Archive for category Warrior Corner


Happy Veterans Day!
This Veteran’s Day, we thank you for making America a nation that we are proud to live in – with abundant freedoms and opportunities.

To all servicemembers – past, present and future – thank you for your service.

Today we remember and honor all members of United States military who have selflessly made it their mission to keep us safe.


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Old Man and a Bucket of Shrimp

 This is a wonderful story and it is true. You will be glad that you read it,
and I hope you will pass it on.

It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.  Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Everybody’s gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts…and his bucket of shrimp.

 Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

 Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds.  As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, ‘Thank you. Thank you.’

 In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn’t leave. He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like ‘a funny old duck,’ as my dad used to say. Or, to onlookers, he’s just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant ….maybe even a lot of nonsense.

Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters.

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida … That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him better.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous hero in World War I, and then he was in WWII. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger and thirst. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food.  No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were or even if they were alive. Every day across America millions wondered and prayed that Eddie Rickenbacker might somehow be found alive.

The men adrift needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged on.  All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft…suddenly Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull!

 Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal of it – a very slight meal for eight men. Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait….and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea.

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull… And he never stopped saying, ‘Thank you.’ That’s why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.


Reference: (Max Lucado, “In The Eye of the Storm”, pp…221, 225-226)

PS: Eddie Rickenbacker was the founder of Eastern Airlines. Before WWI he was race car driver. In WWI he was a pilot and became America’s first ace.  In WWII he was an instructor and military adviser, and he flew missions with the combat pilots. Eddie Rickenbacker is a true American hero. And now you know another story about the trials and sacrifices that brave men have
endured for your freedom.  
As you can see, I chose to pass it on. It is a great story that many don’t know…You’ve got to be careful with old guys; you just never know what they have done during their lifetime.



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An “Oldie” but appropriate

Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing “God Bless America” on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.

Here are the facts… The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of “GOD BLESS AMERICA”. But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song.

The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we”d have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.

This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.

Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, “It ain”t over till the fat lady sings”.

Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.

Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would make  Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before – way back in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.

This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You”re In the Army Now.” At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper; it”s Ronald Reagan.

To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry….. And for many generations of Americans to follow.

Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you”ll enjoy it and treasure it even more.

Many people don”t know there”s a lead in to the song since it usually starts with “God Bless America …..” So here”s the entire song as originally sung….. ENJOY!



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Message from Kit Roupe

A Memorial Day Message

Dear Friends and fellow Americans, I often look to history and reflect on my own family each Memorial Day. Today, in history, I think back to President Lincoln. In 1863 at Gettysburg, President Lincoln reminded us that through their deeds, the dead had spoken more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could, and that we living could only honor them by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which they so willingly gave a last full measure of devotion. “…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God, …and that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” –Abraham Lincoln Throughout America today, we honor the dead of our wars. We recall their valor and their sacrifices. We remember they gave their lives so that others might live. And too, we must never forget those men and women still serving today. One way to honor those who served or may still be serving is to gather together and rededicate ourselves to securing the answers for the families of those missing in action or imprisoned in a foreign country. Today, I ask each of you to take time to rededicate yourself by offering your aid, your support, and your prayers to those families who are still sacrificing and suffering. They are still giving their full measure of that same singular devotion to our nation and to our way of life. Let us never forget our missing friends and work single mindedly to bring our heroes home.




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Words from Paul Lundeen

Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as I grew up calling it, has always been a working holiday for me. In my youth my maternal grandmother lead our family effort to decorate the gravesites of all family members within a day’s drive of home.  It was an outgrowth of her membership in the Daughters of the Union Veterans and an acknowledgment of the importance of family legacy. Grandmother Ruth lovingly, and with the purpose that earned her peers the title “the greatest generation,” set about the project. She crafted homemade flower vases weeks ahead of the event and the evening before collected dozens of bunches of peonies from the verdant garden my grandfather tended. I was at an age when I couldn’t have been much help. But learning how to work was a family value and Grandmother enlisted me–and taught. We would peel and spray paint gold the couple dozen “Hi-C” juice cans she had collected over the winter.  Next, hangers were cut and bent to serve as anchors and guides to keep the cans of peonies upright.  Finally some sand in the bottom of each can for ballast. Then into the trunk of Grandmother and Grandfather’s sedan. Our decoration day was a sunup to sundown affair.  Hundreds of miles and a dozen or so floral remembrances later and we were home.  I am grateful for the values I learned.  Work, family, honor, heritage, tradition.    In Memory Of Our Heroes, A Civil War Statue, 1970, My mother, grandmother and youngest sister. Next came the official holiday. In my childhood rural America, Memorial Day was a day for uniforms and parades. I wore my Cub Scout, and as I grew, my Boy Scout uniform.  The veterans were in their dress best and active duty military men and women in parade regalia were the heart of the parade.  I can still hear the mournful cry of Taps and the jarring rifle cracks of the twenty-one gun salute at the cemetery. Today we bring together our memories of those who sacrificed to make America the home we know. My thanks to those who fell are solemn yet joyous. Their sacrifice binds us and sanctifies our freedom. May you find this Memorial Day rich in memories and meaning. In Liberty and Service,


Paul Lundeen 1840 Woodmoor Drive, #160 Monument, CO 80132 (719) 559-1919



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MSG Dennis E. Beebe

Good Day,

Today, we congratulate long time 912 PPP member Dennis Beebe as he retires this week from the U.S. Army after a long and honored career. We thank Dennis for his many years of dedicated service. We also thank his wife Leanna for the daily support she provided as a military spouse; a critical factor in any military career.

MSG Dennis E. Beebe

MSG Beebe enlisted in the US Army in January, 1973 on the Delayed Entry Program and entered Active Duty after graduation in June as part of the new Volunteer Army (VOLAR). He was trained at Fort Monmouth New Jersey as a still photographer, and his first duty station was the Third Armored Division Photo Lab in Frankfurt, Germany. His next assignment was 12 years later when he joined the 24th Psychological Operation Company, 351st Civil Affairs Bn. USAR, in Aurora Colorado.  He was deployed to Haiti in 1995-96 and Bosnia for nine months in 1999. He served as First Sergeant for the 207th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 651st Area Support Command, Denver Federal Center starting in 2000. He transferred to the U.S. Army Space Command, Colorado Springs CO. He volunteered for a tour in Afghanistan and was the Combined Joint Special Forces Task Force-Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A ) Public Affairs NCOIC.


MSG Beebe moved over to Fort Carson in 2006, and worked at the Mountaineer (Post Newspaper) and ran the Historical Portrait office at the Soldier Readiness Program (SRP Site). He volunteered for deployment to Iraq in 2007 and was the MNC-I Public Affairs NCOIC at Camp Victory. In 2008 he joined the First Army, Division West at Fort Carson as the Public Affairs Office NCOIC and then moved with the Division Headquarters to Fort Hood, Texas in 2009. He transferred back to U.S. Army Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base as 1SG for 3rd Space Co. 1st Space Brigade, and in 2012, joined the 440th Civil Affairs Bn. at Fort Carson.


MSG Beebe’s military education started with Still Photography (84B), adding Motion Picture Photography (84C), Psychological Operations Specialist (37F), Photojournalist (46Z) and Space Operations (25T). He holds a BA in Industrial/Scientific Photography from Brooks Institute, Santa Barbara, CA.


MSB Beebe’s awards and decorations are: the Bronze Star Medal; Defense Meritorious Service Medal(3); Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal (3); Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3); Army Good Conduct Medal; Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (3); Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; National Defense Service Medal (3); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Armed Forces Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal (Gold Device- M Device and Numeral 4); NCO Professional Development Ribbon (3);  Army Service Ribbon; Army Overseas Service Ribbon; Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon (5); United Nations Mission in Haiti Medal (UNMIH); NATO Medal (Bosnia); German Army Marksmanship Medal Shutzenschneer; German Army Leadership Badge; German Army Sports Award Leistungabzeichen and the Space Operations Badge.


MSB Beebe has been married to his Lovely wife, Leanna, for 35 years and has two sons, Erin (34) and Adrian (31)



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Folks a great video

A great video…..



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April 3, 2015

The White House has given cautious support for proposed changes to military retirement and benefits proposed by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC).

In a March 30 letter sent to Congress, the administration said that the proposed changes to the current system offered by the Commission are an, “important step forward in protecting the long-term viability of the All-Volunteer Force, improving quality-of-life for service members and their families, and ensuring the fiscal sustainability of the military compensation and retirement systems.”  The administration is working with the commission to refine specific proposals and said it will report its findings to Congress by April 30.

Before supporting any of the sweeping changes to military retirement and benefits, MOAA encourages the administration to consider testimony given by MOAA before the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on March 25.

Under the MCRMC’s retirement proposal, servicemembers will receive a 20 percent reduction in military retired pay, in addition to matching government contributions in the federal Thrift Savings Plan.

MOAA’s Director of Government Relations, Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret) questioned whether proposals to shift servicemembers into a 401k retirement system would harm mid-grade officer and enlisted retention. HASC Personnel Subcommittee Chair, Joe Heck (R-Nev.), also addressed Hayden’s concerns for servicemembers serving longer than 20 years. “As Colonel Hayden pointed out, when you retire at 20, the amount that you are going to get paid from year 20 until you’ve reached full retirement age is going to be less than you otherwise would get; in some cases, significantly less.”

The commission also recommends privatizing TRICARE, with military family members and retirees moving into a health care system similar to one used by federal civilians. MOAA believes the impact of shifting beneficiaries to a civilian-style health plan will be detrimental to military medical readiness. The surgeons general echoed MOAA’s concerns on March 25, telling Congress that comparison of military medicine and civilian health programs are some one of the “biggest threats to the system,” due to their drastically different purposes.

When considering these sweeping changes, it is important to remember that modifications to military compensation and retirement programs have resulted in detrimental recruiting and retention rates in the past.

MOAA is following this closely, and we will update members as soon as any information becomes available




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US Forces in Action

Beware this is down to earth air forces in action.  ISIS on the run


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Veterans Choice Program

Connecting you to timely and convenient access to health care in your community.

About the Program

Many Veterans will now have the option to receive non-VA health care rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.

Beginning November 5, 2014, the new Choice Program will begin to cover non-VA care for eligible Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans are eligible if any of these situations apply to you:

  • You have been told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days from your preferred date or the date medically determined by your physician
  • Your current residence is more than 40 miles from the closest VA health care facility
  • You need to travel by plane or boat to the VA medical facility closest to your home
  • You face a geographic challenge, such as extensive distances around water or other geologic formations, such as mountains, which presents a significant travel hardship

Every Veteran will receive a letter and a Choice Card in the mail with details about the program. Veterans will be eligible for the program and receive cards in three phases:

  1. Veterans who may live more than 40 miles from a VA facility.
  2. Veterans who are currently waiting for an appointment longer than 30 days from their preferred date or the date determined to be medically necessary by their physician.
  3. All remaining Veterans enrolled for VA healthcare who may be eligible for the Choice Program in the future.

To set up an appointment with a non-VA provider, call the VA at 866-606-8198 and we will work with you to ensure you are approved for care in your community.

How to Get Started

Additional Program Information

  • The Choice Program does not impact your existing VA health care or any other VA benefit.
  • If you are satisfied with your wait time at a VA facility and wish to continue waiting for VA care, there is nothing you need to do at this time.
  • Non-VA care is only covered by VA for medical needs which have been approved by your VA physician. We can happily schedule an appointment for other medical needs, but the we can only cover the cost of care related to your VA-approved health needs.
  • The Veteran Choice Program is part of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA).



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