Free Legal Answers now offers help to veterans

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Veteran looking up something on his smartphone

The American Bar Association online program ABA Free Legal Answers, which lets qualifying users ask civil legal questions to volunteer attorneys, has expanded to offer help on immigration and veterans’ questions.

The project, called Federal Free Legal Answers, fills a critical need for legal help during the pandemic, when many lawyers cannot meet clients in person and many Americans are suffering through the recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a collaboration of the ABA Commission on Immigration, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel, the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

The new service started this month at abafederal.freelegalanswers.org.

“Many veterans, immigrants and asylum-seekers have problems that can’t be solved easily without a lawyer’s help,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said. “Fortunately, they can now turn to a trusted source for help. Many volunteer lawyers are standing by, ready to assist.”

For immigrants and asylum-seekers, lawyers at Free Legal Answers can answer questions about such subjects as deportation, green cards, DACA and naturalization. For veterans, eligible dependents and survivors, lawyers can answer questions about VA benefits, discharge upgrades and other issues.

Users are pre-screened for financial eligibility and can ask up to three questions a year, or up to five during the pandemic, when needs are greater. Legal guidance takes place online and is limited to civil matters. Users cannot be serving a criminal sentence and cannot ask questions about criminal matters.

Free Legal Answers began in 2016 with a single website in Tennessee and has since expanded to 45 states and territories. To date, it has received more than 136,000 inquiries and more than 8,600 lawyers have volunteered to answer questions.

“The Free Legal Answers website is a great resource to the public,” said Jocelyn Dyer, AILA’s senior pro bono counsel. “It’s so important for people who are seeking advice to be able to get accurate answers to their questions, especially during the pandemic, when legal service providers might have more restricted hours, intake and availability.

Attorneys can volunteer at  www.ABAFreeLegalAnswers.org and selecting “Volunteer Attorney Registration.”

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

Source: American Bar Association

99-year-old World War II veteran finally gets his medals

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Veteran Sgt. 1st Class Marvin Cornett sits tall in wheelchair on sidewalk in his military uniform

Shaky but sturdy, retired Sgt. 1st Class Marvin Cornett stood tall in a uniform he hadn’t worn in more than half a century to receive an overlooked award he’d been due since 1944.

Donning his “Eisenhower jacket,” a green, waist-length jacket worn by the famous general in the later stages of World War II, a garrison cap and matching trousers, Cornett was the center of attention at American Legion Post 84, in Auburn, California, Monday for an outdoor ceremony in which he finally received his Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal.

Photo: WWII veteran Jimmie H. Royer attends the ceremony where he was awarded France’s Legion of Honor at VFW Post 346 in Terre Haute, Ind., Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. Image Credit: Austen Leake/The Tribune-Star via AP

Cornett, 99, came in not an inch shorter or a pound heavier than in his fighting shape of three-quarters of a century past, when he stood 5-foot-2-inches tall and carried 110 pounds on his frame.

More than 77 years ago, after having helped capture Sicily, completing a nighttime combat jump in the rain and seeing heavy combat during the Allied invasion of Italy, Cornett was wounded during a combat assault at Amzio on Jan. 31, 1944, which pulled him from the front lines.

His wounds, severe enough to send him home, were listed in unit paperwork. But in the blur of wartime bureaucracy, they were lost.

Members of the 82nd Airborne, along with other active duty and retired military members, were on hand to see Cornett get the awards he was due at the outdoor ceremony in California. Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, spoke with Cornett on a remote video call during the ceremony.

Recounting Cornett’s wartime and post-war service — along with the anecdote that until a few years ago, the man still regularly did 100 pushups a day — Donahue made an offer.

“If you want to come back, come on back,” Donahue said. “We need men like you.”

Cornett served in Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne.

“You represent everything that is great with this country. You represent everything that is great with paratroopers,” Donahue said. “You are the 82nd Airborne Division.”

Read the full article at Army Times.

General Lloyd Austin Chosen as Biden’s Secretary of Defense

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Headshot of Army General Lloyd Austin III, commander of the US Central Command

By Natalie Rodgers

Retired General Lloyd Austin has been chosen as the United States’ Secretary of Defense under President Joe Biden, making him the first black person to hold the position.

Before earning his four-star general rank and officially retiring in 2016, General Austin led the command on various historical events. He served in the U.S. Army for almost 41 years, spending much of his time as a General and commanding officer. After working for the Pentagon as the Chief Joint Operations Division for two years, Austin oversaw issues in Iraq; overseeing Operation Iraqi Freedom and the combat aspects of Operation New Dawn.

Photo Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

In 2010, Austin became the Commanding General of the United States Forces in Iraq and played an integral part in handling negotiations between the United States and Iraq governments.

In 2011, Austin was nominated to be the Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army (VCSA), where handled the organization’s budget and improved upon issues concerning suicide, mental health, and disability. From there, he took on the commanding position of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) under President Barack Obama’s nomination, making him the first black man to ever serve in the role.

Upon his retirement in 2016, Austin worked on the boards of large name companies such as Raytheon Technologies, Nucor, and Tenet Healthcare. He also runs his own operating firm.

Outside of his professional and official positions, Austin has been known to care for Gold Star Families, the loved ones of military personnel who passed away in service. It is highly believed that Austin’s extensive experience in the field and his understanding of the cost of life are two of the main reasons why he was nominated for the position by President Biden. Austin, much like previous Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, will need be waived from a law calling for a seven-year gap between service and the position.

Source: Washington Post and Wikipedia

Kellie Pickler, Wilmer Valderrama Named USO Global Ambassadors

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In honor of its 80th anniversary, the United Service Organizations (USO) has named country singer and actress Kellie Pickler, and producer, actor and activist Wilmer Valderrama as USO Global Ambassadors.

USO tour veterans Pickler and Valderrama will help lead the effort for Americans, united in spirit and action, to give more than thanks to the military community.

“We are honored to have these two longtime advocates come on board as USO Global Ambassadors,” said J.D. Crouch II, USO CEO and president. “Kellie and Wilmer have seen firsthand the importance of the USO mission and the impact it can have when we express the nation’s gratitude to our Armed Forces. We hope their continued support will invite more Americans to join them in honoring service members and their families.”

As USO Global Ambassadors, Pickler and Valderrama will support the organization’s Give More Than Thanks initiative, a campaign encouraging all Americans to find actionable ways to express their gratitude for the service and sacrifice of our troops and their families. Throughout the year, Pickler and Valderrama will participate in events and entertainment engagements for service members, raise awareness of our military’s needs and share ways Americans can help the USO give more than thanks.

Pickler and Valderrama have dedicated their time and talents to give back to service members and their families throughout their careers, including touring together in 2018 for the annual USO Holiday Tour with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Ways Pickler and Valderrama have served with the USO include:

Kellie Pickler

  • First tour in 2007 to Iraq
  • 12 USO tours visiting 13 international locations (Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Kosovo, United Kingdom, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Norway) and a ship at sea; and three domestic locations
  • Five USO Holiday Tours with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)
  • USO Military Virtual Programming (MVP) session with husband, Kyle Jacobs, broadcast worldwide to 34 locations in the U.S., Qatar, Guam and Japan
  • Recipient of Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award, Operation Troop Aid Chris Kyle Patriot Award and USO of North Carolina Heart for the Warrior Award

“I am honored to join the USO as a Global Ambassador for their 80th anniversary of supporting America’s military, especially in support of this campaign encouraging all Americans to give more than thanks,” shares Pickler. “The USO has allowed me so many opportunities to serve those who serve us, and this is another way I can help shine a light on something that matters … supporting our servicemen, servicewomen, their families, and letting them know we don’t take what they do for granted.”

Wilmer Valderrama

  • First tour in 2007 to Germany
  • Eight USO tours visiting nine international locations (Germany, Poland, South Korea, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Greenland, Norway, Bahrain, Iraq) and a ship at sea; and three domestic locations
  • One USO Holiday Tour with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2018
  • More than 40 USO performances
  • USO MVP session broadcast worldwide to 13 installations in the U.S., United Arab Emirates, Germany, Japan, Italy and Iraq

“Touring with the USO has been one of the proudest moments of my career because it has given me the chance to pay my respect and personally express my gratitude to our servicemen and women,” Valderrama said. “I feel honored to now serve as a USO Global Ambassador, to help others understand how important it is to support the military and encourage Americans to follow our heroes example in becoming a more united community in a more united nation.”

Generations of Americans have answered the call to step up, serve and sacrifice. Wherever they are deployed or stationed—on the front lines overseas or the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response at home—the USO stands by our heroes in uniform. Since 1941, the USO has been a resource for more than 40 million individuals, from providing morale-boosting entertainment to delivering millions of care packages.

To learn more about ways to give more than thanks, visit USO.org/morethanthanks. Follow the USO’s Give More Than Thanks campaign and join the conversation using the hashtag #MoreThanThanks on social media.

About the USO:

The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort and support. The USO is a private nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission and learn more about the USO, please visit USO.org and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Meet the bomber pilot who will be leading the Super Bowl flyover

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Sarah the female bomber pilot close up image of her in military uniform smiling

By Jennifer Holton Fox29 Philadelphia

Captain Sarah Kociuba has a pretty impressive resume. She’s a B-2 instructor pilot, has flown more than 90 combat missions, and has more than 1,700 flying hours in five different aircraft.

Come Sunday, she’ll be adding “Super Bowl flyover flight lead.”

“It is very exciting, I am very humbled,” she told FOX 13. “We are certainly doing our prep for it.”

Kociuba, call sign “Gucci,” will lead a formation in her B-2 Spirit, along with a B-1B Lancer and a B-52 Stratofortress. She says a lot of planning helps missions like these come together.

“We’ve been working for weeks making this plan very precise, so that we can execute it,” she said. “So we’ll all brief together, and plan together, and make this rejoin happen.”

The military flyover on Super Bowl Sunday is planned down to the second.

The bombers are coming from three different bases in the Dakotas and Missouri. It’s a mission that takes coordination, and precision timing.

First, they’ll meet up in a whiskey area – that’s military jargon for “restricted airspace” – before the pass over Raymond James Stadium and Super Bowl LV.

“We will rejoin very low altitude, very high speed and very close together in this whiskey area, and then we’ll work our timing, and then do the flyover,” she explained.

The entire flight will take about seven or eight hours round trip because the Air Force is including training in the sortie. That means Kociuba won’t return to base until long after the fourth quarter ends.

“I’m not going to get to watch the game, so I hope there’s no spoilers before I land,” she added. “I’m going to have to watch it afterwards!”

Read the complete article on FOX29 News Philadelphia

Soldier is Seeking Support to Help Save Her Rescued Puppy From Being Left Behind

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US Soldier holding her puppy while sitting on the ground

When one person tries to pay for the expenses to bring a rescued soldier’s dog back to the US from overseas it’s a costly endeavor.

When 1,000 people come together and each chip in just $5 it’s a total game changer. With a small donation like that they can help to change the life of the soldier who has adopted the dog, and help ensure that the dog will live a healthy and safe life in land of the free.

“We absolutely want to help bring PupPup back to America. These overseas rescues are extremely challenging and have a high cost,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “If we don’t step in to save these dogs and cats, the soldier is forced to leave behind an animal they rescued from a bad situation. An animal they deeply love left behind can become subject to abuse, neglect and unfortunately death. It sounds harsh but that is the truth on the ground for our hero soldiers.”

PupPup is a puppy that Army Sergeant Char, who is stationed overseas, fell in love with and rescued. Her mother was a stray dog who hung around the base and ended up giving birth to a litter of puppies trying to hide them from danger. The dog was moved to a safer place, giving her the ability to care for her babies. On several occasions the soldier’s had to hide the dog and her puppies from many potential deadly threats.

While all the other puppies were quick to warm up to the soldier’s, one stayed hidden. She was too shy and afraid to come out. Sgt. Char was immediately drawn to the one that was so shy, she focused her love and attention on this little pup trying to help the puppy get comfortable and ensure she was being fed. She ended up gaining the trust of the dog she named PupPup, and they formed a loving bond. Now that Sgt. Char is scheduled to head back to the US, she can’t bear the thought of having to leave her dog behind. She knows PupPup won’t survive. Sgt. Char is still the only person PupPup will go to.

“I’m desperately asking Paws of War to help me bring my beautiful helpless PupPup back to America with me because I can’t stand the thought of leaving her behind,” says Sgt. Char. “This spot can be very harsh to dogs and I fear she will die if she is left behind. Plus, we have formed such a strong bond that means everything to me. I can’t turn my back on her and would be forever grateful for the help to get her home.”

The only way Paws of War can successfully bring PupPup back to America to live with Sgt. Char in a loving forever home is with financial help from people in the community. Paws of War is asking for donations to help cover the costs of bringing this special dog home. They are urgently accepting donations so they can save this dog and help this soldier.

To see get more information or make a donation, visit the site: https://pawsofwar.networkforgood.com/projects/122504-pup-pup.

Paws of War has helped numerous soldiers to bring their rescued animals back to the U.S. However, this year the mission is more challenging to pull off. The pandemic has added additional quarantines, medical treatments and challenges transporting animals from remote locations. There are a severely limited number of flights coming into the U.S., especially those allowing dogs. Plus, flights from overseas are costly, and there is a lot of red tape that needs to be addressed and logistics to overcome.

Paws of War helps soldiers bring their rescued dogs and cats back to America after serving their country overseas through it’s War Torn Pups and Cats program. Those who would like to learn more about supporting Paws of War and its mission can go online to: http://pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets. They rescue cats and dogs in the U.S. and overseas. They train dogs to be service, support and companion animals for veterans and first responders. To learn more about Paws of War and the programs provided or to make a donation visit its site at: http://pawsofwar.org.

A bridge from the Navy to civilian life

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two student veterans are pictured in the center of a Raytheon warehouse background

Raytheon Missiles & Defense awards SPY-6 scholarships to US Navy vets.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has partnered with the Student Veterans of America to award two $10,000 scholarships to U.S. Navy student veterans.

The recipients are Francheska Salazar, a sophomore at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Chris Ricks, who attends Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.

The scholarship, named for the Navy’s SPY-6 family of radars, helps veterans achieve their educational goals and succeed in their transition to civilian life. It is part of the company’s longstanding support for military veterans, which includes a $5 million commitment to SVA.

Photo: Francheska Salazar and Chris Ricks received the 2020 Raytheon Missiles & Defense SPY-6 scholarships offered exclusively to U.S. Navy student veterans pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree.

A humanitarian at heart

Pride in service runs deep in Francheska Salazar’s family, as she is a fifth generation veteran, but her decision to enlist in the Navy extends beyond tradition.

“I realized how much each generation of my family sacrificed so I may have the privilege to have choices,” Salazar said. “I was not about to waste this opportunity.”

While serving 13 years in the military, Salazar deployed to Latin America on humanitarian missions that helped shape her career trajectory and life purpose.

“I want to be part of a team that works to find long-term solutions,” said Salazar, who aspires to work in immigration and human rights policy.

After separating from the Navy, Salazar used her GI Bill at a community college where she earned paralegal degrees. It left her with limited benefits to complete her bachelor’s degree and attend law school.

“The SPY-6 scholarship gives me peace of mind and hope,” she said.

A life of service

Chris Ricks wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself, so he joined the Navy’s Submarine Force.

“Every day on a nuclear submarine was something special,” said Ricks, an 8-year veteran. “Every sailor has a unique role in accomplishing the mission.”

The former sailor will use the SPY-6 scholarship to help pay for his MBA.

“I look at it as a long-term investment that will serve as a foundation for the next chapter of my life,” he said.

Ricks hopes to someday use artificial intelligence to improve the lives of others in agriculture, health, finance and education.

“My military experience has given me a passion to empower others, improve systems and solve problems with cutting-edge technology,” he said.

Source: Raytheon

Air Force Veteran Becomes New Mexico’s First Senator

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Air Force Veteran Senator Harold Pope Jr. poses outside wearing a suit and tie and smiling

By Natalie Rodgers

In his first-ever political race, retired Air Force Captain and Democratic Candidate Harold Pope Jr. became New Mexico’s first black Senator against Republican opponent and longtime Senator, Sander Rue.

Senator Pope will be representing New Mexico’s 23rd district, making the coronavirus and the need for public education the focal points of his platform.

Before being elected into the Senate, Pope balanced his military service with his college studies, serving as a dental technician in the Air Force by day and taking classes at night. After earning his degree in biochemistry, Pope went on to serve in the Air Force for over twenty years, mainly working as a security cooperation officer, a program manager and a chemist.

His military experience, along with his extensive work in non-profit organizations and his time working in education, helped to shape Pope’s focal points for his platform: community and education. Throughout his campaign, Pope advocated heavily for the importance of public education, healthcare, and race issues–a heavy contributor in his campaign,

“We have to see other people in those positions and see people that look like us,” Pope told the Coloradoan. “We really have to see people that look like us or came from our situation.”

Though the first black Senator for New Mexico, Pope was not made aware of his potential status until later in his campaign.

“I just want to set the example and take a lot of pride in it,” Pope said of his representation, “but because I am the first, I don’t want to be the last. I just want to be that voice and have that seat at the table.”

While in office, Pope is hoping to expand upon his platform in addition to help foster a more inclusive community in New Mexico.

Source: Coloradoan and Popefornm.com

Feeding an army in D.C.: Chef José Andrés steps in to help feed huge influx of National Guard

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National guard wearing a black protective face mask takes a plate a food from a food booth outside Capitol Hill

By Kevin Rector LA Times

Early Saturday afternoon on a partially cordoned-off street in Washington, D.C., Peter Baca pushed a big stack of boxes containing thousands of cookies toward the doors of Jaleo, a Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant that famed chef and humanitarian José Andrés opened in 1993.

Inside, workers with World Central Kitchen — Andrés’ emergency response nonprofit — were busy assembling meals for thousands of troops guarding the city in anticipation of President-elect Biden’s inauguration Wednesday and in reaction to the pro-Trump mob that on Jan. 6 stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Baca, of the veteran-focused Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown, said his cookie gift was “a small token to say how much we appreciate their service to our country.”

Federal officials are scrambling to catch those responsible for the deadly attacks — five people, including a Capitol police officer, died — and prevent future violence by turning downtown Washington into a fortress, with more than 20,000 National Guard troops and thousands more police officers and federal agents manning roadblocks and checkpoints.

The swiftness of the mobilization resulted in less-than-perfect circumstances for the soldiers, with hundreds of Guard members forced to rest on the marble floors of the U.S. Capitol in between shifts.

World Central Kitchen’s CEO Nate Mook said when he and Andrés saw viral images of the sleeping troops, they felt like they had to do something.

“This is a situation that nobody’s had to face before; it’s being figured out minute by minute,” Mook said. “And we know — because we see this in all types of crises and emergencies — that food can sometimes be an afterthought, and sometimes people are left working long shifts without food.”

So, they reached out to government leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and offered to tap their expertise in feeding large groups of people at a moment’s notice, as they did after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017.

The officials took them up on their offer. They started handing out meals Friday night. By Saturday evening, the organization had distributed about 4,000 meals. They planned to repeat the effort Sunday, and don’t plan on halting the special mobilization until Inauguration Day, he said.

In a show of thanks, Pelosi joined Andrés on Saturday in passing out meals and thanking the troops, who seemed surprised and elated to be getting a free lunch from a famed chef instead of a pre-packaged military meal.

“This is a really difficult time; folks are working long shifts,” Mook said. “They were so happy to get some fresh food to eat.”

Photo Credit: LA Times

Read the full article on LA Times.

Operation Coming Home Gifts War Veteran with Mattamy Home

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Service-disabled war veteran stands with family and friends in side the livingroom of his new home

The recipient of Hero Home 23, Marine Staff Sgt. Matthew Polizzi was surprised with the ultimate gift, just in time for Christmas.

Polizzi and his family have been selected to receive a brand new Mattamy home for free through Operation Coming Home.

Polizzi served for fourteen years, deployed four times, and received the Purple Heart from an injury in Afghanistan. Together, Polizzi and his wife have three children, all under the age of 10. For the past 10 years, they have constantly moved, having lived in eight different homes during the time span.

Operation Coming Home has been building Hero Homes since 2008 in Wake County through a partnership with the Home Builders Association of Raleigh and Wake County and the US Veterans Corps.

“Since Operation Coming Home began in 2008, our team has had the privilege to support and contribute to this exceptional cause,” said Bob Wiggins, President of Mattamy’s Raleigh Division. “Operation Coming Home is a project that the Mattamy team in Raleigh is very passionate about. It is an amazing feeling being able to give something as special as a home to individuals who have risked their lives to protect our freedom.”

Mattamy Homes will build Hero Home 23, located in one of the Division’s newest communities, Oak Park in Garner, North Carolina. This is the second home donated by Mattamy Homes and the 10th from the Royal Oaks team, which was acquired by Mattamy Homes in 2017.

“The Polizzi family’s new home will be conveniently located in the desirable area of White Oak,” said Donna Kemp, Vice President of Sales for Mattamy Homes. “We’ve chosen a beautiful home site for the family, and they get to come in and choose all design selections and personalize the home just for them. It’s humbling and extremely rewarding to give back, especially to a deserving veteran and his family. To be able to provide a life changing gift such as a home is an amazing feeling.”

Polizzi and his unit were on a security patrol in Afghanistan in 2010 when they came under heavy enemy fire. Polizzi quickly created and detonated a bomb that saved his entire unit, allowing them to pass only later to come under fire again. Polizzi was shot in the leg. He was treated for five weeks at an airbase, then finished his deployment.

The Polizzi family’s new home is anticipated to begin construction in February 2021 and be ready for move-in during the summer of 2021.

About Operation Coming Home

Operation Coming Home (OCH) is a partnership between members of the Triangle Veterans Association (TVA) and the Home Builders Association of Raleigh/Wake County. Made up of Veterans and non-Veterans, this team is honoring the sacrifices of the severely wounded Veterans of recent Middle Eastern Wars by building custom homes for them, at no charge.

About Mattamy Homes

Mattamy Homes is the largest privately owned homebuilder in North America, with 40-plus years of history across the United States and Canada. Every year, Mattamy helps more than 8,000 families realize their dream of home ownership. In the United States, the company is represented in 11 markets – Dallas, Charlotte, Raleigh, Phoenix, Tucson, Jacksonville, Orlando (where its US head office is located), Tampa, Sarasota, Naples and Southeast Florida – and in Canada, its communities stretch across the Greater Toronto Area, as well as in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. Visit www.mattamyhomes.com for more information.

Ray Chavez, Oldest Pearl Harbor Vet, Will Get Post Office Dedicated in His Honor

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Ray Chavez, oldest Pearl Harbor vet, smiles at 106th birhday party wearing a lei

By Brenda Gregorio-Nieto and NBC 7 Staff

Ray Chavez, the oldest veteran survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor will have a San Diego post office dedicated in his honor after congress passed a bill introduced last year by Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52).

The bill, H.R. 3005, was proposed to rename the Poway Post Office on 13308 Midland Rd. as the “Ray Chavez Post Office Building” in honor of the American hero who died in 2018 at the age of 106.

The bill was recently signed by President Trump after it passed in both the House and Senate without amendment, and with unanimous consent.

“When I found out he was the oldest [Pearl Harbor] survivor in the country, passed away in November [2018], I thought, what a fine tribute this would be not just to him and his family and his community, but to all the veterans who served,” Peters said last year.

Chavez’s daughter, U.S. Navy veteran Kathleen Chavez, said her father would have been humbled by the honor, just as he was in life when he received attention for his service.

Read the full article onNBC Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: NBC LA

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