Author Archives: Thom Boren

Memorial Day

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

  1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps: It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

  1. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

  1. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

  1. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and, if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

  1. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

  1. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5′ 10′ and 6′ 2′ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30. They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery .A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are:

President Taft, Joe Lewis {the boxer} Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty..

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington , DC , our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, “No way, Sir!” Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

God Bless and keep them. We can be very proud of our men and women in the service no matter where they serve.

President Obama has helped the veteran.

The Obama administration set a goal in 2010  of ending homelessness among veterans in 2015, and the first lady Michelle Obama challenged mayors nationwide to do in 2014. Thought the deadline passed without the goal being met, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness says it won’t rest until every community has reached the goal. Homelessness among veterans has been effectively ended in Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware and in about 35 communities, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. But many veterans still sleep on the streets elsewhere. Still, as Obama’s term ends, advocates call the national push a success because many veterans did get homes, and the ambitious goal created urgency. About two dozen nonprofits, government officials and homeless veterans in 17 states and Washington spoke with The Associated Press about the effectiveness of the effort and the challenges they faced. “It has been the best kind of failure I’ve experienced,” said Chris Ko, director of homeless initiatives for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “It’s black and white. Did we reach it? No. Did we succeed in the broader effort? Will we end veteran homelessness because of this national push? Yeah.”

The number of homeless veterans nationwide is down 47 percent, or about 35,000 people, since 2010, but there are still roughly 40,000 more, HUD said in August.

To get homeless veterans into permanent homes, the Obama administration used a program that was created in 2008 and combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services from the VA.

Nearly 90,000 so-called HUD-VASH vouchers have been awarded, with $635 million appropriated for vouchers from 2008 to 2016. Many places were able to house most of their homeless veterans, but vouchers became harder to use as the housing market tightened.

Some areas harbor enough resources to solve the problem, but they’re spread across multiple agencies, making coordination difficult, Community Solutions said. Officials in communities that have effectively ended veteran homelessness, including Bergen County, New Jersey, and San Antonio, say the key was better coordination among government agencies and nonprofits.

There has also been a national shift in how people who are the hardest to house, including addicts and the mentally ill, are helped. They used to have to get medical treatment, get sober or take other steps to qualify for housing. That wasn’t working, HUD says, so now they get housing first, then are pointed toward help to confront root causes of their homelessness.

New Mexico reduced its number of homeless veterans from roughly 1,000 in 2015 to about 115.

Los Angeles voters approved a bond in November to raise $1.2 billion for up to 10,000 permanent units, and a refurbished building is opening in February in Jacksonville , Florida, as apartments for homeless veterans, but some plans to build more elsewhere have stalled because of local opposition.

In Chicago, nearly 3,000 homeless veterans have been housed since January 2015, leaving slightly less than 650 awaiting housing, according to the nonprofit All Chicago.

Hughes and others worry momentum will stall if President-elect Donald Trump cuts funding for social programs. Trump’s team didn’t respond to a request for comment for this article. He has said he wants to rein in government spending and reform the VA but didn’t say much about homelessness during the campaign.

The passing of Shipmate Walter Hardin

PRPNW Walt Hardin Silverdale Branch #310 1993-94

Past PRPNW Walt Hardin
Silverdale Branch #310
1993-94

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It is with heavy heart that I must announce the passing of Shipmate Walter Hardin. He was a lifetime member and in good standing with Branch 310. He is a plank owner in Branch 310. We will be honoring Shipmate Walt at our next meeting in February.

The Voice of Sea Service Personnel for more than 90 years

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No organization lobbies more effectively on behalf of active duty, Reserve and veteran Sea Services personnel than FRA. The Association understands the needs of enlisted personnel and has served as their voice on Capitol Hill for more than 80 years.

FRA was the first organization to exclusively represent the interests of enlisted personnel before Congress and remains committed to bringing their perspective to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

As a leading organization in The Military Coalition, FRA works closely with 35 other military and veterans’ organizations on important personnel issues. In addition to direct representation in Congress, the Association sponsors legislative seminars across the country to better inform Sea Services personnel, Reservists, retirees and veterans about governmental actions that affect them and what they can do to protect their interests.

FRA is also your homeport for solving career problems and is your direct link to the Departments of Defense (DoD), Homeland Security (DHS) and Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and other government agencies having oversight of your benefit programs and your current and future security.

  • The Association stands ready to serve you and your family to include caring support and assistance in times of trouble or distress.

Those interested in supporting the Association or receiving additional information should contact FRA’s National Headquarters by calling 1-800-FRA-1924, visiting us at www.fra.org or sending an e-mail to [email protected]

  • Our meetings are held every first Thursday of every month at 1830 for those who would like join us and add your voice to our mission of supporting the sea services.