Déja Veux: Getting Ready for Florence in the Carolinas

Some Storm History …

Back in 1996, North Carolina experienced a devastating one-two punch at just this time of year. First Hurricane Edouard, a Cat I storm, hit us late in August.  Winds were tolerable but, Ed dropped a LOT of rain on us.  Just over a week later, Hurricane Fran made her entry, very much along the same path as Ed.

The result was huge damage when all our longleaf pines started crashing down.  It was estimated that up to 10% of the trees in North Carolina were down or heavily damaged as a result.  I was living in Fayetteville, just outside Ft. Bragg.   Through some stroke of luck my house (with trees downed all around) sat in a very narrow sliver of Cumberland County that did not lose power. The power outage was so profound in central North Carolina that as late as five weeks later, friends from other parts of town were stopping by to shower, wash laundry, and cook a real meal.

Think about no power at your home for more than a month!

Residents were instructed to push our storm debris down to the gutter.  Every street had six- and seven-foot high piles of branches and tree limbs lining the gutters for weeks.  The week before Thanksgiving 1996, two logging companies contracted by the city, moved their entire operation in to clearing all that debris.  Big logging skidders and a convoy of logging trucks went to work and within two days had the entire city clear of debris.  Costs exceed the contingency budget for the city.

Today … In the Bullseye

Graphic courtesy the Weather Channel. Timelines and intensities

Watching Florence narrow its aim on the Carolinas today (Sunday), we have the same sodden ground conditions as in 1996.  This time, rather than a Cat I storm, we are looking down the barrel of Florence at Cat IV (!) when it makes land fall, likely along the Carolina coast.  In addition to heavy tree fall, we can expect significant flooding as Florence moves inland with 100 mile per hour winds and very heavy rain on top of the wettest summer in memory.  The mountains will be in trouble, especially, with normally placid trout streams turning into Class V rapids in many places.

This storm warrants close monitoring and preparations by those in its path.

Tomorrow:  Vets in the Fight Role in the Florence Target Area …

SITREP 1 September Those Who Care

Veteran Charitable Organizations

Hello again to all you Vets in the Fight, this is David Miller with your weekly Special Operations Speaks, Vets in the Fight SITREP.

In this week’s installment, we would like to highlight a few organizations that are quietly and with dignity serving those who have served this nation. Some are veterans themselves; others, thankful members of society that have recognized the need to help our service members.

Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation (SOF)
A 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization that serves Veterans who have been severely wounded and injured (50% or greater VA disability rating) in a post-9/11, service related event by helping them transition into civilian life while they attend college or vocational school. The program has two areas of focus: Sentinel Scholarships and Student Veteran Resource Centers. Veterans have access to financial assistance, mentoring, networking, and employment assistance. Founded by Mike Conklin, the father of three Army Rangers, he was inspired to reach out to severely injured Veterans after one of his sons was wounded in Iraq in 2003. Scholarship recipients are called “Sentinels” in honor of their sacrifice and commitment to guarding America’s freedoms.
Committed to our wounded veterans, Sentinels of Freedom is to helping communities across the United States support as many of these men and women as possible.Check them out online at https://www.sentinelsoffreedom.org

Warrior Care Program (Care Coalition)
Congress gave U.S. Special Operations Command the authority to provide a wounded warrior care program for its 69,000 personnel and the Care Coalition was born. The Care Coalition began in 2005 to fill in the gaps in care for special operators, and is more focused on retention and preserving service members in the force even after they’ve had a wound, illness or injury. As the number of wounded, ill or injured special operators grew, the program grew. Liaison officers and advocates at installations help Special Operations Soldiers navigate the bureaucratic tangle that can otherwise be overwhelming. The Care Coalition works to assist those operators who don’t remain in service, supporting the transition to civilian life and to veteran status. The Care Coalition works closely with Veterans Affairs to ensure seamless transition for those wishing to re-enter civilian life. Learn more about them at https://www.socom.mil/care-coalition

Military Missions In Action (MMIA)
A 501(c)3 nonprofit, headquartered in Fuquay-Varina, and working throughout North Carolina to assist veterans and members of the armed forces. MMIA has 2 offices and 5 staff members, Ninety-seven cents of every dollar goes into their programs. Mike Dorman is the Founder and Executive Director of MMIA. He retired from the United States Coast Guard in 1999 after 20 years and started MMIA in 2007. The primary focus of MMIA is to provide home modification services to disabled veterans to allow them to live independently (services are not restricted to those injured in combat nor is it restricted to disabled veterans from the most recent combat conflicts). MMIA has assisted veterans from the current conflict back to WWII. Some of what MMIA offers:
Operation Building Hope provides handicap accessibility for veterans with disabilities and military children with special needs.
Homes for Healing assists veterans who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Fill the Footlocker supports active-duty service men and women serving in combat zones by collecting comfort items to ship, provides clothing, shoes, blankets and hygiene items to our homeless veterans in North Carolina and provides toys, gift cards and monetary donations to low-income military and veteran families during the holiday season. You can aid their cause or just find out more about them at militarymissionsinaction.org.

The Gary Sinise Foundation
Undoubtably, you’ve heard of this last entry, The foundation serves our nation by honoring its defenders; veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.This is done by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities. The Foundation has several programs helping the nations defenders such as building specially adapted smart homes for America’s severely wounded veterans through its R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), Invincible Spirit Festivals, boosting the morale at military medical centers across the country with daylong celebrations provide a respite from the rigors of rehabilitation for the hospital’s patients, staff, and families and Serving Heroes, a program providing hearty, classic American meals to our defenders across the country, and much more than time allows us to list. Go to garysinisefoundation.org

These are but a few of the many generous organizations serving our nation through service to veterans and their families, and SOS strongly recommends checking in with sites such as charitynavigator.org before sending your hard won dollars.

This is David Miller for Special Operations Speaks and Vets in the Fight, until next week. De Oppresso Liber.

Trump Appoints Conservative Scholar at State to Carry Out ‘America First’ Agend

Jay Ell is one of our supporters, along with her Jack Russell, Murphy, below.  She often sends us some good commentary.  We publish her latest below.


“To effectively implement President Trump’s America First vision means thinking through the President’s ideas and good instincts with the seriousness that they deserve, and that’s exactly what my team and I will do,” Kiron Skinner added.

As director of policy planning, Skinner will head the department’s in-house think tank, which provides strategic gu

idance to the entire building. Conservative foreign policy experts are cheering the move.

“The State Department is about to get a big brain,” ? the Heritage Foundation’s Senior Fellow in Public Diplomacy Helle Dale and Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies James Jay Carafano wrote Thursday in the Daily Signal.

Skinner was a campaign surrogate for Trump in the lead-up to the election, defending his unconventional foreign policy approach. She wrote in Forbes:

Go beyond this rhetoric, however, and hear Trump’s explanation for America first: ‘The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again.’ ??

“Is there any country other than the United States that most Americans would like to see as the organizer of the international system?

“In addition to his politically incorrect rhetoric, Trump seems so much like a foreign policy radical because he is tampering with long-held maxims. One such maxim is that China should not be taken on directly. Yet Trump says the United States cannot be strong militarily when it is weak economically, and its economic plight has a lot to do with China’s ‘assault on American jobs and wealth.’

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Skinner described “Trump Doctrine, or America First foreign policy” as one in which the United States exercises global leadership while sharing the burdens of world crises with other countries. She said the last two administrations struggled with a long-term approach to foreign policy after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“I really see the Trump administration as an opportunity to lead us into a grand strategy,” she told the paper.

She also spoke to WSJ about being the daughter of civil rights activists in San Francisco.

“I care more about the republic than partisan politics in the United States,” she said. ??

“I really feel as an African American that we have a deep stake in the direction of our country and that there’s a natural connection between who we are and America’s role in the world, and that we need to be at the table across all political parties in the United States,” she said.

“My values are fundamentally about America’s role in the world, consistent with the values of security and individual rights, representative government, equality of opportunity,” she said. “And I don’t see a contradiction between who I am and what I’m doing, and how I support our nation.” (what a breath of fresh air at the State Dep`t ! )

They Shoot Admirals, Don’t They? … leader accountability, aye!

From the U.S. Naval Institute Blog

Actually, the last admiral shot (in a democratic nation) was the unfortunate Admiral John Byng of the British Royal Navy, executed by a firing squad on 14 March 1757. Admiral Byng’s crime was “failure to do his utmost” in the battle between the British and French for the Mediterranean island of Minorca (now Spanish).  Read More

Admiral Byng, British Admiral … failed to do his ‘utmost’

Wild Bill for America: A long-timefriend of SOS and a Vet in the Fight


Wild Bill on White Privilege. Do you have privilege?