Mar 04 2013

National Military Service Donation

Department Commander Margo Sheridan presents a check for $20,000.00 to National Commander in Chief John Hamilton and Quartermaster General Bob Green for National Military Services on behalf of
VA VFW Members.

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Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/national-military-service-donation/

Mar 01 2013

VFW Says President Is Keeping His Promise

Hamilton and Obamam smallThe national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. left the Oval Office this [yesterday] morning knowing that President Obama shares his same concerns for properly caring for military veterans, service members and their families.

“It was a very positive meeting and we’re grateful for the opportunity,” said John E. Hamilton, a combat wounded Vietnam Marine Corps rifleman from St. Augustine, Fla., who is in Washington for the VFW’s annual legislative conference, which includes presenting the organization’s top legislative priorities before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees on Tuesday.

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Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/national-vfw-news/vfw-says-president-is-keeping-his-promise/

Feb 25 2013

Free IT Training

Microsoft Elevate America.  In cooperation with the Microsoft Corporation, the SkillSource Group Inc. offers free IT training and certification exams to local veterans and their eligible spouses. Whether you are interested in upgrading your knowledge of Microsoft products or growing your IT professional skills for a technology career, this program has resources that can help.  In Fairfax County, contact the Northern Virginia Elevate America office at 703-324-7659, email ealiaj@fairfaxcounty.gov. Other county governments offer similar programs. Once you provide eligibility documents and enroll, you can begin on-line courses tailored to your needs and then take the exam within 12 months, all for free.

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/free-it-training/

Feb 22 2013

VFW Washington Weekly – February 22, 2013

In This Issue:

1. Sequestration a Week Away
2. Others Want New Medal Ranked Lower
3. VFW Attends DOL Update
4. IB Lays Out VA Budget Needs
5. Nominate a Woman Veteran
6. VFW Discusses Student-Veterans in Higher Ed

1. Sequestration a Week Away: The Defense Department is pulling no punches in letting Congress and the American public know the serious impact mandatory sequestration will have on the force. With very exceptions, 800,000 DOD civilians will be forced to take a three-week furlough beginning in late April. That roughly means one day a week, per week, through the end of the current fiscal year, which will lower civilian pay by 20 percent. The mandatory sequester will kick in March 1, and barring a last minute agreement by Congress it will force the Pentagon to cut more than $46 billion in current year spending by Sept. 30, just seven months away. The automatic cuts would be in addition to the $487 billion in planned defense spending reductions over the next 10 years, as mandated by the Budget Control Act passed in 2011. As mentioned previously, planned reductions include:
* Slashing noncombat flying, sailing and driving hours.
* A hiring freeze and cut back on installation, facility and contract maintenance.
* Requesting a 1 percent military pay raise for fiscal year 2014 instead of the planned 1.7 percent.
* Requesting another base realignment and closure round.
* And possibly increasing military dependent and retiree Tricare health program fees, and changing the current military retirement system for future generations.
DOD is guaranteeing, however, that deployed forces will be protected, but forces in garrison and not “on deck” to deploy will be impacted. Read more about the potential furlough at http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=119337.

2. Others Want New Medal Ranked Lower: More veteran and military service organizations have joined with VFW in opposing the placement of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal, which if left unchanged will rank it the ninth highest in the order of precedence—higher than the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. The VFW has been joined in our call to lower the ranking by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, National Association of Uniformed Services, and the Military Officers’ Association of America, among others. The new medal, announced by Defense Secretary Panetta on Feb. 13, would be awarded to drone pilots and cyber warriors who are having a significant impact, but who are not required to be physically present on the battlefield. “The VFW fully concurs that those far from the fight are having an immediate impact,” said VFW National Commander John Hamilton, “but medals that can only be earned in direct combat must mean more than medals awarded in the rear.” The VFW continues to urge the Department of Defense and now the White House to reconsider the new medal’s placement in the military order of precedence.

3. VFW Attends DOL Meeting: This week, VFW attended a Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) update for VSO’s on how the agency is working to deliver employment resources to veterans. Newly-confirmed Assistant Secretary of Labor for VETS, Keith Kelly discussed how he wants to improve VETS by soliciting feedback from veterans’ advocates like the VFW to make sure the agency’s programs succeed. The meeting also included briefings from other senior VETS leaders on programs like Jobs for Veterans State Grants, or JVSG, enhanced outreach to separating service members, data-sharing agreements with DOD, unique challenges for female veterans in the workforce, Family Medical Leave Act provisions for veterans, and usage of the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. VFW will continue to monitor DOL resources for veterans, to stay up to date, click here for the blog posting: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/02/department-of-labor-hosts-veterans.html

4. IB Lays Out VA Budget Needs: The VFW, along with its three Independent Budget (IB) partners- PVA, DAV, and AMVETS – have released what we believe to be the necessary funding for VA to continue to offer consistent high quality health care and services to all eligible veterans, their families and survivors. The comprehensive budget highlights the needs of older veterans and those young men and women returning from active duty to join civilian life. Funding information is provided after careful review of medical and administrative costs within VA which form the foundation of the recommendations. The Administration and Congress are expected to release their FY 2014 budget proposals sometime in March. Will continue to update you here as the budget and appropriations cycle moves along in the 113th Congress. We will continue to ask Congress and the Administration to provide sufficient funding to meet the health care and benefit needs of veterans in a timely and predictable manner.
IB Recommendations for FY 2014 include:
* $58.8 billion total for health care—$1.3 billion more than what the Administration recommended ($57.5 billion) in their advance appropriation last year.
* $2.4 billion for the Veterans Benefits Administration—approximately $226 million more than the expected FY 2013 appropriated level.
* $2.25 billion for all construction programs—approximately $900 million more than the expected FY 2013 appropriated level, and well below the true funding needs of construction projects.
* $611 million for medical and prosthetic research, approximately $28 million more than the expected FY 2013 appropriated level.
For the full FY 2014 Independent Budget recommendations, http://www.independentbudget.org/

5. Nominate a Woman Veteran: The White House Champions of Change program highlights the stories of citizens across the country who are moving their communities forward. This March, they want to highlight the many contributions made by women veterans, especially those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Examples of their work within the veterans’ community may include:
* Improving healthcare services available to women and children;
* Helping women veterans transitioning into the workforce;
* Leading programs to improve the well-being of young women;
* Developing a program to support victims of domestic violence or trauma;
* Helping engage and support Wounded Warrior transitioning;
* And providing services and support to eliminate homelessness, among many others.
There is no limit to the number of women veterans you can submit, but all nominations must be received by midnight, February 26. For more information or to nominate, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

6. VFW Discusses Student-Veterans in Higher Ed: This week the New York Times published an op-ed by VFW Deputy Legislative Director Ryan Gallucci, highlighting the good work of student-veterans on college campuses across the country, but also explaining why potential student-veterans need to be armed with quality information before choosing a school. To read the full story, click here: http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/how-to-help-veterans-succeed-in-college/. Your VFW has standing invites to contribute these kinds of issue-based narratives to the Times and other major military and general news media outlets. If you would like to share a story of yours, please send it to vfwac@vfw.org.

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/national-vfw-news/vfw-washington-weekly-february-22-2013/

Feb 13 2013

VFW To Stream Live from the Nation’s Capital

Each year hundreds of VFW leaders converge on the Hill, taking the voice of America’s veterans directly to congressional dignitaries and lawmakers during the VFW Legislative Conference.

Armed with the VFW’s Legislative Priority Goals for 2013, VFW advocates plan to visit with every congressional office, explaining in detail the VFW’s stance on a variety of veterans’ issues like access to VA benefits, military quality-of-life programs, economic opportunity and health care.

The week culminates with the testimony of VFW Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton before a special joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees on March 5, where Hamilton will lay out the VFW’s legislative agenda for the year.

VFW’s live stream of the conference will begin on March 3 at 6:00 p.m. (EST) with the annual Voice of Democracy Parade of Winners, followed by streaming video of VFW Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton’s testimony on the afternoon of March 5.

Visit http://www.vfw.org/vfwconference to access the stream directly.  If you miss the live feed, you can catch the excitement through the “on-demand” feature at your leisure.

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Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/vfw-to-stream-live-from-the-nations-capital/

Dec 04 2012

Year End Message from VFW Commander-In-Chief John Hamilton

[youtube]http://youtu.be/8bAiaQdkfSs[/youtube]

VFW Talking Paper on Sequestration

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/year-end-message-from-vfw-commander-in-chief-john-hamilton/

Nov 12 2012

Mojave Cross Stands Again

A war memorial cross that once stood on a rocky hilltop in a national park before being deemed unconstitutional and ordered removed was resurrected on Veterans Day at the stunningly stark Mojave desert site, capping a landmark case for veterans fighting similar battles on public lands.

Henry Sandoz, who cared for the original 1930s cross as part of a promise to a dying World War I veteran, rededicated a new, 7-foot steel cross on the same hilltop before more than 100 people. The site is now in private hands as part of a land swap with the National Park Service that ended the longstanding legal dispute, which had become entangled in the thorny issues of patriotism and religion.

“Judges and lawyers may have played their roles, but it was the veterans who earned this memorial, and it is for them it rises once more,” said attorney Hiram Sasser of the Texas-based Liberty Institute, which represented veterans in the legal fight.

The settlement approved by a federal judge in April permitted the Park Service to turn over the acre of land known as Sunrise Rock to a Veteran of Foreign Wars post in Barstow and the Veterans Home of California-Barstow in exchange for five acres of donated property elsewhere in the 1.6 million acre preserve, about a four hour-drive east of Los Angeles.

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(Photo via Liberty Institute Press Release)

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/mojave-cross-stands-again/

Nov 07 2012

Join VFW in Supporting Inaugural Working Wounded Games

More than 20 wounded warriors will converge on CrossFit Rubicon in Vienna, Va., this Saturday for the first-ever Working Wounded Games. Hosted in conjunction CrossFit Walter Reed and volunteers from other metro area CrossFit affiliates, the Working Wounded Games will allow veterans with combat-related disabilities to compete in an open-style competition that will benefit two new wounded warrior charities. The VFW is proud to serve as an inaugural sponsor for the event, which coincides with the 237th birthday of the Marine Corps and Veterans Day.

“I know first-hand the physical challenges our heroes face when they return home,” said VFW National Commander John E. Hamilton, a triple Purple Heart recipient from Vietnam. “The VFW is proud to support the games and the wounded athletes competing this Saturday, and the new programs that will help wounded warriors discover new ways to stay fit, while reclaiming their independence and a sense of accomplishment.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/join-vfw-in-supporting-inaugural-working-wounded-games/

Oct 15 2012

Sport Clips Helps Heroes Call Home

  Sport Clips Haircuts Launches 2012 Campaign to

Help Heroes Call Home

Nation’s leader in men’s and boys’ hair care challenges team members and clients to make calls home possible for deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members through the VFW’s Operation Uplink™

(October 15, 2012) – Beginning today, more than 950 Sport Clips Haircuts locations will launch the company’s annual “Help A Hero” fundraising campaign to support the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW) Operation Uplink™ in their communities across the country. Sport Clips’ goal is to raise $500,000 in its sixth year of donating to Operation Uplink, a program that offers free call days to deployed and hospitalized American service members. Donations to “Help A Hero” will be collected in-store and through local fundraising events. A key part of the effort will be “The Biggest Haircut Day of the Year” on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, when the company will donate a dollar from every haircut service to the program.

“Our generous clients and team members have helped make our Help A Hero program a true success,” says Sport Clips Founder and CEO Gordon Logan, a lifetime member of the VFW and VFW Foundation board member. “With the draw down in troops, many might think free call days aren’t as important; however, the numbers tell us a different story.  An average of 32,700 calls have been made by our hospitalized veterans and active-duty service members – many on their second, third, or even fourth deployment – during our sponsored call days so far this year.”

Since it began in 2007, Sport Clips has made almost 2 million calls possible and donated more than $1.3 million to Operation Uplink, becoming the VFW’s largest Free Call Day sponsor.

“The ‘Help a Hero’ campaign has been extremely successful in terms of providing our service men and women with a free connection home throughout their deployments,” says VFW National Commander John Hamilton. “In fact, Sport Clips can be largely credited with the success of the Operation Uplink Free Call Day program overall. We couldn’t be more grateful to the entire Sport Clips family for their continued dedication.”  

To find out more about Sport Clips’ Help A Hero program, visit http://www.sportclips.com/Hero

About Sport Clips Haircuts

Sport Clips Haircuts is headquartered in Georgetown, Texas and was established in 1995 by founder and CEO Gordon Logan. The sports-themed salon franchise, which specializes in hair care for men and boys, ranks in Entrepreneur Magazine’s top 20 “fastest growing franchises” and in the top 100 in the “Franchise 500,” and in the top 10 in Forbes’ “Top 20 Franchises To Start.” Sport Clips is the “Official Haircutter” of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), offers veterans preferential pricing on haircuts and franchises, and was named in the “50 Top Franchises for Military Veterans” ranking by World Franchising. Our “Help A Hero” program has donated more than one million dollars to help deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members call home through the VFW’s Operation Uplink. Sport Clips is a proud sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and holds partnerships with several NCAA and professional sports teams. To learn more about Sport Clips, visit www.sportclips.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/sport-clips-helps-heroes-call-home/

Aug 09 2012

2012 Year in Review

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/2012-year-in-review/

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