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The website of Florida Veterans Programs and Projects, Inc.

The website of Florida Veterans Programs and Projects, Inc.

Project News

November 15, 2009

Michael Rothfeld answers a student question at Orlando Edgewater High School during a presentation of  Korea: Forgotten War Remembered Heroes.  From the left are: Bill Napper, Earl Kidwell, Ben Meggitt, Rothfeld, and Jim Vanairsdale.  The group also participated in a “Brown Bag Lunch & Learn Series” presentation at the Orange County Regional History Center. 

Coquina Crossing Veterans Group Visits Orange County Regional History Center, Edgewater High School in Orlando

A contingent of veterans from Coquina Crossing made their way to Orlando Thursday to make a presentation of Michael Rothfeld’s recent video collaboration, Korea: Forgotten War Remembered Heroes  to a “Brown Bag Lunch and Learn Series” at the Orange County Regional History Center and to a large group of world history students at Orlando’s Edgewater High School. 

The video, which Rothfeld’s group recently premiered at a large gathering on the campus of Flagler College, features five area veterans of the Korean War, who relate their thoughts and memories of their time while they were in the conflict, which ran from 1950 to 1953 on the Korean peninsula.
Today’s group included Bill Napper and Earl Kidwell, who were members of the selection process for the video and assisted in the interview process, Ben Meggitt, the former Chair of the St John’s County Veteran’s Council, USMC Lt. Col. (Ret) Jim Vanairsdale, who was featured in the video, and Michael Rothfeld, who was the producer of the film. 

The group first stopped at Orlando’s Edgewater High School and presented the video, followed by a question and answer period to a group of about a hundred world history students.   Natalie Stevens, the Social Studies Curriculum Specialist for the Orange County Public Schools, said that “we are so pleased that we are able to have this group come and tell us about their experiences.”  She continued, “We very much appreciate the veterans taking the time to educate our students.” 
Glenn Riccio, the Edgewater Social Studies Department Chair, said, “We are so glad our students are getting this first hand history.” 

Paul Wenglowsky, the Curator of Education for the Orange County Regional History Center, said that today’s presentation was made available by a Culture Builds Florida grant, which is provided by the state of Florida.  The purpose of the program is to extend an outreach program to high schools across the state, and through the “Brown Bag Lunch and Learn Series,” offer learning opportunities to the 50 thousand or so people who work in the downtown Orlando area. 
“We are so pleased and honored to be able to share Michael Rothfeld’s work with the students and citizens of Orlando,” Wenglowsky said.  “Our November themes have always had a veteran’s focus, and we are pleased to honor the sacrifices to their country and for us that veterans have made.” 

Korea: Forgotten War Remembered Heroes is the second in a series of videos Rothfeld’s group has produced.  The group is currently in the process of working on a third in the series, tentatively titled “Sacrifice and Courage” a feature that will discuss the Viet Nam war. 

Citizens interested in learning more about Florida Veterans Programs and Projects, Inc. can visit the organization website:  Contact FVPPI/ to purchase the video.

November 11, 2009

Veterans Day Celebration at Flagler Auditorium, November 8, 2009


On Sunday, November 8, 2009, an epic celebration of Veterans Day was staged at Flagler Auditorium. The event was hosted by the St. Johns County Veterans Council, and produced by FVPPI with assistance of the residents of the community of Coquina Crossing. See more photos here.

FVPPI sponsored an essay contest among the students of Flagler College with the prize of a $1000 scholarship. The winner was Mathew Sills. He is seen in the photo below and his essay follows.


Dulce et Decorum Est: The Importance of Veterans, a Personal Reflection
By Matthew Sills

“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” – it is sweet and right to die for your country. These well known words ironically conclude Wilfred Owen’s famous World War I poem, Dulce et Decorum Est, which tells of the horrors of war. The words, Owen’s poem says, are a lie. Such a point of departure for one’s thought leads to a profound meditation on the importance veterans, not as bronze memorials, clean and kept gleaming in the sunlight, but as the human beings who, though afraid and dirty, nevertheless braved the horrors of the battlefield for the sake of future generations. In light of this, veterans are important for two reasons. First and foremost is their sacrifice for the liberty of the future, but second, and perhaps more importantly, is what can be learned about war and human nature from their experiences.

    The work of veterans is always a sacrifice. They are called to leave their family, friends, and often other jobs in order to serve the country, and whether an individual served in peace time or during a war, the significance of a veteran’s work cannot begin to be understood without first acknowledging that they all begin with a mentality of sacrifice. It is the same mentality that both augments and tempers the spirit of American innovation. It is an understanding that what is good is meant to be shared with all, that unless others are aided by or can draw from what we do, our actions are all essentially incomplete. Therefore, when a veteran serves, he or she makes a commitment to go beyond the individual and affirms not just the community but the future. Sometimes this commitment means fighting to protect that community, but the work of servicemen is always an affirmation foremost.

    In the unfortunate extreme of war, the ideas of service and the affirmation of goodness, life, and community can become twisted, as humans expose their shadows to one another. Yet in seeming contradiction, arguably the most poignant stories of love for one’s comrades and sometimes mercy have been recorded in the midst of war. Such phenomena point to a resilient core within the human spirit that nevertheless manages to shine whether in the muck of the Ardennes or in the dust of Afghanistan. Combat veterans especially have something important to contribute in this respect, as those who have seen the horror involved when men set out to kill one another. The voices of veterans, forged in the experience of war, can become the future voices of peace. Wilfred Owen served with the British in World War I, leaving many poems recounting the horror of war. Similarly, American writer Tim O’Brien writes about Vietnam and that war’s vicious dehumanization of all involved. Sadly, this aspect of the veteran’s voice is the least heard in the mainstream.

    To me, therefore, the importance of veterans cannot be overstated. Indeed, it is not uncommon for veterans to become community leaders, showing their continuing affirmation of those around them and the understanding that goodness can only reach fullness when placed in a community that can share it. Moreover, veterans have never existed in a vacuum; they are important as models of the spirit of sacrifice. Their spirit is one finely nuanced, not a platitudinous self-sacrificing, but rather a spirit which both affirms the “I” and simultaneously acknowledges that the “I” is not the most important. In turn, when a serviceman is called to give up his or her life the sacrifice means something because of the loss of a great “I.”

    Finally, just as we incur a great debt to veterans for their labors and the examples they have set, veterans continue to have a moral obligation to the world, and the world needs veterans who will fulfill such an obligation. Veterans are the best tools to educate new generations, not only about the good things – service and seeing the good as to be shared – but about dark underside of humanity. Without the lessons of veterans history is simply doomed to repeat itself with new conflicts fought by new generations. The words of veterans can be more effective stopping a bullet, in seeing that it is never fired, than all the technological advances to come out of wars themselves. In a time like ours where the potential for conflict is understood by all, there is a desperate need for what veterans have to offer. If indeed, veterans represent an affirmation of the good, then their examples and words are important.
October 4, 2009

Mark your calendars -

The FVPPI documentary, Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes will be shown on WJCT:

Sunday 11/08 at 11:00 PM - Channel 7.4 (Comcast 212)

Wednesday 11/11 at 10:30 PM - Channel 7.1 (Comcast 8 and 440)

Sunday 11/15 at 7:30 PM - Channel 7.1  (Comcast 8 and 440)

July 31, 2009


Sunday November 8, 2009, 3:00 PM at Flagler College Auditorium, 14 Granada St.
Music and comedy from the Korean War Era. Featuring "Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes" the story of five local Korean War heroes. FREE ADMISSION - no tickets needed. Entertainment by Tim Rippey, plus the Coquina Players & Dancers. Hosted by the St. Johns County Veterans Council, Ray Quinn, Chairman. For additional information, call
June 25, 2009

Korean War Veterans Day
Download the PDF of this document

See also the Making of Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes
See photos of the premier ofKorea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes

This is our full length documentary, Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes

June 1, 2009

April 22, 2009

Everyone is invited to attend our Jacksonville Salutes Korean War Veterans Event.
It will be held on the 59th Anniversary of the start of the Korean War, Thursday June 25th 2009 at 12 noon.
The Jacksonville Public Library has graciously allowed us to use their magnificent auditorium.
The main library is located at 303 N. Laura St. in downtown Jacksonville.
You can park in the indoor lot on  Main St. and enter the auditorium through the Main St. entrance. 
This morning we received a confirmation that Mayor Peyton will make an appearance.
The entertainment is set and features staff and students from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind performing songs from the Korean War era, a 4 man saxophone group performing a medley of patriotic songs and a senior dance group performing a dance routine to the tune of "It's a Grand Old Flag".

We will be premiering the documentary, Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes.
I hope you will all be able to attend. Please also ask your friends to attend.

January 30, 2009

The new trailer for Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes

A trailer has been completed for our next feature film. See also the background information about those interviewed with video clips of their interviews. This excellent work has been created by students at the Art Institute of Jacksonville.
December 23, 2008

Testing a new blog and forum

We are considering the addition of a blog and forum to this website. Rather than being specific to FVPPI projects, they would contain general information of interest to veterans. The idea is that a blog and a forum could serve as a clearing house for information about events, meetings, parties, and anything else of interest. We need your feedback. Go to the blog (the blog has been discontinued) and the forum, look them over and leave us a message on each and tell us what you think and whether you would use them and read them. Both the blog and the forum are fully functional, however they are still in a rough planning stage and will be refined as we receive comments from users.
November 19, 2008

Updates on Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes

Video recording of the interviews has been completed. Students at The Art Institute of Jacksonville, (under the Direction of Dr. Nadia Ramoutar) have started editing. The final documentary will be 28 or 58 minutes long so that it can be shown on WJCT-TV, Jacksonville. Narration, a soundtrack and credits will be added last.

We are busy scheduling showings around St. Johns County. We will be showing a trailer on Saturday, January 10, at 7pm in the Coquina Crossing Clubhouse. That same evening, we will be presenting a live stage comedy show titled So You Call this Retirement? Tickets are $12.00. Wine and cheese will be served. All proceeds to benefit FVPPI to defray the costs of copying and distributing DVD's. For more information or to purchase tickets call:

For Veterans Day 2009, we are planning to show the full length version of Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes at Flagler College Auditorium in St. Augustine. In addition, we are planning a live musical show based on 1950's Korean era MASH and Your Hit Parade.

October 24, 2008

Interviews in progress

Several interviews have been recorded for the documentary, Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes.
Photos from the sessions can be seen on the Current Projects page.

October 20, 2008

We have launched our new website!

Florida Veterans Programs & Projects, Inc. (FVPPI) was incorporated in May 2008 as a Florida Not-for-profit Corporation. The immediate objectives of the new organization are to provide accounting and fund raising services to the Coquina Crossing Soldier Support charity as well as to produce a documentary honoring Korean War veterans from Coquina Crossing and northeast Florida. Michael Rothfeld is president, Jack Ernissee is vice president and Bill Napper is secretary/treasurer. FVPPI's board of directors consists of veterans and non-veterans. FVPPI is making application for 501(c)(3) status, which, when approved by the IRS, will make contributions tax deductible.

Coquina Crossing Soldier Support, under the direction of Patty Worsham has been most successful. To date 565 packages containing socks, T-shirts, toiletries, magazines and batteries have been sent to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently packages are being sent to a Special Forces encampment close to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border and to a hospital near Kabul. Approximately 100 men and 20 women are assigned to the medical unit. Recently 173 watch caps knitted by the Coquina Mad Hatters were sent to the Special Forces unit. Coquina Crossing Soldier Support, in conjunction with the Coquina Quilters, have sent 56 hand-made quilts to the Landstuhl Hospital in Germany and nine more quilts are ready to be sent. These quilts are given to badly wounded soldiers (especially those with burns), who have been transfered by air from Iraq to Germany.

Shipping is expensive and contributions to Coquina Crossing Soldier Support would be greatly appreciated.

Work on the Korean War documentary is progressing and being done with the cooperation of The Art Institute of Jacksonville and digital film-making Professor Dr. Nadia Ramoutar. More than 80 Korean veterans responded to a questionnaire distributed by Michael Rothfeld. Earl Kidwell and Bill Napper have interviewed about 25 veterans to provide the basic material for the documentary. They are now in the process of choosing who will be featured in the film. The choice is difficult because the interviewees all have interesting stories.

The documentary is scheduled to be recorded in October and November and to be edited in December 2008. Sound, titles, music will then be added and the documentary should be completed in February or March 2009. We have contacted WJCT-TV and they are interested in showing the documentary. Ideally, we would like to premier the documentary on Veterans Day, 2009 at the Flagler College Auditorium.

Watch for updates as our projects develop.

Korean War interviews to begin October 14.

We will start to record interviews of the Korean War veterans on Tuesday, October 14. On October 7, we recorded segments of our historian discussing the history of the Korean War, why it was significant and why it differed from World War II and the Viet Nam War.

Our documentary is tentatively titled, Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes. We have interviewed more than thirty Korean War veterans from northeast Florida and have chosen six individuals to be featured in the documentary. We are working closely with The Art Institute of Jacksonville. Its students will record and edit the documentary. Our hope is to premier the finished documentary at the Flagler College Auditorium around Veterans Day 2009 and to have it shown on WJCT TV.