Military veteran graduates from college alongside his daughter

LinkedIn
dad and daughter graduating

NORFOLK, Va. – A father and daughter from Portsmouth, Virginia, are now bonded by their college graduations from the same school and on the same day.

Marvin Fletcher, a retired U.S. Marine and Army veteran, told Fox News Digital that he was shocked when he found out that both he and his daughter SaNayah Hill, 17, would be graduating from Tidewater Community College at the same time.

In a phone interview, Fletcher said he felt overwhelming pride when he learned that his daughter had completed her career studies certificate in emergency medical service as a dual-enrollment student — before even finishing her junior year at Deep Creek High School.

“I’m just grateful for the opportunity that TCC afforded myself, as well as other veterans, and my daughter,” Fletcher said.

He earned his associate’s degree in applied science in management after serving for four years in the Marine Corps and eight years in the Army.

Fletcher added, “I’m humbled and honored to have served. And I like the fact that my daughter wants to serve in the medical field in her own way.”

The father-daughter pair completed their graduation march on Monday, May 9, at the Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.

Click here to read the full article on FOX.

Crestview WWII, Navy veteran celebrates 100th birthday. Look back on his service

LinkedIn
Navy World War II veteran celebrates 100th birthday

By Northwest Florida Daily News/USA TODAY NETWORK

World War II veteran Ralph Morris of Crestview celebrated his 100th birthday with friends, family, and caregivers at the Joint Ambulatory Care Center in Pensacola on Monday.

Morris, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, was recognized during the brief celebration by Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS) Director Bryan C. Matthews.

“Our veterans are the reason we exist, and to celebrate the 100th birthday of an individual who was involved in one of the world’s greatest conflicts is an honor,” Matthews said. “(Ralph) Morris’ dedication to his duty serves as an example of what we — as an organization serving those who have served — embody, and I couldn’t be more proud to participate in this veteran’s milestone birthday.”

Morris, born June 13, 1922, in Jefferson, Iowa, enlisted in the Navy in 1942, and eventually served aboard USS Sigsbee (DD-502) and later aboard USS Alfred A. Cunningham (DD-752). Morris served as a Machinist’s Mate (MM) during his enlistment, working in both vessels’ power plants.

Morris ended his service and opened a home furnishings store in Jefferson, Iowa, was married and has two daughters. He moved to South Florida in 1959 and worked as a salesman. He later moved to Tallahassee, and in 2019 moved again to Crestview to live with his daughter.

Click here to read more on yahoonews.com

Biden nominates Marine general as next commander of US forces in Africa

LinkedIn
US Marine appointed commander of US forces in Africa

By Bryant Harris, Defense News

President Joe Biden on Thursday nominated Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley to lead U.S. forces in Africa, teeing him up to become the first Black four-star Marine Corps general.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the president’s decision to nominate Langley as head of AFRICOM. Langley currently heads Marine Forces Command and Marine Forces Northern Command and is the commanding general of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia.

Langley has served in Afghanistan, Somalia and Okinawa. He also has worked at the Pentagon and CENTCOM, which oversees US forces in the Middle East. Should the Senate confirm Langley, he will replace Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, who has led AFRICOM since July 2019. AFRICOM oversees U.S. troops dispersed throughout Africa, including in conflicts zones such as Somalia, where Biden recently reinstated troops to expedite airstrikes for counterterrorism operations. The command is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

Former President Donald Trump’s administration briefly sought to scale down the U.S. troop presence in Africa while merging AFRICOM with European Command (EUCOM), which is also based in Stuttgart. However, the plan stalled amid strong bipartisan rebuke in Congress.

The New York Times first reported last month that Langley would receive the nomination, and quoted former Defense Secretary James Mattis — himself a former four-star Marine general — effusively praising him.

“He’s a Marine’s Marine,” Mattis told the Times.

Click here to read more on Defense News.

Vietnam War veteran receives HS diploma 55 years later

LinkedIn
Vietnam war veteran awarded high school diploma 55 years later.

By Katya Guillaume, Baynews9.com

Commander Richard Hunt’s story starts in Downtown Inverness. Looking out at the fallen soldiers’ statue outside of the visitor’s center, thanking the brave fallen soldiers and remembering his time serving in the Vietnam War.

“It takes me back to that time when I lost a lot of friends,” he told Bay News 9’s Katya Guillaume. He wasn’t even 18 years old.

“At 17, I left high school,” he said. “Volunteered for the service. It took both parents to consent to that. They agreed that was going to be the best thing because when I turned 18, I was gonna go anyway.”

As the son of a Navy Korean Veteran, that was the path of life.

“Presidential order required that I be 18 before I could go into combat and I was in combat shortly after my 18th birthday for Tet Offensive 1968,” he continued.

Things were much different back then, when it came to enlisting.

He continued, “While I was in Vietnam, I took my high school equivalency, the GED, and passed it.”

He left his high school days behind him, never graduating and moving on with his life, until a particular afternoon just a few weeks ago.

“In conversation with Darrick Buettner of the school district here in Citrus County,” he said, “working on another project, he asked me whether I might know or not of a young veteran who would like to receive a high school diploma.”

In 2013, Florida lawmakers passed legislation that states the Commissioner of Education may award a standard high school diploma to any honorably discharged veteran who has not completed high school graduation requirements.

“I said no,” he continued, “because currently the folks that go into service have to have a high school education to get, but I said I know of a Vietnam veteran.”

It took no time for Citrus County school officials to include the commander in Citrus High School’s 2022 graduation ceremony.

“Somebody had to be peeling onions because something was leaking from my eyes when all that had to happen,” the commander said.

Click here to read more on baynews9.com.

SR-71 Pilot explains how he Survived to his Blackbird Disintegration at a Speed of Mach 3.2

LinkedIn
SR-71 pilot recounts events of his plane disintegrating around him

By Linda Sheffield Miller, theaviationgeekclub.com

During the Cold War, there was a need for a new reconnaissance aircraft that could evade enemy radar, and the customer needed it fast.

At Lockheed Martin’s advanced development group, the Skunk Works, work had already begun on an innovative aircraft to improve intelligence-gathering, one that would fly faster than any aircraft before or since, at greater altitude, and with a minimal radar cross section. The team rose to the nearly impossible challenge, and the aircraft took its first flight on Dec. 22, 1964. The legendary SR-71 Blackbird was born.

The first Blackbird accident that occurred that required the Pilot and the RSO to eject happened before the SR-71 was turned over to the Air Force. On Jan. 25, 1966 Lockheed test pilots Bill Weaver and Jim Zwayer were flying SR-71 Blackbird #952 at Mach 3.2, at 78,800 feet when a serious engine unstart and the subsequent “instantaneous loss of engine thrust” occurred.

The following story told by Weaver (available in Col. Richard H. Graham’s book SR-71 The Complete Illustrated History of THE BLACKBIRD The World’s Highest , Fastest Plane) is priceless in conveying the experience of departing a Blackbird at an altitude of fifteen miles and speed of Mach 3.2.

“Among professional aviators, there’s a well-worn saying: Flying is simply hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror. And yet, I don’t recall too many periods of boredom during my 30-year career with Lockheed, most of which was spent as a test pilot.

By far, the most memorable flight occurred on Jan. 25, 1966. Jim Zwayer, a Lockheed flight test reconnaissance and navigation systems specialist, and I were evaluating those systems on an SR-71 Blackbird test from Edwards AFB, Calif. We also were investigating procedures designed to reduce trim drag and improve high-Mach cruise performance. The latter involved flying with the center-of-gravity (CG) located further aft than normal, which reduced the Blackbird’s longitudinal stability.

“We took off from Edwards at 11:20 a.m. and completed the mission’s first leg without incident. After refueling from a KC-135 tanker, we turned eastbound, accelerated to a Mach 3.2-cruise speed and climbed to 78,000 ft., our initial cruise-climb altitude.

Click here to read more on theaviationgeekclub.com

Meet Volition America’s CEO John Sapiente

LinkedIn
John Sapiente pictured with his clothing brand spread around him

Clothing and Accessories Brand Volition America Inspires Support for Our Veterans and Fallen Heroes.

Can you tell our audience a bit about yourself and how you found yourself currently sitting where you are today?
My story of how I got involved in this and how I found myself sitting here today is unique. My background has nothing to do with apparel, consumer goods, or brand building. I am a manufacturing guy and a proud American. I currently own and operate two manufacturing companies that manufacture Safety-Critical components for the Automotive Industries and Disposable Devices for the Med Device Community. My journey into building a brand that celebrates country and gives back to our military community was inspired by my involvement in the Folds of Honor Foundation (Folds has provided over $180,000,000 of scholarships to children and spouses of our fallen soldiers and is a 4-star Goldstar-rated charity, and $.91 of every dollar donated goes to the recipients) and Lt. Colonel Dan Rooney (Founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation).

What is Volition America?
Volition is the most powerful word in the English Dictionary. It is the power of choice. You can love, hate, be happy or sad! But ultimately, the choices you make write the legacy of your life. Colonel Rooney approached me about starting the Volition America Brand. The idea behind Volition America was to create a for-profit entity that could create a larger commercial impact, expand its audience, and raise more money for our fallen soldiers’ families thru the Folds of Honor Foundation. (Colonel Rooney also believes his mission is to teach people the power of Volition (a word he feels is the driving force to his life’s journey). Volition is about making the choices to live your best life; our brand chooses to celebrate and unite our country. We use our Volition to choose America and give people the tools to stand up and say, this is what I stand for.

What inspired you to start Volition America?
Ultimately my desire to support Dan Rooney’s mission through Folds of Honor and my love of country inspired me to do this. The ideal he embodies drives us and reminds us that we have the opportunity and privilege to be better than we were the day before. Our goal when starting this brand was to create a group of brands and products that people could use that allowed them to stand up and say; this is what I stand for while helping raise money and awareness for the Folds of Honor Foundation.

What is your connection to our veterans?
My story dates to 2013, when I first attended a Folds of Honor Gala and won an auction to play golf with Masters Champion Craig Stadler. When I won the auction, I didn’t realize that we would be playing golf on Memorial Day and spending the weekend with many of our military members and their families. Before my experience on that day, Memorial Day had just been symbolic of a day to BBQ and play golf. Listening to their stories and getting to spend time with them, I realized that for 44 years, I had taken the sacrifices our Servicemen and their families make for all of us for granted. To this day, I tell people that weekend was my “Patriotic Awakening,” and supporting our military through the Folds of Honor Foundation has become crucial aspect of my and my family’s life.

What has been the most difficult part of your journey?
I think the political landscape of our country has misrepresented what the word patriotism means. People are mistaking patriotism for policy and politics. The Volition America brand isn’t political. It’s a brand that we hope will unite people to choose America by empowering them with the power of Volition. I often tell people you can be very far left and love your country and you can be very far right and love your country. We use a quote at Volition: “we aren’t red, and we aren’t blue…. We are RED WHITE AND BLUE” Our hope is the love of country, and the use of positive choices will bring us together. Fighting through the misunderstanding of what being patriotic means

What makes Volition America stand out?
The Volition America Brand is about building something more prominent than a shirt or a sporting product. We wanted to create a movement that brings our country together and empowers people to make better choices while giving back to those who gave us the freedom of choice. We are doing this by building a brand coalition of like-minded brands. We have added many great partners (Puma, Wilson, Cobra, Demarini, Revo, Luminox, and EvoShield). We also recently launched the Volition America Fund (FLDZ) with RiverNorth Capital, a publicly-traded ETF that invests in American Companies that invest in America. We believe that each brand collaboration will vastly increase the aggregate reach. Thus, giving us a much broader space to raise money and awareness as brands engage their collective audiences

How significantly has Volition America helped our veterans so far?
There are so many fantastic charities that benefit the veteran community. I chose Folds of Honor because their values aligned with my core values about education being the key to our country’s future. Folds of honor offers scholarships to our fallen or severely injured families. In my opinion, there is no better way to honor our fallen heroes than to educate their legacy through The Folds of Honor Foundation. Our ultimate mission is to help support the veterans through the Folds of Honor Foundation. That is the ethos of our company logo. The Folds logo is in the center of our logo but with wings. The idea of our mark is that we are lifting Folds and helping take them places they usually couldn’t go. So, if people want to give back to Veterans by supporting Volition America, we give 13% of our revenue to the Folds of Honor Foundation. We chose 13 because there are 13 folds in a folded flag. That is significant because many brands will only give back a % of their profits. So regardless of the company’s success, our Fallen Heroes and their families will receive our help. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Folds of Honor, increased raised awareness, and hope to see our annual donations grow to millions.

How would you encourage our readers to get involved?
Support us by going to our website and buying products or donating directly to Folds of Honor Foundation. We are always looking for great companies that would like to join our movement and be a part of our brand coalition, helping us get our message out and bring awareness to the Volition America brand.

What are your plans for the future?
I will continue building our Volition America Movement so that one day our brand will be a household name that consumers will know when they wear our logo. They tell what the person wearing the logo stands for when they see it.

Nebraska teen accepted to all five military academies; sets out to serve America

LinkedIn
Noble Rassmussen holding military hats

By Angelica Stabile, FOX News

High school senior Noble Rasmussen intends to serve his country well — and all five U.S. military academies seem to agree.

The Nebraska teen joined “Fox & Friends” on Friday to celebrate his acceptance to all five academies.

He then announced on the program that he’ll be attending the United States Air Force Academy in June.

Rasmussen, a cadet with the Civil Air Patrol, said that his interest in applying to each school was sparked from a desire to represent and serve the United States as a whole.

“I want to serve my country the best I can,” he said. “So applying to all academies [presented] the option to serve anywhere.”

“I feel like it’s my duty to serve my country.”

VIDEO: Watch the interview on FOX & Friends

While the “noble” sentiment of military service complements Rasmussen’s first name nicely, his mother, Cheri Rasmussen, said that was his parents’ exact intention when they named him.

“Our prayer for him his whole life was just to have that noble character of honor, honesty and integrity,” she said. “Just to kind of rise above and have that high moral principle.”

“God has blessed us with that, and we see those qualities of leadership and maturity in Noble.”

Continue to Fox News to read the complete article.

Fort Leavenworth Military spouse continues education at 49

LinkedIn
Kate Hanlen posing outdoors in flowery dress smiling

Great Bend Tribune

When Kate Hanlen went on a mission trip to Honduras at the age of 19, she didn’t know she would discover her career calling that would be 30 years in the making.

“We were there to help build buildings and paint mostly,” she said. “One day there was this six-year-old girl that was on the other side of a fence, and she spoke Spanish and I did not, but she showed me her leg and it had a big wound on it. I ran and grabbed a medical kit we had, and I didn’t know very much but I helped her as much as I could and I thought ‘Lord, if this is what you’re calling me to, I embrace it.’ Since that day, I’ve always prayed that my hands will be used to help as many people as possible.”

That pivotal moment caused Hanlen to enroll in nursing school, but after two years she wasn’t sure exactly in what specific arena she wanted continue helping people so, she enlisted in the Army reserves and served as a combat medic for eight years. During that time, she met her husband who was active duty and they married in 1995. Over the next 26 years, they had six children and traveled the world as a military family with her often handling all the parental duties when her husband was on deployments.

“We’ve traveled all over the world,” she said. “However, the needs of our family were always my treasure. I wanted to be with my kids, make our house a home since we did move so much.”

With her husband retired and four of her kids out of the house and the youngest two not far behind, Hanlen realized her amazing journey as a mother was going to transition into a stage that would allow her time to focus on herself.

Her son had utilized Barton’s LSEC courses in high school at Fort Leavenworth so he could graduate college more quickly. These classes are offered on scholarship to soldiers and their families that are stationed at Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley.

“My son and I came down to the Army Education Center and we couldn’t believe we were able to take these classes at no charge, she said. “I kept asking them ‘Are you sure a bill for thousands of dollars isn’t going to show up in a few months?’”

Of course, no bill ever showed up, and now Hanlen is utilizing Barton’s LSEC classes at Fort Leavenworth to fill in some gaps on her transcript that she needs to finish her pre-requisites before transferring to St. Mary’s University to finish her nursing school. At that time, she hopes to find a job in hospice care.

Read the complete article here.

How Hot Soup Almost Stopped a War

LinkedIn
Milchsuppe and armored soldier

By Sarah Sicard, MilitaryTimes

When people think of Switzerland, they tend to think neutrality (and cool pocket knives and stylish watches, I guess). But there was a point when the country was caught up in a religious civil war that their armies tried to resolve with soupaccording to lore.

In the early 16th century, conflict arose between the Protestant forces from Zurich and Catholic forces from Zug — Switzerland’s Christian Reformation — but legend has it that on the field of Kappel am Albis, no blood was shed. Instead, the armies simply shared some good, hot soup.

There are no records that detail how the soup was made or where it came from, but the story of the milk soup, known as “Kappel Milchsuppe” has become an integral story in Swiss history.

Made primarily with bread and milk, there is no definitive recipe left from the 1500s. Today’s recipes, however, feature various takes with butters, milks, cheeses, onion and garlic.

Though few facts about the original 500-year-old soup can be verified, BBC reported that historians agree the “broth was created by accident in June 1529 when two hungry armies met on a battlefield on what is now known as the Milchsuppestein, or ‘milk soup pasture.’”

“The soldiers from both sides mingled and eventually dined together — supposedly the troops from Zug provided the milk, and those from Zürich the bread to make this soup,” wrote Swiss cook and blogger Andie Pilot.

This brought to a close the first Kappel War.

“Negotiations continued, but to the amazement of everyone, the infantry brokered their own truce over a cooking pot while on the battlefield,” former Kappel Abbey pastor and historian Susanne Wey-Korthals told BBC. “Naturally, they were hungry after the long march, and Zürich had plenty of bread and salt, while Zug had a surplus of milk from its farms. From that the legend was born.”

Unfortunately the bisque was not enough to stop the fighting indefinitely.

The second Kappel War was fought in 1531. Ironically, a food embargo imposed on the Catholics brought the two armies back to war, bringing about a resolution in Switzerland’s Protestant Reformation. Ultimately, the Roman Catholics would go on to win when Zürich’s Protestant leader Huldrych Zwingli was killed.

Still, the lands of Milchsuppestein and the legendary soup enjoyed by the two warring factions became enduring symbols of Swiss peace. A stone monument to the original bloodless battlefield meeting remains there to this day.

“These fields have played witness to some of the most important moments in Swiss history,” Wey-Korthals said. “Switzerland found a way to compromise here. To concentrate on what we had in common rather than focus on our differences. It sounds remarkable, but we did it over a bowl of soup.”

Click here to read the complete article posted on Historynet.com.

Rhodes Scholar Excels on All Fronts

LinkedIn
black female in U.S. Navy Uniform also pictured palying soccer and standing in front of fighter jet

Established in 1902, after the passing of Cecil John Rhodes, the Rhodes Scholarship has sought out some of the world’s most outstanding young leaders to pursue a complete expense paid education at the University of Oxford. Over a hundred years later, the scholarships are the oldest and one of the most prestigious academic honors in the world.

Rhodes Scholars are chosen based on high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor. The value of the Rhodes Scholarship varies depending on the academic field, the degree pursued, and the college chosen.

This year, out of the 820 applicants chosen to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship, only 32 were awarded, including to Midshipman 1st Class Senior, Sarah Skinner, of the U.S. Naval Academy. She will be the Naval Academy’s 54th Rhodes Scholar.

Skinner is an honors political science major, with a Chinese minor, at the U.S. Naval Academy. Her honors research is aimed at evaluating the overall effectiveness of middle power nations and middle power institutions in mitigating hegemonic competition and conflict between the U.S. and China. This past summer, she studied Taiwanese virtually through National Taiwan University.

Additionally, Skinner has held numerous leadership positions at the Naval Academy, including her current position as the 21st Company commander, where she oversees 150 midshipmen. She has previously served as both the 21st Company drill sergeant and honor sergeant. Skinner is also the Navy Women’s Rugby team captain, was selected to play for the USA’s Rugby Olympic Development Program, and a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society.

Skinner is a 2018 graduate of Marist School in Brookhaven, Georgia, and she plans to pursue a Master of Philosophy in international relations at Oxford University. Her education and transportation to and from England will be covered entirely through her scholarship. After completing the Rhodes Scholarship program, Skinner will continue her naval service in the surface warfare community.

Source: The U.S. Naval Academy, The Rhodes Trust

From the Editor’s Desk–Staying on Mission

LinkedIn

These past two years have seen a lot of curves and twists. Many have been able to succeed and thrive while others had to be more flexible, adapting to the challenges of a new normal. Yet, it’s those who persevere to the end, those who stay on mission, who will see the results.

As four-star general Colin Powell said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”

This month’s feature, comedian, philanthropist and retired Marine Drew Carey, has been making America laugh for the better part of 30 years.

Carey says it was his time in the service that helped mold him into the person he is now. “Military life and experiences gave me incredible experiences in leadership — especially in small groups, and under pressure,” Carey said.

“There’s a tremendous amount of trust that other people will do their jobs and that you’ll do yours. So, there’s social pressure. And a lot of subservience to the mission and the greater good of the group…you never want to be the one who can’t rise to the occasion.”

Read more about Carey and his gratitude for his time in uniform on page 58.

Also, for tips on navigating through life’s rough patches, visit page 14 and read “Relying on Military Experience During Times of Uncertainty.”

Tawanah Reeves-Ligon headshotFor small business owners trying to survive their initial launch, make sure you read our advice on page 30, and for those who struggle with PTSD or have loved ones who do, we’re talking about symptoms, treatments and “Debunking the Myths of PTSD” on page 68.

At US Veterans Magazine, we value and honor your service to our country, and it’s our mission to help you succeed in and out of uniform.

— Tawanah Reeves-Ligon
Editor, U.S. Veterans Magazine

Providing Business, DVBE. Employment & Educational Opportunities For Veterans

American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance

Leidos Video

lilly

Alight

Alight

Heroes with Hearing loss

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. Multiple Hire GI Hiring Events During June-December!
    June 21, 2022 - December 8, 2022
  4. San Diego Unified Construction Expo 2022
    July 13, 2022
  5. Business Beyond Barriers Conference + Expo
    July 14, 2022