Plants For Veterans – Honoring Veterans With Flowers


By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Veteran’s Day is a national holiday in the U.S. celebrated on November 11. It is a time for remembrance and thankfulness for all our veterans have done to keep our nation safe. What better way of honoring our heroes than with living Veteran’s Day plants? Building a remembrance garden is a great way of paying tribute to fallen and living soldiers.

Flowers for Veteran’s Day

November 11 sees us all sporting Veteran’s Day poppies on our lapels, but you can plant the real thing as a lasting symbol of commemoration. They were first associated with the fallen by the John McCrae poem, Flanders Field, which describes the vibrant flowers blooming at the site of World War I battles. Other plants for veterans are often in hues of red, white, and blue – colors represented in our nation’s flag.

If you are looking for a lasting and beautiful way to honor our military heroes, try planting flowers for Veteran’s Day. A ready supply in the garden gives easy access to cut blooms that can be laid upon graves and is a tribute to the service and sacrifice of our military.

Sticking with the red, white, and blue theme is patriotic and lovely. It can be hard to find truly blue flowers, but there are some such as the classic hydrangea. There are a host of colorful reds and solemn whites from which to choose. The pure white calla lily is a symbol of renewal but is often found at gravesides in remembrance too.

Colorful Veteran’s Day Plants

Red and white roses mixed with blue flowers are a common bouquet available around Armistice day. Roses in these hues symbolize love and purity, both common traits in our youngest casualties. Planting rose bushes in these hues surrounded by blue blooming hydrangea would make an ideal Veteran’s Day garden. Other plants for honoring veterans might be:

Reds

  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Carnation
  • Aster
  • Yarrow
  • Anemone
  • Petunia
  • Cockscomb

Whites

  • Camellia
  • Anemone
  • Petunia
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Snowdrop
  • Chrysanthemum

Blues

  • Iris
  • Cornflower
  • Delphinium
  • Monkshood
  • Periwinkle
  • Clematis
  • Grape Hyacinth

Finishing Touches to Honor Veterans

Outside of using plants for veterans as a remembrance, you can add other elements. In a bouquet, ribbons and patriotic flags might be appropriate. In the garden, add a bench in which to contemplate the sacrifice and bravery of fallen soldiers.

A commemorative plaque can be a permanent tribute to a family member who served. Make sure there is a place for a flag as a symbol or our nation’s gratefulness.

By keeping a garden filled with blooms, you will always have a way of making a commemoration bouquet and give thanks to our service men and women.

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Many people consider Thanksgiving to be the time of year that signals the start of the holiday festivities. No matter which holiday you might celebrate, Thanksgiving is the one that kicks the preparations for it into high gear. Decorating for the holiday is made simple yet festive by using the right seasonal centerpiece for the tables in your home.

Since the dinner table is a primary focus during the Thanksgiving holiday, it makes sense to choose an appropriate centerpiece. The centerpiece provides warmth and adds to the high spirits of the holiday. Taking the time to choose the right one can mean the difference between a stunning table and one that is simply passable.

Using flowers, fruit or other fresh ingredients allows the centerpiece to be very seasonable. When placed in charming props, such as a wheelbarrow or cornucopias, a centerpiece will be almost as talked about as the food and beverages served.

Combining fresh flowers and candlelight enables the hostess to deliver a formal yet romantic air to the dinner table, making it perfect for small, intimate Thanksgiving celebrations as well as more formal, multiple course affairs.

For those end tables that just beg to be included in the Thanksgiving decorations, those that include props, such as a rustic wheelbarrow, make a charming addition to any home. With a rich play of fall foliage colors, such as oranges, reds, yellows and purples, centerpieces can bring the festive look to the living room, too.

Thanksgiving centerpieces that burst with freshness and seasonable festiveness make the perfect gift for any hostess. This thoughtful gift will continue to brighten the room long after the Thanksgiving turkey has been carved.


Other deals include:

Mobil Delvac and TA Truck Service and Folds of Honor organization will donate $5 for every Mobil Delvac oil change now through the end of November

The two have partnered once again with the Folds of Honor organization to donate $5 for every Mobil Delvac oil change conducted at participating TA Truck Service locations from now through the month of November. Folds of Honor is a great organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. Plus, truckers who participate get a special FoH hat as a thank you.

Several of the scholarship recipients are working to enter the trucking industry, including Denver Richardson, who is currently a student at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology studying to become a mechanic specializing in diesel trucks and transmissions. You can see Denver’s story and the impact Folds of Honor has had on supporting his educational journey here.

Great Clips Welcomes Military Service Members With Free Haircuts On Veterans Day

On November 11, veterans and active service members can go into any Great Clips salon in the U.S. and get a free haircut or a free haircut card to use later.

Additionally, any non-veteran customer getting a haircut at a Great Clips salon on Veterans Day will receive a free haircut card that they can use to “pay it forward” to an active service member or veteran as a token of thanks.

The cards can be redeemed for a free haircut from Nov. 12 to Dec. 31, 2019 at any Great Clips salon.

K1 Speed, buy one, get one free on Veterans Day

FREE RACE with the purchase of a single race to any veteran and active military individual this Monday, November 11. Just show your qualifying military ID, and your second race is on the house.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts: Save up to 20% off, plus receive 500 Wyndham Rewards bonus points on stays now through Dec. 6, 2019.

Discount available at participating hotels in the U.S. and CA across 17 brands, including household names like Super 8® by Wyndham and La Quinta® by Wyndham – both of which also offer preferred parking for active and retired military members.

Main Event Salutes Nation’s Heroes with Free Food and Fun All Day on Veterans Day

On Monday, Nov. 11, the ultimate entertainment destination invites all active-duty and retired U.S. military personnel to visit their nearest center for FREE food and fun all day! All military personnel will receive 30 minutes of game play that can be used on more than 100 interactive video games.

Honored guests can also enjoy a free entrée from a special menu featuring:
• Bacon & Cheddar Burger
• Jumbo Wings & Fries Combo
• 10¢¢ Ultimate Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza
• Classic Cobb Salad
• Crispy Chicken Tender Sandwich
• Chicken Tenders & Fries

All stores are said to be participating, but you might still check with a Main Event near you to confirm.

Top holiday gifts for U.S. Veterans

During their service, most members of our military missed holidays with family and friends. Make sure this season is merry and bright with these special gifts picked just for U.S. Veterans.

• Give a gift to disabled veterans all across the nation. The DAV Spare Change program allows you to round up purchases on a credit or debit card to automatically donate your “spare change” to support our America’s heroes. Enroll before you go holiday shopping, and do good with every purchase!

• To strengthen its decades-long relationship with the U.S. military, Ford has launched an online store stocked with holiday ideas. One hundred percent of profits from Ford’s Proud to Honor merchandise will benefit two nonprofit military organizations. Shop for shirts, caps, tumblers and more at ford.com/proud-to-honor/store.

• DAV (Disabled American Veterans) celebrates 100 years of service and support for America’s injured and ill veterans and their families. Pick up some caps, hoodies, pins and more at davstore.org and share in the centennial celebration while supporting our nation’s ill and injured heroes!

• Smells like “oh, cool, we’re moving again.” Light up the holidays with the perfect candle for military wives.

• So many veterans enjoy fishing. Rapala launched an exclusive Americana Collection with items for the rookie novice angler to the gearhead technical angler, like this Rapala® trucker cap featuring a red, white and blue Rapala® logo. A portion of each purchase goes to helping our nation’s veterans. Shop the Americana Collection.

• A&W has a history of raising funds to help provide critical programs and services to veterans and their families at no cost. Treat a veteran to an A&W Root Beer Float this holiday season. Find an A&W location near you.

• Remember, give a gift that keeps on giving. To enroll, shop anywhere and help veterans, visit davsparechange.org or text DAV to 26989. Your spare change can provide big gifts for our disabled veterans.

Marriage Enrichment Programs

With deployments and frequent relocations, military relationships can be put to the test. You’ve aced military life. Now can you bring that same strength and sense of adventure to your marriage?

You can access free, confidential, relationship consultation services like Building Healthy Relationships, as well as non-medical counseling through Military OneSource. Call 800-342-9647 or chat online with our trained professional consultants.

Also, each military service branch offers programs designed to enrich marriage and maintain a healthy relationship by helping couples develop better communication skills and rekindle the romance.

These programs are generally:

  • Run by chaplains and supported by commanders, Military and Family Support Centers, and installation family readiness programs
  • Non-faith-specific
  • Either low-cost or free to service members and spouses

To find out about programs available through your service branch and installation, check with your chaplain or local Military and Family Support Center. Through the center, Military and Family Life Counselors are available on installations and embedded in units.

Here are some service-specific programs:

Installation chaplains offer the Strong Bonds Program. The program features:

  • Weekend retreats that help couples build relationship resiliency
  • Specific retreats for couples, families, single soldiers and for those facing deployment
  • Activities for unit members who are on the same duty cycle

Marine Corps

The Marine Corps offers the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program. This program:

  • Benefits newlyweds and seasoned couples alike
  • Helps couples improve their communication skills and build strong relationships
  • Offers workshops through chaplains and Marine Corps Family Team Building

Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operations offer marriage enrichment retreats. More information is available on the Navy’s ChaplainCare website. These getaways include:

  • Weekend retreats that help couples focus on their relationships while enjoying food, fun and romance
  • The opportunity for couples to learn about handling conflict, growing their marriage, building intimacy, communication and understanding each other

The Air Force Chaplain Corps offers the MarriageCare program. Check with your installation’s chaplain to see what’s available in your area. The MarriageCare program offers:

  • Weekend retreats to help couples to revitalize their marriage while taking a break from military duty
  • A chance to work on communication, forgiveness and other skills
  • Other programs offered by chaplains on Air Force installations

MilSpouse Toolkit

From education on military culture to navigating resources, this track is beneficial for new spouses who may be experiencing a disconnect from their family and need to identify a support system in their new community. This track focuses resources to assist new and current military spouses with adjustment to the military lifestyle, developing coping skills and resources for resiliency.

20 US Veterans, Aged 28-92, to Skydive at the National WWI Museum and Memorial this Veterans Day

In commemoration of Veterans Day, the National WWI Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor those who have served — and continue to serve — our country. To recognize these men and women, admission to the Museum and Memorial is free for veterans and active duty military personnel from Saturday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Nov. 15. General admission for the public is half-price on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11.

A “Legacy Jump” will kick off the Nov. 11 Veterans Day activities at 6:30 a.m. CT Led by Purple Heart Recipient, former Navy SEAL and extreme sports enthusiast, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, the “Legacy Jump” will feature an All Veteran Group parachute team who will tandem skydive a veteran from each war – World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan War & Iraq War, as well as Sept. 11 – and land on the Museum and Memorial’s North Lawn. The veterans range in age from 28 to 92.

Parrott will cap off the jump with a symbolic WWI Soldier & “Missing Man” BASE Jump from the 217-foot Liberty Memorial Tower in honor of POW-MIAs and a war that is talked about infrequently. The “Legacy Jump” will bring together generations of veterans, including news host Pete Hegseth, to raise funds and awareness for veteran and first responder causes through the Bird’s Eye View Project .

“We’re excited to host this special ‘Legacy Jump’ on Veterans Day,” says Dr. Matthew Naylor, president & CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial. We are proud to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country.”

Additionally, the Museum and Memorial will offer a wide variety of events throughout Veterans Day. A free, public Veterans Day Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. CT in the Memorial Courtyard with a keynote address from Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas will deliver a special reading. This year’s abbreviated ceremony, along with all other Veterans Day special events, will be held outdoors with social distancing and masks to ensure the public can celebrate our veterans safely.

Following the ceremony, at 11 a.m. CT, locally-based Cars 4 Heroes will be giving away 11 vehicles to veterans on the North Lawn. The bi-annual Walk of Honor dedication ceremony takes place at 2 p.m. CT, followed by a special outdoor performance from the Kansas City Symphony . Their Mobile Music Box will be on the Southeast Lawn from 3 – 5 p.m. CT.

Support for Veterans Day is provided by Jackson County Executive and County Legislators and Weather or Not.

VETERANS DAY ACTIVITIES: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020

LEGACY JUMP

When: 6:30 a.m. CT

Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, North Lawn

What: Organized by the Bird’s Eye View Project and led by Purple Heart Recipient, former Navy SEAL from Team 7 and extreme sports enthusiast, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott. An All Veteran Group parachute team will tandem skydive a veteran from each war – World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan War & Iraq War, as well as Sept. 11 – and land on the Museum and Memorial’s North Lawn. Parrott will cap off the event with a symbolic WWI Soldier & “Missing Man” BASE Jump from the 217-foot Liberty Memorial tower.

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY

When: 10 a.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard
What: Join us for a moving ceremony honoring our nation’s veterans with a keynote address from Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Mayor Quinton Lucas will deliver a special reading. This year’s abbreviated ceremony will be outdoors to ensure we can celebrate our veterans safely. Please dress warmly, practice social distancing and wear a mask. FREE to the public.

LIVING HISTORY VOLUNTEERS

When: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard and Paul Sunderland Bridge
What: History is brought to life with our Living History Volunteers who will be available for social distanced pictures. FREE to the public.

CARS 4 HEROES CEREMONY

When: 11 a.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, North Lawn
What: For 24 years, Cars 4 Heroes has provided free, basic, reliable transportation to Veterans, First Responders and their families, that otherwise are not able to obtain transportation for themselves. Join us for a moving ceremony as the organization hands over the keys of 11 cars to deserving individuals.

WALK OF HONOR DEDICATION CEREMONY

When: 2 p.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard
What: More than 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. The Walk of Honor is divided into three sections: bricks dedicated solely to those who served in World War I bricks dedicated to veterans of any military service and bricks that honor civilian friends, family or organizations. Walk of Honor bricks are dedicated twice each year during Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. FREE to the public.

KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE

When: 3 – 5 p.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Southeast Lawn
What: At a time when audiences cannot visit indoor venues, the Symphony is taking the music on the road to reach music lovers and families in every corner of the metropolitan area. Kansas City Symphony’s new outdoor stage on wheels, the Mobile Music Box, will be on the Museum and Memorial’s Southeast Lawn for a 3 p.m. CT performance. FREE to the public.

About the National WWI Museum and Memorial

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum and Memorial takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National WWI Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org .

About the Birds Eye View Project

The Birds Eye View Project (BEVP) uses extreme sports to raise funds and awareness for veteran and first responder charities. Veteran and former Navy SEAL, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott knew that it takes big events to make a significant impact. That’s what this is. That’s why we are here. One man’s idea of running from Dallas to Waco in 24 hours to raise $100K for charity, turned into a charity that performs over-the-top stunts to impact those who need it most – veteran and First-responders injured in the line of duty – raising funds and awareness for small charities that need help doing their awesome work.

Photo Credit: The National WWI Museum and Memorial

Veteran Launches Advanced Lifestyle Management App Called BE LUX

The COVID pandemic has prompted people to change how they conduct their business and personal activities.

More than ever, people have come to rely on mobile applications to order groceries, make appointments, and otherwise meet a wide variety of their needs.

With this in mind, Waldron McCritty, a black U.S. Navy and hospitality industry veteran, set out to revolutionize concierge services for those who want to enjoy their best-available lifestyle. He designed BE LUX, the new mobile app by Bold, Inc., to provide personal concierge service in today’s high tech world. The BE LUX lifestyle management platform will help people with everything from travel arrangements to lawn care. All they have to do is sign up for a membership, and everything will be handled by quality trained service professionals.

“I come from three generations of hospitality and management services, and have made it my mission to introduce to this segment the power of today’s advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence,” explains Waldron McCritty, chief executive officer of BE LUX. “I have a passion for providing great services, and BE LUX is going to help streamline that process.”

The company and its service platform, is a concept that occurred to Waldron while he was helping his family develop their property and hospitality businesses. He envisioned a mobile app that would help solve some of the customer services and logistics problems that they had encountered regularly. After researching and testing various alternatives, BE LUX was born.

Today the BE LUX app is available for download on Apple and Android devices. Users may choose a membership level that includes a range of services that suit their personal concierge preferences. Membership levels include Basic, Premium, and Executive, with service options that span personal assistant, home services, lodging, party and events, travel, and delivery service needs.

Members seeking Home Services, for example, will have all of their essential needs met without having to source the specific individual service providers to perform the work. Services such as yard work, repairs, cleaning, and laundry will integrate seamlessly. Likewise, those who choose the Executive membership level will have all of their office assistant needs addressed. BE LUX will help people save time and money by running errands, having groceries and take-out delivered, or making travel plans.

Five things to know about BE LUX include:

1. The company that created Be Lux, Bold Inc. is a certified Black- and veteran-owned business. Waldron served eight years in the U.S. Navy.

2. Waldron’s experience in the military prepared him for entrepreneurship. He served with the Elite Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal and Counter Narcotics Units as an Operations Specialist, and Coordinator. After obtaining a degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering, he gained 15 years of professional experience in management and mobile technology.

3. The app is currently launching in Atlanta, but will soon be available in cities around the country.

4. Currently the services offered include restaurant and grocery delivery, package and alcohol delivery, and transportation services. Transportation services include on-demand, as well as chauffeur services. More services will follow shortly.

5. The BE LUX platform and underlying services will focus on helping people with everything from simple chores to corporate office assistance.

“Everyone wants more free time and less stress, despite all the daily tasks and chores to be done,” added McCritty. “BE LUX does all this and so much more. Constant attention to a list of to-dos around the home or office can consume a lot of time and energy. Users of BE LUX can while our trained service providers ensure that everything on their list gets properly handled in a timely and professional manner. BE LUX is the app for those who want to spend more time living their life to the fullest, rather than taking care of all the little tasks that need to be done.”

Those interested in learning more about Be Lux can log online and watch a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmcwxEoI9tk, download the app: https://play.google.com. Please visit the website: https://beluxllc.com.

About Bold, Inc.

Bold, Inc was founded by Waldron McCritty, a black veteran whose service experience prepared him to be an entrepreneur. He spent eight years in various positions within the U.S. Navy. As a third generation concierge professional, he is tapping into new technology to help streamline this service domain. BE LUX is the revolutionary new App that offers advanced lifestyle management services. To learn more about the company and app, visit the site at: https://beluxllc.com.

How I Got Into The Best Shape Of My Life At 51

Most are generally surprised to find out my actual age of 51. “How do you look so young and fit? That is a question I get often and with a grand smile I pass on the great advice I received from my father if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you!

As a retired Navy Veteran for 26 years and spending 4 years in amateur boxing, I’ve developed my own blended fitness program that combines the physical military training with the intensity of boxing training. This approach I consider my “Ageless” workout plan consists of building and maintaining lean muscle mass while decreasing body fat to achieve a healthy body and mind.

Growing up in a large family of 6 brothers and 5 sisters in southern Georgia and whose father is a Brick Mason and Farmer, hard work and fitness came hand to hand.

Being the shortest of all my brothers and the only twin to my younger sister, I’ve prove to myself that my strength matched their sizes and never needed their support.

During most of my tours in the Navy, I was appointed as Command Fitness Coordinator (CFC) where I’ve trained Sailors to pass a physical fitness assessment (PFA) twice a year!

I’ve developed a deep passion to continue this training after retirement and my results have been amazing! I’m truly am at the best shape of my life!

Earlier this year I started to conduct live virtual workout sessions to support others looking to make improvements to their health regardless of their past fitness level which can be done from the comfort of their own homes.

Since COVID-19 made its entrance in 2020, the world has never been the same and now more than ever we need to make health and fitness our top priority. The truth of the matter is with a weak immune system, poor diet, and lack of exercise we’ve been a huge target of health issues before this pandemic occurred. The stakes are much higher now and we must do all we can to defeat it.

I am honored to mentor and coach others on their path to fitness success.

Send A Birthday Greeting To The Oldest Living World War II Vet In The U.S. As He Turns 111

In a week’s time, the United States’ oldest living American to have served in the Second World War is going to turn the grand old age of 111. To help him celebrate, the National World War II Museum is asking people from all around the world to send him a birthday greeting.

So what is life like for a 110-year-old? If you’re Lawrence Brooks—who in the early 1940s was stationed in the Pacific as part of the 91st Engineer Battalion—you spend lots of time doting on your five children and five stepchildren, your 12 grandkids, and an incredible 23 great grandchildren.

If you’re Lawrence, you also love celebrating your big day with others at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

On those jubilant occasions, there’s live music. There’s cupcakes. It’s a fun day for all.

But because of the pandemic, on his birthday this year Lawrence won’t be able to celebrate with lots of others.

Luckily, the museum has come up with a novel idea for Lawrence’s September 12 birthday this year: Well-wishers can send the supercentenarian a birthday card the old-fashioned way: by mail.

Lawrence, who lives with his daughter in New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood, reflected on his long and interesting life to National Geographic. And he gave a few words of wisdom. Eat right. Stay healthy. Most importantly? ”Be nice to people.”

Now you know a little of Mr. Brooks’ story, perhaps it’s time to find that stash of letter paper, your fanciest pen, and celebrate by sending the veteran a card?

Here’s the mailing address you can send your birthday greeting to:

The National WWII Museum
c/o Happy 111th Mr. Brooks!

The National WWII Museum
c/o Happy 111th Mr. Brooks!
945 Magazine St.
​New Orleans, LA 70130

Happy writing! And be sure to check out the National World War II Museum’s social media on September 12 for a special birthday video.

Image source: National World War II Museum

Continue on to the Good News Network to read the complete article.

StableStrides: Why Horses are Used for Therapy for Veterans

by April Phillips, StableStrides

Horses are not only “good for the inside of a man,” but uniquely suited for mental health therapy for veterans due to both instinct and behavior.

When paired with a human, a horse will intuitively react to behavioral patterns or body language from the human. This gives insight into how a person is being perceived. Because they are prey animals, horses are constantly on the lookout for danger and respond quickly with either confrontation or flight. This instinct allows for a deeper level of intervention with a therapist that surpasses any other mental health treatment.

StableStrides is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose primary focus is mental health therapy with horses. Situated in the large military community of Colorado Springs, CO, StableStrides is uniquely positioned to serve veterans, active duty servicemembers and military families. On a mission to significantly improve the lives of people through a connection with horses, StableStrides exists because of horses and their ability to touch the lives of people.

Horses and humans share a history that goes back to ancient times and has continued to today. Their role in medicine was first prescribed by Hippocrates (460 BC-375 BC) as a form of natural movement that strengthened the body. Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” believed in health that united body and mind and studied treatment for trauma and mental healthcare. Since then, relationships between horse and human has been studied and incorporated into modern medical practices, both physical and mental.

The physical aspects of horseback riding are used to develop physical strength, muscle development and other physical benefits, while the relationship between horse and human is known to strengthen both mind and spirit. Today, the term Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) defines the use of the horse in recreational and medical intervention. A large portion of EAAT is focused on veterans and their healing journeys during and after service. When partnered with a horse, a veteran is asking the horse to enter into a relationship with them that requires mutual trust and some degree of vulnerability.

One veteran reflects on his mental health sessions at StableStrides by asking:

“How could they go from resting and relaxed to full alert, with a first instinct to run, then to relax again, in seconds? How they could let go of that tension and anxiety and just “be?” As a herd animal, they entrust leadership to the strongest. That leader makes the decisions for the herd for as long as it’s capable or trusted. How can a prey animal, the horse, come to trust an apex predator, a human, with their safety? What a concept. This huge, powerful animal, easily capable of killing me, that fears me because I am a predator, could come to trust and work for me because it wants to.”

As prey animals, centuries of domestication have done little to lessen the horse’s response to danger. They understand that their best chance in escaping danger is to flee. As a result, the horse’s “fight-or-flight” instinct is used for decision making. In addition, horses are extremely perceptive and communicate with body language to convey fear, anger, calm or anxiety.

In a herd, each member relies on the leaders in the hierarchy to make decisions for the safety of the herd, if that leader can be trusted. When in the absence of a herd, the horse will determine if the human is to be trusted as the leader. If not, the horse will decide on his own what is safest.

Therapists have selected horses to incorporate into therapy due to these characteristics, including what many call “mirroring of emotions”. While horses aren’t mirrors, they will often reflect their leader’s emotions. If their leader senses danger and responds with fear, so will the horse. If the horse senses calm in their leader, the horse will likewise be calm, trusting their leader’s instinct. In mental health therapy, the therapist incorporates the horse and the relationship between veteran and horse for a dynamic and therapeutic environment. Through the horse’s reactivity, a veteran and therapist are able to examine and process behavioral reactions or emotional incongruencies. This requires the veteran to be present and mindful as to what is unfolding, and to be transparent about reactions.

Many organizations such as StableStrides exist for the horse-human connection and improve lives through EAAT. Through a connection with horses, mental health therapy strengthens families and individuals. Because of the horse’s unique qualities and instincts, incorporating horses into mental health allows for a therapeutic intervention that surpasses any other form of mental health therapy.


Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance

Hours of Operation

  • The cemetery is open for visitation of graves from dawn to dusk 7 days a week.
  • The Administration building is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm MST. Employees are available during this time to schedule and conduct interments. Interments are not scheduled on weekends or major National and State Holidays.

Directions

The Cemetery is located 3 miles Southeast of Alliance NE on CR 57 (1/4 mile from the Alliance Municipal Airport)

Burial Information

If you are interested in checking your eligibility for interment at NVCA, please complete and submit an Eligibility Determination Request Form.

To schedule an interment, a Request for Interment Form will need to be completed and submitted to NVCA for consideration.

Virtual Tour

History

In the spring of 1942, the US Army selected 31,489 acres of land outside of Alliance to build an air field. The dry climate and open landscape provided ideal flying conditions. An ample supply of water and affordable land, as well as Alliance’s new power plant, new hospital, and railroad division point were other attractions. By July, four 9,000-foot runways had been completed.

The primary mission of the air field was to train aircrews of C-47 and C-53 transports and CG-4 gliders, along with airborne troops they would carry into battle. The field contained around 775 buildings and housed 12,500 military personnel at its peak in September 1943. The 411th Base Headquarters Squadron, 403rd and 434th Troop Carrier Groups, 326th Glider Infantry, 507th Parachute Infantry, and 878th Airborne Engineers trained here before deployment to the European Theater. Many of the troops who trained on this land participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day.

Veteran troops arrived in June 1945 to train for the expected invasion of Japan. Due to the surrender of the Japanese, the invasion never occurred. The Army Air Field was declared surplus in December 1945. Part of the field was transferred to Alliance for use as an airport.

Sixty-three years later, the City of Alliance donated twenty acres, which had once been used as a troop training field, to the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs. With funds raised by the local community and startup appropriations from the State of Nebraska, the request for a State Veterans Cemetery was approved. The US Department of Veterans Affairs provided the remaining amount of funds to construct and equip the cemetery.

Ground was broken in October of 2008 to begin construction of Nebraska’s first State Veterans Cemetery. The Cemetery was dedicated and presented to the public on August 13, 2010. The first interment was held January 21, 2011.

Meaning of the NVCA Logo

The Eternal Flame symbolizes that Nebraskan's will never forget the sacrifices made by it's veterans and military family members.

The folded burial flag is positioned as an origin of the eternal flame. This represents that the sacrifice of Nebraska Veterans will always be remembered. In addition, the flag is positioned in the same way the Military Honors Team holds the flag during Military Honors ceremonies it is close to the heart. In this case, the heart of Nebraska, as if to say, "This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the State of Nebraska as a token of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service."

The motto "United in Memory" expresses that Nebraska recognizes the contributions of all veterans. As well, their final resting place unites veterans of all generations.

The State of Nebraska has a white background to symbolize the honor owed to all veterans that have served our nation.

The State of Nebraska is outlined in red to represent the blood shed by Nebraska Veterans to protect our nation's freedom.

The stars of the folded burial flag represent the 5 branches of the U.S. Military, which are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. The 6th star is to honor the families who have lost loved ones to war.

Services Provided

There are no fees for any services provided at NVCA.

Determination of Eligibility for Interment
Applications are available to confirm eligibility for interment of veterans and dependents.

Pre-Interment Planning
An employee is available to discuss interment and memorial headstone options for veterans and their eligible dependents.

Committal Services
Grave-side services at the cemetery are all held in our Committal Shelter. This permanent structure is made of natural stone, has a concrete foundation, and a wood and metal roof. The shelter has electricity, a sound system, microphone jacks, a podium, and covered folding chairs. We also have a table for the displaying of an urn, photos, and flowers during the committal service. We will coordinate with funeral homes and family representatives to accommodate each family's needs as best we can.

Interments
Full time employees excavate and close all graves at the cemetery.
A memorial garden for the spreading of cremated remains for those families that do not wish to have a permanent grave for their loved one.
3'x8' graves are available for casket remains. Concrete crypts are pre-installed and allow the veteran and spouse to be buried in the same grave.
5'x10' graves are available for over-sized casket remains. Crypts in this section are not pre-installed and must be provided by the family, through their funeral home.
5'x5' graves are available for cremated remains. Other than fitting within the size of the grave, there are no restrictions on what type of container a family can provide to have cremated remains interred.

Headstones
An upright marble headstone is provided for each grave. Employees at the cemetery are available to discuss options for inscriptions.

Memorial Headstones
An upright marble headstone and 5'x5' grave may be provided for service members buried at sea or killed in action and whose remains were never recovered.

Memorial Shadow Boxes
A family may display photos or personal items in our lobby shadow boxes to honor the service of their veteran family member that has been interred at the cemetery.

Reinterment
We will coordinate with families that are interested in having remains transferred from another cemetery to the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance.

Perpetual Care
This permanent veterans state cemetery has capacity for over 8,000 interments. The State of Nebraska is committed to provide perpetual care, at the highest Shrine Standards, to honor our veterans and their dependents.

Memorial Garden
The memorial garden is available for families to sit and reflect. This area will continue to be developed so that visitors will have a quiet place to meet and rest.

Eligibility Determination Request

This form is provided to help you and your family with the difficult decisions associated with choosing a final resting place. We will gladly keep your last wishes on file at the cemetery so your family members know your preferences for military honors, what you would like put on your headstone, etc.

Family situations and individual wishes change over time submission of this request does not obligate the veteran or family to have interment services at the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance.

Once your request and eligibility documents have been reviewed, you will receive a notice by mail, informing you of your current eligibility status for interments at the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance.

Eligibility for interment is based on laws passed by Congress and incorporated into the United States Code at Title 38, Veterans Benefits - Sections 112, 2306, 2402, and 2411. These laws may change over time.

A cemetery representative will gladly provide assistance with questions you have about this form, eligibility, or cemetery services.

The Eligibility Determination Form is in pdf format you can print for completion or fill in on the computer for print or electronic submission. Once completed, submit the form AND appropriate documentation by mail, in person to the Veterans Cemetery Administration Building, or by email to [email protected]

Please submit the following documentation with the Eligibility Determination Form

  • copy of the veteran's discharge papers/DD Form 214
  • copy of a marriage license for the spouse

Request for Interment

This form and the documents you provide will be used to confirm the interment eligibility status for the decedent.

Submission of this request does not obligate the veteran or family to have interment services at the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance.

After receiving this form and the related eligibility documentation, cemetery staff will confirm the interment eligibility status within 48 hours. The interment will be scheduled within 72 hours unless the decedent's next-of-kin makes a request for services to be delayed beyond that time period.

Please make an appointment with a Veterans Cemetery Representative to discuss the type of interment and committal service you want for your loved ones. All services and activities at the veterans cemetery are coordinated with the next-of-kin and do not happen automatically.

Eligibility for interment is based on laws passed by Congress and incorporated into the United States Code at Title 38, Veterans Benefits - Sections 112, 2306, 2402, and 2411. These laws may change over time.

A cemetery representative will gladly provide assistance with questions you have about this form, eligibility, or cemetery services.

The Request of Interment Form is in pdf format you can print for completion or fill in on the computer for print or electronic submission. Once completed, submit the form AND appropriate documentation by mail, in person to the Veterans Cemetery Administration Building, or by email to [email protected]

Please submit the following documentation with the Request for Interment Form

  • copy of the veteran's discharge papers/DD Form 214
  • copy of a marriage license if the spouse is the decedent

Headstone Inscription Request

Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance uses the government issued upright marble headstone on casket and cremation graves. It is 24-26 inches tall above ground, 13 inches wide, 4 inches thick and weighs approximately 230 pounds. Variations may occur in stone color and the marble may contain light to moderate veining. This is the same style of headstone that is used at Arlington National Cemetery.

How To Complete The Form

A MAXIMUM Of 11 lines are available for inscription. Lines 1-4 have a MAXIMUM length of 13 characters lines 5-11 have a MAXIMUM length of 15 characters. When completing the request, do not write outside of the boxes.

Please provide the following information in order: (Items In Bold Are Mandatory)

  • Emblem of Belief
    Enter the corresponding 2-digit number on Line 1. See a list of Authorized Emblems of Belief.
  • Legal Name (First Name, Middle Name or Initial, Last Name)
    Nicknames are not permitted on these lines. Maiden names are allowed for the non-veteran, if space is available.
  • Rank(DO NOT use pay grade)
    Use the rank as listed on the DD Form 214 or Discharge papers (i.e. CPL, A1C, SSGT, etc.)
  • Branch (i.e. US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, etc.)
  • War Period
    Allowed if the veteran was active duty during the war period. The war can be listed even if the individual never served in combat.
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Death
  • Medals(Documentation must be provided)
    See the Authorized Awards page for medals that are allowed to be inscribed on the headstone.
  • Term of Endearment
    You may use one of the examples listed on our Terms of Endearment page you may also request words or phrases that have special meaning to your family or the decendent. This is the place to include a nickname or list a unit, ship, or specific designation if desired.

A cemetery representative will gladly provide assistance with questions you have about this form, eligibility, or cemetery services.

Examples of Completed Forms

Click on an image to enlarge it

How To Apply

The Headstone Inscription Request form is in pdf format you can print for completion or fill in on the computer for print or electronic submission. Once completed, submit the form and appropriate documentation by mail or in person to the Veterans Cemetery Administration Building.

Grounds and Floral Policy

Services
Please do not approach services being held at the Committal Shelter unless you are a family member of the deceased or an invited guest of the family.

Parking
No parking on the grass.

Pets
Pets are not allowed on cemetery property.

Service Animals
Animals that are registered, certified, or trained as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are welcome.

Fresh Cut Flowers
Allowed on graves throughout the year. Temporary containers are provided by the cemetery for your convenience.

Artificial Flowers
Allowed on graves as early as 7 days before and up to 7 days after the following nationally recognized holidays - Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Easter, and Christmas.

Interment Flowers
Allowed on graves the day of interment and up to 7 days after.

Holiday Blankets and Christmas Wreaths
Allowed on graves from December 10th through December 31st.

Flags
The United States flag is allowed on graves any day of the year. The flag cannot be attached to the headstone and they must be lower in height than the grave headstone. Cemetery staff will remove flags that have become weathered or faded.

Unauthorized Decorations
At no time can there be a display on the graves of glass, breakable items, permanent plantings, balloons, vigil lights, streamers, hanging ornaments, personal belongings, photos, shepherds hooks, hanging baskets, or other items that detract from the uniformity and military aesthetics of a veteran's cemetery.

Unauthorized Planting or Digging
At no time can there be planting of any item or the burial of any item on cemetery grounds without written consent from the Cemetery Administrator.

Unauthorized Use of Headstone
At no time can any item be affixed, attached, glued, taped, tied, or connected by any other means to a headstone, tree, shrub, plant, or any other structure on the cemetery property. Altering of headstones in any way is prohibited.

Offensive Displays
At no time can there be the display of any item that may be interpreted as offensive, in poor taste, insensitive, degrading, insulting, or demeaning of the intent of the dignified setting of a veteran's cemetery and national shrine.

Removal of Displays
Cemetery staff will dispose of all memorial items remaining on graves after the holiday or a reasonable time period as determined by the Administration.

James Goodwin
Cemetery Manager

2610 CR 57
PO Box 718
Alliance NE 69301-0718

Phone: (308) 763-2958
Toll Free: (877) 420-7990
Fax: (308) 763-2963


Denny's

Stop by Denny's on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, and all active, non-active, and retired military personnel can get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam Breakfast from 5:00 AM to Noon.

Visit the link above for the full menu to see all the different items you can put together in a Grand Slam Breakfast at Denny's.

Most Denny's locations should be participating in this promotion, and you'll need to bring a valid military ID along with you. This is for dine-in only.


Finding Spooky Floral Arrangements for Halloween

Show your Halloween spirit by decorating your home, or taking spooky Halloween floral arrangements to those Halloween parties as a gift for your host. Allow the creepy and frightening decorations to ward off evil spirits or keep the ghosts of departed away. Celtic Pagan Hallowmas traditions involved wearing costumes to trick the ghosts or evil spirits of the recently deceased people in the community.

Bad to the Bones Cupcake arrangement is a scull-shaped mass of white carnations, adorned by green moss, neatly nestled in a red cupcake container. Whether you send it to someone for fun, or add it to your holiday Halloween party décor, this little guy will scare up a bunch of laughs from all who see him.

Create that frightening witches scream that Is reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz with this Bewitching Halloween Flower Cake. The very bewitching witch is made of green poms, and she’s perched on a cake of orange carnations. Bewitch your house guests, or a special recipient with this unique, but dazzling cake shaped arrangement.

Boo-tiful Bats Halloween Bouquet is a whimsical arrangement of fall-colored flowers adorned with decorative bats flying over a decorative full moon. The ancient Celts or Gaels from whom we got the Halloween tradition in the first place, believed that bats would ward off the evil spirits and ghosts of recently deceased people. Bats offered protection, so you can protect your workplace, or protect loved ones – or even your own home from any evil spirits or ghosts who may come to trick-or-treat.

The Spooky Surprise Halloween Bouquet is the essence of fall with deep orange carnations and roses, all neatly arranged in a ceramic pumpkin, topped by a decorative ghost is sure to scare those evil spirits away. Set it at the front office to protect your co-workers, or at the entry to your house, where it will spook out anyone who come to trick-or-treat!

Capture the sense of a haunted garden graveyard anywhere with the Ghostly Gardens Halloween Bouquet. Each bouquet uses the freshest available flowers in autumn colors, arranged in a black glass vase, complete with sprigs of fall leaves and a ghost and creepy insect who hover over the RIP grave stone.

Send that special someone a happy and creepy Halloween with the Spooky Sweet Halloween Bouquet, a lush arrangement filled with the freshest orange and green flowers, creating a gorgeous mass above the black glass vase. A creepy, but adorable big black spider gives this gorgeous bouquet a spooky touch.


Watch the video: Americas Veterans: Honoring Those Who Served


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