Saturday, October 29, 2011

Navy Medicine Delivers Ballcaps to Children's Hospital during San Antonio Navy Week

From Navy Medicine Support Command Public Affairs

SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- Two Navy Medicine Training Center (NMTC) Sailors of the Quarter based at Fort Sam Houston, joined the Navy Medicine Support Command (NMSC) commander to visit with about 30 children Oct. 27 at the leading children's medical facility in south Texas as part of Navy Week San Antonio.

Rear Adm. Eleanor Valentin, also the Navy's Medical Service Corps director, was visiting San Antonio for the U.S. Navy's largest community outreach effort in south Texas.

Valentin joined Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Albert Ramirez, a Trauma Education Department instructor and coordinator at the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute, and HM2 Jessica Zugzda, an instructor at Hospital Corps School, at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital during the hour-long visit.

Caps for Kids, an initiative designed to provide ball caps and other Navy memorabilia to young patients in hospitals throughout the country, began in the early 1990s. Today more than 500 commands - including Navy Medicine commands and military treatment facilities, ships, submarines and squadrons - have donated memorabilia for personal distribution in non-Navy areas.

Valentin said meeting with the patients, parents and staff at Santa Rosa Children's Hospital - the first in the region dedicated entirely to children's patient care - served as an important reminder of how attached Navy Medicine personnel become to the local community.

"Navy Medicine and Navy Medicine Support Command medical professionals have become part of the local San Antonio family," she said. "Spending a little time with young patients and explaining what the Navy and Navy Medicine do around the world can have a very positive impact on San Antonio."

Ramirez, NMTC's Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ) for the third quarter, visited with "Cassandra," one of the young patients who was healthy enough to participate. Cassandra, a San Antonio native, told Ramirez, "This is good. I'm having fun."

For Ramirez, a parent himself, the experience was very emotional.

"This is my first time participating in a Caps for Kids event," he said. "It's pretty humbling. It's a different experience from anything I've ever done. I've spent 13 years deploying around the world, and this is probably the most overwhelming experience I've had yet."

Navy Medicine Training Center at Fort Sam Houston is a subordinate command of Jacksonville-based NMSC, managing Navy Medicine's personnel assigned to the tri-service Medical Education and Training Campus (METC), also located at Fort Sam Houston. METC houses Navy, Army and Air Force enlisted medical training programs, including Hospital Corps School and Navy Medicine "C" Schools. The daily student load is approximately 2,800 Sailors, contributing to 8,000-9,000 total enlisted medical students taught each day from all services, making the METC the largest consolidation of enlisted service training in Department of Defense history.

San Antonio Navy Week, scheduled Oct. 24-30, coincides this year with the Randolph Air Force Base Air Show and the 100th birthday celebration of Naval Aviation. Events during the weeklong outreach are scheduled to include demonstrations from the Blue Angels, as well as Navy Band performances and visits to area from Sailors stationed aboard USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS Texas (SSN 775).

NMSC provides a single point of accountability for all education, training, public health and resources for Sailors and Marines as well as providing innovative and responsive leaders in health support services.

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than 1 million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

White House to Display Holiday Cards from Military Children

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Monique K. Hilley, Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The First Lady has requested that military children from around the globe create holiday cards supporting their parent and send them to The White House to be displayed with the holiday decorations no later than Nov. 16.

The White House is honoring American heroes this holiday season and would like to include the personal contributions in their finishing touches on the White House decorations.

"We are asking kids like you, from military installations around the world, to create a holiday card that represents your parent who is serving our nation," said First Lady Michelle Obama in a personal letter to military children. "I encourage you to use your imagination, and include words, pictures, and drawings to create a holiday card that honors your brave mom or dad."

Military children should submit 5" by 8" handmade holiday cards with words of appreciation for their military parents, as well as pictures and drawings. The child should be sure to include their mother or father's name, branch of service and command in the card.

Participants are asked to send holiday cards to the following address, along with information from where they are sending it: Reservation 1, Attn: Social Office, P.O. Box 8070, Washington, DC, 20032.

"Thank you for helping with this fun project, and most of all for your family's courageous service to our nation," added Obama. "I look forward to seeing the results of your creativity!"

The White House will display as many of the cards as possible.

Honor in the Valley of Tears

The November 10, 2011, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with documentary film Maker John A. Ponsoll, the executive producer of Honor in the Valley of Tears.

Program Date: November 10, 2011
Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC
Topic: Honor in the Valley of Tears
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About the Film
A feature length documentary about Congressional Medal of Honor recipient 1st Sgt. David H. McNerney and the men of A-Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry of the 4th Infantry Division that he trained and led into a bloody, yet forgotten battle near Polei Doc in the Central Highlands of Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War. This area was later known as The Valley of Tears.

In the men's own words, through the stories they recount, the film gives us insight into the time these men spent together and the bond they formed that remains unbroken to this day. The men of A-Company trained together for eleven months and served together for one year. Their story begins with basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington in 1965 and continues 40 years later at their most recent reunion in September 2007. The highlight of the film is a detailed, first-hand account of their intense combat encounters, including the events of March 22, 1967 (for which Sgt. McNerney was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor). He is celebrated by the men he trained and served with and whose lives he saved on March 22, 1967.

Conceived by Executive Producer John A. Ponsoll, whose father served with A-Company and who documented his tour of duty with a Kodak slide camera, the film honors the memory of A-Company 1/8 and their incredible courage and dedication to one another.

About the Guest
John Ponsoll is a native of Danville, Kentucky. He graduated from Centre College in 1999 with a degree in English and Spanish. For the last 11 years he has worked as a marketer in pharmaceutical industry and has lived in Morristown, New Jersey. During this tenure, John's love of film collided with opportunities for film production when in 2006 he met Eric while working for a marketing agency in New York City. Growing up, John used to climb into the attic and explore his father's Vietnam memorabilia, including the pictures he took while in the Army. John made this film initially as a means to better understanding his father and as a tribute to the men his father served with in Vietnam from 1965-1967.

Honor in the Valley of Tears is his first foray into movie-making (though it won't be his last). John is Co-Executive Producer of Our Last Supper, which is currently in Post-Production. John enjoys traveling and maintains an active interest in all things Kentucky-related.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

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Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

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