Lt. “Rose Bowl” Miller Graduates from Gridiron Glory to WWII Legend

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Rose Bowl Miller

By Dave Werner, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

The USS Strong (DD 467), a WWII destroyer sunk by a Japanese torpedo in July 1943 in the Battle for Kula Gulf, has been located on the Pacific seafloor by the Research Vessel Petrel.

The wreck serves as a watery grave for at least 46 U.S. Navy Sailors. Its discovery has rekindled a uniquely American story of remarkable resiliency, grit, fearlessness and resolve.

The story of Lt. Hugh Miller and the USS Strong is best told in Stephen Harding’s, “The Castaway’s War: One Man’s Battle Against Imperial Japan.” Decades ago it was the subject of a Life Magazine article and “This is Your Life” episode, hosted by a young Ronald Reagan.

If you haven’t heard of the USS Strong or its famed crewmember before, you probably will soon. A production company has acquired rights to his story and a major movie is reportedly in the works. Its leading man is out of central casting.

Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to a well-to-do family, a young Hugh Barr Miller was especially active. He spent considerable time as an adolescent hunting, fishing, trapping and generally being an outdoorsman on an expansive estate his family owned in Mississippi. His fitness in the field paid life-saving dividends later in the war, but proved highly beneficial even before that.

A hometown hero, the 140-lbs. Miller played for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, and even started two games as quarterback. The Tide went undefeated in 1930, and won the famed Rose Bowl over Washington State in 1931 by a score of 24-0. The Crimson Tide were named national champions.

After college, he went on to begin a career in law, until joining the Navy in support of the mounting war effort. Stuck stateside in Florida assigned to a staff position, he would bump into Navy Cmdr. Joseph H. Wellings. Wellings was on his way to assume command of the soon-to-be-commissioned USS Strong (DD 467), being built in Bath, Maine. After some convincing and cajoling by Miller, Wellings saw to it that the lawyer-would-be-surface-warfare-officer would join the wardroom.

The ship commissioned in August 1942, and Miller would serve as the 20 mm and stores officer. His posting was topside on the flying bridge. His role in battle was to direct the aim of the anti-aircraft gunners against attacking aircraft. A college-level quarterback, he had a keen eye for blitzing foes, and could quickly yet effectively communicate to his teammates where to focus their aim – while under fire. Besides, his fellow crewmembers would not let him forget his ‘glory days,’ affectionately nicknaming him “Rose Bowl.”

USS Strong had an impressive, but short, service record. She earned three WWII battle stars for action in the consolidation of the Solomon Islands, the New Georgia Rendova-Vangunu Occupation, and destroying RO-43. She had less than one year of active service.

Ultimately, her end came on July 5, 1943. American forces were landing at Rice Anchorage supported by Strong, USS HonoluluUSS HelenaUSS St. Louis, and USS O’Bannon. They were headed for Kula Gulf to shell Japanese shore installations. Strong and Nicholas entered the harbor and opened fire not long after midnight. The burst lasted about ten minutes. Minutes after the salvo, Strong was struck by an enemy Long Lance torpedo. The successful torpedo strike is thought to be from one of the greatest distances ever in warfare.

Within a few minutes, Strong was listing and going down. Surrounded by darkness, and in the heat of enemy and friendly fire from ships and shore bombardment, things appeared desperate. In a bold move, the USS Chevalier (DD 451) rammed Strong. The crews cast nets and lines over the two co-mingled ships to effect a deck-to-deck rescue. The abandon ship order was given on Strong.  In approximately seven minutes, under chaotic, hazardous conditions, with enemy submarines lurking, in the firing range of hostile enemy bases, and explosions all around, 234 enlisted men and seven officers, about three-quarters of the ship’s company, made it across onto Chevalier. As enemy fire rained in, the Chevalier pulled away.

Strong, possibly splitting in two, was slipping below the surface. As Strong became awash, her depth charges exploded, killing and injuring some of the Sailors in the water. The blasts were so powerful they rendered Chevalier’s radars and sound gear useless.

Miller, who was working to disentangle a few Sailors from netting on the Strong’s deck was unable to get to the Chevalier before they withdrew, and slipped unharmed into the water. He was not so fortunate once the Strong’s armed depth charges exploded. He incurred significant internal injuries.

He awoke on a float net with a small number of Sailors. He drifted in and out of consciousness for days, until their group landed on Arundel Island. Once marooned there, it became clear his condition was hindering the group’s options. He ordered the three surviving Sailors to leave him and seek refuge and rescue. Given his grave condition, he even provided his boots to one of them.

Armed Japanese squads were patrolling the island, and despite his injuries and days of malnutrition and dehydration, he was able to evade being discovered. He assumed he would succumb to his injuries, but he fought to survive. At one point, while hidden, he watched as one Japanese soldier stepped directly over his position. As his luck held out and his physical condition stabilized, his hopelessness began to ebb.

Want to hear more stories of heroism as a result of Strong’s sinking? Read, “Strong Crew and Rescue Set Sailor Standards for Initiative and Toughness,” here. 

Fortune smiled on him again when the body of a dead Japanese soldier washed ashore. Miller recovered a grenade, bayonet and even some moldy but edible rice. He put each to good use. He ate coconuts to sustain himself. During a rainstorm, he was able to retain water in a small tin he possessed.

As the days wore on, his health actually improved, and he was emboldened with a rejuvenated determination. Using guerilla warfare tactics, he waged a one-man war against the enemy. In the next few weeks, he killed as many as 15 Japanese according to accounts, using captured bayonets and grenades. He attacked three Japanese machine gun nests. Some of his remarkable success throwing grenades might be attributed to his University of Alabama quarterback experience. His younger days spent outdoors in Mississippi as a tireless sportsman clearly proved vital in evading capture and surviving in the elements – injuries notwithstanding.

After 39 days on the island, he was finally re-united with U.S. forces and provided important intelligence regarding Japanese positions on the island.

Miller was awarded the Navy Cross, personally bestowed on him by Eleanor Roosevelt who was on a Pacific swing with the American Red Cross.

For his war service he was awarded the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, and 27 other individual and unit decorations. He retired as a Navy Captain before passing away in 1978.

He is not the first citizen from Alabama to make his mark on the Navy and nation. In fact there have been at least 34 ships named for the state or its residents. Today, the submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 713)quietly prowls the seas.

The story of Lt. Hugh Barr Miller is one story, however, that deserves Hollywood treatment. The producers will have their hands full giving it justice. It seems the Navy tried years ago in this dramatization.

As our nation finds itself in a Great Power Competition with China and Russia the waters in the Pacific are increasingly uncertain. His example is one Sailors should know, and strive to honor if they are ever called upon by our nation.

______________

Photo Caption: Wearing the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart with Gold Star that Eleanor Roosevelt has just pinned to his newly issued khaki uniform, Hugh Miller shakes hands with the First Lady as Admiral William Halsey (to Hugh’s immediate right) looks on. The ceremony—held at the naval hospital in Nouméa, New Caledonia, on September 15, 1943—was conducted at the foot of the bed occupied by Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Willard G. Langley, the sole known survivor of Strong’s forward engine room. (National Archives. Courtesy Mr. Stephen Harding)

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach

Lowe’s announces new partnerships with military organizations

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Lowe's building sign with a flag in the background

In honor of Military Appreciation Month, Lowe’s is pleased to announce three partnerships allowing for deeper relationships with the military community nationwide. Each partner, including the United Service Organizations (USO), American Veterans (AMVETS) and Operation FINALLY HOME, now connects military to Lowe’s resources from workforce training to affordable housing for veterans and more.

“Lowe’s commitment to the military is longstanding and partnerships with these organizations allow us to form stronger connections with the military community,” said Joe McFarland, U.S. Marines veteran and Lowe’s executive vice president of stores. “We look forward to working closely with each organization to serve the military community through programs focused on safe, affordable housing and transitioning military into dynamic careers.”

Partners and details include:

The USO is known as the Force Behind the Forces® and strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation. Lowe’s national partnership with the USO will support military spouse programming and the USO’s Pathfinder® program, which offers a network of resources and personalized support throughout all aspects of transition during their military careers.

“The USO is honored to partner with Lowe’s to offer service members and military spouses interactive workshops and networking opportunities designed to help them land apprenticeships and jobs in the skilled trades,” said Lisa Anastasi, USO Chief Development and Marketing Officer. “Together, we will connect them to the training and support they need to thrive in these career fields while navigating the frequent transitions of military life.”

AMVETS is the nation’s most inclusive congressionally-chartered veterans service organization representing the interests of 20 million veterans.

Lowe’s partnership contributes scholarships and workforce training, helping veterans transition from military service to employment nationwide.

“With Lowe’s, we’re looking to close the gap and offer scholarships and programs that place the military in highly-trained positions,” shares Rege Riley, national commander at AMVETS. “Through this effort, we plan on reaching 3 million individuals across our military channels.”

Operation FINALLY HOME provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes and home modifications to wounded, ill and injured veterans and the widows of the fallen from all branches of the military. Lowe’s current partnership contributes home building and modification support to projects across the country.

“Lowe’s is an outstanding fit as we continue to bring builders, developers and volunteers together to help our heroes and their families,” said Rusty Carroll, executive director at Operation FINALLY HOME.

Continue on to Lowe’s Newsroom to read the complete article.

After Winning Medals In Afghanistan, Veteran Brings Number One Home Inspection Company To Pasadena, CA

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Spencer Velez poses in uniform) in a military vehicle

Spencer Velez knows how to use his expertise and skills. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 14 years. The now 35-year-old deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for superior performance of duties while serving in a direct combat service support role.

As if those achievements weren’t enough, Velez then completed graduate school at the University of Southern California (USC) earning a Master of Business for Veterans (MBV) degree in a program designed to leverage the management and leadership experience gained during military service.

While attending graduate school, he applied these skills to his role in Corporate Compliance with The Walt Disney Company. In that role, he ensured wherever Disney products were manufactured, the workers were provided a safe and inclusive environment.

In May, he added a Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® franchise to round out his business skills. Velez will serve homebuyers and sellers throughout Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Alhambra, Altadena, La Cañada Flintridge, Glendale, Burbank, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Rosemead, Monterey Park, Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

Spencer Valez smiling in headshot
Spencer Valez, Pillar to Post Home Inspectors

The brand is a favorite among veterans such as Velez. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is a member of VetFran, a program of the International Franchise Association that helps vets purchase franchises and it has achieved 5-star status in that program, the top ranking possible. In 2018, one-third of new Pillar To Post Home Inspectors franchisees were military vets. “Pillar to Post provides a service that brings people happiness and positively impacts the community by educating the client about the home – purchasing a home is a big and exciting step and we are a part of that journey,” said Velez. “I have great plans to grow the business to its maximum potential with multiple professional home inspectors and valuable services. I will be a leader built on a reputation of respect and hard work which I learned through my military service.”

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked as the top-rated home inspection company on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its 19th year in a row on that list.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report that is printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has been named as Best in Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® ranking for 19 years in a row. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit pillartopostfranchise.com.

How to Celebrate Memorial Day at the Office

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Woman veteran in office wearing US Flag pin

By Hiliary Innerbichler

Stuck at work on Memorial Day Monday? Here are some ways to celebrate.

Honor the Fallen
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans—the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)—established Decoration Day, now Memorial Day, as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. So honor the fallen by taking an office field trip to a local cemetery to lay flowers on a veteran’s grave.

Dress in Red, White, and Blue
A simple but classic way to show your support for our nation’s fallen heroes is to dress in the patriotic colors of the flag.

Run a Book Drive
Ever heard of Operation Paperback? Now celebrating its 20-year anniversary, nonprofit Operation Paperback has sent over 2,853,347 books to deployed troops, veterans, military families, VA hospitals, USOs, and Red Cross units in 35 countries. Have your office pitch in and send a collection of books to Operation Paperback!

Take a Moment to Observe
Established by Congress, the National Moment of Remembrance asks Americans to pause in an act of national unity at 3:00 p.m. local time for one minute to honor those who died in service to our country.

Share on Social Media
Have you lost a family member who died in military service? Take a moment on Memorial Day to remember them by posting a picture on your social media platform and sharing your thanks and love.

Two Unforgettable Classics, ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ Return to Cinemas This June, Each for Two Days Only

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Saving Private Ryan and Forest gump Posters

Two beloved and critically acclaimed films starring Oscar®-winning* actor Tom Hanks return to more than 600 cinemas nationwide this June from Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures: “Saving Private Ryan and Forrest Gump.”

Each film commemorates a notable milestone: “Saving Private Ryan” plays June 2 and 5, in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day; “Forrest Gump,” which plays June 23 and 25, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. All presentations screen at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. local time each day.

Tickets for each film are available beginning today at FathomEvents.com and at participating theater box offices.

Director Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed epic “Saving Private Ryan” stars Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon and Tom Sizemore and is considered one of the greatest WWII films ever made in large part because of its astonishingly realistic recreation of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. In addition to its critical acclaim, it was also the highest-grossing film of 1998.

A different war plays a prominent role in the treasured cinematic classic “Forrest Gump.” Director Robert Zemeckis’ film about one man’s unique view of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century was the top-grossing film of 1994. Starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson and Sally Field, “Forrest Gump” won six Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth), Best Film Editing and Best Visual Effects.

In addition to its two-day-only theatrical presentations from Fathom Events, “Forrest Gump” will be available in a newly remastered two-disc Blu-ray beginning on May 7, and is also available on 4K Ultra HD and Digital. “Saving Private Ryan” is available in a three-disc 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack and on Digital.

“These two films not only demonstrate why Tom Hanks is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood history, they are both among the most acclaimed and most popular movies of the 1990s,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations Tom Lucas. “On the big screen, both ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ are incredible experiences and strengthen our robust line-up of classic film presentations for the year.”

About Fathom Events

Fathom Events is the leading event cinema distributor with theater locations in all top 100 DMAs® (Designated Market Areas) and ranks as one of the largest overall theater content distributors. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC); Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK); and Regal, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group (LSE: CINE.L), Fathom Events offers a variety of unique entertainment events in movie theaters such as live performances of the Metropolitan Opera, top Broadway stage productions, major sporting events, epic concerts, the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics series, inspirational events and popular anime franchises. Fathom Events takes audiences behind the scenes for unique extras including audience Q&As, backstage footage and interviews with cast and crew, creating the ultimate VIP experience. Fathom Events’ live Digital Broadcast Network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 1,010 locations and 1,628 screens in 182 DMAs. The company also provides corporations a compelling national footprint for hosting employee meetings, customer rewards events and new product launches. For more information, visit FathomEvents.com.

Petty Officer 1st Class Kimjonard Hugo-Potter Supports Critical Navy Mission in the Middle East

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Hugo-Potter_Kimjonard

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David R. Finley Jr., Navy Office of Community Outreach

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Petty Officer 1st Class Kimjonard Hugo-Potter’s, an Anaheim, California, native, father served in the Philippine Army and encouraged him to give the military a shot.Now, 13 years later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Hugo-Potter serves at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) / U.S. 5th fleet.

“The most exciting part is just getting to serve in the Middle East,” said Hugo-Potter.

Hugo-Potter, a graduate of Gilbert High School, is a hospital corpsman at U.S. 5th Fleet, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain.

“As a hospital corpsman, we are responsible for the overall health of our deployers,” said Hugo-Potter. “We provide medical and dental support with limited emergency treatment capabilities.”

Hugo-Potter credits success at U.S. 5th Fleet, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons learned in Anaheim.

“Back home, we have a very diverse population and I grew up being around people from different walks of life,” said Hugo-Potter. “This helps we while serving in the Navy because we have bases all over the world.”

U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the Central Region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.

“My job is very important because we are providing medical and dental care for sailors who deploy in the 5th fleet,” said Hugo-Potter. “We ensure they are always ready to perform their duty when called on.”

The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean, and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points; the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

“The fast operational tempo and busy schedule makes the time go by fast,” said Hugo-Potter.

Serving in the Navy means Hugo-Potter is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Hugo-Potter is most proud of the job he does as a hospital corpsman.

“One of the biggest accomplishments for me is to earn the respect of my sailors and Marines,” said Hugo-Potter. “Not a lot of people can say they have saved lives in the battlefield and I definitely have.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Hugo-Potter and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.

“As an immigrant, serving in the Navy is an opportunity to repay and show gratitude to the country who gave me all the possibilities to succeed in life,” said Hugo-Potter.

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson G. Brown

International Delight Kicks Off Military Appreciation Month By Announcing Partnership With Pets for Vets

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Pets for Vets logo

Broomfield, Colo. – [May 1, 2019] – In honor of Military Appreciation Month, International Delight has committed $150,000 to support the national organization Pets for Vets. The creamer brand also launched S’mores, a new limited-edition flavor, which features the Pets for Vets pawprint logo on every bottle.

This debuts as part of the brand’s limited-edition, Americana-themed summer collection. International Delight developed this summer collection to encourage its fans to support this cause dedicated to hugs and companionship.

International Delight values Pets for Vets’ mission to help shelter animals find loving forever homes with veterans. This contribution is anticipated to cover the cost of a number of initiatives, including:

  • 30 veteran and pet matches
  • Continued education for Pets for Vets trainers
  • Medicine and preventative supplies for matches

“The opportunity to match veterans with a new companion and give pets in need loving homes struck a chord with us and we knew from our first conversation that we had to get involved,” said Jessica Strouse, senior associate brand manager for International Delight. “We are proud to support the Pets for Vets team with a contribution, and also to have the opportunity to use our beloved brand to raise awareness for their efforts with the addition of their symbol to our latest launch — International Delight S’mores Creamer.”

More than 6 million pets enter shelters in the United States each year, and 20% of returning military veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pets for Vets uses the powerful bond between humans and animals to help both by pairing them together.

“We’re incredibly thankful for this support that will help us reach more veterans and shelter animals than ever before, and we’re thrilled this partnership goes beyond just a contribution thanks to International Delight’s dedication to raising awareness of our efforts,” said Clarissa Black, founder of Pets for Vets. “Since we began in 2009, we’ve been fortunate to do a lot of great work and working with International Delight will help us do even more.”

Celebrating summertime, the contributions of veterans and love for pets, the full Americana-themed collection features red, white and blue packaging across the brand’s French Vanilla and Cold Stone® Sweet Cream varieties, as well as the new S’mores variety. Bringing a campfire to your coffee cup, International Delight S’mores Creamer combines the chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow flavors of the nostalgic summertime treat.

The full Americana-themed collection is available in grocery and mass-market retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.79. For more information on Pets for Vets, including how to get involved in a nearby chapter, head to petsforvets.com.

About International Delight®

International Delight® was launched in 1987 and was the first flavored, liquid, non-dairy creamer on the market. There’s an art to the perfect cup, and we celebrate a masterpiece of flavor fantasy every single time. We’re flavor crazy and black coffee just does not exist in our universe. Never has, never will. International Delight® Iced Coffee and creamers are available at grocery, convenience stores, mass merchandisers and food service outlets across the country. For more information, visit InternationalDelight.com.

About Danone North America

International Delight® is made by Danone North America, a Certified B Corporation® business unit of Danone that operates in the U.S. from headquarter offices in White Plains, NY and Broomfield, CO. Danone North America was formed as a Public Benefit Corporation in 2017 to nourish people, communities and the world through its diverse portfolio of healthful dairy- and plant-based products, coffee creamers and beverages. Its portfolio of brands includes: Activia®, DanActive®, Danimals®, Dannon®, Danonino®, Horizon Organic®, International Delight®, Light & Fit®, Oikos®, Silk®, So Delicious Dairy Free®, STōK®, Two Good™, Vega®, Wallaby Organic® and YoCrunch®. The mission of Danone North America and that of Danone worldwide is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. For more information, please visit DanoneNorthAmerica.com. To find more information on Danone North America’s B Corp™ status, visit: bcorporation.net/directory/danone-north-america.

About Pets for Vets

Headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, Pets for Vets, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with chapters in more than 20 states and the District of Columbia. Pets for Vets® helps heal the emotional wounds of military Veterans by using the power of the human-animal bond to provide a second chance for shelter animals that are rescued, trained and paired with American Veterans who could benefit from a companion animal. To learn more go to petsforvets.com.

‘Saving Private Ryan’ Returns To Cinemas To Commemorate 75th Anniversary Of D-Day

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Saving Private Ryan

Director Steven Spielberg’s landmark 1998 film, Saving Private Ryan, returns to cinemas this June in honor of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by Allied forces across the English Channel in 1944.

Fathom Events is bringing the film to 600 cinemas nationwide for two days only on June 2nd and 5th, both days at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Spielberg’s epic stars Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Ted Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, and Giovanni Ribisi, with Matt Damon in the title role of the U.S. Army Private who Hanks’ team is sent deep into occupied France to recover. The film was written by Robert Rodat and also features Ted Danson, Paul Giamatti, Dennis Farina and Nathan Fillion in supporting roles.

The film went on to become the highest grossing film of of 1998 and one of the most successful war movies ever made, grossing $216 million domestically and $265 million overseas. Its $481 million 1998 global box office total translates to nearly $750 million in 2019 dollars. Saving Private Ryan was nominated for 11 Academy Award nominations at the 1999 Oscars, winning statues for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing. In one of the most famous Oscar night upsets in Academy history, the film lost the Best Picture award to Harvey Weinstein and Shakespeare in Love.

Considered one of the greatest WWII films ever, Saving Private Ryan is probably best known for its initial 27 minutes which features a brutally realistic recreation of the Normandy invasion, which critic Rex Reed of the New York Observer called, “the most overwhelming and agonizing half hour I have ever spent in a theater”. Portraying United States Army Captain John H. Miller, Hanks leads his team on a search for paratrooper Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Damon), who is the last surviving brother of four servicemen. Parts of the movie’s invasion shots were filmed on location at Omaha Beach.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Hospitalman Protects U.S. Navy Forces in the Middle East

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Hospitalman Monica Carmona poses in her fatigues with a smile

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David R. Finley Jr., Navy Office of Community Outreach

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Hospitalman Monica Carmona, a Mission Viejo, California, native, joined the Navy to pursue a college education and to travel the world.

Now, three years later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, Carmona serves as the leading-edge of the Navy the Nation Needs.

“We are such a small island, we have a difficult time getting the resources we need,” said Carmona. “It can be an interesting dynamic, but we always provide the best care possible.”

Carmona, a 2016 graduate of Laguna Hills High School, is a hospitalman at NSA Bahrain, forward-deployed to the Arabian Gulf region in the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet.

“As a hospitalman, I am responsible for ensuring everyone is medically ready and taken care of,” said Carmona.

Carmona credits success in Bahrain, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons learned in Mission Viejo.

“I learned to rise early and work hard because nothing is given free,” said Carmona. “This is an important lesson because there are some long days and we have to remember that the mission comes first.”

U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the Central Region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.

NSA Bahrain enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S. 5th Fleet and allied forces in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia’s mission to provide services to the fleet, warfighter and family.

“My job is important because we effect every individual on base,” said Carmona. “It is our job to ensure they are mission ready at all times.”

The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean, and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points; the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

“I really enjoy the culture here in Bahrain,” said Carmona. “It was interesting to experience Ramadan firsthand, even if though I don’t practice the religion.”

Serving in the Navy means Carmona is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Carmona is most proud of becoming a victim’s advocate.

“As hospitalmen, our job is to take care of the people around us,” said Carmona. “Being an advocate allows me to be a resource for those in need.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Carmona and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing the Navy the nation needs.

“Being in the Navy means I am a part of something greater than myself,” said Carmona.

Photo Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson G. Brown

Source:  Navy Office of Community Outreach