Tag: 072617

A Time to Honor: Legion Post to Recognize Vietnam War Veterans

    “After arriving in Vietnam in 1968, it didn’t take James McLain long to realize he would probably either get wounded or killed. The odds didn’t seem to be in his favor.    “After arriving in Vietnam in 1968, it didn’t take James McLain long to realize he would probably either get wounded or killed. The odds didn’t seem to be in his favor. His first night in the field, the North Vietnamese killed seven members of his platoon. The third night, his unit was hit with mortar rounds, and a scout dog handler and his dog were killed. The day after that, a sniper killed two sergeants and a medic. A helicopter brought in replacements, and one was shot as he got off the helicopter. ‘They loaded him back on the same helicopter het got off of,’ McLain says. ‘I don’t know if he survived or not.'”
~excerpt from A Time to Honor
James Hickman McLain, U.S. Army Specialist 4 from the 101st Airborne Division, would serve a full ten months before getting shot, ironically on the day before he was to leave on R&R (rest and relaxation). He spent two weeks in an Army hospital in Japan, then 11 months at a hospital in Fort Gordon, Georgia, recovering from two gunshots to the leg. A recipient of the Silver Star for “gallantry in action,” he was eventually able to walk again with the help of a brace.
For nearly 11 years, from 1964 to 1975, 9.1 million Americans fought in the Vietnam War, with more than 58,000 of them losing their lives in the first war to be covered on television. Those who survived, returned home to a bitterly divided America, where their service was anything but appreciated.
McLain’s story is one of 115 told by American military personnel in A Time to Honor: Stories of Service, Duty, and Sacrifice, a book that has been written to remember and honor the service and sacrifice made by those who served during the Vietnam War. These uniquely personal narratives, and the hundreds of photos accompanying them, offer an up-close perspective of the war by those who were so deeply immersed in it. The hard cover edition is packaged with a DVD that contains a 68 minute feature documentary film. Entitled The Journey Home, the film explores the mistreatment veterans received upon their return from Vietnam and how efforts to recognize their service years later have helped reconcile some of those experiences.
American Legion USS San Diego Post #207 in La Porte City wants to make sure every local veteran of the Vietnam War receives a free copy of this special book and DVD package. Veterans, or family members of Vietnam War veterans, may request a copy by contacting Tom Juhl at 342-4240.

Freckles’ Adopt a Pet – July 26, 2017

Freckles and The Progress Review encourage potential pet owners who are loving and responsible to consider adopting a pet from the Cedar Bend Humane Society.
Ross is a sweet, big, happy boy (2 yrs.) who enjoys to be around people. His favorite thing to do is go for a run! Ross’ favorite toys are rope toys and tennis balls. He knows numerous commands, has done well with house training, and does well being kenneled while alone. He would make a great companion for an active family, or someone with a large fenced in yard. Ross’ breed is difficult to determine – may include shepherd, boxer, or lab. He is about 45 pounds of mixed breed dog that has a wonderful personality! Adoption fee: $190.
For more information about adopting a pet, contact: Cedar Bend Humane Society, 1166 W. Airline Highway, Waterloo, Iowa 319-232-6887
cbhsadoption@mchsi.com  –  www.cedarbendhumanesociety.com

Leading a Nation

 Wendy Riggle is among 30 American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) volunteers who has the honor of joining 100 high school rising seniors at the 71st American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation July 22-29 in Washington, D.C. Two outstanding citizens, known as “senators,” are selected at 50 ALA Girls State sessions held across the country to represent their respective states at ALA Girls Nation. The premier leadership conference provides aspiring young women leaders with practical insight into the workings of government, instills a sense of pride in our country, promotes youth civic engagement, and creates friendships and memories that last a lifetime.  Wendy Riggle is among 30 American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) volunteers who has the honor of joining 100 high school rising seniors at the 71st American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation July 22-29 in Washington, D.C. Two outstanding citizens, known as “senators,” are selected at 50 ALA Girls State sessions held across the country to represent their respective states at ALA Girls Nation. The premier leadership conference provides aspiring young women leaders with practical insight into the workings of government, instills a sense of pride in our country, promotes youth civic engagement, and creates friendships and memories that last a lifetime. 
Riggle was chosen to be a part of this year’s ALA Girls Nation staff because of her exemplary service to her community and the American Legion Auxiliary. “I am honored and excited to be a part of the 71st ALA Girls Nation,” said Riggle. “To watch these bright, young women actively learn and immerse themselves in our political process makes me proud to be an ALA member and gives me great hope for the future of our country.”
A key component of the ALA Girls Nation program involves the mock senate sessions in which the senators write, caucus, and debate bills. Campaigns are held to elect party officials and an ALA Girls Nation president and vice president. In addition to their legislative forums, the senators visit Arlington National Cemetery where they participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, tour the D.C. monuments, visit the National Holocaust Museum, and also meet with their respective state senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.
“The ALA Girls Nation experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young women across our nation to learn firsthand about the inner workings of the federal government before they are of voting age,” said Melanie Taylor, American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation chairman. “After attending their local ALA Girls State program and then ALA Girls Nation, the girls return home filled with knowledge, patriotism, and pride.”
Taylor, along with Riggle and other ALA volunteer leaders, will attend the conference and encourage the young senators to continue their community service by becoming members of the American Legion Auxiliary, as well as leaders in their communities and local governments.
American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value averaging $2 billion each year. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, ALA volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the ALA’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.

Practical Money Matters – July 26, 2017

By Nathaniel Sillin
Could a Gap Year After High School Make Financial Sense?
In some parts of the world, a gap year – a year-long break between high school and college – is the norm. It’s starting to catch on in the U.S. as well.
It’s a chance for recent high school graduates to earn money, challenge themselves, explore the world and build their resume while experimenting with different career paths.
Those who take full advantage of the opportunity often find the experience to be rewarding and beneficial. And colleges report that students who start school after a gap year tend to earn higher grades, are more involved with campus life and graduate within four years at a higher rate than their non-gap-year peers.
Lessons you could learn along the way. Many people spend at least part of the year traveling, working or volunteering away from home. During the year, they may discover that what they originally wanted to study isn’t a good fit, or may come away with a newfound passion.
Entering college with this knowledge can help them focus on a major, plan their classes and graduate early. Or, at least avoid changing majors and extending their schooling. In either case, they can save tens of thousands of dollars.
During a gap year, young adults also often take a more direct role in their day-to-day finances. They can develop a greater appreciation for earning, and spending, money. In turn, this can give them a framework when taking out student loans and an extra push to apply for scholarships.
Finding structure for your gap year. To avoid squandering the year, you can look into formal programs that can help you achieve or define your personal, academic or career goals. According to the American Gap Association (AGA), a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon, over 80 percent of gap year students say the skills they acquired helped them be successful in their career after school.
Many choose service-oriented work. The federally backed AmeriCorps programs place volunteers throughout the U.S. to help communities in needs. Once you complete a full-time 10- to 11-month commitment, you may be eligible for a scholarship worth up to $5,815 (in fiscal year 2017). Some colleges and universities will also match a portion of the award.
Working for a local business could be another great option. You can earn money, see if you truly enjoy the work, network and may be able to line up work during school or for future summer jobs. The industry connections and mentorship you receive can also be valuable for your post-graduation job search.
Another resource for finding a program is the USA Gap Year Fairs, which profiles a broad range of gap year experiences. Privately run programs may not offer compensation, but sometimes you can work in exchange for room and board. The experience can also serve as a foundation for cover letters when you apply for jobs or college admissions essays.
Funding your gap year. There are gap year options for students from all socio-economic backgrounds.
The AGA maintains a list of financial aid opportunities that can help you fund a gap year. The mix of merit- and need-based scholarships could cover the cost of a program or offset the cost of traveling or volunteering. If you have a particular program, ask the organization for recommendations.
Also, inquire with your university to see if it recommends or runs any programs. Some schools offer scholarships to admitted students who take a gap year, and a few will give you college credit for completing certain programs.
Once you start your college education, you can try to capitalize on your year off. There are many scholarships available to continuing college students and your experience could be a good jumping-off point for an essay.
Bottom line: Taking a gap year between high school and college is increasingly popular, although still not as common as it is in some other parts of the world. While jumping right into college and getting a degree is the traditional path towards employment, some parents and students see the benefit of taking a year off to better define one’s goals and gain real-world experience before going to college. 

Meditations – July 26, 2017

By Christopher Simon
Being Within the Law Versus Being Under the Law
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”          ~ Psalm 1:1-2
When you obey the law, and in this case we are talking about God’s law, as an expression of your will to do good, and your desire to obey the law because it is an expression of God’s goodness you are within the law and the law is an expression of your freedom.
But when you are under the law you feel forced to do the right thing, or atone for doing wrong, and are not as free as the person who obeys the law because he loves God and sees the law as an expression of God’s goodness.
Following our instincts is frequently at odds with God’s law, and while one is free to act according to one’s animal nature or according to God’s law, true freedom consists in submitting one’s will to God’s law. The person who submits his will to his animal instincts is really a slave to his passions and not nearly as free as the as the person who submits his will to God.

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