Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'National Guard' (43) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 43

February 14, 2014 at 9:58am

Military crowdsourcing site Endless Crowds launches

Endless Crowds is a fundraising platform exclusively for active/veteran military, firefighters, first responders and their causes.

There is great power in numbers - especially when it comes to getting needed funds to programs, businesses and individuals. Enter crowdsourcing, a fairly new phenomenon that harnesses the power of many to accomplish tasks and fundraising large and small. Popular crowdsourcing sites range from fundraising site Kickstarter to mini-job site TaskRabbit.

And now there's a new kid on the block called Endless Crowds, launched just this week, designed specifically for active duty military, veterans and first responders. The site allows participants to pool resources, ideas and raise funds, but strives to go beyond what many think of as a crowdsourcing site.

Founded by Roger Mensah, Endless Crowds is designed to serve a variety of projects, including community service programs, entrepreneurial and personal projects. Mensah began working on the site soon after President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address. Obama told the nation that 34,000 troops would be coming home and Mensah realized this meant many of these returning troops would face employment challenges.

To help vets who want to forge ahead on their own paths to self-employment or starting a business, for first-responder companies who cannot meet their needs through available funding, for military community programs who need a boost - Endless Crowds is there to help. Mensah believes that the discipline, leadership and teamwork qualities taught and engrained into military and first responders are inherently intertwined with a site such as Endless Crowds, which amplifies and empowers such qualities.

 "I believe those that protect us deserve the very best from the community at large, and their challenges are better solved together, rather than alone. Endless Crowds aims to harness the instilled qualities of teamwork, discipline and leadership found in our military and first responders to find a new way to get things done," said Mensah via a recent press release.

While fundraising is one aspect of the platform, Endless Crowds serves a higher purpose as well. Where other sourcing sites usually gather funds and nothing more, Endless Crowds will offer support and guidance to participants beyond the fundraising push. The site brings together resources and tools available to participants and aims to offer a personalized experience, which most other crowdsourcing platforms do not.

Beyond military members, Endless Crowds will also serve first responders, who often end up on the short end of the stick with public funding and can't afford needed equipment or programs from D.A.R.E to National Fire Prevention Week.

Some of the projects already listed on the site include Our Home Transitional, a program that hopes to help single homeless female veterans by raising funds to help for job training, education, health care and home placement assistance. Another project, Police Unity Tour, which is a four-day bicycle ride from New Jersey to D.C. to raise awareness of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and to raise funds for the The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

To start a project or fundraiser, or find one to support, go to endlesscrowds.com. To see which programs are already listed on the site, go to Explore and you can peruse by Community, Entrepreneurial and Personal/Creative projects.

February 6, 2014 at 11:08pm

Washington National Guard played big role in Seahawks' Super Bowl Championship parade

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and his wife, Glena, ride along the Super Bowl champions parade on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Seattle. The Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in NFL football's Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.

Television reports and social media have been consumed with the Seattle Seahawks' smiling faces, fist pumps and trophy kisses captured during the team's Super Bowl Championship parade. In a majority of the images, at least on the parade route down Fourth Avenue, another presence ingrained in the public's mind - the Washington National Guard. Guardsman and their vehicles - 5-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) Troop Carriers, Standard Humvees and Light Armored Humvees - escorted the players, Coach Pete Carroll and his staff, General Manager Paul Schneider and team owner Paul Allen past more than 700,000 screaming fans - who lined the same road the Seattle Supersonics celebrated decades ago. Braving sub-freezing temperatures, the fans cheered the parade as it made its way through the city's downtown toward a celebration at CenturyLink Field. State politicians, including Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Maria Cantwell, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and other VIPs rode ahead of the Guard in iconic Ride The Ducks of Seattle amphibious tour vehicles

Seattle's first Super Bowl victory parade didn't involve the Washington National Guard because the vehicles looked cool. It happened because of an ongoing statewide relationship and community outreach effort between the Guard and the Seahawks.

"The Seahawks and the Sounders FC, are proud partners and supporters of the Guard with activities like this taking place throughout the year," said Mike flood, Seahawks vice president of community relations.  "We salute Washington National Guard service members and families for the dedication to our country and the great state of Washington!"

Community Outreach is one of the major priorities of Maj. Gen. Bret D. Daugherty, adjutant general and director of Washington's military department. The Guard stood proud next to the Seahawks during many statewide community outreach efforts.

"We are so honored that the Seahawks and the Seafair organization asked us to help out with this celebration," said Daugherty. "Our men and women wear many hats. They're protectors of our state, defenders of our nation and some of the most committed 12th Man fans you'll ever meet. We are pleased to play such an important role in (the) parade.

Besides transporting the team, the Guard supported local law authorities in an effort to keep the huge crowd safe. Even though the crowd quickly grew past the estimated 400,000 mark to a size greater than the historic Woodstock concert, not a single major injury or arrest was reported in this organized chaos.

The Recruiting and Retention Battalion of the Washington National Guard has been a part of the Seahawks organization for years. The Guard has placed static military vehicles before games at CenturyLink, conducted re-enlistment ceremonies on the field and coordinated with NFL players to join High Speed Player Development (HSPD) events with high schools throughout the state. The NFL HSPD program works to incorporate the leadership and responsibility framework of the Guard/military among high school athletes, as well as champion the military through recruitment presentations.

"As the battalion commander for this city and a season ticket holder since day one, this was a one-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget," said Lt. Col. Adam Iwaszuk, 181 Brigade Support commander). "Getting to experience the unimaginable dream of walking down Seattle, holding the Vince Lombardi Championship trophy is something I will forever cherish."

February 5, 2014 at 3:31pm

Photos: Washington National Guard front and center at the Seahawks Super Bowl Parade

Sgt. Maj. Kelly Pugh of the Washington National Guard holds the Lombardi Trophy at today's Seahawks Super Bowl Victory Parade. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seattle Seahawks celebrate their Super Bowl XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos in force today as the entire team has made its way through downtown Seattle on Humvees and Light Medium Tactical Vehicles with spectators lining the streets. Soldiers and airmen in the Washington National Guard transported the players, coaches and elected officials along the route.

"We are so honored that the Seahawks and the Seafair organization asked us to help out with this celebration," said Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, the state's adjutant general and commander of the Washington National Guard, in a release. "Our men and women wear many hats - they're protectors of our state, defenders of our nation, and some of the most committed 12th Man fans you'll ever meet. We are pleased to play such an important role in tomorrow's parade. We'll be transporting people along the route, as well as supporting local law authorities who will ensure everyone who attends the event remains safe."

Of course the Washington National Guard was asked to transport the Seahawk players during the parade. Half the 12th Man spirit photos on Facebook during December and January involved the Washington National Guard. Camp Murray could have been mistaken for a Marshawn Lynch Skittles Factory during the month of January.

The Seahawks Super Bowl parade started at 11 a.m. on Fourth Avenue, south of Denny Way and to the current championship celebration at CenturyLink Field. Approximately 859,345 lined the Seattle streets today - but according to most school districts, most of the crowd was drinking age. Yeah, right. We expect more paper will be used for sick excuse notes from doctors tomorrow than parade confetti used today. The adjacent Safeco Field is also open and carrying a live feed of CenturyLink Field's on-field presentation on the ballpark's large video boards.

Below are photos snapped by Walkie Talkie Parade Correspondent Gary Lott, live on the scene. NOT PICTURED: The Denver Broncos.

Congratulations Seahawks!

February 5, 2014 at 7:30am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Horrific barrel bombs, Afghanistan plans, military pension payouts, actual broncos vs actual seahawks...

Cafe Brosseau in Tacoma's North End neighborhood carries delicious Alina's Soups and a love for "Star Wars."


Footage has emerged showing the Syrian regime using explosive "barrel bombs" on civilian neighborhoods, killing hundreds, while its representatives attended peace talks at Geneva.

Pakistan's government reportedly made the request as it pursues peace talks with the Taliban.

President Obama called his commander in Afghanistan and the nation's top military leaders to the White House to hear planning options.

DOD lacks plan for collecting and validating Afghan security forces capability assessments.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and her colleagues criticized Army and company officials for failing to previously spot an alleged National Guard recruiting scam that may have cost taxpayers some $50 million.

The effort to repeal the $6 billion cut to military pensions advanced on numerous fronts on Tuesday, although the central problem in Congress with passing one of the measures - how to pay for it - has yet to be resolved.

Lockheed Martin is planning to offer a civilian version of the C-130J Super Hercules, an aircraft designed for Special Operations Command.

Negotiations over the multibillion dollar deal to sell 126 Dassault Rafale jets to India have stalled.

The White House's nomination of Robert Work to be the U.S. deputy defense secretary is said to be imminent.

The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade added a different twist to the primary joint training exercise Koa Kai 14-1 around the islands of Kauai and Ni'ihau: integrating the rotary wing aircraft aboard the naval ships.

Among those in the hunt for precious metal in the mountains of Russia will be a squad of military athletes competing in the downhill speed sports of bobsled and luge.

The Olympic torch arrived in Sochi, Russia, today, and most Americans aren't too thrilled - with that country, its anti-gay laws or its President Vladimir Putin.

Area 51 spy plane and other aviation tales.

Who would win if it was actual broncos and actual seahawks?

This simple invention seals gunshot wounds in 15 seconds.

America is preparing to land a robot on the moon for the first time in four decades.

Though-provoking photos of Israeli soldiers' bedrooms and the guns they keep in them.

A great piece on Salon: "Too Poor for Pop Culture."

Magnolia Pictures will release the Roger Ebert documentary this summer.

Will Ferrell did a Q&A on Reddit.

This whatchamacallit is made out of parts from a scooter and from roller blades.

Instagram, Atari style

February 4, 2014 at 7:45am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Kickback scandal rocks Army National Guard, vet tuition rates, secret Taliban talks, happy birthday Facebook...

Seahawks spirit is still alive at Rain City Cafe in downtown Tacoma.


More than 800 soldiers are under criminal investigation for gaming a National Guard program that paid hundreds of millions in bonuses to soldiers who persuaded friends to sign up during the darkest years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been holding secret talks with Taliban officials in an effort to bridge peace with his government,


February 3, 2014 at 11:38am

Become the state chair for the Washington State Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Look what we found floating around the Internets:

The Washington State Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is seeking to fill its state chair position. ESGR is a Department of Defense sponsored, all-volunteer organization comprised of business, community and military leaders dedicated to helping the nation field a strong, prepared and valued National Guard and Reserve force. Chairs are responsible for all aspects of state ESGR operations, including organizing, leading, directing, supervising and motivating members with various backgrounds, abilities and interests.


January 31, 2014 at 5:32pm

Army's first "Gold Star" PSA honoring survivors of the fallen will air just before Super Bowl XLVIII

Gold Star Lapel Button (left) and the Next-of-Kin of Deceased Personnel Lapel Button / photo courtesy of DoD

The Army announced today that it will release three public service announcements over the next year to increase awareness of DoD-issued gold star and next-of-kin lapel pins. The first PSA will screen on Fox Sports a half-hour before kickoff of Super Bowl XLVIII

According to an Army IMCOM release, "The pins are designed to signify the loss of a loved one in support of our nation. Although the gold star pins have been in existence for decades, many Americans are unfamiliar with their meaning. The PSAs were developed to help educate and inform the public of the significance of the pins."

"It's heartbreaking to think that a mom wearing a gold star might have someone ask her, 'What a beautiful pin, where do I get one?'," said Donna Engeman, a gold star wife who manages the Survivor Outreach Services program for the Army.

"We decided we had to do something to ensure the nation-the world-recognizes what that pin really signifies," Engeman said.

For the full story on the DoD-issued gold star and next-of-kin lapel pins, click here.

January 31, 2014 at 7:16am

Friday Morning Joe: Public believes U.S. failed Middle East, Obama nominates defense leaders, secret "Seinfeld" project...

Yes, it's a fight for table space and parking, but the Starbucks at Sixth and Pine in Tacoma is a friendly bunch.


A new poll finds a majority of the public believes the United States failed to meet its goals in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

It's official: President Obama will nominate Vice Adm. Michael Rogers to lead the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.

The president also has nominated Mike McCord for Pentagon comptroller, Brian McKeon for principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for policy and others.

The U.S. Air Force should look at moving as much manpower into the Reserve and Air National Guard components as possible, according to a new report from a congressionally mandated panel.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign the bilateral security agreement negotiated with the U.S. And without it, U.S. officials say they'll have to consider a complete withdrawal of troops post-2014.

Veterans group says military suicide rate is "out of control."

A long-awaited complaint system, launched Jan. 30 by the Veterans Affairs Department in partnership with other federal agencies, offers students using military or veterans' education benefits a way to report unscrupulous schools to authorities with the power to stop them.

A former Canadian brigadier general and head of Canadian forces in Afghanistan is being detained in Afghanistan for alleged gun smuggling.

Premature weapons testing drains military budget.

Senior military commanders should not retain authority over sexual assault cases within their command, a congressionally-appointed panel said in a report released Thursday. 

What exactly is this secret Seinfeld project?

See a bunch of new photos from the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.

This week's episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee features Tina Fey.

Get nostalgic with these bizarre Super Bowl ads from now-defunct companies.

Sharknado 2 is on the way.

Finally: A ranking of 94 X-Men members.

First-person view of Felix Baumgartner's space jump

January 16, 2014 at 3:01pm

Washington National Guard IS the 12th Man

It seems the Washington National Guard wants the Seahawks to beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday. Photo courtesy of Gary Lott

Here is what we know about the National Guard:

The National Guard was formed in the 17th century as the militia of the colonists in North America.

National Guard soldiers have fought in every U.S. war since 1637.

Other reserve groups have no affiliation with the National Guard, such as the Army Reserve.

Each U.S. state and Washington D.C. has its own National Guard.

The National Guard takes an oath to perform state or federal missions and can be deployed for either. A governor can call up troops to assist in national disasters or the president can order troops to foreign nations on federal missions.

In times of peace, the National Guard trains one weekend a month and two weeks during the year.

The National Guard, well at least the Washington National Guard, are huge Seahawks fans, and are not shy, according to another batch of photos out of Camp Murray.

(If the Seahawks beat the 49ers Sunday, we suspect the Washington National Guard will send us 49 photos of them cheering on the Hawks. These people are crazy fans.)

January 11, 2014 at 7:49am

Saturday Morning Joe: Secret Somalia deployment, Lt. Col. Laura Kreitler retires, weather, Girl Scout Cookies...

Frenchy's Cafe in Lakewood serves tasty coffee and delicious crepes.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is leading the push to get Democrats to support sanctions on Iran, putting him at sharp odds with the White House on one of President Obama's top foreign policy priorities.

Fighting between security forces and al-Qaida-linked militants in Iraq's Sunni-dominated Anbar province has killed at least 60 people over the past two weeks.

The U.S. military secretly deployed a small number of trainers and advisers to Somalia in October, the first time regular troops have been stationed in the war-ravaged country since1993, when two helicopters were shot down and 18 Americans killed in the "Black Hawk Down" disaster.


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