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NOTE: The City is sharing this information on behalf of Councilman Pickett.

This is from Councilman Pickett's monthly newsletter, which residents can sign up for at: www.cityofpsl.com/newsletter

December 2023

Welcome to the Veterans' View

Pearl Harbor


Pearl Harbor, situated near Honolulu, Hawaii, served as a U.S. naval base where a devastating surprise attack unfolded on December 7, 1941, orchestrated by Japanese forces. Shortly before 8 a.m. on that fateful Sunday, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended upon the base, resulting in the destruction or damage of nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes. The toll was severe, with more than 2,400 Americans, including civilians, losing their lives, and another 1,000 sustaining injuries. In the aftermath, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought Congress's declaration of war against Japan.

 

While the attack on Pearl Harbor took the world by surprise, tensions between Japan and the United States had been escalating for decades. The U.S. was increasingly discontent with Japan's aggressive stance toward China, viewing it as a means to address economic and demographic challenges by expanding into China's territory. Japan's declaration of war on China in 1937, leading to the Nanking Massacre, prompted the U.S. to respond with economic sanctions and trade embargoes in an attempt to curb Japanese expansionism.

 

Despite months of negotiations, neither side yielded, heightening the inevitability of war. Located around 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland and 4,000 miles from Japan, Pearl Harbor seemed an unlikely target for a Japanese attack. American intelligence anticipated potential hostilities in nearby European colonies, leaving the naval facilities at Pearl Harbor relatively undefended.

 

The Japanese objective was straightforward: cripple the Pacific Fleet to facilitate their expansion across the South Pacific. On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces executed their plan, launching an assault that inflicted significant damage on the battleships moored at Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma suffered catastrophic losses, with the former sinking and trapping over 1,000 men inside.

 

Although the attack caused substantial damage, the Pacific Fleet's essential onshore facilities remained intact. Aircraft carriers, rather than battleships, had become pivotal in naval warfare by the 1940s, and fortunately, all of the Pacific Fleet's carriers were away from Pearl Harbor during the assault. Consequently, the U.S. Navy quickly recovered from the attack.

 

The casualties were grim, with over 2,400 Americans losing their lives, and numerous ships and airplanes being crippled or destroyed. However, the attack failed to cripple the Pacific Fleet strategically. President Roosevelt's address to Congress on December 8 marked a turning point, with the U.S. public rallying behind the decision to enter World War II.

 

Following the attack, on December 8, Congress approved Roosevelt's declaration of war on Japan, and three days later, Germany and Italy, Japan's allies, reciprocated by declaring war on the United States. Thus, the United States, after more than two years of deliberation, officially entered World War II, responding to Japan's unexpected and tragic provocation.


For more information, visit https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/pearl-harbor



Holidays for Heroes

The Holiday Mail for Heroes program is now Holidays for Heroes. This change allows local Red Cross offices to identify and engage in a variety of activities that thank and recognize members of the military and veterans living in our communities. There is no longer a national Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box to which cards are sent. Please contact your local Red Cross office for details.


The Red Cross Holidays for Heroes program enables Americans to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season and other holidays year-round. We are inviting the public to join their local Red Cross offices to thank and recognize members of the military, veterans, and their families through a variety of activities.

 

Christmas Programs for Military Families in Need

Military family budgets, often stretched to their limits, do not contain much money for buying Christmas presents. To help thank military families for the sacrifices they make year-round, many organizations offer programs to make Christmas possible, especially for those with children. The following are some programs and options available to help military families in need.

 

Pay Away the Layaway

Military Benefits is proud to have partnered with Pay Away The Layaway to support military families by paying off their layaway balances at Exchanges and retail stores. Pay Away The Layaway is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization fully operated by volunteers.

 

Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays

Numerous organizations offer adopt-a-family programs. Military families who show they need help can submit their wish lists to the organization and donors adopt the families by purchasing items from their wish lists for Christmas. Because of the popularity of adopt-a-family programs, an application must be filled out months before Christmas to get on the list. Pay attention to deadlines and get your application in, as spaces fill up quickly.


Military Installation Support

The family centers at military installations offer assistance in many forms during the holidays, where donations are taken for military families in need. Contact the local installation for how you can help. For assistance, reach out to the Soldier and Family Readiness Group, chaplain, or MWR.

 

Operation Christmas Spirit

Operation Christmas Spirit supports local military families in the form of holiday gratitude by “adopting” over 100 families and fulfilling their Christmas wish lists with gifts for all family members and gift cards to do their shopping. It also sponsors gifts and crafts at unit holiday parties, and “adopting” single Marines and sailors, giving them gifts and gift cards to celebrate near or far from their families.

 

Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront offers many programs for military families throughout the year, and Christmas is no exception. The organization partners with Dollar Tree to provide toys for military children. To receive a gift, you must register for your local Operation Homefront Toy Distribution. If your family lacks the funds for a holiday meal, you can also attend one of the organization’s holiday meal events and receive all of the fixings for the perfect Christmas dinner.

 

Red Cross

The Red Cross provides many military family services including, but not limited to financial assistance and deployment services.

 

Soldiers’ Angels

Soldiers’ Angels sponsor Operation Outreach Holiday Support. Lower enlisted families can sign up to receive a $50-$100 gift card to help pay for a holiday meal and gifts for children up to age 16. Families must sign up for the program by December 15th and are matched with donors from around the United States.

 

Toys for Tots

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children. The program is for all children, including military kids.


Veterans Service Organizations

Many Veterans’ Service Organizations provide a wide variety of holiday support to service members, veterans, and families. Program benefits often include meals, food, gift cards, and adopt-a-family, or adopt-a-veteran programs.

 

Wreaths Across America

Donate to Wreaths Across America, which coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies on a specified Saturday in December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. They organize a week of events, including international veteran’s tributes, ceremonies at State Houses, and a week-long “Veteran’s Parade” between Maine and Virginia.


The local Wreaths Across America will come to St. Lucie County Dec. 13, 2023, at 7:30 a.m. at 4100 Okeechobee Rd, Ft. Pierce. The actual laying of the wreaths will be Dec. 16, 2023. Please call Debbie Staneruck at 772-380-6765.

 

Enjoy the Holidays

 

Whether your service member is deployed or lucky enough to be home for the holidays, take advantage of the Christmas programs for military families to help you enjoy your holidays. Staying connected with your command or unit’s Family Readiness Group can be a way to find out about local programs that offer gifts and meals for military families to help make your holiday even more special. https://veteran.com/christmas-programs-for-military-families-in-need/

It’s A Patriotic Ball to Benefit JROTC Cadets

and Our Future Leaders…

 

You are cordially invited to attend our 2nd Annual Treasure Coast Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (TCC-MOAA) and JROTC Patriots Ball to help raise needed funds to support our JROTC Cadets Scholarship fund. This Fundraising Event will take place on January 13, 2024, from 5:00-10:00 PM. The venue is located at the clubhouse at Santa Lucia River Club, 3325 Ballantrae Blvd, Port Saint Lucie, FL 34952. 

 

TCC-MOAA is a 501(c) (19) public, non-profit, charitable organization located on the Treasure Coast in Florida. Our organization is a member of MOAA National; also, a public, non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in Virginia and declared tax-exempt by the IRS under

 501(c) 3.  


We are committed to demonstrating the highest standards of public trust, accountability, and stewardship of donor's gifts. Our 501(c) 3 Tax Exempt ID # is 54-1659039.


The ball costs $125, with $65 of each ticket sold, which will be used to provide scholarships to our JROTC Cadets in St. Lucie and Martin counties. 

 

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Bobbie L. Williams, President TCC-MOAA, and Tom O’Bra 1VP TCC-MOAA and Patriots Ball Coordinator via email: [email protected] or cell phone: (540) 429-2057 or [email protected] or (954) 997-9271. 

Friends,


As we close out the year and get ready for the Christmas and New Year holiday’s I want to thank each of you for the sacrifices that you have made for our country. I also want to take this opportunity to wish each of you and your families a very prosperous New Year.


Thank you for your continued support of my newsletter. As always if there is anything that I can do for you please do not hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected] 


Also, if there are any veterans’ events that you wish to promote, please send me the information and I will be happy to include the news or event in my newsletter. Please note that for your event to be included in the newsletter in the appropriate month you will need to forward a brochure or link to the event at least a month early. Merry Christmas everyone, God bless.


Respectfully,

Upcoming Events

Visit our events calendar
Thank you Military Support

Local Veterans Organizations

To learn more about resources for veterans, please visit any of the following links:


Mailing Address: 5914 N.W. Bayou Court. Port Saint Lucie, Florida 34986

Burn Pit Registry

VA established this registry in 2014 to put data to work for Veterans and help us better understand the potential health effects of exposure to airborne hazards during military service. By joining the registry, you can provide information that will help VA provide better care to all Veterans. To learn more, click the button below.

Learn More

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Health Issues

File a claim in any of these ways:


Operation Sacred Legacy

Indian River State College and the Office of U.S. Congressman Brian Mast announced Operation Sacred Legacy, an effort to provide as many local veteran interviews as possible for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. To learn more, click the button below.

Visit our Website

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Councilman Pickett

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Councilman Pickett

David Pickett, District 2 Councilman

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