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The Friends of the National World War II Memorial is calling on all World War II veterans to join us at the National World War II Memorial this year as we continue with our four-year WWII 75th Anniversary Commemoration, marking the 75th anniversary of every battle and campaign during World War II.
Friends is the only organization hosting a four-year 75th anniversary commemoration, marking every battle in which American troops participated during World War II. Since the beginning of the 75th anniversary commemoration on Pearl Harbor Day 2016, Friends has hosted twenty 75th anniversary ceremonies at the Memorial. The Friends of the National World War II Memorial WWII 75th Anniversary Commemoration still has two more years full of ceremonies left, as it will continue through the 75th anniversary of V-J Day on September 2, 2020.
Among the battles whose 75th anniversaries Friends will be marking over the course of 2019 are the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, France on D-Day on June 6, 2019 and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge on December 16, 2019.
In order to honor, remember, and celebrate the Greatest Generation, we want to be joined by as many of our World War II Veterans as possible.
But even if our veterans can't make it in person or if they've left us too soon, they can still be honored!
If you are a WWII veteran or you know of one, please be sure to sign up to be remembered today!
U.S. Army Ranger Patrick Montgomery was a private on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011 when he got horrible news: His brother-in-law, Jeremy Katzenberger, also a Ranger, had been killed while in action. Montgomery escorted his brother-in-law’s body home to America, to his sister. That death and the things he saw on his tours of duty in the Middle East changed him. They made him want to help his fellow veterans. After retiring from the military in 2014, he went to veterinary school, but decided it wasn’t for him. Instead he became a maker of Wagyu Beef, he invited his fellow former war vets along for the ride.
Today, he employs them at his KC Cattle Company which operates on 300 acres of farmland near Weston.
Kansas City Spaces: What is Wagyu beef?
Patrick Montgomery: “Wagyu” means black cow in Japanese. The original genetics came to the United States from Japan in the late 1980s. What makes it special are two mutations in its DNA which allow for a lot more marbling for prime steaks, making the melting temperature lower than other breeds of cattle. It has a lot more buttery flavor than other breeds.
KCS: Why did you decide to get into raising Wagyu cattle?
PM: There’s just something about working with cattle. The lifestyle and all it entails was appealing. It is like the military in that there were always tasks to complete, and I was outside a lot. There’s a lot of synergy between that (ranger) lifestyle and working with cattle.
KCS: What do you try to do differently than other producers of beef?
PM: There are a couple of things you have to do to help them pack on that marble. They are pasture-raised. We try to maintain a low-stress environment. When we are moving the cattle for harvest, we try to keep them calm and relaxed. It’s not necessary to holler at them. We train them to the feed bucket. They come to us and associate us with something good, like feed. It’s also slow feeding. Traditionally, you harvest cattle at about 18 months of age. The youngest we go is 26 months, and normally it’s closer to 30. That’s why you see the higher price point. You’re spending a ot more time on them.
KCS: How do you think being a veteran makes a difference in how you work?
PM: I have a “never quit” mentality. As a member of the 1st Ranger Battalion, that was something drilled into my head. Being a startup, a lot of days are pretty tough, but maintaining that discipline I had in the military helps in the business world as well.
KCS: How do people get your product?
PM: We sell online (kccattlecompany.com) to the lower 48 (states). For orders over $99, we ship for free. To the Kansas City area we have a local delivery service that will deliver to your house for free every Tuesday to the majority of zip codes in the Northland. We’re looking to push further south with demand. By the end of 2019 we are hoping to set up retail locations.
In recognition of Military Sexual Trauma Awareness Month, Fort Harrison is hosting a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Resources Fair on April 25 (1130-1400) at the Helena Armed Forces Reserve Center (HAFRC). It is **OPEN TO THE PUBLIC**
The scheduled events are as follows:
Introduction by MG Matthew Quinn, the Montana Nation-al Guard Adjutant General
Learn about how local organizations can help prevent and respond to sexual assault and domestic violence
Resources from agencies in our community including the VA, Friendship Center, AWARE, Helena PD, L&C Sheriff’s Department, and MCADSV
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes—walk around the HAFRC on Fort Harrison and learn facts about sexual assault
Refreshments provided by MTARNG Recruiting
In the last year, the United States has had an unprecedented number of fatal overdoses. The Drug Court Explained is an engaging animated video made to demystify drug courts and to show the public and the treatment court community that drug courts are part of the solution to the unprecedented public health crisis of drug addiction.
We urgently need to interrupt the cycle of drug use, arrests, incarceration, and overdose. Drug courts are an innovative and effective solution to addressing substance use within the criminal court system. Instead of simply sending people to jail, drug courts promote long-term sobriety by providing vital case management services and the opportunity to enter substance treatment.
Watch this video to learn more!
March 13, 2019
Tester, Moran Introduce Landmark Veterans Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Bill
Senators’ Legislation Builds on VA’s Success, Invests in Innovative Therapy, Expands Rural Access to Care
(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today introduced landmark, bipartisan legislation to improve veterans’ access to mental health care and make sure no veteran life is lost to suicide.
Their bipartisan Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Actis a comprehensive and aggressive approach to connect more veterans with the mental health care they need and earned. Their bill seeks to improve VA care by bolstering the VA’s mental health workforce and increasing rural or hard-to-reach veterans’ access to VA care, while making sure veterans have access to alternative and local treatment options like animal therapy, outdoor sports and activities, yoga, and acupuncture.
“Mental health is the universal issue facing every veteran, and we need all hands on deck to make sure no veteran is lost to suicide,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Our bill brings together the best ideas from the VA, Congress, veterans, providers, and advocates so our approach to mental health care is aggressive and united. Together, we can put innovative solutions to work to connect more veterans to the life-saving mental health care they earned.”
“One veteran lost to suicide is one too many, and Congress has an obligation to those who have bravely served our nation to fix this tragedy,” said Sen. Moran. “As our servicemembers transition to civilian life, we can ease this difficult process by removing barriers to mental healthcare that our veterans need. This bipartisan legislation, which complements the President’s PREVENTS initiative, would expand efforts in local communities to provide veterans with mental healthcare, would allow the VA to hire and train more professionals in this field and would develop innovative methods for the delivery of this care. Our nation’s heroes deserve the best our nation has to offer and the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act offers critical next steps to preventing veteran suicide.”
It is estimated that more than 20 veterans die by suicide every day. Of those, 14 have received no treatment or care from the VA. The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act will improve outreach to veterans and their mental health care options in five major ways:
1. Bolster the VA’s mental health workforce to serve more veterans by giving the VA direct hiring authority for more mental health professions, offering scholarships to mental health professionals to work at Vet Centers, and placing at least one Suicide Prevention Coordinator in every VA hospital.
2. Improve rural veterans’ access to mental health care by increasing the number of locations at which veterans can access VA telehealth services and offering grants to non-VA organizations that provide mental health services or alternative treatment to veterans.
3. Strengthen support and assistance for service members transitioning out of the military by automatically giving every service member one full year of VA health care when they leave the military and improving services that connect transitioning veterans with career and education opportunities.
4. Study and invest in innovative and alternative treatment options by expanding veterans’ access to animal, outdoor, or agri-therapy, yoga, meditation, and acupuncture, and investing in VA research into the impact of living at high altitude on veterans’ suicide risk and identifying and treating mental illness.
5. Hold the VA accountable for its mental health care and suicide prevention effortsby examining how the VA manages its suicide prevention resources and how the VA provides seamless care and information sharing for veterans seeking mental health care from both the VA and community providers.
After serving 23 years in the U.S. Navy as a member of the Navy SEALs, Scott Hannon retired to Montana where he received treatment for his invisible wounds of war while helping other veterans find their own paths to recovery. Scott died by suicide on February 25, 2018.
Scott’s parents John and Gretchen Hannon, sister Kim Parrott, and her children Sam and Kessler joined the Senators in a press conference to announce the bill in their son, brother, and uncle’s name.
“Our family is deeply honored to have the Veterans Mental Health Improvement Act named in memory of Commander John Scott Hannon - Soldier, Son, Father, Brother, Uncle. After a full career as a Navy SEAL, John Scott spent his final years advocating for easier access and a broader approach to mental health care,” said Kim Parrott, John Scott’s sister, on behalf of the Hannon family. “This bill is in complete alignment with his beliefs and efforts. Our greatest hope is that this bill will be passed into a law that can provide healing in the lives of tens of thousands of people - veterans, their families, our communities, this nation.”
The bill is endorsed by a growing number of veterans and mental health advocates, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), American Veterans (AMVETS), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Volunteers of America (VOA), American Psychological Association (APA), and American Association of Suicidology.