Trail Brothers to Provide Free Horseback Riding to Veterans

Miranda Raulinaitis, Elmets Communications  |  2019-05-23

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Veteran owned business, Trail Brothers LLC, will celebrate the grand opening of their equestrian services at Gibson Ranch Park by offering free guided horseback trail rides to veterans and their families this Memorial Day – Monday, May 27 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Those interested in taking advantage of the free guided trail rides must schedule their session in advance by visiting www.GibsonHorses.com.

Zachary Leyden, CEO of Trail Brothers, served as a combat veteran and is thrilled to launch his equestrian services at Gibson Ranch.

“Gibson Ranch is a beautiful park and the perfect destination for veterans and their families to pack a picnic and celebrate this Memorial Day,” said Leyden. “We feel privileged to provide our services on the exceptional trails.”

The Veterans of Foreign Wars will also be selling their “buddy poppies” to celebrate American military service members.

As part of an ongoing partnership with Gibson Ranch Park, Trail Brothers will provide guided trail rides, pony ride and other equestrian services to guests following the Memorial Day grand opening. Gibson Ranch Park is located at 8556 Gibson Ranch Road, Elverta, CA 95626

For more information, please visit: www.gibsonhorses.com.                                        

About Trail Brothers
Trail Brothers began in 2016 and is owned by Zachary Leyden and Kalea Bell. The company provides equestrian services from trail rides, pony rides and horse training to kids camps and riding lessons at three different venues in California. Veterans ride free at all three venues.

About Gibson Ranch Park
Gibson Ranch is one of Northern California’s best family destinations. Located less than fifteen miles from downtown Sacramento, this amazing natural resource offers a wide-range of activities from hiking, to concerts and sports of every kind.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada (VOA) has launched a 40-bed transitional housing and employment services program for veterans experiencing homelessness in Sacramento County.

The program provides furnished temporary housing in individual studio apartments, meals, life skills and financial management classes, pre-employment and vocational training, employment placement assistance, substance abuse support, housing location and transportation services to single male and female veterans. This program is funded through a grant awarded to VOA from the Veterans Administration and is the only “Service Intensive Transitional Housing” program for Veterans in Sacramento County.

“We are very excited to add this invaluable program to Volunteers of America’s existing services for veterans in Sacramento County at Mather Community Campus,” says VOA Division Director, Sherman Haggerty. “This program will allow a unique group of veterans the extra time and help needed to meet their goal of achieving independent living.”

This program offers the first new transitional housing beds for homeless veterans in Sacramento County, in over three years. The housing units are conveniently located at VOA’s Mather Community Campus adjacent to VOA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families, Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program and the Veteran Service Center all located on the same campus. These housing units are also conveniently located near Sacramento’s Veterans Hospital Administration Hospital. Additional housing units are currently under construction at the Mather campus which will increase local housing inventory.

Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada provides specialized programs for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the Greater Sacramento area. Services include rapid re-housing, case-management and homeless prevention. A large focus is heavily placed on increasing veteran men's and women's employment possibilities through life and job skills classes. 

Founded locally in 1911, the Northern California & Northern Nevada office of Volunteers of America is one of the largest providers of social services in the region. The professional paid staff operates more than 50 programs in categories that include: crisis housing, supportive housing, employment and training services, and corrections. In fact, Volunteers of America provides shelter or housing to nearly 1,800 men, women and children every night in Northern California. Nationally, Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people annually in more than 400 communities. Learn more about Volunteers of America Northern California & Northern Nevada at  www.voa-ncnn.org.

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Young Marines Units from Across the Nation Salute

By Andy Richardson, GR-PR  |  2019-01-04

Four youth members of the Sacramento Young Marines in Carmichael were part of a wreath laying ceremony in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 6, and they marched in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade on Dec. 7. The Sacramento Young Marines joined 125 Young Marines from across the country for Pearl Harbor Remembrances.  Photo courtesy Andy Richardson, GR-PR

Traveled to Hawaii for 77th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (MPG) - One hundred twenty-five youth members of the Young Marines from 25 separate units throughout the United States traveled to Hawaii to participate in the 77th anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance.

Four youth members of the Sacramento Young Marines in Carmichael were part of a wreath laying ceremony in Pearl Harbor on December 6, and they marched in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade on December 7. The Sacramento Young Marines joined 125 Young Marines from across the country for Pearl Harbor Remembrances.

The Young Marines along with the leadership of the American Legion, Marine Corps League Hawaii, and Vietnam Veterans of America Hawaii, performed a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the Punchbowl, in memory of all the brave men and women who are interred there.

A significant honor for the Young Marines was leading the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu. They carried the banners of the 12 capital ships that were attacked. The parade’s objective was to honor the heroes and survivors of Pearl Harbor and World War II, to pay tribute to veterans, active duty military members and military families, to celebrate freedom and to keep in remembrance the heinous events of Dec. 7, 1941.

In addition, the Young Marines cleaned-up three beaches, Ft. Hase Beach, North Beach, and Pyramid Rock Beach, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

“The Young Marines met some of the survivors of that historic event of 77 years ago,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Those veterans are, in every sense of the words - living history, and each has a story to tell. It is an honor for Young Marines to meet these veterans and memorialize the one who are no longer with us.”

Young Marines units raised funds at their local level to supplement the costs of traveling to Hawaii to attend the remembrance ceremonies. Young Marines used their creativity, and applied the program’s core values - leadership, teamwork and discipline - to implement unique and effective fundraising efforts.

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to 270 units with 9,000 youth and 2,600 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan, and affiliates in other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at: https://www.YoungMarines.com.

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Sacramento Region Honors the U.S. Naval Construction Force

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2016-11-03

Rancho Cordova’s 11th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 11 to remember our veterans and honor the missions of the U.S. Naval Construction Forces (Seabees).

Did you serve in the U.S. Naval Construction Forces? You are cordially invited to Rancho Cordova’s Veterans Day Ceremony to be recognized for your service.

The ceremony will be held in the Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, 10535 Hospital Way at Mather. Pre-program entertainment will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by the commemoration program at 10 a.m. Music entertainment will be provided by the Rancho Cordova River City Concert Band, featuring the “Song of the Seabees.”

The Seabees’ motto of “We Build - We Fight” recognizes the work of the members of the U.S. Naval Construction Forces. The Seabees have a history of building bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, and accomplishing myriad other construction projects in a wide variety of military theaters dating back to World War II. The word “Seabee” comes from the initials “CB,” which comes from the term “Construction Battalion.”

The Seabees first became active on March 5, 1942 during World Water II when U.S. involvement was expected on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. More than 100,000 Seabees were trained during World War II and have continued to serve since. The Seabees now include 7,000 active personnel and 6,927 reserve personnel.

Ceremony speakers will include Congressman Ami Bera; Senator Jim Nielsen; Assemblyman Ken Cooley; Kathryn K. Bucher, Associate Director of Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at VA Northern California Healthcare System; Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sander; and Rancho Cordova Council Member Robert J. McGarvey, who spearheaded the first Veterans Day and Memorial Day events in Rancho Cordova. The Vultures Row Aviation Team will provide a flyover towards the end of the ceremony.

The ceremony is sponsored by the City of Rancho Cordova, the Department of Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System, AlphaGraphics Rancho Cordova, and Republic Services.

Rancho Cordova City Hall will be closed on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. For more information about the event, please call (916) 851-8700.

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World War II Veteran and Long Time Hero Passes

Source: Marks family with Price Funeral Chapel  |  2016-06-14

Morgan Wade Janes (left) of Wild Wade’s BBQ and World War II veteran and American Legion member George Marks (center), with honored picnic guest and original Tuskegee Airman Judge Albert (right) at the fifth Citrus Heights Annual Veteran’s Appreciation Picnic on August 23, 2014. 
--Photo by Elis Spleiss

George David Marks, Sr. died peacefully in Orangevale, CA on May 24 at age 94 years. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Sharon Marks, and cherished children G. David Marks, Jr. and Roxana Rhodes. Beloved “Pappy” of grandchildren Sarika and Nandan, he is also survived by his younger sister Mildred Lombardo of North Carolina.

George was born in New Castle, PA on August 22, 1921, the seventh of twelve children.

Following Pearl Harbor, George was drafted by the Army. He had used his self-taught knowledge of Morse code to get accepted as a radio operator intercepting and interpreting German transmissions for G2 Intelligence in the 117th Signal Intelligence Company. He served in the Army for 32 months, in five campaigns, followed by 25 years in civil service at McLellan Air Force Base. He had taught himself French, Italian and German during the war, and following the war became fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL).

After the war had ended, George rediscovered his love of folk dancing. It was during this activity that he met Sharon. He often joked that he moved to California so he “wouldn’t have to marry a cousin.” They started dating and married in March 1950. He later found work at McClellan Air Force Base, retiring in 1985. He also served 19 years as an ASL interpreter working with sheet metal workers at McLellan.

George was a dedicated husband and father to his two children. Camping and swimming were popular family activities. A constant presence at antique car swap meets; he was also a charter member of the Root Cellar, Sacramento Genealogical Society. George’s “computer” memory allowed him to memorize thousands of names, dates, and relations, which consistently amazed those he met. He also loved getting to know people, their names, and guessing where their accent came from, and happily greeting them in over half a dozen languages. In recent years, he joined the American Legion Post #637 of Citrus Heights.

George and several of his fellow WWII veterans had also become regulars at the annual Citrus Heights Veterans Appreciation Picnic since 2012 where he would often sport his Army dress uniform, dance with the ladies and tell his much-loved stories.

Donations made in memory of George Marks can be sent to the Citrus Heights American Legion Post 637, P. O. Box 1 Citrus Heights, CA 95611.

This modified obituary appeared in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper Obituary Saturday May 28, 2016

, Sr. died peacefully in Orangevale, CA on May 24 at age 94 years. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Sharon Marks, and cherished children G. David Marks, Jr. and Roxana Rhodes. Beloved “Pappy” of grandchildren Sarika and Nandan, he is also survived by his younger sister Mildred Lombardo of North Carolina.

George was born in New Castle, PA on August 22, 1921, the seventh of twelve children.

Following Pearl Harbor, George was drafted by the Army. He had used his self-taught knowledge of Morse code to get accepted as a radio operator intercepting and interpreting German transmissions for G2 Intelligence in the 117th Signal Intelligence Company. He served in the Army for 32 months, in five campaigns, followed by 25 years in civil service at McLellan Air Force Base. He had taught himself French, Italian and German during the war, and following the war became fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL).

After the war had ended, George rediscovered his love of folk dancing. It was during this activity that he met Sharon. He often joked that he moved to California so he “wouldn’t have to marry a cousin.” They started dating and married in March 1950. He later found work at McClellan Air Force Base, retiring in 1985. He also served 19 years as an ASL interpreter working with sheet metal workers at McLellan.

George was a dedicated husband and father to his two children. Camping and swimming were popular family activities. A constant presence at antique car swap meets; he was also a charter member of the Root Cellar, Sacramento Genealogical Society. George’s “computer” memory allowed him to memorize thousands of names, dates, and relations, which consistently amazed those he met. He also loved getting to know people, their names, and guessing where their accent came from, and happily greeting them in over half a dozen languages. In recent years, he joined the American Legion Post #637 of Citrus Heights.

George and several of his fellow WWII veterans had also become regulars at the annual Citrus Heights Veterans Appreciation Picnic since 2012 where he would often sport his Army dress uniform, dance with the ladies and tell his much-loved stories.

Donations made in memory of George Marks can be sent to the Citrus Heights American Legion Post 637, P. O. Box 1 Citrus Heights, CA 95611.

This modified obituary appeared in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper Obituary Saturday May 28, 2016

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IRS Marks National Military Appreciation Month

Source: IRS  |  2016-05-26

May is National Military Appreciation Month, and the Internal Revenue Service wants members of the military and their families to know about the many tax benefits available to them.

Each year, the IRS publishes Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide, a free booklet packed with valuable information and tips designed to help service members and their families take advantage of all tax benefits allowed by law. This year’s edition is posted on www.IRS.gov.

Available tax benefits include:

  • Combat pay is partly or fully tax-free.

  • Reservists whose reserve-related duties take them more than 100 miles from home can deduct their unreimbursed travel expenses on Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ, even if they don’t itemize their deductions.

  • Eligible unreimbursed moving expenses are deductible on Form 3903.

  • Low-and moderate-income service members often qualify for such family-friendly tax benefits as the Earned Income Tax Credit, and a special computation method is available for those who receive combat pay.

  • Low-and moderate-income service members who contribute to an IRA or 401(k)-type retirement plan, such as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan, can often claim the saver’s credit, also known as the retirement savings contributions credit, on Form 8880.

  • Service members stationed abroad have extra time, until June 15, to file a federal income tax return. Those serving in a combat zone have even longer, typically until 180 days after they leave the combat zone.

  • Service members may qualify to delay payment of income tax due before or during their period of service. See Publication 3 for details including how to request relief.

Service members who prepare their own return qualify to electronically file their federal return for free using IRS Free File. In addition, the IRS partners with the military through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to provide free tax preparation to service members and their families at bases in the United States and around the world.

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Veterans Healing by Writing War Stories

Story and photos by Steve Liddick  |  2016-03-18

Veteran writing program Co-Director Indigo Moor works with Emtt Hawkins, an Air Force veteran of the Korean War, to express his feelings about his experiences.

A character in John Steinbeck’s classic novel “East of Eden” had suffered unimaginable pain and loss in his life. He was asked how he could live with those memories. He said, “I forget by remembering.”

That concept is being applied to a small Sacramento area group of veterans of America’s wars. A writing workshop doubles as a support group to help each to offset the trauma of battle by giving them a way to confront the demons they continue to carry with them.

Rancho Cordova Library Branch Supervisor Jill Stockinger coordinates the writing program that is funded by a four-year state and federal grant. She said veterans returning from war are an “underserved population,” and those who still suffer the effects of war can benefit by writing. Therapeutic, of course, but the hope is that it will be enjoyable, as well. “Self-expression is a positive experience,” she said. “We encourage veterans to express themselves to help them adjust to civilian life.”

Seated around a table in a quiet room in the library, five veterans gathered to write of their experiences among others who will understand what they have gone through.

Local writer, poet, and CSUS and Sacramento City College English professor Bob Stanley is co-director of the group in the first of what will be four Wednesday evening sessions at the library. The remaining three sessions are: March 30th, April 20th, and May 18th. Veterans of all branches and all eras are welcome, even if they were not able to attend the first session.

“The main focus of the group will be to get words down on paper,” Bob Stanley said. Any subject, any form. No rules or pressure came with the exercise. Each was encouraged to express what they feel and put it in words.

Co-Director Indigo Moor is a poet, screenwriter, and author as well as a U.S. Navy veteran of Desert Storm. Moor read from the published works of several war veterans who had poured out their feelings as free verse poetry. One of those works was a poignant retelling of the poet’s visit to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Judging from the reaction of those present, the words were resonating with them as well.

Another author wrote obscurely of things he heard, saw, and felt on a night patrol in Vietnam, but which each of the veterans present easily interpreted as a soldier waiting for the enemy to come at him from the darkness. Not knowing was as damaging to the psyche as combat itself.

At one point Moor asked those present to close their eyes and envision that “one moment that defines the [war] experience” for them. He urged the men to use the sights and sounds of their experiences in the writing exercise, “use the senses that keep us interested,” he said. Rather than a blow-by-blow account of what happened, he asked that they call upon their feelings and condense them onto paper.

Some who attended are still burdened by what happened to them in their war. U.S. Marine Corps veteran Daniel Gomez served four tours in Vietnam. Gomez was wounded twice and continues to suffer the health effects of the injuries, exposure to Agent Orange defoliant, and malaria. When asked why he was attending the workshop, he said, “To figure out why the hell I’m still here.” His war may have ended four decades ago, but it is still as fresh in his mind as yesterday.

The five men who attended the gathering represented different branches of the service: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, as well as different wars: Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

Carmichael resident Bob Pacholik is an author of some renown. He was a U.S. Army combat photographer in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. His book “Night Flares: Six Tales of the Vietnam War,” chronicles the war and honors the men and women who served in it.

Most of those present were there for the therapeutic value writing might offer. Some of the men said they hoped to continue to write beyond the program. Emmett Hawkins served in the U.S. Air Force in Korea. Among other subjects he is interested in religion and history.

For each of the veterans who took part in the Rancho Cordova writing workshop, the object was to reduce their experience down to its essence to help them to better understand what happened to them.

Poetry: a large idea, written small.

For additional information about the veterans writing project, check out www.saclibrary.org and click on “events.” Also, the library information line number is (916) 264-2920.

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