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VOL. 1/ISSUE 18

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013

Airshow may be last stop for Thunderbirds for a while The 36th annual Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum & TICO AirShow might be the last chance to see the Thunderbirds for awhile.

The crack pilots of the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds are highly trained and motivated combat aviators who can fly through any melee – except bickering politicians. On March 1, Maj. Darrick

See THUNDERBIRDS page 8

Thousands say goodbye to slain deputy Air Force veteran served 12 years with St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office By Nicole Rodriguez Staff writer nrodriguez@yourvoiceweekly.com ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A heartbroken community, family and more than 2,000 law enforcement officers from across the country mourned the death of St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Morales, 35, at Westside Baptist Church in Fort Pierce Monday as they bid farewell to the fallen hero who died in the line of duty on Feb. 28 doing

what those close to him said God placed him on Earth to do: help and protect his fellow man. More than 4,000 attendSgt. Gary Morales ed the viewing and service. Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi were among those who

attended to pay their respects. St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara delivered a touching eulogy. He often spoke directly to Sgt. Morales’s two young daughters, Brooklynn and Jordan, who were seated near their father’s casket, which was draped in an American flag. “Every day your dad told us how much he loved you,” said Mascara, who announced the Sheriff’s Office Training Complex will be named the Sgt. Gary Morales Training Complex. “He’s going to be watching over you every day.” Throughout the service, Morales was hailed as a hero, but most importantly as a loving fa-

See MORALES page 4

MiG fighter Korean War pilot recounts his days of facing off with the Soviets By Patrick McCallister For Veteran Voice Nations were feverishly developing combat jet aircraft during World War II, but none of the early models ever brawled with each other. Korea was where pioneer pilots would learn about jet combat by baptism in fire. Indialantic’s Norman Charles “Bud” Evans was one of the first. He was in the air over South Korea on an intelligence mission the second day of the war. “The real war in Korea was not in the air, but on the ground,” Evans said. “(The F-80 Shooting Star) was designed to be an air-to-air airplane, and we were using it for ground support. Before then, no one thought it would be any good down there. Everyone thought that a single bullet could make the fast rotating engine fly apart.” Evans is a member of Titusville’s Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum’s board of directors. In the early days of the war, he flew missions seeking out the Sovi-

See MIG page 3

Providing weekly news, information and updates for veterans and their families. Call (772) 204-2409 or go to www.VeteranVoiceWeekly.com today to subscribe.

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By Patrick McCallister For Veteran Voice


2 • MARCH 8, 2013 • VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE

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The Vero Beach Elks Lodge is sponsoring its 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 9 at 1 p.m. The parade stages at the VB High School football stadium at 11:45 a.m. The theme this year is recognizing veterans, past and present, with retired Air Force Colonel, Martin Zickert, as the Grand Marshal. Zickert is the pres-

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Harbor Place is having a fundraiser for the Southeast Florida Honor Flight with a St. Patrick’s Day “Dine or Dash” on Sunday, March 17 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Harbor Place is located at 3700 S.W. Jennings Road in Port St. Lucie. Call (772) 337-4330 to RSVP.

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ident of the Veterans Council and president of the Vietnam Veterans of Indian River County. The 50 participating groups, including many veterans organizations, will depart at 1 p.m. and proceed down 14th Avenue to the Heritage Center. Following the parade, there will be a party and celebration at the Vero Beach Elks Lodge, 1350 26th St., featuring music and a bagpipe band. Corned beef sandwiches and beverages will be available.


VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE • MARCH 8, 2013 • 3

MIG from page 1 et-made MiG-15s that were tossed into the fight. “None of us had even seen a picture of the MiG,” he said. “None of us knew what it was, what it looked like. We had the best jet, so, ‘Let’s go get them.” Evan’s attitude changed after his first scrape with a MiG. It’s approaching 60 years now. On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended without ending. That day, an armistice was signed that stopped the shooting, but left the world perilously hanging on an edge called the 38th Parallel. Today the Korean Demilitarized Zone — splitting the peninsula into different worlds more than different countries — remains a glaciated remnant of the Cold War. Many warn that holdout of an otherwise bygone era could ignite into a consuming, possibly nuclear, fire. But, back when the shooting was on, Evans got his first look at a MiG. “I was on one of the first MiG patrols,” he said. “We were attacked, when we thought we would attack them. I learned in a hurry that the F-80 was not going to be any good against the MiGs.” When he realized that he wasn’t

Photo courtesy of Phyllis Lilienthal

See MIG page 10 1st Lt. Norman Charles ‘Bud’ Evans was one of the first pilots to fly and do battle with the Soviet-built MiGs.

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4 • MARCH 8, 2013 • VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE

Mitch Kloorfain/chief photographer Sheriff Ken Mascara and Chief Deputy Garry Wilson stand at attention during the service for Sgt. Gary Morales at Forest Hills Memorial Park in Palm City Monday, March 4. Sgt. Morales was killed in the line of duty Thursday, Feb. 28 in Fort Pierce.

MORALES from page 1

Mitch Kloorfain/chief photographer Martin County Sheriff’s deputies stand at attention at the entrance of Westside Baptist Church in Fort Pierce prior to the start of the funeral for Sgt. Gary Morales of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Morales was killed in the line of duty Thursday, Feb. 28 in Fort Pierce.

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ther, husband, brother, son and uncle. Family and friends said Morales’s larger-than-life personality and electric smile won’t ever fade from their minds. Morales’s teenage nephew, Nicholas Morales, gave the public a glimpse into the pain his grief-stricken family is experiencing. Nicholas said it’s a heart-wrenching thought that he’ll never embrace his uncle again. “Me and my Uncle Gary had a relationship like no other,” Nicholas said. “He was my best friend. We would crack jokes, play Xbox and just hang out.” “My Uncle Gary was the life of the party. He liked to make his presence known. Now he’s gone,” Nicholas said. “It’s still so unreal to me that my uncle is (lying) in a casket, but he died a hero.” One of Morales’s nieces sobbed as she spoke directly to her departed uncle. “Uncle Gary, you’re a hero; you’re my guardian angel; I love you. Rest in peace,” she said. St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rob Pettit said he and Morales were so close, he named Morales the godfather of his third daughter. Pettit said Morales was a man who always put himself last and would give the shirt off his back to a stranger in need. “We only get a few true friends in life – the really good ones. The ones you can really count on when the chips are down and it’s going to get ugly,” Pettit said. “Gary was that type of friend.” “You’d ask him for anything and you’d get the same response. ‘No problem. Anything I could do.’” “When I shaved my head in

support of sick cancer kids, there was Gary right next to me shaving it all off,” said Pettit, who also described Morales as a comedian who always made people laugh when he would tie his shirt into a bikini top and stick his butt out. “He was generous … He once gave me his car to drive to Memphis … he helped me move like three times. That says something.” Pettit also divulged why fellow deputies called Morales “Foo,” which is short for “Foo-Foo.” “He was forever vain and forever worried about his appearance,” said Pettit, who admired Morales’s “boyish good looks.” “He was always dressed sharp to the nines. Never a hair out of place. That was Foo,” Pettit said. “We gave him that nickname because of the basket of sponges and lotions and powders he would carry with him in and out of the locker room.” Doug Miller, a Royal Palm Beach resident and rider with the Patriot Guard Riders, stood watch outside with his fellow brothers, who formed an American flag line. The group frequently attends military deployments and funerals of veterans and law enforcement officers to show support, Miller said. “It breaks my heart because they’re just doing their job,” the Vietnam Navy veteran said. “His service was very admirable. He put his life on the line for everybody.” “The Garys of the world are the reason we can sleep safely at night,” Miller said. St. Lucie County Commissioner

See MORALES page 6


VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE • MARCH 8, 2013 • 5

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Mitch Kloorfain/chief photographer Officers from across the state stand at attention during the funeral service for Sgt. Gary Morales at Forest Hills Memorial Park in Palm City Monday, March 4. . Sgt. Morales was killed in the line of duty Thursday, Feb. 28 in Fort Pierce.

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6 • MARCH 8, 2013 • VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE

Shooting suspect in custody in next county; no bond By Nicole Rodriguez Staff writer nrodriguez@yourvoiceweekly.com

Eriese Alphonso Tisdale nue in Fort Pierce. Morales had at least three gunshot wounds. One wound was to the side of the head, the report states.

See SUSPECT page 9

Sir James Galway

Chris Dzadovsky said despite the clear skies outside, a dark cloud now hangs over the Treasure Coast. “It’s a sad day in St. Lucie County. The county has a heavy heart today,” he said. “We lost a local hero.” “It’s always sad to lose a first responder in any way shape or form, but in this case it was completely senseless,” Dzadovsky said. “Our hearts go out to the family and all other first responders.” Martin County Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Dowdy said Morales’s death serves as a reminder of how dangerous the job really is. “This is a situation we could have all found ourselves in, but today is all about Sgt. Morales and his family,” Dowdy said. “We’re here to show our support for them.” St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Rhodes choked back tears as he remembered Morales. “Sgt. Morales is one of the finest people I’ve known, not to mention one of the best law enforcement officers I’ve ever met,” Rhodes said. “He was a good guy, a public servant.” Port St. Lucie resident and former New York City Police Department Officer Al Hickey said the spectacular show of support from law enforcement officers from as

far away as Chicago and Maine didn’t surprise him. “Law enforcement comes together in tragic deaths like this. It breaks everyone’s hearts,” Hickey said. “Gary Morales was a great young man and a real hero.” Sgt. Gary Morales was a 12-year veteran of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. The Bronx native served in the United States Air Force in 1995 when he was stationed in San Antonio and was honorably discharged in 1999. During his military tenure, Morales received the Air Force Achievement Medal, Outstanding Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, Longevity Service Award Ribbon and Air Force Training Ribbon. Morales joined the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in October 2000. He holds a bachelor of arts degree and a Master’s degree in criminal justice from Keiser University. Morales served in Uniform Patrol, School Resource, S.W.A.T. and Special Investigations and the Training Unit. He was a firearms, defensive tactics and driving instructor. Morales also was a CrossFit instructor. His last assignment was in Uniform Patrol. He was promoted to sergeant Jan. 18. In 2001, he posed undercover as

See MORALES page 9

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As the public said goodbye to its hero, Gary Morales’s accused killer, Eriese Alphonso Tisdale, 25, is being held without bond in a Martin County jail for safety reasons. He is charged with first degree premeditated murder. In an arrest affidavit, Tisdale told investigators he was going to the store when he noticed Morales was following him. Tisdale claims Morales pulled him over and with his hand on his gun, ordered Tisdale to the ground. Tisdale said he pulled off in fear of his life because of Morales’s tone and hand on his gun. Tisdale said Morales used his patrol car to ram him to another stop. The report states Morales called in a pursuit the morning of Feb. 28 near Oleander Ave-

MORALES from page 4


VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE • MARCH 8, 2013 • 7

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8 • MARCH 8, 2013 • VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE

Lee, Thunderbirds’ public affairs, announced that the air demonstration team will be grounded after April 1 due to the federal-budget sequestration. “We are the last show,” Terry Yon, public relations officer for the museum, said. “There’s no one after us.” The Thunderbirds were scheduled for at least four appearances in Florida this year. The team has already done a flyover at the Daytona 500. It was also scheduled to appear in Fort Lauderdale in April and at the Cocoa Beach Air & Space Show, Oct. 19 to 20. Bryan Lilley, promoter of the Cocoa Beach show, said he’s confident the Thunderbirds will fly twice in Brevard County this year. “Our show is not until October, which is a long way off and after a new fiscal year,” Lilley said. “We believe the team will be back in action by Oct. 1.” The federal fiscal year starts on Oct. 1. The Cocoa Beach show is one of the last scheduled appearances for the air team in 2013. The Thunderbirds had 60 scheduled appearances in 38 locations. Lilley said that even if the Thunderbirds don’t appear at the 5th annual Cocoa Beach Air & Space Show, there are enough other attractions to ensure its success.

A new federal fiscal year is no guarantee that the Thunderbirds will head back to the air-show circuit in 2013. It’s 2013-2014 budget talk time in Washington, D.C. Thing is, no one’s talking about the next fiscal year yet, according to congressional insiders. Previously, Congress passed and the president signed the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, often called the super committee, formed to work out a deal for Congress to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling to avoid sovereign default on previously-appropriated spending. The committee hatched the idea of giving Congress and President Barack Obama a frightening prospect if they couldn’t agree on budget cuts and revenue increases — sequestration, automatic across-the-board spending cuts over 10 years accompanied by expiring tax reductions. Many believed the prospect of across-theboard budget cuts that could send the nation into recession would force Congress and the president to work toward more agreeable solutions. While some compromises have happened, the Congress and White House are still locked in budget battles that have brought on the budget sequestration. The April and October air shows are in Republican Congressman

Bill Posey’s 8th District. Spokesman George Cecala said that if Posey had his way, the Thunderbirds would be planning for upcoming shows, not canceling them. “Mr. Posey opposed the Budget Control Act, and voted twice last year for sequestration-replacement legislation,” Cecala said. “We’ve been concerned about this.” Cecala said that the congressman preferred more targeted budget cuts to eliminate waste, rather than drastic, across-the-board ones. Cecala said Congressman Posey is aware of and concerned about the fact that veteran organizations’ local posts and chapters, along with other not-for-profit organizations, often plan fundraisers around air shows featuring the Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels. The Navy team, too, has canceled appearances. At its Facebook page, the team’s public relations officials announced that the Blue Angels were cancelling four April shows, including one at MacDill Air Force Base, near Tampa. “The Navy will wait until the last possible moment before making cancellations beyond April,” the post said. “The Blue Angels are currently training so that if the decision to cancel April shows is reversed, the team can continue to perform and inspire future gener-

ations of sailors and Marines.” In a statement to the press, the Thunderbirds’ Maj. Lee said that grounding the team was needed to help Air Combat Command preserve defense resources “This decision enables ACC to reallocate flying hours to combat readiness training, which will enable more sorties for combat readiness and deployment commitments, ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime air defense,” it reads. Yon said that it cost the War Bird Museum about $35,000 to get the Thunderbirds. He said since news of the show cancellations hit, interest in the annual Warbirds Museum show seems to have spiked. “We were very, very lucky to have the last show for a long time,” he said. “I’ve seen an increased interest in the public and media. It is a great coup for us to have the Thunderbirds.” Nevertheless, Yon said he laments for other shows that have gotten cancellations. The air show is scheduled for March 22 to 24 at the Space Coast Regional Airport. This is the Thunderbirds’ 60th year. The Blue Angels’ and Thunderbirds’ public-relations officers didn’t return calls for comment by press time.

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VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE • MARCH 8, 2013 • 9

MORALES from page 6 a high school student in “Operation Safe Kid.” His efforts allowed the Sheriff’s Office to make 21 arrests on 73 charges ranging from drug violations to the removal of serial numbers from a firearm. “Sgt. Morales earned a reputation for decisive action dealing with crimes in progress, investigative skill and compassion for victims of crime, as letters of commendation in his file indicate,” sheriff’s spokesman Mark Weinberg said in a press release. His departmental honors included four Unit Citations, three Exceptional Duty and two Safe Driver awards. Morales is the first deputy killed on the job since Master Deputy Steve Roberts was struck by another motorist in 1999. Members of the community lined the streets to watch the 26-milelong procession of several thousand cars to Forest Hills Memorial Park in Palm City where Morales was buried. The hearse was flanked by S.W.A.T. vehicles

SUSPECT from page 6 Photo courtesy of Alex Boerner/Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara eulogized Sgt. Gary Morales during services at Westside Baptist Church Monday, March 4 in Fort Pierce. “Every day your dad told us how much he loved you,” said Mascara while looking at his two daughters, Brooklynn and Jordan. Sgt. Morales was killed in the line of duty Thursday, Feb. 28 in Fort Pierce.

Morales was still seated in the driver’s seat of the patrol car with his gun still in the holster when other deputies arrived at the scene, the report says.

and cars carrying Morales’s wife, Holly, daughters, three brothers — one of whom is a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy — and his parents, who live in Lake Charles in St. Lucie West. Fort Pierce resident Chris Lee and her sister, Connie Stevens of Georgia, stood on Okeechobee Road with American flags. “It breaks my heart,” Stevens said. “We owe these first responders the respect and all the honor we can give them at a time like this,” Stevens said. “I think it’s just sad it has to take something like this for us to show it.” Morales family friend and Port St. Lucie resident Nora Candelario stood on Becker Road as the procession passed. She remembered Morales as a loving spirit and the life of every event. “I was talking to his father a week ago. He was a proud father,” she said. “He told me Gary made sergeant.” “Gary was happy and always smiling,” she said. “The minute he came around, his nephews and nieces just jumped around him.” A criminal history check showed Tisdale is a one-time convicted felon. In 2010, Tisdale was charged for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and for possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

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Crossword

CLUES ACROSS 1. Swedish rock group 5. Teen skin disorder 9. An instrument that magnifies 14. Sledgehammer 15. Ran away from 16. Old European silver coin 17. “Rule Britannia” composer 18. Rend or tear apart 19. Oats genus 20. Greater TV resolution 23. Kiln 24. A furrow in the road 25. Family Turdidae 28. Duck-billed mammal 33. German tennis star Tommy 34. “You Send Me” singer Sam 35. Volcanic mountain in Japan 36. Governed over 38. Process of decay 39. Clear wrap brand 41. Put into service 42. Snake catcher tribe of India 44. Best section of the mezzanine 45. Masseur 47. Funereal stone slabs 49. Before 50. Again 51. 1 of 10 official U.S. days off 58. Alternate name 59. One of Bobby Franks’ killers 60. Port capital of Vanuatu 61. Individual dishes are a la ___ 62. Shellfish

63. Welsh for John 64. Fencing swords 65. Griffith or Rooney 66. Titanic’s fate CLUES DOWN 1. Far East wet nurse 2. Apulian seaport 3. Barrel hole stopper 4. Tavern where ale is sold 5. Anew 6. Actor Montgomery 7. Pigmented skin moles 8. Adam & Eve’s garden 9. Legislative acts 10. Pit 11. Butter alternative 12. Actor Sean 13. A major division of geological time 21. Hyrax 22. Country of Baghdad (alt. sp.) 25. Repetitive strumming

sudoKu

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going to beat the opponent with maneuvering, Evans tried climbing his way out of danger. Bad move. The MiG had him there, too. Fortunately, Evans’ intuition to try diving instead worked out. The MiG had speed intolerances his F-80 didn’t, and the opponent let him go. Military historians seem to largely agree that the first fight between the P-80 and MiG-15 happened on Nov. 1, 1950. Things get a bit murky about whether a MiG took down a Shooting Star that day. However, historians seem to agree that on Nov. 8 the American jet had shot down a Mig. Through the war, Americans developed jets more evenly matched against the MiG and regained air superiority. “It was when we got the F-9 and F-86 that we regained air supremacy,” Terry Yon, public relations officer at the museum, said. However, the F-80 proved valuable for taking out another difficult target. Evans was among the first jet pilots to take on hard ground targets. “Nothing we had at the beginning of the war was effective against the (Soviet) T-34 tank,” Evans said. “It just so happened that the first mission with the shapecharged rockets was mine. I fired my first two shape-charged rock-

ets and fortunately destroyed the tank.” Proving that jets could fight alongside ground troops. “It was a good airplane for ground support, although it wasn’t designed for that,” Evans said. He’d started his flying career in World War II, and served active and reserve duty until 1966. The generation of pioneer jet pilots is dying. Evans said he’s out of local friends who flew jets in the Korean War. To help preserve the memories of those early combat jet pilots, Evans has written numerous articles and a few book manuscripts. He’s seeking a publisher for his latest, “Aviating with Evans.” Evans said his most important lesson from Korea was how important it is for service members in the fight to feel the nation’s support “I flew two tours in Korea,” he said. “I was tired of flying low and getting shot at. I came back to the states and found out nobody really cared what happened in Korea. When I was doing it, I was under the impression we were well supported.” The Brevard Korean War Veterans Association has about 60 members. The chapter meets at

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26. West Chadic 27. Rattling breaths 28. Savile Row tailor Henry 29. Burbot 30. Christmas lantern in the Phillipines 31. Utilization 32. Sound units 34. Leg shank 37. Umlauts 40. Female owners of #4 down 43. One who regrets 46. Serenely deliberate 47. Stuck up 48. Cablegram (abbr.) 50. In advance 51. Envelope opening closure 52. Ireland 53. Australian Labradoodle Club of America (abbr.) 54. Poetic forsaken 55. Female operatic star 56. Actor Alda 57. An American 58. Highest card


VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE • MARCH 8, 2013 • 11

erans were there for us when we needed them the most, and the Putting Veterans Funding First Act of 2013 will ensure they have our support during their time of need.” Miller said. Currently, Congress funds the medical care portion — roughly 86 percent of VA’s discretionary budget — at the beginning of each fiscal year. Providing the remainder of the discretionary budget — roughly $8 billion — up front would make it easier for VA to plan for key investments in information technology, claims processing and construction projects. It would also give Congress a greater level of oversight on multi-year funding proposals, with one year building off of the next. During the 112th Congress, members of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee fought to ensure that VA would be completely exempt from cuts under the sequester, and this bill is an extension of those efforts, supporters say. “Our veterans sacrificed all they had for our protection, now

it’s up to us to protect the care and benefits they have earned for their service. The Putting Veterans Funding First Act of 2013 is a common-sense approach to ensuring that arbitrary budget cuts won’t jeopardize the care and benefits America has promised our veterans, and I am proud to co-sponsor it,” Michaud said.

the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, 400 S. Sykes Causeway, Merritt Island. Those meetings are on the first Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. The Valiant Air Command War Bird Museum is at 6600 Tico Road, Titusville. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except certain holidays. Among its displays are an F-80, an F-86 Sabre, an F-9 Cougar, and the jet they squared against, a MiG-15. To get a Korean War veteran to talk with a group, call Rod Smith at (321) 632-6702.

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From the House Committee on Veterans Affairs WASHINGTON, D.C. — Recently, Chairman Jeff Miller (FL01) and Ranking Member Mike Michaud (Maine-02) introduced H.R. 813, the Putting Veterans Funding First Act of 2013. The bill would require Congress to fully fund the Department of Veterans Affairs’ discretionary budget a year ahead of schedule, ensuring that all VA services will have timely, predictable funding in an era where continuing resolutions and threats of government shutdowns are all too frequent. “If there is one thing people in Washington and across America agree on, it’s that we should never let funding for veterans become a casualty of Washington gridlock. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill, which would simply enact into law the widely accepted view that America’s veterans should not be held responsible for Washington’s inability to reach an agreement on how to cut spending. Our vet-

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UPCOMING EVENTS March 7-24

APRIL 4-14

Arpil 4 - May 4

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Miller, Michaud aim to fund entire veterans budget one year in advance


12 • MARCH 8, 2013 • VETERAN VOICE • THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE

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veteran 3-8-2013