Parade of ships & aircraft, Seafair Fleet Week. Video by Pam Young:
Please also see our Daily Veterans Newsletter
Parade of ships & aircraft, Seafair Fleet Week. Video by Pam Young:
When we talk about our fellow veterans, especially returning vets, one size does not fit all. Some vets return willing and able to find a job and go back to domestic life. Others want to go back to school. Some returning vets need more assistance, especially if they are suffering from physical or mental health complications. These are some of the factors that need to be addressed when deciding where to live.
For the returning veteran, the housing market may be the determining factor in the house buying decision. Of course, these are the same motives for people that have not served in the military but VA loan caps give housing price a different significance. Lenders will typically make VA loans up to $144,000 without a down payment. Over that amount, the government still guarantees but there may be a down payment. To get the best bang for your buck, Forbes recommends Fort Worth, Texas as the best place to buy. The average house in the area is a little under $170,000 with a reasonable prediction of market growth.
If you are looking for a place to contribute some sweat equity then Madison, WI should catch your eye. Madison is a hotbed of economic development in the housing sector. As the capital of Wisconsin, small renovations to your property become multiplied by the economic growth of the city. Home exterior improvements such as new roofing, window replacements or additions like sunrooms are more than just renovations, they are a statement for community growth, bringing up the value of your home and the area in which you live. Madison is a place where your service skills can build a city.
Not everyone is coming back with a marketable skill set. The GI Bill has made it easy for service people to go back to school, to the tune of more than 800,000 vets in school. If you are planning on joining academia then U.S. News and World Report says that Massachusetts has two out of ten of the best college towns with Amherst being one of the best. This small East Coast town has three schools, including the University of Massachusetts. Since you are competing with students for jobs, this is a place where your military skills and training will put you a step above.
If you are returning to the loving arms of spouse and children then Fayetteville, North Carolina is the place for you. This is one of the largest military communities in the nation. The citizens of the city have a true affection for those that are or have served our country. Being the home of Fort Bragg, employers are accustomed to working with ex-military and vets are able to get access to services. This is the kind of place where families hang together, help each other on home improvement projects, and watch each other’s children.
For those that need some assistance then the Veteran Administration’s medical facilities are important resources. According to the Veteran Administration’s website, the Portland, Oregon VA Medical Center has been rated as a Top Performer for two years running. Portland is also the home of the Returning Veteran’s Project which offers counseling and other health care services free or at a reduced rate. As a community, Portland takes care of their service people. For home buying, the city’s housing market has flattened without some of the radical ups and downs of other markets in the country. No matter where you decide to go, remember that you are not alone and that there are people in this country that are thankful for the time that you spent protecting our country.
An OUTSTANDING video on the Vietnam Veterans Monument in Austin, Texas, brought to my attention by Spur 3, Chuck Oualline:
Produced by Pleasant Valley Middle School:
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working with Logos Technology to develop a near-silent hybrid-electric motorcycle for military use. This technology could not only create a stealthy weapon for the military, but also a new way to combat greenhouse gas emissions for everyday riders.
These hybrid motorcycles could serve a multitude of uses, but the main reason they are being developed is to be as compact and silent as possible — they would be able to cruise into hostile territory virtually undetected. Though not much is known about the motorcycle as of yet, there is some exciting speculation on the plans that have been revealed so far.
The bike will likely be based on the BRD RedShiftMX Electric Bike, a true electric machine. Not only will it run on electricity and gasoline, but it will also utilize other fuels like diesel, JP 8 (jet fuel), and more. This multi-fuel strategy will enable soldiers to use any available fuel source when in the field, a massive advantage in rural areas far from base. The bikes will be two wheel drive, which maintains far better control and traction in difficult conditions, like the winding mountain roads of Afghanistan or places where a lot of rain falls.
The goal is to reduce the noise level of the motorcycle to 55 decibels while running only on electric and 75 decibels while running normally. This noise output compares to just below a normal conversation to just below a telephone dial tone.
The RedShiftMX that this motorcycle is based on currently has an electric running time of two hours and can reach a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour.
This motorcycle opens the door for more silent and compact military vehicles in the future. Military technology often makes its way into civilian technology. For example, things you may see or use every day that were originally developed for the military include GPS, duct tape, the microwave, and even cargo pants!
Once this technology hits the consumer market, manufacturers and parts makers will need to adopt entirely new parts standards. Even though the bikes are being developed, it’s only a matter of time before civilian and private pursuits start outfitting motorcycles with similar aftermarket parts to modify and improve these incredible vehicles.
With prototype production slated to begin in a few months, the developments of these hybrid-electric motorcycles will be entertaining. We don’t know how long it’ll take to perfect what the United States military is looking for, but we know one thing for sure: It’s going to be an awesome piece of machinery that’ll make us proud.
A great video honoring a great American hero:
The lead P-51 below flew four sorties over Normandy on D-Day and was recently restored:
When AM General rolled out the Hummer line based on the military HMMWV, there was a childlike squeal from grown men. The idea of owning a car that looked like it once had gun turrets was a huge draw. Even the Terminator turned governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had an one. But the play toys that we get as non-military consumers are nothing compared to the real thing. Playing soldier and being one are two very different things.
Don’t tell anyone, but Hummers are not bulletproof. This really is not a secret since the AM General comparison sheet shows this as one of three substantive differences between the Hummer and the HMMWV. The HMMWV comes with ballistic protection and chemical resistant coating. Even if the Hummer does not come with these features, it is fun to pretend. Knowing that both vehicles can climb a 60 percent grade and go over a 22-inch step makes the fantasy complete even if you are stuck in city traffic.
Watch a child play with a toy tank and you will see all of the key components of tank awesomeness. The kid will run it through a wall of blocks to crush the enemy under the tracks. Traction is one of the most important parts of military vehicle power. Combining skid resistance with heavy weight is what makes them unstoppable. Anti-skid technology has become important as we look at military threats in cold weather terrains. The same technology that is used in Afghanistan is not right for snow and ice. The research around militarized anti-skid equipment is focused on directly linking the drive cylinder to the tire mounts so that the vehicle gets the maximum amount of grip.
Stealth technology has made some huge leaps in the last couple of years. Where once the military wanted equipment to be invisible to radar and sonar, it looks like we will have vehicles that are unseen by the human eye. Canada seems to be pushing the boundaries of quantum stealth technology, which means that the heavy military cars of the near future will have light bend around them, rendering them effectively invisible to soldiers.
Motorcycles are known for their maneuverability and speed but not necessarily their silence. Looking at modern motorcycle exhaust and mufflers, noise reduction is the key issue. For commercial motorcycles, looks are also a consideration. Military vehicles need to be quiet and have power. The newest military endeavor is a hybrid motorcycle that can use electricity to move silently. The motorcycle is a sleek, light-weight machine that looks more like a dirt bike than a hog. The bike will be stealthy when in electric mode and very fast in fuel mode. With hybrid cars all the rage for commercial use, we can expect to see this military application being duplicated for non-military sales.
We don’t want your pity, we want your help to put to rest the continued betrayals by our own government. Our military veterans deserve better:
Newsletter suggestion: I say we put former military with administrative skills in charge of every VA facility with the full authority to hire/fire and start legal proceedings against ANY employee that games the system. That will put a fire under the rears of the federal employees. My beef is NOT with the doctors and nurses at VA, it is with those administrators that game the system for their own personal gains. – Roger
One of the biggest adjustments newly-minted veterans can face is getting approved for loans. Once you’re out of the service, you’ll probably want, if not need, a reliable car. Even if you already have a car, it’s a good bet it isn’t the one you see yourself in over the next few years.
With car loan interest rates at reasonable levels, this is a good time to think about getting a new car or truck, or a new late model. But if you have bad credit, or very little credit, it’s hard to take advantage of these rates. Here are some tips for getting a fair shot at car financing:
This may sound like advice from Captain Obvious, but a car brings more than a loan to your financial picture. There’s insurance, which varies across the country. FastQuotesDirect tracks average yearly car insurance costs for each state, ranging from $2700 in Louisiana to less than $1000 in Maine.
You also need to set money aside for maintenance. Maybe you know how to change the oil and filter (and be sure that this is permitted where you live; many home owner associations and apartment complexes don’t allow car maintenance on their grounds!), but do you know how to rotate and balance tires, replace brake pads, and flush out the transmission?
Make a list of yearly car expenses outside the payment you’ll undertake. Call around or go on the Web find out local costs for each of these:
Add these costs to your budget and you’ll have a good idea of how much you really have for a car and its associated expenses.
Look at your credit rating before you apply for car loans. As Cars.com, points out, lenders will look at these and you should, too. You can request a free report from the three major credit bureaus each year at Annualcreditreport.com. You may be a little relieved to see that these reports look at a few things, including how long you’ve had credit, your on-time rate for paying bills, and how much of the credit available to you is used.
If your first job was with the service, you may not have a lot of credit built up just yet. Or maybe your credit is less than sterling. If you aren’t satisfied with the rates you’re being offered, consider going to a lender that specializes in credit repair and working with so-called credit risks. Reputable lenders like Drive Time report to credit unions, which helps their customers, and has very high (4.5 stars) ratings, according to information at Drivetime.com.
Another benefit of working with dedicated car loan services is that you can get pre-approved for loans, learn how much you can borrow and finalize payment terms before your heart is set on a vehicle. Shopping within realistic boundaries is more rewarding and less frustrating. Edmunds.com points out that it also makes it easier to negotiate with the salespeople: just ask “what’s the out-the-door price?” It also eliminates any delivery complications resulting from loan complications.
Updated 4 November 2015:
Diary entry from Benghazi victim’s dad: ‘I gave Hillary a hug,’ she blamed filmmaker by Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne – 23 Oct 15
Newsletter comment: I watched much of the hearing marathon yesterday and frankly, it was a waste of time.
All I learned was that Hillary had text her daughter that evening and stated it was an Al-Qaeda type of attack, which is what she reported to Egypt the next morning. Thus she and certainly others knew in real time it was an organized terrorist attack, not a video that took the lives of four Americans. But the news of a terrorist attack during that pre-election season wouldn’t do, thus the shameless video lie was born by the administration.
Much of the hearing in my opinion was a sham with Dems crying foul and giving her cover and too many GOP questioners making the case it was some witch hunt leading us down some needless rabbit trail. Too few on the committee were interested in the truth in my opinion.
Another select hearing that has come to nothing… I expected more from Gowdy and his team… Once again the parties refuse to come together to learn valuable lessons or to improve the security of those Americans serving abroad. Roger Young, co-editor
Ambassador sought security staffing before Benghazi attack, cable shows by Catherine Herridge – 19 Oct 15
Hillary Clinton’s Top Aides Knew from First Minutes that Benghazi Was a Terrorist Attack, E-mails Disclose by Andrew McCarthy – 26 Feb 2015
Another Benghazi Cover-Up – Judicial Watch – Posted 3 Feb 2015
Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review by Sharyl Attkisson – 15 September 2014
Top CIA officer in Benghazi delayed response to terrorist attack, US security team members claim – FoxNews – 5 September 2014
Sources: Militia blamed for Benghazi attack moved next door to US Consulate before strike by Adam Housley – 22 July 2014
Different attackers in Benghazi? – ArmyTimes – 9 July 2014
Benghazi attack suspect captured by American team, en route to US – FoxNews – 17 June 2014
Criminal complaint against Benghazi terror suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala – FoxNews – 17 June 2014
US spy agencies heard Benghazi attackers using State Dept. cell phones to call terrorist leaders by Bret Baier, James Rosen, 11 June 2014
Fact Check: Hillary came up with Benghazi video explanation by Catherine Herridge, 11 June 2014
Boehner to appoint select Benghazi committee – ArmyTimes – 2 May 14
Benghazi emails suggest White House aide involved in prepping Rice for ‘video’ explanation by Catherine Herridge – 29 Apr 14
Clinton calls Benghazi terror attack ‘biggest regret’ on her watch – FoxNews – 25 Apr 14
Ex-CIA chief confirms he ignored Benghazi guidance from top officer on ground – FoxNews – 2 Apr 14
Newsletter comment: I listened to some of the testimony by former CIA assistant director Morrell on Benghazi today.
It is clear to me that the brass pays far more attention to what some analyst in Langley believes, then what a station chief or other eyewitnesses are reporting on the ground. That’s messed up.
He also explained that the Langley analysts were not privy to what those on the scene were reporting in real time. Knowing that it begs the question, why is their analysis given so much weight?
Of course this is nothing new. LTC Hal Moore’s after-action report on the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Nov ’65 were ignored by McNamara and his “whiz kids” for what they WANTED to believe. Little changes! – Roger Young, co-editor
Sources on ground during Benghazi attack slam ex-CIA boss Morell’s testimony by Adam Housley – 2 Apr 14
‘Very upset’: CIA sat on Benghazi investigation, US personnel fuming by Adam Housley – 13 Mar 14
Did CIA official suppress Benghazi narrative? Accounts raise new questions –
FoxNews – 14 Feb 14
House GOP’s new Benghazi report lays blame on WH, State – ArmyTimes – 11 Feb 14
Commentary: Benghazi Testimony One Year Later: Hillary Clinton Declares “What Difference Does It Make” by Katie Pavlich – 23 Jan 14
Gregory Hicks: Benghazi and the Smearing of Chris Stevens – WSJ – 22 Jan 14
Opinion by the uncle of Sean Smith: Mrs. Clinton, the truth about Benghazi does make a difference By Michael Ingmire – 16 Jan 14
Senate Intelligence Committee releases comprehensive Benghazi report – FoxNews – 15 Jan 14
“The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a comprehensive report on the Benghazi attack finding the tragedy was ‘preventable’ and the administration failed to respond to ‘ample’ warnings that security was deteriorating before Sept. 11, 2012…”
The Benghazi Transcripts: Did White House exaggerate Obama’s preparation for 9/11 anniversary? by James Rosen – 14 Jan 14
The Benghazi Transcripts: US military woefully unprepared for attack, documents show by Jennifer Griffin – 13 Jan 14
|Newsletter comment: It would appear that everyone in any authority dropped the ball leading up to the attack in Benghazi. A complete failure by all involved from the State Dept, White House, and military commands. Incompetence and arrogance cost the lives of four brave Americans.What was the purpose of establishing AFRICOM when they apparently had no real assets available in Africa? As we know from earlier reports, everyone had to know there were serious security issues in Libya yet NO action was taken at any level to enhance security or position forces! – Roger Young, co-editor|
State Department names groups behind Benghazi strike – FoxNews – 10 Jan 14
Families of Benghazi victims press for House select committee to investigate attack – FoxNews – 7 Jan 14
CIA Benghazi team clash led to ‘stand down’ report by Kimberly Dozier – 14 Dec 13
‘Pleading’ distress calls made from US consulate on night of Benghazi attack by Catherine Herridge – 20 Nov 13
Congressman: Benghazi attackers knew location of ambassador’s safe room By Catherine Herridge – 15 Nov 13
Memo to Speaker Boehner — time to appoint a Select Committee on Benghazi By John LeBoutillier – 14 Nov 13
Intelligence Warnings On Benghazi Were Loud And Clear by Susan Katz Keating and Richard Miniter – Posted 13 Nov 13
Opinion: Why is Team Obama so afraid of Benghazi survivors’ stories? By K.T. McFarland – 5 Nov 13
Justice and State departments blocking access to survivors of Benghazi attack by Catherine Herridge – 31 Oct 13
Administration making excuses to block Benghazi survivors? – FoxNews – 31 Oct 13
Exclusive: Benghazi Whistleblower Says He Was Smeared by Eli Lake, Josh Rogin
Former Guantanamo detainee was on ground in Benghazi during terror attack, source says by Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne – 25 Oct 13
Opinion: The Benghazi Nightmare Revealed by Roger Young – 19 Sep 13
Commentary: A ‘rigorous and unsparing’ review? ARB Benghazi report full of gaps, unanswered questions by Victoria Toensing – 17 Sep 13
Team involved in tracking Benghazi suspects pulling out, sources say – FoxNews – 23 Aug 13
Kerry clears State officials faulted in Benghazi report, allows them back on job – FoxNews – 20 Aug 13
US files charges against Benghazi attack suspects, official says – FoxNews – 6 Aug 13
CNN Exclusive: Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack – CNN – 1 Aug 13
Newsletter comment: With this revelation by CNN, the evidence of a widespread cover-up is only growing…
State Department official says he was scapegoated by bosses over Benghazi – FoxNews – 21 May 13
White House’s Benghazi documents – FoxNews – 15 May 13
Cover Up by Oliver North – 10 May 13
The Benghazi Scandal Grows by Stephen F. Hayes – 10 May 13
Note: Mr. Hayes was the first to report on the internal memos indicating just how the original intelligence assessment was altered.
Benghazi memos reportedly revised 12 times, official ‘concerned’ they would hurt State – FoxNews – 10 May 13
Newsletter comment: I’ve never seen such cowards in the White House & State Department. They want to shift the blame on the intelligence community when Mr. Hicks in Tripoli was reporting from the start of the attack in Benghazi that it was a terrorist attack on that facility as reported to him by Ambassador Stevens.
In my opinion, the talking points were changed to give Sec. Clinton and the White House cover for their actions of cutting security at the facility, period. And they both went out before the television cameras when the bodies of our brave Americans were returned to U.S. soil and in front of the families with the caskets in the background, continued to lie to the families, the American people, and the entire world. And they continue those same lies today. This is an absolute disgrace! – Roger
Whistle-blower: Botched talking points hurt FBI probe of Benghazi attack – FoxNews – 8 May 13
Special ops called for military backup during Libya attack, sources say – FoxNews – 2 May 13
Newsletter comment: From Vietnam until the present the State Dept. has not cooperated well with our military. The fall of Lima Site 85 in Laos, SOG missions compromised in Laos & Cambodia – a case can certainly be made that our inept State Dept. played a hand in those failures and lives were lost. Lessons are never learned when denial is the norm – Roger Young, co-editor
Commentary: Boehner Must Impanel Special Committee to Investigate Benghazi by Terry Jeffrey – 1 May 13
Obama administration officials threatened whistle-blowers on Benghazi, lawyer says – FoxNews – 29 Apr 13
Commentary: BENGHAZIGATE: Obama’s Secret Gun-Running Program by Katie Kieffer – 29 Apr 13
Lawmakers demand access to survivors injured in Benghazi attack – FoxNews – 6 Mar 13
Opinion: Obama AWOL during Benghazi Attack by Bob Beauprez – 9 Feb 13
7 Feb 2013:
It is clear after listening to SECDEF Panetta and Gen. Dempsey today at hearings, and listening to some of the questioning of CIA candidate Brennan today before the Senate, there is NOT going to be any accountability regarding the tragedy in Benghazi. And it is equally clear that this President is incapable of leading during a crisis. – Roger Young
Panetta on Benghazi: We did all we could do – ArmyTimes – 7 Feb 13
Opinion: The pygmies vs. the Zulu warrior — how Republicans missed a big opportunity with Clinton by K.T. McFarland – 24 Jan 13
Newsletter closing comment: I believe it is clear that just like Fast & Furious we are never going to get the truth, nor will anyone ever be held accountable for what happened in Benghazi. And the GOP doesn’t have the stomach to ask the tough questions to uncover the truth. It was just another dog & pony show to appease the American people. – Roger Young
Clinton lashes out at senator over Benghazi questioning – FoxNews – 23 Jan 13
Newsletter comment: After listening to Secretary Clinton testify today, apparently what happened in Benghazi, stays in Benghazi.
Like Fast & Furious and many other investigations, we never get any answers from this “transparent” administration. – Roger Young
Senate committee report on Benghazi terrorist attack faults State Department – FoxNews – 31 Dec 12
Opinion: The lessons of Benghazi by Sen. Marco Rubio – 26 Dec 12
State Department official suggests Libya warnings went to the top – FoxNews – 20 Dec 12
Report on Libya attack cites ‘systemic failures’ in security, confirms no protest – FoxNews – 19 Dec 12
Accountability Review Board report on Benghazi attack – Courtesy of FoxNews – 19 Dec 12
State Department officials resign after scathing report on security lapses in Libya – FoxNews – 19 Dec 12
U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands – New York Times – Posted 6 Dec 12
Special OPs Vets Demand Benghazi Answers – WND – Posted 6 Dec 12
White House denies suggestion it scrubbed terror threat from CIA Libya account – FoxNews – 17 Nov 12
Petraeus testifies CIA’s Libya talking points were changed, lawmaker says – FoxNews – 16 Nov 12
Newsletter comment: Is this all the good General could offer? I don’t care who changed his memo! I don’t care about what Susan Rice said on network TV. These are the questions I want answers for:
1) Who repeatedly denied requests for increased security and why?
2) Who told the SEALS to “stand down” and not go to the aid of the Consulate under attack and why?
3) Who denied them help when they were fighting for their lives at the annex and why?
This is the usual Potomac two-step, just pointing fingers at various agencies without ever getting to the truth. We are being led down rabbit trails in my opinion. – Roger Young, editor
Newsletter comment: Perhaps if the President would answer any direct questions concerning Benghazi, except “it’s under investigation,” we could get some real answers to why four Americans died and their repeated requests for increased security before the attack were denied, and why their requests for help during the attack went unanswered.
It is clear to me that this President does not feel he is obligated to answer any questions to the American people. – Roger
Petraeus agrees to testify on Libya before congressional committees – FoxNews – 14 Nov 12
Three key questions on the Benghazi scandal by Arthur Herman – 13 Nov 12
Newsletter comment: Excellent questions, but the focus has/will turn to the Petraeus scandal. How convenient. Nothing like a good sex scandal to divert the mainstream press and congress from a national security fiasco in Benghazi. – Roger
Petraeus Just Another Mystery Victim in the Benghazi Triangle by John Ransom – Posted 12 Nov 12
“…Cross the Benghazi Triangle and mysterious, unexplainable things begin to happen.”
EXCLUSIVE: Petraeus mistress may have revealed classified information at Denver speech on real reason for Libya attack By Jennifer Griffin, Adam Housley – 12 Nov 12
Military timeline from night of Benghazi attack begs more questions – FoxNews – 11 Nov 12
Petraeus quits over extramarital affair – ArmyTimes – 9 Nov 12
U.S. general: Obama paralyzed by fear by Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, U.S. Army (ret.) – 4 Nov 12
Security officials on the ground in Libya challenge CIA account – FoxNews – 2 Nov 12
Opinion: Benghazi: The Set-Up and the Cover-Up by Clare M. Lopez – Posted 2 Nov 12
Sources, emails point to communication breakdown in Obama administration during Libya attack by Jennifer Griffin – 2 Nov 12
FBI granted access to Libya consulate attack suspect detained in Tunisia – FoxNews – 2 Nov 12
Editorial: Benghazi blunder: Obama unworthy commander-in-chief – Las Vegas Review-Journal – 1 Nov 12
‘Troubling’ Surveillance Before Benghazi Attack by Harald Doornbos, Jenan Moussa – 1 Nov 12
Classified cable warned consulate couldn’t withstand ‘coordinated attack’ by Catherine Herridge – 31 Oct 12
Republican senators accuse Obama administration of ‘stonewalling’ on Benghazi – FoxNews – 31 Oct 12
Opinion: Lingering questions about Benghazi by David Ignatius – 30 Oct 12
Opinion: To live and die in Benghazi, Libya without leadership from America by Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer (ret.) – 30 Oct 12
Early briefings on Libya strike focused on Al Qaeda, before story changed – FoxNews – 29 Oct 12
Head of AFRICOM Fired for Wanting to Assist Personnel in Benghazi by GerardDirect Staff – 28 Oct 2012
Posted on YouTube on 28 Oct 12:
Posted on YouTube on 27 Oct 12:
Obama: ‘Not personally aware’ of security requests before Libya attack – FoxNews – 26 Oct 12
EXCLUSIVE: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say By Jennifer Griffin – 26 Oct 12
Newsletter observation: We now know since this deadly attack the following:
1) Leading up to the attack, the State Department repeatedly denied official requests to increase security as recommended by the Ambassador and his security team on the ground in Libya. In fact, the State Department reduced the security prior to the attack according to earlier hearings in the House that took place following this tragedy.
2) As the attack was underway, Jennifer Griffin reported above that the CIA reportedly refused multiple requests for help by its operatives under attack at the annex. The CIA denies those reports – Roger Young
Clinton asked for more security in Benghazi, Obama said no by Christopher Collins – 25 Oct 12
SecDef: Lack of info hampered Benghazi response – ArmyTimes – 25 Oct 12
Clinton downplays emails implicating Al Qaeda-tied group within hours of Libya strike – FoxNews – 24 Oct 12
Newsletter comment: It is long past time that our President addressed the American people on this issue which claimed the lives of four American patriots. You decide if this adminstration has been playing it straight with us. – Roger Young
State Department emails from day of Libya attack show Al Qaeda-tied group on radar – FoxNews – 23 Oct 12
‘Annex’ hit in Libya terror attack was CIA post, officials say – FoxNews – 22 Oct 12
Consulate attack may have been aimed at driving US out of eastern Libya, sources say – FoxNews – 18 Oct 12
I’m not big on Super Pac ads, but this video from a GOP Super Pac raises very valid questions that deserve to be answered to the American people from the White House. This President has the time to go on comedy shows to talk about Libya, but somehow cannot address the American people thus far?:
Opinion: Who is responsible for the mess in Libya? by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano – 18 Oct 12
Opinion: Hillary takes responsibility for Libya but Obama’s terror policy is real problem by K.T. McFarland – 17 Oct 12
Opinion: Leaks, Lies, and Libya: How Not to Inform a Nation by Larry Bailey (USN, Ret. SEAL) – 17 Oct 12
Clinton takes responsibility for consulate security, blames confusion on ‘fog of war’ – FoxNews – 16 Oct 12
Rice blames intel talking points for faulty Libya story; lawmakers raise new questions – FoxNews – 16 Oct 12
Opinion: It’s time for Hillary Clinton to testify about what happened in Libya by K.T. McFarland – 12 Oct 12
Newsletter comment: The debacle in Benghazi which cost the lives of four American patriots, reminds me of a similar debacle during the Vietnam war which led to the fall of Lima Site 85 in Laos. In Benghazi there were repeated requests to the State Department by their U.S. security teams on the ground for additional personnel to guard the vulnerable Consulate at Benghazi. Those requests were denied according to recent House testimony.
At Lima Site 85, a top-secret radar installation manned by U.S. Air Force personnel disguised as civilian contractors, in early March 1968 MACV in Saigon knew the installation was in imminent danger of attack by the NVA and the U.S. Ambassador in Laos rejected MACV’s evacuation request and the site was overrun on 11 March 1968 and 11 Americans were killed.
Our State Department has many dedicated and brave Americans serving our country around the world. Unfortunately, far too often, the bureaucrats in D.C. who are career driven guided by politics call the shots from the safety of their desks which can have disastrous outcomes for those in harms way. Without personal accountability, we are likely doomed to see more such bad calls around this increasingly turbulent world. – Roger Young
White House moves to insulate Biden, Obama on Libya security question – FoxNews – 12 Oct 12
Ex-security officers testify about frustration at State Department over Libya security – FoxNews – 10 Oct 12
Diplomats asked repeatedly for more security before Libya attack, lawmakers claim – FoxNews – 2 Oct 12
“…’Based on information provided to the committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,’ they wrote. ‘In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington’…”
Opinion: Obama Miscalculated Politics of Terrorism by Chris Stirewalt – 28 Sep 12
No threat assessment in Benghazi prior to ambassador’s arrival, source says – FoxNews– 28 Sep 12
Opinion: Could the Benghazi attack be Obama’s Tet? by Earl Tilford – 28 Sep 12
Comment: As the author pointed out, it is unlikely that the Obama administration will take any blame for the deadly attack in Benghazi or the way this tragic event was initially “spun” by the administration and mainstream media. During Vietnam we had a media that was critical of the strategy unlike today a media that avoids asking the tough questions or holding this administration accountable for any of their decisions.
Our individual freedoms have always hinged on a free and independent press that would question power and seek the truth. Unfortunately those days appear to be behind us. Sometimes like the ’68 Tet the press got it wrong – Tet was a major defeat for the Viet Cong, not a military victory – but at least they were asking the tough questions and had every right to question the Johnson/McNamara strategy of ‘escalated response’ that would not take the war to the North or their sanctuaries in Cambodia & Laos
Roger Young, co-editor
US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm – FoxNews – 27 Sep 12
Obama: U.S. Consulate attack was terrorism – ArmyTimes – 26 Sep 12
Libya latest example of administration downplaying terror strike – FoxNews – 24 Sep 12
Lawmakers urge Obama to clarify Libya attack details, as Clinton calls strike terrorism – FoxNews – 21 Sep 12
White House: Libya was a ‘terrorist attack’ – ArmyTimes – 20 Sep 12
President Obama Speaks at Ceremony for Benghazi Victims – White House – 14 Sep 12
Colleges are enrolling veterans at record numbers in 2014 and much of that is thanks to the assistance our country gives to veterans who want to pursue an education. But returning to college after a life in the service is no easy feat. There are social and academic challenges the typical high school graduate doesn’t have to face, but there are advantages for veterans as well.
Paying for college is one of the most lucrative benefits from military service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers the GI Bill to veterans who want to pursue a higher education. This often covers most, if not all, of their tuition. But veterans who need more aid have plenty of resources for tuition assistance. Federal Student Aid, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education, offers financial aid to veterans with significantly better interest rates and repayment plans than standard student loans. And if you choose to return to public service after graduation, those loans are eligible for forgiveness after 10-20 years.
Veterans enter college with a specialized skill set, which can be an advantage when compared to high school graduates with no skill set. Veterans don’t just have experience that could aid in areas like criminal justice and technology, but also have leadership skills which give them a huge advantage in collaborative programs like project management. Penn Foster even offers a gunsmith program which could be perfect for veterans with exceptional experience with firearms.
But college (and the career that follows) doesn’t need ties to your military experience. Some veterans want to break ties with their time in the service and major in a creative study (English, art history, etc.) and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Because tuition is mostly taken care of, this is a great time to pursue alternative opportunities.
Getting thrown into the epicenter of the ultimate social experience for young adults is never easy. You’ll likely be at least four years older than every other freshman on campus. And most them who are living away from their parents for the first time won’t understand your experiences fighting overseas. There are two ways to make your social experience in college the most rewarding it can be:
1. Seek out other veterans on campus. You’re not the only one and there will be at least one campus group for you to seek and and meet new friends. The common ground shared with these fellow veterans will be a great way to create a social base when you’re just starting your first semester.
2. Don’t leave civilians out of your social circle. The college experience is about expanding your horizons and excluding your friends to fellow veterans would be robbing yourself of the opportunity to meet new people with different backgrounds and experiences from your own.
In college, you’ll run into two scenarios that could baffle you, annoy you and possibly even anger you — the maturity level of 18-year-old freshmen and the anti-military views that college campuses often carry. The first thing to remember is that college is not split into veterans and non-veterans. There are dozens of demographics and you should do your part to experience all of them.
Author: Ruth Coleman, Lecturer, academic advisor, avid hiker
There is much discussion if the United States is in decline; I for one believe we are.
What happened to the days when America built the hydroelectric dams in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the dams along the Columbia River (BPA) and Hoover dam that power many cities of our once great country and invited industry into those areas?
What happened with the vision of President Eisenhower to create an Interstate highway system that connected our country and enhanced our national security, and yet today we can’t seemingly maintain them?
What happened with the vision of President Kennedy to send Americans to the moon and back which was accomplished with Apollo 11 in 1969, but today we have no manned spaceflight capability? Today we must send our astronauts to the International Space Station and back via the Russian space agency despite our disagreements with a new, rising Russia. The technology that was a spinoff from our space program led to calculators, home computers and enhanced our way of life and staying connected today around the globe, not to mention the rapid advancement in medical treatments and diagnostics.
Yet today, our nation faces record deficits and we seem incapable of inventing or creating anything of real value. This once mighty nation of industry that served the world well in WWII now has outsourced most of our heavy industry, including steel and ship building to the lowest wage earners around the globe for the sake of global trade, but at what price? And what is the damage to our national security?
Today we have a government that has spent well over $600-million on a website for mandated healthcare that still is not functioning properly. Less than 1% of our fellow citizens serve in our military and yet we seemingly can’t afford to maintain it during these very unsettling times.
As I was growing up as a child and a young adult, I was proud of our country, what it stood for, and what we produced as a nation which greatly benefited the middle class and the entire world. The Midwest was the breadbasket of the globe.
Perhaps I was young and naïve, but years back I believe most politicians were true public servants and patriots and today we have a pack of overpaid, spoiled, entitled adolescents constantly squabbling in D.C., lying to the American people and only worried about the next election cycle and the next lobbyist who is going to pad their bank accounts to enriching their way of life. Frankly, I’ve seen more “leadership” from a PFC in Vietnam than I do today from D.C. We are rapidly approaching the point where we have a ruling class that will completely destroy the middle class and dictate every aspect of our lives.
My question is this, what has happened to our once great country and how do we reverse this downward spiral? How do we encourage younger generations to get involved and believe in our Constitution and the once American Dream instead of sitting on their behinds and watching D.C. strip our very freedoms and way of life?
Roger Young, co-editor
In 1989, motorcyclists and Vietnam veterans James Gregory and Bill Evans set out on a two-wheeled mission across America to raise awareness about the “thousands of men and women [in the armed forces] still unaccounted for from all of our wars.” Now called Run for the Wall, the tradition continues this May and organizers expect to attract 350,000 participants who will join the cause on a 10-day ride to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC, stopping at schools, memorial sites and Veteran’s hospitals along the way.
If you’ve been on a long road trip, you know the basics of what to expect. But this event is not your typical road trip, to say the least. For riders joining for the first time, there are some things to know before setting out on your two-wheeled, cross country journey:
Just because you can’t pack a suitcase on a motorcycle doesn’t mean you don’t have luggage options. But a backpack will never be one of them, at least not on long-distance runs. According to the experts at OpenRoadJourney backpacks to motorcyclists are “shoulder pinching, posture ruining, loud wind-flapping-ear-drum-popper at speed back attachment you wish you’d never brought.” Instead, they suggest heading to a motorcycle store to invest in a luggage rack that mounts on the back of the bike and can be used to secure a small to medium-sized duffel bag behind the rider. You should also look into purchasing saddlebags for extra storage space.
Safety gear is first and foremost. As a rider, you should already own leathers, gloves and a helmet (and wear them always), but when it comes to everything else, packing light is key. Guy Boutin of BamaRider.com says of packing, “Weight = drag and it will dog you the entire tour if you have too much. I only bring stuff I’m going to use, and use often.” Clothing must be kept light, but remember to prepare for inclement weather. RFTW is in May, so the chances you’ll run into a blizzard are slim, but it is highly likely you’ll get a bit of rain at some point. Water resistant gloves and boot covers are a must, as are rain jacket and pants.
The rest of your bare necessities include:
From there, the items you pack are at your discretion. If you forget something, that’s where cash comes in handy. RFTW organizers stress participants should never assume that another rider will be willing to loan gear or supplies. They came prepared, and if you didn’t, you might find yourself up Route-66 without a paddle.
Richard Evans – Motorcyclist, attorney, father
Awesome video we found with the closing hymn from the movie, “We Were Soldiers”
Performed in the movie by the West Point Glee Club, this video will bring tears to your eyes as we remember our fallen comrades:
Newsletter commentary – 25 February 2014:
Today it has been reported that our president has instructed the Pentagon for a complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Afghanistan will go the way of Iraq in short order in my opinion. So much blood and treasure spent with nothing to show for it. Once again politics rule the day, after all there is an important election coming in November.
Also the past couple of days we have seen massive troop cuts proposed for our military to pre-WWII levels. And scrapping the A-10 Warthog which has been an excellent ground support aircraft with nothing to replace it. But the extremely costly F-35 program will continue, and all of these proposals with the blessing of the Joint Chiefs and SECDEF Hagel. All on the backs of our brave warriors that have served this nation well.
Look for the next major cuts in VA. After all, the wars are coming to an end and who needs veterans or our military – until the next threat surfaces…
But for all of those jumping up and down rejoicing on how they can divide the defense savings for their ever-expanding social programs, when the next war comes and it will, it might well require a draft to get the boots on the ground IF TIME PERMITS!
His transformation of America is right on schedule. – Roger Young, Vietnam veteran and newsletter co-editor
Obama asks Pentagon for complete Afghanistan withdrawal plan, speaks with Karzai – FoxNews – 25 Feb 14
Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Afghanistan – DoD – 25 Feb 14
Hagel to call for shrinking Army to pre-WWII size – FoxNews – 24 Feb 14
Hagel: Ground forces can fight in one theater, support air, sea forces in another – ArmyTimes – 24 Feb 14
Returning from service overseas can be a difficult transition for veterans and their families. Private citizens, corporate entities, and government agencies may all be grateful for the service that you provided during your time in uniform, but even so, they cannot directly repay you for the opportunity costs that you face for serving the nation instead of using those years to advance yourself in the workplace and the community. Fortunately, each of these sectors have come up with ways to help you make up for time away from civilian life through incentives, discounts, and access to resources.
Without question, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, commonly referred to as the GI Bill, is the most well-known education benefit associated with service in the United States Armed Forces. Since 1944, the federal government has offered veterans assistance, paying for all facets of higher education. Current information on the bill is available through a dedicated section on Veteran’s Benefits Administration’s website, but here’s the key thing you need to know: According to the Association of the United States Army, the 2014 payment rates for the GI Bill mean that a full-time service member could be eligible for up to $59,000 in tuition, stipends, and other forms of financial assistance, according to AUSA.org.
As rich as the GI Bill is, it isn’t the only education-related resource available to you. The Student Veterans of America, for example, exists to “provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation”, as their site explains. SVA coordinates the work of student veteran groups at colleges and universities across America, and advocates for university policies that are beneficial to those who have served.
While the federal government dedicates considerable resources to helping you transition back to civilian life by paying for training and helping you connect with potential employers, the nonprofit sector is also making its presence known in these important endeavors. Consider the work of Hire Heroes USA, a Georgia-based nonprofit that prides itself on “creating job opportunities for veterans and their spouses”, according to HireHeroesUSA.org. The organization provides resume services, training, and access to job openings reported by their corporate sponsors at no cost to veterans. Not to be outdone, the private sector is also doing it’s part to help. For example, NBC News, in conjunction with the US Chamber of Commerce, has launched Next Steps for Vets (Veterans.NBCNews.com), a web portal that will help you calculate your eligibility for educational benefits, learn the basics of launching your own small business, and connect with potential employers.
Of course, you don’t have to be headed for Harvard to benefit from your military experience. You could just be headed to your local big box store. Lowes, one of the nation’s largest home improvement retailers, recognizes your service by providing a 10% discount to active and retired military personnel, and members of their immediate families, according to their website. LifeLock, a company dedicated to protecting consumers from credit fraud and identity theft, offers a 10% veterans’ discount on its monitoring services—an attractive incentive for anyone thinking of re-enlisting or concerned about being redeployed. Your service also entitles you to reduced military rates when renting a car from Alamo; spending the day at a Disney Park; or choosing insurance through Geico or American Family Insurance. Information about military discounts is often buried deeply within company websites, so the best way to learn if a retail outlet or service provider offers incentives for active or retired military personnel is to simply ask.
In times of economic stress, your status as a veteran can open the door to emergency assistance through organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW.org), USACares.org, and—for military parents—the American Legion (Legion.org). On the other hand, if things are going smoothly and you’re interested in securing your financial future through business ownership, the VA has compiled a helpful list of franchise programs tailored to veterans, featuring plenty of options to investigate.
About the author: Kirk Hansen
Kirk owns a thrift store that benefits veterans.
Updated 10 Jan 2014
Newsletter comment: America’s brave Iraq & Afghanistan vets are now asking themselves the very same questions we who fought in Vietnam have done all these many years after the fall of South Vietnam; what was it all for, why did my fellow Troopers perish, what did we actually accomplish? In the end, we fought for one another, not for some grand global cause that our politicians squandered.
It breaks my heart to see this happen again… Roger “Bear” Young, co-editor
‘Nam comes to Iraq: Losing to al Qaeda, after winning By Seth Lipsky – 9 Jan 14
Commentary: Iraq: The New Liberal Killing Field by Allen West – 9 Jan 14
Opinion: The Worst Defeat for the United States Since 9/11 by John Ransom – 8 Jan 14
“…A Navy veteran of Enduring Freedom, who walked the sand in Iraq, told me that he had been watching the situation ‘unfold for a while now. It’s incomprehensible to me,’ he said ‘that we lost so much there and these guys just threw it all away’…”
Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama’s leadership in ‘Duty’ by Bob Woodward – 7 Jan 14
Rep. Hunter: Obama has abandoned everything US fought for in Iraq – FoxNews – 7 Jan 14
Al Qaeda-linked militants capture Fallujah during violent outbreak, report says – FoxNews – 4 Jan 14
Submitted by Bob Himrod, an outstanding video!
Video of our Christmas memories from 2008-2012. God Bless and enjoy the miracle of the season! – Roger