It’s been said that a Veteran is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of “…up to and including my life…”. This is honor, and compatriots of the San Antonio Chapter SAR seek opportunities to recognize such individuals by attending and participating in events, ceremonies, parades, and service programs. Special days include Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Patriots Day, Constitution Day, and Veterans Day.
CLICK HERE FOR THE VETERANS PROGRAMS PHOTO GALLERY
The San Antonio Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution are involved in and hold some of the following events for our Military Veterans:
Selling popcorn at VA Hospital
Delivering books, magazines, and personal grooming items to VA Hospital
SAR Tool Box
Veterans Day Parade
Veterans Day Ball
Independence Day at Ft. Sam/Ft Sam Cemetery
Wreaths Across America
Wounded Warrior Coins and Certificates
Front and Back Picture of the Wounded Warrior Coin
San Antonio SAR Chapter Members Visit VA Hospital
San Antonio Chapter SAR Wounded Warrior Tool Box Project
The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution has joined with Resources Exchange Association, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation based in Graham, NC, to provides a tool box to every serviceman or woman currently serving or recently discharged as a result of wounds received in combat. It is estimated that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced about 48,000 wounded warriors, both men and women.
REA provides a link between corporate America and the nonprofit tax-exempt community. REA's free donations of products come from hundreds of industries, corporations and distributors. These products are then channeled to education and other nonprofit tax-exempt organizations for the use of the sick, needy and minors. SAR has agreed to provide heavy duty tool boxes for the donated tools. Our ability to provide these tool boxes depends on our ability to raise donations.
REA President Clarence R. "Bud" Shepherd, says the current goal is to send 50 boxes a week and to gradually increase that number to as much as 50 a day. When fully operational, the project will have its own 10,000-foot warehouse, and will be staffed by wounded warriors on the REA payroll.
Operation Ancestor Search PowerPoint Files
(displayed as PDF files)
To view the PowerPoint slides on ancestry search that are currently posted, click on the appropriate underlined link for the PowerPoint presentaion of your choice. They will appear as PDF files, the most universal web format available.
Researching Your Ancestors
Family Names in Genealogy
Genealogical Evidence and Sources
SAR Veterans Programs
Welcome Home Program - Airport Greetings for military returning to US
Collecting and delivering books and magazines to VA Hospitals
Collecting and delivering personal hygene items to VA Hospitals
Maintaining Popcorn facility at VA Hospitals
Creating power point presentations for use at Veterans Day Ceremonies
Creating DVD's for showing at Veterans Day Ceremonies
Participating in Veterans Day Ceremonies at Schools, Civic Clubs, and public events
Participating in Veterans Day Parades
Hosting Veterans Day Balls
Wreaths Across America – wreaths and flags on veterans' graves at Christmas.
Some of the more recent SAR History of Support for Veterans
CLICK HERE > OPERATION ANCESTOR SEARCH (OAS) PRESENTATION
Wounded Warriors Building Bridge to the Past
through NSSAR's Operation Ancestor Search Program
Operation Ancestor Search (OAS) is the NSSAR's new patriotic program that provides genealogy training and assistance to our Nation's injured military service members. It is an integral part of the NSSAR's Wounded Warrior Program instituted by Judge Ed Butler as President General in 2009. OAS utilizes SAR Compatriots' genealogy knowledge and experience to assist wounded service members learn about their family history and teaches them basic genealogy techniques. The program is currently active at the Walter Reed National Medical Center, Washington, DC and the Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.
The DC Society Sons of the American Revolution (DCSSAR) created Operation Ancestor Search in early 2010. The DCSSAR's program operated for over a year at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center , and transitioned with the hospital when as it moved to a new location and reorganized as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Since the program began, DCSSAR Compatriots have assisted more than 100 members of the armed services research their genealogy.
In March, 2011, upon the motion of Judge Butler, who serves as the committee's Senior Advisor, the National Society's Executive Committee supported the development of a National Committee to expand the program to other SAR Chapters. The Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas is the first expansion location. The San Antonio Chapter of the Texas State Society began its program in September 2011. The chapter's first training session was filled to capacity and the feedback received was overwhelmingly positive.
Operation Ancestor Search is designed to provide injured armed service members and their families a respite from the constant reminders of their injuries. The OAC programs offer training courses at the military medical facilities. Although the Compatriot volunteers often assist with the research, the program is intended to provide the service members with the knowledge and tools necessary for them to conduct their own research. Utilizing online and local resources provided through the program, the participants are able to conduct their research while they convalesce at military hospitals.
The psychological benefits of the program have won it strong support from the military medical cadre. Besides offering a reprieve to the participants, the research they conduct acts as a stress reducer and nearly always puts them in touch with their family. In several cases, participants have even connected with distant cousin s who lived close enough to the military hospital to visit the injured service member. Participation in the program also provides a personal connection with the past , and participants are often proud to discover their ancestors also served in the military.
Operation Ancestor Search has been a tremendous success at both Walter Reed and Brooke Army medical center. Captain Samuel Hoffman, US Army, has participated in the program at Walter Reed since early 2011. Captain Hoffman said “This exceeded my expectations and speaks volumes to me. I am presenting this information to my Dad and his sister.” Captain Hoffman discovered his ancestors served on both sides of the Civil War and also the Revolutionary War.
Another OAS participant, Captain Brad Mellinger, began working with OAS in January 2011. When Captain Mellinger began his research, he had been in and out of military hospitals for four years after being shot in the leg by a sniper in Iraq. Before Captain Mellinger returned to his unit, he had traced his lineage to the Revolutionary War and said, “ Knowing the family stories can help increase the honor in one ' s name just by knowing how you came to be, where you are now, and the sacrifices from those who came before you.”
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for offering this program. This has given me the opportunity to get out of my room and connect with others in an environment where I feel safe, and has allowed me to connect to my family and my heritage…. I have learned of, connected, and communicated with a whole side of my family we never even knew and it is awesome! … It is a great learning experience and has been an invaluable tool in helping me heal here at Walter Reed, and I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful opportunity you have given us.
- Private First Class Heather Cummings
Operation Ancestor Search's success is due to the dedication of Compatriot volunteers and the availability of genealogy resources. Ancestry.com has been the largest outside supporter of OAS by providing over $35,000 worth of individual subscriptions, an institutional subscription and numerous other resources. "We are extremely grateful for the help that Ancestry.com has provided with this important initiative. I can see firsthand how their resources have impacted the research efforts of our participants. The soldiers have seen a lot of "wow" moments during their research and this is directly related to Ancestry.com's help” said Compatriot Brock Bierman, co-chair of the NSSAR's OAS program.
Fold3, formerly Footnote.com, provided access to its resources for OAS participants and The National Archives and Records Administration has also supported the program with the donation of genealogy material and trainers. Archivist Connie Potter has provided training on the National Archives' genealogy holdings and records related to the Civil War.
The Operation Ancestor Search Committee is actively expanding existing programs , and developing additional locations , and for future expansion. Additionally, the Committee is searching for Compatriots willing to participate actively in the further development of OAS Operation Ancestor Search . For more information contact Compatriot Carl Bedell (DCSSAR) at firstname.lastname@example.org .
By Carl Bedell and Brock Bierman
Members of the DCSSAR at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. (L to R: John Sinks, Fred Humphreys, Frank Woodbury, Paul Hays)
NSSAR WOUNDED WARRIOR PROGRAM
by Judge Ed Butler, NSSAR President General, 2009-2010
Before the 2009 Congress I planned a program where the President General, First Lady, and members of the local chapter would visit the service men and women in military or VA hospitals, who have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Aide de Camp George Harcourt prepared a form to be used to collect the information from each injured soldier. Here's how the program is set up:
"The National Society Sons of the American Revolution's (SAR) Wounded Warrior program is designed for the President General and other leaders to visit military and VA hospitals to personally thank the wounded service men and women for their service and sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on the seas, in support of operations in these areas. We also include those wounded in other theatres.
The NSSAR Wounded Warrior challenge coin will be presented by the President General (or by the VPG, State or Chapter President), together with a SAR brochure and business card to each injured service man or woman. One of the President General's aides will insure that all of the information on the Wounded Warrior form is completed. An aide will take a digital photo of the ceremony, which will be sent to the serviceperson by NSSAR headquarters staff, together with the Wounded Warrior Certificate and a copy of the appropriate news release. HQ Staff will send a copy of the photo, Wounded Warrior Certificate and the original of the news release to the home town newspaper. If possible a third aide will videotape the ceremony and send the videotape to the SAR Videographer and SAR Webmaster.
Wearing of the SAR Color Guard uniform is encouraged at these events. At some military bases, the staff may wish to formalize the ceremony with the presentation of the colors, invocation, pledge, etc.
The first ceremony was at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, HI on Sep. 2, 2009. There we recognized 12 combat veterans who suffered from severe post traumatic stress disorder. Twelve SAR members and wives walked into a room. We were greeted by a room filled with expressionless faces. First, I told them a little about the SAR, and how we had for many years honored our veterans by taking books, magazines, and toiletries to VA Hospitals. I informed them that we wanted to pay a special tribute to those who suffered from injuries received in combat. By the time we finished our ceremony all but one of the veterans were smiling and laughing. Three even walked with us to the parking lot. Clearly, we had brightened their day, which was our goal. While in Hawaii, we conducted wreath laying ceremonies at the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, and the Punch Bowl Cemetery.
The NSSAR Executive Committee, at the Fall 2009 Leadership Meeting adopted the Wounded Warrior Program as an official program of the SAR. All state and chapter presidents are encouraged to locate those wounded in combat in their respective areas.
Here's what we need from members of the local chapter:
- Make prior arrangements with the Commander of each hospital to approve your visit. If on a military base, insure that the participants can gain entry, and if necessary, leave a list of participants with base security. Advise them that to obtain a visitor's pass for their vehicles, they will need to show copies of the auto registration, auto liability insurance, and their drivers license.
- Secure written approval for your visit (date, place, ward or clinic number & time) and obtain copy of the authorization or pass for all participants.
- Provide detailed information about the street address of the hospital, ward information, and contact person, with appropriate telephone numbers to all participants.
- Provide all participants with a map of the base, showing the location of the hospital or clinic to be visited.
- Determine if the participants need an escort in the hospital, and if so, obtain contact information.
- A minimum of two or more uniformed color guardsmen or members wearing a blazer with the SAR Blazer Patch should participate. One to secure the name, unit, home address, and home town newspaper of the warrior on the attached form, and one to take photos for the warrior's home town newspaper. The cameraman should provide digital copies of all photos to both the editor of the SAR Magazine ( email@example.com ); to the NSSAR webmaster ( firstname.lastname@example.org ); and to the NSSAR Videographer ( email@example.com ).
- If possible, a third SAR member should participate with a digital video camera. A copy of the digital video should be sent to both the SAR webmaster ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and the NSSAR Videographer ( email@example.com )
- Although not required, a news release should be submitted IN ADVANCE to Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times, or Marine Corps Times and/or Stars and Strips newspapers. Depending on the facility (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force) an appropriate article with photographs should be submitted afterwards to the newspaper for the Wounded Warrior's military service.
- Send copies of all of the above to the President General ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and his travel coordinator ( email@example.com ).
CLICK HERE > INFORMATION ON EDWARD F. BUTLER