Wes Nakagiri

Livingston County Commissioner, District 3

This research is presented to compare a Trump Administration policy with a Huron Clinton Metroparks policy. After reading this article the author would appreciate your feedback. Do you agree more with this Trump Administration policy or do you agree more with the Huron Clinton Metroparks policy? Do you agree that the Metroparks policy is racist?

On September 22, 2020 President Trump signed an order titled, “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” This order prohibited federal agencies and contractors from educating workers on topics like “White privilege” or from providing other forms of training deemed to promote “scapegoating” based on race or sex. The entire text of the order can be read at:

https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-combating-race-sex-stereotyping/

The preamble to this Executive Order (EO) laid out the rationale for its implementation. In short, President Trump issued this EO to prevent leftist ideologues from “teaching that men, and members of certain races, as well as our most venerable institutions, are inherently sexist and racist.” This excerpt from the EO provides insight as to what President Trump was trying to prevent:

“Today, however, many people are pushing a different vision of America that is grounded in hierarchies based on collective social and political identities rather than in the inherent and equal dignity of every person as an individual. This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.”

The preamble provided three examples of the types of radical leftist training ideology that this EO was intended to prevent.

  • Training materials from Argonne National Laboratories, a Federal entity, stated that racism “is interwoven into every fabric of America” and described statements like “color blindness” and the “meritocracy” as “actions of bias.”
  • Materials from Sandia National Laboratories, also a Federal entity, for non-minority males stated that an emphasis on “rationality over emotionality” was a characteristic of “white male[s],” and asked those present to “acknowledge” their “privilege” to each other.
  • A Smithsonian Institution museum graphic recently claimed that concepts like “[o]bjective, rational linear thinking,” “[h]ard work” being “the key to success,” the “nuclear family,” and belief in a single god are not values that unite Americans of all races but are instead “aspects and assumptions of whiteness.” The museum also stated that “[f]acing your whiteness is hard and can result in feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion, defensiveness, or fear.”

Not surprisingly, this EO was rescinded by the Biden Administration, leaving nothing to restrain radical leftists from propagating their “woke” ideology throughout the federal government.

Had the EO been applicable to the Huron Clinton Metroparks, this taxpayer subsidized park system would have been prevented from indoctrinating their employees with this same woke ideology.

Link to Metroparks DEI plan: https://www.metroparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DEI-PLAN-2020.pdf?x91894

Here are specific examples of the “woke” Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ideologies that the Metroparks would have been prohibited from foisting on their employees:

  • Metroparks’ definition of Implicit Bias: Also known as unconscious or hidden bias, implicit biases are negative associations that people unknowingly hold.
    • The EO specifically prohibited the divisive concept that an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
  • Metroparks’ definition of Institutionalized racism: Differential access to the goods, services, and opportunities of society by race.
    • The EO specifically prohibited the divisive concept that the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist.
  • Metroparks’ definition of White Privilege: A term to capture all of the dynamics that go into being defined and/or perceived as white in society. White privilege grants material and psychological advantages that are often invisible and taken for granted by whites but are very visible to people of color.
    • The EO specifically prohibited race or sex stereotyping. The EO defined race or sex stereotyping as ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of his or her race or sex.
  • Regarding the Metroparks’ woke ideological training, a Metroparks’ employee wrote Commissioner Nakagiri: “. . . I’m insulted to be told all the worlds racial problems are caused by me, my family and my ancestry.”
    • The EO specifically prohibited the divisive concept that an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
    • The EO also specifically prohibited “Race or sex scapegoating.” The EO defined this as assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex because of their race or sex. It similarly encompasses any claim that, consciously or unconsciously, and by virtue of his or her race or sex, members of any race are inherently racist or are inherently inclined to oppress others, or that members of a sex are inherently sexist or inclined to oppress others.

Livingston County Commissioner Wes Nakagiri strongly agrees with this Trump Administration policy and stands in strong opposition to the Huron Clinton Metroparks policy. Nakagiri's opposition to this divisive Metroparks policy is the reason he opposes the reappointment of Mr. Steve Williams. Mr. Williams voted in support of this Metroparks policy and voted to provide $6 million taxpayer dollars to a private entity in order to show more support for "social justice."

Nakagiri said, “I am in full agreement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. People should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I also believe that DEI, along with its Critical Race Theory component is the “woke” ideology that will divide and destroy our country.”

What do you think? What do your friends and family think?

Chip in $5 to help Wes continue the fight!

Facts and statement regarding an appointment to the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority Board
Compiled by Wes Nakagiri, Livingston County Commissioner for District 3

 

Overview

Mr. Williams sought re-appointment to the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority Board. This board is commonly referred to as the Huron Clinton Metroparks Board. Mr. Williams was not successful in being reappointed to a second term.

After failing to be appointed for a second term, Mr. Williams sent a letter to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners and WHMI radio. In his June 4th letter Mr. Williams stated, “Livingston County Board of Commissioners (LC BOC) led by Chair Wes Nakagiri has committed at least three violations of Michigan and federal law against me during the ongoing Huron Clinton Metroparks Commissioner appointment process.”

The following objectively verifiable facts provide context surrounding Mr. Williams' allegations.

 

Background facts

  1. Williams had been Livingston County’s appointed representative on the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA) Board. His term expired on May 21, 2021.
  2. MCL 119.54 provides the Livingston County Board of Commissioners (LCBOC) with the statutory authority to make this political appointment.
  3. Williams completed his term on May 21, 2021. He was not removed from office, rather, his term expired.
  4. No incumbent candidate is entitled to automatically be reappointed into perpetuity. This applies to all appointed positions, not just the HCMA Board position.
  5. On May 19, 2021, the 3-member Personnel Committee passed Resolution 8.6. By approving Resolution 8.6, the Personnel Committee recommended Mr. Williams for approval by the 9-member Livingston County Board of Commissioners.
  6. On May 24, 2021, the LCBOC voted against appointing Mr. Williams as Livingston County’s Representative on the HCMA Board. Mr. Williams received 3 votes in favor of his appointment.

 

Mr. Williams’ claim of “clear anti-veteran bias.”

  1. In his June 4th letter, Mr. Williams stated the LCBOC “. . . totally ignored Michigan Compiled Law 35.401, the Preference in Employment Act 205 . . .” He also stated, “The Army Values were ingrained in me during my 28 years of U.S. Army service and now you are denying me continued employment because I am practicing those values. This by itself demonstrates a clear anti-veteran bias.”
  2. Williams was/is not an employee of the HCMA. He volunteered to serve on the HCMA Board as a political appointee of the LCBOC.
  3. Williams makes his claim of “clear anti-veteran bias” even though he was the first candidate presented to the LCBOC for a vote to be appointed to the HCMA Board.
  4. In his June 4th letter, Mr. Williams stated, “This pattern establishes a clear anti-veteran voting bias on the part of the other five commissioners who do not have the same close connection with military service.” His statement indicates he believes that Commissioner Nakagiri has a “clear anti-veteran voting bias.” Mr. Williams makes this claim even though Commissioner Nakagiri has stated publicly that he opposed appointing Mr. Williams because of his support for the DEI program, which Commissioner Nakagiri views as a “toxic racist ideology” which refers to persons with lighter skin pigmentation as “privileged.” Commissioner Nakagiri voiced specific opposition to Mr. Williams’ support of a $6 million expenditure of taxpayer funds to a private entity in order to show more support for “social justice.”
    1. Commissioner Nakagiri had also publicly stated that he was initially inclined to support the appointment of Mr. Williams, however, he changed his mind after completing his due diligence. This due diligence included a thorough examination of the Huron Clinton Metroparks website, reading HCMA Board meeting minutes, and inspecting Mr. Williams’ voting record.

 

Mr. Williams’ claim that Commissioner Nakagiri violated the Open Meetings Act

  1. In his June 4th letter, Mr. Williams stated, “The LC BOC, led by Chair Nakagiri, has repeatedly violated the Michigan Open Meetings Act of 1976, MCL-267, by conducting deliberations outside of posted, recorded meetings open to the public.”
    1. Williams supplied an email from Commissioner Nakagiri, dated April 23, 2021 at 10:06:21 PM EDT, as support of his allegation.
    2. Commissioner Nakagiri disagrees with Mr. Williams that this email is a violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act of 1976.

Note: In his June 4th letter, Mr. Williams stated there are “at least three violations of Michigan and federal law.” However, his letter discusses two issues. It is unclear what his third issue is.

 

Statement from Commissioner Nakagiri

“I have great respect and appreciation for anyone who serves or has served our country. This heartfelt appreciation includes Mr. Williams as well as my uncles who served in WWII even after President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) incarcerated their family members for being of Japanese ancestry, and the hundreds of troops I have mailed Care Packages to as they served overseas, the veterans I have visited in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor, and the men and women of the 2nd Marine Division serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom III[i]. Spanning decades, my military support activities have connected me with troops, veterans, their families, and those who gave all. They are all American Heroes.

While I do appreciate Mr. Williams’ military service, I do not appreciate his support of an ideology that describes persons with lighter skin pigmentation as privileged and American society as institutionally racist. I have always believed people should be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. The ideology he supports only serves to divide our country.

Not only did Mr. Williams support this ideology with his votes, but he also supported this ideology by giving $6 million of taxpayer funds to a private entity.

My decision to not support Mr. Williams for this political appointment was due to a lack of agreement on his public policy. It was not due to a lack of appreciation of his military service.”

(Click here to view Mr. Williams July 4th letter.)

(On a side note: I responded to a friend of Mr. Williams who disagreed with my point of view. Read my response letter. This detailed letter includes endnotes and source links so that you do not have to take my word for it. You can view the information yourself).

 

[i] Endnote: Mr. and Mrs. Wes Nakagiri received this flag and certificate in recognition of their support of the 2nd Marine Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom III. The Nakagiri’s sent Care Packages, Christmas gifts, and letters of support to these front-line troops.

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(See the next two pictures for a close-up of the text)

bourland certificate

 

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The Livingston County Board of Commissioners is in the process of making an appointment to the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Board. Livingston County Commissioners will be selecting a Livingston County citizen to represent our county for a 4-year term.

I am supporting Tami Carlone for this appointment. Ms. Carlone has the business and financial acumen required to oversee the $50 million budget. But perhaps more importantly, she has the steadfast values and courage of her convictions to push back against troubling, left-wing, racist changes which have recently been implemented by the current Metroparks Board.

Rather than focusing on it core mission of providing recreation and leisure, the Metroparks Board has expanded into the arena of social justice. The Metroparks board is following the lead of more well-known entertainment entities such as the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Entities such as the NFL and the NBA have seen huge declines in customers as these entertainment giants continue to mix a “woke” ideology with their recreational product. For example, after embracing left-wing politics, NBA ratings have declined 45% since 2012. Ratings are at an all-time low because customers do not want to mix politics and entertainment.

It is not unreasonable to expect a decline in Metropark customers as they choose alternative recreational venues that focus upon recreation and leisure without “woke” political ideology. Any decline in customers will be devasting for the Metroparks budget as revenue from operations has been flat for the last five years.

Because the terms “social justice” and “woke” may mean different things to different people, it is best to review the specific actions taken by the Metroparks Board.

  1. Approved by the Metroparks Board on 3/13/20, their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan (DEI) includes racially hostile terms such as “white privilege,” and “institutionalized racism.” This divisive language has demoralized many Metroparks employees. In fact, an employee wrote me saying:

    “Thank you for speaking out and questioning the necessity of the expensive and overreaching Metroparks DEI program. While director McMillian states that the intention is to create a “diverse, inclusive and equitable organization”, what is happening is employee engagement and overall work satisfaction is dismal. Employees in the field see their numbers decrease, and watch as administration cost and staffing skyrocket, and then see nearly half a million dollars spent on training (or as some refer to it as “indoctrination”) that has no impact on their work. As a 20+ year employee I’m insulted to be told all the worlds racial problems are caused by me, my family and my ancestry.”

  2. In November 2020 the Metroparks Board approved giving $6 million to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, a private entity. As described in Metroparks Board Meeting Minutes, this expenditure was done as a means of providing additional support for social justice. It is unacceptable that hard-earned taxpayer dollars should be used in this manner.

  3. The Metroparks Board approved nearly $500,000 for DEI in their 2021 budget. Just two years ago the budget for DEI was $0. This sizeable expenditure takes funding away from Metroparks’ mission of providing recreation and leisure. This expenditure is even more disturbing when one considers that since 2016 administrative expenditures, such as DEI, have grown by 50.24%, while park operations expenditures have grown by 12.25%. Based upon budget growth, it appears that Metroparks has made a conscious decision to de-emphasize its core mission of providing recreation and leisure.

It is not surprising that Board Members appointed by Washtenaw and Wayne Counties voted for these social justice expenditures. What is surprising is the current Livingston County appointee also voted in support of these expenditures.

It is time for a change. Our citizens deserve representation that is more in tune with the values of our county. This is why I am supporting Tami Carlone for Huron Clinton Metroparks Board. Ms. Carlone will spend your money wisely and she will be vigilant in pushing back against taxpayer-funded racist indoctrination. (Some of you may know Ms. Carlone as a Vice-Chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Elected by grassroots conservatives, Ms. Carlone is the Vice-Chair for Outreach.)

If you agree, please send an email in support of Tami Carlone for Huron Clinton Metroparks Board to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

White House 600Wx450HCommissioner Nakagiri has accepted an invitation from the White House to attend a state leadership event with local elected officials from Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. Commissioner Nakagiri will attend briefings by Senior Administration Officials on shared federal-state-local priorities pertinent to Michigan and Livingston County.

These briefings also provide an opportunity for the Commissioner to share Livingston County perspectives with national leadership in Washington D. C. As your representative in County government, Commissioner Nakagiri welcomes your comments and feedback and will hand-deliver your message to the White House. Please send your email message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters can be mailed to Commissioner Wes Nakagiri at P.O. Box 126 Hartland, MI 48353.

Please include your name and address on any correspondence, and please make sure Commissioner Nakagiri receives your message by no later than September 23, 2019.

At its July 15, 2019 meeting, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners voted 7 to 1 in favor of a resolution I submitted. By supporting Resolution 2019-07-104 by a nearly unanimous margin, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners sent a clear message that we believe voters deserve as much information as possible about those who are running for elected office.

My resolution opposed a change to election law that would prevent candidates for County offices from disclosing their party affiliation on ballots provided to voters. If this change were to be enacted, party affiliation would no longer be available to voters to help them select a candidate who best shares their values. Citizens who have traditionally relied on knowing the candidate’s political party (Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Independent, etc) would have been denied this key bit of information as they cast their vote.

Livingston County Administration indicated there is an on-going need for construction management services for minor projects (under $25,000). To address this on-going need the Administration asked several construction management firms to provide bids for this service. At the completion of the bid process, the Administration drafted Resolution 2019-07-102, seeking approval from the Board of Commissioners to enter into contracts with the top firms.

The language of Resolution 2019-07-102 was such that the Administration could pay up to a 10% markup for construction management services. I objected to this language as the low bidder provided a quote of 5%. (Two other bidders provided a quote of 10%.) My objection was further amplified as the low bidder was also the highest performing company as rated by County staff. I did not see the rationale behind paying twice as much as we need to when the low bidder was also the highest performer.

During the July 15, 2019 meeting of the Board of Commissioners, I made a motion to amend the Resolution to limit the markup to 5%, thus saving taxpayer dollars. I opined that the other two companies should match the low bid if they wanted our business. Unfortunately, my amendment did not pass and the Board accepted the 10% mark up by a vote of 7 to 1. I was the lone dissenting vote.

Livingston County has received grant funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. These grants are provided by HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a federal agency. These funds were distributed from HUD to the State of Michigan, and then on to Livingston County.

The CDBG Program provides financial assistance to citizens in need. In Livingston County, the CDBG grants were used for emergency repairs and rehabilitation projects for low-income homeowners.

As with any grant-funded program, the CDBG program has many rules and reporting requirements which help ensure the money is spent appropriately. Regrettably, our county failed to meet all of the requirements and is legally obligated to return approximately $77,000.

The return of $77,000 in grant funding required a vote of the Board of Commissioners, and Resolution 2019-07-101 was presented to the Board to authorize this return. As this issue was debated, I voiced my strong displeasure that we were having to return grant funds which were targeted to help poor and middle-income citizens of our county.  I wanted to know how this happened, and more importantly, what we would do differently to prevent this from happening again. As such, I submitted an amendment to Resolution 2019-07-101. The amendment would have required County Administration to “provide the Livingston County Board of Commissioners with a written analysis describing the countermeasures necessary to prevent of reoccurrence of this event in the future.”

What I viewed as an appropriate and reasonable amendment was not viewed that way by a majority on the Board of Commissioners as my amendment was defeated by a vote of 4 to 4.

 

Prevent New TaxationUnlike Lansing or Washington DC, county government does not pass bills. Instead, county government passes resolutions.

In June 2019 I submitted a resolution to dissolve the Livingston County Building Authority (LCBA). I submitted this resolution because the LCBA enables, under certain circumstance, taxes to be raised without a specific vote of the Board of Commissioners (BOC). By dissolving the LCBA, citizens do not have to worry about taxes being raised without a vote of their elected representatives on the BOC.

I have always believed that only elected representatives should have the power to raise taxes. That way citizens can voice their disapproval at the ballot box. The power to raise taxes should never be given to anyone who is not directly accountable to the voting public. As I did in this case, I will always oppose any mechanism which permits citizens’ taxes to be raised without a vote of their elected representatives.

My resolution to dissolve the LCBA was not warmly embraced by County Administration. In fact, the administration advised me a few days prior to the vote that I did not have enough support from other commissioners on the BOC for my resolution to pass. In spite of this negative forecast, I pursued passage of my resolution because of my steadfast belief in the principle that only elected leaders, who are accountable to the citizens, should have the power to raise taxes.

I am pleased to report that, contrary to County Administration’s prediction, my fellow board members supported my resolution and unanimously voted to dissolve the LCBA, thus closing off this route to raising taxes. I thank my colleagues for their support on this matter.

Footnote: Livingston County’s legal counsel initially sided with County Administration and opined verbally that establishing the LCBA did not open the door to a new route to raise taxes. Having previously read the statute I questioned their interpretation and decided to pursue this matter further. Notwithstanding the legal and administrative obstacles in front of me, I would not be deterred from acting in the best interests of Livingston County taxpayers.

Confident that I had done my due diligence and that my interpretation was correct, I then requested legal counsel to provide a written opinion on this subject. After completing a thorough investigation, legal counsel reversed course and agreed with me. Quoting from their written opinion, legal counsel concluded that the LCBA enabled taxes to be raised “even though the Commissioners did not specifically vote to raise taxes.”

Lady JusticeDuring the June 24th meeting of the full Board of Commissioners, I presented my findings on Livingston County Court resources. Below is a short summary of my report. Click here to view the full report. (Note: you need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report).

One of the primary duties of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners is to provide oversight of the county budget. The overall budget planning process for 2020 has recently commenced. Though the process has just started, there are indications that revenues and expenditures for the Court's portion of the budget would not be in balance. This out-of-balance situation could potentially cause a decrease in county services as funds from elsewhere are shifted to the courts.

Rather than just accept a decrease in other services I decided to thoroughly examine court funding and court resources to answer the question, "Are Livingston County court resources optimally balanced with court workload/caseload?" The key findings of my investigation are summarized below.

  • In 2011 the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Michigan State Court Administrative Offices (SCAO) conducted a workload assessment of courts in Michigan. They found that Livingston County Courts were overstaffed by 6.3 quasi-judicial associates. In fact, Livingston County Courts were the second most overstaffed of all courts in Michigan.
    • See the full report for the definition of quasi-judicial associates.
  • An analysis of caseload data from SCAO showed that from 2010 through 2018 the caseload of Livingston County Courts has declined by over 35%
  • An analysis of staffing data from Livingston County showed that court staffing has increased from 2010 through 2018.
    • This analysis indicates there is now a surplus of 9.5 quasi-judicial associates.
  • A comparison of court budgets and caseloads for Livingston County and Monroe County was conducted. This comparison showed that the cost per court case for Livingston County ($297.62/case) is nearly twice that of Monroe County ($152.98/case).

Further examination of budget and caseload data will proceed as the 2020 budget proceeds. I will continue to keep Livingston County citizens informed about this important topic. 

M 59 signAs a member of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners whose jurisdiction covers Hartland and Tyrone Townships, several citizens have approached me with their concerns about traffic safety along M-59 in Hartland Township. Specifically, they mentioned the high number of traffic accidents from Hartland Woods Drive to Old US 23. Located along this section of M-59 are an assisted living facility, a senior center, a public school, and a school administration building. While the Board of Commissioners does not have jurisdiction over state highways such as M-59, I conveyed to citizens that I would look into this issue.

I analyzed traffic crash statistics compiled by the Michigan State Police for the ten-year period ending in 2018. My analysis concluded that this portion of M-59 had more crashes than the second worst stretch of roadway in all of Livingston County. My entire ten-page analysis can be viewed by clicking here.

In May 2019 I conducted a town hall meeting to present my analysis to our local Traffic Safety Engineer from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), approximately 50 concerned citizens, and community leaders. Among the community leaders were Mike Murphy - Livingston County Sherriff, Bill Fountain – Hartland Township Supervisor, Kathie Horning – Hartland Township Treasurer, and James Wickman – Hartland Township Manager.

The meeting provided a more formal environment for citizens to reinforce their concerns about traffic safety along M-59. Many questions were fielded by the MDOT engineer and the Livingston County Sherriff. I would like to once again thank them for their participation in this event.

After our meeting, the MDOT engineer investigated the status of any planned improvement projects for M-59. Having been recently assigned to the Brighton MDOT office he was not immediately aware of any specific plans to help improve traffic flow and safety.

I am pleased to report that MDOT indicates they are planning the following traffic improvement along M-59 in Hartland:

  • Traffic signals will be installed at the intersections of M-59 and Hacker Road, and M-59 and Clark Road. This work is planned for 2019.
  • A left turn lane will be built on M-59 from Cullen Road to 950 feet east of Hartland Drive. The intent here is to reduce the number of rear-end accidents. This work is planned for 2020.
  • The traffic signal at the Old Hartland High School will be modernized by in 2020.

It is encouraging that MDOT will be implementing several improvements in the near future. As a means of follow-up, I will post any new developments here on this website. If there are further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Booth Volunteers 600Wx447HGreeting Cards for Troops 600Wx710HThe Hartland Memorial Day Parade has long been a tradition in Livingston County. It was a privilege to be invited to march in this ceremony of remembrance for those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and our way of life.

After marching in the parade, I joined with other volunteers from the Livingston County Republican Party in saying thank you to active duty military serving overseas. Citizens visiting our booth signed greeting cards thanking our troops for defending our great nation. These greeting cards were mailed to a Marine Avionics Chief to distribute to his fellow Marines serving overseas.

Here is a note from the Marine Avionics Chief requesting mail and care packages for his unit.

I am the Avionics Chief for VMM-163 Avionics Division. As a Marine on his 12th deployment, I've seen the sad faces when service members don't get any mail. I've also seen how happy it makes the service member to get anything in the mail. My request is that my Marines get anything that reminds them of home. We are on a ship and do have a ship's store but like I said, the smiles on their faces of opening a box from home helps the service member to forget for a moment they are deployed. Thank you for allowing me to submit a request.  

Note: For many years I have used the website http://anysoldier.com/index.cfm to connect with troops and thank them for all they do for our country. This website provides contact information for troops, allowing ordinary citizens to show their support by directly mailing cards, letters, and care packages. This is how I obtained the contact information for the Marine Avionics Chief.

Thank you to Mitch Anderson, Summer McMullen, and Denise O'Connell for volunteering to staff our booth,




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

–General George S. Patton



“The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way -- be willing to give of ourselves.”

–Former President Ronald Reagan