2020 Virginia International Tattoo—Stories of the Greatest Generation

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Virginia Tattoo coming in April promo poster

NORFOLK, VA. – Virginia Arts Festival has announced the 2020 dates for its 24th annual Virginia International Tattoo. The largest spectacle of music and might in the United States, the Virginia International Tattoo offers an astounding display of inspirational military music, majestic massed pipes and drums, show stopping drill team maneuvers, colorful and elegant dancers, and much more. Each year’s Tattoo is different, with new performers from across the globe, new themes of honor and patriotism, and new sights and sounds to amaze you. Our 24th annual Tattoo, set for April 30-May 3, 2020, will feature over 1,000 performers from eight different countries–don’t blink or you might miss something!

The 2020 Virginia International Tattoo promises to be one of the most moving ever, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and honor the courage and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation. With stirring music, historic photos and video, tributes from U.S. military bands, and special appearances by veterans, we will remember and celebrate the men and women who changed the course of history, not only for the United States but for the world.

Tickets are on sale now and available at vafest.org, by phone at 757-282-2822, or in person at the Virginia Arts Festival Box Office located at 440 Bank Street, Norfolk, VA 23510.

What is the Tattoo?
Presented annually as part of the Virginia Arts Festival, the term Tattoo evolved from a European tradition dating back to the 17th century when Low Country innkeepers would cry “Doe den tap toe!” – “Turn off the taps!” as the fifes and drums of the local regiment signaled a return to quarters.

The Tattoos seen across the world today refers to a ceremonial performance of military music by massed bands. Each Tattoo is influenced by the culture of the country they represent.

Fans of these massed spectacles of music and might flock to the world’s great Tattoos: the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland, the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland, and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in Canada. But the greatest Tattoo in the United States, and rivaling the largest in the world, is the Virginia International Tattoo.

Attending the Virginia International Tattoo
When: Thursday, April 30, 7:30 pm
Friday, May 1, 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 2, 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 3, 2:30 pm
Where: Scope Arena, 201 E. Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia

ROGUE WARFARE: THE HUNT

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Rogue Warfare:The Hunt movie promo poster with images of the cast

When the leader of an elite team of soldiers is captured by terrorists, it is up to the team to find and rescue him before it is too late..

In theaters and On Demand digital April 3, 2020.

Starring
Will Yun Lee, Jermaine Love, Rory Markham, Bertrand-Xavier Corbi, Katie Keene, Fernando Chien, Gina Decesare, Michael Blalock Essam Ferris, with Chris Mulkey and Stephen Lang

Directed By
Mike Gunther

Written By
Andrew Emilio DeCesare

 

 

 

WATCH THE TRAILER!

 

Milo Ventimiglia Brings the Impact of War Home

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Milo V. Featured-Shaking hands-USVM

By Sara Salam

Understanding the effect war can have on an individual and their family is something Milo Ventimiglia knows intimately. His dad, Peter Ventimiglia, served two tours of duty as a soldier in Vietnam.

Ventimiglia has friends who served more recently, and he almost went into the Navy himself at age 18. This military connection has retained its significance in his life, though he ultimately has pursued a different path.

This path includes a career in the world of Hollywood, where Ventimiglia has earned fan acclaim for roles such as Jess Mariano in Gilmore Girls, Peter Petrelli in Heroes, and most recently, Jack Person in This Is Us. He’s even spent time behind the camera in a director capacity.

Now in its fourth season, This Is Us is an NBC series chronicling the lives and families of two parents, and their three children in several different time frames. Ventimiglia’s character, Jack Pearson, is the protagonist and late husband of Rebecca; the couple are the parents around which the main storyline centers. Jack is also a Vietnam veteran.

Inspired by his father’s service, Ventimiglia weaves sentiments conveyed to him by his father into Jack’s character.

“It was very easy to reflect on stories I’d heard from my father and then kind of tie things together,” he said. “It very much informed who Jack became – coming from combat, coming from war, looking out for his brother and really looking after the guys that he served with.”

Ventimiglia himself is active in expressing and garnering support for military service members.

Last year, Ventimiglia spent time with military leaders and Defense Department personnel at the Pentagon, with the goal of developing new ways to strengthen the civilian-military connection.

Several months ago, Ventimiglia took part in the 21-push-up challenge, in which 21 push-ups are executed to bring awareness for veteran suicides. He is actively involved with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organization (IAVA), which supports veterans who need help when they return home from war.

He has performed in USO shows for deployed troops and been visiting military bases for about a decade.

“We did 10 shows over six days, covering 17,000 miles, 18 flights, five countries and eight time zones,” the actor said of a recent USO tour. “It was the first tour that I’ve been on where we were actually putting on a show.”

When it was his turn to perform, he would ask a service member to join him onstage to act out a scene from This Is Us.

Milo Ventiglia and cast of This is Us
This Is Us: (L-R) Ron Cephas Jones, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Chris Sullivan, Siddhartha Khosla, Justin Hartley, Mandy Moore, Susan Kelechi Watson, Michael Angarano, and Milo Ventimiglia attend NBC’s This Is Us attend event in Hollywood. PHOTO BY RACHEL LUNA/GETTY IMAGES

Themes of War

Season 3, for example, delves deeply into how Jack’s time in Vietnam as a solider shaped him.

Season 4, in contrast, focuses on more of Jack and Rebecca’s story before they became parents. However, the themes of Vietnam are present in their love story.

“The Vietnam stuff informs the new love, let’s just say, because it’s fresh in Jack’s mind, it’s fresh in Jack’s heart,” Ventimiglia told The Hollywood Reporter. “He is someone who’s just home from war, but yet he wants to move forward in his life, he wants to embrace this feeling of home he’s getting from this woman…It’s a bit relieving to be away from the war moments and play new love, but at the same time it’s heartbreaking, too, because we know how that story ends. Jack dies in his 50s. So, the whole is basically just one big heartbreak.”

Preparing for Combat

As part of his preparation for the Vietnam-specific scenes, Ventimiglia participated in a boot camp that taught the basic operating procedure of a solider and a solider of the Vietnam era. But he notes that the process and protocols are but a fraction of the required research to fully embody Jack’s character.

“Emotionally understanding what was going on at that time in the world, but in particular in the U.S.—young men being drafted and really how the draft was going to drastically change someone’s life and put them on a course that a lot of guys just couldn’t recover from—that was something that was as much preparation as learning how to operate an M16 rifle, protocol in military, and battle scenes.”

Ventimiglia also leveraged Tim O’Brien’s personal account of the war to inform his character. O’Brien is the author of The Things They Carried, a collection of linked short stories about a platoon of American soldiers fighting on the ground in the Vietnam War. This work is based on his own experiences as a soldier in the 23rd Infantry Division.

While Ventimiglia synthesizes the soldierly aspects of battle from primary sources, like his dad and O’Brien, he makes sure to parlay the sentimental undertones that shape who Jack is.

“There’s always an emotional touchstone that I have to be aware of within the technical aspect of playing war,” Ventimiglia said. “Because of who Jack is and what he’s going through, I can’t just dive him into ‘super-militaristic guy with the golden heart’; he’s the guy with the conscience. But in this case, the guy with the golden heart is attached to a rifle.”

Most of the Vietnam narrative was shot at Lake Piru in California, but production also took place actually in Vietnam.

Milo Ventiglia at premiere
Milo Ventimiglia attends “The Art Of Racing In The Rain” New York Premiere in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/WireImage)

“For me, I was very aware,” Ventimiglia said of shooting in Vietnam, “and maybe a little self-conscious of wearing an American uniform over there.”

The actor pointed to a particularly striking moment during a break from shooting near two lotus fields. Wearing the full battle dress uniform—complete with a rifle slung on his shoulder—Ventimiglia was standing in place when an older man on a bicycle came upon him.

“He kind of looked at me, looked at me again and said something to himself and kept riding,” Ventimiglia said. “And Dustin Nguyen, who was my costar who played Bao, he starts laughing … I guess the guy [said], ‘An American soldier, what the hell is he doing here again?’”

A Personal Battle

Ventimiglia’s character doesn’t like to talk about his experiences in war, because he doesn’t want anyone to bear the burden of knowing.

“[Jack] doesn’t want anybody to have to shoulder that or be concerned for him, because Jack and who he is and being a man of that era, I think he bottles it all up and he shoulders it. He gets through it for himself. He doesn’t want anybody else to have to help him deal with it. He just will keep it concealed forever, which ultimately he does.”

Ventimiglia understands this personal paradox, and does his best to convey how these emotions can play out amongst family and friends. He sees it in his dad.

“My dad is such a great man,” he told PEOPLE’s Jess Cagle. “I know even though he presented himself as put-together, I know that war impacted him and affected him; I would start to pull those feeling I saw from my own father into Jack.”

Organizations like America’s Warrior Partnership are committed to empowering communities to address issues like veteran mental health. It fills the gaps that exist between current veteran service organizations by helping nonprofits connect with the veterans, military members and families in need: bolstering their efficacy and improving their results.

For example, Community Integration is an America’s Warrior service model that emphasizes holistic support inclusive of mental health, ensuring veterans are empowered to achieve a better quality of life.

“He may be past physical war, but it doesn’t mean he’s not in private war—personal war,” Ventimiglia said of Jack in an Entertainment Weekly (EW) interview. “Those fractures and cracks that you just never recover from. We’re going to see him go through that experience post-war, really trying to reconnect and restart. What is life after Vietnam?”

Actor Milo Ventimiglia laughs with Air Force Lt. Col. Elizabeth H. Scott during a visit to the Pentagon
Actor Milo Ventimiglia laughs with Air Force Lt. Col. Elizabeth H. Scott during a visit to the Pentagon.

Directorial Debut

Ventimiglia, who was recently nominated for his third consecutive Lead Actor Emmy, has expanded his role with This Is Us to include director. His directorial debut, episode five of season four, “Storybook Love,” follows his own character and his pregnant wife as they host their first family get-together in their new house. The episode also follows a still-grieving Rebecca a year after Jack’s death hosting a dinner after Kevin – her son –shared his marital news.

Ventimiglia leveraged his role as the actor embodying Jack as well as Jack’s own proximity to the characters. He says this gave him a depth of understanding and appreciation for their roles in the narrative.

“I watch the show from almost a studious place where I’m focused on the making of it, the look of it and the feel of it. Aside from acting on the show, I’m a fan.”

Because of the anachronistic approach the show takes to storytelling, it’s crucial the stories and timelines are consistent throughout the narrative.

“I love the working backwards of this show,” Ventimiglia told The Hollywood Reporter. “We know that Jack lost his life in a fire. How are we going to get there? It’s informing where we’re going to be going.”

Announcing the new home for Sky Ball!

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Sky Ball announcement promo poster

Arlington, Texas —  The  Airpower Foundation  is proud to announce the new home for the upcoming  Sky Ball XVIII ; at the brand-new, state-of-the-art,  Texas Rangers Globe Life Field  in Arlington Texas. On the weekend of August 21 st  and 22 nd  2020, the largest and most impactful civilian military support event in the nation joins the Major Leagues.

“We are ecstatic to welcome the Airpower Foundation and their world-famous Sky Ball event to Globe Life Field. The work that the Airpower Foundation does for our military is truly extraordinary and we are honored to be their host for 2020 and beyond.” Said  Sean DeckerEVP, Sports and Entertainment, Texas Rangers Baseball Club.

Since its inception as the premier fundraising event for the Airpower Foundation, an all-volunteer organization, Sky Ball has raised over $20 million. Thanks to generous sponsors, Sky Ball has grown from a single evening fundraising dinner to a weekend of tributes honoring our nation’s military and their families. Activities over the weekend’s festivities include educational outreach programs to local schools, a Friday evening concert dedicated to our military and families, a portrait presentation-luncheon honoring a fallen military hero, all of which culminates with the Sky Ball Saturday evening Gala.

“The Airpower Foundation has displayed an unwavering commitment when it comes to supporting our military veterans across this great country,” said  Jeff Williams ,   Mayor of   Arlington . “The foundation’s legacy of recognizing their sacrifices, and taking care of military families, is an inspiration to all Americans. We’re incredibly honored to welcome the prestigious Sky Ball to Arlington, the home of the future National Medal of Honor Museum, and we’re grateful for the instrumental leadership of Airpower Chairman Sid Eppes for helping us showcase why The American Dream City has a patriotic spirit that’s second to none.”

“We couldn’t be more excited with this opportunity to host our 18 th  annual event at the brand-new ballpark with the Texas Rangers.” Said  Sid EppesChairman of the Airpower Foundation . “This extraordinary new venue will allow us to raise more funds than ever before, making an even larger impact changing the lives of our nation’s military, veterans, wounded, their families, and the families of our fallen military heroes.”

Over the past twenty years, Airpower Foundation has grown to fund more than 72 programs across the country annually, ensuring the funds raised directly impact and support those who need it the most.

For more information on individual and sponsorship opportunities, please visit  AirpowerFoundation.org

Airpower Foundation

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with its roots dating back to 1958, when Air Force General Curtis LeMay and businessman/philanthropist Frank Kent created the Fort Worth Airpower Council dedicated to supporting the military community at Carswell Air Force Base.

The mission of the Airpower Foundation has grown since its formation in 1999 and is now a nationwide, all-volunteer program dedicated to supporting active duty, reserve and National Guard families. Airpower also supports projects to assist wounded service members, children of our fallen military, veterans of previous wars and educational projects to make sure the next generation understands the honor and sacrifice of wearing the cloth of this country. Thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters, the Airpower Foundation currently funds over 72 grants annually nationwide.

The Airpower Foundation board of directors is a diverse group of professionals who volunteer their time and are dedicated to the proposition that freedom is not free. It is their noble mission to assist deployed military families, wounded service members, and veterans of past wars. They spend countless hours visiting military installations and families, assessing needs and grant requests. They are instrumental in providing leadership to organize and execute numerous projects every year in support of military families.

airpowerfoundation.org

Sky Ball

Sky Ball is the premier fundraising event for the Airpower Foundation and has raised over $20 million since its inception thanks to our generous sponsors. Sky Ball has grown from a single evening fundraising dinner, to a weekend of events honoring our nation’s military and their families. Events over the weekend include educational outreach programs to local area schools, a concert for military and families Friday evening, a portrait presentation luncheon honoring a fallen military hero, which all culminates with the Sky Ball Gala Saturday evening.

THE LAST FULL MEASURE—Coming to theaters January 24!

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The Last Full Measure movie promo poster

THE LAST FULL MEASURE tells the true story of Vietnam War hero William H. Pitsenbarger (Jeremy Irvine), a U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen (also known as a PJ) medic who personally saved over sixty men.

During a rescue mission on April 11, 1966, he was offered the chance to escape on the last helicopter out of a combat zone heavily under fire, but he stayed behind to save and defend the lives of his fellow soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division, before making the ultimate sacrifice in the bloodiest battle of the war.

Thirty-two years later, respected Pentagon staffer Scott Huffman (Sebastien Stan) on a career fast-track is tasked with investigating a Congressional Medal of Honor request for Pitsenbarger made by his best friend and PJ partner on the mission (William Hurt) and his parents (Christopher Plummer & Diane Ladd).

Huffman seeks out the testimony of Army veterans who witnessed Pitsenbarger’s extraordinary valor, including Takoda (Samuel L. Jackson), Burr (Peter Fonda) and Mott (Ed Harris). But as Huffman learns more about Pitsenbarger’s courageous acts, he uncovers a high-level conspiracy behind the decades-long denial of the medal, prompting him to put his own career on the line to seek justice for the fallen airman.

Watch the trailer!

Directed by Todd Robinson
Written by Todd Robinson
Starring Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt with Ed Harris and Samuel L. Jackson, co-starring Peter Fonda, LisaGay Hamilton, Jeremy Irvine, Diane Ladd, Amy Madigan, Linus Roache, John Savage, Alison Sudol and Bradley Whitford

The True Story Of ‘1917’ Is Part Of Sam Mendes’ Family Lore

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The World War 1 movie poster promoting 1917

In Sam Mendes’ 1917, two British soldiers in World War I sprint through the hellish maze of trench warfare and across no man’s land to deliver an urgent message. It’s a film full of technical marvels set against the backdrop of a very real war, but the particulars of 1917 are based on a true story even more specific than that. It turns out that the story is also part of Mendes’ family history, though he didn’t learn about the event that inspired his film until almost 60 years after it happened.

The film follows soldiers Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) in real time after they’re tasked with reaching the front lines to tell battalions they’re walking into a German trap. If they fail, up to 1,600 men could die, including Blake’s brother. If they succeed, well… they’re still soldiers stuck in World War I — a war in which men died by the thousands to gain mere meters of land.

Mendes’ grandfather Alfred Mendes was 17 when he enlisted in the war. Though he would later become a writer and novelist, Sam didn’t hear the story of his time in the war until decades later, when Alfred was in his 70s and decided to open up about his teenage years in the war. “There was one particular story he told us of being tasked to carry a single message through no man’s land in dusk in the winter of 1916… And that stayed with me,” Mendes told NPR. “And that was the story I found I wanted to tell.” Apparently, Alfred’s small stature suited him perfectly for the dangerous task. “[Alfred] ran 5 and a half feet, and the mist used to hang at about 6 feet in no man’s land, so he wasn’t visible above the mist.”

Alfred would later write an autobiography detailing the full history of his dangerous mission. It was 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele. Alfred was a member of C company, which along with A, B, and D companies, were sent to the area to maintain pressure against the crumbling German front. The Allied forces wanted to do so by pushing back at the German 4th Army, but rainy weather had turned the battlefield into its own form of hell. As Alfred put it, “The Ypres Salient was a marsh of mud and a killer of men… an area into which countless shells plunged destroying whatever tree, plant, bush, or grass there was and left behind a surface of moon-like desolation, many shell craters as traps for sucking in live men and drowning them — to this sector we came in 1917.”

The change in landscape didn’t change Allied leaders’ plans at all, and all companies led an assault charge forward. It was a disaster. The expected counterattack never came and the charge failed, but worst of all, C company lost track of A, B, and D. The Battalion Advanced Report Centre needed data to plan any next moves. They sent a message: “Report on four companies urgently needed.” Alfred’s captain asked for one man to volunteer to run through the deadly battleground, make contact with each company, and return with the information. Alfred volunteered.

Continue on to The Bustle to read the complete article.

Vietnam Veteran Wes Studi calls historic Oscar ‘overwhelmingly amazing’

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Wes Studi pictured smiling, wearing a dark suit and silver necklace, at event premiere

Cherokee actor, activist and Vietnam veteran Wes Studi is poised to become the first Native American actor to be presented with an Oscar at Sunday’s Governors Awards gala in Los Angeles.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in June that it planned to celebrate Studi’s extraordinary career with an honorary Oscar at its annual fall ceremony.

“It’s overwhelmingly amazing,” Studi told UPI in a recent phone interview.

“It’s recognition of a body of work that’s taken me 30-some-odd years to put together, and it really is kind of overwhelming that my peers in the business have recognized my work and think that it’s deserving of an award.”

The 71-year-old Oklahoma native — who is known for his unforgettable performances in the films Hostiles, AvatarGeronimo, The Last of the Mohicans and Dances with Wolves — was preparing his Oscar acceptance speech this week.

“I’m definitely getting nervous about it. I hope I am able to give credit where credit is due and to be able to see, as well as communicate with, people I have worked with throughout the past,” Studi said.

He also wants his remarks to convey to Native actors just starting out that “these things are possible.”

“It opens a door in a way,” he said. “It has provided possibility.”

Studi, who has eight projects in various stages of production, hasn’t given up his dream of winning a competitive Oscar.

“As much as I appreciate this award, I’m definitely still looking for that one award for an individual performance,” he said, adding he considers his work ethic among his greatest achievements.

“Just doing the best I possibly could has always been a goal of mine.”

Studi said he understands the impact art can have on people and appreciates being part of films widely regarded as timeless classics.

“Hopefully, the story gets across the intended purpose — not only entertaining, but also passing on virtues, as well as failings of our human race,” he said. “Storytelling is one of the most important ways of passing on cultures and of maintaining them.”

Continue on to UPI to read the complete article.

Battleship IOWA Museum Hosts First Annual Steel Beach BBQ Fundraiser October 13, 2019 on the 244th Anniversary of the U.S. Navy

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Battleship IOWA fundraiser poster

Support Veterans Programming Aboard Battleship IOWA and enjoy live entertainment, BBQ, craft beer and wine tastings, country line dance lessons and more. 

The Battleship IOWA Museum is proud to host the first annual Steel Beach BBQ Fundraiser on Sunday, October 13 from 4-7 p.m. in support of Veteran’s Programming aboard the historic battleship to coincide with the 244th Anniversary of the U.S. Navy. The commemorative event pays homage to a U.S. Navy tradition, where sailors enjoy the relaxation of a beach party without having access to land. Guests are invited to come aboard and enjoy an array of sweet and spicy BBQ food, craft beer, wine tastings, and country line dancing lessons all while enjoying live music by teen sensations, Sean Oliu and The Coastline Cowboys.

“We are incredibly fortunate to host an event that not only pays tribute to the U.S. Navy but also benefits the Battleship IOWA Museum and our Veteran’s Reintegration Center,” shared Joleen Deatherage, Director of Development aboard the Battleship IOWA Museum. “We are honored to bring the community together 363 days a year while providing a haven for Veterans that wouldn’t be possible without the gracious support of our donors, volunteers, and community partners.”

The Veteran’s Reintegration Center offers a space where veterans of all ages are welcomed, respected, and invited to socialize and enjoy the comradery of other veterans in the unique physical environment of an iconic former military vessel. The Veteran’s Reintegration Center invites veterans and transitioning service members to participate in a variety of programs, activities, and opportunities that help provide the tools and skills needed to assimilate back into civilian life.

Hosted on the fantail of the famed battleship, Steel Beach is fun for the entire family with live music selections from “>Sean Oliu & The Coastline Cowboys, line dancing lessons from Fred Astaire Dance Studio, craft beer from Lagunitas and wine tastings from Cavaller Wine Exchange, all of whom are providing services pro bono in support of the fundraiser.

Tickets to Steel Beach BBQ are available now starting at $65 for adult members and $75 for adult non-members. Tickets for members under 21 years of age are $25 and $30 for under 21 non-members. Tickets can be purchased on the event website: pacificbattleship.com/steelbeach/. Parking is available at the Cruise Terminal Parking Lot. Please enter at First Street and Harbor Boulevard.

Special Room Rates are available at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel located in San Pedro for the Steel Beach BBQ Fundraiser. Guests can use the promo code: SBB for exclusive room rates and complimentary shuttles to the Battleship IOWA Museum, Valid from Friday, October 12th through Monday, October 14th. For more information visit doubletree.hilton.com

Battleship IOWA Museum is located at 250 South Harbor Boulevard, Berth 87 in San Pedro. For more information on this event and museum programs visit pacificbattleship.com or call (877) 446-9261.

About Battleship IOWA

Entering service more than 70 years ago, the USS IOWA deployed to the South Pacific in the early years of World War II.  The iconic battleship served with distinction in that war and later, during the Korean War.  In the 1990s, as the Berlin Wall crumbled, the IOWA concluded her active duty.  Now serving the public as a not-for-profit historic naval ship museum, Battleship IOWA inspires civic engagement through Education, Veterans, and Community efforts.  Forged in war and guardian of peace, the proud ship is the sentinel of the Los Angeles Waterfront. IOWA’s teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of history, having carried upon them three U.S. Presidents, six of the nine American five-star military leaders, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly, thousands of her own heroic IOWA sailors.  Visitors are awed by the IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans.  Battleship IOWA Museum is open to the public daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For information on special events, group tours, educational programs and Naval retirement flag service, visit pacificbattleship.com.

Variety Presents Salute To Service Event

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Salute to service honorees pictured for 2019

Honorees for the Third Annual New York City Event on November 6th include David Boreanaz (on behalf of SEAL Team cast/crew), Dexter Goei, Tulsi Gabbard, Meghan McCain, Norah O’Donnell, Lou Diamond Phillips, Donnie Wahlberg and Shaun White presented by USO.

Variety has announced their third annual SALUTE TO SERVICE event, a celebration of the notable efforts and contributions by various individuals shining a light on military services and related organizations.

The luncheon will occur on November 6th and is presented by HISTORY Channel. The USO, with more than 78 years of strengthening America’s military by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation, is the premier sponsor of the luncheon.  Retired Army General George W. Casey Jr., the chairman of the USO Board of Governors and 36th Chief Staff of the U.S. Army, will give opening remarks.

“We are thrilled to announce the honorees for our third annual Salute to Service event whose support for our nation’s heroes is important and admirable. It is more critical than ever to recognize our troops and those who champion veterans causes and issues and to honor all in service to our country,” said PMC Vice Chairman, Gerry Byrne. Byrne is a United Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and works across all of PMC’s platforms to support Veteran’s initiatives.

“For over 25 years, HISTORY has been committed to honoring and supporting veterans and military families, and highlighting their stories of bravery and valor,” said Paul Buccieri, President A+E Studios and A+E Networks Portfolio Group. “We are proud to join with Variety to celebrate the contributions of our servicemen and women. We salute their service and thank them, not just on Veterans Day, but every day.”

The honorees include:

David Boreanaz (on behalf of the cast/crew of CBS’s SEAL Team). Boreanaz will be speaking on behalf of the creators, cast and crew of CBS’s SEAL Team and the work they do in supporting and portraying the military community accurately, through research and employment of veterans behind the scenes to accomplish this in an authentic and meaningful way. He will be presented with the award by SEAL Team Executive Producer and former Navy SEAL Mark Owen.

Dexter Goei, CEO of Altice USA, whose company is deeply committed to supporting veterans and their families through its programs for both hiring and training those who have served, along with fostering a culture that is supportive of both active and retired military. In addition, Altice USA makes its Altice Advantage internet program available to veterans and works with dozens of community partners to bring to life moments that recognize the efforts of veterans around the country with programs like Take A Veteran to School, Honor Flight and others.

United States Congresswoman and military combat veteran Tulsi Gabbard  As a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, veteran’s initiatives has been a key part of Congresswoman Gabbard’s platform. In her first year in Congress, Tulsi passed the very first bill she introduced, the Helping Heroes Fly Act, with unanimous support. This law ensures our disabled and severely wounded warriors receive dignified treatment and privacy while going through what could sometimes be painful or embarrassing airport security checkpoints.

Columnist, author and co-host of ABC’s The View, Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Senator John McCain who served in the U.S. Navy for over 20 years. McCain has been a supporter of the troops and vocal against military discrimination.

Norah O’Donnell is an American television journalist and anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. Her father, Francis O’Donnell, was a doctor and commander in the US Army for more than three decades, and her sister Mary also serves as a military physician. CBS News’ Profiles in Service franchise, which O’Donnell originated on CBS This Morning, highlights the work of members of our Armed Forces and Americans who dedicate their lives to helping others.

Born on a military base in the Philippines and named after a World War II marine hero, Lou Diamond Phillips, has a deep commitment to the veteran community, having previously served as a Veterans of Foreign Wars national spokesperson. In addition to being a spokesperson for the VFW, he was a spokesperson for the Veteran’s Administration for two years. He has also worked with the USO and The Wounded Warriors Project. As host of An Officer and A Movie for the Military Channel, he interviewed numerous top military experts and performed multiple outreach visits to Walter Reed. He was also asked to speak at the Vietnam Nam Memorial for Memorial Day 2013.

Actor and recording artist Donnie Wahlberg has played multiple military roles on television and film, most famously, Second Lieutenant C. Carwood Lipton in HBO’s Band of Brothers. His family’s restaurant Wahlburgers is opening its first military installation on Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Wahlberg currently stars on the hit CBS series Blue Bloods as Danny Reagan who is a former Iraq War combat veteran and current Detective under his father the Police Commissioner of New York. Donnie will be presented his award by Blue Bloods Executive Producer and Showrunner Kevin Wade.

Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and professional snowboarder and skateboarder, Shaun White.  He holds the record for the most X-Games gold medals and most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder and has won 10 ESPY Awards. White is a supporter of the USO and in December 2018 he visited servicemen and women overseas as part of the USO Holiday Tour led by 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II will present White with the award.

CBS News’ Chief Investigative & Senior National Correspondent, Jim Axelrod, will host the exclusive luncheon, made up of approximately 150 invite-only guests, comprised of retired and active service members and their families, service contributors, entertainment and media insiders. The United States Marines Corps will provide a Color Guard.

About Variety

Variety has been the seminal voice of the entertainment industry for 114 years and counting. Featuring award-winning breaking news reporting, insightful award-season coverage, must-read feature spotlights and intelligent analysis of the industry’s most prominent players, Variety is the trusted source for the business of global entertainment. Read by a highly engaged audience of industry insiders, Variety’s multi-platform content coverage expands across digital, mobile, social, print and branded content, events and summits.

In May 2019, Variety’s “Actors on Actors” on PBS took home a Daytime Creative Arts Emmy award and has been awarded the Emmy for best entertainment programming at the 67th and 68th Emmy Awards. “Actors on Actors,” an interview special that features pairings of prominent actors discussing their craft, was produced by PBS SoCal in partnership with Variety Media, LLC. Follow Variety on Facebook facebook.com/variety; Twitter, @variety; Instagram, @Variety The Variety Group – Variety, Variety.com, Variety Insight, Indiewire,– is owned by Variety Media, LLC, a division of Penske Media Corporation.

About HISTORY®

Presenting sponsor HISTORY® has an on-going commitment to supporting veterans and military families through the award-winning Mission to Honor campaign which includes on-air, digital, and social components. HISTORY mobilizes public support for veterans via PSAs, connects students nationwide with veterans through the Take a Veteran to School Day program and highlights veterans stories with the hashtag #HONORAVET. This campaign also includes partnerships with Team Rubicon, The Mission Continues, Headstrong, TAPS, The Bob Woodruff Foundation, America’s VetDogs and more. For more information, visit veterans.com

About USO

The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort and support. The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission and learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

About PMC

Penske Media Corporation (PMC) is a leading digital media and information services company whose award-winning content attracts a monthly audience of more than 260 million a month and reaches users in more than 175 countries as well as a collective 390 million social media followers. The company houses a constellation of globally prominent and legendary brands, including Variety, Rolling Stone, Deadline.com, WWD, Robb Report, SHE Media, BGR, IndieWire, Beauty Inc, Sourcing Journal, TVLine, FN, BlogHer, HollywoodLife, Gold Derby, and SPY. PMC delivers exceptional content to consumers, business leaders and organizations around the world across multiple platforms: digital, mobile, social, print, video, broadcast, and dynamic live events. Headquartered in New York and Los Angeles with additional offices in 11 countries worldwide, Penske Media is the way global leaders and influencers are informed, connected, and inspired. To learn more about PMC and its iconic brands, visit pmc.com.

Roche Partners with iHeartMedia to Present ‘iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military’ Concert to Bring Further Awareness of The Impact Diabetes Has On The Nation’s Veteran Population

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Event poster for the Roche veterans diabetes awareness concert

The Second Annual Concert Will Feature Performances from Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

Event Will Broadcast Nationwide On Veteran’s Day From The Country Music Hall of Fame, Honoring The One In Four Veterans Living With Diabetes In The U.S.

Roche recently announced that it has again partnered with iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in the United States, to present the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military concert on Thursday, November 7,[1] at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. In recognition of National Diabetes Month, and the one in four U.S. veterans living with the chronic condition, the exclusive event will include performances by Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

The iconic venue will be filled with American heroes from across the nation, and the performance will broadcast across iHeartRadio’s Country stations nationwide and livestream exclusively on LiveXLive.com at 7 p.m. local time on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11.

 “With diabetes on the rise and affecting nearly 25 percent of the VA’s patient population,[2] this sponsorship fits our mission of helping people with diabetes live more active and unrestricted lives,” said Matt Logan, Vice President of Marketing, Roche Diabetes Care.As a proud Military Friendly® Employer,[3] the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military partnership allows us to celebrate our servicemen and women while simultaneously raising much-needed awareness about diabetes among the military population.”

In support of this event, Roche is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to donate comfort kits to our military abroad.  Deployed troops will receive much-needed items, including healthy snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other toiletries. “Our nation’s military needs the comforts of home while they are so valiantly protecting our freedom,” said Jeff Imel, Manager of Service to the Armed Forces and International Services for the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “We are grateful that Roche has recognized this need and is providing hundreds of comfort kits to our brave military members.”

“iHeartMedia has long been committed to honoring the men and women who have served our country by using our diverse platforms to address the most pressing issues facing our military. Over the years we have invested heavily in their transition from the military back into civilian life,” said Rod Phillips, EVP Programming for iHeartCountry. “iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military Concert is a natural extension of our deep commitment to our military and an opportunity to celebrate our service members while bringing attention to the high prevalence of diabetes among the military population.”

To learn more, visit accu-chek.com.

About the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross:
The Indiana Region serves 87 counties statewide through its six chapter areas: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Greater Indianapolis (Regional Headquarters). For more information on the Indiana Region: redcross.org/indiana. Follow the Indiana Region on Twitter at: @INRedCross, on Instagram at: @indianaredcross or www.facebook.com/INRedCross.

About American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including more than 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

About Roche Diabetes Care

Roche Diabetes Care is pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services for more than 40 years. Being a global leader in integrated diabetes management, more than 5,000 employees in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target range and experience true relief from the daily therapy routines. Roche Diabetes Care collaborates with caregivers, healthcare providers and payers to optimally manage this complex condition and contribute to sustainable care structures. Under the brand Accu-Chek and in collaboration with partners, Roche Diabetes Care creates value by providing integrated solutions to monitor glucose levels, deliver insulin and track as well as contextualize relevant data points for a successful therapy. By establishing a leading open ecosystem, connecting devices, digital solutions, Roche Diabetes Care will enable optimal personalised diabetes management and thus improve therapy outcomes. Since 2017, mySugr with its world-leading mobile diabetes management app and services is part of Roche Diabetes Care. For more information, please visit www.accu-chek.com and mysugr.com.

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.  Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the tenth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as the most sustainable company in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit roche.com.

Toby Keith and a veterans’ group teamed up to give a wounded Marine an all-terrain wheelchair

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Toby Keith and wounded Marine in his new wheelchair onstage during concert

Before Toby Keith took the stage for his concert in Pittsburgh, he had a special gift for retired Marine Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh.

While serving in Afghanistan in 2010, Rumbaugh was carrying a fellow Marine to safety when he stepped on an IED resulting in the loss of both his legs. After being fitted with a prosthetic he told CNN in 2012 that he worked hard for two years to beat the odds and walk again. Since then he has become a motivational speaker, sharing his story with others.

On Friday before the start of Keith’s show at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Rumbaugh was presented with an all-terrain wheelchair, courtesy of the country singer and a veterans’ nonprofit.

Rumbaugh told CNN affiliate WPXI he wanted this type of wheelchair because it will allow him be more active outdoors and play with his six-month-old daughter.

The Independence Fund, a nonprofit that assists wounded veterans, teamed up with Keith to give Rumbaugh the $16,000 wheelchair, along with backstage passes and a meet and greet with the singer.

As Rumbaugh was leaving the stage in his new wheelchair, the crowd started chanting “U-S-A!” The Marine enjoyed the concert from the side of the stage and even joined Keith onstage during his performance of “American Soldier.”

Continue on to CNN to read the complete article.

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