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Issue 46-2 January 2014

46 Continuous Years of 100% Membership

VFW, SVA Launch New Initiative to Help Student-Veterans

WASHINGTON (May 1, 2013) – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now offering a new program called “1 Student Veteran” to provide direct assistance to student-veterans who are experiencing problems accessing their GI Bill or other earned benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“This new program will help student-veterans access GI Bill benefits and more”

“This partnership with the VFW will ensure student-veterans are provided with the necessary support needed to gain access to their earned benefits and navigate the complex education claims process,” said Michael Dakduk, executive director of Student Veterans of America (SVA). “I am very proud of our continued partnership with the VFW, an organization dedicated to the success of student-

veterans.” Any student-veteran who is experiencing difficulty in accessing their GI Bill or other VA benefits, or believes they have been wrongfully denied these benefits, can now e-mail the VFW at VFW National Veterans Service staff will acknowledge receipt of each inquiry within 24 hours during the workweek, then either intervene with the VA on behalf of the student-veteran or recommend other courses of action. Through “1 Student Veteran,” VFW and SVA will have direct access to the VA Regional Offices responsible for education claims adjudication, meaning veterans whose benefits have been denied or paid in error will not have to wait the months it would traditionally take to file a formal appeal. The new program is possible thanks to an ongoing collaboration among VFW, SVA and the VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration, which approves and

Lou Diamond Phillips To Serve As VFW National Spokesperson KANSAS CITY, Mo., October 2, 2013 – The VFW is pleased to announce that renowned actor Lou Diamond Phillips will serve as the official VFW national spokesperson. In addition to being an actor, director, producer and writer, Phillips is also a veterans’ advocate. His biological father, Gerald Upchurch, was in the Navy, and Phillips was born on the Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. His own name bears military roots, as he was named after the World War II marine hero, Gunnery Sergeant Lewellyn ‘Lew’ Diamond. His stepfather, George Phillips, was also in the Navy, serving 2 tours in Vietnam. Phillips’ partnership with the VFW demonstrates his deep commitment to the veteran community. “I’ve always been inspired by those who serve. I’m proud to be the voice of the VFW, an organization that does tremendous work for veterans,” Phillips

said. As the VFW national spokesperson, Phillips will appear in a series of television and radio commercials designed to increase awareness about the VFW’s programs and services available to veterans, service members and military families. He will also make appearances at various VFW events. “The VFW is excited to begin this outstanding relationship. Lou Diamond Phillips has established himself in the entertainment industry with a successful and varied career spanning decades. He’s a long-time supporter of veterans, and this partnership proves his devotion to the veteran cause,” said VFW National Commander Bill Thien. Phillips is a Golden Globe® and Tony Award® nominated actor who was introduced to audiences through his portrayal of Ritchie Valens in La Bamba and then solidified his reputation through his award-winning performance in Stand and Deliver. Phillips can currently be seen in the award-winning film, Filly Brown, and the hit A&E series, “Longmire,” in addition to hosting “An Officer and a Movie” on the Military Channel.

administers the GI Bill, as well as claims for other VA programs and services. “1 Student Veteran” is also the latest collaboration between VFW and SVA resulting from a memorandum of understanding signed by the two organizations in January. “Our goal is to mitigate errors and resolve conflicts on the lowest possible level to ensure VA can deliver timely, accurate GI Bill benefits,” said VFW National Veterans Service Assistant Director Jim Wear, who will manage “1 Student Veteran.” “The VFW has a proud history of working with veterans to make sure they can access their earned benefits, so ‘1 Student Veteran’ is a great way for VFW to meet the needs of our newest generation of heroes,” said VFW National Commander John Hamilton. “Student-veterans will now have a place to turn to for reliable and timely help when they encounter problems with the VA.”

Past CIC Gwizdak Returns to Arizona

Past Commander in Chief John F. Gwizdak will be the National organization’s representative to our Voice of Democracy/Patriots Pen/Teacher awards in Casa Grande January 11, 2014. Mr. Gwizdak of Woodbury, Ga., was elected VFW’s Commander in-Chief at the organization’s 101st National Convention in Milwaukee, Wis.,August 25, 2000. Gwizdak is the second Georgian to hold this office. Born in Revloc, Pennsylvania and raised in Carrolltown, Gwizdak enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1958. In 1968, he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a sec-

ond lieutenant. He retired in 1978 in the rank of captain. His service career included three tours in Germany, including a rotationaltour in Berlin, and in Vietnam with Co. E, 4th Bn., 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, four awards of the Bronze Star Medal (including one for valor), Purple Heart, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm device, Army Commendation Medal (3), Army of Occupation Medal (Berlin),Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals, Good Conduct Medal (3), Armed Forces Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Parachutist Badge and Drill Sergeants Badge. He is owner and president of John F. Gwizdak, Inc., specializing in residential and commercial construction and sales, and owner and broker of Builders Realty. He holds an associate of arts degree in human resources administration from the University of the State of New York. Gwizdak is listed in the 2000 Millennium edition of Who’s Who in Executives and Businesses as a veterans advocate.



Arizona VFW & Auxiliary State Officers 2013-2014 District 15 Councilman - Tim Borland 9972 Sierra Vista Commander - Tony Mangine 6790 Wellton Sr. Vice Commander - Greg Kozakiewicz 9907 Show Low Jr. Vice Commander - Bob Hysko 9400 Sunnyslope Quartermaster - Ski Kuczynski 3632 Tempe Judge Advocate - Roger Gowen 7968 Apache Jct. Surgeon - Ken Marshall 8053 Sun Lakes Adjutant - Ray Thomas 3632 Tempe Chaplain - Janie Miller 12043 Maricopa Service Officer - Brad Hazell 1677 Casa Grande

District Commanders

#1 Mike Davis 769 Quartzsite #2 Fred Nelson 10227 Prescott Valley #3 Jeffery Eiler 285 Surprise #4 Steve McDonald 3513 Scottsdale #5 Dan Roland 10188 Tucson #6 Tom Judd 9907 Show Low #7 Ron DeSpain 9972 Sierra Vista #8 Skeeter Mills 10386 Kingman #10 John Schneider 7401 Chandler

Ladies Auxiliary Officers

District 15 Councilwoman - Deb Rankin 9399 Apache Jct. President - Cathy Seippel 6739 Camp Verde Sr. Vice President - Suzie Gleason 9401 Lake Havasu Jr. Vice President - Chrissy Harlan 10188 Tucson Secretary/Treasurer - Kim Sloan 10188 Tucson Chaplain - Stephanie Morris 10342 Huachuca City Conductress - Mary Salisbury 9401 Lake Havasu Guard - Lynn Carter 9399 Apache Junction Chief of Staff - Judy Hamlin 9400 Sunnyslope Patriotic Instructor - Melody Judd 9907 Show Low. Historian - Terri Pfander 1677 Casa Grande

Ladies Auxiliary District Presidents #1 Alice Webb #2 Joy Bork #3 Sheila Lee #4 Rosalie Hammerly #5 Brenda Duarte

#6 Rose Hoagland #7 Reba Dermody #8 Marilyn Russell #10 Patty Tomlinson

Veterans of Foreign Wars Arizona (issn 0744-9887) is published three times a year in September, January, and April. An official publication of the Department of Arizona Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Office located at 6907 E. Thomas Rd. Scottsdale, AZ. 85251. Postmaster send change of address to Veterans of Foreign Wars News, 6907 E. Thomas Road Scottsdale, AZ. 85251. Third-class postage paid at Scottsdale, AZ and additional mailing offices. Subscription rate is $1.00 per year as part of annual dues. All others $5.00 per year. All news stories, photographs and any material intended for publication should be sent to: L. “Ski” Kuczynski, 6907 E. Thomas Rd. Scottsdale, AZ. 85251 or E-Mail to:

Automatically Renew Your VFW Membership Easy, Fast & Fully Secure

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State Commander, Tony Mangine With the year almost half way through, I want to thank all of you who have helped get the year started on the way to 47 straight years of 100% membership. We do however need to put a little more into our efforts. It’s a great day when I look at the department statistics and see another Post at 100%. As I travel about the state and visit Posts and Districts I am impressed by the programs that you are involved in and the enthusiasm that you all display. As usual there are those Posts and members who haven’t realized yet that a new year is upon us. I have just looked at the unpaid member listings and have emailed all the unpaid members at large and all those I find with a military address. I do not, however, have time to go through the entire listings for the state. I need your help!! If an annual member is not paid and they have a military email address they could be deployed and not receiving their dues notice. You should consider helping them out.

6790 Wellton

I challenge all Posts to spend the time and energy necessary to get to 100%. A positive frame of mind in regard to membership helps to maintain a great Post, District, and Department and keep it growing. The key is to remember that the Veterans of Foreign Wars does more for the Veteran than anyone. Tell a prospect what we do. Emphasize the positives, the programs, the legislative agenda, the essay programs (VOD & Patriots Pen) and the scholarship programs. Talk about our Service Officers and how they assist with claims processing. Always keep in mind that they are all comrades and they can be a part of this team as we go forward. A reminder, the Subscription Dues Program begins January 1, 2014 and the new annual members will have a full 12 months beginning in the month they are processed. The National Membership Department will be geared up to provide the Post with a monthly update on expiration dates beginning Jan 2015. We have a tremendous team and a proud tradition in Arizona and we need to keep it up. HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you and to your family. Tony Mangine, State Commander

State President, Cathy Seippel

6739 Camp Verde

Another month has gone by. Membership is down, we should be over 90% at this time but we are at 83%. We need your Membership now! Awards this year are higher than last year. Sisters, let’s go! The awards are there, let’s get on Membership and make this the best year ever. The Wanda and Billie Stuart Gamble against Cancer is March 8th at VFW Post 549 Tucson. Monetary donations and donations of goods are needed. Please be generous, this is a very important function. Also don’t forget my Special Project, States Veterans Homes. Thank you for all you have done, but let’s not stop now, this will be a great year. I love you one and all. Call if you need me. NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S VISIT Tuesday January 14th Dinner with Officers Wednesday January 15th Lunch at Scottsdale Post 3513 Visit Gun Monument Dinner by Invitation Only Thursday January 16th Leave for Florence at 10:00 A.M. Served Lunch to Military at Florence Armory Banquet VFW Post 720 Phoenix 6 P.M. Preceded by Aisle of Flags

State Sr. Vice Commander

Greg Kozakiewicz, 9907 Show Low Before I forget, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This will be a short article as I know that you are all busy trying to get your unpaid members to pay their dues before the deadline. Recently we realized that there has been so much emphasis on schools

of instruction that we are forgetting to make the job fun. Remember this organization is meant to help veterans ,but we need a positive attitude at the same time. Take time to enjoy your accomplishments and successes, you deserve it. Put a smile on your face and charge into the task at hand. Your positive image will become infectious and cause others to want to be part of our team. Greg Kozakiewicz, State Sr. Vice Commander



State Jr. Vice Commander

Bob Hysko, 9400 Sunnyslope


Comrades and Sisters, Greetings, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and now it’s time to get back to

First I want to congratulate all of this year’s participants in the Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen, and Teacher of the Year programs. Everyone did an outstanding job and you should be extremely proud of your hard work. If you are an annual member, hopefully you have paid your 2014 dues by now, if not a $10.00 dues increase goes into effect January 1, 2014. Post are reminded that section 216 of the National Manual of Procedure, Nomination, Election, Installation and Term of Office, subsection Order of Nomination and Elections. The Post Judge Advocate and Post Surgeon are now considered appointed post officers.

Comrades as I travel through the state I hear the same thing from several of the Post when it comes to Buddy Poppies. That they have many left over poppies from past years and are reluctant to reorder because of a large supply on hand. Well lets get rid of them, and there are several ways this can be done. If you are unable to solicit donations, take them to your local schools and give them to the students, and explain the history of the VFW Buddy Poppy. Children K / 8 love them and are extremely proud to wear them, when given by a Veteran. At the District, Department, and National level there are several programs, Buddy Poppy displays (very creative) and the Buddy Poppy Princess program here in Arizona. To all the Post Commanders and Quartermasters don’t forget, you have until May 30, 2014 to attain 100% in membership this year to be considered for All-State honors. So lets get to work and get the job done! Thank you for allowing me to serve you. Yours in Comradeship, Bob Hysko / State Jr. Vice Commander

Cootie Corner

Gene Wood 12043 Maricopa, AZ Grand Commander We l c o m e to 2014, Cooties! Here’s hoping your Christmas and Holiday Season was a good one. In November Paula & I attended TombTrek. It was our first trip to this humbling event and I assure you will not be our last. If you have never been, I encourage you to make plans to attend. It is breathtaking to see the fields of headstones of those who gave all. I want to take this time to thank all the Cooties & Cuties for the time they spent over the past few months going to the Hospitals, Nursing Homes and for hosting activities at your Pup Tents. Hosting events like fish fry’s, shell’s& bone’s (shrimp & steak for those do not know), dog races, ice cream socials are enjoyed by all who attend. Cooties are more than “Keeping ‘em smiling in beds of

white”. We have all seen the joy that a visit and a smile can bring to our Veterans that may never have a visitor, even those with families nearby. We are the life blood to our Veteran’s. Thank you for doing what you do best! I look to 2014 to be just as successful as 2013. With that being said, a big thank you for attaining the goal of 100% in Membership for the Grand of AZ! There are a few Pup Tents still working on your 100%, don’t give up. Search within your respective Post’s for those you know who do the work of a Cootie, but have never been asked to join us. We are VFW first but don’t ever consider Cooties as second. Our next event is the joint Homecoming for myself and MOCA President Karin Nash. Refer to the flyer in the Department Bulletin and the Cootie Website for more information. Gene Wood, AZ Grand Commander


State Judge Advocate

Roger Gowen, 7968 Apache Junction By the time this article for the News comes out the Holidays will be over. The Voice of Democracy, Patriot Pen, the Teachers, the Police Officers, the EMT and Fire Fighters for the Public Service Awards Programs will all be over for the Post and District. These programs inspire Patriotism in our youth and communities. Thank you for all your hard work. As I travel around the state performing my duties as State Judge Advocate, I’m enlightened with our State VFW and how it operates. Getting a chance to travel and seeing new Posts and learning how they operate is also very satisfying. But I believe the most rewarding thing that has come out of this year’s first 6 months, for me, is getting a chance to meet so many great Comrades and Sisters throughout the State of Arizona. The year is half over but it’s not the time to quit. Now is the time we have to fight our way to that 100%

mark with membership. Membership is the lifeblood of the VFW. Renewing and keeping/retaining those members will be paramount for our survival in the years to come. Finding new ways to recruit, new places to recruit, and getting out there where the young veterans are, are just a few ways to do this. This year some of us tried the Active Adult Communities, VA Hospital and Clinics and found that is where a lot of the veterans are, and yes that worked. One area that many forget is Veterans Affairs Volunteer Services (VAVS); volunteers are needed at our VA Hospitals and Clinics. We have volunteers driving golf carts in the parking lot to shuttle patients in to see the doctors and others working in all areas of the hospital and clinics that you can think of. This is one way we accomplish “No one does more for veterans.” I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on how we can improve upon what we do in the Department. Working towards a common goal will make our Department GREAT. Yours in Comradeship, Roger Gowen, State Judge Advocate

State Surgeon / Inspector

Ken Marshall, 8053 Sun Lakes Well, here we are half way through this VFW year. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. I’d like to congratulate all the Districts who have completed their post inspections. At this point we have only three posts whose inspections have not been completed. (You know who you are). District Commanders should expect to receive a letter asking that posts in need be re-inspected and brought up to speed.

Lastly, I’d like to step outside the VFW box for just a minute. Those of you who actually read these articles are the backbone of the VFW in Arizona. When you’re thinking about what you can do to make our Department more successful, give a thought to the Cooties. Give a thought to becoming more active with your local Pup Tent. They are still doing wonderful things with the V.A. Hospitals and Veterans Homes in the state. Stay healthy and I hope to see you all at the upcoming District meetings. Ken Marshall, State Surgeon

Brad Hazell State Service Officer 3333 N Central Ave, Ste 1049 Phoenix, AZ 85304

Phone: 602 627-3316 FAX: 602 627-3320

Department Convention 2014 Fort McDowell Casino/Resort Wednesday June 4 thru Saturday June 7, 2014 10438 North Fort McDowell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85264 Phone reservations 480-789-5300 Mention “VFW Group Rate” Room Rates: Deluxe King/Double Queen $85.00, Jr. Suites $145.00 Deadline for Reservations is May 8th, 2014 Rooms at the Resort / Casino go fast, Make your reservations now!!!



District 2 News

Fred Nelson 10227 Prescott Valley 541 Prescott 1709 Flagstaff 6739 Camp Verde 6789 Window Rock

7400 Cottonwood 9632 Page 10227 Prescott Valley 12128 Williams

2013-2014 has been an exciting and challenging time for me as a new District commander. I have been able to visit the posts in my district and been invited to some posts activities. I have seen post home completed they have worked very hard at this keep up the good work. Window Rock post 6789 has done a terrific job in obtaining 108% membership this early in the year. The post commander and members were so excited to receive their 100% certificate when I presented it to the commander at their post meeting. Williams post 12128

had a dedication of a Veterans monument on October 19,2013 Had a grand time with all who attended. I would like to thank post 12128 in Williams and post 1709 in Flagstaff for hosting both district 2 meetings so far this year. Thank you commanders for your continued support in making this district what it is today and I know will be a better tomorrow. With your help we will make all of our goals and objectives this year. God bless you all and thank you for allowing me to be your District Commander. Fred R. Nelson District 2 Commander

District 7 News

Ron DeSpain 9972 Sierra Vista 836 Bisbee 2066 Nogales 6271 Benson 9972 Sierra Vista

9977 Pearce 10342 Huachuca City 10385 Thatcher 10432 Patagonia

In November myself and Senior Vice Commander, Joe Larson were participant’s in the ground breaking of the new Chapel for the Southern Arizona National Veterans Cemetery. Chapel is scheduled to be dedicated on Memorial Day, 2014. Ron DeSpain, District 7 Commander

District 10 News

John Schneider 7401 Chandler 1677 Casa Grande 8053 Sun Lakes 3713 Coolidge 9399 Apache Junction 7401 Chandler 12043 Maricopa 7968 Apache Junction

The year 2013 has concluded and our VOD, PP, TOY and Safety awards have been completed successfully. We now turn our efforts for the new year towards membership and meeting challenges we have set out to accomplish this year. Membership is the most important goal we have. All posts in the district have a distance to go to attain 100% membership, Attaining this goal should be a concern of all the members not just the officers, so please encourage our annual members to pay their dues. Those members who paid their dues before December 31, I thank you. At the District meeting on 19

January, it will be necessary to elect a new junior vice commander. Bob Stark resigned to be closer to his family. Best wishes Bob! Please take a moment to think about who might be a good candidate for the position and be prepared to put his/her name in nomination. I encourage everyone in District 10 to attend the upcoming VOD Banquet 11 January in Casa Grande. C OF A will follow on the 12th. Also the District 10 meeting on 19 January at post 7401 and the district steak fry on 25 January, at post 3713, Coolidge. In closing, I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year! In comradeship, John Schneider, Commander, District 10

Need Help With a VA Claim? Brad Hazell - VFW State Service Officer 3333 N Central Ave, Ste 1049 Phoenix, AZ 85304 Phone: 602 627-3316 FAX: 602 627-3320


District 5 News

Dan Rowland 10188 Tucson 549 Tucson 1208 Tucson 2767 Mammoth

3578 Ajo 4903 Tucson 5990 Marana

Greetings from District 5! We have been very busy with Post Inspections (which are now 100% completed), and working all of our core programs. I want to thank all the Post Commanders and their Officers for such a warm reception as my inspection team and I traveled throughout District 5. During the month of November, District 5 submitted an entry into the Tucson Veterans Day Parade. The District 5 float was a 40 foot semitruck and trailer where Comrades, Sisters of the Auxiliary, and Scouts from our community were welcomed to ride on the float as well as our

10015 Tucson 10188 Tucson 10254 Three Points

District Buddy Poppy Princess who handed out poppies. The District was awarded a trophy for being the Best Veterans Organization in the parade. In December the District held its Recognition Lunch at Post 4903. The District Awards for Patriots Pen, Voice of Democracy, and our three Teachers of the Year were presented to the membership. I must say that I was extremely impressed with the number and quality of the essays that were presented at our event. Our Youth are our Future! I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and are ready to tackle the last half of the year. Yours in Comradeship and Friendship, Daniel F. Rowland II

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED VFW Memorial Squad at the AZ National Cemetery needs help. We are looking for male and female members to pay final honors to our fallen comrades. Our comrades have earned and deserve to have Honors preformed. This is truly a labor of love for our fellow Veterans. The Squad operates Monday through Friday between the hours of 0800 to 1400 during the months of February, May, August and November. The Squad provides the same Military Honors as preformed at Arlington National Cemetery. Each member wears a VFW provided uniform with military pride. Volunteers are provided lunch at a local cafe as well as a stipend to assist with travel expenses. If you would like to volunteer to serve our comrades, contact Squad Captain, Pete Rosales at 623-247-3352 or Department Headquarters at 480-941-5258.

National VFW Legislation Jim Ellars 5990 Marana There is a lot of activity currently going on within our government that affects every military member, every veteran, and their families. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released a report where they lay out more than 100 options they are considering for reducing federal budget deficits. Options such as capping military base pay below civilian rates, increasing TRICARE Prime and TFL fees, banning concurrent receipt, and tightening eligibility for VA compensation and “IU” benefits. The VFW’s Washington Weekly tells us that at the beginning of December there was a open meeting of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. Just like the CBO, this commision is looking at altering or eliminating programs that affect just about all of us. Programs like the 20-year retirement system; military pay and the tax-exempt status of allowances; concurrent

receipt of retiree and disability pay; the GI Bills; military healthcare costs and eligibility; military exchanges, commissaries and schools; and transition and employment assistance programs. If you’ve been following the VFW’s Washington Weekly, you already know just how serious the issues are, the tactics that are being used for and against us, and how hard the VFW legislative team in DC is working to affect the right influences where they are greatly needed. But as veterans, we don’t just let others do our fighting for us without getting in the fray ourselves. And that’s what we need to do! We need to back up our people in DC by learning what they are involve in by signing up for the Washington Weekly on the VFW. ORG web-site, and then call, write, email our representatives and strongly voice our support or disapproval of the issues out there. This is a bad time to be asleep at the switch! Jim Ellars, VFW Dept. Legislative Officer




Post 7507 Fountain Hills Great Fair Beer Garden, February 21 - 23, 2014 Post 7507’s biggest fundraiser of the year is the Beer Garden conducted during the annual Great Fair, this year being held Friday thru Sunday, February 21st to 23rd from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. This will be the Posts 22nd Beer Garden. The Post has been conducting Beer Gardens since 2002 at both the February Great Fair and the November Fountain Festival of Arts and Crafts. In addition to beer, the Post sells wine, water, soft and mixed drinks, plus brats, hot dogs, meatball sandwiches, chili and some snack foods. The Beer Gardens (main and mini) are a great place to relax in sun or shade while taking a break from the great shopping opportunities provided by over 500 vendors. Since Veterans Day 2010, Post 7507 has spearheaded in Fountain Hills the sale of Red Shirt Friday shirts and has recently introduced a whole new line. All profits have gone to support homeless veterans. Shirts will again be on sale during the Great Fair. So when you get tired of shopping, your feet are worn out from looking, or you just want to relax, stop by of the Beer Gardens join the party, grab a seat, some delicious food and a cold one; thereby supporting VFW Charities. We look forward to seeing you there.

VFW/American Legion Combined Color Guard in Lake Havasu

Ten years ago VFW Post 9401 together with American Legion Post 81, both of Lake Havasu City, AZ, combined resources and personnel to form a group of volunteers to provide US Army regulation military honors at deceased veterans’ funerals and memorial services. This group of veterans consists of 17 volunteer members who, on any given date, will provide military honors to deceased veterans regardless of membership in the Legion or VFW. The only requirement is that the veteran was separated from military service in other than dishonorable circumstances. Past Post Commander Dave Eaton, Post

9401, coordinates the group’s response to requests for military honors and works closely with the local funeral homes and directors. When a request is made via family and/or funeral director, he sends an email notification to all of the combined honor guard members listing the name of the deceased veteran, the date, time and location of the funeral or memorial service, and any special instructions. Dave also coordinates with the family to obtain a “Burial Flag” provided by the VAthrough the US Postal Service. He assists the family to properly fill out the request for Burial Flag to insure that the proper documentation proving honorable military service is included with the VA request. This group of dedicated volunteer members of both the Legion and VFW provide these military honors free of any charge to the families of deceased veterans. The group has traveled as far north as Chloride, AZ, and as far south as Quartzite, AZ, along the Colorado River, to meet the requests of families to provide final honors to veterans. They have performed in Needles, CA, and Kingman, AZ. They perform at private celebrations of life, and formal church funerals. All of this travel is done at no

Post 10188 in Tucson Sharing Thanksgiving Dinner On November 23rd, Post 10,188 hosted its 21st consecutive Veterans Thanksgiving at its Post Home. “Special emphasis was placed on having Patients from the VA hospital as well as local nursing homes attend the event” explained Post 10188 Commander, Donald Schrader.

charge to the family or our veteran’s organizations. The combined honor guard does not solicit, but will accept donations which are split 50/50 between the Legion Post 81 and VFW Post 9401. All donations are used for uniform maintenance and purchase. The organizations provide a uniform with proper insignia to each member of the combined honor guard. The member wears the decorations and insignia that he or she was awarded during military service. The only compensation provided by the two Posts are two free beverages at the conclusion of each service at an “after action meeting” where those who participated critique the performance, correct errors, and finally offer a “Toast” to the deceased veteran to whom military honors were provided. This is done in accordance with the Congressional Charter: To perpetuate the memory and history of our dead, and to assist their widows and orphans. Past Post Commander Dave Eaton was recognized at a ceremony following the city-wide Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2013, by Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home for his years of exceptional service in organizing the activities of the group. The combined honor guard is on schedule to provide military honors at sixty memorial services for the calendar year of 2013.



Brad Hazell, Arizona VFW State Service Officer 602-627-3316 I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as the new State Service Officer. I served in the Marine Corps from 1999 until 2005 as an infantry rifleman. During that time period I was stationed with the Chemical, Biological, Incident, Response Force during the 2001 Anthrax Attacks on Capitol Hill. From there I was assigned to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion where I served as a Scout Team Leader during the Invasion of Iraq. I returned to Iraq in 2004 with 2nd Battalion 24th Marines as an Infantry Squad Lead-


er. After the military I worked as a government contractor first with the Battelle Memorial Institute and then with Lockheed Martin. Upon returning to Arizona in 2008, I became active with the VFW Honor Guard out of Casa Grande, Arizona. During that time I began studying Psychology at Central Arizona College (CAC). After attending CAC I began working as a Veterans’ Caseworker and Liaison, first for Congressman Gosar where I was a fellow with the Wounded Warrior Program, then with Congresswoman Kirkpatrick’s Office. I am excited to be working for the VFW as the new State Service Officer where I can continue to help veterans gain access to the benefits they earned.

50th Anniversary of the War in Viet Nam District 5 Veterans in the Classroom

Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the War in Viet Nam, Buckeye Post 12098 along with the Buckeye Main Street Coalition hosted American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) Wall display May 9-12. Governor Sarah Palin honored the request by Sr. Vice Conrad Villegas to be the

keynote speaker on opening night. Nearly 900 were on hand to listen to her remarks. She stayed signing autographs and mementos for more than 2 hours afterwards. The families of the Six Buckeye Boys whose names are on the wall, were honored with certificates and encased flags noting each.

On November 8th, District 5 Commander Daniel Rowland along with members of Post 4903, 5990, 10188 and their Ladies Auxiliary participated in Veterans in the Classroom events at Homer Davis and Ochoa Elementry Schools in Tucson. Daniel F. Rowland, II, Commander District 5

Pictured are Comrades Martin Muller, Governor Sarah Palin (Ladies Aux Life Member), and Conrad Villegas hamming it up for the camera man.

Yellow Ribbon Event for Redeployment On October 26, 2013 several units, including the 1/285th Aviation Unit and the 860th MP Co., came together in Tucson to coordinate resources for unit members that have recently returned from service overseas (1/285th) and for the families of members of the 860th MP Co that will be returning home at the end of the year. The VFW was fortunate to be one of the “Community Partners” asked to not only provide a table with information at this event, but also to speak to the entire group before they Jim Ellars talking with Guard members split out into individual units. VFW about the VFW and our programs. Legislative Chairman Jim Ellars spoke about the importance of legislative issues and the VFW support of legislative matters currently pending that affect veterans. Kim Sloan spoke briefly about National Military Services and the assistance available to military families and about the new scholarship program for veterans. They distributed information on Membership, National Military Services, National Home and Scholarships. They were pleased to Ladies Auxiliary VFW members Kim get reacquainted with military leaders Sloan and Rayolene Tiernan working the VFW information table. and to make new contacts.

“Run for the Cross” at Sunrise Rock The Arizona Colorado River VFW Rider’s District 8 held there 2nd annual “Run for the Cross” on October 12, 2013. VFW Riders from VFW Post 404 in Mohave Valley, AZ and their Honor Guard also attended the event. In 1934, the memorial cross was erected atop Sunrise Rock by the Veterans of Foreign War to honor those killed in War. Over the course

of its 80 years, it has been torn down 6 times, vandalized , and has been the center of controversy in the Supreme Court concerning the Mohave Cross in the desert of California. Sunrise Rock no longer belongs to the Mohave National Preserve and will be the home of the Memorial which will be in the care of the local Veterans of Foreign War members.



Stand Up For Veterans at Glendale Community College


State Officers and members participated in the “Stand Up for Veterans” held at Glendale Community College on Saturday, September 28th. Several agencies were also there helping veterans with their problems, finding jobs, counseling, etc.

Mohave Valley Buddy Poppy Drive Members from VFW Post 404, District 8 in Mohave Valley, AZ collect donations during the Annual Buddy Poppy Drive. Post 404 collected donations at three different locations on November 9th,10th and 11th, in Mo-

Jim Dog Miller, Post Trustee, George DeLeon, Mohave Valley Post 404 Commander

have Valley, AZ. They collected over $2,100 which goes to our Relief Fund, which helps veterans and their family in times of need, stated Qz Osborn, Post Quartermaster.

Jim Dog Miller, Post Trustee, Oz Osborn, Post Quartermaster and Jim Howard, Men’s Aux. Treasurer

Jim Dog Miller, and George DeLeon, Mohave Valley Post 404 Commander


AZ VFW Rangers



Feeding the Homeless at the MANA (Marine-Army-Navy-Air Force) House Members, VFW Riders and the Ladies Auxiliaries of District 3 gathered together and cooked burgers, hot dogs and ribs for the less fortunate Veterans at the MANA House in downtown Phoenix. The feast was enjoyed and appreciated by all that attended. Looking at the picture below (bottom left), Eddie Smith (Past Commander Post 1710) enjoyed the District 3 cookout. The JROTC presented the Colors and a great rendition of the National Anthem was sung by one of the Cadets. MANA (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) House is the transitional housing facility for Madison Street Veterans Association. At this location they provide 53 clients with everything they need to get back on their feet such as: Hot Meals, Transportation & Bicycles, Clothing, Computer Access, Laundry & Showers, Drug-Free environment, and Job Services.

Well, here it is the end of 2013. Our fifth year serving the VFW proudly.The VFW Rangers of Post 10254, Three Points, AZ have had an eventful year. We’d like to thank all the VFW members that have supported us through all the events we’ve attended. We did a parade in Golden Valley,(Kingman) AZ, one in Tombstone, AZ, a parade in Black Canyon City, AZ for Veterans’s Day, and a wonderfully emotional Flag Raising in Apache Junction, AZ for their Chamber of Commerce. All in all, we’ve never felt so appreciated, and so well received. We couldn’t do it without all of your support. A BIG Thank you. Sadly, we’ve lost a couple of members this year, but on a bright note, we’ve added some too. We keep growing and enjoy representing the VFW organization. As long as there’s a function that wants us, we’ll be there. Attached is a picture of 8 of our members in the Tombstone parade. They include: Roger Abbey, Jay Wren, Ed Wills, Gubby Gulbranson, “Doc” Hourscht, Nadia Keiser, Donna Bright, and Joe Madrid. All Comrade members or Auxiliary members. Our troop is open to any VFW member in good standing that would like to join. You don’t even have to ride a horse, if you don’t want to!! You do NOT have to be a member of Post 10254. This group of patriots is open to ALL VFW members. May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

Mohave Valley Post 404 Shine in Parade

District 5 Troop Support in Marana

VFW Post 404 of District 8, in Mohave Valley took first place in the fourth Annual, First Marine Division Veterans Day Parade, in Bullhead City, AZ. held on November 2, 2013. There were over 70 floats entered this year and we had a lot of fun putting our float together, stated Tommy Hunter, Co-Chair and Post 404 Judge Advocate. The float had a live Bettys Ross, Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam and members from the Posts Honor Guard who gave the Gun Salute during the parade. Planning between our post members and our Men’s and Ladies Auxiliary was critical to our success again this year, stated George DeLeon, Commander. We have taken first place three out of the last four years in this parade.

On December 8th, District 5 participated and assisted in the Yellow Ribbon and Family Day for 1/285th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion at Silver Bell Army Heliport in Marana. We were able to assist in feeding the family members of the unit with the assistance of a MAP grant thru the National Military Services Program.



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VetJobs has thousands of employers who have used the site to identify candidates from the transitioning military and veteran market. VetJobs averages more job postings than any other military or intelligence related job board! The Employment Assistance section has guidance on how to organize a job search, write a resume, interview and identify your next employer. Many military personnel who transition to the civilian sector often feel they are under-employed for up to four years after separation. This is frequently because a) the hiring companies do not fully appreciate the technical skills and leadership ability of a person who has served in the military or b) the military person was not fully knowledgeable of how to approach the civilian job market. Over the last nine years, VetJobs has changed this situation. VetJobs is for ALL uniformed personnel, enlisted and officer, who has served in one of the military branches of the United States. VetJobs also assists the family members of anyone who had served in the military. The VetJobs military definition includes: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Department of Defense Civilians, Marine Corps, Merchant Marine, Navy, National Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Public Health Service and the Reserves.

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Are You Up To Date On Our VFW AZ Charities??? A quick update on our very own AZ Charities, all is going better than expected and we’re helping veterans and their families all the time, but always need donations. But with this happening we’re looking for a very special computer guru. We need someone to build a website for Charities. This person will set up everything needed and be able to train someone to do the monthly updating, etc. We would like to get this person from our veteran community. “First shot type of thing.” If you’re interested or know of someone please have them contact: Mike Ferguson 480-671-6097 as soon as possible. Thanks for your time in advance.


Department of Arizona Proposed Schedule

The following is the proposed Department schedule for the upcoming months. Please check with the respective Chairmen and/or Posts in the event of changes or cancellations. January 2014 11- VOD Banquet @ Casa Grande 12- C of A @ Casa Grande 10am 19- District 7 Meeting @10385 Thatcher 11am 19- District 10 Meeting @ 7401 Chandler 10am 25- District 5 Meeting @10188 Tucson 10am 26- District 8 Meeting @404 Mohave Valley 11am February 2014 8- District 6 Meeting @ 9829 Payson 11am 8-9- MOC Cmdr, & Pres Homecoming @ 9399 Apache Jct. 9- District 1 Meeting @ 2357 Bouse 11am 9- District 4 Meeting @ 9400 Sunnyslope 10am 15- MOC Valentine Lunch @ Tucson State VA Home 9am 22- District 3 Meeting @ 8015 Phoenix 10am March 2014 1-5- National VOD Awards @ Washington DC 2-6- National Legislative Conference @ Washington DC April 2014 6- District 10 Convention @ 9399 Apache Jct. 10am 12- District 2 Convention @ 10227 Prescott Valley 11am 13- District 7 Convention @ 10342 Huachuca City 11am 19- District 6 Convention @ 9907 Show Low 11am 26- District 5 Convention @ 5990 Marana 10am 27- District 1 Convention @ 765 Quartzsite 11am 27- District 8 Convention @ 10386 Kingman 11am May 2014 4- District 3 Convention @ 720 Phoenix 10am 4- District 4 Convention @ 1760 Mesa 10am June 2014 5-7- State Convention @ Fort McDowell 27-29- MOC Supreme Convention @ Laughlin, NV July 2014 19-24- National VFW Convention @ St. Louis, MO July 2015 19-24- National VFW Convention @ Bouse, AZ


Outstanding Service Officers

We would like to read about the hard work your Post and Department service officers are doing. If you would like to see them receive some much deserved recognition, send us a brief note explaining why.

Please send information to: Checkpoint, Attn: Outstanding Service Officers 406 W. 34th Street ● Kansas City, MO 64111 ● (816) 968-1171 ●

National Military Assistance Gene Wood 12043 Maricopa

Happy New Year! Judging from all the emails I received over the past few months from Headquarters NMS/MAPS you have been busy. Thank you to all the Post’s and your Auxiliaries for all you have done to support your Adopted Units. Your efforts to arrange events have not gone unnoticed. Yes, I do hear about all you do! Your efforts and sucesses make me proud to be the Chairman for the Department of AZ. Make sure you take the time to report all your activi-

ties. A late report is better than no report. I trust you all found the correct forms and applications on the NMS website. When filled out correctly the process is an easy one. Now is the time to make sure you send your final reports to MAPS to finalize your event so they do not take your grant funds back from you. Keep up the good work. Thank you for all you do for our Troops and their families. We continue to make a difference in each one of their lives and you should be proud to be a part of that. Start making your plans for 2014! Gene Wood, State MAP Chairman



Life Membership is a Click Away

Federal Funding Announced for Marana Veterans Cemetery The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services has been awarded $7.6 million in federal funds to build a new State veterans’ cemetery in Marana. Gov. Jan Brewer announced the grant saying it is fantastic news for Southern Arizona veterans and advocates who have pushed for the cemetery for more than a decade. Arizona is home to more than a half-million military veterans, including nearly 135,000 in Pima and surrounding counties.

The cemetery will be built on 32 acres of land donated by the Kai Family Foundation located just off of and West of I-10 and will have an operating life of 50 years. The first phase will span up to 10 acres and will include an administration building, maintenance building and an assembly area. Construction is scheduled to begin next July with anticipated completion in October 2015. AZ Dept. of Veterans’ Services

National Council Member I hope everyone had a blessed and very enjoyable and fun holiday season. The year has again passed us by so quickly that sometimes I wonder where the years have gone. Since my 28 year Army career and my retirement in February of 2007; it’s been nearly 7 years since I got out; wow, time sure flies. With the years passing by so quickly, we must all understand how important our individual lives actually are and most important how we treat each other. With the New Year upon us, I give this wish and thought to each and every one of you; “treat thy neighbor as you want to be treated”. My mom (rest her soul) taught me those wonderful words so many years ago and I try to live by them as much as possible. From this day forward, try to pay it forward and treat everyone with kindness and with a smile and see how wonderful 2014 can be. Coming up in March, I will again be attending the Legislative Conference in DC and the Council of Administration to where we get to address our veteran issues to our Congressman and Senators who


The Life Membership plan can be Age One Time 11 Month Payment Option joined anytime of the year. Member $425 $38.64 is not required to be a currently paid 30 and Younger 31-40 $410 $37.27 annual member. The plan features 41-50 $375 $34.09 an 11 month payment schedule. 51-60 $335 $30.45 Member will elect, upon receipt 61-70 $290 $26.36 of first monthly invoice to pay via 71-80 $225 $20.45 CHECK, CREDIT CARD, or ACH 81 and over $170 $15.45 DEBIT. An automatic payment option is available. The $45 down payment can be made via check or credit card. (Post may accept cash) Member will receive upon processing of down payment, a provisional “Life Membership Card.” A regular “Life Membership Card” will be issued upon completion of the installment payment plan. Each invoice will include a payoff amount for the member to use if paying early.

Tim Borland 9972 Sierra Vista

work for us on Capitol Hill! A couple of issues that I’m going to push are our National Budget and the Obama Health Care Plan review. Both these issues affect our veterans and families. If there are any issues or concerns that you would like me to address to the National Council, please email or give me a call and I’ll see what I can get accomplished. Also, if there is any other issues you would like addressed to Congress and Senate, please get with Jim Ellars. Remember, any complaints or issues need a good and logical solution. So far it’s been two years as your Council member and it’s been rewarding and educational. I look so forward to the next two years and the years to follow. I have a vision; I want to see the Veterans of Foreign Wars succeeding into the future after we all go to our final resting place. We cannot be complacent, we must continue mentoring our young and preparing them for our future; for they are the future of the VFW! I want to wish each candidate for Department Office and of course each candidate for National office as well the best of luck and success possible. In closing, again I want to thank you for your

service and dedication to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Without each and every one of you, this organization could not succeed. I want to wish Tony (our Commander) the best of luck reaching 100% for our 47th year in a row. We have a long and hard journey to get there but I know we can. I personally drive 60 miles round trip everyday Monday through Friday on my own dime recruiting for the VFW in front of the Post Exchange on Ft. Huachuca and believe me; soldiers appreciate seeing me out there. I challenge you to do the same in your areas; just pass on the word of VA assistance and be there to answer their questions and I guarantee you success in membership too! Let us help Tony and this great State of Arizona to once again become an All American Department. Don’t forget volunteering on college campuses and getting involved with the Student Veterans of America for these kids are definitely our future too; they have wonderful insight and ideas on how to promote our organization. Thanks again and Happy New Year to you all. Sincerely, Tim Borland, National Council Member

AZ Cootie Grand Convention in Apache Junction Joint Homecoming Grand Commander Gene Wood Grand President Karin Nash When: Sat Feb 8Th-Sun Feb 9Th 2014 Where: VFW Post 9399 133 N. Sahuaro, Apache Junction No Host Cocktail Hour 5Pm Dinner 6Pm $15 Per Person Menu: Roast Pork And All The Fixin’s Breakfast 8Am Sat. Morning $5.00 Followed By C of A 9Am February 9Th VFW Post 9399

Hotel Reservations: Superstition Inn & Suites 251 E. 29Th Ave Apache Junction 85119 Direct Phone: 480-288-8888 Use Code: MOC Grand $99+Tax Per Night Deadline For Hotel Reservation Jan 18, 2014 Dinner/Breakfast Reservations Make Checks Payable To MOC Grand of AZ Mail To: Commander Wood 13314 A W. Kiowa Ct Glendale, Az 85307 All Meal Tickets Are Will Call At Door Questions Call: 602-920-3933


State Chaplain

Janie Miller, 12043 Maricopa

ARIZONA VFW NEWS Lord, hold our troops in you loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen

By the time members read this, the holidays are over, programs have been completed. The holidays are over, programs are complete, awards banquets and all. But there is still plenty to do in spring: VFW elections (remember to vote for who/what is good for the common good not along friendship lines) and - not the least of all -: the spring StandDown. Please come and help. You don’t have to slug chairs and cook and play with the kids that some vets bring! Just come and help with the general tasks: provide advice; direct vets to the various stations; make them feel welcome and maybe land some new recruits for the Department, if not for your post! It is all about friendship and helping others, these words that were thrown around plenty during the holidays and then quickly forgotten. Service is more than just sending checks to National or the MANA House (although they need plenty of those), it is about actually lend-

ing a hand and stretching out that hand to fellow veterans, regardless of whether they want to join our ranks or not. Finally: yes, I am again a candidate for Department Chaplain for the 2014-15 year and I hope for your continued trust in me. I just want to keep working for you all and all who need help and friendship. With that said: I have thrown my hat into the ring to become the National Chaplain for the 201516 year when it is the Western Conference’s turn to fill that position and hope you provide moral support if nothing else. Oh, I am so disappointed: Nobody called me about the quote in the Fall bulletin. Didn’t you read my article or didn’t you know the answer? But here is another quote nonetheless: “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” Zeno of Citium(c. 334 BC – c. 262 BC) Janie Miller, State Chaplain

Heroes Don’t Wear Capes

They Wear

Dog Tags

Buckeye Post 12098 Active In Their Community The Buckeye Post 12098 continues to make progress in the now City of Buckeye; supporting many programs to further develop community and veteran support. The Post has adopted two Companies of Arizona National Guard, D Co 1st Battalion 158th Infantry and HHC 1st Bn, 158th Inf. Delta Company is headquarter at the Buckeye National Guard and Army Reserve Center located north of I-10 on Miller Road. Headquarters and Headquarters Company is located on the Papago Military Center near 52nd St and McDowell in Phoenix. The Post will provide moral and welfare support to these elements with direct and indirect support through the Command and Family Readiness support elements. The Buckeye Post 12098 recently completed its second annual golf tournament at the Sun Dance Golf course located in Buckeye on 9 November 2013. Co-Chairmen Sr-Vice Hank Pasinski and Quartermaster Eldon Meade report that 68 golfers and 46 sponsors participated in the tournament, which raised over $3,500 in net revenue. After completing the course over, eighty people participated in a barbeque lunch at the Crooked Putter restaurant. Many awards, and raffle prizes were presented to those participating creating a huge success. Not only did the Post raise money but also increased our community awareness. One of the sponsors was so impressed they have already agreed to participate in next year’s outing and double their donation to $1,000. With the success of our Golf tournament, The Buckeye Police Department has asked for our help with their upcoming golf tournament, thus allowing more exposure of our VFW community support. The month of November in Buckeye is Veterans awareness month along with celebrations

of Thanksgiving. The City of Buckeye declared through proclamation the Month of November as veteran’s recognition month. On Veterans Day at Benbow Veterans Memorial Park the City of Buckeye, Main Street Coalition, and VFW Buckeye Post 12098 along with members of other veterans from the local area conducted a flag raising ceremony. Several speakers, including the Mayor of Buckeye (whose father fought in WW II), two Buckeye City Councilmen (both Marine Corp Veterans), Senior Vice-Commander Hank Pasinski and Junior-Vice Commander Conrad Villegas spoke in support on behalf of allthe Veterans present. On the 8 of December, the Buckeye Post 12098 supported our two National Guard Companies, HHC and Delta company Christmas Family Day celebration. Between the two elements, more than 400 Soldiers and Family members were entertained and feda festive Turkey dinner. The success of the sponsorship was accomplished with the support of the National Military Assistance, grant program. Several members of the Buckeye Post 12098 split responsibilities between the National Guard / Reserve Center in Buckeye and the Papago Armory at 52nd ST and McDowell serving and supporting the attending Families. Buckeye Post 12098 was able to garner the membership and support of the Battalion Commander, Command Sergeant Major, both Company Commanders (HHC and D Co) both 1st Sergeants and several other new members. We are looking for a long relationship of support and development. Buckeye Post 12098 continues to work toward all programs of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, supporting our motto: “No One Does More For Veterans” Eldon Mead, Post Quartermaster


Warning: VA ID Cards Are Easily Scanned November 25, 2013, Military.Com Anyone with a smart phone and a bar code app can scan any Department of Veterans Affairs identification card issued since 2004 and the cardholder’s Social Security number immediately pops up on the screen. The Department of Veterans Affairs published warnings about the veterans information cards (VIC’s) on their web site in 2011 and again in July, 2013. The alert states, “Some barcode readers, including those available as applications on cell phones, can scan the bar code on the front of the card, and reveal the veteran’s social security number.” VA has begun to work on a new type of card, which will not contain a Social Security number. Meanwhile, veterans should treat their current ID cards as just as careful as they do their Social Security card to prevent identity thief.

“Law For Veterans” Website Launches in AZ PHOENIX – The Arizona Supreme Court announced the website, a one-stop clearinghouse for access to legal and other important veteran benefit information. Through this site, legal information, articles, resources and forms can be accessed, providing our nation’s veterans critical help they may need. The site features ten specialty subject areas ranging from identity theft to employment law. There are sections with helpful Q&A topics as well as a place to ask legal questions, find a lawyer, or locate other resources veterans might need. The interactive website will be the public face of a broader support network. More than 270 legal professionals have volunteered to respond to questions and help match veterans with the resources they need. Brigadier General Gregg Maxon (retired) works as a special advisor to the Administrative Office of the Courts to help jurisdictions wishing to set up veterans’ courts. He was a key advocate in the planning and development of or call Heather Murphy 602-452-3656

Recruit New Members and Win a Personalized Jacket

The top 10 VFW recruiters on May 31, 2014 will receive a personalized VFW jacket. ($100 value). We will be using the National Recruiter report to determine the winners. Remember to put your name and your member number as the recruiter on the application. (In case of a tie for 10th place, those names will be put into a lottery and one winner will be drawn for a jacket).



Ray Thomas Seeks Commander-in-Chief Position

Ray Thomas has officially announced that he is a candidate for the VFW Western Conference’s nomination for National Jr. Vice Commander in 2016-17. If selected, Ray will then advance to National Commander in Chief in 201819. Also seeking the same position are Corky Berthiaume-Washington, Richard Cesler-Idaho, and B.J. Lawrence-New Mexico. During his many years serving the VFW in National and State positions (State Commander 2006-07) Ray has gathered the knowledge and the support of numerous current and past National officers that will enable him to lead our VFW into the future. Ray has demonstrated his ability by the professionalism he has brought here to Arizona, serving as the State Adjutant for the past 7 years. A campaign committee is being organized to help Ray make it through this expensive endeavor. If anyone wants to be part of this committee, please contact Ray at Dept. Headquarters 480-941-5258. At this time donations are being accepted to help alleviate travel expenses. If you would like to donate please feel free to do so. Make checks out to “VFW Dept. of AZ” and note on the check “Ray’s Campaign”. Mail to: VFW Dept. of AZ ● 6907 E. Thomas Rd. ● Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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Men’s and Ladies Auxiliary donating $750 to the Yarnell Hill Recovery 12/01/13 for Christmas. Larry,Tim and Shannon handing the the check to Chuck the president of the Yarnell Chamber of Commerce. Men’s Aux President, Tim Kelly


New Chapel for Sierra Vista VA Cemetery

In November District 7 Commander Ron DeSpain and Senior Vice Commander Joe Larson were participant’s in the ground breaking of the new Chapel for the Southern Arizona National Veterans Cemetery. Chapel is scheduled to be dedicated on Memorial Day, 2014.

Commander Mangine’s Homecoming Commander Mangine’s homecoming in Wellton in August was well attended by members and friends throughout the state. The VFW Rangers opened ceremonies with the posting of colors on horseback. All of the chairmen held informative discussions on their respective programs, the food was delicious, the band was fantastic and then it started to rain and rain and rain... All of us desert dwellers welcomed the change in weather.

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