Vet Update: New Care Center Wing – WWII Commission – Forbes on Defense – Equestrian Ctr. Helps Vets – QM Museum Exhibit

In this Update I report on my most recent veteran support activities, note visit to Normandy WWII beaches, share another super Forbes foreign affairs/national defense paper, highlight Equestrian Center help for vets, mention a new QM Museum Exhibit, and commend vets for their outstanding achievements.

SITTER AND BARFOOT VETERANS CARE CENTER OPENS NEW RICHMOND WING

Del. Cox (R-66) Speaks at the SBVCC’s Richmond Wing Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

July 8, 2015 marked an important milestone in Virginia’s efforts to serve our military and veterans’ community as we opened the Richmond Wing of the Sitter and Barfoot Veterans Care Center (SBVCC) with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. I was joined by several other General Assembly members including Delegates Riley Ingram, Buddy Fowler, and Senator Roslyn Dance. As the chief patron of the legislation for this expansion, I was honored to address the crowd of veterans, veteran supporters, and elected officials.

SBVCC, located on the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus in South Richmond and named after Richmond-area Medal of Honor recipients Marine COL Carl Sitter and Army COL Van Barfoot, became Virginia’s second veterans care facility in 2007. The new Richmond Wing is a 13,000 square-foot addition of 40 new beds, three dining areas, a library, and a courtyard. It is a large step forward in what is just the beginning of additions to Virginia’s veterans care system. My legislation passed in the 2015 Session of the General Assembly will help further propel our current momentum by building two additional veterans care centers – one in Hampton Roads and another in Northern Virginia. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) manages and oversees the operation of the two care centers, the Virginia War Memorial, 24 benefit services offices, and three veterans cemeteries.
Del. Cox (R-66) joins other distinguished guests and speakers in cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of the SBVCC’s Richmond Wing

DEL. COX ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF WORLD WAR TWO 75TH ANNIVERSARY COMMISSION

Initial meeting of the WWII 75th Anniversary Commemoration Commission

The World War II 75th Anniversary Commemoration Commission was created by the General Assembly to plan, develop, and carry out programs and activities to commemorate the 75th anniversary of World War II, including a national reunion of living veterans.  I was honored to be elected Commission Chair at our initial meeting July 7. My very good friend, Senator Frank Ruff, will serve as vice-chair.

The Commission is tasked with planning commemorative events and programs, including a major event in late 2016 that will honor veterans of World War II and provide an opportunity to preserve their stories for generations to come.

Click to read more with Normandy Beach focus.

FORBES ON FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL DEFENSE

I wanted to pass on another very thoughtful paper by 4th District Congressman Randy Forbes that addresses foreign policy and defense. He makes his remarks as a long standing member of the House Armed Services Committee. He concludes, “We are living in a time of monumental global change. Smart foreign policy is essential. And foreign policy blunders like these are unacceptable. The Administration’s pattern of decisions is not just lack of suave thinking – it is lack of consideration for the credibility and safety of America.”

Click here to read the 2-page paper.

LONESOME DOVE EQUESTRIAN CENTER HELPS DISABLED VETERANS RECOVER

 
A disabled veteran rides with the flag at Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center

Delegate Lee Ware (R-65) told me that “Clint Arrington and the volunteers at Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center (LDEC) in Powhatan have been using ordinary means to accomplish extraordinary good for disabled veterans. The regular rides arranged for veterans have proven beneficial in a multitude of ways for these worthy individuals and their families.” I couldn’t agree more, because the LDEC is dedicated to servicing the mental, physical, and emotional challenges faced by veterans in Virginia through their free-of-charge recreational riding and horsemanship program.

The Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center is a non-profit organization that relies completely on private donations and unpaid volunteers. If you are or know a disabled veteran who could benefit from the services of Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center, or would like to donate or volunteer, please visit  www.LDequestriancenter.com for more information.

U.S. QUARTERMASTER MUSEUM OPENS NEW EXHIBIT

Bob Barrett, Quartermaster Museum Foundation President, (left) & Paul Morando, Museum Director, (right) at the exhibit opening.

The United States Army Quartermaster Museum has been dedicated to the history of the Quartermaster Corps since it first opened its doors in 1957. Its new “Parade to Battle: the Evolution of Army Uniforms” exhibit, which chronicles military dress from the formal 19th century, opened on July 8th. The exhibit includes rare pieces such as General Eisenhower’s jacket and various other styles of uniform from past to present. I highly recommend a visit to the Museum, located at the address below and right next door to the Army Women’s Museum.

Admission, tours, programs, and access to the research library are always free, though donations are accepted and appreciated. To gain entry, visitors must use the Sisisky Gate on Route 36, where picture ID, vehicle registration and insurance is required. Click here for more information on the museum or here for contact information, hours, and directions

FORT LEE TO HOST MILITARY RETIREE APPRECIATION DAY SEPTEMBER 26, 2015

Fort Lee is planning its next Retiree Appreciation Day with events beginning at 8:30am and ending at 1:00pm, as well as a Military Retiree Appreciation Ball at 5:00pm. Click here for the Retiree Appreciation Day flyer and here for the Military Retiree Appreciation Ball flyer. We’ll pass on any additional details as they become available, so keep an eye out!

CONGRATULATIONS TO AMERICAN LEGION POST 284 MEMBERS

I am pleased to congratulate my home town American Legion Post 284 members on their outstanding efforts that were recently recognized at the American Legion State Convention.Of the three major Post awards (Americanism, Children & Youth, & VAVS) Post 284 won the Large Post Category award for Children & Youth thanks to the leadership of Chairman Jerry Chenault.

  • Bill Shill was named the Post and District Top New Member Recruiter.
  • Immediate Past Commander Jim Althouse was District Post Commander of the Year.
  • Lou Vallette, Post 284′s Legionnaire of the Year was also named District, Eastern Region, and Department Legionnaire of the Year.

Well done to all!

In closing, I wish you a great summer with family and friends. I also want to thank Purple Heart recipients for their service and sacrifice as we approach Friday, August 7th, Purple Heart Day.