Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division carried a wounded comrade through the jungle, May 1966. (AP, Henri Huet)

Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division carried a wounded comrade through the jungle, May 1966. (AP, Henri Huet)

Today is Veterans Day. As such, I hope you are able to enjoy a day off and contemplate the benefits that were hard won by U.S. veterans. Because you’re busy—or disinclined to read blogs on a holiday—I’ll just point you to two veteran-related items.

The first is the reissuance of an amazing collection of photos from the Associated Press. This collection was photographed during the Vietnam War, and the images are remarkable. See excerpts from the complete set here.

As compelling as they are, I also recommend the accompanying story, written by then-foreign correspondent Ralph Blumenthal. His story opens:

The Things (We) Carried:

Notebook.

Pens.

Cameras.

Film.

Condoms (to protect the rolls of film).

During the Vietnam War, photographers were often reporters and vice versa. Think of The Associated Press bureau chief Malcolm Browne’s 1963 prize-winning photos of a protesting monk committing fiery suicide (Slide 1), which persuaded President John F. Kennedy: “We’re going to have to do something about that regime.” Sure enough, a few months later, President Ngo Dinh Diem was overthrown and shot, followed closely by Kennedy’s own assassination 50 years ago in November.

Working out of the Saigon bureau as a correspondent for The New York Times from late 1969 to early 1971, I usually traveled with a Nikon or two around my neck, purchased cheaply (in those days) on R & R trips to Hong Kong or Singapore. You never knew when a picture would present itself. When it did, it was often bad news. Luckily for me, that didn’t happen much. I was happy to leave it to the professionals.

Read his whole essay here.

The other story is about a collection of military vehicles owned by a wealthy Silicon Valley engineer. Now, the story reports, the collections of tanks and other vehicles will for the first time be on public display, at a Massachusetts museum.

A Main Battle Tank from Russia displayed with other tanks at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portola Valley, Calif., Nov. 6, 2013.

A Main Battle Tank from Russia displayed with other tanks at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portola Valley, Calif., Nov. 6, 2013.

This quirkier story opens:

“The family of a Silicon Valley engineer who amassed one of the nation’s most extensive historic military vehicle collections is giving the tanks, missile launchers and armored vehicles to a Massachusetts-based museum that will preserve and display some of them.”

“Until now, the $30 million fleet of tanks has been refurbished and housed in seven storage sheds on a family estate up a winding, forested road above Silicon Valley; they are visited only under privately arranged tours.”

“But in a deal inked on July 4 and announced Monday in honor of Veteran’s Day, the 240 pieces have been signed over to The Collings Foundation, which preserves historical military aircraft and now plans to add a new military vehicle museum at its Stow, Mass., headquarters.”

Keep reading here.

Veterans Day - US Marine photo

U.S. Marines with the 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines, run for cover as the Taliban approach, in the Nawa district, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Friday, Oct. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Here’s hoping you are not at your desk (as I am) on this Veterans Day. Instead, I hope you’re off work with loved ones, and that you find a few moments to consider the importance of this day.

To help you on that path, I point you toward a great selection of Associated Press military photos. The first in their gallery appears at the top of this blog post. The rest can be seen here.

Happy Veterans Day.

On Friday, Maricopa County dedicated its new court tower, officially taking ownership of the 16-story structure at Second Avenue and Madison Street in downtown Phoenix.

Though operations will not commence in the building until Arizona Centennial Day in February 2012, county staff and supervisors decided to formally mark the delivery of the certificate of occupancy.

As workers made tweaks and final adjustments, dignitaries gathered Friday morning in the building’s lobby for brief remarks by those who played a large part in the building’s completion.

“On time and under budget” was repeated by numerous speakers, clearly pleased to be able to report the fact.

Supervisor Don Stapley said that the county had saved $198 million in financing costs by building when it did—rather than delaying, as detractors had recommended. The building is now debt-free, he said.

“This building is a testament to the courage and tenacity of the board and staff in the face of their challengers,” he said. “The citizens of the county for the next 100 years will be the winners.”

Supervisor Fulton Brock said that the building’s inscription—“The first duty of society is justice”—is what the board and the county stand for.

“This building is the envy of every judicial district in the nation,” Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said. “When Maricopa County sets its mind to something, there’s no stopping it.”

Also speaking was County Manager David Smith, who thanked all of the contractors and vendors.

“Today we celebrate the success of a great team in what will be a 100-year building.”

Smith described some of the many unique elements of the new structure, such as separate waiting areas for victims and defendants, holding cells that will accommodate more than 1,000 inmates, and a variety of courtroom designs made to address varying needs. Smith also noted that there were more than 2 million work hours on the project with no lost-time accidents.

Assistant County Manager for Public Works Kenny Harris praised the three construction and design teams that led the operation: HDR, Parsons and Arcadis.

Event attendees stood atop one of the building’s featured elements: a terrazzo tile floor depicting the flow of the Salt River.

Representing the court (for Presiding Judge Norm Davis, who was unable to attend the Veterans Day event) was Judge Eddward Ballinger. He said, “This project represents an example of the prudent and wise leadership by supervisors and county staff. Of all the bickering we see today, this is an example of efficient bipartisanship.”

Here is another story on the opening. And the Court Tower has its own web page here.

More photos are below. And more are available on the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Vietnam Memorial (photo by David Selden, winner of our May 2010 Creative Arts Competition for Photography)

Happy Change of Venue Friday. More important, Happy Veterans Day.

I offer two brief items for your review on this significant holiday.

First, in case you missed it, go back and read this essay by Marcy Karin and Carissa Hessick from Thursday’s Arizona Republic. Both authors are educators at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

They open their op-ed by detailing the employment challenge that vets face:

“This week, we honor Arizona’s 600,000 veterans, many who proudly served our country in Middle East war zones during the past decade. With more troops set to return home, Veterans Day provides us with an opportunity to recognize the difficulties service members face reintegrating into civilian life through changes to employment resources and the criminal-justice system.

Carissa Hessick

“Combat service takes a heavy toll. Physical impairments like hearing loss and traumatic brain and spinal-cord injuries are common. Studies also indicate almost 35 percent of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. These ailments many times lead to homelessness and substance abuse. Work is hard to find, and keeping a job is difficult.

“Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have a national unemployment rate of 11.7 percent. Locally, a recently returned Army National Guard unit had a 50 percent unemployment rate. Veterans are returning home to a tight job market, and weary employers may not understand the skills these job-seekers developed in the military.”

Marcy Karin

Karin and Hessick explain the good that has flowed from federal legislation that protects veterans’ jobs, and from the institution of veterans courts in some jurisdictions (we covered one example in Arizona Attorney Magazine here).

But they urge further legal changes, including considering military service as a mitigating factor in all crimes, not just low-level ones. What do you think?

A second item worth your attention this weekend is the presence in Arizona of a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The revered structure in Washington, DC, designed by architect Maya Lin, is an emotional testament to what was sacrificed by so many. Though millions visit the Memorial, many more are unable to travel to Washington—which makes a replica a pretty compelling idea.

This will be erected in Tempe through the weekend. Read more about it here.

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall travels down Mill Avenue on its way to Tempe Beach Park for display. (David Kadlubowski/The Arizona Republic)

Have a great weekend.

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:

Janie Magruder, 480-727-9052, jane.magruder@asu.edu

Judy Nichols, 480-727-7895, judith.nichols@asu.edu

Law school to host Veterans Day program on laws supporting military members and their families

A program about the laws that support service members, veterans and military families will be presented on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

“Serving Those who Serve: Basic Civil Protections for Soldiers, Veterans and their Families,” will be from 1-5 p.m. in the Great Hall of Armstrong Hall on the ASU Tempe campus. The program is free, but registration is required here.

Sponsored by the law school’s Civil Justice Clinic, the event will include discussions about employment protections, veteran’s benefits, credit and debt obligations and lease terminations. A panel of experts will review local programs that aid this population.

Speakers include: 

  • Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Marcy Karin, associate clinical professor and director, Work-Life Policy Unit, Civil Justice Clinic, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Nick Barton, president, Homeless Legal Assistance Program, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Paul Bennett, clinical professor and director, Child Advocacy Clinic, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
  • Steven Gonzales, associate professor and director, Experiential Learning, Phoenix School of Law
  • Brad Bridwell, Homeless Veterans Services coordinator, Arizona Department of Veterans Services
  • Tom Reade, unit chief, Crime, Fraud and Victim Resource Center, Arizona Attorney General’s Office
  • Nicola M. Winkel, program consultant/community liaison, Arizona Coalition for Military Families
  • Army Brigadier General Gregg Maxon (ret.), chairman, Arizona Bar Military Legal Assistance Committee
  • Chief Warrant Officer Lawrence “Butch” Wise (ret.), executive director, Arizona Field Office, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve  
  • Theodore C. Jarvi, attorney, Law Offices of Theodore C. Jarvi
  • Capt. Patrick Camunez, attorney-advisor, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Arizona Air National Guard
  • Chelsey Golightly, law clerk, Shaw & Lines, LLC

For more information, contact Matthew Cullimore.
Matthew.Cullimore @asu.edu

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,431 other followers