Toys for Tots Literacy Program

Many people (especially if they live near a Navy or Marine Corps base) are familiar with the USMC Reserve’s Toys for Tots.  But are you familiar with the Toys for Tots Literacy Program?

Toys for Tots Literacy Program

From the website:

Mission: The Toys for Tots Literacy Program offers our nation’s most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to resources that will enhance their ability to read and to communicate effectively.

Background: An objective of the Marine Toys for Tots program is to play an active role in the development of our nation’s children by delivering hope that can assist these children into becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens.

For more than 70 years, Toys for Tots has been bringing smiles to the faces of children-in-need through the gift of a new toy. While Toys for Tots is committed to this tradition and continues its toy program, it is extending its reach through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

  • If you are interested in supporting Toys for Tots Literacy Program?
    Donate cash or new books at participating The UPS Store locations. Donations can also be made online. Customers can check with their local The UPS Store location to find out if they are conducting a book drive. To find the nearest location, go to
  • They accept  NEW, unwrapped books for children of all ages.
  • The Military Librarians Training Workshop is supporting this charity at next week’s conference in Crystal City, Virginia.

Forgotten Mechanic

My friend and shipmate,  Bonnie sent me this email  this morning

Was cataloging the “Disestablishment of Sea Control Squadron 29 and Sea Control Squadron 38, Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, CA, 2004”  and found this poem. It reminds me of the words of the retired Tuskegee airplane mechanic who was on board the Midway for a special presentation. Several times he was asked if he wanted to be a pilot. He finally answered: ‘They can fly planes without pilots, but they can’t fly planes without mechanics.”

Forgotten MechanicUSS Midway banner


Reblog: ‘He is the petitioner: The Military Petitions of Naturalization of Camp Lee’s Nurses During World War I”

Something the government may want to reconsider: giving citizenship to emigrants who serve in the United States Armed Forces.

From 1795 to 1952, the United States’ naturalization process required a declaration of intention followed by a petition for naturalization. On 9 May 1918, Congress passed Public Law 144, An Act To amend the naturalization laws and to repeal certain sections of the Revised Statutes of the United States and other laws relating to naturalization, and for other purposes. Under the new law,

“any alien serving in the military or naval service of the United States during the time this country is engaged in the present war may file his petition for naturalization without making the preliminary declaration of intention and without proof of the required five years’ residence within the United States.”


Reblog of how female nurses from World War I were listed as he because of the language of the time.

Military Working Dog Stamps

A bow(wow) of thanks and a big tail wag to blogger and poet JeanMarie Olivieri ( for the information.  She left me the following comment:

I can’t find the post you did that mentioned the dogs that served in the military, so I’m leaving this link for you here, and anyone else who might be interested in honoring veterans. The US Post Office has issued stamps honoring dogs who served in the military.


From the initial notification:

USPS said in a press release that the new booklet was created to honor “the nation’s brave and loyal military working dogs.”

The booklet will feature 20 stamps of four breeds — the German shepherd, Labrador retriever, Belgian Malinois and Dutch shepherd — all of which commonly serve in the armed forces.

The stamps were issued 1 August 2019 as $.55 cent forever stamps. A book of 20 costs $11.

Click here to read more about how 2019 is the year that Military Working Dogs are getting their due.

Conan, the Belgian Malinois military working dog who was injured in the raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was honored at the White House by President Trump earlier this month.

Reblog: Veterans Benefits Vary By State

Reblog from Buzz Search, Nov 13, 2019:


Stars And Stripes: New study shows veteran benefit discrepancies between states. “Several years ago, Iraq War veteran Kayla Williams and her family moved to Pennsylvania, where she and her husband received $500 each semester toward her two children’s school costs, thanks to a statewide benefit. The only problem? They had relocated from Virginia – a state that provides free tuition to children of disabled veterans. Williams’ husband, also a veteran, has a 100 percent disability rating from the VA.” A new database allows veterans to compare benefits offered by state governments.  (sorry about all the ads!)

To go directly to Veterans’ Benefits Click here.…

Serving Those Who Served: Libraries and Veterans

Veteran waving helloBackground.  On July 4, 2019, USA Today published an article in its Money section:  “There are 18.2 million veterans in the U.S. Which state is home to the most of them?”

  • Veterans comprise 7.3% of the civilian population over the age of 18.
  • Veterans have a higher median income than nonveterans and lower unemployment and poverty rates than those who did not serve in the military.
  • Veterans have a higher percentage of people with a disability than those who did not serve.
  • Four states where the number of veterans as a share of the adult population exceeds 10%: Alaska, Montana, Virginia, and Wyoming.
  • Except for Montana, these states are home to one of America’s largest military cities.
  • The states with the lowest share of veterans are mostly on either coast – New York (4.5%), New Jersey (4.6%), California (5.2%), and Massachusetts (5.5%).
  • The three most populous states in the nation have the three largest veteran populations: California (1.56 million), Texas (1.46 million), and Florida (1.44 million). These states are also home to some of America’s largest military bases.

Five ways public libraries can help veterans

  1. Help veterans find out what benefits the federal government, the state government, and local government provides.
  2. In addition to providing free computers and resume books for all job seekers, set up a section for military/veterans re-entering civilian job markets.  Which potential employers make an effort to seek out veterans?  What military skills are transferable to civilian jobs?
  3. Offer meeting spaces for veteran support groups like PTFS sufferers, caring for Wounded Warriors, veterans seeking to reconnect with others after missing the close-knit camaraderie of the military.
  4. Set up a Veteran’s Resource Center with information on pre/post-deployment issues;  financial/educational, health information; relationship issues, etc.
  5. House a Veteran’s Job Fair, or a meeting where Emotional  Support Animals are available.Veterans

Veterans Connect@the Library

California has a successful state-wide program where the California Department of  Veteran’s Affairs (CalVet) partners with some public libraries for veterans

to learn about state and federal education, employment, housing, health, disability and other benefits that may be available to you and your family.

These libraries offer “one-on-one consultation with trained volunteers, many of whom are veterans themselves or who have had professional experience assisting veterans, or just drop by and check out the collection of library books and other library materials selected especially for the veteran.”

San Diego is home to several Naval and Marine Corps bases, as well as home to hundreds of veterans.  The San Diego Public Library has Veteran’s Resource Centers at the Central Library downtown as well as the Point  Loma/Hervey Branch.  The website provides information about these Centers.

Veteran--Change must come.

Reblog: Pew Report: The American Veteran Experience and the Post -9/11 Generation


veterans honoring

In September 2019, the Pew Research Center released this report examining trends among the experiences of American military veterans, comparing veterans whose service began after 9/11 to those whose service ended prior to 9/11. The report looked at a variety of aspects of the veteran experience, including deployment and combat trends, how well veterans feel their training prepared them for military service and civilian life, and how both veterans and the general public view those who have served in the military. In addition to similarities, the study found several disparities between pre- and post-9/11 generations of veterans. For example, those who served after 9/11 were significantly more likely to be deployed and see combat than those who served prior to 9/11. Interested readers can view and download the full 38-page report at the link above, where they will also find multiple colorful graphs and the topline survey results. This report was authored by Kim Parker, Ruth Igielnik, Amanda Barroso, and Anthony Cilluffo. It is based on two surveys of US adults, with one survey consisting of 1,284 US military veterans and the other consisting of 1,084 US non-veterans. These surveys were conducted between May 14 and June 3, 2019.