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Rick Hoffman, Sam Cannan, Rick Aubin, Gale Newton and Lois Heesters. Not pictured, Dave Skocik.

ODESSA – Rick Aubin, a watchmaker from New York has retired to Delaware to be with family and to train veterans in his highly specialized skill at the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative in Odessa.

Training of the first six students from Delaware and several other states will begin after a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, September 13, at 10 a.m., according to school founder Sam Cannan, a master watchmaker who trained in Switzerland.

Mr. Cannan, a former Baltimore police officer, moved to Kitts Hummock nine years ago. Since then he has spent a great deal of time working to establish a facility to train disabled military veterans, whose unemployment rate is a dismal 82 percent.

Mr. Aubin, a veteran of the Vermont Air National Guard, trained at the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking in 1971 in Queens, NY, which eventually closed as a result of the advent of quartz watch technology in the 1970s and 80s.

Since then, however, mechanical watches have been enjoying a world-wide resurgence and new professionals are urgently needed. The Veterans Watchmaker Initiative, unique in the nation, will help fill that need by training disabled veterans.

Mr. Aubin’s more than 4 decades as a watchmaker includes work for an uncle’s jewelry store until the uncle retired and independent work for numerous stores throughout New England until his wife’s career led him to New York and additional training at Rolex, Omega, and Cartier.

“My retirement to Delaware allows us to be closer to our daughters and their families and to contribute to the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative as a volunteer instructor. It is my privilege to give back to those who have served our country.”

The Odessa location is the forerunner of a planned school in Middletown, Del., that will accommodate as many as 25 students. “Disabled veterans will be housed, fed and trained at no cost to them. That’s the least we can do for those who gave so much,” said Mr. Cannan.

Contributions are tax deductible. Visit www.veteranswatchmakerinitiative.org or call 302-465-2421 for more information.

DJF South – this is the Summit mentioned by Kent Johnson, VA – yesterday at our Meeting!
DJF community is encouraged to attend and participate!  No cost to attend. FREE CEUs.

SAVE THE DATE!
2017 Military & Veterans Mental Health Summit

Thursday, September 14, 2017
9AM -3:30PM

Register

Chase Center
815 Justison St.
Wilmington, DE 19801

(Registration opens at 8AM)

Welcome to Sound the Alarm. Save a Life. Rally Week 2017!
This week kicks off the two-month final push to the nation-wide Sound the Alarm campaign.

What is Sound the Alarm?

The entire American Red Cross will be installing over 100,000 FREE smoke alarms across the country at 370 events in 110 cities using the strength of over 1800 volunteers between September 23rd and October 14th.  Gail McGovern will be installing the 1,000,000th smoke alarm during the 3 week period.   In addition, the event provides the opportunity to raise $5.2M, including $1.9M of new donor dollars, and an opportunity to encourage new volunteers to join the Red Cross.

In the Greater Chesapeake Region, we will be holding two events to install a total of 1500 alarms:

  • September 30th    Dover, DE   9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  and   12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • October 14th          Glen Burnie, MD   9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

This is a great opportunity for each and every one of you across the region to participate as One-Red-Cross.  This will truly be a region-wide, team effort:

Sound the Alarm Rally Kick-off!

  • Decorate your door or workspace to rally around Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.  There will be a prize for the best decorated workspace. Send your photos to Jen Singer by COB Thursday!
  • Take selfies with the Sound the Alarm selfie banner!  Each Chapter has a banner (Delmarva has one for Northern and one for Southern Peninsula). Send your selfie pics to Lenore.koors@redcross.org

POC for questions:
Ivy Walker , Regional Coordinator of Service to the Armed Forces
(410) 624 2055 (o)
ivy.walker@redcross.org  

Kim Petters, founder of Women’s Veterans Collective

Kim Petters, founder of Women’s Veterans Collective

Kim Petters, founder of Women’s Veterans Collective, will serve as guest speaker at the Delaware Veterans Coalition meeting on Monday, July 24, at 7 p.m. at FOP Lodge #3, 1584 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover.

Ms. Petters served in the U.S. Air Force between 2002-12 in medical administration and public health and served a tour in Kuwait. She holds a BA Degree in Early Childhood Education, AA in Allied Health, AA in Public Health and AA in Liberal Arts.

The Women Veterans Collective was created by four female veterans to create a community network and serve as advocates for female veterans.

They addresses issues like the lack of women health providers at some VA facilities, a growing suicide rate, homelessness that is outpacing their male counterparts, and the number of women discharged related to PTSD.

She is also an advocate for cannabis as the safest and most effective treatment available for PTSD and has lobbied with locate grassroots advocate organizations to end prohibition.

“WVC accepts all women veterans regardless of their reason for discharge. If they served, they’re welcome,” said Ms. Petters. Originally from Connecticut her family, including four children between 5 and 11, moved to Magnolia for good schools and lower taxes. Her family also has relatives in southern New Jersey.

The Delaware Veterans Coalition, founded in May 2011, is a non-partisan, non-profit, pro-bono lobbying organization that represents issues affecting Delaware veterans of all generations. Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of every other month beginning in January. Membership is open to all honorably-discharged veterans living in Delaware.

Veterans who are non-members may attend a meeting as a guest. Visit www.DelawareVeteransCoalition.com or call 302-736-8500 for more information.

Joe Start, Vietnam Veteran

Joe Startt Jr, in front of a Dustoff Huey helicopter bearing the 45th Medical Company patch similar to the one that saved his life in Vietnam. Photo by Dave Skocik.

“That others may live,” was the slogan of the UH-1 Dustoff helicopter crews who flew into firefights to rescue the wounded in Vietnam. That slogan and heroism has been passed down to today’s medical evacuation crews who serve in harm’s way across the globe.

The Vietnam Dustoff Association is coming to Dover for their September 21-23 national convention. They will hosted by Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America.

They have special meaning to Joe Startt Jr., Chapter 850 president, who will never forget his own lifesaving ride after being wounded in Vietnam in 1969.

“I remember being told to hold on, help was on the way. In less than 15 minutes the ‘whop, whop, whop’ was like an angel’s voice telling me I’d survive. The UH-1 Huey on display at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park serves as an ongoing reminder of their heroism,” he said.

Paul Davis, vice president of Chapter 850, worked for two years with the federal government and even the White House to secure the helicopter. That was followed by a road trip caravan to Florida by Joe Startt and other members of the chapter to pick it up with the help of a trucking company sympathetic to veterans.
One of the highlights will be a Friday, September 22, 7 p.m., dinner hosted by the chapter at the Modern Maturity Center and followed by several events the next day.

Saturday’s agenda will include a special 10 a.m. ceremony at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on S. Little Creek Road in Dover where crew members will be honored, followed by lunch at the Dover AFB dining facility where the Dustoff crews with be greeted by representatives of the 436th Airlift wing and some of today’s airmen. A special tour of the AMC Museum will follow.

“These men, several thousand of whom paid the ultimate price saving lives in Vietnam,” are our brothers who traded their tomorrow for our today,” said Mr. Startt. “We will always honor and revere them.”
The $35 plated dinner will be open to the public on a first-come first-served basis. The cutoff date is September 15. “Sponsorships are also available to help with the costs of honoring these heroes,” said Paul Davis, VVA State Council president. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call 302-697-8384 or email pauldavis5322@comcast.net.

FREE SERVICES TO SERVICE MEMBERS, VETERANS & FAMILIES

See flyer attached for list of classes. Class/Workshops are statewide, from Claymont to Dover to Selbyville!

Get Fit with help on BUDGETING, SAVINGS & CREDIT!
Attend a Workshop $$ Take an Online Class $$ Meet One-on-One with a Financial Coach

Financial Fitness is a Delaware Joining Forces collaborative partnership provided by:

  • DFLI – The Money School
  • Inspiration Space, Del Libraries
  • Military OneSource
  • Stand by Me

Download Flyer

Vita Healthcare is looking for Volunteers to support our Delaware Vet to Vet volunteer program.

If you are a veteran, a veteran family member, or a patriotic person who enjoys making a difference then we are looking for you.

There are numerous areas of expertise needed to support the quality of care Vitas gives our patients and community.
There is no minimum of hours to commit to and orientation training will be provided at no cost to you.

They were there for you. Will you be there for them?

Please contact Gary Black @ 302-451-4000 or gary.black@vitas.com to join our team.

Download Fact Sheet

REMINDER TO PLEASE RSVP

We have some dynamite speakers set up for this meeting, of interest especially to our Behavioral Health partners! Come and listen!   


Greetings DJF Community Network – Happy Summer!!

Our next DJF Community Network SOUTH quarterly meeting is fast-approaching – see attached Agenda!!

Our focus topic this month is “SUICIDE PREVENTION”.

THU, JULY 20  •  0830 HOURS
EASTER SEALS – GEORGETOWN
Tunnell Center, Large Conf. Rm Lower Level
22317 DuPont Blvd
Georgetown, DE 19947

GUEST PRESENTERS

  • Kent Johnson, Wilmington VAMC, Suicide Prevention Manager
  • Jim Dnrec, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Kelly Reynolds, 22in22 and Stop Soldier Suicide, Inc. • DNG Suicide Prevention Program
  • Karen Barwick, The Global Investment Foundation for Tomorrow (GIFT)

I hope that with the given topic and some pre-planning we can expand the reach and activities to support Suicide Prevention Month in September! Come listen, learn, and see what you can do to raise awareness.

This presentation will be duplicated at the NORTH meeting on Aug 17, 2017.    

Thanks for all you do to support our service members, veterans, and families.

PLEASE RSVP BY EMAIL if you will attend the SOUTH meeting on July 20.

Best regards,

CHRISTINE F. KUBIK
DELAWARE NATIONAL GUARD
MILITARY OUTREACH & COMMUNITY RELATIONS

O  302.326.7582
C  302.540.0711
E  christine.f.kubik.nfg@mail.mil

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