The enduring spirit of our Veterans on the Fourth of July

Veterans on Honor Flight at WWII Memorial | Image Jacquie Kubin
Veterans on Honor Flight at WWII Memorial | Image Jacquie Kubin

SAN DIEGO, July 4, 2017–   Celebrating Fourth of July is a yearly spirited American tradition. Also known as Independence Day,  July 4, 1776, is the day the Declaration of Independence was signed after all 13 colonies came together in one strong voice saying America will be united and free.

The birth of America must have been a joyous time, following years of turmoil with Britan, for those living through this historic experience.

Today, 241 years later, celebrations to commemorate the fourth range far and wide as fireworks blaze in the sky, parades are marched up and down our community streets and parties and gatherings abounded.

It would be all too easy to forget that the freedom Americans enjoy has not been free.

American freedom has been won through the hardships of many historic wars
and battles, costing many lives or loss of limb.

In a 2017 report, America’s Wars Fact Sheet, published by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the following is the number of Veterans who have received Veterans benefits since the Civil War to Peacetime following the Gulf War:

Number of Service Connected Benefits: 4,444,533

Number of Non-Service Connected Benefits: 281,501

In 2014, there were approximately 3.8 million Veterans who had a service connected disability, according to the Census Bureau.

Approximately 1.1 million of the 3.8 million Veterans with a service connected disability had a disability rating of 70% which was attributed to disease or injury caused by active military service.

The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes is a national organization committed to helping disabled Patriots get back their lives.

Renowned actor Jack Scalia is devoting his life to furthering the mission of The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes by serving as their Ambassador. According to Scalia, in a recent interview with Rick Amato of Politics and Profits, his motivation to serve as Ambassador is due to

” My influence came out of, my stepfather served four years in the Pacific with the Navy. My father was a Marine, uh five/six uncles all served in World War II…growing up in that time John Wayne was the man and the American flag is a big deal.”

The non-profit Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, established in 2004, provides critical emergency financial aid and support services to disabled Veterans from Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn.

Disabled First Responders also receive benefits.

Recently featured at a private dinner in Los Angeles Hosted by Dr. Steven L. Mandel, Founder and President of Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, were the following outstanding Patriots:

-Joe Torrillo, FDNY Lieutenant (ret.) was buried alive twice on September 11.

-Donny Daughenbaugh, Marine Corporal took several bullets in his face which broke his jaw and damaged nerves while on patrol in Southern Baghdad.

Jorge De Leon, U.S. Army, lost his leg while on deployment to Afghanistan,
as his vehicle ran over an anti-tank mine.

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate/top left, Jack Scalia/top right, Joe Torrillo/bottom left Donny Daughenbaugh/bottom right, Jorge De Leon)

Many Veterans suffer from the emotional trauma of active military service, with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, requiring treatment.

Homelessness is another difficult challenge for many Veterans, with an estimated 49,993 in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A staggering 50 percent of homeless Veterans have disabilities, with approximately 2/3 suffering from substance abuse.

As citizens across America enjoy the revelry while celebrating the Fourth of July, and the ability to do so without fear. it is critical to fly the American flag high with respect and appreciation.

Remember the courage and foresight of those living in the 13 colonies who came together in one united voice to declare our freedom and subscribe to the tenants of the Declaration of Independence, giving birth to our Nation.

May we all pay tribute to the countless Patriots who have given life and limb upholding the ideal which is America, so that all of us today may live in liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Happy Fourth of July to all!

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

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Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at; on Facebook at, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare