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Department of Veterans Affairs  VA provides health care and benefits to our nation's Veterans.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Jeff Martinelli. Jeff served for more than 20 years.

Jeff served multiple roles while in the Navy. He is fluent in Farsi and utilized his language skills as an intelligence analyst. Jeff deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Bahrain during his sea duty. Over the course of his career, he supervised multiple units of sailors.

Jeff retired as a master chief petty officer in 2014. Currently, he is a MBA student at Texas Christian University and recently created a start-up "Fouled Anchor Coffee”. He enjoys bass fishing and cycling in his free time.

Thank you for your service, Jeff!

On Saturday, Philadelphia National Cemetery honored the 350 U.S. Colored Troops buried there, most of whom trained for combat during the Civil War at nearby Camp William Penn. Designed and erected by the National Cemetery Administration, a new commemorative storyboard was installed where most of the soldiers are buried. It honors the achievements and sacrifices these Veterans made during the Civil War. #HonoringVets

Thank you to the Veterans Motorcycle Club from Hope Mills, North Carolina, and their friends for visiting the Fayetteville VA Medical Center. For more than 30 years, the group has organized spring and fall runs to raise money to help the medical center with a variety of needs. During the recent drop by, they gave another generous donation and spent time with Veterans in the Community Living Center. #HonoringVets

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran and former Ambassador Bismarck Myrick. Bismarck served during the Vietnam War from 1959 to 1980.

Bismarck is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia and was born in December 1940. He joined the Army after graduating high school in 1959 and served for 20 years before retiring.

Bismarck began his a career with military police and was stationed in Japan and Germany before becoming an officer. His first assignment was as an infantry officer in South Korea. Bismarck deployed as an infantry company commander in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. In 1969, he enrolled in the University of Tampa and earned a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1972. Bismarck went on to earn a Masters of Arts in history from Syracuse University in 1973, where he began learning Amharic, the language of Ethiopia.

In 1975, Bismarck began working in Ethiopia as an Army foreign area officer until 1979. He then accepted a position in the State Department on 1980 and was assigned as a desk officer for Somalia. Bismarck went on to serve as a political officer in Liberia, working various departments in Washington D.C.; then serving as a deputy director for policy for South Africa and the Caribbean. From 1995 to 2002, he was appointed as the ambassador to Lesotho until 1998 and then, the ambassador to Liberia until he retired from the Foreign Service.

Bismarck was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and four Bronze Star medals for his service in the Army. He was also inducted into the U.S. Army Hall of Fame in 1996 and was given the highest honor that the Kingdom of Lesotho can offer a non-citizen. He is currently a political science teacher at Old Dominion University as an Ambassador-in-Residence.

Thank you for your service, Bismarck!

Alabama National Cemetery hosted a ceremony honoring the more than 6 million women who supported America's war efforts during #WWII. From 1941-1945, "Rosie the Riveters" entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers, with more than 300,000 American women working in the U.S. aircraft industry. We thank them for their service then, and through the years since. #HonoringVets

World War II Veteran Art Haug celebrated his 100th birthday at the Topeka, Kansas, VA Medical Center campus with the help of family, friends and VA staff. Folks came from Florida and Arizona to celebrate and honor him. He told his local TVnews station, “I feel like I’m 21…no 18, 18,” he said. “I feel pretty damn good.” #HonoringVets #WorldWarIIVet

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It was a special day earlier this month for North Dakota Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Rachel Syverson who joined her father, Dennis Westlin, in the ceremonial raising of the U.S. flag at the Minnesota @twins baseball game. Westlin, a Marine Corps Veteran, served as helicopter gunner and crew chief in Vietnam from October 1966 through November 1967. Father and daughter participated as part of the Twins' Armed Forces Flag Raising Program honoring U.S. Veterans and active duty members. #HonoringVets #VietnamVet
Photo by: 119th Wing North Dakota Air National Guard

At the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, traditional musicians took center stage last week at the 9th annual Richmond Bluegrass Jam. The "jam" benefits the Richmond Fisher House and its Veteran patients being treated at McGuire. Thirty of the region’s best bluegrass and Americana bands played on three indoor stages. Over the past eight years, the Bluegrass Jam has raised and donated more than $140,000 to the Fisher House. #HonoringVets

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Tammie Jo Shults. Tammie Jo served for 10 years as a pilot and earned the rank of lieutenant commander.

Tammie Jo grew up on a New Mexico ranch near Holloman Air Force Base where she developed her interest in flying. She attended MidAmerica Nazarene University, graduating in 1983. A year after taking the Navy aviation exam, Tammie Jo found a recruiter who processed her application. She attended officer candidate school in Pensacola, Florida, and was assigned to a training squadron at Naval Air Station Chase Field in Beeville, Texas. Tammie Jo was an instructor pilot, teaching students how to fly the Navy T-2 trainer. She later flew the A-7 Corsair in Lemoore, California.
Tammie Jo was among the first female fighter pilots for the Navy and was the first woman to fly an F/A-18 Hornet. In 1993, after 10 years of service, she left the Navy.

Tammie Jo completed the successful emergency landing of Southwest flight 1380 at the Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Boeing 737-700 lost an engine, causing shrapnel to strike a window. With 148 people on board, one woman died and seven were injured.
Thank you for your service, Tammie Jo. #HonoringVets

Telehealth is in more than 900 VA medical facilities and has become instrumental in bridging the gap between patients and healthcare in the VA. Some of the benefits include saving time on travel, decreasing wait times and creating more options. To learn more about telehealth visit #HonoringVets

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, the Asheville, North Carolina, VA Medical Center is giving kudos to Air Force Veteran and @davhq van driver Dave Tubergen. Dave has been a DAV driver for more than 13 years and has accumulated more than 7,100 hours. He's also a photographer and comes to almost every event and takes pictures for the facility. He was Volunteer of the Year in 2008 and a recipient of VA Asheville's Key Award in 2017. Thank you for your continued service! #HonoringVets #Volunteering

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