For Our Heroes - Veterans Page
"A Visitor From the Past"
A Message From Veterans Committee Chairman, Mark G. Phillips
“The land of the free, and the home of the brave.” These words mean more to a veteran than just what is contained in a song. It stands for commitment, dedication and duty. Without veterans, this country would not be able to exist in its current form. All citizens owe our veterans a great vote of thanks.The Independent American Party has elected me the National Chairman of the Veterans Commitee. The purpose of this commitee is to be a voice of the veterans nationally, with Congress and state-by-state. Currently, we are the only political party that is pursuing proper treatment of our veterans by the Veterans Administration. I am a retired federal employee of the Veterans Administration as well as a service-connected USAF veteran. The mission is to let all veterans tell their story, either good or bad, about their care at the VA. An email address is provided for you to tell your story. Please give your name, physical address and phone number when emailing us. It is important so we know who your U.S. Representative is. The email address is:
Together, along with the DAV, VFW and the American Legion, we will take the fight on your behalf for the care at the VA, housing and care for our homeless veterans.
Mark G. Phillips
Chairman, IAP Veterans Committee
Could you use some help to guide you through the complicated system of Veterans Benefits? Contact a Veterans Helper!
VETERAN LIVES MATTER!
Veterans may be long-in- the-tooth, fate and slower than when they were younger, but one thing remains true with them.....that
fire in the belly! It angers them to see how our country is being mistreated by our youth and subversive. We swore once to
protect this country from all enemies both foreign and domestic, and that oath still is relevant now as it was before. Yes, we will
protect this country, at all costs even to the death, to protect this great country along with its accomplishments and
failures...Freedoms that most of mankind has never experienced, but only dreamed about from being destroyed. We rejoice in
our great accomplishments, and we hang our heads when we fail. We make mistakes, yet we work towards correcting those mistakes.
We enjoy the freedom we protected for others, but we are not a Plato's Utopia.
One of our most fundamental rights is that of Free Speech. If I say something that one does not agree with, allow me to finish
my statement before offering a different viewpoint. That said, no one can prevent me from expressing my views on public
property, so long as I don't advocate violence. Should free speech not be allowed on public colleges and universities,
as we have already seen, then all federal grants, student loans or any other taxpayer monies they have been receiving should be
discontinued, until such time that this attack on the First Amendment fully ceases.
As chairman of Veterans Issues at the IAP, I would like to see a national movement of "Veterans Lives Matter." Whether one is the most successful veteran in America or one is homeless, we all matter. And, if the citizens of America won't help,
then we have to do it ourselves.
You can donate today to help veterans all across the nation!
The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 Highlights
To improve access to and quality of care for veterans, the law:
Requires VA to offer an authorization to receive non-VA care to any veteran who is enrolled in the VA health care system as of August 1, 2014, or who is a newly discharged combat veteran if such veteran is unable to secure an appointment at a VA medical facility within 30 days (or a future published goal established by VA) or resides more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility, with certain exceptions.
Requires VA to provide a Veterans Choice Card to eligible veterans to facilitate care provided by non-VA providers.
Provides $10 billion for the newly-established “Veterans Choice Fund” to cover the costs of this increased access to non-VA care. Choice program authority would end when funds are exhausted or three years after enactment, whichever occurs first.
Requires an independent assessment of VA medical care and establish a Congressional Commission on Care to evaluate access to care throughout the VA health care system.
Extends the ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home) pilot program for two years.
Extends for three years a pilot program to provide rehabilitation, quality of life, and community integration services to veterans with complex-mild to severe traumatic brain injury.
Improves the delivery of care to veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma as well as care for Native Hawaiian and Native American veterans.
History repeats itself, and in a good way.... Hats off to North Platte, NE.
‘We were overwhelmed,” said Lt. Col. Nick Jaskolski. “I don’t really have words to describe how surprised and moved we all were. I had never even heard of the town before.”
Col. Jaskolski, a veteran of the Iraq war, is commander of the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard. For three weeks earlier this summer, the 142nd had been conducting an emergency deployment readiness exercise in Wyoming, training and sleeping outdoors, subsisting on field rations. Now it was time for the 700 soldiers to return to their base.
A charter bus company had been hired for the 18-hour drive back to Arkansas. The Army had budgeted for a stop to get snacks. The bus company determined that the soldiers would reach North Platte, in western Nebraska, around the time they would likely be hungry. The company placed a call to the visitors’ bureau: Was there anywhere in town that could handle a succession of 21 buses, and get 700 soldiers in and out for a quick snack?
North Platte said yes. North Platte has always said yes.
During World War II, North Platte was a geographically isolated town of 12,000. Soldiers, sailors and aviators on their way to fight the war rode troop trains across the nation, bound for Europe via the East Coast or the Pacific via the West Coast. The Union Pacific Railroad trains that transported the soldiers always made 10-minute stops in North Platte to take on water.
The townspeople made those 10 minutes count. Starting in December 1941, they met every train: up to 23 a day, beginning at 5 a.m. and ending after midnight. Those volunteers greeted between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers a day. They presented them with sandwiches and gifts, played music for them, danced with them, baked birthday cakes for them. Every day of the year, every day of the war, they were there at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier. They fed six million soldiers by the end of the war. Not 1 cent of government money was asked for or spent, save for a $5 bill sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The soldiers never forgot the kindness. Most of them, and most of the townspeople who greeted them, are dead. And now, in 2018, those 21 busloads from the 142nd Field Artillery were on their way, expecting to stop at some fast-food joint.
“We couldn’t believe what we saw when we pulled up,” Col. Jaskolski said. As each bus arrived over a two-day period, the soldiers stepped out to be greeted by lines of cheering people holding signs of thanks. They weren’t at a fast-food restaurant: They were at North Platte’s events center, which had been opened and decorated especially for them.
“People just started calling our office when they heard the soldiers were on their way,” said Lisa Burke, the director of the visitors’ bureau. “Hundreds of people, who wanted to help.”
The soldiers entered the events center to the aroma of steaks grilling and the sound of recorded music: current songs by Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, Florida Georgia Line; World War II songs by Glenn Miller, the Andrews Sisters, Jimmy Dorsey. They were served steak sandwiches, ham sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, deviled eggs, salads and fruit; local church groups baked pies, brownies and cookies.
Mayor Dwight Livingston stood at the door for two days and shook every soldier’s hand. Mr. Livingston served in the Air Force in Vietnam and came home to no words of thanks. Now, he said, as he shook the hands and welcomed the soldiers, “I don’t know whether those moments were more important for them, or for me. I knew I had to be there.”
“It was one soldier’s 21st birthday,” Lisa Burke said. “When I gave him his cake, he told me it was the first birthday cake he’d ever had in his life.” Not wanting to pry, she didn’t ask him how that could possibly be. “I was able to hold my emotions together,” she said. “Until later.”
When it became time to settle up—the Army, after all, had that money budgeted for snacks—the 142nd Field Artillery was told: Nope. You’re not spending a penny here. This is on us.
This is on North Platte.
TRANSGENDERS IN THE MILITARY.
Subject: MILITARY QUALIFIED
Trey Gowdy doesn't always agree with Trump but you really have to like this outspoken South Carolina Congressman.
Trey Gowdy, recently responded to a CNN reporter’s question about the military and the DOD ban of trans genders from joining the U.S. armed forces. As Trey typically does so very well, he nailed it rather succinctly.
Question: How can President Trump claim to represent all U.S citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, when he banned trans genders from joining the military? Isn't that discrimination?
Trey Gowdy's Response: “Nobody has a ‘right’ to serve in the Military. Nobody. What makes people think the Military is an equal opportunity employer? It is very far from it -- and for good reasons -- let me cite a few.
The Military uses prejudice regularly and consistently to deny citizens from joining for being too old or too young, too fat or too skinny, too tall or too short. Citizens are denied for having flat feet, or for missing or additional fingers.
Clearly annoyed by the reporter's attempt to trap him with the question, he went on to explain: "By the way, poor eyesight will disqualify you, as well as bad teeth. Malnourished? Drug addiction? Bad back? Criminal history? Low IQ? Anxiety? Phobias? Hearing damage? Six arms? Hear voices in your head? Self-identification as a Unicorn? Need a special access ramp for your wheelchair?
Can't run the required course in the required time? Can't do the required number of push-ups? Not really a ‘morning person’ and refuse to get out of bed before noon? All can be legitimate reasons for denial."
"The Military has one job: Winning War. Anything else is a distraction and a liability. Did someone just scream ‘That isn't Fair’? War is VERY unfair, there are no exceptions made for being special or challenged or socially wonderful.
YOU must change yourself to meet Military standards -- not the other way around.
I say again: You don';t change the Military. You must change yourself. The Military doesn't need to accommodate anyone with special issues.
The Military needs to Win Wars -- and keep our Country safe -- PERIOD!
If any of your personal issues are a liability that detract from readiness or lethality, it is “Thank you for applying and good luck in future endeavors.”
“ . . . . any other questions?"
Pretty much covers it. Fact is that less than 20% of "military age” people in our country can qualify to join the military. Due to some or all of the reasons described here.
Jimmy Stewart And His WWII P-51
An Experience To Recall
This 1967 true story is of an experience by a young 12-year-old lad in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It is about the vivid memory of a privately rebuilt P-51 from WWII and its famous owner/pilot.
In the morning sun, I could not believe my eyes. There, in our little airport, sat a majestic P-51.
They said it had flown in during the night from some U.S. Airport, on its way to an air show. The pilot had been tired, so he just happened to choose Kingston for his stop over. It was to take to the air very soon.
I marveled at the size of the plane, dwarfing the Pipers and Canucks tied down by her. It was much larger than in the movies. She glistened in the sun like a bulwark of security from days gone by.
The pilot arrived by cab, paid the driver, and then stepped into the pilot's lounge. He was an older man; his wavy hair was gray and tossed. It looked like it might have been combed, say, around the turn of the century. His flight jacket was checked, creased and worn - it smelled old and genuine. Old Glory was prominently sewn to its shoulders. He projected a quiet air of proficiency and pride devoid of arrogance. He filed a quick flight plan to Montreal ("Expo-67 Air Show") then walked across the tarmac.
After taking several minutes to perform his walk-around check, the tall, lanky man returned to the flight lounge to ask if anyone would be available to stand by with fire extinguishers while he "flashed the old bird up, just to be safe." Though only 12 at the time I was allowed to stand by with an extinguisher after brief instruction on its use --
"If you see a fire, point, then pull this lever!", he said. (I later became a firefighter, but that's another story.) The air around the exhaust manifolds shimmered like a mirror from fuel fumes as the huge prop started to rotate. One manifold, then another, and yet another barked -- I stepped back with the others. In moments the Packard -built Merlin engine came to life with a thunderous roar. Blue flames knifed from her manifolds with an arrogant snarl.
I looked at the others' faces; there was no concern. I lowered the bell of my extinguisher. One of the guys signaled to walk back to the lounge. We did. Several minutes later we could hear the pilot doing his pre-flight run-up. He'd taxied to the end of runway 19, out of sight. All went quiet for several seconds. We ran to the second story deck to see if we could catch a glimpse of the P-51 as she started down the runway. We could not. There we stood, eyes fixed to a spot half way down 19.
Then a roar ripped across the field, much louder than before. Like a furious hell spawn set loose -- something mighty this way was coming. "Listen to that thing!" said the controller.
In seconds the Mustang burst into our line of sight. It's tail was already off the runway and it was moving faster than anything I'd ever seen by that point on 19. Two-thirds the way down 19 the Mustang was airborne with her gear going up. The prop tips were supersonic. We clasped our ears as the Mustang climbed hellishly fast into the circuit to be eaten up by the dog-day haze. We stood for a few moments, in stunned silence, trying to digest what we'd just seen.
The radio controller rushed by me to the radio. "Kingston tower calling Mustang?" He looked back to us as he waited for an acknowledgment. The radio crackled, "Go ahead, Kingston." "Roger, Mustang. Kingston tower would like to advise the circuit is clear for a low level pass." I stood in shock because the controller had just, more or less, asked the pilot to return for an impromptu air show!
The controller looked at us. "Well, What?" He asked. "I can't let that guy go without asking. I couldn't forgive myself!" The radio crackled once again, "Kingston, do I have permission for a low level pass, east to west, across the field?" "Roger, Mustang, the circuit is clear for an east to west pass." "Roger, Kingston, I'm coming out of 3,000 feet, stand by."
We rushed back onto the second-story deck, eyes fixed toward the eastern haze. The sound was subtle at first, a high-pitched whine, a muffled screech, a distant scream. Moments later the P-51 burst through the haze. Her airframe straining against positive G's and gravity. Her wing tips spilling contrails of condensed air, prop-tips again supersonic. The burnished bird blasted across the eastern margin of the field shredding and tearing the air. At about 500 mph and 150 yards from where we stood she passed with the old American pilot saluting. Imagine. A salute! I felt like laughing; I felt like crying; she glistened; she screamed; the building shook; my heart pounded. Then the old pilot pulled her up and rolled, and rolled, and rolled out of sight into the broken clouds and indelible into my memory.
I've never wanted to be an American more than on that day! It was a time when many nations in the world looked to America as their big brother. A steady and even-handed beacon of security who navigated difficult political water with grace and style; not unlike the old American pilot who'd just flown into my memory. He was proud, not arrogant, humble, not a braggart, old and honest, projecting an aura of America at its best.
That America will return one day! I know it will! Until that time, I'll just send off this story. Call it a loving reciprocal salute to a Country, and especially to that old American pilot: The late-JIMMY STEWART (1908-1997), Actor, real WWII Hero.
(Commander of a US Army Air Force Bomber Wing stationed in England), and a USAF Reserves Brigadier General, who wove a wonderfully fantastic memory for a young Canadian boy.
In 1967, Stewart was 59yrs. He died at 89 yrs.
Special Forces Association Chapter IX: An Experience To Recall
Another site of interest;
Jimmy Stewart Archives - This Day in Aviation
Other Helpful Links and Information
Email Mark Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org for "VA Disability & SSDI Update - Eligibility for Both."
VA Review Helps to Connect Veterans with Great Local VA Hospitals.