Episode 87: Featuring Larry Blumberg, Dean Dauphinais and Angel Garcia

Larry Blumberg - Fleet Week San Diego

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Larry Blumberg, retired US Naval Captain and Executive Director for Fleet Week, sat down with Rise Up Radio host, James Carmody to unpack the upcoming San Diego Fleet Week events. Fleet Week San Diego is a week long event held Oct. 11-17 to show the men and women of our military that they are appreciated by celebrating and honoring them through a week public events that showcase the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. This year’s event was set in October to coincide with the 242nd birthday of the United States Navy. Blumberg who joined the Navy in the 60’s, has lived in San Diego for over 40 years. He was Co-Founder and Executive Director of the SD Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) from 2005-2015. Blumberg talks about how he had been on board with Fleet Week awhile back, but just he got hooked back up with it at the end of last year. “Fleet Week has actually been around San Diego in one form or another since 1935. It’s got a long history, for many years it was under the Chamber of Commerce,” he said. Blumberg went on to explain, “In early 2000’s it set up its own 501c charitable organization, a foundation called the SD Fleet Week Foundation. Its focus is on the active duty men and women who serve here. There are over 100,000 navy, marine and coast guard men and women who serve right here in San Diego.” He went on to say, “This is our one chance, one week really, to give thanks for what they do for us on a daily basis. They not only serve, deploy to all parts of the world doing defense of our country, they’re our neighbors”. Blumberg describes each day’s events including the ships being open for the public to visit, and this year on Oct. 12th, Fleet Week will have a day exclusively for school children so they can explore and enjoy another first time a new interactive feature called the Innovation Zone which involves high tech equipment. Other events include a SDMAC Breakfast which is open to the public giving them the opportunity to meet the new 3rd Fleet Commander. There will also be a USO Concert in the Park, the Sea and Air Parade which includes navy ships, coast guard ships, marine air craft, navy aircraft and the new addition, vintage WWII military aircraft, a MCRD Boot Camp Challenge and more.

 

Dean Dauphinais & Angel Garcia - Salute II Heroes Tournament Honoring MSgt Rodney Buentello

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Dean Dauphinais, Marine veteran, Veteran Advocate and co-founder of All Star Vets joined fellow Marine veteran Angel Garcia, Tournament Director for Salute II Heroes sat down with Rise Up Radio host, James Carmody to talk about the upcoming tournament Nov. 12th& 13th in honor of MSgt Rodney Buentello. The tournament is being held to raise money for a scholarship in Buentello’s name. On June 8, 2016 Retired Marine Master Sargent Rodney Buentello, who served once in Afghanistan and twice in Iraq, was awarded two Purple Hearts, drowned after saving the lives of two teenagers who became trapped in the undercurrent of a dam at Texas Bandera City Park. MSgt Buentello was enjoying the day with his family when he saw the teens in trouble, without a thought for his own life he dove in to save them. After getting the teens to dry ground he was pulled under the dam’s fast moving water and drown before the rescue team arrived. “To survive 22 years in the Marine Corps, and multiple tours, 2 purple hearts and to still have that selflessness about him when he’s a civilian when he’s with his family. It’s just really a tremendous thing that we want to make sure that is spread widely”, Dauphinais said. He went on, “This is a true hero, this is not an NBA player that the kids are looking to as a hero this is real hero. So we really want to spread that story. He’s a true brother that we lost.” Garcia told Carmody that he served with Rodney Buentello. “We were actually stationed her at Camp Pendleton, we were roommates. He got me hooked on country music.” He said it was his only unit and Buentello’s first unit. The men kept in contact the whole time, he went on to say, “the last time I saw him was March (2016) in San Diego while Buentello was in San Diego for a Wounded Warrior conference”. When asked about how Salute II Heroes came to be, Garcia explained, “Salute II Heroes was just a crazy idea of mine that just came in my head. I was thinking of Rodney and I was thinking of ways to keep his name alive. He loved softball. Softball is a pretty big down here, a big family environment when it comes to softball. He loved his family so I just said, why not, let’s throw a softball tournament.” Garcia went on to say,“I stared running soft ball tournaments. Rodney was a big softball guy, so I started running these tournaments to raise funds to start a scholarship fund in his name to keep his name alive”. The tournament is about taking a fallen hero and taking something that hero really enjoyed and doing something to honor and remember that person. “A story like this, hopefully it inspires people to think a little bit on and reflect on, maybe I could be doing a little bit something more for somebody else and not just myself.” Dauphinais explained. Dauphinais and Garcia also talk about All Star Vets and what they are doing within communities, getting more involved with kids and how people can become involved with All Star Vets.

 

TAKE ACTION

1. Fleet Week is October 11 - 17, 2017. It's a week long event full of appreciation and fun! Head over to their website to learn more and make sure to get your tickets! 

2. To honor and bring Rodney Buentello's story to light, Salute-2-Heroes is having their 3rd Charity Softball Tournament on November 11th and 12th. Visit their website to register and learn all about such an amazing story and event!