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Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category

Lowe’s Announces Military Recognition Program In Honor Of Veteran’s Day

Thursday, November 8th, 2018


In 2018, Lowe’s will proudly help military families nationwide save nearly $1 billion on home improvement projects through the company’s military discount

MOORESVILLE, N.C.  – In honor of this Veterans Day, Lowe’s is proud to announce it has helped military families save nearly $1 billion through the company’s military discount, which offers 10 percent off on everyday purchases for veterans and active military servicemen and women. Lowe’s is founded by veterans and this discount is just one way Lowe’s will show its appreciation for military men and women this year.

Lowe’s is also announcing expanded store benefits to recognize associates and customers in the military community. Lowe’s will now:

• Honor veteran associates with a service patch to begin proudly wearing on their Red Vest

• Designate four parking spaces at every store to be reserved for current and honorably discharged members of the military

• Provide free, full-size American flags on Veterans Day to the first 100 customers at every store with any purchase. Lowe’s will also offer free mini, parade-size flags, up to 1,000, at each store.

Lowe’s was recently named a Top 10 Military-Friendly® Brand by G.I. Jobs, a designation that acknowledges corporate or businesses’ efforts, commitments and success in supporting the military community. Lowe’s also offers employment opportunities for military personnel after their service ends. More than 14,000 military, veterans and military spouses currently work throughout the organization.

Currently, more than 650 associates are deployed to active duty. Lowe’s provides differential pay during their service, along with other benefits to help them and their families. Lowe’s also supports veteran-owned suppliers through its supplier diversity program and is actively involved in programs like the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and the Military Spouse Employee Partnership (MSEP).

“We recognize, honor and respect those who serve our country, and I am proud to announce this Veterans Day, that Lowe’s has helped military families save nearly $1 billion on their home improvement projects this year through our military discount program,” said Joe McFarland, Lowe’s executive vice president, stores and Gulf War and Desert Storm Veteran.

Lowe’s has offered discounts to veterans and active military servicemen and women for more than a decade as a way of saying thank you to service members and their families. The Lowe’s Military Recognition Program offers an everyday 10 percent discount on personal purchases to current and honorably discharged members of the U.S. Armed Forces. To enroll in the discount program, visit

“Lionhearted”, National Collaboration Honoring Courage of Veterans, Debuts in Observance of Veterans Day

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Directed by Purple Heart Recipient, Lionhearted Project Includes Short Films, Art, and Website Sharing Reality of a Veteran’s Return
ONTARIO, California –The Safariland Group (“Safariland”), a leading global manufacturer of a broad range of safety and survivability products for the public safety, military, professional, and outdoor markets, announces the Lionhearted project, a national collaboration of film, art, and community empowering veterans to heal through sharing their personal stories. The Lionhearted initiative was influenced and directed by Purple Heart recipient and Safariland’s digital media director, Shane Ruiz.

Lionhearted started as a small project to chronicle veteran stories for Veterans Day and grew organically due to the strong veteran community. Twenty-two veterans’ stories are featured in video, art and on a website dedicated to this project, and captured in a 24-minute documentary film to be presented at the Smithsonian’s Veterans Day Film Festival on November 11.

“The Lionhearted project honors the courage of our veterans, and gives them a voice, so others will know it’s okay to talk about their experiences and get support,” said Shane Ruiz, digital media director at Safariland. “It is designed to help civilians understand what veterans go through, so they’ll be better able to support the unseen battles veterans face each day.”

Artist Shawn Ganther, an Air Force veteran, created one-of-a-kind artistic renditions of each of the veterans’ stories on Safariland hard armor plates. The individual plates were assembled as one piece into a red, white and blue mosaic American flag. The six-foot-long, 460-pound art piece called “The Lionhearted” will be unveiled on November 8 at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago and will be on display as part of its permanent collection.

Ruiz added, “The suicide rate among veterans is unacceptably high, averaging 22 veterans daily. This is a staggering and heartbreaking statistic. For this reason, we wanted to honor and help veterans by giving them the opportunity to share their stories. We expect their stories will help other veterans who can relate to them and provide valuable insights for civilians.”

Veterans and civilians are encouraged to visit The Safariland Group’s YouTube channel to see the veteran’s stories and documentary, as well as the website for a full overview of the Lionhearted project.

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, Partners Host Veterans’ Fishing Event to Celebrate Dedication of New Griffin Reservoir Fishing Pier

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Scranton, Penn. — U.S. Armed Forces veterans were honored with a fishing event Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 at Griffin Reservoir near Scranton to celebrate the dedication of a new public fishing pier that gives community members of all ages and physical abilities improved access to the popular impoundment.

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), Pennsylvania American Water, American Water Charitable Foundation (AWCF) and a consortium of local labor unions hosted the event. Union volunteers assisted the veterans, each of whom received a free rod, reel and tackle courtesy of Pure Fishing, plus additional items courtesy of Carhartt. Prior to the dedication ceremony, a catered lunch was provided to all veterans and other participants.

The dedication recognized USA volunteers from Pennsylvania American Water, Utility Workers Local 537, Electrical Workers Local 81 and Carpenters Local 445 who donated more than 400 hours—a labor value of nearly $15,000—to clear the site and construct the 18 ft. x 25 ft. handicap-accessible pier.

The project was one of three funded by a $60,000 grant from the AWCF to the USA and organized through the USA’s Work Boots on the Ground (WBG) conservation program.

AWCF and Pennsylvania American Water provided additional support to complete the driveway and parking lot, further improving access to Griffin Reservoir. The project also received funds allocated from the USA’s United Mine Workers of America Conservation Dinner in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Located in Lackawanna County, the 110-acre Pennsylvania American Water reservoir is flush with a variety of gamefish, including above-average populations of largemouth bass, bluegills and black crappies. The reservoir was opened to public shore-fishing 2011, but access was limited until the new pier was completed.

“This project is the culmination of a unique partnership that benefits our community,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Jeffrey McIntyre. “Working with both our Charitable Foundation and USA, we brought a team of volunteers together to create this beautiful spot that we are now able to share with every member of our community. Pennsylvania American Water is proud to continue its commitment to our communities and our neighbors.”

“The American Water Charitable Foundation was proud to support the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance with funding for this outstanding project, which will enable greater interaction with and appreciation for our water resources among the local community served by Pennsylvania American Water,” added Aldie Warnock, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the American Water Charitable Foundation.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder were also on hand. “We’re just so proud to be part of a movement that helps our skilled union workers give back their time, energy and talents to make everyone’s lives better by being able to come out and enjoy this beautiful reservoir,” said Bloomingdale.

“We are honored to work with Pennsylvania American Water, American Water Charitable Foundation and our many hardworking union volunteers, who joined forces through the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Work Boots on the Ground program to complete the new fishing pier,” added USA Director of Conservation and Community Outreach Forrest Parker. “This project will benefit the local community for many years to come.”

While the veterans enjoyed their lakeside meal and fall fishing trip, they were also eager to return to the new pier on future fishing adventures. “This is great,” said Clifford Davies, a retired Navy veteran with 20 years of service. “I look forward to coming back here again next summer.”


Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Many of you may know my long-time friend Mel Terkla. He and his wife Rena have started a new company called PocketUp, specializing in load carriage.

They started out with various pockets for organizing larger packs but they are introducing the Park Pack, a simple daypack design.

Everything is reasonably priced and made by them. Be sure to check them out at

Korean War Veteran Receives Eagle Scout Rank

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

After nearly 70 years of waiting, Ed Soria finally received his Eagle Scout Award.

According to the Boy Scouts of America, Ed served in the US Army during the Korean War. Shortly before leaving for duty, Ed submitted his paperwork to earn the rank of Eagle Scout but never received his award, until last week.

During the war, Ed and 700 others were captured and taken as prisoners of war. Only 296 of those POWs survived (known as the Tiger Survivors for the Tiger Death March) and Ed was fortunate enough to be one of them. To this day, Ed feels strongly that his experience as a Boy Scout directly contributed to his survival.

“My Eagle Scout training helped me tremendously to survive in a very harsh environment,” Soria said.

While he believes that the award may have been given to his mother while he was gone, it never surfaced when he returned home from the war. He then went on to serve again in Vietnam years later.

68 years after submitting his final paperwork, Ed finally received his Eagle Scout award at his home in Lake Shastina, California. “Only in America, such a free country, a beautiful country that we have, can a man accomplish his dreams – as far as you can go – and it’s all up to you,” Soria says.

Soria says he still keeps in contact with the remaining Tiger Survivors. He plans to hang his Eagle Scout medals with his other military medal accomplishments in his home.

From Army Veteran to Transportation Leader, Pittsburgh Man Wins Taxicab Operator of the Year Award

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Star Transportation and VETaxi Founder to Be Honored at National Convention in Las Vegas

(ROCKVILLE, Md.)—After returning home from Vietnam, Army veteran Robert DeLucia Sr. learned the cab business in Pittsburgh from the ground up, starting as a driver.

But one thing was different about DeLucia. Starting on his first day of driving, he found out what his clients preferred to drink, such as coffee or tea, and would have it ready for them when he picked them up—and he always dressed in a shirt and tie, of course.

“I’m a veteran. I’ve always dressed well, maintained my vehicles well,” DeLucia said. “That’s how I grew my business, with those service standards. And I maintain them.”

Now, his dedication to excellence will be recognized on the national stage, when DeLucia is named the Taxicab Operator of the Year by the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA), the oldest and largest trade association of its kind in the world.

Starting with one vehicle, a limousine, in 1982, DeLucia’s company flourished over the years by offering consistent service, embracing innovation and, most importantly, continuing to diversify. He incorporated as Star Limousine, and later founded Cranberry Taxi in 1989 and Classy Cab in 2005. DeLucia also offers paratransit, ambulatory and nonambulatory services to veterans, in American-made vehicles driven by veterans, a service called VETaxi.

“Bob embodies that notion of making a good first impression,” said Alfred LaGasse, CEO of the TLPA. “Always impeccably dressed and focused on what he needs to accomplish, he brings that sense of style and focus to his companies every day.”

DeLucia will accept his award in front of hundreds of industry peers at the TLPA’s 100th Annual Convention & Trade Show on Oct. 28 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Attention Military Retirees – FEDVIP Plan Details Now Available

Friday, October 12th, 2018

The military retiree dental plan will go away at the end of this year. If you want to continue coverage, you must enroll in one of the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) plans. The upside is that we will now have vision insurance as well as dental.

The 2019 FEDVIP plans and premiums are now available. I’ve reviewed several of the plans and there are multiple options, and almost all of them are less expensive than the old dental plan. In fact, depending on what you need, it may be less expensive for you to have both dental and vision insurance than it was to just carry dental insurance under the old military provided plan.

You can compare both dental and vision plans at

MODTAC Antenna Keeper Now Available

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Created by a pair of SF NCOs, the Antenna Keeper allows one-handed adjustment of VHF whip antenna length. No more rubber bags and folding.

The device is inexpensive and causes the antenna to roll rather than crease, increasing the lifespan of the antenna and avoiding a break while out on patrol.