This page is for all Vets out there.
- The AZVeterans.news page is an access point for Vets across the state of Arizona
- There is a new VSO called “Be Connected”
- As United States Armed Forces Veterans, we are a culture within a culture
- AZVeterans.news is for you
Welcome to CopperState.news and the AZVeterans.News page! This is your go-to Veterans page here that will provide an access point for Veterans throughout the state of Arizona. Our goal is to cover Veteran news, Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), Veteran Owned businesses, Veteran Talk, Veteran Events, Veteran job opportunities and, with your help, featured Veteran stories from those who have served and their families.
My name is Pete Walter and I’ll be your Host as we bring things online piece by piece.
A little background: Although I grew up in upstate New York, I have been an Arizonan off and on since 1973 when I was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona after returning stateside from a one year deployment to Southeast Asia. I will share more of my story further down.
Early this month of July 2020 I received a call from the county coordinator of the fairly new Veterans outreach organization “Be Connected”. This new VSO is actually working toward bringing all the VSOs in every community together in an effort to “connect” all of our groups while functioning as a liaison to us all. I will be writing further on Be Connected as it will be important from here to work with all the VSOs to minimize duplication where it becomes wasteful or confusing, but more importantly, to streamline and fill in the gaps between all of our great organizations, clubs, service groups and the VA hospitals throughout the state. We at CopperState.news also hope to promote Veteran owned businesses and those businesses that work to hire and keep Veterans.
As United States Armed Forces Veterans, we are a culture within a culture. There is a bond that is so strong that often when we see each other wearing our veteran cap across a room, down a grocery aisle or in the next lane on the street; we smile, give a knowing nod and maybe a thumbs up or an Oorah if you’re a “juggie”. We have strong opinions with even stronger loyalties and it is a rare Vet that does not fly the flag we fought to protect and honor in front of our homes, often with our service branch flag beneath. We cannot forget our brothers and sisters who never made it home, but more importantly, we must work with and for those who did make it home, but today need our help.
Photo courtesy: https://www.mcasiwakuni.marines.mil
Stationed in Iwakuni, Japan in January 1972 with the Marine squadron VMCJ-1, I was moved around to various bases on temporary assigned duty (TAD) throughout the region. Our aircraft were not allowed to stay in-country in Vietnam due to the nature of our mission and the value of the aircraft themselves; they being the Phantom RF4B Photo reconnaissance jet and the Prowler EA6A Radar Jammer. We were moved around from Olongapo, Philippines to numerous bases on the Island of Okinawa to Danang AFB in Southern Vietnam with a short R & R for our pilots on the island of Tiawan. What happened to me during this year is a story in itself which I will save for later.
Once at MCAS Yuma I settled in to Arizona life and upon discharge (another small odyssey) I went to Arizona Western College as a student in music and theater. My degree did not come until some 35 years later at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ where I have resided for over 25 years. I have been involved in music since childhood and have served locally as the choir director at my church since 1995 also producing two military plays and two fairly large Veterans Appreciation Dinners. About that…
In 1997 I became involved in an annual event on the Prescott Courthouse Plaza during the July 4th Prescott “World’s Oldest Rodeo” celebration that has continued to this day. It is called “Celebrate America” and is a salute to the founding of our nation, its Godly heritage and all the U.S. Armed Forces down through the generations that have vouchsafed our freedoms and liberty. One of the results of having put together the military side of the event and the two military themed plays, was an accumulation of military gear, uniforms, regalia, historic artifacts and a group of young men who could march alongside most any Marine Drill Team. Each year we honor all branches with flags waving while honoring the warriors from all wars from the American Revolution to the current War on Terror (WOT) with appropriate uniforms, battle gear and weaponry.
Around April of 2017 a group of us decided to put on a show and invite all the Veterans in the area to join us for breakfast before the Veteran’s Day parade in downtown Prescott with a return to the show for lunch topping it off with six modular mini-museum’s from WW1 to the WOT and an Andrews’ Sisters Tribute from their WW2 period. The building was also surrounded by military vehicles from WW2 to Vietnam along with the only existing proto-type Humvee from Desert Storm. Between the morning and afternoon we served over 400 meals to grateful smiling men and women of the United States Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines. On April 27th, 2019 we were able to do it again catering a fine meal essentially donated by Montana Bar B Q off AZ Hwy 89, the owner himself being a Navy Veteran. This time we had two evening shows where Veterans were invited to bring a guest, no charge whatsoever with door prizes and a little harassment from me, the emcee.
It is my pleasure as a private Veterans Advocate and the host of these pages, to work with and for you all. Some of you know me already. Maybe you’ve been to our shows or seen Celebrate American. If so, please join us here at CopperState.news on the AZVeterans.News page to get the word out. Whether you are an active worker at an Arizona VSO or a private citizen veteran, we are here to help. We have a platform and we need to use it. Going forward we hope to keep things civil, informative and helpful to our Arizona Veterans Community. You are all invited to take part - through reading, sharing, writing and helping us get the word out.
After all, AZVeterans.news is for you.
A. Peter (Pete) Walter