Press Releases 2018
2018 DCSSAR Holiday Dinner, December 5, 2018
“In a brutally frank account of CIA traitor Aldrich Ames’s career, Grimes and Vertefeuille’s account pulls back the curtain on the hunt for an American who spent years working for the KGB without being discovered. Espionage buffs will love the details taken from previously-classified CIA files, as well as a penetrating view of him as an “all-American boy’ and spy. Well researched and written in a clear, no-frills style, this fascinating Cold War saga will allow any American without a security clearance to better understand how Aldrich Ames could have become one of the most damaging moles in U.S. intelligence history.” — Publishers Weekly
Our guest speaker at the District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution 2018 Holiday Dinner, held at the Capitol Hill Club on December 5th , was author Sandra Grimes. Grimes, a twenty-six year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Services, spent the majority of her career working against the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. She joined the CIA in July 1967 after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Russian. Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille co-authored the book, “Circle of Treason, A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrick Ames and the Men he Betrayed”. Vertefeuille, a career CIA Counter Intelligence officer, led the small task force that resulted in the 1994 arrest of Soviet mole Ames.
Our guests, who dined on Crab Cakes and Petite Filet Steak, were captivated by Grimes’ very detailed and unclassified account of the CIA investigative effort to uncover a mole, secure his arrest and conviction while mitigating the damage to the intelligence service. Ames, who is now serving a life sentence, was described as one of the two most dangerous spies in the recent history of the CIA.
Sandra Grimes receives commendation from DCSAR President Lane Brooks
During the dinner, five new members were introduced and administered the oath by DC SAR Secretary Paul Hays. The new members are Robert Hattan, Tyler Harned, James Bailey, Bill Martin, and Chuck Piercy.
2018 DCSSAR Public Safety Awards Announced May 4, 2018
Officer Euri Hernandez received the SAR Law Enforcement Commendation Award during the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department awards program on March 27, 2018 that was held at the THEARC in southeast Washington, DC.
Briefly, on June 1, 2017, Officer Hernandez and his partner received a call for service at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital for a combative patient who was armed with a large make shift weapon. When they confronted the patient they found him extremely agitated and demanded that the officers shoot him. In law enforcement parlance this is considered an attempted suicide by cop. Officer Hernandez was trained in the sort of crisis intervention required to abate the situation with the use of little or no force. The officer successfully calmed the patient down and he self-disarmed. Through his patience and persistent efforts, the officer successfully deescalated the situation without any harm to the patient, hospital staff and other police officers. The below photo includes Officer Hernandez and Chief of Police Peter Newsham.
DC Firefighter/EMS Jeffrey Beach received the SAR Emergency Medical Services Award during the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Management Services awards program on April 27, 2018 that was held on the campus of Gallaudet University.
Briefly while off duty and in his personal vehicle, EMS Beach witnessed a motor vehicle accident on MLK Highway and Lottsford Vista Road in Lanham Maryland that occurred during the late evening hours on May 9, 2017. He stopped to render aid at which time he found Brittany Crowell trapped inside her overturned vehicle. EMS Beach gained access to Miss Crowell by using a pocket knife and his bare hands to cut through the windshield. He found that the victim’s arm had been amputated at the elbow. Relying on his EMS training, he used his belt and applied it as a tourniquet. Upon the arrival of paramedics, the victim was cut from the vehicle and flown to a local trauma center by the Maryland State Police Medivac helicopter. EMS Beach was credited with saving the life of Ms. Crowell and ultimately saving her arm. The attached photo includes EMS Beach, Ms. Crowell and FEMS Chief Gregory Dean.
Firefighter Deangelo Bunch received the SAR Fire Safety Commendation Award. On September 1, 2017 while assigned to Engine 23, responded to the Foggy Bottom Metro Station for an unconscious person. While he and other members of Engine 23 were tending to the unconscious person, they observed another person who appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance on the platform. The person apparently lost his balance and fell from the platform, tumbling into the track bed landing on a running rail.
Firefighter Bunch and another firefighter ran towards opposite ends of the platform to engage the emergency shut off button to kill the third rail power. Simultaneously, the platform warning lights began to flash signaling the approach of an oncoming train. Firefighter Bunch and another member of the team disregarded their personal safety and put themselves in extreme personal risk by leaping down on the track bed and removing the unconscious to the platform before the oncoming train arrived. The aforementioned action resulted in the saving of a life that was in eminent danger. Both firefighters also received the FEMS Class 1 Bronze Bar for Valor.
William O. Ritchie Jr
Public Information Officer
Press Releases 2017
December 6, 2017
The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution (“DCSSAR”) will award the Honor in Service Cross to The Honorable Michael Thomas McCaul Sr., during its annual Holiday Dinner on December 6, 2017 at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC.
The Latin phrase honor in officio which appears at the center of the Honor in Service Cross medal, expresses esteem for those who perform acts of benefit beyond themselves. DCSSAR awards its Honor in Service Cross for outstanding and patriotic service of local and national importance. The medal is awarded to both members and nonmembers, for service to the community in civil or military arenas, religion, education, philanthropy, business, professions and other fields of endeavor.
Congressman McCaul is currently serving his seventh term representing Texas’ 10th District in the United States Congress. On January 3, 2013, the beginning of the 113th Congress, Congressman McCaul became Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. The Committee has oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) ensuring it is able to carry out its core mission of protecting the American people from terrorist attacks. As Chairman, McCaul prioritizes the threat of international and domestic terrorism, cyber security, airport security and fixing dysfunctional management within DHS which contributes to wasted taxpayer dollars, delayed security operations and corruption. Chairman McCaul also prioritizes border security and elevates this as a national security issue.
Prior to Congress, Michael McCaul served as Chief of Counter Terrorism and National Security in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Western District of Texas, and led the Joint Terrorism Task Force charged with detecting, deterring and preventing terrorist activity. McCaul also served as Texas Deputy Attorney General under current U.S. Senator John Cornyn, and served as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C.
Congressman McCaul and his wife Linda are the proud parents of five children: Caroline, Jewell, and triplets Lauren, Michael Jr., and Avery.
In addition to receiving the Honor in Service Cross, Congresman McCaul will be inducted into the DCSSAR. He is the 4th great grandson of Revolution War Patriot Lieutenant William Addington.
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November 17, 2017
The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution announces the 40th Annual 2017 Potowmack Ball and Presentation of Debutantes, honoring the Children of the American Revolution on Saturday, November 25, 2017. The Ball will be held at The Sphinx Club at Franklin Square, 1315 K Street Northwest, Washington, DC. The receiving line for the white tie preferred event commences at 6:00 P.M., with dinner immediately following.
As young ladies from the Greater Washington DC area and beyond make their debut into society, the grand ballroom is illuminated by their elegance and grace. The event offers an opportunity to meet and mingle with many hereditary organization officers and members. It is a unique, fun-filled evening of dinner, dancing and debutantes. Young ladies who are part of the Children of the American Revolution between the age of 17 to 22 (or a senior in high school) were welcomed to participate as a debutante. Young gentlemen members will serve as escorts.
Photo opportunities will be available. Inquiries and RSVP at PIO@dcssar.org
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July 1, 2017
The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution (DCSSAR) will present United States Capitol Police (USCP) special agents with its Law Enforcement Commendation Medal during its traditional Independence Day kickoff at Congressional Cemetery on July 4th. Two USCP officers were injured during a shooting while on a protective detail for a member of Congress at a ball field in Alexandria, Va. They immediately responded by putting themselves in harm’s way in an effort to protect the members while taking on a gunman.
Rep. Steve Scalise, Congressman from the State of Louisiana, was gravely wounded in the shooting and was admitted in critical condition at Washington Medstar Hospital Center. The Congressman is recovering from his life-threatening injuries. Special Agent Crystal Griner and Special Agent David Bailey, who are on Scalise’s security detail, are recovering from injuries sustained during the incident.
The officers are being widely hailed as heroes. The President of the United States stated “Crystal is one of the two Capitol Police officers who saved so many lives through her heroism, along with Special Agent David Bailey. They ran right into the fire,” President Donald Trump said. “They ran right into those guns and the bullets, and they saved a lot of lives. America salutes both of their courage. They have great, great courage.”
The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) provides recognition for public service. The state-level societies and chapters of the SAR present thousands of awards each year to law enforcement officers, public safety officers, and other citizens who exemplify the best civic traditions of our nation.
The 10:00 a.m. ceremony will be held at the grave of Vice President Elbridge Gerry to honor him and other Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gerry is the only Signer buried in Washington, D.C. Congressional Cemetery is located at 18th and E Streets, SE. DCSSAR and members of other lineage and patriotic organizations will attend this ceremony that is open to the public.
The Special Agents will not discuss the incident or answer any questions as it is the subject of an active, ongoing Federal law enforcement investigation.
William Ritchie can be contacted at 301-661-2047 or PIO@ DCSSAR.org to answer any questions.
DC SAR Announces Appointment of William O. Ritchie as Public Information Officer
12 June 2017
Former D.C. Chief of Detectives William O. Ritchie Jr. has been named Public Information Officer of the District of Columbia Sons of the American Revolution (DCSSAR). The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is the largest male lineage organization in the U.S., consisting of 50 state-level societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies (including Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), and over 34,000 members.
The Society’s missions are patriotic, historical, and educational: to unite and promote fellowship among the descendants of those who sacrificed to achieve the independence of the American people; to inspire them and the community-at-large to a more profound reverence for the principles of the government established by our forefathers; to foster true patriotism; and to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom.
Ritchie, a graduate of Howard University, served with the Metropolitan Police Department for more than 23 years in positions including Chief of Detectives and as the Commanding Officer of both the Homicide and Public Integrity Branches. He was inducted into the SAR on July 4, 2016, after successfully documenting his lineage to his 5th great grandfather, Patriot William Parks, who was killed in defense of the republic in May 1776. Ritchie notes that while this ancestor was of European descent, many other African Americans are descendants of free black men who chose to fight on the American side in the Revolutionary War.
Over the years, Ritchie has been called upon by various local and national news organizations to provide expert commentary on a range of current events. Ritchie will have the responsibility of informing the media of DCSSAR events, initiatives and programs.
The DCSSAR hosts a variety of activities aimed at building appreciation of America’s Revolutionary heritage, particularly among young people. For example, on the morning of July 4 this year, DCSSAR and members of other lineage, patriotic, service and fraternal organizations will gather for a traditional Independence Day kickoff at Congressional Cemetery. This will include the laying of a wreath at the grave of Revolutionary War drummer boy John Hunter at 9:30 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., a ceremony will be held at the grave of Vice President Elbridge Gerry to honor him and other Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gerry is the only Signer buried in Washington, D.C. Congressional Cemetery is located at 18th and E Streets, SE.
For more information, contact William Ritchie at 202-280-7694 or PIO@dcssar.org.