Today’s government shutdown will affect many groups of people, travel-related and otherwise. But one group chose not to be affected today. A group of World War II veterans, led by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight, simply knocked down the barriers at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., so they could get inside.
Thanks to the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act, veterans are now receiving clothing that has been left as airport security checkpoints. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Kathy Hochul (D–N.Y.) was signed by President Obama in January. Reagan National Airport is the latest airport to join in on the charity with a donation comprised of two months’ worth of abandoned clothing. Before the passing of this bill, clothing that was left behind at security checkpoints in airports was either donated to police-dog scent training or discarded. It’s nice to know that forgotten clothing items will now end up serving a purpose within our respective communities instead of sitting in a landfill.
In other TSA/veteran news, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) has been working to pass legislation that would ease screening procedures at airports for wounded or disabled veterans or soldiers. The TSA has also made an effort to hire veterans. This is all welcome news in light of some of the outrageous news involving TSA employees and veterans that has surfaced.
Paws and Stripes founder and disabled veteran Jim Staneck had a very disturbing experience with United Airlines in Virgina’s Dulles International Airport. According to Staneck, not only did staff ask him if he was “retarded,” they also kicked his service dog, Sarge.
The incident occurred during a hectic time, when there were a lot of flight cancellations and delays. After spending 48 hours in the airport, Staneck approached a United Airlines’ staff member to ask for help. The veteran suffers from a brain injury that makes it difficult for him to concentrate under stress, and was having trouble understanding the new itinerary.
“He said, ‘Just read it,’ and I said, ‘Sir I can’t read it,’ and he said, ‘What are you retarded?'” Staneck recalls. “Prior to this I told him I have a brain injury and PTSD, I’m a disabled vet, this is my second night here; I need help.”
To hear Staneck’s side of the story live, check out the video above. It’s also worthwhile to go through the comments left under the video on Life With Dogs, as it appears many are trying to rally a ban of United Airlines until all guilty parties are fired.
What do you think?
Today is Veterans Day, also known as Remembrance Day and Armistice Day because in 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, World War One ended.
For four years the nations of the world had torn each other apart. The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed, the Ottoman Empire was mortally wounded, Germany’s Kaiser’s fell and so did Russia’s Czar. The world changed forever and 20 million people were dead.
There are countless monuments honoring those killed. The most powerful, I think, is this one. It’s called The Grieving Parents and was erected in 1932 by Käthe Kollwitz, a German artist. Kollwitz’s youngest son Peter was killed while serving in the German army. The monument is in the cemetery at Vladslo, Belgium, where he’s buried. The faces of the parents are those of Käthe and her husband. Her husband looks at Peter’s grave while Käthe bends over in grief. So many young men are buried in this cemetery that Peter’s name shares a tombstone with nineteen others.
Whether you’re on the road or staying at home today, there’s probably a war memorial near you where people are remembering the fallen. Take a moment to visit it, even if it’s for the “other side.” After all this time that doesn’t really matter.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Now the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum has seen its daily attendance triple. The museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, documents the history of the SEALs from their humble beginnings in 1943 as the Naval Combat Demolition Teams and Underwater Demolition Teams to the cutting-edge special ops force it is today.
Yet what will surely go down in history as one of the SEAL’s greatest hits isn’t covered by the museum yet. It’s too recent. That will soon change if the museum raises $1.5 million to set up permanent exhibits in its new wing.
On memorial Day about 2,000 people attended services at the museum, and the SEAL team that killed bin Laden got special attention.
“The signal was sent that you cannot attack the U.S. and murder innocent women and children with impunity, that we will find you and get you and win this war,” said Admiral Thomas L. Brown II.
[Photo of SEALs in Afghanistan courtesy U.S. Navy]