A Nation In Decline?

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

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Run For the Wall: Preparing for a Ride Across the US

MotorcyclistIn 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:

Luggage rack > Backpack

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.

Everything you need

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:

  • Motorcycle (you’d be surprised)
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Toiletries (including toilet paper)
  • Emergency gear (tools, parts, oil)
  • Wind glasses, sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • First aid supplies
  • Road maps
  • Cash
  • Emergency contact information
  • Items you want to leave at the Wall

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

The Wall, Veteran's Day 2000 by Ingo Haas - 3/17th Air Cav Trooper

The Wall, Veteran’s Day 2000 by Ingo Haas – 3/17th Air Cav Trooper

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Mansions of the Lord

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:

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The Transformation of America

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 KarzaiFoxNews – 25 Feb 14

Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on AfghanistanDoD – 25 Feb 14

Hagel to call for shrinking Army to pre-WWII sizeFoxNews – 24 Feb 14

Hagel: Ground forces can fight in one theater, support air, sea forces in anotherArmyTimes – 24 Feb 14

 

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Returning Veterans Have Access to Many Benefits

veteransReturning 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.

Education Assistance

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.

Job Hunting Services

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.

Valuable Discounts on Goods and Services

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.

Financial Resources

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.

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Why We Died? America’s War Veterans Betrayed Again…

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

Why We Died: Political Validation for Veterans by Thomas Gibbons-Neff – 8 Jan 14

‘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 IraqFoxNews – 7 Jan 14

Al Qaeda-linked militants capture Fallujah during violent outbreak, report saysFoxNews – 4 Jan 14

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The USAF Band Holiday Flash Mob at the National Air and Space Museum 2013

Submitted by Bob Himrod, an outstanding video!

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From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Video of our Christmas memories from 2008-2012. God Bless and enjoy the miracle of the season! – Roger

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GM and U.S. Army Partner to Use New Technology in Cars

us-army-carsIn the ongoing pursuit of greener and more fuel-efficient vehicle technology, General Motors has joined forces with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) to develop and test new hydrogen fuel cell technology. Both GM and TARDEC will jointly test hydrogen fuel cell-related designs and materials, according to a recent press release from GM. GM’s bold move in pioneering new fuel cell technology is sure to have positive effects on the future of hydrogen-powered cars in the U.S.

An Explanation of Fuel Cell Technology

Hydrogen fuel cell technology isn’t something you’ll see in today’s new cars. However, it’s a goal that GM has pursued since it first began fuel cell testing in 1964. According to Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, the company ranked number one in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012.

A fuel cell utilizes hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce an electrical current. An anode within the fuel cell breaks down hydrogen gas into positive hydrogen ions and negatively charged electrons. A polymer electrolyte membrane allows the positively charged ions to pass through directly to the cathode while forcing the negatively charged electrons along an external electrical circuit to the cathode, creating an electrical current. At the cathode, both the positive hydrogen ions and negatively charged electrons combine with oxygen, forming water as a byproduct. The majority of fuel cells produce less than 1.16 volts of electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. As a result, multiple cells are bundled together into a stack to deliver the energy needed for an ordinary vehicle.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology is held in high regard for its ability to produce clean energy, but one of the many hurdles faced by automakers involves the expensive, complicated and potentially dangerous high-pressure storage containers needed for storing hydrogen onboard. One of the major goals shared by GM and TARDEC is to design a safe storage tank capable of standing up to the rigors of life in combat zones and everyday use in ordinary passenger vehicles.

A Joint Effort

According to the International Business Times, the U.S. Army’s interest in hydrogen fuel cell technology stems from a desire to develop more efficient ground systems in response to reductions in defense spending. Meanwhile, GM’s collaboration with TARDEC comes in response to Toyota’s efforts in developing clean vehicles. The Japanese automaker is expected to reveal a production-ready hydrogen fuel cell car in Las Vegas sometime in January, with an aim towards bringing it to market by 2015.

The collaborative effort between GM and TARDEC exists for a relatively pragmatic reason – by combining their efforts, both groups believe they’ll be able to work more efficiently and develop viable solutions quicker than with independent efforts. Both groups will conduct their research at TARDEC’s Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) in Warren, Michigan and GM’s new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in nearby Pontiac, Michigan.

GM’s partnership with TARDEC comes after the company’s announcement of a long-term, definitive master agreement with Honda to jointly develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies by 2020.

About the author: Daniel Sloan

Danny is an auto mechanic who specializes in hybrids and EVs. He’s married with two boys and lives on the East Coast.

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Remembering President John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy's arrive at Love Field, Dallas, TX. -  22 Nov 1963 Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

The Kennedy’s arrive at Love Field, Dallas, TX. – 22 Nov 1963
Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

50 years ago: JFK’s tragic final hoursFoxNews – 22 Nov 13

Newsletter comment: Anyone that was alive that day remembers this tragedy all too well. I was in Mr. Lumley’s history class when he announced to the class that our President had been assassinated. It hit us all like a blow to the gut. Kennedy was a young, WWII hero President that inspired the youth of our country. He got us through the Cuban Missile Crisis, inspired our space program to go to the moon. He told us; “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Yes, President Kennedy inspired us to believe there was nothing our country couldn’t accomplish, including civil rights, if we all worked together to strive to be a better person, a better country and ultimately a better world.

Something very tragic happened that day. Not only was our young President taken from us but looking back at our history since, a vital part of the American spirit died with him. – Roger Young, co-editor

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The Gettysburg Address

President Lincoln
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863:

LincolnGettysburg

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

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“The Longest Day” performed by the Cadet Glee Club of West Point

Sent to us from a fellow Silver Spur, Clayton Marsh. An excellent YouTube video:

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20th Anniversary of Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Vietnam Women’s Memorial celebrates 20 years on the MallSeattle Times – 9 Nov 13

20-Years Ago, Pam was there:

Courtesy of Pam Young


Courtesy of Pam Young


Courtesy of Pam Young

Pam’s Tribute to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Vietnam Women’s Memorial celebrates 20 years on the Mall By Ruth Tam

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Auburn, WA – 2013

For Veterans Day 2013, Auburn, WA. once again hosted the 1/2-scale size of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Auburn Veterans Park. Our personal thanks to all those who made this event possible. – Roger & Pam Young

Click on the images for full size photos:

Jeff McIntyre is a organizer for the events each year in Auburn!

Jeff McIntyre is a organizer for the events each year in Auburn!

Quilt on display in honor of the fallen War Dogs from Vietnam:

Quilt in honor of the fallen War Dogs of Vietnam

Quilt in honor of the fallen War Dogs of Vietnam

Cracker was included in the quilt:

Cracker is listed in the upper right-hand corner, 4th from the top

Cracker is listed in the upper right-hand corner, 4th from the top

 

 

Rose left in honor of Cracker, KIA August 19, 1968 Scout Dog handler: Bob Himrod

Rose left in honor of Cracker, KIA August 19, 1968
Scout Dog handler: Bob Himrod

Willing & Able by Bob Himrod

 

3/17th Air Cavalry Honor Roll

3/17th Air Cavalry Honor Roll

 

Fallen Cavalry Brothers are never forgotten...

Fallen Cavalry Brothers are never forgotten…

 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Pam Young

Pam Young

 

Roger "Bear" Young

Roger “Bear” Young

 

Auburn salutes veterans with a glorious parade | SLIDESHOWAuburn Reporter – 10 Nov 13

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Vietnam Bronze Map Dedication

Took place at the Boeing Museum of Flight on November 10th, 2013:

Video Camera

PDF: Vietnam Bronze Map Dedication Program

 

CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE!

CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE!

 

 

CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE!

CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE!

 

Cessna O-2A Click image to enlarge

Cessna O-2A
Click image to enlarge

 

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How to End a War by George J. Veith

PDF: How to End a War by George J. VeithAmerica’s exit from Vietnam should not be our template in Afghanistan

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Help for Active-Duty Military & Vets Trying to Get Out of Debt

Debt Free Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.

More than a quarter of military families carry credit card debt over $10,000, a Finra Investor Education Foundation survey found. In addition, a third of those surveyed found it difficult to make ends meet, and half of them had no emergency savings. Active duty service members and discharged veterans face a number of factors that may case financial insecurity, but you don’t have to suffer with debt. There is help available.

Resources for Those Who Serve

Stressors of military life that can aggravate debt include loss of spousal income due to frequent moves, the inability to sell a home when the serving partner is transferred to a new base, low salaries of junior enlisted troops and the lack of employer reimbursement for military moves.

However, you and your family enjoy some debt protection while you are serving, thanks to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Interest is capped at 6 percent for debt the service member incurred before going on active duty, and you can cancel a lease with no penalty. In most cases, your property can’t be foreclosed on while you are on active duty.

Discharged veterans have to resume debt payment within 30 to 90 days after discharge. After leaving the service, vets may need to find new housing, purchase a car and support their family while job hunting, on top of having to pay back old debt. Federal VA benefits may help vets obtain prescription medication, take out or refinance a home loan, receive educational scholarships, take advantage of tax credits or exemptions and receive job training. It can be hard for newly returned vets to get back on their feet, particularly when they no longer receive protection from the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Like all other Americans, veterans enjoy the protection of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which states that creditors cannot publish your name, threaten you with harm, repetitively telephone you in an attempt to goad you into answering the phone, or call you without identifying who they are. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau provides free resources for veterans who are being harassed by debt collectors. These can offer you peace of mind and help you formulate a debt repayment plan.

On Your Way to Financial Health

After looking into the resources listed above, the next step is to calculate your total debt and income. This can be scary, but you will need to know how much you owe in order to achieve financial health. Make a plan for paying down bills.

You might look into selling stocks and bonds or cashing in a lump sum annuity. You won’t receive the full annuity amount if you cash in early, but if you can use the lump sum to achieve financial health, it may be worth it.

You can also work with a debt consolidator to lump all your debt into one mass amount, obtain a lower interest rate and lower your monthly payments. Reducing your interest rate fast-tracks debt repayment, because more funds go to the principal.

About the author:  Roseanne Sutton is an former Army brat who’s now married to a career Marine. A stay-at-home mom to two boys, she writes about parenting for a variety of blogs.

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Not Paying the Families of our Dead Heroes a National Disgrace!

UPDATE: Statement by George Little on Death Gratuity PaymentsDoD – 11 Oct 13

UPDATE: Obama signs bill to pay death benefits to families of fallen soldiers  – FoxNews – 10 Oct 13

UPDATE: Congress votes to restore death gratuitiesArmyTimes – 10 Oct 13

UPDATE: Statement by Secretary Hagel on Death GratuitiesDoD – 9 Oct 13

Shame on You President ObamaThomas More Law Center – Posted 9 Oct 13

Our fax to Speaker Boehner: Not paying the families of our dead heroes a national disgrace! – 9 Oct 13

Military foundation steps up to cover ‘disgusting’ delay in payments for families of fallenNBC News – 8 Oct 13

Shutdown halts death benefits for military familiesArmyTimes – 8 Oct 13

Newsletter comment: According to Col. Oliver North, the president could have corrected this matter by simply signing an emergency appropriations bill. – Roger & Pam

Posted in ALERT! | 3 Comments

Vietnam POW 40th Reunion News Coverage

Submitted by fellow Spur, Clayton Marsh.

Description: On May 24, 1973, President and First Lady Nixon hosted American Prisoners of War held captive in Vietnam for the largest dinner ever held at the White House.

40 years later, the Richard Nixon Foundation hosted what was perhaps their last reunion gathering. The following is a collection of television and print news coverage.

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4 Money-Saving Tips for Veterans

After military service, veterans can struggle with daily life after serving for such a long time, even monetarily. For example, veterans experienced an unemployment rate of 9.9. percent in 2012, CNN Money reports. For veterans who are out of work or looking for employment, saving up for big purchases can be challenging. Cars, homes, education, supporting a family, and saving for the future are all expenses that Americans have to worry about, including vets. Start saving for that car — or any other big-ticket item — with these tips.

Military Discounts

Vets shouldn’t shy away from asking for military discounts at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and other local venues. These discounts are intended to honor you, so take advantage. MilitaryDiscountsCentral.com lists all local discounts for vets. Easily search for discounts, keep more money in your pocket and build that savings account by spending less on your entertainment and travel.

Veteran Thinking

The army teaches about responsibility, honesty and accountability. These same skills can help you prioritize your financial goals and save for items you need, suggests Deborah L. Jacobs in Forbes. As part of being honest, take a hard look at your finances and identify areas where you are overspending and should cut back. Cut back and establish a savings goal, such as $200 per month. Also, for each purchase, save the receipt. Once a month, review your receipts and expenses to hold yourself accountable for sticking to your budget.

Smart Research

Thorough research equips you with the knowledge to ask the right questions and make smart decisions as you picture yourself driving a Ford Fusion or Taurus. Read vehicle make and model reviews on Edmunds to narrow down the field of potential cars to a few cars that fit your lifestyle. Then compare the prices of new or used vehicles. Kelley Blue Book organizes used cars by zip code, so you can view used models available near you and see how dealer list prices compare to the blue book value. Acquire all of the information available to you and negotiate a better price up front.

Number Crunching

You have a savings goal, you’ve taken financial accountability and you’re narrowing down your options. At this point, you can project how much you’ll pay for the car. Take into account vehicle trade-ins, new vs. used statuses and vehicle mileages. If you plan to take out a loan, investigate military car loans. These offer active duty service members and retirees low-interest auto loans, Military.com’s Ho Lin notes. Most military car loans come with a lower upfront down payment, longer payback period and easier approval. Loans help you purchase that car faster, and you will need to pay back the loan on time to avoid penalties. Keep in mind if you can purchase the car without a loan, you’ll save money because you won’t have interest adding to your principal.

About the author: Joe Lee is an insurance agent with a writing background in finance and accounting.

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