Veterans GOODNEWS for Oct. 10

Veterans GOODNEWS for Oct. 10

Good news for veteransJBLM tells Vietnam veterans it’s never too late to say ‘welcome home’ (Tacoma News-Tribune)
Stephen Stribling looked wide-eyed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord as he walked into a column of uniformed sailors waiting to thank him for his service in the Vietnam War. The 66-year-old grinned as he took in the appreciation of active-duty troops. It was nothing like the lonely homecoming he experienced at the end of his combat tour in 1968. “I’m like a baby to something like this. It’s so unreal,” he said. Stribling’s new Vietnam homecoming — 46 years in the making — unfolded at a JBLM salute to Vietnam-era veterans. It was meant to recognize a generation of military service members who too often felt scorned by the public after serving overseas. “It is never too late, never too late, to pay tribute to the men and women who served and continue to serve our country,” said I Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, the senior Army officer at JBLM. Lanza’s call to honor Vietnam veterans struck a chord in the Northwest. More than 2,500 veterans or families of veterans crowded the parade field at JBLM to participate in the salute. Most of them came from Western Washington and Oregon, with some of them wearing old jungle-green uniforms or clothes bearing the insignias of their military units.

How 3 police and military veterans built a career after retirement (
Law enforcement officers understand that retirement from the job is likely to happen when you’re young enough that your kids are still in college and you’re paying off your mortgage. Essentially, you know the pension is not likely to be enough, so a second career is something well worth considering while you’re still on the job.  Another thing cops know is that it is supremely important to know that the people you’re working with are true professionals — people you trust and people who know they can trust you.  Considering those two factors, it’s instructive to tell the story of Jeff Carlyle (retired 26-year army officer), Rick Dunn (17 years in law enforcement in South Georgia) and Mark McClure (18 years with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and four years as an elected county sheriff). The trio took their collective experience in police and military and built a highly successful Signal 88 Security franchise.

Man rips up homeless veterans sign, leaves him with a surprise (WPIX-New York)
A man who mocked and ripped up a homeless veteran’s sign on a Las Vegas street corner ended up leaving him with a nice surprise. Rob Anderson, who works as a magician, heard homeless veteran Alan McCracken lived on the streets and just wanted to make people smile even if he did not receive any money. Anderson wanted to see for himself if McCracken was just as nice as people described, so he paid him a visit. Upon seeing the homeless veteran, Anderson took his sign, which partially said “Anything helps.” Testing McCracken’s patience, the magician repeats the phrase “anything helps,” as he draws dollar signs onto the piece of paper and proceeds to rip it. Eventually McCracken asks if Anderson is a street magician. Upon asking the question, Anderson “magically” puts the sign back together, opens it and unleashes cash.

A spectacular sight: WWII veterans met with applause after Legends Flight (
As the plane that was carrying 95 World War II veterans descended, the crowd below grew anxious. As part of the Muskegon-based Legends Flight, a select few members of the greatest generation were given the opportunity to fly to Washington, D.C., where they visited the national monument that was created for their contributions in the war. Both the young and the old assembled in the thousands Oct. 9 at the Muskegon County Airport to welcome home the veterans in a fashion similar to their sendoff that took place more than 15 hours earlier. “I could not believe my eyes,” Sid Holwerda said in response to the parade-like atmosphere. The 92-year-old, who served with the Air Force from 1942-45, said the month leading up to the Legends Flight went by fast. “The crowd was fantastic. It was a great end to a great day.”

Louisiana veterans thank public for support of new VA clinic (Lafayette Advertiser)
The Veterans Action Coalition of South Louisiana on Wednesday morning presented more than 41,000 letters that members of public signed in favor of a new veterans’ clinic in Lafayette, a long-awaited and desperately needed facility that has only recently been green-lighted for construction. On the steps of the U.S. federal courthouse downtown, four local veterans expressed their gratitude to the 41,282 people who supported the new veterans health-care center that they hope will be at least three times bigger than the one currently operating on Jefferson Street. The new clinic, scheduled to open April 2016, is one of 26 across the United States that will be built through funding from the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law Aug. 7.

Oklahoma City veteran plans to walk his message to Washington (KOTV-Tulsa)
A disabled metro veteran is taking his message to Washington, D.C. Rod Karcher said he wants to bring attention to the plight of our nation’s veterans. The 66-year-old disabled Army veteran started out on his trip from Oklahoma City and plans to cover the entire 1,300 miles in his wheelchair. He is trying to bring awareness to what veterans are struggling with on a daily basis. “There are thousands of us who are suffering in silence who don’t say anything,” Karcher explained. Karcher was in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1971 and lost three fingers while serving as a mechanic. He is now struggling with health problems, a limited income and basic necessities.

Baton Rouge using federal grant to train veterans in high-demand industries (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
Baton Rouge is using its share of a $6 million federal jobs grant awarded to Louisiana to provide on-the-job training for veterans and laid-off workers in industrial construction, energy and shipbuilding industries. Business & Career Solutions Centers in the Baton Rouge region are accepting applications for those who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks, and veterans who have left military service within 48 months. The centers are also looking for employers to help train dislocated workers and will reimburse them under the program for a portion of the trainee’s wages for a defined training period, up to 1040 hours.