Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941

Pearl Harbor Day seems to become less important as the years go by. Here are a couple of videos that relive some of the horror.

Newsreel from 1941:

President Roosevelt Pearl Harbor speech, a day that will live on in infamy:

The USS Arizona Memorial:

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Marine collecting toys stops shoplifter, gets stabbed

Marines that are heroes come in all places and times. Take one Marine reservist who was collecting toys for Toys for Tots in Augusta, Georgia.

This whole incident took place outside of a Best Buy electronics store.

Apparently inside the store, surveillance cameras caught a man stuffing a laptop in his jacket. Store employees stopped the man, but he pulled out a knife and ran out. Right into four Marines who were collecting toys. Being good Marines, they could not just stand by and stopped the would-be thief. One of the Marines, Cpl. Phillip Duggan, received what was called a slight knife would in the back. Thankfully, the knife wound was indeed reported as minor.

Hat's off to the Marines who are always ready!



Friday, November 26, 2010

Military recruiting Afghan translators

With combat operations winding down in Iraq, the military is looking towards Afghanistan more. The Army is looking to recruit more soldiers who speak on of the languages most spoken in Afghanistan--Dari, Pashto or Farsi. But the task of getting these soldiers is proving difficult. Obviuosly, there has to be a little apprehension from young men who would have such second language.

Military recruiters are going to places where these languages might be spoken. Places like Little Persia in Los Angeles. Anywhere that recruiters think either Afghans or Iranians may hang out.

The potential number if qualified people is significantly lower. Arabic is spoken by a much larger population. The population in the United States of immigrant Iranians and Afghans is much smaller. Then you must find young people willing and able to serve.

The Army has set a goal of 250 new recruits across the nation. But they have only managed to get only a handful.

This shortage comes at a bad time. The military is looking to the day when they will end combat operations. The need for translators and interpreters now is at its greatest. It is crucial to be able to work with local Afghan officials and people in the community.

The lack of translators can put soldiers at risk in situations where complete and clear communication is needed. Misunderstandings can lead to tragedies on both sides.

The risk for soldiers recruited for this duty is great as well. You can imagine how some Afghan locals may feel looking at a soldier that appears to be Afghan wearing a US Army unform. The Army is not putting their names on uniforms for this reason. Because of the value of these soldiers, they are shipped overseas for duty ASAP. Females and others stay in the United States to train others.

One reward for these soldiers is getting citizenship quicker than usual. They may get a signing bonus as well. Still, because of the history, many Afghans think it is kind of a betrayal.

Afghans need to know that the United States only wants good things for the Afghan people. We salute the men and women who have such skills and volunteer to work for the common good.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

VA Begins Paying Benefits for New Agent Orange Claims

Nov 1, 2010

VA Encourages Affected Vietnam Veterans to File Claims

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun distributing disability benefits to Vietnam Veterans who qualify for compensation under recently liberalized rules for Agent Orange exposure.

Providing initial payments – or increases to existing payments – to the 200,000 Veterans who now qualify for disability compensation for these three conditions is expected to take several months, but VA officials encourage all Vietnam Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and suffer from one of the three diseases to make sure their applications have been submitted.

VA has offered Veterans exposed to Agent Orange special access to health care since 1978, and priority medical care since 1981. VA has been providing disability compensation to Veterans with medical problems related to Agent Orange since 1985.

In practical terms, Veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and who have a “presumed” illness do not have to prove an association between their illnesses and their military service. This “presumption” simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits.

The three new illnesses – B-cell (or hairy-cell) leukemia, Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease – are added to the list of presumed illnesses previously recognized by VA.

Other recognized illnesses under VA’s “presumption” rule for Agent Orange are:

· Acute and Subacute Transient Peripheral Neuropathy

· Chloracne

· Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

· Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)

· Hodgkin’s Disease

· Multiple Myeloma

· Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

· Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

· Prostate Cancer

· Respiratory Cancers

· Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or Mesothelioma)

· AL Amyloidosis

Veterans interested in applying for disability compensation under one of the three new Agent Orange presumptives should go to or call 1-800-827-1000.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta is awarded the Medal of Honor

President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor on Tuesday to Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta.

President Obama, "I'm going to go off-script here for a second and just say I really like this guy. When you meet Sal and you meet his family, you are just absolutely convinced that this is what America is all about. And it just makes you proud."

This was the first time in 40 years it had been awarded to a living veteran.

Army staff sergeant Salvatore Giunta stepped into the line of fire to help a pair of comrades in Afghanistan. This happened during an ambush in Afghanistan on Oct. 25, 2007.

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta deserves all the praise he gets. He is a hero. But he always gives credit to each and every man and woman serving or who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. So do we.

Read more on Salvatore Giunta.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Tips for Veterans Going to College

If you are a veteran or close to being discharged, and are planning to go to college right away, you need to start applying to college now. When you are admitted, make sure you ask about getting college credit for some of your military experience and schools. Find your DD-214 form. You also need to fill out a FAFSA. This will get you in on any other financial aid you may need. Ask the college's financial aid officer if they offer any scholarships for veterans.

And while we're at it, let's mention CLEP, The College Level Examination Program. These are tests that you can take to get college credit without taking the class. Find out which ones the college offers, and what ones you should be able to pass. Taking a test is cheaper than taking a class.

Your first stop on campus should be to the veterans office. Each college should have a person and office that deals directly with veterans. This is a valuable resource for you to use. They will have everything to help you get the benefits you are entitled to. This will be a one-stop for all forms. They should also set you up with an adviser who takes care of veterans specifically.

You are probably going to use your GI Bill benefits. There are quite a few programs available to veterans depending on service. Visit the GI Bill website for all details. But again, the veterans office at the college will also guide you.

If you are planning on staying in the dorm, make it known that you are a veteran. The college should put you with more adult students, or even veterans. It may not be a good situation if you are in the same dorm room as an 18 year old who is right out of high school.

Meet other veterans on campus. There may even be clubs or organizations for veterans. Network with them and certainly take advantage of the career services and placement assistance on campus.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don't ask, don't tell and the political farce

Don't ask, don't tell, a military policy started under President Clinton as a compromise, had a shot of being repealed today. It was shot down. In fact, it never came to a vote.

The political silliness that started this ball rolling downhill, was trying to attach it to a military spending bill and run it rough shod through the Senate. All Republicans and a couple of Democrats voted to not vote on it.

But there's more. Harry Reid also attached an immigration reform bill to it, making it an even bigger political show.

Why must military funding get hijacked by political shenanigans? It should be a stand alone bill. In fact, bills of this magnitude should be stand alone anyway.

Politics should have nothing to do with sound military doctrine or policies anyway.

In fact, even one of the writers of the immigration bill voted it down in a direct showing in defiance of politics and military funding.

But people who supported the two cargo bills knew this. They knew neither would pass. They wanted to shove this out there in hopes of scoring political points against those who voted against it. But the American people are smarter, we hope.

This is not about gays in the military. Never has been. Gays have served in the military. Admirably. Anyone who has served, knows this. But we kept our mouths shut 99% of the time. It was a non issue. People kept to themselves, did their jobs, and moved on.

But now we have political people, many who have not served in the military, trying to somehow equate the military with social justice. The military is no such animal. We kill them all, ask questions later, for one example. We drop bombs. We break things. We kill people. Sometimes innocent bystanders. In war and defense of this country, that is a sad reality.

The military cannot be used for someone's perceived political justice. The military does not operate that way. In fact, is the exact opposite of political justice. If it weren't, the military would be a complete failure. Everything the military tries to accomplish in times of war, goes head to head with political justice.

Getting back to gays. If being gay in the military is a problem, then it must be treated the same as anyone and anything that causes a problem for the mission at hand. That goes for heterosexual as well. People get kicked out of the military for all sorts of reasons. Being gay is just not something that people are routinely kicked out for, even though some politicians want you to believe.

Since the war in Iraq began, almost 30,000 military personnel have been kicked out. Of these, about 2,100 have been gay. As stated above, if you just do your job, nobody says anything much. If you cause problems, gay or straight, that's when trouble starts. Why do you need to broadcast certain personal things to the world?

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Friday, September 10, 2010

First living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan

Yesterday, President Obama spoke with Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta to inform him that he will be awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of gallantry at the risk of his life that went above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant Giunta will be the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. The President thanked Sergeant Giunta for his service and extraordinary bravery in battle.

Further information about the date and time of the ceremony will be released at a later date.


Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007.

When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta's squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

From Homeless to West Point: Tyki Nelworth

Tyki Nelworth is what the American Dream is all about. Work hard, stay clean, succeed.

This young man as seen a lot in his short years. His father is dead. His mother is in prison. Tyki has moved from home to home. And yet somehow this remarkable young man is on his way to the military academy at West point.

For some reason, Tyki Nelworth rejected gangs and the bad ways of the streets. Instead choosing to focus on academics. He credits the motivation partly to being dubbed a crack baby by his sister. Tyki chose to use his situation as a reason to focus high, not low.

Tyki Nelworth just graduated fromWashington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles where he excelled academically. Not just regular classes. His schedule was filled with Advanced Placement classes that included calculus and biology. His GPA was a mind boggling 4.23.

When the school and surrounding community heard about this young man, donations came from churches, alumni, and others. They gave him clothes and money that allowed him to continue.

Can the United States be prouder of such a man?

Tyki Nelworth is what this country stands for. And we are sure glad that our future Army will have officers like him.

We wish him the best!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New PTSD rules make it easier on veterans to apply for benefits

It will soon be easier for veterans to claim benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This will probably have an impact on many soldiers who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Vietnam.

These new rules will be available starting next week. Veterans that claim to suffer from PTSD will find it easier due to the elimination of needing records to prove they were involved in such incidents as bombings, under enemy fire, or any incident related to combat.

Under the old rules, a veteran had to obtain military records to show that they were actually involved in specific combat incidents. But as most of you know, finding and getting records from the government can be an onerous task. Sometimes taking a long time. Many times not even getting them.

Plus, any woman that claimed this had a very hard time substantiating any claim. Women are normally not involved in combat situations, so there would be little or no record. Even though many women were in situations where they came under attack of all forms from the enemy. Such as the firing on or mortar attack of a command building or post.

To add even more veterans to be eligible for PTSD benefits, veterans do not even need to have actually been involved directly. Just the stress or likeliness that one could have been under attack would be enough to claim some benefit. Obviously this can lead to a lot of frivolous claims, but hopefully the majority of veterans will be honest. Plus, the government should do a good job of eliminating false claims.

Veterans must now only show that they served in a position that was in a war zone and was susceptible to being under various forms of attacks.

However, there is still a rule that the veteran must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist that works for the federal government in veteran's affairs.

The new rules also make it easier for those who claim to be victims of agent orange. Just showing that they were in Vietnam would be enough reason to claim certain illnesses were caused by exposure.

We can only hope that these new rules make it easier for veterans to get the help they need and return to normal civilian life. Visit the Veterans Affairs Page.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Grants and Scholarships for Veteran's Dependents.

There are numerous grants for dependents and survivors of veterans and service members.

Federal Pell Grants are given in full to dependents of veterans who died in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9-11. This means no matter what financial situation this student has, the will get the full amount, which at the moment is $5,550. Other students must meet other requirements. You need to fill out a FAFSA, and then let your college financial aid office know that you are under the special circumstances given to students whose parent died in Iraq or Afghanistan. There is no question or line on the FAFSA to get this grant in full. You cannot get a double Pell Grant. If you qualify anyway for it, you cannot get another using this eligibility.

There is also the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship. This extends the Post 9-11 GI Bill to children of fallen soldiers.

Public Law 111-32, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) to include the children of service members who die in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. The benefit is retroactively effective to August 1, 2009; the same day the Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect. Eligible children attending school may receive up to the highest public, in-state, undergraduate tuition and fees, plus a monthly living allowance and books and supplies stipend under this program.

Who is eligible: Children of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001, are eligible for this benefit. A child may be married or over 23 and still be eligible.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Museums this summer offer free admission to Military Families

This summer all across the country hundreds of museums are giving free admission to military and their families.

These are not just little museums but big names, as well as children's museums. For example, San Diego has 14 museums in this program which includes many in Balboa Park. Even Alaska gets in on the act with free admission to the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum.

The program that has museums in all 50 states, is called Blue Star Museums. It is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families.

Museums are a great way to entertain a family for a day. The free admission includes the military service member, husband or wife, and children. However, many museums have special exhibits that carry an extra charge no included.

The program starts on Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day, 2010. More info check out Blue Star Museums and see a list of museums in your state.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Texas man fakes his way into being a Marine

Jesse Bernard Johnston III, 26 was able to join the Marine reserves in Texas, as a sergeant no less, even though he has had zero military service.

He was caught, but does that scare you? Anyone can fake military service and get in? Where would that leave our country if this man had actually gone overseas and was put into combat?

This clown was obviously given at least a low level security clearance. How can that happen?

Since Ft. Hood, you would think that the military would be on very watchful alert. Fat chance. The current mood in this country seems to just ignore every warning or sign that something may be wrong.

I cannot believe this has ever happened in the last few years. This country needs to get its act together and quick. This is not someone lying for financial gain or reward. This is a guy who got in during the enlistment process without any enlistment!

This guy has the nerve to wear a chest full of medals and ribbons that a real veteran would envy! That's nerve!

This is one crazy story that everybody should step back and say, "what is going on?"

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Is Blumenthal a liar, truth stretcher, or clueless about his military service?

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has been seen saying he served in Vietnam. This is a false statement. He never served in Vietnam. Blumenthal is running for the US Senate.

Does this statement matter? Blumenthal is trying to say that what he really meant was he served in the military during the Vietnam War. Well, that's anywhere near what he said. The tape is clear. He states he served in Vietnam, even making a point with his service.

That's the part that's troubling. Not necessarily lying about military service. Lots of people do that. It's the context of Blumenthal's statement.

Here is his statement exactly:
"We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam. And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support."

Blumenthal was trying to score political points with his statement. That is not to be taken lightly. Blumenthal has never served in any other venue except the east coast of the United States.

Padding your military service is one thing. Lying and using it to make a political gain is clearly going over the boundary of good sense.

What kind of senator do you want?

However, we need to watch ourselves as well. We don't want to hang people on words spoken in the heat of a campaign. Many errors are made. Is this complete fabrication worthy of him not serving? We will let the people of Connecticut make that judgment.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

PTSD on Georgia Driver Licenses for Veterans

Here a crazy idea that is actually a bill and may be signed into law. If a veteran has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he or she can have this designated on their driver license. Of course it is voluntary, but what in the world are they thinking?

Supposedly, if your are speeding, and an officer sees the PTSD on the license, they may cut you a break. Yeah, right. That is so insane and would be funny if it were not truly what people think. Somehow a PTSD designation on your license is akin to needy glasses or other things like that.

This is a bad idea with no upside except to further a veteran's inability to get back to normal civilian life, it that were 100% possible.

Who comes up with this stuff? State Sen. Ron Ramsey, Democrat, and co-sponsor State Sen. John Douglas, Republican, that's who.

So it's voluntary. What for? If this PTSD impaired ones ability to drive, why would they be getting a drivers license? If it is to tip people off about behavior, what behavior and to who?

How about going to a bar for a drink. Sorry pal, we don't serve PTSD vets in here. We can't take a chance. Can you imagine potential employers? Sure, we see you have PTSD, you are perfect for the job of public relations!

It does not matter who or what you are. You are given a fair shake. If you can't handle it, you can't handle it. Period. Has nothing to do with designations.

Once you get the designation, how easy is it to get it removed?

This is a bad bill all the way around. You will get veterans conned into putting it on their licenses to show people they have problems. Right. Isn't this what veterans have got to overcome? That the public sees them as other than human?

Let's get real and ditch this bill. The governor of Georgia is Sonny Purdue. If you live in Georgia, you need to write your lawmakers quick and get this silliness from becoming law.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Power Generators seem to be a must have.

Have you seen those disasters lately? Man-made and mother nature?

You never know when your house will be left without power. Since everything we do runs on electricity, having a backup power source is not just a luxury anymore. It's a must have.

Because generators have so many uses, from picnics and tailgate parties, to camping and other outdoor activities, you will probably use yours more often. Just knowing that it's in the garage can give you peace of mind.

For most people, you probably do not need a whole house backup system connected to your current power supply. You will just need a portable generator.

Look for ones that will output just the amount of power you need. You probably will want to run a few lights, refrigerator, radio, and television. Oh and don't forget that computer!

Because bad weather occurs in all seasons, rain, flood, snow, all can affect your power supply. Even an outage due to overuse can brown out your city. Don't let your food spoil. Running at least a fan can stave off the heat.

And remember, your generator will not stay idle. It is an investment that you will use in daily life as well.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Supreme Court: Cross can stay at veterans memorial

The Supreme Court has ruled that a cross put up as a memorial to WWI veterans can stay.

A federal court had earlier ruled that the cross had to come down due to religion. That argument does not hold water. Nothing religious about the cross or the memorial. This thing has stood for seventy plus years. Seventy years. Then suddenly someone does not like it and tries to take it down. Silly.

Besides, the congress had actually passed a law that transferred the land that the cross was on to private hands. No matter. When some people get a lawsuit in their minds, there's no stopping them.

The ruling was 5-4.

The cross was erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars 75 years ago in the Mojave National Preserve.

One more stupid thing. The cross has been covered up with plywood so not to offend anybody until the ruling was over.

Justice Anthony Kennedy:
"Here one Latin cross in the desert evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten."

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Veterans and jobs

It's tough enough returning as a veteran. Toss in being wounded and it gets doubly tough. This is especially true if you are a veteran looking for a job. We have just become aware of two programs that help veterans get jobs.

Operation Impact by Northrop.
Here is a quote from their website: "Operation IMPACT (Injured Military Pursuing Assisted Career Transition) is a Northrop Grumman initiative designed to provide career transition support to military service members and their families who have been severely injured in the global war on terror."

Hire Heroes USA. Here is a quote from their website: "HHUSA's mission is to provide career placement assistance to all of our returning service men and women. The HHUSA program focuses on providing transition assistance to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans, specializing in the career placement of those injured or with any level of disability. HHUSA serves veterans from all branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, Reservists and Coast Guard.">

We salute these programs in helping our veterans get jobs.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Navy Seal Cleared

A US Navy Seal has been cleared of any wrongdoing in Iraq. Common sense prevails.
Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas has been found not guilty. This Petty Officer was a Navy Seal and never should have been brought to any trial anyway.

The stupidity was created by someone high up thinking beating a terrorist in the heat of the Iraq war is somehow wrong. What were they thinking? What do they want our military to do? Eventually, we will have no real military at all if things like this are allowed to go forward. We would like to meet the person who gave some directive as: "When taking a terrorist down, please use no force." Yeah right.

The trial was held in Iraq. Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas was declared not guilty by a 6 man jury. The jury apparently decided there was just too much conflicting evidence. Sure. Perhaps that's what they had to say to be politically correct. What they really meant was that this is ridiculous and never should have been wasting their time.

Hopefully, with this episode behind him, Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas can rejoin the Seals and get on with his military career.

Sadly, this was just the first case done. There are three other seals facing disciplinary action.

We applaud the 20 congressmen who have called for all charges against all the Seals to be dropped. Contact you congressman and let them know they need to put a stop to this nonsense.

>>VA Veterans Home Loans.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tea Party Marine

A Marine has created a facebook page that has been critical of President Obama. Although he no longer runs the facebook group, this Marine still stays outspoken.

The facebook group is called "Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots" by Sgt. Gary Stein as a way to get his opposition views published. Stein, 24, has been on TV and was instructed to review the military directives on such political matters. He no longer runs the group, but stays on as an administrator. The group has over 9,000 members.

Military personnel are not supposed to be an active sponsor of a political group that in any way talks about votes for a candidates of political causes. The prohibition goes pretty far in keep military personnel from participating in political activities. Sgt. Stein had posted his opposition to the financial overhaul and regulation bill being argued in congress.

Sgt. Stein pointed out by name Republican senators who were not fully against the bill. One of his posts reads:

""Once again it's up to us, you and your fellow Tea Party Patriots, to defend America from out of control government."

Stein's facebook group does have a disclaimer saying that any views he expresses are not any official views of the military.

Sgt. Stein is with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, stationed at Camp Pendleton, California.

While we don't necessarily support military personnel doing political things like this, we would like to point out that for years, the mainstream media has encouraged soldiers to express their views on the Iraq war. Many times we have heard editorials talk about how soldiers are upset at Bush. We wonder why now the media takes a different view when a soldier criticizes Obama.

Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots join them!

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

US Navy Captures Pirates

The DOD has issued the following statement:

By Navy Chief Petty Officer Michael Lewis
U.S. 6th Fleet
INDIAN OCEAN, April 1, 2010 – The crew of the USS Nicholas captured suspected pirates today after exchanging fire, sinking a skiff and confiscating a suspected mother ship.

While operating west of the Seychelles in international waters, the Nicholas crew reported taking fire at 12:27 a.m. local time from a suspected pirate skiff and returned fire, pursuing the vessel until the disabled skiff stopped.

At about 2 a.m., personnel from Nicholas boarded the disabled skiff and detained three people. The boarding team found ammunition and multiple cans of fuel on board.

After taking the suspected pirates on board, the Nicholas crew sank the disabled skiff at about 3 a.m.

Two more suspected pirates were captured on the confiscated mother ship.

The suspects will remain in U.S. custody on board Nicholas until a determination is made regarding their disposition, officials said.

The USS Nicholas, an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate home-ported in Norfolk, Va., is supporting U.S. Naval Forces Africa, the naval component of U.S. Africa Command.

We salute the sailors aboard the USS Nicholas! Good job!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Army, Marines trying to guarantee time at home base

Dwell time is what the Army refers to time at the home base and with families. The Marines and Army are trying to increase dwell time.

Because of the draw-down of troop levels, the Army has been able to keep troops at home longer. The Army is giving most everybody over a year at home between seeing any tour of combat. This is being used to de-stress the troops. Eventually, they hope to give everyone at least two whole years before seeing combat. Time with families is very important to those in the military. As mentioned, this is achieved by not needing more troops in Iraq, and also an increase in overall Army levels. One thing also that led to this was the Army's willingness to find out who was eligible to send overseas, and actually send them. During the height of the Iraq conflict, troops would often spend less than a year at home. The Army was able to make more brigades and get better organized. The Army is hoping to come up with a guarantee of two months home for every month spend on tour.

Soon, the Marines will try to do something similar if it can. The hope is to give most every Marine at least 14 months at their home base after they have completed a 7 month tour.

Anytime we can get our soldiers to stabilize their homelife and be with their families for extended periods of time is a good thing.

It has been shown that a soldier that spends more time in a combat zone is less likely to re-enlist. And we need more soldiers to make long term commitments. The more experienced soldiers we have, the better.

The Navy has similar problems about keeping sailors who are on extended sea duty for over 6 months. That seems to be the breaking point. Sailors who are at sea for more than 6 months tend to also be lost to civilian life.

We need to come up with more ways to keep our military happy. You can do your part by always supporting the troops any way you can. Read some easy ways to show your support to the troops.

More Military Family Articles:
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*Military and Car Insurance Discounts.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Military Air Shows: Free family entertainment!

In this day of cheap family fun, have you considered a military air show?

Admission and usually parking are free at all shows on military bases!

Check out a big on: Wings over South Texas this weekend!

There is also one in Riverside, California: Riverside Airshow Admission for all is free, but parking is $10. Still a good deal if you take the whole family.

Let's not forget Alabama: Maxwell Air Force Base Open House this weekend as well, all FREE!

Sorry we did not think of this sooner. We will try in the future to list free air shows and military open houses in advance!

Show up and support your military!
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Warrior Games: Wounded soldiers compete

Wounded soldiers will compete in the Warrior Games. This event will be a competition between disabled soldiers wounded in battle.

The event will take place in Colorado Springs, May 10-14.

Competitions will include swimming, cycling, wheelchair basketball, as well as other sports.

The defense department says that about 200 wounded soldiers will compete.

Anyone wounded or disabled, be it by physical wound or mental wound was eligible. But competitors were screened by a panel to determine who from each branch of service would compete. This means some of the best conditioned athletes around, disabled or not, will be competing.

On a side note, at the Paralympics in Vancouver, Army veteran Andy Soule won the the first medal for the United States. Veteran Soule lost his legs as a gunner in Afghanistan. Mr. Soule won the bronze medal in the biathlon, which is a mix of cross country skiing and rifle shooting.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Walmart and other companies hiring veterans

Walmart has made a concerted effort to hire military veterans, especially junior officers . Bill Simon, 25 year Navy vet, chief operating officer of Walmart, came up with a program to recruit young officers with recent experience leading soldiers, sailors and marines into Iraq and Afghanistan. These veterans had world class leadership experience that would be perfect for leading employees.

Walmart hired 150 of these vets and trained them in retail. They re now expanding the program to every level of the company.

There are other companies that are military and veteran friendly. These include Home Depot, Lowes, State Farm, ATT, Merck, Bank of America, and of course Walmart. Others include Pepsico and GE.

Some of our best and brightest people serve in the military. It makes only sense that companies recognize the benefits that their experience brings is top notch.

We also need to do something about the unemployment rate of our returning enlisted men and women. We are pleased to know that more businesses are opening their arms to these people. They need and deserve it.

The military is unique in that it takes 18 to 20 something year olds and puts them in charge of various degrees of operations. Nothing beats that kind of leadership and experience. These veterans have proven they can work under pressure and excel.

Let's not forget that these young people are put in charge of multimillion dollar equipment and operations. All levels. They're lives depend on not making mistakes.

If you own a business, why not offer a job to an experienced leader, one who has been well groomed, can follow directions, and gets the job done no matter what?

Not every person joining the military will make it a career. Let's help them out and reward them with jobs.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Veterans and Home Loans: Is it a good time to buy?

Veterans have one of the greatest benefits. A VA Veterans Home Loan. Many advantages of that, including no down and less mortgage insurance. But is it a good time to buy a house? Certainly there is an extra incentive of the $8,000 first time home buyer credit that veterans can qualify for also.

Since the invention of real estate agents, there has always been the phrase, "Now is a good time to buy." And real estate agents have always bought into the notion that home prices don't fall. They did this big time in 2005-2006. The truth is, real estate prices do fall and they fall sharply. So no matter what year it is, now will always be a good time to buy a home if you are a real estate agent.

But how about you? Is this really a good time to buy? Is any time a really good time to buy?

You and your family are really the only ones that can determine that. There are many factors that you need to consider. There are three very important factors. Do you really need to buy a home, can you afford it, and does it matter over time if the price goes up or down.

If all those are set, then you are good to go. Now is a good time to buy a home.

Having your own home is good, but many people get buy with an apartment or a rental home. The tax deduction is good, but not great. There are more headaches that come with being a homeowner than a renter.

Can you afford it? You need a place to stay, so you will need to pay rent. Will the rent be the same as a mortgage? Does a mortgage payment take such a big bite out of your wallet that you will need to pinch pennies? If you can comfortably make a mortgage payment, then it is indeed a good time to buy.

What if your home goes down in value? Does that matter? One of the falsehoods of home buying is that you are making an investment. You should not look at it that way. You should look at it as being in a home for a long period of time. Whether the house goes up or down, should be secondary. If you need a place to live and you can afford the payments, why should it matter? You have to pay rent anyway. If you can comfortably buy a home and not worry about home value, it is a good time to buy.

But you also need to do a reality check. Is your job stable? Do you have any unforeseen circumstances that may come up? You may be forced to move or downsize if your income and situation is not stable.

Forget about the hype of real estate. One should buy a home because it provides a comfortable long term place to live in your current price range. It should not be looked upon as a future ATM. Those that did that, got themselves in trouble.

Military veterans who are thinking about buying a home should consider it very thoroughly. Now may be a good time to buy. Next month may be a good time to buy. Any time can be a good time to buy if it fits you financially!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Army training changes: No more 5 mile runs

If you were in the Army, you knew the 5 mile runs. Well say goodbye to that drill, because the Army is changing. No more 5 mile runs. No more using a bayonet either, for that matter.

Today's Army does not really need young men and women who can run 5 miles. The need soldiers who are equipped to fight in today's Army.

Just exactly what does that mean? Because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, training is now geared towards that. Instead of long runs, more short, zig zag runs like going back and forth a street. Wind sprints if you will. That and getting the core muscles in shape. Soldiers need to run back and forth in places like alleys. They need to be able to carry a heavy pack while patrolling. The need skills like tossing themselves out of a Humvee that got bombed. Bayonet drills are out. Calisthenics are in. Close range hand to hand combat is back in style too.

The Army figures that today's recruit has computer, cell phone, and other technological skills. And they like that. The future warrior will find enemies using those devices. They will recon and communicate using those skills. But because of the sedentary lifestyle of today's youth, getting in shape and hand to hand combat are now job one.

How many fist fights do kids get into today? The Army, believe it or not, says this is a dying skill. But soldiers need to be able to fight. And close up. So the pugil sticks are back in fashion with a vengeance. It lets soldiers know what it's like to be smacked up side the head. Without getting hurt, that is. That might put a dose of reality in them real quick.

And that little thing about bayonets? Traditions die hard. Soldiers for years have trained with the bayonets, those long knife blades on the end of rifles. But here's the thing. Those things are not used on an M16. They were just a holdover. The old guard dies hard, so they stuck around.

The Marines are changing too. Now drills include carrying bodies over long distances, more obstacle courses, and moving heavy objects like ammunition cans. They can get quite heavy.

If you are thinking of joining the Army or Marines, and you are a couch potato, get ready to step it up or ship out! Boot camp physical fitness has changed!

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The Wounded Artist Project

The Wounded Artist Project is a nonprofit organization in Michigan that sends art kits to wounded veterans.

They want wounded veterans to be encouraged by someone looking over their shoulder and saying, "Wow, you really drew that?"

The art kits range from beginner to advanced. Don't worry if you think you or the soldier has no artistic ability. The kits are designed to keep the wounded soldiers busy and encouraged. So, no artistic ability is needed!

Soldiers can progress at their own rates. One of the goals is to get the soldier thinking of what they could do with a little drawing ability--go to art school, become an architect, become an illustrator, or some other profession that takes skill in drawing.

The soldiers are always encouraged to develop their own style, not be constrained with a set of rules.

Be sure and visit The Wounded Artist Project and donate if you can!

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hurt Locker real? Not Really

The Hurt Locker has won the Oscar for Best Picture, depicting bomb diffusing and explosive experts in Iraq.

The Hurt Locker is set in 2004 Iraq. In the film, the explosive team is under pressure to clear the bombs.

The title character is Staff Sergeant William James. James acts like both a bomb expert and an egomaniac.

But is it real? How close to the real thing is it? Do these soldiers really act like that?

In a word, no. Many soldiers who are part of these teams say they are no arrogant, nor are they flippant about their jobs. They take it seriously.

The kind of person that Sgt. James is depicted as is not the kind of person these bomb teams look for. Some even say his character is really a caricature, very exaggerated. Let's even call his actions inappropriate. The movie is even sexed up quite a bit.

But does that mean it's a bad movie? That is is so unlife-like that it ruins the story of these soldiers? Hollywood always seems to embellish real life to titillate the viewers.

Just look out for the embellishments. Soldiers would not be doing things like looking for bombmakers in dark alleys alone. You would not keep bomb parts as trophies. Those bomb parts are used to track down bomb makers. Not hide under your bed.

The "Hurt Locker" in the film probably refers to the bomb suit. But those suits are hardly ever used now and never as a first resort. Most bomb diffusing techniques are done from a safe distance.

One thing's for sure. If you are part of these teams you do indeed have adrenaline rushes and love to get the job done.

And that part of the movie that makes these soldiers look like heroes, going into places and doing things normal people wouldn't, does warrant some applause.

We always like to give publicity and kudos to soldiers in the field. This movie does bring them some recognition.

On a side not. The war in Iraq is not nearly what it was in 2004. It is on the strength of our military that these type of occurrences, while not completely wiped out, are rare today.

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Not really.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Administration turns around on Gitmo, terror trials

Looks like political pressure has made the Obama administration open to doing an about face on trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court, let alone New York City.

Now they are talking about maybe, just maybe, putting them back in military tribunals. This is where the should have been in the first place. These are military captured suspects, doing acts against the country in a war like situation.

This has been said to be a way to close Gitmo and open a new prison just for convicted suspects.

The problem is, this still does not solve what to do with prisoners who are deemed too dangerous to release. Ever.

Obama's liberal pals also would not like switching them back to military courts.

But the liberals were in a monority. Both sides of the politcal aisle are against civilian trials. Plus, Obama could use this about face to show some Republicans that they should support funding to close Gitmo.

Fox news was also reporting that the Department of Defense is now letting lawyers see their terrorist clients in Gitmo on approval from them only. Makes sense. The military is in charge of them, right?

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pentagon okays using Social Media

The military has always worried about it's personnel using social sites like twitter and facebook. There could be a lot of things go wrong when soldiers and employees are tweeting or facebooking what may seem harmless, but could do harm.

Well rest easy! Last Friday the Pentagon has begun tweaking it's networks to actual allow access to twitter and facebook.

But before you think soldiers and sailors are going to go all out tweeting, the guidelines are still in place about what you can and cannot do.

Military persons will be asked to refrain doing or revealing anything that may jeopardize the military's mission or lives.

It goes further than that. Allowing access on base and other military commands does not mean the military will not frown on other sites: gambling, porn, warez, etc. In fact, commands can at will shut down access.

If you were a little worried that the military was allowing anything and everything, forget it.

The Pentagon just realizes that using twitter and facebook is a good way for officials to interact with the public. It can also be a useful tool for military families to stay in touch, but precautions still must be made.

Facebook released a statement:
"Facebook is heartened by today's decision to begin to allow our nation's men and women in uniform and civilian employees across the Department of Defense responsible access to social media, which plays an important role in people's daily lives."

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Success in Marjah?

The Afghanistan government is now flying their flag over Marjah. This former taleban stronghold is now in civilian hands.

This is a job well done for the US military.

Even so, this flag raising ceremony took place as troops were still clearing bomb fields to clear the last few square miles.

People have returned in the last couple of days and many markets and shops are now open for business, maybe not as usual, but for business.

This ceremony also had a reading from the Koran. Can you imagine that? US soldiers dying and fighting so people have the right to recite religious material at public ceremonies. But in their own country, could these soldiers read from the Bible if they wanted? Think about that for a while.

This was really a joint effort of US, NATO, and Afghan forces, but you can bet the majority of the battles were fought and won by Americans. But we do salute other countries, like Britain, who lost their brave men.

The success in Marjah does mark a milestone, as it was one the biggest last holdouts of the taleban, complete with drug trade.

The main goal was to show Afghans that the world is serious, well, at least the US, about giving Afghanistan back over to Afghans.

As the insurgents leave, they plant bombs that are vexing the troops in clean up mode. Probably 100 remain nearby who will undoubtedly fight until they are all dead.

We refuse to give any body counts for political reasons. Suffice to say there were needless deaths all around. That is never looked upon lightly.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Navy to allow women on submarines

The Pentagon gave the go ahead to eliminate a ban on women serving on submarines. This was revealed in a letter sent by Secretary Gates to lawmakers. Women could begin to be assigned sub duty as early as next year.

Did you know that about 15% of the over 300,000 people serving at sea are women?

Of course, submarines are different. It is a very closed environment. The term "hot bunking" is a submarine term. Because of lack of space, two people can share a bunk. That is, sleep while the other works, then reverse. One person keeps the bunk "hot," so to speak.

Apparently the first to see duty on a submarine would be women officers. The reason? Officers normally do not have to "hot bunk" and have separate quarters.

Members of congress have thirty days to render an opinion.

Army General George Casey, who appeared before the Senate on Tuesday, said that in effect this is just another step of re-examining women in combat roles and expanding them.

We at this blog have always took the position that at no time, here or in the past, have we ever needed women to do such duties. But life moves on. There does not seem much stomach anymore for keeping men and women separate, as well as making combat a male-only role any more. That to us is a sad statement about our society.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

New GI Bill Helpline

The helpline for the New GI Bill will be fully operational with a full staff. Veterans who are going to school or thinking of school can get help by telephone. The helpline for The New GI Bill will be full staffed and open Monday through Friday. We don't know the exact hours, but probably normal business hours, east coast time.

The problem was that in December, there was a huge backlog of veterans trying to get benefits. The helpline personnel were moved from that to clearing the backlog. Now that things have calmed down a bit, the GI Bill helpline is back being staffed.

The telephone number is: 1-888-GI-BILL-1 or 1-888-442-4551

The New GI Bill is one of the best things for recently discharged veterans, as well as VA Veterans Home Loans.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Returning Veterans Project

The Returning Veterans Project is an organization dedicated to helping returning soldiers adjust to civilian life. They also provide services to those who are being deployed and after they return home, as well as the families who support them.

The Returning Veterans Project is a non-profit group of medical personnel and support services who volunteer their time to help our military personnel and their families.

They are also co-sponsoring Stand Down for homeless veterans on March 8.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quilts for Veterans

There is a group of women, (well mostly women) who donate their time and skill to make quilts for veterans. Their mission is to cover our wounded soldiers. Their name? Quilts of Valor Foundation

There are groups in various parts of the country. They collect names of servicemen to give a quilt to. They send quilts all over the world. Some soldiers even do special requests.

There are local chapters of various quilting clubs that donate quilts to this cause as well. One of them is in the Hemet area of Southern California,

If you wish to donate your time, quilt, money, fabric, whatever, just visit the websites above.

We salute these women who are true patriots! We know their quilts are made not with just thread and fabric, but love and affection for our servicemen.
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Support the Stolen Valor Act

In 2006, the congress passed a law making it illegal and punishable by jail time for lying about military service.

Because of the Iraq and Afghan wars, some people think that military service is a plus now. They will even say that being a military hero is the "in" thing.

As a result, faking and lying about military service has become quite tempting. And many people do it. Many elected officials are blabbing about a military record that is nonexistent or empty.

The Stolen Valor Act was to put a stop to this.

But now, we have some people who think it's just a freedom of speech issue. That lying is not anything we can regulate, it's just freedom of speech. As of this post, there are two cases in Colorado and California that are defending military liars as just a case of doing no harm by lying.

We beg to disagree. Vehemently. Lying about your military record to get a job seems to be already against the law. You are lying for monetary gain. A deliberate lie cannot be protected speech if it has consequences. However, many say that some do it not for monetary gain. But that should not matter. They are lying about their lack of military service. That alone makes this right up with the hate law crimes that these same people espouse. That is, beating up someone of a certain persuasion is somehow worse than beating up someone else. Lying is no exception.

There are lies and then there are lies. Lying about one's military service should indeed be a federal crime. A felony. It is close to an act of treason. It is the lowest of the lows. What does that do to the real military heroes? It disrespects them. Free speech is one thing. Lying about your military service is not free speech. Freedom is never free.

We urge everybody to write there congressmen and women and keep this law on the books.

Keep real military service where it belongs. Send a message to the liars.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's corpsman, Mr. President, not corpse man

Apparently the Commander-in-Chief does not a thing about military personnel.

Or very little.

President Obama kept referring to a Navy corpsman (pronounced like Marine Corps) a corpse man. When you think about it, a Navy corpsman does deal with corpses, but certainly does not want to be known as a corpse man.

You would think the president of the United States would know how to pronounce this word.

Good thing colonel was not up that.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oldest World War I Veteran Turns 109

Frank Buckles just turned 109. Frank is also the oldest World War I veteran. Well, we need to qualify that further. Frank Buckles is the only American World War I veteran still living. Quite remarkable when you think about it.

Frank Buckles was a corporal in the Army during World War I stationed in Europe. He was an ambulance driver.

Frank lives in a farmhouse in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

Frank Buckles was 16 and talked his way into the Army. Mr. Buckles also was involved in World War I. He was working for a shipping company as a civilian near the Philippines in 1942. The Japanese captured him and he was held as a prisoner for 3 years.

Frank Buckles has campaigned recently for an unrecognized piece of the National Mall to be officially recognized as a memorial to World War I veterans.

We wish him health and success in his endeavor.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Federal proposal has more for military support

Michelle Obama has become an advocate for military families. She has been instrumental in getting military support items in the federal budget.

The First Lady was at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington for a luncheon with military spouses. She announced that she had heard many military families and their needs and wanted to do something. But Mrs. Obama also said she is not seeking credit.

Here are some of the proposals:
-More money spent on counseling and support for military families.
-Money for military child care.
-Department of Defense money to build or renovate schools.
-Money for military spouses in the form of tuition assistance and intern programs.
-Coast Guard housing.
-Programs for children in military families.

No matter what side of the political aisle you are on, those proposals are worthy. And they should not be tied to any deficit reduction. If we can't support our military and their families, than nothing else matters.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Why a VA Home Loan is the Best Home Loan Available

Veterans, you get out of the service and wonder if there is any help for people like you. Well, to be honest, help comes in many forms, but help for one veteran is not help for another. The government does have one huge helping hand for veterans when it comes to getting a home loan. Yes, you do have to have a good, steady job. But the advantages for a veteran using his or her VA home loan benefit is enormous.

Here are the major perks of a VA Home Loan:
The government guarantees the loan.
Almost any mortgage lending institution can give you one.
No down payment is required.
The closing costs and fees are capped.
No private mortgage insurance (PMI) is needed.
You can be eligible even if you are on active duty, a reservist, or even a public health worker.

Getting a VA Home Loan is the same process of getting a conventional loan. But you must obtain a VA home loan certificate of eligibility from the government.

>>More information on VA Home Loans.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine's for Veterans, National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans Week

Many of our veterans are in VA hospitals. We need to give them the best medical care possible. But we also need to show them our love, support, and appreciation.

National Salute to Veterans Week is February 7-13, 2010. This is a great opportunity to get involved to show your support for veterans. There is something everybody can do. And it's very easy and does not cost a whole lot of money. Send Valentine's Day cards to hospitalized veterans.

Almost every VA hospital will allow you to send a box of Valentine's to them and they will disperse them to patients. Just contact your local VA hospital on this procedure. Take a little time to write a short note on each one. You don't need to get too fancy. The note of support will mean more. Put your heart into it and give them like you mean it. Search the list of VA hospitals.

If you would like to volunteer your time for veterans, visit

We also would like to thank the members of Camp Fire USA and the Salvation Army for getting involved in passing out Valentine's, gifts, and treats to our veterans.

Teachers, why not make it a class project? Even if you need to spend a few dollars out of your pocket for some boxes of Valentine's, it's worth it. Have your class write letters to veterans. They can even make them as art projects. Then take or send them to your nearest VA facility. An easy of showing your support and thanking our veterans.

Now go out and support our troops!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bible verses on gun sights a non-issue

There has been much ado about nothing lately on Bible scriptures being put on rifle sights made for the US military.

Let's set the record straight. There are no Bible verses on the sights. They only have cryptic reference like JN8:12, a reference to John 8:12. But nothing else. That's right, nothing but JN8:12.

This company, Trijicon has been providing sights since 1995. Nobody has ever complained. Nobody has ever cared. This is just one more attempt to make much ado about nothing. There is no advance of religion. There is no proselytizing. Just a tiny bit of a reference that one cannot even see unless one looks for it. It is at the end of the stock number. So what?

Come one people. There is nothing in the constitution that bars quoting of the Bible. And this is not even quoting the Bible. In fact, if you had no idea what JN8:12 meant at the end of a stock number, how would that offend you?

Besides, only US troops get these sights. If this was such a problem, you would have heard soldiers complain in the 15 years they have been used. Now, you will see some complain, egged on by idiot do-gooders who have nothing more to do with their time.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti and Ft. Hood: What do they have in common?

First Ft. Hood. Once again, the cues from the top of the current administration is all about being politically correct. Let's be more social. No profiling. Live and let live. Don't be so military. That's why today many officers are being wrongly accused of looking the other way. Let me correct that. They did look the other way. But only because they were too scared to really say what was on their minds. They did not want to look like were anti-Muslim or hurting someone's feelings. From the top, all the way to the bottom. Each and every person who knew better, let the situation get out of hand. And now we look back and want to blame the military? No. We need to blame the current administration and their lack of a war on terror.

In Haiti, we are seeing a massive relief effort not going so well.

This is due mostly to the fact that nobody is taking charge.

Our military was born for this effort. Unfortunately, we have allowed political correctness to seep through. Our military is taking cues from the top not to be "too military." So, we just sit on the sidelines and watch, or get lost with everyone else. Political correctness be damned. We need a general, admiral, whoever, to plant the American flag and say, "We are in charge." Then mobilize our forces throughout Haiti. Keep the streets safe. Restore order. Protect and serve.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Military steps it up in Haiti

Our military is doing a fantastic job in Haiti. This is when America can show our true colors. Thousands of people in Haiti are in desperate need. We only hope it goes smoothly. If we let our military plan and run the operation, there is no doubt they can pull it off.

Of course there will be glitches. Of course there will be delays. This is not an easy problem to get to, nor will it solve the complete problem. It also cannot possibly save everyone. We know the military is our best bet at providing services in disasters like this. We have the supplies, personnel, and medical teams to aid in this process.

There is NO military in the world, or people like our servicemen and women who can do a better job.

How you can help in the Haiti relief efforts:

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Worst Military Disaster on Home Soil Becomes National Park

Black History Month and celebrations are coming up, and it may be good to note that a military disaster that involved predominately black soldiers has been recently commemorated.

Here's a little background. The new National Park sits on an otherwise non-distinct plot of land in Norther California along the Sacramento River. But over 65 years ago, on July 17, 1944, in what was Port Chicago, 320 military men lost their lives. 202 were African American. This was a huge munition depot at the time. And that's what caused the disaster. A huge explosion rocked the compound. The men working had no training handling explosives. After this disaster, the survivors were not exactly lucky. 50 of the all-white officers who were overseeing the men were given 30 days leave to recover, but the black men had to return to work at another munition depot. When most of them refused, they were either given bad conduct discharges or court martialed. They were defended by Thurgood Marshall, who as we know later became a member of the US SUprem Court. The men lost the case and were sentenced to up to 15 years hard labor. These sentences were later tossed out when the war ended.

This is a chapter of World War II history that you may not have been aware of. This incident contributed to President Truman removing all segregation from the armed services.

We support all military personnel and veterans, regardless of color. We judge people by their service to their country. And anyone who serves his or her country faithfully should be respected and supported.

Remember this incident resulted in over 200 servicemen losing their lives. And hardly anyone knows about it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nursing opportunities in the military and VA

Are you a nurse? Are you going to be a nurse? Do you want to be a nurse? If you said yes to any of those, have you considered really making a difference? Nursing can be a great way to make a difference in our military and VA hospitals. Many times, there are nursing shortages. Maybe you are a nurse and have wondered how you can serve your country, or just do something patriotic to show your appreciation.

The military has large and small hospitals in many places, from San Diego, California, to Washington D.C. Any and all nursing specialties are used. Yes, military life can be hard. But if you have what it takes, you can take your nursing skills to a whole new level that some only dream of. Yes, this includes man and women nurses.

For a commission in the military, normally you need a bachelor's degree in nursing, and be 21 years of age. There can be an age cut off at around 43 to sign up, but if you are as old as 60 and you have a much needed specialty, you can get a waiver.

Are you in the military now? Want to be a nurse? The military will send you to college while on active duty and pay for the school. When you graduate, you agree to give a certain number of years in the service.

Learn more on being a nurse in the Army, Navy,or Air Force.

Don't want to join the military? Many of the large military hospitals do not have enough nurses or medical personnel in the military. So, they do hire civilians to work right alongside military members. If you live near a large base, chances are there is a hospital and clinics available to you to work in.

There are also VA hospitals in most parts of the country. VA hospitals normally serve retired or disabled military veterans. If you have the calling to really make a difference, these veterans could use your love, support, as well as your nursing skills. VA Nurse opportunities.

>>Nursing School-How to get scholarships, grants, and loans.


>>VA Veterans Home Loans

>>Military Families and Money.

>>Military Family Scholarships

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Foster care for veterans

As veterans age, many no longer have families that can take care of them. Many veterans end up in retirement homes. The federal government now has a foster home program for veterans.

Veterans who can no longer take care of themselves have a new option of Medical Foster Home care.

Medical Foster Home locates community members who can take a veteran in and provide 24 hour around the clock care. This care includes everything from meals to medicine, as well as personal attendant. The commitment is for long-term, as the Medical Foster Home provider is to last the rest of the veteran's life.

It is not free, but is cheaper than other 24 hour care facilities. The veteran pays money to the caregiver, from $1200 to $2500 a month depending on the level of care. As the veteran ages, the care gets more expensive.

The foster home must be approved and accept unannounced visits from the VA to insure quality care.

Many veterans are moving themselves out of nursing facilities and into foster care. The money mostly comes out of their own pockets.

>More information on Veterans Medical Foster Home care.

>Create a free website to honor a veteran or military service member.

>VA Veterans Home Loans Benefit.

>Veteran's VA Burial and Memorial Benefits.

>Military Family Scholarships.