Posted in Society

THE CASE FOR SOLAR: The Sleeping Giant of the American Energy Industry

By Tom Mullikin

CAMDEN, S.C. – Ill-informed concerns about solar energy should be laid to rest and American businesses – which have yet to fully embrace the economic and environmental benefits of solar power – should give this limitless source of clean, efficient energy its due.

Every organization from the smallest local business operation to the world’s largest manufacturers and multi-national corporations all share a common need: affordable and reliable power. Solar power provides a cost effective solution for the energy challenges all businesses face, but many businesspeople are not aware of these benefits or have been deterred from exploring solar power options because of outdated and misinformed notions about solar power. Specifically, concerns about the around the clock capabilities and inclement weather performance of solar power persist despite the fact that advances in the industry address these past challenges. Improved technology in storage along with the exponential cost decreases in equipment make solar power a viable option for all energy users. Simply put, solar works.

While solar power offers environmental benefits, arguably the most attractive quality of solar is cost. Solar is now the least-expensive source of energy in 60 countries around the world, and this expense has decreased dramatically: The price of one solar panel per watt, for example, dropped from $101.05 in 1975 to $0.37 in 2017. The cost per watt also decreases as the system size increases, so large corporations with large energy needs will also reap the economic advantages that come with quantity of scale.

Over a hundred companies listed among the Fortune 500 eager invest in solar energy, including Apple, Walmart, and Intel. Any shrewd businessperson or follower of the successful advances and trends of these companies, would do well to recognize the remarkable reliability of solar power as well as the tangible savings, benefits, and overall cost-efficiency that solar power provides their various business-operations, day-in-and-day-out, both in the near term and for decades to come.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Global Eco Adventures graduates three new “Ninja Divers” in Nassau

South Carolinians dive with sharks during advanced SCUBA training in the Bahamas

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Global expedition leader Tom Mullikin of Camden, South Carolina-based Global Eco Adventures (GEA) trained and graduated three new specialist SCUBA divers through GEA’s unique “Ninja Diver Shark Awareness” program off Nassau, earlier this month.

The program – designed to educate SCUBA divers and other marine-exploration enthusiasts about sharks, the nature of sharks, shark habitats, and the diversity and numbers of shark populations worldwide – incorporates intermediate and advanced SCUBA diving and shark diving skills with martial-arts breathing techniques (which is why the title, “ninja diver”) to better enable divers operating in potentially dangerous waters.

“It’s a unique combination which has proven to be extremely effective,” says Mullikin; GEA’s founding president, the ninja-diver course developer and the dive instructor conducting the training in the Bahamas, July 6-9, 2018. “This 15-hour course and subsequent certification involves extensive training in martial arts breathing exercises – also taught at the Mullikin Martial Arts Studio in Camden – which allows students to better control their breathing while operating for an extended period of time in open water, underwater.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

S.C. Free Clinic Association recognized by U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The South Carolina Free Clinic Association (SCFCA) and the association’s member clinics were recognized by U.S. Congressman Ralph Norman on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Thurs., June 7, 2018: The five-minute recognition airing live on C-SPAN.

[Please see https://tinyurl.com/ydd9uxc6]

“The South Carolina Free Clinic Association is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that provides training, research, resource development and advocacy to member free clinics,” said Congressman Norman, who represents S.C. from the Palmetto State’s 5th Congressional District. “The South Carolina Free Clinic Association represents and supports our state’s network of 40 free clinics in 25 counties across S.C. The member free clinics provide comprehensive care to economically disadvantaged individuals all across our great state including those individuals who are both uninsured and the underinsured.”

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Posted in Military

Wartime chaplain building CIU’s chaplaincy program

By Tom Mullikin

In the wake of a marked rise in both mental health and spiritual well-being issues – and a dearth of Christian outreach programs to deal with the same – there is said to be a ‘resurgence of need.’ This need is for new and ever-effective chaplaincy programs, and an enabling of those programs to train new chaplains, nationwide, for the military and for law enforcement, the various health-care industries, even in corporate boardrooms and on shop floors. Simply put, training new chaplains for chaplain service, missions, and outreach work has never been more important. And Dr. Michael W. “Mike” Langston, director of Columbia International University’s (CIU) chaplaincy program, is a key player in striving to achieve these ever-important objectives.

Langston, a retired Navy captain, has served as professor of chaplain ministries at CIU – helping build a global reputation for excellence in training chaplains – since joining the faculty in 2011. He previously served as commanding officer, Naval Chaplaincy School; and executive director of the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center at Fort Jackson.

A native Louisianan, Langston attended the University of Louisiana on a football scholarship, graduated, and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Posted in Men of Valor

Edward C. Byers, Jr. Medal of Honor citation

Navy MOH Citation

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

CHIEF SPECIAL WARFARE OPERATOR (SEA, AIR, AND LAND)

EDWARD C. BYERS, JR.

UNITED STATES NAVY

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Hostage Rescue Force Team Member in Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from 8 to 9 December 2012. As the rescue force approached the target building, an enemy sentry detected them and darted inside to alert his fellow captors. The sentry quickly reemerged, and the lead assaulter attempted to neutralize him. Chief Byers with his team sprinted to the door of the target building. As the primary breacher, Chief Byers stood in the doorway fully exposed to enemy fire while ripping down six layers of heavy blankets fastened to the inside ceiling and walls to clear a path for the rescue force. The first assaulter pushed his way through the blankets, and was mortally wounded by enemy small arms fire from within. Chief Byers, completely aware of the imminent threat, fearlessly rushed into the room and engaged an enemy guard aiming an AK-47 at him. He then tackled another adult male who had darted towards the corner of the room. During the ensuing hand-to-hand struggle, Chief Byers confirmed the man was not the hostage and engaged him. As other rescue team members called out to the hostage, Chief Byers heard a voice respond in English and raced toward it. He jumped atop the American hostage and shielded him from the high volume of fire within the small room. While covering the hostage with his body, Chief Byers immobilized another guard with his bare hands, and restrained the guard until a teammate could eliminate him. His bold and decisive actions under fire saved the lives of the hostage and several of his teammates. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of near certain death, Chief Petty Officer Byers reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Born: Aug. 4, 1979 in Toledo, Oh…. Enlisted in 1998 and served as a corpsman until entering Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training… Graduate of BUD/S Class 242… Served in two combat assignments and 11 deployments… Awarded the Bronze Star five times and the Purple Heart twice… Is one of two Medal of Honor recipients currently serving in the Armed Forces

Posted in Men of Valor

Jonathan W. Gifford Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS (posthumously) to

GUNNERY SERGEANT

JONATHAN W. GIFFORD

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan William Gifford, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Team Chief with Special Operations Task Force West, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On 29 July 2012, while advising Afghan Commandos conducting an operation into an insurgent stronghold village, Gunnery Sergeant Gifford observed three Commandos become casualties when the force received small arms fire shortly after insertion. Without hesitation he mounted an All-Terrain Vehicle and crossed 800 meters of exposed ground, performed first aid and, with the help of another Marine, moved the causalities several hundred meters to a protected landing zone for medical evacuation. The other Commandos were pinned down under heavy enemy fire and sustained more casualties. Realizing the Afghan force was in jeopardy, Gunnery Sergeant Gifford gathered extra ammunition and accompanied by a fellow Marine, crossed the same open terrain under fire, to reinforce the belabored Afghans. He rallied the Commandos and led an assault on the enemy. After eliminating an insurgent firing from a window, he climbed atop a building from which insurgents were engaging the Commandos, and dropped a grenade down the chimney. He continued to attack until he fell, mortally wounded, but his actions proved decisive in breaking the insurgent defense, and allowing the Commandos to secure the village. By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and complete dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Gifford reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


Born: Aug. 11, 1977 in Fall River, Mass… Served multiple combat tours

Posted in Men of Valor

Felipe Pereira Distinguished Service Cross Citation

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS
HAS AWARDED

THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS

TO

SERGEANT FELIPE PEREIRA, UNITED STATES ARMY

FOR
EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN ACTION

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Felipe Pereira, United States Army, for distinguished service and heroism with Combined Task Force Strike on 1 November. 2010. Specialist Felipe Pereira’s actions in the face of adversity and a determined enemy are keeping with the finest traditions of military valor. His dedication and commitment to duty undoubtedly saved the lives of two of his fellow Soldiers, while his leadership and distinguished service were instrumental to his unit’s successful response to a lethal attack. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, the “Strike” Brigade Combat Team, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the United States Army. Specialist Felipe Pereira distinguished himself with heroism and exceptionally meritorious service on 1 November, 2010, while under heavy enemy fire as a team leader with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault while service in Senjaray, Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Specialist Pereira and his squad were returning from a dismounted patrol in Senjaray, when a suicide motorcycle borne explosive device detonated in the middle of his squad as they attempted to enter their combat outpost. Two Soldiers were killed instantly, while four others were severely wounded including his squad leader and fellow team leader. Specialist Pereira sustained shrapnel wounds to his spleen, liver, and left lung. While Soldiers struggled to gain situational awareness, the enemy initiated a complex ambush, firing on the patrol from an estimated seven fighting positions with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. His lung beginning to collapse, he struggled to breathe. With little regard for his own safety or care, Specialist Pereira refused medical treatment and instead commandeered an all-terrain vehicle and moved back into heavy enemy fire to provide an evacuation platform for his wounded comrades. Specialist Pereira was able to move the vehicle within 20 meters of his fellow Soldiers; who were pinned down by enemy fire, but was unable to gain effective cover. Specialist Pereira immediately provided suppressive fires from the vehicle, allowing two of his fellow Soldiers to move two casualties to the vehicle. As bullets ricocheted off the vehicle and narrowly missed Specialist Pereira, he continued to provide fire direction for the remaining Soldiers on the ground. Specialist Pereira then quickly pulled the vehicle back into the entrance of the outpost, where medics were standing by to receive the casualties. Specialist Pereira helped move the casualties to care then moved back into enemy fire a second time to continue evacuating and directing his fellow Soldiers. Specialist Pereira is credited with saving the lives of two of his fellow Soldiers, while risking his own multiple occasions. Only after all of the wounded Soldiers had been evacuated and were receiving medical care, did he accept treatment himself. Specialist Pereira’s actions during the suicide attack in Senjaray, Zhari District, Afghanistan on Nov. 1, 2010, are what define heroes. He is truly a professional who understands his commitment to duty and his fellow Soldiers despite great odds and risk of life.


fpereiraBorn in Brazil, Pereira came to the United States in 2001 to learn English…  Enlisted in the Army in 2008… Is a dual citizen of Brazil and the United States… Is first 101st soldier to earn the DSC since Vietnam

Posted in Men of Valor

Matthew T. Abbate Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS posthumously to

SERGEANT

MATTHEW T. ABBATE

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant Matthew T. Abbate, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Scout Sniper Section Leader, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, SECOND Marine Division (Forward), II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 14 October 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While conducting a dismounted patrol through Sangin’s northern green zone and supporting the patrol as part of a Quick Reaction Force team, the insurgents opened fire from several well-prepared positions. Unknowingly ambushed in a minefield, the patrol members were moving into cover when two Marines and the Corpsman struck explosives in rapid succession. With the patrol leader incapacitated and three severe casualties, Sergeant Abbate took charge of the situation and, with total disregard for his own life, sprinted forward through the unswept minefield to draw fire and rally the dazed survivors. Exposed and personally suppressing the enemy, he directed the remaining squad member’s fires until they effectively suppressed the enemy and could render life-saving aid to the urgent casualties. After coordinating the medical evacuation, he then swept the landing zone for additional explosives before the patrol was again forced to take cover from enemy fire. Sergeant Abbate, knowing the casualties’ survival depended upon their rapid evacuation by helicopter, again rallied the patrol’s able men, and led a counter attack to clear enemy fighters from the landing zone and allow for the critically wounded men to be evacuated. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Sergeant Abbate reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


Born: Sept. 10, 1984… Served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan… Killed in action on Dec. 26, 2010… Interred at Snelling District Cemetery in Snelling, Calif.