Rose Petal Memorial Service & Women Veterans Appreciation Lunch

October 19, 2011

On November 9, 2011, from 11am – 1pm, the Rose Petal Memorial Service and Women Veterans Appreciation Lunch will honor women who have served their country. Held at the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center, Draw Bridge Room, 3050 Green Mountain Drive, Branson, the event is open to
women and men who wish to honor women veterans.

Amy Bennett, Missouri Women Veterans Coordinator, will speak at the Rose Petal Service. Bennett has been with the Missouri Veterans Commission since 2010, first as a Veterans Service Officer and as of April, 2011, Women Veterans Coordinator. In her current position she conducts outreaches for women veterans in Missouri, prepares reports to include statistical data reflecting the number of women veterans and is senior editor for the quarterly Missouri Women Veterans Newsletter.

Major (Retired) Vicki Lynn Jones, a decorated US Army veteran, will also be speaking at the Women Veterans Appreciation Lunch. She has the distinction of being the first female helicopter pilot in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, and the first Native American female helicopter pilot in both the Oklahoma Army National Guard, and the U.S. Army.

For the seventh year, the service will pay tribute to women by dropping rose petals into water in remembrance of those who gave their lives.

For registration information, contact Barb Riggle at or, 417-339-6823 or 417-337-8387. The cost of the lunch is $20.00. The registration form will be on the website.

Iwo Jima

October 3, 2011

To see more images from Iwo Jima, please go HERE.

Celebration of Service

September 27, 2011

The Home Depot Foundation is running a special program to commemorate the
10th anniversary of 9/11. From 11 Sep 11 through Veteran’s Day (11 Nov 11),
Home Depot is offering to conduct work projects on military members’
Personal homes.

Home Depot will provide the materials, labor and contractors. Projects will
include repairs and installations. If there are any questions, please make
contact through the website below.

The priority is as follows:

- Wounded warriors returning from combat & disabled veterans
- Members returning from deployment
- Members with special needs (either themselves or family members)
- All others

For Details See:

A Thank You to all Vietnam Vets from a Marine in Iraq

September 24, 2011

A guy gets time to think over here and I was thinking about all the
support we get from home. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. We get care
packages at times faster than we can use them. There are boxes and boxes
of toiletries and snacks lining the center of every tent; the generosity
has been amazing. So, I was pondering the question: “Why do we have so
much support?”

In my opinion, it all came down to one thing: Vietnam Veterans. I think we
learned a lesson, as a nation, that no matter what, you have to support
the troops who are on the line, who are risking everything. We treated
them so poorly back then. When they returned was even worse. The stories
are nightmarish of what our returning warriors were subjected to. It is a
national scar, a blemish on our country, an embarrassment to all of us.

After Vietnam , it had time to sink in. The guilt in our collective
consciousness grew. It shamed us. However, we learned from our mistake.
Somewhere during the late 1970′s and on into the 80′s, we realized that we
can’t treat our warriors that way. So … starting during the Gulf War,
when the first real opportunity arose to stand up and support the troops,
we did. We did it to support our friends and family going off to war. But
we also did it to right the wrongs from the Vietnam era. We treat our
troops of today like the heroes they were, and are, acknowledge and
celebrate their sacrifice, and rejoice at their homecoming … instead of
spitting on them.

And that support continues today for those of us in Iraq . Our country
knows that it must support us and it does. The lesson was learned in
Vietnam and we are all better because of it.

Everyone who has gone before is a hero. They are celebrated in my heart. I
think admirably of all those who have gone before me. From those who
fought to establish this country in the late 1770′s to those I serve with
here in Iraq . They have all sacrificed to ensure our freedom. But when I
get back home, I’m going to make it a personal mission to specifically
thank every Vietnam Vet I encounter for THEIR sacrifice. Because if
nothing else good came from that terrible war, one thing did. It was the
lesson learned on how we treat our warriors. We as a country learned from
our mistake and now we treat our warriors as heroes, as we should have all
along. I am the beneficiary of their sacrifice. Not only for the freedom
they, like veterans from other wars, ensured, but for how well our country
now treats my fellow Marines and I. We are the beneficiaries of their

Semper Fidelis,

Major Brian P. Bresnahan
United States Marine Corps

Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall

September 23, 2011

“Carved on these walls is the story of America , of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream.”
~ President George Bush

SOMETHING to think about – Most of the surviving Parents are now Deceased.

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E – May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W – continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war’s beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle’s open side and contained within the earth itself.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.The largest age group, 8,283 were just 19 years old 33,103 were 18 years old.12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia. I wonder why so many from one school.8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.The Marines of Morenci – They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci’s mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale – LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wife’s, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

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