Military

Recent Articles

Womack and Boozman Efforts Bring MIA WWII Pilot Home

The remains of missing in action WWII pilot have been repatriated back to the U.S. and will be returned home to Arkansas

Washington, DC— August 5, 2021….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) and U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today announced the remains of U.S. serviceman Lt. Henry Donald Mitchell, who was missing in action from World War II, have been identified and will be returned home to Arkansas for burial with full military honors at the Fayetteville National Cemetery. The news comes after a decades-long search—and the joint efforts of the Mitchell family, Arkansas congressional members, Department of Defense, and international representatives—to find and identify Lt. Mitchell. Congressman Womack said, “Lieutenant Henry Donald Mitchell is coming home. For us, Lt. Mitchell was an American hero who helped defend freedom against tyranny. For Bob, he was not only that, but also a brother. Continue Reading →

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It’s Never too Late to Thank a Veteran, Even at the End of Life

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on November 11, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military. These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation.  Honoring our nation’s Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end. As our nation marks Veterans Day on November 11, Hospice of Texarkana deepens its commitment to increase Veterans’ access to compassionate, high quality hospice and palliative care for those who are facing serious and life-limiting illness.  As part of this commitment, Hospice of Texarkana participates in an innovative program, We Honor Veterans, developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Through We Honor Veterans, we are ensuring that our organization is equipped to address the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans. The liberty that we, as US citizens, enjoy comes at a price paid by these valiant men and women.  Let each of us make sure we do our part to recognize and support them throughout their lives. If you know a Veteran who is in need of the special care hospice brings to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please reach out and help them learn more about the

services that hospice and palliative care can provide.  Contact Hospice of Texarkana to learn more about the ways we support our nation’s heroes, by calling 903-792-4263 or visiting www.hospiceoftexarkana.org. Continue Reading →

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Reflecting on Veteran’s Day

Veterans for Congress PAC

Sometimes we Americans need reminders about our veterans and today is one of those reminder days.  Today, we celebrate Veteran’s Day.  It comes and goes each year and often with little fanfare or notice.  Sure, some people put out flags, others have federal holidays, and if we are in a crowd of people we recognize and thank the veterans present.  But what does being a veteran really mean? Being a veteran in its simplistic form means that a man or woman joined a branch of the United States military and served our country.  That person may have been drafted, or he or she may have decided to volunteer.  Regardless of the method of the call, that man or woman answered it.  They showed up, signed up, and completed some physical exams.  From there they were sworn into the service and given a date for basic training. 

Imagine being a young person, perhaps 18 or 19, and deciding to leave home.  Just yesterday you were playing football for the local high school team or cheering them onward.  You were in classes with friends.  You celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving with your family.  Your mother was likely still cooking your dinner and maybe even washing your clothing.  Now, on the day you prepare to leave for basic, you are going into an unknown world.  You are leaving home no longer a child, but an adult with adult responsibilities. 

In a few short hours you will be prepared, given new clothing, and most likely introduced to someone way more demanding than your school teachers ever thought about being.  You will be in rooms filled with others following the same footsteps.   You will train, you will learn, and then you will train some more.  Just when you think the physical and mental training is complete, someone will have the bright idea that you need to be pushed just a little more.  So, you will be pushed.  Finally when all that training is done, you will be ready to serve…somewhere. You may find yourself on a ship in the middle of the ocean, or a remote outpost secluded by woods, snow, or even sand.  You will have time off, but not really since you are almost on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  After all, our military has to be ready for anything. 

You will sign up for exotic places to serve like Japan or Hawaii and you will end up serving somewhere like Afghanistan.  You will just get used to the language, the people, and make new friends when the military will decide you need to go somewhere else. 

If you have a family, you will drag them around the world as you move.  One day you may be in Germany and then next day you may find yourself back in the states.  You will put in for the transfers you want, and accept the transfers you get.  If you are lucky, the only time you will fire a weapon will be for practice.  If you are unlucky, then your country will call you to fire that weapon in the name of freedom at people you have never met or known. 

Then, for some maybe as fast as it started, you will come home.  There will be changes to your hometown.  You will not recognize the football team anymore, the city will have grown or maybe faded.  Your mother will be older and your father will be slower.  For a time, you will feel like you missed so much.  Whether you are serving for two years, four years, or twenty, you will come back a different man or woman to a different home. 

At first you may not realize it, but you are a veteran now.  There have been times that being a veteran meant you were called “baby-killers” and other horrible names, but to those of us that recognize the sacrifice of youth, years, and time, you will be honored as a veteran. 

The title veteran does not come easy…it is earned.  It is earned from the moment the boy or girl takes an oath to serve to the moment a man or woman steps out of the service.  The veteran gives a part of themselves…they give a part of their lives to this nation.  The veteran has given so that the flag will still fly over this land.  The veteran has given so that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will still matter to each American.  The veteran has given not for glory or for statues and great honors…no, the veteran has given for you and me. 

Today we honor those veterans who have given so much to this country.  We will put out our flags, smile, clap for them, honor them, and thank them for their service.  Tomorrow the flags will be put away, the “Thank You” post will stop on social media, and life will return as normal.  Today is our reminder day.  But tomorrow we need to keep in mind that the veteran is still here.  In a society that seeks heroes daily, it’s nice to know that the American hero known as the veteran can always be found among us throughout the year and not just on one special day.  
Continue Reading →

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VIRTUAL VETERANS DAY CEREMONY WITH GEORGE P. BUSH AND MAJOR GENERAL ALBERT ZAPANTA

AUSTIN — On Wednesday, November 11th, Texas Land Commissioner and Chairman of the Veterans Land Board George P. Bush will be hosting a virtual Veterans Day ceremony to honor and recognize our nation’s heroes who dedicated their lives to fighting for our freedom. The ceremony will feature keynote remarks by Retired Major General Albert Zapanta, remarks by Veterans Land Board Chairman George P. Bush, the national anthem performed by Operation Encore’s Shannon Book, and the Presentation of Colors by the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. Gen. Zapanta currently serves as the President of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, has previously held numerous Presidential appointments, and was awarded the Silver Star, 5 Bronze Stars for Valor, Purple Heart, and 30 other awards for his service during the Vietnam War. Please join us online to honor our Texas Veterans. Click here to find the livestream. 

“Honor. Duty. Continue Reading →

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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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