Ron Abler had a truly uncommon and unusual wartime experience during his time in Vietnam.  He flew helicopter rescue missions from ships based in the Gulf of Tonkin into Vietnamese waters and land territory.  The goal was mostly to bring back downed pilots before the enemy could find them.  Once in a while there were other rescues of Vietnamese nationals, too.  The miracle of the Miracle Squadron was that while many helicopters and airplanes were lost in combat, not one downed crew member or pilot that was signaling for pick-up during Abler’s time in the war zone was lost.  In total, nearly 1500 rescues were made without loss of life during these nearly impossible and dangerous rescues.

 

All we heard about Vietnam on the news during those days was about the protests at home and death in a distant land.  Ron Abler had the privilege and experience of truly helping to save lives.  He never saw the enemy during his time there. Ron’s war experience was uplifting, memorable and life changing in many good ways.  War is not a good or perfect thing, but Abler’s experience is a part of the story about the Vietnam war that very few people have heard about.  We were deeply impressed to say the least.  THANKS RON for sharing your story with us.

 

Tourism brings not only lots of people to spend their money in Kent County, but it also is one of the engines that brings us new, long term residents.  People see a lifestyle they really like, fall in love with the area and decide to live here permanently.  The diverse efforts made to attract visitors and to explain the many things which they can do and visit while they are here resides with the two people staffing our office of tourism.  No big bureaucracy, just two people working along with business and event partners producing several publications, schedules, calendars, advertising and promotions.  Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all now play an active part as well as traditional brochures and print ads.  It is a big effort, but the statistics show it really pays off very well.

 

Check out this link.  Make it a “Favorite” so you can easily find it again.  When you have visitors, look it up and see what’s taking place, where to go, and what you might do.  https://www.kentcounty.com/visitors

 

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Jamie Williams has been in this position now for over a year and tells us every day she learns more and more about the rules, regulations and tactics of the players.  She also has gained a way better handle on the sources and extent of funds, tax credits, incentives and grants which are available some of which rarely are even applied for.  There is slow and optimistic progress in getting businesses to locate here or to remain and expand here.  This is good news because it appears it is being done right and fairly.  While no one says they want unrestricted growth, few would promote zero growth.  Keeping control and finding compatible ways to increase the possibilities of employment and development are constantly being looked for.

Jamie brought us a long list of things that have been attended to in the past year.  It was organized and shows real promise.  We understand there is a list of 25 properties Washington College has the intention of selling.  She said she’d send it to me and we will post it on our site just in case you might like to know the situation.

 

Wow!  What a large basket of services is offered for senior citizens.  All one needs to do is to become informed and make choices from a long list of provided services from more than 17 available agencies.  There are many opportunities for services and lots of volunteer positions to fill, if you are able and so inclined.  We discussed the problems with reliance on private transportation being endemic to rural communities like Kent County.  While we didn’t come up with solutions, the problem is becoming more recognized and focused.  Maybe we will eventually have a fleet of autonomous vehicles to pick up and deliver people who no longer can drive…  We don’t know what the near future will bring, but the needs of citizens are being kept on the radar by caring people.

 

If you need services or wish to become involved call 410-778-6000 or see www.uppershoreaging.org

 
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