Disabled Air Force Veteran in Need of Work is Hired at Lowes, Along with His Service Dog

Air Force veteran, Clay Luthy, with service dog, Charlotte. (Photo: Facebook snapshot)

Air Force veteran, Clay Luthy, with service dog, Charlotte. (Photo: Facebook snapshot)

December 9, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

Times are tough for the average American looking for a job but when you figure in a disability that requires a service dog be present at all times that task seems an impossibility. For Air Force veteran, Clay Luthy, a job became a reality when a Lowes store in Abilene, Texas hired him and his 10-year-old service dog.

According to The Huffington Post, Clay, 35, had endured several knee surgeries that kept him from reenlisting in the Air Force. Because he needs his service dog, Charlotte, with him in case of falls, it was a struggle to find work.

Though Luthy’s line of work after the military had mainly been handy-man gigs. His wife, however, suggested he apply at the store in which he spent so much time, Lowes.

Jay fellers, a human resource manager for Lowes, stated, “We were interviewing people for his position. And he was one of the applicants. And so he showed up for the interview and he had Charlotte with him.”

Lowes has always allowed well-behaved non-service dogs in their stores but what most people may not know is they also have an undisclosed number of service dogs working at various locations.

Fellers felt that Luthy was the best person for the job. “So, we went through the interview process and Clay and his own merit won the job. And we knew he was gonna make a great employee – we just got the benefit of getting Charlotte right along with him.”

Over the last two months of employment with Lowes, the duo has been a huge hit as they both perform their jobs in matching vests.

Judy Decher Rose, a Lowes customer, went to Facebook with her excitement over the unusual hiring.

Judy Rose’s husband, Brian, a retired veteran, told The Washington Post, “So I was actually impressed, one, that they hired a disabled vet, but also [a vet] with a dog. Because the dog could be a liability if somebody tripped over him or if something happened to a customer . . . and they took the chance on him anyways, and I thought that’s pretty awesome.”

Well, Rose’s Facebook post went viral in no time being shared almost 200 thousand times thus far. Praise for Lowes continue to pour in as the likes and shares to the Facebook post go ever higher.

A spokesman for Lowes reaction to the whole media frenzy is nothing short of modest as he stated that hiring the two was “simply a matter of accommodating a qualified employee,” according to The Washington Post.

Not only has Charlotte, the retriever, won the hearts of customers but so has Lowes and their willingness to work with the brave heroes that serve our country proudly and selflessly.


Written by Lorra B.

The Air Force Transgender Can Now Seek Gender-Specific Exemptions

United States Air Force (Photo: Public Domain)

United States Air Force (Photo: Public Domain)

October 18, 2016

By Lorra B.

The Air Force has provided temporary ‘gender-specific’ exclusions for airmen seeking to change gender, according to Military.com.

When it comes to bathrooms, uniform requirements and tests of physical fitness, the transgender airmen will be given a different set of rules.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James stated, “This is another step in allowing transgender airmen to serve openly, receive medical care relating to gender transition and allow transgender individuals to join the Air Force. Our strengths as a military are the quality and character of our people, and those things that make us unique are the same things that make us strong.”

The question on many minds is whether this move indeed makes the military strong or does it cause confusion, a separate set of rules for specific individuals and a division among the troops?

Regardless of your view of this issue, military modifications are here and the changes are detailed in a 17-page Air Force memo that was released last week.

The memo states that transgender airmen will be allowed to serve as long as they meet the outlined requirements.

“It is Air Force policy that service in the United States Air Force should be open to all who can meet the rigorous standards for military service and readiness. Consistent with the policies set forth in this memorandum, transgender individuals shall be allowed to serve in the Air Force,”

The memo reads, “Transgender airmen will be subject to the same standards as any other service member of the same gender; they may be separated, discharged, or denied reenlistment or continuation of service under existing processes and bases, but not due solely to their gender identity or an expressed intent to transition genders.”

Any airman going through hormonal therapy, though having to maintain a fitness regime, may be exempt from physical fitness tests.

“Transgender airmen undergoing cross-sex hormone treatment may request an exemption from taking the Fitness Assessment (FA) during their period of transition, prior to a gender marker change in MilPDS.”

Until the transgender airmen’s ETP request has been approved, they must maintain dress and appearance codes of their current gender.

As for the bathroom scenario, waivers may be requested to use bathrooms that they identify with, which is outlined in the memo.

“In executing any accommodation, the unit commander will take into account the physical construction of the facilities as well as the privacy of other members using the facilities in question. The unit commander should consider and balance the needs of the transgender individual and the needs of the command.”

Policy states those seeking to join the service who have ‘gender dysphoria’ or in the process of any gender transition, genital reconstruction or sex reassignment will be unable to join unless having been cleared by medical provider that they are indeed able to serve and function in the military and are stable in every way.

It’s a brand new day, and it’s a brand new military.

Related Video:

By Lorra B.

Air Force Lands New Ski Resort In Utah For Military & Their Families

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Hoppis skis with his fellow Marines during ski tour training conducted at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif.  (Photo: Public domain)

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Hoppis skis with his fellow Marines during ski tour training conducted at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif.
(Photo: Public domain)

August 10, 2016

By Lorra B.

After 14 years of searching it is Park City, Utah, where construction on a new ski lodge for military and their families could start within a few years.

According to Hill Air Force Base, the Air Force and Utah have partnered together on this project and will be built on six acres in Wasatch County on prime real estate.

“This really, I think, will provide a world-class recreation experience for military members and their families,” stated David Williamsen, who heads up the ‘enhanced-use’ offices at Hill Air Force Base. “It’s something that I think will be a good thing for Utah and a good thing for the Air Force and the military.”

The ski resort will be for use by all four branches of the military as well as the general public.

Rooms from the resort will be set aside for military personnel at reduced rates; the lower your rank, the less you pay, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

According to the U.S. Military hotels like this boost morale.

“The Air Force is really good at doing our mission, which is defending the nation,” Williamsen said. “We recognize that we don’t run resorts. We try to do a really good job with our Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, but really recognize that if this is going to work, it needs to be done on a very professional basis.”

The military currently has four other recreational resorts that are operated by MWR employees. These resorts, open only to approved military users and ‘sponsored guests,’ made a $39.8 million profit in 2015.

The Utah resort, however, will most likely be owned by Utah’s Military Installation Development Authority.

Williamsen stated that the resort has been a long time coming.

Related Video:

In Reversal, VA Seeks To Offer Aid To Air Force Reservists Exposed To Agent Orange

(Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain)

(Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain)

June 15, 2015

Associated Press H/T Fox News:

Reversing a long-held position, the Department of Veterans Affairs now says Air Force reservists who became ill after being exposed to Agent Orange residue while working on planes after the Vietnam War should be eligible for disability benefits. 

The VA said it has been working to finalize a rule that could cover more than 2,000 military personnel who flew or worked on Fairchild C-123 aircraft in the U.S. from 1972 to 1982. Many of the Vietnam-era planes, used by the reservists for medical and cargo transport, had sprayed millions of gallons of herbicide during the 1955-1975 military conflict in Southeast Asia. 

If the White House Office of Management and Budget approves the change, it would be the first time the VA had established a special category of Agent Orange exposure for military personnel without “boots on the ground” or inland waterways service in Vietnam. That could open the VA to renewed claims by thousands of other veterans who say they were exposed to Agent Orange in less direct circumstances, such as on the open sea. 

The announcement is expected as early as this week. 

“It’s certainly taken long enough,” said Jeanne Stellman, a public health professor who has done extensive research on Agent Orange at Columbia University. She described the VA’s move as welcome but little to celebrate over. “These veterans have paid the price of mistreatment and neglect.” 

An Institute of Medicine report in January concluded that many C-123 reservists had been exposed to chemical residues on the aircraft’s interior surfaces and suffered higher risks of health problems as a result. The institute is part of the National Academy of Sciences, a private organization chartered by Congress to advise the government on scientific matters. 

Using that report, the department “determined that potentially exposed veterans would be eligible for Agent Orange-related benefits,” the VA said in a statement. It also is reviewing whether certain active-duty troops may have been exposed. “Our goal is to ensure all affected C-123 crewmembers receive disability benefits and medical care.” 

Before requesting the report, the VA had generally denied claims submitted since 2011 by C-123 reservists, saying it was unlikely they could have been exposed to Agent Orange from the residue. 

About 653,000 Vietnam-era veterans have received Agent Orange-related disability benefits since 2002, when the VA officially began tracking the cases. 

The proposed rule would expand coverage under the 1991 Agent Orange Act to reservists who were stationed at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh Air National Guard Base and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

More at Fox News

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

Guards at Air Force Base Are Ordered To Stop Saying ‘Have A Blessed Day’

dMarch 13, 2015

Comment by Jim Campbell.

One of the first of many ironies one discovers when stepping across the line to swear an oath to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution, is exactly how many of those rights are given up in the process.

Have we become sick enough of the political correctness that has invaded our military by gutless paper pushers at the Pentagon?

By One News Now.com:

It appears the United States Air Force has had a change of heart about banning the use of the phrase: “Have a blessed day.”

The controversy originated at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia when a visiting member of the military objected to a guard at the gate telling people as they were cleared for entry to “have a blessed day.” That individual took his complaint directly to Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an atheist group, which then notified the base. Base leaders then told the gate guard to cease his greeting.

The American Family Association and others brought the matter to the public’s attention on Thursday.

Reports say the U.S. Air Force has now lifted the ban. Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty told Fox News this morning the USAF has issued a statement that says: “Upon further review and consultation, the Air Force determined use of the phrase ‘Have a blessed day’ as a greeting is consistent with Air Force standards and is not in violation of Air Force Instructions.”

More at One News Now.com:

H/T We The People

Disclaimer: This was not written by Lorra B.

Phantom – Memories Of A U-2 Pilot…and Spy

dJanuary 15, 2015

A Trivial Mind At Work:

A friend of mine sent me this story. Other than Francis Gary Powers, I do not know that anyone has heard much of anything about the U-2 spy plane program. The entire program stands as a forgotten footnote from the Cold War. This article offers a personal glimpse into the life of a U-2 spy…

Men like this guy never get any attention in the press, and that’s how they prefer it. Unfortunately, but understandably, not all U-2 pilots survived to tell their stories in their old age.

Pic 2

Pic 1

Cliff Beeler was a spy. He didn’t hang out on shadowy street corners with his trench coat collar obscuring his face. The Air Force major, now retired, spent his snooping time in a plane. Beeler, 88, of Riverside, was a U-2 pilot at the height of the Cold War.

Pic 3

His missions took him over Russia, Cuba and China, photographing targets from nearly 80,000 feet up. His planes crashed more than once. He was occasionally targeted by MIG fighters, and he once landed on and took off from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific using only a few feet of the deck.

Beeler, who grew up in Santa Ana and spent most of his retirement in Santa Barbara, is a resident of Air Force Village West, near March Air Reserve Base. Recent back surgery has left him reliant on a walker, but his memories are as vibrant as ever. He remembers enlisting at 19, learning to fly a P-51 fighter and being on his way to Saipan to get ready for the invasion of Japan. Then the United States dropped its atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war was over, and Beeler was sent home.

Unlike many of his fellow pilots who left the service, Beeler stayed in. He learned to fly the Air Force’s first jets and then trained others to fly them. Then the U-2 program caught his eye. “I wanted to fly the latest,” he said. There were never more than 24 pilots in the program, he said. In 1958, he entered the program. He spent seven years flying missions high above the Earth — out of the range of other planes and most other defenses — in the long-winged, lightweight plane. It was not an easy task, he said. As a plane climbs in altitude and the air thins, it must go faster to avoid a stall. The higher it climbs, the faster it needs to fly. Above 70,000 feet, the critical stall speed approaches the plane’s Mach speed, or the speed of sound — somewhere above 650 mph at that altitude. If that barrier is crossed, the shock waves can break the plane apart. U-2 pilots usually had a window of less than 12 mph between the two speeds. They had to keep the plane within that window for hours at a time.

Beeler learned the hard way what it meant to violate that window. He was above Louisiana on a night flight when he reached Mach speed.“It tore the tail off,” he said. “The plane flipped over, and that tore the wing off.” The plane fell apart, he said, and at 78,000 feet, “I’m out in space. That’s a long way down.”

Fortunately, he was in a pressure suit with oxygen and had a parachute. After a long free-fall, he opened his chute and found himself floating toward the ground. To his right, he could see lights on the ground. To his left, the same. But beneath him, all was black. He remembered he was over Louisiana, “I said, ‘That looks like a swamp.’” It was.

“I landed in a big cypress tree,” he said. My chute got caught and swung me into the trunk. Telling the story, Beeler reached down toward his calf, “I always kept a double-bladed knife in my pocket,” he said. He was able to cut himself free of the parachute and use the ties to lash himself to the tree. He took off his helmet and dropped it into the darkness below. There was a distant splash. “All I could think about was alligators and cottonmouths in the swamp,” he said.

Lucky for Beeler, the breakup of his plane had been spotted on radar. Within an hour and a half a rescue helicopter was overhead. Another close call came over Cuba ..Beeler said MIG jets would fly beneath the U-2 planes, at about 50,000 feet. The fighter pilots would sometimes attempt to reach the spy planes by turning on their afterburners and flying straight up, higher than the Migs were capable of operating effectively. A Cuban pilot’s effort was particularly memorable, Beeler said.

“I look back and there’s this MIG tumbling about 50 feet off my wing,” he said. The plane was so close that he could see the pilot’s face. Remembering, Beeler turned his hand cockeyed in front of his face. “His goggles were like this and his face was … ” The sentence ends in a grimace, Beeler’s eyes and mouth wide. “He was sure scared up there.”

Beeler took the U-2 on numerous missions over Cuba , providing information on the country’s armaments and the strength of its air force. Images from U-2 flights, he said, showed that Castro had only a few dozen bombers instead of the more than 400 he had claimed. At one point, Beeler said, President John F. Kennedy stopped by the U-2 headquarters in Del Rio, Texas, to talk to the pilots. “He said, ‘You guys gave me information that prevented World War III at least twice,’” Beeler said.

Sometimes the U-2’s high resolution, long-range camera captured images that had nothing to do with national security. During one Cuban mission, Beeler spent some time following the coastline. Afterward, he was called into the lab by the man in charge of analyzing the film. “He showed me a picture of this Cuban gal sunbathing nude on the beach,” Beeler said. “It was so clear I could see she had blue eyes. The analyst said, ‘The only film these guys want to work with is your film.’” Returning from another mission, he took some images over San Diego . Later, he was shown a photo of a man sitting in his backyard reading the paper. “I could read the headline on the newspaper,” he said.

Pic 5

Pic 6

Beeler is semi-famous among pilots for landing his U-2 on an aircraft carrier. The landing followed a mission over northeast Russia . The U-2’s 80-foot wingspan meant it could only go a short distance before it collided with the superstructure of the ship. Because of the ship’s speed and a headwind, Beeler said he was able to touch down and come to a stop in about five feet.

“When I came aboard they had a ceremony welcoming the Air Force into the Navy. I said, ‘I don’t have much I like about the Navy except one thing,’” he said. That one thing was the Navy pilots’ leather jackets. Before he left the ship the following day, the captain had given him one. It lasted. “I gave it to my son last week,” he said.

Among the military photos and plaques on the wall of his room is a framed row of medals from his service, including the Distinguished Service Cross. He points to the photo of one plane, a B-46. “It was the God-almighty bomber,” he said. But he declined a chance to fly those planes.

“I didn’t like the mission,” he said. “Go out and drop bombs. I wanted to shoot things up.”

After he left the service, in 1965, Beeler said he worked on the Apollo 5 program for three years. He was in charge of purchasing the equipment for the swing arm on the launch tower, he said. He spent the next 25 years selling airplanes. He had his own dealership in the Santa Barbara area.

When his wife, Mary, developed Alzheimer’s disease, he retired to take care of her. After five years, he felt he needed help, so he moved with her to Air Force Village West, which has a nursing home on its campus. “She lasted 11 days after I brought her here,” Beeler said, “I guess I kept her about as long as I could.” The couple, who were married for 65 years, had two sons. The elder son lives in Corona and comes to see him most days, Beeler said. For Veterans Day, he said, he doesn’t have any big plans. “I’ll probably sleep late,” he said.

Article provided by Bob Dix

Desert Storm Vet Hammers Obama Administration For Abandoning Iraq

November 12, 2014

Part 2 – Obama’s Bite Is Bigger than His Bark – – How Has He Done This Term?

Obama, Who has your backPresident Obama’s second term in office is deemed not all it was cracked up to be.

The Arizona Daily Independent wrote, “Obama has been arrogant, dismissive and derisive toward our allies and conciliatory toward our adversaries.” They went on to blast Obama for “handing back a bust of Churchill to the British:”… the “failure to send a single American representative to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral; insulting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on multiple occasions;” and for “failing to attend the funeral of former Polish President Lech Walesa (he was playing golf).

As for our military, it will be shrinking and shrinking fast, if Obama gets his way. The Navy will be cut back like in the times of World War I and the Air Force will shrivel to an all time low in history, according to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Generals and Colonels have been fired or “retired.”

“Some 197 Officers, who were suspected of `disloyalty` to Obama or disagreed with the administration on policy, have been purged…Is Obama’s narcissist paranoia finally coming to the surface?”

These moves leave many Americans worried about the security of our nation, and rightfully so.

“The United States won in Iraq, then Obama lost Iraq. The United States turned the tide in Afghanistan, then Obama lost the country. Obama lost Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria…in effect, he agreed to let Iran have nuclear weapons by doing nothing to stop Iran.”

“Not only will America be unable to defend its allies but also it will be severely stretched to defend its basic national security. All this as Russia slowly swallows up parts of Eastern Europe in order to rebuild a geographical Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and China menaces Japan, Taiwan and the South Pacific nations.”

Obama is making the U.S. vulnerable and is also opening us up for attacks by trading the worst of the worst Taliban extremists for one soldier. Time magazine spoke to a Taliban commander who insisted Obama has given his group an incentive to kidnap more American troops saying the trade “has encouraged our people.”

How is immigration reform going? The president needs the cooperation of the other branches of office to get things done. This is true. However, you can’t make promises that you cannot keep to the American public and not expect a backlash. Everyone has agreed for years that immigration reform was needed yet the boarders remain unsecured and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of illegal aliens continue to cross into our country. In fact, many are herded like cattle and placed into “holding areas” until “we” know what to do with them.

Americans contest that if they are here illegally, then, please, take them back across the boarder to where they belong. Instead, our country is spending an astronomical amount of money on immigrants who don’t belong here while many of our own citizens go without basic needs.

“Conservatives thought that the border between the United States and Mexico was too porous, undercutting American workers and threatening American jobs. Business leaders, particularly those in agriculture, needed seasonal workers that could be reliably and legally employed. Religious groups and progressives bemoaned the inhumanity in a system that deported over 204,000 non-criminal, yet unrecognized immigrants per year, even in cases where the migrant had established deep roots in the communities. And of course Latino Americans were furious at the way that sections of their community were marginalized. Nearly everyone agreed change reform was required, President Obama included.

But since 2012, nothing,” reports The Amerigo. It seems the president has handed the reigns over to the Senate and washed his hands of it.

This takes us back to our last point; our boarders remain unsecured. But, there may be new administration hope.

American’s who where disenchanted with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are singing songs of joy this morning as he was beaten badly in his primary race to Tea Party’s David Brat in the Virginia Primary.

Brat stated to Breitbart News, “Once you announced that kids are welcome (illegals), they’re going to head in,” and he stated that, Cantor, is “the No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty.” But, we have a long way to go until election time and nothing is written in stone until it is done.

How is health care reform going? House Republicans confirmed that half of all Obamacare applications are flawed. That means that at least 4 million Obamacare sign ups have flawed applications. The report released last week by the Energy and Commerce Committee found 2.1 million applications had “inconsistencies” in income, immigration and citizenship. Coverage is jeopardized for 1 in 4 sign-ups.

“While over 1.6 million annual and current income inconsistencies were identified, according to documents, none had been resolved by May 27. Another 1.4 million concerned citizenship and immigration problems, but only 62,000 had been resolved by that point. Just 97,000 of the 4,098,000 discrepancies had been addressed by the end of May,” according to The Daily Caller.

The Obama administration had failed to create the verification system and is blamed for causing customers problems by Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton.

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to reduce the national dept by $120 billion but the Congressional Budget now has no way to estimate the cost of Obamacare. How could they possibly know the cost when Obama has already made 41 changes to it so far, stated the Galen Institute.

The Affordable Care Act is far from Affordable.

How is our economy going? By 2021, America will lose 2.3 million jobs, predicts the Congressional Budget Office, due exclusively to Obamacare. They went on to say that, “Even without Obamacare, millions of Americans cannot find full-time work because of the uncertainty of Obama policies in the marketplace.”

Our government said that our economy had grown during the last three months of 2013, finally recovering from its “chronic lethargy,” stated TownHall.com. The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis begs to differ and stated that the figure of 3.2 percent improvement was a “wild exaggeration.”

“The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of our country’s entire economic output, grew no more than 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter – a pitifully low growth rate for the largest economy in the world.”

Forbes web site stated that, “Average across the four quarters of last year, real GDP added 1.9 percent in 2013 from 2012.” 1.9 percent growth in an entire year is pitiful at best and not the “4 to 5 percent (growth rate) needed to provide enough jobs and restore housing prices to pre-recession levels,” stated an economist at the University of Maryland’s School of Business, Peter Morici.

According to Morici, that’s exactly what is needed to create a pre-recession level which would produce about 350,000 jobs a month. We are far from this and producing only about 200,000 a month.

January saw job increases of a little over 100,000 and only 175,000 in February. March was a low 191,000 and April showed increases of 288,000 jobs. May saw increases of 217,000 but still far below what is needed in this country to bounce back from our recession.

In a different Bureau of Economic Analysis report, a principal cause for the economic growth slowing is that, “personal income hasn’t grown in several months, making it unlikely consumer demand will pick up in the months ahead.

Capital gains tax has risen, reducing risk taking and shrinking job growth which, in turn, affects the stock market.

“This economy stinks. And even though it’s not getting reported on the evening new, the American knows that our country has been moving in the wrong direction ever since 2009,” reports TownHall.com.

With just a few brief examples I can assure you the American people want answers…The American people want the change they were promised. What the American people did not realize when they re-elected President Obama was that his bite was bigger than his bark and he made promises he could not possibly keep.


By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier