May 12, 2021 02:11 EST

Veterans are our only business.


Wilmington VA Medical Center Virtual Town Hall 5/12

You are invited to join Wilmington VA Medical Center for a Virtual Veteran Town Hall

Wednesday, May 12 from 3 – 4 p.m.

Our Virtual Veteran Town Halls are designed to better engage with our Veterans to obtain feedback to better serve the Veteran community.

We are scheduled to cover the following topics:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
  • Facility and Construction Updates
  • Mental Health Awareness Month
  • And More!
Register now and save the event to your email calendar »

On the day of the town hall, attendees can access the event through the registration link above or with the information below.

WebEx Link, Meeting #: 199 941 3144
Password: WVAMCTH5-12
Phone: 1-404-397-1596
Access Code: 199 941 3144

Attendees are encouraged to join through WebEx platform online. You will be able to ask questions directly through the Chat Box at any time during the town hall. We will do our best to open phone lines at the end of the town hall to take questions over the phone.

*Mobile users may be required to download the Webex Meet app.

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Battle of Fire Base Ripcord Veteran to Keynote Memorial Day in Dover

Decorated combat veteran Lee Widjeskog will keynote Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America’s Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 31, at 2 p.m. at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park, S. Little Creek Rd., Dover.

In 1970, U.S. Army Infantry Lt. Lee Widjeskog of Rosenhayn, NJ, never expected to be part of one the major battles of the Vietnam War.

After graduating from Bridgeton High in 1965, he attended Colorado State University and received a degree in Wildlife Biology and an ROTC commission in the US Army Reserves in 1969. His Infantry Officer Basic and airborne training were taken at Fort Benning, GA.

He later served six months in Fort Polk, La., in the Advanced Infantry Training field course at Tiger Ridge and Jungle School in Panama, followed by a year in South Vietnam with the 101st Airmobile Division as an infantry platoon leader in Alpha Company.

By 1970, many American positions were weakened by the cuts in troop numbers as the war was winding down. The only full-strength division left in Vietnam was the famous 101st Airborne.

Fire Base Ripcord was set on four hilltops as outposts overlooking the A Shau Valley for a planned offensive by the Marines to search and destroy North Vietnamese supply lines. As many as 25,000 NVA troops launched sporadic attacks between March and June.

During a 23-day siege 75 US servicemen were killed while the battle for the hilltops raged for days. The 101st was surrounded and outnumbered almost ten to one and running low on supplies. It was only the high ground and the bravery of its defenders that kept the enemy from overrunning the Fire Support Base Ripcord. Two Medals of Honor and five Distinguished Service Crosses were later awarded.

On July 22, Lt. Widjeskog’s platoon was cut off from the rest of Alpha Company by NVA. After six hours of fighting, the platoon and company were able to rejoin and prepare for possible night attacks. Of 76 men in the company 14 were killed that day and 56 wounded. Alpha Company was evacuated the next day as was the fire base.

In September Lt. Widjeskog was assigned as supply officer for the 3rd Brigade Headquarters Company of the 101st until March 1971.
From 1971 thru 2011, Mr. Widjeskog worked for New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife as a waterfowl biologist, wetlands expert, and superintendent of 190,000 acres of state-owned land. Since retirement he been part of an adaptive management team overseeing Public Service Gas and Electric estuary enhancement program on Delaware Bay marshes.

He and his wife married in 1968 and have two children and one grandchild.


For more information, contact Dave Skocik:
302-270-7145 cell; 302-736-6740 landline

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VA / DoD Biennial Suicide Prevention Conference (CEUs)-Save the Dates


2021 U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) / U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Biennial Suicide Prevention Conference

May 18 – 20, 2021

Virtual Conference Information

The 2021 DOD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference, jointly organized and hosted by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will take place virtually May 18-20, 2021.

This year’s theme – Make Every Connection Count: Putting the 7 Strategies for Suicide Prevention to Work – promotes a comprehensive approach to prevention, which uses evidence-informed programs, tools, and practices to foster connectedness, increase coping and problem-solving, create protective environments, and strengthen suicide care, among other efforts. Suicide prevention among our Service members, Veterans, and families is a top priority for the DOD and VA. As collaborations are key to preventing suicide, we must continue to collaborate across our agencies, as well as with other Federal agencies, nonprofits, academia, and in communities across the Nation to prevent suicide.

Due to coronavirus-related considerations and with an abundance of caution, this year’s conference will be hosted virtually.

The virtual format will still offer the same opportunities to:

  • Discuss key insights on ways to leverage and implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s seven evidence-informed strategies to prevent suicide across the military and veteran communities;
  • Share the latest evidence-informed practices for suicide prevention
  • Listen and learn from keynote and luminary speakers
  • Engage with community experts through virtual campfire sessions, lightning talks, and poster presentations
  • Network with speakers and attendees via live chat and sessions, among other means
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FREE Family Fun Day/ Resource Fair

Vendors needed!


We just ask that you provide some health information to attending families as well as an interactive activity.
Social distancing will be easy at the farm!
Please join us to share about the services you provide for the community.
Together we are STRONGER and can HELP MORE!


For more information:
Rosemary Baughman LCSW, CADC,
EAGALA Advanced certified, EAGALA military certified
Executive Director
Courageous Hearts…where horses empower people!
302-593-1378 P
302-424-9375 F

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Easterseals Caregiver Support

Wednesday Webinars

Most people don’t realize the number of resources Easterseals has available to support caregivers. Whether you are looking for information from our Case Manager, respite funds to take a break from being a caregiver, or more education on topics that are vital to caregivers – Easterseals can provide what you need. Learn about these services and so much more from Nancy Ranalli, Director of Community Outreach at Easterseals.

Meeting ID: 935 7585 1182
Passcode: 637468

To join by phone only, dial: 1-646-876-9923

Soldiers and Airmen, along with their Families, are invited to join in one or all of these Wednesday Webinars. Topics are meant to introduce you to benefits and services available to our military families. Topics and discussion will be most relevant to our National Guard and Reservists.

No registration necessary – just call/logon!

2021 DE Joining Forces_community network meetings
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COVID-19 Vaccination Event April 23 at Wilmington VA Medical Center

Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center is scheduled to hold a COVID-19 vaccination event for all Veterans and their spouses and caregivers April 23 at the medical center in Wilmington.

Location: (Facebook Event Link)
Wilmington VA Medical Center
1601 Kirkwood Highway
Wilmington, DE 19805
Friday, April 23
8 a.m. – 7 p.m. WALK-INS ACCEPTED
The Pfizer vaccine will be administered this day and recipients must be committed to returning to receive their second dose 21 days later.
With limited vaccines availability, VA will do it’s best to vaccinate those who attend but will work to register and schedule those who are unable for a future appointment.
SAVE LIVES Act & Vaccine Eligibility

The SAVE LIVES Act of 2021 gave VA authority to offer COVID-19 vaccines, based on availability, to:

  • All Veterans – anyone who served in the U.S. military is eligible.
  • Spouses and surviving spouses of Veterans.
  • Caregivers of Veterans. For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to a Veteran.
  • Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits.
Stay Informed
We will continue to post updates around our COVID-19 vaccination program on our COVID-19 webpage and on our social media channels @WilmingtonVAMC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Women’s Virtual Health Care Summit

Calling All Women Veterans!

The Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center is scheduled to hold a virtual summit aimed at women’s health care and resources available in VA on April 8 from 1 – 3 p.m.

The VA recognizes that women are the fastest growing group in the Veteran popu

lation and will have VA medical professionals on-hand to discuss available women’s health care at the VA. The virtual summit will cover women’s health, OBGYN services, mental health resources, to include military sexual trauma, and how to enroll in VA health care.

Register Today

Save this event to your calendar and REGISTER NOW BY CLICKING THIS LINK!

If you don’t register, you can join through phone (audio-only) by calling

1-404-397-1596, Access Code: 199 507 8348

The event is focused on female Veterans but is open to the community and other health care professionals who support female Veterans.

Women Veterans have achieved amazing successes in the military. There are more than two million women Veterans living in the U.S. today. In 2000, women were only four percent of the Veteran population. By 2040, women will make up 18 percent of the Veteran population.

Today’s women Veterans are shaping the future. VA is committed to providing female Veterans the access to gender-specific care they have earned and deserve.

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WWII Woman Vet 100th Birthday Drive-by

You’re invited… Antonetta turns 100!

Drive by or mail a Birthday Card!

Sunday, April 11, 2021
1:30 PM
The Lorelton

OR – Send a Card (Her actual birthday is April 5th)

Antonetta Schumacher
The Lorelton
2200 W. 4th St., Apt. 230
Wilmington, DE 19805

RSVP with number of cars or for more info, contact her daughter, Loretta Carlson:

Happy Birthday Antonetta from all of us!


Drive-by Salute
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Former POW to address Kent Veterans on Vietnam Veterans Day March 27

Former POW Ralph Galati will address his fellow Vietnam veterans on Saturday, March 27, at a 2 p.m. ceremony at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on S. Little Creek Rd., Dover. The event is open to the public, with masks and social distancing required.

“We are truly honored and look forward to welcoming Ralph Galati as a fellow veteran and hero who suffered for our freedoms,” said Joe Startt Jr., president of Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America.

Born and raised in Philadelphia and Delaware County, Pa., Mr. Galati was a 1966 graduate of St. James H.S. in Chester, Pa., and received his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph’s University, Phila., in 1970 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He earned his wings as a Weapon Systems Officer in the F-4 Phantom and was assigned to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand where he served as a Forward Air Controller.
On February 16, 1972, he and his pilot were shot-down over North Vietnam and spent 14 months as prisoners of war in Hanoi before being repatriated on March 28, 1973.

During eight years in the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Galati served as a flight instructor, curriculum developer, and later at the Pentagon with the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Legislative Liaison. He earned his Masters Degree in Public Administration and Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Cal. and completed active duty in 1978 as a captain and continued to serve in the Air Force Reserve until 1981.
His military awards include the Silver Star; the Bronze Star with Valor; the Air Medal; the Air Force Commendation Medal; and the Purple Heart.

Hired by IBM in 1979, he retired in 2007 after 28 years of service. He has also served as an adjunct professor and academic advisor at Widener University, Cabrini College, and St. Joseph’s University between 1982 to 2012. His focus was the Business Value of Information Technology, Organizational Leadership and Managing Dynamic Change.
He served as Veterans Liaison for Delaware County, Pa., from 2011-2013 where his role included outreach efforts across the county, and ensuring veterans and their families received their earned benefits.

As founder and former director of the Office of Veterans Services at St. Joseph’s University, he developed small business and entrepreneurship training programs and career development initiatives for veterans.

Although retired he continues to work on veterans issues and causes and is the recipient of multiple veteran and civic association honors and has been active in the dedication of POW/MIA Chairs of Honor in recognition of the sacrifices of the many who have sacrificed so much and remain missing.

He and his wife Rosemary are the parents of two grown children and live in Wallingford, Pa.


Contact Dave Skocik 302-270-7145 cell

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Donate to DVC

If you agree with our mission of addressing issues that affect all of Delaware's veterans, please consider making a donation to our non-profit organization, Delaware Veterans Coalition. Any amount will be appreciated.