SILVER ROSE NEWSLETTER
From the Desk of the National Director
Greetings to all of you from the Silver Rose from Gary;
I am sure most of you are familiar what the Greeting salutation means but just in case you don't. Greetings was the first word on a draft notice that we draftees received when the war was going on. . I have always chuckled about it, in fact when my notice came I was at work and my sister-in-law called me and said you have a letter from Selective Service can I open it? I said sure, please do. She said ok here's what it says, Greetings. I said stop there, read no further, I know what the rest says. That was in 1966. Little did I know as a kid of 20 how drastically my life was going to be changed in just 2 short years.
We have a tremendous amount of very exciting things to report to you. First of all, we have been endorsed by the National VVA at a National State Director meeting held a few weeks ago in D.C. Billee Culin, Connecticut State Director, and our Connecticut Director of the Silver Rose was able to introduce a proposal to the floor to have the VVA endorse us. It was passed with just 1 item to be done, and that's to redo our award certificate. We are working on that now and hope to get this going soon. The possibilities are limitless with the VVA if they agree to join us 100%.
Watch for your coming DAV National Magazine. There will be 2 articles in it, both short but one is about the Presentation made in Florida to a lady WW2 Atomic war Veteran who we presented a Honorary Silver Rose. (Thanks to Bill Baty, David Miller and Linda "Scooter "Watson for this work.) The other is a short article about us. It has taken me a long time to hook up with the DAV and the credit really goes to Diane Rey and Jess Jespersen who met the editor last summer. I have submitted a much longer info package, which they will print in their next issue that will really highlight our Mission. I had to delay the longer submission because I got so sick for awhile but now things are getting better and they had our story submitted and in their hands and have promised a extensive article.. Getting this in the DAV has only taken 10 years. Not bad eh????
The Silver Rose is exploding thanks to all of you and as of today we have awarded 172 Silver Rose Medals for this year. When you consider that last year we awarded 351 Silver Roses, you can see how we are growing.
We need to offer Kudos' to Vic Katz our Colorado Director and grant writer, as of this moment we have 4 grants working with more in the hopper so keep your fingers crossed. She has done an outstanding job. Remember that any extra monies we get will be used for education, not salaries. So if you know of any individual or groups willing to support us financially with a donation, large or small, we would appreciate it. It all helps offset the cost of the awards we are presenting now and will help build up our reserves for our future plans.
I would also like to remind everyone that we have our pins and patches for sale which our great Editor Maddy will mention later.
I do have one major favor to ask you. Please pass this newsletter onto your friends and ask them to pass it onto their friends via email or whatever means. This is a shoulder to shoulder, one to one, Mission. We need each other to be successful and bring the Honors and Recognition to our Brothers and Sisters they have deserved. Only We can do This Together!!!
We now have a PTSD committee established to try and help you with your questions and needs. Please visit our website for more information. Don't forget the website is at http://silverrose.org/
Veterans Incarcerated Director:
We have had our New York State Director, Fred Mayer, take on the responsibility. He has a heart of gold and is very sincere about working with our many unfortunates Brothers and Sisters. You can contact Fred at 607-642-8048 or 607-760-1662. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I feel that this is a very important part of our Mission. Sadly, medical care and checkups for many of these people are hard or impossible to obtain. Fred can also answer many questions about benefits veterans incarcerated may receive and benefits their families are eligible for
Please offer your support to Fred he is tackling an issue that few want to touch. Thanks Fred.
Posters and information:
On my last note, we have plenty of posters and
information available for you to distribute in your area. We need the VA
Hospitals, Vet Centers and basically any place Veterans hang out covered. If
you would like some please contact myself or go to our website and contact
a Director located close to you. All 47 Directors in
Take Care Keep 5 Always.!!!!!! Gary
NOTE: Remember this fact "42 cancers
and sicknesses that are AO related and service connected are killing
and sickening us. That's straight from the VA and the Fed's. AO is not
made up. The Dioxins are real and still affecting us regardless of what "some
so called professionals are saying" Please encourage any Veteran
you know to immediately get a full physical with cat scan
and get one yourself. This is the only hope we have of slowing down the
tremendous loss of life and well being,
Peg Howley Vermont Director: The words to describe the "In Memory" Ceremony will be coming slow as there are so many emotions to sort through. Being the first time I was ever in DC and knowing the shock of seeing the 'real' Wall for the first time would be like a punch in the gut, I still could not brace myself. When I saw "The Wall", I could see only the faces of young kids. When the tears started, I thought I was jello. As I passed each panel, on my way to check in for the Ceremony, I found myself saying, "I'm sorry" in my head. Babies, all just Babies. I received a packet with my Husbands picture on a page, which also listed his name, branch of military, dates of service, dates for his life and death. Plus the phrase: " His name is not inscribed here, but his spirit is ever present." That page is a duplicate of the one, which I took after the Ceremony and placed at "The Wall". I found the Ceremony to be the most moving, touching, loving tribute to a Loved One, that there could ever be. To get though it, well, it was easier to get through my Husbands funeral. You must have Family or a dear Friend (as I did) with you. It is just so difficult to hear 390 (or more) Wives, Sons, Daughters, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers pay tribute to a loved one lost to their governments neglect. With anger in my heart, I placed my Husbands page at panel 12W. He died from liquid bullets years too late...ghee, he missed the cut off date. But finally, the joy for him and the fact that at least for one day, his name is "on The Wall" and the Tribute and Recognition are his. There can be no name rubbings but I know he was remembered by a wonderful group of people and Families that were proud of him. That day, we ALL stood tall and cried for our loved ones lost and for our loss. God help me, I want to go back next year. I know I may not be any stronger but I want to read his name again, as a past Honoree. He will always be "In Memory". Thank you.
Billee Culin Connecticut Director: I have been terribly busy going to State Council Meetings in New York and Massachusetts. I presented the Rose to the widow of a Nam Vet with a full ceremony. Before the presentation, I gave a talk about Agent Orange and its effects on vets. There were quite a few vets there who had no idea. I then went on to explain the mission of the Order of the Silver Rose.
In April I attended the VVA Conference of State Council Presidents and the VVA Board of Directors meetings in Washington DC. I met with Jim Doyle chairperson of the Public Relations Committee and made a report to this committee. I requested that the VVA Support the Rose and our mission and allow us to add the official VVA symbol to our certificates. I was advised that it would have to be brought up for a vote to the Board of Directors. It passed unanimously with the stipulation that we did some toning down of our certificate. Gary is working on this with Bernie Resnoski in Pennsylvania.
Other than this I have been attempting to raise funds for the Rose. Since January 1, 2003, I personally have raised $1,400. Not bad for an old lady LOL. Go in Peace. Serve our Lord.
Bob Baker West Central Texas Director: This past month Issued Silver Roses to Joseph Roell, Dan Mcgurdy, Doug Herrle, David Zellers, Alvino A..
Started new Chapters of Vietnam Veterans of America in College Station, Killeen, Randolph AFB, Tyler, Alice, Kingsville, Rockport, Ingleside, Portland. Got certification for Chapters in Seguin, Denton, Baytown , San Marcos, and Beeville, all in Texas. (Denton chapter was certified with 106 charter members, a new record for V.V.A. forming Chapter).
Raised funds for the traveling Vietnam Wall in Oct 22-26 in LaGrange, TX (Chicken Ranch) by being the Easter Bunny at the Banks, Mental Health and Retardation Units for the kids.
Talked to P.T.S.D. classes at vet centers about benefits for PTSD, Agent Orange, etc. and the Silver Rose in Corpus Christi, Austin and College Station.
Gary Schrieber Pennsylvania Director: We ( my wife and I) are making a Quilt of Tears from our Bucktail Chapter 720 VVA chapter members and surrounding area veterans. We had enough to fill a whole quilt. When it is done, we are going to send it to Jennie LeFevre so she can take it on tour with her. But first, we are going to display it here in St. Marys, Pennsylvania at the American Legion on Memorial Day after the parade.
Paul "Parker" Kasper Alabama Operations Co-Director: We are trying to establish a more direct method of making our organization available to the Vietnam Veterans- such as have VVA Chapters across the state become helpers by making our information/application material available to the veterans. I also am a member of the Mobile Riverine Force and 9th Infantry Division & AFVN. They are supplied material and information thru the Internet and on my personal website of http://vietnamresearch.com. There is a full section devoted to Agent Orange and PTSD information; including Silver Rose application to download. They are also trying to form a state council to have one group that is a member of the VVA, VFW, DAV, and American legion and any others to maintain a uniform voice with the sate government. When this is formed I am to speak to the group on Silver Rose organization.
And of course I am pursing donations from those involved with veterans and personal donations.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW DIRECTORS:
Edward M Campbell Florida Operations Co-Director
Bernard J. McElwee New Jersey Operations Director
Frederick Mayer New York Operations Co-Director
Frankie Allen O'Cain South Carolina Operations Director
The Order of the Silver Rose will be having a table at the V V A National Convention in St Louis and will be passing out info and selling merchandise. We need lots of volunteers. The dates are Tuesday July 29th through Sunday August 3rd at the Adam's Mark Hotel in St Louis. To make reservations at the hotel please call 314-241-74000. If you can volunteer to help please contact Billee Culin email@example.com OR Nancy Rekowski firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporal Fidel G. ELizondo U.S. Marine Corps #59-03
FN Melvin Gearl Brace U.S. Navy Deceased #60-03
Specialist E-5 Frederick T. Hoag U.S.Army Deceased #61-03
Sergeant William Donald Ulmer U.S. Army #62-03
Staff Sergeant Frankie A. O'Cain U.S. Air Force #63-03
Command Sergeant Major Tommie Doyle O'Cain U.S. Army #64-03
Command Sergeant Major Roger Dale O'Cain U.S. Army #65-03
Specialist E-4 Daniel Lee McCurdy U.S. Army #66-03
Staff Sergeant Jack M. Bloomfield U.S. Air Force #67-03
E-6 Floyd R. Jensen U.S. Navy #68-03
Senior Chief Boatswain Mate John F. "Jack" Crowley, Jr. U.S. Coast Guard #69-03
Specialist E-4 Edward E. Flores U.S. Army #70-03
Technical Sergeant Benjamin Palomino U.S. Air Force #71-03
Specialist E-4 Jack Larry Jones U.S. Army #72-03
Corporal Eldon J. Giles, Jr. U.S. Marine Corps #73-03
EN-2 Jerry Camp U.S. Navy #74-03
Specialist E-4 Joseph Antonio Jorge U.S. Army #75-03
Specialist E-4 Daniel A. Biddle U.S. Army #76-03
Honorary Order of the Silver Rose
Thomas D. Morrisey #H-14-03
William T. Muns Veteran Service Officer #H-15-03
Eddie Chapa #H-16-03
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph C. Roell U.S. Air Force #77-03
First Lieutenant John D. Dodson U.S.Army #78-03
Staff Sergeant Galen Lee Pfaunmiller U.S. Army #79-03
Sergeant First Class John O. Dennis U.S. Army #80-03
Specialist E-4 Bernard M. Kelly U.S. Army #81-03
Technical Sergeant Donald William Sutton U.S. Air Force#82-03
Staff Sergeant Gerald A. Gale U.S. Army #83-03
Specialist E-5 Dwain D. McVey U.S. Army #84-03
Captain Leland E. Payne U.S. Army #85-03
SM William E. Zimmerman U.S. Navy #86-03
Staff Sergeant John Joseph McWilliams U.S. Air Force #87-03
Lance Corporal Gene A. Woods U.S. Marine Corps #88-03
Sergeant First Class Grant S. Jackson U.S. Army #89-03
Specialist E-4 Cecil Hubert Gray U.S. Army Deceased #90-03
Sergeant Junior Leonard Stark U.S. Army Deceased #91-03
Lance Corporal James Douglas Jones U.S. Marine CorpsDeceased #92-03
Sergeant First Class Marion Mitchell Jr. U.S. Army Deceased #93-03
SKSN Darrell P. Huston U.S. Navy #94-03
Private First Class Marvin W. Woodbury U.S. Army #95-03
Specialist E-4 Kenneth H. Lewis U.S. Army #96-03
Sergeant Kirby L. Avery U.S. Marine Corps #97-03
Specialist E-4 Thomas L. Koniarz U.S. Army #98-03
Senior Master Sergeant Harold J. Huebert U.S. Air Force #99-03
Specialist E-4 William L. Bilka Jr. U.S. Army #100-03
Private First Class Walter J. Jenriksen Jr. U.S. Marine Corps #101-03
Specialist E-5 Donald Hoffman U.S. Army #102-03
E-9 Charles J. Dugan Jr. U.S. Coast Guard #103-03
BM3 Lamar Shive U.S. Navy #104-03
Staff Sergeant Harris Eugene Wood U.S. Army #105-03
HM1 James Warren Shull U.S. Navy #106-03
E-6 George Scott Sluppick U.S. Army #107-03
Specialist E-4 Stephen E. Miller U.S. Army #108-03
Specialist E-5 Silas Andrew McCaffrey U.S. Army #109-03
Staff Sergeant Douglas G. Herrle U.S. Marine Corps #110-03
Master Sergeant Donald Keith Cox U.S. Army #111-03
Staff Sergeant Floyd Golgart U.S.Marine Corps #112-03
CW3 Jack Evans U.S. Army #113-03
Sergeant Laurence E. Butterfield U.S. Army #114-03
Master Sergeant Victor Oliver Nunez U.S. Marine Corps #115-03
Specialist E-4 David Zellers U.S. Army #116-03
Lance Corporal Jerry A. Baker U.S. Marine Corps #117-03
Sergeant Michael Glenn Thacker U.S. Army #118-03
Specialist E-4 Larry G. Holdredge U.S. Army #119-03
Specialist E-4 Harry Lewis Coyne U.S. Army #120-03
BT-2 Ronald Lee Empfiend U.S. Navy Deceased #121-03
E-4 Francis Paul Wax Jr. U.S. Air Force Deceased #122-03
Specialist E-4 Danny Lee Conrad U.S. Army Deceased #123-03
Gunnery Sergeant Lawrence "Larry" J. Marchlewski Sr. U.S. Marine Corps #124-03
HM3 Larry R. White U.S. Navy #125-03
Corporal Thomas E. Fraley U.S. Marine Corps #126-03
Sergeant Charles Robert Heck U.S. Army #127-03
Honorary Order of the Silver Rose
Bernie J. Rekowski Pennsylvania Veterans Advocate #H-17-03
The American Legion Department of Nebraska #H-18-03
The Silver Rose is not the only group that honors
Agent Orange Victims. Please do not forget the Agent Orange Victims
and Widows Support Network Quilts of Tears. Also the
ORANGE FLAGS: I am a bit of a nut when it comes to Honoring
and Remembering Veterans, (you all know that I am sure nuts by now) in
68 when I returned from the war I framed my medals and have had them
on the wall since that day. They have been on many walls as I have stumbled
I simply used to tell them, you
forget your high school and college days and then I'll forget the
You just have to forget books and girls. I have to forget body counts and the loss of more men than I sometimes care to try to count and really wish I could. So you forget your teen days and I'll forget mine. Then I will take my medals down.
My kids were raised with an American flag flying 24/7 with a POW/MIA flag nearby always. They were always raised with much pride and have always held any Veteran in awe, cause the ole' bald guy told them the "Real Story" about this war chit.
In 1993, after my last cancer, I found shortly after that the Agent Orange flag and it has flown now along side my American and POW/MIA flags. They last about a year each, sometimes longer.
If you would like to
buy an AO flag, first of all the price is fair
and it goes to Vets. In fact if goes to the Vets that
designed it. So if you buy one don't fear it's not made in
Write and send your money to the following
Michigan VVA State Council
Attention!!! AO Flag
30039 Beachwood Street
Garden City, Michigan 48135-2332, they are only $39.95 and that includes shipping. This brings them in about $20.00 less than any others I have found. And the money goes to some great people. Vets, just like us.
If you order any tell them Gary sent you from the Silver Rose, not that they will give you a deal but it will let them know that the ground they broke years before anyone knew about AO is now getting plowed up good and much is Thanks to Them...
If you ever visit my home you will see all 3 flags always flying in my courtyard. 24/7. Gary
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: I was having a conversation with a Veteran today who has Diabetes and is receiving 20% disability for it. Now this is possibly a difficult question for you to bring up but it's important. If a Vet suffering from diabetes cannot get an erection they are eligible for what's called “erectile dysfunction”. (He did not know this). It can mean an additional 10 to 20% disability a month. Few vets are aware of this. I receive award letters all the time with this additional disability on it. So if you know someone with diabetes please pass the word on.
I am sure the Service Officers reading this can give even more details. I believe that Vets have earned all they are eligible for and this topic came up so I thought I would bring it to your attention. Just sharing thoughts. 10% is like over a $100.00 a month or more so that's a fair amount of money.
Take Care Gary
Erectial dysfunction also be a complication of depression and PSTD
Diabetics who had normal function until treatment for PTSD and Doctors prescribe treatment includes medications that cause erectile dysfunction.
DIABETES NEUROPATHY: Also Diabetes neuropathy
- glaucoma of the eyes; bad/no circulation of the feet; sores, blisters,
etc., that do not heal.
A good Service Officer can get:
a. Insulin 40 - 80%
b. medication 10 - 20%
c. Medication and diet 10 - 220%
d. Diet alone 0 - 10%
in addition to the basic Diabetes diagnosis so the Vet could get as high as 80% - usually temporary - then when everything settles down. The overall total may also settle to about 60%. OF COURSE - depending on the Vet and just how bad his Diabetes and secondary ailments are. Thanks again Buzzsaw
You can contact Nan Wynn at Oakridge Cemetery 217-789-2340 or Jim Mathes at 217-793-9394 for information on adding names to Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial must have lived and enlisted in Illinois.
AGENT ORANGE OUTSIDE
The listings are almost exclusively Army records
although there are an extremely limited number of Navy and Air Force records.
These listings relate only to chemical efficacy testing and/or operational
testing. The records do not refer to the use of Agent Orange or other chemicals
in routine base maintenance activities such as spraying along railroad
tracks, weed control on rifle ranges, etc. Information on such use does
not exist. VA will develop for proof of exposure for claims for disabilities
resulting from Agent Orange exposure outside of
VA does have significant information regarding
Agent Orange use in
Herbicides were applied through hand spraying and by hand distribution of pelletized herbicides. Although restrictions were put in place to limit potential for spray drift, run-off, and damage to food crops, records indicate that effects of spraying were sometimes observed as far as 200 meters down wind.
Units in the area during the period of use of herbicide were as follows: The four combat brigades of the 2nd Infantry Division. This includes the following units: a) 1-38 Infantry b) 2-38 Infantry c) 1-23 Infantry d) 2-23 Infantry e) 3-23 Infantry f) 3-32 Infantry g) 109th Infantry h) 209th Infantry i) 1-72 Armor j) 2-72 Armor k) 4-7th Cavalry. 3rd Brigade of the 7th. Infantry Division. This includes the following units: a) 1-17th Infantry b) 2-17th Infantry c) 1-73 Armor d) 2-10th Cavalry. Field Artillery, Signal and Engineer troops were supplied as support personnel as required. The estimated number of exposed personnel is 12,056.
Veterans exposed to Radiation (from the Federal Benefits For Veterans and Dependents 2003 edition page 19) Veterans exposed to Ionizing radiation while on active duty may be eligible for disability compensation if the have disabilities related to that exposure. Conditions presumed to be service-connected for veterans who participated in 'radiation-risk activities' as defined by VA regulations are all forms of leukemia (except chronic lymphocytic leukemia); cancer of the thyroid, breast, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, salivary gland, urinary tract (renal pelvis, ureter, urinary bladder, and urethra), brain, bone, lung, colon, and ovary, bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma, multiple myeloma, lymphomas (other than Hogkin's desease), and primary liver cancer, (except if cirrhosis or hepititis B is indicated). To determine Service-connection for other conditions or exposures not eligible for presumptive compensation, factors consider include amount of radiation exposure, duration of exposure, elapsed time between exposure and onset of the disease, gender and family history, age at time of exposure, the extent to which a nonservicrelated exposure could contribute to the disease, and the relative sensitivity the exposed tissue."
My personal suggestion is FILE A CLAIM and see what the VA says about relating conditions and exposure.
If you don't file a claim you have already been denied BY YOURSELF!!!! Larry Stimeling
Agent Orange Compensation [Non-Vietnam]: Until
recently, the VA would grant compensation to veterans exposed to Agent Orange
(AO) outside of
The only real issue is proving exposure. All persons who served in
1. The Korean demilitarized zone in 1968 and 1969 (extensive spraying).
2. Fort Drum, NY in 1959 (testing).
Other areas where veterans allege AO to have been sprayed include:
1. Guam from 1955 through 1960s (spraying).
2. Johnston Atoll (1972-1978) was used for unused AO storage.
3. Panama Canal Zone from 1960s to early 1970s (spraying).
4. Elgin AFB (Agents Orange and Blue) on Firing Range and Viet Cong Village
5. Wright-Patterson AFB (OH) and Kelly AFB (TX)
VA Handbook: The 2003 edition of “Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents” is now available on the VA web site at http://www.va.gov/pubaff/fedben/Fedben.pdf This booklet lists the variety of federal benefits available to military veterans and their dependents. Topics covered include health care enrollment, VA claim filing, burial and survivor benefits, and workplace benefits. The booklet is being printed now and distribution will begin 4 APR 03.
20 Million Gallons of Agent Orange Dioxins!!!!!
More than 42 Cancers and sicknesses!!!!!
Is that reason enough for you to get a full physical every year and a CAT scan?????
Please go to this site and print off the Agent Orange ad. Help to distribute and place in newspapers and newsletters. . http://silverrose.org/ao-ad.html
Also, go to this site and print off the Silver Rose Poster and put up so we can spread the word. http://silverrose.org/tearad.html
Why and how to be a volunteer or director. If you are interested in helping the Silver Rose by spreading the word of Agent Orange cancers and sickness, please distribute the information on the Silver Rose site. silverrose.org Please consider being a Director or volunteer.
We have just received a shipment of Silver Rose Pins. The pin is 1 inch in diameter and an exact copy of the very prestigious Silver Rose Medal. The cost is only $10.00 including shipping. You can order it on line at http://silverrose.org/donation.html or contact the nearest Silver Rose Director. We have Silver Rose patches on order too.
SILVER ROSE PATCHES NOW AVAILABLE: We now have gorgeous Silver Rose patches available for you. They are 3 and 1/2 inches in Diameter and can be purchased either on our website via bankcard or from your local Silver Rose Director or write me directly if you would like to purchase one by check or cash. They are only $10.00 shipping included when purchased online. Visit the website to see a photo of these gorgeous patches.
Gary, Could you somehow incorporate into your newsletter for the children
to apply for benefits? They have to for our government to see that they are
ill as a result of their parents' service in
Let me know.
Thanks, Dixie Miller email@example.com
Tuesday, April 22, 2003 4:37 PM
My dad is Still Alive and Is Doing good after all the stuff that happen to him over there. He is a Welder for a major Company here in Omaha Nebraska and has been a welder for over 20 years. I talked to John Schniedermeier that lives in Omaha Nebraska and he is sending me all the information to get the silver Rose. I am Glad that I got a hold of you and we are looking forward to sending the paper down to you so we can get a silver Rose.
Thank You for all you have done and May God Bless You
Regards, Jason Greene (John 3:16)
Monday, April 21, 2003 3:19 AM
Mr. & Mrs. Chenett and Board Members of The Order of the Silver Rose
I just wanted to drop a line and say thank you. My name is Steven Walker, first son to Daniel J Walker (#2112), the recognition that your organization provides is truly a sign of love and pride. I can not explain the way I feel about some of the injustice that has taken place in the past
(Example: service photos of my injured father that never received a Purple Heart due to lost medical records or some B.S. like that) but you folks have spent YOUR time and money putting together an award that the people of the United States (service and civilian) should be made more aware of. Again a gratis thanks and much appreciation to you all for what you have done now and in your time of national service. Please pass this on to all of the board members, as I am sure you have a Cc: list already set up to accommodate. Thank You so much. Steven J Walker
Dear Mr. Baty
This letter is long overdue - I only hope you don't think I passed away from all the excitement.
Richard and the ladies from the auxiliary had the hall decorated with flowers, balloons and red tablecloths. The catered dinner was great and two big cakes with fresh strawberry filling!
Then came the ceremony with two Honor Guards dressed in their best attire. David Miller explained how the Silver Rose came into existence.
He gave me a framed picture of our flag. Some
Mayor Jackson and his wife brought a Proclamation from the City of Largo with the big gold seal making Feb 11th "Bernice Ayers Day" to remind us and future generations of the sacrifices of Atomic Veterans.
Mayor and Mrs. Brian Aunget from Clearwater brought a framed certificate of Appreciation with his signature and Clearwater's Gold Seal.
Last but not least, was a signed congratulation letter from our Governor, Jeb Bush. He said that we must never forget any of our veterans or take for granted our hard won liberty. I thought that was an excellent point.
Then at last David Miller took out the Silver Rose and placed it around my neck and gave me a big hug. I was very honored but then I remembered the nurses from Bataan and Corregidor - I saw the place, at Santo Tomas in Manila, where they were held prisoner by the Japanese for two years - how tragic and traumatic for them. I accept this honor also in their behalf.
What an awesome event that was. The love and respect that Veterans have for these nurses is priceless. That is why this award is so special to me. This has carried over to all veterans showing love and respect for each other and helping each other. I could feel this in everyone that came.
The other dignitary that attended was a gentleman from our VA Hospital at Bay Pines. A lady from the Dept of Veteran Affairs. Selma Royer, a Sr. Vice Commander from the DAV State Dept and was also my first NSD that started my claim in 1990. Of course Commander Ray Raulerson of DAV Chapter 11. He also is my NSD and severed the radiation connection for colon cancer.
Talking about the traumas of the Battaan and Corregidor nurses reminds me of something else. I go to the Vet Center every other week and hear how WWII veterans, coped, overcome, and endured on a daily basis their traumas. The pain is still present, especially in the POWs but now I can see what a great example they are - the indomitable spirit that they posses has helped them all these years to be overcomers - they never gave up. When I look at them I see living and breathing miracles and that is an inspiration beyond imagination!
If you have traumas or know vets that do, tell them to go to the Vets Center and receive encouragement and inspiration from other vets.
I want to thank you most sincerely for the important role that you played in making this a "shining hour" for me. No one here had heard of the Silver Rose. Due to you, I am the first Atomic Veteran to be listed in this state, also the first female vet to receive a Silver Rose!
I feel like I've written a book but I had so much to tell. I've sent a letter to Larry Laney so he is up-to-date on all this info.
Thank you very much for doing this kind deed for me. In another life I'm sure you will have another shining star in your crown for this.
Sincerely, Bernice Ayers
04/20/03 09:26:41 AM
I'm Mary Marchand's niece. I haven't really given much thought to the Silver Rose since she died, so I'm shocked that to find that over a quarter of a million people have visited this site. My Papa was an incredible man, and he deserved to be recognized for dying for this country, as does every Vet that has been affected by Agent Orange. I'm so happy that the Silver Rose has been there for those families who have been denied a Purple Heart. Our family keeps all of you and this project in our prayers. SED
03/21/03 11:17:40 PM
I am grateful to find others who feel that veterans exposed to Agent Orange
deserve more recognition then they have received. My father passed away in
98 from Non-Hodgkins related to his exposure to the chemical in
04/29/03 05:14:26 AM
This is a great site and you people have done
a wonderful job.
I was a corpsman stationed on the USS Sanctuary in Nov.68 to Feb.70. I am 70% due to PTSD and MS, the PVA, Epva and the VVA helped me get my claims thru in no time for PTSD but the VA still don't recognize the MS as it is not listed in Agent Orange. The SCI clinic got me unemployability so I am now at 100% permanent with no more reviews. DHF