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Issue #3

Southern California Edition

The Sentinel O


Welcome Home 58,267

“Leave no Veteran behind�

November 2012

The Sentinel O C

Contents Issue 3 Editorial Disabled Vet Awaits Benefits: Daniel Foster Vietnam Moving Wall in Garden Grove Santa Ana Commemorates Veterans Day Native American Veterans Celebration Operation Tortilla Santa Ana Neighborhood Recognizes Veterans Oscar Hosts Veterans Anaheim Marine Adoption Committee 13th MEU Community Groups Help Veteran Daniel Foster Veterans Charity Participates in Christmas Wrap-Off Elks Helping Homeless Veterans Sentinel of Freedom Award Letters from the Front News Section Focus Feature: TBI Agent Orange: One Man’s Story In Memoriam The Birth of the U.S. Navy Calendar of Events 2012 Veterans day Meals & Deals “Buddies” The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 2

The Sentinel O C

The OC Sentinel Alex Diaz, Foinder, Editor & Publisher Alex Diaz Productions Est: Sep 2010 “The OC Sentinel” is a publication of Alex Diaz Productions which collaborates with the American GI Forum Education Foundation Orange County California. Mission: To advocate on behalf of veterans and increase and dissemminate relevant information to them, their families and the community. Vision: To provide a visually captivating and informative publication to voice issues relevant to veterans and their families; to raise awareness in the community of outreach and benefits available; to provide a vehicle of open dialogue into issues which impact veterans, their families and the community. The American GI Forum Education Foundation of Orange County California Board of Directors: Alex Diaz, President Maria T. Solis-Martinez, Vice-President Dr. Alfonso Alvarez, Ed.D., Secretary Danny Morales, Treasurer The American GI Forum Rudy Escalante Chapter Alex Diaz, Commander Maria T. Solis Martinez, Vice-Commander Deanne Tate, Treasurer Gregg James, Secretary Dr. Alfonso Avarez, Sergeant-at-Arms Alex Diaz Productions, The OC Sentinel, The Sentinel and The American GI Forum Education Foundation of Orange County California. All Rights Reserved. For submissions, advertising & other business: Alex Diaz Productions 341 W. Alton Ave Suite #B Santa Ana, CA 92707 Advisory & Editorial Committee Greg Hankins Emily Robinson Debbie Pulido Ron Garcia Maureen Robles Robert McDonald John Parent William Jenkins Ray Estrella Jim Torres Joe de la Luz Tony Abarca Eleanor Reyes Mary Jane Cambria Deanne Tate Greg James Max Madrid Pastor Frank Orzio

Issue No 4 January 1, 2013 Deadline is Dec. 17 Cover Photo: Jerry Turrieta, an Army Spec., assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd of the 5th 1st Air Cavalry during the Vietnam War, takes a rubbing of a friend’s name during the Moving Wall’s visit to Garden Grove Oct. 6-10, 2011. The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It contains the names of 58,267 service personnel missing or killed in the Vietnam War, of which 41 are the names of servicemen from Garden Grove. (U.S. Navy photo by Elisandro T. Diaz/Released)

Issue No 3 Nov. 2012

Dear Reader, Welcome to the third edition of The OC Sentinel. This issue focuses on Daniel Foster, Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient, injured in Afghanistan. Foster has faced challenges as a result of his injuries and Elyse James’ article, courtesy of The Orange County Register provides us a glimpse into Foster’s case. A separate but related article showcases how members of several community groups came together to support Foster. Carolyn Ballou’s story “Agent Orange, One Man’s Story”, illustrates Air Force veteran George Chappell’s fight with cancer, which the VA conceded was caused by his exposure to Agent Orange while he was in Vietnam. The Moving Wall’s visit to Garden Grove provided a venue for a community that lost 41 of its citizens to the Vietnam War. Among the community outreach is an article on Larry Luera and Operation Tortilla, which he founded to send tortillas to deployed military. And members of the Elks install new flooring in a home for homeless veterans. Of the several news articles is one on fraud by individuals falsely represent themselves as employees of the VA and thus capable of submitting claims to the VA on their behalf. They tend to target elderly veterans. There is an initiative presented by LULAC and the American Legion respectively in support of a feasibility study for a national cemetery in Orange County. Traumatic Brain Injury, commonly known as TBI, is an all too common condition suffered by personnel as a result of their military service. The articles are from several subject matter experts with the aim of illustrating what is TBI and methods of treatment. For Veterans Day several restaurants and venues are offering special offers to veterans to show their support.

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The OC Sentinel really is your magazine and an opportunity to share your pictures, stories and artwork with the community. Jim Torres offers us a glimpse of his experience during the Vietnam War, of coming home and raising a family and of contributing to his fellow veterans. He’s provided photographs he took with a 110film camera during his tour too also share with our readers. Send us your photos and we’ll publish them in upcoming issues. On a personal note, I have been appointed to the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans. Being part of this body will allow a better understanding of the issues facing veterans and a platform to help by making recommendations on how to address said challenges. This is an important event for me and I am honored by the responsibility and opportunity to help out veterans. I seek out your guidance, advice and ideas so I can take them back to Washington D.C. and help improve conditions for our veterans. October 13th is the birthday of the Navy and the article by the Naval History and Heritage Command describes the events leading to the establishment of the U.S. Navy. Patriot’s Promise, is sponsored by Fletcher Jones Motorcars and Bang and Olufson and organized by Veterans First. As the theme states of the fundraising event states: “Streets are for cars not our veterans,” it aims to raise funds to further outreach for homeless and at-risk veterans with a center providing veterans a safe place, a hot meal and a warm and secure place to sleep, while having access to medical, counseling, work and educational resources to help them achieve self-sustaining lives. Thank you support and for your readership and keep sending us your events, photos, thoughts and suggestions. From our family to yours have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. Alex T. Diaz Editor

Disabled Vet Awaits Benefits By Elyse James, The Orange County Register Photos by Kevin Sullivan and Paul Rodriguez, The Orange County Courtesy of The Orange County Register Published: Nov 25, 2011 Updated Nov. 29, 2011 5:40 p.m.

Donations pour in for O.C. Army specialist

Daniel Foster, who received the Silver Star for service in Afghanistan, has yet to receive his medical and dental benefits though he has been home for more than a year. He’s seen here holding his Purple Heart at his Costa Mesa home. Photo by Kevin Sullivan, The Orange County Register.

COSTA MESA – Army Spc. Dan Foster was frustrated. It had been a year since Foster returned from his second tour in Afghanistan and still he had not received his benefits from Veterans Affairs. He’d gone without medical attention while waiting for his benefits to arrive. Daniel Foster and his dog Boldon, outside his Costa Mesa home Wednesday. Foster was in danger of losing his home but when local news stations heard his plight donations started pouring in. Now his home is safe and he’s expecting to receive his benefits soon. Photo by Kevin Sullivan, The Orange County Register.

His family’s home in Costa Mesa was facing foreclosure and he was behind on payments. In April, the Angels fan was awarded a Silver Star during a special ceremony at Angel Stadium in Anaheim for his actions while on guard duty in May 2010 in Afghanistan. Foster stopped a suspicious cargo truck from reaching his tower, which had been filled with 500 pounds of explosives. When the truck exploded, the force threw Foster to the ground as shrapnel from the blast shattered his jaw and cut his face. Over the next half-hour, Foster continued to fight, stopping at least one other suicide bomber, Register reports state.

losing his family’s home, he introduced Foster to Deanne Tate, president and CEO of the nonprofit Veterans First. “He filed for his benefits and he just waited,” Tate said. Each time Foster called Veterans Affairs, he was told his paperwork was in process. “It shouldn’t be in process that long.” Tate said the blast pushed Foster’s mandible back an inch and blew out his front teeth. Foster has hearing loss in one ear, a traumatic brain injury and back problems stemming from his second tour Army tour. The dental work alone could be a three to five-year process, Foster said. “I’ve grown to live with it. It doesn’t affect me,” Foster said. “I laugh about the situation. Some people give me a funny look, like, ‘Why don’t you have any teeth?’” Foster is classified as being very seriously injured, Tate said. That should push his paperwork to the top of the pile, she said. Instead, his paperwork ended up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina when they should have been in San Diego.

Foster has been back in the U.S. for more than a year now and lives with his father in Costa Mesa. When a friend learned Foster had yet to receive medical benefits and was in danger of

Daniel Foster received the silver star for service in Afghanistan and has yet to receive his medical and dental benefits though he has been home for more than a year. He’s seen here holding his Purple Heart at his Costa Mesa home. Photo by Kevin Sullivan, The Orange County Register.

Army Specialist Daniel Foster, right, salutes his commanding officer Lt. Col. Robert J. Harman after being awarded the Silver Star in a ceremony just before the start of the game at Angels Stadium. He was awarded the Silver Star for actions while protecting his unit from attack in Afghanistan. Photo by Paul Rodriguez, The Orange County Register.

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“They’re trying figure out what’s going on and why this taking so long and when it’s going to be rectified,” Tate said. Meanwhile, his house was going into foreclosure. “He’s on the verge of losing his house and can’t get medical taken care of,” Tate said. Foster has received a rating from the government determining the services and money he can receive. Foster expected to get dental coverage because of his mouth injuries. Tate says Foster should expect dental and medical benefits and between $1,700 and $2,700 a month in cash. But when his rating paperwork came through, the government had deferred his payments and deferred rating his dental work. Foster is unable to get his teeth fixed until the dental rating comes through, Tate said.

Army Specialist Daniel Foster spends a moment with his girlfriend Danielle Lehman before being awarded the Silver Star in a ceremony before an Angels game in April. Photo by Paul Rodriguez, The Orange County Register.

Foster’s family has lived in the same home in Costa Mesa since 1952, when his grandfather built the place, Foster said. His father had lived there since 1956 and Foster grew up in the home. “Once I get my benefits I can get the medical treatment I need. Then I hope to find some way to repay all these wonderful people,” Foster said. Daniel Foster’s Silver Star commendation. He gave the actual medal to the mother of a friend. Photo by Kevin Sullivan, The Orange County Register.

“When I get my benefits, I probably will have some loud reaction that will scare the rest of the house,” he said. “I know it’s going to be a good one.”

“He’s suffered a lot,” Tate said. “He put his life on the line, as they all do going over there. He saved his barracks... Even after he was injured he kept fighting.”

Related articles: Soldier, Angels fan honored at game. http:// Contact the writer: 714-796-7949 or

Tate has been speaking to representatives at CitiMortgage, who have agreed to hold off on selling the house for now.

For the latest military news and information: Visit military and get updates via Twitter by following @OCMilitary.

“It’s the most hopeful I’ve been since I got out about getting benefits,” Foster said. Foster may need to pay $12,000 to the bank. Reporter Tracy Woods from the Voice of OC had been in the Veterans First office and learned of Foster’s situation. Soon, television and local radio stations were sharing Foster’s plight with the world. The first donation call came in the next day. Foster was in shock. “I was in utter disbelief,” he said. “I couldn’t believe some stranger heard about me and wanted to give me money for the house.” People began calling to donate money to save the house, and offering 0 percent interest loans, Foster said. “I think we are coming up on the mark of everything we need to save the house,” Foster said. If the funds and benefits from the government had been approved sooner, Foster said he could have made payments on the house.

Daniel Foster received the Purple Heart after he was injured during combat in Afghanistan. He has yet to receive his medical and dental benefits though he has been home for more than a year. Photo by Kevin Sullivan, The Orange County Register.

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Vietnam Moving W

Family and friends visit the Moving Wall during its vis Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Mem service personnel missing or killed in the Vietnam Wa Grove. The exhibit was open 24-hours a day. (Photos b

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Wall in Garden Grove

sit to the city of Garden Grove Oct. 6-10, 2011. The Moving morial in Washington, D.C. It contains the names of 58,267 ar, of which 41 are the names of servicemen from Garden by Alex T. Diaz)

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Santa Ana Commemorates Veterans Day

Orange County honored veterans during the OC Veterans Celebration at the historic Orange County Courthouse Nov. 3, 2011. Veterans from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Gulf War 1 (Desert Storm) and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom spoke of their experience upon returning

home from their service and the challenges they faced reintigrating into civilian life. Maureen Robles, who is also a U.S. Army Lt. Col. and a mental health professional organized the event sponsored by the County of Orange Health Care Agency/Behavioral Health Services – Veterans’ Services.

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Native American Veterans Celebration

Article courtesy of Native American Veterans Association Photos by Alex T. Diaz

Dancers of all ages, such as Eddie Greenflag, pictured above, a Paiute Shoshone and northern traditional dancer, has been dancing since he was five-years old, perform during the the Native American Veterans Association’s (NAVA) Annual Veterans Appreciation Gathering at Southgate Park Nov. 12-13, 2011. The two-day event, open to the public, aims to share the traditions and culture of Native Americans through songs, dances, foods and the arts. The event includes an Indian village with tipi, basket weavers, bow makers, story tellers, ceremonial sacred circle, vendors and veterans resources. NAVA aims to recognize all veterans by hosting the Annual Veterans Appreciation and Cultural Gathering to honor the beauty, strength, spirit and endurance of of Native American culture by providing the arena for the continuation of traditional life and to show the world that Native Americans have survived and maintained their unique cultural values well into the 21st century. For more information visit NAVA at: www.

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“I asked myself, ‘what’s the best thing I can do for the Soldiers?’” “It was…Mexican food I missed.” He founded Operation Tortilla in 2004 and Luera explains he has mailed more than 1,100 packages of 1 dozen tortillas each to members deployed to such diverse places as aircraft carriers, Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany to bring a taste of home to them. “As long as I have names I can ship,” Luera says. He can mail to any APO address as long as he has a name to send it to and mails 10 packs in each package during the cooler months, September to May to avoid spoilage.

Operation Tortilla Article and photos by Alex T. Diaz

In 1959 through 1961, Larry Luera was stationed with the Army in Fairbanks, Alaska. He remembers how cold it was with temperatures dropping to 59 degrees Fahrenheit below zero and how good it would be to have a hot flour tortilla with melted butter and salt on those cold winter mornings. Alaska received statehood in 1959 and Luera reminisces that there where no Mexican restaurants to go eat at when he was off duty. Luera, originally from Sonora, Arizona, far southwest of Alaska, missed a home-cooked meal.

He was a Military Police and then a crash firefighter at Ladd Air Force Base which became Ft. Jonathan M. Wainwright when the Army took control of the base in 1961. Luera describes how his mother mailed him Mexican sweet bread and cookies but, “we could not get tortillas in the mail because they weren’t put into cellophane packages yet.” Luera wanted to do something for Soldiers during the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, when he remembered his longing for a “small piece of the Mexican kitchen” during his deployment in Alaska.

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And that, although, he has received donations from various organizations such as LULAC, Los Amigos de Orange County, American G.I. Forum of the United States and El Ranchito Super Markets, he also pays out of his own pocket. After his military service, Luera went on to work in the aerospace industry as a junior engineer for North American Aviation where here remained for 32 years working on the Apollo Space Program and the Space Shuttle. Today Luera remains active in the community and in mailing tortillas to military members. If you’d like to send tortillas to family or friends in the military or want to make a donation to Operation Tortilla, please contact Larry Luera through the editor at:

Pastor Frank Orzio, left, salutes Walter D. Ehlers, who is given a Counterclockwise from top: Pastor Frank Orzio, left, after speaking standing ovation salutes Walter D. Ehlers, who is givenabout a standing ova- experience his military tion after his presentation on his military experience during a meeting of the Commuduring World War (WW) II to the Communication nication Linkage Forum in Santa Linkage Forum meeting Nov. 17, 2011.Ana, TheNov. meeting 17, 2011. Veterans are recognizes veterans in honor of Veterans Day. Ehlers recognized during the gathering was awarded the Medal of Honor for in hishonor actions of during Veterans Day. Ehlers WWII. was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during WWII.

Santa Ana Neighborhood Recognizes Veterans

Article and photos by Alex T. Diaz

Members of the Communication Linkage Forum (Com-Link) recognize veterans in honor of Veterans Day during a meeting at Heninger Elementary School in Santa Ana Nov. 17, 2011. The guest of honor is Walter D. Ehlers, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in WWII. Pastor Frank Orzio, two-time Purple Heart recipient, Vietnam War and founder of Wounded Warrior Ministries, Frank Ramirez, Silver Star recipient, WWII and Tony Mendez, Silver Star recipient, WWII as well as other veterans and their family members where also present. Com-Link is a non-partisan forum promoting the exchange of ideas and information between neighborhoods and community leaders to enhance a sense of community. Com-Link may be reached at 714-667-2288.

From left, Frank Ramirez, Silver Star recipient, WWII, Peter Katz, Vietnam War veteran and Pastor Frank Orzio, two-time Purple Heart recipient, Vietnam War. Katz was instrumental in bringing the Moving Wall to Garden Grove.

From right, Walter D. Ehlers, Medal of Honor, WWII, Pastor Frank Orzio, two-time Purple Heart recipient, Vietnam War and founder of Wounded Warrior Ministries, Frank Ramirez, Silver Star recipient, WWII and Tony Mendez, Silver Star recipient, WWII.

Walter D. Ehlers, Medal of Honor recipient, left, is presented a certificate of appreciation by Carl Benninger, ComLink Forum chair, during the meeting recognizing veterans for their service in commemoration of Veterans Day at Heninger Elementary School in Santa Ana Nov. 17, 2011. The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 11

Oscar Hosts Military Members Article by Alex T. Diaz Photos courtesy of Department of Defense, U.S. Navy, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with J C Penney, hosted 30 military personnel for the “Oscar Fan Experience” at the 84th Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles Feb. 26, 2012. With members from the Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard attending. Several celebrities acknowledged the servicemembers as they walked the red carpet into the Kodak Theater. George Clooney, best-actor nominee for his role in the movie “The Descendants”, broke ranks to speak with and sign autographs for the men and women in uniform. “This shows that he has a lot respect for

the people in the military,” said Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tony Hayes, assigned to Navy Reserve Fleet Combat Camera Group Pacific, who got to speak with Clooney. “It’s Hollywood’s night to celebrate...and it’s an honor being selected to attend and represent all those who can’t attend an event like this,” Hayes said, referring to those servicemembers who are unable to do similar activities because they are deployed. The academy recognizes excellence in the field of motion pictures through the annual event presenting the “Oscar” statuette to the winners in the various categories of movie-making. Visit for more information.

Sergeant First Class Duane Brown, Film and Television Liaison, Army Public Affairs, left, gets his identification badge autographed by actor George Clooney during the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

Actress Milla Jovovich salutes military personnel during the 84th Annual Academy Awards. The servicemembers attended the Oscar Fan Experience, an event sponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and JC Penney, which allows for selected individuals to observe the arrival of the participants for the Oscar ceremony.

Chief Mass Communication Specialist Greg Frazho, Fleet Combat Camera Group Pacific, left, speaks with our mystrery acrtess during the 84th Annual Academy Awards. The person who identifies our mystery actress will be named in a future edition of The OC Sentinel. Submit to

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tony Hayes, center, NR Fleet Combat Camera Group Pacific, watches the actors walk the red carpet during the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

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Actors wave to members of the military as they walk the red carpet into the Kodak Theater during the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Feb. 26, 2012. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elisandro T. Diaz/Released) The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 13

Community Leaders Help Disabled Veteran

Foster has received only partial benefits since he applied for them with the VA more than 14 months ago, placing him in economic hardship. His financial situation almost resulted in the foreclosure of his home, where he lives with his disabled father. It was through the intercession of Veterans First that CitiMortgage held off on foreclosure. The donations from the organizations are intended to give him some relief until he receives his benefits which we understand the VA is working to resolve. Article and photos by Alex T. Diaz

Daniel Foster, recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his actions duirng a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan where he was serioulsy injured, is treated to a luncheon by several community groups in Santa Ana, Calif. Dec. 8. Hometown Buffet helped make the event possible. Sarah Lee, representing Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Jim Torres, vice-commander and Harry Brunke, from the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 23, Tony Abarca, loyal knight of Elks Santa Ana Lodge #794, Deanne Tate, CEO of Veterans First and Alex T. Diaz, commander of the American G.I. Forum, Rudy Escalante Chapter organized to help Foster.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46), Foster’s elected congressional representative’s office did not reply to the group’s invitation to the luncheon. For donations to Daniel Foster contact the editor at: Resources: Disabled American Veterans is a national organization which advocates for disabled veterans. To contact Jack Fisher Orange County Chapter 23, call Vice-Commander (commander at time of print) Jim Torres 714-296-8071 or Veterans First provides transitional shelter to homeless and at-risk veterans and their families, and can be reached at: and 714-547-0614.

Top, Daniel Foster, left, is thanked by Tony Abarca, right, loyal knight at Elks Lodge #794, during a luncheon recognizing Foster for his service and sacrifice. Jim Torres, vice-commander for DAV, Ch. 23 and a lecturing knight at Elks Lodge #794, center, is helping Foster with his VA benefits claim.

Top, Daniel Foster, left, talks to Harry Brunke, DAV, Ch. 23, who is helping Foster with his VA benefits claim.

Bottom, from left, Daniel Foster, Sarah Lee, aide to Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA47) and Torres.

Bottom, from left, Brunke, Deanne Tate, CEO of Veterans First, Foster, Lee and Torres talk about Foster’s VA claim during a luncheon.

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Veterans Charity in Christmas Wrap-Off

Article and photos by Alex T. Diaz

Veterans First (www.veteransfirstoc. org), a non-profit housing advocacy organization providing outreach to homeless veterans since 1971, participates in Nello Cucina restaurant’s inaugural Christmas giftwrapping competition at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa Dec. 9, 2011. The prize, a $2,500 catering event by chefs and partners Franco Vessia and Antonio Cagnolo, went to the Speech and Language Development Center for their gift-wrapping entry incorporating wine-bottle corks. Vessia describes the idea for the competition.

One of the chefs at Nello Cucina prepares a dish for the participants of the Christmas gift-wrapping event.

“The concept is a combination of marketing ideas and helping charities in these tough economic times,” states Vessia, who believes that he can help the community he is a part of by raising awareness of how these charities help society. The other participating charities include the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Blind Children’s Learning Center, Second Harvest Food Bank, Alzheimer’s Association, Beckstrand Cancer Foundation, Orange Coast

Interfaith Shelter, Veterans First of Orange County and THE Breast Cancer Fundraiser. Vessia hopes to make the competition an annual event and that its a work in progress possibly increasing next year’s prizes to three.

From upper left: Deanne Tate, left, CEO of Veterans First and Rosemarie Nearhof, interviewed by Franco Vessia. And the gift-wrapping area at Nello Cucina in South Coast Plaza’s Crystal Court.

Nello Cucina is a classic trattoria offering a wide variety of traditional “Welcome Home,” recognizing veterans is the theme of Veterans First entry. Italian fare and thin-crust Neapolitan pizza. It is located at 3333 Bear St. Costa Mesa, From left, chefs and partners Franco Vessia and Antonio Cagnolo congratulate Nancy CA 92626 in South Coast Egbert and Ting Angeles, representing the Plaza or call: 714-540-3365. Speech and Language Development Center, on their prize-winning entry.

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Elks Helping Homeless Veterans

Elks Care - Elks Share: Volunteers from the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks replace carpeting in a transitional living shelter for homeless veterans in Santa Ana, Calif. Sat. Jan. 28, 2012. Frank Sellers, led the 22 members representing Orange Lodge 1475 and Huntington Beach Lodge 1954 in the volunteer effort funded by the Elks Grand Lodge through its Freedom Grant. The transitional shelter is operated by Veterans First, the only non-profit organization helping homeless and at-risk veterans and their families achieve self-sustaining lives by providing transitional living and counseling since 1971. Veterans First may be reached at and 714-547-0614.

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City of Garden Grove Sentinel of Freedom Award The residents of Garden Grove welcome home Vietnam Veterans by bringing the Moving Wall to the city’s Garden Grove Park Oct. 6-10, 2011. This issue’s Sentinel of Freedom award goes to the City of Garden Grove, its residents and employees, for their commitment to recognizing Vietnam Veterans by investing in bringing the replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. to Garden Grove for five days. The city is also planning the building of the Vietnam War Museum of America to permanently house many of the photographs, uniforms and artefacts donated to the museum, many displayed during the Moving Wall’s visit.

“We were truly honored and humbled to welcome this traveling tribute to our country’s heroes from the Vietnam War. For five days, our community came together in recognition and salute to our fallen Soldiers. Its brief stay in Garden Grove permanently touched the hearts and minds of each and every visitor. The significance of the sacrifice made by every name inscribed on The Moving Wall will forever be engrained in our memory.” Mayor William J. Dalton, City of Garden Grove.

“The significance of the sacrifice made by every name inscribed on The Moving Wall will forever be engrained in our memory.” Mayor William J. Dalton City of Garden Grove

Dear Reader,

Sentinel of Freedom Roster:

Send us your submissions to the Sentinel of Freedom award for individuals or organizations which contribute to the veteran community to

Dawn Kamber - Issue 1 Sep. 2011 Deanne Tate - Issue 2 Oct. 2011 City of Garden Grove - Issue 3 Oct. 2012

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Letters from the Front This month’s history question Who am I?

10th Cavalry Mounted Color Guard at Fort Riley, KS. From left to right: PFC Glen Brown, SGT James Johnson, SGT Moses Boone and PFC Ulysses Mullen (Photo courtesy of Robert McDonald and the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce)

Hint: Played a prominent role in the Navy Winner will be identified in the next edition of The OC Sentinel.

Send us your photos, anecdotes, cartoons and observations to

Sailors and Marines aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4) view the skyline as they enter the port of Hong Kong recently. (Photo courtesy of the 13th MEU Adoption Committee) The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 18

Letters from the Front

Jim Torrres, U.S. Army Sgt. first assigned to Charlie Company 4th Bn. 23rd Mech. 25th Inf. Div. followed with 1st Cav., 229th Assault Helicopter Battallion, pictured in photo, left, atop an armored personnel carrier (APC 13) during the Vietnam War. Torres was awarded a Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal among others during his tour. Torres returned home, worked for the Santa Ana Fire Dept. for 30 years, married Deanna and raised a family . He is now commander of the Disabled American Veterans Jack Fisher Orange County Chapter 23 servicing more than 3,000 disabled veterans. Torres is also the vice-president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1024, the Orange Chapter. Photos and letter courtesy Jim Torres. My name is Jim Torres. February 25, 1969 I was drafted into the United States Army. I spent the year in the States, nine months in Colorado, Fort Carson and thirteen weeks at Fort Ord for basic training. I left the cool weather of Colorado to a much warmer spot, Vietnam. The extreme change in climate definitely took some getting used to, but I did. I flew into Can Ron Bay, then to Cu Chi for orientation. From there I went to a city called Tey Nin, the third largest city in South Vietnam. I checked in with the company clerk, Asked where my bunk was, I was tired from the heat and humidity. The clerk said son, you’re in Mechanized Infantry, you don’t have a bunk, and you sleep in the field. I thought to myself I want to go home. My fatigues weren’t even laundered yet and I am already going into the field. When I got to my unit, 4th Battalion, 23rd Mechanized Infantry, I was in Charlie Company. Again I thought to myself I want to go home. These guys in my unit had dirty fatigues, scuffed and dirty boots and hair, lots of hair and big mustaches. But it was the look in their eyes that I noticed most. But, it didn’t take long to be just like them. I sat behind the fifty cal. Machine gun and on May 1, 1970 I was in Cambodia until June 30, 1970. This campaign was called the Cambodia Incursion. After the two months inside Cambodia we crossed the border into Vietnam. We set up a night defensive position (N.D.P.) just on the Vietnam side of the border. We were surrounded on three sides by Cambodia. Every day we would cross the border and come back out (until 7-31-70). Our Charlie Company 4th Bn. 23rd Mech. 25th Inf. Div. captured more rice, weapons, and munitions than any other unit that was in the incursion. Needless to say quite a few high ranking officers (stars on their shoulders) and politician came out to our N.D.P. to congratulate us. The 25th Inf. Div. broke up and left the country for their home base. I went to the 1st Cav., 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion. Another famous unit. Finally I came home and signed my papers and was out. I made Sgt E - 5 in about 18 months but that didn’t count anymore. I worked thirty years for the Santa Ana Fire Dept. and retired after 30 years. I was 57 years old, almost 7 years ago, and wanted to volunteer so I could help people. On my own I filed for V.A. benefits, needless to say I was denied twice. My medals were pinned on my chest by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. I went to her office to see if they could help me with my claim. I met a congressional liaison named Bill Ray, Bill was very passionate about helping veterans. IT rubbed off on me and I now have that same passion to help veterans. Bill asked if I would like to go to a veteran’s dinner at the Home Town Buffet and I agreed to go. As it turned out the dinner I attended was for the installation of officers for the Orange County Chapter #23 of the Disabled American Veterans. I was definitely impressed and joined. I served as Sgt. at Arms, and am currently Sr. vice Commander and Commander elect. On April 18, 2012 I will be installed Commander of the Chapter. I found my spot and am very passionate about helping veterans and their families. I have a great family, my wife Deanna is in our Auxiliary and is the Jr. vice Commander. My son is also in the Auxiliary and a member of the Orange Elks along with me. I have a grandson named Joshua. I had to wait 60 years for my first grandchild but it was worth it. My daughter and son in law brought this bundle of joy into our lives. Now I look at what’s happening now what happened then, and know there is a lot more to come. I am happy. The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 19


Retro Traumatic Injury Benefits No Longer Just For OEF/OIF Injuries TSGLI Payments Will Be Made for Qualifying Injuries Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs September 16, 2011

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is extending retroactive traumatic injury benefits to Servicemembers who suffered qualifying injuries during the period Oct. 7, 2001 to Nov. 30, 2005, regardless of the geographic location where the injuries occurred. “Now all of our nation’s Servicemembers who suffered severe traumatic injuries while serving their country can receive the same traumatic injury benefits, regardless of where their injury occurred,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We at VA appreciate the efforts of Congress and the President to improve benefits for our troops.” Effective Oct. 1, the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Traumatic Injury Protection benefit, known as TSGLI, will be payable for all qualifying injuries incurred during this period. This retroactive benefit is payable whether or not the Servicemember had SGLI coverage at the time of the injury. The Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2010, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in October of 2010, removes the requirement that injuries during this period be incurred in Operations Enduring or Iraqi Freedom (OEF/ OIF). This is welcome news for the many Servicemembers who suffered serious traumatic injuries while serving stateside or in other areas outside of OEF/OIF during this time period, but until now have not been eligible for TSGLI. TSGLI provides a payment ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to Servicemembers sustaining certain severe traumatic injuries resulting in a range of losses, including amputations; limb salvage; paralysis; burns; loss of sight, hearing or speech; facial reconstruction; 15-day continuous hospitalization; coma; and loss of activities of daily living due to traumatic brain injury or other traumatic injuries.

TSGLI 2/2/2/2 National Guard and Reserve members who were injured during the retroactive period and suffered a qualifying loss are also eligible for a TSGLI payment, even if the cause was not related to military service, such as a civilian automobile accident or severe injury which occurred while working around their home. National Guard and Reserve members make up more than 40 percent of the total force which has been deployed since 9-11. Those who are no longer in the National Guard or Reserves can also apply as long as their injury occurred while they were in service. “I am extremely pleased that these total force warriors who defend our freedoms are getting the recognition and benefits they have rightfully earned in service to our nation,” added Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. VA is working with the Department of Defense to publicize this change in the TSGLI law. Additionally, all of the branches of service are identifying any claims previously denied because the injury was not incurred in OEF/OIF and reaching out to those individuals. Although applications are currently being accepted by branch of service TSGLI offices, benefits will not be paid until Oct. 1, 2011, the effective date of the law. For more information or to apply for a TSGLI payment, Servicemembers and Veterans should go to http://www. or contact their branch of service TSGLI Office (contact information available at above link).

Comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and Sailors stationed at Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, the 13th MEU supports a variety of operations in the Global War on Terrorism.

On October, 9 2007, the Anaheim City Council formally adopted the 13th MEU, stationed out of Camp Pendleton, in order to show support for the military personnel and their families.   The mission of the Anaheim 13th MEU Adoption Committee is to continuously generate community-wide support, and encourage mutually beneficial interaction between the residents of Anaheim and the Marines, the Sailors, and the families of the 13th MEU, both at their home base at Camp Pendleton and/or when the unit or elements thereof are deployed, in order to render support and create strong and lasting ties in the years to come.

On March 29, 2008, the City of Anaheim, the Adoption Committee and the 13th MEU celebrated this partnership with a formal adoption ceremony. The ceremony honored the traditions and history of the 13th MEU, including a performance by the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar band and the Presentation of Colors by the 13th MEU Color Guard. In 2008, the 13th MEU Adoption Committee established a Board to provide leadership and guidance with ongoing and future activities to support the families of the 13th MEU. For more information contact Carolyn Walters at or go online at

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 20

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans Benefits Administration Washington, D.C. 20420 January 3, 2007 Director (00/21) In Reply Refer To: 2l6C / All VA Regional Offices and Centers Fast Letter 06-29

SUBJ: Unauthorized Representation of Claimants and Unlawful Solicitation of Fees There have been reports about individuals employed by private companies who claim to help veterans and their dependents apply for VA benefits. Some of these individual have targeted elderly claimants at assisted living facilities. They give claimants the impression that they are employed by VA. Background Some regional offices have received inquiries or complaints about individuals that were paid by assisted living facilities to “represent” veterans and other claimants with their VA benefits. These individuals lead claimants and facilities to believe they have special knowledge of VA laws and can maximize claimants’ entitlement to VA benefits. Although these individuals work for private companies, they may have job titles that suggest a government connection, e.g., Veterans Benefits Analyst. Representation Representation before VA consists of actions associated with the preparation, presentation, andprosecution of claims for a VA claimant. A claimant is a person who has filed or has expressed anintention to file a written application for benefits. Among other things, representation may includecounseling on veteran’s benefits, gathering information necessary to file a claim for benefits, preparingclaim forms, submitting claim information to VA, and communicating with VA on a claimant’s behalf. Organizations and individuals that represent claimants for VA benefits are subject to specific statutory and regulatory requirements. Section 5901 of title 38, United States Code, provides, “no individual may act as an agent or attorney in the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of any claim under laws administered by the Secretary [of Veterans Affairs] unless such individual has been recognized for such purposes by the Secretary.” While VA can authorize an individual to prepare a benefit claim for a veteran on a one-time basis, this authorization cannot be used a second time without the approval of the VA’s General Counsel. Solicitation of Fees Accredited attorneys and agents are allowed to charge fees for representational services they provide after the Board of Veterans’ Appeals makes a final decision in a case. VA’s regulations provide a narrow exception to the general rule whereby a “disinterested” third-party may pay an accredited attorney or agent for services provided before a final Board decision, and that representation can include the preparation of claims. Some organizations that do not qualify for VA recognition structure their business to receive payment for their services from claimants’ private care providers in an effort to avoid criminal penalties. The care providers typically do not know that these organizations are prohibited by law from preparing claims and charging fees, and are generally unaware of the services provided freely by recognized veterans’ service organizations. Recognized Representatives VA currently recognizes 87 veteran service organizationsconsisting of 37 national organizations and 50 State and regional organizations for purposes of representing veterans before the

Department. All ofthese organizations provide representation at no cost to the veteran, and by law may not charge1 any other person for representation before the Department. You can verify the recognition of organizations and accreditation of individuals on the General Counsel’s web page. Go to www. Click on Organizations at the top of the page. Under Staff Organizations, click on General Counsel. When that page opens, click on Recognized Veterans Service Organizations on the left side and then click on Current Bulletin 23S. This will give you the list of recognized organizations. If you want to see the list of individuals who are accredited through each organization, click on Current Bulletin 2-151. The Office of General Counsel maintains these bulletins and updates them periodically. Instructions If you receive reports from veterans, their dependents, or other interested parties about any individual contacting them about VA benefits or claiming to work for any group that has not been recognized by VA, please notify Compensation and Pension Service through the Outreach Staff Mailbox (VAVBAWAS/CO/ OUTREACH). Provide all pertinent information that is available, such as the individual’s or the organization’s name, phone number, address, and e-mail, as well as the date and place of contact and what the individual discussed. Unauthorized representation of claimants and unlawful solicitation offices is a serious matter. VA is interested in any individual or group that may be engaged in these activities. Regional offices should contact their local VA Regional Counsel with any information regarding the unauthorized representation of claimants for VA benefits. You should contact your local VA Office of the Inspector General with information regarding anyone who may be violating the law by charging fees. RO Actions Elderly coordinators must establish working relationships with state offices of national organizations, such as AARP or Assisted Living Federation of America, if they have not yet done so. Theseorganizations should be provided with information about VA benefits for their newsletters, web sites, andconferences. Information about non-service-connected pension, household benefits, and aid and attendance is particularly relevant. The more information these organizations receive directly from VA,the less chance they will need information from other sources. Questions If you have questions or need additional information, e-mail the Outreach Staff mailbox (VAVBAWAS/CO/OUTREACH). /S/ Bradley G. Mayes Acting Director Compensation and Pension Service

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 20, 2012   

VA Fills First Phase of Veterans Retraining Program to Enhance Job Skills 45,000 Veterans Approved for New VRAP Program WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved applications for all 45,000 slots available in fiscal year (FY) 2012 under the successful Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) and is in the process of approving applications for a total of 54,000 slots available in FY 2013. “At VA, we know first-hand that Veterans make exceptional employees, which is why this Administration has deployed a full-court press to connect Veterans with good jobs,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The surge of Veterans applying for VRAP demonstrates this program’s importance to provide unemployed Veterans the opportunity to find employment in high-demand fields.” VRAP is a new training and education program for unemployed Veterans who want to upgrade their skills for high-demand jobs. The goal of VRAP is to train a total of 99,000 Veterans over the next two years in more than 200 job skills that the Department of Labor (DOL) has determined are the most sought-after by employers. The joint VA/DOL program is a provision of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which Congress passed and President Obama signed into law in November 2011. The program allows qualifying Veterans to receive up to 12 months of education assistance equal to the current full-time Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty rate of $1,473 per month. Starting October 1, 2012 the rate will increase to $1546 per month. To be eligible for VRAP, a Veteran must: – Be 35-60 years old, unemployed on the day of application, and not dishonorably discharged; – Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment; – Not be enrolled in a federal or state job-training program within the last 180 days; and – Not receive VA compensation at the 100 percent rate due to individual unemployability (IU). “We’re gratified that 45,000 unemployed Veterans can begin the retraining they need to compete for in-demand jobs,” said VA Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “We’re going to maintain the momentum of our outreach to make sure we get the maximum of 54,000 Veterans retrained in fiscal year 2013.” Veterans approved for VRAP are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible and begin training full-time in a VA-approved program of study at their local community college or technical school. The program of study must lead to an associate degree, a noncollege degree, or a certificate for a high-demand occupation as defined by DOL. Some of the high-demand job training programs Veterans pursued in FY 2012 include- computer support specialist, general and operations manager, business operations specialist, and heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic and installer. VRAP applications were received from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The Top 10 states for Veterans approved for training in the FY 2012 phase of VRAP are: – California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia – VRAP also attracted Veterans internationally, with applications coming from Veterans living in the Philippines, Canada, Japan, the Northern Mariana Islands, and areas of Europe and the Pacific where American military units are based. Undersecretary Hickey explained that continued outreach on VRAP is particularly important because the program applies to a segment of the Veteran population that may not have regular interaction with VA or stay informed about the benefits and opportunities for which they may qualify. VRAP is one of many efforts that VA and the Administration are undertaking to connect Veterans with employment. VA has held major live and virtual hiring fairs, as well as connected Veterans with career coaching and other career tools through the VA for Vets initiative. VA has also set a goal to increase Veteran employment within the Department and has partnered with Joining Forces and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Veteran hiring. Potential applicants can learn more about VRAP and apply online at, or call VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.  Information about the Department of Labor’s programs for Veterans is available at Veterans can also visit the nearly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the nation, listed at, for in-person employment assistance.  The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 22

Vet Groups Support Veterans Cemetery in OC League of United Latin American Citizens Santa Ana LULAC Council #147

Established: National - 1929 | Santa Ana - 1946 Orange County LULAC District #1

PO Box 1810, Santa Ana, CA 92702-1810

Resolution – Feasibility Study for Veterans National Cemetery in Orange County

American Legion Post #277 Placentia, California

Whereas, based on the 2012 California statistic report, there are approximately 1,965,342 military veterans residing in the 58 counties within the state of California; Whereas, the counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange is home to approximately 914,172 military veterans, representing 47% of the total number in the State; Whereas, the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino represent 35.2% or 691,824 of the State’s total of 1,965,342; Whereas, the four counties cited immediately above are presently served only by the Riverside National Cemetery, for the reason that the Los Angeles National Cemetery has been closed for over ten years; Whereas, the accelerated “pace” of interned veterans at the Riverside National Cemetery will present a burial space challenges in the near future; Whereas, the nearest national veterans cemetery for the four cited counties is located in the County of San Diego, whereby the driving distance from the four cited counties is significant and from many strategic points is well beyond the 75 mile radius national cemetery criterion; Therefore, Be It Resolved, that there is sufficient support and determinations as evidenced by the aforementioned citations to request the initiation of a feasibility study so as to accurately determine the need for a national veterans cemetery in Orange County; Furthermore, Be It Resolved, that the League of United Latin American Citizens – Santa Ana LULAC Council #147 endorses and supports the efforts by Los Amigos of Orange County, local district and chapters of the American Legion in this feasibility study request to the United States Veterans Administration. This Resolution was presented and unanimously adopted by the membership of Santa Ana LULAC Council #147 at its general meeting of October 17, 2012. The Resolution was duly Moved by Carole Vargas, daughter of recently deceased member Ralph Perez, a World War II veteran; and duly seconded by Jess Saenz, a World War II veteran.

Resolution Whereas, based on the 2012 California statistic report, there are 1,965,342 military veterans who reside in the State of California Whereas, there are 58 counties in the State of California; Whereas, the Counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino have a significant number (914,172) of military veterans who reside in the respective counties and represent 47% of the total number in the State; Whereas, the Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino represent 35.2% or 691,824 of the State’s total of 1,965,342; Whereas, the cited four counties have access only to Riverside National Cemetery; Whereas, the Los Angeles National Cemetery has been closed for over ten years; Whereas, the accelerated “pace” of interned veterans at the Riverside National Cemetery will present a space challenge in the near future; Whereas, the nearest national cemetery for the four cited counties is the new one outside of San Diego; Whereas, the driving distance to the San Diego National Cemetery from the four cited counties is significant and from many strategic points is well beyond the 75 mile radius national cemetery criterion; Therefore, let it be resolved, that there is sufficient evidence to initiate a feasibility study to determine the need and acquisition of a national cemetery in Orange County;

Zeke Hernandez

And furthermore, let it be resolved, that the American Legion, Post 277, Placentia membership endorses and supports the pursuit of a feasibility study, recognizing that no funding support for the feasibility study is sought;

President October 17, 2012

Resolution was approved on October 10, 2012, American Legion Post 277, Placentia Membership meeting.

We recognize Marine Private First Class Edward Gomez, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Korean War in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Private First Class Edward Gomez, USMC Private First Class Gomez was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life” while serving as an Ammunition Bearer in Company E, Second Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced) at Hill 749 on 14 September 1951. When an incoming grendade entered the vicinity of his machine-gun team, he covered the grenade with his body, sacrificing his life to save his comrades. Courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps History Division. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Peter Hemmer’s poster highlighting the Defense Department’s participation in National Hispanic Heritage Month. Courtesy of : Terri Moon Cronk, American Forces Press Service Graphic by Peter Hemmer, courtesy of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute About National Hispanic Heritage Month Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 as Public Law 100-402. Courtesy of:

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 23

Army Medicine - TBI Awareness Month FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (March 1, 2012) -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, each year. Of those, 52,000 people die. TBI is also a contributing factor to a third of all injuryrelated deaths in the U.S. During March, in recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, the Army is taking steps to increase awareness about brain injuries, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, while reducing the stigma for persons who seek care. TBI is a disruption of function in the brain caused by an external force. The severity can range from mild, also known as concussion, to severe involving an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia. “Traumatic brain injuries result from an external force such as blow or jolt to the head. Concussions can occur in combat operations (such as during a blast event), in sports (particularly contact sports such as football, soccer, or martial arts), during recreational activities (such as skiing or biking accidents), and in vehicle collisions that have sufficient acceleration/ deceleration movement. A TBI can also be caused by a penetrating injury to the brain from a bullet or other object,” said Maj. Sarah Goldman, TBI program director for the Office of the Surgeon General. Goldman said concussions are common injuries that occur in many settings including combat operations, contact sports, recreational activities, and vehicle collisions. Because they are not as obvious as other physical injuries, leaders, medics, physicians, and even those injured may mistakenly overlook or underestimate the effects of concussions. Symptoms of concussion can include confusion, headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears or nausea. These symptoms usually resolve within hours or a few days. Some people do have more persistent symptoms, which can include trouble

sleeping, irritability or visual disturbances. “It is imperative to reduce the chance of a second head injury before the brain can recover. Soldiers should be taken out of the fight and athletes should be removed from the field to prevent repeated injury and promote healing,” she said. Col. Nikki Butler, director of the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division at the Office of the Surgeon General, said TBI awareness is especially important for military personnel who, due to the nature of their work duties and lifestyle, are at a higher risk for TBI than the average citizen. Since 2000, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center has counted 229,106 cases of TBI among U.S. military personnel worldwide. Of those cases, 76.7 percent were determined to be mild, 16.7 percent were moderate, 1 percent were severe, and 1.6 percent were penetrating. “Soldiers and leaders need to understand the subtle effects of concussion, because the Soldier often has very subtle or no outward signs of injury. Battle buddies need to be aware of any changes following a head injury and encourage Soldiers to The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 24

seek medical attention as soon as possible after the injury, no matter how mild it may seem,” she said. Butler encourages Soldiers and their families to be proactive in preventing TBI by using protective equipment for sports and avoiding high-risk behaviors such as aggressive driving. She also said early identification and treatment is critical. Brain injuries should be identified and treated as quickly as possible, Butler said. Current scientific evidence supports rest, education, and expectation of recovery as the cornerstones of treatment for concussion. Army Medicine continued on Pg. 25

Army Medicine continued from Pg. 24 Statistics indicate that more than 90 percent of those who have suffered a TBI will fully recover; however, some patients may experience long-term symptoms, Butler said. The chances of long-term ramifications are increased if there have been multiple or repetitive injuries such as in the case of professional boxers. “It takes time for the brain to heal and Soldiers do not all recover at the same rate even if they sustain a similar injury. It is absolutely essential to avoid getting a second concussion or insult before the brain has fully healed,” Butler said. Army Medicine has primary care and specialty providers throughout the continuum of care who are educated in brain injury identification and rehabilitation. On the front lines, medics are trained prior to deployment to screen for brain injuries using the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation developed by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.

Additionally, the DOD stood up a concussion system of care at the point of injury in theater to promptly identify and treat these injuries. “Brain injury evaluation and treatment services extend throughout Army Medicine which has funded over 500 dedicated TBI providers located around the world since 2007. The Department of Defense also collaborates with the Defense Veterans Brain Injury Center and the Veterans Administration to provide ongoing support for patients and their families,” Butler said. In addition to support from medical professionals, Goldman said support from family members is very important during TBI treatment programs. “Family members are an essential component to the Soldier’s care and recovery. Our military treatment facilities ensure that family members have the opportunity to learn more about the effects of TBI, be involved in treatment planning, and are an essential aspect in a Soldier’s rehabilitation,” Goldman said.

The Army is also taking steps to protect Soldiers from injuries and better detect and treat brain injuries. According to Butler, the service has invested more than $800 million in research and development activities to better identify and treat brain injuries. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command has funded hundreds of research studies devoted to advancing the science of TBI to include basic science research to better understand the pathophysiology of injury and recovery. The Army is improving detection and diagnostic capability such as neuroimaging, diagnostic biomarkers, and improved screening tools; and treatment techniques to maximize recovery after an injury. For more information about brain injuries, visit the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center website, For more information about the Army TBI program, visit mil/prr/tbiprg.html.

Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Focus on TBI Courtesy of Naval Medical Center San Diego’s website

A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all head trauma results in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” such as a brief change in cognitive (knowledgerelated) ability, appearance, emotional mood, and speech, thought patterns or consciousness to “severe,” such as an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. The brain is very complex and every brain injury is different. Some symptoms may appear right away, while others may not show up for days or weeks after the injury. Sometimes the injury is difficult for individuals to recognize or admit they are having problems. The mission of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is to serve active duty (AD) military, their beneficiaries and veterans with TBI through state-of-the-art clinical care, innovative clinical research initiatives and educational programs. DVBIC has ongoing collaboration with the military, U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, civilian health partners, local communities, families, and individuals with TBI. DVBIC has two sites in San Diego. One is located at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) and has actively evaluated

AD military personnel with TBI since 1994. The other is the Concussion Clinic at Camp Pendleton, which was established in 1999 as part of a surveillance study of concussions in the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. It has developed into a fully-staffed clinical service providing improved access to care for Marines. The DVBIC mission of providing clinical service while engaging in an active program of clinical research has been a constant goal for the past 15 years. The NMCSD DVBIC provides an array of clinical services, including, but not limited to: TBI screening, evaluation, patient and family education, case management, neuropsychological assessment, testing for flight status, duty status determination and consultation services with various disciplines. If you or someone you know is exhibiting TBI symptoms, you are encouraged to seek a referral from your Primary Care Manager or the Emergency Department to NMCSD’s Department of Neurosurgery or the NMCSD DVBIC. For more information about DVBIC NMCSD or the DVBIC Concussion Clinic at Camp Pendleton, visit the following web sites:,-CA.aspx,-CA.aspx Additional information is available via the National Brain Injury Center: (800) 444-6443.

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 25

Heads Up! March is TBI Awareness Month By Kerri Bresnan & Zoe Whitaker Article and illustration courtesy of McDonald Army Health Center Mild TBI Clinic Posted 3/5/2012 Updated 3/5/2012

3/5/2012 - FORT EUSTIS, Va. -Traumatic brain injury is defined as a blow, jolt or other injury to the head that disrupts the functioning of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. A TBI can occur from exposure to blasts, falls, gunshot wounds, and motor vehicle accidents. Blasts are the leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones. Mild TBI, also known as a concussion, may make you briefly feel confused or “see stars.” Common temporary symptoms associated with concussion include headache, ears ringing, blurred vision, dizziness, irritability, sleep problems, and problems with memory and concentration. The symptoms of a concussion generally improve in a short period of time, usually within hours, and typically resolve completely within days to weeks. In many cases, TBI is preventable. The following tips are for minimizing the risk of sustaining a TBI both on the battlefield and at home. Prevention in a combat setting: · Wear helmet or other appropriate head gear when on patrol or in other high risk areas · Wear safety belts when traveling in vehicles · Check for obstacles and loose debris before climbing/ rappelling down buildings or other structures · Inspect weapons prior to use · Verify target and consider potential for ricochet prior to firing weapon · Maintain clean and orderly work environments that are free of foreign object debris · Use care when walking on wet, oily or sandy surfaces · Be aware of what is on the ground around you at all times when aircraft rotors are turning · Employ the buddy system when climbing ladders, working at heights. Prevention at home: · Wear your seatbelt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. · Never drive or ride with anyone under the

or other vision changes, decreasing level of influence of alcohol or drugs alertness, increased disorientation, repeated · Always buckle your child into an age appropriate child safety seat , booster seat or vomiting, seizures, unusual behavior, amnesia/memory problems seat belt while riding in a car · Do seek behavioral health treatment for · Wear a helmet that is fitted and properly lingering irritability and emotional changes. maintained while at work and while at play · Do be patient as healing from a brain if required. injury can take a few days. · During athletic games use the right · Do not use alcohol or drugs protective equipment. · Keep fire arms stored unloaded in a locked · Do not use caffeine or “energy-enhancing” products cabinet or a safe. Store bullets in a separate · Do not use aspirin, ibuprofen, and other secure location. over-the counter pain medications unless · Avoid falls in the home by: instructed by your doctor · Using a step stool with a grab bar to · Do not use sleeping aids and sedatives reach objects on high shelves unless instructed by your doctor · Installing handrails on stairways - Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows - Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around - Maintaining a regular exercise program to improve strength, balance and coordination - Removing tripping hazards, using non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors Traumatic brain injury is defined as a blow, - Put grab bars next to jolt or other injury to the head that disrupts the toilet, and in the tub or the functioning of the brain.Blasts are the shower leading cause of TBI for active duty military - Make sure the surface on your child’s playground personnel in war zones. is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulchor sand. The Do’s and Don’ts in Healing from a Concussion · Do maximize downtime/rest during the day (temporary impairments resolve fastest when the brain gets rest) · Do get plenty of sleep · Do avoid activities such as contact sports that could result in another concussion until you are better · Do let others know that you’ve had a concussion so they can watch out for you · Do see your medical provider if you begin to feel worse or experience worsening headache, worsening balance, double vision The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 26

Need to make an appointment? If you believe you have suffered a TBI (concussion) and have lingering signs and symptoms that date from the concussion, you may benefit from evaluation and treatment through the McDonald Army Health Center Mild TBI Clinic. Talk with your Primary Care Manager or a Behavioral Health provider to request a referral. A traumatic brain injury can happen anytime, anywhere and to anyone. So be safe and keep your head up!

Cal-Vet Launches Library Resources for Veterans California Department of Veterans Affairs CalVet, State Library to Launch Library Resource Programs for Veterans Volunteers needed at Redding, Bakersfield, and San Diego Libraries The California Department of Veterans Affairs and the California State Library are joining forces to help California veterans get connected to the benefits and services they’ve earned through military service. This year-long pilot program will create a Veterans Resource Center staffed by trained volunteers in the Redding Library, the Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library in San Diego, and the Beale Memorial Library in Bakersfield.   Volunteers will undergo an intensive one-day training provided by CalVet which will include information about veterans benefits and services, veteran reintegration challenges, listening and problem-solving skills, and meaningful information and referral techniques. This training will prepare volunteers to answer basic benefits-related questions for veterans and their families, to offer CalVet and other appropriate veterans benefits resources, and to provide a checklist of documents and information needed when applying for benefits through the County Veterans Service Office. If successful, the pilot program could be replicated in public libraries statewide.   “Veterans are often unaware of the services available to them, confused about the benefits they are entitled to, and unsure about how to take advantage of them,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “We’re very excited about this program and grateful to the State Library for helping us reach and assist California veterans and their families. We’re confident this program will be effective and look forward to taking it statewide.” Volunteers are sought who have an interest in serving veterans and their families, who can work a minimum of one two-hour shift per week in one of the partner libraries, and who will make a one-year commitment to the program. To view the full Veteran Resource Center volunteer position description and complete an application, go to This project is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.” ### News Release October 2, 2012 For the latest veteran news, follow CalVet on Facebook and Twitter. CalVet advisory, news release, and newsletter archives are available at Contact: Carolyn Ballou 916-653-1355 JP Tremblay 916-653-2010 California Department of Veterans Affairs

Grants to Assist Homeless Veterans Submitted by Howard Hernandez, Cdr., American GI Forum of California

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of $600,000 in "Stand Down" grants that will provide an estimated 10,000 homeless veterans with opportunities to reintegrate into society. The grants are being awarded under the department's Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program. Approximately seventy grants in each of the three fiscal years covered by this solicitation are expected to be awarded.

A maximum of $10,000 per multi-day event or $7,000 for a one-day event can be awarded. Stand Down grant funds must be used to enhance employment and training opportunities or to promote the self-sufficiency of homeless veterans through paid work. Applications for Stand Down funds will be accepted from State Workforce Agencies, State and local Workforce Investment Boards, Veterans Service Organizations

AGIF Women’s Leadership Forum Helen Galván, State Chairwoman, American GI Forum Women of California, led a Women’s Leadership Conference in Sacramento Oct. 14th. to explore the needs of female veterans. L-R Front: Nelida Mendoza Yanez, María García-Cacique, Helen Galván, Elaine Cummings, and Sophia Lozano. L-R Back: Jamie Sepulveda-Bailey, Bernice Requeñez, Delia De La Cruz, Monica Díaz, Stella Dominguez, Liz Reyes, and Gloriamalia Pérez

(VSOs), local public agencies, and nonprofit organizations including community and faith-based organizations. All applications for Stand Down grant funding must be submitted to the appropriate State Director for Veterans' Employment and Training (DVET) at least ninety (90) days prior to the event. htm#.UITtdc36GaI

Military Mentoring Program San Juan Capistrano, California Elemenatry News, March 5, 2012

BIG BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF ORANGE COUNTY: has a new Military Mentoring Program. Children with a parent in the military, including a deployed parent, often face unique challenges that may include separation and loss in addition to the stresses of military life. Our Big Brother and Big Sister mentors will help provide additional support to these children. Our goal is to match a caring adult mentor with any military child who needs or wants one. If you have members in your group that you feel can benefit from this new program, please contact Joy O’Campo, Community Outreach Coordinator at 714.544.7773.

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 27

Agent Orange: One Man’s Story

Article by Carolyn Ballou Photos courtesy of Cal-Vet

U.S. Air Force veteran, Cleveland, Ohio native, and Folsom, California resident George Chappell loved classic cars. In fact, he owned a ’36 Olds and a ’67 Chevy, which he occasionally entered into competition. As a surprise for his 59th birthday in 2006, his wife, Sue, gave him a beautiful, new lastyear-of-production GTO. George and Sue loved going to classic car shows together—especially Hot August Nights in Reno—in their 2005 limitededition desert orange corvette, another car he occasionally showed. They also shared a love of George’s children, his grandchildren, their three rescued dogs, ‘50s and ‘60s music, and art. George was quite an accomplished artist! He also belonged to a model car club and built models with his sons. His perfectlycrafted models won many awards through the years and were sometimes featured in model car magazines. Life was good for George and Sue, and they were looking forward to traveling together during their quickly approaching retirements. George was just 19 when he enlisted in the Air Force. He began basic training in 1966 and became a Fuels Specialist who could work on nearly any kind of aircraft. Deployed to Phu Cat, Vietnam, George loved working on and flying the C7A Caribous the best. They were large, lumbering transport planes that had excellent maneuverability at low altitude and slow airspeed and could make accurate drops into small places. He worked on other planes as well—many of which were used between 1962 and 1971 to drop millions of gallons of Agent Orange, the toxic herbicide mixture used to defoliate the jungles and expose enemy hiding places. George had heard about the dangers of Agent Orange exposure but, like so many his age, he felt immune and immortal.

In 1970, for having distinguished himself “by meritorious achievement and service,” George was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Medal. Unfortunately, the Air Force failed to list his medals on his discharge papers. Years later, George filed the necessary paperwork to ensure the honors of which he was so proud were appropriately documented.

of pilots couldn’t hold a candle to the Air Force guys who had to land their planes in the unlit rice paddies of Vietnam,” George would boast. Once, George had to repair a plane that had crashed and then fly it back to the base at Phu Cat. He was very proud of that. “I’d go back into the Air Force right now if I could,” he frequently told Sue over the years.

According to Sue, and according to most anyone who knew or worked with George, he was very patriotic and incredibly proud of his country. He had little patience for those who were not. He talked frequently and nostalgically about his time in the Air Force with anyone who would listen. “A lot

At age 60, George began to suffer from recurrent high fevers. Sometimes he complained of feeling hot even though his body temperature read as normal.

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 28

Agent Orange continued on Pg. 29

Agent Orange continued from Pg. 28

His doctors would tell him they couldn’t find anything wrong or would tell him he likely had a passing virus. At one point, George complained that his arms and legs hurt and he found himself unable to walk. “Paramedics who were called to our home were unable to get an accurate temperature reading on him because their thermometer didn’t go that high,” Sue said. Emergency room doctors who examined George said he had the flu. They ordered fluids and antibiotics.

If you are a Vietnam veteran who served between 1962 and 1971, go to FactSheet.pdf to learn more about your Agent Orange risk and about the diseases associated with exposure. Carolyn Ballou is Communications Director for the California Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Services Division.

Further testing, including multiple blood samples, a spinal tap and an MRI, revealed that all the lymph nodes in George’s body from his neck to his knees were swollen. He was diagnosed with nonHodgkin’s lymphoma—a cancer of the immune system. Later, more extensive testing revealed that George was suffering from Stage 4 mantel cell lymphoma, a cancer so rare that it had been diagnosed in only about 1,400 people worldwide. George got his diagnosis 60 years to the month after he entered basic training. After some time, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) doctors conceded that George’s cancer was associated with his exposure to Agent Orange while he was in Vietnam decades before. The majority of George’s care was handled by two top-notch female research doctors at Stanford to whom George was referred by his local Oncologist/Hematologist. His care was supervised by his no-nonsense, get-him-what-he-needs-NOW wife. George was shuttled back and forth between Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, local Mercy Hospitals, and home while he endured countless lab tests, 15 blood transfusions, and months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. At first, George tolerated and responded well to treatment. As time went on, that changed. Sue organized multiple bone marrow drives on George’s behalf but, because of his rare A-Negative blood type, finding a match proved difficult. Sadly, treatment was successful in George’s cancer remission for only very short periods of time, never long enough to take advantage of a bone marrow transplant. After a valiant fight on everyone’s part, George Donald Chappell, 63, succumbed to his disease fewer than 18 months after he was first diagnosed. He left behind his loving wife and best friend, Sue, his three children, his brother and sister, his two grandchildren, his classic cars, his beautiful art work, his three rescue dogs, and a legacy of proud and honorable service, unmitigated sacrifice, and unyielding pride in his country. “George’s DD214 was corrected to include his Air Force Commendation Medal, but, he became too ill to respond to the Air Force’s request for additional documentation, and he died before getting his Air Medal listed,” Sue said. The USDVA presumes that 14 different diseases and disorders are related to Agent Orange exposure when diagnosed in “bootson-the-ground” veterans and certain other veterans groups. Unlike George, who suffered from a very rare form of cancer, other Agent Orange-related diseases and disorders can be cured or successfully managed if diagnosed early.

Photo by Alex T. Diaz

Marines Judge a Classic Car Show in Orange Cpl. Nick Roberts, assigned to 5th Battalion, 14th Marines and based at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, judges a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, during a classic car show where the Marines held a Toys for Tots event in Orange Dec. 11. The car’s owner is James Pinnix, a three-time Purple Heart recipient who was a Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class assigned to 3rd Battalion 4th Marines in Vietnam 1966-1967. The three graphics depict Pinnix in Vietnam, the Purple Heart with two stars, symbolizing three awards, and the logo for the “Death Cheaters” as his battalion was called.

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In Memoriam Published: April 11, 2012 Updated: April 12, 2012 12:36 p.m.

Ralph Perez, part of landmark 1947 desegregation case, dies at 96 Ralph Perez and his wife, Ruth, were profiled in the Register last month. On March 24 they celebrated the 75th anniversary of their 1937 wedding. By RON GONZALES / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

SANTA ANA – Santa Ana resident Ralph Perez, who with wife Ruth celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last month, died Tuesday morning at the West Floral Park home he had lived in since 1952. He was 96. The couple were profiled in the Register last month. On March 24, surrounded by family and friends, they celebrated the 75th anniversary of their 1937 wedding. Photos courtesy Perez family

“He was a great father, and he enjoyed life to the fullest,” said daughter Carole Vargas. “He was a civil rights leader before his time.” She said that her father returned home from service in the Army in 1946. “Upon his return, his youngest daughter Janice had just been expelled from school in El Modena because she had a Spanish surname,” Carole said. “The same school that Ralph’s father helped build as a carpenter.” The Perezes’ dispute with the El Modena School District was incorporated into the landmark 1947 desegregation case, Mendez et al v. Westminster School District et al case, Carole said. In 1952, the couple became members of the Santa Ana Council #147 of the League of United Latin American Citizens and remained lifelong members. Ralph Perez, who worked as a plumber, also promoted dances. He booked orchestras led by Perez Prado, Harry James and Les Brown into the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim. “Education was a must,” Carole said. In 1994, Ralph Perez received his bachelor’s degree in history from Cal State Long Beach – the oldest member of his class. Four years ago, Perez was diagnosed with colon cancer, and two years ago began hospice care. Perez is survived by his wife Ruth; daughter Carole Vargas; daughter Janice Carroll and her husband Jeff Agergaard; grandson Zachary Castro; sister Maria Oropeza; and brother Salvador Perez. A viewing will take place on Sunday, April 15 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Brown Colonial Mortuary, 204 W. 17th St., Santa Ana. A rosary will be said at 7 p.m. that day. A funeral Mass is set for 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 16 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 727 N. Minter St., Santa Ana. Contact the writer: For more news out of the county’s Latino communities, visit the Register’s OC Latino Link blog at The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 30

The Birth of the Navy of the United States On Friday, October 13, 1775, meeting in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress voted to fit out two sailing vessels, armed with ten carriage guns, as well as swivel guns, and manned by crews of eighty, and to send them out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America. This was the original legislation out of which the Continental Navy grew and as such constitutes the birth certificate of the navy.

break with England as final and feared that a navy implied sovereignty and independence. Others thought a navy a hasty and foolish challenge to the mightiest fleet the world had seen. The most the pro-navy men could do was to get Congress to urge each colony to fit out armed vessels for the protection of their coasts and harbors. Then, on 3 October, Rhode Island’s delegates laid before Congress a bold resolution for the building and equipping of an American fleet, as soon as possible. When the motion came to the floor for debate, Samuel Chase, of Maryland, attacked it, saying it was “the maddest Idea in the World to think of building an American Fleet.” Even pro-navy members found the proposal too vague. It lacked specifics and no one could tell how much it would cost. USS Alfred, (1775-1778), flagship of America’s first Navy Squadron. Artwork by Al Mattal. Courtesy of the Cochrane Collection. Courtesy of Naval History & Heritage Command.

To understand the momentous significance of the decision to send two armed vessels to sea under the authority of the Continental Congress, we need to review the strategic situation in which it was made and to consider the political struggle that lay behind it. Americans first took up arms in the spring of 1775, not to sever their relationship with the king, but to defend their rights within the British Empire. By the autumn of 1775, the British North American colonies from Maine to Georgia were in open rebellion. Royal governments had been thrust out of many colonial capitals and revolutionary governments put in their places. The Continental Congress had assumed some of the responsibilities of a central government for the colonies, created a Continental Army, issued paper money for the support of the troops, and formed a committee to negotiate with foreign countries. Continental forces captured Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain and launched an invasion of Canada. In October 1775 the British held superiority at sea, from which they threatened to stop up the colonies’ trade and to wreak destruction on seaside settlements. In response, a few of the states had commissioned small fleets of their own for defense of local waters. Congress had not yet authorized privateering. Some in Congress worried about pushing the armed struggle too far, hoping that reconciliation with the mother country was still possible. Yet, a small coterie of men in Congress had been advocating a Continental Navy from the outset of armed hostilities. Foremost among these men was John Adams, of Massachusetts. For months, he and a few others had been agitating in Congress for the establishment of an American fleet. They argued that a fleet would defend the seacoast towns, protect vital trade, retaliate against British raiders, and make it possible to seek out among neutral nations of the world the arms and stores that would make resistance possible. Still, the establishment of a navy seemed too bold a move for some of the timid men in Congress. Some southerners agreed that a fleet would protect and secure the trade of New England but denied that it would that of the southern colonies. Most of the delegates did not consider the

If Congress was yet unwilling to embrace the idea of establishing a navy as a permanent measure, it could be tempted by shortterm opportunities. Fortuitously, on 5 October, Congress received intelligence of two English brigs, unarmed and without convoy, laden with munitions, leaving England bound for Quebec. Congress immediately appointed a committee to consider how to take advantage of this opportunity. Its members were all New Englanders and all ardent supporters of a navy. They recommended first that the governments of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut be asked to dispatch armed vessels to lay in wait to intercept the munitions ships; next they outlined a plan for the equipping by Congress of two armed vessels to cruise to the eastward to intercept any ships bearing supplies to the British army. Congress let this plan lie on the table until 13 October, when another fortuitous event occurred in favor of the naval movement. A letter from General Washington was read in Congress in which he reported that he had taken under his command, at Continental expense, three schooners to cruise off Massachusetts to intercept enemy supply ships. The commander in chief had preempted members of Congress reluctant to take the first step of fitting out warships under Continental authority. Since they already had armed vessels cruising in their name, it was not such a big step to approve two more. The committee’s proposal, now appearing eminently reasonable to the reluctant members, was adopted. The Continental Navy grew into an important force. Within a few days, Congress established a Naval Committee charged with equipping a fleet. This committee directed the purchasing, outfitting, manning, and operations of the first ships of the new navy, drafted subsequent naval legislation, and prepared rules and regulations to govern the Continental Navy’s conduct and internal administration. Over the course of the War of Independence, the Continental Navy sent to sea more than fifty armed vessels of various types. The navy’s squadrons and cruisers seized enemy supplies and carried correspondence and diplomats to Europe, returning with needed munitions. They took nearly 200 British vessels as prizes, some off the British Isles themselves, contributing to the demoralization of the enemy and forcing the British to divert warships to protect convoys and trade routes. In addition, the navy provoked diplomatic crises that helped bring France into the war against Great Britain. The Continental Navy began the proud tradition carried on today by our United States Navy, and whose birthday we celebrate each year in October.

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 31

Calendar of Events Home Depot Offers Civilian Career Workshops to Service Members and Veterans: As part of our strong, ongoing commitment to America’s military, The Home Depot is proud to announce a special one-day event across the nation: Mission: Transition. Unlike a job fair, these Civilian Career Workshops focus on helping service members and veterans transition successfully into the workforce in any industry. With service at the center of our core values, we are proud to arm service men and women with knowledge and resources to navigate a successful transition into a meaningful career. It is our goal to serve the military community. Register to participate in our October 27, 2012 Mission: Transition event and hear directly from hiring managers, human resources professionals and former military leaders currently working at The Home Depot.

Proudly Presents a Free Speaker Series Part 1 of 3* Featuring

Frans Vandenbroek

Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Army, Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Purple Heart Frans served as a helicopter crewchief and doorgunner with the 68th Assault Helicopter Company. During his tour, he flew numerous combat missions, totaling 1,200 hours, but lost four helicopters and two pilots. Frans is one of very few enlisted men to wear the DFC. Frans will speak about the enduring bond between brothers-in-arms, and share how from a very early age as an immigrant, his family instilled the duty to serve this country.

Thursday, November 8, 2012 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. The Courtyard Center 12732 Main Street Garden Grove Please RSVP to the Office of Community Relations at (714) 741-5280 Light Refreshments Will Be Served

Funding provided by the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations

For more information and to register, go to:

* Part 2 in the Series will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2013 and will feature Associate Justice Eileen Moore, Vietnam War Combat Nurse

Post your event: Send us the following information in a Word doc or flyer to:

What: Theme/Description Who: Why: When: Where: Contact: Registration: Notes:

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 32

Calendar of Events, cont

You’re Invited…

Fletcher Jones Motorcars and Bang & Olufsen invite you to unite with us in our support of Veterans First of Orange County's quest to open the FIRST and ONLY Emergency Shelter & Service Center for the 3,500 U.S. Military Veterans and their families living in Orange County that are in immediate need of assistance. Please join us in a taste pairing experience of some of Orange County's première restaurants, wineries & spirits while you enjoy live entertainment, preview the latest of Mercedes Benz models and experience the exquisite sound of Bang & Olufsen Car and Home Audio Systems. Door Prizes * Raffle * Cigar Lounge * Live Auction * Cash Lounge Advance Ticket $60 / $100 couple / VIP parking $25 Day of Event Ticket $75 / $125 couple / VIP parking $50

Buy tickets online Or mail in a check made payable to Veterans First 1540 E. Edinger Ave #D, Santa Ana, Ca 92705 ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE 23-7143157 For more details please contact John Baskin 949.306.5635

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 33

2012 Veterans Day Meals & Deals McCormick & Schmick's McCormick & Schmick's Seafood & Steaks Grille 2000 Main Street 321 West Katella Avenue Irvine, CA 92614 Anaheim, CA 92802 949.756.0505 714.535.9000 949.756.0505 (Banquets) 714.535.9093 (Banquets) 949.756.0245 (Fax) 714.535.9095 (Fax)

Visit McCormick & Schmick’s at:

Veterans Day is soon approaching and there are many restaurants and companies who want to thank our veterans by providing them with discounts or a free meal. To those companies offering veterans a free meal or discount, the military community gives a collective thanks! Two notes before we jump in: Proof of Military Service. Most companies require some form of military ID. These include: a Military ID Card (active/reserve/retired), Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Drivers License with Veterans Designation, Photograph in uniform, be wearing uniform (if your service permits), Veterans Organization Card (e.g., American Legion and VFW), DD214, discharge paperwork, or other form of identification. Other restaurants and companies may go by the honor system. Participation. Second, always call ahead to verify locations, times, and participation. Many of the listed companies are franchises and may have different policies. We will do our best to keep this page updated as we find new info.

Applebee’s – free meal, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012: Last year, Applebee’s served over one million free meals to military veterans and active servicemembers. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. There will be 7 entrées to choose from, beverage and gratuity not included. Military ID or proof of service required. More. Bar Louie, Free meal on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. 2012. Active duty military members and veterans can receive a free meal, up to $10 in value, and a free non-alcoholic beverage. Available at all locations, military ID or proof of service is required (source). Find a location near you. BD’s Mongolian Grill, Nov. 5-11, 2012. 1/2 off Stir-fry with valid military ID. Only at participating locations. Find the location nearest you. California Pizza Kitchen, Nov. 11-12, 2012. Free meal and non-alcoholic beverage for veterans and active military with valid ID or proof of service. Find a location near you. Champps Americana, Nov. 11, 2012. We’re celebrating our Veterans with an All American Meal! All Veterans and Active Military will receive a free burger. Proof of service required. Offer not valid for the Pepperjack Bacon Stack Burger or Kobe Burger. Dine in only, valid at participating locations. More info, Find a location near you. Cheeseburger in Paradise, Nov. 12, 2012. Free meal from select menu with military ID or proof of service. Beverages and gratuity not included. Find a location near you. The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 34

2012 Veterans Day Meals & Deals   Chili’s – free meal, Sunday, Nov. 11 2012. Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of 7 meals. This offer is available from 11am – 5pm on November 11, 2012 at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. Veterans and active duty military simply show proof of military service. Visit their website to find locations. Denny’s Veterans Day Appreciation Event, Nov. 12 2012. Free all you can eat pancakes from 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 for all active, retirees, and veterans with a valid military ID or proof of military service. Offer available in every Denny’s nationwide. Famous Dave’s – Sunday Nov. 11 2012. Free or discounted meals on Veterans Day. Offer varies by location, please check the Famous Dave’s Veterans Day page or call your local restaurant for more information. Golden Corral – Free meal, Monday Nov. 12: The 12th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation Monday dinner will is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday dinner. For more information visit http://www.goldencorral. com/military/. Special thanks to Golden Corral: To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 3.2 million free meals and contributed over $6.1 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization. Amazing! See more Military Discounts and Veterans Day Deals. Hooters – Free Meal, Sunday, Nov. 11 2012. Hooter’s is serving up a free meal to military veterans all day on Veterans Day. Offer good for all veterans and active duty military personnel. Get 10 Free Wings – Boneless or Regular, drink purchase required. Offer valid at participating Hooters only; open to all active duty and military veterans with valid military ID or proof of military service. For more information, visit, Hy-Vee, Free Breakfast, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. Free Veterans Day breakfast from 7am – 11am at all Hy-Vee supermarkets with in-store dining. Please call ahead to verify participation, and bring proof of service. Krispy Kreme – Free doughnut, Nov. 11, 2012. Available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees & veterans. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating. Little Caesars® Pizza, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. Little Caesars is honoring the men and women of the United States armed forces this Veterans Day by providing veterans and active military members with a free Crazy Bread® with proof of military status or proof of service at participating stores nationwide. Call ahead to verify participation. Find a location near you. Lone Star Steakhouse, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. (update): All veterans and active duty military will receive a FREE entrée from the Stars & Stripes Menu. ID required, please call ahead for verification. LongHorn Steakhouse, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. Complimentary Texas Tonion and non-alcoholic beverage. Offer good for Veterans and active-duty military members. Proof of service required. Visit their site to find a location near you. Max & Erma’s, Sunday, November 11, 2012. Participating

Max & Erma’s locations are offering military members and veterans a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo, which includes tortilla soup or side Caesar salad, seasoned fries, and chocolate chip cookies. Locations. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – free lunch or dinner, Sunday Nov 11, 2012: McCormick & Schmick’s is celebrating their 14th annual Veteran’s Appreciation Event on Sunday, November 11th. Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée. Veterans must provide proof of military service. Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick’s as this is valid at participating restaurants only. Also, space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. For more information visit: M&S Veterans Appreciation Event. On The Border, Sun. Nov. 11, 2012. “Sizzling Salute to Veterans” promotion. Mention this special, and On the Border will donate 15% of your purchase to Carry the Load, a nonprofit military organization. Veterans and Service members with ID who dine at On The Border on 11/11/12 will receive a certificate for a free entree (up to $10) valid from 11/12/12 thru 11/30/12 (valid at corporate locations only). Find a location near you. Outback Steakhouse – A week of Free Bloomin’ Onions and Cokes Nov. 11-12, 2012. Outback Steakhouse is honoring America’s military veterans by offering active duty military and veterans a free Bloomin’ Onion and a Coca-Cola product during the week leading up to Veteran’s Day. This offer is available to Military Personnel with ID. Also receive 10% off your purchase from Nov. 13-Dec 31, 2012. More information. The Outback understands commitment. For the past two years, The Outback, with the help of their patrons, has donated $2 Million to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization providing everyday and emergency support for active troops, wounded warriors and their families. Red Lobster – Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. Free Appetizer on Veterans Day with military ID or proof of service. Vets may choose from a select list of appetizers. Find a location near you. Red Robin, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. Free Red’s Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries for all Red Robin guests with a military ID or proof of service. Red Robin is also partnering with Heinz for Veterans Day to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Red Robin will also donate $10,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project. Find a location near you. Spaghetti Warehouse, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. Buy one entrée, get one free, coupon required. Choose any of 11 Original Recipe Spaghetti entrées and receive a second entrée free. This offer is open to everyone, not just veterans. Download the coupon at their website (available starting Nov. 5th). Sizzler Restaurants, Nov. 12, 2012. Free lunch served until 4pm. Choice of 3 entrees. Valid with proof of military service. More info and locations. Subway. In honor of Veterans Day, SUBWAY® will donate $111,112 to the Wounded Warrior Project ‘s economic empowerment program Texas Corral – Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. Free entrée (dine-in only). Offer available to all active duty members and veterans with ID. Note: All Texas Corral locations also regularly offer a 50% discount to active duty police officers, firemen and military personnel dining in. Locations.

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 35

2012 Veterans Day Meals & Deals Texas Roadhouse – free lunch, Monday Nov. 12, 2012. Every Texas Roadhouse location across the country will participate in the free lunch event to honor the men and women of our armed forces. Choose from one of 10 free meals, plus sides and a drink. Offer good for All veterans – including all active, retired or former U.S. military. ID Required. Find locations. T.G.I. Friday’s – Free Lunch, Monday Nov. 12, 2012. Valid for all US Military personnel and veterans. Must wear uniform (if permitted by your service) or present military ID or other proof of service. Only valid at participating locations for anyone with an old or current military ID. More details on The Olive Garden, Free entrée, Nov. 11, 2012. Offer good for veterans and active duty military, on Sunday, November 11th during regular business hours. Chose from a special menu; all entrées inlcude freshly baked garlic sticks and choice of soup or salad. Off er good in US and Canada, proof of service required. More info. Tim Hortons – all US locations are offering a free donut to all veterans (check out the Star Spangled donut!). Uno Chicago Grill, Nov. 11 -12, 2012. Free individual pizza or entrée with the purchase of a pizza or entrée of equal or greater value. Available for all active duty and veterans. No coupon necessary; proof of service required. Find a location near you. 7-Eleven – Free small Slurpee on Sunday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Offer good to all current and former military members. ID or proof of service required Home Depot Military Discount: The Home Depot(R) is offering all active duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families a 10 percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veteran’s Day. The offer is valid on purchases of up to $2,000 for a maximum of $200 and is available at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Design Center locations, Yardbirds and EXPO Design Center(R) locations. The 10% military discount is available everyday for active duty and retirees, but not all veterans. Home Depot makes this offer available to all veterans on most military holidays. You can also find Home Depot discounts online. Lowe’s Military Discount: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10 percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available Nov. 7 – Nov. 11. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards. Like Home Depot, Lowes offers this discount daily to active duty military members, but not to veterans. However, they extend the offer to military veterans on military holidays. You can also find exclusive discounts at Lowe’ Anheuser-Busch Parks. Anheuser-Busch Parks offers Active Duty Service Members free admission for them and up to 3 dependents to any of their parks once a year. Throughout 2012, members of the military and as many as three direct dependents may enter SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place parks with a single-day complimentary admission. The Here’s to the Heroes program is only available to Any active

duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman. Eligible parks include: Adventure Island, Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay or Williamsburg), SeaWorld (Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio), Sesame Place, and Water Country USA. Not valid at Discovery Cove and Aquatica. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. is not included as part of this program. For more information and to register, visit: Free admission summary, and ticket application. Colonial Williamsburg Free Admission. Colonial Williamsburg offers free weekend-long admission tickets to active-duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, and their immediate dependents from Thursday, Nov. 9 through Monday, Nov. 12th. The complimentary ticket includes admission to Colonial Williamsburg exhibition sites, art museums, and most daytime programs, as well as free parking and use of the shuttle bus system. Tickets are only available at on-site ticket sales locations. Tickets are also available to families of deployed servicemembers. Tickets available on the following dates: Nov. 9-12, 2012. Fee Free Day at National Parks. To honor America’s service men and women, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that areas managed by the National Park Service would not charge entrance fees for Veterans Day weekend – November 10-12, 2012. Everyone is eligible, not just veterans. Over 100 national Parks will be participating in this event. Historic Jamestowne – Free Admission. The National Park Service commemorates Veterans Day with Fee Free days at Historic Jamestowne November 10-12. Free admission for everyone. See events calendar. Knotts Berry Farm Military Tribute Days – Free Admission – 2012. Knott’s Berry Farm has an annual Military Tribute event in which they offer military members past and present by offering free park admission. This year the Military Tribute Days run from November 1 – 21 November. Veterans or current serving military personnel plus one guest get in FREE with proper ID presented at Knott’s turnstile (DD214, Veterans Administration Hospital ID or Active Military Service ID). Purchase up to six additional tickets for just $19 each. More info. Pro Football Hall of Fame – Free Admission, Nov. 3. 2012. Annual Veterans Day Salute, Saturday, November 03, 2012, 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM. Any veteran or member of the armed forces and their spouse or a guest will be admitted free of charge to the Hall of Fame for a day-long recognition of US Military veterans. Members of the Blue and Gold Star Mothers will also be eligible for free admission. Veterans and guests also receive a 10% discount in the Hall of Fame Store. There will be a special ceremony beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Hall of Fame’s NFL Films Theater. More information. San Jacinto Monument and Museum (La Porte, TX). No charge for the military and their families all week. Free admission to the theatre, Observation Floor, and the special exhibit to all veterans and their families. More info. Bed and Breakfast for Vets. In the third year of the program, B&Bs for Vets has organized over 230 (and counting) participating Bed and Breakfasts and Inns across the US and Canada which will be offering veterans a free night’s stay on November 10th, the night before Veterans Day. This offer is available to both active duty military members and veterans

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 36

2012 Veterans Day Meals & Deals with ID, but space is limited. Each Inn and B&B has at least one room available for this promotion and reservations must be made directly through the participating Inns and B&Bs. For more information visit B&Bs for Vets. Here are some additional Veterans Day Discounts. In all cases, be sure to provide proper ID or proof of service. In addition, some of these stores are franchises, so verify participation before assuming the discount is in place. – Free MP3 album download “Veterans Day Honor” Available at Amazon on Veterans Day. Download the album (album will be full price again starting Nov. 12). Big Lots – 10% off your entire purchase. Offer available to active duty, Guard/Reserve, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members, with valid ID. Please call ahead to verify. Cabela’s. Cabela’s is giving their standard employee discount to all US military veterans, active duty military, Guard/Reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel on Nov. 11-12, 2012. Discount varies from 5% to 20%, depending on the item. Dollar General. 10% discount on entire purchase on Veterans Day. Offer good for all active-duty military, retirees, veterans, Guard/Reserve, & immediate family members. The coupon can be found in the store circular, or by asking an employe. Also good online from Nov 11-13, use Coupon Code VETERANSDAY. More info. Food Lion. Nov. 11, 2012. 12% off all groceries (some exclusions) for Active & Retired Military Personnel with military ID and MVP card. More info. Free Business Cards and Checks. Get 25 FREE Checks – Choose from 6 different designs or upgrade to premium checks and choose from many more designs. Bonus Offer – Get 250 Free Business Cards! FREE Checks & Business Cards offer. Free Car wash, Nov. 11, 2012. Thousands of car washes around the country are offering vets a free car wash on Veterans Day, 2012. Find a list at Grace for Veterans, which helped veterans receive 101,537 FREE Washes on Veterans Day in 2011. GameFly: Video game rentals – Gamefly – Free Trial Jos. A. Bank Specials: Veterans Day Sale- 1 Day Only! JoS. A. Bank Veterans Day Sale Orders. Netflix: One Month Free Trial, coupon code. Sports Authority – 15% off all purchases. All Veterans and Military personnel please stop by your local Sports Authority store to receive 15% OFF YOUR ENTIER PUCHSASE on 11.11.11 ONLY! Please show proper identification or proof of service at check-out to receive this special offer. Sport Clips – Veterans Day. Sport Clips offers a Heroes discount which includes active and retired military. Please call ahead to verify participation. Find a location near you.Steve Madden. We’d like to salute our heroes by doubling our everyday military discount of 15% to 30% OFF for Veteran’s Day ONLY. Valid with a form of Military identification (past or present) in Steve Madden stores only (not valid online). *Full priced merchandise only. Find a store near you. VA Loan Rates. VA Loans and mortgage rates are currently the lowest they have been in over 50 years. The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 37


Illustration by Alex T. Diaz

The OC Sentinel - Issue #3 November 2012 - Page 38

The OC Sentinel  

Providing a visually captivating and informative publication voicing issues relevant to veterans and their families; to raise awareness in t...

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