Let Freedom Ring! June 29, 2016

HEADLINES

 

Let Freedom Ring!

 

Marine Vet Saved Lives in Orlando

 

Houston VA Doctored Appointment Data

Special Report from Bret Baier/Fox News

 

Vietnam War Vet to Receive Medal of Honor

 

Toby Keith – American Soldier Music Video

Freedom Don’t Come Free

 

Independence Day

 

McConaughey on America

 

 

Coming Home

Angel Flight

 

A Time For Choosing

 

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PHOTO:  KRISTIO1C

 

Independence Day

 

Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental  Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.  The congress voted to approve a resolution of independence on July 2, but after much debate and revisions of the wording, the congress approved it on July 4.  He missed it by two days, but on July 1 John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail:

“The second day of July will be the most memorable epoch in American history.  I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”  wikipedia

 

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Sweet land of liberty…let freedom ring!

 

 

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Photo:  Imran Yousuf/Marine Times

 

Marine Vet Saved Lives in Orlando

 

Orlando – A Marine veteran is being hailed as a hero after helping dozens of people escape during the terror attack at an Orlando nightclub.  Imran Yousuf, who served in Afghanistan, was working as a bouncer at the Pulse nightclub when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire.  Yousuf immediately recognized the sound of a high caliber weapon and his training kicked in. “Everyone froze.  I’m here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway, and they just sardine packed everyone,” Yousuf told CBS News.  He knew that just beyond the packed crowd was a door to safety.  “There was only one choice, all stay there and we die, or I could take the chance, and so I jumped over to open that latch and we got everyone that we can out of there.”  He estimated that 60 to 70 people were able to escape.  “I wish I could have saved more,” he said. Yousuf’s military awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Korean Defense Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.   Fox News Insider, The Independent, Marine Times

 

Houston VA Doctored Patient Appointment Data

 

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The Center has an annual budget of $912M and cares for more than 109,000 vets.  HoustonVA.gov

 

HOUSTON – Employees at Houston-area Department of Veteran Affairs facilities manipulated scheduling data for hundreds of medical appointments, understating patient wait times by days or even months, according to an agency watchdog.  Investigators with the VA’s Office of Inspector General concluded that two former scheduling supervisors and the current director of two Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Houston had instructed staff to record appointment changes as if the patient had canceled, even when the VA initiated the changes, according to a released report.  The report’s revelations incensed legislators and veterans advocates, including local veterans who have complained about difficulties getting treatment in the Houston facilities.  “You’re impacting the lives of heroes, that’s the thing that’s just sickening,” charged Cody McGregor, National Outreach Director of Concerned Veterans for America and an outspoken critic of the VA.  Local VA officials acknowledged the shortcomings found in the report, but said that no veterans were harmed.  “The majority were seen within 30-40 days, very few had a longer wait time,” said Anna Teague, Associate Chief of Staff of Ambulatory Care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.  “It was just errors.”  chron.com

 

Vets may have to settle for seeing a nurse under new VA plan. Click here to see a Special Report from Bret Baier at Fox News.

 

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Photo:  Associated Press

 

  Vietnam War Vet to Receive Medal of Honor

 

WASHINGTON – Some five decades after he led a platoon credited with rescuing dozens of soldiers pinned down by enemy fire, a Vietnam War Veteran will be awarded the nation’s highest military honor for valor, the White House announced.  In May 1967, Army Maj. Charles Kettles led several helicopter trips to help evacuate wounded soldiers near the district of Doc Pho.  He returned to the landing zone without additional aerial support to rescue stranded soldiers pinned down by enemy fire.  Kettles helped save the lives of 40 soldiers. The ceremony is the culmination of an effort that began in 2012.  William Vollano of the Veterans History Project launched the campaign. Lawmakers got involved and several men from his company, the 101st Airborne Division, sent letters.  “Kettles personifies the Army’s ‘Warrior Ethos’ – never leave any soldier behind,” said Secretary of the Army Eric K. Fanning.  Kettles retired from the Army in 1978 as a lieutenant colonel.  He resides in Ypsilanti, MI with his wife, Ann.  Associated Press, Fox News

 

  American Soldier

 

 

  FREEDOM DON’T COME FREE

 

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Soldiers from the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division patrol in central Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005. Some Iraqis sympathized with U.S. forces on Wednesday after hearing the American death toll in the Iraq war had reached 2,000, but others noted that many more Iraqis had died in the conflict and said they hope the U.S. "occupiers" will soon go home. (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)
 (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)

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Soldiers Memorial Fund

The purpose of SMF is to memorialize PFC Scott Vallely and his service to our country – to carry on his name by individuals making contributions and donations to Veterans, Members of the Armed Forces and their families.  We are a 501 (c)(3) tax deductible organization

 

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Donate here

 

Over 90% Goes Directly to Vets!  

 

McConaughey on America

 

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Photo:  Elsa/Getty Images

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Photo : aceshowbiz.com

 

During a recent interview about his latest film “Free State of Jones,” which focuses on the Civil War, the 46-year-old actor said he is optimistic about the country’s future.  “America turns the page and evolves quicker than most places historically,” McConaughey said.  “In that way I’m inspired and it makes me happy to be, and honored, to be an American. I’m not saying everything is just as it should be, but our ambition and our diligence to march forward for change, to test it out, to not give in to every new idea…where do we hang onto tradition, and where do we progress with new ideas, and ones that will hopefully stand the test of time?”  The Daily Caller

 

Coming Home

Angel Flight

 

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A C-130 carrying home a fallen angel.

 

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Land of the free, because of the brave.  

God bless our serving soldiers and our veterans!

 

A Time For Choosing

 

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U.S. Armed Forces, We Must Fight

A video message from President Ronald Reagan

 

 

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Donate here

 

Over 90% of donations go directly to veterans!

 

Soldiers Memorial Fund

PO Box 1596

Bigfork, MT  59911

 

Associated with the National America Supports You program

 

SMF Archives

 

 

Soldiers Memorial Fund Website

 

 

Visit Stand Up America

 

 

Stand Up America US | P.O. Box 1596, Bigfork, MT 59911

 

In God We Must! A powerful message from President Reagan June 15, 2016

June 15, 2016

 

HEADLINES

 

In God We Must!

A powerful message from President Reagan

 

Amputee Vet Shoots Himself, Ignored by VA Crisis Hotline

 

A Final Salute

 

Hungry Heroes

 

Wife Finds Disabled Vet Husband in Tears

 

June is PTSD Awareness Month

 

Coming Home 

 

“Taps” – America’s Song of Remembrance 

 

Editor – Sharon DiLorenzo

 

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IN GOD WE MUST!

A powerful message from President Ronald Reagan

 

 

Quadruple Amputee Veteran Shoots Himself After Being Ignored by VA Crisis Hotline

 

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Nicely shown with Gary Sinise/U.S. News

 

The VA has failed our veterans so much that even their crisis hotline is doing nothing to save them as they commit suicide at a rate of 22 a day.  Tragically, quadruple amputee, Tod Nicely, nearly became another statistic when he recently attempted suicide by firearm after the VA crisis hotline ignored his pleas for help.  Nicely shot himself after being told by the hotline support to call back when be becomes “less irate.”  The veteran survived the suicide attempt and now says that life is good.  He lives in a customized home that suits his needs, built by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Time Magazine, myfreshnews.com, U.S. News

 

  A Final Salute

 

Fredericksburg, VA–At first just a  handful of people planned to attend her funeral.  Then word spread on social media about the formerly homeless veteran who never married or had children and twenty minutes before the ceremony at the cemetery, a caravan of cars created a traffic jam. Serina Vine, who worked in radio intelligence for the US Navy and who died May 21, 2016, had no known living relatives and spent the last 20 years of her life at the VA’s 120-bed Community Living Center in Washington, DC.  She was 91 years old when she died and was homeless before coming to the VA facility.

 

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Dave Ellis/The Freelance-Star

Army Maj. Jaspen Boothe, president for the non-profit Final Salute, Inc., kisses Serina Vine’s casket after the Quantico National Cemetery service.  Boothe never met the WWII vet, but felt compelled to honor her since both were once homeless veterans.  JB Branscome, The Freelance-Star

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New York Daily News

 

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                                                      Over 90% Goes Directly to Vets!  

 

Donate here

 

Soldiers Memorial Fund

The purpose of SMF is to memorialize PFC Scott Vallely and his service to our country – to carry on his name by individuals making contributions and donations to Veterans, Members of the Armed Forces and their families.  We are a 501 (c)(3) tax deductible organization.

 

Hungry Heroes

 

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Twenty-five percent of the nation’s total active duty and reserve personnel are seeking food pantries and other charitable programs according to an inquiry conducted by Feeding America, a hunger relief charity. The help is sought for various reasons, experts say.  For active duty, pressures include low pay and poor financial planning by junior soldiers, the difficulty of spouses to hold steady jobs due to base transfers and deployments, and the cost of living when a military family must go “on the economy,” a situation created when base housing is not available.  For veterans, the triggers are the transition to the civilian world and trying to live off low disability pay or retirement.  NBC News

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A military family volunteers at the Jewish Family Service food distribution center for military families in San Diego. NBC News Photo

Wife Finds Disabled Vet Husband in Tears

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Brittany Lynn Garrett Photo

Former combat engineer, Christopher Garrett, a US Army Specialist who had deployed to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division, earned a medical retirement and a 100 percent disability rating after being shot in the gut. Despite his disability and the persistent nagging pain, the veteran did his best to maintain his home, including mowing the yard with an old-fashioned push mower.  Garrett’s wife, Brittany, found him outside crying, and after determining that nothing was wrong with her husband, was blown away by what was right…an anonymous neighbor had witnessed Garrett struggling with the old push mower and decided to bless him with with a brand new John Deere riding lawn mower.  The Conservative Tribune

June is PTSD Awareness Month

 

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US Department of Veterans Affairs

In June of 2010, Congress named June 27 PTSD Awareness Day.  In 2014, the Senate designated the full month of June for National PTSD Awareness. After a traumatic event, most people have painful memories.  For many, the effects of the event fade over time, but for others, the memories, thoughts and feelings do not go away–even years after the event.  Mental health experts do not know why some develop PTSD and others do not.  If stress reactions do not improve over time, they disrupt everyday life and it is important to seek help.  ptsd.va.gov

Coming Home

 

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awakenings2012.blogspot.com

 

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maxresdefault.jpg/www.youtube.com

 

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www.fyi.org

 

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AP Photo

 

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Day is Done

“Taps”

American’s Song of Remembrance

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US Army Photo

 

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Composed by Major General Daniel Butterfield

Army of the Potomac, Civil War

Fading light dims the sight,

And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.

From afar drawing nigh – Falls the night.

 

Day is done, gone the sun,

From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.

All is well, safely rest – God is nigh.

 

Then good night, peaceful night,

Til the light of the dawn shineth bright.

God is near, do not fear – Friend good night.

 

 

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Over 90% of donations go directly to veterans!

 

Donate here

 

 

Soldiers Memorial Fund
PO Box 1596
Bigfork, MT  59911

Associated with the National America Supports You program

 

SMF Archives

 

Soldiers Memorial Fund Website

 

Visit Stand Up America Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SVSMF Family: “Papa Fred” Best Documentary Awarded To Carlos Lenz June 15, 2016

SLHS Filmmaker Wins Two Top Honors at VHSL Film Festival

by Karen Goff

South Lakes High School senior Carlos Lenz won two top awards at last week’s second annual Virginia High School League (VHSL) Film Festival.

Lenz won Best Documentary chosen by the Grand Jury for his six-minute film, Papa Fred, which follows Lenz’s grandfather, Fred Gedrich, a runner who has completed hundreds of races, as he faces cancer treatment.

“What’s remarkable to me is he never lost his passion for running, or his spirit, despite being diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma/leukemia just a few months earlier,” Lenz narrates in the film.

Gedrich ran everyday for 32 years. Watch the short film (above) to see what happened when cancer broke his streak.

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“It was like a combination of me looking for an idea and my grandfather recently being diagnosed with leukemia,” says Lenz. “He wanted to have his story kind of told. … It was an interesting task to undertake and very challenging. I believe everything worked out as a result.”

Lenz has acted in plays at SLHS, but says his real passion is film. He has taught himself the basics of filmmaking and has been making movies since he was young, he said. He will study film at George Mason University next year.

Lenz also won the top honor in the Best Commercial-Public Service Announcement chosen by the Grand Jury for Be the Difference, about suicide prevention.

Other winners from Fairfax County Public Schools included  Shaun Saleih and Sam Sikora of Robinson Secondary School, Audience Choice Documentary for Ram Pride, and Shank Rai of Annandale High School, Audience Choice Commercial-Public Service Announcement for McDonald’s All Day Breakfast.

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Editor’s Note: Carlos Lenz and his grandfather, Fred Gedrich are members of the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund and Stand Up America family.

Memorial Day May 30, 2016

HEADLINES

 

There is a Difference

A History Lesson

 

Soaring Valor!

Memorial Day Crosses Removed

 

 

Coming Home

 

Marine Sings God Bless America

Chick-fil-A Honors Veterans

A Prayer for Our Soldiers

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Know Your History

 

Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May 1,1865 in Charleston, South Carolina to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp.  The bodies were dug up and the former slaves worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom.  Then a parade of 10,000 people, led by 2,800 Black children, marched, sang and celebrated.   Abstrakt Goldsmith/The Blue Street Journal

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Soldiers Memorial Fund

The purpose of SMF is to memorialize PFC Scott Vallely and his service to our country – to carry on his name by individuals making contributions and donations to Veterans, Members of the Armed Forces and their families.  We are a 501 (c)(3) tax deductible organization.

      Over 90% Goes Directly to Vets!  

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Please donate here

 

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                                                        Soaring Valor with Gary Sinise

                                                      A Tribute to Our WWII Veterans

 

 

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Conservative Firing Line Photo

Memorial Day Crosses Removed After Complaint

A Memorial Day display featuring crosses to honor fallen soldiers was removed from public property in Georgia after someone questioned whether the soldiers were all Christian.  The 79 white, handmade crosses posted on public property along state Highway 92 in Hiram, Georgia were meant to represent the 79 Paulding County residents who died in America’s wars, according to town officials.  When someone called Hiram City Hall and questioned the display, the crosses were abruptly taken down.  “It was never about religion,” said Hiram’s mayor, “It was just to honor them.”   FoxNews.com

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The Empire State Building will remain lit in the colors of red, white, and blue until Monday in honor of Memorial Day.  Fox News

 

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Coming Home

 

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Getty Image

Marine Leaves 30,000 people speechless with this rendition of God Bless America

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Dan Clark/Fox Photo

Chick-fil-A Honors Veterans

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Chick-fil-A @ Old Denton Rd in Carrollton, TX

“This table is reserved to honor our missing comrade in arms.  The tablecloth is white–symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call of duty. The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers.  The vase is tied with yellow ribbon, a symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.  A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.  A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate.  The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.  The glass is inverted–to symbolize their inability to share this evening’s toast.  The chair is empty–they are missing.”

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Soldiers Memorial Fund

Over 90% Goes Directly to Vets!  

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Please donate here

 

Soldiers Memorial Fund

PO Box 1596

Bigfork, MT  59911

 

Associated with the National America Supports You program

 

SMF Archives

Soldiers Memorial Fund Website

Visit Stand Up America Website

Stand Up America US | P.O. Box 1596, Bigfork, 59911

 

 

Dying Vietnam vet asks for final meeting with beloved horses outside hospital May 25, 2016

From Fox News:

Dying Vietnam vet asks for final meeting with beloved horses outside hospital

Published May 23, 2016

FoxNews.com

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Vietnam veteran Roberto Gonzalez’s final wish was granted Saturday when he was reunited with his beloved horses — Ringo and Sugar — outside of a Texas VA hospital.

Gonzalez, of Premont, Texas, who was shot and paralyzed during the war, was wheeled outside the front doors of Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio where he was greeted by the horses he had raised for decades, mySA.com reported.

Gonzalez, who was one of the hospital’s first patients when it opened in 1974, had asked his family to see his horses one last time. The family passed along the request to hospital staff who gladly obliged. Ringo and Sugar then made the 150-mile trip to the hospital to see him.

“Horses are his life,” his wife, Rosario Gonzalez, told KABB. “We’ve been training and raising horses for 30, 40 years.”

The South Texas Veterans Health Care System posted a photo of the meeting on its Facebook page on Sunday, calling Gonzalez a great American and identifying him as one of the first patients at the hospital.

“A heartfelt Thank you, to all at Audie L. Murphy V A Hospital,” Rosario Gonzalez posted in response. “A special thank you to the spinal cord staff, all of you became a part of our family.

“The care you have been giving my husband and to me goes above and beyond,” she wrote. “You are our angels God Bless you all.”

Gonzalez reportedly learned that his kidneys and liver were failing when he recently visited the hospital for a back wound.

“He never let his injuries slow him down. He loved horses, he loved cattle, he loved ranching and farming. He was proud to serve his country,” Rosario Gonzalez told ABC affiliate KSAT.

Gonzalez’s May 21 visit with the horses came 46 years to the day after he was wounded in Vietnam. His wife told local media stations that her husband was one of the only licensed, handicapped horse trainers in Texas.

“When the horse came up to him he actually opened his eyes. They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him,” Gonzalez told News4SA.com.

See article here

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From CNN:

Watch Video here

Armed Forces Day Tribute May 21, 2016

The Soldiers Memorial Fund gives thanks to the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families for their service to the United States of America and preserving and protecting our Constitution and our American way of life. May God bless you and keep you safe. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Always.

 

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