Showing posts with label Rhode Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rhode Island. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Vietnam veteran got dying wish, ride in convertible with nurses

Veteran's dying wish to ride in a convertible with 'three pretty nurses' granted

NBC 10 News
September 23rd 2019

COVENTRY, R.I. (WJAR) -- A veteran who is spending the remainder of his days in Rhode Island hospice care had a wish granted on Monday.
Vietnam War Veteran Patrick Lonergan's wish to ride in a convertible with "three pretty nurses" comes true Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (WJAR)

He's battling end-stage COPD, uses an oxygen machine and has been a resident at Coventry Health Care since March. Patrick Lonergan said he joined the military during the height of the Vietnam War in 1968.

During his last "monthly" meeting, Lonergan said he made a comment to his caretakers that prompted action from them.

"You know they were asking me questions what else can they do for me this month; 'How can we help you?' What can we do for you?'" said Lonergan. "The third time they asked, 'What can we do for you?' I kind of threw my hands up and said, 'How about a ride in a convertible with three pretty nurses?' And they took me seriously."read it here

Monday, February 18, 2019

Famous Kissing WWII Sailor passed away

George Mendonsa, Navy veteran identified as 'kissing sailor' in WWII photo, dies at 95

NBC News
By Erik Ortiz
February 18, 2019
"He was very proud of his service and the picture and what it stood for," Mendonsa's daughter said Monday.

George Mendonsa, a World War II veteran whose claim of being a sailor kissing a nurse in an iconic image was verified using facial recognition technology, died early Sunday, his daughter said. He was 95.

Mendonsa was living in an assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island, and had been suffering from severe congestive heart failure, daughter Sharon Molleur told NBC News. He would have turned 96 on Tuesday, she added.

Mendonsa, a retired fisherman, had maintained for years that he was the sailor locking lips in a picture taken on Aug. 14, 1945, by Alfred Eisenstaedt and published in Life magazine as a scene from "V-J Day in Times Square." On that day, Americans crowded the streets to celebrate the Japanese surrender to the Allies and the end of the war.
read more here

Monday, November 26, 2018

Did Burn Pits Kill General?

Vt. Guard general’s death draws attention to burn pit dangers

Providence Journal
Donita Naylor
November 25, 2018

Flags in Vermont are flying at half-staff in honor of a former Rhode Islander, Vermont National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael T. Heston, 58, who died Nov. 14 from an aggressive cancer linked to his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, one with the Rhode Island National Guard.
Flags in Vermont are flying at half-staff in honor of a former Rhode Islander, Vermont National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael T. Heston, 58, who died Nov. 14 from an aggressive cancer linked to his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, one with the Rhode Island National Guard.

Heston was buried with full military honors at the Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, Vermont, on Saturday. An order from Vermont Gov. Philip B. Scott said flags would be flown at half-staff until sunset Monday.

Heston, the oldest son of Thomas and Dorothea Heston, grew up in Cumberland, graduating from Cumberland High School in 1978 and from Roger Williams College in 1982.

During his 34-year military career, he rose to the second-highest rank in the Vermont National Guard. He was also a trooper in the Vermont State Police for 26 years, retiring as a sergeant in 2010.
June Heston, his wife of 30 years, told Fox News that in 2016, four years after returning from his last deployment in Afghanistan, he began having back pain. He was diagnosed 10 months later with stage IV pancreatic cancer. No one had thought of testing for cancer.

She said Sunday night that Mike’s oncologist “did all the genetic and genomic testing” and found that his cancer “was not hereditary in any way.” The doctor wrote to the Veterans Administration with his conclusion that the cancer had an environmental cause.
read more here

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Brave lighthouse keeper makes history at Arlington National Cemetery

Lighthouse keeper who rescued mariners will be the first woman honored with a street name at Arlington National Cemetery
Washington Post
By Michael E. Ruane
September 5, 2018
In its 154-year history, all of the more than 40 roadways have been named after men — such as Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant, and Gens. George Patton and John Pershing, the cemetery said.

Ida Lewis saved at least a dozen people during her service at the Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, R.I. (Library of Congress)

In her day, she was the heroine of the Lime Rock Lighthouse, the intrepid young woman who by herself rowed into the stormy waters of Newport harbor in Rhode Island to rescue mariners in distress.

She was Ida Lewis, the shy daughter of a disabled sea captain. And after bold rescues in the late 1800s, she was front page news. She was given awards. VIPs clamored to see her. A polka, “The Ocean Waves Dashed Wildly High,” was written in her honor, and the sheet music bore her image.

But since she died in 1911, her deeds have been largely forgotten.

As Arlington National Cemetery opens its new $81.7 million section with solemn fanfare on Thursday, she will become the first woman to have one of the cemetery’s drives named for her.

“It’s a big deal,” Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, said this week. “It’s a huge commemoration.”
read more here

Friday, July 28, 2017

WWII Veteran Back in the Navy

96-year-old vet gets his wish of visiting US Navy station
The Associated Press
By: Jennifer Mcdermott
July 27, 2017

WWII veteran Edmund DelBarone, second from right, makes the U.S. Navy crossed anchors symbol with his arms while posing for a photograph at Naval Station Newport, in Newport, R.I., Thursday July 27, 2017. DelBarone, a 96-year-old World War II veteran, once dreamed of returning to a Navy installation to reminisce about his naval career, and help of a nonprofit it has become a reality.
(Jennifer McDermott/AP)
NEWPORT, R.I. — A 96-year-old World War II veteran who dreamed of returning to a Navy installation to reminisce about his more than 20-year naval career got his wish on Thursday.

Edmund DelBarone toured Naval Station Newport in a visit arranged by Denver-based nonprofit Wish of a Lifetime. After seeing some of the ships assigned to the base, he said he’d have no trouble taking them out to sea.

“It’s exciting,” he said after. “I didn’t expect to see so much.”
read more here

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Iraq Homeless Veteran, Father of Six Got Help Going Home

Army veteran, a homeless father of 6 gets help to come home for holidays
WPRI 12 News
By Walt Buteau
Published: December 23, 2016
Specialist Hicks spent 18 months in Iraq with the 133rd Field Artillery Regiment. But risking his life while serving his country brought no guarantees when he came home.
PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) Not even the Army could prepare Specialist Stephen Hicks for the curveball life threw at him.

He stepped off a bus in Kennedy Plaza, and immediately began counting heads and collecting luggage.

“They all seem pretty happy today,” Hicks said, looking around at his children. “This is Lexxi. She’s my oldest.”

The oldest of six, ages 2 through Lexxi’s 8, with 5-year old twins somewhere in the middle. Lexxi did her best to help her dad control the other five during the long bus ride from Pennsylvania.

“I was trying,” Lexxi said. “It wasn’t easy but we’re here.”

Both dad and daughter mustered a smile.
read more here

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rhode Island State Senate Passes PTSD Medical Marijuana Bill

RI Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill for PTSD Patients
By: Kainani Stevens
May 20, 2016

PROVIDENCE (WLNE)----Medical marijuana for patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder is one step closer to happening in Rhode Island. The State Senate unanimously passing the bill that would add PTSD to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify a patient to use medical marijuana

"PTSD has so much to do with anxiety that medical marijuana is a great treatment,"said Patrick Rimoshytus, a Care Coordinator at Green Cross RI. "There are so many different strains at this point, they all give different effect. It's almost like wine."

A significant portion of PTSD patients are military veterans, making the timing of this local bill even more relevant. Nationally, Congress voted to allow V.A. doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. Senator Jack Reed, a combat veteran, voiced his support of any safe and viable medical treatment for PTSD patients.
read more here

ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Special Forces Soldier Calls Out Fake SF At Rhode Island Airport

Special Forces Soldier Calls Out Fake SF 

At T.F Green Airport, Stolen Valor This was filmed at the T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island by an active member of the Special Forces.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Green Beret From Rhode Island Killed in Afghanistan

Rhode Island soldier dies in Afghanistan 
Sgt. Peter McKenna killed in attack on a NATO facility
August 9, 2015

BRISTOL, R.I. —An Army Green Beret from Rhode Island has been killed in Afghanistan just a month after he was honored at the Fourth of July parade in his hometown of Bristol.

The 7th Special Forces Group to which he was assigned said Sunday that 35-year-old Master Sgt. Peter Andrew McKenna Jr. died Friday in Kabul during an attack on a NATO facility.

McKenna, a 17-year Army veteran, was serving at the rank of 1st Sergeant during his deployment. The Pentagon said he was struck by enemy small arms fire. read more here

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Veterans' Headstones Used for Carport Floor

Feds: Headstones for veterans' graves plundered to build carport floor
The Washington Post
By Lisa Rein
Published: July 14, 2015

Authorities suspect that Maynard had been taking the headstones from a secured area on cemetery grounds since 2009, a few stones at a time.

Gravesite headstones line the carport near the Charlestown, R.I., home of Kevin Maynard, a former Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery worker who authorities say stole more than 150 headstones.

When headstones on the graves of fallen servicemen crack or fade with age, they're hauled away to be honorably destroyed. Then the Department of Veterans Affairs replaces them.

But at veterans' cemetery in Rhode Island, an employee who was supposed to be taking care of the graves pillaged more than 150 granite headstones, many of them still inscribed with the names of the veterans. Then he took the markers home to build a floor for his carport.

When investigators arrived at Kevin Maynard's house in Charlestown, R.I., this spring, they came upon an eerie scene, according to a federal affidavit: The grave markers, most with the inscriptions face down, were serving as the foundation for two makeshift carports held up by aluminum poles and plastic tarps.

In one carport, Maynard's red, late-model Ford truck was parked on top of the stones. The rest were scattered about the property. On one, the inscription honoring a World War II veteran and his wife were intact: ROMEO J A PELLETIER TEC4 US ARMY WORLD WAR II JUL 5 1919 JUN 21 2011 HIS WIFE GRACE JOYCE OCT 3 1925 JAN 23 1991
read more here

UPDATE that will frost your cookies
Prosecutors: VA supervisor took $1.2M in kickbacks; employee stole gravestones

Monday, April 20, 2015

WWII Army Air Corps Veteran's Dog Tag Returned Home

WWII airman's lost dog tag finds its way home 
Newburyport News
April 20, 2015
“I was hoping to find some military relics that might have been in the sand there,” Ladd said yesterday. “Then I found the dog tag.”
WWII airman's lost dog tag finds its way home BRYAN EATON/Staff photoThe dog tag, lower left, of World War II Army Air Corps veteran William C. Benn was found at Salisbury Beach.
SALISBURY BEACH — A military dog tag may seem pretty commonplace, but when it belonged to a highly decorated WWII Army Air Corps veteran, finding one near the old gun batteries at Salisbury Beach makes it pretty special.

Yesterday, the half-disintegrated piece of military memorabilia that once hung around the neck of the late William Charles Benn was returned to his son, William Gordon Benn, thanks to the dedicated work of Purple Hearts Reunited and treasure hunter Bill Ladd. “It’s pretty good work,” Benn said yesterday with a smile, holding the tag after listening to everything done to get it back to those to whom it means the most.

Ladd once read a Daily News story about the remnants of the gun batteries at Salisbury Beach, built to protect the area from German U-boats during World War II.

The story led the Rhode Island resident to travel to Salisbury Beach in mid-March with his new metal detector.
read more here

Monday, February 9, 2015

Police Officer, Coast Guard Petty Officers Shot at a Condominium Complex

2 Coast Guard Officers Shot at Condo Complex Were Married
Associated Press
Feb 09, 2015

Officials lead Coast Guardsman Adrian Loya of Chesapeake, Va., into District Court Feb. 5, 2015, in Falmouth, Mass., where he was arraigned on charges he killed one woman, injured another and shot a police officer. AP/Cape Cod Times, Merrily Cassidy
BOURNE, Mass. -- Two Coast Guard petty officers shot at a condominium complex, one of them fatally, were married, the Coast Guard said.

Lisa Trubnikova was killed in Thursday's shooting in Bourne, an hour's drive south of Boston. Her spouse, Anna Trubnikova, was wounded and was hospitalized in stable condition.

Another Coast Guard member, Adrian Loya, has been charged in the shooting. Loya, of Chesapeake, Virginia, pleaded not guilty to charges including murder and was detained without bail.

Loya also lit a car on fire to hamper police, planted fake bombs and opened fire on police officers, authorities said.

One police officer, Jared MacDonald, was shot in the back. MacDonald's family said Friday he was doing well but faces a long recovery. The family's statement was released by Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, where he was being treated.
read more here

Monday, November 10, 2014

PTSD Afghanistan Veteran Fights Demons With Help

Mark Patinkin: A soldier finally faces his demons
Providence Journal
By Mark Patinkin
Journal Columnist
Published: November 09, 2014
Courtesy of Tim Laprade
Tim Laprade's unit, 2nd Platoon, B Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, nearing the end of deployment in March 2007

Tim Laprade lay in bed in his Providence apartment unable to sleep. He had taken a Benadryl to help but it wasn’t working and he knew why. Laprade had served two tours in Afghanistan and like many soldiers, felt lost when he got home — now he’d agreed to be interviewed about it the next day and he could not sleep.

His apartment is in Elmhurst. Laprade, 30, shares it with his girlfriend. He recently moved there to be walking distance from the Providence VA Medical Center. Most days, he goes in for counseling and group sessions.

If it weren’t for the VA, Laprade was sure he’d still be homeless and using. Or perhaps gone. It was crazy that he turned down VA help for so long, but that’s what soldiers do — they feel they should handle it on their own. He’d learned that doesn’t work.

It’s why he agreed to be interviewed. Perhaps, Laprade felt, if he told what he’d been through, others would recognize themselves.

Now, as he lay there awake, knowing he’d be asked about it, his mind went to one of the worst moments.

He was in the back of an armored vehicle returning to base after an all-day route-clearing mission.

That’s what he did for a year during his second Afghanistan deployment — drove down roads to find and detonate IEDs. Laprade was full-time Army and proud to do the job — all his battle buddies were. But every day, often every moment, he expected something to happen.
read more here

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Hampshire Air National Guard Soldier Died in Afghanistan

Release No: NR-109-14
March 03, 2014

DOD Identifies Air Force Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of an airman who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Master Sgt. David L. Poirier, 52, of North Smithfield, R.I., died Feb. 28, from a non-combat related incident currently under investigation.

He was assigned to the 157th Operations Support Squadron, Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H.
read more here

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Double Amputee Marine Arrives at New Home for Christmas

Injured Marine gets early Christmas present
NBC News 10
By Susie Steimle
Posted: Dec 21, 2013

Burrillville Rhode Island

Marine Corporal Kevin Dubois is finally home. He and his wife cut the ribbon on an early Christmas present Saturday, a brand new, fully paid for, handicap accessible home from Homes for Our Troops, an organization that builds adapted houses for wounded soldiers.

"Thank you doesn't even begin to cover it, everything in this house is going to be perfect for me to be able to use," Dubois said.

His journey back to independent living wasn't easy. Two years ago Dubois stepped on and improvised explosive device in the Helmund Province in Afghanistan, he was trying to rescue a fellow soldier.

"I was originally cut off at the knees but the infection spread to my bones they had to take the rest of my legs," Dubois said.
read more here and see video

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

National Guardsman serving since Vietnam retires

Last Vietnam veteran to actively serve in the RI National Guard retires
First Posted: November 05, 2013

CRANSTON, Rhode Island — The last Vietnam veteran to be an active-duty Rhode Island National Guardsman has retired, more than 40 years since he first enlisted.

Capt. Richard Gaudet retired Saturday following a ceremony at the Benefit Street Armory in Providence.

Gaudet enlisted in the Army in 1971 at age 17. During the war he was stationed in Thailand and made repeated trips into Vietnam as part of an aviation support unit.
read more here

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Senator Reed Announces $4.79 Mill More Towards Ending Homelessness

Senator Reed Announces $4.79 Mill More Towards Ending Homelessness POSTED BY ALEX FERRERAS MARCH 29, 2013 (Source: Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless) – Today at the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless annual awards luncheon, U.S. Senator Jack Reed presented Sue Bodington, Deputy Director for Programs at Rhode Island Housing, with the 2013 Jack Reed Advocacy Award for her deep and abiding dedication to promoting affordable housing and combating homelessness in Rhode Island for more than 30 years.
Today, Senator Reed also announced over $4.79 million in federal funding for programs working to reduce homelessness in Rhode Island. The federal Continuum of Care (CoC) grants support 43 local housing assistance programs that offer a wide variety of services for homeless veterans, the mentally ill, families, single men, women and children. read more here

Monday, July 25, 2011

Iraq Vet, Lowell police officer's body found in Merrimack River

Body found in Merrimack River identified as Lowell police officer
July 24, 2011 8:12 PM

“He was there to take care of people,” his mother said. “Whether it was on the police force or in Iraq or where he was going in Afghanistan, he believed what he was doing was helping people.”

By Stewart Bishop, Globe Correspondent

Two men were killed -- one of them a decorated Lowell police officer and former Marine -- in separate incidents in two Massachusetts rivers during the weekend, authorities said.

While riding in a motor boat with his brother and another friend on the Merrimack River Saturday evening, Lowell patrol officer Charles Panek told his companions he was going to jump into the water and asked them to turn around and pick him up, according to Tyngsborough police.

He jumped off while the 18-foot vessel was traveling about 20 miles per hour, police said. When the boat circled back seconds later, he did not surface.

According to the Lowell police department and family members, Panek was a decorated police officer and former Marine, who had served in the Iraq War. He also served in the Rhode Island Army National Guard, and was scheduled to be deployed soon to Afghanistan, police said.
read more here
Body found in Merrimack River

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Camp aids kids of military overseas

Camp aids kids of military overseas
By Rich Barlow
August 23, 2008

Chaplain Kip Averett of the Rhode Island Air National Guard had a busy ministry last week. During five days at Operation Purple camp in West Kingston, where children of military personnel deployed far from home try to forget, for a moment, their worries about absent mothers or fathers, Averett prayed with some children each night at lights-out.

"Our state's highly Catholic," said Averett, a Pentecostal minister, in a phone interview, "and we had several children [whose] parents would normally say their prayers with them. They couldn't sleep without them." During the day, he met with some children who wanted to talk out their fears for their parents' safety.

Operation Purple Camp, a program of weeklong summer camps in 36 states this year (Massachusetts ran one last month and one in June), has been sponsored since 2004 by the National Military Families Association, a volunteer group based in Virginia.

At another Operation Purple Camp in Allenstown, N.H., last week, Chaplain Wayne Santos, a Baptist minister in the state's Army National Guard, served his prince of peace in Army fatigues, his reverend's status indicated by a tiny black cross on his shirt and a silver one on his beret.

He traveled the aptly named Podunk Road, which winds under tree canopies and past boulders to the remote 4-H camp in southern New Hampshire, where the Operation Purple Camp was held.

Santos's mission was simply to be available to the more than 100 children, ages 7 to 18.

"It's my professional responsibility as a chaplain for pastoral care," said Santos. "A lot of our work is just being present. You don't have to say anything. Just show that you're there and you care."
click post title for more

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rhode Island National Guard will do gun salutes at funerals

R.I. Guard chief: Gun salutes will continue

The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Jun 10, 2008 12:37:08 EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The adjutant general of the Rhode Island National Guard says gun salutes at military funerals will not be silenced by federal budget cuts.

The National Guard last month told funeral directors that it can only supply firing squads for certain veterans, including those killed in action, Medal of Honor recipients, general officers or those who served at least 20 years.

A National Guard spokesman blamed a cut in federal money for the military honors program — from $1.16 million to $775,000.

The decision infuriated veterans. But Maj. Gen. Robert Bray said Monday the Guard will rely on full-time staff and volunteers so it can continue to offer a bugler and gun salutes when requested by families of the deceased.