Wednesday, May 28, 2008

VFW State Commander Praises Senate Vote on New GI Bill

Jack McDermott, VFW State Commander called the United States Senate passage of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, “One of the most important actions in the past fifty years to improve veterans benefits. This is a milestone in bipartisanship.

The fact that 72 Democrats and Republicans came together to make a ‘GI Bill for the 21st Century’ a reality is testimony to the fact that veterans issues can serve to transcend party lines. I am extremely gratified that Senator Mel Martinez joined his fellow Floridian, Senator Bill Nelson, in voting for this bill. It took a lot of moral courage for Senator Martinez to break with the White House and support this bill.” The administration supported a far less generous education package and criticized the bill that passed as being too difficult for the VA to administer and that it would cause an unacceptable level of servicemen and women to choose to leave the military to attend college.

McDermott went on to say, “Senator Martinez, after listening to our position, recognized that America’s veterans who served selflessly are deserving of an education package comparable to one received by World War II veterans. Senator Martinez really came through for the newest generation of veterans. It is clear to us that Senator Martinez and Senator Nelson understand that, like the World War II GI Bill, this bill will pay dividends for many years to come. We are gratified that the Senate will enable a service member who chooses to stay in the military to transfer this valuable educational benefit to a spouse or child.” McDermott acknowledged the major hurdle is still ahead in the form a presidential veto. “We in the VFW find it absolutely inconceivable that President Bush is threatening to veto this bill as being too costly and that is doesn’t belong in the Iraq war supplemental spending bill. We have supported the President in the conduct of the Global War on Terrorism and all we ask is that he supports this newest generation of veterans.

The White House is plain wrong when it says that a bill directly benefiting young veterans and their families and indirectly serving as an economic stimulus is not a wartime expenditure. That is an absolutely indefensible position for a wartime president. Ironically, President George W. Bush is denying this generation of service members the same educational benefit that was available to President George H. W. Bush when he returned home after World War II.”

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day 2008 - Let is never forget that Freedom is not Free

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and orphaned children of those who have given the "last full measure" of devotion to this the greatest nation on God's green earth.

Take a moment to view this poignant video in tribute to our fallen warriors. They were American soldiers - honor them.

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” — G. K. Chesterton

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

Thursday, May 1, 2008

National Security Briefing on Radical Islam - May 22, 2008

The Sarasota County Veterans Commission will host a National Security Briefing on Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. at the Board of County Commission Chambers located on the first floor of the R. L. Anderson County Administration Building, 4000 S. Tamiami Trial, Venice, FL.

We will host the National Security Briefing on radical Islam in partnership with the Florida Security Council in lieu of our regular meeting. The public is welcome.

The event will include the showing of the award winning documentary “Obsession: Radical Islam's war against the West” followed by a panel discussion of the threat. The panel will be made up of experts on radical Islamists and terrorism in Florida, the United States and globally.

The distinguished panel members are:
  • Thomas A. Trento – Director of the Florida Security Council. Tom holds a Masters Degree in the Philosophy of Religion, from the Denver Seminary, Denver, CO. Tom has extensive professional involvement in management, advertisement, political action, education, with emphasis in public communication including, print, video, TV, and radio. He is President of Street America Group, LLC in Delray Beach, FL.

  • Dr. Terri K. Wonder – Dr. Wonder has a Masters Degree and Ph. D. from the University of South Florida. Terri has studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She is an intelligence analyst for a private security agency’s anti-terrorism unit charged with protection of critical infrastructure (e.g., power plants), including special investigations of suspicious activity tied to extremist networks in Tampa Bay and other regions. She does strategic intelligence estimates for a private defense contractor on potential reaction by jihadist adversaries to changes in armed forces doctrine.

  • Stuart A. Senneff, CPP, CFE, FCI - FBI Supervisory Special Agent and Instructor with 20 + years of service. Stu provides Security Vulnerably Assessments, Analysis and Surveys, Case Development, Consulting, and Investigations in Civil, Criminal, Law Enforcement and Security matters, Executive Protection and Exposure Analysis, and Expert Witness Testimony. Stu is an Adjunct Instructor, Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction, Texas A&M, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He provides Instruction throughout the U. S. for government agencies.

We have assembled this outstanding panel of experts to present local insights and a world view of the threat of radical Islamists.

Please make every effort to attend with your family and friends. This important event is open to the pubic.