May 26th, 2014

Memorial Day — Honor the Fallen

Today is Memorial Day, the date we honor those service men and women who have given their lives in defense of their country and freedom. Take time today to honor our fallen heroes. Our world would be a far different place without their sacrifices.

“Last Rites” (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives).

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Arlington National Cemetery

The top photo shows U.S. Navy Chaplain, LCDR Joseph O’Callahan administering last rites to an injured crewman aboard the USS Franklin (CV-13) after the ship was struck by by two armor-piercing bombs from a Japanese dive bomber on March 19, 1945. Chaplain O’Callahan received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions onboard.

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November 11th, 2011

Honor All Our Veterans Today…

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, bugle calls signaled the ‘cease fire’ ending the First World War. (The official Armistice was signed earlier that morning.) To those who endured it, WWI was the “Great War”, “the War to End All Wars.” Tragically, an even greater conflict consumed the world just two decades later.

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Today, 93 years after the end of WWI, Americans mark the anniversary of the WWI Armistice as “Veterans Day”. In Canada it is known as Remembrance Day. On this solemn occasion we honor all those who have served in the military in times of war and peace. While more WWII veterans pass away each year, there are still over 23 million veterans in the United States. Take time today to honor those soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have served their nation with pride. Today we remember that… “All gave some, and some gave all.”

Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake asked Americans to recognize the nation’s 23.4 million living veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy: “While our foremost thoughts are with those in distant war zones today, Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay their respects to all who answered the nation’s call to military service.” Major Veterans Day observances are scheduled at more than 50 sites in 29 states.

On Veterans Day we especially need to remember the seriously wounded combat veterans. These men and women summon great courage every day to overcome the lasting injuries they suffered in battle. CLICK HERE for inspirational profiles of wounded vets who, through courage and determination, have learned to adapt to their disabilities. Some of these soldiers have lost limbs, yet volunteered to return to combat duty. That is dedication beyond measure.

National Veterans Day Ceremony
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. Major regional ceremonies are also held throughout the country. CLICK HERE for list of regional Veterans’ Day events.

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July 4th, 2009

Remember Those Who Defend Our Freedoms

On this Independence Day, as we enjoy the picnics, the gatherings of friends and family, and the fireworks displays, it is important to remember that there would be no nation, no American Republic, but for the sacrifices of citizen soldiers over the past 233 years.

This nation earned its independence through a lengthy, often desperate struggle against a powerful empire. We have survived as a free country, through our willingness, as a people, to fight for those freedoms when they have been threatened.

We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have served in the military. Today, we urge all our readers to honor the men and women of our armed services — those who serve today, and those who have served in the past. Remember there are men and women standing watch every night and every day … so that all of the rest of us may enjoy our freedoms.

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December 12th, 2008

Send Gifts to Troops with MILI-FRB Flat-Rate Box

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has a special program that lets you send a 12″x12″x6″ flat rate box to soldiers serving overseas with military APO/FPO addresses. The shipping cost is just $10.95, flat rate, no matter what the international destination. The boxes, labeled MILI-FRB, are available for FREE at your post office. The MILI-FRB box is quite a bit larger than the $10 domestic Flat-Rate box. With the MILI-FRB you don’t pay by weight, but the max weight for overseas shipment is 20 lbs. per box.

MILI-FRB soldier gift box

Desired Goods — Gum, Jerkey, Power Bars, Wet Wipes, Chew, and Magazines
What should you pack in the box? Soldiers polled say that they prefer “fun stuff” and consummables, rather than t-shirts, socks, and underwear. Don’t send chocolates as these will melt in the heat. Chewing gum, lifesavers, and other hard candies are popular. So are beef jerkey, granola bars, and power bars. Powdered drink mixes, such as kool-aid and Crystal Light Lemonade, are in high demand.

Among the most-requested items are “Wet Wipes” and/or “baby wipes”. These can be used for a quick clean-up in the field and are easy to tote in a field pack. The soldiers have also asked for chewing tobacco. Though not particularly healthy, tins of Skoal and Copenhagen are highly prized for trading purposes, even if your recipient doesn’t chew. The soldiers also like reading material. Outdoor magazines, car magazines, and gun/hunting magazines are prized. If you’ve got a stack of old shooting magazines… don’t toss ‘em, ship ‘em.

You can get the names of serving troops from National Guard offices, from the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), or from local military recruitment offices. Your Congressperson can also help you obtain the addresses of soldiers from your area who are billeted overseas.

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