Military & Veterans News
Gov. Branstad orders flags at half-staff to honor Sgt. Joseph A. Richardson PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 15:24

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad is ordering all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. Friday, November 30, to 8 a.m. on Monday, December 3, to honor Sgt. Joseph A. Richardson, 23, of Algona, who died while on patrol with the U.S. Army in Paktika province, Afghanistan, on November 16, 2012.

Sgt. Richardson’s funeral will be held Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Algona. Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard, will be in attendance to represent the Branstad/Reynolds administration.

The governor’s directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state. H.R. 692, signed in 2007, requires federal government agencies in the state to comply with the governor’s executive order that the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of a member of the Armed Forces.

Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.


A Veteran's Day Message from Debbie Lee, Gold Star Mother PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Monday, 12 November 2012 14:29
It is with great respect, admiration and deep understanding that I write this letter to honor each and every Veteran that has served or is serving our blessed Country! I understand and appreciate all who have given so much for me, so that I could enjoy my daily freedoms.

I was able to sleep well in the safety of my bed last night, because you served.

I was able to pray before my meal this morning in a public place without fearing arrest, because you gave.

I am able to freely speak my mind and voice my opinion without fear of retaliation against me or my family, because you cared.

I am able to stand up for what I believe in and not have a Dictators thoughts and opinions forced down my throat, because you stood up to the call to defend.

I am free to worship the one true God who created me in His image, because you were selfless in your actions.

To each one of you I speak from the bottom of my heart when I say Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! You are my Heroes and I want to remember and honor you this Veterans Day. Not a single day goes by that I don't think of the sacrifices you and your families have given!

My son Marc Alan Lee was laid to rest on Aug 2nd 2006.  I also remember him today as I do everyday and the sacrifice he made.

Thank you son!  His headstone says "Loved deeply, Deeply loved." The love doesn't go any deeper than that! He loved deeply!

He loved his brothers he served with, he loved me, he loved his family, he loved this nation, he loved his freedoms, he loved God, and he gave.

He gave it all! "Greater love has no one than this, that he laid down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) That's what a hero does. They are willing to give their lives for others if it's required.

I also think of my son Kris who served in the Marines, my son-in-law Christopher who served in the Army and my brother Jim who is serving in the Air Force! Thank you!

Each one of you have deeply loved this country and were willing to give your life if required for this country. Thank you!

Many of you have given your blood, and been wounded for this country. Thank you!

Many of you have  friends, family and brothers at arms who paid the ultimate sacrifice just like my son Marc! Thank you! We will never forget our fallen heroes or their families.

I have traveled around this country, to Iraq and Gitmo speaking out in support of you, thanking and honoring you "Our defenders of freedom." I have been blessed to meet many of you and your families, and have been so deeply touched by your stories and your sacrificial service to this nation. I don't take for granted our freedom which isn't free, it comes at a cost and you willingly paid that for me. So please remember this Veteran's Day that I am your biggest fan and that you are deeply appreciated and loved.

There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you and your families and I know I'm not alone. There is a grateful nation who also honors and remembers your sacrifice and knows that our country is what it is today because you selflessly gave.

I know the price of freedom and I understand the sacrifices that you have given. You have done that for me, and for this nation. You didn't do that for rewards or medals or recognition.

Please join me today as a grateful nation chooses to collectively remember, thank and celebrate our Vets, who they are and what they have selflessly given. I choose to do that every day because they are my HEROES and I am so grateful!

Happy Veterans Day and God bless each one of you!

Debbie Lee
Gold Star Mother and Proud American

United States Marine Corps Celebrates 237th Birthday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Monday, 12 November 2012 14:23
Today the 237th birthday of the USMC

The US Marine Corps has been an instrumental part of protecting the safety of American families, our Constitution, and the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this great nation. From the Revolutionary War, to the wars we are still fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Marines are there, fighting in the front lines, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, in defense of their homeland.

Approximately 20,000 Marines are part of the multinational coalition of over 98,000 troops in Afghanistan. In Iraq, hundreds of Marines remain as part of the 50,000 strong security and advisory force.  Today is their birthday too, and they will not be able to celebrate with their fellow Marines at USMC celebrations and balls held around the country. Let's send them some care packages to show our support, and wish them a happy birthday!

While some Marines can celebrate this birthday, others must continue the fight! Show them your support!

"On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine".  In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history."

This is how Marine Corps Birthday Message order No. 47 begins.

During 179 of the 235 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the nation's enemies.  Millions of hours of sacrifice have been dedicated to our freedom and our peace. You may have the honor of personally knowing one of these brave men or women who have answered the call of duty. More than likely though, your liberties are being protected by an anonymous donor, a Marine.

Faceless and nameless that Marine's sole focus is for you and your children. Today is the Marine Corps' birthday. Today you can put a name and face to that selfless sacrifice. The name is Marine.

Help us honor our Marines and Armed Forces by celebrating this important date. You may not see their faces and you may not know their names, but you can let them know you're thinking about them by sending a care package full of thanks and treats to remind them that we stand behind our troops.


The most important day of the year for the millions of Americans who have served their country proudly over the years is almost upon us. Sunday, November 11th is the day we recognize our military veterans, who have fought and sacrificed to oppose our enemies and keep our nation free.

While thousands of troops will be coming home by the end of the year, we still have a responsibility to support them as they wrap up their mission in Iraq. But there are even more thousands still serving in Afghanistan and they'll continue to fill an important role into 2014 and beyond.


Happy Birthday USMC & a Salute to all Veterans This Veterans Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Operation Graditude   
Monday, 12 November 2012 14:19

My best wishes to all our friends in the United States Marine Corps for a very happy USMC birthday!  Tomorrow we will join you in celebrating 237 years of brave and honorable service to our country. Thank you to all who, past and present, bear the name "U.S. Marine."

Sunday is Veterans Day, another special occasion when we have the opportunity to thank, honor and salute all U.S. Military Veterans. We owe you a debt that can and will never be fully repaid. We are grateful to you, and to your families, for the faithful service rendered to our Nation in times of peace and war.

In tribute to both the Marine Corps birthday and Veterans Day, we haveJohn Adams published a new blog post written by our own John Adams, a Marine and combat Veteran who recently left active duty and joined our Operation Gratitude team.

Please read John's moving words here: A Veteran's Salute

Thank you for your generosity in support of deployed Troops, Veterans, Military Families, Wounded Warriors and First Responders. We couldn't do what we do without you!

All best,

Carolyn Blashek, Founder
Operation Gratitude

Braley Pays Tribute to Those Who Have Served PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Monday, 12 November 2012 13:54

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) is paying tribute to all members of the armed services this weekend as the country celebrates Veterans Day.

“Veterans Day is a special time to remember those who have served our country, and honor the men and women who are currently serving our people overseas and here at home. Our continued gratitude for their sacrifice, commitment, strength, and service shall not diminish, and we thank them for helping keep America strong and secure,” said Braley.

Braley has been a leader in continued legislation for efforts in helping Veterans when they return home, such as his Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act, signed into law earlier this year.


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