Great Falls Veterans and Central Catholic Celebrate Thanksgiving!

By Katie Tercek

GREAT FALLS- Veterans got a little head start this afternoon, November 10th on a nice home-cooked Thanksgiving meal, thanks to folks helping out over at the Grace Home.

Local groups in our community spent yesterday afternoon at Central Catholic High School preparing all the food you see so these vets could all enjoy a free turkey lunch. There were all the classic Thanksgiving food items on their menu including stuffing, cranberry sauce, and of course pumpkin pie.

“It means a lot to us to be able to serve them and to be a part of making it a special day for them,” said Mike Mettam, a volunteer for the Thanksgiving meal at the Grace Home.

Mike said this isn’t the only opportunity vets have to enjoy a nice home cooked meal. In fact, the Vet Center does a potluck every month. Although this was their first Thanksgiving type luncheon, they are hoping to keep it at a tradition for years to come.

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Veterans Day Message – 2018

 

Veterans Day Message – 2018

from

MG Paul E. Vallely. US Army (Ret.)

Chairman, Stand Up America US Foundation

On the 11th hour ofct. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson  the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect and proclaimed the day should be“filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.” At 11am, there was a brief suspension of business activities so that parades and public meetings could place.

Today, our Nation comes together to honor our veterans and commemorate the legacy of profound service and sacrifice they have upheld in pursuit of a more perfect Union. Through their steadfast defense of America’s ideals, our service members have ensured our country stands strong and that these ideals and virtues still shine throughout America. 

Nations around the world seek freedomWknow the blessings of freedom. As we offer our sincere appreciation and respect to our veterans, to their families, to those who are still in harm’s way, and to those we have laid to rest, let us dedicate ourselves to keep America strong.

Our men and women in uniform are bearers of a proud military tradition that has been dutifully passed forward—from generation to generation—for more than two centuries. In times of war and peace, our veterans have served with courage and distinction in the face of tremendous adversity, demonstrating an unfaltering commitment to America and our people. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the country they loved including our son, Scott VallelyThe selflessness of our service members is unmatched, and they remind us that there are few things more fundamentally American than doing our utmost to make a difference in the lives of others and secure our great country.

Just as our veterans stood watch and stand watch today on freedom’s frontier and along our borders, so have they safeguarded the prosperity of Americans in our neighborhoods, our businesses, and our homes. It is our moral obligation to ensure that they receive our support, despite the current gutting of our Armed Forces, for as long as they live as proud veterans of the United States Armed Forces. On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the veterans, to the fallen, and to their families. To honor their contributions to America, let us strive with renewed determination to keep the promises we have made to all who have answered our country’s call. As we fulfill our obligations to them, we keep faith with the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve the Union, and with the ideals of service and sacrifice upon which our Republic was founded.

We CALL upon every member of federal, state and local government, legislative, judicial, law enforcement and military, who have taken an oath to protect and defend the ConstitutionalRepublic from all enemies, foreign and domestic, to act upon those oaths for the stated purpose of restoring the Constitutional Republic.

We CALL upon ALL veterans and veteran organizations in America, who still believe in their oath to protect and defend, to unite with us at once – in this Declaration to maintain the Constitutional Republic.

We CALL for ALL citizens who still desire freedom and liberty, to stand with us and carry our demands to right the wrongs against our nation in the preservation of freedom, liberty, justice and the rule of law.

GOD BLESS All Of YOU AND GOD BLESS OUR NATION.

 

Veterans Day to be celebrated at MSU Billings

 

Veterans Day to be celebrated at MSU Billings

Celebrating 100 years of Armistice Day

 

Contacts:

University Relations and Communications, 657-2266

 

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.

 

For more information, contact Bill Kennedy, president and CEO of MSU Billings Foundation, 657-1622 or bill.kennedy@msubillings.edu.

 

Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival Celebration On Battleship IOWA Museum

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
  • Vintage vehicles
  • 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 development@labattleship.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.

 

Veterans and Their Dogs: The wonders of unconditional love.

 

How Dogs Can Help Veterans Overcome PTSD

New research finds that “man’s best friend” could be lifesavers for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Chris Colin

SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE

 

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.

 

Article

 

Resource Groups:

Paws of War

Link

Operation We Are Here

Link

Paws for Veterans

Link

 

 

Remembering and Honoring Our Veterans

 

 

Remembering and Honoring Our Veterans

By MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret.)

 

On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time.On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect.

In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”.

There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11:00 AM.

This day is often confused with Memorial Day because this day is celebrated differently in many other nations, here in the US it has a specific meaning for all veterans:

In the U.S., the function of Veterans Day is subtly different from that of other 11 November holidays. Unlike the situation in other countries, where that calendar date is set aside specifically for honoring those who died in action, Veterans Day honors all American veterans, whether living, dead in action, or deceased from other causes.

The official national remembrance of war dead is instead Memorial Day, originally called ‘Decoration Day’, from the practice of decorating the graves of soldiers, which originated in the years immediately following the American Civil War.

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 and all who wore the uniform in defense of America.

Let us remember and thank them for the nights they slept freezing in a tent,

Let us remember and thank them for the nights they slept freezing in a tent,

…for the grueling times 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 in Bigfork.

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.

WE salute you one and all. WE bow before you in respect and humility.

On Monday, our Nation officially comes together to honor our veterans and commemorate the legacy of profound service and sacrifice they have upheld in pursuit of a more perfect Union. Through their steadfast defense of America’s ideals, our service members have ensured our country still stands strong, our founding principles still shine, and nations around the world know the blessings of freedom.

As we offer our sincere appreciation and respect to our veterans, to their families, to those who are still in harm’s way, and to those we have laid to rest, let us rededicate ourselves to serving them as well as they have served the United States of America.

Our men and women in uniform are bearers of a proud military tradition that has been dutifully passed forward—from generation to generation—for more than two centuries.

In times of war and peace alike, our veterans have served with courage and distinction in the face of tremendous adversity, demonstrating an unfaltering commitment to America and our people.

Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the country they loved. The selflessness of our service members is unmatched, and they remind us that there are few things more fundamentally American than doing our utmost to make a difference in the lives of others.

Just as our veterans stood watch on freedom’s frontier, so have they safeguarded the pros­perity of our Nation in our neighborhoods, our businesses, and our homes.

It is our moral obligation to ensure they receive our support for as long as they live as proud veterans of the United States Armed Forces. On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to our veterans, to the fallen, and to their families.

To honor their contributions to our Nation, let us strive with renewed determination to keep the promises we have made to all who have answered our country’s call. As we fulfill our obligations to them, we keep faith with the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve our Union, and with the ideals of service and sacrifice upon which our Republic was founded.