Young Marines Units from Across the Nation Salute

By Andy Richardson, GR-PR  |  2019-01-04

Traveled to Hawaii for 77th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (MPG) - One hundred twenty-five youth members of the Young Marines from 25 separate units throughout the United States traveled to Hawaii to participate in the 77th anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance.

Four youth members of the Sacramento Young Marines in Carmichael were part of a wreath laying ceremony in Pearl Harbor on December 6, and they marched in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade on December 7. The Sacramento Young Marines joined 125 Young Marines from across the country for Pearl Harbor Remembrances.

The Young Marines along with the leadership of the American Legion, Marine Corps League Hawaii, and Vietnam Veterans of America Hawaii, performed a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the Punchbowl, in memory of all the brave men and women who are interred there.

A significant honor for the Young Marines was leading the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu. They carried the banners of the 12 capital ships that were attacked. The parade’s objective was to honor the heroes and survivors of Pearl Harbor and World War II, to pay tribute to veterans, active duty military members and military families, to celebrate freedom and to keep in remembrance the heinous events of Dec. 7, 1941.

In addition, the Young Marines cleaned-up three beaches, Ft. Hase Beach, North Beach, and Pyramid Rock Beach, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

“The Young Marines met some of the survivors of that historic event of 77 years ago,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Those veterans are, in every sense of the words - living history, and each has a story to tell. It is an honor for Young Marines to meet these veterans and memorialize the one who are no longer with us.”

Young Marines units raised funds at their local level to supplement the costs of traveling to Hawaii to attend the remembrance ceremonies. Young Marines used their creativity, and applied the program’s core values - leadership, teamwork and discipline - to implement unique and effective fundraising efforts.

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to 270 units with 9,000 youth and 2,600 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan, and affiliates in other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at: https://www.YoungMarines.com.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada (VOA) has launched a 40-bed transitional housing and employment services program for veterans experiencing homelessness in Sacramento County.

The program provides furnished temporary housing in individual studio apartments, meals, life skills and financial management classes, pre-employment and vocational training, employment placement assistance, substance abuse support, housing location and transportation services to single male and female veterans. This program is funded through a grant awarded to VOA from the Veterans Administration and is the only “Service Intensive Transitional Housing” program for Veterans in Sacramento County.

“We are very excited to add this invaluable program to Volunteers of America’s existing services for veterans in Sacramento County at Mather Community Campus,” says VOA Division Director, Sherman Haggerty. “This program will allow a unique group of veterans the extra time and help needed to meet their goal of achieving independent living.”

This program offers the first new transitional housing beds for homeless veterans in Sacramento County, in over three years. The housing units are conveniently located at VOA’s Mather Community Campus adjacent to VOA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families, Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program and the Veteran Service Center all located on the same campus. These housing units are also conveniently located near Sacramento’s Veterans Hospital Administration Hospital. Additional housing units are currently under construction at the Mather campus which will increase local housing inventory.

Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada provides specialized programs for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the Greater Sacramento area. Services include rapid re-housing, case-management and homeless prevention. A large focus is heavily placed on increasing veteran men's and women's employment possibilities through life and job skills classes. 

Founded locally in 1911, the Northern California & Northern Nevada office of Volunteers of America is one of the largest providers of social services in the region. The professional paid staff operates more than 50 programs in categories that include: crisis housing, supportive housing, employment and training services, and corrections. In fact, Volunteers of America provides shelter or housing to nearly 1,800 men, women and children every night in Northern California. Nationally, Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people annually in more than 400 communities. Learn more about Volunteers of America Northern California & Northern Nevada at  www.voa-ncnn.org.

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Sacramento Region Honors the U.S. Naval Construction Force

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2016-11-03

Rancho Cordova’s 11th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 11 to remember our veterans and honor the missions of the U.S. Naval Construction Forces (Seabees).

Did you serve in the U.S. Naval Construction Forces? You are cordially invited to Rancho Cordova’s Veterans Day Ceremony to be recognized for your service.

The ceremony will be held in the Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, 10535 Hospital Way at Mather. Pre-program entertainment will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by the commemoration program at 10 a.m. Music entertainment will be provided by the Rancho Cordova River City Concert Band, featuring the “Song of the Seabees.”

The Seabees’ motto of “We Build - We Fight” recognizes the work of the members of the U.S. Naval Construction Forces. The Seabees have a history of building bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, and accomplishing myriad other construction projects in a wide variety of military theaters dating back to World War II. The word “Seabee” comes from the initials “CB,” which comes from the term “Construction Battalion.”

The Seabees first became active on March 5, 1942 during World Water II when U.S. involvement was expected on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. More than 100,000 Seabees were trained during World War II and have continued to serve since. The Seabees now include 7,000 active personnel and 6,927 reserve personnel.

Ceremony speakers will include Congressman Ami Bera; Senator Jim Nielsen; Assemblyman Ken Cooley; Kathryn K. Bucher, Associate Director of Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at VA Northern California Healthcare System; Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sander; and Rancho Cordova Council Member Robert J. McGarvey, who spearheaded the first Veterans Day and Memorial Day events in Rancho Cordova. The Vultures Row Aviation Team will provide a flyover towards the end of the ceremony.

The ceremony is sponsored by the City of Rancho Cordova, the Department of Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System, AlphaGraphics Rancho Cordova, and Republic Services.

Rancho Cordova City Hall will be closed on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. For more information about the event, please call (916) 851-8700.

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World War II Veteran and Long Time Hero Passes

Source: Marks family with Price Funeral Chapel  |  2016-06-14

Morgan Wade Janes (left) of Wild Wade’s BBQ and World War II veteran and American Legion member George Marks (center), with honored picnic guest and original Tuskegee Airman Judge Albert (right) at the fifth Citrus Heights Annual Veteran’s Appreciation Picnic on August 23, 2014. 
--Photo by Elis Spleiss

George David Marks, Sr. died peacefully in Orangevale, CA on May 24 at age 94 years. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Sharon Marks, and cherished children G. David Marks, Jr. and Roxana Rhodes. Beloved “Pappy” of grandchildren Sarika and Nandan, he is also survived by his younger sister Mildred Lombardo of North Carolina.

George was born in New Castle, PA on August 22, 1921, the seventh of twelve children.

Following Pearl Harbor, George was drafted by the Army. He had used his self-taught knowledge of Morse code to get accepted as a radio operator intercepting and interpreting German transmissions for G2 Intelligence in the 117th Signal Intelligence Company. He served in the Army for 32 months, in five campaigns, followed by 25 years in civil service at McLellan Air Force Base. He had taught himself French, Italian and German during the war, and following the war became fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL).

After the war had ended, George rediscovered his love of folk dancing. It was during this activity that he met Sharon. He often joked that he moved to California so he “wouldn’t have to marry a cousin.” They started dating and married in March 1950. He later found work at McClellan Air Force Base, retiring in 1985. He also served 19 years as an ASL interpreter working with sheet metal workers at McLellan.

George was a dedicated husband and father to his two children. Camping and swimming were popular family activities. A constant presence at antique car swap meets; he was also a charter member of the Root Cellar, Sacramento Genealogical Society. George’s “computer” memory allowed him to memorize thousands of names, dates, and relations, which consistently amazed those he met. He also loved getting to know people, their names, and guessing where their accent came from, and happily greeting them in over half a dozen languages. In recent years, he joined the American Legion Post #637 of Citrus Heights.

George and several of his fellow WWII veterans had also become regulars at the annual Citrus Heights Veterans Appreciation Picnic since 2012 where he would often sport his Army dress uniform, dance with the ladies and tell his much-loved stories.

Donations made in memory of George Marks can be sent to the Citrus Heights American Legion Post 637, P. O. Box 1 Citrus Heights, CA 95611.

This modified obituary appeared in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper Obituary Saturday May 28, 2016

, Sr. died peacefully in Orangevale, CA on May 24 at age 94 years. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Sharon Marks, and cherished children G. David Marks, Jr. and Roxana Rhodes. Beloved “Pappy” of grandchildren Sarika and Nandan, he is also survived by his younger sister Mildred Lombardo of North Carolina.

George was born in New Castle, PA on August 22, 1921, the seventh of twelve children.

Following Pearl Harbor, George was drafted by the Army. He had used his self-taught knowledge of Morse code to get accepted as a radio operator intercepting and interpreting German transmissions for G2 Intelligence in the 117th Signal Intelligence Company. He served in the Army for 32 months, in five campaigns, followed by 25 years in civil service at McLellan Air Force Base. He had taught himself French, Italian and German during the war, and following the war became fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL).

After the war had ended, George rediscovered his love of folk dancing. It was during this activity that he met Sharon. He often joked that he moved to California so he “wouldn’t have to marry a cousin.” They started dating and married in March 1950. He later found work at McClellan Air Force Base, retiring in 1985. He also served 19 years as an ASL interpreter working with sheet metal workers at McLellan.

George was a dedicated husband and father to his two children. Camping and swimming were popular family activities. A constant presence at antique car swap meets; he was also a charter member of the Root Cellar, Sacramento Genealogical Society. George’s “computer” memory allowed him to memorize thousands of names, dates, and relations, which consistently amazed those he met. He also loved getting to know people, their names, and guessing where their accent came from, and happily greeting them in over half a dozen languages. In recent years, he joined the American Legion Post #637 of Citrus Heights.

George and several of his fellow WWII veterans had also become regulars at the annual Citrus Heights Veterans Appreciation Picnic since 2012 where he would often sport his Army dress uniform, dance with the ladies and tell his much-loved stories.

Donations made in memory of George Marks can be sent to the Citrus Heights American Legion Post 637, P. O. Box 1 Citrus Heights, CA 95611.

This modified obituary appeared in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper Obituary Saturday May 28, 2016

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IRS Marks National Military Appreciation Month

Source: IRS  |  2016-05-26

May is National Military Appreciation Month, and the Internal Revenue Service wants members of the military and their families to know about the many tax benefits available to them.

Each year, the IRS publishes Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide, a free booklet packed with valuable information and tips designed to help service members and their families take advantage of all tax benefits allowed by law. This year’s edition is posted on www.IRS.gov.

Available tax benefits include:

  • Combat pay is partly or fully tax-free.

  • Reservists whose reserve-related duties take them more than 100 miles from home can deduct their unreimbursed travel expenses on Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ, even if they don’t itemize their deductions.

  • Eligible unreimbursed moving expenses are deductible on Form 3903.

  • Low-and moderate-income service members often qualify for such family-friendly tax benefits as the Earned Income Tax Credit, and a special computation method is available for those who receive combat pay.

  • Low-and moderate-income service members who contribute to an IRA or 401(k)-type retirement plan, such as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan, can often claim the saver’s credit, also known as the retirement savings contributions credit, on Form 8880.

  • Service members stationed abroad have extra time, until June 15, to file a federal income tax return. Those serving in a combat zone have even longer, typically until 180 days after they leave the combat zone.

  • Service members may qualify to delay payment of income tax due before or during their period of service. See Publication 3 for details including how to request relief.

Service members who prepare their own return qualify to electronically file their federal return for free using IRS Free File. In addition, the IRS partners with the military through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to provide free tax preparation to service members and their families at bases in the United States and around the world.

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Veterans Healing by Writing War Stories

Story and photos by Steve Liddick  |  2016-03-18

Veteran writing program Co-Director Indigo Moor works with Emtt Hawkins, an Air Force veteran of the Korean War, to express his feelings about his experiences.

A character in John Steinbeck’s classic novel “East of Eden” had suffered unimaginable pain and loss in his life. He was asked how he could live with those memories. He said, “I forget by remembering.”

That concept is being applied to a small Sacramento area group of veterans of America’s wars. A writing workshop doubles as a support group to help each to offset the trauma of battle by giving them a way to confront the demons they continue to carry with them.

Rancho Cordova Library Branch Supervisor Jill Stockinger coordinates the writing program that is funded by a four-year state and federal grant. She said veterans returning from war are an “underserved population,” and those who still suffer the effects of war can benefit by writing. Therapeutic, of course, but the hope is that it will be enjoyable, as well. “Self-expression is a positive experience,” she said. “We encourage veterans to express themselves to help them adjust to civilian life.”

Seated around a table in a quiet room in the library, five veterans gathered to write of their experiences among others who will understand what they have gone through.

Local writer, poet, and CSUS and Sacramento City College English professor Bob Stanley is co-director of the group in the first of what will be four Wednesday evening sessions at the library. The remaining three sessions are: March 30th, April 20th, and May 18th. Veterans of all branches and all eras are welcome, even if they were not able to attend the first session.

“The main focus of the group will be to get words down on paper,” Bob Stanley said. Any subject, any form. No rules or pressure came with the exercise. Each was encouraged to express what they feel and put it in words.

Co-Director Indigo Moor is a poet, screenwriter, and author as well as a U.S. Navy veteran of Desert Storm. Moor read from the published works of several war veterans who had poured out their feelings as free verse poetry. One of those works was a poignant retelling of the poet’s visit to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Judging from the reaction of those present, the words were resonating with them as well.

Another author wrote obscurely of things he heard, saw, and felt on a night patrol in Vietnam, but which each of the veterans present easily interpreted as a soldier waiting for the enemy to come at him from the darkness. Not knowing was as damaging to the psyche as combat itself.

At one point Moor asked those present to close their eyes and envision that “one moment that defines the [war] experience” for them. He urged the men to use the sights and sounds of their experiences in the writing exercise, “use the senses that keep us interested,” he said. Rather than a blow-by-blow account of what happened, he asked that they call upon their feelings and condense them onto paper.

Some who attended are still burdened by what happened to them in their war. U.S. Marine Corps veteran Daniel Gomez served four tours in Vietnam. Gomez was wounded twice and continues to suffer the health effects of the injuries, exposure to Agent Orange defoliant, and malaria. When asked why he was attending the workshop, he said, “To figure out why the hell I’m still here.” His war may have ended four decades ago, but it is still as fresh in his mind as yesterday.

The five men who attended the gathering represented different branches of the service: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, as well as different wars: Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

Carmichael resident Bob Pacholik is an author of some renown. He was a U.S. Army combat photographer in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. His book “Night Flares: Six Tales of the Vietnam War,” chronicles the war and honors the men and women who served in it.

Most of those present were there for the therapeutic value writing might offer. Some of the men said they hoped to continue to write beyond the program. Emmett Hawkins served in the U.S. Air Force in Korea. Among other subjects he is interested in religion and history.

For each of the veterans who took part in the Rancho Cordova writing workshop, the object was to reduce their experience down to its essence to help them to better understand what happened to them.

Poetry: a large idea, written small.

For additional information about the veterans writing project, check out www.saclibrary.org and click on “events.” Also, the library information line number is (916) 264-2920.

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Veterans Seek Alternative Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress

Brandpoint  |  2016-03-01

(BPT) - Most people can’t imagine being terrified by the sound of a fork falling and hitting the ground. They don’t understand how someone cannot sleep because the fear of recurring nightmares keeps them awake. They’ve never experienced anxiety that turns everyday tasks into impossible chores.

But for thousands of American veterans, these are just a few symptoms that can make their lives unbearable. And while millions are aware of the condition they suffer from - post-traumatic stress or PTS - few are able to grasp the severity of the condition, and medical science is a long way from understanding the neurological causes of PTS.

In the news, stories of PTS tend to focus on bureaucratic mishandling, ineffective medications that have severe side effects and the general tragedy of those who are afflicted. However, there is also a side of the story that has to do with hope, strength and love. While a single cure has not yet been discovered for PTS, there are many instances of veterans finding peace and a path to recovery through some non-conventional - and often controversial - means.

Equine therapy

The greatest challenge for many who suffer from PTS is to rebuild relationships with other people. Many have found that a powerful way to lessen the anger and hypersensitivity that often prevents them from enjoying normal relationships is through caring for horses. Grooming, feeding, cleaning the pen and riding the animals helps those who suffer from PTS to return to the trusting and nurturing emotions they learned to suppress due to the stress of combat.

Acupuncture

This ancient Chinese practice of pushing pins into specific points on a patient’s body has gained widespread acceptance for a variety of medical and psychological purposes. The idea behind the practice is to heal and restore balance between various systems of the body. Though there is no conclusive evidence that acupuncture can help in all situations, several studies and many veterans report long term benefits in recovering mental stability.

Bariatric oxygen treatment

This treatment involves a patient entering a pressurized oxygen chamber for about 90 minutes, during which time they can read, watch TV or even take a nap. The theory is by increasing the oxygen levels in the body’s tissues and red blood cells, it will speed the body's natural healing capabilities and repair neurological damage. Though the treatment is still experimental, many have claimed this treatment is a miracle, and several studies have confirmed its benefits. The Purple Heart Foundation has invested money to make this therapy more readily available to veterans.

Medical marijuana

Perhaps the most controversial therapy on the list, there is a fine line between PTS patients being treated with marijuana and abusing marijuana. Nonetheless, as veterans returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, more tales of the benefits of medical marijuana began to emerge, leading many advocates in both state and federal governments to push for more research and availability.

Meditation

Meditation comes in many different forms, but the idea is the same: to create a quiet space in your mind through focusing on something as simple as your breath. Achieving the deep level of relaxation allows many veterans to begin to sort out their traumatic experiences. By no means is it a cure, but results from countless veterans and studies show meditation to be an important part of the healing process.

Because PTS is such a complicated condition that arises from experiences that are unique to each veteran, there may be no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cure. What this means is that each person needs to be treated as an individual, and have a range of treatment options available.

The Purple Heart Foundation is dedicated to doing just that. Through investing in research for therapies such as bariatric oxygen treatment, as well as supporting state-of-the-art programs like the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Fort Hood, the organization is helping veterans live a full and rich life in the country they fought for.

To learn more about how your donation to the Purple Heart Foundation can help veterans with PTS, visit www.purpleheartfoundation.org.

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