become the second hero in the Marcum family.

Tom’s injuries were extensive, and the impact on April and their two sons was enormous. In two years, Tom endured four separate mortar explosions. He faced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), hearing loss, vision problems and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). April faced a whole new reality. Her days were a flurry of doctor appointments, therapy and home healthcare, not to mention raising two boys. For 18 months straight, she was the sole nurse, driver, maid and mother to three. She had to meet her husband—a friend since grade school—all over again.

“I missed the help my husband gave me with the kids and errands,” says April. “And some time to myself. I don’t like to admit this, but I think I was close to a breaking point in my own emotional health.”

Due to Tom’s brain injury, he wasn’t the same man whom April married. He experienced behaviorial changes, mood swings and memory loss that he could not control. Despite the tenacity of her love for him, April was nearing her breaking point until she got a call from Wounded Warrior Project. April went to a Spouse Retreat hosted by WWP, where she was able to meet other people in situations like hers.

“I made some deep, emotional connections with several women,” April says. “It was just the right thing at just the right time. I came home ready to get back into the fight again. I was re-energized and happy when I came home.”

Both Tom and his sons, Gabe and Jared, saw a positive change in their mom after the retreat. Slowly but surely, the family knit itself back together through love, humor and fierce dedication. As Tom says, “Family is our lifeline.” Wounded Warrior Project has 19 programs and services to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment for injured service members from post-9/11 conflicts. Learn more at woundedwarriorproject.org.

 

 

Recognizing American Indian and Alaskan Native Veterans

VET-Recognizing-American-Indian-and-Alaskan-Vets(NAPS)—According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 150,000 American Indian and Alaskan Native veterans throughout the United States. The Veterans History Project (VHP) of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress invites these men and women to share their unique stories of military experience.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 2000, VHP’s mandate is to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand recollections of America’s wartime veterans. Through a network of volunteers from across the country, the Project has collected nearly 89,000 stories, making it the largest oral history project in the country.

VHP seeks to increase the number of veteran interviews from all minority communities, including American Indian and Alaskan Native veterans. Among VHP’s 250 oral histories from the American Indian and Alaskan Native veterans are the stories of Joseph Beimfohr and Marcella Ryan Le Beau, both American Indians who served in the U.S. military.

Joseph Beimfohr served in the Army during the Iraq/Afghanistan War. When he deployed to Iraq in January 2005, he was exposed to intense hostile fire. During his VHP interview, Beimfohr said, “You can’t just sit there and be paralyzed with fear, because you’re going to get everybody killed.” What he learned from his experiences was that soldiers have to trust their training and instincts. He lost both legs to an explosion, and Beimfohr subsequently learned that the only limitations in his life were self-imposed.

In 1943, Marcella Le Beau had just finished her nurse’s training in her native South Dakota and was working at a hospital in Pontiac, Michigan, when she heard about the Army’s need for nurses. A year later, she was camped out in a cow pasture in Normandy, in the wake of the D-Day invasion, on her way to Paris. “I was young and I didn’t know what war was… I guess in a way that was a saving grace,” Le Beau said. She never encountered discrimination because of her background; in fact, when colleagues learned that her great-grandfather was a Chief, they assumed she must be an “Indian princess.”

Beimfohr’s and Le Beau’s stories, along with thousands more, may be accessed on VHP’s website, www.loc.gov/vets. The website also provides information on how to record and collect veterans’ stories using VHP’s free Field Kit, a how-to-record-a-story booklet.

 

 

 

Civilian life can be costly: Money tips for those leaving the military

 

(BPT) – No right-thinking person would ever claim that the financial side of military life is the land of milk and honey. Even so, military life provides some perks that don’t exist in the civilian world.

If you’re active-duty military and thinking about getting out soon, it pays to understand how your personal financial landscape will change when Uncle Sam is no longer issuing your paychecks.

First, don’t overlook the not-so-small matter of finding a suitable place to begin your post-military career. Take a look at the 2013 Best Places for Veterans: Jobs list for metro areas that offer America’s new generation of veterans more opportunities to find a job that correlates with their military-related skills. Houston, Dallas and Minneapolis landed the top spots in the study, commissioned by USAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program.

Once you secure that civilian gig, here are two specific areas where USAA Certified Financial Planner Scott Halliwell predicts you’ll see the biggest differences in benefits and pay.

No more tax-free allowances: If you’ve been in the military for any length of time, you’ve no doubt realized some of your pay comes to you free of tax. Basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) and basic allowance for housing (BAH) are two of the most common sources. What you may not realize is just how much of your hard-earned cash this tax treatment saves you.

For example, a married E-6 living in San Antonio who has one child and has been serving for more than 10 years would have a taxable base pay just shy of $39,600 annually. His non-taxable BAS and BAH would total just more than $21,300. Looked at another way, about 35 percent of this family’s income would be free from taxes. If this BAS/BAH combo was instead taxable, the service member and his family could lose around $250 each month to taxes – and that’s just in federal taxes. State taxes, if applicable, could make it even more.

In other words, civilian pay and military pay are not an apples-to-apples comparison, so you’ve got to plan accordingly.

No more free health insurance: And while a couple hundred bucks a month is nothing to sneeze at, that could just be the tip of the iceberg. Health insurance in the military is, to put it lightly, very cost-effective. Not everyone is always thrilled with how the whole system works, but you just can’t get much more cost-effective than free.

In the civilian world, the average cost for employer-based insurance plans for a family of four is around $1,300 per month, according to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The good news is that most folks don’t have to foot that entire amount. Civilian employers typically subsidize these costs so that the average monthly employee expense is about 28 percent, or $360 per month. Even so, costs for health care can vary widely from one employer to the next.

Also, it’s important to know these numbers are just the premiums employees pay for the insurance. The numbers don’t include co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles you might have to pay. The national average for these expenses for a family of four is about $3,600 per year, according to a study reported in the Milliman Medical Index. When you add these costs to the insurance premiums you’ll have to pay, health care-related costs can easily be one of the single biggest cash outflows each month for civilians. And that’s without adding in expenses for vision and dental care.

These are just two of the big financial changes people face when they leave the military, but they aren’t the only ones, so it’s important to have a solid game plan in place ahead of time. To help build out a plan, spend some time with the Separation Assessment Tool and the Separation Checklist on usaa.com.

 

 

 

 

Eleven ways to honor veterans this Veterans Day

 

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) calls on the citizens of Michigan to honor wartime veterans across the nation through a day of remembrance and dedication this Veterans Day. There are countless ways to honor veterans this Veterans Day and every day. Here are eleven ideas to get you started:

Attend a Veterans Day event in your area. View our list at http://1.usa.gov/1coJMt6.

Encourage a veteran in your life to apply for VA benefits by contacting an MVAA service officer at 517-284-5298;

Send notes or thank you cards to a local veterans home or hospital

Visit or volunteer at a local veterans home or hospital.

Take part in a flag-raising ceremony in honor of local veterans.

Be a good friend or neighbor to the family of a deployed military service member.

Visit a nearby battleground.

Take part in a service project benefiting veterans in your community.

Watch or take part in a Veterans Day parade.

Assemble and send care packages to deployed service members.

Donate to a veterans’ charity.

The observance of Veterans Day helps focus attention on the intended purpose of this day—to celebrate the honor of America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

“On Veterans Day, we honor and thank all the brave men and women who have served our nation,” said MVAA Director Jeff Barnes. “We set aside this day each year to make sure our veterans know how grateful we are for the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedom.”

Since 1919, Americans have dedicated the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month to veterans – a tribute to the day and time that the armistice was signed, effectively ending World War I. Following this day, veterans have continued to show their loyalty and dedication in protecting our nation. In return, and with great honor, the MVAA extends Michigan’s gratitude through the continued preservation of November 11th.

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency serves as the central coordinating point, connecting those who have served in the United States Armed Forces and their families, to services and benefits throughout the state of Michigan. MVAA is responsible for administration and operation of the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund, Michigan Veterans Homeowners Assistance Program, Michigan Homes for Veterans, constituent service or referral and the state’s grant to chartered veterans’ service organizations and the Michigan Association of County Veterans Counselors.

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Chinook helicopter lands at Skinner Field


Jack Price Jr.and his wife Patty (left) with sister Dawn standing in front of the Chinook Helicopter last Friday.

By Judy Reed

Hundreds of people turned out at Skinner Field last Friday, November 11, to see the landing of a Chinook helicopter for Veteran’s Day.
It came about because a resident wanted to honor his younger brother—2nd Lt. Jack Price—a Cedar Springs man killed 42 years ago, at the age of 28, while taking a Chinook helicopter on a test flight in South Vietnam.
Jack’s brother Wayne spent many hours researching what happened to his brother, and met several soldiers who served with him. One of those contacts led him to a Chinook instructor pilot, Timothy Miller, based at the Selfridge Army National Guard Base in Michigan. Through both the pilot’s efforts and City Manager Christine Burn’s request to the Pentagon, the Chinook helicopter landed at 11:00 a.m. at the field located adjacent to Morley Park in downtown Cedar Springs.
On hand to greet the crew was Col. Tom Noreen, Cedar Springs Mayor Charlie Watson, Mayor Pro-tem Christine Fahl, City Councilor Ken Benham, and City Manager Christine Burns. Also on hand was the immediate and extended family of Jack Price, including Jack’s daughter, Dawn, and his son Jack Jr. with wife Patty. After the greeting, the public was allowed on the field to take tours of the helicopter and meet the crew, who along with the helicopter, will all be deployed to Afghanistan December 11.
Wayne and his wife June were pleased with the way it turned out. “It was awesome, much better than I expected,” said Wayne. He said that many people thanked them for doing this for the Veterans.
Other events that day included a special military display at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, and a special ceremony at Veterans Park.  The Cedar Springs Veteran’s Memorial Remembrance Committee coordinated all those events.
The ceremony at Veterans Park included music by the Cedar Springs High School marching band, a vocal performance by D. and Nita White, a history of Armistice Day by Earl Tefft, commander of the Cedar Springs American Legion, a speech by Colonel Tom Noreen, the Kent County Honor Guard, Taps, and prayers by Pastors Mary Ivanov and Craig Owens. Pastor Craig Carter was master of ceremonies.
City Manager Christine Burns was also pleased with the event. “I was absolutely amazed at the number of people who showed up to view the Chinook.  You never know how many people to expect when you are organizing these types of events and I could not have been happier,” she said. “It was a great “team” effort to get the helicopter and crew here and I enjoyed the time I got to spend with them.  They were so grateful for a warm “Red Flannel” welcome and were equally impressed with the ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. It made all the work that went into the event worthwhile. I hope we can do it again next year!”

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Helicopter landing to honor veterans


2nd Lt. Jack Price, center, gets his wings.

By Judy Reed

A special landing of a Chinook helicopter on Friday, November 11, Veterans Day, at Morley Park will be part of activities to honor all veterans. But it came about because a resident wanted to honor his younger brother—2nd Lt. Jack Price—a Cedar Springs man killed 42 years ago, at the age of 28, while taking a Chinook helicopter on a test flight in South Vietnam.
Wayne Price and his younger brother Jack grew up on Cedar Springs Avenue. They were the sons of Frank and Beatrice Price. Wayne enlisted in the Air Force and served from 1955-1959. Jack, who was seven years younger, left school before graduation and enlisted in the Army before Wayne came home.

2nd Lt. Jack Price with wife, Darlene, and children, Dawn, Jack Jr. and Jeff.

Jack made a career out of the Army and became a family man. He married his high school sweetheart Darlene, and had three children—Dawn, Jack Jr., and Jeff. Jack did two tours in Viet Nam, and had been in 10 years when tragedy struck.
He had what would have been considered a safe desk job. Jack was a maintenance officer in charge of 120 men and 16 Chinook helicopters on his base. But he also took them for routine test flights. On July 16, 1969, Jack took one of the helicopters on a test flight with six other crewmembers. According to a letter written by his commanding officer, Major Harold Zumbro, the helicopter was on its final approach (not too low) about 300 feet in the air, when it first nosed up, then immediately nosed down, heading straight for the ground. The nose of the aircraft hit first and then fell on its back and exploded. All seven men were killed.
The news was devastating to his family.
Jack’s wife and children still live in the area. Jack Jr. and Jeff both followed in their father’s footsteps and served in the Army.
Wayne has spent many hours researching what happened to his brother, and met several soldiers who served with him. One of those contacts led him to a Chinook instructor pilot, Timothy Miller, based at the Selfridge Army National Guard Base in Michigan. Through both the pilot’s efforts and Burn’s request to the Pentagon, the Chinook helicopter will land at 11:00 a.m. at the field located adjacent to Morley Park in downtown Cedar Springs. It will be on display for the general public following the landing.
“I want this event to pay honor to all those who gave their lives for our country, to those who have served and to all those now serving to keep our country free,” said Wayne Price. “I understandably also want this event to pay special honor to my brother Jack. It’s been 42 years since his death and I miss what could have been.”
Price and his wife June, along with Jack’s widow, Darlene and members from the American Legion Post 287, the Cedar Springs High School Band, the Cedar Springs’ Ministerial Association, the Cedar Springs Historical Society and Dan Brown, uncle of fallen Cedar Springs soldier Timothy Brown, formed the Cedar Springs Veteran’s Memorial Remembrance Committee. They have coordinated events to take place November 11.
Events to take place following the landing of the helicopter at 11:00 a.m. feature a special military display at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as well as a memorial remembrance service at Veteran’s Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m., including a prelude by the Cedar Springs High School Band; an invocation, an Armistice Day History, guest speaker Tom Noreen, U.S. Army Colonel, a firing squad and benediction.

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Remember Our Real National Debt on Veterans Day


By Fang A. Wong, Commander
The American Legion

Google the term “National Debt” and you will quickly receive the search results for millions of websites.
Most deal with the very serious issues of government overspending and the accumulation of more than two centuries of federal deficits. Yet very few bring up the biggest national debt of them all—that which America owes to her veterans.  November 11, Veterans Day, marks the perfect opportunity for us to take an historical audit on just how much this nation owes her heroes.
Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer is one who America owes an enormous debt. Humble by nature, but heroic by deed, Meyer drove a humvee into an Afghan valley that he knew was heavily populated with well-armed enemy insurgents. Outgunned and outnumbered, Meyer and Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez made multiple trips to the hot zone, killing insurgents as Meyer manned the turret.
Disregarding serious shrapnel wounds that he received, Meyer left his vehicle several times searching for pinned down comrades and coalition forces. He found his comrades shot to death, but with the assistance of Army Capt. Will Swenson, Meyer carried their bodies and gear away from the village. As he received his well-deserved Medal of Honor from President Obama, Meyer requested that his fallen colleagues be remembered.
Our debt to these heroes can never be re-paid but our gratitude and respect must last forever.
For many veterans, our nation was important enough to endure long separations from their families, miss the births of their children, freeze in sub-zero temperatures, bake in wild jungles, lose limbs, and, far too often, lose their lives.
Military spouses have had to endure career interruptions, frequent changes of address, and a disproportionate share of parental responsibilities.
The children often had to endure changes in schools, separation from friends and, hardest of all, the uncertainty of whether or not Mom or Dad will live through their next combat mission.
As the leader of our nation’s largest veterans service organization, The American Legion, I recently had the opportunity to testify before a joint Congressional committee on Veterans Affairs. I reminded our lawmakers that it is not in the nature of America’s warriors to complain. Warriors endure. Warriors make do with less. Warriors finish the job, no matter how hard, no matter what is asked.
Warriors need advocates and that is why The American Legion exists. We are here to serve veterans, their families and our communities. Veterans need each other, but, more importantly, our country needs our veterans.
You cannot fight a war without warriors and while the utopian idea of a society without war is appealing, let us not forget that wars have liberated slaves, stopped genocide and toppled terrorists.
The American Legion shows its support for America’s heroes through its Family Support Network, Legacy Scholarship Fund, Operation Comfort Warriors, Temporary Financial Assistance and the National Emergency Fund, just to name a few of our programs. But you can show your support simply by saying “Thank you” to the next veteran you meet.
You can show your support by hiring a veteran in your workplace, visiting a VA hospital or donating to a veterans program. Companies should understand that it’s smart business to hire veterans, and when members of the Guard and Reserves deploy, it is America’s business to ensure that their civilian careers do not suffer.
Homelessness is another issue that affects veterans disproportionately. Too often today’s tattered citizen of the street was yesterday’s toast-of-the-town in a crisp uniform with rows of shining medals. This is hardly the “thanks of a grateful nation.”
We can do better. We must do better.
Fewer than 10 percent of Americans can claim the title “veteran.” And while the great military phrase  “uncommon valor was a common virtue,” has been so often repeated that it risks becoming a cliché, it is no less true.
In 1789 George Washington said, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.”
We must ask ourselves as a nation, are we serving veterans even half as well as they have served us?
Fang A. Wong, a Vietnam War veteran of New Brunswick, N.J., is national commander of the 2.4-million member American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans service organization.  For more information, go to www.legion.org.

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Chinook helicopter to land here for Veteran’s Day


Wayne and June Price are shown in front of a Chinook helicopter.

Cedar Springs will honor past and present veterans with the landing of a Chinook Helicopter at Skinner Field on Veteran’s Day, November 11 and a special memorial service at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
CW3 Instructor Pilot Timothy Miller, Army National Guard, based at Selfridge Army Base near Mount Clemens, and five other pilots will man the helicopter scheduled to land at 11:00 a.m. at the field located adjacent to Morley Park in downtown Cedar Springs. It will be on display for the general public following the landing.
The twin engine, tandem rotor Chinook Helicopter was first used by the U.S. Army in Vietnam to transport ground forces, supplies, ammunition and other battle critical cargo in combat and other operations. It is being brought to Cedar Springs through the efforts of resident Wayne L. Price and City Manager Christine Burns.
Price’s brother, 2nd Lt. Jack L. Price, was killed July 16, 1969 in South Vietnam while piloting a Chinook Helicopter on a test flight. Price had been in his 10th year of service in the U.S. Army and on his second tour of duty in South Vietnam when he lost his life. Read more about that in next week’s Post.
Events to take place following the landing of the helicopter at 11:00 a.m. feature a special military display at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as well as a memorial remembrance service at Veteran’s Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m., including a prelude by the Cedar Springs High School Band; an invocation, an Armistice Day History, guest speaker Tom Noreen, U.S. Army Colonel, a firing squad and benediction.

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Chinook helicopter to land here for Veteran’s Day


Wayne and June Price are shown in front of a Chinook helicopter.

Cedar Springs will honor past and present veterans with the landing of a Chinook Helicopter at Skinner Field on Veteran’s Day, November 11 and a special memorial service at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
CW3 Instructor Pilot Timothy Miller, Army National Guard, based at Selfridge Army Base near Mount Clemens, and five other pilots will man the helicopter scheduled to land at 11:00 a.m. at the field located adjacent to Morley Park in downtown Cedar Springs. It will be on display for the general public following the landing.
The twin engine, tandem rotor Chinook Helicopter was first used by the U.S. Army in Vietnam to transport ground forces, supplies, ammunition and other battle critical cargo in combat and other operations. It is being brought to Cedar Springs through the efforts of resident Wayne L. Price and City Manager Christine Burns.
Price’s brother, 2nd Lt. Jack L. Price, was killed July 16, 1969 in South Vietnam while piloting a Chinook Helicopter on a test flight. Price had been in his 10th year of service in the U.S. Army and on his second tour of duty in South Vietnam when he lost his life.
Over the years Wayne Price had met with several soldiers who served with his brother gleaning what information he could regarding his brother’s death and in 2003 created two online memorial sites. Through them he got in touch with others who had served with his brother. One of those contacts led him to a Chinook instructor pilot based at the Selfridge Army National Guard Base in Michigan. Through that pilot Timothy Miller’s efforts and Burns, who submitted a request to the Pentagon for permission for the helicopter to be flown to Cedar Springs, Price’s wish to honor his brother and all veterans will be realized.
“I want this event to pay honor to all those who gave their lives for our country, to those who have served and to all those now serving to keep our country free,” said Wayne Price. “I understandably also want this event to pay special honor to my brother Jack. It’s been 42 years since his death and I miss what could have been.”
Price and his wife June, along with Jack’s widow, Darlene and members from the American Legion Post 287, the Cedar Springs High School Band, the Cedar Springs’ Ministerial Association, the Cedar Springs Historical Society and Dan Brown, uncle of fallen Cedar Springs soldier Timothy Brown formed the Cedar Springs Veteran’s Memorial Remembrance Committee. They have coordinated events to take place November 11.
Events to take place following the landing of the helicopter at 11:00 a.m. feature a special military display at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as well as a memorial remembrance service at Veteran’s Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m., including a prelude by the Cedar Springs High School Band; an invocation, an Armistice Day History, guest speaker Tom Noreen, U.S. Army Colonel, a firing squad and benediction.

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