Archive for the ‘Military & Veterans’ Category

A brief history of Veterans Day

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Local military veterans join American Legion State Commander Janet Wilson, center in red, and muralist Scott LoBaido, front kneeling, for a photo in front of the new mural at the Antioch Veterans Memorial Building, located at 5th and E Streets, on Friday, April 3, 2015. Herald file photo


Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally, on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

Celebrating the Veterans Day Holiday

If the Nov. 11 holiday falls on a non-workday — Saturday or Sunday — the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. State and local government closings are determined locally, and non- government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of federal, state or local government operation determinations.

United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on Aug. 4, 2001, designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, 2001, as “National Veterans Awareness Week.” The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.

The difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day

Memorial Day honors servicemembers who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.

From the Herald – thank you to our military veterans for your service. We know freedom isn’t free and without your service and sacrifice Americans wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms we do, today. Remembering that and honoring you, today.


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Veterans Day parade and events in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown Saturday, Nov. 11

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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Antioch celebration on Sunday for veteran wounded in Afghanistan getting new home for his family

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Daniel and Nicole Fye and family at the site of their new home in April, 2017. photos from Facebook.

The Fye’s completed home in Bremerton, WA.

East County Veterans and Homes for Our Troops make it happen

Thanks to the efforts of the East County Veterans Support Services (ECVSS) and Homes for Our Troops, Antioch resident and wounded military veteran Daniel Fye and his family are getting a new home. It will be able to accommodate his needs, having lost part of his left leg and sustaining sever damage to his right during an explosion while serving in Afghanistan.

Daniel Fye and family will be moving into their home on Saturday, September 23 in Washington State, we cannot all attend to celebrate with them in person, so, his mother Janis Fye and family and ECVSS will be holding a Community House Warming Open House this Sunday, Sept. 17 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at 1023 W. 2nd Street, in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown.

All are welcome to drop in, sign a card, have some light snacks and refreshments. Gift suggestions: Gift cards. Janis and family will take all of your gifts and love to Danny and the family.

During his third combat tour on May 27, 2011, Air Force Tech Sergeant Daniel Fye, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team Leader with the 466 Bravo EOD Flight, was severely injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion during a route clearance mission in Mushan, Afghanistan. The blast resulted in the loss of his left leg and severe damage to his right.

Daniel Fye and his dog.

During his three-month stay at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Dan underwent multiple surgeries for his amputation, burns and several limb salvage procedures on his right leg. After his release, he endured three years of physical therapy. He now wears a prosthetic on his left leg and a brace on his right leg.

These days Dan can be found in the garage working on cars, in the gym lifting weights or at home spending time and traveling with his four children and wife Nicole. While he may lead an active lifestyle, there are several challenges he faces daily.

A single-story Homes For Our Troops home with an accessible bathroom, Dan says, will make daily life more comfortable and “less of a chore.” Having the financial burden of a mortgage eliminated, he says, will open up many doors for him and his family. He will be able to build a large, detached garage where he can work on cars. He would like to race cars and raise money for Veteran organizations. He has dreams of entrepreneurship too, and would like to build a home gym, where he could teach others with physical challenges how to weight lift.

Originally from Antioch, Dan and his family are choosing to build their home in Bremerton, Wash. After being stationed in the area, he says it feels like home.

Dan says the gift of a specially adapted home will be life-changing.

“It will give me a comfortable home to live in while allowing me to pursue dreams that I thought wouldn’t have been possible,” he said.

“After a very long road of constant recovery, my son Danny and family are moving into their blessing miracle home from Homes for Our Troops in two weeks in Bremerton WA, built to accommodate his special needs,” Janis Fye wrote in a post on Facebook. “Since Danny and Nicole’s home town is too far away to attend, Josie Monaghan and East County Vets are holding a Community House Warming Open House next Sunday, 9/17 1:00 – 4:00 where those who have prayed and loved Danny through his healing since Afghanistan can come mingle, sign cards, bring gift cards, etc. eat cake and see photos of his journey showing Danny his home town & friends still care and love him. Danny has had such a long, difficult road to recovery and still has many obstacles to climb. Please come out and show him we care. Thank You Josie and Joey and East County Vets. Thank You Homes for Our Troops.”

For more information about Homes for Our Troops and the home for Daniel Fye and family visit For more information about East County Veterans Support Services visit or

Allen Payton contributed to this story.

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Stand Down on the Delta 2017 organizer thanks volunteers

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Volunteers assist veterans during a visit by Assemblyman Jim Frazier (center) during the 2017 Stand Down on the Delta at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, Aug. 11-14. Photos by Genevieve Mann

Dear Editor:

Delta Veterans Group would like to thank all of the volunteers that served for Stand Down on the Delta, 2017.

With your help, our community was able to provide services for over 260 veterans and their families.

Over 1,150 volunteers came together over 10 days to set-up, serve and tear-down our encampment. Over 5,800 meals were served in just four days.

Veterans received much needed supportive services, medical services, dental care, vision care, and mental health services.  We also had barbers, beauticians, entertainment, spiritual guidance and much more over the four days.  Plus – their animals were cared for onsite by C.A.R.T. – the Contra Costa County Animal Rescue Team.

We were also able to take over 40 veterans fishing on our Delta Shoreline…and yes, they caught a lot of fish…The largest fish was caught by a female veteran for the second Stand Down in a row…

All of this could not have happened without you – the volunteer.


Gerald JR Wilson, President/Executive Director, Delta Veterans Group – Stand Down on the Delta

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East County Veterans to host “Warrior Images” art exhibit in Rivertown, Sun., Aug. 6

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

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Honor those who’ve fallen in battle for our freedom on Memorial Day in Antioch, Monday, May 28

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

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DeSaulnier says “rash” U.S. airstrikes in Syria “not sufficient”

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Washington, DC — Today, Friday, April 7, 2017 Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D, CA-11) made the following statement on the U.S. Airstrikes in Syria.

“The atrocities carried out by the Russian-backed regime of President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria on its own innocent men, women, and children are uncivilized and unconscionable. Over the past six years, nearly ten million Syrian civilians have been displaced and driven from their homes, and almost four hundred thousand Syrians have lost their lives. The latest use of chemical weapons on its citizens by the Assad regime demands action by the international community.

The ability of the United States Administration to respond to these attacks is hindered by the relationship between President Trump and the Russian government, which has compromised his moral authority. These rash airstrikes alone are not sufficient to combat the war crimes perpetrated by the Assad regime. President Trump must provide a clear and rational strategy that will not only aid Syrian citizens, but also keep safe the men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces. This strategy must include consulting with Congress and seeking an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), as required by the Constitution.”

Questions were sent to DeSaulnier asking what other actions he would suggest President Trump take in response to Al-Assad’s attacks on his own people and if they should include more U.S. ground troops in Syria. Please check back for his response.

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McNerney’s bipartisan bill to improve broadband access for veterans passes House

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Senators Blumenthal, Booker applaud passage, introduce companion bill

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Jerry McNerney’s (D, CA-09) bipartisan bill, H.R. 6394, the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016.  Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) was the lead Republican co-sponsor. A companion bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).

“Having broadband internet service is important for the more than 20 million veterans across our nation, with the highest population residing in California,” said McNerney. “A broadband internet connection helps veterans apply for jobs more easily, communicate with family and friends, keep up with current events, and obtain health care services. Veterans face many challenges when they return home; being without broadband access should not be one of those challenges. I commend my colleague Rep. Kinzinger for his efforts on this bill and the House for passing it with overwhelming support.”

Low-income veterans and veterans residing in rural areas are at a higher likelihood of not having broadband internet service. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center both report that broadband adoption rates are significantly lower among Americans who live at or below the federal poverty level. Analysis by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce further finds that broadband adoption rates in rural areas of the country are lower than in urban areas

H.R. 6394 directs the Federal Communications Commission to produce a report examining the current state of broadband internet access for veterans and what can be done to increase access, with a focus on low-income veterans and veterans residing in rural areas. The report must include findings and recommendations for Congress and be completed within one year of the bill’s enactment.

“The findings and recommendations from this report will be key for paving the way to get more veterans connected and help close the digital divide,” McNerney added.

“I am proud to co-lead H.R. 6394, which aims to improve broadband access for our veterans – especially those in rural areas, or those unable to afford it. After serving tirelessly to protect our country, veterans face many challenges when they return home. This bill is the first step towards alleviating one piece of the transition back into civilian life through the benefits afforded by broadband access – from connecting with family and friends, applying for jobs, accessing information on benefits and health services, and much more. Thanks to Congressman Jerry McNerney for working with me to introduce this legislation.” said Rep. Kinzinger.

H.R. 6394 passed the House by 411-4.  A companion bill, S. 3501, has been introduced by Senators Blumenthal and Booker.

“This important legislation will bring to light the key hurdles hindering veterans’ access to broadband, and pave the way for meaningful action to ensure veterans have the information and tools they need to successfully navigate the transition from the armed services to civilian employment. Access to broadband is essential to conduct daily activities, pursue job and housing opportunities, obtain quality health care services, and stay in touch with family members,” said Blumenthal.

“In the digital age, broadband access is not a luxury — it’s a necessity. The Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act will help close the digital divide and will ensure that the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country have access to tools for communication and future success,” said Booker.

McNerney represents California’s 9th Congressional District that includes most of Antioch and other portions of Contra Costa and Sacramento Counties, and most of San Joaquin County. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.


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