Our Gratitude: Helping A New Generation of Combat Veterans

Retired Marine Buck Rogers reaches out to a new generation of veterans. Photo: Jeanine Hill

Sure. There are lots of ways to give to veterans and those in active duty. We write checks, we participate online in forums. But the nagging questions always comes back to us: are we helping people in our community where we live? 

Each week in the bucolic town of Orange, CA, a steady group of veterans and supporters retires the flag each Wednesday in the plaza at 6 PM. It’s a moving ceremony: taps is played, and once a month they read the names of those who have perished in the present day wars. Two of the regulars there are Buck and his wife Karin. WarRetreat is grateful that years after retirement, Buck is helping a new generation of veterans find their way in the aftermath of war. We are pleased to reprint this article with a photograph by Jeanine Hill, which appeared in the OrangeReview.

Know The Neighbors: Proud To Be An American! 

By Karen Anderson

Having served in three wars during his military career, Orange resident Robert “Buck” Rogers has devoted a lifetime of service helping military veterans. As treasurer of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 1024, Buck assists vets in obtaining health claims for military injuries, as well as other types of assistance for those in need.

This Veteran’s Day, Buck and his wife, Karin, plan to attend the evening of remembrance in Garden Grove.

“I like to stay active; it keeps my mind occupied,” said Buck, who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1945 and retired in 1974.

Working with aircraft his entire career, Buck began as a crew chief on R4Ds stateside in Virginia during World War II. In 1950, he went to Korea, where he served for two years as an R4D crew chief, taking supplies to the forward areas and transporting the wounded back to field hospitals. One of Buck’s most vivid memories of combat involves crossing enemy lines to drop flares.

“Each night, we were in charge of dropping flairs for our night fighters so they could see the enemy transportation driving by.”

After the war, Buck was transferred back to North Carolina, and then to El Toro, working on command aircraft under the general there. He then spent three years on O‘ahu as a crew chief on R5D aircraftfor the Command for the Pacific Area. He returned to El Toro, and then headed off to Vietnam, where he served from 1968 to ’69.

During the Vietnam War, Buck supervised aircraft maintenance for his squadron. He saw combat while delivering supplies and bringing back wounded.

“It was routine work that had to be done,” he recalls.

When Buck retired in 1974, he went to work for the Academy of Defensive Driving as an instructor, where he stayed until 1999. Living in the same house in Orange that he bought in 1961, Buck continues to work diligently on behalf of veterans.

“We need to bring our troops home,” Buck said. “There are so many wounded who need help to move forward and live a normal life. We encourage people to become associate members of a veteran’s group to help out.”

Free Yoga for Veterans at Soul At Home

PRESS RELEASE  October 5, 2011

Popular yoga studio Soul at Home is pleased to announce its association with the national service organization Yoga For Vets.  Through Yoga For Vets, Soul at Home is offering five free classes to combat veterans at our studio located at 17612 E. 17th St., Tustin, CA 92780.  Soul at Home is the first yoga studio in Orange County, CA to reach out to the veteran and military population.

“Research conducted by Harvard and funded by the Department of Defense, has shown yoga to be effective in reducing anxiety, stress and depression, as well as alleviating the flight or fight response,” said Paul Zipes, a former Navy Diver who founded Yoga For Vets.  “We’re grateful Soul at Home is taking this bold step to help veterans in Tustin, CA. Kanani Fong, an advisor to Yoga For Vets and also a military spouse said, “When a local yoga studio signs on, it means they understand the stress of deployments, and PTSD just isn’t one person or their family’s problem. It’s a call for the community to come together and local find solutions to help those who serve find their breath once again.”

Soul at Home is proud to partner with Yoga for Vets because we believe in health and wellbeing for all. Yoga provides a holistic approach to calm the nervous system, lower heart rate, blood pressure and provides numerous tools that can be used stressful environments. The physical practice improves, strength, coordination and balance, as well as increases flexibility. We feel Yoga would be of great value to vets, especially those who have served in combat zones.  We are honored to help support our local veterans; we hope the classes and services offered at Soul at Home will not only change the lives of our vets but also positively impact their families and the larger community.