News, People, Special Events, The Features

We Love Sports: The U.S. Armed Forces Wheelchair Basketball Game

Photo by Rachel Levitin

Billy Demby travels to Walter Reed Medical Center to coach their wheelchair basketball team two times a week for two hours at a time. Demby, a Vietnam veteran and bilateral amputee himself, coached the All-Marine wheelchair basketball team to win gold in the 2010 Inaugural Warrior Games before starting with Walter Reed a couple years back.

The 2011 Walter Reed wheelchair basketball team is one of many participating in the Wounded Worrier Project. The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 dedicated to honoring and empowering wounded warriors. Walter Reed’s team is also one of three teams who have participated in the U.S. Armed Forces Wheelchair Basketball Game two times since the game’s inaugural event last year.

This year’s U.S. Armed Forces Wheelchair Basketball Game was played Thursday, March 31 at American University’s Bender Arena and Demby’s Walter Reed players took the court against the National Rehabilitation Hospital Ambassadors.

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Special Events, The Daily Feed

Wheelchair Basketball Game To Benefit Veterans


To do good deeds unto others is a mitzvah. To those of you who are unsure what the word mitzvah means, it’s a Golden Rule – do unto others what you would wish upon yourself.

Spring brings renewal to an outside world left barren for the cold winter months. It is this renewal I ask you to keep in mind as us who are more fortunate than others give back to those who deserve it most.

American University is hosting the Armed Forces Wheelchair Basketball game at Bender Arena on April 1 at 6 p.m. The game features Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s “Wounded Warriors” as they take on the San Antonio’s Brooke Army Medical Center team.

All proceeds from this event benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Push America. Continue reading

The Features, The Mall

Giving Back: Honoring Tremendous American Heroes

Honor Flight 9/19
All photos courtesy of Karl Johnson

There was something noticeably different about Reagan National Airport on Saturday, September 19th. Outside, it was an absolutely gorgeous fall day in DC with the sun shining as brightly as it possibly could. But the sun, in all of its glory, was not the brightest part of this memorable Saturday; not even close. Inside of the “A” terminal, at gate 9, the red, white and blue balloons and streamers were hung. A three piece band, assembled behind the check-in desk, played one proud patriotic song after another, including the official song for each branch of the U.S. military. Nearly a hundred people of all walks of life gathered around the jet way, excitedly cheering and clapping, waving American flags, and anxiously awaiting their arrival.

But who were they? Who could possibly deserve such dramatic fanfare on a Saturday morning at DCA? Maybe Colin Powell and Bill Clinton decided to take a commercial flight into DC just for kicks? Nope. Way Better. These people, volunteers, airport employees, passengers and even U.S. Senators, were there to welcome a group of absolutely tremendous American heroes. They were all here to welcome almost 400 heroes to the home of their very own memorial. The one they fought for. The one their friends gave their lives for. After almost 65 years, these World War II veterans were getting the chance to see America’s ever-lasting symbol of recognition of their service, dedication and ultimate sacrifices.

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The Daily Feed

Handling of graveside leavings at Arlington Cemetery

Photo courtesy of
‘Arlington Cemetery’
courtesy of ‘brianmka’

Salon has an interesting piece up about how Arlington National Cemetery handles mementos left by graves. The article seems to come down on the side of believing that there’s some obligation on the part of management to collect and store what mourners leave, but I’m not sure I concur. They reference the project that collects and archives items left at the Vietnam memorial but they don’t point out that the collection isn’t really viewable by the public in any way. Perhaps that doesn’t matter, though I wonder at the value of saving and cataloging these things versus simply disposing of them with respect.

On the other hand, if they did not we wouldn’t have stories like this.

I must have looked confused or incredulous. The value of saving a single cigarette was clearly lost on me.

“Look closely,” Felton said quietly.

I peered in at the cigarette. Someone had taken a pen and written on it in tiny letters, “It ain’t wet. It ain’t broke.”

Felton waited. He could see this didn’t help me much. He smiled. Then he explained the sensation of patrolling the jungles of Vietnam, completely soaking wet, for weeks on end. You felt like you would never, ever be dry again. “A dry cigarette was worth a million dollars,” he explained.

I don’t envy the people who have to make policy decisions about things like this.