Memorial Day Message from MG Paul Vallely U.S. Army (ret.)

 

Memorial Day

 A Time To Remember Our Heroes

 By

 Paul E. Vallely

MG, US Army (ret)

 

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.

 

 

 

Dallas Officer Down! A Veteran Dies. July 16, 2016

July 13, 2016

 

HEADLINES

 

Dallas Officer Down!  A Veteran Dies

 

Veterans Served Roaches for Dinner

 

Kid Burns American Flag

 

LEE GREENWOOD – IMPROMPTU PERFORMANCE

 

Coming Home

 

John Wayne – American

 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier — A Quiz

 

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Officer Patrick Zamarripa, left.  DALLAS FAMILY PHOTO VIA WASHINGTON POST

 

 OFFICER DOWN!  A VETERAN DIES

 

DALLAS – Dallas police officer, Patrick Zamarripa, 32, had survived three tours in Iraq, one of the world’s most dangerous places, his father, Rich Zamarripa, said on Friday.  And then this. Zamarripa’s father said that Patrick’s entire adult life had been devoted to service. He entered the Navy soon after high school and saw combat during his time in Iraq.  When he returned home, five years ago, he joined the Dallas Police Department.  He just liked to help people, his father said.  Zamarripa is survived by his wife, Kristy Villasenor and their two year old daughter, Lyncoln.  John Woodrow Cox/The Washington Post

 

 

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AMERICANMILITARYNEWS.COM

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CHICAGO VETERANS SERVED ROACHES

Chicago – Chicago’s Hines VA Hospital has become so infested with cockroaches that the bugs have worked their way into the meals of veterans receiving treatment. The VA is denying there is a problem despite testimony from dozens of employees and patients.  Kelvin Gilkey, a dietetic technician for the VA states that the problem has been going on for years. According to Gilkey, some patients have become so repulsed that they have refused to eat for days on end.  Gilroy told reporters of a time when a 20 year old veteran discovered live roaches on his tray:  “I apologized and said I would provide him with a special tray, but he refused to eat.  He went hungry for a couple of days until I convinced him to eat.  He even refused to come out of his room and socialize with anyone.  I told him I would take care of him.”

Dietary employees at the hospital have claimed that the infestation has become so severe that cockroaches will crawl across preparation tables while workers are preparing the meals.  Several kitchen employees have refused to come to work in protest of the unsanitary conditions.  As a result, the facility has become severely understaffed, losing over 25 workers in the course of a few weeks.

A spokesperson for the hospital claims that exterminators have been called to the hospital six times a month for the past six months.  Employees claim that the constant chemical spraying is ineffective and that there are likely millions of the bugs hidden somewhere in the infrastructure of the building.  americanmilitarynews.com

 

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AMERICAN MILITARY NEWS/FACEBOOK PAGE

 

KID BURNS AMERICAN FLAG, SAYS ARREST ME!

 

URBANA, ILLINOIS – A 22-year-old man from Urbana, IL posted pictures of himself burning an American flag on his Facebook profile accompanied by the hashtag #arrestme. Local police obliged his request and promptly arrested the man, Bryton Mellott, for violating Section 49-1 of Illinois state law that declares flag desecration as a class IV felony.  The charges were later dropped because it was found that the lower court’s ruling infringes on the Supreme Court’s ruling that flag burning is protected as free speech.

Mellow first posted the photos on July 3, 2016 along with a post descrying why he is “not proud to be an American.” Melon’s post went viral and was shared thousands of times before it was removed.  “I am not proud to be an American.”  In this moment, being proud of my country is to ignore the atrocities committed against people of color, people living in poverty, people who identify as women and against my own queer community on a daily basis.  I am overwhelmingly ashamed and I will demonstrate my feelings accordingly.”

Mellott has enraged the internet and sparked a fierce debate over whether or not flag burning should be protected by the First Amendment. americanmilitarynews.com

LEE GREENWOOD IMPROMPTU PERFORMANCE

Patriotism Never Sounded So Sweet

 

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www.hallels.com

 

 

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!  

 

Coming Home

 

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GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

 

JOHN WAYNE’S QUOTES

ABOUT BEING AN AMERICAN

“You’ve got the strongest hand in the world.  That’s right. Your hand.  The hand that marks the ballot. The hand that marks the voting ballot.  Use it.”

“I think government is a necessary evil, like say, motion picture agents.”

“It’s kind of a sad thing when a normal love of country makes you a super patriot.  I do think we have a pretty wonderful country, and I thank God that He chose me to live here.”

The Daily Caller

 

  TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

A QUIZ

 

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Questions

(answers below)

  1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns, and why?
  2. How long does the guard hesitate after the about face to begin the return walk, and why?
  3. Why are the guard’s gloves wet?
  4. Does the guard carry the rifle on the same shoulder all the time?  If not, why?
  5. How often are the guards changed?
  6. What are the required physical traits of a guard?

 

Answers

  1.  21 steps.  This alludes to the 21 gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
  2. 21 seconds, for the same reason as number 1.
  3. The gloves are moistened to prevent losing the grip on the rifle.
  4. The rifle is carried on the shoulder away from the tomb. After the march across the path, the guard executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.
  5. Guards are changed every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  They stand 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, 96 hours off.
  6. For a guard to apply for duty at the tomb, they must be between 5’10” and 6’2″ tall and waist size cannot exceed 30′.

The guard must commit to two years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink alcohol while on duty.

The guard may not disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.  After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel, signifying that they served as a guard of the tomb.  There are only about 600 presently being worn.

The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their life, or forfeit the pin.

All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.  A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting their uniforms ready for duty.

Copied from Facebook Page/Nancy Dutcher of Chesapeake, VA

 

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Facebook Photo/The Veterans Site

 

 

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Happy Fourth Of July America! July 4, 2016

Editor’s Note: On behalf of MG Paul Vallely U.S. Army (ret.) and Muffin Vallely and the staff at 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.

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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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debscott.com

 

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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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snowmobile forum.com

 

 

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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www.franklincountyvapatriots.com

A C-130 carrying home a fallen angel.

 

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picphotos.net

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