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Us: Mark Michielsen of VFW Back Bay Post 1211

Ed. — The Independent News asked people to write about lessons from their military service, past or present, and most responses ran this summer and are now online at our website. To read the previous works from this series, please search… Continue Reading

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Us: Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Deputy Amanda Vela

BY AMANDA VELA VIRGINIA BEACH — Lessons — where would we be without them? Where would I be without them? Throughout my life, I have found that lessons come from many places and are learned from many different experiences.  I went… Continue Reading

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Us: The Rev. Dr. James Allen of the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference

BY JAMES ALLEN VIRGINIA BEACH — I write this as we approach another Memorial Day, when service men and women are putting their lives on the line for all of us, and I am reminded of one thing that stays… Continue Reading

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Us: Navy Petty Officer Mark Thomas Mahmod of Naval Air Station Oceana

BY MARK THOMAS MAHMOD NAVAL AIR STATION OCEANA — One important lesson I’ve learned through my short time of military service is to never quit. Occasionally, I find myself thinking, “I don’t know where I’d be today if it wasn’t for… Continue Reading

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Us: Capt. Chad Vincelette, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Oceana

BY CHAD VINCELETTE NAVAL AIR STATION OCEANA — During a counseling session when I was a young naval officer, my commanding officer told me that in order to lead a successful organization you have to have a “servant’s mindset.”   At first… Continue Reading

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Us: Petty Officer Jacob Richardson of Naval Air Station Oceana

BY JACOB RICHARDSON Many thoughts, feelings and habits have stayed with me throughout my time in the Navy.  The most profound and impactful for me is the idea and importance of camaraderie found within the Navy and between service members. … Continue Reading

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Us: Back Bay Restoration Foundation President Todd Barnes

BY TODD BARNES You don’t realize the long-term benefits of military service until well after it has ended.   Mine had started after having been gleaned out of college and then having my dinner plate ceremoniously broken on the steps… Continue Reading

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Us: VFW Back Bay Post 1211 Commander Charlie Baker

BY CHARLIE BAKER VIRGINIA BEACH — In 1966, I graduated high school in California. There was a draft going on at the time, and I did not care for the idea of jungles and foxholes. I wished to see the world. So… Continue Reading