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Fall Issue 2018

Department of California

WWI 100 years

Camaraderie! What does it mean to you?

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Commander Miles

I am very pleased and honored to serve as your Department Commander this year. It is because of you, the members and our community supporters, that we are a prominent top veteran service organization. To remain on top, we are going to have to be innovative and steadfast in our service to our veterans, their families, and our community. This will take a family effort. The family is who we are, we will have differences of opinion, but we are dedicated in the end, and we have a duty to bring the plight, the needs, and the voice of the veteran to the forefront. No one has a perfect family, but mine is perfect for me! People come and go in our lives, but a beauty of life is that our veteran family is always there.

Life is best when you have a loving and caring family and I feel fortunate to have such a family. Bond is stronger than blood. The family grows stronger by the bond. Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. May the sun always shine upon our family; may the bonding of us be certain to follow. Together we live the life forgetting all hues and sorrows. Families and friends form some of the closest of bonds you will ever experience. It is almost impossible for you to lead a happy life without support from these important groups of people. I will be looking forward to your sup-

port, and tireless, unwavering commitment to keep AMVETS Department of California atop veterans service organization in California. Kyle Miles Department Commander AMVETS Department of California

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Membership 1st Vice Commander

David Black Hello American Veterans – also known as AMVETS. David Black here – your 1st Vice Commander. I am honored to be your servant leader and represent our membership. It is without a doubt our purpose to ensure that we maintain our membership as well as recruit for new membership. In today’s time our attention and devotion to other areas of life is spread thin and we understand that life happens. We at AMVETS want to come along side and walk with you and your family as members of an all-inclusive VSO (Veterans Service Organization) – American Veterans (AMVETS). It is my goal and vision to not only increase membership, but to also reach out those members who have decided to take a break from AMVETS and encourage them to come back. One of my passions in life is ensuring the quality of life for our Veterans and their families are supported with a sense of purpose; like that purpose we all experienced in the military. With that said I want to encourage each Post to look at inviting family members to your meetings and events. Include the family to be a part of this organization. I want to foster this sense of purpose through an all well-known word throughout the military,

CAMARADERIE. I want this to be our theme for 2018 – 2019. Every time I meet a Veteran and ask them; “What do you miss most about the military?” Without hesitation almost all of them say, “I miss the CAMARADERIE.” I would like us to truly focus on that word. Not just the Webster definition, but your personal definition. What does CAMARADERIE mean to you? As you reflect on your service in the military and define your own meaning of CAMARADERIE – take time to inject your experience of CAMARADERIE into answering the question of; “Why should I join AMVETS?”

You will be able to start off your 30-second elevator pitch with – CAMARADERIE. Then you can expand on the inclusiveness – programs – and other benefits. This form of fellowship transcends all generational Veterans. Many of us have pounded the same sands, sailed the same sea lanes, and flown the same air spaces as our older veterans had. We are all Veterans and CAMARADERIE is shared with all of us. We are all American Veterans – we all long for that CAMARADERIE. Do you miss that CAMARADERIE? Join AMVETS and reconnect

AMVETS inthe Community

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Programs & Reporting

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2nd Vice Commander

Ross Smith

As with anything in life. A fresh start can lead to new opportunities. We as a Department are in a wonderful situation to help our fellow Veterans thru hard work and dedication. Amvets Programs are the backbone of what this organization stands for. As your new 2nd Vice I invite you to open your minds and think outside the box a little. The issue of a national program for women Veterans needs to be one of our most important responsibilities. We as a family must fight for our own at every opportunity. Once stereotypes, and old thinking are taken out of the equation we will have a better opportunity as a family to help those veterans in need. Veteran homelessness is a tragic and all to common situation in our country. I ask you my fellow Amvets to do anything you can to help. This includes having a stand down in your community, or simply walking thru an area that has a high rate of homelessness and giving out water and or food along with information that can help that veteran get the help that they need. Suicide Awareness/prevention is doing an OUTSTANDING job of reaching out to those Veterans who are in a bad space in their life. Carry wristbands in your car or brief-

case. One word, one gesture, one smile, one hug might save a life. VAVS (Veterans affairs voluntary service) is one of the most compassionate things we can do. If you can make a difference in one life you have achieved success. When we take care of our children, and our neighbors children we know than that the future is bright. This is why the Freedoms foundation is so important. These young men and woman are given the opportunity to enrich their minds and character thru a once in a lifetime history lesson in beautiful and very historic Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The sky is the limit Amvets. I have only touched on a few of our national programs this time. Allow me to help you and your Post in any endeavor that you may feel requires additional assistance. There will be more to follow in the coming months regarding more pro-

grams and more opportunities we as family can contribute to. REPORTING: This is a very straight forward concept. Last month I sent out an email to all District Commanders who in turn should have forwarded said email to all Post Commanders. In this e-mail I STRONGLY urged each Post to report nationally on ANYTHING programs related as soon as that event has occurred. So often posts have waited until the last minute to report and have forgotten things that they have done in the past. PLEASE don’t let your hard work go unnoticed. I will be checking all Post reporting on a bi weekly basis. Any questions contact your respective District Commander. WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES! We have been given the opportunity to help other Veterans.

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VA announces extension, expansion of contract with TriWest for community care FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 2, 2018 WASHINGTON— Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has reached an agreement with TriWest Health Care Alliance (TriWest) on a one-year extension of its current coverage of the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) and Veterans Choice Program (VCP). The department also announced that it has reached an agreement with TriWest that will expand TriWest’s services to all regions across the country under this program. The expansion of TriWest’s role will ensure access to community care where needed until the next generation of community care contracts are awarded and implemented. “TriWest has worked collaboratively with VA from the start of the Veterans Choice Program to address implementation challenges and to improve the program to better serve Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Extending the time and reach of our partnership with TriWest will ensure Veterans get the care they need while the department transitions to delivering care under the MISSION Act next year.” Separately, the department has reached an agreement with Health Net Federal Services (HNFS) on the PC3 and VCP closeout plan and associated contract modification. Under this modification, VA and HNFS will continue to partner to ensure a seamless transition of care and services, so Veterans continue to get the care they need. Finally, VA has extended its current dialysis contracts with multiple partners for six months, until March 31, 2019. VA will issue a Request for Proposal for the replacement contracts in October 2018, with ultimate contract awards anticipated in spring 2019.

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Veterans Events Fall 2018

Events There are numerous parades and events throughout the state of California. Check with your local AMVETS Post for those details. Oct. 2, 2018 Veterans Resource Fair at San Francisco Fleet Week Oct. 13, 2018 30th Anniversary of the Dedication of the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Capitol Park Sacramento, CA Oct. 18, 2018 2018 Annual Reception and Recognition of Women Veterans Leland Stanford Mansion 800 N Street, Sacramento CA 95814 Oct. 27, 2018 2018 Military Women's Appreciation Day American River College, Student Services Center 4700 College Oak Drive Sacramento, CA 95841 Nov. 10, 2018 World War 1 100th Anniversary Commemoration Parade. Main Street, Downtown Woodland Woodland, CA Nov. 11, 2018 100th Year Anniversary Celebration of Veterans Day. Marin County Civic Center, Exhibit Hall 3501 Civic Center Drive San Rafael, CA 94903 Nov. 11, 2018 Veterans Day Commemorating 100th Anniversary of end of WWI Los Angeles National Cemetery 950 South Sepulveda Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90049

The United States WWI Centennial Commision

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Membership Contest July 1st, 2018 to May 31st, 2019 Camaraderie is what it’s all about

For each nine NEW members you bring into American Veterans (AMVETS) you will earn a ticket for the drawing of a 60” TV. For each nine RENEWAL members you get to renew you will earn a ticket for a 200.00 gift card. Ticket to be drawn at the next State Convention Commander’s night Commander will draw the ticket.

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California Department of Veteran Affairs News Releases

VA Celebrates New Strategic Partnerships on Veterans Day - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced nine new strategic partnerships that will provide additional health care and support services for Veterans and their families. These new formal relationships are the latest in a series of strategic partnerships developed to bring the private and public sectors together with VA to enhance the Veteran experience. (11/10/16) VA Introduces This Week at VA As part of its ongoing effort to engage and reach out to Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a podcast titled “This Week at VA.” The podcast will be produced weekly. Each episode will include information on benefits or products, interviews with Veterans, a highlighted Veteran of the Day and other helpful content. This week’s show features an interview with VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. (11/10/16) VA Releases Major Report on Progress of “MyVA” Transformation Process - Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a major update on the MyVA transformation, Secretary McDonald’s effort to transform VA into the top customer service agency in the federal government. This third edition of the program’s semi-annual report shows progress serving veterans with more services,

in better time. (11/9/16) VA and Social Security Partner to Speed Up Disability Decisions for Veterans - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) launched a new Health IT initiative that enables VA to share medical records electronically with social security disabilty processors. This secure process will save time and money resulting in better service for Veterans and dependents who apply for social security disability benefits. The SSA requests nearly 15 million medical records from health care organizations yearly to make medical decisions on about three million disability claims. For decades, SSA obtained medical records through a manual process. This new national initiative puts in place an automated process to obtain Veterans’ medical records entirely electronically. (11/9/16) VA Expands New Innovators Network Program - The Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI) is expanding its Innovators Network Program. Fourteen new VA Medical Center innovation sites and one National Cemetery innovation site will join the eight selected last year, for a total of 22 recognized innovation sites across the country. The sites were selected from a highly competitive pool of 44 sites from across the country. The selection was based on a review of 12 parameters, includ-

ing: proposed Veteran-centered approach; plans to empower and engage employees and collaboration with local infrastructure enablers. (11/8/16) VA Chiropractic Residency Sites First in Nation to Receive Accreditation The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) chiropractic residency programs have reached a historic first by receiving accreditation from the Council of Chiropractic Education. These are the first residency programs in the nation ever to be awarded this distinction, a significant advancement in the evolution of chiropractic education. (10/27/16)


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3rd Vice Commander

Lorraine Justin-Plass Propositions Update

These will be on the November Ballot & its important to share with your friends, family & fellow Veterans! Proposition 1 -- Veterans & Affordable Housing Bond Act: SUPPORT. Proposition 1 would authorize $4 billion in bonds or affordable housing programs and a veteran’s homeownership program. This will help address our housing crisis by investing additional resources in existing programs. $1 Billion is to replenish the CalVet Home Loan Program which requires voter approval when the current bonds funds are exhausted because the home loan payments go into the General Fund to pay off existing bonds. Proposition 5 -- Protect Proposition 13 Savings: SUPPORT Sponsored by the California Association of Realtors, the People’s Initiative to Protect Proposition 13 Savings allows homeowners over age 55, disabled persons and those who have lost their homes to natural disasters like fire and flood, to transfer their property tax basis to a replacement residence anywhere in the state. Of California’s 1.6 million veterans, 1.1 million are over age 55,

so it will have a very positive affect on veteran home owners now and in the future.

Proposition 8 -- Price Controls on Private Dialysis Clinics: OPPOSE. Proposition 8 would limit the amount outpatient kidney dialysis clinics may charge for patient care and mandate rebates to insurers when total revenue exceeds 115 percent of certain costs. However, the definition of “patient care servicers costs,” excludes many federally required and critical arts of operating a clinic. Without accounting for the costs of those services, clinics could be forced to limit hours or close entirely, leaving patients to emergency rooms. Prop. 8 is sponsored by SEIU – United Health Care Workers. This measure is very harmful to veterans who live in rural areas and underserved communities. The VA contracts out to private clinics for dialysis treatments and these clinics may be forced to close if this proposition passes. Proposition 10 -- Repealing Rent Control Limitations: OPPOSE Misnamed by its tenant advocate supporters as the “Affordable Housing Act”, the measure proposes to repeal the Costa-

Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995, which placed limits on locally enacted rent control laws. Rent control is not the same thing as affordable housing, Proposition 10 will disincentivize new construction and make it harder to fund necessary upgrades and maintenance. It is the wrong solution to California’s housing crisis. The measure is sponsored by the president of the Los Angeles AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Michael Weinstein. (Weinstein was the financial backer of Proposition 61 in 2016 that all VSOs opposed.) This measure will jeopardize builders’ ability to build housing for veterans. A recent USC study found that 40% of recently separated military were unable to find suitable housing. California has the highest number of homeless veterans now and this proposition will make it harder to fund housing for them

For more information about these and other important Legislative updates please go to the website at

AMVETS Charities

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Our Mission! AMVETS California Charities is dedicated to empowering all Veterans, Active duty personnel, their families and communities; through funding of quality programs that will strengthen their future.

Introducing your new Board

Enrique Rudino Board President

Joe Juarez

Vice President

Richard Gillispie Secretary

Turner Houston Chief Financical Officer

Team AMVETS California Charities is dedicated to serving veterans throughout California by supporting programs that enrich and improve the lives of those have served. Your support allows us to provide necessary services that in the past have hindered our Veteran in successfully gaining employment, find housing and benefit awareness. Join our efforts to support our Veterans!

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Thank you!

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AMVETS California Voice  

AMVETS California Voice is an online official magazine of AMVETS Department of California. It is released seasonally to keep California vet...

AMVETS California Voice  

AMVETS California Voice is an online official magazine of AMVETS Department of California. It is released seasonally to keep California vet...

Profile for amvetsca