Page 1

Vol. 16 No. 1

February/March/April 2013

Fort Peck 3107 VFW Fort Peck Post 3107 members and Auxiliary pose for a picture in the flag pole area on Highway 2 West. The Auxiliary undertook the project in 2010 to raise funds to build this memorial giving honor and thanks to veterans. Dinners, yard sales, dessert bars at the Steak Frys, member donations and numerous community donations were tremendous factors that made this project

a reality. Grants received from TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, Northern Border Pipeline, NorthWestern Energy, Valley County Community Foundation, MDU, Glasgow Beautification Fund and FMDH Foundation were given showing their community support. Funds raised for this honorable tribute tipped $31,500.00.

Pictured, L-R: Joan Nelson, Mary Sugg, Mary Potter, Sylvia Little, Delores Cumber, Denise Tiffany, Marlene Jackson, Patty Ramsey, Dale Ramsey, Levi Sugg, Darci Ellefson, DeeDee Franzen, Jill Sanders, Mike Corey, Art Widhalm, Jerry Myers, John Kolstad, Leroy Tiffany, Willie Zeller, Sandy Nigh and Bill Sugg. Not pictured: Albert Franzen, Reid Coldwell and Charles Bradford.

WWII Memorial Honor Flight

Coming Events March 2-6........................................ Legislative Conference April 14................................ District 3 Meeting, Red Lodge April 20...................................... District 5 Meeting, Richey April 21.................................... District 6 Meeting, Ekalaka April 27................................... District 4 Meeting, Belgrade May 4................................... District 7 Meeting, Harlowton May 11........................ District 2 Meeting, Great Falls 5590 June 1.......................................... District 1 Meeting, Libby

Deadlines These five men were on the first Montana Honor Flight in June 2012 that went to Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial. Pictured, L-R: Dale Lamphear, Herbert Kindsfater, James Gunnels, Kenneth Williams and Max Long are all members of VFW Post 3177 in Laurel, Montana.

All articles and pictures have to be into Department Headquarters on or before the following dates for the next four issues of The Montana Veteran. March 15, 2013................................................................ May-June-July June 18, 2013.............................................. August-September-October September 15, 2013................................. November-December-January December 15, 2013................................................February-March-April


Commander’s Report I hope everyone had a great holiday season, and that you and your family are doing well. It’s now time to get back to VFW business. We are lagging behind in membership; I don’t usually talk too much on this subject because those who read this are already members and we know what we gain by being a member, but there are hundreds of men and women out there

who need your help in getting the benefits that we have. Mid-Winter Conference will be coming up soon; I would like to see a good turnout. It is the second most important meeting we have each year. We will be holding it at Jorgenson’s Inn in Helena. Don’t forget about our spring District meetings; the dates are on the front page of this paper. It is required by National Bylaws that every Post has at least one person to attend these meetings. Denny Nolf Commander

Senior Vice Commander’s Report Greetings, Comrades! I hope you had a good 2012 and I am looking forward to meeting more of you in person in 2013. Even though we are far from closing out our VFW year on June 30, 2013, it is time to reflect on our achievements so far this year. In November and December we closed out our Citizenship Teacher of the Year. We had good participation and forwarded well deserving teacher nominees in the three categories: K-5th grades, 6th-8th grades and 9th-12th grades, on to National Headquarters. Well done to the Posts and Auxiliaries that spent time and effort in promoting this program. During the same timeframe we concluded our VFW Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen Programs. Due to your hard work, the Department and Auxiliary were able to forward excellent entries to the National Headquarters for further judging. I saw a few of the District 1 entries and, assuming they are representative of other District entries, our students should fare well at the National level of completion. These and other VFW Programs are important in developing respect for veterans and the VFW in our respective communities, so please continue to promote and participate wherever possible. Your hard work and dedication is noted and will have rewards far beyond our expectations. By now we have completed our Post Inspections and I note that many Posts are in excellent financial and operational condition. If, however, your Post was one that had discrepancies, do not despair. The purpose of our Post Inspection Program is to collect data that can be used to formulate a training program to address the various discrepancies discovered. There is nothing worse than using discrepancies on the Inspection Report to browbeat Post Leaders. In most cases, discrepancies are well known beforehand and the Inspector only points them out. Other times, discrepancies result for lack of knowledge of Post, Department and National Bylaws. We need to establish a training program encompassing all Post, District and Department leaders, bringing their knowledge of VFW requirements to the level needed to bring all of us into compliance. We are working on just such a program that can, and will, be taught at a location (or possibly two locations) within each District, annually. Junior Vice Commander Art Widhalm and Quartermaster Tim Peters have stepped forward and are leading our revitalized training


program. Of course there are logistical challenges that must be overcome to make this a reality but we are up to the challenge. More information will be forthcoming as the year progresses. Are you one of our valued annual dues paying members? Have you paid your dues for 2013? If you have not paid your dues, you are delinquent. If you hold a VFW Post, District or Department leadership position and are delinquent, you are not authorized to vote or participate in VFW meetings. (How is that for “browbeating”?) There is no threat implied or intended, but rather a respectful and courteous reminder that 2013 membership dues are overdue. How’s that for a pun? I suspect there is some confusion about annual membership dues. Our VFW membership runs from January 1 to December 31 each and every year. If your dues are not paid by the end of the membership year, i.e. December 31, our Bylaws permit membership renewal up to June 30 of the current membership year. After June 30, you can no longer renew your membership but must reinstate your membership. I hope this clarifies any confusion about annual membership and renewal. There is no better time to consider converting your annual membership to Life Membership. The rates are reasonable by comparison to other veteran and patriotic fraternal organizations and, of course, keep in mind that “No one does More for Veterans than the Veterans of Foreign Wars.” There is an increase in annual membership dues proposal being processed through our organization and will be discussed and voted on during our Department Convention in June 2013. I strongly suspect that we will see a corresponding proposal to increase Life Membership dues in the near future, probably June 2014 or 2015. Please take this information into consideration on whether or not to convert to Life Membership. Future events include Mid-Winter meetings in Helena on January 26 and 27, 2013. Deadlines for nominations of emergency responders of the year (i.e., EMT, Law Enforcement and Firefighter) are all due to Department Headquarters not later than January 15, 2013. Nominations for Scout of the Year are due to Department Headquarters by April 1, 2013. Of course in April we begin our District Meetings, which will be followed by our Department Convention at Billings in June. As always, I want to hear from you about the things on your mind. I can be reached by email at or Phone: 406-889-3340 / Cell: 406-291-1799. Ed Croucher Sr. Vice Commander


STATE OFFICERS (Area Code 406) Denny Nolf, Commander 310 Sunnyside Road, Anaconda 59711 560-5182 Ed Croucher, Sr. Vice Commander P.O. Box 350, Eureka 59917 889-3340 Cell: 291-1799 Art Widhalm, Jr. Vice Commander P.O. Box 182, St. Marie 59231 524-3761 Tim Peters, Adj/QM P.O. Box 4789, Fort Harrison 59636 324-3992 E-mail: Fax: 324-3993 Toll-Free Number: 877-881-3767 Cell: 438-1558 Dean House, Judge Advocate 25 Minnesota Avenue, Whitefish 59937 261-4815 James Porter, Chaplain P.O. Box 309, Belt 59412 277-4499 Jerry Mason, Surgeon 1426 7th Avenue South, Great Falls 59405 952-0430 Art Widhalm, Inspector P.O. Box 182, St. Marie 59231 524-3761 Carey Dill, Chief of Staff 41 4th Avenue West, Kalispell 59901 471-7446 H: 257-1077 Mike Bennett, Past Dept. Comdr. 9 Wild Grape Court, Kalispell 59901 755-7745 District 1: Ken Utter Jim Slaven, Adj/QM Ken Utter, Patriot’s Pen Ed Croucher, Teacher’s/VOD

DISTRICT OFFICERS AND CHAIRMEN 404 Crosscut Trail, Rexford 59930 P.O. Box 402, Troy 59935 404 Crosscut Trail, Rexford 59930 P.O. Box 350, Eureka 59917

889-5611 295-3402 889-5611 889-3340 C: 291-1799

District 2: Laureen Hawley, Cmdr. 413 Deerfield Court, Great Falls 59405 Ray Lutz, Adj/QM 2608 8th Avenue S., Great Falls 59405 Michelle McGlinchey, Patriot’s Pen 1225 33rd Avenue South, Great Falls 59405 Ray Lutz, Teachers 2608 8th Avenue S., Great Falls 59405 Greg Knapstad, VOD 1701 20th Street South, Apt. A-1, Great Falls 59405 District 3: Gary Race, Cmdr. P.O. Box 156, Roscoe 59071 Rick Osborn, Adj/QM 524 N. 23rd Street, Apt. 17, Billings 59101 Bill Calovis, Patriot’s Pen 445A McNaley Road, Columbus 59019 Kelly Klein, Teachers 4440 Harvest Lane, Billings 59106 Donna Adams, VOD P.O. Box 257, Absarokee 59019

453-8632 761-7065 217-2189 761-7065 788-0081

District 4: Frank Belgarde, Cmdr. 3454 Velvet Road, Helena 59602 Tim Peters, Adj/QM Teachers and VOD 1980 N. Lyons Creek Road, Wolf Creek 59648 Dave Johnson, Patriot’s Pen 5558 Canyon Court, Helena 59602


District 5: Les Poland, Cmdr. Larry Troudt, Adj/AM Les Poland, Patriot’s Pen Teachers and VOD

12931 County Road 328, Lambert 59243 1029 17th Street SW, Sidney 59270

744-3047 488-9764

12931 County Road 328, Lambert 59243


District 6: Cliff Sisko, Cmdr. Joe Murnion, Adj/QM Charlie Barbero, Patriot’s Pen Tom Toomey, Teachers/VOD

120 S. Jordan, Miles City 59301 HC 47 Box 269, Jordan 59337 P.O. Box 32, Boyes 59316 319 Juniper, Glendive 59330

853-5028 557-6195 427-5261 377-3043

District 7: Dan Barta, Cmdr. Ken Handl, Adj/QM, Patriot’s Pen, Teachers and VOD National Council Member Tim Peters

186 Alec Roy Road, Roundup 59072


127 South M Street, Livingston 59047


Robert Schwegel, Service Officer

328-4365 438-7286 322-5049 671-0819 328-4824

438-1558 202-2386

P.O. Box 4789, Fort Harrison, MT 59636 324-3992 C: 438-1558 STATE SERVICE OFFICE P.O. Box 52, Fort Harrison 59636

495-2086 Fax: 495-2007

COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS American/Loyalty, Jack Hawley 416 Deerfield Court, Great Falls 59405 899-8749 Buddy Poppy, Tim Peters 1980 N. Lyons Creek Road, Wolf Creek 59648 438-1558 Citizenship/Teachers, Dean House 25 Minnesota Avenue, Whitefish 59937 261-4815 Community Activities, Terry Lambert P.O. Box 594, Philipsburg 59858 859-3830 Employment, Joe Fletcher 3104 3rd Avenue South, Great Falls 59405 727-7546 Homeless Veterans, Joe Fletcher 3104 3rd Avenue South, Great Falls 59405 727-7546 Legislative, Dan Antonetti 5 Wood Court, Helena 59604 443-2592 Life Membership, Bill Metteer 455 Martin Camp Road Trlr, Whitefish 59937 250-4788 Membership, Bill Metteer 455 Martin Camp Road Trlr, Whitefish 59937 250-4788 Montana Veteran, Tim Peters P.O. Box 4789, Fort Harrison 59636 324-3992 National Home, Ed Croucher P.O. Box 350 Eureka 59917 889-3340 C: 291-1799 Nat. Military Service, Jack Hawley 416 Deerfield Court, Great Falls 59405 899-8749 Patriot’s Pen, Bill Edgar 439 Grand Drive, #305, Bigfork 59911 837-5487 POW/MIA, Robert Tucker 5955 Yellowstone Trail, #3, Deer Lodge 59722 490-0882 Public Rel/News Media, John Fish 1318 Evans Avenue, Butte 59701 494-7509 Women Vets (West), Michelle Ohrn 12650 Trinkus Lane, Big Fork 59911 210-4315 Wounded Warriors, Robert Tucker 5955 Yellowstone Trail #3, Deer Lodge 59722 490-0882 Outreach, Joe Fletcher 3104 3rd Ave. South, Great Falls 59405 727-7546 Scouting, Ed Boucher P.O. Box 1617, East Helena 59635 227-8087 Fort Harrison Rep, Frank Belgrade Dep: Dave Johnson Miles City Rep, Jim Sappe Billings Rep: Robert Sutton

VAVS REPRESENTATIVES 3454 Velvet Drive, Helena 59602 5558 Canyon Court, Helena 59602 1319 Roberts, Miles City 59301 5810 Chicago Rd Shepherd 59079

651-6743 202-2386 853-7617 373-9257

Columbia Falls, Mike Bennett Glendive, Tom Toomey

VETERANS HOMES 9 Wild Grape Court, Kalispell 59901 319 Juniper Avenue, Glendive 59301

755-7745 377-3043

VETERANS SERVICE COMMITTEE Chairman: Past Department Commander Mike Bennett Members: Commander Denny Nolf Senior Vice Commander Ed Croucher Junior Vice Commander Art Widhalm Adjutant Tim Peters Legislative Chairman Ed Croucher Advisor: Service Officer Robert Schwegel Voice of Democracy, Bill Edgar 439 Grand Drive, #305, Bigfork 59911 Youth Activities, Ed Boucher P.O. Box 1617, East Helena 59635 Dave Steadman Art Widhalm Ed Croucher Bill Metteer

RECRUITERS 3312 3rd Avenue North, Billings 59101 P.O. Box 182, St. Marie 59231 23 Dancing Prairie Trail, Eureka 59917 455 Martin Camp Road Trlr, Whitefish 59937

755-7745 560-5182 291-1799 524-3761 324-3992 291-1799 495-2086 837-5487 227-8087 671-3734 524-3761 889-3340 250-4788


State Judge Advocate

Junior Vice Commander’s Report Dear Fellow Veterans: I have visited a lot of Posts throughout the state in my travels during the last six months and look forward to visiting more. It has been a whirlwind of activity and a large learning experience. Posts from the smallest to the largest are abounding with good ideas. I thought I knew a lot about the VFW, but learned that I have only scratched the surface. I have met fellow officers from around the country and they are a wealth of information. Just about every situation has been experienced by someone in the VFW community. I was able to meet all of the directors in Kansas City and know that answers are only a phone call away. No one person has all of the answers and each situation is unique. Since this is a volunteer organization, we can choose to become active and run for office, but when we do, we must accept responsi-

Dear Comrades, I attended a Department Planning Meeting on November 26; it was one of the most productive meetings I have attended in quite some time. Senior Vice Ed Croucher, proposed this meeting of current and future Department officers at the Department Headquarters. He wanted to discuss issues that we will face through the rest of Denny Nolf ’s year and beyond. The people that attended were three District Commanders and most of the Department Officers; in all, thirteen people attended. The reason Ed called this meeting was to go over a few things, such as Membership program 2013-14, Department legislative agenda, chairman appointments, Department Service Officer program, the proposed Mid-Winter agenda and any other topics that we may come up with. We covered a lot of details through most of the morning. We had a lot of input and positive opinions from each member at this meeting. Throughout the later part of the meeting we discussed possible ways to help the Posts throughout the Department. One of the most important ideas that we discussed at length, was leadership education for the Post’s top three Commanders and their Quartermasters. This idea is a proven fact, educating Post officer’s works, because District 3 has been doing this for the past couple of years. District 3 Commander Gary Race has

bility for these choices. We are elected to lead and it is the collective will of the members that defines how we operate within the framework established by our organization. The will of the members, not the desires of one or two people, are at the forefront of every decision. National, State, District and Post Bylaws, in almost all instances, affect our decision-making. How familiar are you with these documents and are your copies current? Changes are made every year and hopefully, you are very familiar and spend a little time making sure your copies are the newest edition. I find that as I read and reread these rules, the meaning is just a little clearer and a decision is easier to make. It is the failure to follow the basic rules that most often gets us in trouble. There is no such thing as a stupid question and again, answers are only a phone call away. We are here to serve you, the membership, and I thank you for entrusting me with this leadership role. Art Widhalm Jr. Vice Commander

Chaplain’s Report Shalom, May the peace of our Lord be with each of you and your families. I hope and pray that this finds each of you in good health and relatively happy now that the really hot weather is over and a lot of the fire danger is no more. We surely had a long, dry summer, but now we’re on to the colder part of the season. We have a very “thankful” season coming up. I am sure all of us like either ham or turkey…or both. So if you bit into a nice ham slice or a cut of turkey this past Thanksgiving, be truly thankful as there are some people that I am almost sure have never tasted either one. We Americans take so much for granted every day. There are so many things that we have, that a lot of people have never

heard of. Regardless of what God you believe in or how you pray or don’t pray, we are all very lucky. America was founded on the principals of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. I guess that is right. I like the fact that I can pray in my own way, that I can attend church when I want, as often as I want and where I want. I know that there are probably some guys and gals out there that kind of get tired of hearing the same old thing from me. I am your CHAPLAIN. What would you expect me to talk about… the weather? Annie and I hope and pray that all of you had a very happy, “thankful” Thanksgiving and a very joyous Christmas season. Drive careful, stay warm and don’t eat too much. We would like to see you all and talk to you in 2013, not read about you. Take care and God Bless.

been bringing in School of Instruction to his District for all Post officers and Quartermasters throughout his District. The date was set up so all Posts could attend. It’s a proven fact that it works, because in the past two years in a row, District 3 has had 100% Post attendance, and participation from all of the Posts in his District. So the Department is seriously looking at bringing a School of Instruction to the Districts, but first the Department needs to go over a cost analysis to see if we can work this into our budget. If we do a School of Instruction, it cannot be held on the same date as the District meetings, because of the time factor of the District meetings. I’m sure each District could find a date and a centrally located Post to hold a School of Instruction for all Post Officers and Quartermasters. At this time, this is only a proposal that will be brought up at the Council of Administration, possibly as soon as Mid-Winter. I like the idea of having a Department Officer call every so often, just to cover potential problems, new ideas for improvement and then bring them to the Council of Administration at Mid-Winter and the State Conventions. Mid-Winter is January 26, 2013 and the MOC MidWinter is January 25th and 1900 hrs. or 7 p.m. at Post 10010 in East Helena. I hope to see as many Cooties attend this scratch; there is quite a few things to cover this winter. I hope everyone has a happy, productive and safe New Year. Dean House State Judge Advocate

National Home for Children Committee Report Greetings from your VFW National Home for Children Chairman! I hope all my Comrades and Sisters of the Ladies Auxiliary had a very Merry Christmas and I extend my wishes for a prosperous and Happy New Year. Thanks to your donations, the Montana Farmstead at the Home is doing well and the operating budget is in good shape for the foreseeable future. Our donations from Montana are slightly down as compared to last year at this time. I would ask you to look at your personal finances or Post and Auxiliary finances, and see if it is possible to make a donation now to “catch-up” with last year’s giving. Not all donated funds go to direct support for those residing at the National Home. There are infrastructure funding requirements of a more indirect support nature. Not all indirect infrastructure needs can be projected or taken from existing revenues.

Sincerely, Jim Porter State Chaplain

The Montana Veteran Department of Montana VFW c/o Tim Peters P.O. Box 4789 Fort Harrison, MT 59636 The Montana Veteran is produced at American Graphics & Design, 700 W. Virginia Street, Suite 700 Milwaukee, WI 53204 President: Jenny DeBack

The National Home is facing one such deficiency at this time. You may have heard that the Home is seeking donations to upgrade the telephone communications system. It is estimated that over $250,000.00 is needed to purchase and install this system. It is needed not only to improve on-campus communications, but also to bring emergency response notification systems up to current standards. Keep in mind that this is not just a “nice to have” requirement, but a firm requirement to keep a State Certification and License for operation of an accredited orphanage. The National Home must have this system. The good news is that notification of this requirement has been sent out to all 54 VFW Departments and if we all do our part, the funds should be easy to raise. Please see if you or your Post or Auxiliary can help in some way. A little here and a little there can make a huge difference.

Graphic Designer: Denise Giebel Composition Specialist: Ellen Imp




Veterans of Foreign Wars 91st State Convention June 13-15, 2013 · Billings, Montana


Early Registration Fee: $35.00 · Register Now and Save Money

August 29, 2012


Mr. Robert E. Wallace Executive Director Veterans of Foreign Wars 200 Maryland Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002


Dear Mr. Wallace:


I am pleased to inform you that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is awarding a grant in the amount of $506,579 for 100 percent of allowable costs associated with the expansion of the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery in Missoula, Montana (FAI: MT-11-12). The State of Montana submitted a formal Application for Federal Assistance for the project on June 26, 2012. This grant will fund the construction of columbaria, landscaping, and supporting infrastructure. The project will develop approximately 2 acres. The construction will include 960 columbarium niches and other minor improvements. The grant will help the State provide continued service for Veterans and their families in the State of Montana. The closest VA national cemetery is VA’s Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington, which is approximately 474 miles away. The closest State cemetery is Montana State Veterans Cemetery in Helena, Montana, which is approximately 114 miles away. The Memorandum of Agreement is being sent to the Administrator of the Montana Veterans Affairs Division, Mr. Joseph Foster, the official representative of the State for this federally-assisted project.

Name(s): Note if Post or Auxiliary Member __________________________________________________________________

Make Checks Payable to: MT VFW Convention Mail to: VFW Post 1634 4242 State Avenue Billings, MT 59101 Convention Hotel Accommodations Registration Deadline: May 15, 2013 Billings Hotel & Convention Center 1223 Mullowney Lane Billings, MT 59101 1-800-537-7286 Or 406-248-7151

Sincerely, John R. Gingrich Chief of Staff

VFW Room Rates are $89.00 Plus Applicable Tax and Fees for King or Double Queen Use “VFW13” Group Code for Discount

Department of MontanaVeterans of Foreign Wars 91st State Convention June 13-15, 2013 · Billings, Montana

We Are Looking Forward to Seeing All Of You for a Once In a Lifetime Convention Your Hosts: Orville Kelley, Commander Post 1634 Jerry Weitz, Commander Post 6774

Program Ad Price List Dimensions Full Page Ad: 8” tall x 5” wide Color Black & White

Price Set up Fee (if reqd.) $250 $100

$65 $55

Three-Quarter Page Ad: 5-1/2” tall x 5” wide Color Black & White

$175 $75

$55 $45

Half Page Ad: 3-3/4” tall x 5” wide Color Black & White

$125 $50

$45 $35

Quarter Page Ad: 1-5/8” high x 5” wide Color Black & White

$75 $35

$35 $25

Artwork: Camera ready or we can design your ad for space purchased if you’ll provide wording and graphics. Please send pictures in jpg or gif form. (Graphics need to be in high resolution.) Mail artwork or copy to: Jerry Hudson, 11 Prairie View Drive, Billings, MT 59102 or email: Phone: C: 406-591-4402 or O: 406-652-1635 Make checks payable to: MT VFW Convention Mail to: VFW Post 1634, 4242 State Avenue, Billings, MT 59101 Credit Card Processing: Contact Leo Koch as noted below. Contacts: Jerry Hudson (see above) Leo Koch: O: 252-1448 C: 850-3104 Email: Jerry Weitz: O: 248-2311 C: 860-2311 Email: Deadline for ordering ads: May 10, 2013




Why Should I Become a Legacy Life Member?

Veterans Memorial Headstone In the event that a deceased active duty service member or Veterans’ ashes were scattered at sea, placed at a special location, kept “close to home” or whose remains have not been recovered, they may still qualify for a plot and Memorial headstone at one of Montana’s State Veterans Cemeteries. Memorial headstones may also be furnished to eligible spouses whose remains are unavailable for internment, whether or not they predeceased the eligible Veteran. These stones bear the “In Memory Of” inscription as the first line. Memorial headstones are not available for placement in private cemeteries or for veterans who have already received a federal VA headstone or marker. The Memorial headstone set at one of Montana’s State Veterans Cemeteries will forever provide family members a place to pay their respects. Applicable Documents and Fees

As a Legacy Life member, future generations will know you not only for the sacrifices you made as a veteran, but for the contributions you made as a member. That’s a legacy to be proud of. When you become a Legacy Life Member, you are helping us strengthen the VFW where NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS. Three prestigious levels of Legacy Life Membership are available (Gold, Silver or Bronze). Each level offers generous benefits reserved exclusively for Legacy Life Members. Once your Legacy Life Membership begins, an annual endowment in you name will be made to your Post, Department and the organization. You will feel confident knowing your contributions to our organization are helping not only today’s veterans, but the veterans of tomorrow. Future generations will know and remember you for the sacrifices you’ve made during your time in uniform, in addition to the contributions you’ve made as a VFW Legacy Life Member. You will always be a member of your Post even after your gone. Simply contact your Department Headquarters at 406-324-3992 for an application.

1. DD-214 (discharge papers) showing eligibility. Eligibility Requirements. a. Service prior to 1980, veteran must have 180 days of consecutive service and an honorable discharge. b. Service after 1980, veteran must have 24 consecutive months of service or the full period of active duty, e.g. Iraqi Freedom, and an honorable discharge. 2. Death Certificate and proof of marital status (if a non-veteran spouse) 3. Headstone Setting Fee: Veteran: $45.00 Veteran’s Spouse: $115.00 4. Plot Fee: Veteran: No Fee Veteran’s Spouse: $500.00


George F. Fryett, Jr. Gold May 5, 2005 James C. Aho Gold September 8, 2006 Robert T. Schwegel Gold September 8, 2006 John C. Lattimer* Gold January 25, 2007 Thomas A. Pouliot Gold April, 23, 2009 Arthur J. Widhalm Gold April 6, 2011 Timothy C. Peters Gold May 4, 2012 Gary L. Race Gold June 18, 2012 Gerald L. Murch Gold August 14, 2012 Kenneth C. Williams Gold August 27, 2012 Lawrence Cunningham Gold September 12, 2012 Wilmer F. Zeller Gold September 14, 2012 Kelly W. Kvigne Gold September 18, 2012 Francis E. Croucher Gold October 17, 2012 Anthony G. Morris Gold Installment Ruth M. Shuey Gold Installment Ken R. Utter Gold Installment Jack A. Hawley Gold Installment Roy P. Christenson Silver October 23, 2012 Dave Steadman Silver Installment Laureen A. Hawley Silver Installment Michael J. Bennett, Jr. Bronze September 8, 2006 Reid B. Coldwell Bronze January 28, 2011 James G. Porter Bronze June 21, 2011 Walter E. Watts Bronze July 28, 2011 Gerald E. Van Every Bronze March 8, 2012 Will D. Juhl Bronze April 4, 2012 Dean House Bronze June 15, 2012 John C. Fay Bronze June 18, 2012 Gerald F. Myers Bronze June 18, 2012 Otto J. Otnes Bronze September 14, 2012 Kenneth C. Handl Bronze November 21, 2012 Charles Bradford, Jr. Bronze December 11, 2012 Troy A. McDowall Bronze Installment Richard L. Osborn Bronze Installment * Deceased No One Does More for Veterans

For more information, please contact one of our Montana State Veterans’ Cemeteries: Fort Harrison, MT Missoula, MT Miles City, MT (near Helena) (406) 721-2995 (406) 951-1325 (406) 324-3742

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Wartime Romance At Sea

POW-MIA Ceremony By Signe Moser

Troy’s John E. Freeman Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5514 and their Ladies Auxiliary and community members gathered September 29, 2012 at the VFW Hall to remember Montana’s sisters and brothers still uncounted for from all wars. Master of ceremonies Herb Gregory, U.S. Navy, retired, called attention to a small table in a place of honor. It is called: The Missing Man. It is set for one. The chair is empty to express the missing’s absence. The table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly called POWs/ MIAs. We call them “Brothers and Sisters.” They are unable to be with us and so we remember them. As Gregory called each of Montana’s Prisoners of War and Missing in Action brother and sister’s names, VFW Commander Bob Basham, US Navy, struck the bell to honor those fallen service members, which was immediately followed by a brief moment of silence. REMEMBER! The September 29th Remembrance Ceremony reminds us that the flame of hope is still burning for the return of our nation’s loved one. Families are waiting In July ’44, Aylett had over a year as a WAC. With training, and schooling, for which she had a knack Various travel by train and plane to Army station With WAC Commanders required one to hasten. Now in big ship Luriline’s administrative office she sat Sailing to Australia where war’s action was at. Being alert to cope with military needs, Bemusing herself of past history deeds Such as telegraphic proposal upon boarding the ship Or three years of college, boyfriends, dancing – hip hip. Mother and Father at home rendering need. Brothers in Air Corp and Navy their letters to read. Then appeared, with mustache and pistol, A dapper Lieutenant, handsome, not wistful, Son of cavalry colonel and himself colonel to be How could she know future husband was he. He was on business for troops aboard. For records of military, her duty was in accord.

Pictured, L-R: Robert Herman, Army; Tom Rowe, Army; Herb Gregory, Navy; Bob Basham, Navy; and John Brown, Army.

“Private” he speaks. “Lieutenant, I am a corporal” was her reply. “Corporal, Where are your chevrons?” looking straight in her eye. “I haven’t sewed them on” was her truthful word. “Corporal, you need to sew them on” t’was next she heard. Somehow, on a wartime ship, far out to sea, Friendship became quick between him and she.

hopefully that their loved one will be returned. It is estimated that of the four branches of Armed Services and fellow Americans, more than 82,574 POW/MIA’s remain unaccounted for. The ceremony is observed also across the county and on military installations across the globe. We are asking all to remember “America’s Prisoners of War and Missing in Action” and their families. The VFW would like to thank Troy’s First National Bank and Lincoln County Credit Union for displaying the Missing Man table. Also to the Kootenai Record, Montanan News, The Western News and Libby’s KLCB Station. The VFW Post invites you to join our Post and support the many worthy projects benefiting Troy and surrounding communities, as well as, our veterans and our Nation, and our troops serving throughout the world as peace keepers. For information, contact: VFW Commander Bob Basham at 406-295-4164 or Auxiliary President Francine Ninneman at 426-4020, or Mary Ann Gromley at 295-5221 or 208-255-9568 or the VFW Post at 295-9924.

Call it friendship or courtship between the two As after duty hours they met seeing the view and sat in passage-ways or walking the deck learning of each other, which had an effect. In Australia, they parted. “Be sure to write.” For eighteen months, Clark’s letter were courtship tight. In the “Battle of Manila”, Clark suffered wounds For which he was hospitalized for many moons. In the bitter battle, courage carried him far To be honored for heroism with the Silver Star. Learning to write with his left hand, His scribbles to Aylett were difficult to understand.

New Wheels for DAV

By airplane, New Guinea was Aylett’s new home, An army base in the jungle with little place to roam. Following troop conquests, to Manila she flew. With the passing months, letters from Clark – woo-woo. As the War ended, Navy brother had liberty to visit, After months of high seas, he couldn’t miss it. Discharge and home she came with her smile. Clark drove from Texas to propose in his style. For love’s sake, Aylett accepted and set a date. To be an Army wife and husband’s mate Two months later in the Church of their choice, They were joined in marriage by mutual voice. Smile for Aylett’s “Wartime Romance At Sea” That became fifty years of love and parenthood for her and he.

On September 10th, Glacier Park VFW Post 2252 Quartermaster, Carey Dill and Trustee Ryan Keeler presented a check to DAV Transportation Coordinator, Larry Smith, in the amount of $14,600.00. The money is to be used to purchase a new van for the DAV for the transportation of veterans from the Flathead Valley to outlying VA Hospitals.

This poem was written to Aylett Irving by her brother Richard Griffin, MOMM2C. Mr. Griffin, now a legal counselor, currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Alice, who was a Captain, nurse in the Air Corp. Another brother, William Griffin, was a Lieutenant in the Air Corp and flew a B – 25 for 48 missions.




Prisoners of War and Missing Service Members Honored By Carmen Daye Irish, Billings Gazette

It’s been 70 years, but Art Klein, a former member of the the U.S. Marine Corps, vividly remembers the horrors of being captured on Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean and held by Japanese forces during World War II. “It’s a time you wish you could forget, but it was a long four years of my life,” Klein said. “It was cold, very cold there in Japan.” Klein, 90, was captured and held as a prisoner of war, just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. He describes living through temperatures well below zero dressed in only a pair of wooden shoes and thin fabric covering the lower half of his body, nearly starving to death and having to bury the bodies of other POWs in frozen ground. By the time Klein was released in November 1945, he weighed 85 pounds. He spent the next six weeks in a Seattle veteran’s hospital gaining back his weight and strength. Klein and three other local former prisoners of war, as well as servicemen missing in action, were honored at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6774’s POW-MIA Recognition Day Ceremony. About 75 people attended the event. “There is no greater honor that we can participate in as honoring our vets,” Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund told the crowd. “You have all been responsible in keeping America free. And we thank you.” The guests of honor were two other POWs from World War II, U.S. Army servicemen Ben Steele and Bill Arnold; the sister of an MIA who served in the Vietnam War; and veteran eligibility and benefit specialist Jan Wald.

For Immediate Release Contact: Sgt. Chuck Lewis Cell Phone: 406.270.5735 Email: Facebook: “WALKING FOR THE FALLEN – USA” TO HIT THE ROAD United States Marine Corps, Veteran-led, nonprofit program Sgt. Chuck Lewis, aka the Montana Honor Guard, is taking “Walking for the Fallen – USA” on a road trip across the United States. “Walking for the Fallen – USA”, will begin at The American Legion Memorial Park in Everett, Washington on 31 March 2013, pass through twelve States, and finish at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at our Nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. in late October. The mission is twofold: • To remind the folks across our Country of the “Cost of Freedom”, by connecting with school age children and Civic and Veteran organizations along the route, through a Love-of-Country effort. Oral, Power Point, and Workshop style, educational and patriotic presentations will be provided at speaking engagements along the way. • Raise funds for Wounded Warrior programs; programs that make the difference toward the healing of physical and mental wounds sustained by Combat Veterans; programs that provide the Combat Veterans and their families’ tools and training that will assist in a successful transition back into their community as productive and independent survivors. The Montana Honor Guard, pushing a Touring (Double Child) Carrier, to transport equipment and a self made, full scale “Battle Cross Memorial”, the strong visual icon of fallen soldiers, which includes the traditional Boots, Rifle, and Helmet, will cover the 3,100 miles over a seven month trip. The Montana Honor Guard’s journey will literally solidify its mission to communities across our great Country one step at a time. If you would like more information about this effort, ways to help, or to schedule an interview with Sgt. Lewis, please call Sgt. Lewis at 406.270.5735 or email at We have launched a Facebook page: www., while our Website is under construction. Federal EIN# 45-4702540

Art Klein, a WWII prisoner of war, speaks at POW-MIA Recognition Day at VFW Post 6774 in Billings.



“Thank you for serving our county,” Wald told the POW guests, “and welcome home.” A round table covered with a white cloth sat at the front of the room with empty chairs around it. Set for six, the empty seats represented Americans still missing in war from the five branches of the U.S. military and one for civilians. Kathy Stevenson, of the VFW, placed service hats on each white plate and post members placed lemon wedges and pinches of salt beside the hats to represent the bitter fates and the tears for the missing and their families. “They may not be here physically, but they are here with us in spirit,” said Cathy Evans, VFW Post 6774 Auxiliary president. “We should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call to serve and served the cause of freedom.” Janelle Rose, sister of Air Force Maj. Victor Apadaca, Jr., who was shot down in Vietnam in 1967 and whose body was never returned to his family, said recognition days are important. “We gain strength in remembering,” Rose said, “and this helps to continue fighting to bring back our service men and women who are missing.” George Blackard, American Legion commander for Andrew Pearson Post 117, asked the crowd to recognize U.S. prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 26, who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 in Afghanistan. “Today is a great day – we have prisoners of war right here in the room to recognize,” Blackard said. “It’s also very important that we think of him (Bergdahl) today.” Rick Baldwin, also of Andrew Pearson Post 117, swelled his bagpipe and the room with the hymn “Amazing Grace” while people remembered those lost to war, those missing in war and those who have returned home from war. “The day is all about remembrance and recognition,” said Evans. “It brings service members and their families and friends together to share stories. They were in this together and it means a lot to them.”


for veterans and service members — Won passage of 21st Century GI Bill after 10 year battle — Got airlines to stop charging service members for baggage while on orders — Fighting for better veteran health benefits, including improved benefits for female veterans


to military and civilian communities — Hosted over 270,000 service members and their families at Welcome Homes and military appreciation events last year — Free Call Day programs made over 2.7 million connections between deployed service members and those back home possible


to you and your family — All of our members have been there when our nation called — Over 7,600 posts world wide — On Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter — You can now go online to control your membership at

Help keep the VFW strong. Renew online now at, and tell a friend about


Submitted by Cathy Evans, Auxiliary 6774



Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Montana • 2012-2013

From the President’s Desk Ladies, Happy New Year! I can hardly believe the holidays have come and gone. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I want to thank Sheila Coulter, Mary Beth Arnold and Linda Seiler for their help with 110 Christmas stockings and 110 packages, bought, wrapped, sealed and delivered to the Montana Veterans Home. Thank you, Ladies, for your contributions to the hospital fund that make this possible. Our Veterans are our heroes and deserve the best we can give! I want to thank everyone that worked hard to get your membership in by December 31. We still have a ways to go. The next deadline for 100% is March 31. We still need reports. There

is no way for your chairman to know if we are 100% in participation without a report letting them know what you have done so far. I know it is a nuisance, but a necessary one. District meetings are just around the corner. I am looking forward to seeing all of you. Hopefully Red Lodge will be ready to institute a new Auxiliary by then. I don’t know if you ladies know this, but I joined the Ladies Auxiliary because my daughter was in the Air Force and on her way to Korea. She is a Veteran and a VFW member and I am so proud of her. My business is an avenue for me to meet new people every day and it is surprising how many of them are Veterans. It is surprising in one short conversation what you can learn from them and what their needs are. I am honored to be part of an organization that is there for our Veterans. Thank you, Ladies, for your loyalty and all you do.

Chief of Staff Report I would like to thank all of our sisters for all you do every day to aid our proud veterans. I know we all do much more that we report on our Community Activity reports. We need to do better on our reporting. The information on the Community Activity report is used to help us maintain our tax exempt status, so it is very important that we report what we are doing in our communities. I still need a lot of our Auxiliaries to turn in your health surveys. This is how we know what we need to do to help your Auxiliary thrive. Once I get your health survey I will be issuing health certificates to your Auxiliaries. Remember to pot your Post number in the survey so I how who it came from. It is also important for all of our sisters to know that I am only a phone call away. If you need to know anything about the Auxiliary please call me at (406) 459-4210 so I can get the information to you that you need. Understanding how the Auxiliary works or is suppose to work will make you and your Auxiliaries better equipped to help our veterans. As always I am proud to serve as your Chief of Staff.

Be Blessed, Dianna Bennett President

Barb Peters Chief of Staff

Ronan Auxiliary 5652

Ronan Auxiliary Honors Gold Star Mothers

On September 30, 2012 the Ronan Ladies Auxiliary to Post 5652 participated in the 3rd Annual Gold Star Mothers Ceremony at Ronan City Park. There were two Gold Star Mothers who spoke of their loss. Margaret Fay, Auxiliary President, read a special poem entitled, “There’s a Gold Star in Her Window.” The Ladies Auxiliary brought salads and served a luncheon. We had 13 members participating in this moving event.

The Ronan Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW 5652 chose to honor the Boys & Girls Club for “Make a Difference Day” on October 27, 2012. The Auxiliary participated in the Boys & Girls Club fundraiser, a Barn Dance, by providing baked goodies for the bake sale and cakes for dessert and cooked spaghetti and sauce with some help from VFW member Jack Fay. The Ladies presented the Boys & Girls Club with a “Certificate of Appreciation” for the wonderful club the staff provides for our children year round. They have around 65 children on a daily basis after school.

Service Hats Wanted! In order to do a full six-place table setting for the POW/MIA ceremony, we need official Class A dress hats from each service. If anyone has any of these and would like to donate them so that we are able to do a POW/MIA ceremony, please send your hat to the Department of Montana Ladies Auxiliary, c/o Dianna Bennett, 9 Wild Grape Court, Kalispell, MT 59901 or Barb Peters, 1980 N. Lyons Creek Road, Wolf Creek, MT 59648.




VFW Department Statistics Montana as of December 2012 *Adj. Prior N/R Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. LM City 209 1 249 6 2 14 271 348 77.87 2 1 Missoula 276 1 120 4 2 29 155 181 85.63 4 0 Whitefish 1430 1 35 0 0 5 40 41 97.56 9 0 Hamilton 1507 1 66 0 0 10 76 86 88.37 7 0 Stevensville 1548 1 230 1 4 26 261 290 90.00 2 0 Libby 2252 1 283 9 3 41 336 376 89.36 2 1 Kalispell 2986 1 125 2 0 15 142 162 87.65 4 0 Polson 3596 1 166 0 0 28 194 214 90.65 3 1 Plains 4042 1 97 0 1 23 121 137 88.32 5 0 Bigfork 5159 1 26 0 0 3 29 29 100.0 10 0 Hot Springs 5514 1 109 0 0 0 109 105 103.80 6 4 Troy 5556 1 21 0 0 3 24 25 96.00 10 0 Noxon 5652 1 49 1 0 7 57 65 87.69 8 0 Ronan 6238 1 22 1 0 7 30 33 90.90 10 0 Superior 6697 1 14 0 1 2 17 20 85.00 10 0 Darby 6786 1 109 7 3 16 135 139 97.12 5 0 Eureka 12113 1 12 0 0 10 22 39 56.41 9 0 Thompson Falls Total 1 1733 31 16 239 2019 2290 88.16 7 *Adj. Prior Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. 497 2 130 0 1 9 140 147 95.23 4 1087 2 561 12 6 84 663 914 72.53 1 2484 2 39 0 0 5 44 49 89.79 9 3997 2 21 0 1 1 23 22 104.54 10 4047 2 45 0 0 6 51 49 104.08 9 4109 2 60 0 0 11 71 75 94.67 14 4198 2 33 1 0 2 36 38 94.73 9 4620 2 36 0 0 5 41 41 100.0 9 4669 2 30 0 0 4 34 44 77.27 9 4744 2 26 1 0 8 35 38 92.10 9 5590 2 132 3 0 15 150 215 69.76 3 7655 2 85 0 0 12 97 111 87.38 6 8952 2 44 0 0 2 46 50 92.00 8 Total 2 1238 17 9 161 1425 1790 79.60

N/R LM City 0 Havre 4 Great Falls 0 Shelby 0 Chester 0 FortBenton 1 Fairfield 0 Belt 0 Chinook 0 Black Eagle 0 Harlem 0 Great Falls 0 Conrad 1 Sunburst 5

*Adj. Prior Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. 1025 3 21 0 0 0 21 20 105.00 10 1543 3 11 0 0 7 18 17 105.88 10 1634 3 139 14 2 42 197 223 88.34 3 3177 3 36 1 0 6 43 42 102.38 9 4725 3 18 3 0 10 31 23 134.78 10 4762 3 41 0 0 2 43 44 97.72 9 5748 3 12 0 0 2 14 16 87.50 10 6774 3 217 6 4 58 285 305 93.44 2 7311 3 47 2 0 17 66 85 77.64 7 7407 3 29 0 0 12 41 43 95.34 9 7481 3 30 0 0 1 31 35 88.57 9 Total 3 601 26 6 157 790 853 92.61

N/R LM City 0 Reedpoint 0 Bridger 0 Billings 2 Laurel 4 Red Lodge 0 Columbus 0 Joliet 0 Billings 0 Absarokee 0 Worden 0 Hardin 6

*Adj. Prior Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. 689 4 46 0 0 9 55 55 100.0 8 903 4 41 0 0 7 48 55 87.27 8 1116 4 61 0 0 8 69 80 86.25 7 1448 4 67 1 1 29 98 107 91.58 6

N/R LM City 0 Deer Lodge 0 Bozeman 0 Helena 0 Butte


*Adj. Prior N/R Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. LM City 1723 4 25 0 0 3 28 30 93.33 10 0 Ennis 1876 4 122 2 2 26 152 166 91.56 4 1 Anaconda 3369 4 22 0 0 4 26 29 89.65 10 0 Lincoln 3648 4 23 0 1 1 25 25 100.0 10 0 Basin 3831 4 36 0 1 6 43 50 86.00 8 0 Pony 4603 4 33 0 1 2 36 39 92.30 9 0 Whitehall 7621 4 27 0 1 2 30 32 93.75 10 0 Three Forks 8292 4 30 3 0 9 42 44 95.45 9 0 Maxville 9040 4 31 1 0 9 41 43 95.34 9 0 Jackson 10010 4 269 10 3 51 333 360 92.50 2 3 East Helena 10239 4 13 0 0 1 14 14 100 10 0 West Yellowstone 12112 4 8 2 0 10 20 47 42.55 9 0 Belgrade Total 4 854 19 10 177 1060 1176 90.13 4 *Adj. Prior N/R Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. LM City 173 5 23 0 0 1 24 25 96.00 10 0 Scobey 3107 5 207 3 0 25 235 270 87.03 2 1 Glasgow 4018 5 19 0 1 1 21 23 91.30 10 0 Plentywood 4067 5 72 0 1 7 80 87 91.95 7 0 Malta 4099 5 169 0 1 21 191 206 92.71 3 0 Sidney 4813 5 58 0 1 2 61 64 95.31 8 1 Circle 7887 5 10 0 1 2 13 14 92.85 10 0 Richey 8869 5 28 0 0 1 29 31 93.54 10 1 Medicine Lake Total 5 586 3 5 60 654 720 90.83 3 *Adj. Prior Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. 1125 6 133 0 0 20 153 169 90.53 4 1579 6 178 0 1 23 202 217 93.08 3 1595 6 51 0 0 2 53 55 96.36 8 1849 6 37 1 0 6 44 48 91.66 9 7885 6 48 0 0 1 49 51 96.07 8 7886 6 46 0 0 0 46 45 102.22 9 Total 6 493 1 1 52 547 585 93.50

N/R LM City 0 Glendive 0 Miles City 0 Broadus 0 Forsyth 0 Ekalaka 4 Jordan 4

*Adj. Prior N/R Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. LM City 1551 7 27 0 0 3 30 34 88.23 10 0 Harlowton 1703 7 39 0 0 17 56 59 94.91 8 0 Lewiston 2154 7 48 1 0 10 59 60 98.33 8 1 Livingston 4925 7 36 1 2 9 48 45 106.66 9 1 Roundup 5609 7 52 0 2 5 59 60 98.33 8 1 White Sulphur Spg Total 7 202 2 4 44 252 258 97.67 3


*Adj. Prior Post Dist. Life New Reinst Cont Total Year Pct. Div. 15027 99 450 15 7 84 556 621 89.53 1 Total 99 450 15 7 84 556 621 89.53

N/R LM City 2 Helena 2

State Total 255 6157 114 58


974 7303 8293 88.06


VA Fills First Phase of Veterans Retraining Program to Enhance Job Skills 45,000 Veterans Approved for New VRAP Program WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved applications for all 45,000 slots available in fiscal year (FY) 2012 under the successful Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) and is in the process of approving applications for a total of 54,000 slots available in FY 2013. “At VA, we know first-hand that Veterans make exceptional employees, which is why this Administration has deployed a full-court press to connect Veterans with good jobs,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The surge of Veterans applying for VRAP demonstrates this program’s importance to provide unemployed Veterans the opportunity to find employment in high-demand fields.” VRAP is a new training and education program for unemployed Veterans who want to upgrade their skills for high-demand jobs. The goal of VRAP is to train a total of 99,000 Veterans over the next two years in more than 200 job skills that

the Department of Labor (DOL) has determined are the most sought-after by employers. The joint VA/DOL program is a provision of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which Congress passed and President Obama signed into law in November 2011. The program allows qualifying Veterans to receive up to 12 months of education assistance equal to the current full-time Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty rate of $1,473 per month. Starting October 1, 2012 the rate will increase to $1546 per month. To be eligible for VRAP, a Veteran must: • Be 35-60 years old, unemployed on the day of application, and not dishonorably discharged; • Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment; • Not be enrolled in a federal or state job-training program within the last 180 days; and

• Not receive VA compensation at the 100 percent rate due to individual unemployability (IU). “We’re gratified that 45,000 unemployed Veterans can begin the retraining they need to compete for in-demand jobs,” said VA Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “We’re going to maintain the momentum of our outreach to make sure we get the maximum of 54,000 Veterans retrained in fiscal year 2013.” Veterans approved for VRAP are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible and begin training fulltime in a VA-approved program of study at their local community college or technical school. The program of study must lead to an associate degree, a non-college degree, or a certificate for a highdemand occupation as defined by DOL. Some of the high-demand job training programs Veterans pursued in FY 2012 includecomputer support specialist, general and operations manager, business operations specialist, and heating, air conditioning

VA Teams Up with American Heart Association to Raise Awareness of Heart Disease in Women

have regular interaction with VA or stay informed about the benefits and opportunities for which they may qualify. VRAP is one of many efforts that VA and the Administration are undertaking to connect Veterans with employment. VA has held major live and virtual hiring fairs, as well as connected Veterans with career coaching and other career tools through the VA for Vets initiative. VA has also set a goal to increase Veteran employment within the Department and has partnered with Joining Forces and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Veteran hiring. Potential applicants can learn more about VRAP and apply online at VOW, or call VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000. Information about the Department of Labor’s programs for Veterans is available at Veterans can also visit the nearly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the nation, listed at www., for in-person employment assistance.

VA Seeks to Expand TBI Benefits Proposes Adding 5 Diagnosable Illnesses Secondary to Service-Connected TBI WASHINGTON– The Department of Veterans Affairs is publishing a proposed regulation in the Federal Register that would change its rules to add five diagnosable illnesses which are secondary to service-connected Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). “We must always decide Veterans’ disability claims based on the best science available, and we will,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said. “Veterans who endure health problems deserve timely decisions based on solid evidence that ensure they receive benefits earned through their service to the country.” VA proposes to add a new subsection to its adjudication regulation by revising 38 CFR 3.310 to state that if a Veteran who has a service-connected TBI also has one

Health and Fitness Event Will Run During Vermont Avenue Farmer’s Market WASHINGTON – The Department ofVeterans Affairs will raise awareness of heart disease in women, particularly women Veterans and VA employees, at a “VA Goes Red” health expo Thursday, Sep. 27, outside VA’s central office at 810 Vermont Avenue. The event will run in conjunction with the FRESHFARM farmer’s market held at the same location from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. “We are proud to team with the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red For Women movement to raise awareness of heart disease in women Veterans and VA staff,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “This event not only highlights our commitment to care for women Veterans, but it’s also a great opportunity to share information about cardiovascular disease and prevention.” Activities will include healthy cooking demonstrations, fitness classes, health screenings and CPR instruction. VA’s Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey and Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Health, Dr. Robert Jesse, a cardiologist, will speak during the programmed portion from noon to 1:00 p.m. AHA President Donna Arnett, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., and chairperson of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, will also speak during the event. “With the number of female Veterans and women in the military rising, and Go Red For Women entering its 10th year, now is the time to unite in the fight against the number one killer of women and advocate for an increase in women-focused research,” said Dr. Arnett. “Currently, 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease, so we’re thankful for the opportunity to provide thousands of women with life-saving information about their personal risks through our relationship with VA.” VA and the AHA announced their collaboration in May. By combining efforts, the organizations can maximize their resources and share Go Red For Women’s messages and tools with women Veterans and VA employees. The farmer’s market–which opened as a result of First Lady Michelle Obama’s mission to make healthy food options more accessible to the DC population–provides an ideal venue to discuss heart disease prevention strategies, which include exercise and healthy eating. Women serve in every branch of the military, representing 15 percent of today’s active duty military and nearly 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve forces. By 2020, VA estimates women Veterans will constitute 10 percent of the Veteran population. Visit and to learn more about VA programs and services for women Veterans.


and refrigeration mechanic and installer. VRAP applications were received from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The Top 10 states for Veterans approved for training in the FY 2012 phase of VRAP are: California Florida Georgia Texas North Carolina New York Michigan Illinois Virginia VRAP also attracted Veterans internationally, with applications coming from Veterans living in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Philippines, Canada, Japan, the Northern Mariana Islands, and areas of Europe and the Pacific where American military units are based. Undersecretary Hickey explained that continued outreach on VRAP is particularly important because the program applies to a segment of the Veteran population that may not

TBI Benefits, continued on page 12






Meeting 1st Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. Post and Auxiliary Club Room open 9:00 a.m. to ? 7 days a week

Post Meetings – 4th Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Club open daily at 12:00 p.m. Mon-Sat Lounge – Banquet Hall – Meeting Room Bowling Center, 2332 Smelter Ave. 453-4736

Post Meeting 3rd Monday – 7:00 p.m. Basement – American Legion Club

GREAT FALLS POST 1087 Meeting 2nd Thursday each month 7:00 p.m. Chicken & Steak Dinner – 1st & 3rd Sunday Breakfast – 2nd and 4th Sunday

LIBBY POST 1548 Meetings 1st Wednesday 7:00 p.m. Bingo every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Club open daily at 12:00 Noon to 2:00 a.m. 7 days a week

BIGFORK POST 4042 AND LADIES AUXILIARY VFW Meeting 1st Tuesday of the month Ladies Auxiliary Meeting 1st Wednesday of the month Steak Night – 3rd Wednesday of the month

Visit the Montana Military Museum At historic Fort Harrison, just west of Helena. Telling Montana’s Military History and Recognizing Montanans For Their Service! For more information write to: Fort William Henry Harrison Museum Foundation & Montana Military Museum ATTN: Museum Director/Curator P.O. Box 125, Fort Harrison, MT 59636-0125 E-mail: – 406-324-3550


WEST GREAT FALLS POST 5590 Post Meetings 1st Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Post Home opens at 10:00 a.m. Live music Friday & Saturday 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. All VFW & Auxiliary Members Welcome

POLSON POST 2986 Post & Auxiliary Meeting 3rd Monday 7:00 p.m. Club open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. 5th and Main in Polson


Post Meets 1st Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Ladies Auxiliary meets 1st Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Men’s Auxiliary meets 2nd Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Lounge open 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Daily Come in and enjoy Flathead Camaraderie


Post Meeting 1st Tuesday – 7:00 p.m. American Legion Post 58 Meeting 2nd Monday – 8:00 p.m. Club Hours 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.


ROBERT SCHWEGEL DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICER Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday 495-2086 Box 52, Ft. Harrison, MT 59636-0052

PONY VFW POST 3831 AND MOC PUP TENT #24 Post Meetings 2nd Saturday 1:00 p.m. at Pony Bar Members and Guests Welcome

BOZEMAN POST 903 2005 N. Rouse Meeting 3rd Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Club House 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily Members and Guests Welcome

MISSOULA POST 209 Post Meeting 2nd Wednesday – 7:00 p.m. Auxiliary Meeting 2nd Tuesday – 2:00 p.m.


Post Meeting, 1st Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. Auxiliary Meetings, 3rd Monday, 7:00 p.m. (April-Sept.) 2:00 p.m. (Oct.-March) Club Open from 11:00 a.m. to ? Stop By and Enjoy Our Smoke Free Club


Meeting 2nd Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Club open daily 10:00 a.m. to Midnight Closed Sunday Phone: 433-9982

154 Castner Street Belt, MT 59412 406-277-4499

EUREKA POST 6786 Post Meeting 1st Tuesday – 7:00 p.m. Auxiliary Meeting 1st Tuesday – 1:30 p.m. Club open 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

1222 Highway 2 West Meeting 2nd Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Canteen open 2:00 p.m. to ?, Mon-Sat

Post Meetings 1st & 3rd Wednesdays Auxiliary Meetings 2nd & 4th Mondays Club – Bowling Alley – Banquet Hall You Are Always Welcome


TROY VFW POST 5514 Post Meeting, 2nd Tuesday, 11:00 a.m. Auxiliary Meeting, 1st Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. Jr. Girls Meeting, 4th Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

MALTA POST 4067 Post and Auxiliary Meetings 2nd Wednesday 7:00 p.m. Jam Session First Sunday Canteen Open 2:00 p.m. to ? Mon.-Sat. Members and Guests Welcome

BILLINGS HEIGHTS POST 6774 Post Meeting 2nd Wednesday Auxiliary Meeting 2nd Thursday Canteen Open Daily A Cordial Welcome to All

BILLINGS POST 1634 4242 State Ave. Club Open 10:00 a.m. to 12 Midnight Package Liquor

VA Montana Health Care System TOLL-FREE NUMBER 1-877-468-8387 (M-F: 8:00-4:30) Option #1 Pharmacy (between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) 1. Refill 2. Renewal 3. Anticoag 4. Staff **Refill Option is available 24 hours.

Option #2 Central Scheduling (between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)


Option #3 Mental Health (between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) 1. Appointments 2. Crisis Nurse 3. Staff **If crisis nurse is needed after 4:30 p.m., call 406-442-6410

Option #4 VA Clinics (between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) 1. Missoula, Kalispell, Cut Bank 2. Great Falls, Lewistown, Havre 3. Fort Harrison, Anaconda, Bozeman 4. Billings, Miles City, Glendive


Thank you for supporting our Troops THE MONTANA VETERAN

2013 WWII Tours Scheduled for June and August

Senators and Representatives Contact Information The Honorable Senator Max Baucus Room 511 Hart Senate Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington Phone: (202) 224-2651 Toll-free phone number 1-800-332-6106 Montana Address: 222 N. 32nd Street Billings, MT 59101 Montana Phone: (406) 657-6790

Veterans’ benefits are threatened… The battle is underway. We are fighting a fierce battle in Congress to protect the entitlements veterans have earned through the generations. Donate to VFW to fight for your rights and support VFW programs right here in our state.


“EVERYONE IS WELCOME on our 2013 WWII tours,” states tour hostess Vi Ranney from Yankton, SD, who just escorted her 19th WWII tour this past August. The life-time VFW Auxiliary member would love to take you along to Paris, the Beaches of Normandy, Patton’s grave in Luxembourg, through the Battle of the Bulge area in Belgium, into Germany for a stop at the Remagen Bridge, and enjoy a Rhine River cruise before visiting Dachau and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. June and August departures are slated for 2013. Call Vi at 605-665-3596 for more information. Discount for WWII veterans. The ten WWII Veterans pictures above at General Patton’s grave were part of the forty participants on the August 2012 tour.

The Honorable Senator Jon Tester Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 40 Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington Phone: (202) 224-2644 Montana Address: 222 N. 32nd Street 1st Floor Billings, MT 59101 Montana Phone: (406) 252-0550 The Honorable Representative Denny Rehberg Room 516 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington Phone: (202) 225-3211 Toll-free phone number 1-888-232-2626 Montana Address: 1202 Grand Avenue Billings, MT 59102 Montana Phone: (406) 256-1019

TBI Benefits, continued from page 10 of the five illnesses, then the illness will be considered service connected as secondary to the TBI. Service connection under the proposed rule depends in part upon the severity of the TBI (mild, moderate, or severe) and the period of time between the injury and onset of the secondary illness. However, the proposed rule also clarifies that it does not preclude a Veteran from establishing direct service connection even if those time and severity standards are not met. It also defines the terms mild, moderate, and severe, consistent with Department of Defense (DoD) guidelines. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted over the next 60 days. A final regulation will be published after consideration of all comments received. VA’s decision is based on a report by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM), “Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of TBI.” In its report, the IOM’s Committee on Gulf War and Health concluded that “sufficient evidence of a causal relationship” - the IOM’s highest evidentiary standard - existed between moderate or severe levels of TBI and diagnosed unprovoked seizures. The IOM found “sufficient evidence of an association” between moderate or severe levels of TBI and Parkinsonism; dementias (which VA understands to include presenile dementia of the Alzheimer type and post-traumatic dementia); depression (which also was associated with mild TBI); and diseases of hormone deficiency that may result from hypothalamo-pituitary changes. Specific information about the Defense and Veteran Brain Injury Center is available at Information about Gulf War and VA’s services and programs are available at exposures/gulfwar/index.asp.




Montana Veteran - Spring 2013  

Spring 2013 issue of Montana Veteran

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