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Summer 2012

inside Members of Texas VFW Recruit at Ft. Hood Freedom Fest

SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS MEMORIAL DAY CELEBRATIONS

TEXAS VFW NEWS — 1st PLACE WINNER 2012 National Publications Contest

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CONTENTS

The official publication of the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars

www.texasvfw.org

State Convention Highlights, page 14-15 Over 900 Texas Veterans and Auxiliary Members attended the 92nd Annual State Convention in Dallas, Texas.

Memorial Day Celebrations from Around the State page 20-21 Veterans, their families and extended family and friends celebrated Memorial Day with parades, placing flags at cemeteries and various presentations.

Serving Veterans Since 1899

What Does The Texas VFW Offer You? Camaraderie with fellow Veterans • Community Networking & Involvement • Remembrance Programs • Full time support of today’s service members • Programs for families and youth • Full Time Watchdog on Capitol Hill & at the Texas Legislature • Free representation in VA claims • An award-winning magazine Contributions: Letters, manuscripts, stories, materials, or photographs are welcomed but cannot be returned unless sender provides SASE. Texas VFW News will not be responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and drawings. Submission of articles and letters implies the right to edit and publish all or in part. Please send your comments, suggestions, ideas and Post activities to: Texas VFW P.O. Box 14468 Austin, Texas 78761 or by email to dan@texasvfw.org Opinions expressed herein are those of the writers and are not to be construed as those of the publisher nor as official views of the Texas VFW, the National VFW or any of its agencies, unless otherwise made manifest by writers or spokespersons acting on behalf of the foregoing. Advertising of products and services herein does not imply endorsement or approval of the Texas VFW. Advertising is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services are accurately described. Ads that contain fraudulent, deceptive or misleading statements or illustrations, or in the opinion of the Texas VFW News may be offensive, are not knowingly accepted. If you encounter noncompliance, please tell us. For Information Regarding: Unit reunions, general orders, taps, seeking, District Meetings and other topics please visit www.texasvfw.org.

In the News

4 Commander’s Column 5 Medal Presentations for ROTC 6 Community Involvement 9 New Officers Take Oath 10 Anti-Smoking Candidates Needed 11 Legislative News 13 Texas VFW Foundation Helps Veterans 17 Welcome Commander Larry Valesquez 18 Texas VFW Gear – New Polo Shirts 22 Flag Day Celebrations 25 Independence Day Celebrations Back Cover P ost 4395, Pasadena, places flags at Pasadena Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day

Upcoming Events 27 Mid-Winter Convention Join us on facebook for up-to-date information, photos of VFW events and breaking news relevant to Veterans.

Flippable Online Version of this magazine is available at www.texasvfw.org.

ABOUT THE COVER Over 30 recruiters sign up 511 new members at Ft. Hood. Pictured here is Texas VFW Post 12117 with Comamander-in-Chief Richard Denoyer. L-R. Eddie Rodriguez, Joe Guerrero, Chief Denoyer, Bob Gear, Jason Doran, Gabriel Lopez.

Summer 2012

Iraq /Afg hani stan Vete rans of Texa s VFW Post 121 17 sign up over 500 new Texa s VFW mem bers on July 4th at Ft. Hoo d.

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TexaS VFW NeWS — 1st Place WiNN er 2012 National Publi cations Contest

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STATE COMMANDER’S COLUMN

THE HEART OF THE TEXAS VFW MY CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL NEWLY ELECTED OFFICERS at all levels and, most importantly, at the Post level since that is the heart of our organization. To all of those who attended the State Convention, thank you so much for all of your support. To Roy and the staff, another outstanding job in putting the convention together. Many thanks to John Lozanski and his committee for the great job they did in Addison. Pat and I thoroughly enjoyed the convention and wish to express our sincere appreciation to everyone. We just finished our Officers Training Seminar (OTS). What a tremendous showing we had. Once again, Roy and the staff put together a training program second to none. We even had a future Commander-in-Chief here to observe our training and that was Brian Duffy, from the great State of Kentucky. His comments on the training were very favorable and he looks to possibly implementing some of our training at a different level. As I said during the seminar, OTS cannot teach you everything, but the material given to you at the seminar will serve you well. To all the first time Commanders and Quartermasters, I urge you to look at the material and ask for help. I would also appreciate it if you would let your District Commanders know that you are a 1st Timer. Comrades, we are here to help you succeed and if you succeed, we succeed. My thanks to all of the instructors for being well prepared and presenting concise, professional presentations. Many thanks to Kevin Jones, the Director of Administrative Actions at our National Headquarters, for teaching the class on Disciplinary Actions. Comrades, we have set the tempo for recruiting this year. As I said, membership will be my main goal for this year but not my only goal. “Lead by Example,” as we did at Fort Hood by recruiting 511 new members. It was a very hot day but a very rewarding way to spend the 4th of July with our military heroes and their families. Many thanks to the Line officers, Chief of Staff, State Inspectors and, most importantly, our staff who set up the whole thing. To our Commander-In-Chief, Richard DeNoyer, and Past Department Commander John Spahr, thank you for your participation. My friends, I look forward to working with all of you throughout the year. Please do not hesitate to ask for help or with any questions you may have to make you successful. You, as members, are the core of this organization and we must work together for the success of this great organization. Any special events that you wish for us to attend, notify us well in advance and we will make every effort to attend. Remember, the Department staff is available to help you succeed. Lastly, please keep track of deadlines. I cannot overemphasize this and on completing each specific requirement/program by the deadline date.

My sincere thanks and appreciation for all you do for Veterans. God bless all of you. No one does more for Veterans. n 4

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The Official Publication of the Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Texas VFW News (USPS 008-177). Periodicals Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and additional mailing offices. Subscription price of $20.00. Published Quarterly by the Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., 8503 North IH-35, Austin, Texas 78753 Volume LXVII, Number 1, © August 2012. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Circulation Dept., VFW, 406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Members Change of Address: Forward address changes to: Data Entry, VFW, 406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Be sure to furnish your old address, also your Post number, when requesting change to new address. To ensure accuracy, please clip and enclose your present address as printed on a recent copy of the Texas VFW News magazine. Advertisers: Electronic Media Kit available at www.texasvfw.org, or request a printed Media Kit at dan@texasvfw.org.

Roy Grona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editor Dan West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assistant Editor www.medianation.net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Graphic Design DEPARTMENT HEADQUARTERS........................................ (512) 834-8535

2012-2013 DEPARTMENT OFFICERS Commander, Larry Velasquez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Sr Vice, Sylvia Sanchez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1906 Ashprington Dr., San Antonio, TX 78251 Jr Vice, Joe Hayes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 Hwy 36 S, Caddo Mills, TX 75135 Adj/Qm, Roy Grona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Judge, Advocate Ken Burton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Surgeon, Doc Howard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2517 Golden Oaks Dr., Garland, TX 75044 Chaplain, Bob Dickerson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 341136, San Antonio, TX 78234 Chief of Staff, Inge Conley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17411 Ebeys Landing Ln., Humble, TX 77346 Inspector, Norman Macey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16907 Caldwell Pointe Ct., Humble, TX 77346 Immediate Past Commander, John Spahr . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 Trail Of The Flowers, Georgetown, TX 78633 Council Member, Mike Barber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1169 Shine Lane, Harker Heights, TX 76548 Asst Adj, Dan West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Asst Qm, Carlos Sustaita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Deputy Inspector, Dick Shawver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19151 Valley Dr., Flint, TX 75762 Deputy Inspector, Ralph Rodriguez, Jr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 113, Clyde, TX 79510 Deputy Inspector, Terry Rowe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 513, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483 Deputy Inspector, Harry Munn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 202, Hewitt, TX 76643 Deputy Inspector, Larry Konarik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 Clear Springs Rd., Georgetown, TX 78628 Officer of The Day, Lonnie Garza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1769 Jacobs Ct., New Braunfels, TX 78130

DEPARTMENT VETERANS COUNSELORS Service Officer/Waco Sandra Covin . . . . . 6008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 701 Clay St., Waco, TX 76799 Service Officer/Houston Julio Harros . . . 3413 . . . . . . . 6900 Almeda Road, Houston, TX 77030

2012-2013 DISTRICT COMMANDERS DISTRICT COMMANDER ADDRESS D-1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOSEPH McDANIEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Persian Blvd., Pottsboro, TX 75076 D-2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . ROBERT LaFLEUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3528 Whippoorwill, Orange, TX 77630 D-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . CLARENCE JACKSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2815 Williams Way Ct., Dallas, TX 75228 D-4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . JAY SANDERS, JR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7030 Tejas St., Baytown, TX 77521 D-5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . DAVID ADAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 Whitetail Dr., San Marcos, TX 78666 D-6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRANCISCO GARCIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 4333, Corpus Christi, TX 78469 D-8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . KEITH KING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2406 Belmeade, Brownwood, TX 76801 D-9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . DANNY MARTIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 953, Pampa, TX 79066 D-10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . RODNEY “ROD” RAULSTON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3901 McConnell, El Paso, TX 79904 D-12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . STEVE AUSTIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 CR 1540, Mt Pleasant, TX 75455 D-13 . . . . . . . . . . . . STEVE LOPEZ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507 E Hondo, Devine, TX 78016 D-14 . . . . . . . . . . . . ALLEN FREEMAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1013 Soukup Lane, Killeen, TX 76542 D-15 . . . . . . . . . . . . MICHAEL O. HOOD, SR . . . . . . . . 1208 N Rosewood Ave., Wichita Falls, TX 76301 D-16 . . . . . . . . . . . . GEORGE DELESANDRI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6420 Avenue O, Santa Fe, TX 77510 D-17 . . . . . . . . . . . . PEYTON LUMPKIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2207 Blue Water Bay Dr, Katy,TX 77494 D-18 . . . . . . . . . . . . RICARDO “RICK” RAMIREZ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 416 E.Water Lily, McAllen, TX 78504 D-19 . . . . . . . . . . . . PAUL CASSIDY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520 Cassidy Dr, Hemphill, TX 75948 D-20 . . . . . . . . . . . . EDWARD TORRES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 663 Moursund Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78221 D-21 . . . . . . . . . . . . GLENN TALLEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 622 Southwood Dr., Duncanville, TX 75137 D-24 . . . . . . . . . . . . HAROLD HARTMAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9511 Fm 236, Cuero, TX 77954 D-25 . . . . . . . . . . . . MELVIN “MEL” PARKER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5305 Clinton, Odessa, TX 79762 D-28 . . . . . . . . . . . . WAYNE COOLEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3615 Birdhouse Dr., Round Rock, TX 78665 D-29 . . . . . . . . . . . . JAMES GUNTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Talford St., Fairfield, TX 75840 D-30 . . . . . . . . . . . . CHARLES KELKER . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 8693, Ennis, TX 75120 972.875.5537

C o m m u n i t y

S e r v i c e

MEDAL PRESENTATION HELD for ROTC CADETS Texas VFW Post 10354, Horizon, Presents Medals to the Fabens High School ROTC Cadets on May 8, 2012

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C o m m u n i t y

I n v o l v e m e n t

SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED to STUDENTS Texas VFW Post 6899, Trinity, Awarded $9,300 in Scholarships to Area Students

L to R: Chairman Gene McLeod, President LAVFW Grace Fry, Chelsie Cook, Eagle Scout Ted Manning, Molly Scogin, Justin Steptoe, Amy Beth Pyle and Trinity ISD Superintendent Dave Plymale.

CERTIFICATE PRESENTED to CONGRESSMAN District 4 presented Congressman Culberson a Certificate of Appreciation and a photo of the District 4 Ceremonial Team for his help resolving issues involving the Houston VA Cemetery.

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Texas VFW Summer 2012

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N e w s

New Officers Take Oath ON MONDAY JUNE 4TH, Katy’s All American VFW Post 9182 installed their new new officers for the 2012-13 “command” year. Shown here, State Judge Advocate General, Ken Burton of Katy, administers the oath of office to Dave Brasell, Stanley Anderson, Jim Babin, Rodney Smith and Jeb Strickland.

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Christie Whitesides Department Secretary

the pow mia express An illuminated, real working HO-scale electric train collection dedicated to those who haven’t made it home yet

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FREE Tracks, Power-pack & Speed Controller Included with Shipments 2 and 3—$70 Value

The POW MIA Express is dedicated to the thousands of soldiers who are prisoners of war, missing and unaccounted for. A portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to this critical cause.

Authentically Detailed. Built to Last. This classic, real working electric train is decorated with powerful images and words to remember the lost and fallen, and to keep hope alive. You’ll marvel at the wealth of authentic details devoted to every inch of this heirloom-quality, HO-scale train. Masterfully crafted with a solid metal chassis and steel alloy wheels, your POW MIA Express brings to mind those courageous American heroes who know that freedom isn’t free, and that it has always been worth fighting for.

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“The outpouring of sympathy for the loss of my Father was tremendous and truly amazing. It was so thoughtful of you to think of me during my time of sadness. Your sympathy cards, kind words of condolence and flowers were of great comfort to me. It’s truly a blessing to have friends who are there to support you when SPINE/GUTTER you need them the most.”

Ve t e r a n

C a n d i d a t e s

N e e d e d

CANDIDATES NEEDED FOR ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGN Share Your Story of How the Harmful Effects of Smoking has Changed Your Life The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking for people willing to share their stories about how smoking has changed their lives. We are looking for REAL people. Specifically, we are looking for adults who have COPD, diabetes, have had a heart attack or asthma. We are seeking the following: • Men and women of all backgrounds, age 55 or younger, who have experienced a heart attack due to exposure to secondhand smoke. • Men and women in their 30s or 40s who have COPD and suffer from chronic bronchitis or emphysema due to their own smoking. • Men and women, age 55 or younger, who have diabetes, due to their own smoking, and who’ve suffered blindness, amputation, renal (kidney) failure or other complications of diabetes because of continued smoking. • Men and women of all backgrounds who have asthma due to exposure to secondhand smoke. • Men and women of all backgrounds, age 50 and younger, who have successfully quit smoking and have an interesting story to tell about how they quit.

We are specifically interested in the following ethnicities/affinities: - Military Veterans - Alaska Natives - LGBT - American Indians - Asian Americans - African Americans - Spanish-speaking Hispanics

In order to qualify for this project, people must: • Be non-smokers or haven’t smoked in at least 6 months. • Be willing to get a SIGNED Doctor’s statement saying tobacco caused and/or contributed to their health condition. • Be able to travel to New York City for filming in October, 2012. • Willing to sign a background check. People who are selected to participate in the campaign will be paid $2,500 plus travel expenses to New York City. Please email cdccasting@gmail.com or call (310) 691-9487 as soon as possible to be considered.

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LAWMAKERS CALL VETERAN SCAMS ‘APPALLING’ By Lise Olsen, Eric Nalder and Lindsay Wise, Houston Chronicle, Copyright 2012

KEY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS — including Texas’ U.S. senators — have called for an end to the plague of fraud and theft detailed in a Houston Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers investigation of a government program that controls the finances of more than 130,000 disabled American veterans and $3.3 billion in assets. The newspapers’ report revealed that inveterate gamblers, convicted criminals, the bankrupt and the mentally ill were among those approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — and often paid commissions — to manage money or oversee entire estates for disabled veterans. The investigation, published Sunday, was based on a review of more than 100 prosecutions and decades of audits, Chronicle probe Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, both members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, described the newspaper findings as “appalling” in separate interviews. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas’ senior senator, said she too was “very concerned” about the “investigation of how personal funds have been managed for disabled veterans, by people with questionable backgrounds.” “It should go without saying that our veterans deserve the best care available. To think that

in some cases their finances may have been the target of theft or fraud is deeply troubling,” Hutchison said. “I intend to follow up on the (Houston) Chronicle’s reporting with questions of my own.” “It is time for the VA to produce a comprehensive plan to stop this fraud in its tracks and provide our nation’s veterans with the best support available,” Cornyn said. Members of the House veterans affairs committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the Veterans Fiduciary Reform Act of 2012 — a bill that contains a long list of proposed fixes. Ohio Republican Rep. Bill Johnson, an Air Force veteran and sponsor of the bill, said the newspapers stories “absolutely” create support for the proposed reforms: “It’s criminal the way some of these folks are treated under the fiduciary program,” he said. The newspaper investigation revealed some of the largest scams — conspiracies to steal $900,000 to $2 million in assets from disabled vets in Texas, Minnesota and Tennessee — went on for more than a decade, and some veterans first learned of the swindles from reporters. Johnson said his subcommittee already is investigating some allegations raised in the stories, including the VA’s failure to notify veterans who’d been fleeced. His bill would mandate notifications within 14 days of conviction.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs’ committee, said the VA should clearly be more accountable to veterans. Blumenthal said he was “particularly troubled” by the newspaper’s finding that the thieves’ total take exceeded $14.7 million since 1998, or nearly twice the amounts previously reported to Congress. “These veterans deserve at the very least honest, competent people in positions of trust when they are unable to manage their own funds . . . The (newspaper’s) stories are heartbreaking and absolutely shocking.” Agency assailed Cornyn said he has yet to receive a response to his previous request for information from the VA after an earlier Houston Chronicle report revealed that Texas had twice as many prosecutions for fraud and theft among VAapproved fiduciaries as in any other state. “It’s just obscene how irresponsible the VA is,” said Rep. Bill Flores, a Republican member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Added Johnson, sponsor of the fiduciary bill: “For too long, VA fiduciaries have abused the system and subverted the rights of the veterans they were entrusted to protect, in some cases for personal gain.” n

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T E X A S V F W F O U N DAT I O N

T E X A S V F W F O U N DAT I O N

T E X A S V F W F O U N DAT I O N T E X A S V F W F O U N DAT I O N

Helping Veterans in Need “To the Texas VFW Foundat ion, ‘Thank You.’ After not being able to get assistance from other organizat ions who help

veterans you were my last hope. Words cannot express how

overwhelmed I am wi th your approval of my grant. I could not see a way out and the Texas VFW Foundat ion was the only one who was able to assist my children and me.”

Y. Lawson, U.S. Navy Veteran

“I am asking my wife to wri te this for me because I am blind. Thanks to the Texas VFW Foundat ion Veterans Assistance

Program we will not be homeless. Your assistance has been a very great blessing.”

W. Proctor, U.S. Army Veteran

“After exhaust ing my f inances caring for my mother up unt il her death, I found myself

homeless. Wi th the help of

the Texas VFW Foundat ion I

was able to acquire a small but stable and clean apartment. I am humbly grateful for the Texas VFW.”

D. Lopez, U.S. Navy Veteran

Your small donation makes a big difference.

• The Texas VFW Foundation Veterans Assistance Program is available to any Texas veteran with an honorable discharge regardless of where or what time they served. • Funds for this program come from individual donations from veterans and veteran supporters like yourself, and from charitable foundations. • The Veterans Assistance Program is not an entitlement program and not all veterans who apply will receive a financial grant and those awarded a grant will not directly receive any funds.

• The applicant will have to work with a Service Officer from a Federal, State or Veterans Service Organization or with their local military command if still in the military before application can be processed. • Applications can be found at the Featured Links section on the Texas VFW Web Site www.texasvfw.org or by emailing the Foundation at foundation@texasvfw.org or by calling (512) 291-6850.

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S t a t e

C o n v e n t i o n

C o v e r a g e By Dan West, State Assistant Adjutant

92nd Annual VFW State Convention

Over 900 Texas Veterans and Auxiliary Members participated in the Texas VFW 92nd Annual State Convention in Dallas, Texas this year. STARTING WITH THE GOLF TOURNAMENT on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, sponsored by District Three, teams of four played 18 holes of golf at Brookhaven Country Club golf course, even with temperatures reaching 101 degrees. All had a great time and District Three volunteers staffing the event, under the direction of Convention Chairman John Lozanski and Golf Chair Thomas “Doc” Howard, insured everything went smoothly. Prior to the opening ceremonies and throughout the convention attendees had the opportunity to visit with and purchase services and keepsakes from over 30 different vendors, including VFW products and Texas VFW branded merchandise from the National VFW Emblem & Supply store. All hands were “on deck” for the opening ceremonies with the Marine Color Guard from the Marine Reserve Aviation Wing in Dallas. The City of Garland Firefighters Choir started the convention by singing the National Anthem with great emotion and feeling evoking a strong sense of patriotism with all those present. After introductions and salutations from the State Commander the top twenty Posts in the state where recognized as All State Posts and presented their awards by State Commander John Spahr and National VFW Representative Jim Nier, Past Commander in Chief and former Executive Director of the Texas Veterans Commission. After the awards State Adjutant/Quartermaster Roy Grona took control as the Master of Ceremonies and introduced the key note speaker, Assistant Adjutant

Photos courtesy of Bernie Adams, LAVFW 3413

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Texas VFW Summer 2012

General of the Texas Air National Guard and Texas VFW member Brigadier General Kenneth W. Wisian who spoke about the success of the Air National Guard and their difficult mission assignments both at home and while deployed and how the Texas VFW has been instrumental in supporting them. Brigadier General Wisian was followed by a presentation from female aviation pioneer Wally Funk who described the process she went through during the space program in the 1960’s as one of America’s first female space cadets. Ms. Funk is the recipient of the 2012 National VFW Aeronautics and Aerospace Award for her life long career in aviation and a pioneer for women in aviation around the globe and her devotion to teaching U.S. Army pilots how to fly. National VFW Representative, Past Commander-inChief Jim Nier talked about the need for the VFW to expand its programs as the Iraq/Afghanistan veteran will need the services of the VFW and the Veterans Administration for the next 60 – 70 years and gave special recognition to the Korean War veterans. Later that evening, a dance with live music from the Crawfish Band, was opened for networking, comradeship and dancing to popular music from the 1960’s through today. Business meetings for both the VFW and Auxiliary followed the next day that included reports from committee chairman, recognition of Honor Roll Posts, individual recruiting awards and nominations for state leadership positions.

At the State Awards Banquet Master of Ceremonies, State Adjutant Roy Grona, asked outgoing State Commander John Spahr and National VFW Representative Jim Nier to present all of the State Level awards to the winners who where called to the awards platform individually. (see insert for list of awards and winners) On Saturday, VFW and Auxiliary meetings reconvened and nominations reopened and elections held with Larry Velasquez elected to lead the Texas VFW as the State Commander for the 2012-2013 year. The following were also elected to the following state positions; Senior Vice Commander – Sylvia Sanchez; Junior Vice Commander – Joe Hayes; Quartermaster – Roy Grona; Judge Advocate – Ken Burton; Surgeon – Thomas “Doc” Howard; Chaplain – Robert Dickerson. Larry Velasquez announced his appointments of Roy Grona as State Adjutant, Inge Conley as State Chief-of-Staff, and Norman Macey as State Inspector. At the installation ceremony held later that afternoon, State Commander Larry Velasquez thanked the many people and Posts that helped him in his VFW career, most especially his wife Patricia. State Commander Larry Velasquez and State Auxiliary President Kathy Wewe invited all present to attend the Commander’s and President’s reception immediately afterward where everyone had an opportunity to meet and visit with the newly-elected comrades and sisters of the Texas VFW and its auxiliary for the 2012-2013 year. n

S t a t e

2011-2012 STATE AWARD WINNERS

C o n v e n t i o n

All State Districts

All-State Districts

Publications

District 2

Department VFW News – 1st Place National District 4 – The Broadside – 3rd Place National

District 4

District 2 Robert LaFluer District 4 Inge Conley

J.T. Rutherford

Inge Conley John Mitchell Gilbert Uriegas

Website

Outstanding Post Commander Award

Post 4380, Plano – 1st Place National

Community Service Posts

Albert Mireles, Jr., Post 76, San Antonio

Quartermaster

Erin Wilson-McFaritage, Post 6872, Crowley

Chaplain

Julius Duncan, Post 3377, Manchaca

Service Officer

Earl Conley, Post 12075, Humble

Post 8551 – National Winner Post 3966 – National Winner

Buddy Poppy Public Promotion

1st Post –12058, Kyle 2nd Post – 6378, Dickenson

Past District Commander

Memorial/Inspirational

Harry Munn, District 29

POW/MIA

District 16 Post 8551, Sweeny

Motorcycle Unit

1st Post – 7835, Granbury 2nd Post – 8627, Richardson 3rd Post – 5073, Frankston

Artistic/Decorative

Auxiliary

Junior Girls

Unit 9, Post 3413, San Marcos Patricia Murphree, District 3

1st Post – 10351, Hemphill 2nd Post – 9299, Alvarado 3rd Post – 6872, Crosby 1st Post 12058, Kyle

C o v e r a g e

All State Posts Post 76, San Antonio Post 12075, Humble Post 10454, Grapevine Post 5619, Houston Post 912, Baytown Post 1533, San Antonio Post 3892, Harker Heights Post 2775, Orange Post 7108, San Antonio Post 6873, Abilene Post 12024, The Woodlands Post 2137, Azle Post 4008, Belton Post 1815, San Angelo Post 1514, Village Mills Post 10802, Donna Post 4709, Conroe Post 8925, Pilot Knob Post 1839, Cleveland Post 3377, Manchaca

Texas VFW Summer 2012

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Yes, I am a war veteran and want to continue my Legacy of Service to America. Please fill out the VFW Membership Application below and mail in, or sign up online at www.texasvfw.org > About > Membership and follow link.

Lobbying for Veterans & Military Providing Disaster Relief Name: _________________________________________________Email: _________________________________________ Community Volunteerism First Middle Last (Suffix – Sr., Jr., etc.) Funding College Scholarships Address:____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone Cards for Troops Supporting Youth Groups City:______________________________ State:____________ Zip:______________ Phone:____________________________ Emergency Financial Assistance Date of Birth: _____________________________ (MM/DD/YYYY) Supporting Memorials Assisting Veterans with Earned Entitlements

Military Service: p Army Current Status: I served in:

p Air Force

p Coast Guard

p Navy

p Marines

p Active Duty p Veteran p National Guard/Reserve p Pre-World War II p Korean War 1950-54 p Desert Shield/Storm p Afghanistan 2001 p World War II p Korea 1955 p Bosnia/Kosovo 1995 p Iraq 2003 p WW II Occupation p Vietnam 1958-75 p Global War on Terrorism – Expeditionary 2001 p 1945-55 (Europe, Korea, Japan) p Expeditionary Operations 1958-2003 (Thailand, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Haiti, Somalia, etc.) p 1945-90 (Berlin)

Qualified recipient of: p Imminent Danger/Hostile Fire Pay

p *SSBN Nuclear Deterrent Patrol*

*Period Covered: ______________________________________ (Required for applicants with no other reported qualifying service). I would like to join the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars as a: p Annual Member ($35)

p Life Member*

p Life 12 Mo. Install* ($35 Initial payment)

Life Membership Fee Schedule Attained age on 12/31

Through age 30 31 – 40 41 – 50 51 – 60 61 – 70 71 – 80 81 and over

One Time Payment

Life 12 Month Payment Plan

$425.00 $410.00 $375.00 $335.00 $290.00 $225.00 $170.00

$40.39 $39.02 $35.84 $32.20 $28.11 $22.20 $17.20

Installment Payment Plan Terms and Conditions: The VFW Life Membership installment plan allows any VFW member/applicant to purchase a Life Membership by making either 11 or 23 monthly installments after an initial payment of $35.00. The member/applicant will be issued a “Provisional Life” membership card and can elect, upon receipt of first monthly invoice, to pay via check, credit card or ACH Debit. The monthly fee (Shown in the payment schedule above) includes a $1.75 monthly service fee. The applicable Life Membership fee is to be determined from the schedule using the applicants age on December 31 of the installment plan year in which the application is submitted, regardless of actual date of birth. A permanent Life Membership card will be issued upon completion of this agreement. No refund of any portion of current year annual dues will be made. A “Payoff amount” will be printed on each monthly invoice, allowing the member the option to pay in full at anytime during the installment plan, thereby avoiding additional service fees. If the member pays off early, no additional monies will be collected.

I attest by forwarding this application that I am a citizen of the United States, that I qualify for the VFW and that my Campaign Service was honorable, and that I have never been discharged under other than honorable conditions or I am still serving honorably in the armed forces of the United States of America. I further give authority to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to verify my entitlement to membership in the VFW and that if no proof can be found or provided that I am subject to discharge from the VFW without refund. Signature:___________________________________________________________________Date: ______________________________________________ Include membership payment by check or money order (DO NOT SEND CASH) or pay by credit card.

p Mastercard p Visa p Discover p American Express

Credit Card Number:_________________________________________________________

Exp. Date: ____ ____/____ ____ $_____________________ Mail to: Texas VFW • P.O. Box 14468 • Austin, Texas 78761

For questions call: (512) 834-8535

2 0 1 2 - 1 3

S t a t e

C o m m a n d e r

2012-2013 State Commander Larry Velasquez, a life member of John N. Timon VFW Post 2397 in Corpus Christi, Texas, was elected as the State Commander for the Department of Texas VFW at the 92nd State Convention in Addison, Texas on June 16, 2012. A VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS MEMBER

His awards include the Legion of Merit, Army

since 1997, Larry has served in numerous

Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army

capacities at the District and Post levels.

Commendation Medal (4th Oak Leaf Cluster),

Comrade Velasquez has served as District

Army Achievement, Humanitarian Service

Commander, Post Commander, Post

Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, and the

Quartermaster, and as District and Post

Kuwait Liberation Medal. Comrade Velasquez

Trustee. Comrade Velasquez has also served

earned his eligibility for the VFW while serving

on numerous committees at the National and

with the 1st Infantry Division while attached

Department level. Larry served two terms as

to the 18th Airborne Corp as a Medevac 1SG

Department Surgeon. He served previously as

during Operation Desert Storm.

the Chairman of the Department Budget & Finance Committee for two terms.

Larry was enrolled at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, completing three years of

Comrade Velasquez was in the United

college. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Larry is

States Army from 1970 to 1973. In 1975 he

married to Pat and has four children, Yvette,

reenlisted in the Army and retired in 1995 as

Gene, Alex and Ana. Pat is a life member and

a First Sergeant. His overseas service was in

Senior Vice President at Post 2397. Larry enjoys

Germany, Korea, Egypt and the Persian Gulf.

history, especially military history.

n

District 28 Commander Wayne Cooley and Bob Gear Post Commander of 12117 attend the Welcome Home Iraq Veterans Parade in Austin.

Texas VFW Post 8397, San Antonio — Post members joined with Post Commanders of the 20th District in paying tribute to Korean War Veterans. Approximately 55 members attended the event.

Texas VFW Post 9078, Round Rock — Commander Bruce Rollman presents a Certificate of Recognition to the local Sportsclips franchise for their support of Operation Uplink. L-R Stephanie DeVall, SportClips Marketing Manager, Bruce Rollman, Commander VFW Post 9078 and Vanessa Villa, SportClips Marketing. Texas VFW Summer 2012

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Get Your Official “Texas VFW” Gear Auxiliary Logos Available

Men’s Aqua Dry Polo with Texas VFW & Emblem SIMPLE, SOPHISTICATED MEN’S POLO MADE OF A POLY-BLEND Breathes well, holds its shape and retains its soft, supple feel wash after wash — thanks to a touch of spandex. Made in the U.S.A. — so the costs are a little more — yet we are creating jobs here at home in America! Available with or without pocket in OLIVE, FRENCH BLUE, BLACK, IVORY, LIME, YELLOW, NAVY, BURGANDY, HUNTER GREEN, RED, RUST, SAGE, WHITE, STONE, HEATHER CHARCOAL, AQUATIC BLUE OR STEEL BLUE. S, M, L, XL with extended sizes. • Men’s VFW Short Sleeve Polo Shirt, no Pocket – item #7710 – $46.00 • Men’s VFW Short Sleeve Polo Shirt, with Pocket – item #7711 – $51.00

Made in the U.S.A.

• Men’s Auxiliary Short Sleeve Polo Shirt, no Pocket – item #7714 – $46.00 • Men’s Auxiliary Short Sleeve Polo Shirt, with Pocket – item #7715 – $51.00 For 2XL add $5, 3XL add $7.50, 4XL add $10

LADIES AQUA DRY POLO with TEXAS VFW & CROSS OF MALTA Same great features as the men’s shirt but with feminine styling. Available in FRENCH BLUE, BLACK, IVORY, LIME, YELLOW, NAVY, BURGANDY, HUNTER GREEN, RED, RUST, SAGE, WHITE, STONE, HEATHER CHARCOAL, or AQUATIC BLUE. S, M, L, XL with extended sizes. • Ladies VFW Short Sleeve Polo Shirt – item #7712 – $46.00 • Ladies Auxiliary Short Sleeve Polo Shirt – item #7713 – $46.00 For 2XL add $5, 3XL add $7.50

Shirts now available with Ladies and Mens Auxiliary Emblems!

THE OVERSEAS CAP WAS THE FIRST INTRODUCED IN WORLD WAR I AND IS AMERICA’S FIRST MILITARY UNIFORM ITEM DENOTING WAR TIME SERVICE.

Light weight style overseas cap with the Cross of Malta Emblem, letters VFW above the Post number and state name. Additional lettering is available at .93 per letter or numeral. No reduction in price if state name is abbreviated. *STATE AND POST NUMBER TO BE ON CAP. *SIZE 8 AND LARGER ADD $5.00. *FORT KNOX STYLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. *CAP MAY BE LETTERED WITH THE WORDS “VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS” for an additional $18.69; LIFE MEMBER embroidered for an additional $8.90; or a Life Member patch for an additional $2.55. Green, lightweight, shade51. Allow 8 weeks for manufacture except during April, May, June, & July. During these months allow 10 weeks.

V F W

Price: $33.95

1849 Texas VFW Men’s Bulova Quartz Medallion Watch

Price: $249.00 Note: If there is a need to exchange or return jewelry items, please contact the Supply Department for return authorization before doing so. Watches have, in the past few years, become very stylish and the factories change the appearance of them often. Therefore, the watch you receive may differ in appearance from our illustrations, but will be as good or better in quality.

TEXAS VFW Velour Throw

Beautiful, soft and  luxurious microfibre throw, with TEXAS VFW embroidered in corner. Machine washable for easy care. 100% polyester. 50” x 60”

1992 — $28.99

Limited Quantities! ORDER TODAY!

Light-weight, versatile jacket with TEXAS VFW and Cross of Malta laser etched on the left chest. Microfiber fleece, full-zip front, hidden zip side pockets,  draw-cord bottom.  Imported.

Texas VFW Summer 2012

A C C E S S O R I E S

Quality Bulova watch with date feature and two-tone silver and gold clasp band. Medallion VFW emblem on face with Texas VFW.

7356 – Navy Blue 7357 – Charcoal Gray $35.00 S-XL $37.00 2XL $39.00 3XL

T E X A S

M6251 Light Weight Members Cap, Gold Piping

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R e m e m b r a n c e

MEMORIAL DAY — May 28

Texas VFW Post 7106, Ennis — Members attended a service at Ennis Veterans Memorial Park. L-R: Charles Kelker, 2012-13 District 30 Commander; Don Hudson, Chaplin Post 7106; Gilbert Wulff, Commander Post 7106; Pauline Novy, Ladies Aux. President Post 7106; Estella Morring, Ladies Aux. Chaplin; Ms. Lois, Ladies Aux Member Post 7106.

Texas VFW Post 7211, Tyler — Service Officer Karl Little places a flag at Harris Cemetery with a little help from his nephew. The Post held a ceremony with approximately 25 in attendance.

Texas VFW Post 4695, Colleyville — Post and Auxiliary members helped lay wreaths at Bluebonnet Cemetery.

Texas VFW Post 4695, Colleyville — Members gathered at Bluebonnet Cemetery and presented a Table of Honor with reading by Sue and Jim Van Rite, followed by a 21-gun salute. Approximately 500 townspeople were in attendance.

Texas VFW Post 7426, Farmersville — Members participated in a flag-raising ceremony at Thompson Cemetery.

Texas VFW Post 4395, Pasadena — Post and Ladies Auxiliary members gathered with family and friends at Pasadena Cemetery to place American flags on the graves of veterans.

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Texas VFW Summer 2012

C e l e b r a t i o n

Texas VFW Post 856, Austin — Members met at Cook-Walden Memorial Park in Pflugerville, TX to participate with VFW District 28 in Memorial Day Ceremonies for fallen comrades. The VFW sponsored a lunch for participants and prospective new members.

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R e m e m b r a n c e

Texas VFW Post 4476, Taylor — The Post and Ladies Auxiliary had a large presence at the City of Taylor Memorial Day Service. Refreshments were provided and the Post gained recognition from the City Manager.

Texas VFW Post 1514, Mills — The Post celebrated Memorial Day at Wildwood Baptist Church. Pictured here is Commander Rick Moore and wife Joan staging for the parade.

Texas VFW Post 6522, Bellville — Post members, Scouts, Scout leaders and parents placed flags at three local cemeteries. Texas VFW Summer 2012

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R e m e m b r a n c e

FLAG DAY — June 14 Texas VFW Post 5619, Houston — Members read the history of Flag Day to the membership and enjoyed cake and refreshments to celebrate the event.

Texas VFW Post 6111, Arlington — Members conducted a formal flag retirement ceremony, instructing the local Boy Scout Troop in the ritual.

Texas VFW Post 8904, Center — Sr. Vice Newton Johnson, Jr., Service Officer Myron Bounds and Post Commander Mike Langford place a flag in front of Farmers State Bank on the downtown Center Square in honor of Flag Day.

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Texas VFW Summer 2012

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Offer subject to approval. As of 5/1/2012, regular APRs on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers are 10.9% to 25.9%, depending on your credit history and other factors. APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. There is a transaction fee of 3% on cash advances ($200 maximum on balance transfers and convenience checks) and 1% on foreign transactions. Rates and fees subject to change. Please contact us for the most current information. If your credit history and other factors qualify you for a credit limit under $5,000, you will receive a USAA Platinum MasterCard with the same rates and fees. 2Rewards points terminate if account is closed, delinquent or program ends. Earn 1 point for every $1 in credit card purchases. Other restrictions apply. USAA Rewards Program terms and conditions will be provided with your card. Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any legal, eligibility or ownership rights. Availability restrictions apply. Purchase of a bank product does not establish eligibility for, or membership in, USAA property and casualty insurance companies. USAA Savings Bank, Member FDIC. The VFW and Ladies Auxiliary VFW receive financial support from USAA for this sponsorship. © 2012 USAA. 137812-0612

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INDEPENDENCE DAY — July 4

Texas VFW Post 688, Boerne — Post members participated in the Comfort, TX 4th of July parade with a cart and float.

Texas VFW Post 6522, Bellville — Post members participated in a flag raising and color guard ceremony at the Bellville 4th of July celebration.

Texas VFW Post 12075, Humble — Post members participated in the annual 4th of July parade in Kingwood, Texas. Texas VFW Summer 2012

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Texas VFW Post 4395, Pasadena In celebration of Memorial Day, Post members, along with extended family and friends, gathered at the Pasadena Cemetery to place American flags on graves of Veterans.


2012 Summer Texas VFW News