September 30, 2014 |
WHEN JIM THOMPSON was growing up in South Philadelphia, he worked for a time at a newsstand across the street from his home on 24th Street. It was there that he developed an abiding interest in current events, digesting the headlines and stories in the local papers of the happenings of his day. He carried this interest through his life, and always enjoyed engaging family and friends in discussions of what was going on in the world, including the...
September 29, 2014 |
At one point during the chaos and carnage of D-Day, the USS Frankford sailed so close to Omaha Beach that it scraped bottom. The destroyer's big guns blasted German machine-gun positions and helped pinned-down GIs advance on June 6, 1944, when all seemed lost. Tom Potts, then a teenager from Moorestown, was manning an antiaircraft gun on the Frankford's deck amid the cacophony of fire - and lost most of his hearing that day 70 years ago. After numerous surgeries and hearing aids, the now-89-year-old from Upper Pittsgrove, Salem County, still has trouble following conversations and is among four million disabled service members who returned home with the lingering effects of war. Next Sunday, all of them will be honored with the dedication of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington.
September 17, 2014 |
SHE SPENT THE weekends in her car, driving from one corner of the city to another, looking for something that she couldn't quite put her finger on. On the one hand, Joan Ryan, the director of recovery services for the Philadelphia Department of Veteran Affairs, had an idea of what she was searching for: a building that could house 40 military veterans. But it needed to be more than just walls and a roof. It needed to be a sanctuary for people whose lives had fallen to pieces, a place that could help them learn to stand again - and in a way that few VA facilities had ever tried.
September 12, 2014 |
More than 75 veterans and their family members, many fuming, packed a town-hall meeting at Philadelphia's veterans hospital Wednesday, scolding administrators about the quality of care and voicing deep skepticism that change is possible. What was billed as a question-and-answer session turned into a mostly one-way onslaught, the most heated of three Veterans Affairs town-hall meetings held in the city in an attempt to repair trust lost by the national scandal over delayed care. A panel of administrators, nodding in recognition of the fury from a table at the front of the auditorium, listened, apologized, and promised to do better.
September 12, 2014 |
Radnor Township staff and officials were in shock Wednesday after police said a popular officer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after going off duty Tuesday night. Officer Robert "John" Miller, 34, a nine-year veteran of the department and a married father of two sons, was found in the township building's parking lot, 301 Iven Ave., about 6:30 p.m., police said. "He was truly one of my finer officers," Police Superintendent William Colarulo said.. "I never saw this coming.
September 11, 2014
Even though the Flyers' veteran camp doesn't start until Sept. 19, several of the players have already started skating and working out at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. "I got here yesterday and thought I'd be one of the first ones here," defenseman Andrew MacDonald said after skating Tuesday, "and it turns out I was one of the last ones. The boys are eager to get going. " The Flyers' rookie camp starts Friday in Voorhees, and Scott Laughton is among the numerous prospects who have also been skating at the team's practice facility in Voorhees.
September 8, 2014 |
A PLAYER'S first game with a new team in a new city can make for a memorable experience. To that end, Malcolm Jenkins envisions his Eagles debut tomorrow as transpiring nothing like his introduction to the NFL 5 years ago. It came during the Saints' season opener at the Superdome after, on the second play from scrimmage in the second half, starting cornerback Tracy Porter went down briefly with an injury. So on third-and-6, New Orleans stacked the box and blitzed Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, leaving the just-inserted Jenkins, a 21-year-old rookie, to attempt to blanket Calvin Johnson all by himself.
August 26, 2014 |
WHEN Kermit Putman was 20, he went from hanging on a North Philly street corner to serving as a U.S. Marine in Panama before and during the 1989 Operation Just Cause invasion that captured the notorious drug-dealing President Manuel Noriega. "I got my first kill in Panama in 1987," Putman said. "We were guarding jet-fuel tanks when the Panamanians infiltrated. A newspaper story said we were shooting at ghosts and goblins. No, we weren't. " On a recent Sunday afternoon, Putman, now 48, wandered through hundreds of homeless people on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as church groups served them lunch.
August 17, 2014 |
After Javier Barraza fell off a roof five years ago and broke his back, there were days he wished he was dead. "But you know what? Doing sports helped," he said while watching quad rugby Friday at the 34th National Veterans Wheelchair Games at the Convention Center. "It brings back a lot of self-confidence. And it helps from getting depressed. " The Special Forces veteran suffered some injuries while serving, but none were as life-changing as the one he sustained as a civilian.
August 16, 2014 |
A few months ago, Brian Wojciechowski's wife noticed him struggling for air in his sleep. Concerned he might have sleep apnea, he called the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs hospital. The wait for an appointment? More than three months. "People can die from it without any notice," said Wojciechowski, 33, of Voorhees. "It concerns me. " Veterans seeking appointments at the VA hospital in University City often face longer waits - two weeks longer for a new-patient primary-care slot and more for specialists - than if they sought private treatment, a comparison of wait times shows.