Showing posts with label Longwood FL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Longwood FL. Show all posts

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Alive Day 50 years later Vietnam Veteran met Medic

50 years later, Orlando Vietnam veteran meets medic who saved him: 'Thank you! Thank you!'

Orlando Sentinel
Kate Santich
March 15, 2019
“All this time, we were living just a couple of counties apart,” said Joyner, shaking his head at the man across the table. “All this time, I just wanted to thank him for saving my life.”
Longwood’s Dennis Joyner had to wait 50 years to thank the man who saved his life in Vietnam.

Joyner, now 70, was a 20-year-old infantryman with a wife and newborn son on June 26, 1969, when he tripped a landmine while on patrol. The explosion blew off one of his legs and shredded the other so badly it had to be amputated. It took off his left arm below the elbow.
He might easily have bled to death or died of shock or infection. But a young medic with a Tennessee accent sprinted to his side, helping to tie a series of tourniquets around his limbs, administering morphine and ferrying him to a medevac helicopter.

On Friday, at the Old Florida Grill and Oyster House near Cocoa, one of Dewey “Doc” Hayes’ favorite haunts, Joyner finally got the chance he’d wanted for half a century.

The words rushed out in a torrent.

“Thank you! Thank you!” he said, his body shaking with emotion as Hayes, now 70 too, embraced him.

“I’ve been trying to find you for so damn long,” Joyner said. “You been hiding?”

After five surgeries and five months in various hospitals, Joyner had gone back to college before working as a court administrator in Pennsylvania and as a volunteer for the Disabled American Veterans, the organization created by Congress to help wounded vets and their families. In 1977, he was named the nation's “Handicapped American of the Year,” and he served as national commander of the DAV in 1983 and ’84, work he continues to this day.
read more here

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Vietnam Veterans honored in Longwood

Today at the VFW Post 8207 in Longwood, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy presented Vietnam veterans and their families with pins and challenge coins.

It was a day to remember them and all they did for this country so that no generation would ever be betrayed like they were.

On a personal note, it is why I am heartsick that they are once again, forgotten by the generations who came after them.

Veterans over the age of 50 are the majority of the known veterans committing suicide, but none of the new groups want to help them.

They waited longer for compensation and to have their caregivers helped out along the way, and are still waiting for someone to even notice we are here.

So yes, the Vietnam Veterans deserve much more than this day but it was nice to hear the kind words.

Sgt. Dave interviewed people for his radio show Remember The Fallen
Listen to the compelling story of the First Vietnamese Congresswoman Murphy's families survival of fleeing Communist Vietnam and being saved while drifting in the China Sea without any gas by the US Navy Vietnam Veterans. Most of all, how she and her staff with the assistance of VFW Post 8207, raised the bar, by honoring our Vietnam Veterans with passion and dignity with the pinning of The VNW50th Lapel Pin. God Bless Our Vietnam Veterans
Listen to "1ST Vietnamese Congress Woman Murphy Honors VNW 50th Veterans" on Speaker.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Honoring Vietnam Veterans At The Wall in Longwood

This morning at the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in Longwood Florida, I was thinking about how much the general public does not know about the Vietnam War.

Some say that Afghanistan is the longest war, but they are wrong. October 2001 to 2016. 2,381 lives lost. For Vietnam, there were 6,350 killed in 1966 alone. The highest death rate occurred in 1968 with 16,899.

Others talk about Iraq. That was from March 2003 to December 2011, officially anyway. So far there have been 4,502 lives lost according to About 3 million US service members deployed during these almost 15 years. 

The thing is, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, officially the Vietnam War started in 1964 and ended in 1975. Yet the first to fall on the Vietnam Memorial Wall was Richard Fitzgibbon on June 8, 1956. His son was killed in 1965 and I am sure the family felt the same pain no matter if the rest of the country noticed it or not.
US Servicemembers 8,744,000
Deployed to Southeast Asia 3,403,000
39,996 were just 22 or younger
8,283 were 19
3,103 were 18
12 were 17
5 were 16
but PFC Dan Bullock was only 15
and those are just some of the
244 received the Medal of Honor
153 of them had perished saving lives
and are on the Memorial Wall
997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam
1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam
Three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall
The thing is, even Vietnam was not the longest war for America.  It is the war that is fought against what war did to them.  That is the final battle of war and it comes because of it. This is a war that too many find acceptable to lose.

They fight side by side with everyone they serve with, doing everything possible to make it back home yet they do no want to bother anyone with their troubles, refusing to ask for help from the very people they depended on to stay alive in combat. 

This is a battle that is fought at home and they need all the help they can get. 

If you are a younger veteran, remember the ages you read above and then notice that just because they are older now, they can still remember what it was like to be very young and in a far away place. Talk to them.

Whatever you do, do not forget about them because they are the reason everything learned on PTSD happened.

More information on Vietnam Veterans that no one wants to talk about.

Older veterans appear to be at the greatest risk. Almost 70 percent of all veteran suicides were among people 50 and older, according to the study, compared with less than 40 percent among those 50 and older who did not serve.
The study estimated that those, like Reitmann, with high levels of war-zone exposure “had significantly higher rates” of what is now understood as PTSD, with 35.8 percent of men and 17.5 percent of women meeting criteria for current PTSD.
By comparison, research on Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans, according to the VA, suggests that 10 percent to 18 percent “are likely to have PTSD after they return.” 
Since 2012, 54 veterans who were patients of the Bay Pines VA Medical System took their own lives, according to spokesman Jason Dangel. Almost 700 veterans during that period attempted suicide. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Soldier From Longwood Died in Training At Fort Bragg

Paratrooper dies during airborne training at Fort Bragg
Army Times
By Michelle Tan, Staff writer
April 30, 2015

A paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division died Tuesday during an airborne training operation at Sicily Drop Zone on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Spc. Nicholas Roberts died Tuesday in an airborne training accident at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
(Photo: Army)
Spc. Nicholas Roberts, 27, of Longwood, Florida, was an infantryman assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, officials from the 82nd Airborne said Thursday in a statement.

"Spc. Roberts was a tremendous young man," said Col. Curtis Buzzard, 3rd BCT commander, in the statement. "He had only recently joined us, but he brought with him experience and leadership qualities we seek in our paratroopers. We were all saddened to hear of this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

The incident, which took place during a nighttime operation, is under investigation.
read more here

Sunday, March 30, 2014

USMC Sgt. Mecot Camara Remembered in Longwood Florida

USMC Sgt. Mecot Camara Fence Installation

Sun. Mar 30 - Honoring the memory of this warrior who was one of the casualties of the bombing of the October 1983 Beirut Barracks bombing.

220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers were killed in what VFW Magazine called “the highest loss of life for the Marine Corps in a single day since D-Day on Iwo Jima in 1945.”

4pm, Sommerville Kids Klub, 1665 EE Williamson Rd, Longwood, 32779. Celebration immediately following at Mulligan’s, 165 Wekiva Springs Rd, Longwood, 32779.

American Brother Elisa Camara Thompson

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Longwood police searching for missing Veteran with PTSD

Missing Longwood man found

Longwood man missing, suffers from PTSD
MY FOX Orlando
By Kayla O'Brien, Associate Producer
Posted: Jan 14, 2014


Longwood Police say 51-year-old Robert Liddy was reported missing around 9:00pm Monday night.

Investigators say Liddy is a white male and was last seen wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and possibly carrying a small black bag.

Officials say he was last seen getting into a taxi cab near the Circle K gas station on East S.R 434 in Longwood and was dropped off near Court Street and Washington Avenue in Orlando.

Investigators say Liddy suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suffered a brain injury while stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

They say he suffers from frequent blackout episodes and memory problems.

If you have any information contact the Longwood Police Department at 407-260-3416

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pastor Joel Hunter of Northland featured in CNN report

Florida Evangelicals a different breed of voter than brethren in Iowa, South Carolina
By John Sepulvado, CNN

(CNN) – Conservative Christian activist Ralph Reed has called the Bible Belt home for decades, but he grew up in Miami in the 1970s, when the city was emerging as a diverse megalopolis.

Among his middle school friends were Jews, Catholics and Methodists.

Then, at age 15, Reed's family relocated to the sleepy mountain town of Toccoa, Georgia, so his dad, a doctor, could take a better-paying job.

“It was very conservative,” says Reed, who now lives outside Atlanta. “At first – as would be true of any 15-year-old – I didn’t like it. I think it was a culture shock.”

Ultimately, the mostly evangelical residents of Toccoa shaped Reed’s faith, helping lead him to Jesus in his 20s. But in terms of his faith-based organizing, the well-known activist drew more on his experiences in hyper-diverse Miami.

"Later on in life, when I became a leader in the Christian Coalition, I had a greater appreciation [for] ethnic and religious diversification,” Reed says.

That could be good news for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is looking to regain momentum from chief rival Newt Gingrich, after the former speaker’s upset in South Carolina, in Florida’s Tuesday primary.
A more centrist evangelicalism

As a percentage of GOP voters, there are fewer evangelicals in Florida compared to South Carolina and Iowa, where Rick Santorum won the presidential caucuses, according to CNN exit polls from 2008.

In that year, evangelicals accounted for 40% of Republican primary voters in Florida, compared to 60% in the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primaries.

And compared to those other early primary states, Florida is much more religiously diverse. In the 2008 primary there, Catholics were nearly a third of the Republican vote, with other kinds of Christians, Jews and those with no religious affiliation each claiming a chunk of the vote.

Still, evangelical Christians claim a bigger share of the Florida Republican vote than any other religious tradition. There also are signs they may be more tolerant of a Mormon candidate than born-again Christians in the Bible Belt and Midwest.

In the South Carolina primary, Romney claimed 22% of the evangelical vote, compared to 44% for Gingrich, according to CNN exit polls.

Florida’s evangelicals are “more open” to the idea of a Mormon in the White House, according to Orlando area pastor Joel C. Hunter.

“Our nature, of being a fairly mobile state, with a lot of tourism and a lot of transcultural and transnational interaction really makes us boundary spanning, rather than sticking to our own affinity groups,” Hunter says.

He leads a congregation of 15,000 at Northland, a Church Distributed, a nondenominational megachurch of the kind that are more popular in Florida than in Iowa or South Carolina.

“For any independent church, you’re going to be open – necessarily open – to non-ready made boundaries, open to other religious groups,” Hunter says. “You’ll be more likely to partner with groups that aren’t necessarily like your own.”

The pastor cites his church’s partnerships with local synagogues and mosques to help local homeless children. For Hunter, teaming up with different religious traditions follows the example of Jesus.

“Jesus talked to the people, the religious leaders others wouldn’t talk to,” he says.

“As an evangelical, I should be ready to talk to a lot of people that aren’t like myself, because that’s what I see in the life of Christ, and I’m looking to build relationships.”
read more here

Monday, January 16, 2012

"The Senator" 3,500 year old tree falls due to fire

UPDATE-Woman charged with burning 'The Senator' says she did it 'to use illegal drugs'

Investigator: Fire that destroyed 'The Senator' was not arson
Investigator has not determined the cause of the fire
read more here
(Off topic)

This is one of the first sites we saw when we first moved to Florida. The massive tree was stunning. Looking at news footage, it is the only tree burning in the forest and looks like someone must have done this despicable act.

Tree Known As The Senator Falls Due To Fire

3,500-Year-Old Tree Oldest Of Its Kind

LONGWOOD, Fla. -- A fire that was burning on the inside of a historic tree known as The Senator has caused it to topple.

The fire was burning on the inside and on top of the 125-foot tall tree. The fire weakened it so much that it collapsed a little after 8 a.m. Monday.

The tree is located in Big Tree Park in Longwood.

The Pond Bald Cypress is the oldest tree of its kind in the world. It is estimated at 3,500-years-old.

read more here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fallen Soldier's Remains Return To Longwood Florida

Fallen Soldier's Remains Return To Fla.

Funeral Set For Next Wednesday

POSTED: 1:24 pm EST November 18, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The body of a local soldier who was killed in Afghanistan returned to Central Florida on Friday.

The Department of Defense said 25-year-old Army Pfc. Theodore B. Rushing died on Veterans Day in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

He suffered fatal wounds when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
Rushing was going to follow his father's footsteps and become a police officer, but once he joined the army, he told his dad that he'd found a new career.

"He liked the fact that he was able to give back to his country that had given so much back to him. He liked the fact that he was a Calvary scout, out front paving the way for everybody else," said Rushing's father, Rick Rushing, on Friday.

Members of the Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff's Office escorted Rushing's remains to the funeral home.
The funeral is scheduled for next Wednesday. A viewing is set for Saturday at the Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home on Lake Ivanhoe.

read more here

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Longwood soldier killed in Afghanistan on Veterans Day

Longwood soldier killed in Afghanistan

By Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel
9:08 p.m. EST, November 12, 2011

A Longwood soldier was killed Friday morning in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, by an roadside bomb, the U.S, Department of Defense announced tonight.

He was on foot when he was killed, but the Army provided no further details.

Pfc. Theodore B. Rushing, 25, was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device, the Department of Defense said.

A cavalry scout, he was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment; 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, N.Y.
read more here

Monday, September 26, 2011

Soldier from Longwood dies in Iraq

Soldier from Longwood dies in Iraq
Andy Caraballo Morales is pictured in a 2009 photo: "Training in Japan." (Photo courtesy of Facebook / September 25, 2011)
By Arelis R. Hernández, Orlando Sentinel
9:09 p.m. EDT, September 25, 2011
"The family drifted apart as they lived their lives separately in other states, but Sgt. Morales' near-fatal car accident in North Carolina in 2009 helped draw them back together, family said."
On the 2-month-anniversary of the birth of his daughter, Sgt. Andy Caraballo Morales of Longwood died in Iraq.

The 32-year-old soldier, who was killed Thursday in Baghdad, was assigned to the 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) of Orlando, the Department of Defense announced today, and was serving in Operation Enduring Freedom.

When Army officials delivered the news to his wife, Mariela Caraballo-Morales, she could hardly believe it, said sister-in-law Mercian Lesser said from her Sarasota home.

Just five months before, the best friends were married in a celebration that brought together a family that had seen its share of hardships. The young soldier spent just nine days with his newborn, Naiara Morales, before he was deployed, his wife said.
read more here

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Brian D. Riley Jr.: Longwood soldier killed in Afghanistan

Brian D. Riley Jr.: Longwood soldier killed in Afghanistan

Compiled by Orlando Sentinel
9:12 p.m. EDT, May 17, 2011

A 24-year-old soldier from Longwood was killed this week Afghanistan, Department of Defense announced today.

Spc. Brian D. Riley Jr., died Sunday, in Kunar province.

The Department of Defense said he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

"I have the most amazing daughter in the world," Riley wrote on his Facebook page, which feature a photo of him holding the unnamed child. He also wrote that he "loves anything to do with cars."

Information he posted indicated he is originally from Binghamton, N.Y. No other details were immediately available.
Longwood soldier killed in Afghanistan

Monday, September 21, 2009

Longwood FL school under lock down over black bear

Bear At School; Campus Locked Down
Bear In Tree Near Classrooms

POSTED: Monday, September 21, 2009
UPDATED: 1:01 pm EDT September 21, 2009

LONGWOOD, Fla. -- A Seminole County school is on lock down after a black bear was found on its campus.

According to Fish and Wildlife, the bear was found on Pace-Brantley Hall school property Monday morning.
read more here
linked from CNN

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rev. Joel Hunter of Longwood FL with Obama connection

The Rev. Joel Hunter of Longwood's Northland, a Church Distributed, is greeted by President Barack Obama at the White House after the evangelical Christian pastor was appointed to the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. (COURTESY OF THE HUNTER FAMILY / April 2, 2009)

Where Obama turns for spiritual advice: Rev. Joel Hunter of Longwood
By Jay Hamburg Sentinel Staff Writer
April 12, 2009

He doesn't thunder from the pulpit in righteous rage. He'd rather relay stories that make a moral point.

He has no catchphrases, fussy handlers or televised religious talk shows.

What the soft-spoken Rev. Joel Hunter of Longwood does have is an evangelical church of 12,000, a talent for building diverse coalitions and a prominent spiritual advisory role in the administration of President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

Not bad for a registered Republican who came to Central Florida in 1985 to take charge of a small flock that grew into one of the region's largest megachurches.

As Hunter delivers his three Easter sermons today at Northland, a Church Distributed, he holds a place in the national spotlight unmatched by any other faith leader in Central Florida.

But it wasn't something that seemed destined from the start.

The man who prayed with Obama on Inauguration Day lost his first preaching job when a United Methodist church in Indiana faced a crucial decision nearly 40 years ago: Should they buy new carpet or keep their youth minister, the motorcycle-riding evangelical called Pastor Joel?

New carpet won by a landslide.

"I wasn't that great a shakes," Hunter said.

But in the decades that followed, the hard-working pastor proved to be a formidable leader.

He has become a much-sought-after spokesman for a new brand of evangelicals who hope to tone down the rhetoric of culture wars while engaging in good works. Along the way, the 60-year-old pastor has sought alliances with Catholics, Jews and Muslims and irritated some traditional evangelicals, who worry that too much emphasis on social issues would nudge the Gospels to the sidelines.
go here for more

Where Obama turns for spiritual advice: Rev. Joel Hunter of Longwood

Thursday, July 31, 2008

After outcry, event to help Sanford's homeless moved to Longwood

After outcry, event to help Sanford's homeless moved to Longwood
Kate Santich Sentinel Staff Writer
July 31, 2008
First, Sanford officials decided they didn't want 200 homeless people flocking downtown for a daylong event that would offer them medical care, showers, meals, employment counseling and identification.

Then the city's mayor showed up Wednesday at the rescheduled event -- moved to Longwood's Northland church -- to show her support.

A mixed message?

"We're not really evil, mean and wicked," said Sanford Mayor Linda Kuhn, who, at the urging of the City Council, had asked if the event could be relocated. "I believe in what they're doing."
go here for more,0,5971031.story

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Longwood FL church helps homeless

From haircuts to counseling -- event at church will help the homeless
Adrian G. Uribarri Sentinel Staff Writer
July 30, 2008
LONGWOOD-More than 150 volunteers will gather at Northland Church in Longwood today to help the homeless. Services will include showers, medical care, haircuts, employment opportunities, substance-abuse and mental-health counseling. Homeless Services Network of Central Florida is organizing the event, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 530 Dog Track Road. For more information, call 407-893-0133 or visit,0,4657931.story