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Department of Veterans Affairs
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VA provides health care and benefits to our nation's Veterans. Discover more about VA and stories from our community at our blog VAntage Point.

Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Corps Veteran Ellwood Lee Frum.

  • 20.07.2018 01:27
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Corps Veteran Ellwood Lee Frum. Ellwood served during World War II from 1942 to 1945. Ellwood was born November 1923 in Morgantown, West Virginia. He worked in a steel mill in Pennsylvania before enlisting in the Army Air Corps on 22 August 1942 as an airplane engine mechanic. Ellwood spent three months training in Dallas and then was stationed with the 350th Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group out of Thorpe Abbotts base in England. He recalls being treated nicely by the local population during his time in London and being terrified the first time German bombs hit the airfield. On April 1945, he was on a mission to transport POW’s from Austria back to France and was released from service on October 11, 1945. During his service, Ellwood earned two France foreign medals, the Jubilee of Liberty and the Croix de Guerre. He was also awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign and a Good Conduct Medal. Ellwood passed away on December 2006. We honor his service.

Department of Veterans Affairs The Visual Impairment Services Team at Detroit VA Medical Center held

  • 19.07.2018 22:13
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The Visual Impairment Services Team at Detroit VA Medical Center held an annual wellness program last week. Visually impaired Veterans were paired with visually impaired kids from the Detroit metro area for a therapeutic recreational outing. This was their 3rd annual outing partnering with the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Summer Enrichment Camp. The medical center was thrilled to host the event. Visually impaired Veterans and children played adaptive shuffleboard together, "I Spy" (using visual adaptive aids), "tactile guess the object” (using touch to determine an object), using a "Colorino" color detector adaptive device, and an introduction to Yoga. Finally, a wonderful lunch was shared. This event is magical and benefits both the Veterans and kids! The Veterans witness and enjoy the children’s resilience, curiosity and adaptiveness. The kids love to try the new activities and are always surprised to learn that there are adults who cannot see, just like them! The team also takes the time to teach the children what it means to be a Veteran and encourages them to learn which branch of the military their “partners” served in. THANK YOU to all who attended and assisted with the event! #HonoringVets

Department of Veterans Affairs Today, National Cemetery Administration observes the anniversary of th

  • 19.07.2018 20:36
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Today, National Cemetery Administration observes the anniversary of the public debut of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. Established on the slopes of the Punchbowl-shaped crater overlooking Honolulu after World War II, it became home to the remains of the approximately 13,000 troops who died in the Pacific Theater, and native Hawaiians who died in the war. The first burial was in January 1949. Six months later, on July 19, the national cemetery opened to the public with services for an unknown serviceman, two marines, an army lieutenant, and war correspondent Ernie Pyle. NCA partners with communities and organizations across the nation who share its mission to ensure Veterans’ service and sacrifice inspires Americans for generations to come. #HonoringVets #ThisDayInHistory

Department of Veterans Affairs Many legitimate charities support servicemembers and their families, b

  • 19.07.2018 18:30
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Many legitimate charities support servicemembers and their families, but some will spend nearly all of your donation on fees and administration. Other organizations are outright scams. Just because it has an official-sounding name and official-looking website, shows people in military uniform, or uses the logo of a military branch doesn’t mean it’s a legitimate charity. But how can you tell? Follow these tips before you donate: https://go.usa.gov/xUKQd #DonateWithHonor

Department of Veterans Affairs A big thanks to @tech4troops and @usbank for their partnership and don

  • 19.07.2018 18:26
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A big thanks to @tech4troops and @usbank for their partnership and donation of 100 laptops to Veterans at @milwaukeeva. These Veterans can now use their computers for school, ordering medications, talking to their VA doctor, paying bills, etc. Tech For Troops collected and refurbished the computers with grant funding from U.S. Bank. Volunteers from both groups were on hand early July 4 to set up workstations, refurbish and hand out the computers. #HonoringVets

Department of Veterans Affairs 100 years-ago today, July 19, 1918, the American cruiser U.S.S. San Di

  • 19.07.2018 16:04
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100 years-ago today, July 19, 1918, the American cruiser U.S.S. San Diego was sunk by enemy action off Fire Island, New York, with the loss of 6 sailors from the nearly 1,200 officers and crew. The San Diego was the only major warship lost by the U.S. during World War I. Originally named the U.S.S. California, she was renamed to follow a new policy of giving state names to battleships, city names to cruisers. San Diego served in the Pacific and the Caribbean from 1908 to 1914. She ran convoy duty during World War I and was sunk by either a mine or torpedo during a cruise from Portsmouth, N.H., to New York. She sank in 28 minutes. During World War I, from all theaters, over 400 American sailors were killed and over 800 wounded. In 2017, the U.S. Navy announced plans to survey the wreck to determine the exact cause of the sinking. The wreck lies in 100 feet of water a few miles south of Long Island. #ThisDayInHistory #HonoringVets 1. Painting by Francis Muller, 1920-Courtesy Naval Historical and Heritage Command 2. U.S.S. San Diego in San Diego harbor, 1916 U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Julius J. Siefing. Julius s

  • 19.07.2018 01:08
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Julius J. Siefing. Julius served from 1942 to 1945 during World War II, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. Julius described his experiences in the Army in an interview with the Veterans History Project. He was born on October 14, 1921 in New Weston, Ohio. He was drafted into the Army at the age of 22, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Julius completed basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas before completing additional training in California and Hawaii. He was assigned to an infantry division and sailed to Australia in 1942. Julius and his unit also traveled to New Guinea where they carried food rations from ships and through ten miles of jungle to other soldiers. After securing an airport from the Japanese to allow Army Air Corps planes to land, the unit participated in a raid on Leyte Island in the Philippines. Julius watched as American planes bombed the island before the infantry was ordered to raid the beach. After a nearby dynamite explosion, Julius helped to carry wounded soldiers out of the jungle. Julius also served in Mindanao and Mindoro islands in the Philippines. He was tasked with clearing booby traps and protecting natives from enemy attack. Because of the constant combative surroundings, he was rarely able to rest, attend church or write. While on a mission in the Philippines, a soldier next to Julius lost his arm in an explosion. Julius was able to stop the bleeding and help him to a vehicle. He later learned the soldier was taken to a hospital and survived his injuries. Julius left the military in 1945 with three Bronze Stars. He returned to Ohio and worked as a school bus driver for 43 years while raising his family. Julius passed away on Jan. 23, 2016 in Coldwater, Ohio at the age of 94. We honor his service.

Department of Veterans Affairs The Fargo, North Dakota VA Medical Foster Home Program enjoyed a day o

  • 18.07.2018 19:30
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The Fargo, North Dakota VA Medical Foster Home Program enjoyed a day out on Detroit Lake last week courtesy of “Let’s Go Fishing.” Thanks to the helpful guides, many fish were caught and a great time was had by all! To learn more about the Medical Foster Home Program at Fargo VAMC, visit: https://www.fargo.va.gov/services/MFH_Program.asp #HonoringVets

Department of Veterans Affairs Looking in on the Long Term Care Spinal Cord Injury Unit at the Clevel

  • 18.07.2018 18:26
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Looking in on the Long Term Care Spinal Cord Injury Unit at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. It has 26 beds and serves Veterans with Spinal Cord Injuries, ALS and MS. It's a unique unit for a medical center because these Veterans have no plans for discharge. On July 12, VA staff met with their resident council to discuss opportunities for guest speakers, visitors and future outings in and around Cleveland. #HonoringVets

Department of Veterans Affairs African-American troops in World War 1 were used as menial labor by Am

  • 18.07.2018 16:03
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African-American troops in World War 1 were used as menial labor by American military leaders, who feared integrating the services, while focusing on combat training for white “Doughboys". The French, however, were desperate for help and requested support from American forces. To avoid racial tension which had caused violence within American ranks, U.S. Gen. Pershing ceded command of U.S. mostly African-American 369th Infantry Regiment, formerly known as the 15th New York National Guard Regiment, to the French Army for the duration of the war. As such, the soldiers were issued French Army uniforms and weapons. From 18 July to 6 August 1918, the Regiment fought tenaciously, helping the French drive the Germans from their trenches during the Aisne-Marne counter-offensive. Although the regiment was named the “Black Rattlers”, the nickname “Men of Bronze” was given to the regiment by the French, and “Hell-Fighters” was given to them by the Germans. Two U.S. Medals of Honor and many Distinguished Service Crosses were awarded members of the regiment, as well as over 170 Croix de Guerre decorations made by the government of France. During World War 1, the 369th spent more time in front line trenches and suffered the most losses of any American regiment with 1,500 casualties. It was the first Allied unit to reach the banks of the River Rhine. #HonoringVets #ThisDayInHistory Photos from NARA: 1. African-American troops, a part of the 15th Regt. Inf. N.Y. National Guard in France, dressed in french uniforms. 2. French military officials award members of the 369th for gallantry. 3. Soldiers of the 369th (15th N.Y.), awarded the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, 1919. Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Storms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, Cpl. T. W. Taylor

Department of Veterans Affairs Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Stanley Nelson. Stanley ser

  • 18.07.2018 01:43
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Stanley Nelson. Stanley served from 1949 to 1952. Stanley, from Otwell, Indiana in Pike County, joined the Army in 1949 and completed training at Fort Knox. He was sent to Japan and in 1950 was assigned to the 8th Engineer Combat Battalion, 1st Calvary in Korea during the Korean War. On February 14, 1951, Stanley was defending the flank of advancing soldiers near Chipyong in modern-day South Korea. He was wounded by small arms fire in the right shoulder, right foot, left leg and left foot. Stanley was left incapacitated and was captured by the enemy. Stanley endured torture and difficult conditions while held prisoner and was left to die. However, American forces discovered him and evacuated him for medical treatment. The lower part of Stanley’s leg was amputated the following month and he recovered at Percy James Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was medically retired on January 31, 1952. Thank you for your service, Stanley!

Department of Veterans Affairs 74-years ago today, July 17, 1944, at Port Chicago, near San Francisco

  • 17.07.2018 21:02
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74-years ago today, July 17, 1944, at Port Chicago, near San Francisco, 320 men were instantly killed, and 1,000 injured in a munitions explosion, America's worst home front disaster of the war. Everyone within 1,000 feet of the loading dock blast perished; Sailors, Marines, Navy Armed Guard, Coast Guardsmen, Merchant Marines, and working civilians. Over 200 of the deaths were young African-American enlisted sailors loading high explosives. Injured sailors received unequal treatment based on their race. Many African-American sailors refused to return to work, given the poor working conditions and lack of training that led to the accident. A mutiny trial was held, 50 black sailors convicted in the largest naval trial of its kind in the U.S. These convictions still stand today despite efforts to overturn them. The explosion, the mutiny trial and the response by African-American communities exposed the shameful injustices of racism in the military, and these events were a catalyst for the armed services and the nation to weigh the costs of racial segregation. (Article and photo National Park Service) #HonoringVets #ThisDayInHistory