Almost as if they somehow know or sense something we cannot, thousands of birds of many different species suddenly abandoned their nests and eggs, and evacuated their habitat on Seahorse Key back in May.
For right now, this massive and unexpected migration of untold thousands of birds is a mystery.
“SEAHORSE KEY, Fla. (AP) — The din created by thousands of nesting birds is usually the first thing you notice about Seahorse Key, a 150-acre mangrove-covered dune off Florida's Gulf Coast.
But in May, the key fell eerily quiet all at once.
Thousands of little blue herons, roseate spoonbills, snowy egrets, pelicans and other chattering birds were gone. Nests sat empty in trees; eggs broken and scattered on the muddy ground.”
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On Friday, 6/26/2015, Operation 300 held its now annual fund raising dinner/auction in Jensen Beach which kicked off the Frogman Swim early the next morning.
In case you’re not familiar with them, Operation 300 was founded by Billy and Karen Vaughn, the parents of SOC Aaron Vaughn after his sad and untimely death during the Extortion 17 tragedy.
The mission of Operation 300 is simple; they do the very best they can to support and bring the families of other fallen heroes together in solidarity and provide some of the moments that have otherwise been lost to them. People helping people offering such things as trips for widows, family members and children, counseling, creating a tightly knit extended family, and so much more that I simply can’t do justice to in this space. Suffice it for me to say that if there is a stronger, more effective group working to help the families of our fallen heroes, I’m not aware of it.
The evening started off with a few very brief introductions and touching tributes, and a wonderful video featuring Aaron’s Sister Tara, who explained the purpose of the organization. From there an amazing buffet was served by The Food Shack of Jupiter, and then began one of the most fun auctions I’ve ever seen. Simply put, it was different but leveled the playing field so that everyone had an equal chance.
While I won’t try to explain it, it worked sort of like the online penny auction “Quibids.” The difference was the way the winners were randomly chosen. For those that like to bid with cash, there were several items, including the “annual knife,” a very special rifle; made, coded and numbered especially for the event that required deeper pockets than the items in the regular bidding. The donated prizes included everything from a huge basket of adult beverages to 1000 rounds of ammo, grills, and lots of fun stuff in between.
One gentleman did something extraordinary and awesome…he successfully bid on the knife and then donated it back for a second auction. There were other separate donations and a lot of much needed funds were raised over the weekend long events.
It is next to impossible to adequately thank all of the people who lent a hand to make this dinner event such a phenomenal success; however I will take a moment to acknowledge some of those that I observed; Ashley Le Grange of Women Making Waves and her group of young lady volunteers, Jade Smith of Island Party Rentals who did a lot more than simply providing amenities, the Palm Beach and Martin County Sheriffs and First Responders, the families of those lost, and the many who reached deep into their pockets to make sure that Operation 300 is able to continue its mission.
The really cool thing is that while the auction is over for this year, you can still participate. For those of you that couldn’t be there, don’t live in the area, or haven’t heard about this amazing organization, please keep in mind that while the prizes are nice and well thought out, the real goal is to help these warrior families. You can still make a much needed and appreciated “bid” anytime by simply visiting their website.
What Billy and Karen Vaughn and their family started in the wake of immense personal loss and heartbreak is amazing. At least in public, they never complain, never waiver in their resolve, and always remain upbeat, prayerful, and faithful. I am certain that in private they collapse into grief consolable only in the Loving Arms of our Savior, Jesus the Christ.
Very often tragedy brings out the best in people, and the Vaughn Family is the best example of that I have ever witnessed.Add a comment
So, you’ve decided to get a CWP and buy a gun, or maybe you already have. Now what?!
You’ve heard that you need to practice with some frequency and you think that’s a good idea, but you keep putting it off. Maybe, like some people, you even carry your weapon unloaded or not “at the ready;” that is to say not ready to shoot without loading or “racking” a round, or, worse yet, it’s in your car when you need it.
You might even have signed up for legal protection in case you do have to use deadly force. I might add, that is a very sensible thing to do. A great source for that by the way is www.ccwsafe.com. For only $99 per year at current, they become your only call and can save your bacon.
Look, the last thing any of us wants to do is shoot someone. However, if you’re going to carry a gun, you better be prepared and you need to consider all of the variables ahead of time because we live in a day and age where it is becoming increasingly possible that you may have to defend yourself or someone else using deadly force.
Just like learning to drive a car or doing anything else that requires skill, you need to get yourself some professional training before you strap on your firearm. I’m not talking about simply going to the range and learning how to put your rounds in the black. Anyone can learn how to take their time to do that shooting at a piece of paper that isn’t shooting back.
The reality is that if/when you find yourself in a situation that requires the use of a firearm, you need to be ready and reflexive, because what happens next does not allow for second guessing yourself. Bear in mind, there is an imminent threat to someone’s life taking place; most probably yours, and you need to neutralize that threat.
Thankfully, there is a solution for this in West Palm Beach.
About eight months ago a new "gun shop" opened up. Yes, you can simply buy or sell a gun there if you want, however “Guns and Range, Inc.” is much, much more than a gun store with great prices.
It’s more like a defense college where one can practice and test on the state of the art video range with a number of different real life scenarios; or practice on the live range with moveable targets. Additionally, while both of these are serious learning tools, they’re also both a lot of fun.
Owner Alex Shkop and his expert staff offer a number of affordable courses for the beginner and the more advanced shooter, with flexible hours to work around just about any schedule.
They are located just off of Parker St. at 1016 Clare Ave, Unit 1 & 2 in West Palm Beach. You can reach them by phone at 561-402-7555 or visit their website at www.gunsandrange.com. Either way, this shop is the real deal and you don’t want to buy anything related to firearms or training until you’ve paid them a visit.Add a comment
I can't help all of our vets, but I can help this one. I don’t often do this, however a gentleman I know is doing his best to help a Vietnam Veteran who is in need of a service dog like the one pictured in the Gofundme page set up for this vet. If any of my readers is able to help, it would be much appreciated.
This is a quick excerpt from that page:
"Sam is a Viet Nam era Veteran and he recently lost his wife. She had a medical problem that slowly took away her ability to walk.
Caring for her was a task that could easily wear down the strongest person. But he never stopped caring for her. They had a bond that could not be broken.
Now Sam is hurting, both physically, and mentally. He is having trouble getting around and seems depressed. A service dog would be able to help him in many ways. We would have the dog trained to brace for him if he lost his balance and almost more importantly would be a loving companion."
I will put my money where my mouth is and make a donation this evening.
You may help by clicking here. Thank you all in advance for sharing and donating if you can.
David DiCrescenzo, PublisherAdd a comment