Showing posts with label Vietnam Veterans of America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnam Veterans of America. Show all posts

Sunday, March 29, 2020

COVID-19 canceled Vietnam Veterans Day here is mine!

Vietnam Veterans Day Tribute

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 29, 2020

Today is Vietnam Veterans Day and a lot of you are feeling down because you are used to going to events organized to thank you for your service and a way to be with other veterans. Because of CORVID-19 those events have been postponed.

This is my small way of taking time to let you know, you have not been forgotten and are not alone!

What this nation owes Vietnam Veterans is far more than just a day to honor your service. It goes beyond wanting to let you know we, as a nation, are sorry for the way you were treated after you served this nation.

Giving you the truth about how Vietnam Veterans Day began, is a start.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 29, 2012
Presidential Proclamation -- Vietnam Veterans Day

On January 12, 1962, United States Army pilots lifted more than 1,000 South Vietnamese service members over jungle and underbrush to capture a National Liberation Front stronghold near Saigon. Operation Chopper marked America's first combat mission against the Viet Cong, and the beginning of one of our longest and most challenging wars. Through more than a decade of conflict that tested the fabric of our Nation, the service of our men and women in uniform stood true. Fifty years after that fateful mission, we honor the more than 3 million Americans who served, we pay tribute to those we have laid to rest, and we reaffirm our dedication to showing a generation of veterans the respect and support of a grateful Nation.

The Vietnam War is a story of service members of different backgrounds, colors, and creeds who came together to complete a daunting mission. It is a story of Americans from every corner of our Nation who left the warmth of family to serve the country they loved. It is a story of patriots who braved the line of fire, who cast themselves into harm's way to save a friend, who fought hour after hour, day after day to preserve the liberties we hold dear. From Ia Drang to Hue, they won every major battle of the war and upheld the highest traditions of our Armed Forces.

Eleven years of combat left their imprint on a generation. Thousands returned home bearing shrapnel and scars; still more were burdened by the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress, of Agent Orange, of memories that would never fade. More than 58,000 laid down their lives in service to our Nation. Now and forever, their names are etched into two faces of black granite, a lasting memorial to those who bore conflict's greatest cost.

Our veterans answered our country's call and served with honor, and on March 29, 1973, the last of our troops left Vietnam. Yet, in one of the war's most profound tragedies, many of these men and women came home to be shunned or neglected -- to face treatment unbefitting their courage and a welcome unworthy of their example. We must never let this happen again. Today, we reaffirm one of our most fundamental obligations: to show all who have worn the uniform of the United States the respect and dignity they deserve, and to honor their sacrifice by serving them as well as they served us. Half a century after those helicopters swept off the ground and into the annals of history, we pay tribute to the fallen, the missing, the wounded, the millions who served, and the millions more who awaited their return. Our Nation stands stronger for their service, and on Vietnam Veterans Day, we honor their proud legacy with our deepest gratitude.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 29, 2012, as Vietnam Veterans Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the Vietnam War.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Now you know that this day to offer as tribute to Vietnam Veterans began back in 2012, but as you also know, the years are not the truth. The years are just those recognized as such.

You know the first recognized service member killed in Vietnam was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. The following facts are from The Wall
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.
First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961.
And the last came in 1975.
The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.

Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131.

This is from the President Ford Library

Your battles lasted almost 20 years by some accounts. Yet, in all honesty, your battles never ended.

When you came home, treated as if you should not have returned, you accomplished so much for the sake of the same people who did worse than turn their backs on you.
At the Orlando Nam Knights fundraiser for Homes For Our Troops, Vietnam Veteran and Medal of Honor hero Sammy Davis talked to me about what it was like coming home after all he'd been through. It is a story few have heard before. As Sammy put it, it is one of the reasons no other veteran will ever come home treated like that again.

Vietnam Medal of Honor Sammy Davis has a message to all the troops coming home. Talk about it! Don't try to forget it but you can make peace with it. Dixie Davis has a message for the spouses too. Help them to talk about it with you or with someone else.

All over the country, men and women like Sammy returned with a new mission. Taking care of other veterans and making sure that no generation ever had to go through what they went through.
Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. (VVA) is a national non-profit corporation founded in 1978 in the United States that is committed to serving the needs of all veterans. It is funded without any contribution from any branch of government. VVA is the only such organization chartered by the United States Congress and dedicated to Vietnam veterans and their families. The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. Its founding principle is "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the only national Vietnam veterans organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families.

By the late 1970s, it was clear the established veterans groups had failed to make a priority of the issues of concern to Vietnam veterans. As a result, a vacuum existed within the nation’s legislative and public agenda. In January 1978, a small group of Vietnam veteran activists came to Washington, D.C., searching for allies to support the creation of an advocacy organization devoted exclusively to the needs of Vietnam veterans. VVA, initially known as the Council of Vietnam Veterans, began its work. At the end of its first year of operation in 1979, the total assets were $46,506.

I met my Vietnam veteran husband in 1982. Everything I have learned about PTSD came because of him and the wonderful man I saw beneath the pain he carried home with him. The following are videos I started to make in 2006 because I ended up falling in love with all Vietnam veterans because of what you did for all of us!

This was the first one and it was shown by a member of the US Navy bringing troops back from Iraq.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Reprehensible takers stole from Vietnam Veterans of America

Thieves take boxed donations slated for veterans; Resident not happy about it

WHIO 7 News
By: J. Frazier Smith
August 09, 2019

HUBER HEIGHTS — A military veteran is not happy about the thief or thieves who took six of the 13 boxes of donated household items his wife put out in front of their Huber Heights home for a veteran's organization.

"I think it's pretty low," the man said Friday afternoon, asking not to be identified by name. "It's the principal. Here I am trying to help veterans and somebody's being a thief."

He didn't call police because they couldn't do anything about the theft of the boxes, which he said contained clothes, silverware, boots, a toy box and more.

The man said his wife put the boxes out Friday morning and went to shower. By the time she got out, 10 minutes later, the six boxes were gone.

"We were just downsizing and didn't need the stuff," the man said. "They wanted it more than the veterans."
read it here

This story infuriates me!

Two weeks ago, we had Vietnam Veterans of America come to pick up a huge donation of furniture, household items and clothes. We are also downsizing, for a move to New Hampshire.

We could have had a yard sale and made a lot of money. We could have donated to any of the other groups out there. We decided to donated to the group who represents my Vietnam veteran husband and fights for all veterans.

Vietnam Veterans of America make it easy for people to donate. You pick the date and where you want to put your items and they come to pick them up. Really easy for generous givers and receivers, but makes it easy for reprehensible takers too.

Will I do it again after reading this story? You bet! Once we see what size house we are moving into, there will be more happily donated from us to the VVA!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Vietnam Veterans of America giving back to others for Easter

Veterans giving back to veterans

FOX 2 News
April 21, 2019

Detroit, (FOX 2) - Members and volunteers of Vietnam Veterans of America were spreading some springtime cheer this past Easter weekend.
 The day started with delivering care packages to patients at the VA Medical Center in Detroit.

"It's our way of giving back, to tell them thank you and we appreciate them," said Vietnam Veteran of America member, Paul Palazzolo.

The organization does this twice a year. Members and volunteers say back scratchers are always the most popular item.
read more here

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Shocker WWP supporting Vietnam Veterans and TAPS

Wounded Warrior Project Announces Support for TAPS and Vietnam Veterans of America

Wounded Warrior Project
Mar 14, 2019

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) announces a grant and collaborative partnership with Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to raise awareness and collect data on the impact of toxic exposure on the long-term health of veterans. This $200,000 grant supports VVA and TAPS' joint advocacy and tracking of toxic exposure illness among post-9/11 veterans. Many veterans of this generation have reported experiencing various illnesses resulting from exposure to contaminants on the battlefield such as burn pit smoke, depleted uranium, and industrial chemicals.
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) announces a grant and collaborative partnership with Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to raise awareness and collect data on the impact of toxic exposure on the long-term health of veterans.

"Toxic exposure is one of our top policy priorities for 2019," said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. "Working together with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and Vietnam Veterans of America will enable our collective legislative advocacy and provide resources to veterans and family members who have incurred an illness due to toxic exposure during military service. We're proud to partner with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and Vietnam Veterans of America to learn more about this issue and ensure veterans' health care needs are addressed."

"We are profoundly grateful for the critical grant funding WWP has provided to TAPS," said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder. "Over the past decade, TAPS has seen a dramatic increase in the number of deaths due to illness and cancers related to toxic exposures. These service members and veterans leave behind grieving families who deserve the same care and support all service members and veterans receive. Together with WWP and VVA, we will honor those who are ill and have died by caring for all those who they loved and left behind."

"Though our war ended more than 40 years ago, we continue to battle for justice and answers for veterans exposed to Agent Orange and other toxic substances, which have been passed on to their families," said John Rowan, VVA National President. "And now, tragically, post-9/11 veterans have been exposed to a range of biological and chemical toxic substances. Whether from burn pits emitting dioxin and other toxicants; from depleted uranium; or from toxicants yet to be identified, they are dying young from uncommon illnesses, and their children are sick as well. We cannot stand idly by as this newest generation of veterans is faced with the same culture of denial as they struggle to access health care and compensation from the VA. We are glad for the opportunity to work in partnership with Wounded Warrior Project and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors to share our lessons learned and to advocate for our younger veterans and their families."

Help us heal our Nation and honor those who have served and sacrificed.

VVA to President Trump:Help us Heal our Nation

Vietnam Veterans of America

March 21, 2019
Statement by Vietnam Veterans of America National President John Rowan:
On the eve of Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29, we are chagrined by the President’s inability to let a fellow Vietnam veteran rest in peace.

Every day we live our founding principle, “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

We have succeeded in teaching our fellow Americans that warriors don’t make policy.

They have learned to separate the war from the warrior.

The era of spurning veterans is past. We have made sure of it.

Our experience has taught us how fear and hatred corrode the soul and imprison the spirit.

We have forgiven those who have condemned us for answering our country’s call.

We have forgiven those who received educational and medical deferments from serving in the war.

We have forgiven Hollywood for its negative portrayal of veterans. We are proud of the warmth, respect, and honor that our newest veterans receive today.

And we are greatly saddened by the President’s inability to let a Vietnam War hero rest in peace.

Mr. Trump, it’s time to move on. Help us heal our Nation and honor those who have served and sacrificed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Vietnam Veterans of America, among others, targeted by online trolls

House VA Committee Looks into Trolls Targeting Veterans Groups

MARCH 18, 2019
Someone’s spreading misinformation to veterans and their families and Congress wants to know who.

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif., launched an investigation this month into who’s impersonating veterans service organizations to target service members, veterans, their families and the American public.

“Our veterans served in uniform to guard against threats to our democracy just like those posed by these internet bots and trolls intent on sowing division and spreading misinformation,” Takano said in a statement. “Congress has a responsibility to stamp out these anonymous individuals and protect our country from threats foreign and domestic.”

The committee is looking into reports of campaigns that impersonate veterans and VSOs to share misleading content or fabricated “news” about military issues and ultimately cause confusion or inspire fear amongst veterans and their families. A committee staffer told Nextgov that they’re currently in the fact-finding stage of the investigation and plan to soon hold stakeholder meetings on the issue.

Today’s technological landscape has made it easy for instigators to use tools such as email and social media to influence voting behaviors or trick Americans into sharing their most sensitive personal data.

Kristofer Goldsmith, a veteran who served on the frontlines in Iraq before smartphones and social media were ubiquitous, has been tracking and combatting trolls and foreign adversaries targeting Vietnam Veterans of America, a congressionally-chartered VSO, since August 2017. He said the work is more important now than it has ever been.

“I’m really glad that Chairman Takano recognizes that too, because I feel like we’ve been screaming from the rooftops and until now no one has really heard us,” Goldsmith said.
read more here

Sunday, January 14, 2018

For these veterans, giving to others is what they live for!

Disabled Omaha veteran restores TVs for vets in need
OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - A disabled Air Force veteran from Omaha is using his hobby of fixing electronics to help other veterans in need. 

Todd Hering served in the Air Force for nine years and then spent the rest of his career working for an airline. Three years ago, he injured his toe so badly it later infected his leg, resulting in several surgeries and ultimately, had to have his right leg amputated.
read his story here 

Local Vietnam vets giving back to those in need with free wheelchairs, walkers, and more

Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 17 have been collecting donated wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters for years. Now, the group has a surplus of the assistance items and they’re hoping to give them to local vets in need. 
"We don't give to just Vietnam veterans. We give to any veteran in need,” said Vietnam War veteran J.W., who oversees the chapter’s wheelchair program. "I thought, 'Wow. These guys worked all their lives and they don't even have a car to get to the grocery store? The wheelchair provides that mobility.’”
read their story here 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Upcoming Central Florida Veterans Events

From Cathy Haynes

GROUPS: You have one more week to get your Veterans Day event info to me so that it can be shared with others! 
October is Agent Orange Awareness Month. The organization Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) encourages your education and support of the Federal Toxic Exposure Research.
WW2 Airplane reburbed, crewmember wanted - The Orlando-Sanford Airport has an event coming up in early November where they will be unveiling a refurbished airplane. They are DESPERATELY looking for someone who would have flown the plane. The PV-Ventura was used in the WW2 European theater by the Army Air Corps or Navy or the Royal Air Force. Other versions of the plane would have been the B-34 Lexington, B-37, or Navy's PV-2 Harpoon for submarine search/bombing. Do you know of someone who would have flown such an aircraft or who might be able to give us a lead? Contact George LaMont at marinelamont@ yahoo .com and CC: chaynes11629@ yahoo .com

Avoid the confusion - Just a bit of a reminder - There is a difference between veterans and military. Sometimes people get confused that veterans were once active military but they are not officially serving anymore. And our military who are serving now and will one day be veterans. Retired veterans served a specified required time in service. All military retirees are veterans but not all veterans are military retired.  
·       Veterans Day honors all persons who once were in the military - especially the living. Formerly known as Armistice Day after WWI – 11/11/11 – Eleventh day of the Eleventh month at the Eleventh hour.
·       Armed Forces Day is the third Saturday in May - it was established in 1950 to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force Days. That is a day to pay tribute to men and women who ARE currently serve the United States’ armed forces.
·       Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military; Observed on the last Monday in May. 
United States Submarine Veterans mtg – Thurs Oct 26 – The Central Florida Base meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7pm, at the Casselberry Veteran's Club, 200 Concord Dr., Casselberry, 32707. Fun and networking with membership open to all Navy personnel and veterans who are qualified in submarines. Guests are always welcome at meetings. Info: Jay D Mack 407- 920-9347 jmack349@ gmail .com
Veterans’ Driver License Reinstatement – Fri. Oct 27 - Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, the Orange County Veterans Court, the Department of Revenue, and other state and local agencies, have joined forces to help veterans in Orange County learn how to reinstate their driver license that may have been suspended for a variety of reasons (homelessness, support arrears, etc.)  At the Veterans Driver License Reinstatement Clinic, veterans can get a jump-start on breaking down one barrier to holding a job, obtaining housing, or seeking medical care - having a valid driver license. 8:30am – 4pm in the Jury Room at Orange County Courthouse, 425 N Orange Ave, Orlando, 32801. Pre-registration available at: veteransdlclinic.eventbrite .com CLSMF: 407-841-7777 or Veterans Court at 407-836-0578. 
October 28, 1886 - The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. The statue was a gift from the people of France commemorating the French-American alliance during the American Revolutionary War. Designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the entire structure stands 300 feet (92.9 meters) tall.
October 28, 1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis ended.
6th Annual Ruck Sack March – Sat. Oct 28 – You are challenged to “Walk a Mile in their Boots.”  Participants can choose from three different participation levels AND three different course lengths. You can walk for fun or compete as a Runner or Warrior. Warriors must carry at least 35 lbs. in a ruck sack or backpack. Then select a 5k, 10k or 12-mile course length so you can participate or compete at the level you want. First place finishers and top fundraisers receive great prizes. Families are welcome! Lake Nona will be the site and Registration is open; Sponsorship opportunities are available. See Camaraderie Foundation website for info and registration. (407) 841-0071.
Participation in this Camaraderie Foundation event provides counseling resources for private and confidential Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) counseling for military, former warriors and their families seeking assistance.   It works. It HAS saved lives, marriages and families. Contact 407-841-0071
Annual Women in Law Enforcement Forum & Safety Expo – Sat. Oct 28 – Learn about a potential career in law enforcement. Expo: 9am – 2pm and Forum: 10am and 1pm. Both sworn and civilian positions available. Orange County Sheriff’s office, 2500 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando, 32804. www. ocso .com
Pre-Veterans’ Day Program - Sun. Oct 29 – Former US Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert A. McDonald, is the guest speaker at St. Luke’s Methodist –Windermere. Hosted by the church’s Veterans Cluster Group at 1 - 3pm in the Founder’s Hall, 4851 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, 32819. He will provide an inside look at issues facing our veterans and their families. There will be some time for questions. Free and open to the public. Refreshments. RSVP’s requested for planning to st.lukes .org/military 407-876-4991. 
Veterans Resource Fair – Orlando – Wed. Nov 1 – 11am – 1pm at the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona. Located by the Clinic Information Desk: OEF/OIF guidance, TBI assistance, Florida Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Fisher House information and others. 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando, 32827. Info: vhaorlpublicaffairs@ va .gov 407-631-4436
Veterans Resource Fair – Viera – Wed. Nov 1 – 11am-1pm at the Viera VA Outpatient Clinic in the main entrance rotunda, 2900 Veterans Way, Viera, 32940.  (321) 637-3788. Public Affairs office: 407-631-4436 vhaorlpublicaffairs@ va .gov 
Coast Guard Auxiliary meeting – Wed. Nov 1 – The Osceola Flotilla 17-10 meets on the 1st Wed. of each month, 7pm, at American Legion Post 10, 205 Lakeview Dr., Kissimmee, 34741. Auxiliary members are volunteers who support the Coast Guard in all its non-military, and non-law-enforcement missions. Members help to provide maritime safety, security and stewardship; to secure the homeland, save lives and property; and to protect the environment. There are several Flotillas (groups) in Central Florida and membership in the Auxiliary is open to persons 17 years of age and older – some are much older – because the call to serve doesn’t leave easily! Info: Jim Nickles at jimnickles2@ gmail .com 407-390-9611 ** Recent CG Aux persons were able to assist local sheriff department and State Fish and Wildlife Dept. personnel with boat safety checks on the Lake Butler, Chain of Lakes. Way to go!
“Breaking Contact: Soldier to Civilian, a Success Story” – Thurs. Nov 2 – Start of the Veteran Speaker Series at UCF (University of Central Florida) during Veterans Month. Open to the public. Dr. Bryce Carpenter, Educational Outreach Programs Officer for the National Cemetery Administration, speaks on his transition from soldier to civilian.  UCF Career Services will also share information on resources available to students as they prepare to enter the workforce. Free lunch is provided by the Veteran Academic Resource Center (VARC); 12noon to 1:30 pm at Career Services and Experiential Learning Bldg, Rm. 121 on UCF Campus.  (Best parking might be Garage H) Info: Tiffany at 407-823-3817 Tiffany.Rivera@ ucf .edu   www. varc.sdes .ucf .edu
Golf Tournament at The Villages – Fri. Nov 3 – The proceeds of this tournament support sending veterans to Washington DC on Villages Honor Flight (VHF) to visit the war memorials. Eagle Ridge Golf Course at Del Webb Spruce Creek. Info: see VHF website or contact Bunny at bunnygowell@ gmail .com 207-286-6786 or John at leftygolf2338@ 201-961-4121.
Semper Fi Fish Fry – Sat. Nov 4 – 3rd annual fund raising effort at Fish on Fire restaurant, 7937 Daetwyler Dr., Orlando, 32812 (Btwn Orange Ave. and Conway Rd on McCoy Rd, just off the Beachline.) Live band, auction items, events for the kids and much more! Vendor space available. Contact: mcl.orlando.commandant@ gmail .com 407-493-6968
Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen - Sat. Nov 4 - Cornerstone Hospice hosts this honoring of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen of Central Florida. 1 -3pm at Hannibal Square Heritage Center, 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 32789. Info: Bridget at brmonroe@ cshospice .org  407- 616-2536
Daylight Savings Time ends – Sun. Nov 5 – Turn your clocks back one hour. Use that bonus time to do something nice for our veteran and service personnel!
Orange/Osceola County Veterans Treatment Court – Mon. Nov 6 – There will be an appreciation event in the Lake Nona site Auditorium at 2:30pm. Soldiers and civilians have different backgrounds. You can see the process for yourself and why it is important for the former warrior and our community. Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona, 4th flr, 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando, 32827.
Mentors needed - Veteran Courts ARE succeeding! Longer term success is possible with community mentors and there are mentoring programs in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties. 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, or PTS anger issues that are being rechanneled. 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 your local Veterans Court resource.
Election Day – Tues. Nov 7 – Become educated and do your civic duty – VOTE! Our local elections tend to have a more direct impact on us.
Champions of Freedom Appreciation Luncheon – Tues. Nov 7 – Lohman Funeral Homes’ Community Outreach hosts this event at the Spruce Creek Country Club in Port Orange; 11:30am free catered lunch, guest speakers, and a memorabilia exhibit that provides an opportunity for guests to bring items from their service if they like, which makes for a great opportunity to share their pride and connect with others. Limited to the first 75 guests who register at 386-673-1100.
Orlando Vet Center – Tues. Nov 7 – Join other veterans in honoring the USMC birthday and watching “Ears, Open. Eyeballs, Click.” It is a documentary on the making of Marines from the perspective of a “fly-on-the-wall.” The movie is sure to bring pride and stir conversation about boot camp experiences. 12 noon at 5575 S. Semoran Blvd, Suite 30 in the TerreCotta Business Park, Orlando, 32822. All veterans, family, and friends are welcome. No RSVP required. Hosted by Readjustment Counselor and Marine Corps Veteran, Lloyd Duran 407-857-2800  lloyd.duran@ va .gov
“Exploring Military Archives: New Perspective on Old Texts” – Tues. Nov 7 - Part of the Veteran Speaker Series at UCF (University of Central Florida) during Veterans Month. Open to the public. Three MA candidates discuss both the process of obtaining documents from several archives and how it has influenced their research. These items include Civil War pensions from the National Archives to expose why men enlisted in the First Florida Cavalry (US), an all white Union regiment from Florida; personal papers of World War I nurses to examine their much forgotten trauma; and Civil War memories and myths. 4pm-5pm at UCF’s Colbourn Hall, Rm 146. (Best parking might be Garage H1) Info: Tiffany at 407-823-3817 Tiffany.Rivera@ ucf .edu   www. varc.sdes .ucf .edu
The First Academy Veteran’s Day Celebration – Wed. Nov 8 – The students of Wounded Warrior Club of The First Academy would like to honor members of the Armed Forces, past and present. 10am in Faith Hall where the talented students will perform. The local Navy Color Guard will perform, a local wounded warrior will be recognized, as well as a 93 year old MSGt with service in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The USMC will perform the flag folding ceremony. First Baptist Orlando, 2667 Bruton Blvd, Orlando, 32805. (just off John Young Parkway and LB McLead Rd) (North of I-4 and John Young Pkwy, exit 79.) Info/RSVP’s appreciated for head count planning to 407-206-8748 

Paychecks for Patriots Veterans Job Fair – Wed. Nov 8 – CareerSource Brevard-Palm Bay hosts this event from 10am – 2pm. Special Hours (10am-11am) just for veterans, active duty, reserve, guard, and military family members only. Open to general public from 11am – 2pm. County Club Plaza, 5275 Babcock St. NE, Ste. 8B, Palm Bay, 32905. Save time by registering online at Eventbrite. Bring your resume and dress for success! Co-sponsored by CareerSource, Melbourne Regional Chamber Veterans Resource Council. Info: 321-504-7600
Central Florida Navy League luncheon and meeting – Wed. Nov 8 – All persons who support the sea services, whether civilian or military, are welcomed to attend this gathering on the 2nd Wed. of each month. 11:30 – 1pm at the Holiday Inn – UCF, 1724 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, 32826. Interesting speakers and networking potential includes the simulation technology businesses. $20 with credit card payment on website (cfnavyleague .org) or $25 at the door. 3rd largest Navy League in FL with diverse membership including nearby technology industries. Contact Bob K. (Membership Chair.) at navleaguecenfl@ juno .com  407-977-7575
(NEW! The Navy League offers national E-Membership for only $25 per year! Prior military service is NOT required. Support the sea services – Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines – with membership.)
UCF Veterans Honored (Flag Days) – Thurs. Nov 9 - Over 1500 flags to symbolize and honor the number of current student veterans studying at UCF will be placed at the Veterans Commemorative/Memorial site on Tuesday, University of Central Florida (UCF) campus near Pegasus Circle. Then on Thurs. at 11am – 11:30 will be a ceremony, public invited, involving veterans, UCF Army ROTC, UCF Air Force ROTC and UCF Music. Coordinated by UCF History, Veterans Academic Resource Center (VARC) and UCF Community Veterans History Project. Info: Joshua  at 407-823-5874    www. varc.sdes .ucf .edu
United States Marine Corps 242th birthday – November 10 - Thank a Marine, past or present, for your freedom!
Offices/Businesses Closed – Fri Nov 10 - In observance of Veteran’s Day, many government offices/businesses will be closed – including banks and post offices. Call ahead to verify.
Congressional Breakfast – Fri. Nov 10 – Join FAVOB (Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses) with others and let your voice be heard. Speak with our local Congressional representatives in a Town Hall style breakfast gathering to discuss Veteran Owned Small Business Initiatives. The event includes a sit-down plated breakfast at the exquisite Citrus Club in Downtown Orlando Fl. Parking in the Citrus Club garage will be validated. Representatives attending: Val Demings of District 10, Stephanie Murphy of District 7, and Darren Soto of District 9. 7:30am – 10am at The Citrus Club, 255 S. Orange Ave., #1800, Orlando, 32801. $25 for FAVOB Members and $30 for Non-FAVOB members. www. Buy tickets online at eventbrite.
“SOS Breakfast” –Fri. Nov 10 – Honoring 242nd Birthday of Marine Corps. All area Marines, past and present, and friends are invited.  Sponsored by the Central Florida Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association. Proceeds will fund the chapter’s continued community events and the 1st Marine Division scholarship fund. Guest speaker is USMC BGen. Thomas V. Draude (ret.) Vietnam veteran with 2 tours in Vietnam, commands held in 7th Marines, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, ADC. Served in Operation Desert Storm, awarded 2 Distinguished Service Medals, 2 Silver Stars, Bronze Star & Purple Heart. Outstanding speaker & warrior! “SOS Breakfast” is fondly named after the breakfasts served in military mess halls! $30 per person, reservations required. 8:30am at Holy Trinity Reception Center - 1217 Trinity Woods Lane, Maitland, 32751 - Off Wymore Rd @ I-4 Overpass (No Exit)  Seating is limited and reservations must be received no later than Nov. 6. Info and reservations: Mike Galyean koolade @embarqmail .com 321-276-7515.
Lake Highland Preparatory School’s Veteran’s Day Tribute - Fri Nov 10 - “The American Dream Goes On” - Students and faculty presents its annual tribute of music, dancing, drama and video footage to honor veterans. Includes a performance by Project Magic. FREE Shows at 8:45 am, 10:45 am, and 1 pm in the Harriett Coleman Center for the Arts on campus, 901 N. Highland Ave., Orlando, 32803. Veterans, LHP friends and community are welcome to attend. 407-206-1900 
SPECIAL ATTENTION - Everyone: Notify your local social events planners at any senior living facilities - The program will be broadcast over the internet! This is a wonderful opportunity for travel-challenged seniors to see a great tribute – near professional - performed by our youngest generation! Go to the Lake Highland school website (www. lhps .org) and click on the links. The Tribute will be broadcast LIVE for all 3 shows! See one and then see it again! Info: 407-206-1900
Seminole State College – Fri. Nov. 10 - A Veteran’s Day Celebration will be held at SSC Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, 100 Weldon Blvd, Sanford, 32773, in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts (Bld. G). A pre-celebration activity begins at 8:40 am and includes a Jazz Combo. Major Gen.Doug Metcalf (USAF Ret.) will be the guest speaker at 9:30 am and then there will be light refreshments. Info: 407.708.2028voudryk@ seminolestate .edu 
“Vets and Pets” Book signing – Fri. Nov 10 – Villagers for Veterans hosts a book signing of “Vets and Pets, Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help them Heal” by Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris. 1 – 4pm at The Villages Barnes & Noble, 1055 Old Camp Road, The Villages, 32162. Following the book signing, there is a Meet and Greet, 5pm at the Waterfront Inn with cash bar and finger foods.
6th Annual Orlando Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K Races/Walk – Sat. Nov 11- Orlando Marathon race 26.2, Orlando Half Marathon 13.1 and Orlando 5K race or walk event hosted by American Legion Post 112 and Help the Vets, Inc. 4490 N. Goldenrod Rd. Winter Pk, FL 32792. A local quartet, Noteables, will sing before the event, the Anthem at 7:20 and races starting at 7:30 am. Discounts if registered by Oct 30. www. omarathon .com Info: Jim at racenut478@ aol .com 407-739-4949.
Veterans Day Expo – Sat. Nov 11 – Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy will be available to hear your concerns at the Seminole County Public Library, Central Branch, from 9am – 11am. 215 N. Oxford Rd, Casselberry, 32707. Info: Constituent Advocate Kyle at 888-205-5421
Orlando Veterans Day Parade – Sat. Nov 11 – One of the largest Veteran’s Day Parades, Hosted by Mayor Buddy Dyer and his Veterans Advisory Council in Downtown Orlando.  11am – 1pm. Free! This year’s parade recognizes the invisible wounds of war. The parade includes about 100 Central Florida veterans groups, floats, pipe bands, marching bands, ROTC and JROTC units, first responders, community groups and military vehicles. Begins at Robinson St., south on Orange Ave., east on Central, the north on Rosalind Ave. The parade will be televised live on News 13, starting with the opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Info: veteransparade 407-246-3104.
Windermere Veterans Monument Dedication – Sat. Nov.11 –Join members from all of the branches of the armed forces at 11am as Windermere unveils its Veterans Monument at 520 Main Street. Patriotic music and a family friendly day long event. Sponsored by the Town of Windermere and Windermere Rotary. Info: Gary Bruhn at windermeremayor@ yahoo .com 407-876-1732.
Astatula’s 1st Veterans Day – Sat. Nov 11 - Country music artist Rodney Atkins will be the headline entertainer at this event. He has had six number one songs on the country music charts. Also present will be Rob O'Neill, a highly decorated SEAL and retired special forces operator with over 400 missions.  11am – 11:30pm at Central Florida Motorsports Park, 24200 County Road 561, Astatula, (Lake County) 34705. $10 advanced gen. admission before Nov 1, then $15; $100 VIP tickets; Vendors available. Tickets at Eventbrite.
Play and Eat Free – Sat. Nov 11 - Main Event Entertainment invites all veterans and active-duty military to play games, bowl, and eat for free from open till 5pm. Military personnel will receive one free entrĂ©e from the special Veterans Day menu, and receive a complimentary $10 FUNcard that can be used on all Main Event games. Located in Pointe Orlando at 9101 International Dr #1032, Orlando, 32819. Military ID required. Info: www. mainevent .com
Marine Corps Birthday Ball – Sat. Nov. 11 – Sponsorships available for this 242st celebration will be at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, 9840 International Drive, 32819. Cocktails begin at 6pm and the ballroom doors open at 6:45. At 7:30 the ceremony begins with dinner and dancing following that. Dress is formal. Special guests.  Interested persons can get more information at the Central Florida Marine Corps Foundation website: or thru Jan Baka 407.745.3029 during business hours or Semper Fi!
10th International Conference on World War II  - Nov 16-18 -  Taking place in New Orleans, the guest speaker at the closing presentation will be Hershel "Woody" Williams. There were 472 Medals of Honor awarded for actions performed during World War II. Of those recipients, only four are still with us today. Woody is the last surviving MOH Marine from Iwo Jima and has visited the Central Florida area several times. National WW2 Museum, 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130. 504-528-1944 www. ww2conference  .com.
1st Annual Challenge 22 – 5K “Ruck” Walk – Sat. Nov 18 - American Legion Winter Garden Post 63 is hosting this in downtown Winter Garden. Registration starting at 0730 and the event getting underway at 0911. It will end around 3pm. Info: Kurt at 407-701-9416   kurtgies@ gmail .com
Veterans Entrepreneurship Conference – Sat. Nov 18 – Guest speakers, breakout sessions on specific entrepreneurship topics and a networking social in the evening. 1pm to 8pm at Florida Atlantic Univ., Student Union, 777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton. Sponsored by Veterans Florida. The event is completely free to attend.  Register veteransflorida.eventbrite .com Info: Bobby Carbonell at carbonell@ veteransflorida .org 850-898-1444 
Fundraiser for USMC Sgt. John Peck – Sat. Nov 18 - A quadruple amputee, John Peck lost his limbs when he stepped on a homemade I.E.D. in Afghanistan. He is the first Marine ever to receive a double arm transplant. As he recovers and works hard learning to use his new arms there is a need for financial support. Villagers For Veterans hopes that you will join in supporting his resolve and hard work. (They had originally provided him with an all-terrain chair for his mobility independence.) 5:30 - 6:30pm Meet & Greet with John, Fox News correspondent from the Pentagon Jennifer Griffin, and entertainer Roy Michaels. 7pm show featuring Roy Michaels. Seabreeze Recreation Center, 2384 Buena Vista Blvd, The Villages, 32162Tickets: $30 for Show + Meet/Greet with finger foods and cash bar; $25 for show only. Info: www. villagersforveterans .org    516-220-5068  villagersforveterans@ gmail .com 
Fisher House fundraiser – Sat. Nov 18 – Have an evening with premium cuisine, drink, and live entertainment at “Concours Live” located at the Orlando Sanford Airport on the Southeast Ramp.  Additionally, there will be high performance, luxury, and classic cars and aircraft. New this year is a women's luxury fashion boutique. The night ends with a huge fireworks display. 7pm-11pm at 2151 Spinner Lane, Sanford, 32773. Proceeds of tickets purchased online at Eventbrite (must use code FH) will benefit Fisher House, located across from the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona. Info: Friends of Fisher House, Greg Smith at fisherhouseorlando@ gmail .com 901-438-7734
Send me your Veterans Day and November events ASAP! I’m HOPING to compile the next list within the next week…….
Caring and sharing,
Cathy Haynes
Member/volunteer/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fake Vietnam Veterans Facebook Page Got More Views Than Real One?

Facebook shuts down ‘imposter’ veterans page

Stars and Stripes
Nikki Wentling
October 25, 2017

Vietnam Veterans of America, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization, runs a public Facebook page. Another page, Vietnam Vets of America, isn’t affiliated with a major veterans group. VVA calls them an "imposter page." 

WASHINGTON – Facebook Inc. disabled a page on its social media platform Tuesday after determining it violated the intellectual property of a congressionally chartered veterans service organization.

The company shut down the page Vietnam Vets of America, which created politically divisive posts and had a following of nearly 200,000 people. That’s tens of thousands more than the number following Vietnam Veterans of America, a page run by the veterans service organization of the same name that accused the other page of being an “imposter.”
Vietnam Vets of America violated a section of the social media network’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities about protecting other people’s rights, said a Facebook official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information had not been publicly released.
The action comes months after Vietnam Veterans of America alerted Facebook’s security team.
“We’re glad to see that Facebook is taking seriously the fact that agents outside the U.S. are targeting veterans on social media,” said John Rowan, president of Vietnam Veterans of America.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Vietnam Veterans of America Win Fight For PTSD Veterans With "Bad Papers"

Pentagon expands policy to upgrade vets’ bad paper discharges

Published: August 29, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department on Monday issued a sweeping policy change to afford more leeway to veterans seeking upgrades to their other-than-honorable discharges.
A memorandum dated Aug. 25 instructs the Army Review Boards Agency — the office charged with changing military records — to give “liberal consideration” to veterans looking to upgrade their less-than-honorable discharges, or “bad paper,” because of mental health conditions or traumatic brain injury, sexual assault or sexual harassment and outlines what should be considered when deciding an upgrade.
In 2014, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had ordered the Army Review Boards Agency to give consideration to veterans looking to upgrade their less-than-honorable discharges because of post-traumatic stress disorder. The new memo expands on Hagel’s order after years of veterans asking for government recognition that troops are, in some instances, affected by service-related mental health conditions that change their behaviors and lead to disciplinary problems.
“This new guidance is something that veteran advocates should be really excited about – it’s what we’ve been asking for from the Pentagon for years,” said Kristofer Goldsmith, an Iraq War veteran who has fought for 10 years to change upgrade procedures. “This memo is filled with signals that there may yet be hope for the thousands of veterans who have been unfairly suffering the effects of bad paper.”

Advocates, lawmakers push for answers to problem of 'bad paper' discharges
Stars and Stripes
Leo Shane III
September 13, 2016
Veterans advocates rallied on Capitol Hill Tuesday to urge lawmakers deal with the problem of so-called "bad paper" discharges that prevent some struggling veterans from receiving health care, and urged the White House to intervene while the legislative process drags on.

"It's disturbing to see this issue come back," said John Rowan, president and CEO of Vietnam Veterans of America. "We saw half a million questionable less-than-honorable discharges during the Vietnam era. And to think that today there are as many as 300,000 more since Sept. 11, that's a disgrace."

Senate lawmakers have already included legislation in the annual defense authorization bill to require the Defense Department to review and improve the discharge process after numerous reports of troops being forced out of the ranks without veterans benefits due to infractions like suicide attempts and substance abuse related to post-traumatic stress disorder.
read more here

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Disabled American Veterans Now Have A Female Commander

Gulf War vet becomes first woman in 25 years to lead a major veterans organization
Navy Times
By: Leo Shane III
4 hours ago
The largest veterans organizations have long been seen as dominated by men, especially before the recent wars dramatically increased the number of women with military and combat service. Army vet Mary Stout served as commander of Vietnam Veterans of America from 1987 to 1991, but none have followed in the last 25 years.
Army veteran Delphine Metcalf-Foster was named national commander of Disabled American Veterans on Aug. 1, 2017. (Courtesy of DAV) Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Vietnam Veterans of America had a female commander in the 1980s.

WASHINGTON — Nine years ago, when Army veteran Delphine Metcalf-Foster went to her local Veterans Affairs hospital for a knee replacement, she asked her doctors if they would use a female-specific prosthesis.

They said they never considered getting any.

“I realized then there needed to be more education,” she said. “Women don’t have the same bone structure as men. But they just always used a unisex knee. Maybe if (the injury) hadn’t happened to me, I would have just assumed that it wasn’t a problem.”

Now Metcalf-Foster is hoping to shine a bigger spotlight on those types of overlooked women veteran issues as the first female commander of Disabled American Veterans. She was sworn into the post on Aug. 1, becoming the first woman to lead one of the major American veterans organizations since 1991.
read more here