Armed Forces Day

May 15, 2015

Armed ForcesSaturday, May 16, 2015 is Armed Forces Day. According to the Department of Defense website, Harry Truman established this as a national holiday, to thank our military for their service to this great country. Instead of individual Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps holidays, President Truman promoted the unity of our armed forces under the Department of Defense.

According to the DoD website, on Feb 27, 1950, President Truman stated, “Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”

One of the main purposes for setting aside one day for all branches was to educate the public and promote patriotism. Parades, air shows and parties marked this first holiday, with over 40,000 US Troops marching worldwide, and tens of thousands of citizens participating in parades.

In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world.”

JointcolorsOur Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace – many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth – that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”

On that day in history, many other notable events occurred: The Red Cross celebrated 69 years, Britain stopped most of its rationing, and the Soviets returned 23 East German industrial plants to East German authorities.

What will you do this year to honor our military?


Flag Holidays

January 12, 2015

Some of you have asked when we should be flying our flags this year. According to USFlag.org, the following are 2015’s flag holidays*:

New Year’s Day, January 1st

Inauguration Day, January 20th, every time a new President is elected

Martin Luther King’s Birthday

Lincoln’s Birthday

Washington’s Birthday

Easter Sunday

Patriots Day, April 19 (not to be confused with Patriot Day, which is September 11th, another day in which to proudly display the stars and stripes)

National Day of Prayer, the 1st Thursday of May

Mother’s Day

Armed Forces Day, Every third Saturday in May to celebrate and thank the US Military in all five branches, Army, Navy, Air Force, US Marine Corps, and the US Coast Guard.

Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)

Flag Day, June 14th

Independence Day, July 4th.

Labor Day, (First Monday of September)

Patriot Day, September 11th. This day is observed to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. You may see flags raised at half staff on this day.

Constitution Day, September 17th

Columbus Day, October 12th

Navy Day, October 27th

Veterans Day, November 11th (Easy for me to remember because my nephew was born on this day and my older brother himself is a veteran)

Thanksgiving Day (last Thursday of every November)

Christmas Day

Election Days

And of course, on your state birthday! Click here to find your state’s birthday. Usually the flag is to be risen at sunrise and taken down at sunset, on days when weather permits.

Note: In addition to all of this, the flag can also be flown as directed by the President of the United States.

*These dates are to the best of my knowledge.

~CD


Semper Fi

August 28, 2014

“Old breed?, New breed?, There’s not a damn bit of difference so long as it’s the MARINE breed!” Chesty Puller, USMC.

August 29th marks the 98th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps Reserves. Congress passed the Naval Appropriations Act on this day in 1916. This Act is in charge of providing trained units to be mobilized for Active Duty in time of war or National Security. It is the largest command in the United States Marine Corp.

Today’s Reservist enlists for an 8 year term. The Reservist have to pass the ASVAB (Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery) which is a written test to determine qualifications in all the Armed Services. Each Reservist must pass Recruit Training (boot camp). This is a 13-week program that is set to the highest standards both physically and mentally. After graduation, Reservists go on to the 2nd phase of SOI (School of Infantry). But if your job is not infantry then you go onto MCT (Marine Combat Training).

USMCFor Reservist it is off to home. They will train one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year. I do not make light of this; Reservist are held to the very high standards of every Marine. Reservist are critical to the overall combat readiness the Marine Corp demands.

USMCR are vital to the community. Remember that little program called Toys For Tots? This was thought up back in 1947 by a Reservist and his wife in Los Angeles. Toys For Tots grew by huge degrees and in 1991 Secretary of Defense authorized the non-profit affiliation. Come October through December of every year the USMCR collect new toys for distribution at Christmas time. They also have a website that you may donate: http://www.toysfortots.org/default.aspx

I am partial to the Marines because HONEY is a Marine Vet. And I don’t know a woman, 8 to 80 that does not stop to eye a Marine in his dress Blues!

Semper Fi   

OORAH!

~Jacquie


National Navajo Code Talkers Day

August 14, 2014

Navajo Code Talkers Day is celebrated on August 14, President Ronald Reagan declared in 1982 to officially honor the Code Talkers for their service to our country. During World War II the Allied Forces found it hard to stump the Japanese code breakers or cryptographers. Now a little history: the military was not the one to come up with idea it was civilian named Philip Johnston, he was a civil engineer in Los Angeles but had grown up on the Navajo Indian Reservation, his parents were Protestant missionaries. Johnston read an article about the military communications debilitating losses. Johnston went to Camp Elliott to meet with Lieutenant Colonel James E. Jones, Marines’ Signal Corps Communications Officer. Jones was not convinced that it would work but after Johnston explained the language, inflections and completely different meanings that one word may mean, they gave it a try. The initial run was a success so the Marines needed volunteers by mid-April of 1942, they traveled to the Navajo reservation to recruit personnel. Now these recruits had to be bilingual in both English and Navajo languages. The enlistees also had to be physically fit. After boot camp, the new Marines were to construct a new Military code. “The first part, a 26-letter phonetic alphabet, used Navajo names for 18 animals or birds, plus the words ice for I, nut for N, quiver for Q, Ute for U, victor for V, cross for X, yucca for Y, and zinc for Z. The second part consisted of a 211-word English vocabulary and the Navajo equivalents. This code, when compared with conventional Marine Corps codes, offered considerable savings in time, since the latter involved lengthy encoding and deciphering procedures by Signal Corps cryptographic personnel using sophisticated electronic equipment.” http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-navajo-code-talkers.htm

There were 29 original Code Talkers. This became the 382nd Platoon USMCnavajo. By August 1943 the number swelled to over 200. 421 Navajos had completed wartime training at Camp Pendleton’s code talker school, and most had been assigned to combat units overseas. Navajo code talkers served with all six Marine divisions in the Pacific and with Marine Raider and parachute units as well. Major Howard Conner, the Fifth Marine Division’s Signal Officer, said that ‘The entire operation was directed by Navajo code. . . . During the two days that fol lowed the initial landings I had six Navajo radio nets working around the clock. . . . They sent and received over 800 messages without an error. Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines never would have taken Iwo Jima.’

In December of 2000 the US Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed into law, which awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the original twenty-nine World War II Navajo code talkers, and the Silver Medal to each person who qualified as a Navajo code talker (approximately 300). In July 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush personally presented the Medal to four surviving original code talkers (the fifth living original code talker was not able to make it) at a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Gold medals were presented to the families of the 24 original code talkers no longer living.

The last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers passed away this year, June 4, 2014. His name is Chester Nez. Mr. Nez has a memoir, its title is: Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

Hollywood made an historical fictional movie about Navajo Code Talkers, Windtalkers, released in 2002.

~Jacquie


Loving Life And Our Flag!

July 25, 2014

Our AMERICAN FLAG is so rich in history I thought I would give a little background on some basic facts. Every red-blooded American knows the premise that Congress first authorized the flag June 14, 1777 (maybe not the date; who remembers dates?) and that we would have a star and a stripe represent each state. This evolved over the years because adding the next stripe was too much. We kept the thirteen alternating stripes to the original colonies, but added a new star as each state entered the Union. Did you know that the colors of our flag have significance also?

Red, White and Blue: Red is Valor. White is for Purity. Blue is for Vigilance and Justice.

wwii wall -southIn May 2014, my boyfriend (Honey) and I bought 500 small stick American Flags for Memorial Day. We had an idea to give back to those that had served in our Military, but what to actually do? We called Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, FL to see if we could place those on the graves, but the Boy Scout Troops in this area attend to the Cemetery. Next we called Veterans Memorial Park, also here in Pensacola, FL and they gave us permission to place the Flags around the park. Now Honey is a former Marine USMC (oorah) so he has very strong feelings to help and/or honor our Military. The Veterans Memorial Park, or as we call it here, “Wall South” (this is a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.) not only has Vietnam War Memorial, but World War I, World War II, Korean War, Global War on Terror, and the Marine Aviation Memorials. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful memorial here in our city that is so historically based on a true love of our country!

marine flag6.25.14You think 500 flags is a lot of flags until you start placing them – after about an hour and a half we found out 500 was not near enough. Without even finishing this year’s placement, we started to plan for next year, larger flags and significantly more! We just loved our flags we bought and we were so humbled to give the honor to those that have served past, present and future. A couple weeks later, we won a gift certificate for Priceless! from the United States Flag Store by submitting a photo of these flags. With our gift certificate, I ordered Honey the Garden UCMC Flag and the Decorative Garden Flag Holder for Father’s Day. The garden flag is just gorgeous and made so well, double sided stitching with vibrant colors! The holder has a nice “locking” arm that secures your flag in all types of weather.

Have fun always,

Jacquie


You Are Not Alone

June 19, 2014

June is PTSD Awareness Month.

My Disclaimer

I have noticed that a large portion of our US Flag Store community “likes” the posts on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I wanted to dig a little deeper. It’s a sensitive, serious subject, and please correct me gently if I step on any toes. PTSD is a broad term used to describe any disorder triggered by severe trauma. While we use it on our website to refer to military personnel and vets who suffer because of it, it is a very real condition for many who have never been in battle. I cannot imagine the trauma suffered by those who have.

I started by going to the militarymentalhealth.org website and taking their quiz on PTSD. After filling out some basic information I was directed to four questions signifying the criteria for diagnosis:

  1. Did you have nightmares about the event, or thought about it when you did not want to OR
  2. Went out of your way to avoid situations and places that reminded you of the event OR
  3. Were constantly on guard and easily startled OR
  4. Felt detached from others and your surroundings

My first husband committed suicide. I have been abused, among other things I’d care not to share online. Additionally, in the last 8 months I have gone through a divorce (second husband), terminal cancer diagnosis for/subsequent care of/death of a parent, job change, city relocation, home purchase; I figured if any civilian was borderline suffering from something traumatic, it would be me. Not. I passed with flying colors. However, I immediately answered “yes” to all four questions answering for my boyfriend, whose teenage son was killed in an auto accident.

I already knew I can’t possibly fathom what he lives with, day in and day out. So here is the tender part: I am writing about something whose depths I do not understand. If you are reading this, please don’t misunderstand that I think I know what you are going through, that I could offer platitudes or begin to understand what you have seen and felt. You deserve more than that. I read over this article after it is finished and my words seem so trite. It was an exercise in educating myself. Please take my findings as simply that: a collection of resources that I found online, that may direct you to help if you or someone you love needs it.

You Are Not Alone!

Important thing to remember: You are not alone. This can’t be said enough. 7.7 million Americans aged 18 and over suffer from PTSD, also known as shell shock or combat stress. It can be brought on by a variety of events, regardless whether you were physically harmed or not. Common symptoms include nightmares, sleeplessness, depression, numbness, anger, irritability, inability to focus, and myriad other things that reduce your quality of life. Symptoms often do not manifest immediately, and may not be constant.

Factors that can contribute to an event leading to PTSD include intensity, physical pain, loss of loved one, proximity, lack of control, and lack of support after the event. That last one screams that it is imperative to get support as soon as possible, even if you feel fine at the time.

Many sufferers report handing the condition with drinking, suicidal thoughts, workaholism, and isolation.  These things actually eventually exacerbate the issues.

Is there help?

There is. PTSD has been recognized as a viable condition and researchers from around the world have increased our understanding of it and how to treat it. Medication and counseling are the two most effective methods of treatment. Counseling can help you understand and cope with what you are feeling while medications can block feelings of excessive despair. You can make lifestyle changes to help you on the path to recovery also – communicating with loved ones about what places or situations make you uncomfortable; volunteering in your local community can offer you the support you need. Start by talking to someone if you notice you are having a tough time: your spouse, best friend, doctor, or religious advisor. Connect with others who have been there, who can help  you know what to expect and what things worked for them, and who will offer to be there for you if you feel you have nowhere else to go. That is one place I know we all have been!

Explore some of these resources, many of them free – they are my resources for this writing:

Military Pathways

Vet Centers

Understanding PTSD Booklet 

Understanding PTSD Treatment

PTSD Program Locator 

And once again, whether you are Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, we here at US Flag Store genuinely thank you for your service!


Military Patches

August 16, 2010

If you’ve already bought a U.S. Flag Store Military Flag to honor your loved one in the Service but are looking for another way to show your support, then check out the U.S. Flag Store’s Military and POW Patches. For as little as $1.99, you can show your support for your loved one serving by stitching or ironing one of these patches onto your coat or bag.  All Military and POW patches are beautifully embroidered and have a vinyl backing.

If you’re looking for classic logos, the U.S. Flag Store sells traditional circular and rectangular U.S. Military Patches.  You’ll have your choice of a patch with the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy logo.  Each embroidered circular patch is three inches in diameter, has a vinyl backing for durability, and beautiful gold trim.  These great patches are just $1.99—33% off the list price.  Discounts are available for buying five or more patches, so order some patches for your friends and family as well!

The rectangular military patches are of the highest quality and very detailed in their design.  These 3½” x 2¼” patches are machine embroidered, enabling exact duplication of the finest details of the military logos.  Choose from the Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, or Navy emblems.  The Army and Coast Guard patches also include the year each service branch began, 1775 and 1790, respectively.  These patches are just $2.49 each and can be sewn or ironed onto clothing.

The POW/MIA Patch is black and white and includes a silhouette of a man’s head in front of a watchtower and barbed wire fence.  The text “POW/MIA” and the motto, “You Are Not Forgotten,” are also included on the patch.  The embroidered POW patch is 3” by 2¼” and has a vinyl backing.  At just $1.99 each and with discounts available for buying five or more, this POW patch is a great way to muster your family and friends’ support for you during this most stressful time.

These military patches are truly a great, affordable way for you and your family and friends to show your support for your loved one in the U.S. Armed Services.  So start wearing your pride on your sleeve and order your patches today!