National Medal of Honor Day 2009

Congressional Metal of Honor Society

By COL Robert Howard (USA Ret.

Medal of Honor Recipient

When I joined the military in 1956, I was like many young men my age who enlisted; I wanted to protect the ideals of this country and also build a career. Little did I know that my experiences would lead to a Medal of Honor, and how poignant those lessons would be even now—53 years later—during our current national hardship.

Just after Christmas in 1968, I was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled Vietnam. We had just left the landing zone when we were attacked and many of us critically wounded, including me. For the next three and half hours, I had one choice: to lay and wait, or keep fighting for my men.

If I waited, I gambled that things would get better while I did nothing. If I kept fighting, no matter how painful, I could stack the odds that recovery for my men and a safe exodus was achievable.

Today on National Medal of Honor Day (3/25) —an annual tribute that I and other recipients humbly appreciate—I encourage Americans to recognize that in untenable situations, selfless people make the difference.

The Medal of Honor has been awarded only 3,448 times since the Civil War, and I’m reminded regularly by my fellow recipients (only 98 are living today) that extraordinary things can be accomplished by ordinary people from all parts of America.

Hard times ask us to put a greater good before our own interests. It is sometimes physically or emotionally painful. Yet throughout history, you will find common men and women who fought selflessly in a variety of ways for something so much larger than just their own benefit.

Today, we’re fighting terrorism and the spread of tyranny. We’re challenged by market upheaval, joblessness and perhaps hunger. But the human spirit is resilient and can withstand more than sometimes we are able to immediately comprehend.

It’s up to each of us to not lay and wait for better days, but instead look for opportunities to make the lives of those around us better. National Medal of Honor Day is not a celebration. It is a solemn time to reflect on the freedom we enjoy, its price, and how our own bravery can improve the world around us.

COL Robert Howard (USA Ret.) is president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.


Hey Remember that Stimulus Check Everyone Got

Last year......don't forget, it wasn't free money......it reduces your income tax return by the same amount this year.....

Don't get caught off guard by it when you have to enter it when doing your taxes this year......and make sure it is the right amount before you hit submit on that section of your taxes, because if you don't, it will cause issues for you and your tax return......when in doubt, check the amount, you can do that here, the IRS has ways of checking that, you know....

Ain't tax season grand.



Dr. King's Words

It is one of my favorite days of the year....one in which we celebrate one of my hero's lives.....I don't have to tell anyone who he was.....we are in the midst of a turning point in our Nation because of his life, what he achieved and laid down his life for.....

Today I watched CNN rebroadcast the 17 minute speech given by Dr. King 5 years before I was born.....a pivotal time in our Nation's struggle to free itself from the oppressive hands of racism and segregation..... Our Nation takes a new step tomorrow with the swearing in of our 44th President....it is a monumental achievement that marks a great step for our Country. I know not what lies ahead for our Great Nation, I only hope and pray that God Blesses us with Grace and that we are able to truly be, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, WHICH IS INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!

My unwavering thanks goes out to President Bush for keeping our Nation safe and for being the best President and Commander in Chief he could be, during a very difficult Presidency, my husband was honored to have served under you.

May God Bless Our Nation and may God Bless Our New President.


Outreach Center for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Opens

DCoE website

January 15, 2009 - DCoE

Contact DCoE Communications
703-696-9460 Ext. 122 or 166

The Department of Defense today announced the opening of a 24-hour outreach center to provide information and referrals to military service members, veterans, their families and others with questions about psychological health and traumatic brain injury.

The new center, which is operated by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), can be contacted around the clock, 365 days a year, by phone at 866-966-1020 and by e-mail at resources@dcoeoutreach.org.

“We’re providing 24/7 support to assist callers with questions regarding psychological health and traumatic brain injury,” said Brig. Gen. Loree K. Sutton, M.D., director of DCoE. “Getting the best possible information and tools, hassle-free, will empower and strengthen warriors and their families to successfully manage what can be confusing and disturbing circumstances.”

The center can deal with everything from routine requests for information about psychological health and traumatic brain injury, to questions about symptoms a caller is having, to helping a caller find appropriate health care resources.

DCoE promotes resilience, recovery and reintegration of service members facing psychological health and traumatic brain injury issues, and works to advance research, education, diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

“If we need to research a question, we’ll do the legwork and quickly reconnect with callers,” Sutton said. “We welcome feedback on how we can better meet the needs of those we are so privileged to serve.”

The DCoE Outreach Center is staffed by behavioral health consultants and nurses, most with master’s degrees. In addition to answering questions, staffers refer callers to contact centers in other parts of the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, and outside organizations when appropriate. Other contact centers also refer callers to the DCoE Outreach Center.

The center serves members, leaders and healthcare providers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserve and all uniformed services, along with veterans of all the services. The families of service members and of veterans are also served by the new center.


After Deployment . ORG

I found this website while doing some research last night and thought it might be a good site to provide to readers. The following is taken from the home page of the site explaining what it is.


Welcome to afterdeployment, a mental wellness resource for Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families. If you’ve deployed, or know someone who has, you know that spending time in a war zone means being changed in some way. Some of these changes are good. But some of these changes may be causing problems for you or for someone you know. Having problems after a deployment is normal…Unfortunately, less than half of the Service Members having difficulty after a deployment seek services…

This is our mission: to assist you and the people close to you to manage your after-deployment concerns. We believe that working on solutions is a sign of strength, and the time you spend here a positive step in ensuring a smooth and healthy transition back to home life…


SMA: 'NCOs, the glue that holds the Army together'

Jan 09, 2009
BY J.D. Leipold

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 9, 2009) - The noncommissioned officer is the glue that has held the Army together over the last eight years, said the Army's senior enlisted advisor.

During a presentation at the Pentagon yesterday, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston discussed the contributions of the NCO to the Army mission and why the service has named 2009 the year of the NCO.

"This is an opportunity for us to showcase the contributions of the NCO corps," he said. "It's those noncommissioned officers out there every day who are not only winning the fight on the global war on terror, they're also the ones who directly influence their piece of the Army by being the first line supervisor for two or three Soldiers who they are responsible for. They're the ones who create command climate and train the Soldiers in their occupational specialties."

Preston told the audience of Soldiers and Army civilians that being an NCO was all about teaching from experience and that the two basic responsibilities of the NCO come from the NCO creed.

"It's accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of the Soldier," Preston said.

"One of the principal ways an NCO looks after the welfare of his Soldiers is through training -- it's about being a subject matter expert. We want our young Soldiers to study, to train and be the best Soldiers they can be, because as they move up into positions of increased responsibility they will be responsible for teaching from a position of experience. It's the experience that allows our NCOs to be trainers."

During the year of the NCO, the Army will work toward enhancing education, fitness, leadership development and pride in service by implementing programs and policies that support growth of the NCO corps, the sergeant major said. Additionally, the Army wants to recognize the leadership, professionalism, commitment and courage of the NCO through outreach events that are being planned throughout the Army.

With respect to education during the year of the NCO, the sergeant major said there were three pillars of learning for all Soldiers in the Army.

The first pillar of learning is institutional learning -- in the school house. The second pillar is that of operational experience -- the kind of learning that can only be learned in the field and by doing, Preston said.

"The third pillar is largely an untapped resource: self-development and self-study," Preston said. "One of the big initiatives coming out of this is the Army Career Tracker where we can begin to provide more guided and structured self-development initiatives. There are a lot of things out there we want our NCOs to be, know and do to take them to a whole new level."

The Career Tracker will identify a Soldier's path and their career track, mapping out specifically what they need to do to advance through the Army's ranks.

Preston said as Soldiers continue to develop and grow with their education, by the time they reach sergeant they've become very articulate, very smart and great spokespersons. 


2009 ~ No one is more professional than I.


No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as "The Backbone of the Army". I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.

Competence is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind -- accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain tactically and technically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommissioned Officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.

Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders!