Monday, October 31, 2011

Today's Quote

“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who fought for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know.” ~ unknown soldier from Viet Nam in 1968 … favorite quotes of U.S. Army Ranger Jim Regan.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Find Ways To Help Veterans, Troops Throughout The Year

Don’t forget to thank veterans on Nov. 11 — Veterans Day.

That’s good advice, but there are actions you can take before then.

Consider donations to the American Red Cross, which — among other things — provides emergency communications services, relaying urgent messages to military personnel about births, deaths and serious illnesses or other emergencies in their immediate families. The involvement of the Red Cross helps in obtaining emergency leave.

The USO has been helping our troops for 70 years, with USO Centers and entertainment tours that bring a touch of home. The organization has facilities in 27 states and 14 countries.

From time to time, organizations also launch drives to collect comfort items for residents of veterans’ homes .

You can also help by doing things for neighbors with family members deployed overseas — whether it’s helping with chores around the house or inviting them to a backyard barbecue.

Contact a local Veteran’s Home or Veteran’s Hospital to volunteer.

Let’s remember our veterans and active-duty troops not only on Veterans Day but every day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today's Quote

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” Douglas MacArthur

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today's Quote

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
— Thomas Paine

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Today's Quote

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

- George Washington

Monday, October 24, 2011

Therapy and Service Dogs for Our Veterans

An increasing number of service dogs are needed for veterans who have returned home with physical disabilities or blindness. A new category of service dogs for which there is an increased need is the dog who works with people who have PTSD–post traumatic stress disorder.
The bond between people and animals is a strong one-and can even be a healing one. Pets are good for our emotional and physical health, and studies show that having a pet can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Caring for a companion animal provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessens feelings of loneliness and isolation in people of all ages.
For wounded warriors and disabled veterans, caring for a pet can help them reenter society and avoid stress or depression. And if the soldier suffered serious injuries while serving our country, a service dog can provide much-needed assistance and critical care.
Yes, they provide companionship. But they can also detect changes in a person’s breathing, perspiration or scent to anticipate and ward off an impending panic attack with some well-timed nuzzling. They are trained to let their masters know when it’s time to take their medication and to wake them from terrifying nightmares.
Service dogs raise their masters’ sense of well-being. There is evidence to suggest that increasing their numbers would reduce the alarming suicide rate among veterans, decrease the number of hospitalizations, and lower the cost of medications and human care.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today's Quote

"On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind." Dan Lipinski

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today's Quote

"America's veterans have served their country with the belief that democracy and freedom are ideals to be upheld around the world."
- John Doolittle

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thoughts About Upcoming Veteran's Day

It is the SOLDIER, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the SOLDIER, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the SOLDIER, not the campus organizers, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the SOLDIER, who salutes the flag, who serves the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, AMEN

General Douglas MacArthur

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The U.S. Must Help Veterans Cope with Combat Trauma

Twenty percent of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans carry either post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression from their service, according to a recent study. This is roughly 400,000 of the 2,000,000 soldiers who have served in the wars. These staggering numbers represent the lasting impact that the atrocities of war can leave on the men and women of our armed forces.

For these soldiers, returning home from the battlefront is the beginning of the fight against psychiatric and neurological disorders.

These conditions are treatable. Therapy and medications are available for the illnesses, and have been shown to be effective. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also has systems and hospitals in place to take care of individuals suffering from the illnesses.
Greater awareness of the issues by the civilian population is key. With an election right around the corner, this is the appropriate time for veteran’s health care to become an “issue” to be discussed.
This is not a government program that can be cut, but one that actually needs an increase in funds. Politicians have been debating, and yet this is a topic that has not yet been breached or accounted for.

There is no way for civilians to understand the sacrifices that soldiers have had to make to serve and protect our country. But we can listen to them, educate ourselves, and try to understand.

Whether you agree with the purpose of the wars or not is inconsequential. The men and women of the Armed Forces have been overseas fighting to protect our country and its citizens. We should also be fighting for them.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Today's Quote

America's fighting men and women sacrifice much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as for those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield unscathed. Allen Boyd

Read more:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Todays Quote

Our differences are politics. Our agreements are principles.

William McKinley

Friday, October 14, 2011

Today's Quote

The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment. Judd Gregg

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Female Veterans Serving In Combat

Sgt. Major Yolanda Mayo is a Marine reservist who has done three tours of duty in Iraq as a public affairs officer. Even though it was a constant juggling act, she says, she's proud of her service. "You can kind of have it all — you can be a mom, you can be a wife, and you can be a Marine, a soldier, an airman, whatever you choose," she says.

More than 250,000 female soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and supporting operations since October 2001. They make up the largest group of female veterans in U.S. history. And often, these women bond with each other well after they serve.

Yolanda Mayo and Rose Noel have a friendship that is bound by combat experience, motherhood and an understanding of what it means to be a female veteran.

Mayo lives in a quiet, suburban neighborhood not far from Camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, N.C. She is a Marine reservist with many years of active duty including three tours of Iraq under her belt. Her friend, Noel, visiting from just outside Jacksonville, Fla., spent two decades in the Marines and also served in Iraq.

Mayo and Noel both joined the Marines during college in the early 1980s, when women were still required to wear the same regulation shade of red lipstick. By the time they deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Mayo says, the old rules barring women from combat didn't make sense any more.

Rose Noel holds the shrapnel that pierced her cheek and broke her jaw in Iraq in 2005, along with her angel good luck charm. Surgeons wanted to send her home after her injury, but she insisted on staying on duty.

Noel, a well-dressed, Volvo-driving mother of two, was awarded a Purple Heart after she was injured. She says sometimes people just don't believe it's hers. "I have a Purple Heart license plate, and a lot of people ask me, you know, what happened to my husband?” she says. "Society still is slow on the uptake that we're out there doing the same thing the guys are doing, which means that we're going to come home wounded."

Mayo was a public affairs officer in Iraq. In 2003, she spent weeks on a truck with Marines traveling from Kuwait to the heart of Iraq. Noel was on base in 2005 when shrapnel from a rocket pierced her cheek and broke her jaw. Surgeons wanted to send her home, but Noel — who headed a 700-member squadron — refused.

"I took away that part of the equation for people to say, 'She went home because she was a woman,'" she says. "That's something that's brought up a lot, is whether women are going to be strong enough to handle a combat situation. And I think that definitely is an important part of setting the example and the tone."

When Mayo was deployed, her husband cared for their children. Noel, who's divorced, left her sons with her mom in Michigan. She says most mothers can't relax after a deployment. "She comes right from being the Marine or the soldier or sailor to Mom, and there is no transition," Noel says.

Today, Noel says she's proud of her more than 20 years of service — and keeps a photo of the shrapnel that wounded her and the good-luck charm that got her through hard times.

"Even when deployed, you don't stop being a mom," Mayo says. "I had teachers e-mailing me with grades and telling me things that were going on."

Both Mayo and Noel say being on active duty was a constant juggling act. They have PTSD-related insomnia from years of erratic sleep schedules and combat missions. But both say they're proud of their military and personal accomplishments.

"You can kind of have it all — you can be a mom, you can be a wife, and you can be a Marine, a soldier, an airman, whatever you choose," Mayo says. "If you want to serve your country, you can do it."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Veterans

From the world wars of Europe to the jungles of the Far East, from the deserts of the Middle East to the African continent, and even here in our own hemisphere, our veterans have made the world a better place and America the great country we are today. John Hoeven

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Risk or Reward?

"We are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty;
let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out."

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919)
26th President of the United States
Address at the opening of the gubernatorial campaign, New York City, October 5, 1898

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's Quote

What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom "to" and freedom "from." Marilyn vos Savant

Friday, October 7, 2011

Today's Quote

"It is the love of country that has lighted and that keeps glowing the holy fire of patriotism." J. Horace McFarland

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Celebrating Columbus Day

In the U.S.A., we celebrate Columbus Day because his actions opened up the exploration and colonization of the Americas to European conquest and colonization. His voyage set up the chain of events that would lead to the founding of the United States of America.

Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937. However, people have celebrated Columbus's voyage since the colonial period. In 1792, New York City and other U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World.

In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the four hundredth anniversary, in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These patriotic rituals were framed around themes such as support for war, citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress.

San Francisco claims the nation's oldest continuously existing celebration with the Italian-American community's annual Columbus Day Parade, which was established in 1868 while New York City boasts the largest. is offering a 10% discount through Columbus Day. Use the coupon code “Columbus.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today's Quote

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty." ~John F. Kennedy

Stand It Now

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." -- Thomas Paine

Wave The American Flag

"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be." -- John Wayne

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Volunteer at a Veteran’s Hospital

Like all medical facilities, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics need volunteers. These volunteers are needed because many hospitalized vets have no family or friends, and they are very far from home.

Volunteers perform a wide range of duties. Some enjoy direct contact with patients, participating in recreational programs and other activities on the wards. Other volunteers assist the VA's professional staff in several ways that involve little patient contact. Your role as a volunteer at a VA medical facility can be as basic, and as important, as just being a friend to a patient in the trying days of illness and therapy.

DAV and Auxiliary VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) volunteers bring a touch home...a personal contact with the world outside the hospital walls...the feeling that patients are remembered, that they're still a part of the community.

No matter what your inclination may be, there's a volunteer role you'll enjoy. Show our country's hospitalized vets you're grateful for their sacrifices….Volunteer today!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

God Bless America Lyrics

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I'd worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I'd thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I'm proud to be and American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.