Delaware Veterans Coalition

"Veterans Are Our Only Business"

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Middle East Conflicts Memorial
The Delaware Veterans Coalition proudly supports the future site of the Middle East Conflicts Memorial at the Kent County Memorial Park. This memorial will join the Vietnam Veterans and Gold Star Memorials already at the site.

If you wish to honor a family member or loved one who served, buy a brick to support the memorials.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  March 25, 2015
Contact: Dave Skocik 302-736-8500 cell

Kent War Dog Memorial Campaign kicks off

Paul Davis, state council president, Vietnam Veterans of America; Ken Bodine, chairman of the Memorial Committee; and Joe Startt Jr., president, Chapter 850, display the photo of SSGT Jason Spangenberg and his War Dog Rico. Group photo by Dave Skocik.

Paul Davis, state council president, Vietnam Veterans of America; Ken Bodine, chairman of the Memorial Committee; and Joe Startt Jr., president, Chapter 850, display the photo of SSGT Jason Spangenberg and his War Dog Rico. Group photo by Dave Skocik.

DOVER — After months of discussion, meetings and even unsolicited contributions, the campaign for a War Dog Memorial at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park in Dover officially began at an annual fundraiser hosted by Kent County Vietnam Veterans of America.

During the March 20 sold-out dinner at the Felton Fire Hall, chapter leaders took the opportunity to unveil the photograph that will serve as the template for the planned memorial to all generations of war dogs and their handlers, according to Ken Bodine who heads the chapter’s memorial committee.

The recent photo of dog handler SSgt Jason Spangenberg and his War Dog Rico, was taken at Dover AFB by A1C William Johnson and will be used as the template for the planned memorial. It will be etched into a 5-foot black granite stone by Lloyd Memorials of Dover.

“This is not only a tribute to the highly-trained K-9s that have saved so many lives, but is also a recognition of their handlers from all branches and in all conflicts,” said Joe Startt Jr., Chapter 850 president. “We’re especially pleased that this poster, created and donated by Dover’s Signs by Tomorrow, highlights our current veterans and their outstanding service.”

SSgt Spangenberg, who hails from Scranton, Pa., and Rico have served multiple tours in Afghanistan and earned a Bronze Star Medal for their work in finding IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that saved the lives of fellow service members.

The inscription on the stone will read, “They protected and watched over us at home and on the field of battle. We are forever grateful for their undying loyalty, devotion, and faithful service. They are not forgotten.”

The War Dog Memorial will be placed next the UH-1 “Huey” helicopter dedicated last year.

Contributions may be made to Kent County Chapter 850 with ‘war dog’ in the memo area and mailed to VVA Chapter 850, c/o Ken Bodine, P.O. Box 1718 Dover, DE 19903. Email pauldavis5233@comcast.net for additional information.

The chapter plans to dedicate the memorial during the July 1-5 visit of the Vietnam “Wall that Heals,” to the Veterans Memorial Park.

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Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the Delaware Veterans Coalition Meeting scheduled for March 23rd has been canceled and will be rescheduled. We apologize for the late notice. A notice will be sent when the rescheduled meeting date has been confirmed.

Sam Cannan, a retired Maryland Police Officer and master watchmaker has worked diligently to get the Veterans Watchmaker School initiative off the ground, for disabled veterans who served our country. Geri and Richard Money, made Sam’s dream one step closer to reality, when they donated 4 acres of their farmland, to help our disabled service members obtain good paying jobs.

The watchmaker training is a 14 month course, with the opportunity for disabled veteran watchmakers to earn $65,000+ a year.

Find out more about the Veterans Watchmaker School.

On March 2nd the Veterans Summit was held in Elsmere, Delaware. Leaders from all over the state, participated in the summit which provides a way for Delaware veterans to see and hear first hand on what the VA is doing to improve services and provide feedback to the VA about those efforts.

Read more about the summit at the Cape Gazzette.

In the photo on the Cape Gazzette website is Dr. Ron Sarg, chairman of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs; Robert MacDonald, U.S. secretary of the Veterans Administration; and Dave Skocik, president, Delaware Veterans Coalition.

First State Military Academy president to address Veterans Coalition

DOVER – The Delaware Veterans Coalition will welcome C. Scott Kidner, founding member and Board President of the First State Military Academy in Clayton, as guest speaker at it bi-monthly meeting on Monday, February 9, at 7 p.m at the FOP Lodge at 1584 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover (Map). This meeting was rescheduled due to weather.

The First State Military Academy, a free public high school affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps, is enrolling students for the Fall 2015

Mr. Kidner served on active duty in the US Army, and the Delaware Army National Guard for a total of 14 years. He was awarded numerous commendations, including the Bronze Star for service during Desert Storm in 1991

Modeled after the highly successful Delaware Military Academy, the school will be the first combination of JROTC and New Tech in the country. Learners will be engaged through Project Based Learning and collaborate on projects that require critical thinking, creativity and communication to solve real world problems. Visit www.fsmilitaryacademy.org for more information.

The Delaware Veterans Coalition, founded in May 2011 by Paul Davis and Dave Skocik, is a statewide, non-profit, pro-bono lobbying organization that collaborates with elected officials and community leaders on issues that affect all generations of Delaware’s military veterans.

Membership is open to all First State veterans regardless of conflict or era in which they served. The Coalition’s mission is to ensure that the concerns of those who serve are heard. Its slogan is “Veterans are our only business.” Non-members are welcome to attend meetings.

Dues are $20 per year. For more information call 302-697-8384 or click on www.DelawareVeteransCoalition.com to download an application or to sign up for a free newsletter and an automatic notification of all proposed legislation affecting Delaware veterans.

The following are the current bills entered as of 01/29/2015 concerning Delaware Veterans and their families. Click on the bill number to take you directly to the bill at the Delaware Legislative Hall website.

Note: HB 21 has passed the House and Senate and is now awaiting the Governors Signature.

HB 21 (Matthews)

January 29, 2015

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES FOR HOLDERS OF GOLD STAR LAPEL BUTTONS.

This bill removes the $10 administrative fee for applicants requesting the Gold Star family special license plate in recognition of a close relative~s death while serving in the military.

Additional Sponsors: Rep. Carson, and Rep. Jaques, and Sen. Ennis
Co-Sponsors: Reps.: Baumbach: Briggs King: Keeley: Kenton: Kowalko: Lynn: Osienski: Paradee: Potter: B. Short: Spiegelman: Wilson: ;: Sens.: Cloutier: Hall-Long: McBride

Jan 29, 2015 – Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 21 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 0 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Jan 28, 2015 – Reported Out of Committee (VETERANS AFFAIRS) in Senate with 5 Favorable, 1 On Its Merits
Jan 20, 2015 – Assigned to Veterans Affairs Committee in Senate
Jan 20, 2015 – Passed by House of Representatives.
Votes: Passed 40 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 1 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Jan 15, 2015 – Reported Out of Committee (VETERANS AFFAIRS) in House with 22 Favorable
Jan 14, 2015 – Introduced and Assigned to Veterans Affairs Committee in House

Note: Keep up with Delaware Legislation affecting you. Sign up to receive the information by email as the bills are processed through Legislative Hall! Just click on the “Subscribe Tab” to sign up!

The following are the current bills entered as of 01/23/2015 concerning Delaware Veterans and their families. Click on the bill number to take you directly to the bill at the Delaware Legislative Hall website.

HB 21 (Matthews)

January 15, 2015

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES FOR HOLDERS OF GOLD STAR LAPEL BUTTONS.

This bill removes the $10 administrative fee for applicants requesting the Gold Star family special license plate in recognition of a close relative~s death while serving in the military.

Additional Sponsors:  Rep. Carson, and Rep. Jaques, and Sen. Ennis
Co-Sponsors:            Reps.: Baumbach: Briggs King: Keeley: Kenton: Kowalko: Lynn: Osienski: Paradee: Potter: B. Short: Spiegelman: Wilson: ;: Sens.: Cloutier: Hall-Long: McBride

Jan 20, 2015 – Assigned to Veterans Affairs Committee in Senate
Jan 20, 2015 – Passed by House of Representatives.
Votes: Passed 40 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 1 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Jan 15, 2015 – Reported Out of Committee (VETERANS AFFAIRS) in House with 22 Favorable
Jan 14, 2015 – Introduced and Assigned to Veterans Affairs Committee in House

Note: Keep up with Delaware Legislation affecting you. Sign up to receive the information by email as the bills are processed through Legislative Hall! Just click on the “Subscribe Tab” to sign up!

According to an article posted on Military.com News, Tricare users will need to identify themselves and their families on their 2014 tax forms as having healthcare coverage, Defense Department officials said, or risk paying a fine.

The Affordable Care Act requires Americans to hold what is known as “minimum essential coverage,” for their healthcare, either through their employer or purchased elsewhere. Those who did not have that coverage for 2014 could be charged a series of fees.

Read the entire article.

First State Military Academy President to Speak at Veterans Coalition Meeting

DOVER – The Delaware Veterans Coalition will welcome C. Scott Kidner, founding member and Board President of the First State Military Academy in Clayton, as guest speaker at it bi-monthly meeting on Monday, January 26, at 7 p.m at the FOP Lodge at 1584 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover (Map).

The Delaware Veterans Coalition will welcome C. Scott Kidner, founding member and Board President of the First State Military Academy in Clayton, as guest speaker at it bi-monthly meeting on Monday, January 26, at 7 p.m

The First State Military Academy, a free public high school affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps, is enrolling students for the Fall 2015

Mr. Kidner served on active duty in the US Army, and the Delaware Army National Guard for a total of 14 years. He was awarded numerous commendations, including the Bronze Star for service during Desert Storm in 1991

Modeled after the highly successful Delaware Military Academy, the school will be the first combination of JROTC and New Tech in the country. Learners will be engaged through Project Based Learning and collaborate on projects that require critical thinking, creativity and communication to solve real world problems. Click on www.fsmilitaryacademy.org for more information.

Founded in May 2011 by Paul Davis and Dave Skocik, the Delaware Veterans Coalition is a statewide, non-profit, pro-bono lobbying organization that collaborates with elected officials and community leaders on issues that affect all generations of Delaware’s military veterans.

Membership is open to all First State veterans regardless of conflict or era in which they served. The Coalition’s mission is to ensure that the concerns of those who serve are heard. Its slogan is “Veterans are our only business.” Non-members are welcome to attend meetings.

Dues are $20 per year. For more information call 302-697-8384 or click on www.DelawareVeteransCoalition.com to download an application or to sign up for a free newsletter and an automatic notification of all proposed legislation affecting Delaware veterans.

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