Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Saturday, November 18 2017 @ 08:51 AM AKST

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Honoring Veterans

Military and Veterans

Thank you.

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Memorial Day

Military and VeteransWe will not forget...

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Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day

Military and VeteransWHEREAS, Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day has been established by the Alaska State Legislature on April 9 of each year to recognize and honor all former prisoners of war (POWs) from our nation’s wars who have returned home, and to commemorate the date of April 9, 1942, in which the largest number of Americans were captured during World War II’s Conquest of Bataan; and

WHEREAS, in 1970, Mrs. Mary Hoff, wife of an MIA service member, and member of the National League of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia recognized the need for a symbol for our POW/MIAs. Newton Heisley, a graphic designer and WW II veteran, designed a flag to represent the group. Heisley’s son Jeffrey was returning from Marine training at Quantico, VA after becoming ill, and his gaunt appearance became the inspiration for the silhouette on the flag; and

POW/MIA Flag

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Memorial Day

Military and VeteransWHEREAS, since 1971, the last Monday in May has been officially designated as Memorial Day to pay tribute and to honor those who have given their lives in all American wars; and

WHEREAS, Memorial Day was first observed in 1868 to remember fallen Civil War soldiers; and

WHEREAS, generations of brave, selfless, patriotic men and women have served in the military, protecting and defending our nation, and countless warriors have laid down their lives in the ultimate sacrifice; and

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Governor Walker Signs Bill to Designate Military Family Day

Military and VeteransGovernor Bill Walker signed into law yesterday House Bill 175, sponsored by Representative Bob Lynn, to designate November 1 of every year as Military Family Day.

“The men and women who serve in our military make tremendous sacrifices—and so do their family members,” said Governor Bill Walker. “We salute these heroes on the home front. Alaska is home to a number of military installations, so it’s only right that we set aside a day to honor the families who support and love those who serve.”

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Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day

Military and VeteransWHEREAS, Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day has been established by the Alaska State Legislature on April 9 of each year to recognize and honor all former prisoners of war (POWs) from our nation’s wars who have returned home, and to commemorate the date of April 9, 1942, in which the largest number of Americans were captured during World War II’s Conquest of Bataan; and

WHEREAS, in 1971, while the Vietnam War still being fought, Grahme Wilkin, the wife of a service member missing in action (MIA) and member of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for a symbol of our prisoners of war and those missing in action; and

WHEREAS, the first official commemoration honoring America’s prisoners of war and those listed as missing in action (MIA) from our nation’s wars, was on July 18, 1979; and

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Gov. Walker Fights to Keep Military Families

Military and VeteransGovernor Bill Walker yesterday spoke with U.S. Secretary of the Army John McHugh about the Department of Defense’s pending decision on troop reduction, and the possible elimination of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. Throughout their conversation, Governor Walker stressed the strategic value of keeping Army forces in Alaska.

Secretary McHugh told Governor Walker the issue is still under consideration, but that a decision is imminent.

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Gov. Walker Says Fight for Troops Not Over

Military and VeteransGovernor Bill Walker today expressed his disappointment and concern over the U.S. Army’s decision to remove 2,600 troops from Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson and 75 troops from Fort Wainwright, but said he will not stop fighting to keep those soldiers in Alaska. This reduction is a part of the U..S. Army’s larger effort to eliminate 40,000 troops nationwide.

“The decision to eliminate thousands of soldiers from JBER and Fort Wainwright will have harmful impacts on Alaska and the entire United States,” said Governor Walker. “I am by no means done fighting to keep these troops here. The military plays an integral role in Alaska’s safety and economic stability, and I will do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t change.”

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Gov Announces New Chapter in the Alaska Guard

Military and VeteransJune 15, 2015 ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker today thanked Retired Judge Patricia Collins for her work on a special investigation into allegations of sexual abuse, harassment and wrongdoing in the Alaska National Guard.

The report was released to the public today. Governor Walker also administered the oath for Major Brian Fuchs as the first credentialed provost marshal of the Alaska National Guard. As provost marshal, Major Fuchs will be able to work closely and seamlessly as a liaison between the National Guard and law enforcement officials around the state to improve exchange of information.”

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Special Investigator’s National Guard Report Released

Military and VeteransJune 15, 2015 (Anchorage, AK) – Attorney General Craig Richards today released the public report from the special investigator, retired Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins, regarding the Alaska National Guard (AKNG).

Ms. Collins was asked to take a comprehensive look into the circumstances surrounding allegations of sexual abuse and harassment within the AKNG between 2010 and 2014 and report her findings. Her investigation included going over all of the previous reports; reviewing thousands of pages of documents, including the unredacted records recently released in relation to the public records litigation; conducting over 60 interviews; and accessing additional information from various agencies and individuals. The original contract with Ms. Collins allowed up to $50,000 for an hourly fee of $156.84. In the end, the investigation took over four months to complete, and Ms. Collins donated over 100 hours of her time pro bono to complete the investigation, after the contract amount had been reached.

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Have a Safe Memorial Day Weekend, and Remember the Fallen

Military and VeteransMemorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

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New Alaska Air Guard leader takes command

Military and VeteransBy Tech. Sgt. N. Alicia Halla

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska— A new commander for the Alaska Air National Guard officially took charge at a change-of-command ceremony here April 19.

The outgoing commander, Brig. Gen. Timothy O’Brien, returned the organization’s command flag to the adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, Brig. Gen. Laurie Hummel, after more than two years of holding command.

Hummel, in turn, passed the flag to Mansfield, signifying Mansfield’s acceptance of responsibility.

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Governor Walker Applauds Air Force Decisions

Military and VeteransApril 14, 2015 JUNEAU—Governor Bill Walker today praised the United States Air Force for two announcements: its decision to keep the 18th Aggressor Squadron F-16s at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) and the commencement of an environmental review process to station two F-35A Lightning squadrons at Eielson.

“This is great news for Alaska, given our strategic location in the world,” Governor Walker said. “Having these F-16 fighter aircraft, at the ready, here in the Interior of Alaska, enhances our nation’s overall readiness.”

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Alaska Army National Guard to welcome new commander

Military and VeteransJOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska—The Alaska Army National Guard will welcome a new commander during a change of command ceremony March 22 at the Alaska National Guard armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Col. Joseph Streff will take command of the Alaska Army National Guard during a special ceremony, taking the colors from Brig. Gen. Leon M. “Mike” Bridges, who has commanded the Alaska Army National Guard since January 2012 and will retire May 1.

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Today is Veterans Day

Military and VeteransThank you for your service.

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