Military

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COVID-19 Disrupts 25 Year Memorial Day Tradition

There is no doubt that a lot of Memorial Day traditions have been disrupted this year thanks to COVID-19. Special services, get together events, VFW events, parades, and other events have been cancelled. Whatever event you may have had your heart set on this year, the bottom line is it is a different kind of Memorial Day. For one Texarkana resident a twenty-five-year tradition has been broken. As long as some people in the Texarkana area can remember, Ann Atchison Nicholas or her mother Jane Cobb Atchison have recited “In Flanders Fields” as part of Texarkana’s Memorial Day Services. Continue Reading →

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A Drive in the Country on Memorial Day

Just east of the Texas town of Mt. Pleasant drivers on Interstate 30 will find the first exit of the area. Exit 165 appears to be more for convenience to reach a part of the trailer manufacturing company than to reach anywhere of any great significance. Taking the exit will lead you onto FM 1001 where you will wind your way to the left over the Interstate and down to the crossing of Highway 67. If you cross over 67, you will find yourself on FM 2348 or as locals may call it, Chauncy R. Mays Memorial Highway. Continue Reading →

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VIRTUAL MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY WITH GEORGE P. BUSH AND ADMIRAL WILLIAM MCRAVEN

Join us in honoring our Texan Veterans this Memorial Day 

AUSTIN — Today, Texas Land Commissioner and Chairman of the Veterans Land Board George P. Bush will be hosting a virtual Memorial Day ceremony to honor and remember our military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. The year 2020 has brought many unforeseen changes. However, one thing that has not, nor ever will change is our unwavering dedication to Texas Veterans and remembrance of the ones we have lost. Though this Memorial Day may look a little different as we practice social distancing to fight COVID-19, we will continue to honor and show our thanks to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. While we may not be able to continue our normal Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies across our four Texas State Veteran Cemeteries, we will be remembering our fallen virtually this year. Continue Reading →

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VIRTUAL MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY WITH GEORGE P. BUSH AND ADMIRAL WILLIAM MCRAVEN

AUSTIN — On Monday, May 25th, Texas Land Commissioner and Chairman of the Veterans Land Board George P. Bush will be hosting a virtual Memorial Day ceremony to honor and remember our military servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice. The year 2020 has brought many unforeseen changes. However, one thing that has not, nor ever will change is our unwavering dedication to Texas Veterans and remembrance of the ones we have lost. Though this Memorial Day may look a little different as we practice social distancing to fight COVID-19, we will continue to honor and show our thanks to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. While we may not be able to continue our normal Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies across our four Texas State Veteran Cemeteries, we will be remembering our fallen virtually this year. Continue Reading →

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WWII VETERAN REQUESTS 100 CARDS FOR 100th BIRTHDAY

BONHAM, TEXAS – Today, Chairman of the Veterans Land Board George P. Bush asked the community for help in ensuring WWII Navy Veteran Lyndoll Hurley receives 100 birthday cards for his centennial birthday. It’s not every day that a WWII Veteran turns 100 years old. On Wednesday, January 8, WWII United States Navy Veteran Lyndoll Hurley will turn 100 years young. Lyndoll Hurley proudly served in WWII in the Navy. Please help us celebrate this momentous occasion by sending a birthday card to Lyndoll Hurley’s home at the Clyde W. Cosper Texas Veterans Home, run by the Veterans Land Board. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas High ROTC Program Raising Funds for 75th Anniversary D-Day Project

The Arkansas High AFJROTC (Air Force Junior ROTC) is busy once again with the new school year and a new project.  The ROTC group plans to create a Diorama of the World War 2 D-Day Normandy Beach Landing.  The class instructor, MSgt. Douglas McLane, USAF Ret., is planning the project as an educational tool and a 75th Anniversary event for the history of the landing.  The project will take a little over $1,120 to complete but will benefit not only the ROTC program at Arkansas High but all students at the school and beyond.   (Donate)

The ROTC program has a long history at Arkansas High dating
back to its establishment on September 1, 1967. 
The program is designated as AR-022 which notes that it was the 22nd
program of its kind put in place.  The
agreement between Arkansas High and the United States Air Force has allowed
several retired Air Force to serve as instructors and mentors for young people
since the founding in 1967.  Like many instructors,
MSgt. McLane was not looking for a job when he saw the advertisement for the
position.  Intrigued, he called to find
out that there were no applicants for the position which indicated to him that
this might be a calling.  McLane answered
the call of service once again.   Work started
to build on the program to help enhance the lives of those in the ROTC
program. 

Unit patch

In 2019, the program won the Outstanding Unit of the Year Award with Merit.  This was the first time the program has ever won the award.  In 2018, the unit attended the Drill and Fitness Competition along with 14 other units.  Arkansas High’s united won several awards at the event including 2nd Place Unarmed Drill Exhibition, 2nd Place Armed Tandem Exhibition, and 2nd Place Uniform Inspection.  The unit then brought home the 1st Place in the Individual Female Fitness Award. Before 2019, and in recent years, the unit has had several successful competitions and recognition that include:

2nd Place Unarmed Regulation Drill 20173rd Place Armed Regulation Drill 2017Recognized at the LA Tech’s Veteran Ceremony at Bulldog Stadium before the game with Rice UniversityWon Outstanding Civic Marching Group in the Veterans Day Parade 2018Won Outstanding marching Group in the Veterans Day Parade 2018Outstanding Color Guard Unit at the Live United Bowl for 2016, 2017 and 2018

With so much success and promise coming from the program,
Instructor MSgt. McLane is now reaching for more for the unit with the D-Day
Project.  Ultimately, any major project
like McLane has developed will need funds. 
The unit has created an online web page where community members,
business leaders, retired military, and anyone with interest in helping this
unit can donate specifically for the project.  
The project is described in detail on the page:

“The students will learn about the historical event of D-Day and the importance of the major military operation during World War 2. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas Military Retirement Income Tax Cut To Go Into Effect in January

LITTLE ROCK – The Military Retirement Income Tax Cut, which Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law in February, will go into effect January 1, 2018. The tax cut, which eliminates state income tax on military retirement pay, was one of Governor Hutchinson’s priorities for the 2017 legislative session. The bill passed through the General Assembly with wide bi-partisan support in both chambers.  
Arkansas has now has joined the majority of southern states in exempting state income tax on military retirement pay. Governor Hutchinson prioritized this initiative in an effort to recruit more military retirees to the state. Continue Reading →

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County Government Slows to Honor Veterans

Miller County, AR- Many people let Veteran’s Day slide past last weekend without much notice, but the elected officials and staff at the Miller County Courthouse did not as they rose above their office duties to do more.  In the middle of fall decorations, pumpkin contest, preparations for the Christmas season, and the recent influx of taxpayers taking care of taxes, officials and staff paused last Friday to honor veterans. Each office decorated, put up signs, prepared food and snacks, and opened their doors wide to those who have stepped up to answer the call to defend our freedoms.  Everyone from the county judge down to the maintenance staff in the building knows that without veterans, there simply would be no national, state, city, or county government to run. Stephanie Harvin, Miller County Clerk, posted several pictures on the office Facebook account.  You can see staff decked out in red, white and blue, and flags, banners, and food all around.  The event was not to be dismissed as little.  Miller County Judge Roy John McNatt stated that it was a great event and that he was able to visit each office in the courthouse and see the decorations.   Veterans from across the area dropped in, had a snack and visited with local officials and staff. Continue Reading →

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Cruz and Ratcliffe Veteran’s Day Update on Congressional Work to Improve Care

It’s always inspiring when communities across the United States come together on Veterans Day to express our nation’s gratitude for the brave men and women who’ve selflessly fought to defend our freedom. This day of commemoration is a vivid demonstration of the work we’re committed to doing year-round to ensure our veterans are receiving the care and respect they’ve most certainly earned. Three years ago, our country awoke to the grim reality that our Veterans Administration health care system had become so deeply flawed that many of our nation’s heroes had died while waiting to receive care. With their names buried on secret waiting lists, it became evident that the VA system was more concerned about protecting the bureaucracy than caring for our veterans. In the wake of these horrifying revelations, Congress began the arduous task of enacting reforms aimed at shifting the culture within the VA to no longer tolerate the mismanagement and corruption that imperiled so many veterans’ lives. Continue Reading →

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Honoring Veteran’s Day 2017

On November 11 we will observe Veteran’s Day. Some will begin this observance on Friday November 10, let’s not treat this as just a three day weekend; but remember it is a day designated to honor all who served their country when called. Unlike Memorial Day, which is dedicated to remembering those who lost their lives in the service of their country, Veteran’s Day is a day to honor all American veterans of all wars-living and deceased. There are over 23 million veterans in the United States, nine million of whom are over 65 years old. Nearly two million of those veterans are women, and over two million are veterans from World War II. Continue Reading →

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