I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with the amount of unsolicited phone calls to my home and to my cell phone. The federal "Do Not Call List'" is a joke! Technology has given these unscrupulous people the ability to trick you into thinking the phone call is coming from someone in your own area code or neighborhood. This is called 'spoofing'! Then you have the Robo calls, which are computer generated by big telemarketing companies who only want one thing from you - your personal information - so they can steal from you. Make no mistake, that's all these phone calls are about. I delete about a dozen phone numbers each day from my home and cell phone combined. And there's nothing we can do - except don't answer the phone.
But, that creates another problem - many friends and associates only have cells phone with distant area codes, depending on where they bought the phone, and their cell provider. So when you don't answer the phone, your own contacts don't reach you. :-(
Here's another scam - you hear it constantly on every broadcast radio station in the United States... send a text with a code word to 200200 for your chance to win a $1,000. What you're not supposed to hear is they quickly say 'nationwide' contest. The only purpose of this "giveaway" is to capture your phone number so they can sell it to scammers. Do not fall for this crap. This is the reason why you're getting so many phone calls.
Here are a couple of examples of calls I've received:
Bill Dumas - posted the following on Facebook:
3/9/30 - 2/6/21
The POW/MIA community lost one of it’s most fervent activists last week. Bob Dumas dedicated his life to finding his brother, Roger, and in the process became a leader in the search of all American prisoners-of-war and the missing-in-action. His journey would lead to a White House meeting with Ronald Reagan and a very long contentious dialogue with the President’s National Security Advisor, Admiral James “Budd” Nance, which ultimately resulted in, as reported by Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, Bob’s $200M lawsuit against the President.
It was a brilliant strategy that ultimately evolved into an unprecedented Federal lawsuit in which Bob prevailed and the Federal judge ordered the Secretary of the U.S. Army to reclassify Roger from MIA to POW.
The national news coverage caught the attention of North Korea and Bob would receive a call from the North Korean ambassador to the U.N. Mission in NYC. Thus began another “unprecedented” accomplishment for Bob - a relationship with North Korean ambassadors that would continue for years with hundreds of phone conversations and several in-person meetings.
Sadly, as the North Koreans wanted to negotiate for POWs the U.S. government continued to deny the truth that American POWs were left behind. Years later Bob would testify before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA affairs. Committee Co-Chairman Bob Smith (John Kerry was the Democratic co-chair) asked Bob for his advice on how to approach the North Koreans on negotiating the POW/MIA issue. Bob new exactly what the Korean’s wanted and it would be almost 30 years before his recommendation would actually be acted upon. What the North Koreans have been asking for since the Korean War Armistice was signed, Bob said, was a one-on-one negotiation between the U.S. President and the Supreme Leader of North Korea.
When Roger was reported missing in the early part of the Korean War, Private First Class Bob Dumas, volunteered to go to battle in North Korea where he would look for his brother whenever he had the opportunity. He did two tours in the brutal 3-year war and was awarded three Bronze Stars. Shortly after the war while his mother was on her death bed he promised he would never stop looking for Roger. He never stopped. It’s safe to say there are very few who have worked as long and as hard and has accomplished as much as Bob Dumas for our Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.
In his honor please consider signing the petition to keep the search alive for our Korean War POW/MIAs: https://www.change.org/OurPOW-MIAs"
Family of still-missing WWII Medal of Honor recipient
asks DOD to stop using his name
By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 12, 2021
The descendants of World War II’s first Medal of Honor recipient are requesting the federal government remove the soldier’s name from all public buildings and installations, a move coming after what they call a decades-long “bureaucratic logjam” in bringing his remains home from the Philippines.
First Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Nininger, serving with the 57th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Scouts, died in battle on Jan. 12, 1942, near Abucay on the Bataan peninsula of Luzon Island, during the Japanese invasion.
He was given a hasty burial and subsequently became the war’s first service member to receive the Medal of Honor in the early days of the conflict when Imperial Japan invaded and occupied a huge swath of Asia.
“They needed a hero,” John Patterson, Nininger’s 84-year-old nephew, told Stars and Stripes during a phone interview Monday from his home in Rhode Island. “They needed somebody to talk about. They needed help with morale in terms of all of the disasters in the Pacific.”
Nininger’s Medal of Honor citation describes the young officer moving single-handedly against the invaders. “Though exposed to heavy enemy fire, he continued to attack with rifle and hand grenades and succeeded in destroying several enemy groups in foxholes and enemy snipers,” the citation said.
Patterson has spent his adult life working to bring his uncle’s remains home from the Philippines, a mission he inherited from his mother — the soldier’s sister — who had taken up the work from her father.
On Tuesday — the 79th anniversary of Nininger’s death — Patterson sent a letter to Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams and other officials requesting on behalf of the family that Nininger’s name be removed from federal properties. Nininger was a 1941 graduate of West Point, where stands the namesake Nininger Hall, among other memorials at the academy.
The family is also asking the Veterans Administration to no longer use Nininger’s name for a veterans nursing home in South Florida.
“This is not what my family wanted to do and we gave this decision a lot of thought but we no longer believe that it is appropriate for the government to use Sandy’s name to represent the highest military ideals if they aren’t willing to lift a finger to identify him,” Patterson wrote. “His case has been stuck in a bureaucratic logjam for more than 70 years and we are beyond frustrated.”
“[W]e are aware that while Sandy's memory continues to be used to inspire future leaders, the government itself has failed miserably to live up to the ideals he exemplified in life,” he wrote.
A spokesperson for the Army secretary told Stars and Stripes on Tuesday that McCarthy was not available to comment on the letter. Patterson spent years researching the death and burial of Nininger, reviewing early documentation and interviewing veterans with firsthand knowledge of events in January 1942.
In the 1990s, while working in the Philippines for the U.S. government, he investigated burial grounds near the battle site. He became convinced that the remains in an unknown grave designated Manila X-1130 are those of Nininger. The U.S. government has denied Patterson’s repeated requests to exhume the remains for analysis.
In 2017, Patterson was one of seven plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to force the federal government — including the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the entity primarily tasked with identifying remains — to conduct DNA tests on sets of remains buried as “unknowns” in the Philippines.
In July 2019, the judge dismissed the case in a summary judgment for the defendants.
Both DPAA and its precursor, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, have maintained for years that a physical description of the remains documented during the years immediately after the war is not a close enough match to Nininger’s build to warrant exhumation.
This fall, Patterson took his quest for disinterment of X-1130 to Defense Department officials above the level of DPAA. He was assisted by Jed Henry, a successful MIA investigator and founder of the nonprofit PFC Lawrence Gordon Foundation.
In an email to Henry on Dec. 23, DPAA director Kelly McKeague reiterated the agency’s stance, writing that disinterring X-1130 “still cannot be validated by DPAA’s research, which, as you know, shows significant stature, ancestry, and recovery location discrepancies for the X-1130 remains to belong to First Lieutenant Nininger.”
McKeague said the agency was continuing to “actively explore” possible burial sites used by the U.S. Army in the Philippines in 1942, and DPAA’s historians had submitted six other disinterment proposals from the Manila American Cemetery “for which Mr. Patterson's uncle is a candidate.”
Responding to McKeague, Henry wrote that conducting DNA testing on X-1130 would be a “win-win situation.” “If DPAA is committed to living up to ‘the fullest possible accounting’ it will one day have to disinter X-1130 so why not do it while the family is alive and can pay their respects?” Henry wrote. “If X-1130 would unfortunately turn out not to be Nininger then the DNA test can be used to identify one of his comrades.”
Patterson argues that DNA testing on X-1130 might cost a few thousand dollars, a tiny sum compared to what DPAA spends annually.
“It's also worth noting that in the last 6 years DPAA has been appropriated more than $832 million dollars and with that money have only made 962 identification[s], which shows it's costing more than $865,000 per identification,” Patterson wrote in his letter to defense officials.
“Sandy's country has failed him and because of that we ask that the U.S. Government promptly begin the process of removing the name of Lt. Alexander R. Nininger Jr from all Federal facilities and cease trading on his good name and reputation,” he wrote in conclusion. “Further, if the U.S. Government is unable to find and identify the remains of Lt Nininger, please allow my family to hire our own professionals to do the job and we will cover whatever the costs may be.”
Twenty-twenty has been a tremulous year would be an understatement! Looking forward is the only sane way for us as individuals and as citizens of the greatest nation in the world. The Chinese may have won our election, and their pandemic has killed a considerable number of Americans, but we cannot succumb to the hysteria the media mob has bestowed upon us for the past 5 years... it's all propaganda. This year will be recorded in history - unfortunately, because much of our treasured history was destroyed this year by hate groups, and others who want to erase our heritage.
There was no color among American soldiers who fought so bravely in past foreign wars; who gave their lives defending our Constitution and the freedoms that go along with it. They were called to duty - and they went. Many remains of those who died have never been recovered, and that's why we have a mission! But for those who have been identified and have come home, we honor their sacrifices - not their ethnicity.
For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one this year, our hearts are saddened, but they are not hardened. Regardless of what has happened in the past, it's time to renew our commitments of Honor, Respect, and Civility. If you want to make a change, take a look at yourself in the mirror - then ask yourself to change. Will you do it?
Two hundred and forty four years ago our country declared itself an independent Republic, and we fought our oppressors for that right. One hundred and fifty six years ago we were put to the test again - would our country stay united, or would we be divided by political agendas? You know the outcome.
Are you going to accept the climate that exists today? Or, are you willing to change it?
Are you waiting for someone else to step up and take control? Our freedoms are clearly laid out by the founders, and you cannot ideally just stand in the shadows and watch them being erased. Every American Patriot needs to stand at the ready to react when called to do so - just like those brave men and women did so many years ago. "Locked and loaded" is not just a catch phrase!
Neither Rolling Thunder® Inc. or Florida Chapter 1 is responsible for the content of this blog
Rolling Thunder® Inc Florida Chapter 1 has partnered with the Veterans Memorial Center and Museum in providing assistance to those veterans in need. Please see the flyer below and help us in this program. Thank you
Below are the May identifications from the DPAA
Member Rank, Member First & Last Name. Member Service Branch
Date of Loss
Location of Loss
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sgt. Jesse D. Hill, U.S. Army
Company C, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division
Sgt. William E. Cavender, U.S. Army
Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division
Cpl. R.B. Cherry, U.S. Army
Company G, 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division
Fireman 1st Class Louis J. Tushla, U.S. Navy
Metalsmith 1st Class Leonard F. Smith, U.S. Navy
Pfc. Mervin D. Galland, U.S. Marine Corps
Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force
Seaman 2nd Class, Floyd D. Helton, U.S. Navy
Pvt. Charles Andrews, U.S. Army
Company K, 3rd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division
Hürtgen Forest, Germany
Pfc. Thomas F. Johnson, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force
Pfc. Robert D. Jenks, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
Company D, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force
Fireman 1st Class Samuel C. Steiner, U.S. Navy
Seaman 1st Class James C. Williams, U.S. Naval Reserve
Seaman 1st Class Maurice V. Spangler, U.S. Navy
The following is a guest post by Mike Longsdon of elderfreedom.net
Downsizing Tips for Senior Veterans:
What to Consider and How to Plan Your Move
Image via Unsplash
Whether you hold a service-connected disability, have limited mobility that makes home upkeep a bit of a challenge, or you’re simply looking to move into a smaller house that’s easier to maintain in your Golden Years, downsizing could be the right choice for you. To learn all about downsizing and the steps you can take to plan a hassle-free move into your new home, read on!
Find the Right Home for Your Needs. After making the decision to downsize for less stress and home upkeep in your senior years, you’ll want to think about your different housing options and which one will be best for you. Depending on your wants and needs, you could downsize into a smaller single-family home or another type of property such as a condominium, townhome, duplex, or apartment. If you receive VA benefits, your housing options may also include a senior living community for former service members.
If you plan to age in place as you grow older, you’ll want to ensure that your new home will allow you to live safely and comfortably in your Golden Years. For instance, you may choose to look for a new home that features a one-level floor plan, no-step entryway, wide hallways and doorways, and easy-access cabinets and shelves. If you’re planning to buy a house rather than rent your new home, a seniors real estate specialist (SRES) can help you to find the right property for your needs.
Sell Your Current Home. Once you’ve determined where you’re going to live, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll sell or rent out your existing home. If you’re selling the house, Redfin recommends listing the property on a Thursday to sell it as quickly as possible. To sell your home for the highest price, however, it’s best to list it on a Wednesday.
As you get ready to sell your home and move into a smaller, more manageable property, you’ll also need to donate or dispose of any excess belongings that cannot be taken along with you. As you downsize your belongings, for instance, you’ll want to dispose of:
Whether you choose to donate these items, throw them out, or distribute them among your loved ones, it may be helpful to rent a storage unit for holding any personal belongings or furniture pieces you’re unsure about.
Plan a Hassle-Free Moving Day. After finding a new place to live, de-cluttering your belongings, and getting your existing home ready to sell or rent out, it’s time to plan your moving day. Downsizing can be an emotional time when you’ve lived in the same home for many years, but there are some steps you can take to alleviate stress and anxiety during this time. Here’s how:
If you choose to hire professional movers to assist you with your downsize into a new home, be sure to find out whether your moving company offers military discounts. Some popular moving companies like North American Van Lines and other local movers throughout the U.S. offer military discounts to qualifying customers, so remember to check with each company when obtaining quotes.
Downsizing your house can lead to less stress and home upkeep in your Golden Years, but it’s important to consider your different housing options before making a decision—especially if you’re hoping to find a property that allows you to age in place. After serving in the military and putting your life on the line, your Golden Years should be filled with as much relaxation and as little stress as possible.
The following was sent to me by a friend. It is presented here because it is an important message:
"I talked with a man today, an 80+ year-old man. I asked him if there was anything I can get him while this Coronavirus scare was gripping America.
He simply smiled, looked away and said: "Let me tell you what I need! I need to believe, at some point, this country my generation fought for... I need to believe this nation we handed safely to our children and their children. I need to know this generation will quit being a bunch of sissies...that they respect what they've been given...that they've earned what others sacrificed for."
I wasn't sure where the conversation was going or if it was going anywhere at all. So, I sat there, quietly observing.
"You know, I was a little boy during WWII. Those were scary days. We didn't know if we were going to be speaking English, German or Japanese at the end of the war. There was no certainty, no guarantees like Americans enjoy today.
And no home went without sacrifice or loss. Every house, up and down every street, had someone in harm's way. Maybe their Daddy was a soldier, maybe their son was a sailor, maybe it was an uncle. Sometimes it was the whole damn family...fathers, sons, uncles...
Having someone, you love, sent off to war...it wasn't less frightening than it is today. It was scary as Hell. If anything, it was more frightening. We didn't have battlefront news. We didn't have email or cellphones. You sent them away and you hoped...you prayed. You may not hear from them for months, if ever. Sometimes a mother was getting her son's letters the same day Dad was comforting her over their child's death.
And we sacrificed. You couldn't buy things. Everything was rationed. You were only allowed so much milk per month, only so much bread, toilet paper. EVERYTHING was restricted for the war effort. And what you weren't using, what you didn't need, things you threw away, they were saved and sorted for the war effort. My generation was the original recycling movement in America.
And we had viruses back then...serious viruses. Things like polio, measles, and such. It was nothing to walk to school and pass a house or two that was quarantined. We didn't shut down our schools. We didn't shut down our cities. We carried on, without masks, without hand sanitizer. And do you know what? We persevered. We overcame. We didn't attack our President, we came together. We rallied around the flag for the war. Thick or thin, we were in it to win. And we would lose more boys in an hour of combat than we lose in entire wars today."
He slowly looked away again. Maybe I saw a small tear in the corner of his eye. Then he continued:
"Today's kids don't know sacrifice. They think sacrifice is not having coverage on their phone while they freely drive across the country. Today's kids are selfish and spoiled. In my generation, we looked out for our elders. We helped out with single moms whose husbands were either at war or dead from war. Today's kids rush the store, buying everything they can...no concern for anyone but themselves. It's shameful the way Americans behave these days. None of them deserve the sacrifices their granddads made.
So, no I don't need anything. I appreciate your offer but, I know I've been through worse things than this virus. But maybe I should be asking you, what can I do to help you? Do you have enough pop to get through this, enough steak? Will you be able to survive with 113 channels on your TV?"
I smiled, fighting back a tear of my own..now humbled by a man in his 80's. All I could do was thank him for the history lesson, leave my number for emergency and leave with my ego firmly tucked in my rear.
I talked to a man today. A real man. An American man from an era long gone and forgotten. We will never understand the sacrifices. We will never fully earn their sacrifices. But we should work harder to learn about them. Learn from them...to respect them."
IMMEDIATE RELEASE Phone: (703) 699-1420/1193
DPAA Impacted by COVID-19
March 23, 2020
WASHINGTON— Like much of the world, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), and in particular, its operations.
Ultimately, the Agency’s highest priority is the health, safety, and physical well-being of the assigned service members, civilians, and contractors, as well as the personnel of our partner organizations, all of whom contribute to the accomplishment of its worldwide mission. To this, DPAA is adhering to the Department of Defense (DoD) mandate of limiting all travel of personnel.
All field missions this month have completed or terminated earlier than planned, and personnel have returned home. Future missions are currently postponed or canceled, at least through early June.
"COVID-19 dynamics have forced us to radically alter our operations, but keeping our team safe, here at home and abroad, is paramount," said Kelly McKeague, DPAA Director. "At the same time, we are continuing to take actions with which our personnel can remain productive in their duties while maintaining the required distancing."
Both the Miami, Florida, and Little Rock, Arkansas, Family Member Updates (FMU), scheduled for March 21 and April 18, respectively, have been canceled. Family members will still receive their respective loss briefings provided by their service casualty officers and DPAA historians and analysts by telephone. This is the first time DPAA has ever canceled an FMU, and did so to protect attending families and other FMU participants.
The agency terminated several missions earlier than planned: DPAA's four recovery teams (RT) and two investigation teams (IT) and partners' two RTs and two ITs, affecting missions in Kiribati, the Philippines, Poland, and Vietnam. All personnel are home and in 14-day self-isolation. Other than a privately-funded underwater investigation off the coast of Latvia, there are no other field missions across the globe.
DPAA had to cancel six RTs and one IT affecting missions in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Laos, and the United Kingdom.
The agency postponed nine RTs and five ITs and partners' five RTs and nine ITs affecting missions in Austria, Cambodia, Germany, Guam, Italy, Kuwait, Laos, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Poland, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sweden, and Vietnam.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) has determined that an identification made in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 of the remains of a soldier missing from the Korean War was made in error.
DPAA immediately informed the U.S. Army Service Casualty Office (SCO), who then notified the family of the error. “We have extended our deepest apologies to the family and will explain the regrettable error when we and the Army meet with them,” said Kelly McKeague, DPAA director.
In accordance with its laboratory accreditation requirements and quality assurance system, DPAA is performing an internal cause analysis of the misidentification. DPAA has also arranged for an independent scientific assessment of this case and overall laboratory processes.
Both reviews will guide any necessary adjustments to DPAA's identification and laboratory procedures. "While this misidentification is an unfortunate mistake, we will learn from it, and the lessons we learn and apply will further strengthen our scientific enterprise," said McKeague.
DPAA has decremented the FY 2019 accounted- for total from 218 to 217.
The Library of Congress, Veterans History Project is an effort to preserve oral histories, memoirs and collections of historical documents of U.S. veterans from World War I to the present. However, the Veterans History Project no longer accepts online registrations, and instead has provided a complete "Kit" for your use. This kit includes all the forms you will need for your submission, plus easy instructions on how to complete the forms.
Many veterans we have spoken to mentioned that their service wasn't in a battle zone, or their specialty wasn't they consider "worthy" of writing about. Well, that's just silly! Every veteran who served their country needs to have their service years recorded, so don't put it off - your heirs and future family will be happy you did.
Just follow this link to get started -> www.loc.gov/vets/about.html
The Department of Veteran's Affairs has expanded access to commissary, military exchanges, and to morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) services for Purple Heart recipients, VA designated caregivers of disabled veterans, former prisoners of war and veterans with VA documented service-connected disability. This expansion is mandated by the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 and took effect on January 1, 2020. These eligible individuals are required to obtain a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHID) from the VA in order to gain entry to Department of Defense and Coast Guard facilities. Caregiver eligibility will be limited to caregivers who are designated as the primary family caregiver of an eligible veteran under the VA Caregiver program and will need to show an acceptable credential, along with their eligibility letter. The other eligible groups without a VHID card can shop exchanges online.
Joshua Kaleb Watson was born in Gadsden Alabama May 22, 1996, and grew up as an outdoors man. He graduated from Enterprise High School in 2014, and was accepted to the United States Naval Academy.
In May of 2019, he received his commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He moved to NAS Pensacola in November of 2019.
On December 6th, Watson was shot multiple times by Saudi national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, but was still able to alert first responders to the shooter’s location before he died. He was just 23 years old.
Watson will be buried Sunday, December 22nd at Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo.
The new law, known as the National POW/MIA Flag Act, ensures that the POW/MIA flag will be displayed every day at federal locations already designated under existing law, including every post office building.
Other locations that qualify include the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, every national cemetery, each major military installation (as designated by the secretary of defense), and each Department of Veterans Affairs medical center.
The main purpose of this blog is to bring awareness to America's missing from past wars and conflicts either as a Prisoner of War, or Missing in Action. We also include Contractors, Law Enforcement Officers and civilians being held in known terrorist countries.
Our fallen veteran's will also have a spot on here as well as appropriate news for and about veterans.
It is also a place to express views and opinions about current events affecting our veterans and/or senior population.