Archive for the ‘Military & Veterans’ Category

County Supervisors honor 2018 Veterans Initiative in the Arts ABOUTFACE Program

Thursday, August 16th, 2018


“I had a complete meltdown with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I thought I was losing my mind. I’d never been out of control before, and it was hard to admit I needed help, but I wanted my old self back. I’ve gotten that and more. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I have tools, I have knowledge, and I have strength and courage to deal with it. I’m doing just fine.” RON WHITCOMB SGT US ARMY 1968 – 1969 SQUAD LEADER, VIETNAM

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized the 2018 Veterans Initiative in the Arts ABOUTFACE Program at their meeting on August 14th.  The ABOUTFACE: Self-Understanding through Self-Portraits Workshops (ABOUTFACE) offered visual arts activities that helped motivate veterans and their families to explore self-understanding, to think creatively, to be innovative and to improve their quality of life.

The teaching team of the recent ABOUTFACE, which consisted of:  Coordinator, Ryan Berg (U.S. Marine Corps Veteran); Facilitator, Felisa Gaffney, Ph.D., (U.S. Air Force – Retired); and Artist, Victoria Bianco, Ph.D., were honored by the board.

The 2018 ABOUTFACE participants in the six workshops were from across the County and represented a cross section of military service and age groups.  All of the participants said they would recommend ABOUTFACE to other veterans and over half said they are looking forward to exhibiting their self-portraits for the public to see and understand.

The Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County (AC5) worked with the County Veterans Service Department, the County Office of Communications & Media and the County Library to help select locations, distribute project information and to identify potential participants.  AC5 Commissioner Anderson was the Project Director, and the other AC5 Commissioners all contributed to the success of this outstanding program.  AC5 would like to thank the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and the California Arts Commission for the funding that made this program possible.

To learn more about this program or to interview the honorees making a difference for veterans, please contact Roger Renn, AC5 Executive Director, at (925) 646-2278.

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Antioch to celebrate Memorial Day with events throughout weekend

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

This year, Antioch is excited to host an entire weekend of enjoyment for our local community to celebrate Memorial Day.

Softball Tournament of Heroes

The weekend starts off with the Delta Softball Tournament of Heroes at the Antioch Community Park May 26th and 27th, 2018 both days start at 8 A.M. On Saturday there will be an Opening Ceremony at 8 A.M. on Field One. This is a co-ed double elimination tournament and is the first for  the Antioch Memorial Day Celebration.

Memorial Day Services

On Monday the 28th, as in the past, there will be a Motorcycle Parade from Downtown Rivertown to the Oak View Memorial Park in Antioch, where we will hold our Memorial Day Services beginning at 10 A.M. Our Keynote Speaker will be Major General Bob Hipwell, U.S. Army (Ret.).

Free BBQ at VFW

That will be followed by a free BBQ at the Antioch VFW hosted by the Antioch VFW Post 6435.

Veteran Memorial Banners

We are also pleased to announce the Veteran Memorial Banner program as well.  Veterans Memorial Banners will be flown the length of L St. from 10th St. north to the Veterans Memorial at the entrance of the Marina.  A total of 34 Memorial Banners will be hung.  The Memorial Banners will hang until it is torn or worn at which time the Banner will be retired by the Antioch Veterans Community with dignity and respect, the applicant will be notified at that time.

For more information please visit

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Antioch Water Park honors military with free admission on Memorial Day

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Opens Saturday, May 26

All active and retired military personnel with a current identification are invited to enjoy FREE ADMISSION at the Antioch Water Park on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2018. The Antioch Water Park is located at 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, at Prewett Family Park. The park opens at 11:00am on Memorial Day and closes at 6:00pm.

The admission rate for family members and friends is only $16.00 per person and guests enjoy all the attractions at no additional charge.

The Antioch Water Park offers a unique family summer experience and creates life-long memories. There are five slides and five pools including a sport pool with obstacle course, a spray park for young children, picnic areas, shade trees, table tennis, and more.

To learn more about the Antioch Water Park please call 925-776-3070 or visit the City’s website at

The City of Antioch thanks all residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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Highlights from Antioch’s Veterans Day parade

Sunday, November 12th, 2017


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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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