Posts Tagged ‘veterans

23
Jul
16

All Who Want To Serve Are Welcome. Thanks, President Obama

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Helene Cooper: Pentagon Set To Lift Ban On Transgender People Serving In U.S. Military

The Pentagon next month will announce the repeal of a policy banning transgender people from serving openly in the military, Defense Department officials said on Friday, moving to end what has widely been seen as one of the last barriers to service. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has called the regulation outdated and harmful to the military. A year ago, he directed officials from all the military branches to determine what changes would be needed to lift the ban, in a tacit recognition that thousands of transgender people were already in uniform. Under the Pentagon’s plan, first reported by USA Today, each branch will put in place policies covering recruiting, housing and uniforms for transgender troops.

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Ashley Broadway-Mack, the president of the American Military Partner Association, a support network for partners and spouses of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops and veterans, said in a statement that “our transgender service members and their families are breathing a huge sigh of relief.” Estimates of the number of transgender people in the 1.2 million-member military range from 2,000 to more than 15,000. As with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that applied to gay men, lesbians and bisexuals until it was lifted in 2011, current rules have done little to keep transgender people out of the military. Instead, they have forced many to lie about their status and keep it a secret. Since taking the defense secretary post in February 2015, Mr. Carter has set about dismantling discriminatory rules in the services, including opening all combat positions to women. This week, Eric K. Fanning formally took over as Army secretary, becoming the first openly gay leader of a military service branch.

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WHITE HOUSE PHOTO-PRESIDENT OBAMA MILITARY PITTSBURGH-PETE SOUZA

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U.S. troops react as they shake hands with the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama hugs a soldier as he greets military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, April 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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18
Jul
16

The President’s Day

Vietnam War veteran Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kettles speaks with U.S. President Barack Obama after he was presented with the Medal of Honor at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, July 18, 2016. Kettles led helicopter flights carrying reinforcements to U.S. soldiers and is credited with helping to save 40 soldiers and four members of his unit. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Medal of Honor ceremony for Vietnam War veteran Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kettles, not pictured, at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, July 18, 2016. Kettles led helicopter flights carrying reinforcements to U.S. soldiers and is credited with helping to save 40 soldiers and four members of his unit. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Kettles who was a UH-1D Huey helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War displayed extraordinary heroism, and is credited with saving the lives of 40 soldiers and four of his own crew members. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama points to cameras after presenting the Medal of Honor to retired US Army Lt. Colonel Charles Kettles during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Lt. Colonel Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving in Vietnam. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama and retired US Army Lt. Colonel Charles Kettles(L) listen as the citation is read during a presents the Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Lt. Colonel Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving in Vietnam. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama applauds retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kettles during a Medal of Honor ceremony for the Vietnam War veteran at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, July 18, 2016. Kettles led helicopter flights carrying reinforcements to U.S. soldiers and is credited with helping to save 40 soldiers and four members of his unit. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

US President Barack Obama stands with retired US Army Lt. Colonel Charles Kettles after presenting him with the Medal of Homor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Lt. Colonel Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving in Vietnam. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Kettles who was a UH-1D Huey helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War displayed extraordinary heroism, and is credited with saving the lives of 40 soldiers and four of his own crew members. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with retired US Army Lt. Colonel Charles Kettles after presenting him with the Medal of Homor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Lt. Colonel Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving in Vietnam. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: U.S. President Barack Obama stands with retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, after presenting him with the Medal Of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Kettles who was a UH-1D Huey helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War displayed extraordinary heroism, and is credited with saving the lives of 40 soldiers and four of his own crew members. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kettles during a Medal of Honor ceremony for the Vietnam War veteran at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, July 18, 2016. Kettles led helicopter flights carrying reinforcements to U.S. soldiers and is credited with helping to save 40 soldiers and four members of his unit. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: U.S. President Barack Obama shares a laugh with retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, after presenting him with the Medal Of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Kettles who was a UH-1D Huey helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War displayed extraordinary heroism, and is credited with saving the lives of 40 soldiers and four of his own crew members. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with retired US Army Lt. Colonel Charles Kettles after presenting him with the Medal of Homor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Lt. Colonel Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving in Vietnam. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

21
Jun
16

The President’s Day

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US President Barack Obama walks to Marine One after visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center June 21, 2016 in Bethesda, Maryland. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama walks to Marine One after visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland

US President Barack Obama walks to a motorcade to travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center June 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 21: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama walks to Marine One after visiting wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on June 21, 2016 in Bethesda, MD. (Photo by Joshua Roberts - Pool/Getty Images)

BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 21: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama walks to Marine One after visiting wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on June 21, 2016 in Bethesda, MD. (Photo by Joshua Roberts - Pool/Getty Images)

 

U.S. President Barack Obama boards Marine One after visiting wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, M.D., U.S. on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

<> on June 21, 2016 in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: U.S. President Barack Obama return to the White House June 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. Obama spent the afternoon visiting wounded members of the U.S. military at the Walter Reed Medical Center. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

07
Jun
16

Early Bird Chat

30
May
16

President Obama Pays Tribute To The Fallen

US President Barack Obama (L) and US Major General Bradley A. Becker, Commander of the Military District of Washington, listen to the US national anthem before placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns to honor Memorial Day at Arlington National CemeteryMay 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Major General Bradley A. Becker, Commander of the Military District of Washington, listen to the US national anthem before placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns to honor Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery

US President Barack Obama places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns to honor Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 30: (AFP-OUT) President Barack Obama arrives to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Obama paid tribute to the nation's fallen military service members. (Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama (L) bows his head after placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns to honor Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 30: (AFP-OUT) President Barack Obama bows his head in silence along with Major General Bradley A. Becker at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Obama paid tribute to the nation's fallen military service members. (Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 30: (AFP-OUT) President Barack Obama is assisted as he lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Obama paid tribute to the nation's fallen military service members. (Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)

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ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 30: (AFP-OUT) President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Amphitheater after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Obama paid tribute to the nation's fallen military service members. (Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Amphitheater after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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U.S.President Barack Obama makes remarks at the Amphitheater after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, near Washington, DC. Obama paid tribute to the nation's military service members who have fallen. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

US President Barack Obama salutes during an event to honor Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

People watch as US President Barack Obama places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns to honor Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during a event to honor Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during an event to honor Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 30: (AFP-OUT) President Barack Obama, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford (L) and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (C) listen to the National Anthem at the conclusion of remarks at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Obama paid tribute to the nation's fallen military service members. (Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)

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President Barack Obama lays a coin on a grave in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 30: (AFP-OUT) President Barack Obama bows his head in silence after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Obama paid tribute to the nation's fallen military service members. (Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)

14
Apr
16

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama high fives a rider after signaling the start of the Wounded Warrior Ride, on the South Lawn of the White House. The ride is held to help raise awareness of our nations heroes who battle the physical and psychological damages of war

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17
Feb
16

Young Minds Matter

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First Lady Michelle Obama: Let’s Change The Conversation Around Mental Health

Ryan joined the Navy when he was 20 years old, and he was deployed to Iraq for the first time a few years later. He served on a team that disarmed roadside bombs and IEDs, and when those bombs exploded, they would rush to the scene to clear any remaining explosives while sorting through unimaginable wreckage and carnage. In recognition of his incredible valour, Ryan was awarded a Bronze Star and an Army Commendation Medal. But when Ryan returned home to his wife and two young daughters after his second deployment, the war stayed with him. He had constant splitting headaches, nightmares and panic attacks, and his ears just wouldn’t stop ringing. He would pace his home at night, worried that his family was in danger. One evening, he finally hit rock bottom. After laying awake in bed crying, he got up, headed to the bathroom, and prepared to take his own life. Through my work with service members and veterans as part of Joining Forces – the initiative Dr Jill Biden and I launched to rally Americans to honour and support our veterans and military families – I’ve seen that Ryan’s experience isn’t unique.

But the veterans and service members who do struggle are not alone – not by a long shot. In fact, roughly one in five adults – more than 40 million Americans – suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition like depression or anxiety. These conditions affect people of every age and every background: our kids and grandparents, our friends and neighbours.  That’s why the Affordable Care Act expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections for more than 60 million Americans and required new plans to cover depression screenings for adults and behavioral assessments for kids. That’s also why my husband put more mental health counsellors in place for veterans and signed a bill to help prevent veteran suicide.

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11
Nov
15

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama participates in a full honor wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate Veterans Day in Arlington, Virginia. The tomb contains the remains of an unidentified soldier from World War I and crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam are set next to the tomb

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Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald applauds at left as President Barack Obama speaks at the Memorial Amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, during Veterans Day ceremonies. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama, left, arrives to speak at the Memorial Amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, during Veterans Day ceremonies. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama is saluted by retired Navy Vice Adm. Norbert Ryan Jr. as he arrives to speak at the Memorial Amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington

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First lady Michelle Obama applauds Capt. Capt. Rolana Brown of High Point, N.C., during a luncheon for military women, active-duty service members and veterans, spouses and caregivers, at the Vice President's official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Capt. Brown is commander of Echo Company, 266th Quartermaster Battalion at Fort Eustis and appeared in the filming of "Women of Honor," a TV special that paid tribute to women of the military community. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

First Lady Michelle Obama applauds Capt. Capt. Rolana Brown of High Point, N.C., during a luncheon for military women, active-duty service members and veterans, spouses and caregivers, at the Vice President’s official residence at the Naval Observatory. Capt. Brown is commander of Echo Company, 266th Quartermaster Battalion at Fort Eustis

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President Barack Obama listens to the National Anthem during Veterans Day ceremonies, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, at the Memorial Amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

11
Nov
15

A Veteran

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Jacqueline OBoomer

He served

He hugged the grandmother,
and mom and dad,
tears in his eyes
that he couldn’t let them see.
Looked over his shoulder
to remember their faces
set in time.
This time in his life
he would only understand
was extraordinary,
looking back.

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Honor and bravery
and, yes, to be a man
were why he signed up early,
why he went off
why he missed a bit of his youth
and journeyed to a far-off
war-time destination
he had never
heard much about
when he was younger.

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The in-between years
are not forgot
They enter in dreams
and memories he sometimes wished
he didn’t have.
He knows he’s not alone
in the recollections
yet only a small amount of comfort
has come from that,
has ever come from that.

It is what it is,
his mantra.
It is what it is.

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But now in the prime
of his older years
he wears a ballcap with the
name of his service on it
and the name of his war.
He remembers the conflict
and when he
remembers the grandmother
remembers mom and dad
he feels the honor
he thinks he brought them.

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The sting of yesterday’s tears
in his crinkly eyes come from
the love of country
the esprit de corps ~
the brothers and comrades
he left behind or
still meets for coffee
on a Wednesday morning
in his hometown.

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And when he and his brothers
talk over coffee
about the “free lunch” for veterans
they’re serving at the
VFW, in a few hours,
he turns to them
(those who, like he,
paid ahead such a high price
for that “free lunch” years ago)
and says,
“We should support that
for the new vets
who might really need it.”

He is what he is.

A veteran.

A man.

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11
Nov
15

Early Bird Rise And Shine

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Today

9:0 EST: The President hosts a breakfast to honor veterans and their families on Veterans Day. The VP will also attend.

11:0 EST: Visits Arlington Cemetery to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony and deliver remarks

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On This Day: Aboard the USS Carl Vinson, docked at North Island Naval Station in San Diego, Nov. 11, 2011




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