NEWS

Patroits Day Monday  Sept. 11 Ceremony 7 pm at VFW Post 1669

Free Dinner and Pin award

December 4,2018


Poppy Days

May 7 to 12th see signup sheet in clubroom.


Burger Night

Acorn Post Burger Night !st & 3rd Fridays 5:30 pm to 8:30


Hall Rentals

No hall rentals


Post Dues Price Change

Post Annual Dues increase


VA HOSPITAL REPORT

VA SAIL REPORT


MOV July-August-September 2018

MOV Edition BY Editor Nate Powell posted in the MOV section


Telemarketing Calling Campaign for Lapsed Membership

members to renew their membership.


Department Roster

Members only - Department Roster is posted


Fall Conference

September 27th to 29th Boyne Highlands Reservations call 1-800-462-6963


GOLDSTAR MOTHERS OCTOBER 2018

Banquet Fund Raiser


FREE HOME FOR VETERAN CONTEST

Radio One Detroit has teamed up with UAW Ford to salute the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to keep our country safe.


Scholarships for Military Veterans


Dept. Polo Shirt

Incoming State Commander and President's shirt order form for 2018- 2019


Pure Pro Wrestling


Notice from National Quartermaster General

The use of the VFW trademarked name, emblems, and logos.


Veterans of Foreign Wars updated Fact Sheet

As the nation’s oldest major veterans’ organization, the VFW has an impeccable and longstanding record of service and stewardship. More than 4 million patriotic Americans, both members and non-members, entrust the VFW with financial contributions and dedicate millions of volunteer hours.


Important Michigan VFW Project Underway

We are excited to announce the start of the Michigan VFW Then and Now Member Publication project. To make this a successful project, we have partnered with a nationally recognized publishing firm, Publishing Concepts (PCI). Starting soon, you will receive communication from Publishing Concepts letting you know how to participate in the Michigan VFW Then and Now Member Publication. This unique photo publication will be filled with military experiences and memorable photos from the past and the present. Don't miss out on this opportunity to be included!


VFW to Draw for 'Return to Vietnam' Trip

If you received a Purple Heart for being wounded in Vietnam, you could be one of nine lucky veterans to win the VFW's "Return to Vietnam" trip.

This in-country tour from April 25 - May 8, 2019, will include the sites of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), the DMZ, Khe Sanh, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Marble Mountain, Cu Chi and Tay Ninh. Airfare, accommodations and meals are included.

Don't miss this chance to revisit battle sites and share your experiences with fellow Vietnam veterans!

Entries must be received prior to the drawing on November 30, 2018. Click herefor complete information.

...


A More Powerful Voice

The VFW's Publications staff quizzed VFW members attending the organization's 119th National Convention in July in Kansas City, Mo.

Members offered their thoughts on specific topics, such as when the VFW might see its first female national commander or what they would like to see changed about the annual convention.

Here's a look at what some of them had to say.

...


Veteran Service Organizations Urge Senate to Pass Blue Water Navy Legislation Now

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion and Paralyzed Veterans of America today released the following letter to the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs urging the Senate to pass H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018, before the 115th Congress convenes:

September 19, 2018

The Honorable Johnny Isakson, Chairman
Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
United States Senate
412 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jon Tester, Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
United States Senate
825A Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Isakson and Ranking Member Tester:

On behalf of the millions of veterans we represent, we urge you to take every action necessary to ensure that a vote is held by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and then the full Sena...


Veterans are our National Treasure

On the first Friday of the new school year last year, students lined the halls of Caroline Middle School in Milford, Va. They cheered as a group of local Vietnam veterans walked down the hall to their classroom, shook the vets' hands and thanked them for their service. After the veterans took their seats, the students filed in and stood next to the students' desks, which were labeled with the names of Virginians killed, or listed as still missing, in Vietnam.

Coffee and pastries in hand, the veterans shared their stories with the class. Army veteran Armando "Recon" Flores spoke of summers he spent stationed on Okinawa. Paul Pitts, an Air Force veteran, spoke about his time on the ground in Vietnam and of comrades lost during the war. Linda Boone shared photos from her time in the field hospitals of Vietnam as an Army nurse.

With all of the students on the edge of their seats, it was clear that hearing these Vietnam veterans speak had moved them. It was just as clear that having the opportunity to speak to the students...


VFW Expands Benefit Offerings for Members

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce it is teaming up with UNA, the nation's fastest-growing group purchasing organization, to expand its offering of benefits to VFW members to include discounts on hotels, office supplies and entertainment tickets.

With this new offering, VFW members gain access to an exclusive hotel booking platform that connects them to deeply discounted hotel rates - saving an average of 26 percent below publicly available rates at more than 150,000 hotels across the globe, and with a free mobile app available, members can book on the go!

In addition to exclusive hotel discounts, more benefits will be rolled out over the next few months which will allow members to save up to 80 percent off list price on office essentials and everyday low copy and print pricing, up to 40 percent off tickets for top theme parks, movie tickets and shows nationwide, as w...


Following in His Fathers Footsteps

Laurence "Buckshot" Blumer is named after a World War II hero and fighter pilot, his father. Major Laurence "Scrappy" Blumer was known as the "Fastest Ace in the West" when he shot down five FW-190s in 15 minutes of aerial combat. "I loved my father very much and always wanted to follow in his footsteps," said Blumer, who joined the United States Navy after high school to become a Navy SEAL.

Blumer was able to graduate from Naval Gunnery School with his dream of attending Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training proudly under his belt.

But during training, he received a call that his father was given only six months to live by his doctors. Blumer left the Navy and rushed home to care for him during his final days. "My father was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. That was just the type of man he was," he recalled.

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Blumer reenlisted in the Nevada National Guard. He was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq where his unit was subjected to daily at...


VFW to Deliver Veterans' Voice to Congress

WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. are arriving in the nation's capital this weekend to urge their members of Congress to continue transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs so that it can more efficiently and effectively serve America's veterans.

"The VFW is fully committed to working with Congress and the VA to change the way the department delivers health care, to include finding the best way to leverage what the VA provides with what public or private practitioners out in the community can offer, with the end goal being the delivery of the highest quality integrated care so that no veterans are ever stranded in line again," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy.

The VFW national commander is scheduled to present his organization's legislative positions at 2 p.m., Wednesday, in testimony before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees in room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Along with f...


VFW Launches Mobile App for 2017 Legislative Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With its 2017 Legislative Conference only weeks away, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. has designed a new mobile event app to give attendees the tools needed to make the most of their visit to the nation's capital. As the official guide to the 2017 VFW Legislative Conference, the VFW DC 2017 mobile app is available for download now at both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.Legislative Conference Mobile Event AppVFW to Take Veterans Voice to Capitol Hill

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Next weekend, more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., the nation's largest and oldest war veterans' organization begin rallying in Washington, D.C., to voice the concerns of veterans directly with the nation's lawmakers during the 2017 VFW Legislative Conference, Feb. 26 - March 2.

The annual conference strengthens the VFW's advocacy efforts on behalf of America's veterans, service members and their families, as VFW members meet with elected representatives in the House and Senate to discuss the VFW's stance on a number of high priority veterans' issues.

The 2017 VFW Legislative Conference culminates on March 1, as VFW National Commander Brian Duffy testifies before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Aff...


VFW Testifies: Congress Must End Sequestration!

WASHINGTON- This afternoon, before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, Brian Duffy, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. delivered testimony focused on fixing the VA and ending sequestration.

"Let me be perfectly clear: Congress must end sequestration!" he told the committee members in attendance." He explained that despite ongoing conflicts and the rise in new threats since the 112th Congress created sequestration in 2011, America's service members continue to operate under a budget ax which has adverse effects on how successfully they're able to defend our nation, as well as quality of life programs.2017 Duffy Congressional TestimonyVFW Announces Top Youth Scholarship Winners

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary proudly announced the national winners of its annual Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions, live during last night's 2017 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

Photo Caption: (Left) VFW National Commander Brian Duffy and VFW Auxiliary President Colette Bishop present Savannah Wittman with her $30,000 award; (right) VFW National Commander Brian Duffy and VFW Auxiliary President Colette Bishop present Lindi Compton with her $5,000 award.
2017 VOD PP WinnersVFW and SVA Announce 2017 Student Veteran Fellowship Class

WASHINGTON - Ten Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders have been selected to join more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. when they converge on Capitol Hill, Feb. 26 to March 2, to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families. The fellowship selections were announced this afternoon at SVA's 9th National Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"Through our fellowship program, the VFW and SVA seek to work with exemplary student veterans to hone their unique skills as advocates on campus, in the community, and on the national stage," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. "The VFW sees this fellowship as yet another way of supporting our shared mission with SVA to transform today's scholars into tomorrow's leaders."

The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves research, action, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans...


VFW and SVA Announce 2018 Student Veteran Fellowship Class

WASHINGTON - Ten Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders have been selected to join more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) when they converge on Capitol Hill, March 4 to 7, to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families. The fellowship selections were announced during SVA's 10th National Conference in San Antonio.

"Through our fellowship program, the VFW and SVA seek to work with exemplary student veterans to hone their unique skills as advocates on campus, in the community, and on the national stage," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "The VFW sees this fellowship as yet another way of supporting our shared mission with SVA to empower future leaders."

The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves research, action, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans' policy areas: Success in higher education; transitioning from military to civilian life; succeeding in th...


VFW to Deliver Veterans Voice to Congress

WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary are arriving in the nation's capital this weekend to urge their respective members of Congress to end sequestration and to continue improving the programs and services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"The VFW is appreciative of the two-year budget agreement because it will bring temporary funding stability to the Defense Department," said VFW National Keith Harman, "but a two-year agreement doesn't end the continued threat of sequestration on a military that is still at war with an all-volunteer force that is fighting with less training and overused equipment," he said. "Sequestration has been the law of the land for seven years, so service members, veterans, their families and the VFW are counting on the newly-established super committee on budget and appropr...


VFW to Discuss Veterans' Issues With Congress

WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. will take to the nation's capital the first week of March to advocate on behalf of America's nearly 25 million veterans and military service members, as well as their families and survivors.

VFW members meet regularly with their elected officials in their home offices and on Capitol Hill to enlist their support in bringing the VFW's legislative Priority Goals to fruition. Highlighting this year's conference will be VFW National Commander Keith Harman's testimony before a special joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, the presentation of the VFW Congressional Award to Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), and the Voice of Democ...


VFW to Congress: 'Repeal Sequestration Once and for All'

WASHINGTON - This morning, before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. delivered testimony focused on ending sequestration and improving the care, services and programs provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"The VFW is pleased Congress recently passed a bipartisan budget agreement to alleviate the sequester's impact on our military and veterans, but you only delayed its return by two years," VFW National Commander Keith Harman told members of the committees. "Our service members, veterans and their families are counting on you to repeal sequestration once and for all!"

Harman commended the committee members in attendance for making some VFW-proposed changes to the Choice Program that have improved access to care, but reminded them the Choice Program is merely a stopgap, and must be replaced with a permanent and improved program that would:

  • Ensure timely access to high quality care;
  • Consol...


VFW to Host Two Facebook Live Events with VA

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to team up with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday, Sept. 13, and Tuesday, Sept. 18, to bring our Facebook followers an opportunity to get their questions answered on two important topics: mental health and telehealth.

Join representatives from VA and the VFW for a Facebook Live event on Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. EDT as we discuss the mental health challenges veterans face, how to recognize the need for care, and where to go when you or someone you know needs help. VA offers a wide range of mental health care services to empower veterans to live full and meaningful lives. During this Facebook Live, attendees will discover types of support available to veterans and their families, as well as have your questions answered in the comments section following the video.

This event is part of the "#ExploreVA: From Service to Success" online series highlighting how veterans and their families use VA benefit...


VFW National Legislative Conference a Transformational Experience

The following students are the latest VFW-Student Veterans of America (SVA) fellows to take on that task: Jennifer Hosley, Bradley Ward, Gabriel Snashall, Edward Tjaden, Brian Walker, Ryan Rehberg, Joseph Sacco, Hannah Joyce and Francheska Salazar.

Ward, who served from January - September 2014 with the 302nd MP Co. from Grand Prairie and the 18th Airborne Corps in the Army Reserve, said the week in D.C. was a "transformational
experience."

"The opportunity to connect and openly discuss policy and veteran-related issues with Congressional leaders and department directors was an incredible experience that is certain to prepare me for future work in the field," Ward said.

For Walker, it was "eye-opening" towitness the work it takes to advocate onbehalf of veterans.

"This has given me a much deeper appreciation for the work that is involved, knowing there are many who are fighting for veterans like myself," said Walker, who served in the Navy aboard the USS
Sacramento from 2001-04, supportin...


The Independent Budget Statement: Conference Agreement on H.R. 5895

The Independent Budget

Statement of the Independent Budget Veterans Service Organizations (DAV, PVA, VFW) on the Appropriations Conference Report on H.R. 5895

The House-Senate Appropriations Committee conference agreement on H.R. 5895, which contains funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), would provide much needed increases for veterans health care and other critical programs, including new funding to begin implementing key provisions of the VA MISSION Act.

Although the conference agreement does not meet all of The Independent Budget's recommendations for FY 2019 funding, it does include significant increases for VA's medical care, community care, construction, research and IT programs, as well as for benefit claims and appeals modernization.

The C...


The VFW Remembers V-J Day

This weekend, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States pays honor to America's Greatest Generation of veterans as we mark the 73rd anniversary of V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day, when Japan formally surrendered and officially ended World War II.

On Sept. 2, 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, along with the Japanese foreign minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, and the chief of staff of the Japanese Army, Yoshijiro Umezu, signed the official Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri.

In remembrance of the more than 400,000 Americans and 60 million people killed worldwide during the deadliest military conflict in human history, the VFW thanks the more than 16.1 million American service members who answered the call to protect freedom and democracy. Our nation will always be forever grateful for their honor and sacrifice.

The Greatest Generation has showed all Americans, and the world, what true commitment to the principles of liberty and justice for all means and for that the VFW salutes all World War II veterans a...


VFW Elects Vincent B.J. Lawrence as New National Commander

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Vincent "B.J." Lawrence, of Alamogordo, N.M., was elected today as the new national commander of the 1.2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, a congressionally-chartered veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from all five branches of the armed forces.

VFW membership eligibility requires honorable service in a war or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters. Lawrence served in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1986 and earned his eligibility by serving in South Korea, where an armistice, or cease-fire agreement, has existed since July 27, 1953, and where war could erupt at a moment's notice. He joined VFW Post 7686 in Alamogordo, N.M., in 2000, and immediately began moving the organization forward into the new millennium. He has proven to be a highly effective and dynamic leader, serving in a myriad of critical leadership positions, to include being elected commander at every level of the ...


Humana and VFW Enhance Efforts to Drive Optimal Health for Veterans

LOUISVILLE, Ky. and KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation's leading health and well-being companies, through the Humana MarketPoint organization, has enhanced its exclusive agreement with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), the nation's largest organization of war veterans and the oldest major veterans' organization in the U.S[1]. As part of this expanded relationship, Humana is the national Medicare Advantage (MA), Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and Medicare Supplement plans carrier for the VFW with exclusive marketing and promotional rights to the VFW.

The 750,000+ members of the VFW, and their spouses, who are eligible, or approaching eligibility, for Medicare, will get seamless education, guidance and access to these plans.

"Humana...


Application Period for The Home Depot 2018 Community Impact Grant is Now Open

The Home Depot has started accepting applications for their 2018 Community Impact Grant.VFW members can receive up to $5,000 to fund repairs or construction projects at their Post building.

While there are no guarantees to being funded, several VFW Posts have been awarded this grant in the past.

Applications are only accepted through Home Depot'sonline form. Telephone calls, emails or written submissions sent to Home Depot will NOT be accepted, nor will you be able to turn this application in at your local Home Depot store.

Applicants should expect a decision by email within six weeks of submission. Grants are awar...


Four Purple Heart Vets Hunt on the Great Plains

Hunting, much like war, forms a bond between people of different backgrounds. This holds true for the disabled veterans who participated in this year's 35th annual VFW magazine - and Doonan Gulch Outfitters - sponsored antelope hunt. Four Vietnam War veterans participated in hunting antelope, sightseeing and conversations.

Located 25 miles west of Broadus, Mont., Doonan Gulch Outfitters is owned and operated by Russ and Carol Greenwood. Russ Greenwood said Carol and he started hosting the annual hunt in 1982 because they didn't like the way Vietnam War veterans were treated when they came home.

Russ Greenwood also has a personal connection to Vietnam War veterans. His twin brother - Roger, a member of VFW Post 987 in Black River Falls, Wisc. - flew helicopters during the war. The Greenwoods started hosting disabled veterans 20 years ago. Since then, Doonan Gulch Outfitters has hosted veterans of every generation since the Vietnam War.

We didn't dwell on the war'
George Stavropoul...


Unmet Needs Grant 'Cleared the Fog' for Veteran on the Brink of Eviction

Torrey Wingate of Rochester, N.Y., joined the United States armed forces after she met an Army recruiter who inspired her to become more. Wingate was first stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., and went on to serve at Fort Myer, Va. During her time at Fort Myer, Wingate injured her back and knees.

She thrived in the structured routine of her military life, and missed this steadiness and stability when it came time to transition to civilian life. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder made the transition even more challenging. The fear and anxiety she felt took a great toll on her mental health.

Securing a job and leaning on her support system of husband, Todd, and their five children (ranging from 5 to 28 years old) helped smooth her transition.

Her progress came to a sudden halt when her family moved from upstate New York to North Carolina. With the increased cost-of-living and Wingate unable to find a job, they went from a "two-income household to a fraction of one."

She was devastated to see her dreams crumble as ...


Leading Veterans Groups Commend President's VA Budget Submission

WASHINGTON - The nation's top three veterans service organizations have released their latest edition of The Independent Budgetto coincide with the Administration's fiscal year 2019 budget recommendation for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more than 30 years, the three Independent Budget co-authors - DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans), and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States) - have presented budget and policy recommendations to Congress and the Administration. These recommendations - which are supported by 27 other health, family, military, and veteran service organizations - are meant to inform lawmakers of the needs of all veterans, and to offer substantive solutions to address the many health care and benefits challenges they face. This independently-developed budget serves as the veterans groups' benchmark for properly fu...


VFW Applauds Two-Year Budget Deal

WASHINGTON - Early this morning Congress voted to keep the government open for six more weeks as it works out a two-year budget deal that increases sequestration-levied spending caps for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The good news is the two-year budget deal should provide the Department of Defense the predictable funding it needs to improve readiness, and build a larger, more capable and lethal force. But the deal does not eliminate sequestration.

"Reducing the impact of sequestration by raising spending caps is a step in the right direction," said Keith Harman, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, "but the deal doesn't eliminate the sequester, which will still be the law after the two-year deal expires."

This morning's action raises spending caps by nearly $300 billion for both defense and non-defense spending for FYs 2018 and 2019. The VFW believes that the funding increase will protect military quality of life programs, the promised 2.4 percent pay raise, and oth...


VFW Awards Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship to Big-Hearted Veteran

Marine veteran Jordan Soderman wears many hats. Everyday he is a full-time firefighter for the city of Minneapolis, Minn., father to 7-year-old Hunter and 5-year-old Caleb, husband to wife Jessica, Staff Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves and master's student in Emergency Management. It's a lot of responsibility and he takes great pride and care in each role.

Soderman was extremely grateful to be a recipient of the VFW's "Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship," especially because his family depends on his salary for a living.

Soderman grew up in the rural Midwest on his family's farm. He joined the Marines in 2006, right out of high school. He felt called to enlist because his parents taught him how much respect service members deserve, even though they were civilians themselves.

"The military was on a pedestal to me, and I wanted to give back to my country and travel outside my small town."

Soderman was deployed three times between 2007-2010. During the first two deployments, he was assigned to a Fleet An...


From Struggling to Finding Strength

At PatientsLikeMe, a member of the VFW's Mental Wellness Campaign, we've been shining a spotlight on voices in the veteran community. We've heard from a military caregiverbattling caregiver fatigue, a lung cancer survivorcelebrating a year cancer free, and a veterans advocatewho shared how he stays calm with embroidery.

Today, we'd like to introduce Lynn, an Iraq war veteran living with PTSD and depression. Lynn shared about how he went from struggling daily to crossing the finish line of the Bataan Death March, a 26-mile trek through high desert terrain.

...


House VA Committee Passes Blue Water Navy Act

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is saluting the House Veterans Affairs Committee for passing H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017. The VFW-supported bill, which must still be approved by the full House and Senate before going to the president, would restore benefits to thousands of Vietnam veterans, expand inclusive dates to those who served along the Korean DMZ, and benefit children born with spina bifida due to a parent's exposure to Agent Orange-related herbicides in Thailand.

"The VFW salutes the bipartisan leadership of House VA Committee Chairman Phil Roe and Ranking Member Tim Walz for getting this bill through committee," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman, who served in Vietnam as an Army helicopter crew chief and door gunner with the 101st Airborne Division

Once passed into law, H.R. 299 will restore VA benefits to some 100,000 Blue Water Navy veterans who had their disability eligibility taken away in 2002 after regulatory changes....


Mothering from the War Zone

Parents who have had to leave their children for an extended period of time can attest to the difficulties the absence can cause. Those serving in the military know this all too well. And those with no spouse with whom their children can stay during deployments find themselves in an even worse situation.

This Mother's Day, the VFWpays tribute to moms who have sacrificed by leaving their children behind for overseas deployments.

Here's a look at some of those mothers, and in their own words, how deploying overseas affected them and their children.

...


VFW, Ace Hardware Honor Veterans with 1 Million American Flags

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In the true spirit of Memorial Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) is collaborating withAce Hardware to honor veterans by pledging to give out 1 million American-made flags nationwide. On Saturday, May 26, consumers are encouraged to visit participating Ace stores to receive a free 8" x 12" American flag*, while a second flag is donated to a local VFW Post to be used for marking and honoring veteran graves this Memorial Day.

"We are thrilled to continue our long-standing history of honoring veterans by supporting VFW Posts and local communities this Memorial Day," said John Surane, Executive Vice President for Ace Hardware. "The sacrifices that these men and women have made for their country is something that should be recognized every day, and we at Ace want to make this Memorial Day even more meaningful. We applaud the VFW for the incredible support the...


VFW Applauds Passage of VA Mission Act

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. applauds the House of Representatives for passing the VA MISSION Act of 2018.

The bipartisan, bicameral legislation is the result of hard work by members of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans' Affairs to improve VA's ability to hire high-quality health care professionals, consolidate and improve VA community care programs, expand caregiver benefits to pre-9/11 veterans, and establish a process to evaluate and reform VA's capital infrastructure to better serve veterans.

"This bill honors the nation's commitment to our veterans to provide them with the care they have earned," said Keith Harman, national commander of the 1.7 million-member VFW and its Auxiliary. "It will help improve services throughout the VA health system while utilizing private sector resources when needed, striking the right balance to make sure we provide veterans with the best care possible.

"Americans expect Congress to work together when it comes to veterans' i...


Senate Passes VA MISSION Act of 2018

WASHINGTON - The Senate passed the VA MISSION Act of 2018 on Wednesday with a vote of 92-5. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. thanks the senators who put veterans and their caregivers first and voted in favor of the bill. It will now head to the desk of President Donald Trump, who has indicated he will sign it.

The VA MISSION Act is a bipartisan bill that improves VA's ability to hire high-quality health care professionals, consolidate and improve VA community care programs, expand caregiver benefits to pre-9/11 veterans, and establish a process to evaluate and reform VA's capital infrastructure to better serve veterans.

"This historic legislation is the result of years of negotiating what role the private sector should play in providing care to America's veterans," said Keith Harman, national commander of the 1.7-million member VFW and its Auxiliary. "The VA MISSION Act helps provide veterans with the care they earned and deserve. It helps improve the VA health care system while relying on th...


VFW Members to #ThankBK for Continued Support

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary will be out in force on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, to show their support and appreciation for BURGER KING franchisees as part of the VFW's second annual #ThankBK Appreciation Day.

Since 2007, BURGER KING franchisees and their customers have contributed over $5 million to the VFW Unmet Needs program. This program provides financial assistance to military families who have fallen on hard times as a result of deployment, injury, or other military-related activities. Since the program's inception in 2004, Unmet Needs has provided nearly 9,000 veterans and military families with more than $10 million in financial grants.

The VFW is encouraging its members, their families and friends to stop in, purchase a meal and say "thank you" to the franchise owners, managers and BURGER KING team members for their continued support of the veteran community. It's also asking all members to post to social media abou...


VFW Announces Top National Teachers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to name the top three teachers in its 2018 Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award contest.

Each year, the VFW selects one teacher from the elementary (K-5), middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) levels to receive the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. Established in 1999, the award recognizes our nation's top teachers for their exceptional commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students by promoting civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism in the classroom. The award is named after former VFW National Commander John Smart and retired VFW Quartermaster General Larry Maher.

Emily Cowan Ezell, a third-grade teacher at Cowan Elementary School in Cowan, Tenn., was named the elementary school winner for fostering students' patriotism through an annual production of her self-written and designed patriotic play, This Is Our Country. Ezell is known for planning ann...


VFW Continues Support of Bataan Memorial Death March

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce that for the eighth-consecutive year, it will be a presenting sponsor for the 29th annual Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

The memorial march is a challenging, full-marathon expedition through 26.2 miles of high desert terrain, conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and in many cases, their very lives.

Held annually since 1989, the March 25 event is anticipated to be the biggest event to date, with nearly 8,400 military and civilians participating individually or as teams.

"The VFW is honored to help ensure the sacrifices and stories of U.S. and Filipino soldiers who endured and perished during the Bataan Death March are never forgotten," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "For nearly 119 years, the VFW has been dedicated to honoring and pr...


VFW Patriotic Youth Scholarship Contest Opens

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now accepting entries for its 2018-19 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just a week after the VFW's 2018 Legislative Conference concluded in Washington, D.C., where the top students from across the globe were recognized.

Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, the VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay competitions help foster patriotism among today's youth. The programs also foster friendly competition as well as rewards success in the form of some $3 million in scholarship monies being distributed.

The Voice of Democracy theme for 2018-19 asks high school students to reflect on "Why My Vote Matters." The audio-essay ...


Air Force Sergeant Propels Success in Military Career

Sergeant Spencer Dwight Hardesty, 26, of Canyon Lake, Calif., joined the United States Air Force at the age of 19.

"I thought it would be an awesome experience to serve in the same branch as my brother," he said. "As time drew on, I gained a love and deep appreciation for the United States Air Force."

Hardesty recently graduated from Trident University with a degree in business administration. He's now working toward a credential at Villanova University with the hope of commissioning as an officer in the Air Force. The VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" is helping pay Hardesty's tuition expenses.

"Although I had finished my undergraduate program, the VFW is still opening doors in pursuing my education and helping me become a stronger candidate for commissioning as an officer," Hardesty expressed.

"This scholarship affirmed my belief that applying one's self as much as possible will allow you to succeed. It's just a stepping-stone to achieving my ultimate goal. I know I need to apply myself in w...


I Never Feel Out of Place'

Female veterans continue to make great strides within the ranks of VFW. More than ever, seasoned leaders within the organization welcome women with the realization that they, too, are a part of VFW's future.

This is exactly what happened at Post 7511 in Monroe, Wash., where the members met Global War on Terrorism veteran Jaymie Weber in January.

Weber, who served nine years in the Air Force, saw a Facebook notice about a pancake breakfast at the Post - about 35 miles northeast of Seattle - and decided to check it out.

"I stepped out of my introverted shell a little bit," said Weber, a mom of two daughters, ages 3 and 5. "I showed up and about half of the people were Vietnam vets and the other half younger."

Weber signed up to be a member, and it wasn't long before she was viewed as a "doer." She got the home-improvement retailer Lowe's to donate 43 flags to the Post just by asking. Post leaders were so impressed, they asked her to become quartermaster. She was elected in mid-2017, becoming the Post's ...


VFW Statement on VA Secretary Change

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is saluting former Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin for his faithful and dedicated service to veterans of all generations. He came aboard in 2015 as Undersecretary for Health as the VA was still reeling from a nationwide crisis in care and access that had rocked veterans' confidence a year before. He was retained by President Trump and confirmed as VA Secretary by the Senate 100-0. Under his tenure, the VA has achieved a host of successes ranging from increased accountability and transparency to a beefed-up education package and increases in overall funding and patient satisfaction. "The VFW wishes him and his family all the best in their futures," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman.

The nominee to become the next VA Secretary, Navy Rear Adm. (Dr.) Ronny Jackson, served in Iraq as an emergency physician in charge of resuscitative medicine for a forward deployed surgical shock trauma platoon, and since 2006, has been the ...


Iraq War Veterans: Recalling Their Roles

This article is featured in the March 2018 issue ofVFW magazineand was written byKari Williams, associate editor, VFW magazine. USCG photo by PA1 Tom Sperduto.

Fifteen years ago this month, U.S. troops launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.

VFW magazine spoke with the organization's members who served during the war's opening phases. Older and 15 years wiser, they provide some perspective on their service, their shared sacrifices and their feelings about how the war ended.

...


Reuniting Purple Hearts with Those Who Fought, Bled and Died

In the cozy basement office - or "man cave" - of his tidy Vermont home, Zachariah Fike picks up a Purple Heart, perhaps the military's best-known medal, and cradles it lovingly in the palm of his beefy left hand. He turns over the slightly scuffed and tarnished heart-shaped medal and sees a name inscribed on the back.

"World War II," he says as he looks over the medal that was recently sent to him. "At least that is what it looks like. Might have been lost or stolen or sold."

Fike, a blue-eyed, 6-foot-6-inch, 36-year-old full-time Vermont Army National Guard major, turns over the Purple Heart and carefully smooths out its frayed and curled purple and white ribbon.

"These medals were awarded to people who fought, bled and died for this country," he explains. "That's why we should do everything we can to see that they are returned."

As he carefully puts the medal back in its battered purple and gold presentation case, Fike, a VFW life member of the Department of Vermont, said, "The soldier who was award...


Taking Posts to the Next Level

Last year, two VFW Posts ushered in a new era. One elected its first female commander and the other elected its first black female commander. Both women hope to increase their Post's involvement in their communities.

VFW Post 9931 Commander Kimberly Napoleon said she initially didn't understand "what the impact would be" or how she would be received by her fellow Post members. However, she added that she was honored to be elected commander of the Bridgeport, Mich., Post last July.

"Our Post is predominantly all men, and to have them have enough confidence in me to take us to another level, that meant a lot," said Napoleon, who served in the Persian Gulf in 1990 as a local purchase agent with the 364th Supply and Service Company.

A "community servant by nature," Napoleon said her goal as commander is to bring more awareness of the VFW to the community.

"I believe in patriotism," Napoleon said. "I also believe in giving recognition to those to whom it's due, such as our veterans."

Specifically, ...


VFW Names Youth Scholarship Winners

WASHINGTON- The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce the national winners of its 2017-18 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions. The winners were announced live during last night's Parade of Winners at the 2018 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Voice of Democracy audio-essay program celebrated its 71st year with nearly 40,000 students weighing in on this year's theme, "American History: Our Hope for the Future." Robyn Anzulis, sponsored by VFW Post 10076 and its Auxiliary in Mt. Airy, Md., received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she was presented with the $30,000 T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship award and delivered her first-place essay.

The second-place winner, Philip Dunagan, sponsored by VFW Post 2471 and its Auxiliary in The Dalles, Ore., was awarded the $16,000 Charles Kuralt Memorial Scholarship. Th...


VFW Unmet Needs Grant Is Not a Hand Out, It Is a Hand Up

Michael R. Aaron of Lebanon, Ore., joined the United States Marine Corps during his senior year of high school after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Aaron served as a Machine Gunner in the Marines for over five years.

During his years of service, Aaron faced many physical and mental health challenges. While stationed in Iraq, he broke his wrist and suffered a burst fracture in his spine.

The horrific experiences of war followed Aaron home from Iraq and Afghanistan in the form of a Traumatic Brain Injury, Tinnitus and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). He jumped from job to job, searching for a greater purpose, but nothing seemed to help.

Aaron felt like he was drowning under the weight of the PTS, and with the devastating news of the suicides of several of his brothers he served with, he could no longer stay afloat.

His mental health continued to decline. The strain on his wife, Whitney, and his two children, Henry and Laura, was immense and finally prompted Aaron to seek help.

Aaron sought treatment at...


VFW Awards Nearly $790,000 in College Tuition for Veterans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce 172 student veterans have been chosen as 2018 fall semester recipients of the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship." Together, these student veterans will receive nearly $790,000 in college scholarships.

For more than a decade, the VFW's long-standing relationship with Sport Clips Haircuts has focused on assisting service members, veterans and their families. In 2014, the focus expanded to establish the Help A Hero Scholarship program.

With the continued rising costs of education, military education benefits often run out or fall short of covering the full costs of a college education which leaves many student veterans without a degree. The Help A Hero Scholarship provides student veterans with the chance to achieve their education goals without incurring excessive student loan debt.

To date, the Help A Hero program has awarded nearly $5 million in college tuition assistance and has provided scholarships ...


Training The Best Service Officers To Be Even Better

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - More than 130 service officers from across the nation and world are attending a weeklong training conference here to continue developing the skills they need to successfully help U.S. military veterans obtain their earned benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sponsored and conducted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the training is one of four basic and advanced courses the VFW holds annually to improve the skills of VFW service officers and those from other veterans service organizations, and state and county agencies who are accredited through VA.

"The VA requires a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education a year to maintain a service officer's accreditation, but we provide up to 80 hours of training every year," said VFW National Veterans Service Director Ryan Gallucci. "That's because our network of benefits professionals are in our communities every day, and in order to successfully advocate on behalf...


Scholarship Recipient Pursues Career in Cybersecurity

"Thank you for thinking about people like me who need that extra hand to make their dreams a reality," said VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" recipient Brian Blakey.

Blakey, a specialist in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for 8 years was deployed to Kuwait where he worked as a cavalry scout, a position the Army describes as the "eyes and ears of the commander during battle."

"My pursuit of a college degree is what drew me to the military," said Blakey. "I wanted to do something different than what I was doing and really challenge myself.

"Although many moments are etched in my memory, one of the most meaningful is the day I swore in and took my oath to defend our country against foreign and domestic enemies."

Blakey is thankful for the opportunity to have earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a concentration in cybersecurity from Strayer University.

"I chose this field because someone saw something in me that I didn't know I had. This person inspired me to go for it. I...


This is a Family Organization

VFW officers in the "Great Lakes State" are demonstrating that young members with families can be active in all levels of the organization.

Phil and Lynn Patterson, who were married more than 10 years ago, are leading the Department of Michigan this year - Phil as commander and Lynn as quartermaster/adjutant. Phil said he believes this is the first time in VFW history that a married couple has served in those positions at the same time.

"It's great working with my wife," Phil said. "Our lives are consumed by the VFW every hour of the day. We are always talking about the VFW."

Before both were officers with the Department, they led at the Post and District levels of VFW, too. Both joined VFW in 2009 as charter members of Post 12082 in Ionia, Mich. Lynn was the quartermaster for the Post from 2009 to 2014, and Phil became the commander in 2010.

Phil later served as commander of Michigan's District 9 in 2011-12, quartermaster in 2012-13, and chief of staff in 2012-13. Lynn was the District quartermaster fro...


Copyright (c) 2018 ACORN.