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March 27th, 2012
Fellow Flag & General Officers:
Time for another update for you with regard to new matters of interest to Flag & General Officers, almost all of which come to us from the flag/general officers who are your fellow members in TFGON. Details follow:
1. Forgotten American military cemetery in the Philippines now receiving attention, thanks to TFGON Member Rear Admiral Dan McKinnon, U.S. Navy [Ret.]
2. Invitation of TFGON Members to the General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower "Annual Picnic at the Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania"
3. TFGON Member Lieutenant General Jack Klimp, USMC [Ret.] Letter to the Editor in the March 23 Edition of The Washington Times newspaper
4. U. S. Army Twilight Tattoo: 2012 in Washington, DC:
1. Forgotten American military cemetery in the Philippines now receiving attention, thanks to TFGON Member Rear Admiral Dan McKinnon, U.S. Navy [Ret.]: All of us can remember seeing the TV news reports when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines and covered Clark Air Force Base there with several feet of volcanic ash. And it wasn't too long after that when the U.S. Armed Forces left the Philippines and our military bases there, to include Clark AFB and the adjacent military/veterans cemetery where over 8,000 of our fellow American warriors rest with honor among their fellow veterans. And unfortunately, although all of us pride ourselves in never leaving a fellow warrior behind and our nation always providing the finest of care and upkeep for their burial sites, such was not the case with this cemetery, Clark Veterans Cemetery, which the news media has referred to as "the Veterans Cemetery that America Forgot". The details are too involved to go into in the limited space of our TFGON eNewsletter---- suffice it to say that we had lunch last week with TFGON Member, Rear Admiral Dan McKinnon, U.S. Navy [Ret.] who provided us with "chapter & verse" on this entire situation. Admiral McKinnon has become very involved in efforts to have Congress take action to ensure that this cemetery IS NOT FORGOTTEN and to ensure that legislation is passed to assign specific responsibility for the upkeep and respect and honor of this large American military veterans cemetery. Full details on the project website for this effort at www.CVCRA.org including a thorough history of how all this happened and a complete FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions] section that outlines the accurate facts, the status of the Congressional actions, Admiral McKinnon's actions, etc. For those of us that spent time in or were stationed in the Philippines, it is impossible to have been there and not have a love for that beautiful tropical nation. For those of you who would like to get involved, including visiting the cemetery to see it firsthand if you so choose, you can reach Admiral McKinnon direct via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Given our TFGON mandate as an official 501.c.19 War Veterans organization, this is a GREAT PROJECT for our members to get involved in, as well as the right thing to do. No one who has served our nation with honor should EVER be forgotten.
"The nation that forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten."
~ Calvin Coolidge (1862-1933) ~
2. Invitation of TFGON Members to General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower "Annual Picnic at the Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania": Most TFGON Members are unaware that General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower, Former President of the United States, is a posthumous member of TFGON, so authorized by General Eisenhower's estate and by his son, Brigadier General John Eisenhower, U.S. Army [Ret.]. And that on occasion, in General Eisenhower's honor, we hold our quarterly networking meetings in the Eisenhower Lounge of the Capitol Hill Club. Or that several of our TFGON Members serve as members or on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Society Board, including TFGON Member Brigadier General S. Kenric Lessey, U. S. Army [Ret.], who serves as the Society's current Chairman. General Lessey has kindly invited his fellow TFGON Members to attend the Society's upcoming annual picnic, held at the Gettysburg, PA Eisenhower Farm just an hour and a half drive from Washington, DC. The event is scheduled for 21 July of this year and usually begins around 1600. The picnic features some of Ike's favorite recipes, they put up a large tent on the grounds to escape the summer sun, there's a contest for the best putts on Ike's putting green, and it's an enjoyable and relaxing afternoon at the President's former home among some of the President's descendents and neighbors. Last year the event included a flag-lowering ceremony accompanied by TAPS. You will also see several of your fellow TFGON Members there, as mentioned above, several are members of and serve on the board of the Eisenhower Society. The Society is reconfiguring their website so that it will accomodate your RSVP's and answer all your questions, so it's not yet ready to view. For now, if you'd like to attend, we ask that you pencil-in the date and time on your calendar and we'll let you know when the website is up and available for RSVP's. Very special thanks to TFGON Member Brigadier General Ric Lessey for this special invitation, and to Mrs. Priscilla Roberts,[ wife of our deceased TFGON Member, Major General Milnor Roberts, U.S. Army [Ret.],] for her efforts in coordinating our TFGON involvement and invitation.
3. TFGON Member Lieutenant General Jack Klimp, USMC [Ret.] Letter to the Editor in the March 23 Edition of The Washington Times newspaper: LTGEN Jack Klimp, recently elected President and C.E.O. of the National Association for Uniformed Services, has become increasingly active and vocal with regard to proposed cuts to the U.S. Defense Budget, the impact of TriCare cuts on the troops, etc. and has been reaching out to a broad base of print news media to make known his concerns with the potential damage these cuts could cause. His most recent letter, this one to the Washington Times newspaper in Washington, DC, was published this past Friday and you can view a copy at the following URL: www.naus.org/Documents/WTltr3-23-12.pdf
WELL DONE to General Klimp and NAUS for speaking out in this public forum so that the vastly larger non-military non-veteran segment of our fellow citizens is aware of the facts and the impact of these actions.
4. U. S. Army Twilight Tattoo: 2012 in Washington, DC:
Here's a great heads-up, this also from LTGEN Jack Klimp, USMC [Ret.] and NAUS, who we cite in paragraph 3. above. If you live near Washington, D.C., or if you or any of your family plan on visiting the nation's capital anytime this summer you might want to take advantage of the free Army Twilight Tattoo. It will be held every Wednesday starting April 25 through August 29 weather permitting. The tattoo is held at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, VA, starting at 7 p.m. Seating is first-come-first-seated. The tattoo participants include the U.S. Army Band, "Pershings Own," members of the Old Guard and their Fife and Drum Corps and the Army Drill team. Please go to this website for more information on these events and for directions to the base. Special thanks to LTGEN Klimp and NAUS for the heads up on these events, and to the U.S. Army for this GREAT PATRIOTIC SUMMER PROGRAM!!!!
And there you have it for another issue of TFGON's eNewsletter to you. Mark your calendar now for our next Quarterly Networking Reception on 27 April. Full details at the TFGON website, just click on Calendar on the LH side of the homepage.
With all good wishes,
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
ARMY Board Member &
ARMY Vice Chairman
Board Member: NAVY
Brigadier General [Ret.]
Board Member: USAF
Board Member: USCG
Board Member At Large