Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CSM Jeff Mellinger, a true American hero is retiring after nearly 40 years of service

I am proud to call CSM Jeff Mellinger a friend, and wish I had served with him at the same unit on active duty.  He remains the last draftee from the Vietnam era to continuously serve, nearly forty years.  My first interaction with him was a phone call, and Jeff asked me to help him.  He had just visited a young horribly wounded soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and that soldier was going to die.  The kid had one regret in his life, that he never earned his Ranger Tab.  Jeff asked me if the US Army Ranger Association would award him an honorary tab.  Leaders like Jeff are precious few and far between.  From placing himself in harm's way constantly - his convoys in Iraq were hit 27 times, and twice his personal vehicle was hit - to his love and concern for the grunt soldier, CSM Mellinger has lived up to the Ranger motto:  Rangers Lead the Way.
Rangers Mike Schlitz, Jeff Mellinger, Karl Monger

Here are some great articles.  CSM Mellinger - from a grateful nation, our thanks.

ABC News video
Michael Yon

This July 4th, Listen to a Veteran (article).  This hits right at the heart of the concept of GallantFew.  A quote from the editorial:  "Abundant research shows that social support — not high-powered clinical approaches, but ordinary, compassionate connecting — has enormous healing power. In other cultures, but less so in our own, communities help the traumatized heal by reconnecting them with friends and others."

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is hosting the National Veteran Small Business Conference on August 15-18th, 2011, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, assisted by Halfaker and Associates LLC. As the largest nationwide conference of its kind, the National Veteran Small Business Conference provides Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs and SDVOSBs) an opportunity to learn, network and market their businesses.  It is the only event of the year where you can learn, exchange ideas, and network with business peers, federal government agencies, prime contractors, and industry experts all in one location.  To learn more about this conference, please go to its homepage at: http://www.nationalveteransconference.com/

And now for something completely different, this week Boone Cutler will fill in for me on The New American Veteran.  He will interview... me.  Boone requested the chance to talk with me about the work GallantFew is doing - and I'm looking forward to the interview!

RLTW  Karl

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