Gold Star Spouses Day

Gold Star Spouses Day

The terms Gold Star family, Gold Star Spouses, and Gold Star Wives traditionally refer to the surviving loved ones of military members killed in the line of duty in combat. Gold Star Spouses Day was created to honor these loved ones.

This recognition of the sacrifices made by military spouses is a memorial for the fallen, a day of remembrance for the survivors, and an appreciation for those who are sometimes in danger of being overlooked for their support and service to the country.

The Gold Star is a tradition that began during World War One; service flags were flown by military families during this time, with blue stars for every family member serving in uniform. If one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star. This allowed members of the community to know the price that the family had paid in the cause of freedom.

The tradition of Gold Star Spouses Day began in the early part of the 20th century as Gold Star Mother’s Day, observed on the last Sunday of September beginning in 1936. An organization known as Gold Star Wives began operating before the end of the Second World War, and the Gold Star lapel button tradition was established in the summer of 1947.

All of this set the stage for Gold Star Spouses Day, which began as Gold Star Wives Day-the first of which occurred in December 2010. Two years later a Senate resolution codified Gold Star Wives Day, observed on April 5 each year.  Today the event is known as Gold Star Spouses Day, though many still use “Gold Star Wives Day” interchangeably with Gold Star Spouses Day.

If you know any surviving spouse of any person of the United States military who died while a member of the armed forces of our country, or who died after such service because of an injury or disability incurred during such service, please extend your heartfelt gratitude.

Texas State Veterans Home Enjoys  Holiday Cheer from American Legion Post 178

Texas State Veterans Home Enjoys Holiday Cheer from American Legion Post 178

Every year since its charter in 2014, Post 178 has gathered and delivered Christmas gifts to the veterans at the Clyde W. Cosper Veteran’s Home in Bonham, Texas (53 miles northeast of Frisco).  As in past years, The Legion and Auxiliary provided gifts, cookies, and donations to the more than 100 women and men veterans for their 2020 Christmas.

Seventeen boxes of items such as food, blankets, hygiene items, games, puzzles, and candy were donated by students at Oak Point Elementary in Little Elm, Texas, which was organized by Jill Harrer, the Special Education teacher to kindergarten and 4th grade students.   Post 178 and its members also donated more than $2,400 to assist in purchasing items that the veterans themselves identified.  Staff members were also remembered with homemade cookies.  All donations were delivered on December 11 by veteran members Tim Schmidt and Marty Martel.

Nancy Levraga, Activity Director, recently emailed Post 178 saying, “We are trying to be good stewards of the blessing the American Legion Post 178 has bestowed on us.”.  She shared that the residents voted to buy next year subscriptions to the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Times magazines.  Also purchased was an indoor/outdoor fourteen-foot movie screen to watch movies and a Netflix subscription for both their memory care and activity rooms.  The veterans also voted to purchase a basketball goal, basketballs, and footballs.  Nancy closed by saying,  “Thank you for choosing our Clyde W. Cosper veterans .  As you have not forgotten us, we will never forget your generosity and thoughtfulness.”

Earlier in 2020, Post 178 also donated three iPads so residents could facetime their families and play games.  Post 178 and Auxiliary-Unit 178 are honored to have made Christmas a little brighter for the veterans at the Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home.

American Legion Post 178  Awards Honorary Lifetime Membership

American Legion Post 178 Awards Honorary Lifetime Membership

Post 178 recently awarded an Honorary Life Membership to Frisco resident Mr. Burnett L. Sutter, an US Army World War II veteran.  Mr. Sutter was a soldier in the ”Tough Hombres”,  90th Division, 358 Regiment, M Company that landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France, in June 1944.  For his military service in France, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal in 2018.

Mr. Sutter will reach a birthday milestone when he celebrates his 100th birthday on April 7.  To help him celebrate his family has asked he be sent birthday cards to Mr. Burnie Sutter, 6098 Osage Place, Frisco, TX 75034.  Additionally, a drive-by birthday car parade is planned for Saturday, April 10 at 10:30 – 11:15am at the Saddle Brook Memory Care Community at 9966 Legacy Dr, Frisco, TX 75034.

Mr. Sutter becomes the most senior of the six World War II veterans in the more than 600- member American Legion Post 178.  Post 178 is proud to have Mr. Sutter in its ranks!

Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program

Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is preparing to launch the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) as part of its continued effort to support Veterans seeking retraining and economic opportunities in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VA in partnership with the Department of Labor published a list of high-demand occupations. The list is available here and includes healthcare, education, media, engineering, and high tech opportunities.

 Covered education programs must provide training for a high-demand occupation. GI Bill approved programs of education, excluding bachelor’s and graduate degrees, and VET TEC approved training programs are eligible.

 Effective April 4, VA will begin working with education institutions to identify eligible training programs and complete VRRAP participation agreements. VA will publish a comprehensive list of approved VRRAP educational institutions and programs on its website to ensure that Veterans know what training opportunities are available under the program.

 VA has 17,250 training spots open for eligible Veterans and will soon announce additional details on how Veterans can apply to participate in VRRAP.

 If you have any questions, please contact the Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 between 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday to speak with a representative. 

Month of the Military Child 2021

Month of the Military Child 2021

April is designated as Month of the Military Child – a time to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide, with an emphasis on the experience of the dependent children of military members serving at home and overseas.

Like many similar military recognition efforts, the Month of The Military Child is often celebrated “internally” with military communities and military association planning contests, parades, fairs, seminars, and special events centered around the message of the month. It is also celebrated “externally” by many communities, schools, and organizations.

Approximately 2 million military children have experienced a parental deployment since 9/11. There are currently 1.2 million military children of active-duty members worldwide.  The average military family moves three times more often than their civilian counterpart.  There are nearly two million “total-force dependent children” including more than 900 thousand Army dependents, 400,000 Air Force dependents, nearly 300,000 Navy and approximately 118,000 Marine dependents.

Since many of the April events are sponsored by military communities, to learn more it is best to start your search for events with the base Public Affairs office, Military Family Readiness Centers, Department of Defense Dependent School admin offices, and even on-base Child Development Centers.