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AMVET NEWS MICHIGAN

Winter, 2009

SERVING VETERANS SINCE 1945

Vol. 64, No. 4

COMMANDER'S CORNER

F

BY CMDR. Bob Downer

all Conference is behind us and it is time to continue our march forward. I think it was the best Fall Conference Michigan has seen in a long time and I want to congratulate every one in the AMVETS Family for their help in making it so. Bingo is a go, just waiting for license. I want to thank the AMVETS family from Post 126 for all their help and the loan of $3,000 dollars to get started. By the time you get this article we should be playing bingo. Our Department web site does not seem to be progressing very fast, some changes are in the wind to make this progress at a much faster pace, maybe even some professional web management. I want our newspaper to be on that web site by next issue and no later than June 2010. We will be looking for a new solicitation company in April of 2011 and we need our paper to be online and tested by then. I’m talking to our current solicitation company to see if we can get out of our current contract sooner and the next contract we sign will not renew automatically for three years at a time or be 90% them 10% us. I need help with the web site if there is anyone who would like to help; must have computer knowledge. I’m also looking for people to take photos and or write captions for the pictures. This will require you to attend a lot of AMVETS

family functions throughout the state. Anyone who likes doing scrapbooks we need that also. We have a lot of Department history just stored in boxes at Headquarters that would look much nicer displayed in scrapbooks. Service officer funding is back, though considerably reduced, so the future for them looks bleak. We will be going to a grant system March 31, 2010 with only five grants given out to 11 veterans groups. Two large, two small and one for paralyzed vets. Glenda is looking into what we need to do to apply for those grants. I’m sure it will not be easy. One of the grant requirements is to report all volunteer hours at all VA facilities for each post, so please send all reports to the Department and keep us informed. Performance Group is moving forward rapidly now, we need all posts in Michigan to sign up and get on board. Please contact me to get a membership form; it does not cost any thing to join so there is nothing to lose. Look at it this way; even if you do not use this you will be helping other posts in the state to save money. If you have not heard about the Performance Group please contact me, you will be glad you did. The newest edition of the Michigan AMVETS News just came out and the reaction to it is as I suspected, but there is still Continued on page 3

1st Vice Commander's Report

W

ith Santa Claus coming in just a few days and all of you out shopping for that something special for your loved ones, there are not many of you thinking about membership. We have to remember though that membership has to be on your mind always. Keep that blank membership form on your person at all times and when someone starts telling you about what they did in the service, sign them up so they can tell everyone. If you are really stuck on what to get for that special person, how about considering life membership in AMVETS, Auxiliary, Sons or Riders? They will keep thanking you for your gift every year at membership renewal time. Speaking of membership renewal time, it is probably winding down at your post at this time of year. If you still have a few members that haven’t renewed, get on the phone and give them a call. Remind them that they are due to renew. I am sure that they intend to renew but just need a reminder. At Fall Conference back in October, I spoke to the attendees about starting new AMVET posts in areas where we are not represented. Perhaps you are driving a great distance to your nearest post and know a few people living close to you who would join if it were more convenient. Well our Executive Director Glenda Cogswell put together a Post Startup Kit which contains many thing to help get a new post started. I passed a kit out to each

District Commander in attendance at the Fall conference along with a packet provided to me by the Monroe Post 1942 Commander Dave Eby. The packet contains the information that Dave says he would like to have had when he was developing the Monroe post in 2006. Well I have to get out and do some last By Vince Cass minute shopping myself so I want to wish all 1st Vice Commander of you a very happy holiday season and of course a happy and prosperous new year. We can do all of the wishing and hoping we want but only hard work and sacrifice will provide a happy new year for our AMVETS Department of Michigan and I know that your Department Officers are doing all they can. 

Give the gift of membership this year.

Be present.


Amvets

Upcoming Events

Department Of Michigan 2009-2010 State Executive Committee

Department Commander ......................................................Robert Downer 1st Vice Commander.................................................................Vincent Carr 2nd Vice Commander........................................................Anthony M. Lema Finance Officer.........................................................................Jean Bennett Judge Advocate.............................................................. Daren R. Heckman Provost Marshal...................................................................... Roger Lanting Nec Man....................................................................Pdc Dennis M. Butler Alternate Nec . ................................................................. Pdc John Dowd Immediate Pdc ................................................................... Mary Wilseck District I Commander............................................................James Meloche District Ii Commander.................................................................Dave Ewald District Iii Commander....................................................Michael Wainwright District Iv Commander.................................................................Alan Abels District V Commander.............................................................. Perry Corwin District Vi Commander............................................................. Paul Ladochi District Vii Commander............................................................ Carol Hebert Executive & Service Director..............................................Glenda Cogswell Aide De Camp......................................................................... Dennis Butler Chaplain............................................................................... Donald Cooney Legislative Director.................................................................John Hoechrel Inspector General.....................................................................Alan Norman Department PRO................................................................... Martin Bennett

Dept. of MI Spring SEC February 27, 2010 Marriott at Centerpointe Auburn Hills 3600 Centerpointe Parkway, Pontiac National Commander Miskulin’s Testimonial Dinner March 6, 2009 Green Bay, WI

Subordinate Organizations

State Commander Downer’s Testimonial Dinner March 13 VFW Durand

Ladies Auxiliary President........................................................ Kathy Keizer Auxiliary Legis/Liaison...................................................... Maureen Jackson Auxiliary Exec Secretary..................................................... Nancy Middleton Jr. Amvets President.............................................................Ashley Keizer Jr. Amvets Coordinator................................................... Robert Middleton Sons of Amvets Commander........................................... Douglas Beedon Sons of Amvets Coordinator............................................ Pdc John Dowd Service Foundation President...................................... Pdc Harold L. Reed Saddest Sad Sack..................................................................John Hoechral

Next DEADLINE for The Michigan AMVETS News is 01/07/2010 ANNUAL DEADLINE DATES

Spring Issue Summer Issue Fall Issue Winter Issue

2010 SPRING NEC MARCH 18-20, 2010 Hilton Washington Dulles Airport 13869 Park Center Road Herndon, VA. 20171

January 7 April 7 July 7 October 7

The Michigan AMVET News

Sons of AMVETS Commander Beedon’s Testimonial Dinner

Official Publication of the AMVETS Department of Michigan American Veterans who have served honorably since September 1940 Chartered by Congress July 28, 1947

April 10

Owned, Edited and Operated by the AMVETS Department of Michigan

Grand Rapids

Published Quarterly Publication design by JM Publishing Editorial Office: Mail: P.O. Box 254 Dryden, MI 48428 UPS: 5489 Main St. Dryden, MI 48248 Phone 810-796-3876 Fax 810-796-3896 E-mail address: miamvet2008@yahoo.com The Department Headquarters business hours are 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Ladies Auxiliary President Kathy Kiezer’s Testimonial Dinner

April 20

NON-PROFIT POSTAGE PAID IN PONTIAC, MICHIGAN Subscription Rates: 50 cents per year to members * $1 per year to non-members Advertising Rates on Request

Michigan AMVETS News

Post 126 Grand Rapids -2-

Vol. 64, No. 4


COMMANDER'S CORNER, cont. hope and time to help turn this department around. All we need is everyone’s help. Things are getting better but it takes a lot of time and effort to change things. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the people and posts that are trying to get the Department back on track. The process is extremely slow but we are still moving forward. We have a lot more things coming in the near future, which we hope will create some needed income to our Department. As it stands now the only income we have is membership and solicitations from Midwest which will not be enough for us to survive on. I have spent my entire life doing what I thought is the right thing. I still do that today and will continue to do the right thing the rest of my life. When I ask for help, I do not ask any one to do anything I would not do myself. I’m just asking you to do the right thing.  GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.

2nd Vice Commander's Report

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hat a great Fall Conference! A wealth of information was presented by all Department Officers. Seminars were wellattended, with many questions asked and, hopefully, answered. Of all of the conferences that I have attended over the past 26 years, this year’s was by far the most informative. I am sure that everyone who participated agrees. On a down note, only 8% of our posts are completing program reporting. I spoke with many of you during Fall Conference so I know that statewide AMVETS, Auxiliary, SOA & Riders are doing lots of great projects. Report them! Did you know that all of those volunteer hours, miles driven, donations made, and dollars spent prove our ongoing support of Veterans and equates to Federal monies for continued support of our programs? Reporting is VERY important to all of us. If you are the 2nd Vice Commander at your Post and have access to a computer, go to www.AMVETS.US/Reports and bookmark that site for quick access. Enter your membership ID and password, choose a category, and enter your information. If you do not have a computer, mail your information to Department Headquarters and I will enter it for you. For each category, list your volunteers, hours, mileage, and donations, if any. Very important. Prior to Fall Conference, I met with my co-chairs on the Americanism Committee at Post 29. We discussed many upcoming changes, particularly AMVETS taking on a much larger role. Pat Michalski and Doug Beedon put a lot of forethought into the kinds of changes that are needed. The co-chairs’ recommendations were passed unanimously during the Americanism Committee meeting at Fall Conference. With everyone’s help, we will try to make the recommendations become reality this year. Everyone knows that the past couple of years have been rough for our Department. Our Executive Director, Glenda Cogswell, inherited a nightmare. Without any guidance or training from her predecessor, Glenda has found ways to make and save us thousands of dollars. Many of us have spent the past few months burning the midnight oil at headquarters with Glenda and Commander Downer. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel strongly about the direction in which AMVETS Department of Michigan is headed. With your help, we will make it. 

Wolverine Awards

Left to Right Jack Shoop, Post 1988, Community Service Award, Perry Corwin, AMVET of the Year, Vicki Riley, Commander Post 29, Commander of the Year, Department Commander Bob Downer, Clova Hardiman, Bill Hardiman, Citizen of the Year. Photo by Bill Day, Post 115 Congratulations to our award recipients. It was a pleasure to host our award winners at our Wolverine Awards Dinner. Post 1988 was awarded the Community Service Award, Vicki Riley, Post 29, was selected as Post Commander of the Year, Senator Hardiman was our AMVET Citizen of the Year, and Perry Corwin from Post 126 was selected as AMVET of the Year.

Michigan AMVETS News

By Anthony M. Lema 2nd Vice Commander

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Vol. 64, No. 4


Editor's Column

By Executive Service Director Glenda F. Cogswell

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s I contemplate about what to write, I think back to my accepting this position. It has been two years now. I have learned a lot about my job and a lot about people as well. I never thought of myself as naive, but in retrospect I suppose I was. I always thought the best of people and thought they would do the right thing whether it was beneficial to them or not, especially when it came to assisting veterans. I find now that I was wrong in this belief. Being in this position and with everything that has transpired, it can jade a person's beliefs and trust. When I started, I came up with a list of things that I thought could be accomplished and would benefit the organization as a whole. Some of those things have been accomplished and others I now believe are almost impossible to accomplish. From the beginning when I started working for the AMVETS I have given my all, because I believe in the ability of this organization to assist veterans in a timely and caring manner. I still believe that this is true, but I don’t believe that the membership as a whole has this attitude. If everyone could come together for the good of the veterans in our state, I believe that we could accomplish a lot. But when everyone has the attitude of what’s in it for me, then they don’t have the best interest of the veterans or the organization at heart. It is common knowledge by now that the Department of Michigan is having financial issues, this includes the Service Department. We did receive appropriations for the first six months, after that we have to apply for a grant. If we do not receive a grant at that time, our Service Department and quite possibly the Department itself will cease to exist, and it seems only a very few even care. It seems to me that this is a great dishonor to the veterans of this state that depend on us for assistance. We have been in existence for 59 years and no one expresses any concern that it may all come to an end in the near future. We have committees that do not function as they were designed to do, posts that fight amongst themselves, members who also fight amongst themselves, so I have to wonder where is the brotherhood, the camaraderie, and the caring for our brothers and sisters who served our country? I don’t claim to have the answers, but I believe that if everyone came together and remembered what the mission of this organization is, do those things that they are supposed to do, and start having a little faith and trust we could survive in the end. I am only one person and can not do it all alone it takes the organization as a whole. As they say “UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL” I would like to see us UNITED, how about you?  Michigan AMVETS News

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Vol. 64, No. 4


THE STATE OF THE STATE AMVETS DEPARTMENT By A Concerned AMVET

Where We Were, Where We Are And Where We Are Going. WHERE WE WERE: As many of you can remember there was a time when AMVETS throughout the state knew that the State Department Headquarters was an important and vital part of the AMVETS as a whole in Michigan. We knew that by supporting the Department we were able to coordinate the activities of the posts throughout the state and assist our veterans no matter what their needs or where they were located. We also knew that the Department provided individual posts with the benefits of having state wide conferences and conventions as well as the leadership required to promote brotherhood within and between our posts. Once upon a time the Department was supported by the posts and its members both financially and with volunteer manpower to assist with the administrative burdens faced by the Department Headquarters. We enjoyed getting together to help. Elected officials took their respective positions serious and wanted to do what was required. Committees met as they needed in order to accomplish the requirements of those committees. And subordinate organizations wanted to help the AMVETS as a whole. But those were different times. WHERE WE ARE: As most of you are aware by now the Department is in trouble. We became complacent and just let things get away from us such as the checks and balances required of any large organization. We relied on a few to handle all of the administrative and financial responsibilities of the organization rather than ensuring those individuals elected and appointed to oversee the Department did what was needed. This just happened through no one individual’s malice or oversight, it’s just that we lost sight of the reason the Department was developed in the first place. Because we became complacent the Department is now in an unfamiliar position of being unable to support itself financially. Any and all monies that had been reported as investments are no longer there and the only income being received by the Department is coming from membership dues and the few fund raisers that have been put together by those who understand the problems we face. Some posts during recent conventions and shortly after were generous enough to contribute money to the headquarters for operational expenses and they were truly appreciated, but understand that one time contributions will only last so long when there are continual overhead costs involved with maintaining a Department Headquarters and holding statewide conventions and conferences. This also does not take into account the cost of ensuring that the Michigan Michigan AMVETS News

AMVETS is represented at the national conventions and district meetings. The day to day expenses are just too numerous to list in this article, so let’s just equate it to your own life. Let’s say you get a pay check for one months work in the year and are required to make that money pay the bills for the entire year. It’s hard to do. That’s what we are asking the Department to do when we give them one time donations and think that it will last all year. Many of you will say “What happens to the money that the Department received from the state?” Well let’s talk about that. First you need to understand that the money received from the state as well as the money that is given to the Service Foundation from National is for the State Service Department and is completely separate from the AMVETS Department Headquarters even though it falls under the supervision of the Department Executive and Service Director. All funds that are given to the Service Department are earmarked specifically for the wages and overhead involved with the operation of the Service Department. The Service Department also covers the wages of the State Executive Director and any administrative assistance needed at the State Department Headquarters only because of its dual role as the Headquarters for the Service Department. Let’s take this a step further because recent passage of bill 250 in the state appropriation budget has cut the amount of funds provided to the Service Department drastically from past years and as a result has forced the Service Department to cut back on the number of Service Officers in the state to assist our vets. This also forced the Department Headquarters to cut back on administrative assistance to zero leaving only the Executive and Service Director to handle all of the financial and administrative requirements of the State Department Headquarters alone as well as the supervision of the Service Department. So let’s see, we no longer have the money that we thought we had, we have very little money coming into the Headquarters to cover the cost of operating, we no longer support the Department at the post level and the people who are in positions of responsibility are no longer responsible. Sounds pretty bad, don’t you think? On the brighter side of the coin, we finally have a Commander this year that is willing to step forward and put his reputation on the line in an attempt to get things back to where they should be. He is attempting to take action against those who have put us in this position. He is attempting to get the organization back on track with everyone working toward a stronger and more efficient organization. If everyone gets back to doing what they are responsible for he should be successful. But can only do it with your support. -5-

WHERE ARE WE GOING: This is easy to answer. If we continue with our current attitude and support, the Department will not survive. The allocation of funds that has been provided by the state for the Service Department will only last for the first six months of the year. It is designed by the State Department of Veterans Affairs that way with the intent of providing grants to certain organizations for the remainder of the year. They have provided for a total of five grants which will be broken into two large grants, two small grants and one grant specifically designated for assistance of the paralyzed vets. It is also apparent that the Department of Veterans Affairs has every intention of getting accreditation from the National Veterans Affairs to allow all County Service Officers to process veteran’s claims without having to go through one of the Veteran Service Organizations. This will then eliminate the need for each organization to have their own Service Officers and thus eliminate the requirement to allocate funds. Without the Service Department there will be no way of providing money for the wages of the State Department Headquarters and the Department will be forced to shut down. Now some of you may think that this is okay, but let’s take a look at what it really means. First if there is no State Department Headquarters then there is no need for a State Executive Committee or any sub committees. There will be no representation for the state at national. There will be no administrative support for membership; each post will have to deal directly with national in regards to membership. Post administration will increase dramatically. And that’s only to mention a few things. Let’s also look at subordinate organizations. If there is no State Department then there is also no need for a Department in any of the subordinate organizations. All of these groups will be drawn back to post level only. Oh and by the way Higgins Lake Lodge will revert back to the State of Michigan. IN CONCLUSION: We all know that we can’t do anything about the past as it has gone by and cannot be undone. We can however change what is happening now and take the actions needed to prevent where we are going. We may not be able to control outside influences such as the allocations from the state and national but we can control their influence from having a devastating effect on our organization. Let’s all set aside our differences or indifferences and work together for the betterment of the organization as a whole. 

Vol. 64, No. 4


Legislative Corner By John Hoecherl, Legislative Director

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decision was made on the appropriations for our Service Department. We will be funded at a reduced amount for the first six months, which will take us to March 31, 2010 and after that there will be five grants, which we will have to apply for. The prospects do not look good and we will be competing with 10 other organizations for those five grants. Below are other issues that are pending that deal with veterans. 

Status of bills of interest to Michigan veterans introduced in the 95th Legislature (Jan 2009-Dec 2010) from www.legislature.mi.gov

Bill EO 09-22

Sponsor Granholm

SJR D

Garcia

SJR J

Allen

SJR L

Kahn

HJR S

Stamas

HJR AA

Jones

SB 17

Hardiman

SB 108

Kahn

SB 121

ClarkColeman

SB 137

Garcia

SB 154

Anderson

SB 204

Olshove

SB 250

Garcia

SB 313

Pappageorge

SB 371

Garcia

SB 574

Garcia

SB 721

Kahn

SB 748

Pappageorge

SB 749

Pappageorge

SB 851 SB 875

Jelinak

HB 4054

Simpson

HB 4127

Rick Jones

HB 4203

McDowell

Switalski

status of bills of interest to Michigan veterans introduced in the 95th Legislature (Jan 2009-Dec 2010) from www.legislature.mi.gov Description Status Weblink Reduces the State’s FY09 appropriaIntroduced and approved by the House http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(1wqx2s21qj12 tions by $221.86 million in General ln25qa1iup55))/documents/publications/executi and Senate Appropriations Committees veorders/2009-EO-22.pdf Funds and $127.47 million in Special on May 5, 2009 Purpose Funds Proposes an amendment to State Consti- Referred to Senate Committee on Govhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SJR-D tution to provide a temporary replaceernment Operations and Reforms ment for a State legislator called to active military duty Proposes an amendment to State Consti- Referred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SJR-J tution to require in-state tuition for all Citizens and Veterans Affairs veterans Proposes an amendment to State Consti- Referred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SJR-L tution to require veterans preference for Citizens and Veterans Affairs state civil service employment Proposes an amendment to State Consti- Referred to the House Committee on http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HJR-S tution to require in-state tuition for all Education veterans Proposes an amendment to State Consti- Referred to House Committee on Military http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HJRtution to require veterans preference for and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Secu- AA state civil service employment rity Proposes to prohibit work-study grants Referred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0017 to universities which do not permit inCitizens and Veterans Affairs state tuition for military personnel and dependents stationed in Michigan Expands charitable gaming licenses to Public Act 41 of 2009 http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBthe auxiliary of a National veterans ser0108 vice organization Proposes an alternative income calculaReferred to Senate Committee on Finance http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBtion for certain veterans to determine 0121 eligibility for income tax credit for property tax paid Proposes a monthly stipend for Post Referred to Senate Committee on Appro- http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0137 9/11/01 recipients of the Purple Heart or priations medically retired from military service Proposes to permit a local taxing author- Referred to Senate Committee on Finance http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0154 ity to waive property tax for eligible disabled veterans with taxable income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level Proposes to prohibit liens on the propReferred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBerty of active duty military personnel 0204 Citizens and Veterans Affairs, reported who have not paid rent on self storage with recommendation to the Committee units of the Whole, passed Senate, referred to House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, reported with recommendation Proposes FY10 appropriation for Dept Referred to Senate Appropriations Subhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBof Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, substitute reported with rec0250 ommendation to Senate Appropriations Committee, reported with recommendation to the Committee of the Whole, a substitute is in third reading, passed Senate, House passed a different version of the bill, a Conference Committee recommendation has passed the Senate and been forwarded to the House, the Conference Committee recommendation has been approved by the House and Senate, the bill has been enrolled and presented to the Governor on Sep 30, 2009 Proposes to amend the State’s contractReferred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0313 ing law concerning veteran’s preference Citizens and Veterans Affairs, reported in awarding construction projects. with recommendation, passed the Senate, referred to the House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Proposes to permit active duty military Referred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0371 personnel to cancel cell phone contracts Citizens and Veterans Affairs, reported without penalty with recommendation to the Committee of the Whole, passed Senate, referred to House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Proposes to waiver driving examination Referred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0574 for commercial drivers licenses for eliCitizens and Veterans Affairs gible military personnel/veterans Proposes to allow military personnel sta- Referred to the Senate Committee on http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0721 tioned outside the US to submit absentee Campaign and Election Oversight ballots by facsimile or e-mail Proposes a tuition waiver for OEF/OIF Referred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0748 veterans with a service connected disCitizens and Veterans Affairs ability rating Proposes a “Gold Star Family” license Referred to Senate Committee on Transhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0749 plate for the parent, spouse, child or sib- portation ling of a service member who died during combat Provides an interim appropriation for PA 104 of 2009 http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBOct 2009 0831 Proposes the Dept of Military and VetReferred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SB0875 erans Affairs post the name of Michigan Citizens and Veterans Affairs combat casualties on the internet and notify e-mail subscribers of the loss Proposes to names a portion of M-50, Referred to House Committee on Transhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB“Jackson County Veterans Highway” portation, reported with recommendation, 4054 referred to second reading, passed House, referred to Senate Committee on Transportation Proposes to include a designation of Referred to House Committee on Military http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBveteran status on the State’s drivers liand Veterans Affairs and Homeland Secu- 4127 cense rity, reported with recommendation, referred to second reading, returned to the House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Proposes to waive state park entrance Referred to House Committee on Tourhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBand camping fees for veterans who are ism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Re- 4203 totally and permanently disabled or forsources, referred to House Committee on mer POW’s Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, reported with recommendation, passed House, referred to Senate Committee on Senior Citizens and Veterans Affairs

Michigan AMVETS News

Bill EO HB 09-22 4269

Sponsor Granholm Rick Jones

HB SJR 4270 D

Mayes Garcia

HB 4276 SJR J

Griffin Allen

SJR L

Kahn

HB HJR 4452 S

Agema Stamas

HB HJR 4512 AA

Polidori Jones

SB 17

HB 4513 SB 108 HB 4563 SB 121 HB 4751

Hardiman

Moore Kahn

Hansen ClarkColeman Calley

status of bills of interest to Michigan veterans introduced in the 95th Legislature (Jan 2009-Dec 2010) from www.legislature.mi.gov Description Status Weblink Reduces the State’s FY09 appropriaby the House http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(1wqx2s21qj12 Proposes to increase the penalties for the Introduced Referred toand the approved House Committee on Juhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBtions by or $221.86 million General ln25qa1iup55))/documents/publications/executi Senate Appropriations Committees 4269 damage destruction of in war memorials and diciary Funds and $127.47 million in Special veorders/2009-EO-22.pdf on May 5, 2009 and monuments Purpose ProposesFunds sentencing guidelines for the Referred to the House Committee on Juhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBProposes an amendment to State ConstiReferred to Senate Committee on Govhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SJR-D 4270 damage or destruction of war memorials diciary tution to provide a temporary replaceernment Operations and Reforms and monuments ment for aaState legislator called to acProposes procedure for the screening Referred to House Committee on Military http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBtive military duty of veterans status when a cremation orand Veterans Affairs and Homeland Secu- 4276 Proposes an amendment to State Consti- Referred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SJR-J der is signed. rity, reported with recommendation, retution to require in-state tuition for all Citizens Veterans Affairs ferred toand second reading, passed House, veterans transmitted to Senate, referred to the SenProposes an amendment to State Consti- Referred to Senate Committee on Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SJR-L ate Committee on Senior Citizens and tution to require veterans preference for Citizens Veterans Affairs Veteransand Affairs state civil aservice employment Proposes property tax exemption for Referred to House Committee on Tax http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBProposes an amendment Consti- Referred http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HJR-S 4452 veterans awarded a total to andState permanent Policy to the House Committee on tution to require Education disability rating in-state tuition for all veterans Proposes to amend the State’s contractReferred to House Committee on Military http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBProposes an amendment to State Consti- Referred to House Committee on Military 4512 ing law concerning veteran’s preference and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Secu- http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HJRtution to require veterans projects. preference for and and Homeland SecuAA in awarding construction rity,Veterans reported Affairs with recommendation, restate civil service employment rity ferred to second reading, passed House, Proposes to prohibit work-study grants Referred toSenate SenateCommittee Committeeon onSenior Senior http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBreferred to to universities which do not permit in0017 Citizens Citizens and and Veterans Veterans Affairs Affairs state tuition for military personnel Proposes additional no-fee license and plates Referred to House Committee on Transhttp://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBdependents stationed in Michigan 4513 for the immediate family members of to- portation Expands charitable gaming to Public Act 41 of 2009 http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBtal and permanently disabledlicenses veterans the auxiliary of a National veterans ser0108 Proposes to waive DNR fees for outdoor Referred to the House Committee on http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBvice organization activities for total and permanently disTourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural 4563 Proposes an alternative income calculaReferred abled veterans and former POW’s Resourcesto Senate Committee on Finance http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBtion for certain veterans determine Proposes a family leave to from employReferred to House Committee on Military 0121 http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBeligibility forspouse incomeortax creditoffor ment for the parent reserve and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Secu- 4751 property taxpersonnel paid component called to active rity Proposes a monthly stipend for Post Referred to Senate Committee on Appro- http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-SBfederal service 9/11/01 Purple Proposesrecipients to renameofathe portion of Heart US 2 or priations Referred to the Committee on Transporta- 0137 http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HBmedically retired from military service 4770 “Iron County Veterans Memorial High- tion, reported with recommendation, re-

SB 137 HB 4770

Garcia

HB 4797

Sheltrown

Proposes to extend the expiration date of a health care professional license for service personnel called to active duty

HB 4883

Calley

HB 4955

Horn

HB 4976 HB 5065 HB 5076

Lahti

HB 5102

LeBlanc

Proposes a property tax exemption for veterans awarded a total and permanent disability rating Proposes to waive the administrative fee for vehicle license plates related to military service Proposes to name a portion of M-203 “Veterans Memorial Highway” Proposes to repeal the Children of Veterans Tuition Grant Act Proposes to name a portion of M-99 “75th Infantry Combat Division Memorial Highway” Proposes to permit certain military personnel to cancel cellular phone contracts

HB 5203

Jones

HB 5219

Ball

HB 5245

Polidori

HB 5246

Kurtz

Proposes to grant immunity from liability to funeral directors who arrange for the burial of the unclaimed remains of a veteran in a National Cemetery

HB 5256

Meltzer

HB 5279

Gregory

HB 5470

Mayes

HB 5472

Segal

Proposes a reduction in fee for vehicle license plates for recipients of Purple Heart Proposes to allow military personnel stationed outside the US to submit absentee ballots by e-mail Proposes a clarification of the requirements for a concealed weapons permit for certain active duty military personnel Proposes a clarification of the requirement to license a purchased weapon for certain active duty military personnel

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Lahti

way”

Smith Kurtz

Proposes to allow military personnel stationed outside the US to submit absentee ballots by facsimile or e-mail Proposes to rename a portion of M-203 “PFC Harold R. Cooley-WWII Marine Corps League Memorial Highway.” Proposes funeral directors prepare a list of the names of unclaimed remains and grants immunity to the release of the names to veterans service organizations

ferred to second reading, passed House, referred to Senate Committee on Transportation Referred to House Committee on Health Policy

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB4797

Referred to House Committee on Tax Policy

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB4883

Referred to House Committee on Transportation

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB4955

Referred to House Committee on Transportation Referred to House Appropriations Committee Referred to House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Referred to House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, reported with recommendation, passed House, referred to the to Senate Committee on Senior Citizens and Veterans Affairs Referred to the House Committee on Ethics and Elections

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB4976 http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5065 http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5076

Referred to the House Committee on Transportation

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5219

Referred to House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, reported with recommendation, referred to second reading, passed House, referred to Senate Committee on Sr. Citizens and Veterans Affairs, reported with recommendation Referred to House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, reported with recommendation, referred to second reading, , passed House, referred to Senate Committee on Sr. Citizens and Veterans Affairs, reported with recommendation

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5245

Referred to the House Committee on Transportation

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5256

Referred to the House Committee on Ethics and Elections

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5279

Referred to the House Committee on Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources Referred to the House Committee on Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5470

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5102

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5203

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5246

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB5472

MICHIGAN LEGISLATURE 95th Legislature Regular Session Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 139 of 2009 House: Adjourned until Tuesday, December 01, 2009 1:30:00 PM Senate: Adjourned until Tuesday, December 01, 2009 10:00:00 AM Vol. 64, No. 4


B

Arranging Burial in a VA National Cemetery

urial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces and veterans who have met minimum active service duty requirements and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Their spouse, widow or widower, minor children, and, under certain conditions, unmarried adult children, may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried, even if they predecease the veteran. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or while performing training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial. • Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance. However, families are encouraged to prepare in advance by discussing cemetery options and setting aside copies of any discharge documents. • VA will provide—at no cost to the veteran’s family—a gravesite, headstone or marker, Presidential Memorial Certificate, U.S. flag, perpetual care of the gravesite and will open and close the grave. Fees for services provided by funeral directors and other related costs must be paid for by the veteran's family. • VA's Veterans Benefits Administration pays a burial and plot allowance for those veterans eligible by law. For information, please contact the nearest VA regional office at 1-800-827-1000. • To establish eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery, the family should provide: the veteran's discharge document; report of casualty; or the veteran's full name; military rank; branch of service; dates of entry and discharge; serial, social security, and/or VA claim numbers; date and place of birth; and date of death. • If the discharge document is not available, a copy may be obtained from the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records Office, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 631325100. This should be done prior to the time of need. • At the time of need, a funeral director or the next of kin should contact the national cemetery where burial is desired. • The same procedures should be followed to determine the eligibility of a veteran's spouse or dependent. In most cases, one gravesite is pro-

ments have been made in advance with the cemetery director. • National cemeteries do not usually conduct burials on weekends or federal holidays. However, weekend callers may schedule burials for the upcoming week. • Floral arrangements may accompany the casket or urn and will be placed on the grave after burial. 

vided for the burial of all eligible family members, marked by a single headstone or marker. When both spouses are veterans, two gravesites and two headstones or markers may be provided, if requested. • The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for providing military funeral honors. The DOD program “Honoring Those Who Served” calls for funeral directors to request military funeral honors on behalf of the veteran’s family.

Veterans’ organizations may assist in the provision of military funeral honors.

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration Communications & Outreach Support Division

• Formal funeral services are not held at national cemeteries, but a final committal service may be performed at the cemetery. For safety reasons, these services are held in committal shelters located away from the gravesite. Burial will take place following the committal service. Immediate family members may be allowed to view the actual burial only if arrange-

Washington, DC 20420 (202) 461-6240 FAX (202) 273-6698 www.cem.va.gov public.inquiry@va.gov

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) U.S. CASUALTY STATUS * FATALITIES AS OF: October 14, 2009, 10 a.m. EDT OIF U.S. Military Casualties by Phase Combat Operations 19 Mar 03 thru 30 Apr 03 Post Combat Ops 1 May thru Present OIF U.S. DoD Civilian Casualties Totals

WIA RtD ** WIA Not RtD **

total Deaths

KIA

Non-Hostile

139

109

30

116

429

4,200

3,356

844

17,536

13,448

13

9

4

4,352

3,474

878

17,652

13,877

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) U.S. CASUALTY STATUS FATALITIES AS OF: October 14, 2009, 10 a.m. EDT OeF U.S. Military Casualties

total Deaths

KIA

Non-Hostile

In and Around Afghanistan***

796

614

182

Other Locations**** OeF U.S. DoD Civilian Casualties Worldwide Total

72

5

67

1

1

869

620

249

WIA RtD ** WIA Not RtD ** 1,688

2,613 1

1,688

2,614

* OPeRAtION IRAQI FReeDOM includes casualties that occurred on or after March 19, 2003 in the Arabian Sea, Bahrain, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Persian Gulf, Qatar, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab emirates. Prior to March 19, 2003, casualties in these countries were considered OeF. ** these columns indicate the number of servicemembers who were Wounded In Action (WIA) and Returned to Duty within 72 hours AND WIA and Not Returned to Duty within 72 hours. to determine the total WIA figure, add the columns "WIA RtD" and " WIA Not RtD" together. these figures are updated on tuesday unless there is a preceding holiday. *** OPeRAtION eNDURING FReeDOM (In and Around Afghanistan), includes casualties that occurred in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan. **** OPeRAtION eNDURING FReeDOM (Other Locations), includes casualties that occurred in Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, eritrea, ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, tajikistan, turkey, and Yemen.

Michigan AMVETS News

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Vol. 64, No. 4


In Memoriam Deceased Members as of October 7, 2009

John Chzanowski

Post 9

Raymond Hubbard

Post 110

Joseph Kelly

Post 9

Ronald Kern

Post 110

Joseph Sabat

Post 9

William Dunstan

Post 122

Larry Sinnamon

Post 9

James Laine

Post 122

Russell Whipple

Post 9

Geno Dulik

Post 1988

Clinton Good

Post 1988

Jack Niles

Post 1988

Leland Richardson

Post 1988

Roger Riggs

Post 1988

Greg Russell

Post 1988

Fred Ulmer

Post 1988

Jerry Vander Beldt

Post 1993

Jerry M Kraycs

Post 13

John MacKenzie

Post 13

Louis Ona

Post 13

Roman Podeski

Post 13

Robert Vansumern

Post 22

John Gary

Post 27

Edward Bassett

Post 52

Lester Osborn

Post 52

Emil Coudenys

Post 57

Lawrence Birkholz

Post 1993

Marcel Werbouck

Post 57

Roman Bender

Post 2006

Joseph Falcioni

Post 69

Craig Stevens

Post 2006

Robert Allen

Post 74

William Amidon

Post 2273

Merrill Bates

Post 82

Ralph Bosworth

Post 3720

Joseph Welc

Post 93

William Walker, Sr.

Post 1942

Michigan AMVETS News

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Vol. 64, No. 4


VA News Department of Veterans Affairs there are a variety of VA benefits available to servicemembers.

VA Benefits for Servicemembers

What Type of Insurance Benefit Is Available?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Servicemembers are eligible for up to a maximum of $400,000 in life insurance under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). Spousal coverage is available up to a maximum of $100,000 while children are automatically covered for $10,000 at no cost. Any member of the uniformed services covered by SGLI is eligible for a traumatic injury protection rider (tSGLI) that provides payments between $25,000 and $100,000 to members who have a traumatic injury and suffer losses such as, but not limited to, amputations, blindness, and paraplegia.

Sept. 17, 2009

VA Warns Veterans of Telephone Prescription Scam WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is warning Veterans not to give credit card numbers over the phone to callers claiming to update VA prescription information. “America’s Veterans have become targets in an inexcusable scam that dishonors their service and misrepresents the Department built for them,” said Dr. Gerald Cross, VA’s Under Secretary for Health. “VA simply does not call Veterans and ask them to disclose personal financial information over the phone.” Veteran Service Organizations have brought to VA’s attention that callers are misrepresenting the VA to gain personal information over the phone. They say VA recently changed procedures for dispensing prescriptions and ask for the Veteran’s credit card number. “VA has not changed its processes for dispensing prescription medicines,” Cross said. “Nor has VA changed its long-standing commitment to protect the personal information of this nation’s Veterans.” Veterans with questions about VA services should contact the nearest VA medical center or call, toll-free, 1-877222-8387. 

What Type of Education Benefits Are Available? education benefits are available to active duty and full-time National Guard personnel who have served for at least two years and have contributed $1200 under the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), and members of the Selected Reserve (includes National Guard) that are certified as eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill – Select Reserve (Chapter 1606). the Chapter 30 program is limited to payment for tuition and fees while the Chapter 1606 program provides a monthly stipend.

What Type of Home-Related Benefits Are Available? Persons on active duty are eligible for a VA home loan guaranty after serving on continuous active duty for 90 days. Servicemembers going through a pre-discharge claim program who are found to have serviceconnected conditions that will be rated as compensable, are exempt from the loan guaranty funding fee.

What Type of Financial Assistance Is Available for Purchasing a Vehicle? to be eligible for financial assistance to purchase a vehicle or to adapt a vehicle to accommodate a disability, a servicemember must have certain qualifying disabilities (e.g. loss or permanent loss of use or one or both hands) that were incurred during active military service.

What Type of Health Care Benefits Are Available? VA health care facilities are available to active duty servicemembers in emergency situations and upon referral by military treatment facilities through Sharing Agreements or under your tRICARe coverage.

Is the Medal of Honor Pension Payable to Active Duty Personnel? Active duty personnel who have been awarded the Medal of Honor and determined to be eligible by one of the service departments are entitled to receive a special Medal of Honor pension from the VA.

Can a Claim for Benefits be Filed Prior to Separation? Yes. Servicemembers may file disability claims prior to separation from active or full-time duty through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge or Quick Start programs. Servicemembers may file claims for disability compensation, pension, vocational rehabilitation, automobile allowance, and special adapted housing prior to separation. VA employees will assist in the filing and preparation of the claim as well as adjudicate the claim as quickly as possible following separation. Additionally, VA offers counseling and claims assistance to separating servicemembers throughout the United States and around the world through the transition Assistance Program (tAP) and Disabled transition Assistance Program (DtAP).

For More Information, Visit Our Web Site at http://www.va.gov or Call Toll-Free Disability Benefits/General Information: 1-800-827-1000 Education: 1-888-442-4551

Insurance: 1-800-669-8477 Health Benefits: 1-877-222-8387

Policy and Program Management – October 2008

Bolt one on for the troops today! Yes, today! The Michigan Support Our Troops! plates are available at all branch offices of the Secretary of State and on the Department of State’s Plate It Your Way website.   

Isn’t it time to show them how much we care? Switching into the Michigan Support Our Troops! Plate costs just $35.00 (the same as other specialty plates), and the troops are more than worth it.  Nothing compared to what they do for all of us.  Funds will benefit the programs of SupportOurTroops.Org, working for the troops and their families. Act Now!  Don’t Delay.  Don’t wait for your renewal month to get into this great new plate!. The troops didn’t wait. They went half way around for the world for us; let’s all do this simple thing for them! For more information you can go to www.supportourtroops.org Michigan AMVETS News

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Vol. 64, No. 4


VA News Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post - 9/11 GI Bill is a new education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001.

How many months of assistance can I receive?

Generally, you may receive up to 36 months of entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

When Can I Receive Benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill? Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are payable for training pursued on or after August 1, 2009. No payments can be made under this program for training pursued before that date.

How long am I eligible?

You will be eligible for benefits for 15 years from your last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days. If you were released for a service-connected disability after at least 30 days of continuous service, you will also be eligible for benefits for 15 years.

Am I Eligible? You may be eligible if you served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001, and you are still on active duty or were honorably-discharged from the active duty; or -released from active duty and placed on the retired list or temporary disability retired list; or -released from active duty and transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve; or -released from the active duty for further service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces.

Example:

Tuition and fees for full time enrollment: $6700. Highest in-state tuition and fees: $7000. Scenario 1: If you separated following three years on active duty and are going to school full-time, you would receive $6700 for tuition and fees, $1000 for books and supplies, and the monthly housing allowance.

You may also be eligible if you were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001.

Scenario 2: If you have an aggregate of 12 months of active duty in the guard or reserves and are going to school full-time, you would receive $4020 (60% of $6700) for tuition and fees, $600 (60% of $1000) for books and supplies, and 60% of the monthly housing allowance. 

If I am eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve, or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program, am I eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill? If, on August 1, 2009, you are eligible for one of these programs and you qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may make an irrevocable election to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Department of Veterans Affairs

Note: Once you elect to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you will no longer be eligible to receive benefits under the program from which you elected the Post-9/11 GI Bill. How much will I receive? Based on your length of active duty service, you are entitled to a percentage of the following: -Cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher education (paid to school); -Monthly housing allowance* equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to a military E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as your school (paid to you); *NOTE – The housing allowance and books and supplies stipend are not payable to individuals on active duty. The housing allowance is not payable to those pursuing training at half time or less or to individuals enrolled in distance learning.

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits – 5 Tracks to Employment Vocational Rehabilitation is a program whose primary function is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living. Once entitlement to vocational rehabilitation has been established, the veteran and the VA counselor work together to develop a Rehabilitation Plan. Veterans decide the best way to reach their employment goals by selecting one of the 5 tracks to employment:  Reemployment  Rapid Access to employment  Self-employment  employment through Long-term Services  Independent Living Services

What Is a Rehabilitation Plan? A Rehabilitation Plan is a written detailed outline of services provided under the Vocational Rehabilitation and employment program individualized for each qualified veteran. One of the 5 tracks to employment services is selected and provided under a Rehabilitation Plan.

What Are Some of the Features of the Reemployment Track? the Reemployment track involves returning to work in the job held prior to entering active duty. In this track veterans may be provided job accommodations, job modification, case management, coordination and linkage of services with VA health care, reemployment rights advice, work adjustment services, and consultations with employers.

What Are Some of the Features of the Rapid Access to Employment Track?

Percentage of Maximum Benefit Payable

Individuals serving an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of: At least 36 months

100

At least 30 continuous days and discharged due to service connected disability

100

At least 30 months < 36 months At least 24 months < 30 months At least 18 months < 24 months At least 12 months < 18 months At least 6 months < 12 months At least 90 days < 6 months

90 80 70 60 50 40

Michigan AMVETS News

-Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1000 per year (paid to you); and -A one-time payment of $500 paid to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas.

the Rapid Access to employment track emphasizes the goal of immediate employment. In this track veterans may be provided job readiness preparation, resume development, job search assistance, job accommodations, and post employment follow-up.

What Are Some of the Features of the Self Employment Track? Under the Self employment track, veterans may be provided analysis of the viability of a business concept, development of the business plan, training in the operation of small businesses, marketing and financial assistance, and guidance on obtaining adequate resources to implement the business plan.

What Are Some of the Features of the Employment Through Long-Term Services Track? Under the employment through Long-term Services track, training and/or education may be provided including on-the-job training (OJt), apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing, work monitoring, workstudy, public-private job partnering, or higher education sufficient to obtain suitable entry level employment.

What Are Some of the Features of the Independent Living Services Track? the Independent Living Services track may include assistive technology, independent living skills training, connections to the community-based support services, etc.

Where Can you Find Additional Information About the 5 Tracks to Employment? Additional information about the 5 tracks to employment can be found at www.vetsuccess.gov.

For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000 or Visit Our Web Site at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/vrs.htm. Vocational Rehabilitation and employment Service – April 2006

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Vol. 64, No. 4


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 13, 2009

VA Extends “Agent Orange” Benefits to More Veterans WASHINGTON –Relying on an independent study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki decided to establish a service-connection for Vietnam Veterans with three specific illnesses based on the latest evidence of an association with the herbicides referred to Agent Orange. The illnesses affected by the recent decision are B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia; Parkinson’s disease; and ischemic heart disease. Used in Vietnam to defoliate trees and remove concealment for the enemy, Agent Orange left a legacy of suffering and disability that continues to the present. Between January 1965 and April 1970, an estimated 2.6 million military personnel who served in Vietnam were potentially exposed to sprayed Agent Orange. In practical terms, Veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and who have a “presumed” illness don’t have to prove an association between their illnesses and their military service. This “presumption” simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits. The Secretary’s decision brings to 15 the number of presumed illnesses recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “We must do better reviews of illnesses that may be connected to service, and we will,” Shinseki added. “Veterans who endure health problems deserve timely decisions based on solid evidence.” Other illnesses previously recognized under VA’s “presumption” rule as being caused by exposure to herbicides during the Vietnam War are:

• Acute and Subacute Transient Peripheral Neuropathy • AL Amyloidosis • Chloracne

My HealtheVet – VA’s Online Personal Health Record

V

A’s online personal health record, My HealtheVet, located at www. myhealth.va.gov, provides America’s Veterans access to personal, secure, informed health information. Through a Web-based portal, registered Veterans have Internet access at any time to VA health information that allows them to become informed partners in their care with their medical providers. Any Internet user may record and store important health and military history information and access personal medical information by registering at the Web site. Visitors to the site can keep activity and food journals; record, track and graph their vital signs; record and store their health history and prescriptions; access trusted health information; and read about VA benefits and services. Veterans enrolled for care at a VA facility can use enhanced functions online after they make a visit to a VA medical center to verify their identity. These registrants can request VA prescription refills online and receive personalized reminders and tips on how to stay well. More than 6.5 million refills have been requested since 2005. The refills are delivered to Veterans’ homes in five to 10 business days. In the near future, Veterans will be able to schedule and change appointments, view their laboratory results, enter and update their own health information for their medical providers to monitor, and communicate with their VA medical care team through secure messaging. Department of Veterans Affairs “Presumptive” Disability Benefits for Certain Groups of Veterans What is “Presumptive” Service Connection? VA presumes that specific disabilities diagnosed in certain veterans were caused by their military service. VA does this because of the unique circumstances of their military service. If one of these conditions is diagnosed in a veteran in one of these groups, VA presumes that the circumstances of his/her service caused the condition, and disability compensation can be awarded.

What Conditions are “Presumed” to be Caused by Military Service? Veterans in the groups identified below: entitlement to disability compensation may be presumed under the circumstances described and for the conditions listed. Veterans within one year of release from active duty: Veterans diagnosed with chronic diseases (such as arthritis, diabetes, or hypertension) are encouraged to apply for disability compensation. Veterans with continuous service of 90 days or more: Veterans diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig's disease at any time after discharge or release from qualifying active service is sufficient to establish service connection for the disease, if the veteran had active, continuous service of 90 days or more.

(1) Imprisoned for any length of time, and disability at least 10 percent disabling:

• Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2) • Hodgkin’s Disease

Atomic Veterans (Exposed to Ionizing Radiation)

Gulf War Veterans (Undiagnosed Illness)

Served in the Republic of Vietnam between 1/9/62 and 5/7/75:

Participated in atmospheric nuclear testing; occupied or was a POW in Hiroshima or Nagasaki; service before 2/1/92 at a diffusion plant in Paducah, KY, Portsmouth, OH, or Oak Ridge, tN; or service before 1/1/74 at Amchitka Island, AK:

Served in the Southwest Asia theater of Operations during the Gulf War with condition at least 10 percent disabling by 12/31/11. Included are medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms that have existed for six months or more, such as:

psychosis any of the anxiety states dysthymic disorder organic residuals of frostbite  post-traumatic osteoarthritis  heart disease or hypertensive vascular disease and their complications  stroke and its residuals    

• Multiple Myeloma • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

(2) Imprisoned for at least 30 days, and disability at least 10 percent disabling:

• Prostate Cancer • Respiratory Cancers, and • Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or Mesothelioma)

    

Additional information about Agent Orange and VA’s services and programs for Veterans exposed to the chemical are available at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange. 

     

# # # Michigan AMVETS News

Vietnam Veterans (Exposed to Agent Orange)

Former Prisoners of War

• Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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avitaminosis beriberi chronic dysentery helminthiasis malnutrition (including optic atrophy) pellagra any other nutritional deficiency irritable bowel syndrome peptic ulcer disease peripheral neuropathy cirrhosis of the liver

   

chloracne or other acneform disease similar to chloracne* porphyria cutanea tarda* soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma or mesothelioma) Hodgkin's disease multiple myeloma respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx, trachea) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma prostate cancer acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy* type 2 diabetes chronic lymphocytic leukemia

*Must become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more within a year after the last date on which the veteran was exposed to an herbicide agent during active military, naval, or air service.

 

   

all forms of leukemia (except for chronic lymphocytic leukemia) cancer of the thyroid, breast, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, salivary gland, urinary tract (kidneys, renal pelves, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra), brain, bone, lung, colon, ovary bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma multiple myeloma lymphomas (other than Hodgkin's disease) primary liver cancer (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated)

chronic fatigue syndrome fibromyalgia irritable bowel syndrome any diagnosed or undiagnosed illness that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines warrants a presumption of service connection

   

Signs or symptoms of an undiagnosed illness include: fatigue, skin symptoms, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, neurological symptoms, respiratory symptoms, sleep disturbance, GI symptoms, cardiovascular symptoms, weight loss, menstrual disorders

For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000 or Visit Our Web Site at http://www.va.gov. Compensation and Pension Service – December 2008

Vol. 64, No. 4


National Commander's Tour By Glenda Cogswell

It was my pleasure to accompany the National Commander Duane Miskulin and State Commander Bob Downer on their recent tour of Michigan. I would like to thank all of the posts that hosted the commanderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Everyone was great; we started out at Post 4064 in Perry about 1:00 p.m.

As we made our way down the road we stopped at Post 3720 in Swartz Creek, where we had some laughs and snacks

After we left Post 2273 we traveled up to Bay City and had a meal with Post 22. We spent the night in West Branch and hit the road again on Wednesday morning. It was time to get on to the north country.

From there we traveled to Post 2273 in Durand

We had a visit at Lake Unky with Post 122 Ishpeming. It was great and I recommend a visit to all when the snow is done.

Michigan AMVETS News

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Vol. 64, No. 4


Once we left Post 122 we ventured over to Covington and had dinner with Post 1190. As always they served a great dinner, with plenty to be had by all.

From there we traveled to Iron River where we spent the night, and were treated to breakfast in the morning by members of Post 436. We also took a look at the War Memorial that they are helping to restore. It is a great memorial and will be even better when they are finished.

Then it was time to travel back south to Grayling. On Friday we were hosted at Post 13 with a luncheon and the biscuits and gravy was great. Thanks Jerry. We all enjoyed the tour very much and it was great getting to some of the posts that I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had the opportunity to go to before.

Then it was time to travel to Escanaba and visit Post 123. As with everyone they were great and treated us well.

Michigan AMVETS News

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Vol. 64, No. 4


VA News

My HealtheVet, cont.

Launched nationwide in 2003, My HealtheVet has more than 740,000 registered users; 72 percent are VA patients. My HealtheVet’s secure portal allows Veterans to own their personal information. The information they track most often is medication history, health history, contact information for health care providers, weight and blood pressure. The program is bringing them incremental additions of data copied from their VA electronic health records. Secure messaging, now being implemented at several VA health care facilities, will provide VA patients and clinicians an alternative communication chan-

nel that is convenient and flexible, reduce the need for phone calls and provide timely responses. It may decrease the need for unscheduled clinic visits. In addition to My HealtheVet linking to two trusted medical libraries, MedlinePlus® and HealthWise®, in 2009 clusters of health topics and advice were created to guide viewers easily to categories of useful information. Under “Research Health,” readers find information for avoiding illness (Healthy Living Centers); facts about common conditions (Diseases & Conditions Centers); and screening for various kinds of mental illness. 

Secretary Shinseki Announces New Efforts to Explore Health Consequences of Service in Vietnam

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today plans to begin additional research by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to better understand the health consequences of service in Vietnam. “The National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study (NVVLS) will allow VA to pursue another valuable research tool,” Secretary Shinseki said. “The insight we gain from this study will help give us an understanding of how to better serve America’s Veterans.”

NVVLS will study the Vietnam generation’s physical and psychological health. The new study will supplement research already underway at VA, including studies on PTSD and on the health of women Vietnam Veterans. This is a follow-up study to a previous one that concluded in 1988. VA has begun work to solicit bids to conduct the study, which is expected to run from 2011 through 2013.

Friends

Freeborough Automotive Inc. Lincoln Street Garage Nationwide W/S Video Eqp. Open Arms Home Care Pak-Rite Industries Inc. Peter M. Schneiderman & Assoc. Thomas H. Andrews Jr. & Assoc. Transport Amjot Singh, Inc. GOLD

Department of Veterans Affairs Assistance for Homeless Veterans Does VA Have Programs That Can Assist Homeless Veterans? VA has many benefits and services to assist homeless veterans. Disability benefits, education, health care, rehabilitation services, residential care, and compensated work therapy are among the services we offer to eligible veterans.

What Kind of VA Services and Benefit Programs Are Available for Homeless Veterans?  Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV) operates at 135 sites, where extensive outreach, physical and psychiatric health exams, supported housing programs, Drop-In-Centers, compensated work therapy, treatment, referrals, and ongoing case management are provided to homeless veterans with mental health problems, including substance abuse.  Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans Program (DCHV) provides medical care and rehabilitation in a residential setting on VA medical center grounds to eligible ambulatory veterans disabled by medical or psychiatric disorders, injury, or age and who do not need hospitalization or nursing home care.  Inpatient & Outpatient Health Care: VA medical centers provide inpatient treatment to thousands of homeless veterans each year. Hospitals and outpatient clinics provide eligible veterans with comprehensive physical and mental health care, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation treatment, and other specialized services.  Readjustment Counseling Centers also called Vet Centers, help veterans through community outreach. they offer specialized services, such as group, individual, and family counseling, to help eligible veterans overcome psychological difficulties or to resolve conflicts that may be contributing to their homelessness. they also provide referral services, connecting veterans to VA programs and community services.  Outreach: the staff from VA regional offices, medical centers, vet centers, and special homeless programs regularly visit community shelters, agencies, and the streets to help thousands of homeless veterans each year.  Benefits and Entitlements: VA annually awards more than $29 billion in disability benefits to millions of veterans. In many instances, these payments are the major source of income to veterans and serve to prevent homelessness. VA's Fiduciary Program provides specialized case management to over 100,000 veterans, many of whom might be homeless without the services it provides.  Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program makes available properties VA obtains through foreclosures on VA-insured mortgages for sale to homeless provider organizations at a discount of 20 to 50 percent. Some of these properties are available for lease.

How Do You Get More Information? Contact any VA medical center or regional office and a VA representative can provide information about VA benefits and services available to assist homeless veterans. they can also provide you with the address and phone number of the VA homeless program coordinator nearest you.

For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000 or Visit Our Web Site at http://www.va.gov/homeless.

Fakhoury Law Group Michigan AMVETS News

VA is responsible for providing federal benefits to Veterans and their families. VA is the second largest of the 15 cabinet departments and operates nationwide programs for health care, financial assistance and burial benefits. The VA health care system operates more than 1,400 sites of care. Nearly 5.5 million people received care in VA health care facilities in 2008. 

Compensation & Pension Service - July 2008

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Vol. 64, No. 4


The Michigan AMVETS News DO's and DON'TS DO have the articles in before deadline! Deadlines are the 7th of October for the Winter Issue, 7th of January for the Spring Issue, 7th of April for the Summer Issue and 7th of July for the Fall Issue. If articles are not in by the deadline they WILL NOT appear until the following issue. If you are having an event that you want in the paper ensure that the information is received in time for the appropriate issue before your event. DO make sure the pictures are clear and well-contrasted. Fuzzy or dark pictures won’t reproduce well. If you are submitting digital photos, set your camera to "high quality". DO send in articles. Posts and districts have something newsworthy going on. Why not share it with the rest of the department? If you send pictures make sure you have an article for them. I will not write your article and the pictures will not appear in the paper. DO write post numbers on the back of each picture so they can be returned to you.

Submit your digital original directly to the editor!

We accept almost any file from a computer. Simply type your report, including the title, byline and story, and add numbered captions at the end. Name the photo files to correspond with the caption number in your report and you’re ready to go!

Questions? Call me anytime at

810-796-3876. E-mail your submissions to: miamvet2008@yahoo.com

Michigan AMVETS News

DO send credits with your articles. Also send credits for articles from other publications and permission to reprint if necessary. DO refer to an individual as an AMVET. The organization is AMVETS. DO refer to the AMVETS Auxiliary as the “AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary.” DO type the article. You’re the only person who can read your writing. DON’T use all caps when typing. DON’T tape pictures to articles. Paper clip them to the article. We have to be able to scan the pictures to put them in the paper. This can’t be done if pictures are taped to the article and the article gets torn when we try to remove the pictures. DON’T print or type your captions on the back of photos. Ink smears! DON’T think we’re being too tough! We just want to make sure the paper is done right.

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More Words Less Pictures

n an effort to make the Michigan AMVET News a true newspaper and not a pictorial quarterly, the publications committee is asking all contributors to consider writing more articles and submitting fewer pictures. The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is only true if everyone knows what the picture relates to. Keep in mind the four Ws:

Who, Where When, What

This will make your articles easier to write. Articles should normally be 300 – 500 words and may be accompanied by one or two pictures for each article. By increasing the number of written articles, we can increase the reading time of the paper vastly and spur members’ interest in what’s going on around the state. You do want a better Michigan AMVET News, don’t you?

 TOP TEN Posts  As of October 9, 2009

CITY

POST

DISTRICT MEMBERS

1.

1988

BALDWIN

VI

886

2.

120

MESICK

VI

424

3.

29

MT. CLEMENS

II

392

4.

23

KENTWOOD

V

304

5.

171

WESTLAND

I

246

6.

121

ST. CLAIR SHORES

II

239

7.

72

NEW HAVEN

II

191

8.

123

ESCANABA

VII

179

9.

22

BAY CITY

II

178

10.

122

ISHPEMING

VII

171

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Vol. 64, No. 4


Report from the Evangelical Home

RESIDENT SPOTLIGHT

Julia Alice Koslovich was the first American born member of her Croatian family. Her father and uncle came to settle in the wilds of the western Upper Peninsula to work in the mines. They sent for Julia’s mother and brother Marion I5 years later. Five children soon filled the cabin that Julia’s father and uncle built. First Paul, then Julia, Katherine, Donna, (who was killed as a toddler in a tragic accident) and Lillian. Julia graduated from Ontonagon High School in 1940. The war called her away from her small town, as she worked for the War De-

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partment. She was sent to work in California and then to work in the Pentagon in Washington D.C. While in Washington D.C., she attended a party on Christmas Eve, 1944. There, a handsome young soldier in the United States Army Air Corps caught her eye and heart. Milton “Gene” Pewitt, from Water Valley, Kentucky fell in love with Julia. He was going to be shipped overseas, so they married on April 14, 1945. (This 4 month courtship shocked all their daughters when they were each old enough to realize this fact!) The day after their wedding, President Roosevelt died. There were many restrictions on the places they could go on their honeymoon. Expecting Gene to ship overseas, and pregnant with their first child, Julia quit her job, and went to live with his mother in Kentucky. Their daughter, Elizabeth (Betty) was born there. Fortunately, the war ended, so Julia and Gene moved North to Detroit. There, Gene worked for his brother Gil at Gil’s Cleaner’s on Morang at Kelly Road. Three more daughters blessed the couple: Mary, Connie and Denise. Julia and Gene became passionately involved with a neighborhood veteran’s organization called AMVETS, Post #27. They both served as officers in AMVETS and Auxiliary. Gene was elected State Commander in 1969; Julia was elected State President in 1996. Gene worked for Gil’s Cleaners until 1972, when he was offered the position of State Executive

Director for AMVETS, Department of Michigan. When all the girls were in school, Julia went to work in the women’s shoe department at lL. Hudson’s, downtown Detroit. She even marched in the Hudson Thanksgiving Day Parade- most notably as Wilma Flintstone! She transferred to the newly opened Sears at Macomb Mall in 1966 where she retired from in 1981. Gene retired from AMVETS in 1988. A few years later, they sold their longtime home in Detroit to move “across the street” to Lakeside Village Apartments. Due to health issues, Julia and Gene then settled into Mauser Hall, here at Evangelical, in the spring of 2004. Sadly, Gene died in 2005. Julia stays on here, saying that she is happy here because all the people are so nice to her. Looking back, Julia is most proud of her four girls, her grand children: Lynn, Michael, Fred, Courtney, Julia, Keith, Jay and Alexandra and her great-grandchild, Joey. She is also proud of her church, Our Lady Queen of Heaven. Julia is so very proud of her work with American veterans. She volunteered at the homeless Vietnam Veteran shelter in Detroit and at the John D. Dingall V.A. Medical Center. Julia has lived a long life of ups and downs, of good times and difficult days. But Julia has made a difference for the good in many people’s lives. She and her family are thankful for the care and kindness she receives at Evangelical. 

Army Reports Suicide data for the month of September

he Army today released suicide data for the month of September. Among active-duty soldiers, there were seven potential suicides.  One has been confirmed as a suicide, and six are pending determination of the manner of death.  For August, the Army reported 11 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers.  Since the release of that report, four have been confirmed as suicides and seven remain under investigation.

There were 117 reported active-duty Army suicides from January 2009 through September 2009. Of those, 81 have been confirmed, and 36 are pending determination of manner of death.  For the same period in 2008, there were 103 suicides among active-duty soldiers. During September 2009, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were seven potential suicides.  Among that same group, from January 2009 through September 2009, there were 35 confirmed suicides.  Twenty-five potential suicides are currently under investigation to determine the manner of death.  For the same period in 2008, there were 40 suicides among reserve soldiers who were not on active duty. Over the past year, the Army has engaged in a sustained effort to reduce the rate of suicide within its ranks.  This effort has included an Army-wide suicide prevention stand-down and chain teach for every soldier; the implementation of the Army Campaign Plan for Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention; the establishment of both a Suicide Prevention Task Force and Suicide Prevention Council; a long-term partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health to carry out the largest ever study of suicide and behavioral health among military personnel; and more than 160 specific improvements to Army suicide prevention policies, doctrine, training and resources. Michigan AMVETS News

“Whether it’s additional resources, improved training or ensuring those in our Army community can readily identify the warning signs of suicidal behavior, all our efforts often come down to one soldier caring enough about another soldier to step in when they see something wrong, “ said Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, Director, Army Suicide Prevention Task Force. “Soldiers will be willing to do that if they know help is available, if they believe there is no stigma attached to asking for that help, and if they are certain that Army leaders remain absolutely committed to the resiliency of our entire Army Family.” Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence (DCOE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center.  Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental U.S. is 1-800-342-9647, their Web site address is http://www.militaryonesource.com. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location. The DCOE Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-9661020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil . The Army’s most current suicide prevention information is located at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default. asp .

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Vol. 64, No. 4


Post News

Post 79 - Raber AMVETS Bender-Johnson Post 79 RABER, Michigan, AMVETS & Ladies Auxiliary News

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he members of AMVETS Post 79 would like to wish all AMVETS and their families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This year has been hard for many of our members due to the down turn in the economy and some of us have lost loved ones in service to our country. Our prayers go out to you all. May the New Year open new doors of opportunity for jobs and the healing of the loss of loved ones. During this year our members have elected new officers both in our AMVETS and our Ladies Auxiliary. We have also had activities that helped us raise funds to benefit our veterans and local community.

Congratulations to our new AMVETS Officers: Post Commander First Vice Second Vice Adjutant Finance Officer Judge Advocate Provost Marshal Service Officer Chaplin Trustee Trustee Trustee

Ray Pudelko Jim Pudelko Dick Sheffers Jim Crawford Willis Weston Jim Adams Ron Behems Dale French Harry Olszewski, Ray Wojnaroski Edwin Bender Dale Carlson.

Congratulations also, to our new AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Officers: President Frances Hank First Vice Cathy Wojnaroski Second Vice Candy Postula Treasurer Jerri Galarowlc Secretary Sherry Postula Sargent-at-Arms Betty Tominac, Parliamentarian Delores Bender Americanism Darlene Jarmusch Hospital Barb Pudelko & Gay Sheffers Historian Dorothy Wojnaroski Community Services Kathy Maciag PRO Nancy Jedynak Scholarship Janet Barbeaux Chaplin Barb Adams, Michigan AMVETS News

Bingo&Sunshine Terry Weston Honorary members Jane Penny and Delores Gubacz. March was the AMVETS time to shine when they held their annual Com Beef Dinner that tickled the pallet of the local community with a tasty combo of com beef, cabbage, potatoes, homemade desserts and coffee. The food was delicious as usual and the funds raised will support the AMVETS various yearly projects. May brought us to the annual AMVETS Memorial Day march at the local cemeteries, which honored our fellow veterans that have pasted before us. Pastor: Dennis Boogard from Stalwart Presbyterian Church in Stalwart, MI and Pastor Reverend George Vaniyepurackal of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in Goetzville, MI were kind enough to perform the services at the local cemeteries that special day. Julie Reed, a local student was also kind enough to honor our veterans with the playing of the taps. Thank You Pastor Boogard, Pastor Vaniyepurackal, Julie, our AMVETS and Ladies Auxiliary for making this day so special.

Honor Awards:

Freda Opolka was presented with an award at the convention for never missing a meeting in the last 44 years of dedicated service to the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary. Congratulations Freda. .June: also brought us a kind donation of 12 crocheted lap blankets from the nimble fingers of Cleo Hewer. Cleo we know the lucky people who have received one of your blankets are warm and cuddly. You’re the best. .July: has us celebrating the 4th of .July with a parade in DeTour, MI, which Is an annual event. Our proud AMVETS and Ladies Auxiliary lead the parade each year. “OH MY” what an event. A big Thank You to the organizers of this yearly gala of floats with vintage cars, tractors new and old, horses prancing and children squalling with laughter as they picked up flowers and candy. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner and homemade desserts, sponsored by Sacred Heart Catholic Parish of DeTour. Congratulations to all members of all the communities that participated in making this years parade and dinner a success. August brings us the AMVETS annual Beef Raffle Sale. The drawing took place on Labor Day. We are happy to say the lucky winners are: First Prize of $300.00 was Hayden Klamerus, Second Prize of $200.00 was Darci Willson and the Third Prize of $100.00 was Wyatt Galarowic. Congratulations to you all.

June gave us the AMVETS annual convention, which was held at the Kewadin Casino in Sault St. Marie, MI. We gained valuable knowledge of changes and new policies. We felt a kinship of like minds, in one place when it came to the importance of never forgetting our veterans. This wonderful organization goes to bat for our veterans in many places including Washington D.C. A big Thanks goes out to National AMVETS Commander, John “Chad” Hapner and National Ladies Auxiliary President, Charlene Kee for their efforts in Washington, working with the various members of the legislature to help our veterans.

September brought a new project for the Ladi.s Auxiliary. A local family asked if the Ladies Auxiliary would consider catering a wedding and they accepted. Because of the generosity of the Curtis families donation for the Ladies Auxiliaries services we hope to sponsor a veteran for the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. next year. Thank You to all the volunteers, Barb Adams, Jerri Galarowic, Sherry Postula, Nancy Jedynak, Delores Gubacz, Delores Bender, Betty Tominac, Kathy Maciag, Barb Postula, Cathy Wojnaroski, Jean Potoczak and Frances Hank who worked on this project and a special Thanks to the Curtis family. The end of our year was celebrated with the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary making a trip to Lake Unky in northernMichigan to spend a day of fun, games, sing along and eating with our retired veterans. We hope to do it again next year too. 

THAT’S ALL FOLKS FOR THIS YEAR. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL. - 17 -

Vol. 64, No. 4


Post News

Post 1942 - Monroe Post 1942 Adds More to Monroe County Fair Veterans Day

The 2009 Veterans Day at the Monroe County Fair in Monroe Michigan offered something new for area veterans.

Veterans with proper identification received free admission into the fair until 6:00 p.m.

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pon entry, each veteran received a gift bag consisting of an application to join the post, a fair brochure, list of fair vendors offering discounts to veterans during the day, discount card specifically from one vendor, benefits booklet and a VA benefits brochure, a county fair Veterans Day newsletter that included a listing every veterans organization in Monroe County as to when and where they meet, a car trash bag and information on the County Veterans Bureau and the local Veterans Unemployment Specialist. Also included was a County Military Historical Facts page.  Veterans also received a red, white and blue ribbon to wear. The ribbons were courtesy of the Corl-Gaynier AMVETS Post 1942.  About 2:30 p.m. veterans gathered at the band tent that was located on the east side of the fairgrounds. An estimated 100 veterans marched in the procession wearing their uniforms and carrying flags representing about a half-dozen military units and veterans’ organizations. The procession was lead by bagpiper, Don Newman of Temperance Michigan.  When the parade ended from where it began, David Eby, commander of AMVETS Post 1942, gave a brief tribute after the parade at the band tent and recognized the veterans present according to the different decades that they served in. Veterans then received a special concert given by The New Odyssey band.  Located in the South Exhibit building, veterans and visitors stopped by the United Veterans Club Booth. This was set-up and arranged by the Corl-Gaynier AMVETS Post 1942.  Other organizations which assisted in the booth were the Matt Urban American Legion Post 49, VFW Post 1138 and the Marine Corps League, Det. 157. Guests and veterans registered for a drawing to win an American Flag. Veteran also registered for prizes donated by local businesses exclusively for them. In addition, to view a slide show presentation of veterans of Monroe County who was either killed or missing in action, between WWII to present.  When asked about future Veterans Day events at the fair, Post Commander Dave Eby stated; “Monroe County has an extraordinary amount of military history and traditions and the Monroe County Fair Veterans Day program that was created for the 2009 event will hopefully provide additional recognition opportunities for area veterans on an annual basis. The Monroe County Fair is already one of the largest and finest county fairs in the Midwest and I believe the new Fair Veterans Day program will only add to it.”  This event could grow in time. With the new attendance record this year for the seven days was set at 179,087. The previous record of 165,639 was set in 1992 when the fair was a six-day event. The fair didn’t expand to seven days until 1998 and attendance was only 160,097. 

Michigan AMVETS News

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Article by Jesse Mayo Photos by Jesse Mayo and Jean Stigen

Display Booth Award: The display took First Place for the South Exhibit Building Display. Fair Booth: The United Veterans Display booth at the 2009 Monroe County Fair was achieved by a joint-effort lead by the Corl-Gaynier AMVETS Post 1942 with the VFW Post 1138, American Legion Post 40 and the Marine Corps League Det. 157. All organizations are located in Monroe County Michigan.    

Fair Ribbon: When veterans entered this year’s Monroe County Fair, they received this ribbon to wear for the day’s Veterans Day activities.

Vol. 64, No. 4


Post News

Post 1942 - Monroe Lloyd at his post: Post Adjutant Lloyd Slaughter takes a break while waiting for the next veteran enters the 2009 Monroe County Michigan fairgrounds to give them their gift bag and recognition ribbon. Corl-Gaynier AMVETS Post 1942 held their 3rd Recognition Dinner July 12, 2009. This year, the posts did something different and held a Recognition Picnic. AMVET member Merle Fullerton and his wife Nancy hosted the event at their home in Newport Michigan. Vince Carr, AMVETS 1st Vice Commander of the State of Michigan attended to swear in the new officer’s. Members, Merle Fullerton and Tom Jones each received the Commanders Award. Wayne Blank received awards for recognition in Leadership, Participation and the Post, AMVET of the Year. Corl-Gaynier AMVETS Post 1942 are sworn in to their respective office by 1st Vice Commander for the State of Michigan, Vince Carr (far right) Officer’s left to right are; Quartermaster: David Craig, Chaplin: Jean Stigen, Provost Marshall: Bernie Thoma, Adjutant: Lloyd Slaughter, Finance Officer: Dennis Gregoire, 2nd Vice Commander: Wayne Blank, 1st Vice Commander: Tom Jones, Commander: DaveEby.

Jean Stigen: Corl-Gaynier AMVETS Post 1942 Chaplin Jean Stigen carries the POW/MIA flag during the first Veterans Day at the 2009 Monroe County Fair.  Bernie Thoma is behind her carrying the American flag.

2nd Vice Commander Wayne Blank appears to be having second thoughts when he said to Merle Fullerton (manning the grill). “Make mine extra well”. Dave Eby is the first to be called up, of the new or reinstalled officer’s to be sworn in as the reelected Post Commander by 1st Vice Commander for the State of Michigan, Vince Carr.

Michigan AMVETS News

2nd Vice Commander Wayne Blank was a triple winner this year.

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Vol. 64, No. 4


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f you are planning a vacation, now is the time to call Kari at the AMVETS Higgins Lake Lodge and reserve your dates. If you are unaware, there are six - four-bedroom, two-bath cottages, one two-bedroom cottage, and the lodge with 17 bedrooms and meals. A swimming beach, a boat dock, fire pits, five row boats (no motors) for fishing. In the fall there are color tours. Call Kari, our manager at 1-989-821-6574.

mAKE yOUR rESERVATIONS tODAY!

For your next vacation you must visit the AMVETS Lodge on beautiful Higgins Lake. 106 Thorpe Ave, Roscommon, MI 48653 I-75 Exit 244 or US127 Military Road Exit

For reservations call : 989-821-6574 Four Bedroom Cottages

Roy Love Memorial Room

Tax Included

Per Night – Tax Included

Per Week............................... $850

One bed.................................. $50 Two beds................................. $60 Three beds............................... $70

(Sat. 4 PM – Sat. 10 AM) *$100 security deposit

Weekends................ $180 Plus Tax

Cabin

Friday-Sunday per night

Per Night – Tax Included

One bed.................................. $50 Two beds................................. $60

*$100 security deposit

Lodge

Meals in Lodge

Per Night – Tax Included

AMVETS................................ $30 Non-Members......................... $33 Michigan AMVETS News

Breakfast or Lunch...... $5 Plus Tax Dinner........................ $8 Plus Tax

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Vol. 64, No. 4


Auxiliary NEWS Auxiliary President

Auxiliary President Kathyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Adventures By Marilyn Boring

Kathy Keizer, PRESIDENT

Department of Michigan Jr AMVETS with National President Patti Piening

President Kathy as the Good Witch Glinda, During Fall Conference in Grayling

Department of Michigan Commander Robert Downer and Auxiliary President Kathy Keizer at National Convention New Orleans, LA

At Fall Conference President Kathy with From Left National President Patti Piening, Parliamentarian Dori Colley, 1st Vice Joy Ringler, 2nd Vice Yvette Rusak Department of Michigan Ladies Auxiliary Delegation at National Convention, New Orleans, LA

Department of Michigan President Kathy with National President Patti Piening at National Convention, New Orleans, LA

Michigan AMVETS News

Cast of Characters from the Wizard of Oz

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Vol. 64, No. 4


Auxiliary NEWS Keeping Up With Kathy

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hank you to all who helped in the planning, instructing and any other phase that made this year’s Fall Conference a success. If you were not able to attend, you really missed a great time of learning and fellowship with our AMVET family. Members are saying that it is the best Fall Conference they have been to in recent years. The SEC meeting was so well attended by guests that we needed more chairs brought in. I am glad that so many want to learn more. I stopped in at Higgins Lake Lodge for the open house after I left Fall Conference and the new windows on the porch look so nice. There is still a need for a few more windows to be adopted. If you are interested, please contact Dianna Lammott. I met the new manager, Kari, and look forward to getting to know her better when the Auxiliary makes a visit the last full weekend in October.  As you read this, it is mid-winter and I sincerely hope everyone’s holidays were all that they hoped for. Our service year is well than half over and I am sure that everyone has a lot they want to finish for this year. I wish you all success as the year starts it’s downhill ride.  Spring SEC will be February 27 at a soon to be announced location. Everyone is invited to attend and voice your opinion but only those on the Committee have a vote. Watch for the Auxiliary monthly newsletter for more information on this and so much more.   I continue to work with the AMVET Commander, SOA Commander, State Saddist, AMVETS Jr. AMVET coordinator, AMVET Executive Director and others to compile information for the joint events we have annually. A book is in the process of being compiled with the information of needs that each group has for the SEC meetings, Fall Conference and Department Convention. This will help the Executive Director when making the plans with the hotel sites the events will be held at. We are also trying to coordinate dates for other activities with the hope that there will be minimal conflict of events.  In August, I attended my first National Convention in New Orleans. What an experience and I look forward to working with our new National President, Patty Piening.  I visited District VII with three other Department officers. We had a great time and a lot of fun. Thank you, District VII for your hospitality. I also was invited to the District V Joint picnic in September. My visits to District VI and District III will be during the month of October. My official visit to District V will be March 6. 

I hope the year for the locals is going well and that you “Keep Moving Forward” in your service work to our veterans and communities.   "Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth." - Shirley Chisholm. Kathy Keizer, Dept. President

Department of the Army United States Army Junior ROTC Battalion Ottawa Hills High School Grand Rapids Public Schools

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his letter is written to thank you and your organization for the support from the AMVETS in regards to the Grand Rapids Public Schools JROTC Awards Program. Without your support and the support of other organization such as yours, we would not be able to recognize the outstanding efforts of our young citizens in the Grand Rapids Public Schools JROTC program. Enclosed is a photo from the ceremony showing the presenter and awardees receiving your award. We hope you can use this photo in your organization to show that you are involved in the recognition of our high school students who deserve to be recognized for their outstanding contribution to their family, school and community. We hope to have your continued support in the future! Again, thank you from all the students and instructors of the Grand Rapids Public Schools JROTC program!  RODRICK SIDDONS SSG, USA, Retired Awards Coordinator Michigan AMVETS News

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Vol. 64, No. 4


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SONS OF AMVETS NEWS

reetings from the Sons of AMVETS Department of Michigan. I would like to start off by saying thanks to the members of AMVETS Post 29 and Sons of AMVETS Squadron 29 for the warm reception and hospitality that my wife and I received during our visit to their annual Talent Show. Post 29 has many talented individuals and during this Show they raised over $5000.00 for their charities. We were very happy to have been a part of this event. It has also been mine and my wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s honor to attend the SOA 1988 Chili Cook-off in Baldwin. That same evening we joined Immediate Past Department Commander Bruce Ringler and National 2nd Vice commander John Barnhill and their spouses and attended annual Brotherhood Night dinner at AMVETS Post 120 we wish thanks to all Posts for their hospitality Last year our total Department membership was 1,571 this was an increase from previous year. This year I believe we need to concentrate on renewals, each year we lose approximately 25% of our annual membership due to lack of renewals Fortunately each year we have recouped 30% in new annual membership and that is where we have shown an increase of total annual membership.

Who are Sons of AMVETS?

The Sons of AMVETS is a subordinate organization of the AMVETS. We have been part of the AMVET Family since 1974.

What do the Sons do?

The Sons of AMVETS sponsor various community projects. These include Americanism, Legislative and Scholarship programs, as well as assisting our parent organization of AMVETS, and our active and growing Veterans Hospital Program on the Local, State and National Levels.

Why should my post have a Sons of AMVETS Squadron?

A Sons of AMVETS Squadron will allow your post to increase its membership and your presence in the community. It will allow more members of you family to become active in AMVETS. A Sons of AMVETS Squadron can bring new fresh ideas to any AMVETS Post increasing membership and potential income.

Who can join Sons of AMVETS?

Eligibility for membership in the Sons of AMVETS shall be limited to all male descendents, grandsons, adopted sons and stepsons, fathers, husbands, widowers, and brothers of members of AMVETS and the deceased members of AMVETS, or the personnel who died and would have been eligible for membership in the parent organization, and are at least eighteen (18) years of age and is not eligible for membership in the parent organization. This is not to include in-laws of any type.

Imagine where we would be if we had all of our annual members renew as well as adding 5% to 10 % of new membership to each Squadron. Therefore I would like to encourage all our Squadrons to send out renewal reminder letters or postcard to their annual membership. This has been very successful for several squadrons. I further would like to encourage each Squadron to file Project Reports. This only takes a few minutes each month and they make a huge impact on the AMVETS Family. We all volunteer our time, helping a neighbor, working a dinner at your Post, visiting a friend in the hospital, etc. If each Squadron will send in Project Reports every month the Sons of AMVETS Department of Michigan could be second to none in the nation. On a personal note, it was my honor to present Ron Gossman of Squadron 126 with the William A Hamilton Distinguished Service Award for his hard work and dedication to the Sons of AMVETS during our annual Fall Conference. This award is given to the most outstanding Son of AMVET member in the Department. My Testimonial Dinner will be held on April 10, 2010 at the Centennial Country Club in Grand Rapids. Flyers and invitations will be in the mail. ď&#x201A;ś

Why should I join the Sons of AMVETS?

Your membership in the Sons of AMVETS makes you a part of the fastest growing Veterans Service Organization in the United States. Most of all, it will allow you to be a part of the fellowship of the AMVETS Family, and make a difference in your community, state, and nation. It gives us a chance to give something back to those who sacrificed so much, for the freedom that we love so dearly. Dues for Members at Large are $22. You must be more than 50 miles from an existing Squadron for Member at Large.

Who should I contact about Sons of AMVETS?

To become a member of Sons of AMVETS Just fill out the application below and contact your local Sons of AMVETS Squadron.

AMVETS if you're interested in starting a Sons of AMVETS Squadron at your post, contact the Sons of AMVETS Department of Michigan for a starter kit and we will be happy to help you.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me or any of the Department of Michigan Officers. Douglas S. Beedon dsbeedon@ comcast.net 616-719-2294 Home 616-304-5479 Cell


THE MICHIGAN AMVETS NEWS

NON-PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID ROYAL OAK, MI PERMIT #792 48068

5489 Main St. P.O. Box 254 Dryden, MI 48248

from your AMVETS family. Application for Membership

DUES AT LARGE ARE $25. DUES VARY AT POSTS.

AMVETS

MICHIGAN HEADQUARTERS 5489 Main St., P.O. Box 254, Dryden, MI 48248 (Please Print Information Below)

I APPLY FOR ____NEW ANNUAL ____ RENEWAL ____LIFE MEM. AND PRESENT $__________FOR DUES

POST#__________ STATE__________

SPONSOR__________________________________________________________________ NAME__________________________________________________ SPOUSE____________________________ ADDRESS___________________________________________________ PHONE_________________________ CITY, STATE, ZIP______________________________________________________________ BRANCH OF SERVICE______________________ YEAR ENTERED SERVICE____________ DISCHARGED__________SERVICE NUMBER______________________________ TYPE OF DISCHARGE________________ SEX_____M _____F DATE OF BIRTH_______/_______/_______ SIGNATURE_____________________________________________________

DATE___________________________________ POST_____________________________________________ AUTHORIZING OFFICER_____________________________________________________________________

AMVETS

JOIN AMVETS TODAY!

MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY: ANY PERSON WHO SERVED OR IS CURRENTLY SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE U.S.A. AT ANY TIME AFTER SEPTEMBER 15, 1940 INCLUDING RESERVISTS AND NATIONAL GUARDSMEN WITH HONORABLE DISCHARGE, HONORABLE SEPARATION OR GENERAL DISCHARGE UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS.

TEMPORARY MEMBERSHIP CARD NOT VALID MORE THAN 60 DAYS AFTER DATE ISSUED

Your official Membership Card will be forwarded to you. If you do not receive your card within 60 days, contact AMVETS Michigan Headquarters. DATE_________ POST#_________ STATE_________ THE SUM OF $__________IN PAYMENT OF AMVETS MEMBERSHIP DUES FOR THE YEAR ____________ HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FROM: NAME_______________________________________

PERSON RECEIVING DUES NAME______________________________ PHONE (HOME)______________________ (WORK)____________________________ ___________________________________ SIGNATURE OF PERSON RECEIVING DUES

Vol. 64, No. 4  

Michigan AMVETS News