Showing posts with label Winter Park Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter Park Florida. Show all posts

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Vietnam veteran Robert Earl Hanson life remembered after Agent Orange

Winter Park Vietnam War veteran, who died from Agent Orange effects, to be honored in Washington, D.C.

JUN 13, 2019

Just months after Robert Earl Hanson graduated from Colonial High School in 1966, the outgoing young man known as “Bobby” found himself thrust into the jungles of Vietnam as an Army private carrying a teletype machine and a rifle.
Patricia Hanson holds an old photo of her and her late husband, Robert Earl Hanson, who died in June 2018 of cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange. (Martin E. Comas / Orlando Sentinel)

At the time, U.S. military planes were spraying millions of gallons of the defoliant Agent Orange across the Vietnamese countryside to expose enemy soldiers during the Vietnam War.

Hanson, like millions of other American and Vietnamese soldiers, was exposed to the dangerous herbicide. It led to Hanson’s malignant lung cancer decades later and ultimately caused his death on June 29, 2018, at the age of 69, according to doctors.

On Saturday, Hanson will be among 536 deceased veterans — including 13 from Florida — who will be inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s “In Memory Program” as part of an annual three-day ceremony held every June in Washington, D.C.
read more here

Monday, May 29, 2017

I missed more than I thought I would this Memorial Day

Today, nothing worked out the way I planned but that's ok now. My TV decided it needed to enter into the twilight zone, so I had to buy a new one. The cable didn't fit, so I had to go and try to find an adapter. So yes, you can gloat, I went shopping on Memorial Day...Karma!

Long story short, I got to the cemetery when the service was over. Chairs were being folded up and Channel 2 News was just leaving. I had seen the service many times before and filmed it. Plus I knew Channel 2 would have some coverage of it, so I took a deep breath and started to walk around with peace and quiet for a change. 

As I walked, I stopped here and there, reading the stones with names, dates and branch of service. I couldn't help but notice how many had no flowers, no flags, no indication that someone was there for them. Then I thought about my own Dad and my husband's Dad. We were not there to leave a remembrance for them either. They are buried in Massachusetts and we're here in Florida. I knew it would be wrong to make assumptions about the families of these veterans laid to rest. It was just sad and made me miss our Dads more than usual.

Here is the article from WESH 2

Winter Park community gathers to observe Memorial Day

Monday morning, the Winter Park community gathered to give special honors to those who fought in Vietnam. Organizers said unlike the veterans of World War II and Korea, Vietnam vets came home to a divided country and didn't have the support to adapt to civilian life. Michelle Meredith reports.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Winter Park Commissioners Support Veterans Clinic

Winter Park commissioners voice support for VA Medical Center at Lake Baldwin
Orlando Sentinel
Michael W. Freeman
Winter Park Forum Editor
July 31, 2014

The Winter Park City Commission has thrown its support behind efforts to save the Veterans Administration Medical Clinic at Baldwin Park, which initially seemed to be at risk of shutting down once the federal government completes construction of a new Veterans Medical Center in Lake Nona.

On Monday, commissioners approved a non-binding resolution making clear the city’s support for the continued use and management of the VA medical clinic at Lake Baldwin, which as Mayor Kenneth Bradley noted is considerably closer for veterans who live in Winter Park than a new clinic at Lake Nona will be.

“It directly impacts the veterans of Winter Park,” Bradley said. “Some of them have moved here because we are so close to that veterans center.”

A day later, Congressman John Mica, R-Winter Park, announced that he had received a letter from the U.S. Secretary for Veterans Affairs, Sloan Gibson, who announced that the Lake Baldwin VA Medical Clinic would remain open and would continue to serve local veterans.

The possible closing of the Lake Baldwin facility had been directly tied to the opening of the Veterans Administration Hospital at Lake Nona, which is opening in phases, with a likely completion date in 2015. A nursing facility there opened last December, followed by the domiciliary in February.
read more here

Monday, March 24, 2014

Budweiser Super Bowl solider ad nearly blocked by Army

Fort Drum soldier's Budweiser Super Bowl ad nearly blocked by Army: Report
By Geoff Herbert
March 24, 2014

"A Hero's Welcome" wasn't welcomed by everyone, according to a new report.

Emails obtained by Foreign Policy reveal Budweiser's popular Super Bowl commercial featuring a Fort Drum soldier was nearly blocked from airing. U.S. Army officers apparently considered a cease-and-desist order three days before the NFL championship game over concerns the 60-second ad violated military policies against active-duty members endorsing private companies or "glamorizing alcohol."

The spot showed Lt. Chuck Nadd, a helicopter pilot returning home from Afghanistan to a parade in his honor. He and his girlfriend ride a carriage pulled by Anheuser-Busch's famous Clydesdale horses, red-white-and-blue confetti fills the sky, and Nadd hugs his flag-waving mother in an emotional climax.

"Every soldier deserves a hero's welcome," the Super Bowl XLVIII spot's message said.
read more here

Budweiser Parade for Soldier Slammed

Winter Park Welcomes Home Soldier in Style

I was there. Nadd didn't get handed a beer when he climbed onto the wagon. He didn't pop the tab when he went to the podium to say thank you to the huge crowd waiting over two hours for him to get there because weather delayed his flight from Fort Drum. No one in that crowd held Budweiser signs or cans of Bud.

If the Army squashed this day for the people of Winter Park to show their love and devotion to all the men and women serving that Nadd represented that day then it would have been pretty pathetic.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Soldier made famous in Super Bowl ad visits Fort McCoy

Soldier made famous in Super Bowl ad visits Fort McCoy
Ocala Star Banner
By Andy Fillmore
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014

FORT MCCOY — U.S. Army 1st Lt. Chuck Nadd visited the Veterans of Foreign Wars Veterans Retirement Village in Fort McCoy on Thursday.

Nadd, the pilot of a Blackhawk helicopter on at least 240 hours of missions in Afghanistan, gained notoriety during the Super Bowl when Budweiser aired its “A Hero’s Welcome” commercial featuring him and his fiancĂ©e Shannon Cantwell and most of residents of his hometown of Winter Park.

The commercial came out of a VFW program to honor one returning serviceman representing many. Cantwell, a native of Mobile, Ala., and a staff member with Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, entered Nadd’s name in the drawing.

After his name was drawn, the VFW became involved with the company that produced the 60-second commercial as well a 5-minute documentary that included VFW members sharing their homecoming experiences. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Al Lugo, director of the village, and members of the staff there, along with other local VFW personnel, were involved in the project.

For the two productions, Cantwell started a campaign to get Nadd’s friends and former classmates at Trinity Preparatory School of Winter Park assembled, along with his mother and hundreds of town residents.
read more here

This is the video I shot from right in the middle of the huge crowd.

This is from Budweiser

Friday, February 21, 2014

Budweiser soldier gives to old school in more ways than one

Soldier presents former school with gift from combat
Lt. Chuck Nadd featured in Budweiser commercial
Feb 21, 2014

WINTER PARK, Fla. —A hometown hero was honored in Winter Park on Friday.

Lt. Chuck Nadd can usually be found flying Blackhawk helicopters.

However, he was at his alma mater Trinity Prep to present a gift to everyone at the school.

Before he handed over that gift, Nadd shared some words of wisdom with 850 students.

"There are so man who have given so much more than me," said Nadd. "Folks who have gone over there and done multiple tours and those who have not come back. They're real heroes."

The Defense Department chose the 25-year-old as its representative for soldiers returning from Afghanistan.
read more here and watch WESH video

This is the full video of the parade.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Budweiser Parade for Soldier Slammed

Missing the point of the Budweiser Super Bowl Ad
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 5, 2014

There are some really crazy things being written all over the country, but this one tops the list. An ex-"deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy" decided to slam the fantastic Super Bowl Budweiser commercial of a soldier back from Afghanistan. Why? Because it was done by Budweiser. I had to leave this comment.
I was there when was being filmed. As a matter of fact I have a 6 minute video of this parade that lasted a lot longer. No one picked up a bottle/ can of Bud in case you didn't notice. No one said anything about drinking. Nadd didn't get off the escalator with a Bud in his hand. He didn't get into the car with one or hit the liquor store before the parade. They didn't hand out beer when the huge crowd gathered. The same crowd that waited over 2 hours for him to arrive from Fort Drum because weather delayed his flight. It wasn't an ad for Bud but was an ad by Bud for a soldier picked to represent what all soldiers and veterans deserve from us.
Here is the video I shot from the crowd. Do you see anyone holding beer cans? Do you see anyone holding up signs that say Budweiser at all? No it was all about them. The spent even more time with veterans but hey, much easier to just ignore all of that then it is to appreciate what this event represented.

Is this Bud for the Army?
Star Telegram
Philip Carter
Feb. 04, 2014

I like beer, and I’d wager that most veterans like beer too.

Budweiser placed a similar bet Sunday night during the Super Bowl with its ad “A Hero’s Welcome,” which showed a Norman Rockwell-esque homecoming for Army 1st Lt. Chuck Nadd in his hometown of Winter Park, Fla.

The ad tugs my heartstrings. Nonetheless, it should have never been aired.

The ad ignores the complicated relationship that veterans have with alcohol, obscuring how much harm booze does to veterans when they come home.

The military’s Joint Ethics Regulation section 3-209 states that “Endorsement of a non-Federal entity, event, product, service, or enterprise may be neither stated nor implied by DoD or DoD employees in their official capacities and titles, positions, or organization names may not be used to suggest official endorsement or preferential treatment of any non-Federal entity except (the services’ official relief societies).”

Under this regulation, the Army cannot legally endorse Budweiser, nor allow its active-duty personnel to participate in their ads (let alone wear their uniforms), any more than the Army can endorse Gatorade or Nike.
An Army spokesman said the ad had been vetted, and Army officials concluded that Ladd’s appearance in uniform while on duty did not constitute “official support to or otherwise partner[ing] with” Budweiser or the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the spot’s production.

Phillip Carter is a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He served in 2009 as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy.

read more here

This video by Budweiser has interviews with veterans and how this event made them feel. It wasn't on TV so it must have been easy for Carter to ignore. After all, why bother to look into what was behind this commercial when he must have formed his opinion ahead of time? This video has been seen 826,598 times as of right now.

This is a longer version of the commercial seen during the Super Bowl.
By the way, this one has been seen 8,464,761 times as of right now.

If nothing else, millions of people thought about the men and women risking their lives to retain our freedom. They don't get to decide who they will fight. All they get to decide is if the soldier next to them is worth dying for while the other 99% of the population get to ignore them.

This is where I live. These are my friends. These are the people I spend most of my time with covering over 200 of their events. They are only 7% of the population. I know what they say when news crews show up, shoot some video hoping someone will see what they do all the time. They go home, turn on the TV and flip back and forth for all the news stations that bothered to send someone out. Then their hearts sink when a 2 hour event is reduced to a couple of seconds if they are lucky because most of the time, the video is never seen.

Budweiser has our gratitude for doing something like this for one soldier representing all who serve and for the veterans they took the time to interview for a video they didn't show on TV.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Budweiser Welcomes Soldier Home to Super Bowl Fame

Jan 30, 2014
Watch the Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII commercial "A Hero's Welcome" where we helped make one soldier's homecoming unforgettable. #Salute a Hero at
Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII -- "A Hero's Welcome
Here is the parade I filmed
Jan 9, 2014
Winter Park Florida and Budweiser welcomed home Lt. Charles Nadd in style on January 8, 2014. He flew from Afghanistan to Fort Drum and then flew to Florida arriving late due to the weather. This parade will be part of a documentary and commercial for Budweiser.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter Park Florida and Budweiser welcomed home Lt. Charles Nadd in style

AP may have finally paid this story attention but you saw it here first.

Jan 9, 2014
Winter Park Florida and Budweiser welcomed home Lt. Charles Nadd in style on January 8, 2014. He flew from Afghanistan to Fort Drum and then flew to Florida arriving late due to the weather. This parade will be part of a documentary and commercial for Budweiser.

Fla. soldier, his hometown star in Super Bowl ad
By Associated Press
January 31, 2014

WINTER PARK, Fla. — Lt. Chuck Nadd knew something was up when Anheuser-Busch’s private jet flew him from Fort Drum in New York to his hometown in central Florida within hours of his return from a tour in Afghanistan in early January.

The 24-year-old Army helicopter pilot and operations officer had been told he was on a public affairs assignment to give a speech to a Veterans of Foreign Wars group in his hometown. But when he got to downtown Winter Park, hundreds of residents, relatives, teachers and friends greeted him with a surprise parade complete with tickertape and Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdale horses.

The brewer, which played a central role in putting the parade together, has fashioned an ad around the event. It will run during Sunday’s Super Bowl, and Nadd says he hopes it gets people talking about honoring returning soldiers.

“I hope the visibility it gets starts a conversation about recognizing those who have served and served in a greater capacity than I have,” Nadd said Thursday. “I would hope this commercial helps people look for those heroes in their communities.”

Nadd’s involvement in the ad started when his girlfriend, Shannon Cantwell, nominated him for a VFW contest to honor a soldier with a tickertape parade in the soldier’s hometown.
read more here

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sneak Peak of Super Bowl Ad with Soldier

The Orlando Sentinel was a bit late on reporting on this. Everyone there knew what was going on and to tell the truth, most of us would have shown up even if it wasn't going to be a commercial.

I was delighted to see such a huge gathering and you can see what went on so that when you see the wonderful version Budweiser plays, you'll know the rest of the story. As usual Wounded Times was right in the middle of all of it.

Winter Park veteran will star in Super Bowl ad
Orlando Sentinel
By David Breen
January 28, 2014

A local veteran — and the city of Winter Park — will star in their very own Super Bowl commercial on Sunday.

The spot, titled "Hero's Welcome," was filmed Jan. 8 in downtown Winter Park. Army Lt. Chuck Nadd, newly returned from deployment as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, took a flight to Sanford and was driven into Winter Park.

Nadd had been told by his commanding officer that he'd be filmed for a documentary on returning veterans. His girlfriend, Shannon Cantwell, was in on the deception and accompanied him from the airport.

He arrived in Winter Park to find the Budweiser Clydesdales, a marching band, cheerleaders and hundreds of flag- and sign-waving spectators awaiting his arrival.

Nadd and Cantwell rode the parade route atop the Budweiser wagon, pulled by the Clydesdales, as confetti rained around them.

The brewer was tightlipped at the time about where the footage would be used, but confirmed Tuesday that it will run during Super Bowl XLVIII, pitting the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. Sunday on Fox.

Nadd was chosen to represent all returning veterans in the commercial after being nominated by Cantwell for the honor through the VFW, Budweiser said. The commercial was originally planned to be 30 seconds, but during the editing process, the company decided to expand it to 60 seconds.

"There was just so much good footage, we couldn't resist expanding the spot to include more of Lt. Nadd's homecoming," said Budweiser Vice President Brian Perkins.

Winter Park Mayor Kenneth Bradley was pleased to hear his city would play a prominent role on Super Bowl Sunday, calling the exposure on a worldwide stage "priceless."
read more here

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winter Park Welcomes Home Soldier in Style

UPDATE Here's the video

Just back from a fabulous afternoon in Winter Park and proud to say it is my city after today! This is a report from WESH 2 News. My pictures are below.
Winter Park soldier's welcome home ceremony could be in documentary, commercial
Lt. Chuck Nadd served in Afghanistan
By Michelle Meredith
Jan 08, 2014

WINTER PARK, Fla. —A U.S. Army soldier from Winter Park returned home Wednesday to a hero's welcome.

Lt. Chuck Nadd wrapped up his mission in Afghanistan and flew home to Central Florida.

Nadd was the star of a parade held in his honor in Winter Park. He had no idea the parade was planned.

"It's a surprise then. It's a good thing ... makes him feel good," resident Eugenia Baylor said.

The parade was called "A Hero's Welcome" and was, in essence, a Hollywood production staged by Anheuser-Busch. It included confetti cannons, fancy cameras and the Budweiser Clydesdales.

The turnout for the parade was huge and included his mother, his girlfriend -- and even Orange County Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia.

"He is the best friend of my son, who graduated from Trinity Prep with him," Garavaglia said. "He is a wonderful guy. He is so pro-America."

"Very proud of him, and he deserves that. He represents all the other ones, absolutely," mother Agnes Nadd said.

Nadd is a graduate of West Point and was deployed to Afghanistan in May 2013, where he has used his skills as a Blackhawk pilot.
read more here

These are some of the pictures from today that I took

Lt. Nadd's plane came in late.  Uncle Sam waited on stilts for over 45 minutes.
Cathy Haynes 
Patriotic lady brought gator
Orlando Honor Flight Always There With Smiles
1Sgt. Daniel Kalagian 812th MPCO back home on December 7,  2013
Korean War Veteran and Bride
VFW Post 4287 Orlando
Motorcycle Escorts
Budweiser Clydesdales 
OK, I made them do this.  Blame me.

The video of the parade should be up tomorrow so check back then.
Honored Couple

Friday, December 6, 2013

Florida veteran pressing lawmakers, VA to prescribe fewer pain killers

Florida veteran pressing lawmakers, VA to prescribe fewer pain killers
My FOX Orlando
Dana Jay Reporter
December 5, 2013

A bicycle is the vehicle that landed a central Florida veteran before congress to urge lawmakers to push the Veteran's Health Administration to prescribe fewer pain killers to wounded warriors.

Justin Minyard of Winter Park is medically retired from the Army after a series of back surgeries.

He told FOX 35 that six years ago he was addicted to opioids after injuring his back In the rubble of the Pentagon after 9-11 and again while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"At this point I had been in a wheel chair for almost two years, I had severe cognitive problems, I had very little short term memory and I was isolated," Minyard said.

Things changed after a friend badgered him to go for a bike ride.

"I was exercising again and there was wind in my face and I was with other veterans again and it was as close to being in the military as I could be while not being in the military still," he said.

Now he tries to do the same for others through Operation Shifting Gears.

Minyard founded the all-volunteer not-for-profit organization to get other combat vets on bikes.

He sees cycling as a way to give veterans the confidence to overcome both physical and emotional challenges that come with returning from war.

"It gives you confidence and it instills that military ethos thinking back where you need to be," Minyard said.

Operation Shifting Gears is sponsored in part by Boston Scientific, which makes the spinal cord stimulator that allows Minyard to manage his pain without using prescription pain killers.
read more here

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Winter Park Scottish Rite Masonic Center Flag Ceremony

Orlando Scottish Rite Masonic Center and the Knights of St. Andrews held their ceremony for over 6,000 American Flags in Winter Park today. The VFW Post 4287 as usual provided a wonderful music selection for about 100 guests and honorees.
Rich Wirth Jr. gave a moving speech about the flag along with others speaking about what the flag means. Oakridge High School JROTC presented the POW-MIA Remembrance ceremony.

Winter Park
Scottish Rite Flag Ceremony
Winter Park
Scottish Rite Flag Ceremony
Winter Park
Scottish Rite Flag Ceremony
Winter Park
Scottish Rite Flag Ceremony
Winter Park
Scottish Rite Flag Ceremony
Winter Park
Scottish Rite Flag Ceremony
Apopka Police Department

Roger Sutton
VFW Band

This is some of what happened during the service.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

One of the first female pilots talks about WWII

Winter Parker one of first female military pilots
By Brittni Johnson
October 31, 2012

Photo by Isaac Babcock Patricia Erickson shows her Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to her for contributing to the Women Airforce Service Pilots program, volunteering her flying skills to help the World War II efforts.

Being at the controls of a plane thousands of feet above the ground felt as safe as home for Patricia Chadwick Erickson.

For the men who were part of her crew, the experience wasn’t the same. She said they white-knuckled it all the way as she “rocked” her B-25 bomber from take-off to the landing. They weren’t ever sure a woman could do it safely — flying a plane was surely a man’s job.

“A lot of the men didn’t trust us,” Erickson said.

But they learned. Eventually they’d admit, surprised, that she was a good pilot after all. It was 1943, and Erickson was part of the second class of women to learn to fly military aircraft and be a part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. All the children in her family — two brothers and a sister — volunteered along with her.

Erickson, now a 92-year-old Winter Park resident, was one of 25,000 women to apply to be a WASP and one of the 1,074 to successfully complete the grueling program out of 1,879 candidates who were accepted. The WASP members were considered civilians then, and their role was to free up Air Force men for combat military roles. They’d ferry soldiers from military base to military base, test out new planes and engines, fly planes to get repairs and make sure previously broken planes were safe to fly again.
read more here