2015 National Veterans Day Poster

Feb 23 2015

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ mission to fulfill its promise to Veterans exists because of the service and sacrifice of our Nation’s heroes. Each year — through a national Veterans Day poster contest — VA’s National Veterans Outreach Office, in conjunction with the Veterans Day National Committee, publish a commemorative Veterans Day poster, soliciting and selecting from the numerous creative contributions of U.S. citizens nationwide. Through the years, these posters have illustrated the rich history of our country’s protectors, and continue to remind all who see them of the accomplishments and struggles faced by our Veterans, past and present. From Revolutionary War battles, to an Old Guard soldier rendering a salute in a solemn ceremony, vivid images and artwork call on us to pause and reflect in homage to those who paved the way for our freedom. The poster is distributed to VA facilities and military installations around the world, and graces the cover of the official program for the Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery.

Do you have an idea for a national Veterans Day poster? If so, the Veterans Day National Committee wants to hear from you. The committee is seeking submissions for the 2015 national Veterans Day poster.

Poster submission guidelines:

  • The final posters must be 18×24” at 300 dots per inch (scale down submissions to 9×12”).
  • Submit electronic versions as jpg images or PDF files via e-mail to: vetsday@va.gov or alternatively, send copies of artwork on a CD with artwork files to:

Veterans Day National Committee, Department of Veterans Affairs, ATTN: Micheal Migliara (002D), 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20420

Please do not send originals. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2015.

FULL entry criteria and examples of past winning submissions are displayed at: http://www.va.gov/vetsday. (Scroll down and click on Poster Gallery to see past winners.)

If you have any questions, please contact Micheal Migliara at micheal.migliara@va.gov or 202-461-5386.

VetsDayPoster

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Mitigating Land Mine Threats

Feb 20 2015

LandmineRatBy Mark Cantrell
This article was originally printed in the March issue of
Military Officer magazine.

Costing as little as $1, a single land mine can require a thousand times that amount of money to detect and clear. Once placed, mines can operate autonomously for decades, creating significant humanitarian crises after a war has ended.

To mitigate the danger, researchers are improving mine-detection and clearing techniques. In Croatia, researchers are training bees to detect mines by scent, while a Belgian firm is using giant African rats (right).

The most promising solutions employ advanced technology. In Egypt, a multinational robotic mine-clearing contest has been held since 2012 to develop new devices for the task. In the U.S., DoD’s Idaho National Laboratory has developed a robotic operating system called Robot Intelligence Kernel (RIK), which gives automatons a high degree of situational awareness, allowing them “capabilities that are analogous to that of a highly trained police dog.”

Recently, a robot equipped with RIK and a marking system developed by the Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego was able to detect 130 of 135 mines buried along a road, marking with dye both the location of each mine and a safe path through them.

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Tuskegee Airmen

Feb 18 2015

Tuskegee_airmen_2

In honor of African American History Month, we’re sharing some of our favorite past features and stories about African Americans in the military through the month of February!
This historical highlight on the Tuskegee Airmen in the March 2007 Military Officer magazine shows that while two historians may question the Airmen’s long-accepted claim to fame, their record is still an impressive achievement.

The famous Tuskegee Airmen flew during World War II amid the harsh realities of Jim Crow and a segregated military, and still made history as the first African American military aviators in the United States.

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Reservist Wins Harley-Davidson Sweepstakes

Feb 12 2015

JBpic2By Willow Nero

For Maj. Jeffrey P. Bennett, ARNG, winner of MOAA’s Harley-Davidson Sweepstakes, it wasn’t so much the draw of a Harley as the convenience of entry — which he says is characteristic of MOAA’s calls to action — that led him to enter and eventually win a 2014 Harley-Davidson FXDL Low Rider. (He opted for the Harley’s cash equivalent.)

“You get caught up in the day-to-day of your life, and you’re in the military,” says Bennett. “Your life pulls so much of your focus and your mind away. The [MOAA legislative emails] I get are not only convenient, but they’re germane to my interests and my needs.”

Not surprisingly, Bennett was in disbelief when he heard the great news. He even called MOAA to confirm.

In addition to doing military intelligence for the Washington National Guard, Bennett implements software for Constellation HomeBuilder Systems. He started off as a naval officer and learned Russian at the Defense Language Institute before being posted in the Soviet Union in the 1990s. In 2002, he received a commission from the Army. In that capacity, he has worked as a platoon leader in Iraq and as a company commander in Afghanistan.

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Redeployment: 2014 National Book Award Winner

Feb 11 2015

RedeploymentA well-deserved National Book Award honoree in 2014, Redeployment covers stories from real soldiers who have been through the worst of war, and sometimes struggled to come to terms with what they’re done or seen once they were back home.

Some of the stories are poignant, some funny, but all are potentially life changing.

From the National Book Award profile:

In Redeployment, a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people “who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died.” In “After Action Report”, a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn’t commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened. A Mortuary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains—of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both. A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel. And in the darkly comic “Money as a Weapons System”, a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball.

If you’re looking for more material to beef up your book list, you can check out the military professional reading list recommendations, or books written by MOAA members!

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