MSU BILLINGS NEWS— Sunday, Nov. 11 will mark 100 years since Armistice Day, and Montana State University Billings ispleased to announce this year’s commemoration activities, held in conjunction with the Friends of Yellowstone National Cemetery Board.
Music by Lockwood Band and acapella group Treasure State Sound will begin at 9:30 a.m. to greet guests as they find their seats in Petro Theater for the Veteran’s Day Celebration.
Master of Ceremonies Ed McIntosh of KTVQ will open the ceremony at 10 a.m. followed by a welcome from MSU Billings Chancellor Dan Edelman. A presentation of the colors, National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and opening prayer will follow.
After the recognition of special guests including Yellowstone County Commissioner Denis Pitman and Billings Mayor Bill Cole, the keynote speakers will take the stage. Major General Joe Raffiani (Ret.) and Chief Executive Officer; 13th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens (Ret.) will speak about their experiences and highlight the importance of 100 years since Armistice Day.
During the ceremony, MSU Billings will also commemorate its designation as a Purple Heart University.
Following the ceremony, there will be a Ringing of the Bell by a WWII veteran at 11 a.m. outside Petro Hall. Volley, Taps and Echo will be performed by VFW post 6774, a retired Air Force Colonel, and a MSUB student. Special government and military guests will be on hand to make remarks and greet guests.
The ceremony will then move over to the College of Education for the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for MSU Billings new Military and Veterans Success Center.
Guests are encouraged to join MSUB for a lunch reception starting at 12 p.m. in the Glacier Room in the Student Union Building.
This event is sponsored by Friends of the Yellowstone National Cemetery Board, MSU Billings Foundation, MasterLube, and Montana State University Billings.
Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival Celebration On Battleship IOWA Museum
Battleship IOWA Museum has become the Southern California destination to celebrate our people in uniform. On Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2018, the “Battleship of Presidents,” coinciding with the one-hundred-year anniversary of the end of World War I, will honor vets with the Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival.
The Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival Celebration on Battleship IOWA Museum in Partnership with Black Knight Patrol and Bob Hope USO, offers free admission to Active, Retired and Reserve Military. The family-friendly day will include a variety of fun experiences for everyone to enjoy, including but not limited to:
Live bands and DJ
Free food sponsored by Black Knight Patrol
Sailor’s Bar sponsored by West Coast Beverage
5″ gun salute at 11-11 to mark the 100thanniversary of the end of World War I (Active battle ended at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918). Sponsored by American Legion.
“We are a museum and a destination because of the heroic acts of those who volunteer to protect our freedoms and liberties,” says Battleship IOWA Museum’s President and CEO, Jonathan Williams. “Everything we do to preserve the history and missions of this vessel honors the veterans who continue to serve our country. It is our honor to support and celebrate them.”
Battleship IOWA Museum’s 2018 capital campaign is currently in progress to raise funds for the museum’s current operations and future growth as a National Museum. Everyone who donates
$500 or more to the campaign will be invited to attend an exclusive Admiral’s Reception on Veterans Day (November 11th) in the historic Wardroom aboard the Battleship IOWA. The reception to be hosted by Pacific Battleship Center’s Chairman of the Board, Rear Admiral Mike Shatynski, USN (ret.). To donate, please visit the website at www.pacificbattleship.com/donate or email email@example.com.
Admission to the museum and exhibits are free for all active, retired and reserve military with valid ID. The Battleship IOWA Museum ticket office opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and the last tour ticket sold at 4:00 p.m. Tickets purchased at the box office are $19.95 for ages 12 – 61. Youth tickets (age 2 – 11) are $11.95. Senior admission (62 and over) are $9.95. Children under 2 are free.
Please visit Battleship IOWA’s new mobile-friendly website. We encourage social media followers to use our Facebookand Instagram outlets to learn more about museum curatorial updates and events. The phone number is 877-4-IOWA-61 (877-446-9261) or 310-971-4462.
About Battleship IOWA Museum:
Named as one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 5 Museums” out of 133 in Los Angeles, Battleship IOWA now serves as a historic naval ship institution. Forged in war, guardian of peace, the proud ship keeps watch as the proud sentinel of the LA Waterfront. IOWA’s teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of history: three U.S. Presidents, six of the nine American five-star military leaders, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly, thousands of her own heroic sailors. Visitors are awed by IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans. Battleship IOWA is open to the public daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours are 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with the last ticket sale at 4:00 p.m. Battleship IOWA anchors at 250 South Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA, 90731, at The Los Angeles Waterfront. Please visit our website for additional information about special events, group tours, educational programs, and Naval retirement flag service.
Editor’s Note: On behalf of Paul and Muffin Vallely and the staff at the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund, we wish you and all your family and friends a Happy Fourth of July as you all celebrate the creation of the greatest Republic in the history of mankind.
We pause this day in America to remember our fallen heroes, the men and women who answered the call of freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Let us remember and thank them for the nights they slept freezing in a tent or sweating in the desert, for the lonely days they spent fighting boredom and missing loved ones, for the hours they spent sick in pain from battle and without someone holding their hand other than their fellow soldiers, for the moments of sheer fright in the heat of battle, for the wounds suffered fighting evil, for the endless days in hospitals undergoing painful surgeries, for the precious occasions missed at home with family and friends.
For all of these sacrifices, we need to thank them on behalf of millions of Americans who are so grateful. We truly appreciate their dedication to duty. A special thank you to all families and friends, to the parents who raised them, stood by them and made them honorable men and woman.
We thank the wives, husbands, and loved ones who stood by them and supported them with their love. May their legacy be honored for generations to come, may the tears shed over their coffins fertilize the fields of patriotism in our nation. The new generations to come must be built on strength, duty, honor and country, willing and able to follow in their Warrior footsteps when duty calls to defend America. May their blood not have been shed in vain. May we prove worthy of their sacrifice.
You who have served and are serving as our brave ones, our heroes, are our national treasures. You are the pride of our nation, our strength and our foundation. Thanks to you, millions have been freed around the world. Those who criticize our country, burn our precious flag, and speak ill of you, are able to do so because their freedom is built upon your blood and your sacrifice.
Our son speaks from his resting place below our feet. He speaks to me each day from his hallowed space with beautiful skies and mountains majestic white with snow. God bless his soul and the others buried here and I thank him for his wonderful contribution to our life. He lives forever in our hearts. I fear no evil when I walk with Warriors. We walk in the valley of death but we fear no evil. We are the Masters of our Destiny and the Captain of our souls. You are the wind beneath my wings. I fly with you forever in eternity.
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began as a tradition of decorating the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers with flags and flowers to show the respect of a grateful nation for their service and sacrifice. This tradition continues today, and our nation now sets aside the last Monday in May to celebrate the courage of the men and women who have worn America’s colors in war and in peace.
I remember as a young man remembering Memorial Day that in the morning there was a parade down Main Street, led by a color guard, the high school band, and ranks of veterans from World War I, World War II, and the war of the moment, Korea. The Veterans of Foreign Wars sold red poppies to raise funds for the disabled. Politicians made speeches and citizens prayed in public. It was a solemn annual event that taught us reverence for those who served and sacrificed for our country. It’s no longer so in many places in America, especially in our large urban areas.
Begun as a local observance in the aftermath of the Civil War, the first national commemoration took place on May 30, 1868, at the direction of General John A. Logan, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. Though his “General Order No. 11” specified “strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion” – meaning only Union soldiers – those who tended the burial sites at Arlington, VA, Gettysburg, PA and Vicksburg, MS, decided on their own to decorate the graves of both Union and Confederate war dead.
For five decades the holiday remained essentially unchanged. But in 1919, as the bodies of young Americans were being returned to the U.S. from the battlefields of World War I, May 30th became a truly national event. It persisted as such until 1971, during Vietnam – the war America wanted to forget – when the Uniform Holiday Act passed by Congress went into effect, and turned Memorial Day into a “three-day weekend.” Since then, it’s become an occasion for appliance, mattress and auto sales, picnics, barbecues and auto races. Thankfully, there are some places besides Arlington National Cemetery like Bigfork, Montana where Memorial Day is still observed as a time to honor America’s war dead.
This Memorial Day we remember those who have served our nation in the past and those who currently serve America today. Although Memorial Day comes only once a year, we must make sure that our service members know how grateful we are every day. It recognizes the sacrifices made by our courageous men and women who have fallen in defense of our nation’s liberty. This Memorial Day, please take a moment to remember and honor America’s fallen and current day warriors who are advancing freedom’s cause today. WE salute you one and all. WE bow before you in respect and humility. May God bless you and God bless America, land of the free and home of the brave.
On this Memorial Day, Stand Up America US Foundation and the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund wishes to thank Dr. Raymond Tanter, a strong defender of human rights and freedom, for his generous donation to SUAUSF in honor of Scott Vallely and General Ed Rowney.
Cadet Camille Renee Ford receives The Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund award from LTC Chad Carlson, Professor of Military Science in Missoula, MT March 2018.
Teaching the Leaders of Tomorrow
ROTC at the University of Montana has a long tradition of producing exceptional leaders for the United States Army, The United States Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. The ROTC program has been housed in Schreiber Gym since 1926 and has been the home for a long and distinguished line of Cadre. Our goal is to produce ROTC graduates who are leaders, thinkers, and decision-makers. They meet problems head-on and solve them quickly. They know how to adapt to rapidly changing situations and to take charge, traits sought after in a military career and by civilian employers.
New research finds that “man’s best friend” could be lifesavers for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
By Chris Colin
Robert Soliz, a 31-year-old former Army Specialist, participates in Paws for Purple Hearts, one of four experimental programs nationwide that pair veterans afflicted by PTSD with Labrador and golden retrievers. (Joseph Matthews, Veterans Affairs Photo)
“I would constantly be scanning for who was going to come stab me from behind,” says Robert Soliz, a 31-year-old former Army Specialist from San Joaquin, California. He was discharged in 2005 after serving in a heavy artillery quick-reaction force in South Baghdad. But fear, anxiety, depression and substance abuse swept into his life, and Soliz became one of 300,000 U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Isolated, his family deteriorating—“I couldn’t show affection, couldn’t hug my kids”—Soliz turned to the Palo Alto V.A. Medical Center. One recent morning, he talked about his progress. Hanging from his belt was a container of doggie treats, a link to the treatment he credits with saving his life. Soliz participates in Paws for Purple Hearts, one of four experimental programs nationwide that pair veterans afflicted by PTSD with Labrador and golden retrievers. Launched in 2008 by a social worker named Rick Yount, the program arranges for a veteran to spend six weeks with a dog, training it to be a mobility-assistance animal for a physically disabled veteran.
It’s no surprise that a doe-eyed creature like the one at Soliz’s feet can soothe, but other benefits are less predictable. The animals draw out even the most isolated personality, and having to praise the animals helps traumatized veterans overcome emotional numbness. Teaching the dogs service commands develops a patient’s ability to communicate, to be assertive but not aggressive, a distinction some struggle with. The dogs can also assuage the hypervigilance common in vets with PTSD. Some participants report they finally got some sleep knowing that a naturally alert soul was standing watch.
Researchers are accumulating evidence that bonding with dogs has biological effects, such as elevated levels of the hormone oxytocin. “Oxytocin improves trust, the ability to interpret facial expressions, the overcoming of paranoia and other pro-social effects—the opposite of PTSD symptoms,” says Meg Daley Olmert of Baltimore, who works for a program called Warrior Canine Connection.
About 300 vets have participated in these programs, and some graduates who Yount worried “wouldn’t make it” report impressive strides. Congress has commissioned a study, underway in Florida, to assess the effectiveness of canine-caretaking on PTSD.
Soliz says his life is slowly coming back to him. He now can go to the movies without panicking—and hug and kiss his two kids.
Welcome to the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund . The fund was founded as a memorial to PFC Scott Vallely, son of Major General Paul Vallely and Muffin Vallely. Unlike other veteran funds, 90% of every dollar goes to other veterans in need.