Tag Archives: Daniel Cortez

LynnRMitchell.com gives thanks

Thanksgiving 8By Lynn R. Mitchell

The heart of this blog is those who give freely of their time and talent to make us who we are. On this Thanksgiving Day 2015 I’m grateful to our managing editor and contributor Kurt Michael, and to contributor Daniel Cortez, and to all our guest posters who have added opinions, entertainment, and friendship. We don’t all always agree on issues but we try to contribute to the conversation without being disagreeable.

When Kurt and I began this blog about 18 months ago, it came at a time when I was looking to stretch beyond my SWAC Girl blog that had been up and going since 2006. We were  looking for rational discussion about the very serious issues that face our nation, but not to totally dwell on politics. Our photos of back roads, stand-up paddle boarding, weather, and the world around us as well as light-hearted posts about holidays, family, and anything else that comes to mind keep us from bogging down too much. We bounce writing ideas around, sometimes pitching some out the window while embracing others. There are many talented writers out there who don’t have the time to manage a personal blog but who are often willing to write columns to share. Their insight into issues is invaluable and their opinions are always appreciated.

So on this Thanksgiving I’d like to give thanks to all of them. Our list of contributors and guest posters is here. It is a varied list from all walks in life. Thanks, Kurt and Daniel … you help make this a fun adventure. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Daniel Cortez sings National Anthem at Redskins Stadium

Daniel Cortez 10

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It was a first for LynnRMitchell.com when contributor Daniel Cortez appeared on national television and in front of 80,000 spectators to sing the National Anthem. Standing by his side was his son, Senior Airman Daniel P. Cortez II. Often these things are not televised but Fox NFL Sunday showed it so I was able to snag a few photos from the television. Congratulations, Daniel — that is a tough song to tackle especially in front of so many people. See Daniel’s post about this special honor (see National Anthem heals at Redskins stadium).

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Veterans Day 2015 … their service and sacrifice protect our freedom

By Lynn R. Mitchell

“For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.”

Veterans Day 2015. Today we honor those who have served and sacrificed to protect our freedom.

At LynnRMitchell.com, we honor two of our own who are veterans and thank them for their dedication to God and country. Marine veteran Daniel Cortez is a Vietnam vet who was wounded in 1970 and was decorated for extraordinary heroism in combat, and managing editor Kurt Michael is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers veteran.

My husband, a Southeast Asia-Vietnam era Air Force veteran, is flying American flags in front of our home along with the POW-MIA flag, a reminder of those who did not come back. My parents are visiting this week so we have a World War II Navy veteran in the house; my late father was also a World War II Navy vet. Brother-in-law Jon served in the Army as well as cousin John, and another cousin Jim served in the reserves.

Grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors … heroes surround us.

As then-Governor Bob McDonnell, himself a U.S. Army veteran, noted in 2012, “The sacrifice of these heroes and their families makes it possible for us to continue to live and to freely pursue our dreams here in the greatest nation this world has ever known. Freedom is not free. Our brave veterans remind us of that every day. … I urge all Virginians to once again renew our pledge to all of those who are serving and have served: an eternally grateful Commonwealth and country stand forever ready to serve you. … We can’t just stop and recognize our heroes on one day. We must recognize them, serve them, and thank them every day. Our liberty depends upon their sacrifice.”

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Moral courage needed addressing women in combat

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel Cortez

Ladies and gentleman, guard your daughters. The government may want them for cannon fodder while attempting to advance the concept of women in combat.

Four decades ago while I was serving as a Marine Drill Instructor and later running a leadership school, we debated suggesting gender equality demanded the joint services put women in front line units.

Bad idea then … bad idea now.

I recall General Sam Jaskilka, the Marine Corps’ second highest ranking officer, speaking candidly about the fairer sex in combat.

Jaskilka a decorated World War II, Korean, and Vietnam veteran, calmly and frankly stated as he was visiting us troops in New Orleans at the time that he did not advocate sending women to combat. He was an old school gentleman when it came to women, and he said with specificity, “But they might.”

The “they” were politicians in Washington.

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Virginia Hispanic leaders confront RNC’s Priebus

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By Daniel P. Cortez

With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wisely met with three dozen of Virginia’s leading Hispanic activists and business entrepreneurs in Northern Virginia Wednesday.

Those attending made up a who’s who of the Latino community gathering at the El Paso restaurant in Alexandria.  My Texas roots appreciated the location and the RNC private invitation.  Finally, it appears the GOP recognizes that the majority of Hispanic voters or any other nationality are like me, not registered party members.

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Memories before the dreaded but necessary Vietnam commemoration

Vietnam WallBy Daniel P. Cortez

In compliance with federal mandates, ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War will be held throughout Virginia this year and next.

Like millions who have waited decades for America to right the wrongs of a conflicted society that dishonored military men and women, I simply followed the military directives of the commander-in-chief. I should feel proud, but such pride carries a painfully cognitive price.

A scared but proficiently trained Marine lance corporal, I arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam, one day after my 19th birthday in 1970. Landing in a combat zone was accentuated as Marines, armed for battle, were directed to deplane first.

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Examining sanctuary city and immigrant crime issues

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P. Cortez

Four unarmed Marines and one sailor were brutally murdered recently in Tennessee. That hits home to this retired leatherneck and thousands of other Stafford citizens serving at Quantico or other nearby military bases.  Parents with children in service cringed hearing the tragic news that it was committed by a cowardly, demented American Muslim who spent seven months in Jordan and may have been radicalized.

And the Hispanic community remain outraged at the horrific crime committed by the undocumented Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez who admitted taking the life of Katherine Steinle in San Francisco.  Sanchez had been deported five times with seven felony convictions.

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New citizen applauds RPV Republican primary decision

Photo 7 Cortez

Naturalization ceremony held at Mt. Vernon on July 4, 2015.

By Daniel P. Cortez

Jessica Hatchley of Fredricksburg proudly became a citizen last week during 4th of July ceremonies at Mt. Vernon. And as one the nation’s newest voters she can’t wait to vote for the next president during the Virginia primary scheduled for next March.

That was the contentious issue recently in Staunton, where the tea party wing of Virginia’s Republican Party attempted to force a convention and discriminate against their family.  That’s what it would have been.

Originally from Kaiserslautern, Germany, she met her Marine husband Robert, now stationed at Quantico, online.  They married and have a 13-month-old son, Robert Hatchley III.  They consider themselves independent voters.

As nonparty members they would have been excluded from voting for their candidate for president at a republican convention.  Not because he is in the military, but because only party members would be allowed to vote.  As a fellow independent voter who may lean conservative, I call that intense discrimination promoting exclusion.

Fortunately, a primary was recently chosen by 42-39 vote in Staunton by republican members of the state central committee.  Eric Herr, chairman of the First Congressional District Committee, and Steve Albertson, chairman of Stafford’s Republican Committee, both spoke in support of a convention.

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Happy Father’s Day to the dads at LynnRMitchell.com

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Father's Day

Sending Happy Father’s Day wishes to the dads including guest posters who have been part of LynnRMitchell.com with thanks for all they do throughout the year.  A special shout-out to our Managing Editor Kurt Michael. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you!

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Military officer loyalty, or betrayal?

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel Cortez

I respect any military man or woman who has served, but as a combat veteran I find it reprehensible, politically opportunistic, and telling when a retired officer uses their rank or former position to attack the exact same administration it refused to criticize while “advancing” in senior rank commanding troops to their deaths.

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Military pulled into immigration battle

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel Cortez

As volatile and at the same time delicate remains the subject of immigration, Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot with the huge independent Hispanic voting community by blocking legislation to allow immigrants who can pass the rigid military qualifications service in our military. Our national history, if revisited, depicts thousands if not millions of illegal and undocumented families that were part of combat operations since World War II. And again history notes scores of illegals have been decorated with the nation’s highest medal for bravery, the Medal of Honor, and other heroic medals for their service. I personally fought with many of them in Vietnam and saw numerous give their life for this country.

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Guevara wins Sully primary, moves on to November

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P. Cortez

John Guevara, the 15-year army veteran, IT professional, Home Owner Association president, former Boy Scout leader, and longtime Sully resident pulled out a squeaker of a primary election victory Saturday in Northern Virginia.

Guevara was supported by Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck who clearly is trying to revitalize Republicans, knows victories of substance will continue to elude them without a better connection to the minority community.  Now they have another one in Guevara, a legitimate proud American veteran businessman who happens to be of Hispanic descent.

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Stimpson snubs VFRW event

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Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-10th CD)

 

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P Cortez

One would think with the power of the woman’s vote in Virginia, one time Stafford Supervisor Susan Stimpson who’s attempting to unseat Delegate Bill Howell in the June 9th primary, would have at least left a calling card at the Virginia Federation of Republican Women’s Convention over the weekend.

Sadly for the tea party loyalist, there was no card and no message of sponsorship, unlike her opponent.  Stimpson was just a no-show.  But that did not stop several hundred Republican women from gathering at the Hilton in Short Pump, Va., to foster common goals of advancing conservative principles and candidates.

Still it’s amazing to this independent observer that Stimpson would “snub” such a powerful group of women.  Now I’ll give it to Stimpson that she found it more critical to actually be out campaigning.  But what ever happened to courtesy?  Yeah, there’s that tea party attitude I’ve come to know.

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Moss Neck Manor hosts Supervisor Jeff Sili’s re-election Hunt Breakfast

Susan Sili 6By Susan Sili
Guest Post

The estate where General Thomas Jonathan Jackson spent the winter of 1862 after the Battle of Fredericksburg was the venue for Sili for Superivsor‘s first fundraiser of the year on Saturday, April 11, 2015. On the menu were Eggs Chassuer, Sausages, Roast Beef, Virginia Ham, artisan breads and cheeses and crumpets, fresh fruits, and Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce. Guests at the pre-reception enjoyed the fruit tower and Mimosa and Bloody Marys before the hunt.

Thank you to all the many, many people who came out to support Jeff and make the day such a success especially my caterer Kathy Heidenescher of KJo’s to Go. Also a tremendous thank you to my period band, The Virginia Serenaders.

Susan Sili 3Many thanks to the Commonwealth Hunt Club from King George for the wonderful narrative demonstration of the tradition of Virginia Foxhunting, Hunt Master and the staff, and the precious and handsome hounds.

Susan Sili 12We were truly honored to have our friend and Virginia statesman with us today, the Honorable George Allen, who came to Caroline to support Jeff. He noted, “A smart friend and gentleman of integrity who leads in bringing accountability and not higher taxes in Caroline County: Supervisor Jeff Sili hosted a wonderful brunch at the historic Moss Neck Manor. It was a perfectly beautiful morning in Virginia country helping Jeff and his wife Susan in their re-election campaign to continue to improve opportunities for all the people of Caroline County.”

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Jeff Sili and friends at his Caroline County Hunt Breakfast

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Congressman Rob Wittman, Caroline Supervisor Jeff Sili, Governor George Allen, Daniel Cortez

By Daniel Cortez

What a spectacular event this morning at the fundraiser for one of Virginia’s finest elected supervisors, my good friend Jeff Sili of Caroline County, at Moss Neck Manor. A who’s who of distinguished political officials and our leading citizens were all there to support Sili. Headlining the event put together by the remarkable Susan Sili was Virginia’s finest former Republican Governor and Senator George Allen, and the veterans’ best friend, Congressman Rob Wittman. Congratulations to the Silis for a first class event. The hunt demonstration and breakfast was superb.

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