Members and Friends,
As most of you know, our Chapter’s largest effort is to support ‘Our Community Salutes’ each year. This program recognizes high school seniors that have chosen to join the armed services after graduation. Last year on May 2nd, with the help of a few sponsors, particularly Summit Aviation, we were able to recognize 22 senior enlistees and their parents from New Castle County and thank them for choosing to serve their nation.
This year our event will be one of 80 such events around the country, and we hope to invite senior enlistees from all three counties in Delaware. Tim Furlong of NBC10 Philadelphia will return as the emcee and we have invited Dr Jill Biden to be our keynote speaker. As a member of the Blue Star Mothers, Dr Biden appreciates those who join, and understands the emotions of their parents. Wilmington University will again host the event and all of the military services will be represented.
To expand the event and include senior enlistees from all Delaware high schools, we need your help. Wilmington University has been gracious in providing the venue, but I am hoping to find other sponsors and donations to help defray the other costs. When you visit the OCS web page, http://www.ocsde.org, there is an option to Donate to the 2013 ceremony via credit card, Pay Pal or by sending a check. Both AUSA and OCS are 501 © 3 organizations, so contributions are tax deductible. Any support we receive will go directly toward providing a first-class event for our heroes that will depart for basic training after graduation. Help us be the “first to say thank you” to these young citizens.
Gary W. Dawson
President, Delaware Chapter, AUSA
Co-Chair, Our Community Salutes Delaware
AUSA and the U.S. Army are committed to strengthening the partnership with the National Guard and Reserve. The Secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, issued the Army Total Force Policy: Fully Integrating the Operational Reserve. This policy states that the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve, as one Total Force, will provide forces to support Army commitments worldwide.
Gen. David Rodriguez, speaking Oct. 22 at the Maj. Gen. Robert G. Moorhead Guard and Reserve Breakfast before the official opening of the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, said his command’s requirement to provide trained and ready soldiers for the spectrum of missions requires “maximizing training resources” and “inculcating all the lessons we learned in the last 11 years” for the active force, Army National Guard and Army Reserve.
He told the National Guard and Army Reserve audience that he wants to build on the strong partnerships that the two reserve components have built over the last 20 years with foreign military services and foreign governments, and their expertise in crisis response and drug interdiction and “many, many other missions” in the future.
We know that a number of you are on Facebook so we now have a Facebook page as well. We hope that it can be a place where you feel comfortable to comment, post photos, and keep in touch with what’s going on in our chapter to support Soldiers, their families, and those that work for the United States Army. Check out our Facebook page here and tell your friends too: https://www.facebook.com/AUSADelawareChapter
Special agents from the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) are once again warning Internet users worldwide to be extra vigilant and not to fall prey to Internet scams or impersonation fraud — especially scams promising true love. The victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the Internet with American Soldiers. People should never send money to persons they meet on the Internet that claim to be in the U.S. Military. To report a scam to the Internet Crime Complaint unit, visit the IC3 website at http://www.ic3.gov. Also, report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft , or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Defense Department (DoD) agency, announced that representatives from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Coca-Cola Refreshments, McDonald’s Corp., Safeway Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have signed or will sign statements of support for their National Guard and reserve employees in honor of Veterans Day. The statement of support is a pledge that demonstrates an employer’s commitment to uphold their legal responsibilities as a military employer, to value the characteristics and skills service members contribute to the workforce, and to identify opportunities to support Guardsmen, reservists, veterans and their families. Since Sept. 11, 2001, almost half of the more than two million Americans who have gone to war have been Guardsmen and reservists. As recently as Hurricane Sandy, men and women of the National Guard and reserve components were called from their civilian lives to work alongside first responders and participate in search and rescue missions. The support of America’s employers has provided these citizen warriors with stability, predictability and peace of mind. Find details at: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=118523
On Oct. 3, 2012 more than 100 colleges and universities signed on to a joint initiative to prepare educators for the unique needs of their military-connected students, Dr. Jill Biden announced. Dr. Biden, wife of the Vice President, is a ‘military mom’ has heard from many other military spouses who worry about the academic needs of their children. Many military children are forced to move and change schools 6 to 10 times before they graduate.
Biden said. “Through each transition, they are faced with leaving their friends and adjusting to new schools and new surroundings, all of which can affect a student’s opportunity to achieve academic success,” she said. “As a teacher, this issue is particularly close to my heart.”
Dr. Biden was joined by Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, who said he understands the challenges faced by military families — he moved his wife and children 24 times during his 36-year military career, causing his son and daughter to change schools during each year of high school.
The initiative, called “Operation Educate the Educators,” will help ensure positive experiences for military children, 80 percent of whom attend public schools, Gen. Odierno said. He added that “the social piece is perhaps the most important” to a child frequently changing schools. The initiative is co-sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Military Child Education Coalition.
As part of the initiative, participating colleges and universities implement guiding principles in their preparation programs and partner with schools that serve Kindergarten through Grade 12 students to ensure future educators have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of military-connected students.
The Wilmington & Western Railroad is conducting their annual salute to local veterans, many of whom were aided by the local railroads to move military men and women across the Nation during the various conflicts in our history.
As in previous years, they will have a brief ceremony with a few speakers offering their personal reflections and comments. This year’s keynote speaker will be New Castle County Councilman Timothy Sheldon. The Delaware Military Academy will provide a color guard and a bugler. Also, the Delaware Militia Fife & Drum Corps, and members of 509th Infantry Battalion will be in attendance.
This year’s ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 11th; beginning promptly at 11:30 AM, and concluding by 12:15 PM. The first steam powered train of the day will depart from Greenbank Station at 12:30 PM. All those in military uniform will ride the train at no cost. The Baldwin Locomotive #58 (aka “Our Veterans Locomotive”) will be pulling our riders that day.
All veterans and members of military service organizations in the community are invited so that the Wilmington & Western can express their gratitude and appreciation.