Celebrating November: Giving Thanks to Veterans Coast to Coast
November is not just a wonderful month full of fall festivities and family gatherings, but also the month that Veteran’s Day is celebrated in our nation.
The history of Veteran’s Day began at the end of World War I “when the temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”.
President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in November of 1919. The President had explained that it was to be a day filled with solemn pride and gratitude in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service.
The day was originally set to be observed with parades, and events, and to allow time for retrospection and appreciation. On June 4th, 1926, upon officially recognizing the end to WWI, the United States congress formed a resolution making November 11th a day for national observance. In 1938, Armistice Day officially became a holiday.
Armistice Day was renamed to Veteran’s Day in 1954 after the end of World War II, and the day was declared to honor all Veterans of all wars.
Today, many of our nation’s Veterans need further support. Aside from the honors, thanks, parades, and prayers – millions of Veterans also require help.
The United States has over 22 million veterans, and studies performed by the Veterans Administration show that as many as 1 in every 5 of our homeless population has served in the U.S. military at some point. Facing issues such as depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse, unemployment, and other health and economic hardships – now more than ever our fellow Americans need our support.
Fortunately, there are many kind and thoughtful Americans who reach out to help. At GINGALLEY, we are thankful and happy to know many kind people who donate or volunteer their time.
Today, we give special thanks to 2 outstanding veteran supporters – one on each coast – Brad Yoder in Pittsburg, California and Jason McCormick in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.
Brad is a Veterans Outreach Program Specialist at the Employment Development Department’s Workforce Services Branch in California. He also serves as Treasurer for the Delta Veteran’s Group which helps homeless Veterans in Contra Costa County.
When Brad joined the Veterans Employment Committee of Contra Costa County, he made it his goal to increase awareness about its existence and to introduce more Veterans to its services. With the help of many people, they decided that a concert would a great way to market the VEC and introduce area Veterans to employment services. This lead to their first VETJAM.
The first concert was 5 bands, and a Medal of Honor recipient was the honored guest. The veteran’s community came out in full support. An Honoring Heroes dinner was held after the concert – which was paid for via donations – so the veteran’s service organization leadership was able to eat for free and share their accomplishments over the last year. In 2014, a luncheon and concert was held in honor of a 97 year old WWII POW, which continued to strengthen the overall community support.
This year’s VETJAM 2015 features entertainment from Doc Kraft, a retired US Army Ranger. Even at 70 years old, he leads one of the best casual dance bands in the Bay Area. The VETJAM event proceeds go to help Veterans in the community through the Veterans Employment Committee and the Delta Veterans Group. Both organizations help military Veterans and their families with the 4 pillars of veteran success: Housing, Employment, Health, and Education.
Jason McCormick is the Owner and Chief Instructor of Karate World in Surfside Beach, SC. A former United States Marine, Jason continues to volunteer and support local community members and military Veterans of all kinds.
Jason held a fundraising event in July of 2015 to benefit the local chapter of the Veterans Housing Development. VHD is a nonprofit group whose sole purpose is to provide the organization and long-term maintenance for veteran’s housing developments throughout the southeastern United States. The goal in Myrtle Beach, SC, is to build an entire village out of low-cost steel shipping containers. This method of building has proved to be not only affordable, but also environmentally friendly, structurally sound, and easy to construct.
During the event, Jason and his students raised donations to break boards and were able to give $5,925 to the workers for the Veterans Housing Development. The goal is to build a Veterans village of 40 homes with a station for nurses and social workers to be available on site. Like Brad, Jason will continue his charitable efforts all year. Year after year.
We thank these wonderful gentlemen for their hard work, and we thank each and every veteran for their service. We extend our thanks and support to all of you out there that help troubled Veterans when they come home.