Military & Veterans News
Check This Out! Major League Baseball Honors Military Fathers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Friday, 15 June 2012 14:04
FATHER'S DAY ONLY 2 DAYS AWAY

With Father's Day coming up this Sunday, it's more important than ever to support our troops before one of the most important holidays of the year for men in the military, who are usually family men. 

Below is a heartwarming story about some fortunate troops who actually get to be home for Father's Day this year.


According to the calendar, Father's Day is Sunday. But for four men who recently returned from overseas tours of duty with our armed forces, the holiday came early this year thanks to their favorite Major League Baseball teams.

The reunions took place at Mariners, Braves, Twins and Diamondbacks games this season. EspnW talked to the teams, the servicemen and the family members to bring you an inside look at how these special homecomings happened.

In each case, the teams came up with a plan, but executing the surprise with so many moving parts wasn't easy. It took planning, some luck and, of course, some deliberate misdirection, requiring the assistance of friends, family members, team mascots and, in some cases, the umpires working the games.



This is an amazing achievement on the part of these sports teams. They have made this Father's Day an uplifting and unforgettable holiday for these families. But there are thousands of troops, many of them also fathers, who are still serving bravely in Afghanistan, and they WON'T be home this Sunday to see their families for the
holiday.

Think about the troops that didn't get the heartwarming homecoming events, the troops that won't get to come home for another 3, 6 or even 9 months. THEY NEED OUR SUPPORT NOW!

TROOPATHON 2012 ANNOUNCEMENT

We at Move America Forward are excited to announce our plans for the fifth annual Troopathon, coming July 12th, 2012.

Mark your calendars! This July 12, 2012 at 4 PM Eastern / 1 PM Pacific at www.troopathon.org our 5th annual Troopathon, “Never Forget Our Troops” will begin streaming live as well as simulcast on multiple radio stations across the country!

This year’s theme for our TROOPATHON is “NEVER FORGET Our Troops" which just gives the Troopathon 2012 a little of it’s own unique flavor! This year we are going to put on a bold event to support our troops with participation from all our favorite Troopathon guests who you will remember previous years.

But our "Never Forget" theme is not ONLY about our troops, because this year we have another individual to honor with the Troopathon, our dear friend Andrew Breitbart, who tragically passed away this year.

We all miss him and in recognition of Andrew's devotion to the troops, we're going to dedicate this year's Troopathon to his memory and his life's work.

Andrew participated in every Troopathon, from our inaugural event in 2008, up until last year's event at the Nixon Library. From 2009-2011 Andrew was a co-host for three consecutive Troopathons. Troopathon would never have been as successful as it was without Andrew's dedication and hard work.

He was an unforgettable figure...so "NEVER FORGET" is an appropriate theme for not only honoring Andrew's legacy, but also to remind people not to forget about our troops in Afghanistan!

For this, the FIFTH annual Troopathon needs to be bigger and better than the last four! We are pulling out all the stops in order to send the largest care package shipment to our troops! It’s a lofty goal, and a gigantic undertaking, and we need your help if we are going to succeed!

Please help us put on a great show for YOU and OUR TROOPS. The better show we can make, the more people will donate and send more care packages to our troops – so we must do our very best! Please make a donation today and make this year’s Troopathon the best ever!


DON’T KNOW WHAT A “TROOPATHON” IS?

If you don’t know what the Troopathon is, or didn't watch the last four, it’s time to familiarize yourself with a concept that is making waves and breaking new ground in efforts to support our troops.

The Troopathon is a unique event that comes once a year and is designed to show a huge outpouring of support for our troops. We love sending care packages to the troops. We do so all year long especially on the holidays, but once a year the Troopathon raises a huge amount of care packages for the troops. It’s the biggest day of the year for our organization, and it’s VERY important that we make it a success!

Over the years, our Troopathons have raised millions to send TONS and TONS of care packages to the troops…over 190 TONS, in fact!

The Troopathon is a great concept, and very unique. Move America Forward was the first organization to attempt this and continues to be the only pro-troop organization that holds an annual Troopathon-like event. The concept is to bring all of your favorite pro-troop celebrities who we already know and love from talk radio, television, Hollywood movies, the music scene and internet bloggers who support our troops.

You will recognize names like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Dr. Laura Schlessinger…the list goes on! They come on the show to support our troops because they understand how much the troops sacrifice and the importance of their mission to defeat the terrorists and keep America safe!

WE’RE DEPENDING ON YOU our loyal Move America Forward supporters, to help us put this show together and make it a reality. Without your help and support, none of this would be possible, so we are grateful for the amazing support you have all displayed in the past with your donations and contributions.

Help continue and extend the legacy of Move America Forward’s great work for our troops…please make a donation today and make Troopathon 2012 a successful event for the 5th year in a row!

 
Illinois National Guard, Partners in Care Reach out to Clergy Groups PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois Guard PAO   
Friday, 15 June 2012 12:34

EDWARDSVILLE, IL (06/13/2012)(readMedia)-- -

WHO:

• Illinois National Guard chaplains, community clergy and the Partners in Care program

WHAT:

• The training is designed to raise awareness among community religious leaders about the challenges faced by servicemembers and their families, with a focus on deployment related issues such as anger management, suicide prevention, military marriages, and church and community support for the military.

• Partners in Care is a program dedicated to providing servicemembers community resources through local congregations.

WHEN/WHERE:

• June 19- St. John's United Methodist Church; 7372 Marine Road, Edwardsville starting at 9 a.m.

WHY:

• The goal of Partners in Care is to provide military personnel with local community support in their geographical area.

• There are 72 congregations across Illinois that are part of the organization, which was started in fall 2009.

• Faith group leaders will receive pertinent information to minister, not only to military personnel, but to the community.

**All are encouraged to attend. For further information, please contact Chaplain Lambert at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 773-406-5183.

Become our Facebook Fan!

www.facebook.com/illinoisnationalguard

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Schilling to Welcome HASC Chairman McKeon Saturday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:14

Will tour the Rock Island Arsenal, visit Sivis' Hero Street Memorial

Moline, Illinois – Today, the 237th Birthday of the United States Army, Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17), a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), announced that he will be joined in Illinois on Saturday June 16 by HASC Chairman Buck McKeon (CA-25).  The Congressmen will tour the Rock Island Arsenal Saturday morning, and in the afternoon will visit the Hero Street Memorial in Silvis, holding a press availability there from 2:00-2:30pm.

“I’m honored to have Chairman McKeon joining me to visit Hero Street and the hard-working men and women of the Rock Island Arsenal, especially in light of the Arsenal’s approaching 150th birthday,” Schilling said. “Our area has long been vital to America’s national security, be it through our brave sons and daughters who risk their lives to preserve our freedoms like those from Hero Street, or through our defense manufacturing capabilities like those found at the Arsenal.  I look forward to welcoming Chairman McKeon to our area, and to showing him all we have to offer.”

Renamed Hero Street USA in 1967, Silvis’ Second Street was formed when a group of families were forced to move from the Rock Island Railroad where they had been living in boxcars to a short dirt path a mere block and a half long.  At the start of World War II, 45 young men and women from the 35 tight-knit families of Second Street heard the call to serve their country and volunteered to join the United States Armed Forces to preserve our freedom.  When the Korean and Vietnam Wars broke out, even more enlisted and served as soldiers.  In all, nearly 100 residents of this street’s 35 families helped defend our country and our allies.

Eight of these brave soldiers from Second Street died for our country in these conflicts, potentially the most combat deaths of any single street in the United States.  Their names are Tony Pompa, Frank Sandoval, Joseph Sandoval, William Sandoval, Claro Solis, Peter Macias, Joe Gomez, and Johnny Munos.  It was in honor of their sacrifice that the name of Second Street was changed to “Hero Street” in 1967.  Four years later a memorial park was built on Hero Street, and in 2007 a monument was added.

On July 29, 2011, Schilling introduced H.Res.381, a resolution expressing the House of Representatives' support for Hero Street Memorial Park.  His bipartisan resolution has been cosponsored by Congressmen Donald Manzullo (IL-16), Bruce Braley (IA-01), and Dave Loebsack (IA-02).  Companion legislation has been introduced in the United States Senate by Illinois Senator Mark Kirk (R).

Schilling has worked on a bipartisan basis to advance Rock Island Arsenal priorities.  Schilling and Loebsack in last year’s defense bill included a landmark provision lifting the cap on the number of public-private partnerships arsenals are able to enter into, maximizing the possibility for private-sector job growth at installations like the Rock Island Arsenal.  They also included in last year’s bill the provision designating the Rock Island Arsenal as a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence, further improving its ability to enter into public-private partnerships, provide for our men and women in combat, and strengthen the Arsenal’s core skills and manufacturing abilities.  Both provisions were signed into law as part of the comprehensive Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.  

In the Fiscal Year 2013 House conference report, Schilling and Loebsack built on their successes from last year and included language ensuring that the Department of Defense recognizes in its overarching national security strategy the critical manufacturing work done at facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal.  It also reviews how to maintain those skills and therefore the employees doing the work.  They also partnered with area senators in introducing the bipartisan and bicameral Army Arsenal Strategic Workload Enhancement Act, which would help to keep arsenals like Rock Island warm and employees’ skills sharp by requiring that the Army produce a plan to ensure they are properly workloaded.  

“Chairman McKeon’s support in advancing our area’s defense priorities in Washington has been invaluable,” Schilling said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Armed Services Committee, and look forward to continuing to work with the Chairman and our colleagues to preserve our national security and provide for our warfighters and their families.”

# # #

 
Senior Military Leaders Oppose LOST PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Travis Korson   
Friday, 15 June 2012 07:58
Washington, D.C., June 14, 2012- A distinguished group of retired senior U.S. military leaders – who earned between them 33 stars – released a letter voicing strong concerns that ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (better known as the Law of the Sea Treaty, or LOST) would be detrimental to the national interests of the United States.  This letter was sent on the day Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, convened a hearing on LOST featuring six currently serving U.S. military commanders – what he has called his “24-star panel” – who will argue in favor of ratification.
The letter states in part:
Much is being made at the moment of the support of the U.S. military for the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is better known as the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).  In your Foreign Relations Committee hearings to date, you have invited testimony from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and six other serving four-star commanders.  We wish respectfully to challenge the perception that military personnel uniformly support this accord by expressing our strongly held belief that LOST’s ratification would prove inimical both to the national security interests and sovereignty of the United States.
The letter goes on to list five reasons why this is the case, including:
  1. President Ronald Reagan refused to sign LOST due to objections that went beyond those concerning deep seabed mining – objections that were not addressed in a subsequent 1994 agreement
  2. LOST ratification would dangerously empower the United Nations
  3. LOST would submit all disputes to binding arbitration or judicial action by entities inherently rigged against the United States
  4. LOST would require the United States to make commitments at odds with our military practices and national interests
  5. The United States cannot be assured of its ability to exempt “military activities” from mandatory dispute resolution.
The military leaders who have signed this letter are:
  • Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, USA (Ret.), Former Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command; Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
  • Adm. Thomas B. Hayward, USN (Ret.), Former Chief of Naval Operations
  • Adm. G.E.R. Kinnear II, USN (Ret.), Former U.S. Member of the NATO Military Committee
  • Gen. Richard L. Lawson, USAF (Ret.), Former Deputy Commander-in Chief, Headquarters U.S. European Command
  • Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, Jr., USN (Ret.), Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet
  • Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, USAF (Ret.), Former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, USAF
  • Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, USN (Ret.), Former Director of Navy Research, Development Testing and Evaluation
  • Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr., USMC (Ret.), Former Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Adm. Leighton “Snuffy” Smith, USN (Ret.), Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Navy Forces Europe and NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., of the Coalition to Preserve American Sovereignty, said:
The United States Senate and the American people owe a debt of gratitude to the distinguished signatories of this letter.  They have once again answered the call to serve, this time in the form of providing a badly needed military perspective on the national security implications of LOST.  With this important input, Senators are on notice that the argument the U.S. military unanimously supports this treaty is unfounded – and no substitute for a critical evaluation of the treaty and other, similarly flawed claims made by the treaty’s proponents.
Text of the Letter

June 14, 2012
Hon. John Kerry
Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
444 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0802
Dear Chairman Kerry:
Much is being made at the moment of the support of the U.S. military for the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is better known as the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). In your Foreign Relations Committee hearings to date, you have invited testimony from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and six other serving four-star commanders. We wish respectfully to challenge the perception that military personnel uniformly support this accord by expressing our strongly held belief that LOST’s ratification would prove inimical both to the national security interests and sovereignty of the United States.
This conclusion is ineluctable given five facts about the Law of the Sea Treaty:
  1. President Ronald Reagan recognized that the terms and institutional arrangements inherent in the treaty—including, but not limited to, seabed mining—were adverse to this country insofar as they were intended and designed to establish and empower a supranational government. For these reasons, he refused to sign this accord. And, as his Counselor and Attorney General, Edwin Meese, has observed, those defects continue to afflict LOST—despite suggestions to the contrary, based on false claims that a separate agreement signed by some but not all LOST signatories satisfactorily addressed Mr. Reagan’s concerns.
  2. There is already ample reason for Americans—in and out of uniform—to be leery of entrusting more power and authority to the United Nations. Yet, our membership in LOST would dangerously empower that organization. After all, this treaty creates an executive, legislature and judiciary that are supposed to govern seventy-percent of the world’s surface. And LOST’s institutions are intertwined with the UN system and would be capable of raising revenues. Given the UN track record of corruption and hostility to America and its allies, it would be reckless to endorse such arrangements, let alone subject ourselves to them.
  3. Of particular concern is the obligation under LOST to submit any and all disputes to binding arbitration or judicial action by entities that are inherently rigged against us. The treaty’s expansive mandate is so broad—involving virtually anything affecting the world’s oceans—that it is an invitation to UN and other nations’ interference in our affairs on an unprecedented scale.
  4. That prospect has particular implications for the national security were the United States to become a party to the Law of the Sea Treaty. As such, we would be required to make myriad commitments at odds with our military practices and national interests. These include agreeing to reserve the oceans exclusively for “peaceful purposes.”  Contentions that we need not worry about such formal commitments because we, as a maritime nation with a powerful navy, are not expected to be bound by them will surely prove unfounded.
  5. The same is certain to apply to assurances that the exemption of “military activities” will preclude LOST from having harmful effects on our armed forces and their necessary operations on, over, under and from the seas. Since the treaty does not include an agreed definition of what constitutes such activities, disputes are sure to arise—disputes we will be obliged to resolve through one LOST mechanism or another. [In the attachment, Judge Advocate General Captain Vince Averna (USN, Ret.) lays out a number of the treaty’s provisions that may invite such challenges.]
One example of how untenable such assurances will prove can be found in the area of anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Of necessity, ASW training to be effective must necessarily replicate actual combat operations and thus involve the periodic use of high-power sonars and explosives. Unfortunately, some assert that these training activities cause harm to ocean wildlife, like dolphins and whales, and have sought to use judicial means to restrict or preclude them.
We must, therefore, recall that, during the Clinton administration, Secretary of State Warren Christopher called LOST “the strongest comprehensive environmental treaty now in existence or likely to emerge for quite some time.” That being the case, the U.S. armed forces must reckon with the prospect that what they consider to be essential and exempted military activities will be treated under LOST as environmental predation very much within the jurisdiction of its Tribunal and arbitration panels. The effect of adverse rulings, especially if enforced by federal judges, could prove devastating to our power projection and other defense capabilities.
For all these reasons (among others), it is our considered professional military judgment that the United States should remain unencumbered by state-party status in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea—free to observe those provisions we chose to and unencumbered by the others. We have demonstrated in the three decades since President Reagan refused to sign LOST that as a non-party great power we can exercise great and essential influence on matters involving the oceans without being relegated to one vote among 160-plus, obliged to abide by the will and whims of a generally hostile majority without the benefit of a veto to protect American national interests. There is no basis for contending that we will be better off if we have a so-called “seat at the table” under such circumstances.
We hope our insights and conclusions will be made part of the record of your Committee’s deliberations on this matter and would welcome an opportunity to participate in such deliberations if that would be helpful to you and your colleagues.
Sincerely,
Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, USA (Ret.)
Former Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command;
Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
Adm. Thomas B. Hayward, USN (Ret.)
Former Chief of Naval Operations
Adm. G.E.R. Kinnear II, USN (Ret.)
Former U.S. Member of the NATO Military Committee
Gen. Richard L. Lawson, USAF (Ret.)
Former Deputy Commander-in Chief, Headquarters U.S. European Command
Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, Jr., USN (Ret.)
Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, USAF (Ret.)
Former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, USAF
Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, USN (Ret.)
Former Director of Navy Research, Development Testing and Evaluation
Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr., USMC (Ret.)
Former Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Adm. Leighton “Snuffy” Smith, USN (Ret.)
Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Navy Forces Europe and
NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe
cc:  Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Attachment: a/s
###

 
Walgreens Reaffirms Its Support of the National Guard and Reserve PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Lt. Col. Tim Franklin   
Thursday, 14 June 2012 07:49

Statement of Support Signing Ceremony Demonstrates Commitment to Military Employees, Families

DEERFIELD, IL (06/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Walgreens reaffirmed its support for National Guard and Reserve members and their families today by signing a Statement of Support. Walgreens Chief Human Resources Officer Kathleen Wilson-Thompson signed the Statement on behalf of Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson and the company's 247,000 employees nationwide.

Walgreens has a comprehensive strategy in place to hire and transition military talent. In addition to working with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the company is working closely with numerous key veteran service organizations to raise awareness and support for military members, their spouses and qualified veterans. As part of its outreach strategy, Walgreens also announced today a new veteran outreach email box available at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it that will serve as a resource to help link potential Walgreens applicants with the company's military and disability outreach community recruiter.

"We're proud to be a part of an organization designed to help American employers support the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve," said Wilson-Thompson. "Transitioning to civilian life is challenging for many returning service members and it is our hope that we can help provide insight and assistance to help veterans obtain civilian employment."

At the ceremony representing ESGR were National Chairman, James Rebholz; ESGR Chief of Employer Outreach, Tom Bullock; Illinois ESGR State Committee Chair, Dr. Michael Ayers, Ph.D., as well as other ESGR staff and Committee members.

"Today, supportive employers like Walgreens are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's Guard and Reserve units. I am asking all employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees," Rebholz told Walgreens employees attending the event. "Many employers provide 'Above and Beyond' support to complement military coverage, such as providing pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extending health care benefits while their employees are mobilized."

Walgreens has a long history of supporting American troops and veterans, from providing a store in the Pentagon beginning in the 1940s, to decades of donation and product drives, and extending company benefits to employees called to active service. Under the Walgreens military leave policy, employees called to active service receive their full salary, less military pay, for 42 months from the last day worked. In addition, they have the option of continuing medical, prescription and dental coverage at active employee rates.

Rebholz also talked about the crucial role employers play in allowing Guardsmen and Reservists to continue to serve in uniform and thanked Walgreens leadership for its culture of support for those who serve our nation.

"Walgreens joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal agencies and thousands of America's employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces," added Rebholz. "By signing the Statement of Support, it sends a clear message to the employees of Walgreens that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs."

About ESGR

Today, approximately 4,800 volunteers, ranging from business executives, senior government representatives, educators and military personnel, serve on ESGR State Committees located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. With help and resources from the National ESGR Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, the 54 ESGR State Committees conduct employer support programs, including informational briefings, mediation and recognition of employers whose policies support or encourage participation in the National Guard and Reserve. By explaining the missions of the National Guard and Reserve and by increasing public awareness of the role of the employer, ESGR works to develop a dialogue among employers, the ESGR State Committees, and local National Guard and Reserve unit commanders and service members. ESGR is the lead advocate within the Department of Defense for Reserve Component employers.

For more information about careers at Walgreens, visit careers.walgreens.com.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America's first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 7,889 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

 
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