Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Vietnam Veteran General Richard Cavazos Passed Away

Army's first Hispanic four-star general, Kingsville native dies
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Alexandria Rodriguez
October 30, 2017

The man who was raised by a cowhand on King Ranch and eventually became the United States Army's first Hispanic four-star general has died.

Richard Edward Cavazos, 88, died Sunday. He was living in the Army Residence Community in San Antonio. He is survived by his wife, Caroline, said Bill Fee, who served under Cavazos during the Vietnam War in 1967.

"The infantry men he led in Vietnam have been close to him ever since we got back from Vietnam, Fee said. "He's been a tremendous supporter of us ever since we got back. He's a remarkable gentleman."

The general also was the first Hispanic to attain the rank of brigadier general, according to biography.com. Cavazos spent most of his childhood on King Ranch with his father, a World World I veteran and foreman of the ranch's Santa Gertrudis division, the San Antonio Express-News reported in 2016.
read more here

Virginia Sailor and Pregnant Wife Ambushed and Shot

Navy sailor, pregnant wife shot while trying to buy phone using OfferUp

October 30, 2017

"When they pulled up, six individuals [came out] and then four others surrounded the car. There was one shooter and that one shooter is the one who approached the car and instantly started firing shots," the father said.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- A Navy sailor and his pregnant wife were in the hospital Monday after being shot multiple times while trying to buy a cellphone through an app used to buy and sell personal items called OfferUp.
The young couple, who didn't want WTKR to use their last name, were just starting their lives together.

Frederick joined the Navy in January at the top of his class and married his love, Emily. They were stationed in Virginia at the start of the summer.

On Saturday night, they were using the OfferUp app to buy a cellphone from an 18-year-old girl.
read more here

Retired Air Force Colonel Committed Suicide After Email?

Veteran's suicide at center of lawsuit against UC Davis
CBS News
October 31, 2017

"This man had served his country for 23 years on active duty, and he had a chest full of metals. I believe in his mind, and so does our expert, that he was immediately imagining what would happen to him in the Air Force." Annabelle Roberts

DAVIS, Calif. -- A lawsuit filed against University of California, Davis claims the school discriminated against a decorated Air Force veteran, which drove himself to commit suicide.

CBS Sacramento reports the incident happened back in October 2015, but new details are just being released.

After leaving the military, Col. Christopher de Los Santos took a job at UC Davis.

But three months later, trouble spiraled out of control quickly during a weekend retreat with co-workers. One witness claims it was more like a booze cruise, saying Santos was misbehaving.

The university launched an investigation into the alleged inappropriate behavior, and a day later, campus officials sent Santos an email placing him on leave.

Santos took his own life a few hours after receiving that email.
read more here

Monday, October 30, 2017

Details Left Out on Veterans Suicide Gossip

If you still want to talk about how many veterans you think are committing suicide day by day, consider the following. 
Overview of data for the years between 2001-2014
§ In 2014, there were 41,425 suicides among U.S. adults. Among all U.S. adult deaths from suicide, 18%(7,403) were identified as Veterans of U.S. military service. 
§ In 2014, the rate of suicide among U.S. civilian adults was 15.2 per 100,000. 
• Since 2001, the age-adjusted rate of suicide among U.S. civilian adults has increased by 23.0%. 
§ In 2014, the rate of suicide among all Veterans was 35.3 per 100,000.
• Since 2001, the age-adjusted rate of suicide among U.S. Veterans has increased by 32.2%. 
§ In 2014, the rate of suicide among U.S. civilian adult males was 26.2 per 100,000.
• Since 2001, the age-adjusted rate of suicide among U.S. civilian adult males has increased by 0.3%.
§ In 2014, the rate of suicide among U.S. Veteran males was 37.0 per 100,000.
• Since 2001, the age-adjusted rate of suicide among U.S. Veteran males has increased by 30.5%.
§ In 2014, the rate of suicide among U.S. civilian adult females was 7.2 per 100,000. 
• Since 2001, the age-adjusted rate of suicide among U.S. civilian adult females has increased by 39.7%. 
§ In 2014, the rate of suicide among U.S. Veteran females was 18.9 per 100,000. 
• Since 2001, the age-adjusted rate of suicide among U.S. Veteran females has increased by 85.2%.

And to think this is after the Veterans Crisis Line did all this,
Since the establishment of the VCL through May 2016 the VCL:
o Has answered over 2.3 million calls, made over 289,000 chat connections, and over 55,000 texts; 
o Has initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in imminent suicidal crisis over 61,000 times; 
o Has provided over 376,000 referrals to a VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator (SPC) thus ensuring Veterans are connected to local care;
And all the awareness groups have been doing a lot of talking but hardly any research. Including the fact that what they have been doing may have made them feel better about themselves, but did very little to get veterans to feel hope for their own lives. 

If you want to change the outcome, better start with with facts that got us to where we already are.

Family of Jason Simcakoski Gets Justice...Finally

Justice moved slowly. VA was found at fault back in 2015 after an investigation.

$2.3 million settlement filed in veteran's death at Tomah VA

WMTV NBC 15 News
October 28, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The government has reached a $2.3 million settlement with survivors of a Marine veteran who died of a drug overdose at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah.
Court papers filed Friday say about $1.65 million would go upfront to the widow and daughter of Jason Simcakoski, of Stevens Point, who was 35 when he died in 2014. 
Another $659,000 would go into annuities for them. The rest would go to attorney fees and expenses.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Veterans Court, Support and Encouragement

13 vets graduate from Indy Veterans Court

FOX 59
Randy Spieth
October 27, 2017

“I know I wouldn’t be here today if veterans court didn’t exist," Mills said while holding back tears. "I probably would be in jail, but they gave me hope.”
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.  - A relatively new program recognized the work of 13 veterans Friday who have suffered because of their time in the military.

Veterans court allows service men and women to enroll in treatment, allowing them to stay out of jail and possibly see their criminal charges dropped.
Vets in the program were recognized for graduating with an hour-long ceremony at the Indiana World War Memorial auditorium.
The Indianapolis Veterans Court (IVC) celebrated its second anniversary of serving men and women. Including Friday's ceremony, 21 veterans have graduated from IVC.
“Our program is a treatment-oriented court," said Marion County Superior Court Judge David Certo, who also runs the IVC. "You go to treatment, the court helps support you and encourage you, and hold you accountable in doing that because you get better outcomes when you go consistently to treatment.”
The program is completed by veterans in phases, and can take 12 to 18 months overall. 
read more here

Parents Left Behind After Suicide Trained to Make a Difference

At first I was getting ready to slam this article as one more empty attempt to get attention. I am happy to admit I am glad I kept reading this article. 

It not only shows how a family left behind by suicide feels the need to help others, they actually invested the time and learned how to do it! Great story and great idea!

Nonprofits team up to help military families deal with suicide

Boston Herald
Marie Szaniszlo 
Saturday, October 28, 2017 

Melida and Carlos Arredondo received their training certification from the state in 2016 after Carlos’ 20-year-old son, Marine Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo, was shot in the head by sniper fire in 2004 during his second deployment to Iraq. His 24-year-old brother, Brian, with whom he’d been close, hanged himself seven years later. The military’s casualty report explaining how Alex had been killed was found at his feet.

Needing Help for Combat PTSD But Won't Seek It?

Waiting For Help Without Asking?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 29, 2017

There is a huge difference between needing help and asking for it. My Mom was a great example of that. She was a proud woman, used to taking care of herself until she reached her 70's. 

After that, the usual argument was about what she needed her "kids" to do but we didn't guess she needed it. Yes, that twisted up. She figured since we knew her all our lives, we should just know what she needed and she shouldn't have to ask for it.

When we know someone needs help, it is never easy to guess what it is they need and even harder to figure out what they want from others.

Pride often gets in the way but then there is something else trapping people from help. They see others getting help while no one is helping them. The question is, if they do not ask for help they need, how can they receive it?
Jesus Heals a Man at a Pool (John 5)
Later Jesus went to Jerusalem for a special feast. 
In Jerusalem there is a pool with five covered porches, which is called Bethesda in the Hebrew language. This pool is near the Sheep Gate.  
Many sick people were lying on the porches beside the pool. Some were blind, some were crippled, and some were paralyzed, and they waited for the water to move.  
Sometimes an angel of the Lord came down to the pool and stirred up the water. After the angel did this, the first person to go into the pool was healed from any sickness he had. 
A man was lying there who had been sick for thirty-eight years.  
When Jesus saw the man and knew that he had been sick for such a long time, Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be well?” 
The sick man answered, “Sir, there is no one to help me get into the pool when the water starts moving. While I am coming to the water, someone else always gets in before me.” 
Then Jesus said, “Stand up. Pick up your mat and walk.” And immediately the man was well; he picked up his mat and began to walk.
That story always gets to me. The first question I have is how the man got there in the first place? Someone must have brought him there. Why didn't they stay to make sure he got into the pool? After all, the first part of the help getting there was only part of what he needed. What about the other part?

Then I wonder if he ever asked anyone else to help him? Did he try to do it on his own? Did he watch as the others got help to get into the healing waters and simply sit there with the soul crushing feeling of not mattering as much as others?

It is also a great example of it never being too late to get help to heal!

Most of the phone calls and email requests for help, are from family members asking for help for their veteran. They want me to contact the veteran. I tried that many years ago and it failed. When they are not ready to ask for help, they are not ready to receive it. Sometimes it is pride. Sometimes it is because they do not think they deserve it. Most of the time it is because they do not understand what is going on inside of them.

If they think the wrong thing about PTSD, like it has more to do with being weak than the strength of their emotional core, they won't ask for help.

At that point, I'll do what I can for the family to understand it and give them enough knowledge to minimize turmoil in the home. Every now and then, the veteran ends up calling because he/she no longer feels it is their fault.

Too many veterans have no one to help them get to the healing they need because others get in the way. They tell them things that are simply not true. Then there is a lot of judgment going on much like what Jesus healed the man at the pool on the Sabbath. 

He got into trouble for doing it on that day when no one was supposed to work. I'd love to hear the explanation from the people working at the temple how it was ok for them but no one else. Still seems to me that Jesus was in fact doing more than they were with something that was actually on behalf of God and not raising funds for their pockets.

41 “I don’t need praise from people.  
42 But I know you—I know that you don’t have God’s love in you.  
43 I have come from my Father and speak for him, but you don’t accept me. But when another person comes, speaking only for himself, you will accept him.  
44 You try to get praise from each other, but you do not try to get the praise that comes from the only God.
If you need help, ask for it. If you do not get what you need, then ask someone else. Sooner or later you'll find the help that has been there all along just waiting for you to seek it.

Point Man International Ministries 
Hotline: 1-800-877-VETS (8387)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Retired Marine Killed While Barbecuing in Park

BSO: Man involved in I-95 crash fatally shot former Marine

7 News Miami
October 26, 2017

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Authorities are investigating after, they said, a man shot a retired U.S. Marine who was a longtime friend in Pompano Beach before he was involved in a crash that shut down Interstate 95 for several hours, Thursday.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the victim was shot dead at a park near Northwest 15th Place and Third Avenue, at around 7:30 p.m.
“The victim was shot multiple times,” said BSO Spokesperson Joy Oglesby. “When he was found, he was pronounced dead on scene by Pompano Beach Fire Rescue.”
Neighbors said the victim, 46-year-old Trevor Mitchell, was shot while barbecuing for a family in mourning.

"Forever War" is Getting the Press to Tell The Whole Story

Lesson to learn about trusting a news report.

"Forever war" as was used in the title is actually what veterans fight when they come home. The battle against PTSD does not end.

The 1.7 million former service members who live in Texas make up the country’s second-largest veterans population after California and 6 percent of the state’s population. The 554 veterans who took their own lives in 2014 accounted for 18 percent of the 3,127 suicides statewide. 
Veterans age 18 to 34 in Texas died by suicide at a rate one-third higher than those age 35 to 54 and twice that of former service members age 55 to 74. The total of 112 suicides in the youngest age category compared to 81 in California, where the veterans population approaches 2 million.
California doesn't know how many veterans committed suicide and just past legislation to put military service on death certificates. 
“The rates of PTSD and other conditions go up every time you deploy,” said Ely, a former Marine. “And when you come back home, all the things that you relied on to keep you alive — hypervigilance, intensity, adrenaline, not sleeping — are all the things that make readjusting harder.”
That is right and it was known back in 2006 when the Army released their report but every branch did it anyway.

The other thing is that veterans are double the civilian rate of suicide. They seem to leave out a couple of facts on that one too. 

Most civilians are not "trained" in "prevention" but veterans were. 

Most civilians do not take jobs that could cost them their lives, but veterans did.

Most civilians do not value life so much they are willing to die to save someone else, but veterans were.

Iraq Veteran Motivates Thanks To Angels

Burned in Iraq, veteran motivates with humor, runs to raise funds
Sebastian Robertson
October 27, 2017

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my angels and their life that I can't waste today." Bobby Henline
BEDFORD - Bobby Henline will be the first to tell you that he should've died in Iraq in 2007.

“I was burnt over 38 percent of my body," Henline said. "Doctors said there's no medical explanation for why I'm alive."

Ten years ago, the Humvee Henline was riding in hit a roadside bomb. The blast from the explosion killed four other men inside inside the vehicle and left Henline severely burned. It was his fourth tour in Iraq, his thirteenth year in the military.

"If I was one of the guys that didn't make it, what I want for the guy that did, of course I would want them to live the life to the fullest," Henline said.

For the last decade, the father of four has tried to find out how to do that.
"I've got to teach them the burn survivor wave," Henline said as he waved both arms above his head. "It's like when you buy a Jeep you learn the Jeep wave. The day you get burned, you learn the burn wave. It's like, 'ahhh!'"
read more here

Time to Kill the BS to Save Veterans!

Time to Kill the BS to Save Veterans!
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 28, 2017

Sick and tired of political BS on both sides that leaves veterans trapped and confused. 

The National Media with 24-7 "news" has turned away from what the American public cares about and veterans need to know. 

When we need Walter Cronkite we get politics-idiocy and fake facts.

It is not a "mental illness." It hits you! The term actually means "wound" so get the crap out of your head that you were weak or any other BS you've been told over the years. 

You are not a victim but you are a survivor!

For all the BS talk about raising awareness and politicians funding "efforts" to the tune of billions a year, they have actually increased. 

(Check the facts for yourself.)

**Military Suicides 
(not counted within the headlines of veterans committing suicide)
CY 2008 DoDSER Annual Report
CY 2009 DoDSER Annual Report
CY 2010 DoDSER Annual Report
CY 2011 DoDSER Annual Report
CY 2012 DoDSER Annual Report
CY 2013 DoDSER Annual Report
CY 2014 DoDSER Annual Report
CY 2015 DoDSER Annual Report
DoD Quarterly Suicide Report CY2016 Q4
DoD Quarterly Suicide Report CY2017 Q2

**VA Veteran Suicides
2012 (21 states)
2014 (Not all states have military service on death certificates, so many not included)

**Veteran Charities
Not all charities take care of all generations. Make sure you know who you are donating to and what they are doing with your money. Results matter more than what they claim.

**Peer Support
Peer support works best but only when the person giving support knows more than the one needing it.

You can heal and live a better life but it requires a lot of work on your mind-body and spirit. The BS within "the rest of your life" is that you are stuck suffering the way you are. While there is no cure for PTSD, there is healing and living better quality of life.

**Problems with the VA?
Refer to Congress and check the facts going back to 1946, when they got the job of taking care of veterans.

**Privatization of VA
BS! You prepaid for your care when you started to serve. Don't let them send you into the same mess the rest of us deal with.

If you have to wait for appointments, so do the rest of us in civilian healthcare. Have to see one doctor after another? So do we, and we have to wait for those appointments and tests too.

When you hear someone in Congress say the VA is a mess and they are doing you a favor by sending you to private doctors, ask them why they haven't fixed the VA to make sure the care you were promised was delivered!

Remember, what you need and they promised you, should have been taken care of ahead of time. You did your job. Make them to theirs!

Santa Claus says he was fired for holding a gun

Man dressed as armed Santa claims firing tied to photo 
Detroit News 
October 27, 2017 

Before the event in December 2015, he posted the photo of himself holding the assault rifle in his home. In the background is his Christmas tree, an American flag and his military medals and commendations. 

Santa Claus says he was fired for holding a gun. 

In this case, Santa is Calvin Congden of Tipton, Michigan, who likes to dress as the Jolly One for charity events.

But when he posted a photo of himself dressed as Santa and clutching a semiautomatic rifle to Facebook in 2015, he claims a supervisor at the state Department of Health and Human Services wasn’t happy. Congden had recently started working for the department as a child protective services worker.

He was let go by the agency at the end of his yearlong probation and blames the manager’s distaste for the armed Santa photo.

Congden filed a federal lawsuit against the agency Friday, saying it violated his rights to free speech and bear arms. The Army vet, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, also says the state discriminated against him because of his disability.
read more here

PTSD Vietnam Veteran Sues Vet After Robbery

Robbery victims sue Alcoa veterinary clinic

The Daily Times
Wes Wade
October 28, 2017

A Sevier County couple has filed a $1 million lawsuit against an Alcoa veterinary clinic over an armed robbery at the business last year.
Sevierville residents William and Anita Livingston are suing Midland Pet Emergency Center after the business was targeted in an armed robbery last October. The Livingstons, who were inside the clinic at the time, were also robbed at gunpoint, according to the complaint, filed Friday in Blount County Circuit Court.
The couple is now holding the veterinary clinic responsible for failing to prevent the robbery.
The couple state in the complaint that William Livingston, a 68-year-old Vietnam War veteran, began suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) right after the incident, leading him to believe he was having a heart attack.
The Livingstons state they arrived at the clinic, located at 235 S. Calderwood St., around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 28, 2016. They came seeking care for their pet Yorkie, which was having seizures, the complaint states.
An employee had to unlock the door to let them in. The complaint states the employee failed to lock the door behind them, allowing a masked intruder to enter a short while later.
That is the part that changed my mind about this story.

NATO Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan, 1 Dead 6 Injured

US servicemember killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan

Stars and Stripes
Phillip Walter Wellman
October 28, 2017

KABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S. servicemember died Friday as a result of injuries sustained during a helicopter crash in Logar province, Resolute Support said Saturday.
A NATO helicopter transporting troops for a night raid in Afghanistan’s eastern Logar province hit a tree, Afghan officials said on Saturday. Six other U.S. crew members were injured and are all receiving medical treatment, RS said.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Upcoming Central Florida Veterans Events

From Cathy Haynes

GROUPS: You have one more week to get your Veterans Day event info to me so that it can be shared with others! 
October is Agent Orange Awareness Month. The organization Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) encourages your education and support of the Federal Toxic Exposure Research.
WW2 Airplane reburbed, crewmember wanted - The Orlando-Sanford Airport has an event coming up in early November where they will be unveiling a refurbished airplane. They are DESPERATELY looking for someone who would have flown the plane. The PV-Ventura was used in the WW2 European theater by the Army Air Corps or Navy or the Royal Air Force. Other versions of the plane would have been the B-34 Lexington, B-37, or Navy's PV-2 Harpoon for submarine search/bombing. Do you know of someone who would have flown such an aircraft or who might be able to give us a lead? Contact George LaMont at marinelamont@ yahoo .com and CC: chaynes11629@ yahoo .com

Avoid the confusion - Just a bit of a reminder - There is a difference between veterans and military. Sometimes people get confused that veterans were once active military but they are not officially serving anymore. And our military who are serving now and will one day be veterans. Retired veterans served a specified required time in service. All military retirees are veterans but not all veterans are military retired.  
·       Veterans Day honors all persons who once were in the military - especially the living. Formerly known as Armistice Day after WWI – 11/11/11 – Eleventh day of the Eleventh month at the Eleventh hour.
·       Armed Forces Day is the third Saturday in May - it was established in 1950 to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force Days. That is a day to pay tribute to men and women who ARE currently serve the United States’ armed forces.
·       Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military; Observed on the last Monday in May. 
United States Submarine Veterans mtg – Thurs Oct 26 – The Central Florida Base meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7pm, at the Casselberry Veteran's Club, 200 Concord Dr., Casselberry, 32707. Fun and networking with membership open to all Navy personnel and veterans who are qualified in submarines. Guests are always welcome at meetings. Info: Jay D Mack 407- 920-9347 jmack349@ gmail .com
Veterans’ Driver License Reinstatement – Fri. Oct 27 - Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, the Orange County Veterans Court, the Department of Revenue, and other state and local agencies, have joined forces to help veterans in Orange County learn how to reinstate their driver license that may have been suspended for a variety of reasons (homelessness, support arrears, etc.)  At the Veterans Driver License Reinstatement Clinic, veterans can get a jump-start on breaking down one barrier to holding a job, obtaining housing, or seeking medical care - having a valid driver license. 8:30am – 4pm in the Jury Room at Orange County Courthouse, 425 N Orange Ave, Orlando, 32801. Pre-registration available at: veteransdlclinic.eventbrite .com CLSMF: 407-841-7777 or Veterans Court at 407-836-0578. 
October 28, 1886 - The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. The statue was a gift from the people of France commemorating the French-American alliance during the American Revolutionary War. Designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the entire structure stands 300 feet (92.9 meters) tall.
October 28, 1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis ended.
6th Annual Ruck Sack March – Sat. Oct 28 – You are challenged to “Walk a Mile in their Boots.”  Participants can choose from three different participation levels AND three different course lengths. You can walk for fun or compete as a Runner or Warrior. Warriors must carry at least 35 lbs. in a ruck sack or backpack. Then select a 5k, 10k or 12-mile course length so you can participate or compete at the level you want. First place finishers and top fundraisers receive great prizes. Families are welcome! Lake Nona will be the site and Registration is open; Sponsorship opportunities are available. See Camaraderie Foundation website for info and registration. (407) 841-0071.
Participation in this Camaraderie Foundation event provides counseling resources for private and confidential Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) counseling for military, former warriors and their families seeking assistance.   It works. It HAS saved lives, marriages and families. Contact 407-841-0071
Annual Women in Law Enforcement Forum & Safety Expo – Sat. Oct 28 – Learn about a potential career in law enforcement. Expo: 9am – 2pm and Forum: 10am and 1pm. Both sworn and civilian positions available. Orange County Sheriff’s office, 2500 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando, 32804. www. ocso .com
Pre-Veterans’ Day Program - Sun. Oct 29 – Former US Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert A. McDonald, is the guest speaker at St. Luke’s Methodist –Windermere. Hosted by the church’s Veterans Cluster Group at 1 - 3pm in the Founder’s Hall, 4851 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, 32819. He will provide an inside look at issues facing our veterans and their families. There will be some time for questions. Free and open to the public. Refreshments. RSVP’s requested for planning to st.lukes .org/military 407-876-4991. 
Veterans Resource Fair – Orlando – Wed. Nov 1 – 11am – 1pm at the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona. Located by the Clinic Information Desk: OEF/OIF guidance, TBI assistance, Florida Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Fisher House information and others. 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando, 32827. Info: vhaorlpublicaffairs@ va .gov 407-631-4436
Veterans Resource Fair – Viera – Wed. Nov 1 – 11am-1pm at the Viera VA Outpatient Clinic in the main entrance rotunda, 2900 Veterans Way, Viera, 32940.  (321) 637-3788. Public Affairs office: 407-631-4436 vhaorlpublicaffairs@ va .gov 
Coast Guard Auxiliary meeting – Wed. Nov 1 – The Osceola Flotilla 17-10 meets on the 1st Wed. of each month, 7pm, at American Legion Post 10, 205 Lakeview Dr., Kissimmee, 34741. Auxiliary members are volunteers who support the Coast Guard in all its non-military, and non-law-enforcement missions. Members help to provide maritime safety, security and stewardship; to secure the homeland, save lives and property; and to protect the environment. There are several Flotillas (groups) in Central Florida and membership in the Auxiliary is open to persons 17 years of age and older – some are much older – because the call to serve doesn’t leave easily! Info: Jim Nickles at jimnickles2@ gmail .com 407-390-9611 ** Recent CG Aux persons were able to assist local sheriff department and State Fish and Wildlife Dept. personnel with boat safety checks on the Lake Butler, Chain of Lakes. Way to go!
“Breaking Contact: Soldier to Civilian, a Success Story” – Thurs. Nov 2 – Start of the Veteran Speaker Series at UCF (University of Central Florida) during Veterans Month. Open to the public. Dr. Bryce Carpenter, Educational Outreach Programs Officer for the National Cemetery Administration, speaks on his transition from soldier to civilian.  UCF Career Services will also share information on resources available to students as they prepare to enter the workforce. Free lunch is provided by the Veteran Academic Resource Center (VARC); 12noon to 1:30 pm at Career Services and Experiential Learning Bldg, Rm. 121 on UCF Campus.  (Best parking might be Garage H) Info: Tiffany at 407-823-3817 Tiffany.Rivera@ ucf .edu   www. varc.sdes .ucf .edu
Golf Tournament at The Villages – Fri. Nov 3 – The proceeds of this tournament support sending veterans to Washington DC on Villages Honor Flight (VHF) to visit the war memorials. Eagle Ridge Golf Course at Del Webb Spruce Creek. Info: see VHF website or contact Bunny at bunnygowell@ gmail .com 207-286-6786 or John at leftygolf2338@ gmail.com 201-961-4121.
Semper Fi Fish Fry – Sat. Nov 4 – 3rd annual fund raising effort at Fish on Fire restaurant, 7937 Daetwyler Dr., Orlando, 32812 (Btwn Orange Ave. and Conway Rd on McCoy Rd, just off the Beachline.) Live band, auction items, events for the kids and much more! Vendor space available. Contact: mcl.orlando.commandant@ gmail .com 407-493-6968
Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen - Sat. Nov 4 - Cornerstone Hospice hosts this honoring of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen of Central Florida. 1 -3pm at Hannibal Square Heritage Center, 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 32789. Info: Bridget at brmonroe@ cshospice .org  407- 616-2536
Daylight Savings Time ends – Sun. Nov 5 – Turn your clocks back one hour. Use that bonus time to do something nice for our veteran and service personnel!
Orange/Osceola County Veterans Treatment Court – Mon. Nov 6 – There will be an appreciation event in the Lake Nona site Auditorium at 2:30pm. Soldiers and civilians have different backgrounds. You can see the process for yourself and why it is important for the former warrior and our community. Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona, 4th flr, 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando, 32827.
Mentors needed - Veteran Courts ARE succeeding! Longer term success is possible with community mentors and there are mentoring programs in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties. Be a “battle buddy” or “foxhole buddy” by assisting someone with life challenges. No proselytizing – just non-judgmental caring. Most of the offenders are DUI or possession, or PTS anger issues that are being rechanneled. If you have experienced substance abuse – although not required - and came thru it, you may be very helpful to someone else. If you are interested in participating as a mentor, know someone who is interested, or are a part of an organization where Mentors can be recruited, contact your local Veterans Court resource.
Election Day – Tues. Nov 7 – Become educated and do your civic duty – VOTE! Our local elections tend to have a more direct impact on us.
Champions of Freedom Appreciation Luncheon – Tues. Nov 7 – Lohman Funeral Homes’ Community Outreach hosts this event at the Spruce Creek Country Club in Port Orange; 11:30am free catered lunch, guest speakers, and a memorabilia exhibit that provides an opportunity for guests to bring items from their service if they like, which makes for a great opportunity to share their pride and connect with others. Limited to the first 75 guests who register at 386-673-1100.
Orlando Vet Center – Tues. Nov 7 – Join other veterans in honoring the USMC birthday and watching “Ears, Open. Eyeballs, Click.” It is a documentary on the making of Marines from the perspective of a “fly-on-the-wall.” The movie is sure to bring pride and stir conversation about boot camp experiences. 12 noon at 5575 S. Semoran Blvd, Suite 30 in the TerreCotta Business Park, Orlando, 32822. All veterans, family, and friends are welcome. No RSVP required. Hosted by Readjustment Counselor and Marine Corps Veteran, Lloyd Duran 407-857-2800  lloyd.duran@ va .gov
“Exploring Military Archives: New Perspective on Old Texts” – Tues. Nov 7 - Part of the Veteran Speaker Series at UCF (University of Central Florida) during Veterans Month. Open to the public. Three MA candidates discuss both the process of obtaining documents from several archives and how it has influenced their research. These items include Civil War pensions from the National Archives to expose why men enlisted in the First Florida Cavalry (US), an all white Union regiment from Florida; personal papers of World War I nurses to examine their much forgotten trauma; and Civil War memories and myths. 4pm-5pm at UCF’s Colbourn Hall, Rm 146. (Best parking might be Garage H1) Info: Tiffany at 407-823-3817 Tiffany.Rivera@ ucf .edu   www. varc.sdes .ucf .edu
The First Academy Veteran’s Day Celebration – Wed. Nov 8 – The students of Wounded Warrior Club of The First Academy would like to honor members of the Armed Forces, past and present. 10am in Faith Hall where the talented students will perform. The local Navy Color Guard will perform, a local wounded warrior will be recognized, as well as a 93 year old MSGt with service in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The USMC will perform the flag folding ceremony. First Baptist Orlando, 2667 Bruton Blvd, Orlando, 32805. (just off John Young Parkway and LB McLead Rd) (North of I-4 and John Young Pkwy, exit 79.) Info/RSVP’s appreciated for head count planning to 407-206-8748 

Paychecks for Patriots Veterans Job Fair – Wed. Nov 8 – CareerSource Brevard-Palm Bay hosts this event from 10am – 2pm. Special Hours (10am-11am) just for veterans, active duty, reserve, guard, and military family members only. Open to general public from 11am – 2pm. County Club Plaza, 5275 Babcock St. NE, Ste. 8B, Palm Bay, 32905. Save time by registering online at Eventbrite. Bring your resume and dress for success! Co-sponsored by CareerSource, Melbourne Regional Chamber Veterans Resource Council. Info: careersourcebrevard.com 321-504-7600
Central Florida Navy League luncheon and meeting – Wed. Nov 8 – All persons who support the sea services, whether civilian or military, are welcomed to attend this gathering on the 2nd Wed. of each month. 11:30 – 1pm at the Holiday Inn – UCF, 1724 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, 32826. Interesting speakers and networking potential includes the simulation technology businesses. $20 with credit card payment on website (cfnavyleague .org) or $25 at the door. 3rd largest Navy League in FL with diverse membership including nearby technology industries. Contact Bob K. (Membership Chair.) at navleaguecenfl@ juno .com  407-977-7575
(NEW! The Navy League offers national E-Membership for only $25 per year! Prior military service is NOT required. Support the sea services – Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines – with membership.)
UCF Veterans Honored (Flag Days) – Thurs. Nov 9 - Over 1500 flags to symbolize and honor the number of current student veterans studying at UCF will be placed at the Veterans Commemorative/Memorial site on Tuesday, University of Central Florida (UCF) campus near Pegasus Circle. Then on Thurs. at 11am – 11:30 will be a ceremony, public invited, involving veterans, UCF Army ROTC, UCF Air Force ROTC and UCF Music. Coordinated by UCF History, Veterans Academic Resource Center (VARC) and UCF Community Veterans History Project. Info: Joshua  at 407-823-5874    Joshua.Johnson@ucf.edu    www. varc.sdes .ucf .edu
United States Marine Corps 242th birthday – November 10 - Thank a Marine, past or present, for your freedom!
Offices/Businesses Closed – Fri Nov 10 - In observance of Veteran’s Day, many government offices/businesses will be closed – including banks and post offices. Call ahead to verify.
Congressional Breakfast – Fri. Nov 10 – Join FAVOB (Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses) with others and let your voice be heard. Speak with our local Congressional representatives in a Town Hall style breakfast gathering to discuss Veteran Owned Small Business Initiatives. The event includes a sit-down plated breakfast at the exquisite Citrus Club in Downtown Orlando Fl. Parking in the Citrus Club garage will be validated. Representatives attending: Val Demings of District 10, Stephanie Murphy of District 7, and Darren Soto of District 9. 7:30am – 10am at The Citrus Club, 255 S. Orange Ave., #1800, Orlando, 32801. $25 for FAVOB Members and $30 for Non-FAVOB members. www. favob.net/events Buy tickets online at eventbrite.
“SOS Breakfast” –Fri. Nov 10 – Honoring 242nd Birthday of Marine Corps. All area Marines, past and present, and friends are invited.  Sponsored by the Central Florida Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association. Proceeds will fund the chapter’s continued community events and the 1st Marine Division scholarship fund. Guest speaker is USMC BGen. Thomas V. Draude (ret.) Vietnam veteran with 2 tours in Vietnam, commands held in 7th Marines, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, ADC. Served in Operation Desert Storm, awarded 2 Distinguished Service Medals, 2 Silver Stars, Bronze Star & Purple Heart. Outstanding speaker & warrior! “SOS Breakfast” is fondly named after the breakfasts served in military mess halls! $30 per person, reservations required. 8:30am at Holy Trinity Reception Center - 1217 Trinity Woods Lane, Maitland, 32751 - Off Wymore Rd @ I-4 Overpass (No Exit)  Seating is limited and reservations must be received no later than Nov. 6. Info and reservations: Mike Galyean koolade @embarqmail .com 321-276-7515.
Lake Highland Preparatory School’s Veteran’s Day Tribute - Fri Nov 10 - “The American Dream Goes On” - Students and faculty presents its annual tribute of music, dancing, drama and video footage to honor veterans. Includes a performance by Project Magic. FREE Shows at 8:45 am, 10:45 am, and 1 pm in the Harriett Coleman Center for the Arts on campus, 901 N. Highland Ave., Orlando, 32803. Veterans, LHP friends and community are welcome to attend. 407-206-1900 
SPECIAL ATTENTION - Everyone: Notify your local social events planners at any senior living facilities - The program will be broadcast over the internet! This is a wonderful opportunity for travel-challenged seniors to see a great tribute – near professional - performed by our youngest generation! Go to the Lake Highland school website (www. lhps .org) and click on the links. The Tribute will be broadcast LIVE for all 3 shows! See one and then see it again! Info: 407-206-1900
Seminole State College – Fri. Nov. 10 - A Veteran’s Day Celebration will be held at SSC Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, 100 Weldon Blvd, Sanford, 32773, in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts (Bld. G). A pre-celebration activity begins at 8:40 am and includes a Jazz Combo. Major Gen.Doug Metcalf (USAF Ret.) will be the guest speaker at 9:30 am and then there will be light refreshments. Info: 407.708.2028voudryk@ seminolestate .edu 
“Vets and Pets” Book signing – Fri. Nov 10 – Villagers for Veterans hosts a book signing of “Vets and Pets, Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help them Heal” by Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris. 1 – 4pm at The Villages Barnes & Noble, 1055 Old Camp Road, The Villages, 32162. Following the book signing, there is a Meet and Greet, 5pm at the Waterfront Inn with cash bar and finger foods.
6th Annual Orlando Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K Races/Walk – Sat. Nov 11- Orlando Marathon race 26.2, Orlando Half Marathon 13.1 and Orlando 5K race or walk event hosted by American Legion Post 112 and Help the Vets, Inc. 4490 N. Goldenrod Rd. Winter Pk, FL 32792. A local quartet, Noteables, will sing before the event, the Anthem at 7:20 and races starting at 7:30 am. Discounts if registered by Oct 30. www. omarathon .com Info: Jim at racenut478@ aol .com 407-739-4949.
Veterans Day Expo – Sat. Nov 11 – Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy will be available to hear your concerns at the Seminole County Public Library, Central Branch, from 9am – 11am. 215 N. Oxford Rd, Casselberry, 32707. Info: Constituent Advocate Kyle at 888-205-5421
Orlando Veterans Day Parade – Sat. Nov 11 – One of the largest Veteran’s Day Parades, Hosted by Mayor Buddy Dyer and his Veterans Advisory Council in Downtown Orlando.  11am – 1pm. Free! This year’s parade recognizes the invisible wounds of war. The parade includes about 100 Central Florida veterans groups, floats, pipe bands, marching bands, ROTC and JROTC units, first responders, community groups and military vehicles. Begins at Robinson St., south on Orange Ave., east on Central, the north on Rosalind Ave. The parade will be televised live on News 13, starting with the opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Info: cityoforlando.net/ veteransparade 407-246-3104.
Windermere Veterans Monument Dedication – Sat. Nov.11 –Join members from all of the branches of the armed forces at 11am as Windermere unveils its Veterans Monument at 520 Main Street. Patriotic music and a family friendly day long event. Sponsored by the Town of Windermere and Windermere Rotary. Info: Gary Bruhn at windermeremayor@ yahoo .com 407-876-1732.
Astatula’s 1st Veterans Day – Sat. Nov 11 - Country music artist Rodney Atkins will be the headline entertainer at this event. He has had six number one songs on the country music charts. Also present will be Rob O'Neill, a highly decorated SEAL and retired special forces operator with over 400 missions.  11am – 11:30pm at Central Florida Motorsports Park, 24200 County Road 561, Astatula, (Lake County) 34705. $10 advanced gen. admission before Nov 1, then $15; $100 VIP tickets; Vendors available. Tickets at Eventbrite.
Play and Eat Free – Sat. Nov 11 - Main Event Entertainment invites all veterans and active-duty military to play games, bowl, and eat for free from open till 5pm. Military personnel will receive one free entrĂ©e from the special Veterans Day menu, and receive a complimentary $10 FUNcard that can be used on all Main Event games. Located in Pointe Orlando at 9101 International Dr #1032, Orlando, 32819. Military ID required. Info: www. mainevent .com
Marine Corps Birthday Ball – Sat. Nov. 11 – Sponsorships available for this 242st celebration will be at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, 9840 International Drive, 32819. Cocktails begin at 6pm and the ballroom doors open at 6:45. At 7:30 the ceremony begins with dinner and dancing following that. Dress is formal. Special guests.  Interested persons can get more information at the Central Florida Marine Corps Foundation website: centralfloridamarines.org or thru Jan Baka 407.745.3029 during business hours or jan.baka@ecs-federal.com Semper Fi!
10th International Conference on World War II  - Nov 16-18 -  Taking place in New Orleans, the guest speaker at the closing presentation will be Hershel "Woody" Williams. There were 472 Medals of Honor awarded for actions performed during World War II. Of those recipients, only four are still with us today. Woody is the last surviving MOH Marine from Iwo Jima and has visited the Central Florida area several times. National WW2 Museum, 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130. 504-528-1944 www. ww2conference  .com.
1st Annual Challenge 22 – 5K “Ruck” Walk – Sat. Nov 18 - American Legion Winter Garden Post 63 is hosting this in downtown Winter Garden. Registration starting at 0730 and the event getting underway at 0911. It will end around 3pm. Info: Kurt at 407-701-9416   kurtgies@ gmail .com
Veterans Entrepreneurship Conference – Sat. Nov 18 – Guest speakers, breakout sessions on specific entrepreneurship topics and a networking social in the evening. 1pm to 8pm at Florida Atlantic Univ., Student Union, 777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton. Sponsored by Veterans Florida. The event is completely free to attend.  Register veteransflorida.eventbrite .com Info: Bobby Carbonell at carbonell@ veteransflorida .org 850-898-1444 
Fundraiser for USMC Sgt. John Peck – Sat. Nov 18 - A quadruple amputee, John Peck lost his limbs when he stepped on a homemade I.E.D. in Afghanistan. He is the first Marine ever to receive a double arm transplant. As he recovers and works hard learning to use his new arms there is a need for financial support. Villagers For Veterans hopes that you will join in supporting his resolve and hard work. (They had originally provided him with an all-terrain chair for his mobility independence.) 5:30 - 6:30pm Meet & Greet with John, Fox News correspondent from the Pentagon Jennifer Griffin, and entertainer Roy Michaels. 7pm show featuring Roy Michaels. Seabreeze Recreation Center, 2384 Buena Vista Blvd, The Villages, 32162Tickets: $30 for Show + Meet/Greet with finger foods and cash bar; $25 for show only. Info: www. villagersforveterans .org    516-220-5068  villagersforveterans@ gmail .com 
Fisher House fundraiser – Sat. Nov 18 – Have an evening with premium cuisine, drink, and live entertainment at “Concours Live” located at the Orlando Sanford Airport on the Southeast Ramp.  Additionally, there will be high performance, luxury, and classic cars and aircraft. New this year is a women's luxury fashion boutique. The night ends with a huge fireworks display. 7pm-11pm at 2151 Spinner Lane, Sanford, 32773. Proceeds of tickets purchased online at Eventbrite (must use code FH) will benefit Fisher House, located across from the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona. Info: Friends of Fisher House, Greg Smith at fisherhouseorlando@ gmail .com 901-438-7734
Send me your Veterans Day and November events ASAP! I’m HOPING to compile the next list within the next week…….
Caring and sharing,
Cathy Haynes
Member/volunteer/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations