Families of America’s Fallen at Kabul Receive Point 27’s Keepsake Folded Flag Necklaces

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By our friends at Point 27

In 2013, Robert Miner felt his world cave out under him. That’s the year his son Robby, serving in the Navy, was killed in the line of duty.

That year, Robby’s son Gavin—the Miners’ grandson– was only 10 months old. So, early in the midst of their grief, Miner and his wife Laurie moved from Long Island, New York, to Virginia to help their daughter-in-law Deanna raise Gavin.

“I was not in the military. But, on my father’s side of the family, my great-uncle served in WWI, my grandfather in WWII, and my dad was in the Navy,” he shared.

Still, over the years–in the trenches on another front–he has been making a mighty difference serving his country, the military and families of fallen soldiers.

Last year, shortly after he heard the news about the 13 US military members killed at the Kabul Airport in the US Afghanistan withdrawal, he felt the world under his feet unnervingly shift again. He immediately felt compelled to reach out to the parents of Navy Corpsman Maxton William “Max” Soviak, who was one of 13 killed in the August attack at Kabul Afghanistan Airport.

Miner said, “Maxton Soviak was in the Navy, as was my son, who was also killed in the line of duty January 3, 2013.”

So Miner reached out to a mighty network of connections he had developed over the years.

“I do a lot of outreach work with the various Navy bases here in Virginia. I am also a Survivor Advocate, Navy Survivor Advisory Working Group,” he said.

Miner is also the Virginia Volunteer Coordinator for global nonprofit Point 27 which sends gifts of Shields of Strength scripture-inscribed dog tags to members of the US military and Folded Flag Keepsake Pendant Necklaces to family members of the fallen.

“Admiral Rock (Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic) is a personal friend. His visit to Ohio to pay respects to the Soviak family inspired me to reach out to them,” Miner said.

Miner sent the Soviak family a heartfelt letter and Keepsake Folded Flag Pendant Necklaces. Then, Miner decided to reach out to the other families of those fallen in Kabul.

“Working through Rear Adm. Charles Rock, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, I was able to get in touch with Casualty Assistance Calls Officers (CACOs) for 11 of the 13 families of those fallen heroes. Point 27 had previously made contact with one of the families and provided Shields of Strength Folded Flag Necklaces for that family.

Of the 11 families I was able to reach out to, I identified 104 relatives. To each parent, step-parent, or spouse, I sent a personal letter expressing my condolences and offering comfort. Beyond the parents or spouses, I was able to identify other family members of our fallen heroes: a child, siblings, grandparents, step-grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as cousins. Each of the 104 family received a Shields of Strength Folded Flag necklace.”

Miner’s letters to the families of the fallen read, “Each morning when I put my folded flag around my neck, it reminds me that my son Robby is honored by a grateful nation. I want you, and the rest of the family, to always be reminded that a grateful nation honors [your loved one].

In the letters, Miner shared a story that helped him process his grief over the loss of his son:

“It breaks my heart to have you join the ranks of Gold Star Parents. Your [loved one] will be remembered by our Nation as an American Hero. “I want to share with you an anecdote that a colleague shared with me when my son Robby, US Navy Master-at-Arms, died in 2013.

“A woman lost her 19-year-old son. That night when she went to bed an angel visited her at a time before her son was born and said he had good news and bad news. The good news was that she was going to have a healthy baby boy. The bad news was that the angel was going to have to take him back after 19 years. So, the angel asked the woman, ‘Do you still want to have him?’

“The woman awoke from her sleep shouting ‘YES!’”

Miner wrote: “When I heard that story, I desperately latched on to the perspective that I was blessed for 25 years to have the most incredible son, my first born, and my namesake. Of course, I miss him dearly, with every breath I take. My pain is just a reminder of how much I cherish those 25 years we had Robby with us on this side of life. The pain of his loss is diminished by all the wonderful memories.”

Miner’s network of connections he worked through to help him contact the families also included: Casualty Assistance and Funeral Honors Support Program Manager Bruce Pickinpaugh, Operations Officer, Casualty Section – MFPC Capt. Zachary K. Nickless, and 20 individual casualty assistance officers assigned to the 13 families.

Point 27, thanks to generous donors, supplied the gifts of Keepsake Folded Flag Pendant Necklaces. if you would like to make a donation to support the mission of ZPoint 27 please do so here – Donation Form.

Heroic actions of police and good Samaritans save a woman from a submerged vehicle (but cops are evil)

GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ – It goes without saying for many people, but we will go ahead and say it anyway. Not all heroes wear capes.

Three New Jersey police officer jumped into action, literally, after a woman drove through a fence and wound up submerged in the Delaware River with her vehicle upside down.

Responding officers were quick to react.

Philadelphia’s CW 57 and CBS 3 spoke with the officers and shared the body-worn camera footage.

“He said ‘get in.’ I said ‘OK.’ And I started taking off my vest, my belt, my shoes and he lowered me in the water, and I started ripping open doors,” Officer Sean Gartland said.

Gartland was first on the scene and one of three officers that went into the water in an attempt to rescue the driver. He was joined by Detective Sgt. Carlos Depoder and officer John Brecheski.

Once in the river, they began searching for the driver. Depoder was the first to find the woman.

“I started pulling the victim out of the vehicle. The other officers, Officers Brecheski and Gartland, came over. We brought her over, there was a large log, almost like a tree that was floating right in the water. We propped her up onto the log while I conducted some chest compressions,” Depoder said. 

At that point, Brecheski saw someone else in the water. It was three men in a boat. They had been working on a nearby barge and saw the event unfolding. The came over on the boat to see how they could be of assistance.

Their presence turned out to matter. The officers and the victim were about 10 feet from the top of the retaining wall. The boat actually made it easier to evacuate the victim and get her to a local hospital.

“If it wasn’t for those good Samaritans on the boat, we would’ve been in there for a long time. We couldn’t get her up because the bulkhead was so high. They came in, they helped us out. They had no problem jumping in just like we did,” Gartland said.

All six have been hailed as heroes.

“I’m glad we were there, but as a hero? No. The cops, they were the heroes right there,” said Gene Blemings, one of the men in the boat. “They were in the water for a good 10 minutes and they worked hard.”

Much like the men in the boat, the officers balked at the notion that they were heroes.

“I don’t think we’re heroes, I think we did our job. When you’re in this job, you swear an oath. You swear you’re gonna protect and help people and that’s exactly what we did,” Sgt. Depoder said.

But Blemings and the others disagreed.

“They had just brought her up out of the car and they were holding her pretty much on their bodies while they were floating giving her chest compressions,” he told reporters.

Lt. J Flood of the Gloucester City Police Department acknowledged that their actions required courage.

“They definitely jumped in at their own peril,” he said. “There are strong currents in the Delaware River.” 

While the department and the officers were quick to point out that they were just doing what they believed was the right thing to do, they are recognizing Blemings, Stratis Tiniakos and Michael Natrin for their actions.

As for the woman the rescued, she is reported to have regained consciousness at the hospital and was in critical condition but is recovering.

Investigators were still working to determine the cause of the accident.

Families of America’s Fallen at Kabul Receive Point 27’s Keepsake Folded Flag Necklaces

Not all heroes wear capes: Savannah police officers swim through freezing water to rescue woman

SAVANNAH, GA – Officers from the Savannah Police Department ignored their own personal safety after a woman fell into freezing water on February 8th when they jumped in to save her.

The Savannah Police Department released body camera footage which shows the officers working to save the woman who had jumped into the water from the Forest River Bridge.

Officers and members of the fire department can be seen getting into the freezing water and swimming to the woman.

Officers responded to the area of the Forest River Bridge near Abercorn Street and Heroes Way just after 5 pm after receiving a report of a woman leaning over the bridge. As Savannah Police officers arrived on the scene, they could not locate her.

As the officers searched for the woman, they heard gurgling from underneath a nearby dock. As they investigated, they learned it was the woman who was clearly having a hard time breathing.

Savannah police officers worked to pull the woman out of the freezing water, but those efforts were unsuccessful. Knowing that it was only a matter of time until the woman would succumb to the freezing temperatures, Savannah police Sergeant Sharif Lockett and Officer William Fitzpatrick decided to act.

Officer Fitzpatrick was the first to get into the water and battle the strong currents. Officer Fitzpatrick said that he was having a hard time and finally resorted to pleading with the woman to let him save her. He said:

“I resorted to please…please let go.”

Officer Fitzpatrick said that the woman was pulling back to get away from him, but he refused to give up on her. He said:

“When I was trying to get a hold of her, she was stuck, and I couldn’t get her loose. The dock was rustling with the water. She was pulling back, I was getting pulled under.”

Sergeant Lockett realized that Officer Fitzpatrick was having a hard time in the freezing water and strong current, so he decided to jump in and help. When he jumped in, he can be heard saying:

“Fitzy, where are you?”

The sergeant added:

“I felt like I was swimming in the water for five minutes when really I was only swimming for like 15 seconds. The water just felt so dense when my body was in it at least. I felt like I was swimming though jello.”

Sergeant Lockett and Officer Fitzpatrick were able to pull the woman to safety with the help of the fire department and local boaters in the area. The woman was pulled out of the freezing water and treated by emergency medical personnel that were on the scene.

Medics transported the woman to a nearby hospital where she was treated for exposure to the freezing water. The Savannah Police Department reported the woman is expected to recover from her injuries.

Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter released a statement on the incident and noted how proud he was of the officers jumping into the water to save a woman who was in distress. He said:

“We are so proud of all of the officers involved for their joint rescue actions. It was definitely a team effort for all officers, first responders, and citizens involved – from the extensive search to the rescue. We know that had these officers not responded and acted so quickly that this could have had a tragic outcome.”

After the hero’s rescue efforts, Sergeant Lockett noted how difficult it was to fight the strong currents and get the woman to safety. He said:

“For me, this is definitely one of the top 3 challenges I’ve faced since I’ve been on [the force].”

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Not all heroes wear capes: Officer praised for saving two different lives in 18 hours

CHATHAM COUNTY, GA – A Georgia police officer is being hailed a hero after saving two people’s lives within 18 hours.

The Chatham County Police Department announced on Facebook how one of their officers was able to save two different people in December of 2021. The hero officer, Joseph Robertson, was able to save the lives during two shifts.

The first incident occurred on the 29th just before 4 am when Officer Robertson was dispatched to a hit and run crash. Upon his arrival, he located one of the vehicles involved who advised they were not injured.

As he was speaking with the occupants of the first vehicle, Officer Robertson noticed that the second vehicle had crashed a short distance away from the scene. Officer Robertson ran toward the vehicle which was on its side and smoking.

Officer Robertson checked to see if there were any occupants inside the car that might be injured and noticed the driver trapped inside. As Officer Robertson worked to free the driver, the vehicle caught fire, endangering not only the driver’s life but his own.

Regardless of his own personal risk, Officer Robertson continued to work to free the driver who eventually caught fire.

Officer Robertson was able to free the driver who suffered burns over 80 percent of their body in the process. Somehow, Officer Robertson was not injured during the rescue attempt.

On the next evening, Officer Robertson was working when someone called 911 reporting that a woman had stopped breathing. Officer Robertson responded to the scene and was directed to the woman who he confirmed was not breathing but did have a faint pulse.

Assuming the incident may be drug-induced, Officer Robertson administered NARCAN that he had with him and began CPR efforts until medical services responded on the scene.

When paramedics arrived, they administered additional NARCAN doses while taking over CPR. The woman regained consciousness and was transported to a local hospital where she was able to recover.

Chatham County Police Department noted:

“That’s two lives saved in the span of 18 hours. If you ever need to know where to find a hero, we have them here at the Chatham County Police Department.

“Thank you for your extraordinary service, Officer Robertson. We’re proud to call you one of our own.”

While there is no mention of any interviews of Officer Robertson, odds are that he would not view himself as heroic.

Most cops that have been in similar situations and able to save lives never consider themselves that way, rather, they are happy that they just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

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