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(FAIRFAX, VA, August 29, 2012)–The Cold War Museum in conjunction with the Department of History & Art History at George Mason University (GMU) will convene a distinguished panel of historians, authors, and first hand participants to discuss and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This FREE half day program will be held Saturday October 27, 2012 in the Harris Theater on the main campus of GMU, 4400 University Drive in Fairfax, Virginia. Seating is limited. Pre registration required. Program starts at 10:00 a.m. Immediately following the conference there will be a book signing reception.

Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and author of "Nikita Khrushchev and the creation of a superpower" will provide the keynote address. Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize winning author on Robert J. Oppenheimer and GMU History Professor, Michael Dobbs, Washington Post Reporter and author of “One Minute to Midnight,” and Svetlana Savranskaya, editor of “The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis” and National Security Archive’s Director for Russian Archives and Institutes will conduct a roundtable discussion following Khrushchev’s remarks.

U-2 pilot Colonel Buddy Brown (USAF, Ret) and F8U-1P Crusaders pilot Lt. Commander Tad Riley (USN, Ret) who overflew Cuban SA-2 missile sites during the crisis will discuss their mission objectives and recollections. Photographic interpreter, Dino Brugioni, author of “Eyeball to Eyeball”, who briefed President Kennedy on the photos taken over Cuba, will provide a dramatic first hand account of the behind the scene activities of the Kennedy administration during those tense thirteen days in October 1962.

Immediately following the conference, there will be a book signing with Sergei Khrushchev (“Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower”), Dino Brugioni (“Eyeball to Eyeball”), Michael Dobbs (“One Minute to Midnight”), Ken Jack (co-author "Blue Moon over Cuba: Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis"), Svetlana Savranskaya (editor “The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis”), Harvey Simon (“The Madman Theory”), and David Stokes ("Camelot’s Cousin").

Sponsors include David Stokes, Syneca Research Group, Inc., and Whit Williams. For more info on sponsorship opportunities, breakfast with the panelists, or to register to attend, visit

Cold War Museum

Navy Paralympic Athlete Inspires Others to Compete

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

LONDON, Aug. 28, 2012 – The opportunity to compete in Paralympic sports allows people with disabilities to re-establish confidence, assist their rehabilitation and revitalize their lives, a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team said here today.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder, right, a member of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team, is interviewed by Army Sgt. Abigail Waldrop during team processing at the University of East London campus prior to the start of the Paralympic Games, in London, Aug. 28. Snyder advocates wounded warriors using sports to aid their rehabilitation and boost confidence. DOD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder, a member of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic swimming team, took time from team processing at the University of East London campus to encourage wounded warriors to use sports to help them recover, both mentally and physically, from injury. "Blindness was a tough hand to deal with," Snyder said. "Everything I tried, to start with, I was not very good at. Cane-walking was difficult. Cooking in the kitchen is difficult. Picking out a color-matching outfit is very difficult.

"Things that are relatively menial become problematic without the use of your sight," he continued. "So to hop in the pool was something that came very organically to me, having been a competitive swimmer in the past."

The Navy lieutenant is one of 227 athletes participating in the Paralympic Games, a multi-sport event for athletes with physical, mental and sensorial disabilities held every four years following the Summer Olympics.

Snyder expressed satisfaction from competing and being successful, and how it aided in his recovery after being blinded while attempting to disable an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Sept. 7, 2011.

"It was really easy for me to hop in, and get back and forth and feel good at something again," he said. "It was really good for my rehab, [it] really built a lot of confidence forward, and … all the successes that I have had in Paralympic swimming have given me that feeling of relevance again."

Being able to represent his country in a different manner also gives him confidence in the other avenues of life, he said.

"So I’m a huge advocate for the idea of wounded warriors getting back into sport," he added. "It gives you that feeling of relevance and that feeling of success again. And again, it’s not relegated to just sports. It trickled down to other avenues of life."

Snyder said he is transitioning from the Navy to a "purple" world, and swimming has greatly increased his self-confidence.

The Navy lieutenant will swim in the 50-meter, 100-meter, and 400-meter freestyle and in the 100-meter backstroke, breast stroke and butterfly. He’ll also compete in the 200-meter individual medley, swimming each stroke for 50 meters.

Snyder said he captured records for the 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter butterfly during the U.S. Paralympic swimming trials in Bismarck, N.D., in June. "We definitely have our eyes on some other marks throughout the games," he said, "so hopefully we’ll be able to drop some time and do some good stuff."

Snyder said he began swimming competitively largely as a part of his rehab.

"I was injured last September," he added, "and at the suggestion of my old swim coach, and a couple of other entities — the Athletic Blind Association and some coaching down in Augusta, Ga. — they thought I should get into swimming just to kind of build my confidence back up."

Snyder said once he identified the Paralympic Games as a viable option, he fully committed himself to being the best.

"I took it relatively seriously, and moved to Baltimore and started training with Brian Loeffler, who’s the head [swimming] coach at Loyola University," he said. "He and I have been working pretty hard over the last few months, and we’ve been able to make some really good gains in the pool. So [I'm] really looking forward to this opportunity to compete. I think I’m even faster than I was back in June for the trials meet."

Snyder again credited competitive swimming for the return of his confidence and a feeling of relevancy.

"Doing Paralympic swimming … has allowed me to feel confident when I move into a room and have to a present a proposal or something like that," he said. "It gives me that feeling of strength, that feeling of confidence I had when I was in the military.

"And it kind of reiterates the idea that I am the person I used to be," he continued. "I just have to figure out a new way to get around. So that’s what sports affords me: that confidence moving into my new jobs and my regular life as a blind person now."

Related Sites:
U.S. Paralympics
Related Articles:
Paralympians Complete Preparations in London

VFW Washington Weekly

Washington Weekly

Arrow August 24, 2012

VFW to Attend Both Conventions
VFW will be represented at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa next week and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in early September to ensure the voice of veterans, service members and their families is not lost during Campaign 2012. Leading both delegations will be VFW Legislative Director Ray Kelley. Stay informed throughout by reading their blog postings.

President Signs USERRA Bill
Recently, the President signed VFW-supported legislation (H.R.3670) which requires the Transportation Security Administration to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). VFW was instrumental in getting the bill introduced and offered testimony in support of the legislation before the House VA Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity in March. VFW legislative associate Daniel Elkins, who currently serves in the National Guard, spearheaded efforts to find cosponsors for the bill, which helped to push the legislation through Congress. For more details about the bill, visit our Capitol Hill Blog.

New TRICARE Prime Rates Announced
On Oct. 1, military retirees will see their TRICARE Prime enrollment fees increase to $269.28 for singles and $538.56 for families. The increase reflects the 3.6% cost-of-living adjustment retirees received in 2012, when applied to the FY 2012 enrollment fee of $260 (single) and $520 (families). Retirees enrolled in TRICARE Prime prior to Oct. 1, 2011, will see a more significant increase because their enrollment fees were held at previous levels of $230 and $460, respectively. Survivors of active duty deceased sponsors and medically retired members and their dependents are exempt from annual fee increases as long as there is no break in their TRICARE Prime enrollment. Active duty service members and their families have no enrollment fee. Read more.

VFW Speaks at Joint DoD / VA Airborne Hazards Symposium
Tuesday marked the opening of the first-of-its-kind gathering of DoD and VA officials to discuss airborne hazards. The closed-door conference will evaluate available data related to exposures sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan, and debate how we should move forward to improve our diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. VFW was on hand for the opening session of the invitation-only event to discuss the available scientific data released by an Institute of Medicine report last year and the impact these conditions have on veterans. Without this and other efforts to tackle this issue, veterans with serious unseen respiratory health conditions will go unresolved. VFW will continue to advocate on behalf of affected veterans and provide more information on an ongoing basis.

VFW Joins Roundtable Discussion on Education
VFW joined education industry experts, congressional staffers, and veterans’ advocates from Student Veterans of America for a roundtable discussion on veterans’ education as part of the American Legion’s national convention in Indianapolis this week. VFW Deputy Legislative Director Ryan Gallucci was invited to participate in the roundtable discussion, which sought to identify issues faced by student-veterans pursuing an education with the Post-9/11 GI Bill in an effort to build consensus on how to improve educational decision-making for today’s veterans. To learn about the roundtable and VFW’s continued work helping to protect student-veterans, click here.

National POW/MIA Day is Sept. 21
National POW/MIA Recognition Day observances are held nationwide the third Friday of every September in military installations, ships at sea, state capitals, schools, VA facilities, and VFW Posts. The observance is one of only six days—the others are Armed Forces, Memorial, Flag, Independence and Veterans Days—that the flying of the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag is required on all federal buildings and installations, though many government agencies voluntarily fly the POW/MIA Flag 24/7. Hundreds of copies of the 2012 National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster were distributed at the 113th VFW National Convention last month. That poster is now only available for download.

WWII Airman Recovered
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. John E. Hogan, 20, of West Plains, Mo. On Sept. 13, 1944, Hogan and eight other crewmembers were aboard a B-17G Flying Fortress that crashed near Neustaedt-on-Werra, Germany. Only one was able to successfully parachute out of the aircraft. Read more about his recovery.

USO: “Share the Love”

I have a big favor to ask.

The USO is a finalist in the Subaru 2012 "Share the Love" event. The 2 charities who get the most votes on the "Share the Love" Facebook page will be included in their winter drive where Subaru will donate $250 to the charity of the customer’s choice when they purchase or lease a Subaru — it could add up to as much as $5 million for our troops!

But voting ends tomorrow night — so you have to act fast. We really need your vote.

Cast your vote for the USO and help us support our troops through the wonderful Subaru "Share the Love" event before tomorrow’s midnight deadline

We’re so honored to be part of this effort. And I’m so glad we have you on our side — I know you’ll pull through for our troops.


Kelli Seely
Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer, USO

P.S. Remember voting for the Subaru’s "Share the Love" event ends tomorrow and you can vote once a day. Cast your vote for the USO once today and once tomorrow.

Hurricane / Tropical Storm Delays Commission Session

I just returned from Ft Meade Got there right as the order to cancel was issued. Whirlwind trip very disappointing. CW Vets Blog will try to return to cover these very important proceedings.

Based upon impending weather conditions in Guantanamo Bay, the sessions scheduled to begin on August 23rd in the case of the US v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, et al have been cancelled (see attached docketing order). A new docketing order setting the next sessions in this case will be forthcoming. Once provided, plans will again be made for closed circuit viewing at Ft. Meade.

Please be advised that you may follow the progress of this Military Commission at the following website . Thank you.

Hurricane Hunters’ Track Isaac as Southcom, Northcom Prepare

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2012 – With Tropical Storm Isaac bearing down on the Dominican Republic and Haiti and threatening to strengthen over the eastern Caribbean, the "Hurricane Hunters" from the Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron are in the air, relaying critical data to National Weather Service forecasters in Miami.

Meanwhile, staffs at both the U.S. Southern and Northern Commands are monitoring the storm closely and ensuring they are ready to provide support to civilian authorities, including the U.S. Agency for International Development and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Three six-person crews from the 53rd WRS and their maintainers and support staff deployed to St. Croix from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., last weekend, Air Force Lt. Col. Jon Talbot, the squadron’s chief meteorologist, told American Forces Press Service. Operating out of the international airport there, they began flying their specially equipped C-130J Hercules aircraft through the storm Aug. 21.

On a typical mission that can run up to 12 hours, the aircrews crisscross the storm in what the teams call an "alpha pattern," he explained. Sophisticated onboard instruments and small canisters dropped by parachute to the ocean’s surface collect accurate measurements of the storm’s location and intensity.

That information is fed continuously to the National Hurricane Center via an onboard satellite link. In addition, the aircraft sends automated messages every 10 minutes, relaying barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, and other measurements.

"The reason this data is critical is because, with satellites, you can track where storms are and get a general picture, but you can’t peer into the storm and physically measure what is happening at the ocean’s surface," Talbot said. "That is the important piece of information you need to know when it comes to providing warnings to the public. The emergency management community needs to know what is going on near the surface of the ocean, because those are the winds that are going to come ashore."

With about six missions already under their belts during the past three days, Talbot said, the pace will pick up considerably as Isaac moves west toward the United States. "Currently, we are doing about three missions a day, but that will go up to four or five when the storm comes within 300 miles of the U.S. coastline," he said.

The Hurricane Hunters expect to move west along with the storm, redeploying to Keesler Air Force Base to resume those missions beginning this weekend. In the event that the crews have to evacuate Keesler, Talbot said, they already have alternate operating sites lined up. "We track these things pretty closely, because if we end up having to jump from here, we still have to continue flying and providing that data while we are evacuating our own resources," he said. "It becomes a big, tangled web, but it always works out pretty well."

As a precaution, aircraft and ships are being moved out of the storm’s possible path and other assets are being secured, according to Southcom spokesman Army Lt. Col. Darryl Wright. Planning teams are busy running rehearsal meetings and preparing to verify personnel and resource requests, if USAID issues them, he said.

Wright emphasized that military support, if provided, would be part of a coordinated U.S. response led by civilian authorities. "We conduct close coordination and planning and provide DOD support to relief efforts upon request," he said. "Through this close coordination, we ensure that we respond with the most efficient means available to the U.S. government."

In terms of disaster response, Wright said efficiency is typically more important than speed in reducing suffering and saving lives.

Northcom, too, is in a monitoring mode. But with the storm expected to intensify late this weekend when it hits the Atlantic and the Florida Straits, the command deployed a defense coordinating officer and element to Puerto Rico on Aug. 20 to support FEMA, John Cornelio, Northcom’s media operations chief, told American Forces Press Service.

The element of about 20 people is assessing the situation and standing ready to provide assistance, if requested. "We have learned the value of being forward enough to cut down on the response time, if required," Cornelio said.

With Isaac’s path still anyone’s guess, officials say it’s too soon to know whether it will hit Tampa, site of next week’s Republican National Convention. Northcom has a team deployed there to support the Secret Service during the convention, Cornelio reported.

Related Sites:
U.S. Southern Command
U.S. Northern Command
53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron


On my way to FT. Meade to View CCTV of the military commissions motions hearing in the case of the US v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, et al

I have had the honor of being allowed to view the below proceedings at Fort Meade and to report back to Cold War Veteran’s Blog readers. It is by far and away the most important story my little Blog has covered. Wish me luck I hope to report on the hearings not so much for the legal intricacies but for the Everyman the average Joe as it were. The look and feel , the historical significance, and finally a emotional reactions of all involved will be covered in my dispatches. Stay tuned.

The start of the military commissions motions hearing in the case of the US v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, et al, will be delayed 24 hours. The new start will be on THURSDAY, the 23rd of August. Those wishing to attend at Fort Meade to view via CCTV are requested to please reconfirm The presiding judge, COL James L. Pohl, granted an emergency request to delay the start of the legal proceedings due to a rupture – since remedied – in the internet connection that provides defense counsel and the prosecution access to necessary legal files on the US-based server.

Construction Set to Begin For Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial

Volume 26, 2012 DOT Grant Allows Memorial Construction to Begin

We are pleased to announce that the District of Columbia has been awarded $6 million under the Public Lands Highway Discretionary (PLHD) grant program in order to make changes to city streets surrounding The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial site. The grant completes the federal funding required for the second phase and clears the way for the Memorial’s construction to begin.

Arthur H. Wilson, president of Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation (DVLMF), hailed the announcement as “removing the last hurdle we needed to clear on this long road to establishing a national memorial to remember and honor all of America’s disabled veterans. We are grateful for all of the support we have received on this journey and proud that one day soon, there will be a Memorial recognizing the sacrifices that the few have made to protect the many in our great nation, and throughout the world.”

The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial has enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Congress over the years, and we particularly want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts put forth by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham, and many others from both sides of the aisle in both chambers,” Wilson said.

“We are also extremely grateful to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, his senior leadership team, and Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez for their personal dedication and commitment to the Memorial that resulted in this grant award,” he said. “In addition, Mayor Gray and his team in the District of Columbia have committed to expediting this street work in order to prevent unnecessary delays for the Memorial’s construction.”

With the final financial impediment removed, and a single utility relocation issue remaining to be resolved, we are hopeful that on-site construction of the Memorial will begin next year, allowing the Memorial to be completed and dedicated in late 2014.

2012 DAV Convention Scrapbook

Vice President Joe Biden addresses DAV convention in Las Vegas

Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation board members Gene Murphy, Art Wilson and Dennis Joyner at the Memorial booth

DAV held its 91st National Convention earlier this month in Las Vegas, and we were there! At our booth we passed out t-shirts, coffee mugs, and our Annual Report. Thanks to all who volunteered, including Dennis Joyner, Art Wilson and Gene Murphy.

One highlight for the 4,000 attendees was an address by Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., who discussed key policies affecting the veteran community.

J.R. Martinez, whose remarkable accomplishments in service to veterans inspired the nation and advanced the causes of America’s veterans, was awarded DAV’s Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year Award. Our Memorial spokesperson, Gary Sinise, received special recognition for speaking out on issues affecting veterans and military men and women.

In his remarks, Vice President Biden mentioned the recent DOT grant and how it impacts the Memorial.

He concluded his speech by saying:

“… the contributions of each — each of you have made to our nation is going to outlive us all. You’ve propelled America to heights our predecessors could not have even imagined. You’ve preserved our cherished liberties… your blood runs deep in the veins of your kids and your grandkids and your great grandkids. So to ensure all this, we have to just make sure we remember — we remember — all the time the sacrifice you made.”

We invite you to browse through DAV photos of the convention.

Behind the Scenes at the Memorial

Liberating the Voices of Disabled Veterans

Cloud Gehshan Associates

From the Revolutionary War to the present day, disabled American veterans have told powerful stories about their experiences. Now, the most appropriate quotations and illustrations form the emotionally moving interpretive framework for The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

"We were brought on to the project team to develop the interpretive approach and help shape the content for the Memorial," said Jerome Cloud, principal in charge of design for Cloud Gehshan Associates in Philadelphia. "Our goal was to determine how best to tell the veterans’ stories in a meaningful way."

Cloud said he and his team were inspired by The Price of Their Blood: Profiles in Spirit, by authors Jesse Bown and Daniel Paisner. "Our job was to bring the original idea to life and give form and meaning to the Memorial," he said.

The first step in the process involved researching disabled veterans’ stories, a process conducted by History Associates of Rockville, MD. "Our goal was to identify the range and diversity of experiences of men and women of different ranks, across all service branches and military conflicts," he said. "While there were relatively few quotations from the Revolutionary War, the volume grew steadily from the Civil War to the present day."

Next, the team created a quotation matrix, similar to a spreadsheet, to categorize about 700 of the most moving stories and ensure a wide diversity of voices. "While every disabled veteran has a unique experience, we felt the best approach was to focus on four common stages of their journeys," Cloud said. To quote Rick Fenstermacher, Foundation Chief Operating Officer: “We wanted all disabled veterans to be able to see themselves reflected in the Memorial.”

Therefore, the team looked for quotes about what inspired these soldiers to serve their country, about the trauma of injury, the challenge of healing, and the discovery of new purpose in veterans’ lives. The final quotations were selected for their universal resonance and timelessness and could represent any war.

Through a multi-stage review process, the original selection of quotations was trimmed to the final group of 18. They will be etched onto the 48 glass panels alongside photographic images, and four bronze sculptured silhouettes created by Larry Kirkland. "We selected the Palatino typeface for the quotations because it strikes the right balance of classic proportion, readability and strength," Cloud said. "We used the classic and timeless Trajan capital letters for the large quotations etched into the front, forward surface.”

The images and quotations embedded in the glass will be illuminated by the light passing through the bronze cutouts and lit up at night, animating and bringing the glass panels to life, said Cloud. "We wanted to create an interaction and a dialogue between all the elements. For example, one of the cutout silhouettes is an image of a soldier with a crutch, who appears to be standing in front of an image of Arlington Cemetery that is actually a projection from behind. The juxtaposition of images is a powerful and moving reminder of loss and sacrifice."

Cloud added that lead landscape architect Michael Vergason’s decision to choose glass for the three interpretive walls of the Memorial was an inspired one. "Glass is a material of disclosure and transparency," he said. "It liberates and illuminates the imagery and veterans’ voices in a way that carving them into stone would not have done."

Cloud’s firm also designed the type treatment for the Memorial name, including the V-cut quotations from George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower to be carved into the granite walls that flank one edge of the site. "We have worked on a number of history, memorial and donor recognition projects," Cloud said. "Yet there is nothing in our experience that has been as deeply moving and as rewarding as working on this Memorial over these last several years.”

Preparing the Etched Glass Panels

Savoy Studios

One of the most challenging aspects of The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is preparing the 48 laminated glass panels that will display the soldiers’ stories. The quotations and photographs are being etched into oversize panels, which will form three walls at the site.

"It is a privilege for us to work with this extraordinary design concept,” says Dan Legree, owner, Savoy Studios in Portland, Oregon. A world leader in glass design and fabrication, Savoy Studios is managing the complex panel fabrication process. "Producing the panels involves a number of different steps. Some need to be done by hand, while others require the precision of a computer-controlled robot. That’s why it takes a week or two to fabricate each panel."

Drawing on more than 40 years of experience, Savoy Studios began work on the panels this summer. Legree’s son Keir is project manager and son Dana is cutting the panels, which have five layers of glass, are four inches thick and weigh approximately 1,700 pounds each.

"Having five sheets of glass is important to give each panel the proper scale," says Keir Legree. "It’s also well-engineered for wind resistance. Each panel has to be able to withstand hurricane-force winds without bending, breaking or leaning. Most importantly, the large panels provide a suitable monumental artistic effect for the memorial."

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries provided the sheets of 3/4 inch-thick Starphire® glass, which is also used in the Apache helicopter, B-2 bomber and a new mine-resistant personnel vehicle. Now, the Savoy Studios’ team is laminating those sheets after etching the quotations and illustrations on the inside and outside faces of the glass panels.

First, the team completes the etchings that will be inside the panel and apply a chemical to be sure the words and artwork will be visible after lamination. Several of the panels have exterior etchings that require protection from fingerprints, scratches or other damage. "Ensuring the readability of the etchings was one of the biggest challenges for this unique project," says Keir Legree.

The next step is laminating the five separate sheets of glass to create an entire panel. With this process – which is done by hand – a liquid polymer called GlassLam is poured between the separate sheets of glass to fill in the empty spaces left by the etching. Then, the chemical hardens into a solid, unbreakable bond.

Once the lamination has been completed, Dana Legree uses a computer-controlled waterjet to trim each panel to its finished 48- x 106-inch size. That requires a careful placement of each panel into a holding device to ensure that the edges are precisely aligned vertically and horizontally. After the trimming is completed, the edges of the glass panels are rounded and polished to ensure a smooth finish that visitors can easily touch.

"Contributing to The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is quite an honor," says Legree, noting that his father, Thomas Henry Legree, served with the Navy in the Pacific during World War II. "Our soldiers are still serving, still fighting and still getting wounded. Having a place to go that recognizes their commitment and sacrifice is a very meaningful thing. This memorial has been needed for a long time and we feel privileged to be part of it."

Visit our Wikipedia Page

Become a Memorial Ambassador

View the Virtual Memorial

Read About Our Groundbreaking

Pay tribute with the 2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar


Keep this information handy: The Veterans Crisis Hotline is an indispensible resource for veterans who need a helping hand.

Veterans and their loved ones can call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1), chat online at or send a confidential text message to 838255.


We are honored to have actor, director and musician Gary Sinise as the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. Gary has been traveling the country, supporting the Memorial’s cause at events and conferences from coast to coast. (more)


This commemorative coin is now available directly from the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation! Proceeds from every coin purchased help fund The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington D.C.

With thousands of disabled veterans returning from current conflicts, now is the time to purchase the American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar to show your gratitude and support for our disabled veterans. At the same time, you’ll be adding a family keepsake that will be enjoyed and revered for generations to come.

Order yours today.


Memorial and tribute cards in honor or memory of a loved one are available online and donations are tax-deductible. Choose from nine designs, all with the option of adding a custom message.


We update our Facebook and Twitter accounts daily. Be in the know about the latest happenings with the Memorial and current news impacting America’s disabled veterans. Join us on Twitter and Facebook.


The mission of The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is to celebrate those men and women who may be broken in body—but never in spirit. Transcending conflicts, service branches and generations, the Memorial will express America’s lasting gratitude to the men and women whose lives were forever changed in service to our country. As these veterans face a life for which no one can prepare, so must their families and friends. The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial will also honor veterans’ loved ones and caregivers – individuals whose heroic devotion is a source of strength for those striving to heal.

Mailing Address:
Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation
6274 Linton Blvd.
Ste 105
Delray Beach, FL 33484

Contact Name: Information
Telephone Number: (800) 331-7590

Obama ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Afghanistan Insider Attacks

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2012 – President Barack Obama said today that he, senior coalition military leaders and their Afghan counterparts will continue intensifying measures to thwart the spate of insider attacks by people wearing Afghan military and police uniforms.

During a White House news conference, the president said he spoke with Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was in Afghanistan today, and plans to speak with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"[Dempsey] is having intensive consultations not only with our commander, [Marine Corps Gen.] John Allen, on the ground, but also with Afghan counterparts," Obama said. "And I’ll be reaching out to President Karzai as well, because we’ve got to make sure that we’re on top of this."

Some of the attackers, the president said, are members of the Afghan security forces, and others have donned Afghan military or police uniforms to carry out their attacks. Coalition forces already have a range of successful vetting measures in play, he added, and pressure needs to remain.

As of yesterday, there have been 32 insider attacks this year that have resulted in 22 deaths, a senior defense official said. In all, 40 coalition personnel had been killed and 69 others have been wounded in such attacks. Over the same period in 2011, the official added, 16 attacks resulted in 28 deaths and 43 wounded.

The security transition under way in Afghanistan includes navigating the complexities that stem from closer contact with Afghan troops as coalition trainers prepare them to take responsibility for security throughout the country, Obama said.

"Part of what we’ve got to do is to make sure that this model works, but it doesn’t make our [troops] more vulnerable," he added. "In the long term, we will see fewer U.S. casualties and coalition casualties by sticking to our transition plan and making sure that we’ve got the most effective Afghan security force possible."

Related Articles:
Insider Attacks Mask Full Afghan Story, Little Says
Dempsey: Afghans Share Concern Over Insider Attacks

Insider attacks seem to be tactic of choice . All " Friendly " Afghan forces should be viewed as potential infiltrators arm our troops 24/7 and let Afghans train themselves. How long should this transition take another decade? I think we need to long hard look at our continued involvement. UBL is dead what are our goals are they realistic?


Queens, NY, August 13, 2012 – Before the summer months pass all too quickly, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), a ranking member of the Senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee, wants to invite all local veterans and their families to his 4th Annual Veterans’ Barbeque, outside his Howard Beach office. Save the date:

Saturday, August 25 – Veterans’ BBQ

160th Avenue & 102nd Street, Howard Beach

Noon to 3 PM

The Senator and his staff reached out to the various Queens chapters of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Catholic and Jewish War Veterans, Vietnam Veterans and Knights of Columbus fraternal organization, to be their special guests, so they can cook and serve them BBQ fare and host a fun, relaxing neighborhood event outdoors. Important: in order to know how many are expected, those planning to attend must R.S.V.P. by calling Senator Addabbo’s Howard Beach district office at 718-738-1111 no later than August 23, for preparation purposes.

“This is just our small way of saying ‘Thank you for your service’ — not only to our local veterans, but also to their families. All nobly served our country in years past and of course, many brave volunteers are currently still doing so in Afghanistan and Iraq. We should show our veterans that we appreciate their dedication and commitment not just on Veterans Day, but every day of the year,” explained Addabbo.

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America’s Secret MIG Squadron -Red Eagles of Project CONSTANT PEG

I just received a new book from Osprey Publishing for review. Stay tuned for my review in the upcoming weeks.

About this book
As a Vietnam veteran and Phantom F-4 pilot, Colonel Gail Peck (call-sign “EVIL”) had been disappointed with the level of training offered to US fighter pilots. He was determined to ensure that they were unbeatable in the air, particularly against their Cold War adversaries flying the already legendary MiG fighter jets. Working with the support of General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Jr, and under conditions of the utmost secrecy, the CONSTANT PEG program was launched with Peck as the original “Red Eagle.” This fascinating history was first revealed in Steve Davies’ acclaimed Red Eagles: America’s Secret MiGs, but this book is the insider’s perspective, complete with never-before-published anecdotes and photographs, revealing how Peck battled bureaucracy and skepticism to ultimately establish the premier fighter pilot training center.