SAME Pittsburgh Post has partnered with Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) to form a joint-effort in organizing a holiday drive for deployed service members overseas. The partnership was announced at a recent membership meeting in November 2011.
Pittsburgh Post and MSC will collect supplies throughout December in an effort to show gratitude to our nation’s military members and their families this holiday season. Local, deployed units and individuals will be directly supported by this effort.
Kathryn Klaber, President and Executive Director, MSC said “As Americans, we should take a moment every day and reflect upon those who serve to defend, preserve and protect our freedoms,” This marks MSC's first joint-effort with SAME. Klaber added, “We are thrilled to partner with SAME Pittsburgh Post to show that gratitude, and look forward to building upon this important relationship as we welcome home our service members and wounded warriors from the battlefield, helping to facilitate that transition through job-placement and training programs in our growing industry.”
“Having served in the Air Force Reserves for 12 years and now working as an engineer in the industry, I’m indebted for the support my colleagues in our industry have displayed through this partnership,” said Gene Janero, Secretary, Pittsburgh Post. “The Post looks forward to building this partnership with the MSC and their members to assist those returning from overseas with potential employment opportunities.”
The following items will be collected:
On Dec. 10, 2011, the SAME Virginia Peninsula Post visited families of veterans receiving care at the Richmond Fisher House at Richmond VA Medical Center in Va. As part of the Post’s outreach program, members have been volunteering and providing comfort to military families in need by sponsoring, cooking and serving them breakfast on a quarterly basis since December 2010.
The Richmond Fisher House is funded in part by the Fisher House Foundation and is one of many facilities located at every major military medical center to assist military families in need. The Richmond Fisher House provides family members of injured veterans free lodging in a supportive, home environment. To date, the Fisher House Foundation has saved military and veteran families an estimated $165 million in lodging and transportation costs.
During visits, Post members frequently bring their spouses and children to help serve the residents and staff of the Fisher House a hearty, home-cooked breakfast. Post members and their families are always greeted with a warm welcome. According to Merle Keener, Virginia Peninsula Post’s Outreach Co-Chair, “The gracious hospitality that we have received does not compare to the gratitude we feel for the sacrifices each of these individuals and families have made in the name of freedom.”
The Lower Mississippi Regional Training Conference & Expo was held Sept. 7-9, 2011, in New Orleans, La. The SAME Louisiana Post hosted the event which featured technical sessions on Coastal Protection and Restoration.
Col. Edward R. Fleming, Louisiana Post President, presented a coastal brief articulating the vulnerability of Louisiana’s coastal land while also highlighting its rich culture and heritage. Col. Fleming expressed that Coastal Louisiana is one of the United States’ most biologically productive areas but about a football field worth of coastal land is lost every hour due to natural causes and human activities.
The conference also included technical sessions from various representatives of the Louisiana Coastal Protections and Restoration Authority (LACPRA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District. Speakers discussed current efforts of their respective organizations to develop a “road map” for planning and implementing a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration program. Additionally, the sessions focused on policy, procedural and legislative efforts to effectively support and implement this road map.
The last technical session was entitled Green Power Initiatives by Alain D. Flexer, Esq., Energy Manager, Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES). MARFORRES has centralized headquarters in New Orleans and is currently developing green initiatives including wind energy, geothermal and solar energy projects.
Attendees also enjoyed viewing the products and services of companies exhibiting in the Expo, and a bus tour of the New Orleans Metro and Orleans East portions of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. The tour included a stop at the Seabrook Floodgate Complex construction site and a drive-by view of the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (IHNC) Surge Barrier.
With the goal of increasing readiness and homeland security awareness, the Oklahoma City (OKC) Post hosted a Readiness Homeland Security Workshop entitled The Role of Homeland Security 10 Years after 9/11. The event was held in the Oklahoma State Capitol Rotunda, located along Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.
The workshop started with a briefing on SAME’s readiness mission by OKC Post Readiness Chair Ivan Quate. Next, attendees visited the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management, where Kim Edd Carter, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OHS) Director, gave a presentation on OHS' role in fighting and preventing terrorism.
Carter explained that the state of Oklahoma is no stranger to terrorism. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed April 19, 1995, resulting in a death toll of 168 people, which included 19 children. This incident, also known as the Oklahoma City Bombing, happened six years before the al-Qaeda attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. occurred. During his presentation, Carter discussed OHS' goal, three strategic objectives and three major focus areas. Workshop attendees also learned about OHS' regional response system, which includes a vast array of specialized units including bomb squads, search and rescue units, CBRNE (chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear and explosive) units, decontamination trailers, foreign animal disease units and regional emergency medical services systems. Carter emphasized the importance of readiness and said OHS strives to increase public awareness and preparedness to keep Oklahoman’s as safe as possible from all types of terrorism attacks.
The workshop agenda also included a tour of the Oklahoma State Emergency Operations Center (EOC). EOC is operated by the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and was built in 1963 in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. EOC sits 25 ft below ground under three ft of steel-reinforced concrete with steel-reinforced concrete walls. There is a back-up EOC located in Oklahoma City, where operations can be conducted if the main center is not operational, and two other EOCs located elsewhere in the state.
As the last part of the workshop, Michelann Ooten, Deputy Director for the Office of Emergency Management, provided an informational briefing on the function and mission of OEM. Ooten stated that in addition to operating the EOC, OEM also supports 911 local emergency management programs, assists with Emergency Operation Plans, disaster training and provides public education and information programs.
Trudi Logan, OKC Post President, says that the 2011 Readiness and Homeland Security Workshop was interesting, informative and succeeded in raising awareness of security issues sensitive to all Oklahomans.
On Sept. 17, SAME Pikes Peak Post hosted a Boy Scout Engineering Merit Badge event at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Pikes Peak Post organized the event to support the completion of the Boy Scout Engineering Merit Badge. The event attracted 34 Boy Scouts eager to master their badge material and earn the coveted Engineering Merit Badge.
The Scouts were welcomed by Pikes Peak Post President Cindy Lincicome and Post Vice President Col. Joseph Schwarz, USAFA. Lincicome and Schwarz spoke about USAFA as an engineering school and discussed the importance of working toward being an Eagle Scout. Lt. Col. Jeff Heiderscheidt, Head of the USAFA Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, also greeted the Scouts and provided merit badge counseling. The boys were instructed and guided by several USAFA professor and cadet volunteers from station to station.
The day’s activities included a tour and history overview of the Cadet Chapel, a tour through an active construction site, hands-on engineering activities, civil and electrical engineering laboratories and interviews with military and civilian engineers. Counseling sessions where counselors interviewed the boys one-on-one to evaluate their mastery of the merit badge material concluded the day’s agenda.
At the end of the Pikes Peak Post’s Boy Scout Engineering Merit Badge Event, 28 Boy Scouts were awarded with Engineering Merit Badges.