Sunday December 8, 2013
'Operation Red Dragonfly' Receives GoPro video Camera to Document Veteran Outreach MissionTim King Salem-News.com
Salem-News.com writer Vic Pittman also provided saddle bags for the trip!
(ALBANY, OR) - Your neighbor, your co-worker, your brother, mother, sister or father; they are the Americans who served this nation in the military and many if not most, were exposed to dangerous chemicals. From administrative roles to infantry and aviation positions, bases are soaked in dangerous, deadly cancer-causing chemicals.
People who served get sick from this contact with chemicals, yet the majority of Veterans who suffered this exposure do not know. If they did know, they could then do research and determine whether or not they have specific concerns. If the Vet learns that they served at a contaminated base, they can take precautionary health measures, conduct screenings, and assume a proactive position for their own benefit.
The military isn't going to tell the Veterans about the contamination that affects nearly every single US military base, except in rare circumstances.
The media and press cover the military base toxicity issue to a very limited degree, and politicians sometimes lend their voices to the issue, but it is really far from enough, and it is really up to those of us who served, to tell our fellow Veterans about their own realities.
Mike 'Milkman' Hamer is a fellow motorcycle riding Veteran who learned that I was traveling the whole country on two wheels to speak to groups and talk to the media about contaminated military bases and their personal consequences. (This is only one of many subjects and purposes for this mission called 'Operation Red Dragonfly'.) He supplied a GoPro camera for the nationwide motorcycle trip so I can better document the journey.
The video below features an interview with Mike 'Milkman' Hamer who is constantly fighting for the rights of others, and is a member of the COC (Confederation of Clubs) and NCOM (National Coalition of Motorcyclists) and a leader in the motorcycle community's never ending fight for justice. Please watch the interview with Mike below. Mike's interview was recorded at the Veterans Helping Veterans event this past weekend in Albany, Oregon.
Another fantastic donation to the project this week came from fellow Salem-News.com writer Vic Pittman, who provided saddlebags for the 'Operation Red Dragonfly' motorcycle. Vic is a friend with a big heart.
For years Vic has provided printed material for Salem-News.com promotions and his articles are some of our most widely read. I don't know what more I could ask for, and then he called me and offered me this awesome set of saddlebags that fit perfectly on my bike and will provide large amounts of storage room for my gear.
I greatly appreciate Vic's thought, he too is a fellow motorcycle rider, he understands the difficulty of traveling long distance in the open and the saddlebags are super cool and also larger than I could have helped for. Along with a travel bag provided by Nory King, a relative in the Bay Area of California, I will be set for this long but important journey.
Many people are already helping, one significant person is Sheree Evans in Missouri, she is the east coast contact person for 'Operation Red Dragonfly'. You can write to Sheree at email@example.com if you are interested in seeing this event come to your city or town.
People and organizations who have contributed include Vic Pittman, Mary Vogel, Joan Vogel, Kevin Saunders, Leonard Lawrence, Dennis Paterka, Karin Rougeau, Charlie Smith, Jean James, Bob and Donna Collinsworth, Robert and Grace O'Dowd, Al Hayward, James Frederickson, Michael Rawlings, Gary Bennett, Veterans United for Truth, EnyaDreamz Productions, the King family, Sacramento Motorcycle Rentals, and several other are already stepping up.
It is time to think outside of the box, time to reach out in person. We believe this is a cheap and effective approach that will gain measurable ground in our fight to save lives.
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With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.
Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu
In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.
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