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Air Force veteran and Academy graduate Gregg Popovich is a model of longevity and success. He has served as the San Antonio Spurs head coach for more than 16 seasons, longer than any other current head coach in the NBA. As he goes for his fifth NBA championship this week against the Miami Heat, he continues to pilot professional sports’ most successful team with his signature style of consistency and passion.
A 1970 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Popovich was team captain and leading scorer for the Falcons his senior season. He served five years of active duty in the Air Force. As a counterintelligence officer, he toured Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the U.S. Armed Forces Basketball Team.
“A lot of people don't know who they are. I know who I am and it started in the military where they broke me down to zero and put me in a box,” he told military players participating in last year’s Armed Forces Men’s Basketball Championships.
Even though Lebron James gets most of the headlines for the NBA’s Miami Heat, his teammate Dwyane Wade places a higher priority on getting the attention of his sons. It’s a habit he picked up from his father, an Army veteran, who believes that role modeling starts in the home.
“He was the tough-guy drill sergeant who showed up when it was report card, inspection, cleanup time,” Wade said of his father in his September 2012 biography A Father First, which chronicles his life, where he was taught early on the importance of giving back through a father-son relationship. “So I was prepared for the military mind-set of Dad, who was tough stuff, who laid down the law, and who would assure you that there was to be no stepping outside the lines and no mouthing off and no doing things halfway.”
Edward I. Koch passed away on February 1, 2013 at the age of 88. It’s been over 20 years since he last served as Mayor of his beloved New York City, but his impact is still felt in the city and throughout the nation. And, importantly, he leaves behind a legacy of dedication to military service that will be remembered by his fellow Veterans.
A decorated World War II veteran, and proud of his service, Koch is credited with New York City’s 1980's recovery from near-bankruptcy. During his three terms, he helped propel the city to the sustained economic growth and booming tourism of the 1990's and 2000's.
At a funeral service held in New York City on February 4th, heads of state, city leaders, and surviving Big Apple mayors – David Dinkins, a Marine Corp veteran who defeated Koch fin his 4th term run, Rudolph Giuliani, and Michael Bloomberg – honored and eulogized him.
The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and a major driving vacation holiday. More importantly, though, as every veteran will tell you, the last Monday of May each year commemorates the men and women who died while in military service.
In observance of the day, many people will visit cemeteries and memorials, and place American flags on gravesites at national cemeteries. Others will meditate silently or pray for the fallen at 3pm on Monday, May 27.
In December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed -- and President Clinton signed into law -- “The National Moment of Remembrance Act.”
“Each Memorial Day, the Nation honors those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While these heroes should be honored every day for their profound contribution to securing our Nation's freedom, they and their families should be especially honored on Memorial Day. The observance of a National Moment of Remembrance is a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms,” President Clinton said when signing the bill into law.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
Memorial day dates back to the post-Civil War period when, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established a national Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed nationally on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
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