Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sexual Harassment Dishonors Human Dignity

The dignity of each human person demands integrity, character, and moral decency. Society demands that these qualities are critical for one’s own personal dignity and must be applied by word, example, and action to all.

Human dignity demands ethical behavior and is diametrically opposed to behavior that dishonors personal reputation, or reflects disrespect toward others.

An individual who truly stands on a foundation of respect for self and others, is authentically ethical by word, example, and action.

Disrespect, which dishonors the respect due to self and others, is never to be tolerated.

Every person, is called to exemplify lives of character, and to honor the dignity of human freedom through self-mastery, discipline, and respect.

These are the virtues we are called to live by, and they always contradict the defects of duplicity, living a double-life, and vulgarity.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) cites that sexual harassment is a “form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

The commission defines sexual harassment as:

“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.”

The commission also states that sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

• The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
• The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
• The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
• Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
• The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.

Sexual Harassment: Scandals Demand Actions

A storm of sexual harassment stories throughout America is our wake-up call and a time of reckoning.

The crisis reminds us of our social order and that actions of individuals can adversely or favorably impact the common good.

By the common good it is understood that social behaviors and conditions must always respect rights due to individuals and society.

These rights demand respect for all members of society which are now being contradicted by headlines nationwide which include the following:

• Sexual harassment tipping point: Why now?
• Political media engulfed by sexual harassment crisis
• Sexual Harassment troubles mount in statehouses around the country
• Special Report: A Cultural Turning Point on Sexual Harassment
• Sexual Harassment Scandals are blowing up the media
• Former USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to criminal sexual conduct
• Hollywood Has Shined a Spotlight on Sexual Harassment: Now What?

As members of American society, each of us has a responsibility to contribute to the common good, and to play an active part to remedy deficiencies.

Each person has an ethical responsibility according to one’s talents, capabilities, and position. When sexual harassment issues violate human dignity and adversely impacts society, we have the duty to respond with full force determination.

Final Reflections

During my character presentations and published works over the past twenty years, I have been privileged to address law enforcement, government leaders, corporate representatives, educators, and students.

The issues of sexual harassment as a violation of human dignity have been an essential element of my response to a crisis of character. These initiatives have demanded that we have the moral decency to stand against insensitivity, victim blaming, dishonesty, evasiveness, enabling, inaction, cover-ups, superficiality, and hypocrisy.

America must have the moral courage to remedy the sexual harassment crisis. We have a problem that must honestly be addressed with ethical leadership that expresses itself not only through words, but by example and actions.

We must take the moral high ground in our families, schools, communities, houses of worship, and workplaces to ignite an ethical renaissance throughout American society. The foundation of this renaissance must be built on the pillars of character, which respects human dignity.

When America honors the dignity of sexuality as essential to the character of the nation, we will be on the path of our true destiny.

Related Coverage / Vincent J. Bove Published Works:

American Government Requires Ethical Leadership

Campus Sexual Predators: Issues and Response

College Rapes, Sexual Assaults: America’s Nightmare

Rape and Sexual Assault Highlighted in Presidential Campaigns

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

With Honor and Leadership the US Coast Guard Protects America

As detailed on the official U.S. Coast Guard website, “The mission of the United States Coast Guard is to ensure our Nation’s maritime safety, security, and stewardship.”

The vision of this branch of our armed forces is “We will serve our Nation through the selfless performance of our missions. We will honor our duty to protect those we serve and those who serve with us. We will commit ourselves to excellence by supporting and executing our operations in a proficient and professional manner."

Coast Guard Missions

Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Coast Guard, the only military branch within the Department of Homeland Security, oversees missions as “homeland security” or “non-homeland security” missions.

The “homeland security” missions are safeguarding ports and waterways, coastal security, drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, defense readiness, and other law-enforcement initiatives.

The “non-homeland” missions are marine safety, search and rescue, aids to navigation, living marine resources, marine environmental protection, and ice operations.

The Coast Guard defends more than 100,000 miles of U.S. coastline and inland waterways.

Aside from its role as one of the five Armed Services of the United States, the Coast Guard is a critical first responder and humanitarian service. In this capacity, aid is provided to people in distress or impacted by natural or man-made disasters either at sea or ashore. The valiant rescue operations have been witnessed due to the hurricanes that have recently hit America.

An Average Coast Guard Day

Currently, there are over 56,000 members of the Coast Guard serving America. This service involves a fleet of 243 Cutters, 201 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, and over 1,600 boats.

The Coast Guard website cites that on an average day, their service includes the following:

• Conducts 45 search and rescue cases.
• Saves 10 lives.
• Saves over $1.2M in property.
• Seizes 874 pounds of cocaine and 214 pounds of marijuana.
• Conducts 57 waterborne patrols of critical maritime infrastructure.
• Interdicts 17 illegal migrants.
• Escorts 5 high-capacity passenger vessels.
• Conducts 24 security boardings in and around U.S. ports.
• Screens 360 merchant vessels for potential security threats prior to arrival in U.S. ports.
• Conducts 14 fisheries conservation boardings.
• Services 82 buoys and fixed aids to navigation.
• Investigates 35 pollution incidents.
• Completes 26 safety examinations on foreign vessels
• Conducts 105 marine inspections.
• Investigates 14 marine casualties involving commercial vessels.
• Facilitates movement of $8.7B worth of goods and commodities through the Nation’s Maritime Transportation System.

Medal of Honor Recipient

Although there are countless stories of heroism by members of the Coast Guard, a spotlight on a Medal of Honor recipient is worthy of reflection.

First Class Signalman Douglas Albert Munro is the first and only member of the Coast Guard to receive the Medal of Honor.

This medal is the highest and most distinguished U.S. military decoration that can be awarded to a service member for an act of valor.

On Sept. 27, 1942, Signalman Munro was assigned to the seaplane tender Ballard, anchored just off Guadacanal.

Munro’s ship received word that 500 U.S. Marines were pinned down nearby by a fierce Japanese resistance at a beachhead known as Point Cruz.

Munro volunteered to lead a group of twenty-four Higgins boats to evacuate the Marines from slaughter.

Although under heavy machine-gun fire during the response, Munro’s leadership enabled the saving of hundreds of Marines faced with certain death.

Munro, hit with enemy fire, lost his life while saving the detachment of Marines. His last words, referring to the remaining Marines who were being evacuated were, “Did they get off?”

For his heroic leadership, Munro epitomized the motto of the Coast Guard, Semper Paratus (Always Ready). He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor as well as the Purple Heart, and numerous other decorations. Engraved on his Medal of Honor is the testimony to his greatness:

“For his extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty … he gallantly gave his life in defense of his country.”


Final Reflections

As this article is completed in the shadows of our recent Veterans Day, America is reminded to eternally honor all who serve in our Coast Guard. We must also perpetually honor all who serve, and who have served in all of our Armed Forces.

America is only the “land of the free and home of the brave,” because of all who selflessly protect our freedom, liberty, and cherished way of life.

To all members of the Coast Guard who protect us - praise to you, good, faithful, and always prepared servants of America.

Related Coverage:

Armed Forces: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

Life Lessons From the United States Military

America’s Veterans Deserve Honor, Homes, Health Care


Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


Photos

1. U.S. Coast Guard honor guard at Times Square on Memorial Day 2011. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. Crew members from Coast Guard Station New York, Coast Guard Cutter Ridley and New York Police Department marine units enforce multiple security zones on the East River during the departure of Pope Francis during his historical visit to New York, Sept. 26, 2015. (Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)

3. Crew members aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Maritime Safety and Security Team 91107 escort the cruise ship Pride of America out of Honolulu Harbor. The Coast Guard conducts escorts of high-capacity passenger vessels to ensure security of the passengers, the vessel and the port. (Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)

4. U.S. Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Munro. (Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)

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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Carnage of Innocents in America Demands Moral Courage

Shortly after the Apr. 20, 1999 Columbine High School massacre, I was privileged to address audiences throughout America on leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

During these presentations, I shared reflections with law enforcement, educators, mental health professionals, private security, students, government officials, and community leaders. These reflections crystalized concerns that violence in America would intensify not only in schools, but in workplaces, communities, against police, in houses of worship, and by acts of terrorism.

America’s Head-On Collision

In my graphic slide presentations, I used a metaphor of a head-on catastrophic train-wreck in America. The head-on collision emphasized the effects of our simultaneous crisis of leadership and culture of violence.

The crisis of leadership was illuminated by documentation of unbridled public corruption on the FBI website. These shameful public corruption cases were compounded by my demonstration of nationwide media reports of corporate fraud, professional sports scandals, celebrity turpitude, and despicable crimes at the highest level of faith-based communities.

The culture of violence was emphasized through tragic incidents of domestic violence, hate-crimes, workplace violence, and terrorism, of violence against those who defend us, of violence by gangs, and of course school and campus violence.

In one slide, I shared a news story from Dec. 7, 1999 titled “Four hurt in gunfire at Oklahoma school: 13 year-old suspect subdued by teacher." The article, in the back pages of the paper, was used to dramatize that America’s horrific acts of violence were becoming commonplace and no longer making headline news.

Houses of Worship: Sanctuary Profaned

I also stressed to the audiences, and have now been doing so for nearly 20 years, that sites in America, previously understood to provide sanctuary, were not invulnerable. My presentations underscored that America would see intense, senseless, and unimaginable acts of violence in places thought to be sacrosanct, houses of worship.

Predictably, these acts of violence in houses of worship have occurred. They have involved the recent attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX where twenty-six were killed on Nov. 5, 2017. They have also included the following, which is tragically only a partial list:

• Burnette Chapel Church of Christ – Sept. 25, 2017, Antioch, Tenn., where a woman was killed walking to her car and congregants were indiscriminately shot in the sanctuary.
• Emanuel African Methodist Church – Jun. 17, 2015 in Charleston, SC where a white supremacist killed nine and injured another during their Bible study.
• Overland Park Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom Retirement Center – Apr. 13, 2014, Kansas, City, Kan. where a white supremacist killed three people.
• Saint Bernard Roman Catholic Churchh – Jan. 2, 2014, Eureka, Calif. where a Roman Catholic priest was found brutally murdered in the church rectory.
• First United Presbyterian Church – Dec. 3, 2012, Coudersport, Pa where a man walked into church in the middle of Sunday Advent services and fatally shot his ex-wife, Darlene Sitler, 53, while she sat in a pew. Darlene was the organist and choir director at the church.
• Muslim Center Education Mosque – Aug. 12, 2012, Morton Grove, Ill., where a man was arrested for shooting a high-velocity air rifle outside a mosque where hundreds of worshippers were celebrating Ramada.
• Sikh Temple of Wisconsin – Aug. 5, 2012, Oak Creek, Wis., where six people were killed. Five years later, the temple’s website cites that this was not only a Sikh tragedy but an American one.
• Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church – Jul. 27, 2008, Knoxville, Tenn., where two were killed and several others wounded by shotgun.
• Youth With a Mission – Dec. 9, 2007, Arvada, Colo. where a man and woman were killed and two men wounded at a school for missionaries.
• Living Church of God – Mar. 12, 2005, Brookfield, Wis. where a gunman opened fire at a worship service killing seven and wounding four.
• Wedgewood Baptist Church – Sept. 15, 1999, Fort Worth, Texas where a gunman invaded a youth prayer rally featuring a Christian rock group. The killer had 200 rounds of ammunition and a pipe bomb. Seven people were killed and seven others injured.

Violence Enters America’s Arteries

Since the aforementioned Dec. 7, 1999 news story reminded me of the Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, I used a clip during my presentations showing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). The clip was from his famous Infamy Speech to a Joint Session of Congress on Dec. 8, 1941.

FDR stated, “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy – the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked.”

This iconic clip was used to dramatize that if FDR were alive today, he would address a new infamy upon America, ignited by our crisis of leadership and culture of violence. I stressed that FDR would devote his energy to reawaken the nation to a renaissance of character. This character, in my opinion, is critical for vanquishing the violence that has entered into the very heart of America - in our schools, campuses, families, workplaces, and communities, against our police, and even in houses of worship.

America’s Violence Intensifies

Tragically, the Columbine massacre, which was the deadliest school attack in American history less than 20 years ago, was followed by additional grim statistics including Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.

For a time, Columbine was also not only the most heart-breaking school violence tragedy, but one of America’s most deadly overall.

Unfortunately, the crisis as addressed in my article titled Mass Shootings: America’s Public Health Crisis, published in the Dec. 10, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, not only continues but intensifies.

America is experiencing so many mass shootings, that Columbine has now faded from the list of the ten most deadly in modern U.S. history.

The current list, tragically subject to change at any time due to the intensifying violence in America, is as follows:

1. The Harvest Music Festival – Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 1, 2017, 58 killed and over 500 injured.
2. Pulse Night Club – Orlando, Fla., Jun. 16, 2016, 49 killed, 50 injured.
3. Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Va., Apr. 16, 2007, 32 killed and an estimated 20 injured.
4. Sandy Hook – Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children ages 6 and 7 killed along with six adults.
5. First Baptist Church – Sutherland Springs, Texas, Nov. 5, 2017, 26 people killed including children in the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.
6. Luby’s Cafeteria – Killeen, Texas, Nov. 5, 1991, 23 people killed.
7. McDonalds – San Ysidro, Calif., Jul. 18, 1984, 21 adults including children killed.
8. University of Texas – Austin, Texas, Aug. 1, 1966, 16 killed and at least 30 wounded.
9. Inland Regional Center – San Bernardino, Calif., Dec. 2, 2015, 14 people killed at a state-run facility for individuals with developmental disabilities.
10. U.S. Postal Service – Edmond, Calif., Aug. 20, 1986, 14 postal employees killed.

America Wake-Up: Stop the Carnage

As the Columbine tragedy fades from the list of America’s most deadly mass shootings, it has become solemnly verified that these tragedies not only continue, but have become more deadly.

Four of the five deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the last five years, and we continue to witness America’s flag lowered to half-staff.

America, the land of the free and home of the brave must not allow these mass shootings to define us. We must also refuse to allow apathy to rule our times. America must never accept an attempt to banish these tragedies to back page news.

It is time for America to wake-up, to be reawakened, and to stop the carnage of the innocents by igniting the only force that will change the tide, our moral courage.

Related Coverage:

Mass Shootings, Police Fatalities: America’s Culture of Trauma

Las Vegas Tragedy: Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy

America’s Houses of Worship Require Enhanced Security

America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets

Sanctuary Profaned: Protecting America’s Houses of Worship

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photo: An American flag hags upside down from a home near the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Nov. 6, 2017. On Nov. 5 a gunman, (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

We the People Demand Character in American Government

Twelve years ago, I authored a two-part series on the need for character in American politics for The New Jersey Police Chief Magazine.

The series titled “American Leadership Principles in an Age of Corruption” was well-received. Requests to publish the articles in numerous additional publications was received and approved.

The first of these articles began with details from the FBI website on public corruption. These words remain memorialized on their site exactly as they were twelve years ago:

“Public corruption, the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority, poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life. It can affect everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected to how verdicts are handed down in courts to how public infrastructure such as roads and schools are built. It also takes a significant toll on the public’s pocketbooks by siphoning off tax dollars—it is estimated that public corruption costs the U.S. government and the public billions of dollars each year. The FBI is uniquely situated to combat corruption, with the skills and capabilities to run complex undercover operations and surveillance.”

Drain the Swamp: America’s Ethical Renaissance

In my article for the March 16, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times titled “Drain the Swamp: Championing America’s Ethical Renaissance,” I argued that America’s corruption demands extermination.

The article stated “the swamp must be drained, not by impotent words, but by actions built on pillars of moral courage, transformational leadership, and persuasive character. Only these principles can conquer our culture of corruption and lead us to an authentic ethical renaissance.”

Furthermore, America was summoned to turn to Lincoln as a model of character, inspiration, and motivation.

Lincoln’s life was highlighted as one deserving imitation, as opposed to those who manipulate for self-gain. The article stated “there are many in positions of power that violate the public trust. They are not honoring their sacred oaths to serve. Instead, reprehensible examples of greed, self-aggrandizement, arrogance, superficiality, and self-centeredness are wreaking havoc on our moral compass. America must remember that it is built on the foundation of ‘We the People.’”

Public Corruption: FBI’s Partial List

Press releases on the FBI website, a partial list from October, 2017 alone, remind us that America’s swamp of corruption is alive and well:

• Jury convicts former Cumming Police sergeant of accepting bribes and computer fraud
• U. S. Penitentiary Lieutenant arraigned on excessive force and obstruction of justice charges
• Baltimore City Department of Transportation Supervisor Charged With Taking Thousands In Bribes
• Captain with Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Indicted for Smuggling Profits to Portugal
• Former Local Law Enforcement Officer Sentenced for Accepting a Bribe to Protect a Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Scheme
• Suffolk County District Attorney and Chief Of Investigations Indicted For Obstructing Federal Civil Rights Investigation
• Former Philadelphia District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Federal Bribery Charge
• Fourth Baltimore City Police Detective Pleads Guilty To Racketeering And Heroin Distribution Conspiracy
• Former NYS Deputy Secretary of State Sentenced to Serve Thirty Months in Prison for Perjury
• Former State Judge Pleads Guilty to Dismissing Cases in Exchange for Personal Benefits and Tampering with a Witness

Unscrupulous individuals in positions of authority, with a toxic addiction to power, continue to be venomous to the health, welfare, and security of America.

Final Reflections

In my home are numerous artworks depicting the heart of American democracy.

One is of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. with the words “All authority belongs to the people” emblazoned on it.

In another are the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. His words must be forever seared into the heart of everyone who loves America. They are an eternal tribute to every patriot who gave the “last measure of devotion.”

Lincoln’s words also beckon us through a mystical cord of unity with all who have died by military sacrifice. He inspires America as a “nation, under God” that is destined to a “new birth of freedom.” He prophesizes a “new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

But perhaps the best way to conclude this article and to hopefully ignite an ethical renaissance is with words from Lincoln’s Lyceum Address in Springfield, Illinois on Jan. 27, 1838.

These words had broad implications for Lincoln’s vision for America. But these words are eternal and even now, Lincoln beckons our nation to a heartbeat of character. America, inspired by Lincoln, must rise from an age of corruption, superficial politics, and shameful scandals and ignite an ethical renaissance:

“Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;--let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap--let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;--let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.”

Related Coverage:


American Government Requires Ethical Leadership


Policing Requires Ethical Protectors

America’s Culture of Deception: The Art of the Con

America’s Critical Ethical Issues Demand Resolution

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photo:

Scholars and enthusiasts alike believe this portrait of Abraham Lincoln, taken on November 8, 1863, eleven days before his famed Gettysburg Address, to be the best photograph of him ever taken. Lincoln’s character was notoriously difficult to capture in pictures, but Alexander Gardner’s close-up portrait, quite innovative in contrast to the typical full-length portrait style, comes closest to preserving the expressive contours of Lincoln’s face and his penetrating gaze. (Public Domain / Photo by Alexander Gardner)

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

America’s Drug Crisis Demands Ethical Protectors

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D. C. is hallowed ground dedicated to honoring Americans who gave the last measure of devotion to freedom in the Vietnam War.

According to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall-USA website, there are 58,195 names engraved on the wall. The wall stands as a perpetual reminder honoring Americans who lost their lives in Vietnam from 1955-1975.

These sacrifices remind us of the price of freedom, and the courage, heroism, and character of America.

America’s Lives Lost: A New Crisis

As staggering as the loss of life from the Vietnam War is, America is now faced with a new crisis.

Last year alone, more Americans were likely killed by drug overdoses in one year than during the entire Vietnam War.

Data from a recent National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) study predicts an alarming escalation of drug deaths to an estimated 71,600 in 2017.

The report, memorialized through graphic charts on the NIH website crystalizes the horrific toll of the drug crisis. The report includes the following:

• Among the more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with over 20,000 overdose deaths.
• More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids-the death toll nearly doubling over the past decade.

Addressing America’s Drug Crisis

For the past 20 years the clarion call to eradicate America’s drug crisis has been addressed in my presentations and published works.

This dedication continued on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 with my presentation titled “America’s Drug Crisis: Issues and Response” in Champion, Pennsylvania.

The presentation was conducted for over 250 attendees as requested by the Professional Affordable Housing Management Association (PAHMA). This association is to be commended for their efforts to remedy this crisis. PAMHA is also to be complemented for their generous printing of my numerous Epoch Times articles on the opioid crisis for all attendees.

My presentation illuminated the inseparability of America’s drug crisis with our culture of violence, crisis of leadership, gang culture, and deterioration of families. It concluded, as with all my presentations do, with a tribute to American military sacrifices and solutions to remedy the crisis.

Recent headlines from throughout the nation, highlighted in graphic slides, crystallized the enormity of the crisis and included the following:

• US heroin deaths jump 533% since 2002, report says
• Born Addicted: The Number of Opioid-Addicted Babies is Soaring
• America’s opioid crisis has cut into U.S. life expectancy
• Opioids create generation of American orphans
• Enough Fentanyl to Kill 32 Million People Seized During New York City Drug Busts, Police Say
• Drug Deaths in America Rising Faster Than Ever
• This is a nationwide problem: Drug investigation leads to 25 arrests in Harrisburg area
• Feds: Chicago gang members killed six in conspiracy to control drug trade
• Feds and NYC authorities arrest 49 members of cartel-linked Bronx based drug distribution network
• State of Addiction: How did Pennsylvania find itself so deep in the opioid epidemic

Inseparable Link: Gang Dealers and Deviant Executives

At one point during my presentation, there was a rousing spontaneous applause. This was expressed after my passionate remarks on Purdue Pharma corporate executives. I stated that these individuals were inseparably linked to street-level drug dealers and they were pivotal to America’s drug crisis.

According to a May 10, 2007 news release on the United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Virginia website, top executives from Purdue Pharma plead guilty. This was based on their misbranding OxyContin and involved their agreement to pay over $600 million in damages.

This guilty plea came just a few days after the pharmaceutical giant also agreed to pay $19.5 million to 26 states and the District of Columbia. This was to settle complaints of their encouraging medical doctors to overprescribe OxyContin.

The U.S. Attorney John Brownlee at the time said, "With its OxyContin, Purdue unleashed a highly abusable, addictive, and potentially dangerous drug on an unsuspecting an unknowing public. For these misrepresentations and crimes, Purdue and its executives have been brought to justice."

The public was betrayed about OxyContin and its dangerous risk of addiction by morally bankrupt, greedy, and shameless executives. They made billions through their self-aggrandizement by fraudulent and deviant scheming that led to thousands of deaths from OxyContin. This criminality not only took lives but ruined many people and their families by a drug which they knew was destructively addictive.

America Requires Ethical Protectors

During the entire presentation I continually encouraged attendees to respond to America’s drug crisis as ethical protectors.

I stressed that this deadliest drug crisis in American history, that killed more people last year then guns or car accidents, will require a multi-faceted and long-term approach.

This approach must include community leaders throughout all segments of society. It must also include not only a traditional law enforcement response, but police-community collaborations that offer treatments for those suffering from addiction.

The presentation concluded by emphasizing the critical importance of empowering our youth. America’s youth must be supported, encouraged, and empowered with the moral courage to stand as ethical protectors.

Final Reflections

Our youth are critical to vanquishing the scourge of America’s drug crisis which is inflicting unimaginable heartbreak on communities, families, and individuals.

The virtue of character throughout society was stressed, especially character education initiatives in our schools.

A quote from Cicero was emphasized as essential to character education in our schools:

“Within the character of the citizen lies the welfare of the citizen.”

America must rise to the call of an ethical renaissance. We must stand as ethical protectors throughout society and heed the beckoning of these concluding words of my presentation:

“Your honor, leadership, and integrity is mission critical to safeguarding America, protecting our people, and preserving our democracy.”

Related Coverage:

Opioid Addiction: America’s Public Health Crisis

America’s Drug Crisis Demands Police-Community Unity

America’s Opioid Crisis: The Heart of the Solution

America’s 21st Century Teacher: Security, Character, Pedagogy

Photos

1. PHAMA event, Champion, PA, Oct. 20, 2017. (Courtesy Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing)
2. A heroin user injects himself on March 23, 2016 in New London, CT. (John Moore/Getty Images)
3. A bottle of OxyContin sits on the counter of the Post Haste Pharmacy And Surgical Store in Hollywood, Fla., on June 16, 2003. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fallen Green Berets Deserve America’s Honor

The U.S. Army defines their Special Forces, also referred to as the legendary Green Berets as a “unique, unconventional, combat arms organization … they are the most versatile Special Operations soldiers in the world.”

Green Berets are further defined as the “elite, multi-purpose force for high priority operational targets of strategic importance. Their linage dates back to more than 200 years of unconventional warfare history, with notable predecessors including the Revolutionary War Swamp Fox Francis Marion, the WWII OSS Jedbourg Teams and Detachment 101 in Burma, as well as the Alamo Scouts. Since their establishment in 1952, they have distinguished themselves in Vietnam (17 Medals of Honor), El Salvador, Panama, Desert Shield/Storm, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Most recently, Green Berets have played a critical role in destroying Taliban/al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, rooting out insurgents in Iraq, training foreign troops to fight terrorists or drug warlords, and crossing the globe to liberate the oppressed.”

Fallen Green Berets

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, the dangers of service to America as a Green Beret was crystallized in a tragic incident.

An ambush in the northwest African country of Niger left four Green Berets dead and two wounded.

According to published reports, a team of Green Berets had just completed a meeting with local leaders. While returning to their unarmed vehicles, they were ambushed by some 50 ISIS fighters using small arms, machine-guns, and rocket propelled grenades.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Miley, spoke to reporters during the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington D.C. after the attack. Miley stated, “We are training, advising, and assisting indigenous armies all over the world. And I anticipate and expect that will increase and not decrease … it is a dangerous mission.”

According to the military times website honoring the fallen, the Green Berets who died during this U.S. Africa Command Operations were all assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

These America heroes who have offered the ultimate sacrifice in service of our nation are as follows:

Army Staff Sgt. La David T. Johnson – 25 years-old, of Miami Gardens, Florida. Johnson’s awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Parachutist Badge, the Army Air Assault Badge, the Driver and Mechanic Badge, and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge - Sharpshooter with Rifle. He was the youngest of those killed. According to a news report, Johnson was “a gym and church regular who believed in hard work. Aside from his love of cycling, his friends also remembered his love of cars and his commitment to being a reliable father and husband. He even tattooed his wife’s name on his chest.”

Army Staff Sgt. Byran C. Black – 35 years-old of Puyallup, Washington. Black served as a Special Forces medical sergeant and was recipient of the Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab. In a local news report from his hometown, a neighbor in the Stonegate neighborhood of Puyallup, Whitney Kamel, spoke of Black’s family. Kamel said, “what an honor it is to live across the street from them. As American’s we need to thank everyone of these people every single day.”

Army Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson – 39-years old of Springboro, Ohio. Johnson served as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Specialist, enlisting in October, 2007. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters and is described by friends and family as a rock-solid American patriot with a great heart.

Army Staff Dustin M. Wright – 29 years-old of Lyons, Georgia, a Special Forces engineer sergeant who enlisted in July, 2012. Wright was recipient of the Special Forces Tab. His Aunt Ginger Russell commenting on his powerful physical strength said, “I’m sure that’s why he had to grow up to be so big because his body couldn’t hold the heart he had.” His cousin, Jada Davis said, “He’s our own personal American hero. And he died for our country.”

Final Reflections

America must eternally honor the fallen who have offered the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

Their sacrifices, along with those of all Gold Star Families who have lost loved ones, are the pillars of America’s freedom, democracy, and way of life.

As detailed in these immortal words of “America the Beautiful,” may the sacrifices of all who have died for our nation, be forever seared into our souls:

“O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more then self their country loved
And mercy more than life!”

Related Coverage:

With Honor and Leadership the US Army Protects America

Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

Memorial Day: Honor the Fallen, Widows, Orphans

Armed Forces: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

Note Well:

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photo
Special Forces Green Beret soldiers from each of the Army’s seven Special Forces Groups stand silent watch during the wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of President John F. Kennedy, Nov. 17, 2011, at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony marked a time-honored tradition to honor Kennedy for his support and advocacy of the soldiers who would be known simply as “Green Berets.” (Credit: U.S. Army / Public Domain)

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

With Honor and Leadership the U.S. Marine Corps Protects America

As detailed on the official U.S. Marine Corps website, “The Marine Corps, within the Department of the Navy, is organized as a general purpose “force in readiness” to support national needs. Deploying for combat as combined-arms Marine air-ground task forces (MAGTFs), the Marine Corps provides the National Command Authorities (NCA) with a responsive force that can conduct operations across the spectrum of conflict. Recent events continue to highlight the Navy-Marine Corps team’s key national security role. Seabased, combat ready, forward deployed naval forces have been involved in more than 28 major military operations since 1995.”

The heart of the mission of the U.S. Marine Corps is “As America's expeditionary force in readiness since 1775, the Marines are forward deployed to win our nation’s battles swiftly and aggressively in times of crisis. We fight on land, sea and air, as well as provide forces and detachments to naval ships and ground operations.

U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team

Recently, I was inspired by a performance of the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team. It took place at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, often referred to as The Marching Twenty-Four, is a 24-man rifle platoon of the U.S. Marine Corps. The unit performs unique silent precision exhibition drills to exemplify the discipline of the Marine Corps.

The platoon executes meticulous drill movements of their spit-shined 10.5 pound rifles with fixed razor-sharpened silver bayonets. Their performance includes a flawless rifle inspection involving intricate rifle spins and complex tosses and one-handed catches.

The impeccable performance of these disciplined Marines makes one proud of being American. Their professionalism, discipline, and commitment reflect the finest of America’s armed forces and give our nation great hope for the future.

America’s Flag: Our Rallying Point

As detailed in my article titled “America’s Flag, Patriotism: Resuscitating Our Destiny,” for the Mar. 20, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, I stressed that “the American flag is the symbol of our nation, deserving of reverence, honor, and dignity.”

The article highlighted the immortalized iconic flag-raising of the U.S. Marines during the battle of Iwo Jima. This defining moment in American history gave us hope. It was a counterpoint to the heart-wrenching sinking of our ships at Pearl Harbor that cast a dark cloud upon us.

America is now at a crossroads with expressions of discontent taking place during the National Anthem. But we must have great expectations that our divisions will lead to unity expressed through respect for our flag, and that we will once again stand together.

The American Flag, immortalized by its raising at Iwo Jima, is mystically inseparable from its raising at each sporting event, school, community, and workplace. Our flag must be eternally revered across our homeland and especially in the heart of all privileged to call our nation home.

U.S. Marine Navajo Code Talker

Since the U.S. Marine Corps is one of profound magnitude spanning America’s entire history, perhaps the best way to crystallize it is through a story of one of its legends.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, U.S. Marine Navajo Code Talker David Patterson Sr., 94, passed away in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Patterson served in the Marines from 1943-1945 and received the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor.

According to the official website of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), during World War II the Marine Corps used the Navajo language to create an unbreakable security code.

The code developed by the Navajo language was virtually undecipherable especially since it was further complicated by word substitution. During World War II about 400 Navajos participated in the code program. These code talkers were critical to America’s victory and vital to every U.S. Marine assault in the Pacific from 1942-1945.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye honored Patterson by stating the following:

"It’s a sad day on the Navajo Nation when we lose a national treasure like we did in losing Navajo Nation Code Talker David Patterson, Sr., beyond his service in protecting our freedom, he was a beloved husband, father and grandfather.”

Final Reflections

America is deservingly proclaimed as “the land of the free and home of the brave.”

This proclamation is possible only because of all who honorable serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and all our armed forces.

Our nation must eternally honor their sacrifices, dedication, and valor.

These patriots, as exemplified through the mission of the U.S. Marine Corps, are the ethical protectors of America’s freedom.

As the gathering storm intensifies with discord among nations, may all people of good will pray and work for peace. Let us also pray that our American Flag become a rallying point for unity and that we soon all stand together to honor the character our flag symbolizes.

Yet, let us also pray for members of the U.S. Marine Corps, and all who serve the nation. These patriots stand ready always to honor our flag, and to exercise America’s sacrosanct right to protect ourselves and all people of moral decency.

Related Coverage:

Armed Forces: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

America’s Veterans Deserve Honor, Homes, Health Care

Life Lessons From the United States Military

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

1. U.S. Marines, Times Square, NYC, Memorial Weekend, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, Iwo Jima Memorial, Washington D.C. (Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)

3. The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., on Dec. 29, 2014. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

4. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace talks with Navajo Code Talkers at the Pentagon, Aug. 10, 2007. The Navajo Code Talkers served as U.S. Marines in World War II and helped develop a communications code based on their language. (Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen)

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Thursday, October 05, 2017

Las Vegas Tragedy: Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy

Tragically, America must once again prayerfully pause with profound compassion and listen to the ocean of tears flowing from the city of Las Vegas.

American flags are too often at half-staff to honor those killed in mass-shootings.

The senseless murder of 59 people and 527 wounded, during the nation’s most horrific mass shooting, must ignite the deepest emotions of sorrow, sympathy, and empathy in the heart of America.

This most recent manifestation of abominable evil demands the nation’s condolences for the indescribable suffering of the victims, as well as for their families, friends, and co-workers.

America must also honor many unsung heroes who placed themselves in harm’s way to prevent additional fatalities. First-responders, private security, and medical professionals also deserve America’s praise for their selfless dedication to help the victims.

Our nation must also have unwavering hope, moral courage, and relentless resolve so healing may assuage the wounded heart of America.

America: Never Give Up

After the April 20, 1999 Columbine High School Tragedy, it was my privilege to travel the nation speaking at conferences to educators, law enforcement, and community leaders. The mission of my work was to inspire leadership to address the culture of violence and prevent additional heartbreak.

Shortly after the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, also known as the Virginia Tech massacre, I was invited to speak to parents and family members of the victims. This mass-shooting tragedy was the worst in America at that time.

After the Dec. 14, 2012 killing of 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and 6 adult teachers and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Conn., this tragedy was also addressed in my articles and presentations.

On June 12, 2016, the heart of America was once again lacerated by the Orlando nightclub shooting. The tragedy was addressed in my article titled “Orlando Shootings: Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy,” for the June 16, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times.

For nearly twenty years, I have been working to prevent violence in America through numerous initiatives built on the foundation of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration.

During this time, I have repeatedly stressed that America must have the moral courage to stop the scourge of violence. This violence unleashed in our schools, workplaces, houses of worship, and communities must have our renewed resolve and we must never give up.

Las Vegas Victims: A Spotlight

America must never give up, and now, once again, we must enflame compassion in our hearts. Our nation must take the time to reverently pause and reflect on lives gone too soon. Each person who perished in Las Vegas deserves America’s eternal remembrance, including the following:

Sonny Melton, 29, who worked at the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, according to his Facebook page, is understood to be the first known fatality from the concert event. His wife, Heather Melton survived due to Sonny’s heroism as memorialized by these somber words. “He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back. I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”

Susan Smith, a 53-year-old mother and office manager for Vista Elementary School in California. Susan was married and the mother of two young-adult children. She was remembered by her school a Facebook posting with the words, “she was a wonderful woman, an advocate for our children, and a friend.”

Rick Silva, 21, who had recently started a private security job because, according to his stepsister Daisy Hernandez, “he loved helping people.” She also stated, “All I can tell you is that he was a great son, brother, and uncle who was loved by so many people. He had just turned 21 this August and I’m pretty sure he died trying to protect people at that concert.”

Rhonda LeRocque, a mother, daughter, wife, aunt, and sister who was remembered by her sister in a Facebook post. “My Beautiful Sister Rhonda LeRocque lost her life in the Las Vegas mass shooting, Karina Champagne posted. “My heart is broken, I’m numb, I feel paralyzed. This doesn’t seem real. All I can do is turn to God’s word for comfort, just as she would want me to. May she rest now until her name is called and she is awakened in paradise.”

Quinton Robbins, from Henderson, Nevada, was remembered on Facebook by his aunt, Kilee Wells Sanders. She posted that Quinton was the “most kind and loving soul.” She also noted that “Everyone who met him, loved him. His contagious laugh and smile. He was truly an amazing person. He will be missed by so many, he is loved by so many. So many awesome talents. I can’t say enough good about this sweet soul.”

Jack Beaton, was celebrating his 23rd wedding anniversary with his wife Laurie and friends at the concert. The day after the shooting, his son wrote about his father on Twitter. “He jumped in front of my mom and got shot. I love you dad.”

Final Reflections

The heartbreaking loss of these innocent souls, and all who perished, so cherished by family, friends, and communities, reminds us of the sacredness of each human life. Each of us is mystically connected in a human family and respect must always be the order of the day.

As we eternally honor the memories of all lost in Las Vegas, let us ignite compassion, empathy, and sympathy in the heart of America.

All who were lost in Las Vegas on that fateful day must be forever remembered with dignity, honor, and reverence.

Related Coverage:

America’s Active Shooter Crisis: Issues and Response

Mass Shootings, Police Fatalities: America’s Culture of Trauma

Mass Shootings: America’s Public Health Crisis

America’s Violent Rampages: Time for Prevention


Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

This article was published in the Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 edition of the Epoch Times as the Editor's pick.

Photos

1. A man lays on top of a woman as others flee the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 1, 2017. (David Becker/Getty Images)

2. The U.S. flag flies at half-staff over the White House in Washington on Oct. 2, 2017. The President ordered the flags on all federal buildings to fly at half-staff following the Las Vegas mass shooting. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

3. A mourner cries while visiting a memorial on Dec. 15, 2012, in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

4. People hug and cry outside the Thomas &; Mack Center after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 2, 2017. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Opioid Addiction: America’s Public Health Crisis

As a teenager growing up in the Bronx in the 1960’s, the realities of the drug culture were rampant.

Tragically, the get-high society was so widespread, that hearing of a drug-overdose, or drug-influenced fatality, was commonplace.

Everything old is new again. The alarming reality in contemporary America is that a drug culture, fueled by the opioid crisis, is not only alive but deadly.

Opioids: A Crisis Intensifies

The tragic headlines of this morning’s news have prompted the writing of this article. In New Jersey, my home state, the opioid crisis was crystalized in a story headlined “All 1,901 people killed by opioids in N.J. last year, mapped.”

Statistics cited in the article point to a meteoric rise of deaths in New Jersey involving heroin and fentanyl.

The published report cites that since 2013, heroin deaths have more than doubled. Also, fentanyl-related deaths, have had a shocking 2,000 percent increase during this same time-span.

This tragedy in New Jersey is a microcosm of America’s national drug crisis.

CDC: America’s Grim Opioid Statistics

The most recent statistics posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paint a grim picture of the opioid crisis in America.

According to the CDC, “the majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled. From 2000 to 2015, more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.”

The headlines, blasted across America each day, confirm the tragedy of the CDC statistics. These headlines, from just a recent review, include the following:

* Opioid Crisis Drives a Grim Business in West Virginia: Body Transport
* State of Addiction: Confronting Indiana’s Opioid Crisis
* ‘The Pills Are Everywhere’: How the Opioid Crisis Claims Its Youngest Victims
* Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force works to combat opioid crisis
* Study: Opioid crisis cuts US life expectancy rates
* Lawmakers Told Opioid Crisis ‘A Public Health Catastrophe’
* The Opioid Crisis Is Taking a Toll on the American Labor Force
* Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever
* New York’s opioid crisis crops up in one cemetery, where 11 young addicts’ graves stand bunched together

Building Police-Community Collaboration

During my Sept. 21, 2017 remarks to the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association (BCPCA), I addressed America’s opioid crisis.

The crisis that is impacting communities nationwide was underscored to 100 attendees including police chiefs, the FBI, psychologists, and community leaders.

Copies of my article titled “America’s Drug Crisis Demands Police-Community Unity” from the Apr. 13, 2017 edition of the Epoch Times were distributed.

The article emphasizes that America’s drug pandemic demands an iron-clad collaboration of police and community members to remedy the crisis. It also commends the BCPCA and their collaborative initiative with the Bergen County Prosecutor. This initiative allows addicts to turn in their drugs at strategically located police stations in the county. In turn, they enter into a recovery program without facing criminal charges.

Final Reflections

Aside from complementing the BCPCA for their collaborative effort to address the opioid crisis, I encouraged them to intensify their efforts in the schools.

If America is to make any progress with our opioid crisis, we must educate and motivate our youth. They can be empowered to be ethical protectors in their schools and communities. Our young people are critical to turning the tide with this crisis. We must encourage our youth and give them the resources they need.

My remarks to the BCPCA concluded with the following statement, which I believe is applicable across America:

“Complementing your commendable collaboration to address the opioid crisis, intensify your efforts to reach the youth through the schools. Through character empowerment programs and opioid awareness initiatives, efforts to safeguard lives from this deadly crisis will be enhanced and positive results achieved.”

America’s youth deserve our example, encouragement, and empowerment to cultivate tools critical to protecting themselves and society.

We must do more to stop the scourge of our opioid crisis. Let us have the fortitude to intensify the virtues alive in the hearts of our youth: character, courage, and community.

Related Coverage:

America’s Deadly Drug Crisis Demands Moral Courage

America’s 21st Century Student: Character, Courage, Community

America’s Opioid Crisis: The Heart of the Solution

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


Photos

1. File photo of Oxycodone pain pills. (John Moore/Getty Images)
2. CDC (Courtesy CDC)

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

With Honor and Leadership the US Army Protects America

As detailed on the official U.S. Army website, “the Army, as one of the three military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force) reporting to the Department of Defense, is composed of two distinct and equally important components: the active component and the reserve components. These reserve components are the United States Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.”

The heart of the mission of the U.S. Army is “to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders.”

Captain William D. Swenson: Medal of Honor Recipient

Since the U.S. Army story is one of great magnitude spanning America’s entire history, perhaps the best way to crystalize through a story.

This story is of Captain William D. Swenson, a Medal of Honor recipient. He was inducted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes on Oct. 16, 2016 after serving one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan.

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat and it is bestowed sparingly only to the bravest of the brave.

The complete details of Captain Swenson’s gallantry can be gleaned from the Medal of Honor pages of the U.S. Army website. Yet, these words by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army memorialize Captain Swenson’s valor:

“Captain Swenson embodies the essence of a Soldier and represents what every man and woman who dons this uniform strives to be: an individual who has earned the trust of all with whom they associate; one who possesses a humility and selflessness that we all respect; one who embraces esprit de corps and routinely demonstrates a dedication to his profession that epitomizes the ethos of the American Soldier. In the face of imminent danger, he never quit. He always put his mission first. He never accepted defeat. And above all else, he never left his fallen comrades. Just as he was there for them that day, his friends, his band of brothers are here for him today.”

The story of Captain Swenson epitomizes the heroism of those honoring America through sacrifices. It is essential that this hero, and all have responded to the call of valor are eternally honored.

Honor America’s Fallen

We would be remiss, especially in the shadows of the anniversary of 9/11, to not pause to honor the fallen.

According to the Military Times (MT), the toll of those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraq Freedom, and Operation New Dawn demands our reverence.

Although these statistics may not be totally accurate, they give insight to America’s sacrifices. The most current statistics according to the MT database is 6,897 fatalities, of which 4,980 were members of the U.S. Army.

United States Military Academy: Inspiring Character

The heart of training for commissioned leaders of the U.S. Army takes place at the United States Military Academy (USMA), commonly referred to as West Point.

As detailed in my article titled “West Point Cadets: Honor, Leadership, America”, published in the Apr. 22, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times, the USMA has been “developing, motivating, and inspiring America’s leaders of character for 200 years.”

Although West Point is internationally renowned for its academic, military, patriotic, and fitness programs, the heart of its educational pedagogy is character.

The West Point Mission is “To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.”

It has been my honor to be involved with numerous character development initiatives at West Point for the past ten years.

These have included three years as a speaker, mentor, and senior leader for their National Conference on Ethics in America.

Other initiatives included my speaking engagements with Lt. General Robert L. Caslen Jr., superintendent of the USMA. These involved our presentations for an FBI management retreat as well as for “The Inaugural New Jersey Conference: Character, Ethics, Leadership.” This filled to capacity conference for over 250 law enforcement officials was hosted by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on May 12, 2014.

Every initiative I have been privileged to participate in has always inspired a renewed appreciation for the U.S. Army, and all dedicated to serving in America’s armed forces.

Final Reflections

America is deservingly proclaimed as “the land of the free and home of the brave.”

This proclamation is possible only because of all who honorably serve the nation in the U.S. Army and all our armed forces.

Our nation must eternally honor their sacrifices, dedication, and valor.

These patriots, as exemplified through the mission of the U.S. Army, are the ethical protectors of America’s freedom.

As the gathering storm intensifies with discord among nations, may all people of good will pray and work for peace.

Yet, let us also pray for members of the U.S. Army, and all who serve the nation. These patriots stand ready to exercise America’s sacrosanct right to protect ourselves and all people of moral decency.

In closing, I would like to honor members of my family who served America in the U.S. Army.

These patriots included Joseph M. Rufino (Vietnam War), Mario James Rufino (World War II), Anthony Louis Mirando (Korean War), Felice Bove (World War II), Albert Liquorie (World War II), Michael Liquore (World War II), Joseph Cirrito (World War II), and Biagio Gus Colletti (World War I).

I would also like to recognize three friends who served in the U.S. Army and have been as brothers for a life-time. These men, Thomas A. Cignarella (Korean War), Anthony Damiani, and Daniel X. McCaffrey are the most loyal friends imaginable. Each of them is as family to me as any man could ever hope for.

Related Coverage:

Armed Forces: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

Life Lessons From the United States Military

Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

1. Paratroopers of 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, perform airborne operations at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 24, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Love)

2. President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to former Army Capt. William D. Swenson, citing his extraordinary heroism in the Battle of Ganjgal, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Lisa Ferdinando via U.S. Army website)

3. Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), participate in the graveside service for U.S. Army Sgt. Willie Rowe at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Aug. 8, 2017. Rowe was missing in action, Nov. 25, 1950, after an offensive to push North Koreans to the Yala River in the Ch'ongch'on River region. He was identified by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Central Identification laboratory in May 2005. Rowe's remains were repatriated in Section 60 with full military honors. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

4. U.S. Army Major Ryan Boeka (L) and U.S. Army Major Aaron Miller (R) lead West Point Cadets through Empty Sky, the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial, in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, on April 14, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)

5. 2nd Lt. Ty Roberts from the 35th Infantry Division, helps hand out school supplies and candy to children of the Khalileh Tribe during a community engagement event near the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre, Aug. 18, 2017. The project was a cooperation between U.S. service members in Jordan and the Jordan Armed Forces -- Arab Army aimed at building strong relationships between the armed forces and local community members. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Margaret Ziffer)

6. Joseph M. Rufino, US Army. (Courtesy Margaret Settiducati)

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