Patriot Reader Newsletter

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Patriot Reader Newsletter
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Veterans Council of St. Johns County
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Church to commemorate the or all veterans who served since WW l, we have a special program all lined up which will include the massing of the colors, the St. Johns County Center for the Arts Chamber Singers, the Agent Orange Quilt of Tears exhibition, the Traveling i z a t i o n s d i s p l a y s W W l m i l itary uniforms and weapons, military vehicles, JROTC performance and other salutes to our veterans. The doors to the atrium will open at 0930 to view all the displays and the program will begin at 11:11. Be sure to put the dates on your calendar and plan to attend with your family and friends to help us honor our comrades who have worn the cloth of our nation. Thank you for your service. Bill Dudley,Chairman Veterans Council of St. Johns County Fellow Veterans, As we move from the end of summer to the fall season, we find our Veterans Council engaged in several major upcoming events. Our Veterans Homeless Stand Down will be held this year on Saturday, Sept 8, 2018 at the Elks Lodge. This year we will host a guest from Washington who has oversight over Veterans Homeless Stand Downs around the country. We are honored to have someone from the headquarters come down and observe how well we take care of our homeless veterans in St. Johns Down should be as big as or bigger than in years past. Elks Lodge 829 has given a generous donation $3500 this year to assist with buying needed items for the Stand Down. Also, our community has been very generous with contributed clothing, toilet articles, towels, etc. We will need volunteers for Friday, 7 Sept. beginning at 0900 to assist Tammy with unloading and setting up the tables at the Elks Lodge. If you can assist on Friday with set up or volunteer on Saturday with helping with the homeless veterans, please contact Tammy Shirley at 904 209 6160 or A very special event will occur on Saturday, 22 Sept. 2018 at Cecil Field. A GATHERING IN THE PINES will take place beginning at 0900. This special event is to honor all our POW MIAs. The program will begin with a flyover followed by the parading of the flags and a keynote speaker. A not to be AM, 1:30 PM, 3:30 PM in Building 333. Also, a ceremony not to be missed is the Filipino American Veterans Society contour of the proposed site for the POW MIA Memorial will also be available. Music will be provided during ty Express, Gospel Bluegrass The Veterans Council has opted not to have a parade this year but instead have a special program at Anastasia Baptist Message from the Chairman Newsletter Date: September, 2018 Volume 7, Issue 9 Clyde Lassen State Veterans Nursing Home Jacksonville National Cemetery St Johns County Veterans Day Commemoration DNA Samples Needed Veterans Council July Minutes UNF Students Project Korean Ambassador Honors Korean War Vets Rocky Bleier, Vietnam Veteran V$V Quarterly Gathering An APP for St Augustine National Cemetery 2018 FL Military Friendly Guide Seminole War Commemoration Seminole War Heritage Trail A Wild Drive on Wildwood Drive Cecil Field Memorial Veterans Crisis Line Info Update Inside this Edition


2 Clyde E. Lassen State Veterans Nursing Home Water melon eating contest Since Clyde E Lassen SVNH opened 8 years ago the quilting ministry of Anastasia Baptist Church has provided each and every incoming resident with their own patriotic quilt. We would like to ward to their visits and enjoy seeing the veterans as they are presented with the quilts. The sailors from the USS Lassen recently came to visit with the residents of Clyde E Lassen State


3 Jacksonville National Cemetery Support Committee Meetings for 2018 At Community Hospice of NE FL. 4266 Sunbeam Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32257 Hadlow Bldg Conference Room A 7:00pm DATES OF 2018 NEXT SCJNC MEETING Monday, Sept 17th Monday, Oct 15th Monday, Nov 5th Monday, Dec 3rd Saturday, Dec 15th Wreaths Across America (Details TBA) All are invited to attend our meetings and become a part of this Committee.


4 Group nixes plans for annual Veterans Day parade Financial, logistical challenges undermine plans By Colleen Michele Jones Those looking to wave flags along the parade route to honor local veterans will have to wait at least another year to do so. In its August newsletter, the Veterans Council of St. Johns County one of the major sponsors of the event announced there would be no parade Nov. 12. A memorial program is planned instead. In what would have been the third year the Veterans Council partnered with the local Military Officers Association of America to organize the parade in downtown St. Augustine, the organizations have decided to make other plans to honor those who served. Bill Dudley, chair of the Veterans Council, said one reason was that costs had become unsusprovide security and traffic control. Another challenge was rounding up enough members of the military to take part in the pasonville, Dudley said his organization would have to transport officers from as far away as Georgia and south Florida, which also cost money. parade in 2019.








8 Veterans Day in St. Augustine Monday November 12, 2018 Anastasia Baptist Church 1650 A1A S, St. Augustine Please join us as we honor our Veterans, Purple Heart recipients and Gold Star families On display, The Traveling Vietnam Wall and the Agent Orange Quilt of Tears Monday November 12, Hours: Atrium displays open at 9:30 am and Veterans Day Commemoration starts at 11:11 am with the St. Johns County Center for the Arts Chamber Singers along with Dr. Roger Geronimo perform patriotic songs and a rousing Service Anthems Salute.




10 The Veterans Council is proud to announce that Tom Waskovich will Augustine Beach, was one of the founders of the Veterans Council and its first Chairman. Tom proudly served his country as a fabled Green Beret. His unit was MACV SOG, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group, was a highly classified, multi service United States special operations unit which conducted covert unconventional warfare operations prior to and during the Vietnam War. COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTRAL SOG was CCN CCC and CCS CCN ran missions in north Vietnam and central LAOS CCC ran missions in southern Laos and northern Cambodia. CCN ran missions in Cambodia CCC had about 300 Americans that ran cross border missions in their history .Of that small amount of men we had SIX Medal of Honor recipients (AN UNHEARD OF RATIO OF 50 TO 1). Our most recent recipient Gary Rose, was awarded the Medal a few months ago by President Trump. I will talk about those men including the 3 I knew personally


11 National POW/MIA Recognition Day by Presidential Decree, is commemorated the 3rd Friday of cial event held that week, sponsored by the org, Release MIAs together for a time of healing, fellowship, and honors. Moe Moyer who is speaking in this video, is the Chairman of this event as well as the Co Chairman of Honor Release Return, with Bob Ousley being another Co Chairman for this organization. In this Video, Moe gives the history of "The Ride Home," along with stories of healing among the honored guests, and he also shares general insight about the need to keep the search for our MIAs going, until they all come home. MISSING MAN TABLE CEREMONY: THE RIDE HOME VIDEO: THE RIDE HOME WEBSITE: HONOR RELEASE RETURN WEBSITE: THE RIDE HOME ANN WOLF MUSIC WEBSITE: ride home powmia/ NEWSLETTER SIGN UP:




13 VFW Urges MIA Families to Provide DNA Samples Return of American MIAs from North Korea begins Now that North Korea has unilaterally turned over 55 boxes of remains believed to contain missing American servicemen from the Korean War, the new national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is urging the families of Korean and Cold War missing to ensure the Defense Department has a DNA reference sample on file to help speed the identification process. for war dead are believed to be in North Korea, and 111 of our 126 Cold War missing are in the vicinity of the Korean peninsula, yet family reference samples on file only account for 91 percent of Korean War missing and 85 percent of Cold War lossAuxiliary members to canvas their neighborhoods and urge every MIA family even distant relatives to provide a family reference sample in the hope that the next identification announcement is their long lost soldier, sailor, airman, Marine or contract civilian." According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, all immediate family members, as well as maternal and paternal relatives, are eligible to donate a family reference sample, which is essentially a cotton cheek swab. Relatives should contact a military service casualty officer for information on how to provide a DNA sample. Those numbers are: United States Army: (800) 892 2490 United States Marine Corps: (800) 847 1597 United States Navy: (800) 443 9298 United States Air Force: (800) 531 5501 Department of State: (202) 485 6106 arizing North Korea, but to the families of the missing, their macro view of the world begins at home, where for more than six decades they have been asking questions that have mostly gone unanswered. This is why ensuring a family reference sample is on file is so important. Identifications can be made through strong circumstantial evidence, but nothing says proof positive better than an actual DNA


14 Veterans Council of St. Johns County, Inc. Minutes of July 26, 2018 Officers present : Chairman Bill Dudley, Vice Chairman Ray Quinn, Secretary Michael Rothfeld, Treasurer John Mountcastle Chairman Dudley called the meeting to order at 1900 hours Chairman Dudley led the Pledge to the Flag, Vice Chairman Ray Quinn gave the Invocation Introduction of Guests: Scot French & Amy Giroux, UCF; Al Richburg, Ntl Cemetery Director; Alison Simpson, FL Ntl Guard Historian; Joy Andrews, Asst County Administrator, Kelly Barrera, Member School Board; Carmalita Gaines, Veteran Outreach, COL Jim Vanairsdale, USMC ret; COL Ken Russom, USMC ret, Former VP Flagler College Speakers: Dr Amy Giroux, Cemetery Researcher: University of Central Florida project funded through a contract from the National Cemetery Administration. The project will allow users of smart phones to bring up biographies when near a cemetery headstone. Material gathered in research will be available for K12 students, with lesson plans, databases, diagrams, etc. All information will also be available on their website with bio cards of veterans researched. Dr Scot French objective is to memorialize deceased veterans, have their bios available for study and try to reach out to any living family members for information and pictures. Several DNA companies have this information available online and another objective is to have St Augustine bus and walking tours include the National Cemetery and interact with the UCF Virtual Reality program. UCF is looking into ways to involve local K12 students tour cemetery, volunteer and learn about those buried in our National Cemeteries.


15 In May 2016, Under Secretary Ron Walters of the National Cemetery Administration scholars and students sacrifice from the 135 national cemeteries with younger students and the general public. Our partnership honors veterans and brings cemeteries alive for students at universities, elementary, middle and high schools through a range of instructional materials and interactive digital history tools. Committee Reports: No Reports because of the importance of our speakers. Meeting adjourned at 8:22 pm. The next meeting of the Veterans Council will be on Thursday, August 30, 7 pm in the Health & Human Services Building, 200 San Sebastian View. Future speakers: August 30, Jason Snodgrass, Chief Operating Officer, K9s For Warriors September 27, Charles Tingley, St. Augustine Historical Society, Senior Reference Librarian, 100 Years Ago: St. Johns County & WW I. October 25, Dr. Michael Butler, November 29, Andrew Coughlan Wounded Warrior Project, Resource Development and Michele McManamon, Co founder/ Executive Director, Operation New Uniform December 27, Margaret Kaplan Administrator, Lassen State Veterans Nursing Home January 31, Tom Waskovich Green Beret, MACVSOG Guests in attendance: MOAA President Ron Birchall & Kelly Barrera, St Johns County School Board Member Alison Simpson, FL National Guard Historian and Ray Quinn, VP VC of SJC COL Ken Russom, USMC (ret) & VVA 1084 President John Leslie VVA Members: Bob Adkins, Dave Treffinger COL Joe Naftzinger, ret Seminole War Foundation


16 Korean War vets honored at Camp Blanding event More 75 people gathered Monday, August 6 honor the Korean War Veterans during a ceremony at Camp Blanding in Clay County. South Korean Ambassador H.E. Cho Yoon Je was the guest speaker and was presented by Congressman Ted Yoho (R 3rd District). There were 30 medals were presented by Cho to the veterans. There were other Korean War Veterans in the crowd and they will get medals at a later date. Submitted by David Treffinger, E Recon Editor Below is a reprint of the story from the Aug. 9, 2018 Clay Today. By Wesley LeBlanc, Clay Today, CAMP BLANDING For four years, Americans and many other allies fought alongside South Koreans in The Korean War, in which U.S. troops fought from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1954, would see nearly 34,000 soldiers killed in action, another 20,000 killed as bystanders of the war and over 100,000 wounded. Many soldiers never returned home, only to be forgotten by the American people like the war itself. However, there are those who did return home, such as Terry Fitzpatrick, 87, who served as a Sergeant at Arms for the Twenty Fifth Division of the Thirty Fifth Infantry Regiment for the U.S. Army. Fitzpatrick and others will never forget the lives the rest of the world no longer remembers. On Aug. 6, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho and South Korean Ambassador H.E. Cho Yoon Je made their way to Camp Blanding to honor Fitzpatrick and over 30 other Korean War veterans. They also honored the soldiers who melted down and coated in gold. This event was originally scheduled to happen last spring, but due to scheduling conflicts, it was moved to August. One of the main advocates for rescheduling the event was Yoon Je himself. According to a Camp Blanding representative, Yoon Je believed this commemoration was too important to allow it to fall to the wayside. Yoon Je wanted to present these medals to the veterans himself. To receive the medal at all was an honor for Fitzpatrick, but to receive it from Yoon Je meant the world to him. According to Fitzpatrick, Yoon Je serves as a living example of why Fitzpatrick and his fellow veterans did what they did over 50 years ago.


17 Four UCF graduate students piece together lost World War I stories from inside the shoes of their new heroes. By Robert Stephens | August 9, 2018 None of the past 100 Julys in France can compare to July 2018. A family in Nantes became the first in the world to move into a 3D printed home. Around Paris, temperatures were 10 degrees warmer than normal. People throughout France stopped everything, or at least slowed down, to follow the national soccer In the middle of all of this, four UCF graduate students completed their own journey of historic impact. like her grad Stories of the Past Come to Life this kind of impact coming when she first helped the university become both a partner and a poster child for the NaIn May 2017, she led a group of about two dozen UCF students and 150 seventh graders to the Florida National Cemespent a semester writing biographies about specific veterans who had served the United States during World War I. (The stories can be found at Campana was among the UCF students in the cemetery that day. To say it was a moving experience is a huge understatement. The four graduate students had their own boots on the same ground where the soldiers and nurses of World War I crawled, slept and knelt in prayer. They walked 64 miles and climbed 400 flights of stairs, through cities as big as Paris and villages as small as Belleau Wood, over fields and through trenches and along the very spot at Meuse Argonne where 26,000 American soldiers lost their lives in just six weeks, a costly offensive that helped end the war, which at Adding to the weight of the research experience: Two of the four grad students are American combat veterans themselves, having fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of them looked over the expanse of Meuse Argonne from a hill, Graduate students in the UCF Veterans Campana, display a headstone rubbing at the Aisne Marne Cemetery, near Reims, France.






20 A GATHERING IN THE PINES: CECIL FIELD POW/MIA MEMORIAL PARK September 22, 2018 9:00am to 5:00pm Registration Form, (please print clearly) Organization: _______________________________________________________________________ Contact Person: _____________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Phone: Home #_______________________________Cell #___________________________________ Email: ______________________________________________________________________________ Fee: $25.00 Paid on Date:____________by Check #: _________or Cash:___________ Tents, tables, etc. will not be provided. Sales permitted by registered organizations. Minimum of 10% of sales for profit sa les must be donated to the Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial and Museum fund. This minimun donation does not apply to non profit groups. Make checks payable to: Cecil field POW/MIA Memorial Mail checks to: AFSA Chapter F0559; c/o Rick Wiggs; 15664 Forest Trail Road; Jacksonville, FL 32234. Disclaimer: Cecil FieldPOW/MIA Memorial, Inc is a non profit croporation Registration Number CH51569. Copies of all tax and financial documents may be obtained by calling 800 435 7352 within the state. Registration does not constitue endorsement, approval or recommendation by the state.


21 Korean War veterans receive medals from ambassador STARKE year old Ken Sassaman was honored for his service in the Korean War. But, he said, this one was special because of the person who recognized him. Cho Yoon to the United States, shook hands and thanked the 30 or so Korean War veterans as they approached a podium in blazing heat. He then placed medals around their necks in a gesture to the bond between the United States and the Republic of Korea. bassador said during the ceremony. American veterans who fought in the Korean War. chairman of the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. dor insisted on holding the ceremony at Camp Blanding during his visit this week to Northeast Florida. The gesture from the Republic of Korea comes at a time when relations between the United States and North Korea are much more contentious. Talks between the leaders of the two countries have been ongoing in recent months, and last week marked a positive shift when North Korea returned what are believed to be the remains of more than 50


22 U.S. service members. He said that dream is only possible because Korean War veterans were willing to sacrifice their lives to help a nation on the other side of the world. in Korea. He said like many war veterans, he believes the people who really deserve the reHe said memories of his friends killed in the war filled his thoughts Monday. Sassaman said watching the way the country has developed since the war has given him a great sense of pride. Eddie Thomas, 84, was another of the veterans who received recognition Monday. He served as an Air Force policeman during the war and said it felt much hotter at Camp Blanding than it did during his overnight security shifts when he was in charge of the K 9 unit with 12 working dogs. He wiped beads of sweat from beneath his hat as he talked about how much pride he felt message. Cho pointed out that the Americans who shed their blood, sweat and tears along with the Joe Daraskevich: (904) 359 4308






25 Heart Hero, Christopher Vedrick, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and National Publications Committeeman being Honored on the Jaguars Jumbotron.


26 Stars and Stripes Steelers legend Rocky Bleier 'Fighting Back' again, this time to benefit Vietnam vets By KEVIN GORMAN | The Tribune Review | Published: August 16, 2018 GREENSBURG, Pa. (Tribune News Service) Rocky Bleier smiled and posed for photographs with a line of Pittsburgh Steelers fans, showing them his Super Bowl ring while autographing copies of his book, Fighting Back: The Inspirational Journey of American Hero Rocky Bleier. But Bleier stopped when Bryan Bullock shared the story of his father, Ronald, a Vietnam veteran who was wounded by grenade shrapnel in his leg, foot and lower back the same injuries Bleier suffered in the war. Bullock was thrilled to meet the Steelers legend Monday after making the trip to training camp at Saint Vincent from Reidsville, N.C., just north of Greensboro, and happier to get a personalized autograph of Fighting Back to take home to his father. That was the inspiration for Bleier to re release his biography, which chronicles his growing up in Appleton, Wis., to winning a national championship at Notre Dame to fighting in the Vietnam War and the remarkable recovery that led to four Super Bowl rings with the Steelers. The new edition, partnered with Leadership League, includes a foreword by Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. It also has two new chapters written by Post Gazette columnist Gene Collier, who collaborated with Bleier on his one man play he has performed. Proceeds of his campaign, Fighting Back for Veterans, will benefit the Veterans Leadership Program, Joint Training Facility and Legacies Alive, organizations that provide services for veterans and their families.


27 whole new generation for grandfathers and fathers to pass on a story that made a difference first time in 49 years, since he was seriously injured in 1969. An ESPN camera crew will film Bleier for a documentary as he visits battle sites such as Chu Lai and Heip Duc, where his battalion guarded landing zones and where he was twice wounded, first by enemy fire and then by shrapnel from a grenade. Walt Yager was instrumental in bringing The Wall That Heals to Renziehausen Park in etnam War. It was quite a scene to see Yager and his wife, Lavonne, asking Bleier to autograph their jerseys Steelers throwback with No. 20 and thanking him for serving as a voice for Vietnam veterans. his attempt to raise $58,318 a dollar for each name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Not that Bleier is expecting his trip to Vietnam to reopen emotional wounds, even though he lost friends with the deaths of fellow soldiers.


28 from the emotional point of view what it was like to be just a regular guy, a regular grunt their Vietnam War stories with Bleier. Bullock got a personalized autograph for his father, Ronald, who earned two Purple Hearts er. Finally, Ronald shared that it was how he trained himself to stay alert on overnight watch in the war zone. As Villanueva notes in the foreword, the Army still uses the Vietnam War to teach its tactics to a generation of soldiers. Bleier is more concerned with a U.S. military that relies too heavily upon volunteers, noting we have been in the Middle East longer than Vietnam. A Gold Star daughter, Noreen Doloughty has visited Vietnam in search of answers about her Vietnam holds a special place in her heart, as her father, Army Staff Sgt. James Cornelius Doloughty, was killed in Chu lai in July 1969, when she was only eight months old. As Bleier signed autographs under a tent during a downpour, she shared her admiration for the Steelers legend. Now, Rocky Bleier is ready to tell a new one.


29 From Moe Moyer By Colonel Bill Fortier, US Army, Retired etnam helicopter pilot and filmmaker, refers to his heartfelt work of love that took four years to complete. It is a perfect film and it is at a perfect time because presentation of his film, A Solemn Promise, Ameri55 boxes carrying the remains of Americans who died as a result of the KoMIA Recognition Day (Sep 21, 2018). The concept for the film began eight years ago when Richard and fellow Vietnam helicopter pilot, Tom Lasser, discussed the fact that, had either of them gone down in Vietnam and still be missing and unaccounted for, America would still be conducting searches to locate their remains. That fact was fascinating to Richard, and it became the seed, which developed into a four year project to produce A Solemn Promise. ly from his personal funds, although AUSA and American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, California provided some assistance along the way. The film will be premiered in California and Georgia for National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Sep 21, 2018. In California it will show at the Palm Springs Air Museum and in Georgia at the Central Georgia Technical College in Warner Robbins, Georgia at The Ride Home, a major POW and MIA Families 3 day event that is held annually. For more information about the two events for Sep 21st: Palm Springs Air Museum The Ride Home 2018.html For more information about the film, A Solemn Promise: Screen Storyteller Original Films at


30 Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 1st! Please join OPERATION HOMECOMING at PBI to welcome home 80 WWII and Korean War veterans from their day of tribute in Washington, DC. Your presence, cheers and handshakes touch these veterans so profoundly -many say it is the most touching part of their day. Help give them a welcome home most never received. Flight arrives at 7:20PM but arrive early! See you there!


31 DAV St. Augustine Chapter 6 Officers 2018 2019 l r Joe McDermott Commander, Herb Koch Sr. Vice, Michael Isam Jr. Vice, Judy Davis Adjutant, George April Treasurer, Shawn Prentiss Chaplain Not shown Audrey Allen Officer of the Day, Officiating John McGinty Photo by J.C.


32 St Augustine Record Holding up a copy of the etching on one of the headstones, Scot French stood in the St. Augustine National Cemetery on Tuesday and had a student read aloud the description for one Lt. J.W.S. McNeil. He asked the group an assortment of home schooled students from Orlando what the words could tell us about the way McNeil, a U.S. Army veteran of the Second Seminole War, lived and died. French, an associate professor of history at the University of Central Florida, pointed out it was interesting the narrative specified that the 21 year old was killed by Uchee Billy, a Seminole chief, in 1837. He then had the group examine the text on another headstone, this one for Dr. Charles Noyes, a 27 year ones. eighth grader from Geneva. Through the work French, his colleagues, undergraduate and graduate students of UCF are doing, the aim is to use technology to help bring the stories of veterans from many chapters of American history to life. The Veterans Legacy Program, a joint project of the National Cemetery Administration and educational partners like the University of Central Florida, is in the process of digitally mapping and cataloguing all 1,227 grave sites at the St. Augustine National Cemebile application will allow smartphone users to hold their device up to a headstone which will then pull up the matching background information on that specific veteran.


33 The project at UCF is being led by associate professor Amelia Lyons. Since 2016, the group has used primary source based research to learn more about veterans buried in St. Augustine as well as the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, an offshoot of the same project. The goal of the student authored biographies is to frame those stories in greater historical context and with richer personal details. Eventually, they will all be compiled on this website: The group hopes to finish its work in time for Veterans Day, when the mobile app will also be available for visitors. The St. Augustine National Cemetery was established as a 1.5 acre burial place on the grounds of a military post, the St. Francis Barracks, with the first known plot in 1828. The cemetery is closed to new interments. Veterans from the following American wars are memorialized there: War of 1812, Second Seminole War, Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War. The Dade Monument is made up three coquina pyramids erected in 1842 to mark the end of the Seminole Wars. The monuments pay homage to the 1,468 soldiers who died during the wars, some of whose remains are contained within. Another goal of the Veterans Legacy Program is to create a K 12 curriculum around the project which allows students to interact with the data at a grade appropriate level for use by teachers nationwide. UCF faculty led the home schooling group through what Said Glenn Powers, deputy under secretary for field programs with the National Cemesaid that no veteran ever dies, and with programs like this their lives live on, their stories


34 Governor Scott declares Florida support for our military and their families. The guide was prepared by the Florida Defense Support Task Force of which I am a Task Force member. William Dudley, Chairman, Veterans Council of St. Johns County, TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the release of the 2018 Florida Military Friendly Guide. The annual guide, created by the Florida Defense Support Task Force, offers a summary nities and fee waivers for service men, women and their families stationed in Florida. A digital copy of the 2018 Florida Military Friendly Guide is available HERE. sure our military and their families have access to the services they need. Florida is the most military and for services and benefits for our military and veterans. Our Florida Military Friendly Guide is another great resource for our military members to learn more about these great benefits and everything Florida Florida is home to more than 1.5 million veterans, 20 major military installations and three unified commands. Since 2011, under the leadership of Governor Scott, Florida has invested hundreds of millions in funding to support active military, veterans and their families including more than $180 million in this the unemployment rate for veterans in Florida to a low 2.9 percent nearly an entire percent lower than the national average and a decrease of more than six percent since 2010. To foster enhanced cooperation Florida Military Friendly Guide is a great resource for military service men, women and their families in the Sunshine State. Enterprise Florida and the Florida Defense Support Task Force will continue to supThe defense industry provides an annual economic impact of $84.9 billion and accounts for more than 801,000 jobs in Florida. Defense continues to be the fourth largest contributor to the state economy behind agriculture and tourism. The Florida Military i t a r y b a s e s a n d d e f e n s e c o m m u n i t i e s


35 The Florida National Guard Command Historian welcomed academics, reenactors and guests to the historic St. Francis Barracks and nearby National Cemetery in St. Augustine, Fla, during the annual Seminole War Commemoration Parade and Ceremony. The procession, commemorating the end of the Second Seminole War in 1842, was marked by a reef laying at the Dade pyramids, as well as reflections by members of the Northeast Florida West Point Society. The ceremony also included additional presentations by the faculty of the University of Central Florida, as well as from members of the Seminole Wars Foundation, Inc.. and Alison Simpson, the Florida National Guard Command Historian.






38 Florida has been known as having the third largest population of women veterans for years. New data released by the VA now rank Florida as having the SECOND largest population of women veterans...trailing Texas. There is work to be done to help these women who served, have a healthy transition into civilian life. Some of you have made an effort to do just that but we still have a long way to go. As you know, I've always said that their are unique needs that must be addressed. As you prepare your 2019 plans, please include women veterans. If you are not sure what to do, let's talk. Thank you. Dee Quaranta, President / CEO, (904) 862 6036, 2133 Broadway Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida 32209








42 The Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial and Musetaries on its new website. feature many local veterans. videos/




44 The Drive for a veterans hospital, FL Times Union by Joe Daraskevich The nearest VA Hospital is in Gainesville, sparking complaints and maybe now some action of va hospital in jacksonville means long drives for certain types of care LAST 10 VA HOSPITALS TO OPEN New Orleans, opened 2017. Current veteran population in metro area: 63,145 Orlando, opened 2015. Current veteran population in metro area: 139,801 Las Vegas, opened 2012. Current veteran population in metro area: 141,476 Detroit, opened 1996. Current veteran population in metro area: 209,616 West Palm Beach, opened 1995. Current veteran population in Miami metro area: 204,522 Seattle, opened 1994. Current veteran population in metro area: 241,776 Houston, opened 1992. Current veteran population in metro area: 267,689 Baltimore, opened 1992. Current veteran population in metro area: 173,616 Portland, Ore., opened 1988. Current veteran population in metro area: 147,603 All veteran populations are according to 2016 American Community Survey


45 Seminole Wars Heritage Trail For over four decades the Seminole people fought for the right to remain in their Florida homeland. Many factors led to tensions between white Americans and Seminole Indians. It was a fight for freedom, identity and dignity played out over a wild landscape that shaped the future for both sides. These wars were significant events, not just for Florida, but for the nation as a whole. According to historians, there were three Seminole Wars, (1817 1818), (1835 1842), and (1855 1858). For the Seminole People, it was a continual 40 year struggle to remain in their ancestral homeland. The 56 page Florida Seminole Wars Heritage Trail guidebook includes a background essay on the history of the Seminole Wars in Florida, a timeline of events, sidebars on related Florida topics, issues and individuals of the period, and a selected bibliography. It also includes information on battlefields, cemeteries, museum exhibits, monuments, historical markers, and other sites in Florida with direct links to the Seminole Wars. This publication is an educational resource for residents and visitors that will enhance our knowledge and understanding of the Florida places, people, and events that played a role in this momentous struggle. The Florida Seminole Wars Heritage Trail publication was produced by the Seminole Wars Foundation, Inc., with historic preservation grant support provided by the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission. For more information about the Seminole Wars Foundation, visit Published by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. ISBN #1 889030 24 0 Read the Florida Seminole Wars Heritage Trail online:


46 (This is an article I wrote in 2012) A Wild Drive on Wildwood Drive Many of us have driven south on Wildwood Drive from SR 207. It is a short distance to thought. Nothing ever happens there. How wrong we are! Almost 185 years ago this non descript that the Seminole Indians lived in wild, sparsely occupied areas. The story of Osceola, a Seminole Indian, may not be well known, but his brave attempts to remain in Florida and fight the U.S. Government are well documented. Osceola was Seminole War against the United States. Although born in Alabama, Osceola and his Creek Indian mother moved to Florida, which was the homeland of the Seminole Indians. When white settlers began moving into the state, they wanted the Seminoles to move to Indian territories west of the Mississippi River. Osceola led a group of Seminoles opposed to relocation. Using tactics unfamiliar to the settlers and by hiding in the Everglades, Osceola and some of tempts to remove them from Florida. It was not until the capture of Osceola and his death in 1838 at Fort Moultrie in South Carolina that the Seminoles were forced from their homeland. Our journey begins 1 mile south east of SR 207 on Wildwood Drive, at Treaty Park. In 1823, two years after Florida was acquired by the United States, leaders of the Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes met with government officials, including William F. Duval, (who was to become the territorial governor following Andrew Jackson) on the banks of the creek near this site in order to settle conflicting claims to Florida lands. After twelve days of negotiation, they signed the treaty of Moultrie Creek on September 18, 1823. The tribes were to occupy a four million acre reservation on the interior peninsula. The government was to assist in relocating the Indians and help to support them there for a period of twenty years. The Indians being removed from their traditional hunting grounds were forced to change their way of life from farming to raising cattle. Failure on both sides to comply with the terms of this and later treaties led to the Second Seminole War (1835 1842). The exact site of the treaty signing is unknown. Treaty Park is dedicated in com Chief Osceola


47 memoration of that historical event. Continue on Wildwood Drive and turn right onto Fort Peyton Drive. Hidden in an alley in the Wildwood Pines subdivision, is the old Fort Peyton site. This fort, among others, were established during the Second Seminole War. Fort Peyton housed the soldiers who captured Osceola. There are two markers at the Fort Peyton site, a bare coquina marker and a metal historical marker erected in 1966. There are scrawled obscene words on the metal marker, which also has a gaping hole from a large caliber bullet. Further east on Wildwood Drive is the Stonegate subdivision. It was here in October 1837 that General Joseph Hernandez, acting under orders from General Thomas Jesup, seized the Seminole Indian leader Osceola and seventy of his braves while assembled under a white flag of truce. The ans were taken to Fort Marion (now the Castillo de San Marcos) in St. Augustine. A three foot tall monument that marks the actual spot where the famed warrior Osceola was captured is surrounded by palmettos and is not visible from Wildwood Drive. A recent wildfire left a patch of burned pine trees near the coquina marker. At the capture site the monument, erected in 1916, was once bullets. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, St. Johns County, and the St. Augustine Historical Society are hoping to upgrade these monuments. The section of St. Augustine where all of these historical events occurred is Moultrie, Florida. It was named after Dr. John Moultrie who is thought to have resided in the area. Dr. Moultrie studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. A Justice of the Peace, member of the Commons House of Assembly, and a major in the British militia, he also raised indigo, manufactured turpentine and was appointed Governor of East Florida in 1771. Though his brother, General William Moultrie became a revolutionary war hero, Dr. Moultrie remained loyal to the King and Parliament of England. So the next time you travel Wildwood Drive, lean back in your car seat, lower the radio, listen for the war whoops and think of all that happened a long time ago on your WILD DRIVE down WILDWOOD DRIVE.






50 This Year's Event: We will base the event out of Warner Robins Georgia this September 20, 21 & 22. We will be working with Robins AFB POW/MIA Committee, Andersonville Historical Site, home of the National Prisoner of War Museum, Houston County Sherriff Office, Central Georgia Technical College and many local veterans and Patriotic citizens in an effort to comply with the Presidential Proclamation for National POW/MIA Recognition Day. All services are open to the Public. The HERO's Banquet, which is scheduled on 21 September, 1700 hrs. at Central Georgia Technical College, Larry Walker Auditorium, does require pre registering and a minimum donation of $25 per person. Seating for the Banquet is limited to 500 total attendance (which includes Honored Guest), so if you wish to break bread with these true American Hero's register soon. For all requiring hotel accommodations, the following hotels are centrally located to where the Honored Guest will be staying. As always, it is 'first come, first served'. La Quinta POC Billy 478 333 6920 Country Inn POC David 478 971 1664 Comfort Inn POC Peggy 478 953 3000 Holiday Inn Express POC Sarita 478 333 2737 The majority of Honored Guest and Familes will be housed at the Fairfield and the Wyndham. These hotel will be hosted by Monica & Billie, respectfully. They will be POC for their Hotels. Proposed Itinerary for the event; Thursday, 20 September; 1400 hrs. depart hotels to Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) 1500 hrs. Robins AFB POW/MIA Committee Recognition Service 1600 hrs. Meet & Greet 1630 hrs. Recording artist, RICKY LEE, preforms Friday, 21 September 0630 hrs. Law Enforcement escort to Andersonville 0830 hrs. POW/MIA Recognition Day Service 1130 hrs. Law Enforcement escort to Warner Robins. 1530 hrs. Law Enforcement escort to CGTC 1700 hrs. Hero's Banquet CGTC 1800 hrs. Keeping the Promise premiere of 'A SOLEMN PROMISE' 1930 hrs. Candlelight Service Saturday, 22 September 0900 hrs. Law Enforcement escort to CGTC 1000 hrs. Recognition Service (POW Story & Flag History Story) 1330 hrs. Ground pounder/Fly boy Lunch Join us in Georgia this September as we salute those who were held against their will by enemies of this Republic




52 From the Veterans Council of Duval County TO ALL: Below is the registration form for vendor tables for the POW/MIA Memorial GATHERING IN THE PINES which will be on Saturday, September 22, 2018. 9am 5 m. Organizations, businesses and individuals are welcome to set up a table. Please see instructions on the form attached. Contact information is also on the form if you have any questions. A GATHERING IN THE PINES CECIL FIELD POW/MIA MEMORIAL PARK September 22, 2018 9:00am to 5:00pm Registration Form below: (please print clearly) Organization: _______________________________________________________________________ Contact Person: _____________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Phone: Home #_______________________________Cell #___________________________________ Email: ______________________________________________________________________________ Fee: $25.00 Paid on Date:____________by Check #: _________or Cash:___________ Tents, tables, etc. will not be provided. Sales permitted by registered organizations. Minimum of 10% of sales for profit sales must be donated to the Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial and Museum fund. This minimum donation does not apply to non profit groups. Make checks payable to: Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial. Mail checks to: AFSA Chapter F0559, c/o Rick Wiggs 15664 Forest Trail Road, Jacksonville, FL 32234.


53 Memorial at Cecil Field takes another step toward plan for national destination site More than 200 members of the community, including many veterans and current servicemembers, gathered on a sweltering morning July 10 to dedicate the POW MIA Memorial Parkway, formerly known as New World Avenue, and to celebrate the unveiling of two sets of aviator wings on the front wall of the Chapel of the High Speed Pass. A bill introduced by Councilman Doyle Carter (District 12) and co sponsored by Councilman Jim Love (District 14) was passed in May by the Jacksonville City Council to rename the six mile road leading to Cecil Field, effective July 1. Love and his executive administrator, Kevin Kuzel, attended the ceremony, which was father, Frank, will be commemorated at the memorial when the names of more than 82,000 missing and unaccounted for servicemembers will eventually be on display. As a member of the 101st Airborne glider troops, Frank Kuzel was captured and held as a POW by the Nazis for about six months during World War II. 1994 and board chair for the Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial, welcomed the attendees. Following the unveiling of the new street sign in front of the chapel, remarks the formerly inadequate process undertaken by the federal government to locate and retrieve prisoners of war or missing in action. Within two years of changing the process and getting the Missing Persons Act of 1996 passed, they brought back more missing people than had been brought back in 15 years, Harris said. The second half of the program focused on two sets of wings constructed by 3D Forge


54 represented the A 7 Corsair II Association, which funded the Aviator Wings, and by Association, which funded the Naval Flight Officer Wings. The Cecil Field POW MIA Memorial was dedicated in 1973 by the families of POW MIA pilots and servicemembers to ensure the soldiers are not forgotten. The site currently consists of Heroes Walk and Freedom Trees, markers and associated planted trees for each of the 16 Naval Aviators stationed at NAS Cecil Field during the Vietnam and Desert Storm War eras, a pavilion with a stage area, a starburst metal display of aircraft, and a granite base seal of a former Master Jet Base. In 2017, the nonprofit revealed an ambitious $30 million, multi phase plan to create a memorial center and museum to serve as a historic destination site with exhibits, special events and activities, artifacts and memorabilia. By Kate A. Hallock Resident Community News




56 36 Granada Street, St. Augustine FL 32084 (904) 679 5736 Stop by the Corazon Cinema and Caf located in the heart of St. Augustine to catch a great film or a bite to eat (free parking). Tell us you are a veteran and receive 10% off any food or drinks Beer and wine available. ALERT: National Cemetery Scheduling Office Telephone System Upgrade We are writing you today to inform you that on Friday, August 3, 2018, 7 p.m. CST, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Scheduling Office (NCSO) will transition to a new telephone system. The new phone system will be operational by the time the NCSO opens on Saturday, August 4, at 7 a.m. CST. We are modernizing the telephone system to improve access for scheduling burials for Veterans, and their loved ones, national cemeteries. The new system will also help us improve our wait times to better serve you and those you serve. Callers will still reach the NCSO at 1 800 535 1117. You will hear updated prompts but you will find the phone options unchanged. The Scheduling Office is open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Day. We value partnering with you and your fellow funeral professionals to serve Veterans and their families. We could not honor our Veterans and their loved ones without you. Thank you for your patience as we continue to modernize our infrastructure. Should you experience any issues or have any concerns regarding the process for scheduling burials at VA national cemeteries, please contact us using our Inquiry Routing & Information System so we can track inquiries and respond promptly.


57 An important message from Toula Wootan ence for families caring for a veteran or an active military person. We are honored to have received a $10,000 grant from The Elisabeth Dole Foundation for this conference. As you may remember, I worked to have Jacksonville declared a Hidden Heroes City in her program. We announced it at last years conference. Someone from The Elisabeth Dole Foundation will be there to speak on how they support veterans and military caregivers. My ask of you is that you send this flyer to all of your distribution lists. Please post it on social media, and on your orga niz ation website. I will have hard copies to give you at our meeting this coming Thursday the 26th at noon. The meeting will be held in Nevasier A. I will send a calendar invitation. Please plan to attend or send someone to this important meeting. Thank you, and as always, contact me if you have any questions. Toula F. Wootan, Director of Community Programs, Community Hospice and Palliative Care, Caregiver Coalition of Northeast Florida 904.407.6211, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL, 32257




59 New tech increases ease of contacting Veterans Crisis Line VA is excited to announce that service members and Veterans can connect to the Veterans Crisis Line using these simple words. The Siri funcphones now automatically dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which also serves the Veterans Crisis Line, even if the number (1 800 273 8255) is not Callers will need to Press 1 in order to reach the Veterans Crisis Line. Android devices enables service members, Veterans, and their families to get quicker acResponders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans when mental health or related issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, anger, and homelessness reach a crisis point. initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in imminent crisis nearly 93,000 2009 and text services in November 2011, the VCL has answered over 397,000 and nearbiggest benefit. words, and through a technology that so many people are familiar with already, is truly hours. The quicker we can get Veterans connected to care, the more likely they are to sur


60 While recognizing the need for crisis access and rapid care, VA continues to build and emphasize sustained access to care for Veterans to receive ongoing treatment as appropriate. based mental health care VA is leveraging a public health approach to suicide prevention that addresses multiple risk factors for suicide to stage interventions before suicidal thoughts and behaviors occur. While VA has made great strides in crisis intervention, the public health approach uses the best evidence available to guide the development of innovative new strategies to serve all Veterans. No one organization can tackle suicide prevention alone. To save lives, VA is using prevention strategies that reach beyond health care settings to involve peers, family members, and community members in order to reach Veterans where they are. an suicide, we need support across sectors, and this type of technology is another step in the right direction. The quicker we can get service members and Veterans connected to If you or someone you know is in crisis, support is available 24/7. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available to all at 1 800 273 8255. Veterans, service members, and their families and friends can call the Veterans and Military Crisis Line at 1 800 273 8255 and Press 1, chat online at, or text to 838255. fice of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.








64 Welcome to the official 2018 NAS Jax Air Show event. The NAS Jax Air Show, Birthplace of the Blue Angels, will be October 27 28, 2018 aboard NAS Jacksonville. Admission, parking and the Kids Zone is FREE. At the NAS Jax Air Show you will witness thrills like never before from a variety of military and civilian demonstrations. The grand finale will be While you are at the show, enjoy military and civilian aircraft displays, shop at novelty, food and beverage booths, or head to the free Kids Zone for games and activities for all ages. While there will be 2 ATMs onsite, it is highly recommended that you bring cash with you. Save the date! More details to come. Visit our website:










69 NEW INFO: Ride in comfort to your appointments at the VA Medical Center in Gainesville. The van is provided by the Disabled Veterans Chapter 6, and leaves no later than 6AM from the new VA Clinic location at 195 Southpark Blvd. The corner of Southpark and Old Moultrie Road. To schedule your seat please contact the VA Clinic at 904 823 2954 and ask for Veteran Van Scheduling.


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71 The Veterans Council of St. Johns County welcomes article submissions from all County Veterans & organizations. Articles should be of interest to all and veterans related. Submissions may be edited &/or shortened and used if space permits. Send to: Please send to: Veterans Council of St. Johns County,