DPF

CT’s Trees of Honor: Donations Needed

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DPF was awarded the contract for Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial this summer; most of the work should be done by the end of the summer, but more donations are needed.

Our debut in the Hartfourd Courant earlier this week:

“A Chaplin-based construction contractor, Douglas P. Fleming LLC, will finish laying bricks for the path through the memorial by the end of August, and 12 benches will be installed in September or October.”  The design features a brick path around a central pond with a fountain, and has a plaza at the rear of the memorial with three flagpoles. A large sculpture will likely be installed at the rear plaza in the spring.

City officials are planning to do a major overhaul of Veterans Park with the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial as a centerpiece. The Greater Middletown Military Museum is planning to build a museum location inside the park.

Sue Martucci, president of the memorial group, said generous donations and a $500,000 state grant have covered the work so far, but more money is needed to complete several elements of the design.

“There’s not enough money to finish the design as we planned it out,” Martucci said. “We don’t have enough money for the entrance plaza and the flag ceremonial plaza.”

For more information or to donate go to cttreesofhonor.com.

See the full article here:

http://www.courant.com/community/middletown/hc-middletown-trees-of-honor-memorial-0814-20150813-story.html

Veterans’ Headstones Stolen to Build Cemetery Worker’s Carport Floor

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On July 21st, the Washington Post released an article about a local RI groundskeeper for a Veterans cemetery….

“At a veterans cemetery in Rhode Island, an employee who was supposed to be taking care of the graves pillaged more than 150 granite headstones, many of them still inscribed with the names of the veterans. Then he took the markers home to build a floor for his carport.”

Kevin Maynard’s house in Charlestown, R.I. had two makeshift carports, one of which had Maynard’s red, late-model Ford truck parked. Maynard, 59, had been stealing the headstones from a secured area on cemetery grounds since 2009.

On one, the inscription honoring a World War II veteran and his wife were intact:

ROMEO J A PELLETIER
TEC4 US ARMY
WORLD WAR II
JUL 51919 JUN 21 2011
HIS WIFE GRACE JOYCE
OCT 31925 JAN 231991

“The employees told investigators for the police and VA’s inspector general that he bragged about stealing the gravestones and using them at his home. “

Maynard, who has since resigned, was arraigned on Monday, July 20th in U.S. District Court, entering into  a plea agreement that will allow him to serve one year’s probation and 500 hours of community service.

Veteran Headstone_2

Read the full story here:

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/07/14/how-more-than-150-headstones-for-veterans-graves-were-plundered-to-build-the-floor-of-a-carport/

We’re Proud to Say “He’s One of Us”…

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DPF’s own Marine Sergeant Tyler Misak called for flags to be lowered for Chattanooga Victims…

We are SO PROUD to say this young man, Marine Sergeant Tyler Misak is “One of Us” here at Douglas P. Fleming, LLC. We applaud him today for his actions this past Monday that caught the attention of Fox News. Sgt. Misak stood in full uniform outside of the State Capitol on Monday,  holding a sign with the names of the service members murdered in Tennessee, while the temperature reached a high of 92.5 degrees and the humidity at 92%.

His statement taken by Fox News: “My comrades are sweating overseas right now defending this country and I’ll sweat with them.” 

Sgt. Misak said he asks for one thing: “My message is that every troop, their lives matter…they should have the honor to have the flags at half-staff…They deserve the honor, and that’s why I’m out here, to honor them and their families.”

His message did not go unheard…Governor Malloy issued a directive to put the U.S. and state flags at half-staff to honor those killed in Tennessee. This level of honor, respect and dedication is astounding. Whether it be on U.S. or foreign soil, these men lost their lives in service of our country, and that should never go unnoticed. Our soldiers are willing to step up, when everyone else backs down. Their job is to fight for our country and the people within it… Our job is to support them. Men like Sgt. Misak are the definition of, “The few. The Proud. The Marines.”

DPF continues, today and everyday, to honor the men and women who have fought and given their lives for this country. We salute you, Marine Sergeant Tyler Misak, for your loyalty, dedication and service. We couldn’t be more proud to have you with us here at Douglas P. Fleming, LLC.

“Semper Fi”

 

See the full story here:

http://foxct.com/2015/07/20/gov-malloy-directs-flags-to-half-staff-to-honor-military-members-killed-in-tennessee/

What is a Hero???

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I recently spoke with someone who expressed his thoughts to me on why he didn’t consider our U.S. soldiers to be “Heroes”. His thoughts were that, our military is the led to believe that it is fighting for freedom, when in reality, it is fighting for some ulterior motives of our government leaders. He stated that he refused to call them “Heroes” because they’re “delusional” in their reasoning.

Well, here were my thoughts to this young man….

 

What is your definition of a Hero??? Hypothetical question… If someone falsely believes that they are risking and sacrificing their life for their country, the people within it and their freedom, what does that make them?? Does it make them any less honorable, courageous or selfless?? Is the Marine who comes home from war, missing limbs or forever confined to a wheelchair, NOT a hero because his government leaders had a hidden agenda within this war??  Let me spin the idea a little… If your family members were kidnapped (or so you thought), and you were told that the only way to save them was to sacrifice your own life…. Are you NOT a hero because you were misled to believe that your family was in danger?? Is your sacrifice any LESS real because the cause wasn’t real??

I believe that a “Hero” is someone who does the right thing for the right reasons. Someone who is willing to put the greater good ahead of their own well-being. Someone who believes that risking their life is worth saving others. And here is what I know: If we truly lost our freedom tomorrow, it would be the same “delusional” soldiers who would stand up and fight for it then. The same soldiers who would willingly lay down their life to return our freedom, your freedom, MY freedom to this country. For those of you who refuse to acknowledge their title as “Heroes”, don’t deserve the sacrifices these soldiers are making for you… and still, they’re making them anyway. If my government is fighting for oil or money, my SOLDIERS are still fighting for MY FREEDOM and MY SAFETY… And that will forever make them MY HEROES.

 

DPF is honoring the men who recently lost their lives in Tennessee. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones. They will forever be remembered for what they were: Heroes.

 

Be Mindful This Holiday Weekend…

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Fourth of July fireworks an issue for some veterans with PTSD

While thousands of people are excited to enjoy the “bombs bursting in air” on  Independence Day, some of the men and women who fought for our freedom are suffering because of them.

Apparently, doctors at the Veterans Affairs Hospitals see a spike in veterans seeking counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder on the 4th of July.

“They’re constantly on edge because the fireworks remind of combat exposure and combat experiences,” Dr. Steven Allen said.

Of the roughly 2.5 million troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, research shows between 7 and 20 percent develop PTSD. Dr. Allen said that when fireworks ignite, some vets go to the mountains to get away from the loud concussions.

“Folks are on edge, they have a hard time relaxing particularly here in Utah with the 4th and the 24th, they have a hard time sleeping because there’s fireworks often late at night that make them think they’re under attack,” Dr. Allen said.

Some veterans have started putting a sign in their yard, announcing themselves as combat veterans and asking neighbors to be courteous with fireworks.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Dr. Allen said. “Veterans are likely to not want to say that themselves but other people will, and it’s been an issue year after year for many of the veterans I’ve worked with…When people who have been in combat can expect noises they do much better than when they’re unexpected, like in the middle of the night.”

The moral of the story is: Get to know your community; if you know that a neighbor is a combat veteran, give them a heads-up if you’re going to light fireworks near their home. Have a little respect for those offered their lives so that you didn’t have to.

http://fox13now.com/2014/07/03/fourth-of-july-fireworks-an-issue-for-some-veterans-with-ptsd/

 

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CT Trees of Honor

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DPF is proud to say that we’ve recently been awarded a project for Connecticut’s own Trees of Honor Memorial. For those of you that aren’t familiar with it:

Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial Founder, Sue Martucci and Gold Star Mother, Diane DeLuzio share with you the inspiration behind the Memorial, the loss of a Fallen Hero son and the importance of honoring all of our Fallen Heroes… in Connecticut and across the Nation. It’s located in Middletown, CT,  where the unique and contemplative “living trees” and evocative memorial sculptures will be a place to reflect, to learn and to honor Connecticut’s Veterans of wars past and to the Fallen Heroes of Afghanistan and Iraq, in particular.

Check out their website for information: http://cttreesofhonor.com/

Hiring Our Heroes

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CNBC attended last year’s “Hiring Our Heroes” Job Fair. Here’s what they had to say…….

 

A Fix for Jobless Vets? Make them Entrepreneurs

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102495881

 

“Military veterans are almost twice as likely as non-veterans to start their own business, but their unemployment rate stands at 6.7 percent as of February, and has been consistently higher than the national average, according to the Small Business Administration.”

Michael Zacchea, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and director of the University of Connecticut’s Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities states: “This gap is a nut that’s hard to crack, but I actually truly believe that veteran-owned businesses are going to be the thing that heals our country in the next 15 years.”

The Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program “trains veterans in the fundamentals of kick-starting a small business. Zacchea said that “even though some states receive monetary incentives from the federal government to hire veterans, those measures don’t guarantee long-term employment.”

Did you know…

“More than 43 percent of the respondents to a Veterans Job Retention Survey published in February 2014 managed to hold onto their first post-military job for only 12 months or less.”

AND…

 “Veterans are exempt from borrower fees for a loan value of up to $350,000. For a loan between $351,000 to $5 million, the agency promises to pay half of the borrower fee in case of default.”

Some businesses consider veterans to be risky hires because of post-traumatic stress disorder, physical disabilities or frequent absences for VA appointments. Zacchea said, “There is a general prejudice against veterans for risk,” he said. “I have been told by hiring managers that when given a choice, they want non-risky hires.”

Jared Baiman, head of communications at Sharp Decisions, a private technology firm that employs about 70 veterans, stated, “What we have found really is that PTSD can spiral when you don’t have much to look forward to.”