Jul 01 2009

Taking Pride in the Nation

by Glen Gardner, VFW National Commander

Patriotism is in the air especially this time of year, and we should embrace all it stands for. Those who guarantee our freedoms must not be forgotten.

June and July contain two very important holidays—Flag Day and Independence Day. Both symbolize what it means to be an American. As veterans, these special days may have added meaning. Actually fighting for the values the flag represents and the liberty we celebrate on July 4th has a way of leaving lifelong impressions.

While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have largely receded from the collective public mind, military families and those of us concerned for their welfare still pay close attention. Proudly flying the flag, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, singing along with the national anthem and revering the Founding Fathers are traditions worth maintaining, particularly to this segment of the population.

Other than voting, a USA Today/Gallup Poll last year found that 87% of Americans see serving in the military as the most patriotic act. Obviously, to these Americans, patriotism is not an abstract virtue. It means demonstrating it in a tangible way. Patriotism without sacrifice is hollow, no matter how one defines it.

At the core of this creed is a cause greater than self-interest, something bigger than one's self. Today, only a tiny minority of Americans bear the burden of defending the frontlines against enemies who would destroy everything the nation represents. And GIs have paid a steep price in loss of life, physical and psychological wounds, disrupted family lives and postponement of personal aspirations.

As VFW members, we owe it to them to not allow their immense sacrifices to be forgotten in the rush of backyard barbecues and fireworks displays. Respecting the symbols of our country is essential. But remembering those who have preserved the values they represent is equally, if not more, important.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/taking-pride-in-the-nation/

Jun 30 2009

VFW Washington Weekly – June 29, 2009

In This Issue:
1. GI Bill Hearing
2. GI Bill Transferability Rules
3. House Passes Defense Bill
4. Congress on Recess
1. GI Bill Hearing: The House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held another hearing on VA’s implementation plans for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The GI bill benefit is scheduled to be fully implemented on Aug. 1, 2009. The application process to determine eligibility opened on May 1. VA has reported over 100,000 applications filed for the education benefit. Keith Wilson, Director of VA’s Education Services, testified that VA has a two-part IT strategy that relies on short- and long-term goals for processing the claims. He updated committee members on VA’s partnership with the Navy’s SPAWAR Systems Center, which is contracted to design, develop, and deploy an end-to-end solution that utilizes rules-based, industry-standard technologies. VA is currently working with SPAWAR on the long-term IT solution, and expects the program to be completed no later than December 2010. For more on the hearing, visit the House VA website at: http://veterans.house.gov/.

Read more Washington Weekly

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/vfw-washington-weekly-june-29-2009/

Jun 29 2009

First Annual Hampton Roads Veterans Job Fair, July 2nd

You're Invited to Congressman Glenn Nye's

First Annual Hampton Roads Veterans Job Fair

On Thursday, .July 2nd, 2009 Congressman Glenn Nye will host his first annual Hampton Roads Veterans' Job Fair at VFW Post 4809 in Norfolk.

The fair is intended to bring together employers in Hampton Roads with local veterans who have valuable skills and training from their rnilitary service.

There is no cost to participate -and all veterans from ac/'Oss the area are invited.

The fair will feature:

Twenty local employers, including the public and private sector, as well as staffing firms.

Resume counseling and interview training sessions

Up to several hundred local veterans with valuable skills and training from their service in the military, and

The world premiere screening of a new episode from the In Their Boots documentary series. 1 he episode "Vets for Hire," focuses on the stories of three veterans battling to find work after returning home from IrClq and Afghanistan. Congressman Nye was interviewed for the program, discllssing his Veterans Business Center legislation, which recently passed the House of Representatives.

A panel discussion of veterans employrnent issues with the producers of In Their Boots, representatives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Congressman Glenn Nye.

The fair will take place on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 from 12:00 noon until 5:00 PM at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4809 al 5728 Bartee Street, Norfolk. VA 23502.

For more information, call 757-326-6201 or visit hltp:l/nye.house.govl and click the link for the Hampton Roads Veterans Job Fair.

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/first-annual-hampton-roads-veterans-job-fair-july-2nd/

Jun 29 2009

VA News – Week of June 29, 2009

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/va-news-week-of-june-29-2009/

Jun 25 2009

VFW National Commander Visits Iraq

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2009 ? The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. returned home after spending almost four days visiting American troops stationed in Iraq. His overall assessment: “This war is nearing its end, which has our troops pumped with anticipation and the Iraqi people increasingly hopeful for their future.”

Glen M. Gardner Jr., a Vietnam veteran from Round Rock, Texas, entered Iraq on Sunday with the leaders of four other veterans’ service organizations for a first-hand view of the progress that has occurred in Iraq. He is the fourth consecutive VFW national commander to visit Iraq.

“Iraq is a different country today because of the tremendous effort of our military to make the surge work,” he said. “The assessment that everything is on target for the upcoming handover of the cities was made by everyone I met, from Multi-National Force-Iraq Commanding Gen. Raymond T. Odierno to his officers and enlisted soldiers, all of whom have served multiple tours in-country.”

Gardner’s trip comes a full year after the conclusion of a three-prong surge strategy that focused on security, the economy and political reconciliation. He said the changes on the ground were most noticeable in the eyes of six amputee veterans who returned to Iraq for the first time since being wounded. Their trip was sponsored by the Troops First Foundation, which has a program that allows wounded troops to return to where they were stationed to help close the loop on their wartime service. Gardner called the program “a great initiative, because departing a warzone strapped to a stretcher is not the last memory anyone should have to carry for a lifetime.”

Read more

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/vfw-national-commander-visits-iraq/

Jun 25 2009

VA News – Week of June 22, 2009

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/va-news-week-of-june-22-2009/

Jun 21 2009

Inez and Dick Kerch Memorial Hall Dedication

  The members and Ladies Auxiliary of Post 9274 invite you to our post this Saturday, June 27, 2009 as we honor Inez Kerch and her late husband, Dick, for their many years of service to Veterans.   Our newly remodeled hall has just been named after them. Come join your friends. Bring your spouse and kids. Be ready to eat free and have a joyous time. Stick around to dance, too, to live music. Starts at 5 pm for hors d'oeuvres and dinner will be served at 6 pm. Only 85 can fit in our hall to eat (although there will be room for overflow in the canteen area). Be among the first persons calling for reservations.

Call Claudia at 703-385-4913 or call Marsha at 571-217-1714

 

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/inez-and-dick-kerch-memorial-hall-dedication/

Jun 19 2009

VA Reopening Health Care Enrollment to Thousands of Veterans

WASHINGTON (June 19, 2009) – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which now has nearly 8 million Veterans enrolled in its award-winning health care system, is poised to welcome nearly 266,000 more Veterans into its medical centers and clinics across the country by expanding access to health care enrollment for certain Veterans who had been excluded due to their income.

“This incremental approach to expanding enrollment ensures that access to VA health care for a greater number of beneficiaries does not sacrifice timely access or quality medical care for those Veterans already enrolled in VA’s health care system,” Dr. Gerald Cross, VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Health, said. “Over the next four years, we hope to provide enrollment to more than 500,000 Veterans.”

Under a new regulation effective June 15, VA will enroll Veterans whose income exceeds current means-tested thresholds by up to 10 percent. These Veterans were excluded from VA health care enrollment when income limits were imposed in 2003 on Veterans with no service-connected disabilities or other special eligibility for care. There is no income limit for Veterans with compensable service-connected disabilities or for Veterans being seen for their service-connected disabilities.

Veterans who have applied for VA health care but were rejected due to income at any point in 2009 will have their applications reconsidered under the new income threshold formula. Those who applied before 2009, but were rejected due to income, must reapply. VA will contact these Veterans through a direct-mail campaign, Veterans service organizations, and a national and regional marketing campaign.

Information about enrollment and an income and assets calculator are available at www.va.gov/healtheligibility. The calculator provides a format in which Veterans enter their household income, number of dependents, and zip codes to see if they may qualify for VA health care enrollment.

In addition to applying online, Veterans may also contact VA’s Health Benefits Service Center at 1-877-222 VETS (1-877-222-8387). Each VA medical center across the country has an enrollment coordinator available to provide Veterans with enrollment and eligibility information.

Click here for official press release

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/va-reopening-health-care-enrollment-to-thousands-of-veterans/

Jun 18 2009

Scam Artist Hits VFW Posts

A con artist has been preying on the generosity of sympathetic veterans and has managed to bilk numerous VFW Posts around the country out of as much as $400 each by posing as either a veteran who has “filled out an application” to join a specific Post or as a current VFW member.

The scammer has used a couple of different approaches when he calls a Post asking for a specific Post Officer by name for financial assistance, usually alleging to be experiencing some sort of car trouble and has even gone as far as to claim to be the parent of an Iraq veteran on his “way to the funeral for his son killed in Iraq.” He has also used a bogus story about how he recently visited a Post while introducing his son, “just back from Iraq” to various Post members. The swindler apparently goes on-line beforehand and obtains information about the Post in order to include details about the Post to help lend credibility to his story.

According to information received by VFW national headquarters, VFW Posts in AL, OK, WV, TX, KS and MO have responded by wiring money to the man who promises to repay the cash as soon as he returns home. So far, the sum being requested is in the $200- $500 range. Western Union doesn’t require identification for sums under $1000.

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/scam-artist-hits-vfw-posts/

Jun 17 2009

Virginia EMT Named National EMT of the Year

<div align="center"><img style="DISPLAY: block" alt="" width="263" height="352" src="http://www.vfwwebcom.org/uploads/v/virginia/1253.jpg" /><br />
<strong>EMT-III&nbsp; DONAH SAMUEL-SINCLAIR<br />
Prince William County Fire &amp; Rescue<br />
Station 17<br />
15210 Holleyside Drive<br />
Montclaire, Virginia 22026<br />
(703) 680 &ndash; 3517<br />
<br />
2008-2009 VFW POST 1503 EMT OF THE YEAR<br />
DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA EMT OF THE YEAR<br />
RECIPIENT OF NATIONAL VFW EMT OF YEAR AWARD</strong></div>

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/virginia-emt-named-national-emt-of-the-year/

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