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On Veteran’s Day, Sunday November 11th, at 10:00 AM St. Mark’s Episcopal
Church located at 60 West Street, Leominster will be hosting a Veteran’s
Service followed by an Appreciation Luncheon.
All of us at St. Mark’s feel so blessed by all that God is doing here in the
midst of us and we are profoundly aware that much of what we have as a
church and a community would not be possible if it weren’t for the selfless
service of our men and women who have served in the Armed Forces of our
country. This is just our small way of saying thank you to the veterans and
This day is open to any and all veterans and their families regardless of your
denomination. All we ask is that you give us a call to let us know you are
attending and who you are bringing with you, so we can make sure we have
enough food to serve everyone. You may call the office at 978-537-3560
any time from now until November 8th. Also, if you need transportation to
and from the church, please let us know when you call.
We are so looking forward to seeing you on Veteran’s Day and appreciate
you allowing us the honor to say thank you.
Reading Of The Names – Vietnam Veteran Memorial 2012
From November 7 to November 10, 2012, the “Reading Of The Names” will take place at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. I will have the honor and privilege to read 30 names on November 9th. I will be reading the following names from Panel 37 W :
1. FIAPAI FANUA JR
2. EDDIE D FOSTER
3. FRED GERTZEN
4. MICHAEL E GIBIS
5. RICKY D GIPSON
6. NICHOLAS V GONZALES
7. DANIEL L GREGG
8. VICTOR HALE
9. CHARLES W HALL JR
10. WAYNE D HAMILTON
11. JOHN D HANCOCK
12. JOHN C HARDING JR
13. MARVIN L HARTMAN
14. JOHN F HIGGINS
15. DAVID M JALBERT
16. RICHARD D JAMES
17. JOHN K KOSTER
18. CONNARD D MALLORY
19. LARRY L MARSH
20. LEROY C MARTINSON
21. CARL J MILLER
22. DAVID N MOORE
23. FRANK F MUSICK
24. STEPHEN E NEAS
25. JERRY L OWENS
26. JOSEPH S PIRRUCCELLO JR
27. ROBERT A REX
28. EARNEST L REYNOLDS
29. FELIX D RIDGE
30. LARRY G SANDNES
I have read up about every one of these men. Every one of them is a hero. These names represent only 30 out of the 58,282 men and women who “Gave It All” so others could be free. These are 30 of the bravest men who ever existed. Some of them were killed so their “Brothers” could live. Some were killed by “friendly fire”. Some are still listed as MIA. These men were men of honor, courage, loyalty, integrity, spirit, respect, dedication, and patriotism. These men set the standard for others to aspire to obtain. None of these men died in vain. They died trying to preserve freedom in a land where there was none.
I salute these men, they are all my Heroes. I will NEVER forget them.
To the members of firebase116.org, Chapter 116, Leominster, MA:
I would be honored to remember any men or women that you would like. I can do etchings of a Heroes name, or leave a message, flowers, a prayer or something for them to let them know that you will NEVER forget them. I’ll be at The Wall for 4 days. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Email me your requests: [email protected]
Viewpoint: Stand Down Stands Up For Our Veterans By JAMES SENEY
With his muscular build and short hair, he is perhaps one of the last people anyone would expect to be homeless.
But in the next month, the 22-year-old veteran may lose his apartment and join the ranks of New England’s homeless people.
And he is not alone. One year ago, the former Army private first class was a proud member of Operation Enduring Freedom, completing a one-year deployment in Afghanistan.
Now he wonders if he’ll get a job or, one year from now, where he will live.
Next week in Springfield, the Western Massachusetts Stand Down will be held to help as many of the estimated 3,000 homeless veterans in our region and to prevent veterans believed to be at risk of homelessness from being without a place to live.
The event, held at the Greek Cultural Center in the North End, represents a close partnership with many organizations, including strong leadership from Gumersindo Gomez from the Western Mass Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center, the city of Springfield, the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, and our area’s municipal veteran services officers.
The 2012 Stand Down will take place Friday, Sept. 28, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It provides veterans with a centralized, one-stop approach to receiving resources on the spot, bringing together VA programs and services; community health care providers, including health prevention and wellness resources; counseling services; legal aid; the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles; the Social Security Administration; and many other services, including food, clothing and haircuts.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the current economic downturn and the downsizing of the armed forces are the biggest risk factors for newly demobilized service members, resulting in postwar unemployment, missed rent payments and homelessness. Many, like the 22 year-old former soldier, sleep in their cars, move in for a while with relatives or friends, camp out in the woods, or find a cheap motel room and never come to the attention of state or local authorities. And the new picture of veteran homelessness also includes female veterans with children. Nearly all are unemployed. They want to work but cannot find jobs or at least steady work. Or they have work but cannot find housing they can afford so they end up couch surfing – the practice of temporarily living with a stranger – free of charge.
Most never dreamed they would find themselves in such straits. And their troubles are just starting as fall begins and cold weather will quickly set in. Stand Down, while focused on those veterans at greatest risk of needing services, is also intended for all veterans, including active-duty military members, and their families.
With a tough economy and our nation still in recession, every veteran can benefit from the information and resources shared at Stand Down. Three-and-a-half years ago, an estimated 107,000 veterans were homeless in our nation. The number is now estimated to be less than 60,000 but the VA and our community partners cannot be satisfied until every Veteran who has fought for America has a home in America.
If we are to end the travesty of veteran homelessness, we need a total team approach. Every citizen has a role to play. At a minimum, we’d ask for your help in identifying and referring veterans in need. Every community member can make a difference in reaching out to our veterans. The hardship of homelessness is compounded by the truth that our homeless veterans had once put their lives on the line to serve our country in wars past and present. They deserve the very best support network possible. When we ask our men and women to fight and sacrifice for us in defense of our nation, we make a promise that we will give them the support they need when they come home. The Stand Down offers one way to fulfill that promise. If you know a veteran in need, tell them about Stand Down.
James Seney is the program manager for Community Reintegration Services for the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System.
If you send me the name of your unit, division, squadron or platoon etc. I will research it and publish it’s information and photos on firebase116.org. Any photos that you have from your days in the military will be much appreciated. See the email below to share your stories and photos.
If you have a son, daughter, cousin, niece, nephew, neighbor or friend that is in the Armed Forces now, I will gladly post a big THANK YOU! to them, just email me their info, photo, unit, branch of service and I’ll ‘get it done’. Shout outs are welcome and encouraged.
firebase116.org supports our Troops 100% and we would like them to feel the love!
Email any info or photos you would like America and the World to see here: Email Info
The #1 problem that I just cannot wrap my head around and understand is homeless and hungry Veterans in America. I can’t figure it out. I just do not understand the whys or the hows about it. Women and men that fought for our great country are sleeping on the streets, in cardboard shacks and in abandoned cars, AND they are hungry. Days and weeks go by and these GREAT AMERICAN HEROES are without a hot meal, clean clothes and a shower. People walk past them on the streets and mutter, “Get a job…” God knows that these women and men would work if they could only find a job. Problem is that there’s just no work for anyone. And too few Americans care about what is happening to our Heroes. Nothing can make me understand this phenomenon.
Women Veterans are three time more likely to be at risk of homelessness than non-veteran women.
WHAT? How can that be? WHY is this happening? HOW can this happen? IS this the way America wants her Veterans to be treated? What can we do to change this in America? America is the greatest nation in the World. America is rich beyond belief, but we have homeless and hungry VETERANS.
I ask each and every one that reads this post to change the statistics and how America treats her Heroes. I’ll post a bunch of links where YOU can make a difference. And it’s not all about money either. Volunteering and giving some of yourself to put an end to hunger and homelessness. When you don’t have a dollar in your own pocket, you can still give a smile. Don’t look down on our Street Vets. A little understanding and a smile goes a LONG way. If your of the type that prays and believes in a Power Greater than yourself…say a prayer asking Her or Him to help them AND you overcome this problem. Bring a bag of apples or oranges to a homeless shelter. Think. This is our problem, they are our Sisters and Brothers. Love, compassion, understanding and support are what our Heroes need. They need a hand up and not a hand out. Respect. Dignity. These are honorable men and women.
I know first hand what it’s like to be without a job and without a home. I survived the streets of Boston. I’ve been hungry and alone out there. I don’t want to go back there. Most importantly, I do not want my Brothers or Sisters to go through what I went through.
As promised, here are the links for you to consider. Do what you can, whatever that may be to help. Thank you. – J. Barry
The Veterans Site – Feed a Veteran <– This site will cost you 1 click!
The above links are just a sample of some wonderful ways for you to SUPPORT AND HELP AMERICA’S HEROES.