Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Thursday, November 24, 2022

PTSD: Grateful Thanksgiving

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 24, 2022

The word Thanksgiving follows the word Happy. For many of us, we have forgotten what that word means from time to time. I know I did. This year started out with losing one of my best friends and struggling to rewrite my books. I ended up knowing I needed to go back into therapy to work through the grief.

I could have just dismissed it, because of all the other losses I've had in my life, but not honoring the loss of someone so dear to me, would have not been honoring what he meant to me. My therapist helped me work thru it and now I can remember him, think about him, remember the things he said, and find comfort in those memories. I'm not done with therapy yet because now we have to work on my inability to try to meet new people. I'm an extrovert, in case you haven't noticed that by now. That means being away from people is torture for me. Since we moved into our new home in New Hampshire 4 months before the pandemic hit, I'm having a hard time with it. Ok, honestly, working on these books has sucked up whatever free time I had. 

And all that brings me to this point in my life today. I am giving thanks for what I am grateful for, if not happy about. If you have PTSD, I bet that doesn't sound strange to you at all. I know for me, faith did not allow for the possibility that God could not have prevented it from happening. Once I got passed the fact I did survive, I began to wonder why. I was ok with that but when I wondered why He didn't prevent it, it ate away at my soul. Then I remembered how we all have free will and God doesn't mess with it.

We cannot control what others do to us, any more than we can control who does something for us. The only thing we can control is what we choose to do. I lived my life more about "doing for" than "doing to." Doing something to someone else brings no joy and whatever momentary gratification we may obtain, will leave us feeling empty. Knowing did something for someone because we could, fills us, even if we are the only ones to know we did anything at all.

Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief
Next week the books will be out on Amazon and I hope that this labor of love helps you find how much God put into creating you! For today, skip the "Happy" and just give thanks for what you do have to be grateful for!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Seniors share Thanksgiving with Marines who saved them from fire

Seniors share Thanksgiving meal with Marines who saved them from fire

CBS News
Nikole Killion
November 22, 2018

Two months after running into a burning building to save elderly residents at the Arthur Capper Senior Public Housing complex in Washington, D.C., U.S. Marine Corps Captain Trey Gregory is coming to their aid again – with a Thanksgiving meal.
"These people have been through a traumatic event," said Capt. Gregory. "It is so sad right before the holidays but I'm just honored that we get to serve them again and give them food and put a smile on their face." There were plenty of smiles and hugs to go around as Gregory and several other Marines from the Washington Barracks dished out turkey, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, green beans and other traditional fare for dozens of residents and their families. 

"It is an honor and a blessing to see them serving us this way, you know, because we know they care," said D'Artois Davis who has been stuck at a hotel since the fire. "It's the holiday and you're used to your family coming around but there's no place for them to come and we've lost so much." read more here

Friday, November 23, 2018

Fort Carson Soldiers team up with Salvation Army for community

Thousands get a Thanksgiving meal in Colorado Springs thanks to Salvation Army, Fort Carson and volunteers

KOAA 5 News
Jessica Barreto
November 22, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS – Thousands of people in Southern Colorado got a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to a tag-team effort between The Salvation Army and U.S. Army soldiers assigned to Fort Carson. The Salvation Army hosts the meal. The Fort Carson Soldiers do the cooking.

“Our cooks have been prepping food for about the last week,” said Brigadier General, William J. Thigpen. read more here

Also, Firefighters open their stations to Air Force trainees for Thanksgiving
SAN ANTONIO - Firefighters at just about every fire station across the city are celebrating their Thanksgiving with the men and women in Air Force.

This is the 14th year for "Operation: Homecooking." Military Trainees at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, who were not able to be with their own families today, were invited to share delicious firehouse food with firefighters.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

In Generals the courage to heal and inspire

Generals refused to surrender to PTSD

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 22, 2018

Ten years ago, I wrote about being thankful for General Carter Ham because he talked openly about his own battle with PTSD, when other generals were shaming their soldiers for having it.

Today, sadly, I just posted about a Command Sgt. Major showing that efforts by leaders such as General Ham, have not educated the people under them.

General Ham was not alone that year. 

Major General David Blackledge showed courage admitting he needed help to heal.
Blackledge got psychiatric counseling to deal with wartime trauma, and now he is defying the military's culture of silence on the subject of mental health problems and treatment.
"It's part of our profession ... nobody wants to admit that they've got a weakness in this area," Blackledge said of mental health problems among troops returning from America's two wars.
"I have dealt with it. I'm dealing with it now," said Blackledge, who came home with post-traumatic stress. "We need to be able to talk about it."
As the nation marks another Veterans Day, thousands of troops are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with anxiety, depression and other emotional problems.
This is what real leaders do! They show those they lead that PTSD is not from what they lack or any kind of weakness. It comes from where their courage to serve took them, and what they had to do for those they served with.

A year later, this report came out and yet another General had more to say.
Generals share their experience with PTSD 
By Larry Shaughnessy and Barbara Starr 
March 6, 2009

Memory of soldier who died before his eyes stays with one general...Another still questions himself over suicide bomb attack that killed 22...By sharing stories, they hope to ease stigma attached to stress...Military should have different view of post-traumatic stress disorder, they say 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Army generals aren't known for talking about their feelings.
Gen. Carter Ham says PTSD is stigmatized, although "intellectually we all know it's wrong." Brig. Gen. Gary S. Patton says he wants the military to change the way it views post-traumatic stress disorder.
Brig. Gen. Gary S. Patton says he wants the military to change the way it views post-traumatic stress disorder.

But two high-ranking officers are doing just that, hoping that by going public they can remove the stigma that many soldiers say keeps them from getting help for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Brig. General Gary S. Patton and Gen. Carter Ham have both sought counseling for the emotional trauma of their time in the Iraq war.

"One of our soldiers in that unit, Spec. Robert Unruh, took a gunshot wound to the torso, I was involved in medevacing him off the battlefield. And in a short period of time, he died before my eyes," Patton told CNN in an exclusive interview. "That's a memory [that] will stay with me the rest of my life."

Ham was the commander in Mosul when a suicide bomber blew up a mess tent. Twenty-two people died.

"The 21st of December, 2004, worst day of my life. Ever," Ham said. "To this day I still ask myself what should I have done differently, what could I have done as the commander responsible that would have perhaps saved the lives of those soldiers, sailors, civilians."

Both generals have been back from Iraq for years, but still deal with some of the symptoms of the stress they experienced.

"I felt like that what I was doing was not important because I had soldiers who were killed and a mission that had not yet been accomplished," Ham said. "It took a very amazingly supportive wife and in my case a great chaplain to kind of help me work my way through that."

Ham and his wife drove from Washington State to the District of Columbia right after he returned from combat.

"I probably said three words to her the whole way across the country. And it was 'Do you want to stop and get something to eat?' I mean, no discussion, no sharing of what happened," he explained.

Ham still can't talk to his wife about much of what he saw.

For Patton the stress hits him in the middle of the night.

"I've had sleep interruptions from loud noises. Of course there's no IEDs or rockets going off in my bedroom, but the brain has a funny way of remembering those things," Patton said. "Not only recreating the exact sound, but also the smell of the battlefield and the metallic taste you get in your mouth when you have that same incident on the battlefield."

Both acknowledge that in military circles, there is still a stigma attached to admitting mental health problems.
read more here
Can you imagine what it would be like today for all the veterans who needed to keep hearing from Generals like them, but only heard about how many veterans committed suicide?

Some gain money while we lose veterans

Take a stand for giving, thanks

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 22, 2018

The word "stand" has many different meanings. As a transitive verb it can mean "to derive benefit or enjoyment from" as well as "remain firm in face of" something.

It also means "to be in a position to gain or lose because of an action taken or a commitment made."

Some gain money while we lose veterans.

One word with so many different meanings? Yes, and that is part of the problem. Most words can have different meanings. What we should be watching out for is, not just the words that accompany the one we focus on, but what the total message is.

Each of us take a stand, often without realizing it. The stands are based on what we believe and what we know to be true.

When we believe something is true, that does not mean it actually is the truth. It just means we think it is and the people who informed us, were telling the truth. The problem is, we never know if they just heard it was true or invested anything into knowing what the truth actually was.

Today is Thanksgiving Day, but while we think we know the trip was made to establish a place where people could worship the way they wanted to, there is much more to that "stand" they took.

It was not about giving everyone religious freedom, to decide on their own to believe what they wanted to. It was intended to provide the group the ability to have it their way...and everyone else had to follow their rules.

We see that all the time. People seem to take  stands, use words to make their thoughts more acceptable than they deserve to be.

This nation began with people being protected by members of the military...

Mayflower Compact
One now-famous colonist who signed the Mayflower Compact was Myles Standish. He was an English military officer hired by the Pilgrims to accompany them to the New World to serve as military leader for the colony. Standish played an important role in enforcing the new laws and protecting colonists against unfriendly Native Americans.
The words "conspiracy" seems dreadful but it is not always a bad thing. Freedom was established by a conspiracy of brave colonists who wrote different rules and by those who were willing to take a stand to put those words into action. Those patriots were willing to die to secure the ideals the rest of us enjoy.

Now, you'd think after all these years, the people of this nation would be willing to take a stand for those who serve to preserve our freedoms, but we settle for what we think to be true, when we should know the difference.

If we truly stand for them, then we need to stop falling for everything we hear, just because other people said it was true.

Over and over again, people defend the "22" stunts for "raising awareness" that veterans are killing themselves. Over and over again, it has been proven that there is no benefit for the veterans needing help, but plenty of benefits for the perpetrators of the conspiracy to cover up their intent.

Having a "fun time" because they think a number of veterans are committing suicide, is repulsive. Some groups just use veterans, while others were just following their footsteps without the intent to deceive. What all of them have in common is they failed to understand they were doing more harm than good.

Just as the Pilgrims wanted religious freedom for themselves, we thought that meant everyone else could have it too, but that was not their intent. Doing something to prevent veterans from committing suicide, is only what some want you to believe. The truth however is you only fell for it because you would not take a stand for the sake of the veterans not being able to find hope! 

Start taking a stand for what you want to give...thanks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Town destroyed by fire, another town steps up by love

California wildfires: Town hosting displaced victims for Thanksgiving feast

NBC News
By Dareh Gregorian and Rima Abdelkader
November 19, 2018

The town of Lincoln, California, is banding together to help the wildfire victims try to have a happy Thanksgiving.
Krystin Harvey, left, comforts her daughter Araya Cipollini at the remains of their home burned in the Camp Fire, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, Calif.John Locher / AP
Residents of the Sacramento suburb — population 47,000 — are putting aside their own Thanksgiving Day plans to serve meals to those who’ve been displaced by the widespread destruction.

"It’s going to be a good night out to get their minds off what's happened," one of the organizers, Jeannette Bermudez, told NBC News on Monday.

The event was "thrown together pretty fast because all of this happened so fast," said another organizer, Jack Montgomery, 38.
The local fire department held a turkey drive that resulted in over 100 turkeys being donated. The city of Lincoln offered up its event space, McBean Pavilion, for free. A local casino offered up buses for transportation to and from hotels. 
Companies were donating games and arts and crafts to keep kids busy. Townspeople and local restaurants and stores were cooking up food for the event.

My Dog's Spot, a local dog grooming shop, offered to house victims' pets during the dinner — and to give them a bath and some grooming if needed, Bermudez said.

"They'll be loved on and spoiled while their owners enjoy dinner," she said.
read more here

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fort Hood Soldier Took Plunge to Feed Hungry

Fort Hood soldier swims more than 6 miles, raises money for charity

Killeen Daily Herald
Julie A. Ferraro 
November 24, 2017
McQueen’s nickname is “Swim Gypsy.” She has traveled across the country — from San Francisco to Vermont — participating in open-water swim events ranging from one mile to over 45 miles in length.

Tiffany McQueen begins swimming a 10K in Belton Lake, near Dead Fish Grill, to raise money for Killeen's Food Care Center in Belton on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2017.
Eric J. Shelton | Herald 
Tiffany McQueen was sore on Friday, but it was a good kind of sore.

After swimming more than six miles in Belton Lake on Thanksgiving Day, McQueen, a Fort Hood soldier, raised over $1,200 for Killeen’s Food Care Center.
“We couldn’t have asked for more perfect conditions,” McQueen said of her swim. The water was calm, and the air temperature not too chilly.
McQueen started and ended her swim at the Dead Fish Grill. The restaurant was open for Thanksgiving, and had information about the swim for diners to see. 
read more here

Friday, November 24, 2017

USO Gave Homestyle Thanksgiving to Marine Families

USO serves up a taste of home for Thanksgiving
Jacksonville Daily News
By Jannette Pippin
Daily News Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2017
The event, they said, helps bring the comfort of home to military personnel and their families. It was the first year for volunteering for retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. John Rademacher of Greenville, who worked the serving line.

Marine Sgt. Ian King, left, and Sgt. Bryce Duis, center, were served dessert by volunteer Vickie Walker during the USO Jacksonville Center Thanksgiving Dinner. Jannette Pippin/The Daily News

The welcome mat at the entrance of the USO center in downtown Jacksonville reads “Home Away From Home” and for many that was the case as they gathered for food and fellowship at the annual Thanksgiving dinner.

The USO was prepared to feed 2,000 or more military personnel and their families, serving up the traditional Thanksgiving Day meals of turkey, ham and all the fixings.

Trinity Monbeck arrived early with her mother, Tricia Dodds, and two sons, Colby, 2, and Luke, 11 months. Absent was her husband, Marine Staff Sgt. Charles Monbeck, who is deployed overseas for nine months.

“He is the cook in the family and since he’s gone on deployment, we decided we’d come here,” Monbeck said.

While some families had a loved one who was deployed others in attendance included young Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune and far from their home towns.

Marine Pfc. Alex Gutzmer, a member of the Single Marine Program, brought along Pfc. Demond Patton of Alabama and Pfc. Dante Hall of Missouri to ensure they enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal and fellowship with others.

Gutzmer, who is from Wisconsin, said the USO served up a great meal and they appreciate having a place to come to enjoy the holiday.
read more here

Camp Lejeune Marines Homesyle Thanksgiving

Fairfield Harbour continues tradition of feeding Marines at Camp Lejeune

WCTI 12 News
Stephanie Brown
Jason O. Boyd
November 23, 2017

The Obers said they love sharing a space at their table. The Marines said it's nice to spend the holidays with people who make them feel at home.

FAIRFIELD HARBOUR, Craven County - It's a tradition that started in 2006 and was still going strong Thursday.
Families at Fairfield Harbour opened their doors, hearts and dinner tables for Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune. There were 110 Marines that got off buses and, for the first time in a long time for many, got to enjoy a home-cooked Thanksgiving this year.
It's how they've started Thanksgiving in Fairfield Harbour for the past nine years.
"When we lived in Pennsylvania, we had a lot of people, a lot of family, and I always had a full table," said Mary Ann Ober. "When we moved to North Carolina, we didn't have as much family and we still enjoyed the holiday, so we decided we would invite someone that wasn't going to spend time with their family."
This year, they're joined by Austin Sampson and Mikel Harden. It's Mike's first Thanksgiving from home.
"I can handle it, it's easier to understand knowing that my family knows why I'm not with them," Harden said.

Camp Pendleton Marines Homestyle Thanksgiving With Seniors

Marines find a home for the holiday at Murrieta senior community
The Press Enterprise
Shane Newell
November 23, 2017

“It’s a marvelous feeling you have to have them here,” said Sharon Boll, the Murrieta resident who organized this year’s event. “It’s the first time they’ve been away from home on a holiday like that.”

US Marine Pfc. Ryan Nguyen, 18, from St. Louis Missouri digs into the turkey during Thanksgiving dinner at Murrieta resident Sharon Boll home, Boll hosted three Marines and 27 neighbors at her home for Thanksgiving in Murrieta Thursday, November 23, 2017. FRANK BELLINO, THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG

They may not have spent the holiday at home, but 55 Camp Pendleton Marines got all the comforts of a homemade feast on Thanksgiving in Murrieta.
read more here 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Holiday's Harder For PTSD Soldiers to Survive Alone

Holidays a difficult time for some veterans, soldiers

Killeen Daily Herald
David A. Bryant
November 18, 2017
“People tend to do stupid things when they isolate themselves,” he said. “As a first sergeant in the Army, I always encouraged people, especially my (noncommissioned officers), to take a soldier home for the holidays.”
The holiday season can be a difficult time for soldiers and veterans dealing with post traumatic stress, and difficult for young troops dealing with the loneliness of being away from family during the holidays for the first time in their lives.
While there is no correlation between the number of suicides going up and the season, the number of attempts does tend to increase around Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to local organizations that assist in suicide prevention.
And the ones most likely to go through with a suicide attempt are the ones who don’t talk about it, said Tony Smith, Coryell County veterans service officer.
“I’ve found in the past that those who talk about committing suicide are less likely to actually follow through,” Smith said. “Those who don’t talk tend to just do it.”
Smith said the holidays increase the number of calls he receives from people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, regardless of the holiday.
“I’ve been to a lot of calls and a lot of suicides,” he said. “I get 3 a.m. phone calls, calls at 4 a.m. or 1:30 a.m. They get to drinking, start thinking about stupid things.” 
read more here

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Marine Riders of Michiana Spent Thanksgiving with "Family"

Local Marines open doors for homeless vets on Thanksgiving
WNDU 16 News
Shaun Gallagher
November 24, 2016
"A lot of us when we were in the service, a lot of us couldn't go home, couldn't afford to go home or couldn't make a drive," Castillo said. "We all got together and that was Thanksgiving. It was as good as being with family without being with your family."
ELKHART, Ind. --- Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy time with family and some great food but for some local veterans, they don't have that option. Some homeless veterans from Miller's Vets had the opportunity to experience Thanksgiving with a family of a different kind; their extended military family.

"We've all had our Thanksgiving with our families," Paul "Goose" Patillo, Squad Leader of Marine Riders of Michiana said. "Every year, it's the same thing. Well, we'd like to start taking care of the veterans on Thanksgiving Day to have the full effect of Thanksgiving."

Patillo is a member of Marine Riders of Michiana, a local motorcycle club of marines. Patillo says many times people hold dinners for veterans down on their luck a week or two after Thanksgiving but it loses its luster. So he wanted to hold something day of to give them the full effect of the holiday.

For the veterans in attendance, they're familiar with missing holidays like Thanksgiving while serving overseas. So they depend on each other as family to enjoy Thanksgiving.
read more here

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Anaheim Officer Gave Veteran More to be Thankful For

Anaheim Police Officer Being Praised For Going Beyond Call Of Duty
CBS Los Angeles
December 30, 2015
“I certainly didn’t want them to miss Thanksgiving dinner with their family,” Garcia said he made it his personal mission to help after learning that Dan was a military veteran who battles post-traumatic stress disorder. He does not handle stress well. “I just have the utmost respect for veterans,” the officer said.
ANAHEIM ( — An Anaheim police officer is being praised for going beyond the call of duty for helping an Oregon family on vacation at Disneyland.

Dan Singer, his wife, their three children and his mother were vacationing at the theme park resort on Thanksgiving week. On Thanksgiving day as the Singers were getting ready to drive north to Torrance to visit relatives, they came to find that their SUV was burglarized.

The black Chevy Suburban was parked in the lot of Disneyland’s Paradise Pier Hotel, where the thief or thieves had broken through the back window and stolen third-row seats.

“We actually paid quite a bit of money from the hotel to park there,” said Deborah Singer. “We felt very stranded. We felt very helpless.”
read more here

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Miami Family Grieving After Murder Suicide

Mother, son found dead in Miami home in apparent murder-suicide 
Woman finds mother in pool of blood, calls 911
Local 10 News
Author: Peter Burke, Managing Editor
Amy Viteri, Reporter
Published On: Nov 25 2015
Sources told Local 10 News that Loholfftz was preparing a Thanksgiving turkey when she was shot. They said Reyes' sister and friend told them he was an Army veteran and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
MIAMI - A woman and her son were found dead inside a Miami home in an apparent murder-suicide.

The discovery was made Wednesday afternoon in the 1700 block of Northwest 30th Street.

Miami police said a woman entered the home, found her mother lying in a pool of blood and saw her brother sitting in the living room with what appeared to be a gun, so she ran out of the house and called 911.

When police arrived, they found the woman's mother and brother dead of gunshot wounds.
read more here

Friday, November 27, 2015

Chris Doleman, Emmitt Smith on a mission to help veterans

WATCH: Chris Doleman, Emmitt Smith on a mission to help veterans
CBS News
By Sean Wagner-McGough
Staff Writer
November 26, 2015
(Source CBS Sports)
In addition to memorializing the veterans who lose their lives while serving abroad, former NFL player Chris Doleman wants us to remember the veterans who make it back home safely. Doleman, who played in the NFL from 1985-1999, wants us to remember the 22 veterans who take their own lives every day.

That's why Doleman, along with Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, teamed up with Remember the 22 to help the veterans who do make it back home.

"Remember the 22 is an opportunity now," Doleman said. "Our goals are being able to get guys out of their homes, get them into things they enjoy. It's more of the camaraderie."
read more here

Reminder, not 22 a day. Too many are forgotten about as if they just don't matter. How do we get veterans to understand they do matter if we can't even get that number right?

Fence Jumper Put White House on Lockdown

White House On Lockdown After Man Jumps Fence
Associated Press
Published on Nov 26, 2015

A man draped in an American flag climbed over the fence at the White House on Thursday, prompting a lockdown as the first family celebrated Thanksgiving. An eyewitness spoke to the Associated Press about what she saw. (Nov. 26)
The man, identified as Joseph Caputo, was apprehended about 2:45 p.m. ET on the North Lawn of the White House grounds — the "front door" side along Pennsylvania Avenue, said Robert Hoback, a spokesman for the Secret Service. Police said Caputo was carrying a manila folder, NBC Washington reported.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

National Guard Thanksgiving

Gen. Grass issues Thanksgiving message to civilians and uniformed personnel
By Gen. Frank J. Grass
Chief, National Guard Bureau
November 24, 2015
U.S. Army Gen. Frank Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, addresses the Air Force Association's 2013 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland., Sept. 18, 2013. Grass just released his Thanksgiving message
(Photo by U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill/Released)
ARLINGTON, Va. - They had almost no food. They faced a harsh winter in poorly constructed shelters. And nearly half of them died from sickness. Yet the pilgrims who came to America wanted a day to give thanks.

In the midst of the Civil War, one of the darkest periods in American history, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving, a day for Americans to express gratitude for their blessings. Every year since, Americans have come together to reflect and to give thanks the fourth Thursday in November.

I, too, am thankful for the nearly 450,000 National Guard members for the work and sacrifice they make to keep our nation and communities strong and secure. I have met with Guardsmen and women serving overseas and in our 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. I have talked with Guard members who have lost friends in battle or have come home with permanent injuries. Despite their tremendous losses, they were thankful for the opportunity to serve.

I am thankful to the families and employers of Guardsmen who sacrifice each day to ensure our Soldiers and Airmen can focus on fighting our nation’s wars and protecting our homeland. Each has experienced loss, but they are thankful.

I am also thankful for the partnerships we have established with state and interagency domestic responders, and with 76 nations through our State Partnership Program. Our partners have seen firsthand the devastation wrought by natural disasters and by combat, but each has also saved lives and brought relief to the suffering. They are thankful.

Whether you are in uniform or a civilian, deployed or home, it is your service and commitment that allows us to enjoy the spirit of Thanksgiving. For that, we all are thankful!

Local National Guard members prepare for one-year deployment
News 3 KSNV Las Vegas
Reported by: Denise Rosch
November 24, 2015

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) – From Paris to Mali, terrorism is top of mind for many Americans. This weekend, 38 proud Nevadans are heading right into the thick of things. Soldiers with the Army National Guard are deploying to Afghanistan.

No deployment is ever easy, but with Thanksgiving in two days and terrorism all over the world making headlines, these soldiers are sacrificing plenty. They’re training right here in Southern Nevada to protect our state and our country, and as you would expect, they're proud to do it.

“The Governor's paid a lot of money to train me, so I'm going to do what I can to stay safe,” says Sgt. Chris Hendrickson with the 137th Military Police.

The Henderson police officer is trading one uniform for another to serve his country in Afghanistan. Before the Nevada Army Guard 137th heads out, Hendrickson had one final loose end to tie up…

He put an engagement ring on his girlfriend’s finger at the happiest place on earth.

“Last Wednesday at Disneyland,” he said. “That's the one thing that's going to hurt a lot. The biggest thing for me is make sure we have constant contact.”

Hendrickson joins 37 other military police officers set to begin a one-year deployment. They’ll protect fellow Americans from criminal threats in one of the most dangerous regions of the world.
read more here

California Air National Guard Thanksgiving meal thankful thoughts

Air Force Base Thanksgiving

Hill Air Force Base Thanksgiving: Feeding a thousand
Standard Examiner
Mitch Shaw
NOVEMBER 24, 2015

Image by: (MITCH SHAW/Standard-Examiner) Airmen from Hill Air Force Base are served a Thanksgiving meal inside an airplane hangar, Tuesday, November 24, 2015.
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — How many dinner guests would have to huddle around your table this Thanksgiving to constitute “a large gathering?”

Twenty? Fifty? One Hundred?

To Cesar Vargas, a master sergeant at Hill Air Force Base, all of those numbers are small potatoes.

A jet engine mechanic by trade, Vargas led a group of 100 volunteers who worked to feed about 1,000 Hill airmen and their families on Tuesday, Nov. 24, part of the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings’ annual Thanksgiving feast.
read more here

Commentary: Think safety for Thanksgiving
Hilltop Times Air Force
75th ABW Chief of Safety
November 26, 2015

I wanted to pass a little information to you as you prep for the Thanksgiving weekend. As many of you know, a big danger during Thanksgiving has recently become frying up that delicious turkey.

Among some of the safety tips:
• Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors and at a safe distance from buildings and any other material that can burn.
• Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
• Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
• Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you don’t control the temperature, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
• Never let children or pets near the fryer during or after use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot long after it has been turned off.
• To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
Also, during this time of year, slips, trips and falls are a big concern. Most folks, graciously, wait until after Thanksgiving to put up their Christmas lights. This means ladders and cold weather, which can lead to a visit to the local emergency room after falling off the ladder because someone over-reached and fell.

The common theme with these kinds of injuries is laziness. People failed to descend the ladder, move it and ascend again. Don’t become a statistic. How about this: It’s another opportunity to burn a few extra calories by making a few extra descents and ascents!

Finally, I’d like to encourage a mindset change.

Many of us have “grown up” hearing the term “Safety First.” I’d like to propose we move away from that and get to a “Mission First” mindset. We should accomplish the mission within a culture of safety and compliance.

If we create this culture, we’ll decrease injuries and rework, which will increase productivity. How about that, mission accomplished and Airmen safe! Have a wonderful day and be careful out there.

Navy Thanksgiving Message

CNO Thanksgiving Message 2015
NOVEMBER 24, 2015

SOUDA BAY, Greece (Nov. 27, 2014) Culinary Specialist 2nd Class David Tiberio, from Red Hook, N.Y., prepares food for a Thanksgiving meal aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67). Cole is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class John Herman/Released)
Team, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. This weekend, many of us will gather with family, friends, and loved ones to celebrate each others’ company over a nice meal in our homes. Dana and I wish you a peaceful and safe weekend, and we thank YOU for all that you do to keep our Navy and nation prosperous and secure.

As we take this time to pause and reflect, let us remember those who are quietly celebrating while underway or forward deployed around the world. While we talk with family, they have the watch. We’ve all been there and know those mixed feelings of pride at accomplishing the mission, but also missing our loved ones while deployed during this time. For those at home, please keep these shipmates in your thoughts and prayers. If you’re forward, reach out, be good company for each other, and wish your shipmate a Happy Thanksgiving.

Finally, I must add that in addition to turkey, pumpkin pie, and football, wherever you are, please add safety to your list of things to keep track of this weekend. Remain alert and cognizant of your surroundings. Ensure you keep yourselves and those around you safe and sound. You and your families are all far too valuable to the Navy and the nation to experience a needless accident – I need you all to come back rested and ready to go.

Happy Thanksgiving.
-Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations

Navy ship docks in Detroit, brings crew member home for Thanksgiving USS Milwaukee

Time to Stuff the Jerky

If you are planning on spending Thanksgiving with your cell phone taking selfies and sharing on Facebook, your own self importance is nauseating!

Instead of enjoying this day off to actually spend time with the people in your life, you'd rather spend it with folks you don't even know?

You wouldn't be so offended by others if you actually took time to understand exactly what is going on in the real world.

You wouldn't think that you are all that matters if you actually took a look at who should matter to you.

Stop being so jerky and enjoy the turkey while giving thanks for what you do really have in your life!

One more thing, if you think having pictures of yourself all over the internet makes you famous, then why are you taking your own picture?