Military & Veterans News
Amazing 25 Year Old Girl Delivers Hundreds of Care Packages to Afghanistan! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:40

One of our most special and important guests of this year's Troopathon was not a big-name celebrity who everyone has heard of, but someone who is just as important to our troops as anyone else on our guest list.

Her name is Lacey and even though she's just 25 years old, she has done some amazing things with MAF to help our troops in a direct way. Lacey is a civilian contractor and works out of air bases in Afghanistan and volunteers for Operation Care. She is one of the people that MAF and other pro-troop groups use to distribute our support packages to troops on the front lines. She joined us on Troopathon to tell her story.

"Most of our care packages that we get are from Move America Forward"...

"On the larger bases we have a little PX, a little store, to get deodorant and shampoo but a lot of these guys who need it are at the smaller bases. So we would get these care packages out on the helicopters and out to these smaller bases that only get supplies so often. So these are the guys who get rationed food, they may not get showers for days..."

"...just to see the smiles and the excitement and the joy on these guys' faces was pretty incredible!"

- Lacey Castleberry, interviewed on Troopathon 2012

Lacey is a huge help to MAF and an important component of our operation. She is our link to the troops on the front lines and part of what makes sponsoring a care package through Move America Forward as special and unique way to support the troops! 

Please donate now and help us get MORE packages to Lacey so she can get them out into the hands of the troops who need them!



Another Step Forward for Keeping 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:39

Defense Appropriations Bill Mirrors Loebsack Amendment to Block National Guard Cuts

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House passed the FY 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, which blocks cuts to the 132nd Fighter Wing and Air National Guard units across the country for one year and requires a Government Accountability Office cost-benefit analysis of the Air Force’s proposal.  This action builds on Loebsack’s bipartisan amendment in the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent cuts to the National Guard personnel and aircraft in Iowa and across the nation.  His amendment was approved by the full House of Representatives as part of the NDAA in May.

“The passage of this legislation is another step in the right direction for the Airmen with the 132nd who are some of the most experienced, most cost effective, and best performing in the country.  I have fought the Air Force’s ill advised proposal from the beginning and I will continue to work to make sure the dedicated men and women of the 132nd do not see their positions eliminated.”


February 9- Loebsack Statement on Iowa Delegation Meeting with Air Force Secretary

February 28- Loebsack Questions Air Force Leadership on Proposal to Retire Iowa Air National Guard F16s

March 6- Loebsack Statement Regarding 132nd Fighter Wing Staffing Announcement by the Air Force

May 9- Loebsack to Offer Amendment to Save the 132nd Fighter Wing

May 10- Loebsack Amendment to Save the 132nd Fighter Wing Passes Committee on Bipartisan Vote

May 18- Loebsack Amendment to Save 132nd Fighter Wing Passes House

July 12- Loebsack, Branstad Discuss Importance of Iowa’s Air Guard During House Hearing


Harkin Announces More than $600,000 to Assist Iowa Veteran Families Find Housing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 12:42
July 17, 2012


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded two Iowa organizations with a combined total of $609,713 through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program.  Grantees, which include private, non- profit organizations and consumer cooperatives, will provide supportive services to very low-income Veteran families’ living in or transitioning to permanent housing.

“No one who served their country should face challenges with one of life’s primary needs: housing,” said Harkin.  “This funding is an important step toward aiding Veteran families and to ending the problem of homeless veterans.”

Details of the Grants are as Follows:

Primary Health Care, Inc. - $362,170 to provide service to approximately 150 participant households in Marshall and Polk Counties.

Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. - $247,543 to serve approximately 125 participant households in Scott County, IA and Rock Island County, IL.


Distinquished Visitors Drop in on Soldiers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. Jesse Houk, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:38

CAMP RIPLEY, MINN. (07/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Approximately 60 distinguished visitors from all around Illinois flew in from Aurora and Peoria July 12 to pay a visit to the Soldiers participating in the Army National Guard's eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) program; observing and experiencing their training first hand.

The diverse group consisted of civilians and prior service, white collar and blue collar, but the common thread that brought them all together was their admiration and appreciation for the Soldiers that serve them.

"Our mission is to serve those that serve and that's those who wear the uniform and their families," said John May of Chicago, chairman and chief executive officer of USO of Illinois. "Today gave me a first-hand opportunity to see what those in uniform are doing. It was really a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget. Just meeting the people, seeing the level of dedication, seeing how they slip out of a civilian role, into a military role so easily and effectively; every moment was a highlight."

The distinguished visitors followed an action-packed itinerary. After arriving at Camp Ripley on C-130 airplanes they attended an introductory gathering, observed the launching of an unmanned aerial vehicle and then were whisked away to meet the Soldiers in the field on Blackhawk helicopters.

They went on to connect and converse with Soldiers in the field and then witnessed Soldiers moving in a combat-simulated field training exercise. The day came to a close after Chinooks transported the distinguished visitors to the tactical operations center where they experienced a state of the art battlefield operation.

Paul Brian of Burr Ridge, radio personality at WLS radio in Chicago, served for three years toward the end of the Vietnam conflict and appreciated the ongoing sacrifice that those in the Illinois Army National Guard and all branches of the military make to provide freedom.

"The sacrifice a Soldier makes is apparent every day," said Brian. "There's nothing that we do in this country, or have done since the inception of this country, that has not been made possible by men and women wearing our uniform. And for us to not support them, the people who are making our freedom possible is absolutely unconscionable to me."

Although many of the distinguished guests expressed their gratitude during their visit, the Soldiers they visited were equally honored by their presence.

"I respect and admire all of them," said Sgt. 1st Class Stacey A. Long of Champaign, planning, training, and operations non commissioned officer. "They are an example to emulate. The civilian population will come to a better understanding and a better appreciation for what we do because those same people are going to go out into the community and will talk about what they saw. I have a great deal of respect for that because they didn't have to do that."

Photo 1: Photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/ Distinguished visitors learn infantry maneuvers from Capt. Nick P. Camardo of Rockford, commander, Company A, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment and then see them executed in real-time. The visitors observed Soldiers in several scenarios in the Army National Guard's eXportable Combat Training Capability program at Camp Ripley, Minn.

Photo 2: Photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/ Distinguished visitors experience the launch of an unmanned aerial vehicle at Camp Ripley, Minn. The group was invited connect with Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers.

Photo 3: Photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/ Suzanne Ravlin of Dixon, from Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital and Tom Bushmann of Dixon, from VFW Post 540, both distinguished visitors, are greeted by Brig. Gen. Johnny R. Miller of Tamms, assistant adjutant general of the Illinois Army National Guard, and Command Sgt. Maj. Mark W. Bowman of Plainfield, Illinois Army National Guard land forces sergeant major. The two were flown to experience Soldiers training in Army National Guard's eXportable Combat Training Capability program at Camp Ripley, Minn.

35th Infantry Division General Visits Illinois Guard Troops in Minnesota PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. 1st Class Mike Chrisman, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:35

CAMP RIPLEY, MINN. (07/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Brig. Gen. Victor Braden, Assistant Division Commander of the 35th Infantry Division (ID) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. visited Camp Ripley, Minn. July 13 to observe Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers training.

"This is a great opportunity for the brigade and the Soldiers," Braden said. "I am very impressed. Training like this is good for the Army as a whole and it's great that our Soldiers have opportunities like this."

Approximately 3,200 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers are at Camp Ripley for the eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) exercise. The training simulates realistic situations Soldiers could encounter in combat.

Col. Paul Hastings of St. Charles, Ill., Brigade Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) said the 15 months of planning for the exercise has made it a success.

"This exercise is going exactly as planned," said Hastings. "Soldiers and leaders are stressed and doing their best to improve."

The 33rd IBCT, with headquarters in Urbana, has 30 companies throughout Illinois. The 33rd was the first unit in the country to participate in XCTC operations in 2007 as they prepared for a deployment to Afghanistan.

Braden said training has evolved since he came into the Army in 1980.

"There is more technology, but the basics are the same," Braden said. "This is a great example of how they have improved training to better prepare our Soldiers for a successful mission."

The 33rd IBCT and 35th ID have historical ties. In 2006 Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 66th Brigade, 35th ID consolidated and was designated Headquarters, 33rd IBCT.

Photo: Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Mike Chrisman, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/ Brig. Gen. Victor Braden (left), Assistant Division Commander for the 35th Infantry Division at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. visits Camp Ripley, Minn. July 13. Braden, along with Brig. Gen. Johnny Miller of Tamms, Ill., Assistant Adjutant General of the Illinois Army National Guard (center) and Col. Paul Hastings of St. Charles, Ill., Brigade Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team observe 33rd Soldiers conducting training.

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