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    Beyond the soldiers: Military spouses fight their own battles Retired Air Force Officer and author Donald Kautz honors military spouses in new novel


    TUSCAN, Ariz. – Long-distance relationships can be difficult, but combined with a lack of digital communication and a constant fear of dying looming overhead, these relationships are seemingly impossible. Despite this challenge, military partners and spouses persevere daily.

    Retired Air Force Officer Donald Kautz understands the difficulties of spousal separation during wartime. In his new book, “The Fighter Pilot and His Lady,” Kautz fictionalizes the experiences he encountered throughout his long-distance marriage and weaves them into a romantic tale.

    “My wife never knew where I was being deployed to, and sometimes I didn’t either until I arrived,” Kautz said. “We received mail once a week so that was as often as I was able to speak to my wife.”

    Kautz was stationed in Central America in the 1980’s and ‘90s and assisted in fighting communist-backed rebels in Honduras and Columbia. Since his unit’s missions were relatively unknown among the public, “The Fighter Pilot and His Lady” chronicles an important piece of American military history that most aren’t aware of.

    “Military wives must live with a lot of uncertainty – moves, separations and sometimes not even knowing where their husbands are or what they are doing,” Kautz said. “It’s my hope that this book reveals just how strong these women are.”

    The Fighter Pilot and His Lady
    By Donald W. Kautz
    ISBN: 698-1-4917-7306-2
    Available in softcover and e-book
    Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iUniverse

    About the author
    Donald Kautz is a retired Air Force officer and retired industrial hygienist with the Arizona Department of Health Services. In the Air Force, Kautz worked primarily in the Ground Air Command and Control System as an Air Weapons Controller. Kautz currently resides in Tuscan, Ariz. He was married to his late wife, Judie, for 34 years.


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    Get Down and Dirty with Tough Mudder / U.S. Army Soldiers & What it Takes to Compete in One of the Toughest Obstacle Courses in the World


    The Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile (18-20 km), military-style obstacle course that challenges your strength, stamina, and camaraderie. More than one million competitors have taken on Tough Mudder, which is considered the most rigorous obstacle course series in the world.

    The U.S. Army is the Nation's most versatile force meeting the ever-changing challenges of today. It has the scale and scope to adapt to challenges that arise both at home and abroad. The Army is constantly evolving its competencies and capabilities to prevail in complex environments to protect and preserve our Nation, which is why the U.S. Army has partnered with Tough Mudder.

    Tough Mudder encourages both Soldiers and Civilians to strive for the best, push the limit, and be relentless in the pursuit of success. Like the Army, Tough Mudder challenges you to overcome your fears and work with your teammates to accomplish a common mission

    On May 3, U.S. Army Major John Adams or U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lawrence are available to talk about the race and describe the mental and physical toughness it takes to be a participant or a spectator. They will also talk about upcoming events in your area and how you can sign up.

    About Major John Adams:
    U.S. Army Major John Adams enlisted in the Army as a Combat Engineer in 1990 and is currently serving as the Army Reserve Marketing Manager for the Army Marketing and Research Group. Throughout his 26-year career, he has participated in multiple deployments overseas to Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, four Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, distinguishing himself by an act of heroic, extraordinary achievement, and the Parachutist Badge, to name a few. He enjoy living an active lifestyle and is an avid skier, scuba diver, spear fisher, mountain biker, and kayaker.

    About Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lawrence
    U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lawrence is currently serving as the Chief of Recruiting Communication for the Army Reserve, helping to connect the Army Reserve with prospective recruits and the American public. He has served in a variety of public affairs and logistics roles throughout his 23-year career in the Army and Army Reserve, including in the United States, Kuwait, Korea and Central America. He currently lives in Virginia with his wife and two teenage children.


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    (BPRW) No Barriers Warriors, Wells Fargo Seek Veterans with Disabilities for “Warriors to Summits” Expeditions

    Eligible veterans invited to apply through March 4




    (Black PR Wire) FORT COLLINS, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--No Barriers Warriors and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) are seeking veterans with disabilities for the Warriors to Summits 2016 Expedition Series. Teams will embark on three separate, but equally grueling expeditions. Participants will push their boundaries through these transformative journeys while reflecting on their past, recognizing where they are now and developing a vision for their future.

    Eligible veterans can apply for one of three epic expeditions:

    Expedition I: June 11 – 17, Wind River Range, Wyoming
    Expedition II: July 9 – 15, Presidential Range, New Hampshire
    Expedition III: October 1 – 10, San Juan Mountain Range, Colorado

    Note that the San Juan Mountain Range expedition will have the first team solely made up of Warriors to Summits alumni. Participants from 2014 Mt. Whitney, 2015 Gannett Peak, and this year’s Wind River Range, and Presidential Range expeditions are all eligible to apply to be a part of San Juan Mountain Range team.

    Warriors to Summits is one of many experiences No Barriers Warriors offers to empower veterans with disabilities to overcome barriers and unleash their potential. This year, Warriors to Summits will serve more veterans than years past through these series of backcountry expeditions across the United States, a first for the Warriors to Summits experience.

    This is the third consecutive year Wells Fargo has teamed up with No Barriers Warriors through its sponsorship of Warriors to Summits.

    “We’re excited to once again join forces with Wells Fargo, double the number of veterans we serve and continue to transform veteran’s lives through the No Barriers Life,” said John Toth, Director for No Barriers Warriors.

    Wells Fargo’s sponsorship continues to focus on supporting veterans with disabilities, and the communities around them.

    “The goal of our sponsorship is to help empower veterans,” said Jerry Quinn, Wells Fargo Military & Veterans Program Manager. “Together, we will be able to serve more wounded veterans directly, and significantly impact those around them, including their caregivers, fellow veterans, and their communities.”

    To apply or nominate a veteran for Warriors to Summits 2016 Expedition Series or to find additional information, please visit WarriorstoSummits.org. Applications will be accepted through March 4, 2016, 5 p.m. Mountain Time.

    About No Barriers Warriors
    No Barriers Warriors is one of several programs of No Barriers USA, whose mission is to unleash the potential of the human spirit. No Barriers Warriors is the only program that improves the lives of veterans with disabilities through curriculum-based learning in challenging environments. Experiences serve as both an opportunity for growth and catalyst for change, as warriors stretch boundaries, build teams, innovate through adversity and step up to lead and serve others.

    No Barriers Warriors expeditions use mountains as both a metaphor and a training ground. Experiences are comprised of three phases: thorough preparation, transformative experience, and meaningful engagement. Every curriculum based experience is geared toward facilitating transformation, establishing a lifelong rope team and giving warriors the tools to live a No Barriers Life.

    About Wells Fargo’s Commitment to Military and Veterans
    Wells Fargo has been committed to servicemembers, veterans and their families for more than 160 years. In 2012, the company created the Military Affairs Program to expand our outreach to members of the military, veterans, and their families who may be facing financial hardships as part of our commitment to helping communities succeed by being a part of the solution. Wells Fargo’s program has surpassed its original three year, $35 million goal by donating more than $66 million toward programs to help servicemembers, veterans, and their families achieve and maintain homeownership, attain successful career transitions, and succeed financially.

    Wells Fargo has:
    Donated or is in the process of donating to wounded warriors more than 300 Real Estate Owned (REO) properties valued at more than $49 million. Hired more than 5,500 veterans, and participated in more than 700 military job fairs since 2012. More than 150 team members are on military leave at any given time. Launched Hands on Banking® for Military, a financial education program that has been viewed by more than 130,000 since July 2013. Donated well over $19.5 million to military and veteran related nonprofits since 2012.

    About Wells Fargo & Company
    Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,700 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2015 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.


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    (BPRW) U.S. Army to Provide Guidance on Leadership and Success through its Partnership with 100 Black Men of America in Ten Cities throughout January - February 2016

    (Black PR Wire) New York, NY (January - February, 2016) Through its partnership with 100 Black Men of America (100BMOA), the U.S. Army continues to promote educational and career opportunities through leadership workshops, strengthening the stability and financial future of young Americans.

    Many people are unaware of the extent to which the U.S. Army opens doors and provides access to higher education – developing leaders through advanced training and education. The U.S. Army has more than 200 career opportunities, including in the fields of law, medicine, accounting and engineering.

    The U.S. Army will have a broad presence executing leadership workshops at local chapter events taking place in:

  • 100 BMOA Tampa HQ, Tampa FL – January 30, 2016

  • Alabama State, Montgomery AL – February 4, 2016

  • Buffalo Soldiers Museum, Houston TX – February 6, 2016

  • Tubman Museum, Macon GA – February 8, 2016

  • Baltimore MD – February 1, 2016

  • Howard University, Washington DC – February 16, 2016

  • Overtown Youth Center, Miami FL – February 27, 2016


  • 100 Black Men of America and the U.S. Army look to provide young African Americans with opportunities to strengthen their career and financial futures through mentorship while providing educational guidance and awareness of frequently untapped opportunities.

    The U.S. Army reaffirms its commitment to the country’s young African American leaders and demonstrates its shared values with 100 Black Men of America in driving our youth towards higher education and long-term career growth. Last year, the Army awarded more than $252 million in ROTC scholarships for students in nearly 500 colleges and universities throughout the country. Additionally, itsMarch2Success.com program is a free online resource that allows high school students to prepare for state standardized tests and college entrance exams.

    About the Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG)
    The Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) is the U.S. Army’s national marketing, marketing research and analysis and accessions analysis organization. The AMRG develops innovative and effective ways to: connect with the American public and make the Army more accessible and understood; increase awareness of both the benefits and value of Army service; and motivate the most qualified candidates to choose the Army as their service of choice.


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    Nelson Mitchell - Pearl Harbor Remembrance

    Nelson Mitchell, the oldest living African-American Pearl Harbor survivor

    PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 5, 2015) Nelson Mitchell, the oldest living African-American Pearl Harbor survivor, reflects in the shrine room of the USS Arizona Memorial during a Pearl Harbor Survivor/ World War II, Family and Friends Harbor Tour at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The harbor tour is one of several events that will take place leading up to the 74th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day to pay tribute to the nation's military while enlightening Americans about veterans and service. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd ClassTamara Vaughn/Released)


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    (BPRW) Injured Veterans to Cycle 516 Miles from San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles for 2015 UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge

    ~Veterans to ride hand cycles, recumbents, tandems and road bikes along California coast from Palo Alto – birthplace of Ride 2 Recovery – to Los Angeles ~ Ride 2 Recovery provides cycling rehabilitation programs for America’s injured veterans ~ Communities encouraged to gather along the daily routes to support and cheer riders ~


    2015 UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge
    More than 200 injured veterans and their supporters will set off on Sunday, Oct. 18, on the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge, a seven-day, 516-mile bicycle ride from the VA Palo Alto Health Care System - the birthplace of Ride 2 Recovery - to the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center (Photo: Amy Sullivan).


    PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 200 injured veterans and their supporters will set off on Sunday, Oct. 18, on the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge, a seven-day, 516-mile bicycle ride from the VA Palo Alto Health Care System – the birthplace of Ride 2 Recovery – to the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center.

    California Challenge cyclists will begin their journey in Palo Alto, ride south to Santa Cruz, and then travel the iconic Pacific Coast Highway along the state’s scenic coastline with overnight stops in Carmel, San Simeon, Pismo Beach, Solvang and Ventura. The ride will conclude Saturday, Oct. 24, at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center. That afternoon, 95-year-old Tuskegee airman Lt. Col. Robert Friend will join the cyclists for the last several miles of the ride and across the finish line at the VA.

    The public is encouraged to gather along the daily ride routes or at the hotels to support the cyclists. To see daily stops and events along the route, or to sign up for the California Challenge, visit UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge.

    Ride 2 Recovery supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs for injured veterans, featuring cycling as the core activity. From indoor spinning training at military installations to multiday, long-distance rides, Ride 2 Recovery helps injured veterans heal through the challenge of cycling long distances using hand cycles, recumbents, tandems and traditional road bikes.

    Navy veteran Leila Raffiee-Shirazi of Menlo Park retired in 2010 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She sought treatment at Menlo Park VA’s PTSD program where a counselor introduced her to Ride 2 Recovery last year.

    “From the moment I jumped on the bike, I was simply happy. I cycled three times a week while in the PTSD program, and looked forward to our rides. Cycling became part of my treatment plan,” she said. “Many of us return stateside after serving, and Ride 2 Recovery has allowed me to regain that sense of camaraderie that I missed. It provided a support system of peers who understood what I was going through. I am grateful to Ride 2 Recovery for giving me my life back, and am excited to participate in my second UnitedHealthcare California Challenge.”

    The service men and women, including Raffiee-Shirazi, have been training for the California Challenge as a means to build strength and conditioning, and to help overcome the challenges many veterans face when returning home from service. Most of the cyclists are introduced to Ride 2 Recovery from a Warrior Transition Unit/Battalion or Veterans Affairs facility through Ride 2 Recovery’s Project HERO program.

    “In the UnitedHealthcare Challenge Series, about 70 percent of the participating injured veterans come through our Project HERO program,” said John Wordin, president and founder, Ride 2 Recovery. “There are 60 Project HERO programs at military bases and VA facilities across the country. Our goal is to establish 30 regional community Project HERO programs across the country that would provide a full spectrum of transitional, reintegration, recovery and rehabilitative services.”

    “It is a privilege and honor to support Ride 2 Recovery and its work for the physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation of the men and women who sacrificed their health in the service of our country,” said Tom Wiffler, chief operating officer, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans. “As the longest-running sponsor of the Challenge rides, we have witnessed firsthand the critical difference Ride 2 Recovery has made in helping veterans in their journey to lifelong health and well-being – a future they so richly deserve.”

    This is the sixth year UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is serving as Ride 2 Recovery’s title sponsor, providing financial, in-kind and volunteer support to help America’s injured veterans.

    Ride 2 Recovery is one of many ways UnitedHealth Group supports veterans and their families. In 2012, UnitedHealth Group joined the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a coalition of major U.S. corporations that share the goal of hiring 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. UnitedHealth Group partners with a variety of organizations to help source military and veteran candidates such as the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, RecruitMilitary and the Wounded Warrior Project.

    UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans is the managed care support contractor for the West Region of the U.S. Defense Department’s TRICARE program, serving nearly 2.9 million military service members, retirees and their families in 21 states, including more than 790,000 in California.

    2015 UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge
    Lt. Col. Robert Friend, 95-year-old Tuskegee airman, will join more than 200 cyclists for the last several miles of the upcoming UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge, and across the finish line at VA West Los Angeles Medical Center on Oct. 24. Friend is pictured on the right at Tuskegee Flight School. Tuskegee airmen were America's first African-American military airmen who fought in World War II (Photo: Lt. Col. Robert Friend).


    About R2R
    Ride 2 Recovery is a unique mental and physical rehabilitation and recovery program for veterans. The veterans are able to adapt, improvise and overcome the issues they face. From outdoor training at military installations to multi-day, long distance rides, Ride 2 Recovery helps injured veterans heal through the challenge of cycling using custom adapted bicycles, hand cycles, recumbents, tandems and traditional road bikes.

    About UnitedHealthcare
    UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

    Click here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for UnitedHealth Group.


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    HISTORIC WEAPONS RECALL VIKING, CHINESE, INDIAN AND BRITISH WARS AND BATTLES AT BONHAMS ANTIQUE ARMS AND ARMOUR SALE


    * Sabre linked to Indian Mutiny
    * Chinese cannon captured in Boxer Rebellion
    * Viking Fighting sword from 10th Century
    * Sword of Duke Of Cambridge, Colonel of the Coldstream Guards


    A highly unusual Indian silver-mounted sabre relating to the Indian Mutiny of 1857 is one of the many fascinating weapons on offer at Bonhams Sale of Antique Arms and Armour in London on July 23rd.

    Its history identifies it as a gift presented to Field Marshal Sir Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde GCB, KCSI (1792-1663), in commemoration of the Relief of the Second Siege of Lucknow in 1855. He was commander in chief of the relief operation to free the city from the control of the mutineers.

    The sabre, lot 43, features a curved bright single-edged shamshir blade incised with a heart-shaped mark on one side of the forte above an etched panel containing a laurel wreath and inscribed 'Indian Mutiny'.

    The hilt is form is that of a bearded merman wearing a plumed helmet and armed with a shield and falchion held aloft, the former with a sun-in-splendour within a beaded border, his tunic is carved in dark horn with ivory buttons and engraved silver collar. The sabre is sold with its original wooden scabbard covered in blue velvet.

    David Williams, Director of Antique Arms and Armour at Bonhams, comments: ”These weapons are all of great historic interest and offer all the value of quality, condition, rarity and provenance which will help them to retain their value. And as ever with such weapons the workmanship shows off the art of their makers to great effect. They are as much decorative works of art as weaponry.”

    A Chinese cannon captured during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 (by the vendor’s father) is another interesting item in this sale. This Chinese bronze cannon carries an inscription which says it was made in the 21st year of the Daoguang Reign which corresponds to 1841. It features seven raised mouldings and incised Chinese characters with the date and details of the quantities of powder and ammunition required for its use. The 65.5 cm. barrel with a 3 cm. bore sits on a wooden carriage with spoked iron-rimmed wheels. It is estimated to sell for £2,000 to £3,000.

    A rare sword of Viking type dating from the 10th/11th Century it has a broad pattern-welded double-edged 76.5cm blade, 91 cm. overall length. This classic weapon from the Viking Age is estimated to sell for £6,000 to £9,000. The sword is pitted and the blade nicked and looks to have seen some hard fighting.

    A very rare royal ormolu-mounted sword of Prince Adolphus Frederick, Duke Of Cambridge, as Colonel of the Coldstream Guards is estimated to sell for £6,000 to £9,000. It was made in 1805 by Reddell, sword cutler to their Royal Highnesses The Duke Of Sussex and Cambridge. The scabbard is finely engraved with a crowned garter bearing the royal motto, centred on the Prince's monogram 'AF'. Adolphus Frederick (1774-1850), Viceroy of Hanover, was created 1st Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary and Baron Culloden on 17 November 1801.

    His Royal Highness Field Marshal The Prince Adolphus Frederick, KG, PC, GCB, GCMG, GCH, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden was born in London. In 1791 he went to Hanover and was trained for the military under the supervision of the Hannoverian commander Field Marshal von Freytag. He subsequently rose to the ranks of Colonel in 1794, to Lieutenant General in 1798, and Field Marshal in 1813. He served as Viceroy of Hanover between 1816 and 1837 on behalf of his elder brothers George IV and later William IV. Following the succession of Queen Victoria in 1837 the Duke of Cumberland became King Ernest I of Hanover and the Duke of Cambridge returned to Britain. He was appointed Colonel of the Coldstream Guards in 1805 and Colonel of the 60th Rifles in 1827, both of which appointments he held until his death in 1850 at Cambridge House, Piccadilly.

    For more information please contact Julian Roup on 01892 669200 or 07970 563958 or email Julian.roup@bonhams.com


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    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents. Use at your own risk.

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    Home Franchise Concepts Achieves Goal, Gives $1 Million in Discounts to U.S. Veteran Entrepreneurs


    ORANGE, CA— Home Franchise Concepts, Inc. (HFC), parent company of Budget Blinds, Inc., Tailored Living, LLC and American Decorative Coatings, LLC is pleased to announce that the company has achieved its goal of giving $1 million in discounts to U.S. Veterans through its Million Dollar Franchise Event (MDFE) program. Through the MDFE program, HFC has welcomed 34 new Veteran business owners to its franchise network. The franchisees, who signed on through the MDFE program, represent a major growth milestone for HFC as nearly 10% of its entire franchise network is now made up of Veterans. To date, HFC has more than 1,100 franchise territories across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

    “Reaching this $1 Million milestone is a celebration of the American Heroes that make up 10 percent of our franchise network,” says Chad Hallock, CEO and Co-Founder of Home Franchise Concepts. “We truly believe that our Veteran franchisees are some of the most talented, hardworking individuals out there and we couldn’t be more honored to have them in our family.”

    Although the MDFE program has officially ended, Veterans interested in becoming independent business owners for one of HFC’s franchise brands will continue to receive discounts on their initial fees. A $15,000 initial fee discount will be offered to Veterans interested in purchasing a Budget Blinds franchise – the standard initial fees for the franchise are about $75,000. Veterans interested in purchasing a Tailored Living or Concrete Craft franchise will receive a $5,000 initial fee discount – the standard initial fees for these franchises are about $55,000 and $50,000, respectively.

    As a separate Veterans initiative, in early 2015, HFC also launched its Troops in Transition™ program, which provides honorably discharged Veterans who have left active duty within the past two years, or who will leave within the next two years, an opportunity to own a franchise with no initial fees. Veterans eligible to participate in the Troops in Transition program will enter into a limited, six-month franchise agreement to allow the Veteran to evaluate the business as a franchisee. Throughout this evaluation period the Veteran franchisee also has the opportunity to be mentored by an existing Veteran franchisee in the HFC network. At the end of the evaluation period, and upon meeting certain eligibility criteria including sales objectives, the Veterans in the program can elect to sign on as a traditional Budget Blinds franchise owner for a 10 year period. The Troops in Transition program relieves the Veteran franchisee of the requirement to pay $75,000 in initial fees that would normally be required to become a Budget Blinds franchisee and, even better, includes financial bonuses for hitting certain sales targets.

    “We worked closely with many of our existing Veteran franchisees to develop our Troops in Transition program,” says Hallock. “We are extremely thankful that these franchisees have taken the time to help educate us on what will truly make an impact in the lives of other Veterans.”

    Budget Blinds would like to thank its private label manufacturing partner Springs Window Fashions for its continued support for the Troops in Transition program.

    Veterans that have signed on through the MDFE program include:

    Tailored Living:

    Kevin & Maria Griffin – Holladay, Utah
    Daniel & Shirley MacKay – Edmond & Norman, Okla.
    Denny Rupp & Kevin Melton – West Chester, Ohio
    Dana & Eugene Nuesca – Serving North County, Calif.

    Budget Blinds:

    Nevin & Shawnna Ball – Garland, Tx.
    Andrew & Maria Birge - Sandusky, Ohio
    James Bradford Akers – Little Creek, Va.
    Edward & Andrea Burns – Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Mark & Julie Byassee – Southwest Rochester, N.Y.
    Nicholas & Jessica Gervasi & Johnny & Lisa Cagno – Kernersville, N.C.
    Eugene Alexander & Victoria Cicalo – Huntington Beach, Calif.
    Cedric & Clarita Cook – Fulshear, Tx.
    Maurice Coombs - Davie, Fla.
    Thomas & Kelly Draeger – Red Wing, Minn.
    Michael & Allison Dunn – Killeen & Temple, Tx.
    Luis & Griselle Fontanez – River City, Ga.
    Bradley James Gerron – Prosper Tx.
    Richard & Roya Grimes - Lawrenceville, Ga.
    Joe & Joanna Hebert – Grand Prairie, Tx.
    William C, Bill & Jill Laird – Santa Rosa, Calif.
    Michael & Jane Larsen - Brainerd, Minn.
    Steven, Lawrence & MaeBelle Linnemeyer – Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Keith & Terry Matz – Southern Pines, N.C.
    James W. & Travis Mullins – Kansas City, Kans.
    Jamie & Benilda Moralina Montell - Littleton, Colo.
    Christopher Petty – Lexington, S.C.
    Kevin Paulson – Charlotte, N.C.
    David & Melinda Richardson – Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Shawn & Jody Smith – Arlington, Tx.
    Charles & DeAnn Strickland - La Vernia, Tx.
    Ryan Wilde, - Raleigh, N.C.
    Joel & Bailey Thode – Hutchinson, Kans.
    Kenneth & Linda Thode – South Hutchinson, Kans.
    Gary & Kirsten Zimmerman – Amherst, N.H

    Those interested in learning more about HFC’s Veteran support programs can visit www.homefranchiseconcepts.com.

    About Home Franchise Concepts
    Home Franchise Concepts (HFC) is the parent company of Budget Blinds, Inc., Tailored Living, LLC and American Decorative Coatings, LLC d/b/a Concrete Craft™. Budget Blinds offers customers a full line of quality window coverings including shutters, shades, blinds and draperies. Tailored Living offers homeowners high quality organizational solutions for their garages, closets, pantries, family rooms, home offices and more through complimentary in-home consultations. Concrete Craft offers a variety of decorative, stained and stamped concrete options for indoor and outdoor living spaces.

    Based in Orange, Calif., Home Franchise Concepts brands collectively have over 1,100 franchise territories serving nearly 7,500 cities throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. For more information on Home Franchise Concepts, visit homefranchiseconcepts.com.


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    BAKE ME A WISH WILL HONOR VETERANS WITH THEIR FAMOUS “FREEDOM CAKE” THIS COMING VETERAN’S DAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2014


    - Corporate Initiative Encourages Businesses to Buy a Delicious “Freedom Cake” From Bake Me a Wish and Another will be Sent to a Soldier in a U.S. VA Hospital -

    New York, N.Y., November 2014 - In recognition of Veteran’s Day, BakeMeAWish.com, the premier gifting service offering award-winning cakes and cupcakes, will be honoring veterans by delivering their famous “Freedom Cake” to a veteran at a U.S. VA Hospital. Through this corporate initiative, businesses are encouraged to purchase a delicious “Freedom Cake” ($75) from BakeMeAWish.com for clients or employees, and in return BakeMeAWish.com will send a “Freedom Cake” to a veteran at a U.S. VA Hospital to honor Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11th.

    The “Freedom Cake” is a delightful blend of peppermint and chocolate brownie with creamy fudge frosting surrounded by bittersweet chocolate shavings and red and green candy sprinkles. Each cake features a special card informing the recipient that a cake has been sent to a veteran in their name, alongside an imprint of the American Flag.

    This is an extraordinary and patriotic gesture to honor our veteran soldiers, and not the first time that BakeMeAWish.com has shown support for U.S. troops. BakeMeAWish.com began their military initiative back in 2008 by partnering with Soldiers’ Angels, an organization that provides assistance to families of enlisted soldiers, continuing support for veterans and immediate response for families of the fallen. Since then, BakeMeAWish.com, has been delivering cakes to many VA hospitals throughout the U.S. including Walter Reed in Virginia and the Veterans Hospital in the Bronx, New York, to name a few.

    “We are thrilled to honor our veterans by encouraging businesses to purchase a “Freedom Cake” for a client or an employee and a matching cake will be sent to one of our veterans in a U.S. VA Hospital,” said Joe Dornoff, President of BakeMeAWish.com. “We are proud of our veterans and this is our way to show our continued support.”

    To order your Freedom Cake, gourmet cake gifts or to inquire about BakeMeAWish.com corporate loyalty programs, please call 888-987-9474 or visit, BakeMeAWish.com.

    About Bake Me a Wish
    Founded in 2004, BakeMeAWish.com is a premiere gifting service offering award-winning gourmet cakes. Each gift cake includes an imported Belgian Chocolate occasion plaque, Matching Greeting Card that can be personalized online and comes packaged in an elegant gift box. Cakes are priced between $25 and $75, including shipping, and can be sent overnight, nationwide. Giving back to the community we share is at the heart of each wish, with additional support to Friends of Island Academy – NY.


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    (BPRW) Injured Veterans to Cycle 465 Miles from San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles for 2014 UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge


    - Veterans to ride hand cycles, recumbents, tandems and road bikes along California coast from Palo Alto – birthplace of Ride 2 Recovery – to Los Angeles • Ride 2 Recovery provides cycling rehabilitation programs for America’s injured veterans • Communities encouraged to gather along the daily routes to support and cheer riders • 94-year-old Tuskegee airman Lt. Col. Robert Friend will join the cyclists on Oct. 11 -

    UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge
    Jose Miranda (middle foreground) of Pasadena, Calif., uses his hands and arms to pedal his recumbent during last year's UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge. A U.S. Navy veteran, Miranda lost his right leg above the knee when he was run over by a jet while stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. Earlier this year after regaining strength and balance, Miranda began riding an upright road bike and plans to participate in this year's UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge, a 465-mile ride from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles Oct. 5-11 (Photo: Tiffini Skuce).


    (BLACK PR WIRE) – PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- More than 200 injured veterans and their supporters will set off on Sunday, Oct. 5, on the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge,a seven-day, 465-mile bicycle ride from VA Palo Alto Health Care System – the birthplace of Ride 2 Recovery – to VA West Los Angeles Medical Center.

    California Challenge cyclists will begin their journey in Palo Alto, ride south to Gilroy, and then travel the iconic Pacific Coast Highway along the state’s scenic coastline with overnight stops in Carmel, San Simeon, Pismo Beach, Solvang and Ventura. The ride will conclude Saturday, Oct. 11, at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center.

    The highlights of the week-long ride include comedian Dennis Miller welcoming the riders in Solvang on Thursday, Oct. 9, and performing for them during a dinner reception. On Saturday, Oct. 11, 94-year-old Tuskegee airman Lt. Col. Robert Friend will join the cyclists for the last several miles of the ride and across the finish line at VA West Los Angeles Medical Center. The Tuskegee airmen are America’s first African American military airmen who fought in WWII.

    UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge
    Lt. Col. Robert Friend, 94-year-old Tuskegee airman, will join more than 200 cyclists for the last several miles of the upcoming UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge, and across the finish line at VA West Los Angeles Medical Center on Oct. 11. Friend is pictured on the right at Tuskegee Flight School. Tuskegee airmen were America's first African-American military airmen who fought in WWII (Photo courtesy of Lt. Col. Robert Friend).


    The public is encouraged to gather along the daily ride routes or at the hotels to support the cyclists at any juncture along the route. To see daily stops and events along the route, or to sign up for the California Challenge, visit UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge.

    Ride 2 Recovery supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs for injured veterans, featuring cycling as the core activity. From indoor spinning training at military installations to multiday, long-distance rides, Ride 2 Recovery helps injured veterans heal through the challenge of cycling long distances using hand cycles, recumbents, tandems and traditional road bikes.

    Jose Miranda of Pasadena, Calif., joined Ride 2 Recovery in 2013 and pedaled a recumbent bike 425 miles from Chicago to Detroit. Miranda, a U.S. Navy veteran, lost his right leg above the knee when he was run over by a jet while stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. Earlier this year, after regaining strength and balance, Miranda began riding an upright road bike.

    “Cycling allows me to challenge myself physically and mentally as I continue to heal from my wounds,” said Miranda. “I’m excited to be back on an upright bike and look forward to riding in the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge with my fellow veterans. I hope I can inspire them as they get on their road to recovery as well.”

    UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge
    Lt. Col. Robert Friend, 94-year-old Tuskegee airman, tests his recumbent bicycle on a training ride for the upcoming UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge. Friend will join more than 200 cyclists for the last several miles of the ride and across the finish line at VA West Los Angeles Medical Center on Oct. 11 (Photo courtesy of Lt. Col. Robert Friend).


    The service men and women such as Miranda have been training for the California Challenge as a means to build strength and conditioning, and to help overcome the challenges many veterans face when returning home from service. Most of the cyclists are introduced to Ride 2 Recovery from a Warrior Transition Unit/Battalion or Veterans Affairs facility through Ride 2 Recovery’s Project HERO program.

    “In the UnitedHealthcare Challenge Series, about 60 percent of the participating injured veterans come through our feeder program, Project HERO,” said John Wordin, president and founder, Ride 2 Recovery. “There are 43 Project HERO programs at military bases and VA facilities across the country. Our medical personnel and R2R onsite coordinators help prepare these healing heroes for the week-long challenge of riding a bike hundreds of miles. For these men and women, cycling becomes a life-changing addition to their physical and mental rehabilitation.”

    “It is an honor to support the Ride 2 Recovery and its work for the physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation of the men and women who sacrificed their health in the service of our country,” said Tom Wiffler, chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans. “Ride 2 Recovery is making a critical difference in helping these veterans in their journey to lifelong health and well-being – a future they so richly deserve.”

    This is the fifth year UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is serving as Ride 2 Recovery’s title sponsor, providing financial, in-kind and volunteer support to help America’s injured veterans.

    Ride 2 Recovery is one of many ways UnitedHealth Group supports veterans and their families. In 2012, UnitedHealth Group joined the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a coalition of major U.S. corporations that share the goal of hiring 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. UnitedHealth Group partners with a variety of organizations to help source military and veteran candidates such as the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, RecruitMilitary and the Wounded Warrior Project.

    Last year, UnitedHealthcare became the managed care support contractor for the West Region of the U.S. Defense Department’s TRICARE program, serving nearly 2.9 million military service members, retirees and their families in 21 states, including more than 846,000 in California.

    About R2R
    Ride 2 Recovery supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs for injured veterans, featuring cycling as the core activity. From outdoor training at military installations to multiday, long-distance rides, Ride 2 Recovery helps injured veterans heal through the challenge of cycling using custom adapted bicycles, hand cycles, recumbents, tandems and traditional road bikes.

    About UnitedHealthcare
    UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 800,000 physicians and care professionals and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

    Click here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for UnitedHealth Group.

    Videos: Ride 2 Recovery stages six long-distance bicycling events each year to aid injured veterans in their physical and mental rehabilitation including this 2014 UnitedHealthcare Memorial Ride 350-mile ride from Washington, D.C., to Virginia Beach, Va. (Video: Tiffini Skuce).

    Video: Lt. Col. Robert Friend, 94-year-old Tuskegee airman, trains with fellow veterans for the upcoming UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge. Friend will join more than 200 cyclists for the last several miles of the ride and across the finish line at VA West Los Angeles Medical Center on Oct. 11 (Video: Lt. Col. Robert Friend).

    Source: UnitedHealthcare


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    Father of Black Aviation to be Immortalized on Stamp


    - C. Alfred ‘Chief’ Anderson: the Tuskegee Airmen’s Airman -

    BRYN MAWR, PA — Referred to as the Father of Black Aviation, Chief Flight Instructor of the prestigious Tuskegee Airmen C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, will immortalized on a stamp tomorrow, March 13. The 1 p.m. dedication ceremony, free and open to the public, will take place at Bryn Mawr College’s McPherson Auditorium, 101 North Merion Ave.

    C. Alfred ‘Chief’ Anderson: the Tuskegee Airmen’s Airman
    C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson
    (© 2014 U.S. Postal Service)




    Anderson also has been referred to as the Charles Lindbergh of Black Aviation for his record-breaking flights that inspired other African-Americans to become pilots.

    As the 15th stamp in the Postal Service’s Distinguished American Series, the 70-cent First-Class stamp, available in sets of 20, is good for First-Class Mail weighing up to 2 ounces. Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), at Post Offices nationwide or at ebay.com/stamps.

    “The Postal Service is proud to honor Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson, a Black aviation pioneer who inspired, motivated and educated thousands of young people in aviation careers, including the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II,” said U.S. Postal Service Judicial Officer William Campbell who will dedicate the stamp. Campbell’s father, a decorated Tuskegee Airman, served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

    “Their accomplishments ranked them as one of the elite fighter groups during the war and their heroism will forever be an important part of our country’s history and heritage.

    “It all began with the instruction they received from Chief Anderson, an extraordinary teacher who motivated and inspired them to reach their full potential as military aviators. The Airmen’s professionalism and extraordinary effectiveness in combat was, in large part, the catalyst for President Harry Truman’s issuance in 1948 of Executive Order 9981, which desegregated America’s armed forces.”

    Joining Campbell in dedicating the stamp will be Tuskegee Flight Instructor “Coach” Roscoe Draper who was mentored by Anderson and together taught the Airmen. Other Tuskegee Airmen attending included Val Archer of Stockbridge, GA; Roscoe Brown of Riverdale, NY; Leo Gray of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Anderson Jefferson of Detroit; Hiram Little of Atlanta; and Theodore Lumpkin, Jr., of Los Angeles. Anderson’s son Charles Alfred Anderson, Jr., of Greensboro, NC; and granddaughter Christina Anderson Augusta, GA, also participated.

    “What makes the stamp so meaningful is that it brings my father’s legacy to life,” said Anderson’s youngest son Charles Alfred Anderson, Jr. “It is truly an honor to have him portrayed as the face of the Tuskegee Airmen.”

    Illustrator Sterling Hundley of Richmond, VA, used a combination of acrylic paint, watercolor, and oil to create the stamp art. His portrait of Anderson is based on a photograph from a 1942 yearbook of the Tuskegee Institute’s flight training school in Tuskegee, AL. Hundley added headgear used by pilots in World War II. Art director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, designed the stamp.

    The Father of Black Aviation
    C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson (1907-1996), traced his fascination with airplanes to his early childhood when he lived with his grandmother in the Shenandoah Valley near Staunton, VA. She was troubled by his habit of running off in search of planes.

    After returning to his parents’ home in Bryn Mawr, PA, Anderson pursued his dream of becoming a pilot. Since no flight schools would accept him as a student because of his race, he needed a plane of his own to learn how to fly. Incredibly, he was able to raise $2,500 from supportive members of his community and bought a used plane. As Anderson later recalled, he learned to fly by reading books, getting some help from a few friendly white pilots, and, in his own words, “fooling around with” the plane. By 1929, he taught himself well enough, against all odds, to obtain a private pilot’s license.

    To help him qualify for an air transport, or commercial license, Anderson eventually found an instructor, Ernest Buehl — a recent immigrant from Germany and owner of a flying school near Philadelphia — who was able to refine his techniques and even persuade a federal examiner to let Anderson take the commercial pilot’s test. When Anderson secured the license in 1932, he was the only African-American in the nation qualified to serve as a flight instructor or to fly commercially.

    The Charles Lindbergh of Black Aviation
    Anderson was soon breaking flight records and inspiring other blacks to become pilots. In 1933, he and Albert E. Forsythe, an African-American physician and Tuskegee Institute alumnus, teamed up to become the first black pilots to complete a round-trip transcontinental flight. With that flight and their goodwill tour to the Caribbean in 1934, they sought to prove to the world the abilities and skills of black aviators. It was this flight that led to Anderson’s being dubbed “The Charles Lindbergh of Black Aviation.”

    As part of the publicity campaign for their goodwill flight, Anderson and Forsythe flew to Tuskegee, AL, for a ceremony at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), where their plane was christened The Booker T. Washington, after the famous black leader who was the first head of the renowned educational institution. Tuskegee provided support for the tour, initiating the school’s public role as a promoter of black aviation.

    The Tuskegee Airmen
    World War II gave Anderson the opening he needed to make a career in aviation. In 1939, as war erupted in Europe, Congress created the Civilian Pilot Training Program at the urging of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The program provided funding to train tens of thousands of young people who could be transitioned to military service in the event of war. A provision in the legislation permitted civilian flight training for blacks, a significant step toward the long-range goal of opening up the elite, all-white Army Air Corps to qualified black applicants.

    Tuskegee Institute won a government contract to establish a Civilian Pilot Training Program and named Anderson chief flight instructor soon after hiring him in 1940. To those who learned their piloting skills in the program, he was affectionately known as “Chief.”

    Tuskegee’s subsequent role in training the nation’s first African-American military pilots began in January of 1941, the year leading up to the country’s entry into World War II. The War Department announced plans to create a “Negro pursuit squadron” that would be trained at Tuskegee. In March, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a champion of equal opportunity, came to the rented airfield Tuskegee was using for flight instruction and was introduced to Anderson. He later recalled her saying that everybody told her blacks couldn’t fly. “I’m going up with you,” she told him, “to find out for sure.” After Anderson gave her an aerial tour of the campus and surrounding area, she announced, “Well, you can fly all right.” A widely publicized photograph of the smiling pair in the cockpit of a Piper Cub sent a powerful message about the First Lady’s support of black aviators.

    Soon after her flight, Roosevelt participated in the decision of the Rosenwald Fund — of which she served as a trustee — to finance the construction of Tuskegee Institute’s own airfield, Moton Field, for a primary flying school. Under a contract with the War Department, the flying school would conduct the first phase of pilot training for black aviation cadets. Construction also began in the summer of 1941 on the Tuskegee Army Air Field, the military airfield where graduates of the primary flying school moved on to complete basic and advanced military flight training.

    The War Department’s plans for a black pursuit squadron took shape when ground crews of the 99th Pursuit Squadron (later renamed the 99th Fighter Squadron) began their training in March 1941. The first class of black pilots graduated in March 1942, and soon thereafter the nation’s first all-black military aviation unit became fully manned. In 1943, the 99th of the U.S. Army Air Forces began combat operations in North Africa. Members— along with members of several other all-black flying units whose pilots began their training under Anderson at Moton Field — are now commonly known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

    During the war, the Tuskegee Airmen escorted heavy bombers on hundreds of missions in the European theater. They flew thousands of sorties, destroyed more than a hundred German aircraft, and received scores of Distinguished Flying Crosses. Their professionalism and effectiveness in combat was a significant reason that in 1949 the newly independent U.S. Air Force became the nation’s first armed service to desegregate.

    For the rest of his life after the war, Anderson pursued his passion for flying and for teaching others to fly. In 1967, he helped organize Negro Airmen International to encourage interest in aviation among African-American youth. In 1996, the “father of black aviation,” as Anderson is often called, died at his home in Tuskegee at age 89.

    His granddaughter Christina established the C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson Legacy foundation, chiefanderson.com. The foundation’s mission is to share and expose Anderson’s legacy through speaking events, a traveling museum and through scholarships presented to deserving youth pursuing education and/or careers in aviation.

    Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
    Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at usps.com/stamps or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

    C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson Stamp
    16 N. Bryn Mawr Ave.
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-9998

    After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, there is a 5-cent charge per postmark. All orders must be postmarked by May 13, 2014.

    Ordering First-Day Covers
    The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

    U.S. Postal Service
    Catalog Request
    PO Box 219014
    Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

    Philatelic Products
    There are seven philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
    117106, Press Sheet w/Die Cuts, $112.00 (print quantity of 1,000).
    117108, Press Sheet w/o Die Cuts, $112.00 (print quantity of 1,000).

    The Tuskegee Airmen’s Airman

    117110, Keepsake (Pane of 20, 1 DCP), $15.95.

    The Tuskegee Airmen’s Airman

    117116, First-Day Cover, $1.14.

    The Tuskegee Airmen’s Airman

    117121, Digital Color Postmark, $1.85.
    117131, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
    117132, Stamp Deck Card w/ Digital Color Postmark, $2.20.

    Customers may view the C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson stamp, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website uspsstamps.com, the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

    # # #


    For reporters interested in speaking with a regional Postal Service public relations professional, please go to about.usps.com/news/media-contacts/usps-local-media-contacts.pdf.

    Follow us on twitter.com/USPS and like us at facebook.com/USPS. For more information about the Postal Service, go to usps.com and usps.com/postalfacts.


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    “BREATH OF FREEDOM”


    - Premiering Smithsonian Channel on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm ET/PT -

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION: They fought to liberate Germany from Nazi rule, as racism reached unfathomable levels. Their fight would continue back home on American soil. This is the story of the one-million-plus African Americans who fought in World War II. Discover their encounters with hatred, from the enemy and from within their own ranks. This new documentary looks at the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of African-American WWII vets, whose experiences offer a unique perspective on racism, abroad and at home. Explore this paradoxical chapter in American history through interviews with war heroes, including COLIN POWELL, Tuskegee ace pilot ROSCOE BROWN, and CHARLES EVERS, brother of Civil Rights activist and WWII veteran Medgar Evers.


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    What’s Happening to the American Military?
    By: Frank Vernuccio
    Editor-in-Chief of the NY Analysis of Policy & Government


    Americans have always debated how much to spend on defense. The current Administration’s apparent disdain of the military itself, however, is an unprecedented development.

    It’s well known that the White House is determined to continue slashing the already sharply reduced military budget. One immediate effect has been the removal of vitally needed funds for training. General Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, has admitted that there has been no substantial training in the six months prior to September 30. Because of this, according to Odierno, only two Army brigades are currently combat-ready, less than a third of the minimum number necessary to protect the nation.

    The crisis also extends to our sea power.

    The Navy has stated that America’s vital forward defense, our aircraft carrier force, has now been reduced to nine vessels. 11 is the widely accepted minimum number needed for safety. As this column has previously reported, these latest decreases come on top of massive reductions already in place. The U.S. navy has shrunk from 600 ships to 284, the Air Force from 37 combat air wings to 20, and the U.S. army from 18 divisions to 10.

    Most frighteningly, the U.S. nuclear deterrent has aged and shrunk to the point of being potentially unreliable, while our adversaries—the Russians and the Chinese—have spent enormous sums modernizing and expanding their atomic and ICBM arsenals.

    The once promising U.S. missile defense program, initiated by President Reagan, has yet to be fully developed. President Obama has been virulent in his opposition to this life-, indeed, nation-saving technology that could deter a missile attack on American civilians. During his first presidential campaign, he famously advocated reducing more funds from the program than were actually allocated to it.

    As more nations, and potentially terrorists organizations, acquire nuclear technology, including North Korea and Iran, both of whom have sworn to use such weapons against the U.S., this is a policy error of the highest magnitude. During his second presidential campaign, Mr. Obama was caught on an open microphone promising Russia’s Medvedev that he would be “more flexible” in a key weapons issue after his re-election, surely one of the first times a U.S. President felt more comfortable being honest with a Russian leader about military matters than with his own constituents.

    There is sufficient evidence that top military commanders who have expressed their dissatisfaction with White House defense policies have been punished for their honesty. There are repeated reports about top generals and admirals being replaced, detrimentally reassigned, or compelled to resign for all sorts of unconvincing reasons, none actually related to the performance of their duties.

    A WND report notes that top generals and admirals describe the Obama Administrations’ removal of nine generals and admirals this year alone as a “purge.” It’s a process that begin almost immediately after President Obama took office in 2009. Within months of moving into the Oval Office, he sacked General David McKiernan, the general in charge of the Afghanistan war. Then he fired his replacement, General McChrystal. He fired his chief of intelligence, General David Petraeus. General John Allen, another key Afghanistan figure, resigned unexpectedly.

    General Carter Ham was fired shortly after the White House refused to allow a rescue mission to save the U.S. ambassador in the Benghazi incident. Similarly, Admiral David Gaurette, in charge of the John C. Stennis Aircraft Carrier group in the middle east, was relieved in the wake of the disaster for similar reasons. Speculation runs high that both men protested Obama’s lack of action. Marine General James Cartwright has also been harassed into resigning.

    Chiefs involved with the U.S. nuclear deterrent that have been dismissed include Vice Admiral Tim Giardina and Major General Michael Carey. Some retired leaders also state they are harassed in their new civilian jobs following criticism of White House actions.

    Other odd policies also smack of an anti-military attitude on the part of the Oval Office. These include decisions such as harassing Christian chaplains, a short-lived attempt to label evangelicals as “extremists” and seminars portraying legitimate political groups that disagree with the President as “terrorists.” Specific steps have been taken to detrimentally affect morale. Examples include eliminating the Navy’s traditional “don’t tread on me” insignia, and the Marines dress cap.

    As noted by a number of observers, there is significant irony in the labeling of Tea Party followers—who advocate adherence to the U.S. Constitution and who have been known mostly for their political activism advocating adherence to American law and tradition-- as “terrorists” by the same presidential administration that referred to the incident in which Nidal Hassan, the Muslim Fort Hood army psychiatrist who shot 13 soldiers, as “workplace violence.”

    These are dangerous actions, made all the more so because they have been done without any input from the legislative branch or discussion with the public.


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    (BPRW) U.S. ARMY PARTNERSHIP WITH THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND PROMOTES OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS


    (BLACK PR WIRE) – Alexandria, Va. (Apr. 29, 2013) — The U.S. Army and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) have completed a cooperative arrangement designed to ensure students have greater access to the education, resources and training necessary to become leaders in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related Army career fields.

    Through this innovative outreach program, developed jointly between the U.S. Army Cadet Command and TMCF, TMCF representatives worked with more than 452 high schools, community based organizations and other local groups to provide information about the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC) program. The outreach program, piloted in New York City, Los Angeles and Richmond-Petersburg, Va., was conducted between September 2012 and March 2013.

    Over the six month campaign, TMCF representatives provided information to more than 628 school administrators, counselors, parents and students. The information highlighted the two-, three- or four-year Army ROTC scholarship available to high-achieving students. Army ROTC scholarships are awarded based on student merit and grades and include up to full tuition scholarships, option for room and board in place of tuition, additional allowances for books and fees for Cadets, as well as a monthly living allowance.

    Those interested in learning more about Army ROTC were directed to a TMCF-Army program website and were then contacted by Army ROTC representatives. The program goal is to identify and attract students with a 3.7 high school cumulative GPA; minimum scores of 1260 SAT and 27 ACT; and a varsity letter winner or equivalent athletic achievement.

    “Identifying top quality scholar-athlete-leaders (SALs) is critical to the strength of our Army, and our nation,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox. “Together with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, we’re working to address the shortage of African American students pursuing careers in STEM, and giving students an opportunity to become our nation’s next generation of exceptional leaders, whether as active duty Army officers or through the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard as citizen-soldiers.”

    With careers in STEM related fields projected to grow by 29 percent between 2010 and 2020, the Army and TMCF share a commitment to preparing minority students for academic and career success.

    "TMCF is committed to creating the next generation of leaders within the STEM fields. This program with the U.S. Army has given us the opportunity to expand our mission to high schools as we prepare to launch our new High School to Higher Education (H2H) Program. Preparing students at the K-12 level is critical and partnerships and innovative programs like this will create a new pipeline of talented students to our member-schools,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

    College graduates in the STEM fields can chart technology careers in the U.S. Army. As one of the nation’s largest providers of college scholarships, the U.S. Army has provided more than $10 million to students at HBCUs. Further, the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has formed close working arrangements with Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) to provide research programs and internships that address the projected shortfall of scientists and engineers among diverse communities.

    TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical and law schools.

    To learn about and apply for Army ROTC scholarships, please visit www.goarmy.com/rotc. To learn more about Thurgood Marshall College Fund programs and scholarship opportunities, please visit www.thurgoodmarshallcollegefund.org.

    About AMRG: The Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) is the U.S. Army's national marketing, marketing research and analysis and accessions analysis organization. The AMRG develops innovative and effective ways to: connect with the American public and make the Army more accessible and understood; increase awareness of both the benefits and value of Army service; and motivate the most qualified candidates to choose the Army as their service of first choice.

    Contact Information
    Sonya Lewis
    708.439.0326 (mobile)
    Sonya.Lewis@carolhwilliams.com

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    African American Diversity Cultural Center Hawaii


    Candlelight Vigil in Memory of Military Men who lost their lives at West Loch Pearl Harbor on May 21, 1944 at State Capitol Grounds Ewa Side Sunday, May 19, 2013 time: 5:45 pm


    We invite Boy & Girl Scouts, Choirs (churches & schools) sororities, fraternities and other community organizations to honor the memory of hundreds of young men who lost their lives when a maritime accident occurred during preparation for the invasion of the Mariana Islands during WWII. These men are buried in graves "Marked Unknown West Loch Pearl Harbor May 21, 1944" in the National Memorial Cemetery.

    On Tuesday, May 21, 2013 AADCCH in collaboration with Hawaii Joint Military Forces Celebrates the Life & Memory of West Loch Internees at 3:00pm with full military honors.








    African American Stevedore workers at Pearl Harbor Naval Base



    Artie Wilson & Adm. Frank Ponds


    Our mailing address is:
    1311 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 203/207
    Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
    Telephone: 808-597-1341
    www.aadcch.org

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    No Implied Endorsement:
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    HAPPY VETERANS DAY 2012!:


    http://moveonup.ning.com/profiles/blogs/veterans-are-americas-common-thread?xg_source=activity

    HAPPY VETERANS DAY
    Veterans are a common strand that runs through the fabric of America!

    Their deeds inspired me as a boy.

    Their deeds inspire me today as a man.

    We owe them everything yet they demand no special attention nor treatment.

    Veterans are a common thread that runs through the fabric of America,

    They are the thread that keeps the fabric of America from unraveling, whether they are recruits; active duty ; guard; reserve or retired.

    Cap Black, The Hood Conservative
    (504) 214-3082

    Help Cap Black Promote Patriotism! http://www.indiegogo.com/capblackhelp?show_todos=true&a=1298821

    " Be your OWN Superhero!"

    ooOoo


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    No Implied Endorsement:
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    New Yosemite And Sequoia National Parks Tour Keeps History Of America’s “Buffalo Soldiers” Alive


    - Filmmaker Ken Burns And Leading Tour Operator Tauck Tell The Story Of Pioneering African-American Soldiers -

    NORWALK, CT (May 7, 2012) Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns is working with Tauck, one of the world’s top tour operators, to tell the story of America’s Buffalo Soldiers as part of a new Tauck itinerary that explores San Francisco and the National Parks of Northern California, including Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon. The history of the Buffalo Soldiers in the parks is one of several cultural narratives that Tauck will highlight in its new, all-inclusive, 8-day guided journey, “Yosemite And Sequoia: John Muir’s California.” Other themes weaving through the Tauck itinerary include the story of visionary naturalist John Muir and the creation of America’s National Parks system.

    The Buffalo Soldiers were African-American U.S. Army troops who served in the American West and elsewhere during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Native American in origin, the term “Buffalo Soldier” has been attributed variously to the soldiers’ fierce fighting ability, and to the resemblance of the soldiers’ hair to a tuft of fur found atop the heads of buffalos.

    Tour Operator Tauck
    What is more firmly established is that Buffalo Soldiers from the 9th Cavalry and 24th Infantry were garrisoned in San Francisco’s Presidio in 1899, shortly after Yosemite and Sequoia were established as national parks. Seeking to protect the parks’ resources in the era before park rangers, the Army deployed the Buffalo Soldiers to the parks to prevent illegal grazing and poaching, discourage timber thieves and serve a host of other functions. Performing admirably despite having little official authority, the Buffalo Soldiers endured long hours in the saddle, separation from home and family, and the overt racism common to the era.

    According to filmmaker Burns, the Buffalo Soldiers had “the very complicated and difficult task of trying to take care of this place, being African-Americans in a country that had just freed the slaves, but was not yet sure what the African-American role would be in our society.” Burns, who created the award-winning documentary series “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” sees the story of the Buffalo Soldiers as a way of weaving African-American history into the National Parks experience.

    “We’ve had in the United States a very complicated history with race, obviously. But what we’ve tended to leave out is the story of African-Americans, not as a separate part of our national narrative, but interwoven with it,” said Burns. “The significance of the Buffalo Soldiers is a way for African-Americans to say, ‘We are part of this history,’ ‘We have been part of this history.’ They are – in fact – a huge part of the history. And with regards to the National Parks, they are crucial.”

    Tauck’s “Yosemite And Sequoia: John Muir’s California” itinerary begins with two nights in San Francisco, where guided sightseeing will include a visit to the historic Presidio where the Buffalo Soldiers were garrisoned. At the Presidio, Tauck guests will learn of the Buffalo Soldiers’ roots in the post-Civil War era, their service with Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders” in Cuba, and their role in the Philippine-American War. In Sequoia National Park. Tauck guests will hear the story of Buffalo Soldiers commander Charles Young, the third African-American to graduate from West Point and the first to oversee one of America’s National Parks. Guests will also get Burns’s own personal perspectives on the Buffalo Soldiers during a special 20-minute film produced exclusively for Tauck, featuring interview footage with Burns and special excerpts from his National Parks documentary.

    A SPECIAL PRESENTATION BY PARK RANGER SHELTON JOHNSON
    A true highlight for many guests on the Tauck journey will take place in Yosemite National Park, when they have the opportunity to “meet” a Buffalo Soldier as portrayed by Shelton Johnson. An African-American Park Ranger and Buffalo Soldiers expert, Johnson is an author and educator who has been awarded the National Park Service’s highest honor for ranger interpretation. Johnson was prominently featured in the Burns National Parks documentary, and his “in-character,” interpretive presentation is a special Tauck-exclusive experience.

    Tauck’s Yosemite tour (from $4,290 per person, double-occupancy, plus airfare) begins with a two-night stay at The Weston St. Francis in San Francisco, complete with guided sightseeing. The itinerary next includes a pair of two-night stays at “inside-the-park” lodges in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks (with daily sightseeing and other activities), before concluding with a final night at the Fairmont San Francisco.

    Those interested in more information should contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 1 800 468 2825, or visit www.tauck.com.

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    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com.





BLACKS/AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE MILITARY
   

  1. African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum ...
    The first and only national memorial and museum for United States colored troops in the civil war.

  2. African Americans in the Military...
    African Americans in the Military, Blacks in the Armed Forces, - The Classic Collection.

  3. African American Sailors in the Civil War Union Navy ...
    A database detailing the lives and service of more than 18,000 men and women of African descent who served in the U.S. Navy throughout the Civil War era.

  4. AfriGeneas Military Research Forum...
    Ninteenth century Black military heroes.

  5. Blacks in the Military...
    Significant African-American regiments serving in the military before the integration of the armed forces.

  6. Blacks in the Military...
    Website about Blacks in the Military.

  7. Civil War Soldiers and Sailor System...
    Civil War Soldiers and Sailor System website.

  8. Glory and the 54th Massachusetts Infantry...
    Filmposters.com specializes in authentic, original movie posters and Hollywood memorabilia.

  9. Henry Ossian Flipper...
    The Colored Cadet at West Point. Autobiography of Lieut. Henry Ossian Flipper, U. S. A., First Graduate of Color from the U. S. Military Academy.

  10. Number of Blacks Joining Military Down...
    The number of blacks joining the military has plunged by more than one-third since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began.

  11. StrategyPage.com...
    Whites Replacing Blacks in U.S. Army military news military intelligence military affairs.

  12. Success Story: Blacks in the Military...
    Blacks occupy more management positions in the military than in any other sector of American society.

  13. The Army of Black Liberation...
    “Red Tails,” George Lukas’s action movie celebrates the path-breaking Tuskegee Airmen, the African-American fighter pilots who earned distinction in the European Theater of World War II.

  14. The Color Of Combat...
    The Minority-Disproportion Myth.

  15. The Tuskegee Airmen...
    Honoring the accomplishments and perpetuating the history of African-Americans who participated in air crew, ground crew and operations support training in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

  16. U.S. Colored Troops...
    U.S. Colored Troops information.

  17. World War II African American Medal of Honor Recipients...
    No African American soldier was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II. On 13 January 1997, President Clinton awarded seven men, six posthumously, the Medal of Honor for their exploits during World War II.

  18. 34th Regiment Infantry United States Colored Troops ...
    The Second South Carolina Volunteers (Colored), later the 34th Regiment Infantry United States Colored Troops.












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