Tag Archive: Troops

A Thanksgiving Surprise For The Troops

Yesterday was one of the more rewarding days I’ve had.  Along with my girlfriend and parents, we joined about 1000 people surprising a few hundred troops from the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst with a Thanksgiving dinner.  This was the 9th annual Feed the Troops Thanksgiving Day celebration, sponsored by Jewish War Veterans Post 126 and the Spevak family.

The troops had no idea where they were heading when they boarded the 4 buses on base. They were unable to go home for the holidays because they are about to deploy to Afghanistan.

As they arrived, the buses of troops were escorted by Police, Fire and Veterans on motorcycles and pulled up to a welcome of music playing, flags waving and turkey waiting. The troops walked through lines of people on each side of the path from the bus to the room where the dinner was held as those in attendance shook their hands, gave them signs, handed them food and thanked them for their service. Many of the troops had cameras of their own to take pictures of what they were experiencing.

You can read about some of the coverage of the event in this Courier Post article.

As if honoring the troops wasn’t enough, the commander of Post 126 in Cherry Hill and a veteran of World War II was finally awarded the Bronze Star that he said he didn’t receive at the time because he was in too much of a hurry to get home. It was over 65 years ago that he landed on the beaches of Normandy and helped liberate Dachau, a concentration camp in Germany that my Grandfather was held in for a time.

At dinner last night, my mom couldn’t stop talking with her friends about how moving the experience was.  She turned into the unofficial hugger for some of the troops who were overcome by the emotion of the day. This son couldn’t have been more proud of his mom.

The most amazing part of the day for me was the selflessnesses of the troops, who wanted to thank me for volunteering when i was really there to thank them for serving. To me, it was the least I could do on this day of giving thanks for people who do so much for everyone else.

Below the fold, i’ll put the video that I took as the buses of troops arrived and were greeted by hundreds of people cheering, waving flags and ready to say thank you.  

Rainy Sunday video: Colbert Report All-Montclair Editon

It’s a (nearly) all-Montclair version of The Colbert Report, with Montclair’s Colbert and a special neighbor from Montclair, marking the occasion of the ‘end of combat’ in the Iraq War (with a famous Delawarian dropping by and a 100% audience of our troops). The Colbert Report: Been There Won That:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Been There Won That – Joe Biden & Yogi Berra
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

Corzine hears troops’ concerns in Iraq

The other day, we saw the Governor with our troops in Iraq.  Here’s a video put out by the Corzine’s office on his Iraq trip:

But going over to support our troops also brought concerns to the Governor about the economy back on the home front:

After greeting troops guarding the Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq, Corzine said many were anxious about the recession or possibly losing their jobs back home.

“They’re fearful about how they will fit back into economic life when they come home in June,” Corzine said, speaking on a teleconference with reporters from Baghdad. But he called the troops “extraordinarily professional.”

Our troops are protecting their country and dodging fire, but they’re concerned about what they will return home to. You would think they already have enough to worry about without the economy at home weighing on their mind.

Chris Smith Denied Bankruptcy Protection to Troops

Josh Zeitz is the Democratic nominee in New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional district. He is running against Republican Chris Smith, who has backed George Bush’s ecnonomic and foreign policies and who serves as the chair of the anti-choice caucus in the House.

Chris Smith says that he wants to run on his record in Congress. Unfortunately, there are parts of his record that voters may find less than appealing, namely his vote to deny our troops bankruptcy protection.

More after the jump.

NJ-04: Chris Smith Voted to Double Prescription Drug Co-Pays for Military Families

Chris Smith voted to double the cost of prescription drug co-pays for military families. In 2006, the Bush administration doubled the cost of prescription co-pays for military families under Tri-Care health coverage. Democrats introduced legislation restoring the original co-pays of $3 for generic drugs and $9 for brand name drugs, but Chris Smith and other Republicans voted to block the legislation. [HR 5122, vote #139, 5/11/06; Leadership document, “Democrats Are Fighting for Military Families,” 5/11/06]

According to research, many military families face difficult financial challenges. Over 20% of military families report having received WIC aid or food stamps from the government. While a few dollars saved might not mean much to Chris Smith, who has voted to raise his own salary by $32,600 since 1999, every dollar helps our military families afford basic necessities.[Washington Post/Kaiser Foundation Military Families Survey March 2004 CRS: Salaries of Members of Congress Updated January 8, 2008; 1999 Vote #300; 2000 Vote #419; 2001 House Vote #267; 2002 House Vote #322; 2003 House Vote #463; 2004 House Vote #451; 2005 House Vote #327; 2006 vote #261; 2007 Vote #580]

“Before veterans are veterans, they are servicemen and servicewomen. Military families deserve to know why Chris Smith voted to double their prescription drug co-pays,” said Josh Zeitz campaign manager Steve D’Amico.

This vote is another example of why I’m working to elect Josh Zeitz and bring Chris Smith back to New Jersey. I know you know want to turn the seat blue, so if you can volunteer, please email me at: ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. To learn more about Josh and his stance on the issues, please visit his website.

VFA Launches On-The-Ground Investigation Into New Jersey National Guard Deployment

This week, I and a team from Veterans for America are in New Jersey meeting with National Guard leaders, state officials, and Guard members across the state discussing the upcoming New Jersey National Guard deployment to Iraq.

As of late June, almost half of New Jersey’s National Guard will be mobilized to deploy to Iraq, and we are looking at the effect of that deployment on the troops, their families, and also we’re looking at the impact of that deployment on New Jersey’s safety and security.

NJ-4:Chris Smith-Fact 33: Chris Smith Voted Against Tax Rebates for Military Families

Each week between now and Election Day, we will reveal one more surprising fact about Chris Smith’s record in Congress.

Fact # 33: Chris Smith voted against expanding the child tax credit to 250,000 low income military families. Nearly one in five children of active-duty U.S. military families would have benefited from the proposed tax credit. Military families would have received an immediate check for $400 per child and a $1,000 tax credit per child each year. [Vote #275 6/12/2003, Vote #370 7/16/03, USA Today 6/4/2003]

According to research, many military families face difficult financial challenges. Over 20% of military families report having received WIC aid or food stamps from the government. Additional tax rebates would have helped our military families get by while their loved ones were serving overseas. [Washington Post/Kaiser Foundation Military Families Survey March 2004]

Of course, nothing stopped Chris Smith from voting to raise his own pay by $32,600. [CRS: Salaries of Members of Congress Updated January 8, 2008; 1999 Vote #300; 2000 Vote #419; 2001 House Vote #267; 2002 House Vote #322; 2003 House Vote #463; 2004 House Vote #451; 2005 House Vote #327; 2006 vote #261; 2007 Vote #580]

“Before veterans are veterans, they are servicemen and servicewomen. Military families have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation, but Chris Smith voted against basic tax credits for the neediest military families. Voters deserve to know why.” said Josh Zeitz campaign manager Steve D’Amico.

 

NJ-4:Chris Smith-Fact 34:He voted No on More Dwell Time for our Troops

Over the 35 weeks before Election Day we are counting down the 35 facts Chris Smith doesn’t want you to know about his record. We’ll be compiling the facts at http://ChrisSmithFacts.blogspo…

Fact #34: Chris Smith Voted Against Additional Dwell Time for our Troops

“Voters deserve to know why Chris Smith opposed granting our over-deployed troops adequate dwell time to rest with their friends and family.”

Chris Smith says that he wants to run on his record in Congress. Unfortunately, there are parts of his record that voters may find less than appealing.

More after the jump.

 

NJ-4:Chris Smith-Fact 35: His Vote Nixed Troop Bonuses

Over the next 35 weeks before Election Day, the Josh Zeitz campaign will be counting down the 35 facts Chris Smith doesn’t want you to know about his record. We’ll be compiling the facts on our new website http://ChrisSmithFacts.blogspo…  

I’ll post the text of this first one here.

Chris Smith cast the deciding vote against pay bonuses for our troops serving overseas, while voting annually for huge Congressional pay raises.

More after the jump.

If the war’s going so well, why’s the largest # of National Guard troops since WWII being deployed?

Cross Posted from SaxtonWatch.org

Jim Saxton, staunch enabler of the President’s misguided war in Iraq, would like you to believe that the war is going well.  The headlines of this week’s call up of nearly half the NJ National Guard, many of whom have already done 1 tour of duty in Iraq paint a different picture…

NJ to deploy largest number of National Guard to Iraq since WWII

Half Of NJ Nat’l Guard To Head To Iraq Next Year

NJ National Guard faces a big, earlier deployment

Don’t jeopardize security at home

Next year 3,200 in N.J. guard to deploy

Corzine blasts troop deployment as ‘overuse’ of NJ soldiers

Alerted Guard Units Have Served Before

About Half Of NJ’s National Guard Troops To Be Mobilized

That’s right Congressman Saxton, the war is going so well that if we actually have a situation here at home, we may not be able to respond in the manner necessary because of the decisions that YOU have made, which have our soldiers reffing a Civil War in the Middle East.  Thanks Congressman, can’t wait for that change in 2008.