Kaiserslautern-Saarland Region Chapter Communications Coordinator; DA Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus Steering Committee; Co-Chair, DA Germany Veterans and Military Families Caucus

  • VMF October Educational Resources

    EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

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    The World on the Brink: John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis 

    Cuban Missile Crisis 

    John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum






  • published October Brain Zone Quiz in Brain Zone Quiz 2022-09-25 19:56:18 -0400

    October Brain Zone Quiz

    BRAIN-ZONE QUIZ

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    Cuban Missile Crisis Quiz

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    A P2V Neptune U.S. patrol plane flies over a Soviet freighter during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.




     


  • VMF Film-Book Recommendations October 2022

    Film recommendations

    The Courier, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Merab Ninidze, tells the true story of a British businessman who is recruited to pass information to an agent of the Soviet Union, in an attempt to prevent nuclear war. 2020, PG-13. Available on Amazon.


    Thirteen Days, starring Kevin Costner, is based on Robert F. Kennedy’s book Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It provides an inside look at the Kennedy Administration during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. 2001, PG-13. Available on Amazon.

     


    Book recommendation

    Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis

    Fifty years ago the USA and the USSR were on the brink of nuclear war. Robert F. Kennedy, US Attorney General at the time, describes meetings in the White House after missiles were discovered in Cuba by a U-2 spy plane. Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis, publisher: W. W. Norton, 1969. Wherever books are sold.





  • published October Recommendations in Postcasts & Social Media 2022-09-25 19:53:40 -0400

    October Recommendations

    PODCAST RECOMMENDATIONS

    How Close To Nuclear War Did The Cuban Missile Crisis Get? History Extra interviews historian Serhii Plokhy, author of a new account of the crisis, Nuclear Folly: A New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 


    The Soldier For Life Podcast
    : S9E5 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 






  • published VMF October 2022 Spotlight in Spotlight 2022-09-25 19:52:53 -0400

  • published VMF October 2022 Newsletter in News 2022-09-25 19:52:15 -0400

    VMF October 2022 Newsletter

    Masthead

    October 2022

    Newsletter

    Vol. 2, No. 7

    To view in PDF, click here

    "MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards…
    Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy. 
    No right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.

    President Joe Biden

    Absentee Voting Week - 1 to 8 October 2022


    Editor’s Message —

    Greetings. With the proliferation of false claims regarding election integrity, many states instituted new voting restrictions that have effectively hindered the right to vote for many U.S. citizens. In Florida, for example, voters are faced with very serious barriers when requesting absentee ballots.  Congress has yet to pass new voting rights legislation so some states passed their own legislation to ensure voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots. 

    When signing the John. R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York, Governor Kathy Hochul proclaimed  "At a time when the very foundation of our democracy is under threat, New York is leading the nation with new laws protecting the fundamental right to vote...we honor the work of the late Congressman John Lewis and activists like Medgar Evers as we make meaningful changes to our laws that enfranchise voters and ensure the voices of the people are heard in our democracy. Where the federal government fails to act, New York will continue to step up and lead the way: we did it with abortion protections, we did it with gun safety reforms, and I'm so proud to say we are doing it again with voting rights." 

    Voting rights are important and Congress needs to pass new nationwide legislation.  Citizens need to be encouraged to vote by making Election Day a national holiday and making voting much easier. Standing in long lines for hours after traveling many miles by public buses to a voting location or extreme requirements for submitting  absentee ballots  make exercising our right to vote very onerous. Don't you cringe when you think of the Georgia law that prohibits people from giving water to voters standing in long lines under the hot sun waiting to vote? What can you do about this?

    Vote for candidates who will protect our rights!

    Terese Sarno

    Editor

    Your Vote Is Your Voice

    "People make their voices heard with their vote. We hold an inauguration to ensure a peaceful transition of power, and those of us lucky enough to serve work as hard as we can for as long as we can, as long as the people choose to keep us here. And once our time is up, we move on… 

    As much as some folks might want us to believe that story has lost some of its shine — that division and discrimination and everything else might've dimmed its light — I still know, deep in my heart, that what we share, as my husband continues to say, is so much bigger than what we don't. Our democracy is so much stronger than our differences."  

    –Michelle Obama, 7 September 2022, The White House


    Please join our caucus to show your support of the U.S. military!

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  • published September Brain Zone Quiz in Brain Zone Quiz 2022-09-25 13:28:19 -0400

    September Brain Zone Quiz

    BRAIN-ZONE QUIZ

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    Principles of the US Constitution: Test Your Knowledge!
    Trivia Questions Quiz


    Multiple Choice Quiz On U.S. Government! Trivia


    U.S. Constitution Fun Zone
    Constitution Facts


  • VMF September Educational Resources

    EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

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    Constitution Day Educator & Student Resources: 

    Constitution Quiz › Kids USCHS

    We The People video https://youtu.be/-llO658Ld-Q

    The Constitution and Congress | OER Commons

    We the People

    Our Constitution. Our History. Our Future.

    We the People | OER Commons

    5 constitutional amendments for right now


    2022 National Book Festival

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  • VMF Film-Book September 2022

    Film recommendations

    The Constitution Doesn't Say That!

    The Original Intent of the Constitution | Myths of American History

    The Constitution Project Series

    The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8

     

     


     

    Book recommendation

    Everything_US_Constitution.jpeg

    This look at the Constitution will help you better understand the most important United States document. You will gain a firmer understanding of how the government works and put context around today's most pressing issues.


  • published September Recommendations in Postcasts & Social Media 2022-09-25 12:48:49 -0400

    September Recommendations

    PODCAST RECOMMENDATIONS

    Democrats Abroad's Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus spoke with Christian Pierce, a student veteran in Europe who previously served as a Captain in the U.S. Army. Like many veterans studying abroad, Christian faced a major problem when trying to utilize his earned G.I. Bill educational benefits.
    VMF Caucus Interview w/ Former U.S. Army Officer Facing G.I. Bill Barrier Through VA


    Hire Ground: E15: The Soldier For Life Program- Providing Opportunities For Soldier, Veterans and Families in TransitionIn this episode you'll learn about The Soldier for Life program, and how they are helping soldiers, veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life.



  • published VMF September 2022 Spotlight in Spotlight 2022-09-25 12:44:31 -0400

    VMF September 2022 Spotlight

    SPOTLIGHT

    scroll_Constitution.jpgDid the only wise US citizens live during the 18th century?

    by Robert Scott

    The US Constitution is a brilliant document, and one would think that it was meant as a guide to point future citizens in the right direction. One would also think that it was not meant as an end-all for providing guidance for governing the United States forever. The authors of the Constitution had no way of knowing that there would be a digital age where smart phones are ubiquitous. The Framers of the Constitution had no way of knowing that there would be nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons capable of destroying the entire world’s population. From the single shot muskets of their day, there was no way that they could have known that there would be a killing weapon such as the AR 15. As times change, I can imagine the Framers believed that their original document would be modified to fit the conditions of future times. Those who view the Constitution as having been chiseled in stone, with no possibility of change, and of things not mentioned in the original document never to be considered for inclusion, are perhaps being mentally myopic. The men who wrote the Constitution, while being extraordinarily brilliant and wise, had no way of seeing the future for all times. With the many things that are happening in the US at present, it would be prudent for leaders to come to grips with the fact that some of the nation's most sacred documents must also change with time.

    If the country is to change with the times, one of the first places where lawmakers should look is at the intent of the Second Amendment. The country has moved from a place where farmers were expected to put down their farm tools and pick up weapons to form a militia to fight if necessary. Back then there was no standing army, or National Guard. The fighting weapon of the day was a musket, not an AR 15 type weapon. The amount of destruction that is done by an AR15 type weapon has been witnessed by few civilians outside of war zones. This is a weapon of war, not a hunting rifle. Any game killed by this weapon, for the most part, would not be fit for human consumption. Why then should such a weapon be in the public domain? The main and only purpose of this weapon is for killing other humans, or possibly some very dangerous animals in the wild. It does not belong on the streets of our cities. The police certainly do not want to go up against them - ask the nearly 400 law enforcement officials on the scene at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 

    The carnage must stop! If we are a sane, rational, and civilized society, then we must put an end to civilians owning weapons of war. I am one who believes that there are still some wise and brilliant citizens living in the US in 2022! I also believe that some of them are lawmakers! This is not only about the Second Amendment, it is also about saving the lives of young children who are in school to learn about the US Constitution, and all of its amendments!



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  • published VMF September 2022 Newsletter in News 2022-08-28 04:03:44 -0400

    VMF September 2022 Newsletter

    Masthead

    September 2022

    Newsletter

    Vol. 2, No. 6

    To view in PDF, click here

    "This fall, we must elect more senators and representatives who will codify a woman's right to choose into federal law. We need to elect more state leaders to protect this right at the local level. We need to restore the protections of Roe as law of the land.”

    — PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN


    Editor’s Message —

    Greetings! With Constitution Week and Constitution Day in September, what better time to delve into the U.S. Constitution since some recent Supreme Court decisions have adversely affected our lives. We are providing you with information to use when you write to your Senators, Representatives, Governors, and Mayors. In looking at some of the quotes from our founding fathers, it appears that they foresaw that changes would need to be made, which is totally understandable because how could documents from the 18th century not undergo revisions to deal with situations in the 21st century? As all organizations refresh operating procedures when new leaders are elected or appointed, why shouldn’t the U.S. government do the same? Is it really a good idea, with the rapid changes that now take place in our society, to have people in lifetime positions that sometimes could easily cover a span of 40 years? The Constitution has no minimum or maximum age for Supreme Court Justices. William O. Douglas, appointed at age 40, retired 36 years, 7 months, and 8 days later! 

    Citizens are reacting to the recent Supreme Court decisions as evidenced by the surprise abortion backlash in the Kansas election. AR-15 weapons continue to create major disasters. Some say "We need these weapons because we want to be effective against the government if it becomes tyrannical. That's part of our Second Amendment right.” Is it?

    “We need leaders to support removing more barriers to voting, not trying to silence the people. The strength of our democracy and our country depends on eligible voters casting their ballot and selecting their leaders."

    – Office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

    What can you do to change the current anti-citizen situation? VOTE!

    We need more elected officials at every level who support the rights of citizens. We need more U.S. Senators, Representatives, Governors, and Justices who want to safeguard the rights we have had for years and who will support new laws that will improve our lives. Use your VOTE to change what has happened this year in the Supreme Court. 

    Vote in the 2022 Federal elections and in your local state elections! Urge your friends and colleagues to vote. Every member of Democrats Abroad needs to participate! If you have not yet requested your absentee ballot, what are you waiting for? Vote From Abroad!

    In closing, we need your help! This is your Newsletter and we would like to focus on topics that interest you. Please take this short survey and tell us what you think! 

    Terese Sarno

    Editor

    Every Vote Counts


    Michelle Obama Urges People To Check Voter Registration Status

    (N.B. This was shared July 31st so it is much less than 100 days to the midterm elections!)


    Please join our caucus to show your support of the U.S. military!


     

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  • published VMF August 2022 Spotlight in Spotlight 2022-07-26 21:58:39 -0400

    VMF August 2022 Spotlight

    SPOTLIGHT

    Honor Flights to the District of Columbia

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    Photo: Evan Youngblood

    On June 1st, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Honor Flight Network resumed escorts for Honor Flight visits. Park rangers and US Park Police officers will again greet veterans at their selected monument, facilitate parking and traffic flow and provide a ranger-led program about the memorials if requested. 

    Alice Kraatz, a Michigan teen, raised more than $140,000 for an Honor Flight  for more than 80 Vietnam veterans in June that included a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

    Honor Flights were featured in the VMF V-E Day (May 8, 2021) webinar Volunteers Honoring Veterans in Washington, D.C., with Helen Belletti, Volunteer Coordinator. Honor Flight video 

     

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  • VMF Film-Book August 2022

    Film recommendations

    Wolf Hound is about a WWII German operation to repair and refurbish fallen Allied aircraft to conduct stealth combat against Allied targets. Link to the trailer. Available in Digital format or to rent on demand—Blu-ray and DVD.

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), classic political comedy-drama film directed by Frank Capra, starring Jean Arthur   and  James Stewart, won the Academy Award for Best Original Story and was nominated for a total of eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

    “The story of one man who believed he could make a difference, and stood up to the entire United State government. A great story about how the American rule of law works and how one man can bring change to the course of human events.” Free on Internet Archive

    Best military movies

     


     

    Book recommendation

    Nelson DeMill \

    Nelson DeMille’s novel, The Charm School, will keep you wondering. What happened to the young American and the Trans Am he was driving across Russia, where are the Vietnam POWs and MIAs, is this possible? Add the CIA, KGB, and a love story, and you have a great Cold War summer read.


  • VMF August Educational Resources

    MilLife Learning Web-Based Training for Military

    Resources designed for service members, their families, survivors and those who support them—anytime, from anywhere.

     


  • published August Brain Zone Quiz in Brain Zone Quiz 2022-07-26 21:57:39 -0400

    August Brain Zone Quiz

    BRAIN-ZONE QUIZ

    It's a Military Living

    They work with bugs, soufflés and even superheroes. … See how much you know about the jobs military members do.

    Start quiz here.


  • published August Recommendations in Postcasts & Social Media 2022-07-26 21:57:23 -0400

    August Recommendations

    Podcasts:

    VA Podcasts Network offers a diverse selection of top-quality podcasts made with a Veteran community in mind. 

    Pod Save America Former aides to President Obama cut through the noise to break down the week's news.


     


  • published VMF August 2022 Newsletter in News 2022-07-26 21:56:53 -0400

    VMF August 2022 Newsletter

    Masthead

    August 2022

    Newsletter

    Vol. 2, No. 5

    To view in PDF, click here

    Just as we did in the presidential election of 2020, we will make sure you know who we are. If you stand against our students, we will stand against you. If you vote against our educators, we will vote against you. This November, if you get in the way of our progress toward a more just nation, we will get in the way of your election.

    Becky Pringle, National Education Association President

     

    Editor’s Message —

    Greetings! We have all been brought up believing that youth holds the future in their hands and that a good education is the basis for a successful democracy. The new law in Arizona that removes the bachelor's degree requirement for teachers is another step by the far right to dismantle public education. They also make it difficult for teachers to do their jobs since they are challenging many of the books used in advanced courses, especially those by authors of color. Teachers inevitably face challenges and are compelled to provide alternatives.

    That Arizona, with the lowest teacher salaries in the U.S., has thrown teaching credentials out the window is horrifying. The Network for Public Education has alerted us to what is going on! Apparently, the Governor of Arizona as well as governors of some other states have no knowledge of the teaching profession although during the pandemic, parents understood how difficult it is to be a teacher when they were in charge of home schooling their children. The Arizona Governor has no idea what it takes to be a successful teacher and he is now allowing untrained college students to teach. This mentality is emphasized by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee who allowed Larry Arnn, his key education advisor, president of Hillsdale College and its charter school chain, to say that teachers “are trained in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges” and that “anyone can teach.” Those anti-unionists now have the teaching profession on their hit list. (Sick of the Teachers: Time for Reform)

    Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers President, commented about certification in Arizona: “It’s very dangerous. It’s a good and dangerous example of the disrespect for knowledge in this country. They would never, ever do this about airline pilots. They would never do this about engineers. They would never do this about doctors. They would never do this about lawyers. But frankly, they are fearful about teachers actually teaching critical thinking, actually having knowledge. It’s antithetical to having an educated citizenry.”

    Call To Action!

    What do we do? We contact our Governors to urge them to support high standards for our students at all levels. Only certified teachers should be entrusted with the education of our students. Stop the radical right from dismantling our public education system. Public tax money should be for public education, not charter schools or religious schools no matter what the Supreme Court has declared. Church and state should be separated. The far right does not seem to care about this part of the Constitution.

    Email and Tweet Your Governor Now! Students need quality public schools and public schools need professionally trained teachers.

    Terese Sarno, Editor

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    Please join our caucus to show your support of the U.S. military!


     

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  • published July Quiz in Brain Zone Quiz 2022-06-30 08:08:42 -0400

    July Quiz

    BRAIN-ZONE JULY 4th TRIVIA QUIZ

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    How much do you know about the United States? Click here to start.


  • VMF Film-Book July 2022

    Film recommendations

    Lincoln: The 2012 film about the 16th president, directed by Steven Spielberg, stars Daniel Day-Lewis, who won an Academy Award for his performance. Available on Amazon. PG-13

    Born On The Fourth of July: This film is based on the true story of Ron Kovic, a Marine who became paralyzed during his second tour in Vietnam. Kovic became an impassioned critic of the war and is still politically active. Available on Amazon. 1990, Rated R

     


     

    Book recommendation

    This_Will_not_Pass_Trump__Biden__and_the_Battle_for_America's_Future.png

    Have you been asking yourself the vitally important, and disturbing, questions: Can American democracy, as we know it today, ever work again? And, if it can, what needs to happen to assure that it can?

    This shocking, candid, personal account of the 2020 election, the pandemic, the Insurrection and the first year of the Biden presidency by two NY Times reporters exposes the deep volcanic forces within both parties. It reads like a novel with stunning, in-the-room detail. The authors break news on most every page, drawing on hundreds of interviews and never-before-seen documents and recordings. Biden & Harris, Trump, Pelosi, Schumer, the Progressive Caucus, Manchin, Sinema, McCarthy, McConnell---each is covered in depth with provocative insights. Highly recommended!