“Saluting Branches” – Arborist Day of Service

Dozens of tree care professionals volunteered at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro for the 7th Annual “Saluting Branches: Arborist United for Veteran Remembrance” event.

MILLSBORO, Del. — Dozens of arborists and professionals from three Delaware tree care companies volunteered for the 7th Annual “Saluting Branches” event by devoting a day to trimming, shaping, and removing hazardous trees from the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro. The Delaware site was one of 40 sites throughout the United States that participated in the event, which attracted more than 3,000 volunteers. Workers from Tri-State Tree Care, Complete Tree Care, and Cypress Tree Care spent their entire day as a way to pay tribute to the veterans and their service.

Jay Ashby, who runs Cypress Tree Care and also serves as Chair of Delaware’s Community Forestry Council, called it a “Great day of service for our resting veterans.”

Joe Shoup from Cypress Tree Care was glad to be back after participating in 2019 but having last year’s event canceled because of COVID-19.

Joe Shoup and Frank Silva
PHOTO: Joe Shoup of Cypress Tree Care with Frank Silva Jr., grounds foreman at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro.

“There was a lot of hazard work. They had a lot of dead wood and a lot of dead trees that needed to be taken down. That first year we were able to get a big chunk of work done and as such the trees looked a lot nicer but they were also a lot safer,” Shoup said. “This year… we’re able to do a lot of reduction pruning on these older, more mature oak trees… If we can get here for the next two, three years in a row, we should have this place up to snuff and there shouldn’t be any more hazards left.”

Frank Silva, Jr., who serves as the grounds foreman for  Delaware’s Office of Veterans Services, is extremely grateful for the professional expertise and dedication that the workers provide.

“These huge old oaks that are several hundred years old, they’re too large for us to take care of. We don’t have the equipment or the manpower to take care of that and we’re not professional arborists,” Silva said.

“It’s very important to us to keep the place looking pretty good as you can see,” he continued. “It’s a place of honor and respect. We’re all veterans… everyone who works for this commission is a veteran, so it’s an important job to us. And all the work that they do really helps out.”

Tree care worker and large oak tree
PHOTO: A tree care professional works on a large oak tree at the Delaware Veterans Cemetery in Millsboro. Workers from three Delaware companies volunteered for the annual “Saluting Branches” event as a day of service to America’s veterans.

Silva estimated that almost 6,000 Delaware veterans and spouses are currently interred at the cemetery, which is why it’s so important they and their families continue to have a well-maintained place of honor and respect when they are laid to rest. The Millsboro veterans cemetery covers about 65 acres, of which about 25 acres is currently in use for burials and interments. The site is expected to grow in the years ahead to accommodate future applications.

Saluting Branches event at Veterand Cemetery in Millsboro

Delaware Veterans Day 2020


Veterans Day celebrations, like many other things this year, will be celebrated differently as we continue our efforts to control the COVID-19 exposures and infections in our state. “Today and every day, as we have in the past, we pause to recognize the sacrifices that brave men and women make in their military service to our great nation,” says Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. In past years the Veterans Day ceremony has been attended by many with speeches and remarks by a host of officials.  This year, those remarks are being made virtually by a few in this Facebook live stream event hosted by Governor Carney at 9:00 AM on November 11, 2020.




David Mangler
Delaware Department of State

Delaware Veterans Cemetery Team Earns Top Honors from VA

BEAR – The staff of the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear were recognized Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for their outstanding service to the state’s veterans and their families.

Gov. John Carney joined the Bear team and the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs in accepting the Operational Excellence Award from Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves of the VA’s National Cemetery Administration. The award places the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery among the top five percent of state veterans’ cemeteries in the nation.

“The Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery truly is hallowed ground for those Delawareans who served their country in our armed forces, and for the loved ones who carry on the legacy of their deeds,” said Governor Carney. “I’ve always been extremely proud of the dedicated team that works every day to ensure that this resting place is maintained to the highest standards of excellence, and I congratulate them on earning the recognition they deserve.”

The VA established the Operational Excellence Award program for state and tribal cemeteries in May, 2018 to recognize outstanding service to veterans and their family members in all areas of operations. The Bear cemetery met or exceeded 82 of 90 applicable performance measures for a combined score of 91 percent in the areas of Interment Operations, Grounds Maintenance, and Headstone, Marker, and Niche Cover Operations.

“Cemeteries like the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear are a model of excellence, on par with some of the best national cemeteries in the country,” said Under Secretary Reeves. “The dedication to maintaining this cemetery as a shrine truly commemorates veterans’ service and sacrifice to our nation.”

In 2016, the VA awarded a $3.67 million expansion grant for the Bear cemetery, which provides a final resting place for 45,000 Delaware veterans and their eligible family members. The Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery is administered by the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs.

“The whole team at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear does outstanding work to honor the memory of our state’s veterans, and to support their families in their times of mourning,” said Larence Kirby, executive director of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs. “Our mission is support those who served, and I can’t think of a better group of individuals who embody that goal.”

For more information on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration, contact Richelle Taylor, Public Affairs Specialist, at richelle.taylor@va.gov or call (202) 632-8011.

Annual Veterans Day Ceremony: Sunday, November 11, 2018

When/Where:  Sunday, November 11th, 2018 at 10:30 / War Memorial Plaza (Delaware Bridge) 163 Cherry Lane, New Castle, DE 19720

Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs (DCVA) request the pleasure of your company to our annual Veterans Day Ceremony. This year’s event is being hosted by the Marine Corps League with the hosting support of DCVA. Please help us celebrate and honor all our veterans past and present.

Veterans Day History:

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day’ on November 11, 1918, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.


‘For the Veteran, thank you for bravely doing what you’re called to do, so we can safely do what we’re FREE to do.’ -LoveThisPic.com

‘The willingness of America’s Veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.’ -Jeff Miller

‘Veteran: It’s not that I can and others can’t; it’s that I did and others didn’t.’

‘We don’t know them all, but we own them all!’


5th Annual Delaware Veterans Trust Fund Dinner – Saturday Evening, November 3rd, 2018

When/Where: Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 6-9 P.M. – Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

Retired Navy Command Master Chief Charles ‘Chuck’ Baldwin will keynote the 5th Annual Dinner for the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund at Dover Downs Rollins Center on November 3rd, 2018.

“Mr. Baldwin also serves as a member of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs representing the state’s Vietnam veterans, but his contributions to Delaware and his fellow veterans go far beyond that,” said Paul Davis, president of Delaware State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, and vice president of the Friends of Delaware Veterans, the fundraising organization of the Trust Fund.

During his 28-year Navy career Mr. Baldwin served as the top enlisted man on the 5,500 member crew of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), and was a finalist for MCPON (Master Chief Petty Office of the Navy). His focus on leadership and education continued after his retirement. He served as president of The Charter School of Wilmington. Founded in 1996 it is one of the first charter schools in the nation.

In 2003, he co-founded the Delaware Military Academy in Wilmington, raising more than $15 million for its construction. Its mission is to prepare young men and women for their next level of education and to provide them with a foundation that leads to good citizenship. It has been recognized by the U.S. Department of the Navy as a Distinguished NJROTC Unit with Academic Honors. Mr. Baldwin later advised the founding committee of the First State Military Academy in Clayton, whose students participate in Marine Jr. ROTC. In May it featured its first graduating class.

In 2017 he authored “Carrier to Classroom,” with book signings at Barnes & Noble in Wilmington resulting in a $2,700 contribution to the Veterans Trust Fund. The book encourages military veterans to enter teaching. It details ‘10 Deckplate Leadership Lessons’ for all teachers, whether military or civilian. He is a regular speaker at official U.S. Navy events in Washington and beyond. “Carrier to Classroom,” can be ordered on Amazon.com.

“We encourage community and business organizations and individuals to be part of this annual event that benefits all generations of Delaware veterans,” said Mr. Davis.

Visit www.DelawareVeteransTrustFund.com for information on the Trust Fund, its volunteer board of community leaders, and how to become a dinner sponsor or participant. For more information please see attached flyer or contact DCVA office at 302-739-2792.

2018 Dinner