Showing posts with label Orlando Semper Fidelis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orlando Semper Fidelis. Show all posts

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Orlando Rocked for Cpl. Adam Devine

Adam's road to recovery has not ended yet and has had over 60 surgeries so far. Cpl. Adam Devine's facebook page.
Join Elbows for Adam This is a page for Adam. Please use this page to send well wishes and comments for Adam, Michelle, and Amya as they proceed down the road of recovery!!!

Adam Devine, Dixon IL had a longtime dream to serve his country as a United States Marine! He completed this goal and then some! We all love you Adam!

Adam played hockey as a kid, loved football and track - throwing. He worked hard at all he did. Striving to be the best he can be - always. He did well in sports in high school. Playing on the varsity football team during the 2007 run to the Elite Eight, Adam was a key member of the team. He competed in 2007 and 2008 Illinois State High School Track and Field in Shot Put. He applied to Augustana College in Moline, IL and was accepted for the 2008-09 year, paying football for the Vikings. However, college was not his dream - the Marine Corps Adam worked very hard to meet the standards required and surpassed those qualifications.

Along the way to meeting those high standards of the USMC, Adam met a beautiful young lady named Michelle. It didn't take a whole lot and they fell in love! Adam and Michelle were married in January 2010, after Adam graduated from boot camp. In late May, a gorgeous little bundle of joy, Amya, joined the family. She is the apple of her daddy's eye!

Adam serves in the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif. and has been a machine gunner with the Marines since April.

On Wednesday, December 28, about 12:30 p.m. in Afghanistan, or about 2 a.m. Central time, Adam was wounded in action by an improvised explosive device (IED). He was hospitalized at Bastion Role III Medical Treatment facility in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, transferred to another facility, in the Middle East, then transferred to base in Germany and soon will be treated at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, MD.

Adam is in stable condition, however seriously injured. He has suffered lower extremity amputations, however...those of us that know him, know that this will never stop him!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting this fabulous family at the 3rd Annual Orlando Rocks Fundraiser. This Marine and his family have been through terrible times, lots of trials and tribulations but side by side, they managed to do the nearly impossible for most people.

It was easy to tell when there is this much love, nothing can stop them!

Here are some pictures of the event and the video will go up later today so check back. There was also a news station out there interviewing Adam and I'm checking right now to find the report.s
UPDATE Here is the first video
Cpl. Devine got a call from Graceland! The nurse of Elvis Presley, Marion Justice Cocke spoke with Adam.

Mr. Postman got the crowd on their feet!

Orlando Rocks and Rolls
Orlando Rocks Patriotism Lives

Friday, January 16, 2015

Veterans Events for Central Florida

Veterans To Do List from Cathy Haynes

Mid-January notice of veteran, military or patriotic events in Central Florida
Send me your events – people cannot attend an event if they don’t know about it!
Please share this information and events with your friends and interested others and attend.   Post where appropriate.
If you wish to be removed from the email list, just let me know.

Amputee Vet needs help this weekend – Sat. Jan 17 – Vet has the supplies, just needs the hand and muscle power.   Home is in Merritt Island.   Interior painting needed for 2k sq ft home, wood floors to be done, hot water heater needs to be installed by legitimate plumber.   8:30am until done.   Contact Kim of AVET Project   321-373-7046

Local Wounded Marine Gets His Home!  - Sat. Jan 17 – Public Welcomed!   Flag Raising and Dedication Ceremonies for Marine Sgt. Stephen Tovet and his wife, Krystina, to receive their specially adapted new home.   9am Flag Raising at 303 Cross St., Oakland, 34760 (western Orange County) and the Home Dedication Ceremony is at 11am at Oakland Presbyterian Church Christian Life Center, 218 East Oakland Ave.   Sgt. Tovet was born in Orlando and grew up in Apopka. He and his wife, Krystina were high school sweethearts and are graduates of Apopka High School.   Stephen enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in 2007. He was subsequently deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. He was seriously wounded from a IED blast while on patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.   The explosion severely injured his left leg, hand, and right lower leg.   He subsequently required amputation of his left leg above the knee and surgical reconstruction of his hand and right lower leg.
Special Guest Speaker at the Home Dedication will be Marine Maj. General Mike Regner, Staff Director at the Marine Corps Headquarters at the Pentagon.
This is the sixth local home built by Home At Last, Inc. which provides personally adapted homes for wounded warriors.   Donations still welcomed at Home at Last Project, Inc., PO Box 38, Oakland, FL, 34760.    Bill Criswell Home At Last, Chairman (a WW2 vet) 407-876-2472

TOMORROW,,,,,,,TOMORROW,,,,,I'LL BE THERE WITH CAMERA READY. (look below for videos from the last two years)
Orlando Rocks Benefit for Marine Cpl. Adam Devine – Sat. Jan 17 - VFW Post 4287 at 3500 S Goldenrod Rd, Orlando, 32822.   (southeastern Orlando)   Doors open at 1pm. Escort is scheduled to arrive approximately at 2pm with the limousine carrying Cpl. Adam Devine to the event.   National Anthem is at 3pm.   On December 28, 2011 Adam Devine was WIA (Wounded in Action) and as a result lost both of his lower limbs and is still in Walter Reed Medical Center undergoing numerous surgeries and physical therapy.  Event open to the public.

"One Nation Under God" – Sat. Jan 17 –  7pm at First United Methodist Church in Oviedo presents this FREE celebration of Christian Patriotism.   It is a live musical Program with video and live testimonials honoring our 1st Responders and all branches of the military and veterans.   This event is also feature guest speaker Army Ranger LTC Danny McKnight whose story inspired the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.”   Program is compiled by By Your Side Ministries in partnership with Operation Safety 91.    Refreshments after the program.   FUMCO, 263 King Street, Oviedo, 32765.   407-365-3255   www.    Operation Safety 91:   www.    407-484-4506

The Scottish Highland Games – Sat & Sun Jan 17, 18 – Lots of fun for the whole family whether you have Scot/Irish ancestry or not.   Bagpipes are heard from all over the southern US, but especially nice are the First Responders who play.   Central Winds Park, 1000 E. SR 434, Winter Springs, 32708.   Quidditch, dancing, Scottish games, sheep dog herding display, bands, etc.  Saturday: 8am – 9pm $25 adult entry; Sunday: 9am – 5pm $20 adult entry.   Check online for schedules and more info.

Call to action:  Veteran Businesses = Jobs for veterans - Wed. Jan 21 - Public meeting notice about a study being done on small businesses in our community.   Please show up and be represented.   There is no mention of counting Veteran-owned businesses within this study.   Very disappointing.   Other Disparity Study contracted businesses across the country include veteran-owned businesses and it is the trend. Please attend and let your voices be heard.   4pm – 6pm at Orange County Orlando Magic Recreation Center, 4863 N. Goldenrod Rd., Winter Park, 32792.   FREE parking.   See:
“Orange County, City of Orlando, Orange County Public Schools, and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (Agencies) are conducting a study that will examine the procurement of services and products, the subcontracting participation of prime contractors/service providers who do business with the Agencies and in the private sector, and the anecdotal evidence collected from a broad cross section of all firms doing business with or interested in doing business with the Agencies.   The results of the study will provide an update to the Agencies’ current M/W/DBE, LDB, and ACDBE programs. Individuals and businesses are invited to learn about this disparity study (forum) and provide testimony of doing business or attempting to do business with the Agencies (hearing).”
Study conducted by MGT of America, Inc., contact Vernetta Mitchell at   (704) 531-4098.   Future meetings: Wed. March 11 (Apopka) and
Wed. April 8 (Winter Garden/Ocoee).

Local Developing Business (LDB) and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise – Fri. Jan 30 – Learn about these programs and other opportunities.   Presented by GOAA (Greater Orlando Aviation Authority) from 9am – 11:30am at Orlando Executive Airport, 365 Rickenbacker Dr, Orlando, 32803.   Info:   407-825-7133.

2015 Veterans Business Initiative (VBI) – Apply before Jan. 30 - The VBI will run for eight weeks through February and March with two sessions per day starting Thurs. Feb 5.   This is a no cost program for 100 qualified veterans who are seeking entrepreneurship opportunities, employment and continuing education. The VBI will be held at the Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce (CFDC) located at the National Entrepreneur Center, 3201 E. Colonial Dr., Suite A-120, Orlando, 32803. The VBI is sponsored by Florida Hospital, Manpower US (Central Florida), Regions Bank and the Orlando Business Journal.   Partners include Disney, Rosen and Score.  Info: Rogue Gallart at 407-420-4875 or Lisa Hancock at

Valentine’s Day Dinner and Day – Sat. Feb 14 – sponsored by Knights of Columbus Council 11488 and a portion of proceeds will benefit Home At Last that assists wounded warriors with local specially adapted homes. Tickets/information available by contacting Jim McQuillan at 407-877-2149.   Also available after the Masses at Holy Family Catholic Church, 5125 S. Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, 32819.   (Southwest Orlando.) Obtain your tickets early, this event has sold out in previous years. Event will be in their St. Patrick Social Hall.   $25 Prime Rib dinner and dance from 6pm – 11pm.   Flyer available.  

Charity Golf Tournament PVA of Central Florida – Mon. March 23 – Fund raiser for both Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Central Florida and The Disability Wellness Center in Sanford.   PVA assistance includes spinal injury and neurological diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.   There are 27 known veterans with ALS in Central FL.   Tournament will be held at the Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes in Longwood, 32779.   Flyer available.   Sponsorships welcomed.   To register or for more information contact: John DeMauro, 407-328-7041

Spread the word - Seeking members of the World War II 384th Bomb Group to sign a Commemorative wall panel.  ASAP.   During WWII, the 384th Bombardment Group was part of the Eighth Air Force and was assigned to the Grafton Underwood Airfield in England.   Today, the 384th Bomb Group Commemorative Wing Panel Project provides those veterans a chance to sign their names on a genuine wing skin panel from a WWII B-17G.  The panel travels all over the United States for interested 384th veterans to sign.   A volunteer for the group, Keith Ellefson, will be touring Florida later this month with the wing panel.   Email him at, or call Keith Ellefson at (334) 733-4353.
A roster of members of the 384th Bomb Group and a record of their service in the 384th can be found  

Volunteer Help needed - 27 trailer homes with disabled and elderly veterans residing in them need various repairs or help with painting, outdoor weed control, etc.   Also needed – someone with experience in leveling trailers.   Lists are being compiled to match the needs, the supplies and the volunteers.   Contact Cate Montuoro at   407-259-5069

Mentors needed - Orange County Veterans Court IS succeeding!   Longer term success is possible with community mentors.   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.   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 Beatrice Brown, the Coordinator.   She or Judge Brewer have graciously offered to visit various groups and organizations to keep the mentor program in use.   It does make a difference and you can too…..   Contact Beatrice Brown at 407-496-1307  

JOBS – especially for veterans or military connected
If you are looking for a job or have connections with providing jobs, I need to know who you are.   I receive notices about jobs, job fairs, employment assistance, etc. but I don’t always know who is interested - on either side.   Contact me so that people can be linked together for the benefit of all!
The above items that are shared provide information or assistance to living veterans, military and first responders. 
There are also events that honor the deceased veterans, military, and first responders:

Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) are made up of persons who provide flag lines at funeral homes and cemeteries only upon invitation of the family of the deceased.   They also may escort the deceased from the funeral homes to the final resting place. PGR also participates in patriotic events like welcoming home warriors, Honor Flights, parades, wounded warrior home dedications, etc. While some PGR ride motorcycles, motorcycles are not required.  Anyone who is interested is invited to join in the tributes.
While the ultimate final tribute to a former warrior is a flag line in his/her honor, it’s always best to show the appreciation while he/she is still alive….
Dave (Buzzard) Clarke - Florida Asst. State Captain Patriot Guard Riders  (Central FL, Leesburg, Bushnell Cemetery area)  352-406-0343   or   David Shelton (Flyboy) (c) (Central FL, Orlando area)
INFO to keep and share:

Veterans in crisis – For you or someone you know - Confidential Hotline:   1-800-273-8255, #1.  
Website at www. veteranscrisisline provides 24/7 confidential chat online assistance;
Or text 838255   for  24/7 confidential assistance.   They are there because they care….

Camaraderie Foundation in Central Florida provides resources for private and confidential Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) counseling for warriors and their families.     It works.   It has saved lives, marriages and families.  Contact Steven 407-841-0071

Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and financial assistance.

Vet Centers are available for combat zone veterans to help with personal and family readjustment counseling and outreach services.    The nearest centers are located in Orlando, Melbourne, Clermont, and Daytona Beach.
·         Museum of Military History, 5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy., Kissimmee, 34746.   407-507-3894 for further information.

·         Check out: and  Both sites are for veterans and is a site for Veterans to upload their resumes and employers can look for skilled veterans there.

·         American Warrior Radio Show   from 11am-noon EDT on Saturdays, radio station WMEL - AM 1300    Nationwide broadcast:

·         Wounded Times - Veterans News Service covering news that matters to veterans and their families. Local, state and national news, events, and stories – especially with videos involving Central Florida military and veterans. Dedicated to defeating Combat PTS.

·         Shades of Green Resort – Armed Forces Recreation Center on Disney property provides various packages for active duty, reservists, guardsmen, 100% service connected disabled, and retired military personnel and their families.   Go to   for information.   Special discounts for rooms may be available based on occupancy levels, and special ticket rates.   (407) 824-3400

·         The Navy Exchange (NEX) –NEX in Orlando is for all branches of active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents.   It is located west of Orlando Int’l Airport, about 1 mile south of the Beachline Expy/528 on Tradeport Dr.   Competitive pricing and programs. The big white building on the west side of Tradeport -   7151 Earhart Dr., Orlando, 32827.   407-857-3550

·         MWR / ITT Ticket Office – Offers discounted attraction tickets to active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents.   It is locate adjacent to the Navy Exchange (NEX) listed above.   Phone: 407-855-0116 or 407-851-4396 for details,   or Text MWROrlando to 30364 for MWR Specials.

·         Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) to active duty, Guard and Reserve service members, and their families with comprehensive information on every aspect of military life including deployment, relationships, economics, grief, education, parenting and child care, and much more.
Caring and sharing,
Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central FL

From 2013 Green Beret
From 2014 Navy SEAL

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Orlando Rocks for Wounded Marine

Orlando Starts Rocking for Wounded Marine
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 11, 2015

I have an occupation, the job I do for money because everyone has bills to pay. Then I have my vocation, the job I do for a lot more than money. What I get back is priceless! I get to spend time with veterans. The Orlando Nam Knights and the Orlando DAV Chapter 16 have my heart but so do all the other groups I'm associated with.

The VFW Post 4287 and Semper Fidelis America are just too more of the groups I absolutely get inspired by everyday. No matter what they're doing, it is always a joy to go out and cover their events.

So many people go through their lives never knowing what it is like to be among people living their lives like everyone else most of the time but then going above and beyond in fellowship for unselfish reasons. If you ever want your faith in pure compassion restored, spend some time with veterans groups and then you'll see more people in it for others than in it for themselves.

On Saturday, January 17, 2015 Orlando will see this love in action!

3rd Annual Orlando Rocks Benefit - 2015 is next weekend at the VFW Post 4287 in Orlando. Semper Fidelis America, the VFW and a lot of other folks teamed up for a wounded Marine this year and Saturday it should be fabulous. The first year it was for a Green Beret. Last year it was for a Navy Seal.
✩ Orlando has been calling for more and we are putting on a Fundraiser entitled "ORLANDO ROCKS" and it is our 3rd Annual benefit hosted by VFW Post 4287 and Semper Fidelis America, Inc. to help Cpl. Adam Devine below by building a specialized home for him and his family, give his children the best a Daddy has to offer - given the circumstances. As you meet Adam, you too will see that he does not feel sorry for himself and will not allow others to either. He truly lives up to the motto of "Once a Marine, always a Marine". His story is not totally complete as he is still undergoing surgery - almost 3 years later. Yes folks, he is still receiving surgery for his injuries from almost 3 years ago. So please click on photo below to enter Gofundme site to make a donation, once on donation page scroll down to read his entire life story. God Bless America and all Veterans that help protect this great country!
Navy Mom Mary decided to do something more than just feel bad for the wounded coming home and she is the driving force behind all of these fundraisers. Mary was in the Army, her husband was in the Navy and her son is currently in the Navy.
Thank you to ALL who came and joined with us today for the FUN-RUN for Cpl. Adam Devine. When big hearts come together, it is proven that big things can happen.
Here are a few pictures from yesterday at the Wing House in Altamonte Springs FL on 436.
Orlando Nam Knights
Semper Fidelis America
VFW Post 4287
Navy Mom Mary
Wing House
Who is all this for?
Lance Corporal Adam Devine works out in physical therapy with daughter Amya on his back. A machine-gunner with the 3-7 Marines in Sangin, he stepped on a 7-10 pound pressure plate, causing an IED explosion. His battlefield comrades saved his life until he got to a hospital, where they completed that work. He lost both his legs.
Video interview with Lance Cpl. Adam Devine on his health via Skype
Sauk Valley News
Uploaded on Feb 29, 2012

Adam was wounded in action Dec. 28 by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on duty in the Sangin district in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. He lost both of his legs from above the knee.

He updates us on his health status and spirit, via Skype, from his hospital room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Here are a couple of the videos from the last two events.
Green Beret Josh Burnette
Published on Jan 14, 2013 On Saturday Semper Fidelis held a fundraiser for a Green Beret, double amputee at the VFW Post 4287 in Orlando. Mary Ingrassia arranged the event and all of her hard work paid off. Everyone had a great time and over $10,000 was raised for Josh's recovery. 

Published on Jan 19, 2014
Last night proved beyond a doubt that when people come together for a common cause, mountains are moved out of the way!
Last year, Mary Ingrassia heard about a Green Beret double amputee Josh Burnette and decided to do something to help him. Semper Fidelis America President John Murphy has always been about team work. Just ask any of the veterans groups in Central Florida and they will tell you how active he and his wife Teresa are. Doug Pattelena, Commander VFW Post 4287 also knows this. Because they worked together, Josh knew how much he was loved with a fabulous night of appreciation, fun and over $10,000 in donations for his future.
Durning the event Mary heard about another young combat wounded hero, Bo Reichenbach. Bo, a Navy SEAL, lost both of his legs in 2012 while serving in Afghanistan. It was his time to be star of the show at the VFW.
Even Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer sent a proclamation declaring Bo Reichenbach Day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Orlando Veterans Day Parade

Just got back from the Orlando Veterans Day Parade and after walking the entire parade route this year, I don't know how these folks do it. I'm going to soak my feet and then take a nap~
When the flag passed by, everyone saluted!
UPDATE A friend of mine saw me coming and snapped this picture. As tired as I look here, it was less than halfway to the end. Thank God he didn't see me at the end.