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Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

  • 11.12.2017 09:40
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. Mitchell served in the Marines from Aug. 11, 1941 to Nov. 9, 1945 during World War II. He also served in the Army from 1948 to 1950 during the Korean War. Mitchell was born in Hatfield, Wisconsin, as a member of the Ho-Chunk Native American Nation. He dropped out of high school to enlist in the Marine Corps in 1941. He was assigned to the Pacific Theater after the attack on Pearl Harbor and served on the islands of Guadalcanal and Okinawa as an infantryman. Mitchell refused medical discharge after falling ill with a tropical disease in Guadalcanal. He saw frequent combat and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1945 after being wounded in Okinawa. Upon returning to the United States, Mitchell got married and had a daughter. Mitchell rejoined the military in 1948 as an Army infantryman. His unit was assigned to Kyushu, Japan, and later to the Korean Peninsula. On Nov. 5, 1950, Mitchell was occupying a listening post in front of his company’s base near Chonghyon, North Korea. During the night, he became suspicious after hearing unusual noises, and enemy Chinese soldiers soon emerged from the brush about 100 feet from Mitchell’s post to surprise ambush the base. Mitchell alerted his company and began firing at the enemy. He refused to leave his post even after being shot twice in the chest. With too little strength to stand up, Mitchell wrapped his arm around a tree so he could continue fighting, despite being exposed to heavy enemy fire. He continued to fire on the enemy until his eventual death, significantly slowing the enemy’s advancement. This allowed his company to reorganize and evacuate the wounded, saving many lives. Mitchell was shot at least eight times during the ordeal. Mitchell was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a service member. The medal was given to his mother in 1951. An Army camp in South Korea, a Navy ship, a memorial park and several other locations have been named in his honor. We honor his service.

Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Charles Harold Alper. Charl

  • 10.12.2017 08:33
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Charles Harold Alper. Charles served during World War II from 1942 – 1946. After graduating from medical school at the University of Tennessee in 1942, Charles was offered a residency through the Navy. He started his medical career at the U.S. Naval Hospital and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. Later, Charles served as a medical officer aboard the USS Waters APD-8 destroyer caring for Marines during advancements throughout the Pacific Theater. He served in the Marianas Islands, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Charles was present to watch the Marine soldiers raise the American flag on Feb. 23, 1945 during the Battle of Iwo Jima. For his service, Charles received the WWII Victory Medal and Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. Charles was discharged from the Navy in December 1946 where he went on to practice ear, nose and throat medicine at a family clinic in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1957, Charles studied microscopic surgery of the ear at the University of Vienna in Austria. He later took over the family clinic in 1958 where he worked until retirement. Charles passed away in November 2006 surrounded by loved ones and is survived by his children and grandchildren. We honor your service, Charles.

Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Sean Niquette who wrote the

  • 09.12.2017 03:17
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Sean Niquette who wrote the song “West Point to Arlington” with #OperationSong. Sean served during the Iraq War. As a sophomore in high school, Sean saw the effects of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack and was motivated to serve his country. He pursued his decision and attended West Point. He deployed to Iraq in 2011. Years after his service, Sean found himself in Nashville working with Operation Song after spending time thinking about his friend, Andrew M. Petersen-Keel, who had been killed in Afghanistan in 2013. Sean notes that, “The tragedy there is enormous in a sense that you have this extremely bright, young American guy with a lot of potential and a lot to offer, and great intentions.” Sean used his proximity to Nashville and his song writing desire to contribute to Andrew’s legacy. He seized the opportunity to work with Operation Song after being referred by a friend. Andrew was a couple years ahead of Sean at West Point and was his squad leader. He was a mentor, brother figure and friend to Sean. Sean was inspired to turn the loss into, “A source for how to live our lives better.” In the song, Sean draws from Andrew’s impact on him and carries on his character through music. It also illustrates the impact Sean’s time in the military has on his life. Sean now lives in New York with his wife and two daughters. He spends his time with them and enjoys watching them grow. Sean now works at a commercial bank helping businesses with their financial needs. We honor your service, Andrew, and thank you for your service, Sean.

Department of Veterans Affairs Make sure your family is protected no matter what happens. VA life ins

  • 08.12.2017 21:55
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Make sure your family is protected no matter what happens. VA life insurance provides financial security, but there are critical application deadlines you need to know. #ExploreVA to learn more: Explore.VA.gov/life-insurance

Department of Veterans Affairs On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2017, the @NationalParkServic

  • 08.12.2017 17:38
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On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2017, the @NationalParkService and the @WWIIMemorial remembered and honored those who died in the Dec. 7, 1941 attacks. During the commemoration, World War II #Veterans and Pearl Harbor survivors presented wreaths at the Freedom Wall in honor of those who lost their lives during #WWII, including the more than 2,400 died on Dec. 7, 1941. #HonoringVets

Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Aloysius Schmitt.Father A

  • 08.12.2017 01:15
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Aloysius Schmitt. Father Aloysius H. Schmitt was a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, who served as a chaplain in the United States Navy at the beginning of World War II. On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Father Schmitt had just finished Mass aboard the USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was hearing confessions when four torpedoes hit the port side of the ship. As the vessel started to capsize, the crew started to evacuate. Aloysius found himself in a compartment with a small porthole which afforded them a way escape. One by one, with Aloysius’ help, sailors were able to crawl through the porthole to safety. When they were out safely, he struggled to crawl out of the porthole, even with the assistance from those who were already out. He noticed that others had come into the compartment from which he was trying to escape. He took a step back and helped others who could get through more easily to safety, urging them on with his blessing. In total, he helped 12 men escape. More than 400 sailors on the USS Oklahoma lost their lives that day, including Aloysius. He was the first chaplain of any faith to die during World War II. His remains were originally buried in a cemetery in Hawaii and were marked “unknown.” In 1942 U.S. Navy posthumously awarded him the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Purple Heart. The Navy later published a clearer definition of combat for award purposes, making Aloysius retroactively eligible for the Silver Star Medal, the military’s third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat. He will be awarded the Silver Star on December 7, 2017. In 2015, the Department of Defense exhumed the remains of unknown service members, and in 2016 Aloysius’ remains were identified. He was buried inside Christ the King chapel in Iowa, which was built after the war as a memorial to him. We honor his service.

Department of Veterans Affairs This morning, on the anniversary of the date

  • 08.12.2017 00:16
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This morning, on the anniversary of the date "which will live in infamy," Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hammond was laid to rest at South Florida National Cemetery. “Pearl Harbor Eddie,” as his friends and family called him, was one of the community’s last known survivors of the Pearl Harbor attacks on December 7, 1941. The former Navy machinist passed Sept. 15 at the age of 93. Friends, family and local community groups attended the service in his honor. Hammond’s daughter accepted the United States burial flag on behalf of the family. #HonoringVets

Department of Veterans Affairs Color guard marches across the National World War II Memorial at an ev

National World War II Memorial

  • 07.12.2017 23:31
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Color guard marches across the National World War II Memorial at an event to recognize the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. #honoringvets

Department of Veterans Affairs On this day in 1941, 361 Japanese warplanes bombed the US naval base a

  • 07.12.2017 18:59
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On this day in 1941, 361 Japanese warplanes bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, striking a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet. The attack drew the US into World War II. Today, we remember and honor the lives of those who perished, and the courage and resiliency and American spirit of those who followed. #HonoringVets

Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran William D. Irons. William s

  • 07.12.2017 01:18
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran William D. Irons. William served from 1943 to 1945 during World War II. William was a member of the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He served as a machine gun-ner in Italy, France, Belgium and Germany. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. William helped recover bodies of lost soldiers near Malmedy, Belgium after 84 American pris-oners of war were killed in the Malmedy massacre. He has received two Purple Hearts and sev-eral additional medals for his service. William is from Standing Rock Reservation in South Da-kota and is a member of the Sioux Tribe. He passed away in 2009. We honor his service.

Department of Veterans Affairs VA St Louis Health Care System's 6 String Heroes Music Therapy Program

  • 07.12.2017 01:17
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VA St Louis Health Care System's 6 String Heroes Music Therapy Program just had seven new graduates! They all received a guitar as their graduation gift. The mission of Six String Heroes is to provide guitar lessons and guitars for Veterans who are suffering from mental or physical injuries as a result of military service.

Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran George B. Willie Sr

  • 06.12.2017 01:14
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran George B. Willie Sr. George enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps as a 17-year-old in 1943. Like many of his Navajo Code Talker comrades he lied to recruiters, claiming he was 20-years-old, while attending a school at Fort Wingate. Once enlisted, Willie learned what he and many other Navajo men would become – the Navajo Code Talkers. Marines from the Navajo tribe began to send secure voice transmissions based on their native language. Since only a small group of Americans spoke Navajo, it was impossible for the enemy to gain intelligence from any intercepted messages. Additionally, the Navajo Code Talkers proved faster and more accurate than Morse Code or any machine. The program was highly classified for 25 years and, to this day, there’s no indication any intercepted Navajo code was successfully deciphered. From 1943 and 1945, Willie, who is Tó Dích’iínii (Bitter Water) and born for Tábaahá (Near The Water Edge), served in the Marine Corps as a private with the Second Marine Division, 10th Battalion. He served in the served in the Battle of Okinawa, delivering and receiving coded messages using the Navajo language. George passed away on Dec. 5, 2017. We honor his service.