National Service Blog

  • Posted on Nov 7, 2014

    I have several projects in response to the President's call to service. First of all I have, for 13 years, served on Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard teams where I conduct funeral services for our heroes. I do the reading to honor the passing veterans. I have done hundreds and hundreds of funerals, if not thousands at a National Cemetery and private cemeteries in two states.

    It consists of finding the appropriate words to pay tribute to someone who has offered his or her life for our great country. It is the greatest honor bestowed upon me. Perhaps there are no adequate words but I try as best as possible.

    I am a disabled Vietnam veteran, a retired military veteran with 26 years active service, I am totally disabled from my employment, and I am father of an active duty Green Beret who has served multiple tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    I wanted to somehow give back and support our veterans and their families for their service within the limits of my disabilities. I am particularly burdened with the loss of about 75% of my long term memory and virtually have no short term memory that resulted from a problem during heart surgery years ago.

    I understand that after military retirement I was a fairly talented computer programmer and webmaster in the civilian market before that occurrence and I have retained some minimal skills, though most have been long forgotten. I attempt to use what skills remaining to help our veterans as best as possible but I must admit it is a difficult chore.

    My other work for my fellow veterans involves putting together a bi-monthly, 32 page newsletter to provide our veterans...

  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    Welcome to the United We Serve "Stories of Service" blog! In this blog we’ll be featuring news, updates, and some of the remarkable stories of service we’ve been getting from Americans across the country who are answering President Obama’s call to service.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    To kick off United We Serve, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center. The Secretary said that meeting with the soldiers, “lifted him up.” Speaking about the soliders, Gates said, “their grit, resilience and indomitable spirit amaze and inspire me every time."
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    On June 22nd, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined volunteer and youth groups at Shenandoah National Park as part of a national kickoff for President Obama’s new “United We Serve” campaign.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    On June 23, 2009, St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP) launched its first weatherization-based volunteer project under the President’s United We Serve initiative. The project involved a number of energy efficient retrofits, including state-of-the-art “Shasta White” shingles, which reflect solar heat rays.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    Rebecca is confined to a wheelchair and has some difficulty speaking due to her Cerebral Palsy. Three days a week, however, she has been a devoted volunteer for the Salinas Family YMCA in California for over two years. She greets people with a wonderful smile and her entire body, joking with “the regulars” and exemplifying the kind of welcoming atmosphere that YMCA wishes to offer its communities.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    When “United We Serve” officially launched on June 22, America’s libraries and the Department of Education were poised and ready to be a major part of the program from the very beginning. They will remain engaged throughout the summer, and they call upon all Americans to join them.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    Building strong literacy skills early onis the foundation for an effective education. Developing a child’s ability to read by the third grade prepares them to read to learn in content areas like science and math in the future. It also setsthe childon a positive path to graduate from high school.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off United We Serve by joining forces with California’s First Lady Maria Shriver, CaliforniaVolunteers, KaBOOM! and community volunteers to build a playground at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    To kick off United We Serve, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan joined the St. Bernard Project and other local New Orleans organizations to rebuild two homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The Secretary volunteered alongside his wife and two sons, helping to finish sheetrock installation, float drywall and plant a garden.
  • Posted on Jul 13, 2009
    In 85 years of life, one would expect to have many fond memories to reflect upon. But nothing was as joyful as the day New Jersey resident Eugenia Kawczak reunited with her beloved and missing siblings with the help of the Red Cross. Passing time before her sister’s plane lands in the Ukraine, Melania Babenko turns the fragile pages of a pre-war photograph album as her brother Arkadiy looks on. Forcedly separated during World War II, Melania has not seen her sister Eugenia Kawczak, who now lives in New Jersey, in more than 66 years.

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