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Operation: Tohidu® is an experiential and educational retreat designed for a growing population of warfighters living with post-traumatic stress, mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury, and other service-related traumas.

“Tohidu” is a Cherokee word meaning peace of mind, body, and spirit. At Operation: TohiduR retreats, veterans focus on confidence-building, outdoor activities, and group discussion in a relaxed, positive environment, learning proven techniques for self-management of symptoms, stressors, and responses.

www.OperationTohidu.org

tohidu@melwood.org | 301-599-4550

Sam Cannon had a dream to teach veterans his watchmaking skills to help give them purpose after serving. The Veteran Watchmaker Initiative held its first class this past Tuesday teaching veterans the knowledge of repairing time.

Jennifer Corbett/The News Journal

Click the image below to see the story.

Watchmaking School for Veterans

Salute to Delaware Veterans

Fort DuPont
Delaware City

Saturday October 7, 2017
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Participants and vendors can set up Friday beginning at 12:00 noon.
For more information contact:
LtC William Conley USA Ret.
302-559-573
Firststateantiquearms@gmail.com

Carrier to Classroom: transferring military skills into a career in education

He served as the top enlisted man on a 5,500 sailor nuclear powered aircraft carrier, serving as the key enlisted leader and manager for the ship’s captain. He would later build and lead his own charter school.

It wasn’t long after his 1968 high school graduation that Charles “Chuck” Baldwin walked into the Navy recruiter’s office.

Beginning with basic training at Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, the Navy taught him that initiative and willingness to learn translates to rank and greater responsibility. It’s a lesson held close to his heart during 25 years of service.

His journey up the chain of command to chief petty officer, master chief, command master chief of CVN 69 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, and one of the finalist candidates for Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, is a testament to his leadership and management skills.

Fewer than two percent reach the Navy’s top enlisted rank. Only a small percentage of those reach leadership at the command level, and fewer still are considered for the highest enlisted role in the entire Navy. The Navy’s reliance on its chiefs was summed up in the September 2005 exhortation by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations, in the Navy Times, “Chiefs, Run the Navy.” 

Still in his early 40s after a successful career, Baldwin looked forward to creating a second career on land. After leaving the Navy in 1993, his decision to continue teaching led to his hiring as an ROTC instructor, later serving as a public school principal.

Within 10 years he decided to build and lead his own school and served as commandant of Delaware’s first military affiliated public charter school, the Delaware Military Academy. Not in an existing building — but in a new, dedicated school, which required raising $12 million, establishing a curriculum and hiring instructors, many of whom were military veterans. Today the school is thriving with a long waiting list of applicants.

Baldwin later served as president of the Charter School of Wilmington, one of the first independently operated public schools in the United States, established in 1996 with a focus on mathematics and science until his retirement in 2013. He was most recently instrumental in the 2015 creation of the First State Military Academy in Clayton, Del., which is affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps.

His book, based on his Navy and educational experience and a master’s degree in school leadership and instruction, is geared to the veteran wanting to become a classroom teacher, whether in the private or public sector. Its 10 Deckplate Leadership (DPL) lessons not only apply to schools but to the corporate world as well.

He also serves as a member of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs and is a board member of the Friends of Delaware Veterans, Inc., the official fundraising organization of the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund. The Trust Fund was created to assist honorably-discharged veterans of all generations in financial emergency. It provides a one-time, hand up for veterans residing in Delaware.

In a remarkable continuation of his career-long leadership, Baldwin is donating the proceeds of “Carrier to Classroom,” to the Veterans Trust Fund.

The $15 paperback version can be ordered online at www.carriertoclassroom.com through Lulu Publishing and will also soon be available on Amazon.com.

 Outstanding AmeriCorps opportunity for Military Members, Veterans or immediate military family members.

The next program begins on October 2, 2017 and we seeking out 15 members for this award winning program.

Working as a part of a team, you will perform a variety of conservation activities including: Trail Maintenance, Invasive Species identification and eradication, and park based service projects.

You will gain education, certifications, and hands on training in the natural resources field.

FBI fingerprint background investigation is required, provided by the program at no cost to participants. Must be 18 years of age or older.

Program term October 2, 2017 – August 31, 2018.

Positions available on teams located statewide.

Benefits include:

  • Stipend of $522.80 every two weeks
  • Medical, Dental and Vision insurance
  • Child care assistance available
  • National Service Trust Education Award upon successful completion = $5,800
  • Outstanding Training and job skills experience
  • Uniforms
  • Admission to all Delaware State Parks

For more information or to register please visit our website www.destateparks.com/veteranscorps, like our page on Facebook, or email me at Karen.minner@state.de.us

POC FOR QUESTIONS:
Karen Minner CIG, CPSI
Veterans Conservation Corps – AmeriCorps Program Director
Delaware State Parks
P: 302-739-9208
Karen.minner@state.de.us

UPCOMING EVENT to consider attending, if you are:

1) Anyone representing a VSO, whether full time staff or even local volunteers.

2) Anyone from the business community with “Veteran” or “Military” “Affairs” in their job title. Also those from businesses that support the Veteran community whether it’s through hiring initiatives or fundraising/donations. Human Resource Managers or Owners/Executives.

3) Anyone representing local/state/federal governmental organizations that support Veterans. Or elected officials.

We see this event as part professional/leadership development and part networking or forum for collaboration amongst VSOs and Businesses. The speakers and moderated panel will discuss the evolving veteran landscape and actionable ideas and best practices that attendees can take back to their respective organizations.

SEE FLYER FOR FULL DETAILS. Please make sure to RSVP in the Eventbrite link and let me know if you have any questions!

POC FOR QUESTIONS:
Corey Mulholland, CPFA
Corey.Mulholland@ml.com
Phone 856.696.7526

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.

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.

From left, are Jonathan Stewart, Vietnam veteran; Nena Stewart, U.S. Army veteran; Jason Stewart, newly appointed Delaware Veterans Coalition Kent County representative; and Dave Skocik and Paul Davis. Mr. Skocik and Mr. Davis serve as coalition president and vice president, respectively.

From left, are Jonathan Stewart, Vietnam veteran; Nena Stewart, U.S. Army veteran; Jason Stewart, newly appointed Delaware Veterans Coalition Kent County representative; and Dave Skocik and Paul Davis. Mr. Skocik and Mr. Davis serve as coalition president and vice president, respectively.

At its Jan. 30 meeting, the Delaware Veterans Coalition appointed Jason Stewart as its Kent County representative. Mr. Stewart, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, lives in Camden and is a medical program student at Delaware Technical College’s Owens Campus. He is past president of the college’s Veterans Inspiring Progress, a nationally recognized student veteran organization formed to provide military veterans and services members with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and subsequent employment. It is open to every veteran and service member, including the National Guard. “We welcome Jason to the Coalition. His experience, training and dedication will be tremendous assets as we continue our outreach to all generations of the state’s veterans, including active duty, National Guard, recently discharged, and retired,” said Coalition President Dave Skocik. The coalition is a statewide, non-profit, 501(c)(3) lobbying organization that advocates with elected and appointed public officials on issues that affect all generations of Delaware veterans. Membership is open to all honorably discharged veterans residing in Delaware. Meetings are open to veterans regardless of membership.

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