Saturday, November 10, 2012

Salt Lake Community College Celebrates Veterans Day

Terry Schow, Director of Utah VA, to Address the Importance of Veterans Day

Flag raising events in honor of United States military veterans will be held at Salt Lake Community College on Monday, November 12, 2012. The ceremonies will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the main flag-poles of three of the College’s campuses: Taylorsville Redwood, South City, and Jordan.

The ceremonies will be comprised of a traditional military flag raising and performance of the national anthem. The Taylorsville Redwood event will be conducted by the Navel Sea Cadet Corps; the Navy Recruiting Command will conduct the event at South City Campus; and the Jordan Campus event will be conducted by the West Jordan, Army National Guard Recruiting Command.

Refreshments will be served and patriotic ribbons will be passed out in honor of the country’s veterans of military service.

The College will also hold a program called 'Healing for our Wounded Warriors' for veterans on November 14, from noon – 2:00 p.m. at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus in the Student Center’s Oak Room. Terry Schow, Executive Director of the Utah Veterans Assistance Center will provide a presentation on the importance of Veterans Day. A video will be shown at the event, ribbons will be hung on a Veterans Honor Tree, and time and materials will be provided to write and send letters to military personnel currently serving.

The SLCC Student Veterans Association also held a concert to benefit the Veterans Freedom Landing homeless shelter on November 7. All proceeds from the concert went to benefit the shelter.

About the College: Salt Lake Community College is an accredited, student-focused,urban college meeting the diverse needs of the Salt Lake community. Home to more than 62,000 students each year, the College is the largest supplier of workforce development programs in the State of Utah. The College is the sole provider of applied technology courses in the Salt Lake area, with 13 sites, an eCampus, and nearly 1,000 continuing education sites located throughout the Salt Lake valley. Personal attention from an excellent faculty is paramount at the College, which maintains a student-to-teacher ratio of less than 20 to 1.

Dempsey Honors U.S. Veterans at Seoul Memorial

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

YONGSAN GARRISION, South Korea, Nov. 10, 2012 – Veterans of the Korean War would have recognized the weather if nothing else about the South Korean capital of Seoul today, as Pouring rain obscured the skyscrapers that are now a symbol of Seoul on Nov. 11 here, but the Veterans of Foreign War carried through with a ceremony to remember their comrades -- especially the more than 38,000 Americans killed in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey joined Army Gen. James D. Thurman -- commander of Combined Forces Korea and U.S. Forces Korea -- and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Sung Y. Kim for the ceremony at the 8th Army Memorial here. The ceremony also honored some American and Korean veterans of the war who attended.

Dempsey said it is right and fitting to honor veterans, because while he represents the men and women who make up the finest military the world has ever seen, “we know we stand on very broad shoulders.”

“On Veterans Day we honor every man or woman who has worn the uniform of our nation, who have selflessly secured America’s promise throughout our history,” the general said. “That history teaches us that security doesn’t just happen. It demands effort, sacrifice, courage and commitment. It requires generations of men and women willing to go to distant lands and, as the Korean War Memorial in Washington says, ‘to defend a country that they never knew and a people that they never met.’”

Dempsey asked the audience to remember not only the veterans of previous wars, but those thousands of service members in harm’s way today.

“This isn’t just about what we say here today; this is about how we honor our veterans every day of the year,” the chairman said. “It’s remaining committed to supporting them and their families in every way that we possibly can. It’s about serving them as well as they serve and continue to serve our nation.”

That, the chairman added, is the sacred trust between America and those who defend it. “It’s a trust extolled by the 8th Army – honored by this memorial – that drove the enemy north of the 38th parallel,” he said.
Kim thanked the Korean War veterans for giving Americans and Koreans “the freedom to chose their own paths.”
The ambassador noted that what began as a purely military alliance in 1950 has morphed to a full and close alliance on every level. Behind the bulwark of U.S. military, the South Korean military has grown to a world-class organization. South Korea has grown from a destitute land destroyed by war in 1953 to the 12th-largest economy in the world. Thanks to the security provided by the U.S.-South Korean alliance, he added, this country has risen from a Third World nation to the First World in a generation.

Kim said the South Korean military has stood with its American allies in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and he thanked them for the Korean people for their sacrifices.

Thurman said the ceremony was a chance for both Americans and Koreans to reflect on “our values and our freedoms that we share.”

He noted that many U.S. veterans live in South Korea, and said it is fitting to recognize them.

“Today we honor the young men and women who throughout the history of our nation answered the call in times of need,” Thurman said. “Our veterans served both at home and overseas to defend our country and its values.”

Vigilant Guard exercise ends as "successful mission"

By Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer
Missouri National Guard

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri National Guard's Vigilant Guard training exercise concluded Wednesday, after a five day period that was a response to a simulated earthquake that took place along the New Madrid fault line.

Vigilant Guard was a worst-case scenario natural disaster exercise that was a response to the last ten years in the state of Missouri, which saw flooding, ice storms and the Joplin tornado, said Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard.

"More than 4,600 Soldiers, Airmen and civilian partners participated in this exercise, which is one of the largest Missouri has ever organized," Danner said. "It was an outstanding opportunity for our force to test our processes and capabilities. The Missouri National Guard is the most seasoned, battle-tested force we've ever fielded, but we are always looking for ways to
improve ourselves so we can better serve the state."

Col. William Blaylock, the Director of Strategic Plan and Exercises for the Missouri National Guard, was also pleased with the results of the Vigilant Guard exercise.

"From a soldier-standpoint and even the civilians, we have had tremendous cooperation and participation," Blaylock said. "Missouri Guard soldiers and soldiers in general are trained to rise to the occasion when orders are not given, and everyone has done a great job in that sense."

In Columbia, Soldiers and Airmen worked alongside civilian agencies including Missouri Task Force 1, a FEMA urban search and rescue team, to practice skills including search and extraction and decontamination. The training was especially realistic because it included role players who acted as victims.

The teams in Columbia reported to the Guard's Joint Operations Center, or, JOC, in Jefferson City. The JOC is the central nerve hub of the Missouri National Guard.  Danner recently expanded the JOC to give the Soldiers, Airmen and civilians working within a more effective working environment.
Vigilant Guard was the Guard's first opportunity to utilize the new facility, said Maj. Brett Cooper, chief of current operations in the Joint Operations Center.

"It was a wise decision to move from what we were using previously to where we are today," Cooper said. "It's really going to benefit the citizens, which is ultimately why we're here and why we're working together today."

Columbia saw a variety of staged missions, including search and rescue from destroyed buildings, decontamination from chemical waste outbreak, as well as medical treatment tents for civilian who were suffering from different injuries sustained due to the mock earthquake.

In  Jefferson City, the 1438th Engineer Company completed a successful bridge building exercise along the river, which saw pieces of bridging be loaded into the water, and be pieced together.

The unit also completed a similar exercise the previous day at the Macon Training Site.

Similar missions also took place around the southeastern portion of the state, which is where the mock 6.7 magnitude earthquake took place.

Not only were Guardsmen working hard to support the simulated exercise, but members of the 735th Field Service Company Family Readiness Group worked to secure supplies for those participating in Vigilant Guard, coordinating donations from multiple vendors that were sold at the training exercises in Columbia, to help raise money for Missouri Guardsmen and their families.

"Our job as soldiers in the Missouri National Guard is to protect and defend this state, and this exercise is training for that mission," Blaylock said. "We work with civilians and other state agencies to ensure we are protecting and taking care of the citizens of the state of Missouri."