A U.S, Army dog handler from the Vietnam War years who, from his modest Front Royal office, helps find jobs for wounded veterans across the nation, on Sept. 27 will receive the highest honor bestowed by the military on a civilian in a Pentagon ceremony.
Skip Rogers who, with his family, operates a unique non-profit called “Able Forces” on Chester Street, was selected by the U.S. Marine Corps to receive the “2018 Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award” in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes.
The citation recognizes Rogers, a Warren County resident since 2009, as one “who epitomizes the values of duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity, and selfless dedication (and) significantly enhance(s) the quality of life of service members and their families serving around the world; and selflessly contribute(s) an extraordinary amount(s) of time, talent or resources to benefit service members.”
“Able Forces” provides aid, comfort, and job training for “worthwhile” jobs for wounded veterans returning from war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
In an interview last September, Rogers, 69, told me: “We address the critical employment and training needs of combat-injured veterans, and all disabled veterans. We are here for our nation’s heroes suffering from severe physical disabilities, PTSD and traumatic brain injury.” Read story here
For this, he was chosen to receive the high Defense Department award. Also, on Tuesday, Sept. 18, Rogers will be honored by the service that selected him, the U.S. Marine Corps, in a separate ceremony led by a Marine general.
Since 1998, each of the armed services has nominated one civilian for the “Spirit of Hope” award. Rogers’s name was advanced by a U.S. Army vet, Carlos Melendez, who has worked closely with Rogers over the years as a civilian advocate for the wounded.
“He told me he was going to do it and I said okay, not really believing anything would come of it,” Rogers told me in a more recent interview (Sept. 10) in his Chester Street office. Rogers said he was “surprised” when Melendez told him in July he “thought I was in line” for the award.
Rogers calls his team, which, apart from his family, includes Joe Cunningham, a business partner for some 36 years, and Stephen Carter, an Army veteran, “Caretakers of the Dream.”
“Basically, Rogers said, “we help families in crisis…we are here for our nation’s heroes suffering severe disabilities.”
He estimated he and his small cadre of workers – wife Kathy, vice president for operations; daughter Lisa Salomon, accountant; Cunningham and Carter – have helped settle several hundred wounded, ill, or otherwise injured veterans principally by placing them in jobs (“not just any jobs but employment with a future”) in various parts of the country. “Able Forces” accomplishes this through a network of government and civilian contractors called the “Community Rehabilitation Program.”
Note: Rogers, a Californian, rarely uses his first names. He has answered to “Skip” most of his life. He says that’s the name that will be on the DoD citation but not, we believe, on his income tax return!
Skyline High School’s Environmental Science, Ecology, and Green Team is taking on another Action Project
We are learning to be compassionate, global-minded, Earth stewards in Environmental Science, Ecology, and Green Team at Skyline High School. That means, taking what we learn about in class and using it to better the world. One of our Action Projects is to help clean up our waterways… from narrow streams that flow into the Shenandoah River, to the Potomac River, to the Chesapeake Bay, and on into the Atlantic Ocean. We have been horrified to see pictures of aquatic organisms suffering and dying after consuming and becoming entangled in plastics. How sad it is to learn that soon our oceans will have more plastic particles in them than fish!
Please help us change this! We want to raise awareness in a meaningful and ethical way through a “Buy One, Give One” fundraiser. We are selling cotton, organic, fair trade, reusable grocery bags along with an autographed copy of one of Ellie Jackson’s storybooks, “Duffy’s Lucky Escape!,” “Nelson’s Dangerous Dive,” or “Marli’s Tangled Tale.” Each story is based on the true story of a sea animal who has suffered because of human waste. Our goal is to not only bring awareness through the selling of the products, but also to educate our Warren County Kindergartners (almost 400) by “giving” one bag/book combo to each of them at an educational assembly that SHS students will present. We want to educate the children about the benefits to people and the Earth of using “organic,” “fair trade,” and “reusable” products. We hope the gifts and education will help motivate them and their families to carry it forward.
“Buy One, Give One”
Pick 1 Bag & Pick 1 Book = $35.00
CLICK HERE to download and fill out the order form. Drop off or mail the form to Kara Lewallen at Skyline High School. You can also contact Kara with any questions you may have by emailing email@example.com or calling (540) 631-0366.
If you do not feel you can buy a bag and book, there are other ways to help…
- Reduce your plastic use.
- Recycle the recyclable plastics.
- Vote at the grocery store by choosing biodegradable packaging when possible.
- Educate others for the good of our Earth.
A tremendous THANK YOU to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative ($500), Walmart ($1,000), Gallant International, and Ellie Jackson for helping us make a positive difference!
With love for Earth and Organisms,
SHS Environmental Science, Ecology, & Green Team
Iwo Jima, the iconic battle and legacy
On Wednesday, January 16th at 2:15 pm, Randolph-Macon Academy hosted a free presentation entitled, “Iwo Jima, the iconic battle and legacy,” presented by Shayne Jarosz.
In addition to serving as the Director of Special Events for the Iwo Jima Association of America, Inc., Jarosz is a Marine Corps veteran and taught history for 28 years in Fairfax County. In his current position, he provides military historical tours to battlefield sites around the world, including Guadalcanal, Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima, Korea and Vietnam. Jarosz’s presentation on Iwo Jima took place in Melton Memorial Gymnasium on the R-MA campus.
For more information, visit the Iwo Jima Association of America’s website.
Why is my electric bill so high?
Front Royal Town Manager Joe Waltz spoke today (January 17th) with Mike McCool, Publisher of the Royal Examiner about the very question.
The Department of Energy Services provides electrical services for almost 8,000 customers in the Town of Front Royal and Warren County. The Town has been providing this service for over 123 years while providing the best reliable service in the Shenandoah Valley.
The Town of Front Royal is one of sixteen municipal electric systems in Virginia and is one of over 2,000 municipal-owned systems in the United States. The Energy Resource Department is a self supported enterprise fund, with their total costs for operation derived through the electric rate structure.
The Town is also actively participating in both Federal and State legislation to maintain the safest, most reliable and economical cost available for our customers to keep rates low. They are active members in the following organizations:
Municipal Electric Power Association of Virginia (MEPAV). http://www.mepav.org/
American Municipal Power – Ohio (AMP-Ohio). http://www.amppartners.org/home
American Public Power Association (APPA). https://www.publicpower.org/
International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA). https://www.imsasafety.org/
The operation of an electrical system is a twenty-four hour, 365 day a year job. The Town of Front Royal Electric Department strives to keep your lights on and your power outages to a minimum. Even during the worst conditions be assured that your friends and neighbors at the Energy Services Department will be working hard to restore your power.
Their mission is to provide the best quality power and customer service while keeping the price low and service interruptions to a minimum. If you have suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to contact them.
Front Royal, VA 22630
7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Citizens speak out about high electric bills
On January 14, 2019, Front Royal Town Council held a public hearing to amend Front Royal Municipal Town Code Chapter 70 pertaining to Electricity to bring it up-to-date and consistent with other areas of the Town Code, as presented. Several citizen spoke to the the Council about their utility bills and why their electric bills are so high.
Pedestrian struck near Rural King in Front Royal
FRONT ROYAL – A pedestrian was struck by a pickup truck Tuesday afternoon in front of Rural King Front Royal Police say.
According to a press release from the office of Chief Kahle Magalis, a call came in around 3 p.m. regarding a pedestrian struck in front of the retail store, located at 465 South Street in the Royal Plaza Shopping Center.
Responding officers found the pedestrian, Jeffrey Richardson, 40, of Reliance, lying in the parking lot. The release states that “it was determined that Richardson was struck by a 2011 Ford F-150 operated by Thomas Clark, 83, of Front Royal.”
Clark stated to officers that his foot had slipped off the brake while going over a speed bump and his foot made contact with the accelerator, which caused him to accidentally strike Richardson.
Richardson was transported to Warren Memorial Hospital and then transferred to Winchester Medical Centers Trauma Unit for observation.
No charges have been placed against the driver at this time.
U.S. Postal Service announces new prices for 2019
WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today of price changes to take effect Jan. 27, 2019.
The proposed prices, approved by the Governors of the Postal Service, would raise Mailing Services product prices approximately 2.5 percent. Shipping Services price increases vary by product. For example, Priority Mail Express will increase 3.9 percent and Priority Mail will increase 5.9 percent. Although Mailing Services price increases are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Shipping Services prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions. The Governors believe these new rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with needed revenue.
If favorably reviewed by the PRC, the new prices will include a 5-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 50 cents to 55 cents. The single-piece additional ounce price will be reduced to 15 cents, so a 2-ounce stamped letter, such as a typical wedding invitation, will cost less to mail, decreasing from 71 cents to 70 cents.
The proposed Mailing Services price changes include:
Letters (1 oz.)
Letters additional ounces
Letters (metered 1 oz.)
Outbound International Letters (1 oz.)
The proposed domestic Priority Mail Retail Flat Rate price changes are:
Small Flat Rate Box
Medium Flat Rate Box
Large Flat Rate Box
APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box
Regular Flat Rate Envelope
Legal Flat Rate Envelope
Padded Flat Rate Envelope
First-Class Package Service, a lightweight expedited offering used primarily by businesses for fulfillment purposes, will move to zone-based pricing to better align with the cost of service and improve value based on distance.
The Postal Service has some of the lowest letter mail postage rates in the industrialized world and also continues to offer a great value in shipping. Unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery.
The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect Jan. 27, 2019. The complete Postal Service price filings with the new prices for all products can be found on the PRC site under the Daily Listings section at www.prc.gov/dockets/daily (see listing for Oct. 10). For the Mailing Services filing see Docket No. R2019-1. For the Shipping Services filing see Docket No. CP2019-3. The price change tables are also available on the Postal Service website at www.pe.usps.com/PriceChange/Index.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.