2013 Aviation Ground Instruction Course
Working with independent and school-based youth career exploration programs for many years, we have heard many cadets and parents indicate they would like to have aviation courses offered so youth could learn about flight and determine if they would qualify for civilian and military aviation training. Several years ago, BMAC assisted Ed Murphy and the Aviation Museum of KY to fund a series of two-day introductory aviation courses. Our goal was always to develop an education curriculum that could lead to a cadet earning a private pilot license. In OCT 2012, Tom Baker met in Arlington VA with Judge Robert T. S. Colby, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps Director of Aviation Education and Instruction, to learn about a week-long aviation ground instruction program that could lead to a cadet earning a FAA Sport Pilot Certificate. In DEC 2012, after a site qualification visit by Judge Colby, BMAC working in partnership with the Aviation Museum of KY will offer a regional Aviation Ground Instruction Course for enrolled youth and adults during JUL 2013. This is another way that BMAC is fulfilling its purpose as an educational non-profit organization.
2012 USS Ashland (LSD 48) adopted by Henry Clay High School
Beginning summer 2010, BMAC made contact with the USS ASHLAND LSD48 to discuss ship’s crew visits to LEXKY and coalition member visits to the ship in Norfolk VA. It was not until winter 2012 that CAPT Ryan Scholl, Commanding Officer, was able to discuss developing a closer working relationship between the ship and this community. A Ship’s Crew Visit was scheduled for Armed Forces Week 2012 and six members hosted by BMAC visited Henry Clay High School; Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate; The Lexington Cemetery gravesite and monument to Henry Clay; Spindletop Hall; and the annual BMAC Armed Forces Day events. This was an educational trip for crew members to learn about Henry Clay and the estate for which the ship is named. BMAC helped arrange and sponsor a group of 13 officers and cadets of U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Kentucky Division to travel to Norfolk/Little Creek VA to spend several days/nights aboard the ship for Advanced Training, and to visit
Washington, D.C. to learn about their national capital. With assistance from BMAC, in fall 2012, Henry Clay High School adopted the ship that will be changing its homeport to Japan, in 2013. Video conferencing will enable the students and Sailors to communicate during each semester of future school years, to continue the educational experience and community support.
Alpha Company 1ST Special Troops Battalion I Brigade Combat Team 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Ft Campbell KY adopted by Henry Clay High School
With the goal of establishing a direct relationship between Lexington KY and the Army unit at Ft Campbell, BMAC arranged for rear detachment troops to spend a day at Henry Clay High School during Veterans Appreciation Week 2012, to address over 400 students during 6 class periods and answer their questions. Over 800 of the 1STB Spartans were forward deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). The Blue Devils students arranged for over 150 new toys to be donated to children of deployed Warriors of the battalion and presented by Santa Claus at an on-post Christmas party. While the battalion is deployed, in spring 2013, a video conference will enable students to talk to Soldiers and learn about their life and duties training Afghanistan military members. Future visits to the school by Soldiers and trips to Ft Campbell are envisioned to develop a working on-going relationship. The Lexington community will benefit from this BMAC educational effort.
2011 KY HB425 Enables Universities to Offer In-State Tuition
In DEC 2010, BMAC learned that since APR 2009 the neighboring state Ohio was the only one in the U.S. that allowed any OEF/OIF Veteran using the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits to immediately claim in-state tuition upon establishing residency. This was a tremendous financial advantage to Veterans, saving them as much as 50% for tuition and extending their benefits for dependents: example, $50,000 earned benefit paying for out-of-state tuition would be worth $75,000 at in-state rates. This advantage could be used to recruit Veterans from KY, putting our public institutions of higher learning at a disadvantage. BMAC Chairman Tom Baker worked with KDVA Deputy Commissioner Margaret Platter and State Representative Tanya Pullin to get legislation written and introduced 10 FEB 2011 that would permit KY universities to immediately recognize KY residency and grant in-state tuition to OEF/OIF Veterans who wish to attend classes in pursuit of a degree in the Commonwealth of KY. After discussions with university presidents and KY Senator Ken Winters, the bill passed both chambers and on 17 MAR 2011 Governor Steve Beshear signed the bill into law, effective 09 JUN 2011. An indirect BMAC objective was to recruit Veterans to institutions of higher learning in KY to obtain their degrees, then to keep them in the commonwealth to provide benefits as teachers, entrepreneurs and employees. This is another way that BMAC has been an advocate for military members, Veterans and their families and fulfilled its purpose as an educational non-profit organization.
2010-2012 Financial and In-Kind Grants
BMAC has made education and support financial grants to U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Battalions through Soldier and Family Assistance Centers at Ft. Knox and Ft. Campbell; U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warriors Regiment through the Semper Fi Fund; Blue Grass Army Depot OEF/OIF/OND Living Memorial; KYNG family readiness groups and its memorial fund; Lexington VA Medical Center OEF/OIF/OND program; KY Dept of VA Thomson-Hood Veterans Home; Central KY Riding for Hope (KY Wounded Warriors.)
2010-2012 KY Wounded Warriors Week (SEP)
BMAC developed and has conducted KY Wounded Warriors Week for three years to provide activities for recovering military members, Veterans and their families from Ft. Campbell, Ft. Knox and Lexington VA Medical Center. It provides an opportunity for Veterans and civilians to meet, have fun and support KY Wounded Warriors during the week of 9/11. During the last three years, Wounded Warriors have been recognized at the first UK home football game, visited Normandy Farm, toured Keeneland and the SEP sales and enjoyed a family picnic at Spindletop Hall to name just a few activities. BMAC sponsors and golfers have hosted golf tournaments in Lexington and Somerset in which KY Wounded Warriors have been celebrity players. Silent Auctions associated with the golf events have raised funds for the BMAC KY Wounded Warrior Program. A part of the recovery process for Wounded Warriors is to participate in public events to learn about the high esteem in which they are held by fellow citizens.
2000-2012 Organization & Membership Development
From 10 business, government and military/Veterans entities representing about 2,000 people, BMAC has grown to over 50 private and public sector entities representing an estimated 20,000+ people. Since its inception, BMAC defined its service area as the 6th Congressional District (KY), but has expanded to encompass the Commonwealth of KY. New organizations for each congressional district are being developed to work with the statewide organization.
2002 BMAC Website Launched (bmaconline.org)
An interactive Website was created and launched to provide the coalition, its members, the military and public with a convenient 24/7/365 communications portal for advocacy information about military and Veterans support.
2002 BMAC e-newsletters
Developed to inform and educate members, they have been distributed around the globe to family and friends.
2003 IRS Grants 501c3 Tax Free Non-Profit Status
BMAC applied for and received IRS tax-free-status based on its educational purpose and services in support of the U.S. Armed Forces, enabling individuals, corporations and foundations to make tax deductible donations in their preferred manner.
2003 BMAC OPERATION SAVE VAMC LEESTOWN ROAD
Veterans Petition Drive saves VA Medical Center Leestown Road and adds Eastern KY Clinics
In just 4 months (NOV ’03-FEB ’04), BMAC volunteers collected over 28,000 signatures on a Veterans and citizens petition objecting to the 2003 CARES Commission recommendation for closure and sale of the 135-acre VAMC Leestown Road Campus (established 1931). Two KY-6th District congressmen, Ernie Fletcher (DEC 2003) and Ben Chandler (FEB 2004), hand-delivered batches of the petition to VA Secretary Anthony Principi. At the requests of BMAC Chairman Tom Baker, KY Governor Ernie Fletcher and KY Rep Alice Forgy Kerr, SECVA Anthony Principi came to LEXKY (11 APR 2004 ) to visit the VAMC – LEXKY dual-campus sites (UK Cooper Drive and Leestown Road). He addressed an assembly of 250 Veterans where he rejected the recommended closure by his VISN 9 staff and VA CARES Commission. He pledged enhancements to the facility and additional VA primary care clinics in Berea, Hazard, Morehead, Somerset and London so Veterans living in central and eastern KY would be within 75-miles of a VA Medical Center, in accordance with VA regulations. Additionally, he announced a new VA hospital would be built in Louisville KY to replace the existing out-of-date facility. During 2006, a local VA Advisory Panel held multiple hearings at VAMC Leestown Road and recommended a plan that would cost almost $1 billion during the period 2009-2028 for new and enhanced facilities, operations and maintenance at the Leestown Road campus on approximately 44 acres; the remaining 91 acres would be re-purposed with public-private sector partnerships to produce income and additional Veterans benefits, with recommendations to save the historic main building. On 30 MAY 2007, VA Secretary R. James Nicholason announced to Congress that VA would spend $86 million, effective 2009 pending Congressional funding, to build a 60-bed nursing home, 30-bed domiciliary care for rehab from PTSD and substance abuse, and new outpatient clinic to replace existing facilities at the VAMC Leestown Road campus. The successful BMAC OPERATION SAVE VAMC LEESTOWN ROAD (OCT 2003-APR 2004), developed and executed by BMAC members and volunteers is a tremendous benefit for Veterans and their families living in central and southeastern KY. They will be served by the expanded medical facilities, staff and programs at the preserved dual-campus sites in LEXKY and community-based outpatient clinics. The Commonwealth of KY and Lexington will derive healthy economic and jobs benefits from this BMAC effort.
1996-current Pearl Harbor Annual Commemorative Luncheon
BMAC has supported the annual luncheon in LEXKY to recognize and honor the deceased military members and surviving WWII Veterans of the attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii 07 DEC 1941, and their families. This annual local event continues to help educate the public about many aspects of the most important period of the twentieth century, so younger and newer citizens can learn about ideas and events that lead to the war, military battles and civilian actions, wartime participation by individuals and aftermath of that historic fateful event that will live in infamy.
1996-current BMAC Armed Forces Day Awards Dinner (began as the BMAC Military Ball)
In consecutive years since 1996, BMAC has produced and hosted the premier annual event in central Kentucky to recognize and honor men and women currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Featured speakers have included general and flag officers from every branch.
1996-current Armed Forces Week
In 2004, BMAC introduced a parade on Armed Forces Day in downtown LEXKY, that was repeated in 2005. Research of local newspaper files indicated it was the first public parade since 1958, in LEXKY, on the designated national day for recognition of the U.S. Armed Forces. From 2006-09, BMAC hosted a Salute to Women Warriors Luncheon and Military Appreciation Day at University of Kentucky SEC Baseball, as additional events of this special week. In 2012, BMAC held the Armed Forces Day Family Fun Fair which included patriotic music, display of military vehicles, and informational booths by military recruiters, youth military career exploration units, and patriotic local businesses. In 2012, BMAC also held its first Armed Forces Day Motorcycle Poker Run to benefit the KY Wounded Warriors Program. The Rotary Club of Lexington designates its weekly meeting to celebrate this annual event.
2000-2004 Veterans Day Appreciation of Central KY
Initiated in SEP 2000, by Tom Baker and BAKER COMMUNICATIONS, the first public community Veterans Day Observance in LEXKY in over 30 years was held on SAT 11 SEP 2000. BMAC adopted it for 2001 and conducted the appreciation ceremony through 2004.
2005-current Veterans Appreciation Week
In 2005, BMAC created and produced Veterans Appreciation Week with 5 events, including:” Vets Eat Free” Dinner and Veterans Appreciation Day Observance; Salute to Women Veterans Luncheon, a first in LEXKY. In succeeding years, BMAC has encouraged many organizations to host events and programs to recognize and honor Veterans, including luncheons, dinners, parades and other community events.
1996-current Military Academy Day
Each SEP, BMAC conducts this public educational forum at the Aviation Museum of KY for the 6th District Congressman so representatives of the three national military service academies and metro area university ROTC units can present their branch programs to high school students, parents, teachers and counselors. In NOV, the congressman hosts a Military Academy Selection Board, to allow high school students to present themselves to graduates of the academies and Veterans. The board makes recommendations to their member-of-Congress regarding candidates of his nominations to the national military service academies.
2000-current Memorial Day at National Cemeteries
On the last Monday in May, BMAC assists with observances at The Lexington National Cemetery and Camp Nelson National Cemetery. It compiles information about observances and ceremonies across the Commonwealth of KY to be distributed to news media and posted on the BMAC Website. This information and publicity in news media helps to educate the public about the reasons for observing Memorial Day and encourages participation in remembrance events.
2002-2008 BMAC Family Assistance Network
In anticipation of the events and casualties of war, following 9/11/01, BMAC created the first local public-private network of health and human services providers to serve family members of deployed military members and KY Wounded Warriors upon their return home from war.
2003, 2005 & 2008 USS Harry S Truman CVN-75 Norfolk, VA Friends & Family Day Cruises
Partnering with coalition member, NAVY LEAGUE of the U.S. Central Kentucky Council, approximately 135 military support members have been aboard this aircraft carrier for a day at sea, meeting and talking to Sailors, educational tours of the ship and an air show viewed from the flight deck. This is a most extraordinary educational experience for citizens. It enables them to learn first-hand about the demands on Sailors and Naval Aviators serving aboard one of the most sophisticated warships in the fleet. Most of these citizens return home as more informed and stronger advocates for the USN and national defense.
2004 USS Kentucky SSBN 737 Bangor WA
Through BMAC and its coalition member NLUSCKC, approximately 15 KY educators, employers and civilians spent three days as Distinguished Visitors on an escorted tour of training, supply and repair facilities at Amphibious Base Kitsap and went aboard underway for and educational experience, discussions with Sailors and a once-in-a-lifetime ride on this “Boomer.”
2003 Charleston Air Force Base SC
BMAC assisted KYESGR to enable approximately 80 KY employers to fly roundtrip aboard a C130 of the KyANG and spend three days/two nights as Distinguished Visitors on an escorted tour of the flight line, training, supply and repair facilities at this U.S.A.F. base. This educational event provided insight into the military training and duties of their current and future employees serving in the Guard and Reserve forces and how they may be better employed as leaders in civilian jobs.
2005 Naval Base Jacksonville FL and Amphibious Base King’s Bay GA
BMAC assisted KYESGR to enable approximately 50 KY employers to fly roundtrip aboard a C130 of the KyANG and spent three days/two nights as Distinguished Visitors on an escorted tour of the naval training, supply and repair facilities at these bases and went aboard the USS TENNESSEE SSBN 734. This educational event provided insight into the military training and duties of their current and future employees serving in the Guard and Reserve forces and how they may be better employed as leaders in civilian jobs.
2002-2003 CALFEX Live Fire Demonstration Ft. Knox
At the invitation of the Post Commander, approximately 75 BMAC members traveled from LEXKY to Ft. Knox on motor coaches to tour the armor museum and witness the combined combat arms live fire demonstration and static displays. This is an extremely educational event for civilians because they see Soldiers of the U.S. Army performing combat-like duties on a simulated battlefield. CALFEX has not been conducted since 2004, due to the exigencies of wars in Iraq an Afghanistan.
2002 Heartland Midway 60 Event
Recognized by the USN as the largest 60th commemoration of its type in the Continental United States, over 10,000 Veterans and civilians, many children and grandchildren of warriors, attended events during 3 days in LEXKY, primarily at the Aviation Museum of KY, located at Blue Grass Airport, to remember and learn about the WWII Battle of Midway.