In Memory Bright: Donald R. Golden


Mission: VALOR honors and remembers Donald R. Golden, U.S. Army veteran.  Donald proudly served his country in Vietnam, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Donations made to Mission: VALOR in honor of Donald have resulted in our creating a Wall of Honor where we will remember him and others who have donations made in their memory.  We are humbled that his family has asked that donations be made to us in lieu of flowers, and we will do our best to pay it forward by helping his fellow veterans, our troops, family members, and caregivers.

Godspeed Donald.

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Major Changes To The Art Contest

Based on suggestions and recommendations from artists, we are pleased to announce some major changes to our art contest.   In addition to changes on rights and file types, we are extending the contest and are pleased to announce that Crossroads Cigars, Madison Rising, and Star City Coffee and Ale are adding prizes to the prize basket.  You can read the official press release here, and we’ve updated the contest page as well.

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Lafayette, IN Fundraiser!

Sticky, scroll down for latest news!

We are pleased to announce that Logan’s Roadhouse (3840 South Street) in Lafayette, IN is hosting a fundraiser for Mission: VALOR on Wednesday 3 September from 4 until closing.  Here’s the event listing on Facebook.

The process is simple:  you dine during those hours and simply present a free ticket/coupon to your server, and Logan’s will then donate a portion of your before tax total to us.  The more who participate, the higher the percentage — up to twenty percent!

You can get the free tickets/coupons at:

Village Bottle Shop in West Lafayette at 404 Sagamore Parkway

Star City Coffee and Ale at 210 Main Street in Lafayette (bulletin board)

Von’s Music at 317 West State (near Purdue campus) in West Lafayette

Crossroads Cigars at 604 Columbia Street in Lafayette

June Palms at 215 S. 18th Street in Lafayette

American Legion Post 492 at 4929 St. Road 43N in West Lafayette

(SOON) Bob Rohrman Toyota at 3900 St. Road 26 in Lafayette

Our thanks to Logan’s and to the wonderful businesses helping us get the tickets and word out!

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Robin Williams, Our Troops, and an Appeal

Posted by Jenna Wilkins Perminas

I am sure your social media feed has been flooded with the news of Robin Williams’s death. His nearly three-decade career in the entertainment industry has enriched all of our lives no doubt- but what struck me the most was his dedication to our troops; it was unwavering. He allowed us to divert the grim reality of war, even just for an evening, to a world of laughter.

His death brings me to a larger epidemic that I believe we need to discuss. Some folks believe that suicide is a selfish and a cowardly act- and they are entitled to their opinion. However, depression is not a condition to which one wakes up to and shouts “depression; come and get me!” It is invasive and relentless in its goal of permanently demoralizing an individual. You can look at depression as a parasite; once it finds a host, it will progressively deprive the miracle fiber called courage (as George Patton liked to say). Critics labeling suicide as a selfish and cowardly act is not only insulting the deceased; but are adding to the ignorance that depression does not discriminate. It could happen to your loved one. It could happen to you.

We have all been through those days when we are feeling completely miserable; and the only feasible course of action at that moment might be to whale uncontrollably, or kick someone in the nuts. Don’t confuse those temporary emotions with clinically diagnosed depression.

No matter how strong your conviction about suicide, do not tell a veteran’s family that their loved one was a selfish coward. An individual who has not served in the military will never understand the catastrophic and hopelessness one might face; not only in a combat environment but upon returning home as well. Before veterans can transition and have successful careers, they need to be mentally tough; capable of being resilient and triumph over obstacles that they WILL encounter in the civilian world. Asking for help is the most courageous thing one can do, and to stigmatize that action only goes to show the true price of ignorance.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an average of 22 veterans take their life everyday- that is one veteran every 65 minutes. This number is based only on the 21 states (40% of the U.S. population) that participated; while California, Texas, and llinois’ data was not included. There are also veteran suicides that failed to be reported as suicides. Nearly one in five suicides nationally is a veteran, even though veterans make up about 10% of the U.S. population, a News21 analysis reports.

We must not forget that veteran suicide is not only the government’s responsibility, but also OUR responsibility as society. We need to change the public stigma of suicide for ALL human beings. Do not judge, unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. A simple phone call or a tap on the shoulder can mean the difference in life and death.

There are plenty of resources out there for people needing assistance. For veterans, here are just a few links.

Ranger-Up Talks Suicide Archive

Vets 4 Warriors

Make The Connection/Suicide

Veteran Crisis Line

VA Suicide Prevention

Suicide Outreach

Veterans Call


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New File Types – Change To Art Show Rules

Making this short and sweet for now, but in response to inputs from artists, the final file can now be a PNG, JPG, or PDF provided it is at least 11×14 and 400dpi.

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Contest Winner To Be Killed, Runner Up Maimed

Well, bet that got your attention.  At least, we hope it did, along with that of media and more.

We are having an art contest, and you can find the details here.  Check it out, and help us spread the word about it!

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Adm. Grace Hopper: The Namesake For Operation Grace


Operation Grace is named for Admiral Grace Hopper, who not only developed the first computer language, but coined the term “debugging” as well.  S. Catherine Foster has the story of this amazing person.  

From her efforts to develop the first standardized computer programming “language” to her efforts to encourage thousands of young women to consider science careers, Admiral Grace Murray Hopper made her mark on the U.S Navy and the computing world. Her best-known quote – “It’s easier to apologize than to get permission” – became the watchword for generations, not only in the military but in business as well.

Grace Brewster Murray was born in 1906 in New York City, and graduated from Vassar College in 1928 with degrees in mathematics and physics. She taught at Vassar while working on advanced degrees in math at Yale, earning her Ph.D. there in 1934. In 1930, she married Vincent Foster Hopper, a professor of Renaissance literature at Yale, later at New York University. The Hoppers divorced in 1945; Vincent Foster Hopper died in 1976.

Grace Hopper remained at Vassar until 1943, when she joined the U.S. Naval Reserve, assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard, where she worked on the Mark series of computers.

At Harvard, Hopper joined with Professor Howard Aiken to design the Mark I, a five-ton computer used for gunnery and ballistic calculations. The computer, controlled by pre-punched paper tape, could carry out addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and reference to previous results. Data were stored and counted mechanically, using 3000 decimal storage wheels, 1400 rotary dial switches, and 500 miles of wire.

Hopper developed programming for the Mark I computer, and won the Naval Ordnance Development Award for her pioneering applications programming success. During this time, she began to think about ways that a wider audience could use computers, if there were tools that were both programming-friendly and application-friendly. Moving to Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, she began work with UNIVAC I, the first large-scale digital computer, encouraging programmers to collect and share common portions of programs. Despite the fact that these early code libraries were copied by hand, they reduced errors and also duplication of effort, opening the path to wider use of shared codes.

Her first complier, the A-O series, translated symbolic mathematical code into machine code, and allowed the specification of call numbers assigned to the collected programming routines stored on magnetic tape. In this way, programmers could specify the call numbers of the desired routines, and the computer would find them on the tape and do the appropriate calculations.

Hopper continued work on developing a workable computer language, developing the B-O compiler, later known as FLOW-MATIC. This was developed to translate a computer language that could be used for traditional business activities, such as automatic billing and payroll calculation. Hopper and her colleagues used FLOW-MATIC to help UNIVAC I understand twenty sentences in English. Despite this, Hopper was told by computer experts that an English programming language would never work.

This led Hopper to develop COBOL, with the help of staff of CODASYL (Conference on Data Systems Languages), a consortium formed in 1959 to guide the development of a standard programming language that could be used on many computers. CODASYL’s members were individuals from industry and government involved in data processing activity. Its larger goal was to promote more effective data systems analysis, design, and implementation. The organization published specifications for various languages over the years, handing these over to official standards bodies (ISO, ANSI, or their predecessors) for formal standardization.

Hopper returned to active duty in the Navy in 1967, as a leader in the Naval Data Automation Command, continuing to push for standardization of compilers. Under her direction, the Navy developed a set of programs and procedures for validating COBOL compilers. This concept of validation has had widespread impact on other programming languages, eventually leading to national and international standards for most programming languages.

In her later years, both before and after she retired from the Navy in 1986 with the rank of Rear Admiral, Hopper was a sought-after public speaker. In her speeches, Hopper was plain-spoken, often using analogies and examples to help non-technical audiences with technical details. For example, she carried handfuls of thin wire about a foot (11.8 inches) long, giving the wires to audience members and explaining that the wire represented a nanosecond, since it was the distance light could travel in a nanosecond. She was careful to tell her audience that the length of the nanoseconds was actually the maximum speed light the signals would travel in a vacuum, and that the signals would travel more slowly through the wire. She then would show the audience a coil of wire nearly a thousand feet long, representing the distance light would travel in a microsecond. She couldn’t bring in a wire to show the audience a second, she said, because she didn’t have a truck. Later, after computer speeds increased, she also passed out packets of pepper that she called picoseconds.

She was also a consultant to Digital Equipment Corporation after her retirement from the Navy, remaining at DEC until her death in 1992.

Awards and honors for Admiral Hopper are many and varied. Here are a few of them:

•  In 1969, Hopper was awarded the inaugural “computer sciences man of the year” award from the Data Processing Management Association.

•  The annual Grace Murray Hopper Award for Outstanding Young Computer Professionals was established in 1971 by the Association for Computing Machinery.

•  In 1973, she became the first person from the United States and the first woman of any nationality to be made a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society.

Upon her retirement in 1986, she received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

•  In 1991, she received the National Medal of Technology.

•  In 1996, the USS Hopper (DDG-70) was launched. Nicknamed Amazing Grace, it is on a very short list of U.S. military vessels named after women.

•  The Gracies, the Government Technology Leadership Awards, were named in her honor in 2001.

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S. Catherine Foster Joins NAB

foster_cathMission: VALOR is pleased to announce that S. Catherine Foster, Ph.D. has joined its National Advisory Board.

S. Catherine Foster, Ph.D., APR, is associate professor of communication studies at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. She has been a professional communicator since 1972, beginning as a newspaper reporter and moving to public relations in 1985. Since 2007, she has taught at Canisius, and holds a concurrent appointment as instructor at the University of Chicago, teaching in the Master’s degree program in Threat and Response Management. In addition, she is Consultant/Special Term Appointee to the Risk Communication Group in the Decision and Information Sciences Division at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

Dr. Foster holds a Ph.D. in Organization and Management from Capella University in Minneapolis. Earlier degrees are a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Master of Science in Communications, both from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a Master of Business Administration from Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. She was awarded a Vannevar Bush Fellowship in Technology and Science Journalism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge for the 1983-1984 academic year. She also holds her APR (Accredited in Public Relations), and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

She was manager of media relations at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago from 1991 to 2007. The government-owned, contractor-operated research facility has a $500 million annual budget, and research centers primarily on engineering and developing new energy-related technologies.

Previously, she was senior science editor in the Office of Public Affairs at the University of Illinois for five years, and spent six years as science writer at The Oak Ridger newspaper in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

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Amazon Smiles Donations


You may notice the new button over on the right, for the Amazon Smiles Program.  What is it, you ask?  It is a way for you to donate to Mission: VALOR without a penny leaving your hands.  If you use the button to go to Amazon, and keep Mission: VALOR selected as your charity of choice, a portion of what you spend at Amazon will be donated to us.  There is no cost to you, just a chance to make a difference as you do your normal shopping on Amazon.  We hope you will use it, and thank you in advance for doing so!

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July 4th

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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