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One Final ‘Thank You for Your Service’

first_imgBy Rick Geffken |As we mourn the passing of former Vietnam prisoner of war and U.S. Sen. John S. McCain, lesser-known heroes are also being put to their final rest. Were it not for the dedication of Jersey Shore members of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), the cremains of veterans of World War I and subsequent conflicts might still lie unclaimed in our Two River area funeral parlors.The “Forgotten” project was initiated by the New Jersey Shore Area Chapter 12 of VVA. Its mission is “to identify those cremated remains of honorable discharged veterans which have been abandoned and left “on a shelf in a funeral home.” Chapter 12, with almost 400 members, seeks to claim these cremains and provide proper military interment.Startling as it is, “There must be thousands of unclaimed cremains sitting in funeral parlors,” according to Ernie Diorio, Chapter 12 first vice president. Several years ago, members of his group decided to do something about this and began a painstaking and deliberate process of identifying cremains.New Jersey Shore Area Chapter 12 of the Vietnam Veterans of America members Rich Gough (left) and Ernie Diorio. Photo by Rick GeffkenDiorio is especially keen on burying veterans who were denied this honor. He served in the U.S. Army and was a mechanized infantryman stationed at Cu Chi in South Vietnam during that war (as was this writer). Once identified, the former servicemen and women are interred at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown, New Jersey, the first state-operated veterans’ cemetery, dedicated in 1986.For a variety of reasons – no known next of kin, neglect, death of closest relatives – the cremains of veterans are sometimes, well, forgotten. When Chapter 12 started to identify veteran cremains in 2012, Diorio said, undertakers were skeptical at first. “It took us over a year to get just three funeral parlors to let us help,” he said.Chapter 12 VVA member Richard Gough, from Port Monmouth, served as an inventory management specialist in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era. “There are almost 120 funeral homes in Monmouth County and anywhere from 50 to 100 unclaimed cremains at each,” he said. “We’re finding that about 20 percent are veterans or their spouse.”The four or five Chapter 12 members actively involved in the project face the continual challenge of convincing funeral parlor directors of their sincerity and ability.One of the first successes the group had was with the Ely Funeral Home. “Director Mike Ely was great,” said Diorio who lives now in Manalapan. “We developed a trust with him and he called one day telling us he had over a hundred cremains at his Neptune funeral home.” The John F. Pfleger Funeral Home in Middletown and Timothy Ryan’s in Toms River have also cooperated.Chapter members carefully placing recently identified cremains of a veteran into a funeral urn. Photo courtesy Tom PhillipsOnce they are allowed to access the containers, Chapter 12 volunteers do the tedious research work, much of it online looking for old records. They’re interested in identifying veterans of any war, not just Vietnam. They chase down leads to any remaining living relatives before presenting the funeral directors with a list of all the cremains identified.One such surviving relative is Audrey Sutton of Keyport. “I was just so thrilled that my brother Don, a Korean War vet, was being honored after all these years,” she said. “I just couldn’t take it in.”While that can take months, there are several important legal steps in the process. For burial in Arneytown, the State of New Jersey requires a death certificate (DC), a cremains document, proof of active military service an honorable discharge document, and proof of New Jersey residency. After Chapter 12 secures these, they contact Arneytown to schedule a burial ceremony. “We try to get 10 to 12 eligible veterans at a time before we can have a proper interment ceremony with military honors,” said Gough. “This makes it easier on the cemetery staff and the dozen or so members of Chapter 12 we muster for the solemn interments.”In 1982 Bob Hopkins of West Allenhurst was a charter member of Chapter 12, the first incorporated in New Jersey. During his time in Vietnam he served as an artillery officer and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained at his fire support base. Hopkins, also the first president of the New Jersey State Council, VVA, describes the common theme of the “Forgotten” endeavor: “(It’s) the emotional connection to the deceased veterans and the desire to see them buried with respect and honor. Funeral parlor operators, veterans’ advocates, legislators (and) directors of state veteran’s agencies – everyone expressed a visceral connection to the deceased.”Diorio (left) and Rich Gough examine boxes of cremains stored in the basement of a funeral parlor. Photo courtesy Tom PhillipsThe veteran volunteers show up for the funeral service attired in jackets and ties and military-style berets.  Many wear their insignia and medals earned during their time in service. Taps, a few prayers, perhaps a word or two from family precede the burials. Tom Phillips, a Holmdel film producer who works in television, created a video featuring clips from a Chapter 12 interment ceremony.Not all cremains rest in fancy urns; some are in simple cardboard boxes. “To keep expenses down, we work with Home Depot in Freehold,” Gough noted. “We volunteer time with them at their Saturday morning kids’ workshops and they donate lumber for urns. The residents of the Covered Bridge retirement community in Manalapan build the urns in their woodshop.”Besides welcome donations to keep this important project going, Chapter 12 hopes that funeral directors reading this article will welcome these volunteers to begin identifying the people who gave so much for the country.The New Jersey Shore Vietnam Veterans working the “Forgotten” project clearly exemplify what the late Sen. McCain once said in a speech to Annapolis graduates: “You will know where your duty lies. You will know.”The New Jersey Shore Area Chapter 12 of the Vietnam Veterans of America can be reached at PO Box #276, Allenhurst, NJ 07711 or via the email: litetrop67@aol.comThe tribute video “Forgotten” can be seen here. This article was first published in the August 30-Sept. 6, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

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Mourinho to prove Utd wrong to sack him if Spurs avoid defeat at Old Trafford

first_imgJOSE MOURINHO can prove beyond doubt Manchester United were wrong to sack him if he avoids defeat on his return to Old Trafford tomorrow night.The Special One blew kisses to adoring Red Devils supporters when he went back to the Theatre of Dreams in October as a pundit for the first time since being axed.1He is still loved, is Mourinho.But behind the smiles is no doubt a sinister desire to prove his old employers pulled the trigger too quickly.If Mourinho’s resurgent Tottenham side – with 10 goals in three games – can manage just a draw, it will mean under-fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be guaranteed to have a worse record than Mourinho did when he was sacked.In 17 games last season, Mourinho managed just 26 points.After 14 games this campaign, Solskjaer has amassed 18.At the time of writing, United are closer to the relegation spots than the top four, but sit only two points behind fifth-placed Tottenham in ninth.If Spurs – looking for their third win in a row in all competitions – can manage a draw against United then Solskjaer’s men cannot get more than 25 points after 17 games.That’s one fewer than Mourinho had when he was given the boot.Even if United can win their next three Premier League matches – something they haven’t done since the end of December last year – they will be on 27 points.SunSport told you Solskjaer fears he will get the axe if United lose to Spurs and Manchester City in the derby on Saturday evening. The Norwegian was defiant in his pre-match press conference today but that came before reports emerged saying former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is targeting the United job ahead of Arsenal.Mourinho, of course, wants nothing more than to rub his old team’s face in it.And his record against his old clubs will have United bosses sweating.Mourinho has gone into battle against his former teams 32 times and lost just eight games while winning 18.But is from Nelson Mandela that he has found inspiration ahead of taking on United.Speaking about his time in the north, Jose quoted the late South African president and civil rights icon.He said: “This is a closed chapter for me. I left the club, I took my time to process everything that happened. I took my time to prepare myself for the next challenge.”United for me is in my book of experiences.”A bit like [Nelson] Mandela was saying, ‘You never lose, you win or you learn’.”At United I won and I learned. My time after I left was a good time for me.”And on going back to Old Trafford, Mourinho added: “I have a great relationship with the Manchester United supporters. I went back as a pundit and I was humbled by such a beautiful reception.latest man utd newsLive Blogunited newsMan Utd news LIVE – Latest updates from Old TraffordMAN DOWNUtd and City face TWO-WEEK summer if they reach Euro finals before new Prem seasonDEPAY CHARTMan Utd flop Memphis used computer data and analytics to quit Old TraffordODS ON?Ighalo to leave Man Utd TOMORROW unless dramatic extension can be reachedPEA SHOOTERHernandez: Man Utd ‘still haunted’ by ‘mistake’ of Moyes replacing FergusonDEVIL’S ADVOCATEEx-Man Utd star Chadwick dreaded being picked for Keane’s team in training”Tomorrow I go back as the coach of the team that will try and beat Manchester United.”I understand that what they want is the exact opposite of what I want.”During the match I expect them to forget me.”Mauro Icardi’s model wife Wanda looks amazing as she takes part in some seriously sexy shootslast_img read more

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Rally Baby to catch them

first_imgToday’s 10-race programme at Caymanas Park will be highlighted by the annual renewal of the restricted allowance race (non-winners of three) over 1100 metres for the Howard Phillipps Memorial Trophy. The race has attracted a competitive looking field of 11, including the LUNAR ROCKET, SUNDANCE, LOTTERY TICKET and ZEPHYR, who all have good speed and should ensure a fast pace. Also expected to figure are the come from behind horses RALLY BABY, MISTER BONES and the recent winner MY COMPANION. One thing is sure, the Fitznahum Williams-trained filly LUNAR ROCKET should prove fastest of all and could just stave off the challenges with the trip now reduced. She carried the field to the last furlong over 1200 metres on January 14, but shortened in the last 100 metres and was relegated to fifth by the fast-finishing CLASSY AVIATOR, MISTER BONES and LOTTERY TICKET in a blanket finish. LUNAR ROCKET, the mount of Robert Halledeen, will be happy over this shorter trip and is going to prove a tough opponent with 52.0kg. Preference, however, is for RALLY BABY, to be ridden by champion apprentice Bebeto Harvey for trainer Richard Azan. He lost out in a photo finish to KING D in a fast-run round five race (0.59.1) on November 26 and reporting in good nick (working well), catches my fancy from the lenient mark of 52.0kg. Elsewhere on the 10-race programme, RADICAL who lost out by a nose to DONTAE over a mile recently, is tipped to go one better in the third race over 1400 metres for maiden three-year-olds. The bay colt from the stables of champion trainer Wayne DaCosta will be happier over this trip and is preferred to PROUD OF NUCLEAR in a field of nine. Other firm fancies on the card are ZACKONTHEATTACK to complete the hat-trick in the second, PARTY CITY in the fourth, the debutante LIGHTNING LILY (working well) in the sixth for maiden three-year-olds and DREAMLINER to stave off CHACE THE GREAT in the ninth for overnight allowance horses. PHOTO FINISHlast_img read more

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BIN Commissioner Visits Lofa’s Borders

first_imgThe head of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Commissioner Lemuel Reeves, Monday, April 14, traveled to Lofa County to visit “every functioning border,” in that county.Speaking to our reporter in an exclusive interview at his BIN office last Tuesday, April 8, Commissioner Reeves explained that they were working closely with the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare to protect the public; especially around the border regions where the current Ebola virus outbreak in the country began.According to him, “there will be two border visitation teams; one will leave for the Southeastern region, and I will take the other team to Lofa where we will inspect those borders and come up with recommendations for the Health Ministry in the fight against this [Ebola] virus.”He expressed his opinion that closing the borders would not solve the problem of the virus being spread and added “We are working with the MOH and our other partners to protect the country against the spread of the virus while keeping the borders safe.”Mr. Reeves said BIN officers at various borders have received protective gear from the Health Ministry.He said that the country’s borders were very porous, with an unofficial estimate of over 130 illegal pathways being used by people from neighboring countries.“The visits to the various borders in the region are important because we need to know what is happening in those areas and what major things we can work on to stop the Ebola virus from spreading,” The Commissioner explained.According to him, BIN has been working closely with chiefs, villagers, and other community residents to protect the unofficial routes of entry into the country. He said that some villagers have been able to notify officers at the borders about illegal crossings taking place. As a result of this, measures have been put in place to watch the borders effectively.The Commissioner commended all of BIN’s partners, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He also commended the GoL, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, for ensuring that BIN is capacitated to protect the borders of Liberia and its people.“We have a total of 176 borders guarded by Liberian security personnel. Last year only 36 were fully operational, and we added an additional nine to increase it to 45. We are making sure we add 15 every year so the number will be gradually increased by 2017,” he stated.Commissioner Reeves said the BIN was low on vehicles to run its many operations on the borders of the country.“We managed to get some bikes through the office of the Vice President of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai, in 2010. These vehicles are no longer in good condition, and we still have to carry out regular border patrols to ensure the best protection for the nation,” he concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Dirki Glay on Target

first_imgLiberian Indonesia based defender Dirki Glay was on target for his team during the weekend when they drew 2-2 against Mitra Kukar.Defender Glay’s side, Persiba Balikpapan, took the lead in the 37th minute and later extended it in the 44th minute through Glay. Persiba Balikpapan is now in the 13th position with 27 points out of 25 games. The team has been unable to get a win since it won its match on October 9, and will return to action on October 29 against 15th place Gresik United.Also in the Indonesian Soccer Champions A, Eric Weeks’s Madura United, currently on top of the league table, were unable to get all three points after they came from behind to secure a point when Patrich Wanggai got a late goal for Madura in the 93rd minute.Madura United may likely drop to 2nd place if Arema FC who is currently 3 points behind Madura United get a win against Persipural Jayapura today. A win for Arema FC will see them move to 1st place on goal difference.Malaysia In Malaysia, former Barrack Young Controller (BYC) defender, Teah Dennis, who is on loan to Malaysian club Sarawak, featured for the full 90 minutes when his side defeated PDRM 2-1 during the weekend.Teah Dennis’ Sarawak went down in the early minutes of the first half after Guilherme of PRDM got the opener in the 27th minute.Sarawak later leveled things up through a late first half goal in the 47th minute.The match later turned the other way when defender Dennis’s side got a late goal in the 86 minute.Sarawak now has 27 points out of 22 matches and currently sits in the 8th position of the Malaysian Super League table.Teah Dennis played the full 90 minutes in nine matches since joining the club on a loan deal.Also in the Malaysian Super League, Zah Krangar and Francis Grandpa Doe’s Felda United was defeated by 1-0 as they struggled in 2nd place with 15 points behind the league leaders.Krangar was in the starting eleven, while striker Grandpa Doe was absent from the team’s squad.Midfielder Krangar has so far scored four goals since the start of the season. His last goal was scored when his side drew with Teah Dennis’s side 3-3 on September 24, while his team mate Francis Doe now has 6 goals since the start of the season. He scored twice when his side defeated his fellow compatriot, Patrick Wleh’s side 2-1 on July 26.Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh who was last in action on September 24 when his team lost 0-1 to Erick Weeks’s former club, Perak, has only registered his name twice on the score sheet this season.Teah Dennis, Zah Krangar, Francis Doe and Patrick Wleh are the four Liberian players currently playing in the Malaysian Super League.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Crime Chief decries lack of DNA testing capability at Forensic Lab

first_imgHead of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Wendell Blanhum has stated that the lack of DNA testing at the Forensic Laboratory located in Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, is a “sore problem” affecting the work of his department.“They lack the capability to do DNA testing, so this is a sore problem, it’s a sore issue and we still have to rely on (overseas partners). Of recent, we have been engaging the Brazilian authorities,” the Crime Chief said on Tuesday during the “Hot Seat” – a local radio programme.The Forensic LabAccording to Blanhum, only on Monday he contacted the Brazilian officials regarding the testing of samples from the decomposed remains, believed to be those of 39-year-old Lilwantie Balack, called “Darling”, that were found in the backyard of Lot 117 Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder home she shared with her 45-year-old husband, Sunildat Balack, called “Redman”.“I spoke with the liaison officer and we are making arrangements to have the samples sent to Brazil to analyse,” the Crime Chief noted. Nevertheless, Blanhum pointed out that as the Force was able to use the local Forensic Lab for drug analysis, he was confident that it would soon be able to do the same with DNA testing.“I think very shortly, we will have that capability. I spoke with the Director of the Forensic Lab and I basically expressed my concern to him and he has assured me that very soon, they will be going down that avenue to do DNA testing.“But it’s a very costly exercise and at the end of the day, I think it will do us great justice, particularly the relatives of those victims, so that they can have the results in a very timely manner,” the Crime Chief said.Over the years, the Guyana Police Force has had to resort to using overseas laboratories to conduct DNA testing for several high-profile cases, including the murders of Babita Sarjou; British teen Dominic Bernard; former Demerara Bank employee Sheema Mangar, and MFK Trading owner Mohamed F Khan.This is due to the fact that the Forensic Lab is yet to be outfitted with the necessary instruments to conduct basic DNA and gun residue testing which are internationally recognised.However, back in February, Government had approved some US$32,524 to honour outstanding payments to a Barbados security firm, IED, for the completion of works that will see the Laboratory equipped to provide these services.The firm was responsible for installing the security system at the Laboratory by way of a contract in 2012 and providing consultation oversight in 2013, during phase one of the project, but this never materialised because of the outstanding payments owed by Government.The firm will, therefore, be required to complete its work on the Laboratory, along with completing the training of persons who are going to operate the facility. The technical and electrical issues that were discovered a while back will also be rectified as soon as the contractors return to work.The Public Security Ministry last year commenced building the capacity of the Forensic Lab to prepare the facility for DNA and gun residue testing. Additionally, discussions were held for the procurement of rapid DNA and gun residue testing devices.Improving the Forensic Laboratory’s effectiveness towards preventing and conducting criminal investigations is the second component of the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP). This component is being funded at a cost of US$5.5 million through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).last_img read more

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Fort Nelson Mayor responds

first_img Canfor posted profits in the second quarter of this year after of multimillion dollar losses in the first quarter of 2008 and the fourth quarter of 2007. Fort Nelson mayor Chris Morey says she’s worried about the impact of the Tackama Plywood plant closure on Fort Nelson families. Canfor announced today that it would close its Tackama operations indefinitely at the end of October, resulting in a loss of 290 jobs in the small community. The closure will also result in an indirect loss of employment. Earlier this year, that number was estimated to be about 250.- Advertisement – Mayor Morey says only time will tell how dire the effects of the closure will be for the community, but she hopes that new shale gas developments in the area will provide jobs to ease some of the job losses ahead. The announcement comes on the heels of Morey’s confirmation that she will not be seeking re-election this November. However, she says that fact won’t stop her from using her remaining time in office to find jobs for laid off workers in the community. [asset|aid=411|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=0d7534a9463bdbdf8128c9ec86988044-Morey – 1_1_Pub.mp3] Advertisementlast_img read more

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Traffic Stop turns into drug arrest

first_imgDuring the early evening hours Monday, the RCMP located a vehicle near Silvers Cold Beer and Wine store with four people inside with open liquor.  RCMP members then noticed a bag of marijuana in plain view, which lead to a search of the vehicle.During the search, the RCMP located 4 ounces of cocaine with a street value of over $7,000.  A 25 year-old male was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.  The male was released on bail after a decision made by a Judicial Justice of the Peace.- Advertisement -The Dawson Creek RCMP state they are actively investigating and putting pressure on those in the drug trade and would like to thank the citizens of Dawson Creek for their support in these efforts.  If you have any information about the drug trade in Dawson Creek, call the detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.last_img read more

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LNG Revenue-Sharing Agreements Announced

first_img“These agreements mean the Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams will share a portion of the revenue from Aurora LNG and Woodside’s proposed LNG development at Grassy Point, near Prince Rupert,”  said Premier Christy Clark during a noon-hour announcement today.“I applaud the vision and commitment of the Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla leadership and their communities,” said Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad. “This kind of collaboration with First Nations will underpin the economic security of their communities now and in the future and create greater certainty for the First Nations, industry and government.”According to a government release, the signings are the 23rd and 24th economic benefit agreements reached with First Nations since 2011, and it says, the  fifth and sixth of the 10 new non-treaty agreements the Province has committed to reaching over the next two years. – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Two-goal Mane praises ‘strong’ Liverpool teamwork

first_img0Shares0000Liverpool forward Sadio Mane struck twice in a 4-0 rout of West Ham © AFP / Oli SCARFFLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Aug 12 – Senegal’s Sadio Mane said Liverpool’s free-scoring is due to good teamwork after his brace helped last season’s Champions League finalists to an impressive 4-0 thrashing of West Ham in their Premier League opener on Sunday.The 26-year-old scored either side of half-time with Mohamed Salah opening the scoring and Daniel Sturridge adding a late fourth in a campaign that many have predicted Liverpool will be champions Manchester City’s main challengers. “We did a great job and created many chances,” Mane told the BBC.“We played well from the beginning to the end.“Before the goal it’s always important to start the game well which is what we always try to do.“Scoring made it more relaxed for us and we try to work hard and push as a team onto the fourth.”Mane, who appeared to be offside for his second goal, said he and Salah might take the plaudits for being on the scoresheet but their team-mates merited just as much praise.“We try to do our best to score goals for the team because without those we can’t do anything,” said Mane.“It’s the teamwork, we do things together. We will try to score more goals.“We have a strong team. That will help us to push hard and fight to do our best.”Liverpool have spent big in the transfer market and Guinean midfielder Naby Keita — who signed last year but joined from RB Leipzig for this season — stood out of the new arrivals in the number eight shirt which was last worn by Steven Gerrard.“Naby Keita is a good player, you can see that and he’s only going to get better,” Liverpool midfielder James Milner told Sky Sports.“Coming into a new team is not always easy. You can only imagine how good he’s going to be with more time with the boys.“He’s top quality and like all the signings we’ve brought in there’s even more competition. That’s what you want.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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