Volunteers Share Holiday Spirit With Fallen Veterans Through Wreaths

news9.com,  Macomb, Oklahoma

 

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA: Dozens of volunteers rolled through Oklahoma spreading the holiday spirit to those who served our country and lost their lives. Christmas wreaths were laid across America Saturday at the graves of veterans who are no longer with us.

“I know their spirits feel me,” said Ralph “Rowdy” Butler, who started Oklahoma’s Roll To Wreaths in 2014 after seeing the national effort to remember the fallen.

Christmas wreaths were laid across America Saturday at the graves of veterans who are no longer with us. Dozens of volunteers rolled through Oklahoma spreading the holiday spirit to those who served our country and lost their lives.

About 5,400 out of 1,570,000 wreaths made their way to the final resting places of local veterans this year.

“I know their spirits feel me,” said Ralph “Rowdy” Butler, who started Oklahoma’s Roll To Wreaths in 2014 after seeing the national effort to remember the fallen.

Fundraising has helped Butler grow the program annually, but there are still Oklahoman service members whose graves remain untouched. The volunteers do their best to send their thoughts to them.

Living veterans like Silver Star recipient William “Pete” Piazza often think of their fallen comrades.

“I miss them, truthfully,” he said.

Piazza lost four of his friends during the Vietnam War.

“We worked together as a group as a team, as any of the units did that were in Vietnam,” he said, “and the camaraderie, you will not find it nowhere else.”

Piazza said most civilians get so busy they forget to take a moment to reflect on the men and women who fight to protect our country.

Butler, who served in both the Army and the Air Force, admits those fighters do not sign up for the accolades, though.

“When that flag is flying I know I’ve got my freedom,” Butler said, “and the price that we pay is unconditional. We don’t want nothing in return. We never asked for anything in return.”

For Christmas, at least, the fallen can rest in peace in the spirit of the season.

“Their shadow, their silhouette, is looking back at me and saying thank you,” said Butler.

The wreaths will remain at the gravesites of veterans through the New Year. To learn more about the Roll to Wreaths project go to: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/

SF Colonels Selected for Group/Wing Commands

Congratulations to the following SF Colonels who were selected for their group or wing commands. Well done Colonels and enjoy your command!

Col Thomas P. Sherman, Commander, 88th Air Base Wing, Wright Patterson AFB, OH

 

Col Benito J. Barron, Commander, 820th Base Defense Group, Moody AFB, GA

 

Col Phillip G. Born, Vice Commander, 37th Training Wing, JBSA Lackland AFB, TX

 

Col Theodore A. Breuker, Commander, 377th Security Forces Group, Kirtland AFB, NM

 

Col Jeffrey F. Carter, Commander, 502th Security Forces/Logistics Support Group, JBSA Randolph AFB, TX

 

Col Shawn C. Covault, Commander, 51st Mission Support Group, Osan AB, ROK

 

Col Joseph A. Engelbrecht III, Commander, 11th Security Forces Group, JB Andrews, AFB MD

 

Col Brian A. Filler, Vice Commander, 39th Air Base Wing, Incirlik AB, Turkey

 

Col Chad A. Gallagher, Commander, 91st Security Forces Group, Minot AFB, ND

 

Col Jeffrey A. Hollman, Commander, 412th Mission Support Group, Edwards AFB, CA

 

Col Paul R. Quigley, Commander, 39th Weapons System Security Group, Incirlik AB, Turkey

 

The Newest SF Chiefs!!!!

Congratulations to the following Senior Master Sergeants for their selection to Chief Master Sergeant! Well done Defenders. AFSFA is proud of you.

AKERS, KEVIN L.

ALLEGREZZA, JAMES A.

ARTEAGA, ROBERTO A.

BLACKWELL, JEROME L.

BROUGHMAN, KENNETH

CROCKETT, JUSTIN J.

DICKEY, RICK E.

DIEHL, MARK A.

DURRELL, LAWRENCE D.

ELLIS, CLINTON J.

ERB, KYLE J.

FEST, THEODORE L.

FLANAGAIN, CHARLES

FONTAINE, TESSA M.

GRODER, MICHAEL R.

HOLTZMANN, PATRICK

KENNEDY, JONATHAN M.

KORCHAKCAMPBELL, KR

MCCOY, BRADY L.

MCNELLEY, REBECCA F.

MOODY, JEFFREY S.

NOETHLICH, BRIAN C.

PEASE, MATTHEW A.

RAYMUNDO, RUSSEL Q.

REGAN, CLAYTON

SHAFFER, JASON Q.

SIMPSON, ROBERT S. J.

SMALL, MICAH J.

STEHLEY, DENNIS J. J.

WILFONG, JAMES M.

WOLFGANG, BRANDON M.

WRIGHT, CHRISTOPHER

 

Army Prepares to Sell Up to 10,000 Surplus 1911 Pistols ... Here’s How You Get One

By: Todd South, Army Times, 4 December 2017

Marine Cpl. Justin Morrall fires a 1911 M45A1 pistol at Susong Ri live fire range, Republic of Korea. The Army will soon transfer up to 10,000 surplus 1911s to the Civilian Marksmanship Program for sale to qualified civilians. (Lance Cpl. Bernadette Wildes/Marine Corps)

With the stroke of a pen, as many as 10,000 Army surplus 1911A1 pistols could be available for sale to the public early next year. 

A provision in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act explicitly orders the sale of between 8,000 and 10,000 of the venerable .45 caliber pistols. The 1911 has a storied history, and it influenced handgun design for more than a century.

Having seen service in every war since World War I, the gun is a favorite among collectors and civilian shooters, many of whom modify variants of the 1911 for competitive shooting.

The iconic sidearm has been featured in films ranging from 1930s detective dramas — “Bullets or Ballots” starring Humphrey Bogart is one example — to a nickel-plated version with pearl grips carried by John Travolta’s character in the 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction.”

In military movies, Sam Elliot carried the 1911 handgun while portraying famed Army Command Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley in “We Were Soldiers,” a film depicting the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang and the soldiers of the 7th Cavalry Regiment during the Vietnam War.

Once the approved, the surplus 1911s will be sold through the Civilian Marksmanship Program http://thecmp.org/

The CMP is a nonprofit organization that educates people on responsible firearms use and conducts marksmanship competitions nationwide. It is a recipient of military surplus firearms for sales to support its mission. 

The NDAA awaits President Donald Trump’s approval before the transfer can take place. The rollout wouldn’t take place all at once, with the weapons set to transfer to the CMP from 2018 through 2020.

The CMP sells another piece of U.S. military history, the M1 Garand, a .30 caliber rifle that was used in World War II, Korea and initially in Vietnam before being replaced by the M16 service rifle.

The 1911A1 was replaced as the Army’s official sidearm in 1986, when the service fielded the M9 Beretta 9 mm pistol.

That handgun is now in the process of being replaced by the Modular Handgun System, which includes the M17 and a compact M18, which are military versions of the Sig Sauer P320 9 mm handgun.

VA & CFPB Warning on Refinancing Offers

 

 

Colleagues and Fellow Veterans,

 

The VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) lowers your interest rate by refinancing your existing VA home loan. During FY17, VA guaranteed over 190,000 home loans under this program. In FY 2017, there were nearly 1,500 lenders that participate in the VA Home Loan program.

 

Regrettably, some lenders have taken advantage of Servicemembers and Veterans with VA home loans in the past. They have sent unsolicited offers to refinance VA mortgages with misleading advertising. If you have a VA home loan, there is a good chance you have already come into contact with unsolicited offers which appear official and may sound too good to be true.

 

The VA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have issued their first Warning Order to Servicemembers and Veterans who currently have a VA home loan, as we have found that some of you are being targeted with misleading advertising.

 

Understand that certain advertised benefits, such as no out-of-pocket closing costs, skipped mortgage payments, and escrow refunds, are costs that are generally added to your loan and increase the overall principal balance. These are all red flags that may indicate that the loan is less likely to benefit you. Before you proceed with a VA mortgage refinance, be sure to consider the long-term and short-term benefits and consequences of refinancing your loan.

 

If you are contacted to refinance your VA mortgage, carefully consider your options and ask questions:

•Does a lower interest rate extend the term (i.e., 30-year fixed rate to another 30-year fixed rate)?

•What are the financial implications when choosing between a fixed term and an adjustable rate mortgage loan?

•What is your total payback for the new loan vs. the original loan?

•Do offers of skipped payments or cash back ultimately get added to my loan amount?

 

If you have a problem with a VA mortgage refinance or other mortgage issues, you can submit a complaint to the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372). Please also see VA/CFPB’s blog on this topic at: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/cfpb-and-va-warno-va-refinancing-offers-sound-too-good-be-true/.

 

We are working hard, along with other government agencies, to identify, stop, and prevent illegal and misleading advertising related to VA mortgages and refinancing. If you have questions that aren’t being answered by your lender, please get a second opinion from another lender, or call a VA loan specialist who is available to assist you from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday at (877) 827-3702.

 

As always, thank you for your service.

 

Regards,

Curtis L. Coy

Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Washington, DC 20420

 

Make a Difference!  Donate.

Join Us.

2018 BoD Mid-Year Meeting
24 March 2018
AFSFA HQ Office
San Antonio, TX

32nd National Meeting
Sacramento, CA
23-26 August 2018
Visitors Bureau
http://goo.gl/AR9xyS

33rd National Meeting
San Antonio, TX
26-29 September 2019