Showing posts with label North Carolina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North Carolina. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Marine standing on a corner at attention and saluting for Memorial Day

U.S. Marine veteran stands at attention along Wendover Avenue on Memorial Day to honor combat veterans

FOX 8 News
by: Nelson Kepley
Posted: May 25, 2020

GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you were traveling down West Wendover Avenue near Interstate 40 Monday morning, you may have noticed a Marine standing on a corner at attention and saluting.
Surrounded by American flags, he was hard to miss; the honks, the waves, the stares. People stopped to take his photograph and so many said, “Thank you.”

“I did not serve during wartime. I served in peacetime, so I felt like it’s my duty to at least come out and remember those that were combat veterans, those that paid the ultimate sacrifice,” U.S. Marine veteran Skip Nix said.
Among those who stopped to take Nix’s picture was Becky Lemons, of Stoneville.

“It was an honor seeing him out there,” Lemons said.

Nix stood for two hours in a light mist flanked by two signs with a simple message.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Disabled Korean War Air Force veteran being kicked out of rehab...during COVID-19


FOX 46 gets results for Air Force veteran almost kicked out of rehab center

CORNELIUS, N.C. - An elderly Korean War veteran set to be kicked out of his rehab center Thursday, despite a statewide stay-at-home order, can now stay put, thanks to FOX 46.

“Thank you FOX 46 for helping,” said the Air Force veteran’s granddaughter, Kelly Wimmer. “It has meant the world to us.” read it here

Elderly veteran to be kicked out of rehab facility, improperly, despite COVID-19

FOX 46 Charlotte
By Matt Grant
April 1, 2020
Hummel, 88, a Korean War veteran, was transferred at the beginning of March from Lake Norman Regional Medical Center to Autumn Care in Cornelius to recover from pneumonia, Wimmer said. The Air Force veteran and lung cancer survivor is an amputee and confined to a wheelchair. Unless something changes, Gorman says her dad will be discharged on Thursday, April 2.

CORNELIUS, N.C. - Despite North Carolina being under a 'Stay-at-Home' order, an elderly veteran in poor health is about to be kicked out of his rehabilitation facility in the middle of a global pandemic because of an insurance payment dispute.

“It’s been hard,” Andrea Gorman, the daughter of Sanford Hummel, said in tears.
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Disabled veteran thanks neighbor for saving his life after apartment caught on fire

‘Thank God for him’: NC veteran thanks man for saving his life after apartment catches on fire
News Staff
January 19, 2020

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina veteran was able to thank his neighbor for the first time since he saved his life and got him out of his burning apartment last month.
Our news partner WLOS was there as Tony reunited with his neighbor, Douglas Tribble. Tony’s apartment caught fire last month -- the damage was so bad, the walls were charred black.

Tony said he would not have made it out alive if Tribble had not come for him.

“I would have stayed there not realizing the smoke that I was gathering,” Tony said.

Tony does not get around very well -- he has to use a walker. Tribble said that made the rescue even more of a race against time.
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Saturday, December 21, 2019

“Veterans’ Treatment Court in Catawba County will restore health to veterans, their families..."

Treatment court for military veterans is on the horizon in Catawba County

Observer News Enterprise
December 20, 2019

A treatment court for military veterans is on the horizon in Catawba County.

The new treatment court will begin in January 2021 and provide assistance to veterans who have contact with the court system in Catawba County when a 10th judge is added for the judicial district.

Tammy West, a legal assistant with the 36th Prosecutorial District Attorney’s Office in Catawba County, has been among those spearheading the effort to bring a treatment court for veterans to the county.

“Veterans have done so much for us as a nation,” West said. “We have no idea what they go through for us. What they see and do can be very bad, but they do it because they believe in a greater cause. This is a small way we can give back to them in their time of need.”

West and District Attorney Scott Reilly both had sons who served in the military, so they know first-hand some of the issues veterans deal with on a daily basis.

“We have a heart for veterans. We want to give back because we know what their (veterans’) sacrifice causes,” West said.

Reilly added, “We depend on our brave men and women to answer the call to defend our freedom. We must also be there to support them by providing resources to address their needs and issues by doing our best to get them well again. This Veterans’ Treatment Court is designed to meet the particular needs of veterans involved in the criminal justice system.”

Dennis Bennett, a retired U.S. Army veteran, has been an advocate of the treatment court to assist veterans for several years. He is glad to see that a vision has become a reality.

“Veterans’ Treatment Court in Catawba County will restore health to veterans, their families, work places and the community as a whole. It will save lives, period,” Bennett said. “I’m truly grateful for the vision of justice that District Attorney Scott Reilly brings to our community. He is dedicated to the wellness of our community as a DA in promoting justice and welfare."
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Army veteran spent last 50 years making wooden toys for kids

Lee County veteran who crafts wooden toys for children in need surprised by viewer donations

ABC 11 News
By Akilah Davis
December 20, 2019

The 80-year-old Army veteran has helped Santa out every holiday season for the past 50 years by creating wooden toys.
"You've got people from California to Texas... way out there. I never dreamed of this many people hearing my story," said Annis. "A lady and a man came in here last week and said it's not much wood, but you can make a few toys."
SANFORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- Jim Annis is just as close to being a real-life Santa as it gets. He spends several hours a day in his wooden workshop making toys out of wood for kids in need every Christmas. It's a small price for a big reward.

"It's amazing what you can do with a block of wood," said Annis. "A lot of times the kids just look in amazement. Like, I'm going to get that?"
read it here

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Cranky note left on veteran's car...because she is a female veteran!

‘Women serve too’; Note left on veteran’s car prompts conversation among female vets

WECT 6 News
By Amanda Foster
December 2, 2019

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. (WBTV) - A female veteran parked in a “reserved veteran parking” spot at an Indian Trail Harris Teeter says someone left a note on her car that was disappointing.
The woman wrote “Women serve, too” in part of a post on the ‘What’s Up Indian Trail?” Facebook page. She says after she parked in the reserved veterans’ space at the grocery store, someone left her a note – on what looks like a napkin - with the message, “R U A Veteran!” written in blue.

“It is disappointing to think there are people out there…but it’s reality. There’s going to be stereotypes everywhere,” Air Force veteran Mindy Mills says.

Mills is one of several other female veterans now commenting on the social media post, sharing their own stories of sideways looks, notes, even confrontations. One woman writes, “I very seldom use the spots but I have been asked twice by men if I am a veteran.” Another commenter tells a story of someone following her into a store and yelling at her for parking in the space.
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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Another VA parking lot suicide

Veteran dies by suicide at VA Medical Center in Asheville

by: WSPA Staff
Posted: Aug 5, 2019

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – U.S. Department of Veterans Afairs officials said a veteran died by suicide while in the parking lot of a Western North Carolina VA medical center on Sunday.

According to the news release, the veteran died by suicide in the visitor parking lot of Charles George VA Medical Center just before 8:50 a.m.

The Asheville Police Department is investigating the incident.

“We are saddened by this loss and extend our deepest condolences to the Veteran’s family, friends and caregivers,” officials said in the release. “Suicide prevention is the VA’s number one clinical priority. Charles George VA Medical Center and its community outpatient clinics at Hickory, Rutherford County, and Franklin have many services for Veterans who are struggling with mental health concerns, such as depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, military sexual trauma, and substance use disorders.”
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Friday, August 2, 2019

Iraq veteran's daughter fighting for life after hit and run driver left her in road

Lillington family trying to bring home woman critically hurt in Colorado hit-and-run

By Amanda Lamb, WRAL reporter
August 1, 2019

LILLINGTON, N.C. — A Lillington native remains in a Colorado hospital three months after she was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in Denver.
Ashley Schachter, 22, was on her way to work at a local college on May 1 when she was hit. Witnesses told police that the driver stopped briefly and could be heard asking someone on the phone what to do before jumping back in her car and driving off.

"To know that she got out of her car saw what she did to my daughter and then left the scene of what she did, it just baffles me how someone could just do that," Brandy Schachter said Wednesday.

Ashley Schachter, a Harnett Central High School graduate who had moved to Denver only weeks earlier after spending several years doing community service work through AmeriCorps, suffered a traumatic brain injury along with fractures in her spine, hip, legs, left ankle and collarbone.

"I didn't recognize my daughter, and I basically hit the floor," Brandy Schachter said, recalling the first time she saw her in the hospital. "It was, I mean, all the trauma and the bruises, everything, it was just overwhelming that I didn't even recognize my own daughter."
Chad Schachter, a disabled Iraq War veteran, has stayed in Denver since the crash to be with his daughter and to try find clues to help with the investigation of the hit-and-run, which remains unsolved.

"I had no idea if she was going to be alive or not when I got here," he told NBC affiliate KUSA.
read it here

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Vietnam Veteran Sgt. Matthew Francis Kelly made a dying wish to his nurse

Strangers invited to funeral for Vietnam veteran who died alone. ‘I wanted to honor his final wishes,’ his nurse said.

Philadelphia Enquirer
by Melanie Burney
July 9, 2019
Kelly left Vietnam in November 1970 and received an honorable discharge, his records show. Little is known about his life after the military. He returned to Philadelphia. Richello said he had a hard life, “and he was one of the forgotten.”

Former Army Sgt. Matthew Francis Kelly made a dying wish to his nurse: He wanted to be buried with full military honors, a parade, bagpipes, and a 21-gun salute.

In death, Kelly will get what he did not receive in life when he returned home to Philadelphia from the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago. His nurse, Jennifer Richello, has recruited a band of strangers to keep the promise she made to Kelly on his deathbed a few months ago.

“I wanted to honor his final wishes, and love and respect for his service to our country,” Richello, a registered nurse, said in a statement Tuesday. “Kelly was a good man and deserves this.”

Richello also made a special request to mourners: bring a can of Pepsi to the funeral. Kelly loved the soft drink, she said.
After graduating from high school, Kelly enlisted on Jan. 14, 1969, his 20th birthday. He completed training at Fort Bragg, N.C, and Fort Sill, Okla., according to his military record. He was deployed to Vietnam in December 1969 and served as a communications chief in the 13th Battalion Signal, First Cavalry Division.
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Monday, July 1, 2019

Disabled veteran survived combat...attempted suicide and struggles to stay alive

Past struggles emerging about disabled veteran charged in NT bomb scare

JUN 27, 2019

"After giving up on life he became suicidal and prayed that God would just kill him like Jesus Christ. He miraculously got extremely motivated from peer to peer mentoring without remembering the suicide actions for 6 months, but the same day he retired his brother-in-law fell off a cliff and died. Staff Sergeant Payne felt guilty he endured and survived all these hardships."
We are learning more about a disabled veteran who prompted a bomb scare at North Tonawanda City Hall earlier this week.
North Tonawanda Police say Timothy Payne, 36, remains in custody and is scheduled for a hearing in NT City Court Friday morning for criminal possession of a weapon. He also was evaluated by medical personnel.

Payne was arrested Tuesday afternoon after police found a loaded pistol, two military-style rifles and 400 rounds of ammunition in his van. Bomb Squad agents were also called in after another item found appeared to be explosive. Police now say it was a hitch lock, which "could be construed as a pipe bomb."

In fact, they say further investigation has found that Payne appears to be living out of his van since traveling to New York from North Carolina looking for work. He has ties to NT and met with the mayor to express his distress about not being able to find work, but police say Payne has made no threats to anyone.
read it here

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fort Bragg solider dressed to kill, then opened fire in a home

Police: Fort Bragg Soldier Wearing Military Gear Opened Fire into Home

The Associated Press
June 14, 2019
The active duty soldier is charged with attempted first-degree murder and shooting into an occupied dwelling, both of which are felonies. He will be taken into custody if he is released from the hospital, officials said.
Fort Bragg soldier Eric Jerrod Davis is accused of shooting at someone with a shotgun inside a home, officials said. (Scotland County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigative Unit/Facebook)
LAUREL HILL, N.C. — A soldier wearing military-issued ballistic gear opened fire inside a North Carolina home and was wounded by return gunfire before he left and was injured in a car crash, according to authorities.

U.S. Army E-4 Specialist Eric Jerrod Davis was in critical condition at a hospital, news outlets reported Wednesday. Davis is accused of shooting at someone with a shotgun on Sunday morning inside the home in Laurel Hill, officials said.

"Several innocent bystanders were present at the time, and one innocent bystander returned fire, shooting Davis," the Scotland County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. It is not clear if anyone else was injured.
read more here

Monday, May 20, 2019

Four widowed Police Officers' wives speak to #BreakTheSilence

Widows Of Police Suicide Speak Out

May 18, 2019
Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday

More police officers now die by suicide than in the line of duty. NPR's Scott Simon talks with the widows of four officers who took their own lives about losing their husbands to suicide.

There is a suicide crisis in the United States. We're going to talk about it frankly, and our story may disturb some listeners. If you feel you're in a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.

The national suicide rate has increased by nearly 30 percent since 1999 in this blessed America. There are now more than twice as many suicides in the United States as homicides. Many involve drugs, drinking or depression, losing a job, a loved one, or stress. But experts say there is no one, two or 10 causes.

We have a story today to begin a series of reports about some of the people touched by suicide.
SIMON: Seven Chicago police officers have taken their own lives in the past 12 months. Father Brandt goes out to crime scenes and station houses if officers feel the need to talk to a priest, if not a therapist. Across the country, at least 159 officers died by suicide in 2018.

Kristen Clifford's husband was Officer Steven Clifford of the Nassau County, N.Y., police. They had just gotten a puppy. They looked forward to having children. One day in May 2017, he wasn't responding to her text messages, so she drove home.

Melissa Swailes was married to Officer David Swailes of the Los Angeles Police Department. They had four sons. David Swailes had symptoms of post-traumatic stress from his time in the U.S. Navy. On their youngest son's second birthday, Melissa Swailes came home and found her husband behind their bathroom door.

Erin Gibson was married to Sergeant Clinton Gibson of the Liberty Lake, Wash., police. They were high school sweethearts. They had four children.

Nicole Rikard had recently married Officer John Rikard of the Asheville, N.C., police. He was a recovering alcoholic, but he drank the night he took his life. She got a phone call from one of his lieutenants.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Fort Bragg Soldier hits 100th marathon!

Soldier Is Running Her 100th Marathon in Boston

By Eve Meinhardt
15 April 2019

FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- It all started when she was stationed in Virginia 12 years ago. That's when Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Beofra Butler saw everyone training for the Marine Corps Marathon and decided to give the 26.2-mile race a try.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Beofra K. Butler, administrative executive officer to the commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command, poses with her marathon medals on March 22, 2019. She has run 99 marathons since 2008. Around her neck are medals from her five previous Boston Marathons. She will run her 100th race April 15 in Boston. (U.S. Army photo by Eve Meinhardt)

As a soldier, running was already a part of her daily life and physical fitness routine. She had run several other shorter races, including the Army 10-Miler and a few half-marathons, so the challenge of a full marathon appealed to her. She wasn't even afraid of the dreaded "wall" that everyone told her she would hit around mile 20, when her body would start shutting down as energy stores ran low and fatigue set in.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Air Force Veteran, Retired NC official commited suicide

Retired NC official commits suicide before Franklin deputies can question him in investigation

February 5, 2019

YOUNGSVILLE, N.C. — A retired state official killed himself last week after Franklin County deputies went to his Youngsville home, authorities said.

James Prosser served as assistant secretary of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs under former Gov. Pat McCrory.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, deputies went to his home Thursday to talk to him about a joint investigation between the department and the State Bureau of Investigation. When they arrived, Prosser walked out the back door of the home and shot himself in a nearby wooded area, authorities said.

Authorities have refused to provide details about the investigation because of his death.

Prosser, an Air Force veteran, will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Salisbury VA Medical Center Director Joseph Vaughan

Veteran suicides a ‘personal’ issue for Salisbury VA Medical Center director

WBTV 3 News
By David Whisenant
January 22, 2019

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - By the time this day is over, 20 veterans are likely to have committed suicide, according to numbers released by the Veterans Administration.

Doing something to bring that number down has become a top priority of the VA, and of the director of the veterans hospital that serves the Charlotte area.

One of the people who had the biggest influence in the life of Salisbury VA Medical Center Director Joseph Vaughan, took his own life.

“He was actually the person that talked me into coming to work for the VA, so it’s very personal for me," Vaughn said.
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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Flying tire killed 19 year old female Marine

Young Marine killed by truck’s flying tire on Indiana interstate

New York Post
Joshua Rhett Miller
January 18, 2019

A young Marine was killed in Indiana when a wheel flew off another vehicle before crossing a concrete median and crashing into her pickup truck, state police said. 

Lance Cpl. Olivia Kustes, 18, of Rineyville, Kentucky, died Wednesday after a wheel from a pickup truck fell off the vehicle and barreled into her truck after crossing a median on I-65 near the Eastern Boulevard exit in southern Indiana, WDRB reports. 

A local Marine recruiting station told WDRB that Kustes had recently returned home on a recruiters’ assistance program and was scheduled to return to North Carolina next week.
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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Navy veteran diagnosed by VA doctors...denied by VA?

Navy veteran with throat cancer continues uphill fight with VA for disability benefits

Updated: Jan 5, 2019

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte veteran Dan Parks has been fighting with the Department of Veterans Affairs for five years to get disability benefits.

"This has been an uphill battle all the way,” Parks said.

Parks showed WSOC-TV paperwork from multiple doctors who determined his throat cancer was caused by exposure to ionizing radiation during his service in the Navy.

He took care of guns and ammunition in the early 1970s, including in an area that housed nuclear torpedo heads.

Now, because of the cancer, his larynx and thyroid were removed.

Twenty-four years after his diagnosis, he still has side effects and takes 18 pills a day, and the VA denies his disability benefits.

"If the VA won’t respect their own doctors' decisions, who does a guy turn to?" Parks asked.

Parks has been in the appeals process, but just in the past month, he received a letter from the VA that states it couldn't find his transcript and he has to start over in his request for disability benefits.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

North Carolina Veteran Population Dropping, VA Enrollment Growing

Veteran Population In NC Steadily Declining

Jay Price
November 26, 2018

Despite the downturn in the number of veterans, the VA here has been seeing its enrollment grow, as a higher percentage of veterans sign up for VA care.

North Carolina is home to two of the world’s largest military bases — the Army’s Fort Bragg and the Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune — but the state’s population of veterans is steadily declining.

Last year the number of veterans in North Carolina dropped to about 656,000. That’s down nearly 90,000 from a decade earlier, according to US census bureau estimates.

The number has steadily fallen from a plateau a decade ago. That’s despite the substantial rise in the state’s overall population, according to a new report from UNC.

A big reason that the population is falling off so much is that the veterans of the draft-fueled buildup during the Vietnam War era now dominate the veteran population, but are “aging out ” said Rebecca Tippett is the director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center.

The veteran population is older than the average, she said.

“The result of that is that you’re going to see much higher mortality rates, and overall population decline because young veterans are not replacing older veterans at a fast enough rate and are not likely to,” Tippett said.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Deployed Apache helicopter pilot's home robbed, by "friend"

This is a soldier deployed in Afghanistan
Deputies in Halifax County received a report of the break-in on Elwyn Drive on Oct. 18. Jeff Foley says his son, CWO2 Brad Foley, flies Apache helicopters and is deployed with the North Carolina National Guard.

And this is the "friend" who took advantage of deployment.

Deployed soldier's home ransacked by childhood friend

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Marine survived Afghanistan, died at home

Honoring a 'Marine's Marine' with fundraiser to help with burial and other costs

Lehigh Valley Live
Tony Rhodin
November 2, 2018
A church was created in a tent in Afghanistan and Bambara quickly signed up to volunteer, Alberino said. It was who he was. A gentle giant with a deep faith.
Omar Bambara was a big man with a big heart, his Marine buddy Nicholas Alberino recalled Friday, four days after the onetime corporal died in a household accident in North Carolina.
Omar Bambara, 32, served as a Marine in Afghanistan and later joined the Army Reserves. He died Oct. 29, 2018, during a household accident in North Carolina. (GoFundMe photo)

Alberino, 30, whose wife Karissa was raised in Phillipsburg, was Bambara's supervisor from 2010-11, as the two communications specialists served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Alberino was a corporal at that point, but also was Bambara's sergeant when they returned stateside.

Bambara leaves behind his wife Tireka and children Akera, Armani, Ava, Omar Jr. and Ace. He was serving in the Army Reserves at the time of his death in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Bambara had joined the Marines in 2009 and the Reserves in 2013, his obituary says.
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