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Come see our annual Adopt a Gold Star Family for Christmas Project in partnership with Operation Ward 57. We have been chosen to support this mother and her two children. How can you help? Click on the proceeding link, and see our official project page where you can learn how to participate in our raffle and how you can win some fantastic prizes! Attention on Deck!!! Uncle Sam Wants You!!!!

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  1. until
    Introduction Every year The Patriot Woodworker's adopt a wounded warriors family for Christmas. We do this through a great veterans support organization named Operation Ward 57. The Patriot Woodworker's apply to Ward 57 to be accepted to receive our family for Christmas, and each year we are chosen to participate. And each year, our sponsors donate wonderful items for us to raffle for this cause. We use 100 percent of the raffle proceeds to purchase gifts for the kids, and a Christmas dinner for the family. Our Mission We need your help to accumulate funds for our Gold Star adopted family, who has given much to our nation in physical and emotional sacrifice and much more in family sacrifice. All proceeds from this raffle will be used to purchase gifts for Camilla, Charlie, and mom Nicole and to provide a Christmas dinner for the family. The Gold Star Family This year we are proud to be supporting the Merlo Family from San Marcos, California. They include Mrs. Merlo (widow of Spc 4 Ivan Merlo), and her son Charlie at 4 years old, and Camilla at 7 years of age. The Merlo's in Service Young Mr. and Mrs. Merlo. History Spc 4. Ivan E. Merlo of San Marcos, California graduated from San Marcos High School in 2006. He joined the Army that October and arrived at Fort Campbell four months later. He was due to return home within two weeks after finishing a yearlong deployment in Iraq. He was supposed to serve as the best man at the wedding of his best friend and brother in combat, Pfc. Phillip J. Pannier. But Merlo and Pannier both died while waging an Army offensive targeting insurgents north of Baghdad. Just before being deployed, Ivan married his long time girlfriend, Nicole. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon, Weapons Qualification, M4, Expert. Ivan died in Samarra, Iraq of wounds sustained during combat operations at age 19. Army Service 2nd Battalion 327th Infantry Regiment 1st Brigade Combat Team 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Fort Campbell, Kentucky Gold Star Family History The term Gold Star family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag. These flags/banners were first flown by families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the armed forces of the United States, during any period of war or hostilities in which the armed forces of the United States were engaged. If that loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star. This allowed members of the community to know the price that the family had paid in the cause of freedom. Read more... Our prior years projects Operation Ward 57Adopt a Wounded WarriorFamily for the Holidays - 2015 Operation Ward 57Adopt a Wounded WarriorFamily for the Holidays - 2016 Click on the Raffle Ticket and support our adopted family! Tickets only $2 each with multi ticket discounts! Rules Sorry, only Residents of the US and Canada may participate All are welcome to participate, members, forum hosts, admins and non-members. (John Morris (Founder) and family may not participate) Please allow 1 to 3 weeks for delivery of prizes, most of the time prizes are sent out immediately You may purchase as many raffle tickets as you like Raffle ends midnight December 16th 2017, names will be drawn one second after midnight 4 names will be randomly drawn by Raffle River, and prizes will be awarded in the order of names drawn, starting with Laguna Certificate, then the Rikon Slow Speed Grinder, then the Woodriver Spindle Sander. You may also enter by mailing check or money order made out to The Patriot Woodworker and send too: The Patriot Woodworker - 977 Sussex Rd, San Jacinto, CA. 92583 You may also request one free entry by submitting your request through regular postal mail, please use address above. This year, the items our sponsors have donated can be seen in the image below, these are some great prizes folks! The tickets are only 2 dollars with multiple ticket bargains, and your odds of winning are very high given our typical turnout. To view the ticket prices, and to purchase your tickets please click on the Raffle Ticket above! A full accountability of the proceeds will be reported on at the end of the raffle so you know your hard earned money was used for our Adopted Family. You may win one of the following prizes! 3 Winners will be randomly drawn by Raffle River In Closing Ok Patriot Woodworker's, it's time to muster and it's time to show everyone what we are all about! The purpose our woodworking community was created is for this reason, to help those who have served us, and paid the price. Remember this is not charity, this is not a hand out, this is payback! Thank you sponsors! We also need to thank our sponsors Woodcraft Supply, and Laguna Tools, for their generous support and for donating those wonderful items for the raffle! For without them, we would not have a community, nor would we be able to perform the work we do. Thank you guys! Honorable Mention The Patriot Woodworker community wants to also thank Easy Wood Tools for their past and continuous support of our woodworking community and their endless support of the men and women who serve our nation. Easy Wood Tools has been a valuable partner to us and our military support efforts. Easy Wood Tools, Made in America, by Americans, for the World!
  2. While perusing my Facebook friends pages I came across Scott Phillips who was posing in a most awesomely cool picture of himself, and his WWII Veteran Dad. What a great pic!
  3. September 11th 2001, I woke up and went to the living room and asked my mother what movie she was watching. She turned with tears in her eyes and said it's not a movie it's the news. I was going to St Pete Community College to enter the military as an officer. I continue to get ready for the day and went to school. When I arrived the first class we turned on the TV and continued to watch. They then cancelled classes for the rest of the day. I left and immediately went to my recruiter. I told him I no longer want to finish this as an officer application but I want to go in as enlisted now. He processed my paper as fast as he could and next thing I know I was on my way to basic training. I had signed on as a uh60 helicopter repair with the possibility of going flight and being a crew chief door gunner. My first Duty station was Camp Stanley Korea with 2nd Infantry Division. When we arrived we went straight to the sergeant majors office. He asked the five of us "who would like to go into maintenance?". Three of them raise their hands and he said perfect, that's just what I needed, you two are going flight. I then reported to my company and was sent to Green platoon to learn how to be a non-rated crew member. I spent my tour in Korea doing air assault resupply missions Etc. I was then transferred to the general officer platoon due to my ability as a crew chief. I then was the personal crew chief for the assistant division Commander maneuver assistant division Commander support and the division Commander under VIP missions. When I left Korea I was sent to Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras. The main missions were humanitarian Aid and Counter Narcotics. In 2004 we had a major deployment to Haiti for "Operation Secure Tomorrow". The mission was to overthrow and oust Aristide. After 3 months we had completed our mission and preparing to redeploy back to Honduras. We then got word to stand down one week before we were going to leave due to a major incoming storm. We then provided humanitarian Aid throughout the country as it was devastated by said storm. We delivered rice water cooking supplies Etc. This is where I first truly experienced death. Bodies floating in flood waters along with bodies crushed underneath landslides with arms and legs sticking out just to name two things. We then redeployed to Honduras and I continued my missions until I I went to my next Duty station. I then was stationed with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. In 2006 we deployed to FOB Speicher, Iraq. We did resupply missions for troop movement missions and air assaults and air coverage for ground assaults Etc. On October 26th 2006 we had a mission to bring VIPs to determine how to repair and guard an oil pipeline that was blown up. We dropped off the VIPs and loitered in the area. Well wheel ordered the wind shifted 180 degrees and our new Landing Zone was in the area of Fallout from the fire. We were approximately 40 ft above ground level when the dust kicked up and stuck to the windows due to the oil in the talcum powder dust. The new pilot that was flying next to the instructor pilot panicked and dumped the collective instead of transitioning to instruments. I was standing up outside the crew window to ensure we didn't contact the pipeline. When we hit the ground I crumpled into the window frame on the side of the butterfly grips of my machine gun and the lower window sill. We then rotated on to the right landing gear and somehow managed to land back on the left. I don't understand how this happened as we were past the point of dynamic rollover. This is when the aircraft is past a certain degree that will not be able to recover and continue and roll. They denied what happened due to not wanting it on record. After about a month I went to my platoon later and told him I cannot fly anymore as I was hurt too bad. I was denied medical care or medical evacuation and immediately transferred to the support battalion. While I was there the same aircraft came in for phase maintenance. I immediately told them not to touch the aircraft and we need to perform a hard Landing inspection due to what happened. they then went to my unit and asked where the records of this hard landing were. I don't know what was said but it was recorded somewhere and when we redeployed I was able to get checked out by the doctors. That's when they found out my neck back hips knees ankles feet and wrists were injured. I was then transferred to the Wounded Warrior Battalion where I received treatment and was in the process of medical retirement. Unfortunately I had a suicide attempt and was inpatient at Tripler Medical Center. If you miss two appointments during your Retirement Board they cancel it and send you back to your unit. I had already been back to my unit as I was told that's where I had to be to finish my paperwork. My unit had already deployed to Afghanistan so I was placed on the rear detachment. The persons in charge were the ones that they didn't trust to deploy or hold a weapon or lead troops. While I was in the hospital the acting platoon Sergeant illegally made appointments for me knowing I couldn't make them due to being inpatient. When I saw the acting Commander he threatened me with a bat and acts, as well as another Soldier to shoot him when we go to the range next time. a short time later my wife who was pregnant with her second child and was having a complicated pregnancy was in the emergency medical care unit on base. I was told to return to my unit and I replied with "I cannot as my wife is here with serious issues". They then sent other NCO's to escort me back. I said under my breath if he threatens me again I will throw them out the window. At the time I was so medicated that I was literally drooling on myself. I was then given uniform code of military Justice punishment. they stripped me of my rank and placed me on extra Duty and as soon as that was finished I was discharged on a personality disorder. I have spent the last seven and a half years fighting the VA to receive treatment and care that was appropriate and to receive my disability. I am still fighting with the Army to receive my medical retirement and that is where I currently stand. I was approved for Social Security disability and now currently waiting on my back pay and check but they have yet to make a decision on how much it should be. Hopefully it is what it should be as this will bring us out of the hole as I support a family of 5 solely on VA disability and a small caregiver check that my wife receives to take care of me. I personally think this is a ridiculous hell veterans! We can provide all sorts of things to illegal immigrants Etc but yet we cannot help homeless veterans and we make it extremely difficult for injured veterans to receive benefits. And that is just a brief summary of what happened during my Enlistment in the army.
  4. HOOAH!!!!!!!!!! Vince Speranza is the real deal, he jumped into Bastogne in WWII, and the rest is bloody. He showed up at this Airborne graduation for the young graduates, and they all had a great time. Links of interest Story of Ceramic Helmet Beer tradition Video on Vince What a treat for the young graduates! Message from the videographer: Recorded on my iPad , the night of 22 October 2016 at the Frederick Army Air Field in Frederick, Oklahoma. It blows my mind to see this has had over 600k views in the last 24 hours and I have been asked to make a public version so here it is. If you see fit to share, please make sure to include my entire message below so nobody thinks we were drinking anytime around Jump Operations. Enjoy! "WWII Jump School is over and it was an amazing experience. We had our Graduation ceremony and celebration party on Saturday and got to party with this bad arse- Vince Speranza NOTE: this has been shared for you bros. pleasure and if you repost, please make sure to include that this drinking occurred hours after graduation and closing of all Airborne Operations. WWIIADT rules require at least 8 hours after drinking before doing anything, but in this case there were absolutely no operations the next day as we were all dragging ourselves through TSA lines and going home."
  5. The rodeo was in town over the weekend. My wife, dad and I went to it Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday night is always Patriot Night and they do something like this every year. Very Awesome and very Moving. I tried to video when the Rodeo Queen brought in the American Flag, but I hit something other than record and I didn't get it. I hope this works, I have never posted a video before, here or elsewhere:
  6. Just now saw John's link for one such program in FL. In my working life as a Speech/Language Pathologist, I was privileged to witness the amazing results of Hippotherapy with cerebral palsy afflicted kids, Autistic children and adults, behavioral disorders and children with fetal alcohol syndrome. There's no doubt this type of therapy would benefit many of our vets with PTSD and various other related traumatic injuries. Here is LINK to the AHA site showing the certified therapists in each state. Most of the hippotherapists I knew were not only skilled in the techniques but also in the navigation of the various bureaucratic paperwork necessary to get folks the help.
  7. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/president-trump-signs-vietnam-war-veterans-day-act-honor-nam-vets-flying-flag-march-29/ Welcome Home.
  8. Operation Ward 57

    The Patriot Woodworker's support Operation Ward 57. You should too!
  9. Veterans Day for Americans, and Remembrance Day for our Canadian and Commonwealth friends. In both of our countries they are recognized on the same day, and both days are just as important to each others nations. The Patriot Woodworker's would like to wish our Canadian and Commonwealth friends a memorable and thoughtful Remembrance Day this Friday, November 11th. For more information on Remembrance Day please see Remembrance Day Wikipedia. To our own veterans here in the U.S. The Patriot Woodworker's want to thank you for your service and sacrifices, many of you have returned home from conflict whole, and many of you have returned home wounded. And many of you served during peace time. We can never repay our veterans for their service to our nation and our people, we stand on the shoulders of our veterans and active duty as we go about our daily lives living free and taking for granted the security and protections our veterans and active duty have afforded us. Without our military, we would be a nation under attack constantly, it is because of our service members we sleep soundly at night, knowing that the life we went to bed with, will be the same life we awake with. That same certainty cannot be guaranteed to our active duty and veterans alike. The lives of our active duty change daily, and the lives of our veterans contain memories and nightmares of their service and constant reminders of their own sacrifices in the form of physical scars and PTSD. Please know you are not forgotten! Thank you Veterans! To our Patriot Woodworker's here today, many of you are veterans as well. Thank you for your service, in honor of your service to our nation and for our veterans as well from Canada, we ask that you reply to this topic by answering the following. What branch of service were you in? Where did you serve? What unit, group, were you in? What was your MOS or occupational military skill and job? What was the time frame of your service? Are you disabled as a result of your service? Also please feel free to honor friends and family who have served, are serving, or may no longer be among the living today. We'd love to hear your stories, memories, and your experiences. Thank you all, and thank you Veterans for your service!
  10. While not the greatest discount...probably would cover shipping for small items...at least they're thinking about our men & women who've served! Grizzly Offers Military Discount
  11. I saw this on my news feed last night. Too awesome not to share. It makes me proud to be a Hoosier and to see young people value our American heritage, freedom and the price for having it! God bless you Shayla! Pumpkins for Freedom
  12. My wife picked up a package pf ready-to-cook Bob Evans mashed potatoes at our local Kroger store this evening...on their package was a pictorial reference about joining up with the Gary Sinise Foundation by painting all their barns purple in support of our veterans. You may already be aware...first I had seen of it... Read more here: Bob Evans Supports Sinise Foundation
  13. Rob Cosman and Veterans Blog

    Good morning folks, just wanted to direct your attention to a really wonderful blog written by our friend Frank Byers of Woodcraft and Woodworking Adventures fame about the Hand Tool Coach, Rob Cosman. Rob has opened up a place in his business and in his heart for our veterans in disability. Please read up on Rob and his efforts, and about the Marine who influenced Rob in a big way. And, if you are a veteran with a disability, Rob has opened up a free membership for you as well. Please read all about it here at:
  14. U.S. Marine Veteran Cpl. Jesse Paredes (above) Time and time again, I have found that woodworkers have the biggest hearts in giving back when it comes to helping others. Assistance comes in many different forms, sometimes sharing their wisdom in the shop with projects to opening up their shops for education. But when it involves another human being who has been compromised by a misfortune in health or disability, woodworkers are the first to knock on the door to offer help, or come to the rescue with aid. I have found woodworkers building shops for the disabled, helping them to acquire tools, picking their fellow woodworker up, driving them to and from an event, physician, rehab or hospital and just being there with their families. Many of these involve our returning service personnel who have faithfully served their country, and have come back with injuries, disabilities, and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). This is the case for U.S. Marine Veteran Cpl. Jesse Paredes. Jesse was in the NWSS (Nuclear Weapons Support Section) ground support division, flown into Central Iraq with the Osprey MV-22 helicopter/plane which has the ability to takeoff and land horizontally and vertically. Although his expertise is being a professional chef, he along with his division were trained in the infantry QRF (Quick Reaction Force) to Al Asad FOB (Fowarding Operating Base). Jesse explained, “There are many great people in Iraq desiring peace, but also needing and wanting our help as they welcomed us into their villages. Some of the Marines got together and donated toys to the children while stationed in Iraq. He mentioned that the media sometimes paints a picture that all things are bad where we end up serving. That is not the case. There was more good going on working with the people here.” According to Jesse, “This area has small pockets of insurgents which not only strong arm our troop divisions, but also bully the peaceful communities living there.” During the operation in which their main mission was to build water wells for three villages, they were driving back when they hit what turned out to be an old IED (Improvised Explosive Device). Jesse was thrown from the vehicle and was injured. He has since finished his contract with the Marines, and has been honorably discharged. Jesse returned home to his small 2-bedroom apartment located in a complex in Southern California. With nerve damage and internal injuries to his lower back, arms and wrists, he tried working for a while as a pro chef with some VA compensation. However the pain was too much to continue standing for long periods of time and the VA compensation was not enough to live on. Jesse tries to work in his shop as much as possible every day, trying to get past the pain. Usually 3-4 hours per day is all he can handle, as numbing, cold, pins and needles from nerve disorder sets into his fingertips and up his arms. Jesse also has PTSD, or as the Veterans prefer to call it, the “Lieutenant Dan Syndrome” where harboring a plethora of feelings involving dislocation, hatred, shame, non-usefulness and being unneeded is a constant issue. Additionally, “Fear of and in your own life from things you had to do, but didn’t want to do is an internal daily battle”, said Jesse. He also remarked, “Some can handle it, and others can’t due to their upbringing as they fight to understand their internal moral and ethical compass, some end up taking their own lives.” After reaching a settlement for his injuries, Jesse decided to get back into hobby woodworking that he loved so much during his shop classes in school. He turned one of the 10′ x 10′ bedrooms in his apartment into a workshop. To ensure safety, he padded the walls and floor with fire retardent underlayment for safety and materials to protect the room interior. In addition Jesse added sound absorption materials for noise reduction in respect for the neighboring apartments. Buying some cheap hand tools he began to create small boxes. His “shop” was not equipped with any high end or power tools tools, machines or even a workbench that he could perfect his skills with. He began looking on YouTube at various woodworking videos to further educate himself, and came across Rob Cosman’s Online workshops. Jesse stated, “I was drawn to Rob because he reminded me so much of my Uncle. I admire him for his woodworking education, skill level, intellect, confidence, personality and just the way he carries himself, all attributes that my Uncle had.” Jesse decided to email Rob and asked if Rob might have some reconditioned, flawed or less than perfect tools at a lower cost. Rob emailed back a couple of weeks later during a week in which Jesse learned that a couple of his Veteran friends had taken their lives due to PTSD. It was a real “emotional boost” for Jesse to hear from Rob. Jesse immediately recognized Rob’s voice from all the videos he had viewed on YouTube and Rob’s site. During those two weeks, Rob had already put together a plan of action to help Veterans like Jesse. Through the student woodworkers at Rob’s Ontario based workshops, including a special “Santa Claus” who shall remain anonymous, also Col. Luther (retired) from Seattle, Tony from Australia, have all donated thousands of dollars, which have intern been used for tool purchases, and donated to Jesse and others. The tools include one of Rob’s Sjobergs workbenches, used only one week during the class, packaged back into it’s original box and shipped to Jesse with the help of Barb and Ann at Woodcraft‘s customer service department. Tools donated to the cause were various WoodRiver hand planes, a WoodRiver Block Plane, a Scrub Plane, a set of Rob Cosman Hand Saws, educational materials and many other tools, all of which you can see in the photo above. Jesse commented, “I love all my new tools, but especially the WoodRiver Planes!” Rob and Jesse are now on a mission to give wounded/disabled Vets an opportunity to try hand tool woodworking as potential therapy for a path to peace from their injuries and PTSD. It’s working for Jesse, and may work for others. Putting the hands and mind together to woodwork and create takes their thoughts to a positive world. But it doesn’t stop there. Jesse’s story struck Rob’s heart, and Rob has initiated a new program for all Wounded Warriors, with a FREE Lifetime Membership to Rob Cosman’s Online Hand-Tool-Workshop. In addition to the free training and motivation through Rob’s Online Workshop, Rob will also donate 10% of all Hand Saw sales to put tools in the hands of these Veterans. Listen closely to the details and story about Jesse, Rob, and the secret Santa. We hope you’ll be inspired to help these Vets too! As shown in the video, Jesse has attended Rob’s Workshop Program and demoed along with Rob during our Woodcraft of Boise class. A big thank you to Monte Eldfrick, owner of the Boise store and all of the crew there for welcoming and assisting Rob and Jesse. Going forward, Jesse’s goals are to teach graphic design/plan classes, make small boxes, tool chests, cabinets, workbenches, specialized dressers that fold out to a workbench for other Veterans/woodworkers with small or apartment workshops. To apply to the Hand Tools For Vets Free Lifetime Membership, go to this Registration Page: http://robcosman.memberlodge.com/vets, and pass the word on to the Veteran’s you may know. In the woodworking world, Rob is known as “Your Hand Tool Coach”, but like the Osprey bird named for the Osprey MV-22 aircraft which carries our troops to help others; Rob, Jesse and the host of workshop students, I name, “Your Osprey Veteran Woodworking Warriors”. Together with these warriors, you can make a difference in helping Jesse carry the flag to help beat PTSD for our returning Veterans. Help give new meaning to life for all injured and disabled Veterans through woodworking. If you wish to help Jesse and/or Rob in this cause, email Jesse at azraelreedeemed@gmail.com and rob@robcosman.com.
  15. This morning I saw a blurb from Gov. Rick Perry of Texas supporting an organization Advance the Colors. I went to the website https://advancethecolors.org/ and I could not find anything on the site other than it's a place for veterans to tell their stories. The site lacks any content whatsoever except for a donation button. There is no "About Us", or "Contact Us" or "Mission Statement", nothing. I was hoping someone here may visit the site and put another set of eyes on it and see if I am missing something, another link or button somewhere? I was going to install the site in our Links Directory, but I would rather not at this point given the state of the website.
  16. Learn about benefits for which you may be eligible
  17. Who is David Vabora While listening to the evening news I came across a wonderful clip of an ex NFL player, and his quest to change identities after football. And what took the place of his NFL career, was something more valuable, more meaningful, and life changing for Seattle Seahawks Line Backer David Vabora. As soon as I heard his name, I had to look him up, and find out what exactly he does for our disabled veterans, and this is what I found. What is his mission He opened up a training center for OEF and OIF disabled veterans. These men and women are missing limbs, badly burned in some cases, and some are suffering from PTSD. He has dedicated his life to a foundation named "Adaptive Training Foundation" and he is hands on all the way, right by the side of these men and women who have paid the price in preserving our nations security and our liberties. Excerpts From "Who We Are" My favorite quote in the video below, you'll have to watch the whole video to hear where it came from. My personal statement Stories like this, of successful people, moving on to service of others, always impresses me to no end. I love it when our star athletes and media elites have a conversion in life, and they turn their efforts and their riches to a higher cause, serving their fellow human being. And as you all know, we are a veterans based website at our core, so this really interested me on a personal level, and I like to read how these folks do what they do, so that we may further improve how we operate here on a humanitarian level, and in service to disabled veterans. In closing The Patriot Woodworker's would like to give a huge shout out to David Vabora and his foundation, way to go sir, and may your passion burn ever brighter, for as long you live. Watch the entire video, you'll be glad you did. Links of interest Adaptive Training Foundation Adaptive Training Foundation YouTube Channel David Vabora Biography Donate to Adaptive Training Foundation
  18. This is really cool, Woodcraft Woodworking Adventures discovered our blog about a great project we undertook not too long ago, and they blogged about it too! You can see the blog at High School Patriot Tigers Club Honors Vets at the Woodcraft website, go Patriots! Thank you Woodcraft!!!

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We are a woodworking community with an emphasis on sharing and learning the skilled craft of woodworking and all of its related disciplines. Our community is open to everyone who wishes to join us. We support our veterans and active duty both here in the United States and in Canada, being a veteran is not a prerequisite to join. So please, join us! Please click on Join The Patriot Woodworker's.

 

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