Archive for the ‘Military & Veterans’ Category

Audiology student from Antioch receives Army Commission in campus ceremony

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

Antioch native Payton Burke, left, received her United States Army commission from Salus University president Dr. Michael Mittelman on Feb. 29, 2020, during a ceremony on the university campus in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Photos by Mike Morsch/Salus University.

Payton Burke will complete her fourth-year rotation in audiology at Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, MD.

Elkins Park, PA – When Antioch, California native, 2011 Deer Valley High and 2016 Penn State grad, Payton Burke decided to go into the United States Army, it wasn’t a big surprise to her mother, Joanie Burke. Payton’s grandfather, Leonard Horn, was in the Army and stationed at Redstone Arsenal Army base in Huntsville, AL In fact, Payton’s mother was born at that Army base in Alabama.

The family generational pull toward the Army took another step in providing service to the country recently when Burke, ’21AUD received her commission to the Army from Salus University president Michael Mittelman, OD ‘80, MPH, MBA, FAAO, FACHE, at a ceremony attended by family, friends, faculty, administrators and an Army recruiter Feb. 29, 2020, on the University’s Elkins Park, PA campus.

“My gosh, it’s amazing. I’m emotional, excited and proud,” said Joanie Burke, who had flown in from Antioch, with Payton’s brother, Ethan Burke, the day before the ceremony honoring her daughter. “She called a few years back and said this was what she was thinking of doing and asked how I would feel about it. I was a little nervous at the beginning and I told her, this is your life. You’ve made the right decisions all along your journey so far and I was confident she would make the right decision now.”

Payton asked Dr. Mittelman, a retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy, to administer the oath. Although it’s somewhat unusual for a Navy officer to commission an Army recruit, Dr. Mittelman was honored to oblige a Salus student.

“Payton has been a wonderful student leader. Everything that she’s touched has been successful. She’s mature, she’s intelligent and she really understands what serving in leadership is all about. That’s why I’m thrilled to be able to do this. The Army is really getting a winner here,” said Dr. Mittelman, who also provided a brief history lesson before the ceremony of the oath, its meaning and the subtle differences on what the oath means to each branch of the military.

James Caldwell, OD ‘89, FAAO, EdM, dean of Student Affairs and assistant professor at Salus, has worked with Burke in a number of capacities as a student leader and is not surprised that she’s going to serve the country.

“When she hit campus as an enrolled student here, she raised her hand, she was curious about opportunities for leadership, and she rose into those positions. She represents her profession of audiology in an outstanding way. But most importantly, she really embraces our ‘One Salus’ mindset. Everything she did as a student leader, not only took care of her fellow audiology students, but she was really interested in creating a broad Salus community,” said Dr. Caldwell, who attended the ceremony. “It’s not at all surprising now that she’s going to serve our country. In my mind, it just fits into who she is as an individual, as a person and soon, as a healthcare provider. We’re so proud of her.”

Those words are echoed by Radhika Aravamudhan, PhD, dean of the University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA), who also attended the ceremony to see one of her own students advance her career path.

“This is our second audiology student to go through this ceremony, so this is pretty exciting,” said Dr. Aravamudhan. “The discipline and core values (in the military) are something that they learn a lot about. “I’m confident that Payton will enjoy everything, learn a lot and go on from there.”

For her part, Burke said she’s ready for the next step. She’ll have a four-week officer’s training commitment in Oklahoma this summer after which she’ll complete her fourth-year rotation at Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, Md. After that, she’s committed for three years as a military audiologist wherever the Army decides to send her.

“I feel like I’m ready. This ceremony meant so much to me and warmed my heart. I was just so happy to see everybody that came here today to share this with me,” she said.

About Salus University

Salus University, founded as the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1919, today is a diversified, globally recognized professional academic center of learning that offers a wide range of degree programs in the professions of Optometry, Audiology, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Blindness and Low Vision Studies, Biomedicine, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology. Salus operates four clinical facilities in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties that provide highly specialized vision, hearing and balance, and speech-language pathology services. The University has more than 1,200 students, and more than 14,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, please visit www.salus.edu. Salus is currently celebrating a century of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, its founding school. For more information about the legacy, please visit www.salus.edu/centennial.

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Veterans’ Voices to host veteran authors and authors who explore veterans’ issues on Contra Costa TV Monday

Friday, January 10th, 2020

On January 13th from 7:00-8:00 pm, we will talk with authors about the experiences and inspirations that shaped their literary works.  Authors Steven Burchik, Bill Nelson, Jerry Whiting, Shauna Springer, and Jason Roncoroni will discuss their work, and take live call in questions.

The Veterans’ Voices monthly program can be seen live online on the County’s website and Facebook @Veteransvoices1. The show will broadcast live and re-run multiple times on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) at www.contracostatv.org. CCTV can be found on Comcast Channel 27, Wave Channel 32, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 throughout Contra Costa County.

Viewers can share their own experiences or ask a question by calling into the program at (925) 313-1170, Facebook @Veteransvoices 1 or email veteransvoices@contracostatv.org

For more information about the program, show topic or to arrange interviews, including many Veterans who volunteer to work on this locally produced talk show for Veterans, contact County Veterans Service Officer, Nathan Johnson, at nathan@vs.cccounty.us or (925) 313-1481.

Our intention is to explore the process that turns military stories and experiences into published works, and perhaps inspire other Veterans to find a voice through writing. We want to invite you onto the show to be a participant in this conversation.

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Mt. Diablo beacon lighting ceremony to honor Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Saturday

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Mt Diablo lit Beacon. Photo by Clayton Worsdell

By funischeap.com

In honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we invite you to attend the annual “Eye of Diablo” beacon lighting ceremony to pay tribute to and honor our veterans, Saturday, Dec. 7 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Cost is free and the event will be held at Cal State East Bay – Concord Campus, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road in Concord,

Every year since 1964, the Pearl Harbor survivors and their families have memorialized Pearl Harbor Day by relighting the historic Beacon atop Mount Diablo’s summit. When those who experienced Pearl Harbor are gone, the history is lost with them. That tragedy should never happen again, “Lest We Forget.”

“When that beacon light is turned on, that’s a tribute to those individuals that lost their lives at Pearl Harbor,” said Earl “Chuck” Kohler, Pearl Harbor Survivor

The Pearl Harbor Survivors and Save Mount Diablo are grateful for the assistance and support from Mount Diablo State Park, CCTV, California State University East Bay Concord Campus, Vietnam Helicopters Museum and the Sons & Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors.

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Antioch celebrates Veterans Day with annual parade

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Photos by Denise Cantrell.

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Rivertown: Solid Rock Cafe to host event for Veterans Saturday, Nov. 9

Friday, November 8th, 2019

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Antioch Veterans Day Concert, Festivities, Parade Sunday, Monday Nov. 10 & 11

Monday, November 4th, 2019

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Rep. McNerney to host Military Service Academy information sessions in Antioch and Stockton

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

Each year, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) nominates exceptional students from the 9th Congressional District for appointment to the U.S Military, Naval, Merchant Marine, and Air Force Academies. Appointed students receive a free 4-year university education, room and board, medical and dental coverage, and a stipend in exchange for a 5-year military service commitment upon graduation.

This year, the Congressman will host two information sessions for high school students interested in attending a military service academy. The first information session will take place in Antioch on Tuesday, September 24th from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at the Deer Valley High School Library.

Antioch Military Service Academy Information Session

When: Tuesday, September 24

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Where: Deer Valley High School Library

4700 Lone Tree Way

Antioch, CA 94531

The Congressman will also host an information session in Stockton on Wednesday, September 25th from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at the Ronald McNair High School Theater.

Stockton Military Service Academy Information Session

When: Wednesday, September 25

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Where: Ronald McNair High School Theater

9550 Ronald E. McNair Way

Stockton, CA 95210

Representatives from Congressman McNerney’s office and various service academies will be on hand to offer information and answer questions about the application process.

For more information about this event or academy nominations, please contact Congressman McNerney’s Stockton office at (209) 476-8552.

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Stand Down on the Delta 2019 to help homeless and at-risk veterans needs volunteers at fairgounds in Antioch Sept. 20-23

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Veterans relax on their bunks at Stand Down on the Delta. Herald file photo

By Sandee Wiedemann

The biennial effort known as Stand Down on the Delta to support homeless and at-risk veterans, returns to Antioch at the Contra Costa Event Park (fairgrounds) September 20-23. This is a great opportunity for the community to show appreciation for their service to our country and to receive the reward of helping others. The events were last held in 2015 and 2017. The 2015 effort attracted over 300 veterans and 260 veterans were assisted in 2017. (See related articles, here and here).

Veterans will be given dental, medical, and counseling services, plus legal and VA claims assistance. They will also receive clothes, haircuts, shaves, meals, and sleeping accommodations. Real estate and banking leaders will be available to help the veterans possibly purchase a home.

Delta Veterans Group needs the community’s help to provide the most possibilities for our veterans. There are opportunities for professional services in the fields of medical, dental, legal, and more. See volunteer options under categories of general volunteer and/or professional services at https://www.deltaveteransgroup.org/stand-down-on-the-delta. There is a place for every person or service club to make a difference in the lives of our Veterans.

The Contra Costa Event Park is located at 1201 W. 10th Street in Antioch.

Veterans watch a movie at Stand Down on the Delta. Herald file photo.

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