Saturday, November 10, 2012

Love, sweet love







In the United States, Veterans Day is Sunday. In some areas it will be observed on Monday.  (And some events will take place on Saturday to observe it.)  Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and she will be attending an observation in Washington state on Monday.  Her office notes:
Friday, November 9th, 2012
Contact: Murray Press Office
(202) 224-2834
MONDAY: Senator Murray to Speak at Veterans Day Memorial Service in Seattle
Murray: Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the shared duty we owe to our nation's veterans
(Washington, D.C.) -- On Monday, November 12, 2012, Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, will attend Evergreen Washelli Cemetery's 63rd Annual Veterans Day Memorial Celebration with veterans and their families.  She will give remarks on the importance of honoring the shared duty owned to our nation's veterans, specifically in ensuring veterans can easily access the care and benefits they deserve.  The event is a Service of Remembrance and will take place at the Doughboy statue at the base of the Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
WHO:     U.S. Senator Patty Murray
              Veterans and their families
WHAT:    Senator Murray will give a speech at Evergreen Washelli Cemetery in 
               observance of Veterans Day
WHEN:      Monday, November 12th, 2012
                 11:00 AM PST
WHERE:    Evergreen Washelli Cemetery
                 11111 Aurora Avenue North
                  Seattle, WA 98133
Kathryn Robertson
Specialty Media Coordinator
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
448 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
US House Rep Jeff Miller is the Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. And his office has released the following:
Chairman's Corner
I often wonder if we do enough to honor our veterans. These are, after all, the men and women who, at great peril to themselves, put on the uniform of our country and defend all that it stands for. They don't do it for the gratification of their fellow Americans; instead they do it for love of country and an overwhelming sense of duty. Just because their call to arms is not with the expectation of any repayment or gratitude, it does not mean we can't find ways to celebrate their service. We have an obligation to our veterans to provide for them with the care and support they need to live full lives. Veterans Day is a great opportunity for all Americans to take part in the celebration of our nation's most vital resource, our servicemembers, veterans, and their families. But to truly and fully appreciate our veterans, we need to honor them 365 days a year, and not just on
November 11.
Happy Birthday USMC!
The Marine Corps is celebrating its 237th birthday this weekend. Thank you to all the men and women who have served in this elite force. Please watch this birthday video, produced by the Marine Corps to commemorate the special occasion. Semper Fidelis.
Running for Veterans
Former Marine Corps Sgt. J. Brendan O'Toole will be running across America to raise money for veterans. You can read more here about O'Toole's service and what inspired him to put aside a year of his life to help our veterans as they return home.
A Great Cause
Earlier this week in anticipation of Veterans Day, Chairman Jeff Miller sat down with MSN to discuss the issues facing the veterans' community today. The interview is available on MSN's new "causes" page, aimed at raising awareness to a variety of issues facing America today.
Thoughts on this Veterans Day
As Chairman Miller does every month, he penned an op-ed in Wreaths Across America's newsletter. This month's article is dedicated to Veterans Day and how it remains vital that we continue to increase our support for veterans. Wreaths Across America will take place on December 15 this year. Committee Member, Dr. Phil Roe, a veteran himself, also shares his thoughts on this Veterans Day. Read more here.
We're going to include Texas Governor Rick Perry's statement in a moment but first there are two eateries observing Veterans Day.  California Pizza Kitchen nationwide on Sunday and Monday and Applebees across the country on Sunday. Veterans and active duty military -- have identification or be in uniform -- visiting California Pizza Kitchen either day will recieve a free non-alcoholic beverage and a free pizza and those visiting Applebees on Sunday will receive a free entree (choose from three-cheese chicken penne, a bacon cheddar cheeseburger, oriental chicken salad, 7 ounce sirloin, chicken tenders platter, fiesta lime chicken or double crunch shrimp). Are there more?  There probably are.  Those two e-mailed to note their observance of Veterans Day.  So if you're a veteran or active duty, you should surely stop by. 
And if you're not a veteran or active duty?  You can certainly keep in mind that California Pizza Kitchen and Applebees made a point to honor Veterans Day when a lot of others did not.  Stan says he loves Applebees Bourbon Black & Bleu Burger.   Ann states, "I can't tell you about calories, I've never asked and I don't want to know but their oriental chicken salad is a meal and then some."  Myself, I'm a pizza addict.  There are months I go "meat free" with the exception of anything on a pizza.  At California Pizza Kitchen, I can't pick just one.  Because of calories, I try to avoid anything other than thin crust.  But if I'm having original crust (which is thicker), it will be because I'm having the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken.  Any and all of the thin crust pizzas, I've eaten and loved.  Kat, Wally, Ava and I are on the road most weeks and there are times when we finish speaking with a group and it's too late so we'll hit a grocery store.  In the frozen foods section at many grocery stores you can find California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas.  If it's the four of us, we usually go with their BBQ Recipe Chicken (and get two because Wally and I can eat pizza -- wolf it down in fact).  I'm making a point here to plug two places that are making a point to observe Veterans Day. 
There will be observations throughout the country.  I'm noting events that were mailed to the public account and one that a friend requested we note.

Saturday in Los Angeles is "A Day For Heroes" which is free for veterans, active duty military, and family members and includes a barbeque and a concert.  In the state of Washington, parades will take place Saturday in Auburn, West Richland, Vancouver, Port Angeles and Spokane -- while there will be a Veterans Breakfast in RainerSaturday will also see the Atlanta Veterans Day Parade in Georgia. Shreveport, LA will see a Veterans Day Biker Event hosted by Veterans For Veterans -- with a motorcycle parade, a bike show, a car show and a silent auction with proceeds going to support veterans.

Nashville will hold a Veterans Day Parade on SundayColumbia, South Carolina will also hold a Veterans Day parade.  In Berkeley, you can attend a benefit performance of Soldier Stories (tickets $20.50 in advance, $22.50 at the door) with the proceeds going to help homeless veterans. In Kihei, Hawaii, there will be a Luau at the VFW Hall.  That's at 2110 Uluniu Road and it starts at 5:00 pm.  I don't have a link so I'm noting time and location.  (A friend asked me to note the event.)  Albuquerque, New Mexico will host a Veterans Day Parade on SundayDelaware will host a Veterans Day Ceremony in New CastleMiami will host a Veterans Day Parade on SundayTampa will host a Central Florida Military Resource Fair open to all veterans and active duty military which will include job info, benefits and health care opportunities, flu shots and medical screenings.

Monday, Montgomery, Alabama will host the Third Annual River Region Veterans Day Parade.  In Pueblo, Colorado, there will be a Veterans Day Commemoration at Colorado State University.
Rick Perry is the Governor of Texas.  His office notes:
Gov. Rick Perry today highlighted Texas' ongoing commitment to helping our nation's veterans and their families receive the services and support they need when they return from duty, including initiatives to help skilled veterans find jobs. The governor spoke at an annual Veterans Day ceremony honoring local veterans.
"Americans have consistently sent their best and bravest to confront the forces of darkness throughout the world, and time and again, our military members have proven up to the challenges posed by these forces," Gov. Perry said. "In Texas, we will always remember the courage and dedication of our men and women in uniform, and do everything we can to help them heal and return capably to the workforce."
The governor called for a constitutional amendment extending a full property tax exemption to spouses and children of members of the armed forces who were killed in action, building on the current $5,000 tax exemption that spouses and children currently receive. Gov. Perry signed House Bill 3613 in 2009, which granted a property tax exemption to 100 percent disabled veterans. This exemption was extended in 2011 to the surviving spouses of those veterans through Senate Bill 516.
Gov. Perry touted a new, industry-driven initiative by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) that will help connect veterans with job opportunities, and provide veterans and employers with funds for training and occupation certifications in the energy industry. TWC is dedicating existing general revenue funds to help offset training costs for the veteran and employer. 
He also reiterated his support for TWC's Hiring Red, White & You Campaign, which connects veterans with employers and job opportunities in Texas. TWC is partnering with 28 local workforce development board areas and the Texas Veterans Commission to host veterans' job fairs across the state on November 15.
For more information about the governor's veterans' initiatives, please visit
For more information about TWC veterans initiatives, please visit
(If you're wondering why his office is noted and 49 others aren't, his office sent that to the public account and I shared my thoughts earlier this morning.  We can repeat them in another entry but the focus above is on veterans.)
Something to remember this Veterans Day is how little coverage there is.  Aaron Schachter (PRI's The World -- link is audio and transcript) spoke with CORKSPHERE's Bill Corcoran yesterday about his decision to stop updating to his website.
Aaron Schacter: I wonder if it angers you at all that the military is so tight-lipped about what goes on in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bill Corcoran: Yeah, I am.  I definitely am.  I feel that there should be more transparency.  I don't see any reason to keep it so quiet and hidden right now.  I think they'd just as soon see it disappear altogether and when they phase this thing out, it'll be like somebody will wake up one day and say, I haven't heard anything on that Afghanistan war for a while.  And then they'll say, oh, that's because we pulled out of there three months ago.
Yesterday, Krys Boyd (KERA's Think) spoke with Rita Nakashima Brock who co-wrote Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War and with retired military Chaplain Col Herman Keizer Jr. who are both co-directors of the Brite Divinity School's Soul Repair Center for the hour (here for the podcast).  Excerpt.
Krys Boyd:  What's fascinating about this issue is that, in some ways, in order to come back in one piece you have to set aside normal human empathy to survive.  Is that right?
Col Herman Keizer Jr.: Yeah, and one of the problems when going to warwar is that you're trained really to kill and take life.  The military says that you're here to kill people and break thing.  Sso they have to train them.  And one of the discussions I've had a lot with the senior military is we train them to be so reflexive that that they just move and engage the enemy before they think about it.  And in some sense, that's the best reaction you could ask for on the battle field.  The last thing you want is for somebody to scratch their head and say, "Do I shoot or don't I?" And so the military, it does train them and it does train them very well so that they are now very reflexive in their responses on the battlefield but those reflexi actions are reflected on later and then the moral kind of injury begins to set in.  Several of the stories coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan are where people are in automobiles and coming towards them and they're in some kind of firefight already.  And here they see these other vehicles coming towards them and they yell at people to stop and for some communication reasons or something they don't stop.  So the suspicion is that it's the enemy and then you shoot.  And you see a baby flying out of the back of the car, you know, you know, dead in its mother's arms.  And the mother holds it up and it's says to the soldier why?  And the soldier says why?  It's just one of those fog of war kinds of things that cause real moral ambiguity.
Krys Boyd:  So they're left -- the people who have gone through these experiences with the question of: who am I?  Am I this person who had to shoot, who did shoot? Or am I the person who comes home and thinks, how could I have hurt a child? Or an innocent person
Rita Nakashima Brock:  And I think that soldiers have different responses to those situations.  Some people say, 'Well I did the right thing because it could have been an enemy.  And others will say, "How could I have killed a child?  How could I have done that?" It's not -- There's not a one size fits all response to war but it is true that there's -- especially in insurgency wars like we're fighting -- even the military moral code of not killing civilians doesn't apply.


Anonymous said...

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