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World War II veteran Gladys Hughes, 99, has a patriotic message for the nation

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/world-war-ii-veteran-gladys-hughes-message-nation

Veteran Gladys Hughes, age 99, has an enduring message for all as the nation celebrates Veterans Day this year and continues to remember all of our military veterans throughout the weekend and every day of the year.

It’s about veterans and their importance to this country. 

She told Fox News Digital via email, “When someone says to me, ‘Thank you for your service,’ I want to shout out to them, ‘Thank you for caring!’”

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“The men and women who have served our country are responsible for the many freedoms that we have,” she said. 

“In some way, since I was in the military, I know what these veterans have gone through.” 

Gladys Hughes is honored in October 2022 in Nashville by The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project.

Gladys Hughes is honored in October 2022 in Nashville by The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project. “When someone says to me, ‘Thank you for your service,’ I want to shout out to them, ‘Thank you for caring!’” Hughes told Fox News Digital. She served in the U.S. Coast Guard women’s reserve, otherwise known as the SPARs.
(Robyn McIsaac/The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project)

“No, not the war or the fighting — but the mental, physical and emotional strength they have to have to serve our country.”

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Hughes — a longtime teacher, educator, debate coach, playwrite and now writer — served in the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, also known as the SPARs.

“The men and women who have served our country are responsible for the many freedoms that we have.”

During World War II, the Coast Guard and the other services “found themselves in great need of more men at sea and more troops on foreign soil,” the Coast Guard explains on its website. 

“They acknowledged that filling U.S. shore jobs with women would allow more men to serve elsewhere and hasten the war effort.”

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The “SPARs were the answer. These women were under military direction, and they were subject to assignment according to the needs of the service.”

The site also explains, “The jobs they were filling could not have been done by civilians working for the Armed Forces because they were not as mobile and did not fall under military law and discipline.”

Recently, on Oct. 26 in Nashville, Hughes was among those honored during an event at the City Winery, the fourth annual Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards.

Pictured in Nashville on Oct. 26, 2022, are honorees and attendees, including (from left to right), Jeff Paine, Dayna Paine, Travis Ellis, Tara Pruitt, Joel Pruitt, Donnie Reis, David Corlew, Josh Romaker, Carolyn Corlew, Jake Traseger, Storme Warren, Col. Brent Lindeman, Scooter Brown, Ret. Brigadier General Scott Brower, Lee Greenwood, Ret. Col Jay Powers and John Veltri.

Pictured in Nashville on Oct. 26, 2022, are honorees and attendees, including (from left to right), Jeff Paine, Dayna Paine, Travis Ellis, Tara Pruitt, Joel Pruitt, Donnie Reis, David Corlew, Josh Romaker, Carolyn Corlew, Jake Traseger, Storme Warren, Col. Brent Lindeman, Scooter Brown, Ret. Brigadier General Scott Brower, Lee Greenwood, Ret. Col Jay Powers and John Veltri.
(Robyn McIsaac/The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project)

The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project (TCDJHP) — which Hughes has assisted — raised more than half a million dollars for American veterans, according to media materials shared with Fox News Digital.

The evening featured live performances by entertainer Chris Young, the War Hippies (combat warriors Scooter Brown and Donnie Reis) — as well as a surprise appearance by Lee Greenwood, who performed his iconic hit, “God Bless the USA.”

The Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards this year were presented to actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, Army combat veteran and TCDJHP Ambassador Joel Pruitt and Nashville businessman Lee Beaman.

Hughes felt the “call of duty” at a young age — and left college as a junior to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII, serving as a HA1C medic. 

“Once again, those who are concerned about the welfare of our returning veterans came to make a difference,” said TCDJHP co-founder and Daniels’ longtime manager David Corlew. “It was a wonderful evening of patriotism, support and caring.”

Gladys Hughes was one of two special guests — both World War II veterans — also honored at the dinner.

Hughes felt the “call of duty” at a young age — and left college as a junior to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII, serving as a HA1C medic. 

The organization said that “she appreciates beauty at every stage and in every avenue of life, winning 2nd runner-up in the 2012 Ms. Veteran America competition, which works to promote issues of homeless female veterans.”

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She was crowned Ms. Mississippi Senior America in 2003 and emphasized the importance of children’s theater, TCDJHP also said.

Hughes told Fox News Digital, “I have never forgotten that l was in the military. Perhaps I was born patriotic. To this day I am proud to be an American and to have served in the U.S. Coast Guard SPARs.”

She added, “While in the service I learned a great deal. I learned not only a lot about myself, but also about our country and my responsibility to it.”

“To this day I am proud to be an American and to have served in the U.S. Coast Guard SPARs.”

Said she “fulfilled” a career interest “as I worked in the sick bay. I met many people whose friendships have remained through the years. I learned discipline and the necessity of it. I learned respect.”

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Hughes said that in the service, “it was instilled in me that I was there ‘to free a man to fight.’ Fighting for our country was what had to be done after Pearl Harbor.

Of our veterans and of the Veterans Day holiday every year, Hughes said, “Veterans Day is one way to honor and pay respect to all who have served.” 

She added, “I was so proud to be part of the Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards event. To know and understand the mission of The Journey Home Project is very important to me.”

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She noted that “events and organizations like this are necessary to assist our military brothers and sisters who are hurting and/or are in need.”

She said, “The one question we should ask ourselves is, ‘What can I do to help?’”

Hughes was an award-winning speech and drama teacher in Louisiana when she retired at 65 — and became involved with Final Salute Inc. The group’s mission is to provide suitable housing for homeless women veterans and their children, according to her daughter Bonnie Hughes, who shared an online profile of her mother.

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The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project (TCDJHP) is a not-for-profit organization that assists other not-for-profits in securing funds to help causes that benefit U.S. veterans. The organization was co-founded in 2014 by the late country music legend Charlie Daniels and his manager, David Corlew.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/world-war-ii-veteran-gladys-hughes-message-nation

Politics

Hot mic catches President Biden telling Cuban lawmaker he has to talk to him ‘about Cuba’

A hot mic after the State of the Union Tuesday evening caught President Biden telling Sen. Bob Menendez that he has to talk to him “about Cuba.”

Menendez, D-N.J., is a Cuban lawmaker and serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an influential committee for initiating legislative proposals in the chamber. 

“Bob, I gotta talk to you about Cuba,” Biden said to the senator. 

The moment was caught on C-SPAN cameras as Biden spoke with Menendez and Rep. Adam Schiff, who House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blocked from joining the House Intelligence Committee. 

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President Biden takes photographs with members of Congress after speaking during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden takes photographs with members of Congress after speaking during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Menendez is heard replying, “Okay.”

The lawmaker seemed confused by the president’s comment.

“I’m serious,” added Biden. 

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Menendez, the son of two Cuban migrants, has spent much of his time working in the House of Representatives and later the U.S. Senate on immigration and national security issues.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on January 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C. 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on January 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep.-elect Robert Menendez Jr., D-N.J., and his father Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. 

Rep.-elect Robert Menendez Jr., D-N.J., and his father Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

He is also credited with helping push through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which went into effect under former President Barack Obama.

Menendez is currently prioritizing his efforts on “competing with China, confronting the global pandemic, and restoring the United States’ place as a leader around the globe,” according to his official government website.

President Biden exits after delivering the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden exits after delivering the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Biden, center, speaks during a State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden, center, speaks during a State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Biden addressed competition with China during Tuesday evening’s address, saying he welcomed competition but would act swiftly to push back on any action that threatens U.S. sovereignty. 

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“But make no mistake about it: as we made clear last week, if China’s threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did,” said Biden, referencing the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down by the U.S. military last week.

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Politics

Georgia Senate votes to block COVID-19 vaccine requirements at schools, government agencies

The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine.

The legislation, Georgia State Senate Bill 1, passed the state Senate 31-21. The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments.

A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent.

“We have lived for a year under the previous version of this law,” said Republican state Sen. Greg Dolezal, the bill’s main sponsor. “That law is set to sunset this summer so we just removed the sunset and said that we’re never going to have a day in Georgia where governments refuse services to its constituents based on whether or not they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

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The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine.

The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Dolezal said he does not believe the government should “discriminate against citizens” based on their vaccination status.

The current one-year ban passed in 2022 is set to expire on June 30.

“We know that there’s been a movement building in America to demonize vaccinations and do it in the name of individual rights,” Democrat Sen. Nan Orrock said, adding that lawmakers who voted for the new bill are “fundamentally signing on to the anti-vaccination movement” and tying the government’s hands should COVID-19 worsen again.

The bill bans state agencies, local governments, schools and colleges from requiring proof of vaccination.

The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments.

The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“When we throw bills up on the floor and take votes on them in the General Assembly that result in further undermining the public’s faith in vaccines and in public health measures, I think that poses a danger to all of us in the long run,” Orrock said. “It is not wise.”

Republican Sen. Ben Watson, a medical doctor, said a mandate is not needed since the virus has become less severe.

“The science certainly has evolved, the disease certainly has evolved,” Watson said.

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A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent.

A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent. (iStock)

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Democrats, meanwhile, claim COVID-19 is less lethal thanks to vaccines and other public safety measures, and that there is no guarantee the virus will remain that way.

The bill now heads to the state House for consideration. 

Dolezal has said he plans to introduce a separate bill to make the current five-year ban on school mask mandates permanent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Biden’s State of the Union touted economic success, but are Americans better off?

President Biden touted his economic accomplishments during his State of the Union address, but Americans across the country shared divided views on how their finances have fared two years into his term.

“If I didn’t work in a restaurant, I don’t think I’d be able to afford to eat,” Romello, a Washington state resident, told Fox News. “I’m dipping into my savings now.”

The cost of living is “crazy expensive” and rent is “mind-blowing,” he said. 

But Michael, of Nashville, said his financial situation has improved.

I make more money than I did three years ago,” he said. 

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A recent Fox News poll reported that 61% of registered voters disapproved of Biden’s handling of the economy. Additionally, 45% of respondents said economic conditions are “poor” while 35% answered “only fair.”

“We’re building an economy where no one’s left behind,” Biden said Tuesday during his State of the Union address. “Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last several years.”

Laura of Bellingham, Washington, doesn’t feel she’s in a better position than before Biden took office.

“Definitely worse off, but I still sit in a role of privilege,” she told Fox News. “So I’m fortunate enough to have weathered the storm without it being fully damaging to my family.” 

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Laura said she is worse off financially under President Biden.

Laura said she is worse off financially under President Biden. (Fox News Digital / Hannah Ray Lambert)

But Rich, a D.C. resident, said: “If you look at it closely, the jobs are way up, inflation is down, corporate earnings are way up, wages are up.” 

“So, yes, all in all, I think the economy is doing better, although most people apparently do not think so,” he continued.

U.S. employers added 517,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% — the lowest since 1969, according to the Department of Labor. But some economists warned that labor participation rates are still below pre-pandemic levels, though others say the report shows promise for sectors hit hard by the pandemic.

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Joe Biden speaks about the progress of the administration's economic agenda.

Joe Biden speaks about the progress of the administration’s economic agenda. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, some Americans told Fox News they’re preparing for harder times ahead.

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“I’m being a little bit smarter and more frugal,” Pola, of Austin, said. “Especially for somebody like me in the service industry, you definitely have a little bit tougher of a time making your money.”

And a Nashville man said: “Things are more expensive, and I think it’s just digging us into a deeper hole.”

To watch the full responses, click here

Hannah Ray Lambert reported from Bellingham, Washington; Megan Myers from Washington, D.C.; Gabrielle Reyes from Austin; and Teny Sahakian from Nashville.

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