Category Archives: Veteran Services

Task Force Vet Visits to come to Addison August 5

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The Task Force will be coming to Addison on Sunday, August 5 from 11 am – 5 pm at 4800 Spring Valley Rd 75244. Stay tuned on the latest details by watching this Facebook page and make sure to “Like” the main page.

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Task Force Vet Visits‘ mission is to visit and assist U.S. Veterans of all ages, branch, color or religion. We are a brother and sisterhood that is like no other. We want to share as much information to all of Our Brothers and Sisters that have served Our Country. No Active Duty, Veteran, Gold Star or Blue Star should ever feel alone nor feel like there is help available.

We try to put the spotlight on many national and local resource and organizations that help our Brother and Sister Veterans.

In the summer of 2018 we will be doing our 2nd official cross country trek on motorcycles to visit as many Active Duty, Veterans, Gold Stars or Blue Stars as possible. In 2017, we travelled 8200 miles across the country with 19 stops. 17 stops were to visit with individuals. 2 were larger publicized events which we were able to introduce our Brothers and Sisters to local organizations.

If you are Active Duty, Veteran, Gold Star or Blue Star and would like a visit then let us know. There is no pressure. We are not selling anything. We don’t ask for money or anything else. We offer our time to get to know you and let you know you are not alone. We care about you because you are our family regardless if we have met you or not. We can meet for coffee, lunch, dinner or a bottle of water at a gas station. Your choice.

If you are an organization supporting Veterans then let us know. We will share your message on our facebook page and help you spread the word.

We are based out of Massachusetts. Throughout the year we will visit with Veterans in New England. We also have team members in Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia that are available to visit throughout the year in addition to our annual trip.

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For more information about the Task Force, visit https://www.taskforcevetvisits.org/tfvv/

Veterans Day Walk Nov. 7

12132402_10156122340690313_8076439096714163490_oJoin the City of Pearland by honoring those who have served. Back from the battlefield, but for many the battles continue on the inside as the veterans & their families face PTSD, depression and other challenges. The Veterans Day Walk is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Recreation Center & Natatorium located at 4141 Bailey Road.

Proceeds benefit the William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Pearland VFW Post 7109, Counseling Connections for Change and Hike for Mental Health . Advance registration is encouraged. Visit pearlandwalk.org for more information.

Roger Clemens, Willie Robertson, Jennie Finch, Taylor Kitsch and more join Marcus Luttrell at PX3 Patriots Celebrity Softball National Series game

PRESS RELEASE

PX3PatriotsHOUSTON Celebrities from across the country come together for the PX3 Patriots Celebrity Softball National Series Game on October 21 at Rice University in Houston.

Willie and Korie Robertson from A&E’s hit TV series “Duck Dynasty” are scheduled to join the Lone Survivor Foundation Warriors, a team of celebrities, and play against the PX3 Patriots, a team of military veterans, including US Navy Seals, US Green Berets, honor recipients, amputee veterans, and wounded warriors.

Willie and Korie will be joining softball Olympic medalist Jennie Finch and seven time Cy Young Award winner, baseball icon Roger Clemens. Lauren Sesselmann, professional soccer player for the Houston Dash and co-producer and host of Fitness Program ‘Fit As A Pro’ will also be playing.

Taylor Kitsch, Lone Survivor actor and costar in Friday Night Lights, will also be on the field, playing alongside Mark “Oz” Geist and John “Tig” Tiegen, co-authors of 13 hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, the book that inspired the upcoming Paramount Pictures film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

Founder and Chairman of the Lone Survivor Foundation, Marcus Luttrell, U.S. Navy SEAL (Ret.) and Navy Cross recipient, is scheduled to throw out the first pitch.

The event will kick off with a homerun derby at 7:00 p.m. followed by the celebrity softball game at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are available for $10 and reserved field seats are available for $15-30. Tickets can be purchased online through Ticketmaster – www.ticketmaster.com.

This will be the inaugural game of a national celebrity softball series hosted by the PX3 Research Foundation to raise funds and awareness of its mission and other military-focused non-profits. Additional event information, including the full team rosters, can be found on the PX3 Patriots webpage, www.px3patriots.org.

For information about the PX3 Foundation, visit www.px3foundation.org.

To learn more about The Lone Survivor Foundation, visit www.lonesurvivorfoundation.org.

Travis Manion Foundation to host annual 9/11 Heroes Run in Houston

PRESS RELEASE

TMF_Footprint_SFbanner_108x48_Mech-1024x273HOUSTON — The Travis Manion Foundation will host the Houston 9/11 Heroes Run 5K race at 7:30 a.m. on September 12 at Ellington Airport, located at 11602 Aerospace Drive.

The annual race will unite the community to remember the sacrifices of the heroes of the September 11th attacks and the wars fought since. The Houston race is the largest across the entire country. This year’s race was organized by Greg Fremin, who serves as the local volunteer race director.

A portion of the proceeds from the 9/11 Heroes Run will benefit the Travis Manion Foundation, which offers veterans and families of the fallen unique opportunities to help them take the next step in their journeys and accomplish their personal and professional goals. The other portion of the proceeds will remain in the local community to support the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Charitable Foundation, Texas Association of First Responders and Assist the Officer.

The 9/11 Heroes Run series was inspired by Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion, who was killed by a sniper in Iraq in April 2007 as he selflessly protected his battalion. Before his final deployment, Travis visited Rescue One in NYC—famous for losing almost all of their men on 9/11—and returned home with deeper passion about why he was fighting in Iraq.

At its heart, the 9/11 Heroes Run is a tribute to Travis’ personal commitment to never forget the heroes of that day. In its seventh year, the 9/11 Heroes Run national race series will be held in more than 50 locations across U.S. and abroad.

“Knowing that so many people gave their lives during the 9/11 attacks touched my brother Travis in a way that would forever change him,” said Ryan Manion, President of Travis Manion Foundation. “Six years after 9/11, my brother also gave his life for his country, so every year we gather communities together to run a 5K to honor the fallen. We are looking forward to this exciting race season and uniting people around the world to remember those whose service has given us freedom.”

Last year, more than 30,000 people participated in races around the world. The Travis Manion Foundation invested over $151,000 back into the local race communities to support military, veterans, first responders and their families. National sponsors of the events include Comcast NBC Universal, JWT, and Reebok. The race series sponsor is Johnson & Johnson. To learn more and to register for a race, visit www.911heroesrun.org.

Wounded vet offers help and hope to others through exercise

Nick CloseUpPearland-area resident Corporal Nick Perales is a retired Marine Scout Sniper, who was wounded on February 2, 2011 while on his third military tour (he served two tours in Iraq and the third in Afghanistan) after being hit by an IED. Perales had to have a single below-the-knee amputation of his right leg and fusion of his left leg, requiring a brace from the knee down to walk.

This is not what defines him, however.

At the “retired” age of 26, Perales has started a new career and business to better himself and to offer the same to the residents of Pearland.

Perales is the proud owner of Elite Strength and Performance, a premiere strength and conditioning facility, located at 2911 East Broadway Ste. 311., which opened on June 29.

Perales found that through his activity in the gym and through physical fitness, he was able to overcome the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and be able to look forward to what was next for him in life.

PTSD can occur after a person has been through a traumatic event, such as combat exposure, child sexual or physical abuse, a terrorist attack, a sexual or physical assault, a serious accident or a natural disaster. Even witnessing one of these events can cause the symptoms of PTSD.

Common symptoms include reliving the event (flashbacks and nightmares), the avoidance of situations that are similar to the event, negative changes in beliefs and feelings, spontaneous anger or rage, anxiety and feeling keyed up and hyperalert.

“I was in a slump for the first few months,” said Perales. “I just wanted to stay inside. I was on all kinds of pain meds. One day, it dawned on me that the one thing that had always been a constant in my life was exercise. I started working out two to three times a day, sometimes for five hours.”

This is what turned Perales’s life around.

For this very reason, Elite Strength and Performance is offering a FREE lifetime membership to all veterans (combat wounded or otherwise) and first responders (police, fire fighters, EMS) who are looking for a way to heal and deal. Elite is also offering a discount to the immediate family members of the veteran or first responder, as family is very important to the healing process.

“My mission is to help folks with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, amputations and those wounded in line of combat re-integrate into the community as well as raise awareness about these issues and get the word out that help is available,” Perales said.

“If a guy walks in here today with some issues, I want to offer him mentorship from someone who’s been there, free workouts and a trustworthy friend.” Perales added.

Statistics show that 22 veterans commit suicide every day and 150 police officers kill themselves every year. These numbers hit very close to home for Perales, as he has lost some of his Marine brothers to suicide.

“Just in the past year, there have been five guys from my battalion who have killed themselves,” said Perales. “I know there have been a lot more than that, but these are the guys I knew.”

Perales himself found strength in, and is now an active member of, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance.

“Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) is a non-profit organization that serves the needs of the men and women serving in our military, law enforcement, fire and rescue and EMS services – a community of people we call ‘Sheep Dogs.’

“For the membership of SDIA, helping others is a way of life. All Active Members of SDIA are current or former military and public safety personnel with an innate desire to serve and protect our nation beyond their call of duty. SDIA Volunteers come from all walks of life, but have the heart of a Sheep Dog and a desire to serve. This continued service gives us a renewed sense of purpose and camaraderie. Whether it’s helping local service professionals in a time of need or traveling to assist a community in the wake of a natural disaster, we believe that service does not stop when a shift or tour of duty ends.

“The various programs offered by SDIA provide members with an outlet for continued service, and for some, a renewed sense of purpose. SDIA’s programs include Peer Group & Mentoring, Transition Assistance, Continued Service to Society through Disaster Response Missions, Holiday Programs, Team-Building Activities (Outdoor Adventures and Hunting Trips), and other assistance as needed,” according to the website.

“Sheep Dog came to my attention at the end of 2011. They motivated me to get up and get moving. I was barely out of a wheelchair when me and my buddy did a 14-mile mud run,” Perales said.

Perales also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with five other wounded vets in 2014 and competed in the “10 Island Race” off coast of Sweden, where he had to run to the highest point on one island and then swim or kayak around the nine remaining islands.

With Sheep Dog, Perales helps other vets get out of their heads and into nature, escorting them in outdoor events, hunting trips and adventure races. He is also a regularly featured speaker at SDIA’s annual charity ball, when he isn’t climbing mountains. Sheep Dog even established an award that is named after him.

Perales never mentioned the Purple Heart he received, nor did he speak much about his new business. It was obvious that his heart and mind are focused on the needs of others. And that is true American heroism.

For more information about Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, visit http://sheepdogia.org/. To learn more about Elite Strength and Performance, visit http://esappearland.com/.

Strickland Chevrolet Hosts Memorial Day Celebration May 23

showimageStrickland Chevrolet invites everyone to commemorate Memorial Day with a ceremony by the local Pearland Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard, service flags bugle and a rifle salute.

In honor of those that lost their lives in the line of duty, Strickland Chevrolet will present a donation to the local Pearland VFW (Veterans of Foreign Affairs Post)and to Larry Harris, a deserving veteran & local resident, as a thank you for their service in the line of duty.

Mayor Reid will speak at the ceremony.

Representatives from Congressman Pete Olson’s office will present a Congressional Certificate to Strickland Chevrolet for their support of the community and youth in the Pearland area.

FREE food and refreshments by James Coney Island to everyone.

Saturday, May 23, 2015 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Ceremony is at 12 noon

Strickland Chevrolet, 5518 West Broadway

MUD 6 Dedicates Park to Medal of Honor Recipient

Brazoria County Combined Honor Guard representative Harry Gaul and Clarence Sasser

Brazoria County Combined Honor Guard representative Harry Gaul and Clarence Sasser

The MUD 6 Board of Directors, consisting of Rick King, Richard Skotak, Erich Bell, Mike Haney and L’Sheryl Hudson, hosted a dedication ceremony for the Clarence E. Sasser Park, located on Southfork Dr. and Jeske Rd., Saturday (Nov. 15).

Clarence Sasser is the recipient of a Medal of Honor for Valor, which is the highest award that can be given to a soldier, and is usually presented posthumously because the actions that merit this honor usually cost the soldier his or her life. He currently resides in Rosharon.

Sasser served as an Army Specialist Combat Medic during the Vietnam War. After a U.S. helicopter crashed, he dragged a wounded GI to cover. He ran back to render aid to others, despite heavy enemy fire from three sides. Sasser was hit in his shoulder and both legs, but dragged himself over to his brothers to help, refusing medical attention, in spite of experiencing blood loss and extreme pain. He remained there for five hours.

Sasser received his medal from President Richard Nixon on March 7, 1969 at the White House.

After the Presentation of Colors by the Brazoria County Combined Honor Guard and singing the National Anthem, MUD 6 President Rick King took the stage.

“Like I was saying to some folks before the festivities, having a living Medal of Honor winner is very rare,” said King.

“In other words, the actions that someone takes to earn that medal usually results in giving their lives when they’re taking care of someone else. It’s an honor to have [Sasser] here today, not only to put a face to a name, but to be able to say thank you.”

After reading Sasser’s citation, King introduced the guest of honor.

“It’s a good day for a dedication,” Sasser joked, referring to the gray, cold weather. “There’s no sweat running down anyone’s face.

I want to thank each and every one of you for coming out for this occasion. I categorize it as giving me flowers before I go in a wooden box,” he added.

Sasser Park was created from a large detention pond designed to give flood relief to the area neighborhoods, including Silvercreek, Fieldstone and Silverlake. It features a pavilion, barbecue pits, play structures, a soccer field, a baseball diamond and a jogging trail.

“I like the park. It’s a very picturesque park, meant to serve particular neighborhoods and we need more of them around town. They are useful when we get those downpours that we do. Having the baseball field, the soccer field and whatever else families use is what I call ‘grassroots.’ I like to think of myself as a grassroots type of person,” said Sasser.

“People always ask me about the Medal of Honor. They always ask why. Well, somebody had to do something or we were all going to die. When something has to be done, I think it falls on your shoulders to do it. You have to look at it from the point of how it was. We ate together, we slept together, we played cards and dominoes together. They’re your guys. The rest of the company had either been killed or wounded in action so somebody had to do something. When you’re faced with that situation, step up and do it. Don’t shrink back. I would personally rather die trying to do something than laying there cowering in fear,” said Sasser.

There are 79 Medal of Honor recipients still living in the U.S. from World War II, Vietnam, Korea and the more recent wars in the Middle East.

According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website, the Navy Medal of Honor was the first one established.

“On December 9, 1861 Iowa Senator James W. Grimes introduced S. No. 82 in the United States Senate, a bill designed to ‘promote the efficiency of the Navy’ by authorizing the production and distribution of ‘medals of honor.’ On December 21st the bill was passed, authorizing 200 such medals be produced ‘which shall be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen and marines as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the present war (Civil War).’ President Lincoln signed the bill and the (Navy) Medal of Honor was born.

Two months later on February 17, 1862, Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson introduced a similar bill, this one to authorize ‘the President to distribute medals to privates in the Army of the United States who shall distinguish themselves in battle.’ When President Abraham Lincoln signed S.J.R. No. 82 on July 12, 1862, the Army Medal of Honor was born.”

The dedication ceremony concluded with fanfare and attendees, including newly elected County Commissioner Ryan Cade, took advantage of the barbecue lunch provided by Joe’s Barbecue in Alvin, the bounce houses, popcorn and cotton candy provided by Manvel Moonwalks and the many amenities of Clarence E. Sasser Park.

For more information on the Congressional Medals of Honor, visit CMOHS.org. To learn more about Brazoria County MUD 6, visit BCMUD6.org.

Source: The Pearland Journal

Thank You Veterans

VetDay

Thank you to all of our veterans past, present and future!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” -Ronald Reagan

Veterans are eligible to get FREE brisket and sausage today at Killen’s BBQ (3613 E Broadway St.). For more freebies, visit http://abc13.com/society/veterans-day-freebies-and-discounts/381904/.

Veterans Invited to Ron Paul Luncheon

As gratitude for the service they have given to their country, The Exchange Club of Angleton is inviting veterans to come and attend its 12th annual One Nation Under God luncheon Nov. 13 for free.

The featured speaker is former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, who also ran for the presidency three times, the first as a Libertarian, and the rest as a Republican in 2008 and 2012.

Source: The Alvin Sun-Advertiser

Free Legal Clinic for Veterans Oct 25

Veterans who need legal advice or legal assistance can visit a free legal clinic on Saturday, October 25 at the Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic, 208 Oak Drive South, Lake Jackson, TX 77566. The clinic is sponsored by the Brazoria County Bar Association in conjunction with the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative, a coalition of local bar associations that provide pro bono legal services to U.S. veterans in 17 counties in Texas.

No appointment is necessary. Any veteran, or spouse of a deceased veteran, can receive advice and counsel from a volunteer attorney in any area of law, including family, wills and probate, consumer, real estate and tax law, as well as disability and veterans benefits. Veterans who need ongoing legal representation and who qualify for legal aid may be assigned a pro bono attorney to handle their case.

For more information on the October 25th clinic, contact the Veterans Legal Initiative at 713-759-1133.