DES MOINES, IA - With the largest deployment from our state since WWII last year, Iowans are incredibly grateful for our troops who serve our country. To show their gratitude, Destiny Homes is stepping up to honor military families in the state of Iowa by doing something a little different. This Custom Home Builder is building a home in Urbandale and is donating the proceeds to America's Family Coaches, a non-profit marriage ministry in Des Moines, Iowa, to support their military initiative.

"The owners of Destiny Homes believe that it is important to give back to the community. Military families give up so much for us and what AFC is doing to support military families while they are separated is incredible. What better way to support the couples that are apart due to the military service to our country. As a builder, this is an opportunity to use our talents and give something back," says Alan Sprinkle, President of Destiny Homes.

Since 2006 the Rosbergs have been on a mission strengthen military marriages. Whether deployed or stateside, the Rosbergs offer encouragement and practical coaching for military marriages before, during and after deployment through free marriage resources to help them grow and stay connected. Over the past few years, generous donors have provided more than 17,000 free resources for military families. The proceeds from this house will support America's Family Coaches to resource military couples at a critical time when many soldiers are returning from serving overseas. After more than 25 years of serving hundreds of thousands of marriages and families nationally and internationally, there is nothing Gary and Barb are more proud of than serving military families.

"As we serve military families we are doing what we know how to do: help marriages grow strong. But we can't do it alone. Destiny Homes is setting the bar to do what they can do: build a home. As they build the home and America's Family Coaches builds the military families, we will together strengthen our community!" says Gary Rosberg, President and CEO of America's Family Coaches.

The home is located at 4423 163rd Street in Urbandale, and the home is available for viewing on December 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. with Iowa Realty Agent Scott Steelman. For more information on this project, please visit our website at www.americasfamilycoaches.com or contact Angela Ten Clay at 515.334.7482 x 9119 or angela@afcoaches.com.

ABOUT AMERICA'S FAMILY COACHES: Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg are award-winning authors, popular radio hosts and international speakers. Together, the Rosbergs are co-founders of America's Family Coaches and directly address the needs of marriages today. The Rosbergs are impacting churches, communities and military families worldwide to build healthy marriages and families that last a lifetime.

###

The best way to thank our veterans and tell them 'good job' is to help them find a good job when they return home.

Federal law requires employers to re-hire National Guard servicemembers when they return from active duty service.  I've always been proud of how seriously Iowa employers take their duty to help re-integrate our returning soldiers back into normal day-to-day life.  But what about those veterans who were out of work when they were called up?

Late this summer, 2,800 members of the Iowa National Guard returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.  In a survey conducted after they returned home, more than 600 of these men and women reported being out of work.  That's the equivalent of an unemployment rate of over 21 percent in this group - nearly four times the Iowa unemployment rate.

Unemployment among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans isn't just a problem unique to Iowa.  Nationally, these vets are unemployed at a rate nearly twice the national average.

Creating jobs for these veterans will not only help them, but it will also address the greater unemployment problem in our country.

That's why for several months, I've worked to promote the idea of cutting taxes for employers who hire unemployed veterans who are returning from active duty service.

In August, I introduced the Combat Veterans Back to Work Act, a bill that provides tax credits for employers that hire unemployed veterans.  This idea, which attracted some rare bipartisan support in Congress, was  incorporated into two new tax credits that were signed into law by President Obama last month.

The first, known as the Returning Heroes tax credit, provides up to $5,600 in tax credits for every unemployed veteran hired by an employer.  The second, called the Wounded Warrior tax credit, doubles the existing tax credit for firms that hire unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities.

The bottom line is that these tax credits will help the bottom line of businesses and help get veterans back to work - a win-win for our economy and many brave men and women.

If you're a veteran or a business interested in learning more about these tax credits, I encourage you to contact my Waterloo office at (319) 287-3233.

by Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01)

SPRINGFIELD, IL (11/30/2011)(readMedia)-- Maj. Gen. Dennis L. Celletti, a native of Rock Falls and the Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army, visited Soldiers of the Illinois Army National Guard's 1644th Transportation Company in Rock Falls, Nov. 23 to 25 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Celletti was accompanied by State Command Sgt. Maj. Howard Robinson of Olympia Field. The two Illinois National Guard senior leaders were given an overview of the company's convoy operations and served the Soldiers a Thanksgiving meal. The company mobilized in July 2011 and is scheduled to return home in the summer of 2012.

Photo Captions:

Photo submitted by Command Sgt. Maj. Howard Robinson/ (Right) Maj. Gen. Dennis L. Celletti, a native of Rock Falls and the Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army, serves Thanksgiving dinner to Soldiers of the Illinois Army National Guard's 1644th Transportation Company in Rock Falls, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Nov. 24. Celletti spent three days with the 1644th, touring the camp and receiving an overview of convoy operations.

Photo submitted by Command Sgt. Maj. Howard Robinson/ (Left to right) Maj. Gen. Dennis L. Celletti, a native of Rock Falls and the Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army and Command Sgt. Maj. Howard Robinson of Olympia Field receives an explanation of an improvised explosive detection device from Sgt. Jameel Franklin, of Springfield with the Illinois Army National Guard's 1644th Transportation Company in Rock Falls, during a visit at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Nov. 24.

Photo submitted by Command Sgt. Maj. Howard Robinson/ Sgt. Jameel Franklin of Springfield, with the Illinois Army National Guard's 1644th Transportation Company in Rock Falls, shakes hands with Maj. Gen. Dennis L. Celletti, a native of Rock Falls and the Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army, during a visit at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Nov. 23. The company was mobilized in July 2011 and is scheduled to return in the summer of 2012.

Permalink: http://readme.readmedia.com/Major-General-Celletti-visits-Rock-Falls-unit-in-Kuwait-for-Thanksgiving/3130204

Related Media

Legislation would allow 12 weeks of job-protected leave for treatment of service-related injuries 

 

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today introduced a bill aimed at strengthening job protections for wounded veterans returning from service overseas.  Braley is the highest ranking Democrat on the House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

The Disabled Veterans Employment Protection Act would provide military and National Guard veterans up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a calendar year to be treated for an injury incurred in or aggravated by military service without having to worry about losing their jobs.  The legislation would also allow injured or disabled veterans to use sick or vacation leave they have accrued to receive pay while getting treatment, but would not require them to do so.

"Federal law protects the jobs of servicemen and women while they're serving our country," Braley said.  "But there are no protections for injured veterans who need to seek treatment for their injuries once they return home.   With thousands of injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, it's time we strengthen protections and allow veterans the ability to seek out the care and treatment they need."

 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides that employers must reemploy individuals who have been called to active duty military service and have to be absent from their jobs.  However, the law does not cover protections for treatment these individuals might need after they return from service

Late this summer, 2,800 members of the Iowa National Guard returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.  According to the National Guard, 60 Iowa servicemembers who went on the deployment are currently hospitalized receiving treatment for injuries.  Another 50 servicemembers are receiving outpatient treatment at facilities near their homes.  About 500 Iowans have been wounded during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The Disabled Veterans Employment Protection Act is modeled after the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for family and medical reasons like the birth of a child, a serious health condition, or caring for a spouse or child with a serious health condition.

The full text of the bill can be viewed at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/527

# # #

WASHINGTON – The Coast Guard announced Wednesday the launch of its third Sentinel-class, Fast Response Cutter, the William Flores, at Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La.

The launch of the William Flores into the waters of Bayou Lafourche marks a production milestone as the Fast Response Cutter readies for sea trials, delivery, crew training and eventual commissioning.

"The Coast Guard's new Fast Response Cutters are national assets, unique to the United States and uniquely equipped to respond to all threats and all events in times of crisis," said Cmdr. Chris O'Neil, chief of media relations for the U.S. Coast Guard.  "The Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet.  Armed with a 25-mm chain gun and four, .50 caliber machine guns,  the speed, stability and firepower of the Fast Response Cutter deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.  Like the Island-class patrol boats the Fast Response Cutters replace, the fleet of 58 Sentinel-class cutters will serve as the workhorses of America's littoral, maritime fleet."

Seaman Apprentice William Flores, namesake of the cutter, posthumously received the Coast Guard Medal, the service's highest award for heroism not involving combat, for his unselfish acts and sacrifice Jan. 28, 1980, following the collision between the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn and the tanker Capricorn.  Flores and another crewmember threw life jackets to their shipmates who had jumped into the water.  Later, when his companion abandoned ship as the Blackthorn began to submerge, Flores, who was less than a year out of boot camp, remained behind and used his belt to strap open the life jacket locker door, allowing additional life jackets to float to the surface.  Even after most crewmembers abandoned ship, the 19-year-old Flores remained aboard Blackthorn to assist trapped shipmates and to comfort those who were injured and disoriented. Seaman Apprentice William Ray "Billy" Flores and 22 other Coast Guardsmen perished as the Blackthorn capsized and sank near the entrance of Tampa Bay, Fla.  Twenty seven of his shipmates survived.

After commissioning, the William Flores will be homeported in Miami, with a crew of 24 to conduct alien migrant interdiction operations, port, waterways and coastal security patrols, search and rescue and national defense missions.

Named for enlisted Coast Guard heroes, Fast Response Cutters have an overall length of 154 feet, a beam of 26 feet and are capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots.  The Fast Response Cutter also features a stern launch ramp for rapid and safe deployment of its 7.9-meter small boat.  The William Flores is scheduled to be delivered and commissioned in 2012.

For more information about the Fast Response Cutter visit http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/sentinel/default.asp or to learn more about the recapitalization of Coast Guard assets visit http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/programs/pdf/CG9recap.pdf.

Iowa Marine died from wounds suffered by an IED explosion in Afghanistan 

 

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement today after learning that Marine Cpl. Christopher Zachary Reiff, a native of Preston, Iowa, died as a result of injuries suffered from an IED explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan:

"My thoughts and prayers are with the Reiff family.  Words seem so inadequate at times like these, but I am grateful for Corporal Reiff's service.  He made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of the country he loved.  I urge Iowans to keep the Reiff family in their thoughts this Thanksgiving."

# # #

Honors La Grange Military Hero

CHICAGO - November 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed Lance Corporal Joshua Misiewicz Day in Illinois, in recognition of Lance Corporal Misiewicz's exemplary service in the United States Marine Corps.

Lance Corporal Misiewicz, a 23-year-old La Grange resident, deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the 1st Batallion, 5th Marine Regiment in March 2011. While on patrol in the Helmund Province on July 20, 2011, Lance Corporal Misiewicz stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and sustained extensive injuries. Lance Corporal Misiewicz was later awarded the Purple Heart by Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos for injuries sustained during battle.

A copy of Governor Quinn's proclamation is attached.

WHEREAS, all citizens owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces who heroically serve to defend the freedom and safety of all Americans; and,

WHEREAS, by answering the call of duty during times of peace and war, these heroic service men and women have demonstrated a profound love for the people of this country and a steadfast commitment to the freedom that unites us; and,

WHEREAS, the United States and the State of Illinois are blessed by the 1.5 million men and women who have answered that call to serve our nation with courage and integrity; and,

WHEREAS, these members of our military are true heroes; and,

WHEREAS, since June 2011, more than 100,000 American heroes remain deployed in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom; and,

WHEREAS, one such hero was 23-year-old La Grange native and United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Joshua Misiewicz; and,

WHEREAS, prior to pursuing his dream of enlisting in the Marines, Lance Corporal Misiewicz spent a lifetime representing his community in the highest esteem?as a member of the St. Xavier Parish, as an all-state all-star hockey player, as a 2006 honors graduate of Lyons Township High School, as a student athlete and associates' degree recipient from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment in March 2011; and,

WHEREAS, A Department of Defense photo of Lance Corporal Misiewicz giving high-five to an Afghan child in April 2011 became an image seen around the globe as a demonstration of the American goodwill toward the people of Afghanistan; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz, while on patrol in the Helmund Province on July 20, 2011, stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and sustained extensive injuries; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz has undergone more than two dozen surgeries and will continue to receive treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD; and,

WHEREAS Lance Corporal Misiewicz has fought successfully against all odds; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz, was awarded the Purple Heart by Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos for injuries sustained during battle; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz has now accepted a new mission, spending much of his time with the support of his family and fellow Marines following the road to recovery en route to the future;

THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim November 19, 2011 as LANCE CORPORAL JOSHUA MISIEWICZ DAY in Illinois, in recognition of Lance Corporal Misiewicz's service and sacrifice, and encourage all citizens to express their respect and gratitude for our nation's troops by supporting them in whatever way possible.

###

GREENVIEW, IL (11/17/2011)(readMedia)-- Hovering 90 feet in the air. Dangling from a Blackhawk helicopter and rappelling to land with a rope as the wind whistles through your hair. This is an experience many who put on a U.S. Army uniform dream of, but few experience. Until recently, most of those opportunities were reserved for active duty Army personnel. Through a new program, Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers are getting a unique opportunity to attend Air Assault School.

The program allows distinguished honor graduates from initial entry training (IET) to attend Air Assault School.

"Soldiers must graduate from IET as a distinguished honor graduate or honor graduate with a physical fitness test score of 280 or above," said Sgt.1st Class Angela Cooper of Hartsburg, Acting Training Seat Quota Manager. "Soldiers meeting the criteria must submit applications within 90 days after graduating from IET."

Since October 2010, nine Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers qualified for the program, but only one Soldier has graduated from Air Assault School.

On January 14, 2011 Spc Jeremy Doggett of Greenview, a member of the Illinois Army National Guard's Troop A, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment, in Pontiac graduated from Air Assault School at Fort Benning, Ga. Doggett excelled during IET, becoming a distinguished honor graduate and receiving the Draper Leadership Award, which is designed for upcoming leaders in armor and cavalry units. His extraordinary accomplishment led to the creation of the new program allowing Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers the option to attend Air Assault School.

"Soldiers have to meet high standards to go to air assault training," said Master Sgt. Marshall

Peterson of Tallula, with the training division at Camp Lincoln in Springfield. "Prerequisites include a commander's recommendation and successful completion of a 12-mile road march with 35 pounds of equipment in three hours. We want smart, strong Soldiers with the strength and mental toughness to rappel out of a helicopter and complete the training."

Air Assault School is a 10-day course with a "Zero Day" that consists of a physical fitness test and an obstacle course. The obstacle course is designed to assess a student's upper body strength, agility, endurance, confidence and ability to perform at heights without displaying fear or distress. This test is critical in determining if a Soldier will be able to complete Air Assault School without becoming a safety risk during the demanding training events conducted during the course.

"The obstacle course consists of nine separate obstacles that you must overcome," said Doggett. "Two of the obstacles must be completed receiving a first time 'go.' You cannot receive more than one 'no go' on each of the remaining seven obstacles or you will fail."

Air Assault School is typically recognized as more challenging than Airborne School due to the additional academic portions of the course coupled with the physical challenges. Safety is paramount during all training and failure to meet the rigorous standards results in an immediate discharge from the course."

Air Assault School has three distinct phases, with each phase having a written test. Soldiers learn up to 17 hand and arm signals used during sling-load operations. There is a three-day phase focused on planning and preparation for sling-load operations, capabilities, characteristics and use of sling loading equipment. Soldiers eventually learn to rappel from a hovering helicopter.

"Between the first and second day we did a six-mile ruck march and it was nasty out and that's when my uniform including boots were soaked, said Spc Doggett. "During the ruck my socks were drenched and fell down creating friction....and both of my boots were saturated in blood. The bad part was I knew I had another ruck to complete, but no pain, no gain."

Many Soldiers are cut throughout the course for various infractions in standards. One example is air assault Soldiers are required to shout "air assault" every time their left foot hits the ground and Soldiers never walk during training.

The final day starts at 1 a.m. when Soldiers wake up and conduct a 12-mile ruck march within three hours.

"It was January and there was a rain snow mix, so conditions were not ideal," said Doggett. "I think the Air Assault School is a great course that improves attention to detail and leadership skill. The training sets you apart from your peers. It really toughened me up and made me the person I am today. Upon graduation I was coined by State Command Sgt. Maj. John Starbody. "

Doggett said having this course under his belt helped him move forward to his next path in the military. Since graduation, he has been attached to the Illinois National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Command in Springfield traveling throughout the state as a member of the mobile event team and was recently selected to attend flight school at Fort Rucker this coming year.

More Soldiers are slotted to attend Air Assault School and further funding is available for fiscal year 2012. Details of the new program can be found in Illinois Army National Guard Operations and Training Message 11-006.

Photo 1: Photo courtesy of Spc. Jeremy Doggett/ Through a new program, Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers are getting a unique opportunity to attend Air Assault School. "Between the first and second day we did a six-mile ruck march and it was nasty out and that's when my uniform including boots were soaked, said Spc. Jeremy Doggett of Greenview. "During the ruck my socks were drenched and fell down creating friction....and both of my boots were saturated in blood. The bad part was I knew I had another ruck to complete, but no pain, no gain."

Photo 2: Army photo by Sgt. Jason A. Bushong/ A servicemember rappels from the tower with a combat load during Day 8 of Air Assault School on Camp Smith, N.Y., July 28.

Photo 3: Photo courtesy of 55th Combat Camera/ Air Assault students rappel from a UH-60 Blackhawk as part of their graduation from Phase 3 at Camp Smith, N.Y., on July 29.

For high resolution photos, please contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at ngilstaffpao@ng.army.mil

Become our Facebook Fan!

www.facebook.com/illinoisnationalguard

Paying tribute to America's veterans, Presidential hopeful Herman Cain teams up with highly decorated Colonel Michael Steele to offer a powerful and moving message to the men, women, and families of our armed services.

Colonel Steele was the company commander of the Third Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, during Operation Gothic Serpent, the basis for the book and subsequent movie, "Blackhawk Down."

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

From the Berlin Wall to Mogadishu to Iraq, Colonel Steele has served his country well, and Herman Cain is honored to have a friendship with a man so respected and decorated as the Colonel. Please join us in honoring our proud and heroic Veterans on this and every day.

Thank-you and God bless all our servicemen and women, and God bless America.

You can see the video on the Herman Cain YouTube channel.

Photograph of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp (right) and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt (left) take part in a Coast Guard Veteran's Day wreath laying ceremony at the Coast Guard Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 11, 2011.

ARLINGTON, Va., - Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp (right) and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt (left) take part in a Coast Guard Veteran's Day wreath laying ceremony at the Coast Guard Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 11, 2011. All three spoke about the importance of the day and thanked veterans for their service. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

 

Photograph of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp (right) and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt (left) take part in a Coast Guard Veteran's Day wreath laying ceremony at the Coast Guard Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 11, 2011.

ARLINGTON, Va., - Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp (right) and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt (left) take part in a Coast Guard Veteran's Day wreath laying ceremony at the Coast Guard Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 11, 2011. All three spoke about the importance of the day and thanked veterans for their service. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard honored veterans of the service during a wreath-laying ceremony Friday held at the Coast Guard World War I Memorial,  Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Jane Holl Lute, joined Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt in the Veterans Day, wreath-laying ceremony.  The Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard and the Coast Guard Ceremonial Band also participated in the event.

"The Department of Homeland Security is fortunate to have the brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard protecting our coastline and maritime interests around the world," said Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute. "They carry on the great tradition of those who have served in defense of our freedom. As a former member of the U.S. Army, it is an honor to remember the Coast Guardsmen who lost their lives in World War I, and to recognize the service and sacrifice of all of our Veterans."

"Our Nation has always had absolute confidence in, [the fact] that our citizens will step forward during our greatest hour of need, to selflessly defend our freedoms, and when necessary, to lay their lives on the altar of patriotism," said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. "This willingness embodies the essence of service...and what it truly means to be called a veteran."

The Coast Guard monument at Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated May 23, 1928 as a tribute to the Coast Guardsmen who lost their lives in World War I. The monument is inscribed with the names of Coast Guardsmen who were killed during the war. The southeast side is dedicated to the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa, sunk by an enemy submarine in Bristol Channel Sept. 26, 1918. The northwest side is dedicated to the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca, which lost 11 Coast Guardsmen while salvaging the torpedoed British Steamer Wellington in the Bay of Biscay Sept. 17, 1918. The architect was George Howe and the sculptor was Gaston Lachaise.

Six cutters were sent to Europe for convoy duty while smaller cutters patrolled the U.S. Coast Guard during World War 1. Coast Guardsmen were also integrated into Navy commands and Coast Guard officers commanded several Navy air stations and ships.

Pages