Heroes: S. Stone, A. Sadler, A. Sharlatos, C. Norman, M. Moogalian & Damien A.

A humble wave from a hero: Wounded US airman who took down AK47-wielding terrorist on French train, then treated others before tending to his own stab wounds emerges from hospital with a smile 

US Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone emerged from the central hospital in Lille, France, wearing bandages and a sling a day after tackling a terrorist down
US Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone emerged from the central hospital in Lille, France, wearing bandages and a sling a day after tackling a terrorist down
  • Air Force airman Spencer Stone ran at 26-year-old Moroccan when he opened fire on high speed service to Paris
  • He was stabbed in the neck, above his brow, and almost severed his thumb – but still gave First Aid to others
  • Was on the train with friend Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was travelling through Europe
  • With the help of Anthony Sadler, from California, and British national Chris Norman, they stopped the attack
  • Three people, including Stone, wounded in the attack and French police have hailed the bravery of the bystanders
  • French media report the man denies being a terrorist and instead claims he wanted to carry out an armed robbery 
  • Also claims he wanted to ransom off passengers and he found the weapons in a bag ‘by chance in a Brussels Park’

The US airman who was stabbed in the neck and hand while tackling a Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist to the ground in a packed Paris-bound train has emerged from hospital with a humble wave.

He became a hero while traveling on a high speed train from Amsterdam to France with his two friends – Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was on leave after a tour of Afghanistan, and Anthony Sadler of California – when they ambushed a terrorist and averted a tragedy.

Having already been suspicious of Ayoub el-Qahzzani’s behavior, Stone leaped into action when he heard him load up a Kalashnikov in the toilet. When he came out to open fire, Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler charged and tackled him to the ground.

Stone was stabbed in the hand during the scuffle with a Klashnikov and Stanley knife on Friday – almost severing his thumb – but was hailed a hero as he disarmed the suspect then administered first aid to others before caring for himself.

On Saturday, he emerged from the central hospital in Lille, France, wearing bandages and a sling – and offered the cameras a humble wave before slipping into a black sedan with diplomatic license plates.

It was not immediately clear where he was headed.

Stone, who is in the Air Force, was also commended for helping an injured train passenger, a French-American, bleeding from a gunshot wound. That passenger, a teacher who resides outside Paris, was being treated in another hospital in Lille.

French President Francois Hollande said in a statement that he spoke with President Barack Obama to personally thank him for the ‘exemplary conduct of American citizens who stopped an extremely serious attack.’

Earlier on Saturday, Stone’s friend Sadler described the sequence of events.

‘We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle,’ Sadler said from France. They then saw a gunman entering the train car with an automatic rifle.

‘As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, ‘Spencer, go!’ And Spencer runs down the aisle,’ Sadler continued. ‘Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious.’

As they beat the man – named in reports as Ayoub el-Qahzzani – he pleaded with them to return his AK-47, Sadler explained.

‘He was just telling us to give back his gun. ‘Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!’ But we just carried on beating him up and immobilised him and that was it.’

The men, along with fellow passenger British IT consultant Chris Norman, have since been commended for their bravery by President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande has tweeted that he will meet the men tomorrow to thank them.

(From left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Oregon Army National Guard Spec Alek Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery
(From left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Oregon Army National Guard Spec Alek Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3207243/True-American-hero-airman-tackled-beat-disarmed-Kalashnikov-wielding-terrorist-French-train-treated-tending-stab-wounds-emerges-hospital-humble-wave.html

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Mark Moogalian, first heroic passenger to wrestle a weapon from the high-speed train gunman
Mark Moogalian, first heroic passenger to wrestle a weapon from the high-speed train gunman

Revealed: The mystery man who tackled AK-47 assault rifle from train gunman

Traveller who intervened to disarm gunman youb El-Khazzani is an American academic named Mark Moogalian

Mr Moogalian, who lives in Paris but is originally from Midlothian, Virginia, US, is the previously unnamed man who came to the aid of “Damien A”, 28, a French banker who confronted El-Khazzani.

The academic acted instinctively to protect his wife Isabella Risacher, who was also aboard the Thalys train.

He tackled the Kalashnikov assault rifle off El-Khazzani, who then drew a sidearm and shot him in the neck before taking back the rifle, his sister has revealed.

Three other US citizens including two military personnel, and Chris Norman, a British businessman then stepped in to disarm and overpower the assailant.

For more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11819423/Revealed-The-mystery-man-who-tackled-AK-47-assault-rifle-from-train-gunman.html

Defense Officials Praise Troops’ Actions in Train Attack

WASHINGTON, August 22, 2015 — Defense.gov

In a statement released today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter praised three Americans for their actions yesterday on a train outside of Brussels, Belgium.

“On behalf of all the men and women of the Department of Defense, I want to thank the brave individuals, including two members of the U.S. military, who stepped forward to prevent an even greater tragedy from taking place aboard that train,” Carter said.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, assigned to the 65th Air Base Group, Lajes Air Base, Azores, Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Alek Skarlatos and a civilian friend were traveling together via train on personal leave. The men took immediate action to subdue an armed gunman before he could engage his automatic weapon on the train.

“My thoughts and prayers today are with those injured in the attack, including Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, whose selfless actions saved lives. I wish him a speedy recovery,” the defense secretary said.

“These men are heroes,” said U.S. European Command Commander Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove.

“Actions like this clearly illustrate the courage and commitment our young men and women have all the time, whether they are on duty or on leave,” he said. “We are extremely proud of their efforts and now are praying for our injured airman to have a speedy recovery.”

Stone, who suffered non-life threatening injuries in the attack, is currently being treated in a French medical facility.

“(Stone and Skarlatos) are two reasons why — on duty and off — ours is finest fighting force the world has ever known,” Carter said.

“I’m still waiting to wake up,” he said. “It’s like a movie scene or something.”

“I was thinking about survival,” said Spencer Stone, who serves in the Air Force. “It was to survive and for everybody else on the train to make it.”

“He seemed like he was ready to fight until the end,” Stone added of Ayoub El Khazzani, 26, the alleged attacker. “So were we.”

“His intentions were very clear,” said Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman. “The guy had a lot of ammo. In the beginning it was gut instinct, survival.”

Khazzani allegedly opened fire on board a train heading from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday before being subdued by Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone.

Three passengers were injured in the incident, sustaining knife or gunshot wounds, none of them life-threatening.

Stone had his neck and thumb caught when he and his two close friends rushed Khazzani and prevented further bloodshed.

“Other than my finger, I didn’t really feel any of my other injuries,” he said on Sunday. “I trust my friends very much. If it wasn’t for them, I’d be dead.”

“He clearly had no firearms training whatsoever,” Skarlatos said of Khazzani. “I have no idea where he was aiming.”

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday that the accused assailant wielded a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Luger automatic pistol and a box cutter during the attack.

Sadler argued on Sunday that the international community must remain both vigilant and brave in the face of similar extremism.

“Please do something,” he said. “Don’t just stand there and watch.”

For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/251760-train-attack-hero-it-was-do-something-or-die

From the left, French President Francois Hollande, U.S. National Guardsman from Roseburg, Oregon, Alek Skarlatos, U.S. Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley, U.S. Airman Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento University in California, pose for photographers as they leave the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, after being awarded with the French Legion of Honor by French President Hollande, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. French President Hollande and a bevy of officials are presenting the Americans with the prestigious Legion of Honor on Monday. The three American travelers say they relied on gut instinct and a close bond forged over years of friendship as they took down a heavily armed man on a passenger train speeding through Belgium. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
From L, French President Francois Hollande, U.S. National Guardsman from Roseburg, Oregon, Alek Skarlatos, U.S. Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley, U.S. Airman and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento University in California was awarded with the French Legion of Honor by French President Hollande, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.  King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994. Since 1996, the annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service.  has been the largest event in the nation honoring Dr. King. In honor of MLK, volunteers across the country donate their time to make a difference on this day.

Explore the mlkday.gov site to learn more about MLK Day and how you can participate. Below area few links to get you started.

http://selmastudenttickets.com
http://selmastudenttickets.com

 

MLK Day: Final Freedom Train in Bay Area ends 30 years of celebrating King’s legacy

1/19/2015 11:36:32 AM PST mercurynews.

SAN JOSE — America’s final Freedom Train chugged out of San Jose’s Diridon Station and into the history books Monday, ending three decades of tributes on the nation’s rails that celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s enduring legacy.

After years of declining interest, the chartered Caltrain roared to San Francisco on its final journey with a rejuvenated spirit and about 1,500 passengers — five times more than last year.

Packed joyously in 10 train cars, the multicultural mix of pilgrims sang civil rights hymns, read MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech and shared personal stories. Michelle Geary’s mother, Arlee Geary, made sure their family was onboard.

“My mom called me and said, ‘I grew up on Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy and if this is going to be the last train I want all of us to ride it,” said Michelle Geary of San Jose whose son and husband were also part of the final ride.

King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, started the Freedom Train celebrations in dozens of cities across the country to commemorate the historic civil rights march her husband led from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

But with so many new competing events over the years marking MLK’s birthday, the train journeys faded away, leaving the Bay Area’s as the last to survive. This year, after the police killings of unarmed black men in Missouri and New York, the traditional day of service also became a day of civil rights protests.

“All those people protesting these days, they ought to be demanding the continuation of the Freedom Train because losing this is a really a shame,” said Charles Herndon, who was the conductor on the first 25 years of MLK trains before retiring. He rode the farewell train as a passenger Monday.

For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_27350087/mlk-day-final-freedom-train-bay-area-ends


2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom

Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Awarded for “a meritorious act or service which has aided the United States in the prosecution of a war against an enemy or enemies and for which an award of another United States medal or decoration is considered inappropriate”

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Executive Order signed by President John F. Kennedy establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the first ceremony bestowing the honor on an inaugural class of 31 recipients. Since that time, more than 500 exceptional individuals from all corners of society have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”

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On November 24 2014 the following individuals will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Alvin Ailey (posthumous)
Isabel Allende
Tom Brokaw
James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (posthumous)
Mildred Dresselhaus
John Dingell
Ethel Kennedy
Suzan Harjo
Abner Mikva
Patsy Takemoto Mink
Edward Roybal (posthumous)
Charles Sifford
Robert Solow
Stephen Sondheim
Meryl Streep
Marlo Thomas
Stevie Wonder

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Thank The Troops & Operation Santa

Thank the Troops

Thank an American Hero

This Veterans Day, we hope you’ll take a moment to join First Lady Michelle Obama and thank an American hero. Sending that message is easy. You can send a note on JoiningForces.gov by clicking on the “Share Your Message” tab. Either way, your card will be delivered to service members and veterans throughout the holiday season. To get you started, we’ve pasted the First Lady’s card,send your own on JoiningForces.gov

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For a seventh year, American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are partnering to hold the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program to ensure all Americans have an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of our U.S. military, veterans and their families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season.

The process is very simple and takes no time at all – All you need is a pen and piece of paper to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the U.S. Armed Forces make to protect our freedoms The Holiday Mail for Heroes mail box is open and ready to receive for your cards. Please send all mail to:

Card Guidelines:
Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.

Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:

* All cards being sent in for 2013 Holiday Mail For Heroes program should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 5, 2014.

* Ensure that all cards are signed.

* Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.

* Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.

* Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.

* Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.

* Participants are encouraged to mail as many cards as they are comfortable sending. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes or use a flat rate box from the post office. Each card does not need its own envelope, as cards will be removed from all envelopes before distribution.

* Please refrain from sending holiday cards with glitter. Many of these cards will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities and the glitter could interfere with a patient’s recovery.

* If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

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Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

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As close as we can tell, the Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago. However, it was in 1912 that Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to the letters in the program that became known as Operation Santa.

In 1940, mail volume for Santa increased so much the Postal Service invited charitable organizations and corporations to participate to provide written responses to the letters and small gifts to the children who wrote them.

Over the past 69 years, the program has taken on a life of its own. Postal facilities in cities around the country today allow charitable organizations, major corporations, local businesses and individuals to adopt letters to Santa to make children’s holiday dreams come true from coast to coast.

Individuals and organizations interested in adopting a letter should go to a participating office and complete a participation form.

Operation Santa Claus Post Office Locations

Operation Santa Letter – Indivdual Participation Form

Operation Santa Letter – Organization Participant Form

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My Brother’s Keeper

President Obama signs the
President Obama signs the “My Brother’s Keeper” presidential memorandum 2/27/14

My Brother’s Keeper

The “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative will bring government agencies, foundations and companies together to test a range of strategies to support young men to keep them in school and out of the criminal justice system.

My Brother’s Keeper strives to make sure that every young man of color who is willing to work hard and lift himself up has an opportunity to get ahead and reach his full potential.

Participants will include youth groups like the Chicago-based group called “Becoming a Man“, Michael Rubinger, chief executive of the Local Initiatives Support Corp.; scholars such as Robert Putnam, a Harvard University professor; business leaders such as Thomas Donohue, the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the former basketball star and businessman; cabinet officials Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Education Secretary Arne DuncanLabor Secretary Thomas Perez , General Colin Powell, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Adam Silver, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, and  many more leaders from key national and regional philanthropic foundations and major businesses, all of whom understand what is at stake with this effort.  When we let this many boys and young men fall behind – we are crippling our ability to reach our full potential as a nation.

Learn more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/my-brothers-keeper

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Preisdent Obama establishes a Task Force with representatives from across the federal government to issue recommendations aimed at improving the life outcomes of all young people from cradle to college to career.

Pathways for Youth Employment: Federal Resources for Employers: This resource guide highlights a diverse set of federal resources available to private businesses, non-profits, faith and secular community-based organizations, public agencies, tribes, labor organizations, and academic institutions that offer entry-level opportunities for youth.

American Apprenticeship Grants: In December 2014, President Obama and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announced a $100 million American Apprenticeship Grant competition for public-private partnerships, including employer-led and state/regional consortia, to expand registered apprenticeship programs in specific high-growth industries, such as health care, biotechnology, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.

Federal Resources Playbook for Registered Apprenticeship: This playbook was released by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employers, educational institutions, training providers, and workforce development professionals leverage more than $50 billion a year in federal funding in support of apprenticeship programs

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.  King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994. Since 1996, the annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service.  has been the largest event in the nation honoring Dr. King. In honor of MLK, volunteers across the country donate their time to make a difference on this day.

Explore the mlkday.gov site to learn more about MLK Day and how you can participate. Below area few links to get you started.


Feeding America 2013

Feeding America (aka Second Harvest) is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

Each year, the Feeding America network provides food to more than 37 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including 14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors.

Their network of more than 200 food banks serves all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, securing and distributing more than 2.5 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually. Those member food banks support approximately 61,000 local charitable agencies and 70,000 programs, which provide food directly to individuals and families in need.

Learn more about your local Feeding America network member food bank: http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx

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HUNGER IN AMERICA

Impact of Hunger

Hunger Studies

GET INVOLVED

Volunteer

Advocate

Corporate Opportunities

 

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Community Renewal: Supporting a Local Food Bank

Feeding America’s Hungry: The Facts

One hundred percent of food banks responding to a Feeding America survey reported increases in demand for emergency food assistance over the last year.  Demand for emergency food assistance increased at a rate ranging from 28.6% – 37.7% footnote 1.

Many people are turning to food banks for the first time because of the economic climate. 99.4% of food banks and distribution agencies reported seeing more first time users in the last year. 74% reported seeing more newly unemployed persons. 48% of food banks and distribution agencies reported seeing a greater number of children in their food lines.

Seventy-two percent of food banks do not feel as though they are able to adequately meet the needs of their communities without adjusting the amount of food distributed.

Across the Feeding America network of over 63,000 agencies, 66 percent of pantries, 41 percent of kitchen programs, and 11 percent of shelter programs have no paid staff, relying entirely on volunteers. footnote 2

Commit yourself and a team of your friends and neighbors to help feed America’s hungry.  This tool kit will give you the basics to volunteer at a food bank, start of food drive, recruit a team, organize your group, and make an impact.

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Bo & Sunny Approved
Bo & Sunny Approved

 Some Feeding America (Second Harvest) locations also partner with an organiztion that supplies food for pets. Contact your location to inquire.

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Sorry but ProPresObama thread comments &
WH daily schedule not available 12/1/13 – 1/5/14
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