For service in Vietnam September 15, 2003 Regular News Equels honored for heroism Florida litigator Thomas K. Equels, an Army aviator who was honored seven times for heroism in Vietnam, has been inducted in the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, comprised exclusively of war heroes who received the highest honor for military flying.During his service in Vietnam, Equels was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, 15 air medals including three with “V” devise for valor, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.“I was a helicopter gunship pilot facing combat almost every day,” said Equels, managing director of the law firm Holtzman Equels. “The war taught me to be totally calm and clear in highly challenging situations.”Equels will be recognized during an annual ceremony in San Diego this fall.Equels’ first Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded for a rescue mission during the first days of the 1972 “Spring Offensive” when five divisions of the North Vietnamese Army invaded the south. Equels was the co-pilot of a Cobra helicopter gunship conducting aerial reconnaissance when Camp Carroll, an allied firebase, was being overrun by several thousand North Vietnamese troops. While the allied troops sought emergency shelter in a bunker at the center of the firebase, Equels provided suppressive gunfire, driving back the enemy forces. A Chinook helicopter then landed and rescued the surviving allied soldiers as Equels’ Cobra took over 50 hits from enemy fire while covering the evacuation.Equels earned a second Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery during a battle near the town of Tian Phuoc. As a heavily armed brigade of North Vietnamese attacked this outpost of allied troops, Equels engaged the enemy, providing close fire support and slowed the approaching attack. Two enemy tanks then joined the attack. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented U.S. Air Force fighter jets, typically used to destroy such tanks, from joining the battle. Assisted by a second Cobra, Equels attacked and not only wiped out the two tanks, but inflicted massive casualties on the enemy.“I was a 19-year-old who believed in creating a world of free people living in democratic institutions,” Equels said. “When I returned from Vietnam, I became a lawyer, determined to devote a part of my practice to social justice. I still think that we can change the world for the better, a little bit at a time, by dealing with everyday matters that are within our power and abilities. No matter how difficult things become, the willingness of brave citizens to serve is what counts. Whether serving as a helicopter pilot in combat or serving food at a church soup kitchen for the homeless, our country and our communities depend on such service. It is vital to the preservation of liberty and our democratic institutions.”Among his professional achievements, Equels, obtained a $44-million judgment against Manuel Noriega for money he misappropriated from the Republic of Panama.As a community leader, Equels received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Community Service Award in 1995, the Guild of Catholic Lawyers’ St. Thomas Moore Award in 1991, as well as The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, and the Federal Bar Association’s Public Service Award in 1987. Equels honored for heroism
“If we make it more efficient, we could reduce the proposed amount by Rp 641 billion, but the branches would have to approve this first,” KPU chairman Arief Budiman said.He suggested that the central government be the one that provides the budget needs, not the regional administrations, as their cash flow had been affected by the pandemic response.”Therefore, we need backup from the state budget. We can process it more quickly with the central administration’s support,” added Arief.Law No. 10/2016 on regional elections requires regional administrations to provide the election budget. However, many regional administrations have reported cash flow issues affecting the elections budget.The government previously put the cost for the 2020 simultaneous regional elections at Rp 14.98 trillion, to be sourced from the regional administration budgets and disbursed around Rp 5.78 trillion.Read also: ‘We should not stop being democratic’: Govt insists on holding regional races in DecemberAs the election day has been postponed from the initial date of Sept. 23, the government, the KPU and the House agreed to “freeze” the remaining balance of around Rp 9 trillion.“In April 2020, the Home Ministry issued a circular to freeze the money to avoid it is being used for the COVID-19 handling,” Tito said.The plan to go through with the elections in December has sparked concern about higher costs and further virus transmission.Health experts have warned that holding the elections in December could raise the transmission of COVID-19, given that the preliminary stages of the elections will start in June, which involve assembling many people, including election officials, the candidates’ campaign team members and voters.The Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) stated that the forced implementation of simultaneous regional elections amid a pandemic could do more harm than good.They cited concerns such as the risk of virus transmission, the politicization of social aid, the lack of a level playing field for incumbents and challengers as well as a decline in voter participation.Topics : Election organizers and regional administrations have requested extra funds from the state budget for the 2020 simultaneous regional elections as the central government insists on holding year-end regional polls amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Home Minister Tito Karnavian proposed a total of Rp 1.4 trillion (US$98.78 million) in extra funding for the General Elections Commission (KPU), the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), the Election Organization Ethics Council (DKPP) and at least 204 of 270 regions across Indonesia that are set to hold elections in December.“The central [election organizers] need Rp 391 billion and the regional ones needs Rp 1.02 trillion. Therefore, we need Rp 1.4 trillion in extra budget funds,” Tito said on Thursday in a virtual hearing with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and House of Representatives Commission II, which oversees home affairs. Tito said the budget allocations were Rp 908.4 billion for regional KPU branches, Rp 76.36 billion for the Bawaslu branches and Rp 35.78 billion for the election security budget, while the remaining Rp 391 billion would be allocated to the central KPU, Bawaslu and DKPP.“The amount could increase once the KPU issues its regulation on the COVID-19 health protocol for the regional elections. They might need to add more equipment later,” he said.Read also: Year-end regional polls risk low turnout due to virus fearsDuring the meeting, the KPU proposed Rp 4.7 trillion in extra budget funds, which included allocations for implementing health protocols and an increase in the number of polling stations due to the physical distancing requirement.
Manager Louis van Gaal and members of his first-team squad attended the club’s annual dinner for Unicef, which raised £230,000, on Sunday night. But Valdes was not invited. The goalkeeper’s wife Yolanda Cardona took to Instagram to criticise the club for their conduct. Press Association Underneath a picture taken at the event of Juan Mata, Marco Rojo, Sergio Romero, David De Gea, Ander Herrera and their partners, she wrote: “Do not invite to my husband @vicvaldes1 to be part of the #united4unicef , its the last thing you don’t expect from one of the biggest club as @manchesterunited. A Charity event, its always a Charity event.” United said Valdes was not invited because he is not a member of the first-team squad. Valdes signed for United on an 18-month contract in January, but the former Barcelona stopper has only played two games for the club. Van Gaal told the three-time Champions League winner he was free to leave the club in the summer after the United boss accused him of refusing to play for the Under-21 side. In response, the 33-year-old posted a picture on Twitter that reminded supporters he had played for the Under-21s on three occasions last year. Alongside the picture, Valdes wrote: “…..? #respect.” The former Barcelona stopper, who played under Van Gaal during the Dutchman’s second spell at the Nou Camp, has not been given a squad number for United this year and was not included in the annual first-team photograph in September. He was also left out of the United squad list that was submitted to the Premier League after the summer transfer window closed. Valdes has not trained with the first team all season. A number of Spanish sides were interested in signing the Catalan during the summer, but it is understood he was reluctant to move to a Primera Division club because of his devotion to Barcelona, where he came through the ranks before playing in the first team for 12 successful years. Victor Valdes’ wife has hit out at Manchester United for not inviting her husband to a charity function at Old Trafford on Sunday.
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