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Help the Vets, Now!

Vets of 4th of July
Vets of 4th of JulyTCC Staff

Help the Vets, Now!

Young people joining the Tea Party movement
Young people joining the Tea Party movementTCC Staff

"Help the Vets, Now" was the theme of the Saint Augustine Tea Party’s presence at 4th of July celebration. During the course of the day, those who could be identified as veterans were invited to come to the Dartmouth for a photo op at 5 PM. A gusty thunderstorm cleared out most of the people in attendance. Only the hardy Tea Party personnel remained. Barbara Patterson, a Navy nurse during the Vietnam era, attended in her nurse’s uniform. Lucky Howe, the SATP’s only WWII member, spent his afternoon promoting the Tea Party effort. Lucky saw action in the South Pacific during World War II. Rod Heikkinen, a 20 year naval submarine veteran and Paul Hooker, an Army veteran who served in Europe during the World War II occupation, were on board.

Special recognition to Mary Basso Long

Also on board the Dartmouth was Mary Basso Long. Mary, now in her nineties, served as an Army nurse during World War II. She was assigned to George S. Patton’s third Army. On October 22, 2012, she received the Legion of Honor from the French government for the effort she made in the liberation of France.

A petition to speed up VA acceptance for Vets

Volunteers of the St. Augustine Tea Party circulated petitions among Fourth of July celebrants. Scores of signatures were obtained, as shown in the photos to the left. One volunteer expressed disappointment in what appeared to be resistance, of some, to sign on. “It’s hard to understand why people would resist signing a petition to speed up the process time for vets who need medical assistance. They deserve better,” he continued. On display near the table where the petitions were being signed, were the signs that the Town Criers typically carry on St. George Street. The Criers report that “The Big Red Sign”, which states that Barack Obama is a Communist, was present on the site. [See] It was intentionally not displayed. It was there in case there was a lull and the Criers could make a tour on St. George Street. That lull never came. Even though the sign was stored under the table, people, particularly the millennium generation, would ask if they could photograph it, or be photographed with it. One young man asked, “Why are you hiding it?” A sampling of interest in the sign is shown in the pictures to the left.