January 2012 Edition of Passing Thoughts
Newsletter of the Twilight Brigade, Compassion in Action

Dannion BrinkleyChairman's Message

 Happy New Year Everybody!  2012 promises to be an exciting and transformative year.  It is a year that I am asking everyone to step up and be counted among the Twilight Brigade.  

Do you know someone who joined the Twilight Brigade and has not been involved for a while?  Please reach out and help them re-engage;  send them to the website and have them sign up for our Newsletter and help them get back to the bedside.
Are you on Facebook?  If so, please take a moment to "Like The Twilight Brigade" and then every few weeks share a positive story about your experiences volunteering on our page (and remember to respect other folk's privacy by not including names of staff or patients).  Social Media can be the electronic equivalent to the ripple effect.  When you tell your story once on Facebook, it ripples out to everyone you have "friended" and to everyone who "Likes the Twilight Brigade."  Someone in Birmingham can spend three  minutes sharing a story and a few minutes later a veteran or a member of their family in Boston, San Francisco, and Miami or Kuwait, can read it.   These stories will be inspiring to others and can be a way you share your experience with friends, family, veterans and future volunteers.  Remember, in Quantum Physics there is a theory that when a butterfly flaps its wings, there is an effect on the other side of the planet.  So, flap your wings beautiful butterfly and be the difference in 2012!   

2012 is not a year for any of us to sit on the sidelines. It is a year to engage - to embrace life.  You hold within you great power to make a tremendous difference in the lives of veterans in hospice.  A smile, a hug, holding someone's hand while you listen, these simple, selfless acts help the days and nights go better..they are like the sun coming out after a long dark storm.  That is not too much to ask of any of us.  

Our Veterans Need every single Twilight Brigader to be at the bedside in 2012.  If you have any questions contact your Chapter leader or Heidi Beattie at the National Office.

Aspire to inspire!

Dannion Brinkley
CEO and Chairman of the Board
We have finally arrived in the year 2012!  The Twilight Brigade is very excited about the direction we are moving, and are enthusiastically looking forward to what lies ahead. We have paved the way to accomplishing many important goals and milestones that wil help us expand into more VA's throughout the United States and abroad.  Please visit our website periodically, to read about what we are doing, how you can help support our mission, serving Veterans in end-of-life care as well as events you may want to attend.

The Twilight Brigade, Compassion In Action (TTB/CIA) is a national 501 c (3) nonprofit service organization committed to raising society’s consciousness about the needs of the dying through community and professional education, advocacy, and direct service to the terminally ill and their loved ones, ensuring that no veteran need die alone.
Our training program has been leading the way in end-of-life care for over 14 years. We believe that with compassionate care and reassurance, the end of life can be a time of personal growth and healing for the dying and their loved ones. We are committed to the active practice of compassionate service through the worldwide mobilization and training of volunteers, providing a loving presence for those approaching death.
The Twilight Brigade’s mission is to expand and mobilize our training program into Veteran Medical facilities throughout North America as well as nursing homes and other facilities serving the civilian and veteran population. We’ve turned the corner in helping the nation recognize the need for end of life care and, along with that, the need to help care givers best deal with the issues they will face in end-of-life care.

Make a difference by donating to our organization, educating yourself on end-of life care, or participating in one of our training programs to become a volunteer serving at the bedside. For more information, please visit our website at
We Make the Difference!
Heidi L. Beattie
Chief Operating Officer
TTB/CIA National Office

A lot of us have faced the difficult situation of having a loved-one or friend face their end of life, due to an illness or old age.  If you have not, there is no doubt that, at some point, you will.   
Have you given any thought about what you would do?  What you would say to this person?  Do you talk to them about their “death?”  Or, do you try to stay upbeat and positive, denying the inevitable?  Should they be referred to hospice?  Can they stay at home or do they have to go into a nursing home situation?   So many questions, so many decisions.
The end of life experience does not have to be an unbearable experience, but rather, could be an extraordinary one.  I would ask that you give some thought to being with someone who is facing the end of life, maybe even a stranger, and doing this on a regular basis!  This is an area where we could all play such an important role and be an earth-angel to someone who could be facing this experience alone.
End of life is probably the most personal and private thing we will ever do.  It has been my observation (and that of many other volunteers) that to be permitted to be a part of someone’s transition, and to share this special time, is truly an honor.  There is so much to be learned, so much to be shared, so much to listen to, so much to be a part of, that it goes beyond description.  The old expression, “you had to be there,” certainly applies here.  Being an end-of-life care volunteer is the most gratifying non-work you can do.
We believe that caring individuals can serve to help relieve suffering, respect personal dignity, and provide the opportunity for people to find meaning in death.  We are committed to the active practice of compassionate service through the worldwide mobilization and training of volunteers to provide a loving presence for those approaching death, thereby helping ensure that no one need die alone  We take great pleasure in being able to train people to “be there” with the dying and their families.  The family needs the volunteer nearly as much as the client.

We offer an outstanding and unique approach with our 20-hour Weekend Intensive Training.  This training will prepare you for that inevitable transition of a loved-one or friend with great insight and love.  Hospices, Nursing Homes, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center are always looking for qualified volunteers for this very important work.  It is our goal and privilege to provide volunteers through our excellent training.
We are looking forward to holding trainings in Florida, South Carolina, and Texas.  So if you or you know of anyone in these areas who would be interested in hearing more, attending a training there, or offering help, please let Sandy Hatfield know at
With the Christmas season upon us, consider this gift to others as well as a memorable one for yourselves.
Sandy Hatfield
National Training Director

The Twilight Brigade depends on your donations.  The Twilight Brigade uses your tax-deductible donation to train volunteers to serve at the bedside of dying veterans. Your gift ensures "no veteran will die alone."

To make donations by Check or Money Order, please mail to:

Twilight Brigade
P.O. Box 84013
Los Angeles CA90073

Donations can also be made online from the Twilight Brigade website.


Twilight Brigade Logo
You may have noticed that we have a new logo. Twilight Brigade Apparell and accessories makes great holiday gifts.  

We also have great gift items that are perfect to send to friends, family and professional colleagues.  
Please check out our website often for updates - Check out the store tab.  (http://thetwilightbrigade.org)

"A hero is someone who has
given his or her life to something
bigger than oneself."  
Joseph Campbell

Jan 27-29, 2012 Birmingham, AL Volunteer Training
Jeff Khleif
Email: jkhleif@charter.net
April 13-15 Vancouver, WA Volunteer Training:  Email:  Gary Kaminski at
April 27-29, 2012 Asheville, NC Volunteer Training
United Research Light Center Lodge, Black Mountain, NC
Ruh Berg
Email: tbciainavl@gmail.com
July 20-22, 2012
Nashville, TN Volunteer Training
Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville
Sandy Hatfield, ttbciaatl@windstream.net
Questions, Contact Sandy Hatfield, National Training Director at ttbciaatl@windstream.net

Continue to check the website for updates and additions at www.thetwilightbrigade.com
Twilight Brigade Attends Red Tails Showing

LOS ANGELES -- Using canes and wheelchairs for support, 12 Tuskegee Airmen were escorted by cadets, family members and Twilight Brigaders up the steps of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza theater. These men constituted most of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen from the Los Angeles chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. and they were there on Wednesday January 18th, for a official private showing of "Red Tails," George Lucas' multimillion-dollar portrayal of the first African-American air corps in the United States.

The sold-out screening packed in over 400 people, all of whom burst into tremendous applause when the World War II veterans stood at their seats.  As some audience members snapped photographs, others took a moment to explain to their children "how big of a deal this is!" Claude Davis, a Tuskegee Airmen who is very dear to the Twilight Brigade, made a surprise appearance with his son Steve. It was a blessing to see Mr. Davis make it to the show given his decline in health. Following the show, with teary eyes he remarked, "I made it through two wars and never thought I'd live this long. But I'm sure glad I did. I'm so glad, so very glad. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you everyone. "

Throughout the night, the audience punctuated the film with laughter and applause. When the screening ended there was a hosted private reception with a live band, a buffet, a few short speeches and a movie poster signing by the airmen. The Twilight Brigade was there for it all to honor and remember the men who were the true beginners of the Civil Rights Movement.

Please, go watch the film. You're sure to be inspired!

Picture Above: The Davis Family and Sean Murphy (Twilight Brigader)

Are you following The Twilight Brigade on Facebook and Twitter?  If not, please "Like" us on Facebook, and "Follow" The Communications Twitter Account @Twilight_Media. 

We want to hear from you.  Email thoughts, comments, and media contacts information to 
An Election Year Reminder

The Twilight Brigade is a non-profit organization and thus by Federal law cannot be involved as an organization in endorsing or moving to elect individuals who are running for office at the local, state  or federal level.  This means that neither the National Organization or any Chapter or affiliate may use any Twilight Brigade letterhead, materials or official communications to promote (or disparage) any candidate who is seeking elected office.  These are the laws under which we operate and want to remind all of this early in 2012. Any violation of this law could place at risk the organization's non-profit status. 

That said, every individual retains their individual liberty and the rights as an individual to actively engage is discourse, discussion, endorsement, and campaigning for any one at the local, state and federal levels.  From the Chairman, Dannion Brinkley to the newest chapter volunteer, you each have the right to engage in the political process as you desire and as your own conscience dictates.  

Whomever you choose to support, please do take advantage of your civic opportunity (some would say civic duty) to cast your vote and have your voice heard in the ballot booth.  Get your children involved. I have great childhood memories of campaigning, even before I started school.  It gave me a tremendous appreciation for the election process that living in "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave" grants us.  And remember to have a good time while campaigning.  It should be both an educational and fun experience.  

If you have neighbors who have trouble getting around, offer to drive them to the polling place.  If you have never attended a political rally, it is a part of Americana that you should not miss.  When you attend and if you meet candidates, ask them questions about issues that are important to you and share the question and response on Facebook.  

2012 promises to be an exciting political season, from the South Carolina Debates and Primary this week to the November Elections.  


Beth Clay
Director of Special Projects

Newsletter of the Twilight Brigade, Compassion in Action
Website:  http://www.thetwilightbrigade.org 
Email:  newsletter@thetwilightbrigade.org
Tel:  310-473-1941
Copyright © 2012 The Twilight Brigade, Compassion in Action, All rights reserved.