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THE

FALL 2018

CALIFORNIA

VFWCA.ORG

VETERAN

NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS

98TH VFW STATE CONVENTION

119TH VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION

PAGE 18

PAGE 32


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FALL 2018

VFWCA.ORG

INSIDE THE ISSUE

MESSAGES FROM YOUR OFFICERS & CHAIRMEN PAGE 2

VFW IN THE NEWS PAGE 12

98TH VFW STATE CONVENTION PAGE 18

VFW STATE OFFICERS PAGE 20

WHY ARE THE YOUNGER VETERANS AVOIDING THE VETERAN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS? PAGE 28

119TH VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION PAGE 32

APPLICATIONS AND ENTRY FORMS PAGE 37

SOCIAL MEDIA CORNER PAGE 46

THE CALIFORNIA VETERAN IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES, DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA It is an online magazine published four times a year to keep our members informed about important news affecting the VFW and veterans. Click here to Subscribe to our Mailing List to Receive Quarterly Issues of the California Veteran Magazine!


MESSAGES FROM YOUR OFFICERS & CHAIRMEN

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FALL 2018

VFWCA.ORG

Comrades, Sisters and Brothers,

STATE COMMANDER Lamont Duncan

WE ARE EMBARKING ON A NEW YEAR AND IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE STRIVE TO BE THE BEST THAT WE CAN. – Lamont Duncan, State Commander

We are embarking on a new year and it is important that we strive to be the best that we can. One of my platforms consisted of “Bridging the Gap”; we must work diligently to see that we bring more younger men and women into our Posts. We need to nourish and guide them because if we don't the VFW will not be a viable organization much longer. I have visited many Posts during my Junior and Senior years; there are Posts out there that are absolutely doing the job of the VFW, but unfortunately there are others that are not. I had the distinct honor of just completing District five's official visit and was very impressed that the host Post, Quartz Hill 3000, is the epitome of what every Post should strive to be. They have a very strong working relationship with their Auxiliary, are involved with the community and are dedicated to helping our Veterans in need. Our National Commander-in-Chief, BJ Lawrence, along with his line officers, have challenged each Department to revitalize Posts that may be in trouble. Many times, it is caused by a few dysfunctional members. I will give my District Commanders the support needed to get a Post back on track. Whether it's not getting along with the Auxiliary or removing members that are disruptive to the stabilization of the Post. If your Post falls under one or more of these debilitating criteria, please contact your District commander

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or President and let them know so they can correct the problem. If they determine that it’s more severe, they can ask Department for assistance. You may also remember my platform also said the reward system for All State as it relates to membership is skewed. Obviously, every Post and District should strive to be 100% plus in membership. However, large Posts and Districts require a lot more effort to sustain their membership than smaller Posts and Districts. Therefore, you will see that to qualify for All State your Post or District may not need to be 100% but you will need to complete your programs — VOD, Patriots Pen, Teachers, First Responder and Department monetary programs (i.e. Buddy Poppy, Mandatory Donations etc.). I do want to make two things very clear; I will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment or the inability to cooperate with your Auxiliary. I hope and pray that we have a good, solid, fruitful year. Under Commanders Wright’s administration, Department procedures were revised to ensure that issues that occurred in the past will not visit the future. I am dedicated to continuing that mantra and getting additional funds into our coffers. God bless you, your families and the VFW. SEMPER FI!!! Department Commander, Lamont Duncan


FALL 2018 · VFWCA.ORG

MENTOR – COMMUNICATE – SERVICE I salute you! Finally, congratulations to our Auxiliary for a great year under the leadership of Traci Lewis Ventress, last year’s Department President.

STATE SENIOR VICE COMMANDER Michael Kuznik Comrades, Sisters and Brothers, First, I would like to thank the Department of California for your support in voting for me as Sr. Vice Commander. Secondly, I would like to congratulate all the new Comrade and Auxiliary Officers at the Post, District and Department levels. Congratulations to those Posts and Districts who achieved All-State status this year.

I want to extend my hand out to Posts and Districts — if you need assistance, please do not hesitate to call or email me. Don’t wait until it is too late for problems that have been left to fester. We need to be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to our Posts, Districts and Auxiliaries. Don’t forget, let’s work together as a team with the VFW and the VFW Auxiliary in unity and camaraderie while working together to provide service and support to our Veterans and their families. As we now start the 2018-2019 year under the leadership of Lamont Duncan, State Commander, let’s give

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him our full and dedicated support to continue to make our Department great once again. I also wish Ellie Mello and her team of officers and chairmen a great year. Thank you to Jr. Past Commander Wayne Wright in opening the opportunity of fixing the Department of California. In closing, please don’t forget to mentor our future leaders, and communicate with each other to strive to better our Posts, Districts, and Auxiliaries in providing better service to our Veterans, their families and our communities. God Bless You, our Veterans and their families, In Comradeship, Michael Kuznik VFW State Sr. Vice Commander


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particularly Chuck Anfuso and Keith MacDonald for the nomination and second during the State Convention. I would also like to thank the members of the Mighty 1st District and my home Post 2111 for all of your support.

STATE JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER John Lowe Comrades, I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for the support and confidence you have placed in me by giving me the opportunity to serve as your State Junior Vice Commander. You have bestowed upon me a great honor and I am extremely humbled. I welcome this challenge and look forward to an exciting and rewarding year of achieving our goals. I would like to thank all of those who helped me reach this high honor,

Congratulations to Ellie Mello from my Auxiliary 2111 as you serve as Department President this year. I look forward to working with each and every comrade, brother and sister of this Department. A special thank you to my wife Katie, and my family for always being there and supporting me in all that I do. To Commander Duncan and the rest of the 18/19 “Bridging the Gap” team, I wish you all the best and pledge my support to the direction this great Department will take under your leadership. To Past State Commander Wright, thank you for your fortitude and persistence to bring transparency and integrity back to our Department.

Comrades, We are now officially at the start of our new year and congratulations to our incoming leadership team – I look forward to working with you.

STATE ADJUTANT Jerry Brady

97 POSTS MADE 100% MEMBERSHIP AND OF THOSE 36 MADE ALL-STATE.

I hope that you all had a safe and sane 4th of July holiday. As I write this, I am cleaning up the last administrative requirements of 2017/18 and transitioning into Commander Duncan’s year. But before I do, I’d like to take a quick look back: • 97 posts made 100% membership and of those 36 made All-State. If you did not receive your All-State cover at convention, do not worry. We placed the hat orders at the end of June and look forward to having

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I have always said I believe it is time we move forward with a sense of direction when it comes to the future of the Department of California. Having the resources to do what we need to do to support veterans here in California is of the utmost importance. My pledge to you is that I will use my past experience to keep us moving forward in the right direction. And lastly, congratulations to all of the elected and appointed officers throughout the Department—we now have a team in place. We must stand united and together so that we can make the VFW Department of California great again! Airborne all the way! John G. Lowe State Jr. Vice Commander VFW, Department of California

them in short order so we can get them delivered to you all. • We had an adjustment period, but we here at HQ have learned a lot and we are trying to put our lessons learned out there so we all can move forward hopefully a bit wiser. I’m looking forward to working with you all once again to continue our efforts in support of our brother and sister veterans. With that in mind, I want to do everything I can to minimize the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks so that you have more time to be out there doing the work you do. • Bonding is due on Aug. 31. We need all Posts properly bonded on time!


FALL 2018 · VFWCA.ORG We have already sent out the bonding forms to your District officers and placed them on the website. • We are working on a brand-new reporting system that we hope simplifies the process of reporting for you. In essence what it does after you hit submit is: 1) an e-mail of the report comes to us for entry into the Post Status Report, 2) an email is sent to the originator of the report to confirm the report, and 3) the submitted report goes into an Excel database where it can be reviewed by the State Leadership, Program Chairs, and District Commanders, as well as this office, to see how

programs are performing. We hope to have this program up and running soon, and we look forward to beginning beta testing shortly. • Our State website is much more functional now and we hope to provide more information while at the same time streamlining it a bit. We are consistently updating information on there from upcoming events to General Orders to everything else. This year, we will continue to update the Post Status Report almost every Friday afternoon by 4 p.m., as well as weekly reports we receive from National on membership including

From the State Surgeon, First Comrades, I would like to thank you for your vote of confidence in allowing me to serve as your State Surgeon for the 2018-2019 membership year.

STATE SURGEON Patricia Werner

I am planning to set up a CPR class at the midwinter conference in Sacramento. Anyone who would be interested in getting CPR certified, please email me at patriciawerner52@gmail.com. I would like to get a headcount so I can ensure that we have enough equipment and materials set up for everyone attending this training. Please let me know by Dec. 1 So we have enough time to get the space to make this training available. Remember, when disposing of medications that are no longer needed or outdated, make sure you crush them up and throw in coffee grounds or kitty litter. You can also

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Recruiting Stats and those who have recruited more than 10 members. • We are cleaning out the General Orders folder and only have the current year’s information on there. Last thing – I strongly urge all Districts and Posts to review the All-American and All-State requirements. I have posted it on the Department website. These are listed under the circles listed as, “Forms, Status Reports, and Program Guides.” Enjoy your summer. Jerry Brady Department of California Adjutant

take them to your local pharmacy to be properly disposed of. Please don't flush them down your toilet. Currently, with all of the wildfires going on in the state of California, make sure if you live in an area that is prone to fire that you do have a small bag ready to go filled with enough medications and supplies that you may need for at least 7 to 10 days. Don't forget to include copies of any medical insurance cards and important documents in the event that you may need to leave in a hurry. Please include a list of all your medications that you take on a daily basis in case you need to get those resupplied. Yours in comradeship, Trish Werner State Surgeon


@CA_VFW

STATE CHAPLIN James Wright First of all, thank you all for having enough faith in me to elect me as your State Chaplain. I look forward to the challenges that this year will bring. I know that we can and will work together for the benefit of our state’s veterans, and I ask God to be with all of us as we attempt to do the best that we can for them. I was in the Northern California/ Sacramento/Bay Area on business in Mid-June right after our VFW State Convention, and I decided to stop by one or two of the local VFW Posts in that area. I was also planning on visiting the VFW Offices in Elk Grove during that trip because I have never been there, but I never got a chance to get over there. If the State Commander’s visit to the different Posts and Districts in our state is called an Official Visit, then I guess the visit that I made can be called an unofficial visit. That is exactly what these two visits that I made were. They were unofficial, unannounced, and unexpected. What I learned from the experience of these visits is that not all VFWs are the same. The first Post that I visited was in Dixon, CA. VFW Post 8151 was not open that Saturday evening around 6 p.m., and the only two people who were there when I arrived were there for

a wedding reception that they had rented the Veterans Hall for. Neither one of them was affiliated with the VFW nor the Auxiliary. The second Post I visited was in Vacaville, CA. VFW Post 7244 was not open either, and from what I learned from speaking with the Post Commander over the phone, they usually never open anytime during the week. It was 11 a.m. on a Sunday that I visited this Post. To reiterate, this experience showed me that not all VFWs operate the same. I am used to San Diego where most VFWs are usually open early on weekends and in the afternoons on weekdays. I learned that there are many Posts in California that only open for special occasions or to hold their monthly meetings. Furthermore, I learned that there are also Posts that don’t have a Post home, so they meet in a restaurant for their monthly meeting. However, the most valuable lesson that I learned is about timing. It has been said that timing is everything. If I had picked the third Thursday of the month in the case of the Dixon VFW, I would have been able to attend their meeting, for example. Timing has always been called into question by men and women of faith over the years, especially bad timing. For example, one might ask why God has allowed a negative thing to happen to them like a tragic illness at a time when they may already be dealing with some other unrelated problems. I was a Chaplain at a hospital where I baptized a new born baby, but that baby did not survive and died a few days later. That baby’s father, her mother, her aunt, who were all present during the baptism, and even me, might ask why God would allow someone to be taken so young. Yes the timing in the case

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of both of the examples above was not good, and the untimeliness of some of the things that God allows to happen sometimes has us calling into question our faith. The question that often comes up in times like these is where God is in the middle of all this suffering and hard times. I believe the answer is that God is right there in the middle of it all. He is right beside you, me, or anyone else that might be experiencing some trying circumstances. But, God wants us to come out on the other side of the situation and be able to use that as a living testimony to help others who may be going through something similar in the near or distant future. In Psalms 23:4 it is written that, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou are with me, and thou rod and thou staff they comfort me.” I believe that God is trying to let us know through the Psalmist in this case that even in the toughest of times when nothing seems to be going right, the Holy Spirit is right there with us. And God is there walking along side us to help us navigate our way to the other side. So please allow this message be a source of encouragement for you today. Lastly, I am providing my email, jwrightcts@yahoo.com, to anyone who might wish to contact me. If you are one of our District Chaplains please email me your contact information. If you are a Chaplain in California, and you would like updates from me, please feel free to email me your contact information as well. Until Next Time May God Continue to Bless You All, State Chaplain James Wright.


FALL 2018 · VFWCA.ORG

REMINDER: SUPPORTING THE BUDDY POPPY PROGRAM HELPS FUND OUR SERVICE DEPT. BUY BUDDY POPPIES.

CHAIRMAN, STATE SERVICE COMMITTEE Art Napiwocki Our VFWCA Department Service Committee meets quarterly to review our Service Department. Under our strict and challenging Budget Restriction Provision, the Dept. Service Committee continues to keep the Dept. Regional Offices staffed to the best of their ability. Through working with the three Department Service Officers to address any issues and concerns, the Committee strives to steer our Service Dept. into the future by continually providing our Veterans and their families with exceptional service.

free medical examinations, including laboratory and other diagnostic tests deemed necessary by an examining clinician. VA maintains Health Registries to provide special health examinations and store health related information. You may be eligible to participate in one or more of the following Registries: • Agent Orange Registry • Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry • Gulf War Registry • Ionizing Radiation Registry • Depleted Uranium Follow-up Program • Toxic Embedded Fragment Surveillance Center To participate, contact the nearest VA Healthcare Facility or visit www.va.gov/environagents/.

Veteran Health Registries

Decision Ready Claim (DRC) Program

Certain Veterans can participate in a VA Health Registry and receive

With our Decision Ready Claim Program you can get a decision on

PAST COMMANDERIN-CHIEF HONORED District 1 Honored Past National Commander-in-Chief Herbert Rainwater with a Wreath Presentation on Memorial Day

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certain types of claims in 30 days or less. If you plan to file any of the following types of claims, work with one of our VFW Accredited Service Officers to determine if the DRC Program is right for you and your claim. • Direct Service Connection Claims: Claims for a disability that was caused by or during your service. • Presumptive Service Connection Claims: Claims for a disability that VA automatically presumes to be service-connected based on unique conditions or situations you experienced during your service. • Secondary Service Connection Claims: Claims for a disability that you have a result of another service-connected disability. • Increased Disability Claims: Claims for a disability you have a VA rating for that has gotten worse.


@CA_VFW

ONE OF THE VFW OBJECTIVES IS, “TO PROMOTE AMERICANISM THROUGH EDUCATION IN PATRIOTISM AND CONSTRUCTIVE SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH WE LIVE.” THIS OBJECTIVE REINFORCES THE IDEA THAT THE TRUE CHARACTER OF AMERICA IS MEASURED BY HER COMMUNITIES AND THE PEOPLE WHO WORK TO IMPROVE THEM. CHAIRMAN, CITIZENSHIP ED, COMMUNITY SERVICE & SAFETY COMMITTEES Robert “Brock” McMahon Welcome to the 2018 – 2019 Reporting Year! Currently, the online reporting system is down. Please e-mail your Post activity reports to info@vfwca.org with who, what, where, when, cost, and volunteer hours; the report will be forwarded to the appropriate Chairman. Citizenship Education (Americanism) The importance of citizenship education is priceless in today’s society, as each and every person can have a direct influence society. Fostering patriotism and honoring America’s Veterans are part of the VFW’s philosophical core. Thus, public events hosted by VFW Posts cultivate an appreciation of both the responsibilities and benefits of being an American. During the 2017–2018 reporting year, I received 1,737 online reports from Posts detailing their Citizenship Education (Americanism) projects in regards to Loyalty Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Patriots Day, POW/MIA Day, Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Flag Presentation, Flag Raising, Color/Honor Guard Duties, Get Out To Vote Campaign, Patriotic

Assembly Participation, Patriotic Literature Distribution, Flag Education Briefing, Flag Disposal Demonstration, Parade Participation, and VFW Picnic Day for military members. Community Service The key to community recognition is visibility. How does your Post benefit your community? I encourage each Post to join their local Chamber of Commerce to increase identity and networking opportunities in the community. If your Post is ever questioned in regards to its non-profit status, your Community Service activity reports will be invaluable proof that your Post engages in activities entitling it to tax-exempt status. During the 2017–2018 reporting year, I received 1,793 online reports from Posts detailing their Community Service projects in regards to Organizing a Blood Drive, Organizing a CPR Class, Doing Environmental Cleanup, Visiting a Community Hospital/Nursing Home, Driving Senior Citizens to Appointments, Providing Aid During Family Tragedy/Illness, Assisting a School/ Church, and Being a Guest Speaker at a Community Event.

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Safety Recognition Safety Recognition highlights the VFW’s long-standing commitment to promote programs designed to safeguard our communities by reducing mishaps through diligent hazard identification and risk management. During the 2017 – 2018 reporting year, I received 177 online reports from Posts detailing their Safety Recognition Program in regards to Providing Literature and Briefings on Highway Safety, Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety, Drug Awareness, Recreational/ Boating/Hunting Safety, Highway Safety, Home/Fire Safety, Firearm Safety, and Child Safety. The success of these 2018–2019 programs will be measured by selecting the 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall (Post & District) award recipients for each category. I am honored by State Commander Duncan’s confidence in me to serve as State Chairman.


FALL 2018 ¡ VFWCA.ORG

CHAIRMAN, HOMELESS VETERANS COMMITTEE James Wright As the new State Chair for the Homeless Veteran Programs, one of the things that I hope to improve on is establishing and keeping lines of communication open between the State Chair and the Chairs who represent their Districts. If we improve communication the odds of improving our services to our homeless and needy veterans will increase as well. With that in mind, if you are a District Homeless Veteran Program Chair, and you have not already received an introductory email from me, please reach out to me by email at jwrightcts@yahoo.com. I asked our new District Commanders to give each one of our District Chairs my business card, but so far there has not been much contact. Recently, I visited Northern California, more specifically District 16, and District 16 Commander Nelson Reyes was nice enough to show me around. He took me to a couple of building sites for transitional housing that are being built to help get our fellow veterans off of the streets. Impressively, one of them was designed and built using shipping containers. An image I took of the construction site is included below. Commander Reyes also showed me a couple of houses that are already being used to house our homeless vets. These

housing units share a van that is used to take the veterans who live there to medical appointments, job interviews, and other places that aid in their recovery and transition from homelessness. He also pointed out that these places are funded in part through fundraisers that the VFW puts on and by local government grants and support. Team Depot also partners on these projects, and one of the houses that are being built is a Habitat for Humanity Home Project. So, there are multiple partners that are all working together in Nor-Cal to solve our homeless veteran issue. While I like to see projects like the aforementioned occurring around the state, I know that there are far too few of them to handle the level of crisis we have. There are also not enough Homeless Veterans Stand Downs that take place in and around our state. Let us each try to do more than we have done in the past to help our fellow veterans who need a helping hand. We should all do our best to remind them that God loves them and is with them

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always, even in the valleys of life that they may be experiencing right now. Join me in ensuring that they at least know God’s love through us by action and deed. In that spirit I am asking our District Chairpersons to make it a point to attend at least one Stand Down and report back to me with some highlights of the event. Thank you.


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From the Women's Veterans Chairman Women Comrades, don't forget the Woman Veterans Unconference at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry September 28-30. More information available at www.womenveteransalliance.org/unconference Please mention the Women Veterans Alliance to get your special room rate of $139.00 a night. Reservations need to be made by Aug. 31 to get this rate.

CHAIRMAN, WOMENS VETERANS COMMITTEE Patricia Werner

CHAIRMAN, LE, FF, EMT COMMITTEES Sherrod Conyers First, I would like to thank our new State Commander Lamont Duncan for appointing me as your LE, FF, EMT Chairman. Our new reporting system can be accessed at the Department website www.vfwca.org. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States realizes that duties performed in the fields of law enforcement and emergency services, whether carried out in public view with the ensuing public acclaim, or performed in ways which gain little public recognition, are both exemplary and of great value to the nation. Public Servant Award Citations for Public Servants Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars honors a law enforcement officer, firefighter and emergency medical

It promises to be a weekend of inspirational guest speakers, fellowship with our sister veterans and services geared toward women veterans’ special needs. Hope to see you there. Yours in Comradeship, Trish Werner, Chairman Women Veterans

technician (EMT) from each Department to receive the VFW National Gold Medal Award. Post Chairmen are encouraged to submit a candidate for these awards to the District Chairman by November 15, 2018. The deadline for District winners to be submitted by the District Chairmen to the Department Chairman is December 10, 2018. The Department Chairman must select a single candidate for each award and submit those to Department Headquarters by January 1, 2018, and forward them to VFW National before February 1, 2019. Eligible candidates for each award are as follows: Emergency Medical Technician Any individual, who actively gives emergency medical treatment, provides rescue service or civil disaster assistance as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to give emergency medical care, provide rescue and civil disaster assistance to our nation’s citizens. Law Enforcement Any individual who serves in a municipal, county, state or federal unit tasked with enforcement of the laws pertaining to their area of responsibility. This award does not apply to individuals employed by private companies or security services.

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Firefighters Any individual who actively fights fires as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to fight fires and give assistance to our nation’s citizens. DEADLINES • Deadline for submission to Post Chairmen is November 1, 2018. • Deadline for submission to District Chairman by Post Chairmen is November 15, 2018. • Deadline for submission to Department Chairman by District Chairmen is December 10, 2018. • Department Chairman must submit the winners in all three categories to the Department Headquarters no later than January 15, 2019. This will be a great year for the Department of CA, only if we put 100% of effort in. I am an asset of the VFW, Comrades please use me! Please give my name, phone number/ email address to your Post and District Chairmen and let them know that if they have any questions about LE, FF, EMT they can contact me at (310) 977-6154 or e-mail me at Sherrodconyers@yahoo.com


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@CA_VFW

VFW IN THE NEWS CALIFORNIA 2 HOUSE AND CAL/NEVADA HOUSE Did you know the Department of California sponsors a house and shares sponsorship of another house with the Department of Nevada? They are called the California 2 House and the California/Nevada House. There are a couple of ways for a Post to help with the upkeep of these houses. One is to donate! Send your donations to the VFW National Home and earmark your check for either or both of the houses. Send your donation to: VFW National Home for Children, 3573 S. Waverly Rd., Eaton Rapids, MI 48827. As seen in the photos, the American Flag and State flag is prominently displayed in front of the houses. Another way to help out is to donate flags for the houses and mail them to the above address. For more information about the VFW National Home for Children, visit the website at www.vfwnationalhome.org or call (800) 424-8360. Please remember to keep the helpline number available for easy referral to Veteran families in need (800) 313-4200. Are you a Life Member to the VFW National Home for Children? If not, the Life Member dues will be increasing January 2019 to $50 which includes a Life Member pin. Please contact me if you have an event, I would love to help.

CALIFORNIA/N

Renee Fulk, District 12 Trustee renee.fulk@cox.net

CALIFORNIA

EVADA HOUS E

Built in 1934 FW Departmen t of California and Nevada an d their Auxiliar ies • 2,874 square feet • Full Basemen • 4 Bedrooms t • Sun Room • 2 Bathrooms • Central A ir Sponsored by V

2 HOUSE

Built in 1950 California Department of FW V by d re so Spon y and its Auxiliar t • Full Basemen et fe re ua sq 6 • 2,45 • Sun Room • 4 Bedrooms • Central A ir s m oo hr at •3B

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FALL 2018 · VFWCA.ORG

GARDEN WILL GROW NEXT TO PERRIS VFW HEADQUARTERS More than five years ago, the Perris Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 888 bought a dirt field east of its South D Street headquarters. Now the former site of a service station, long surrounded by a chain-link fence, is being transformed. Soon there will be a garden with turf, plants, trees, benches — and even a pond and waterfall. Walkways, a new fence and additional parking will complete the project. It’s something that will help beautify the lot and make the city look a little bit better,” said Tim Moore, the Commander of the 236-member Post. The garden will be dedicated to members. “This is for the VFW,’ said Albert Guzman, who is coordinating the project. “It’s a garden for them and an honor for all who served. It’s a place to meditate and feel good.” Work started May 21 when volunteers Joe and Luis Arias from Arias Equipment Rentals in Temecula worked the dirt with a backhoe. Rainbow Valley Nursery in Fallbrook will provide plants for the garden. “Everything is donated,” Guzman said. “We’re very grateful to the guys who are putting in the effort.” The initial hope was to have the garden finished by Memorial Day, but now Veterans Day is a more realistic date for what Moore called a “work in progress.” Flags will be placed along the fence line for Memorial Day, May 28, and the project should be far enough along for Independence Day activities in July.

“THIS IS FOR THE VFW. IT’S A GARDEN FOR THEM AND AN HONOR FOR ALL WHO SERVED. IT’S A PLACE TO MEDITATE AND FEEL GOOD.”

Founded in 1985, the Post moved into its current site in 1989. Before that, the buildings housed a number of businesses, including a hair salon and hamburger stand. The Perris VFW stages community programs such as the Student of the Month and Voice of Democracy for youths, and a food bank for veterans.

– Albert Guzman, project coordinator

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IDENTITY GUARD SIGNS ON AS THE NEWEST VFW MEMBER BENEFIT VFW members can now protect even more with their VFW membership KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 9, 2018) – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce it has teamed up with Identity Guard to offer VFW members and their families a special 20 percent discount on identity theft protection with IBM® Watson™ technology. Identity theft affects one in seven Americans with potentially devastating consequences1 such as loss of savings, being charged with a crime one didn’t commit or even being held responsible for fraudulent medical claims. The threat of identity theft is real, and the consequences could be serious. Simply put, without adequate protection you and your family are vulnerable. With Identity Guard protection, you’ll receive a monthly Vantage™ credit score2 with up-to-date credit scores from the three major credit bureaus, a full TransUnion credit report annually, and alerts if your information is detected on the Dark Web or “Black Market” websites. Your Identity Guard membership can also help protect your loved ones with a family plan that includes child identity theft protection. Don’t gamble on the protection of your loved ones when it comes to identity theft. Start taking advantage of this special discounted rate today by visiting www.identityguard.com/vfw. 1 "2018 Identity Fraud: Fraud Enters a New Era of Complexity," Javelin Strategy & Research, 2018. Sponsored by Identity Guard. 2 The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.

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MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

Reasons to join the VFW: VFW LAUNCHES NEW VETERAN EMPLOYMENT TOOLS PROGRAM Transitioning service members have skill sets but not tool sets KANSAS CITY, Mo. (June 28, 2018) – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce the launch of a new VFW Veteran Employment Tools (VET) pilot program to provide transitioning veterans with the necessary hardware to help start careers in the automotive maintenance industry, which often requires its employees to provide their own tools. “Our new veterans already have the skill sets to succeed in this industry, but what many might lack are the required tool sets, which can cost thousands of dollars,” said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. “This is a tough financial barrier to employment, and that’s why we teamed with Snap-on to initially provide 20 transitioning veterans with the tools they need to succeed. “The VFW is dedicated to helping veterans, service members and their families,” said Harman, “and we are very hopefully that the pilot program exceeds to the point that we can help even more service members successfully transition back into their communities.” For VET program eligibility requirements and to apply, visit www.vfw.org/VET.

• Camaraderie and fellowship that comes with being part of the nation’s largest group of combat veterans • Opportunity to socialize and perform service with veterans who served on the front line and in support roles • Receive support during the tough times that can follow military service • Access assistance for securing VA and State benefits you are entitled to as a veteran • Utilize resources to help you learn about and secure jobs • Save money through discounts on numerous insurance and health care plans • Cut vacation expenses through discounts on travel and other services • Enjoy knowing other veterans, military personnel and their families • Help to generate patriotism and troop support through VFW programs • Relax and enjoy life knowing that the VFW has your back on many fronts


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DOGS ARE LEADING CALIFORNIA VETERANS OUT OF THE DARKNESS By Joan Morris, Bay Area News Group For Maddy Gibson, life is hazily divided between the darkness and the light, the loneliness and the comfort, the fear and the peace. The demarcation between the halves is Lady, a 5-year-old Basenji mix with a fierce curiosity for everything, but a shyness around other dogs. Lady, a rescue, is Gibson’s service dog, and the touchstone that allows Gibson to venture out into a world that once seemed too harsh.

Veteran Madeline Gibson and Lady, a 5-year-old basenji mix, pose for a photograph at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Gibson and Lady have completed service dog training through the Pets and Vets program at the Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. Anda Chu — Bay Area News Group

“She’s changed my life so much,” says Gibson, a 38-year-old Navy veteran. “Before, I didn’t get out of bed much. I didn’t go out much. To me, the world was terrible and humans were awful.” Gibson and Lady are graduates of the Pets and Vets service dog program offered by Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek. The training connects veterans with rescued dogs that have passed testing to become service animals. The vets and their dogs go through several months of training, with the vets learning to work with their animals and the dogs learning how to support their veterans.

2890 Mitchell Drive Walnut Creek, CA 94598 (925) 256-1273 www.arflife.org

Gibson, a native Texan who lives in Oakland now, joined the Navy in 2006 and spent six years in the service working as a sonar technician on destroyers. During her time, she had three deployments — two in the

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Mediterranean and one working in a counter-drug operation in Central and South America. Part of the reason she enlisted was to see the world — and she did — but after leaving the Navy, her world shrank to a single room. “There were a lot of things I wanted to do,” she says, “but I just couldn’t. I stayed in a bad relationship; I stayed inside.” The stress of what her experiences in the military, coupled with what she calls being “technically homeless” took a devastating toll on her mental health. Diagnosed with PTSD and battling severe depression, she began isolating herself, walling herself away from all contact. During counseling with the Veterans Administration, one therapist suggested she get a service dog. Gibson recognizes the difference in herself. Where once she struggled to even go to the grocery store, now she packs up Lady and explores dog parks and other new areas and towns. Lady, Gibson says, is “kind of like a social lubricant. I can talk to human beings again and that’s not a bad thing.” Pet news, photos and more delivered to your inbox. Sign up now for the Pet Pal Connection newsletter! Gibson also has found strength in knowing that Lady is watching out for her. Lady is trained to sense anxiety and move to Gibson’s side, get into her lap or lie across her chest, maneuvers that calm and reassure. While Lady


FALL 2018 · VFWCA.ORG helps Gibson interact with people, she also keeps them at a safe distance. When she senses Gibson is uneasy, the dog creates a perimeter around Gibson. “She watches my back,” Gibson says, “so no one can sneak up behind me.” Having an active partner — a battle buddy — is an important part of having a service dog for these veterans. Cliff Waugaman, 34, for example, had a lot of trouble after his 8-month deployment in Iraq in 2006. Waugaman, a Navy corpsman attached to a Marine battalion, returned home a different person. Even with therapy and medications, he struggled until a therapist recommended the ARF program. “It’s staggering, the difference in me,” he says. “I wish all vets could get into this program or one like it.” Like many vets with PTSD, Waugaman says he tended to isolate himself, but with his dog, Django, a boxer-bulldog mix, he feels safe “and that’s the biggest thing. He calms me.” Django, who Waugaman describes as a “soft soul,” is trained to check every corner of Waugaman’s home, making sure there is no danger. Waugaman uses the word “safe” a lot when describing Django’s job. He says the dog not only keeps him safe, but also his 6-year-old son, when he visits. Django’s presence makes Waugaman feel protected and more at ease.

obviously has to go to the bathroom, so that got me out twice a day.”

“Just having something that can love you back makes a difference,” Phillips says.

It was a start. And while Phillips still spends time in his parents’ Dublin home, with Mackenzie, he found the courage to move out on his own and get out more often.

At ARF, the Pets and Vets program is all about rescuing lives on both ends of the leash, both veteran and rescue dog. But the work Django has done in helping Waugaman has had a ripple effect, too. Waugaman has started working with a Stockton-based nonprofit veterans group, Tactical Patients, with a mission of stopping the plague of veteran suicides. The group has started giving dogs to vets, and Waugaman is hopeful the program can expand to include training.

“I’ve been going out to the spots I used to go to as a kid,” says Phillips, an ex-Marine who was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “She’s the reason why I went back, why I’m able to go to those places. They bring back memories — good memories, for a change.” Phillips grew up in Hayward and joined the Marines at age 21, becoming a light armor reconnaissance crewman. For two years, he drove an 8-wheel, all-terrain vehicle with a turret on top; the next two, he was a gunner. None of the vets like to speak about the details of their service, the sights and sounds and experiences, but the pain is visible in their faces and it eases noticeably when they speak of their service dogs and reach down to stroke their fur. Phillips had to conquer a second fear in getting Mackenzie: He had been bitten in the face by a Rottweiler when he was a child. But Mackenzie helped immeasurably. It’s hard to look at that big lovable mug and not see the good there.

It’s a story repeated by all these vets with service dogs. That feeling of safety and support is key. Mackenzie, a bull terrier-pit bull mix, is the only reason Samuel Phillips, 32, can leave his home. “Before her,” Phillips says, “I was living with my parents and wouldn’t leave the house. When I got (Mackenzie), she

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With isolation, Waugaman says, “we lose that part of us that is able to get out and talk to each other.” Pets and Vets and Tactical Patients open those doors. “We have a safe place where we can get together and feel better.” Waugaman, Gibson and Phillips credit their dogs — and ARF’s Pets and Vets program — with making that difference in their lives. “Django goes everywhere with me,” Waugaman says. “He’s why I’m still alive.”


2018

98TH VFW STATE CONVENTION


The 98th Annual VFW State Convention was held June 7–10, 2018 at the Doubletree Hotel in Bakersfield, CA. Congratulations to our new State Commander, Lamont Duncan!


MEET YOUR 2018-2019 STATE OFFICERS

STATE COMMANDER Lamont Duncan

STATE SENIOR VICE COMMANDER Michael Kuznik

STATE JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER John Lowe

STATE ADJUTANT Jerry Brady

STATE QUARTERMASTER Dean Lee

STATE JUDGE ADVOCATE Denis Wells

STATE SURGEON Patricia Werner

STATE CHAPLIN James Wright

IMMEDIATE PAST STATE COMMANDER Wayne Wright

STATE INSPECTOR Chuck Anfuso

STATE CHIEF OF STAFF Nick Guest

STATE PARLIAMENTARIAN Buford Maples


STATE HISTORIAN Dan Schmaltz

DISTRICT 1 COMMANDER Steven Williams

DISTRICT 2 COMMANDER Janine Fountain

DISTRICT 3 COMMANDER Daniel Moon

DISTRICT 4 COMMANDER Sherrod Conyers

DISTRICT 5 COMMANDER Anthony Precie

DISTRICT 6 COMMANDER Paul Peterson

DISTRICT 7 COMMANDER Clay Cowgill

DISTRICT 9 COMMANDER Carlos Fernandez

DISTRICT 10 COMMANDER Terry Murphy

DISTRICT 11 COMMANDER David Loera

DISTRICT 12 COMMANDER Ian Oglesby

DISTRICT 13 COMMANDER Aaron Rasmussen

DISTRICT 14 COMMANDER Lawrence “Phil” Irvine

DISTRICT 15 COMMANDER John Archibald

DISTRICT 16 COMMANDER Nelson Reyes CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


CALIFORNIA VFW STATE OFFICERS

DISTRICT 17 COMMANDER William Buck

NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBER - CALIFORNIA Earl Fulk

CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF FINANCIAL REVIEW Eugene Cola

CHAIRMAN, BUDDY POPPY COMMITTEE George “Larry” Reuss

CHAIRMAN, CITIZENSHIP ED, COMMUNITY SERVICE & SAFETY COMMITTEES Robert “Brock” McMahon

CHAIRMAN, EDUCATION & TRAINING COMMITTEE Chuck Anfuso

CHAIRMAN, HOMELESS VETERANS COMMITTEE James Wright

CHAIRMAN, IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN VETERANS COMMITTEE William Buck

CHAIRMAN, LE, FF, EMT COMMITTEES Sherrod Conyers

CHAIRMAN, STATE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE Michael Seward

CHAIRMAN, MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE Tim Bryant

CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL HOME COMMITTEE Janine Fountain


CHAIRMAN, NATIVE AMERICAN AFFAIRS Ronald Bonnin

CHAIRMAN, PUBLIC RELATIONS/ PUBLICATIONS CONTEST Steven Williams

CHAIRMAN, STATE SERVICE COMMITTEE Art Napiwocki

CHAIRMAN, STATE SERVICE WAYS & MEANS Mike Maynor

CHAIRMAN, STUDENT VETERANS OF AMERICAN COMMITTEE David Loera

CHAIRMAN, TEACHERS AWARD COMMITTEE Robert Magner

CHAIRMAN, VETERAN & MILITARY SUPPORT COMMITTEE Gerry Blake

CHAIRMAN, VFW PROGRAMS Robert “Brock” McMahon

CHAIRMAN, VOICE OF DEMOCRACY William Buck

CHAIRMAN, WHEELCHAIR GAMES COMMITTEE Joe Velasquez

CHAIRMAN, WOMENS VETERANS COMMITTEE Patricia Werner


FACT SHEET As the nation’s oldest major war veterans’ organization, the VFW has an impeccable and longstanding record of service and stewardship. More than 4 million patriotic Americans, both members and non-members, entrust the VFW with financial contributions and dedicate millions of volunteer hours.

YOUR DONATION OF

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$

ENSURES THE VFW CAN

Educate a separating service member about his or her

well-earned VA benefits through a private benefits counseling session with a VFW Service Officer.

Provide training to 4 VFW Service Officers on signs of

emotional suffering so they can better direct veterans to programs and services.

Help cover rent, utilities or groceries for a military family struggling with the hardships of war. Serve 5 morale-boosting “welcome home” meals for service members recently back from combat.

1,968

Number of VA-accredited VFW representatives across America and abroad, helping veterans fight for the VA benefits they have earned.

$7.7 billion The total amount the VFW helped veterans recoup in earned benefits from the VA — which includes $1.2 billion in new claims in 2017.

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Number of times the VFW has testified before Congress in the last 12 months alone. The VFW has been instrumental in virtually every major legislative victory for veterans in the 20th and 21st centuries.

$10.1 million+ Value of financial assistance awarded to military families since 2004 to help cover basic needs in times of crisis. 43% of the funds covered basic housing needs.

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Number of VFW-SVA Fellows (student veterans) who have traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for veterans’ rights.

2.2 million+

Number of service members and their family members hosted at VFW Military Assistance Program (MAP) events since 2005.

$3 million

Amount of scholarships, monetary awards and other incentives the VFW distributes annually to middle and high school students through two major patriotic essay competitions.

$4.9 million+ Amount of scholarships awarded to more than 1,115 veterans and service members through VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” since January 2014. Updated June 2018

Learn more about VFW’sPROGRAMS programs and services at www.vfw.org LEARN MORE ABOUT THEthe VFW'S AND SERVICES AT WWW.VFW.ORG


MORE FACTS ABOUT THE VFW

The VFW by the numbers

Helping struggling military families

Nearly 1.7 million

8,864

Number of VFW and VFW Auxiliary members.

6,354

Number of VFW Posts worldwide.

Helping veterans get justice

101,166

Year the VFW started to fight for veterans, service members and their families.

Number of grants provided to military families facing financial hardship through VFW Unmet Needs since 2004.

$4,371,904

Amount of grants provided through VFW Unmet Needs covering housing for struggling military families since 2004.

2,881

Number of military families who received assistance with housing needs since 2004.

Honoring the fallen

9.3 million+

Number of VFW “Buddy”® Poppies distributed by the VFW last year.

$12 million

Amount raised through the VFW “Buddy”® Poppy program for needy veterans.

Number of veterans the VFW assisted in submitting new VA claims in 2017.

16,220

Improving life in America

Number of VA claims filed by the VFW’s Pre-Discharge offices in 2017.

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Number of VFW Pre-Discharge offices across the nation, including the military district of Washington, D.C., area.

Inspiring patriotism in young people

8.8 million

33,000+

$52.1 million

100,000+

Number of volunteer hours contributed by VFW members annually.

Amount donated annually to local community service projects by VFW members.

Number of high school students who competed in the 2017–18 VFW Voice of Democracy competition.

Number of students who competed in the 2017–18 VFW Patriot’s Pen competition. Updated June 2018

Learn more about the VFW’s programs and services at www.vfw.org

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VFW'S PROGRAMS AND SERVICES AT WWW.VFW.ORG


@CA_VFW

WE RECENTLY LAUNCHED A NEW WEBSITE FOR THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS, DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA FOUNDATION! The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California Foundation is committed to supporting programs that improve the lives of veterans, active duty military personnel, their families, and their communities. The Foundation is funded entirely by generous private and corporate donations, and all money raised is used to support veterans. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and financial contributions to the Department of California Foundation are tax-deductible. Check out the website to learn more and to make a donation!

www.vfwcafoundation.org/

NEW SERVICE OFFICE LOCATION! EFFECTIVE October 10, 2018 (Office will be closed October 5-9, 2018 for moving) VBA Sacramento Satellite Office 3046 Prospect Way Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 By appointment only

(510) 835-1246

COMING SOON!

Be on the lookout for a new “DONATE” button directly on our Facebook page! Donate to the VFWCA Foundation directly from Facebook!


I SERVED my family’s safety FOR USAA members who bundled Auto and Home Insurance saved over $519 million combined last year.1 Bundle today to help protect what matters to you and what you have worked so hard to build. With USAA insurance, enjoy an unrivaled level of service because we know what it means to serve.

JOIN USAA TODAY AND GET A QUOTE. CALL 800-274-8839 OR VISIT USAA.COM/VFW WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO QUOTE ANY INDIVIDUAL A PREMIUM RATE FOR THE INSURANCE ADVERTISED HEREIN. 1 Savings figure based on 2016 savings earned when members combined USAA auto and home insurance products. Multiple product savings do not apply in all states or to all situations. Savings subject to change. Restrictions apply. Use of the term “member” or “membership” refers to membership in USAA Membership Services and does not convey any legal or ownership rights in USAA. Restrictions apply and are subject to change. Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and USAA, Ltd. (Europe), San Antonio, TX, and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products. Veterans of Foreign Wars receives financial support for their sponsorship. © 2018 USAA. 251249-0818-VFW


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Why are the younger Veterans avoiding the Veteran Service Organizations?

By Les Davis

Before I researched why the post-Vietnam generation of Veterans were not joining Veteran Service Organizations (VSO), I asked myself, “Why wouldn’t veterans want to be around other veterans?” Truly, participating in a VSO provides a unique opportunity to serve our community with people from all walks of life, and also offers the opportunity to share the bond and camaraderie that melds us together as proud United States Veterans. After months of research, most of which involved visiting many VSOs in several states, the answer became obvious: In all of the VSOs that I had the pleasure of visiting, I found that VSOs are standing by and waiting for this younger generation of veterans to just walk in and join like their fathers and grandfathers before them. And this appeared to be the “marketing strategy” to bolster membership in many, if not all, of the VSOs. Many VSOs rely solely on their names to entice these young veterans to show up and join, and most have a marketing campaign that hasn’t quite made it into the 21st Century. And quite frankly, some of the messaging is a little misleading. For example, I remember getting a package from a VSO that looked like an official government envelope until I opened it and discovered much to my dismay that this official-looking correspondence was in fact a membership package. I thought the BOLD RED ink demanding some type of action was a little over the top. When I read “send money along with application and you will receive a multitool with your new membership,” I decided to throw the whole envelope away. The current VSO image and what the younger veteran generation thinks about local VSOs is real; they see a building with a couple windows, a dimly-lit, smoke-filled room with a pool table or darts with “Bingo Night” being boldly advertised as the biggest event happening at that particular location. How do we get the younger veterans to be part of that? The answer is we don’t. WE MUST CHANGE. The thought that eventually the younger veterans will join because they are missing the camaraderie is a false notion. There are too many newer and younger VSOs that have popped up in recent years for them to join, leaving a vast number of VSOs competing for membership from a much smaller pool of veterans.

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FALL 2018 · VFWCA.ORG The one positive aspect from the VSOs, one that no one can take away, is that they have held firm in the support of the various veteran issues in Washington, D.C. for decades, and have dedicated much of their efforts in resolving very troubling veteran issues involving the Veterans Administration that have surfaced in recent years. The more established VSOs have a voice with the Congress and President regardless of the dominant political party. Senators, Representatives, and Presidents have made speeches at VSO national conventions because politicians know that they need their support. Politicians listen to them because of the membership numbers, but those are unfortunately declining.

What positive actions can the VSOs take to build membership? After talking to Desert Storm, OEF and OIF veterans over the past 9 years, I suggest the following 12 common sense steps to appeal to that younger generation of veterans who are the very lifeblood of the existing VSOs:

1

Be honest and transparent when sending out material to attract new members. Educate the younger veteran generation by conveying to them what you have accomplished locally and nationally to ensure that veteran issues stay at the forefront of the discussion. Show them that you are making a difference. Let them know about your whole organization, not just a narrow scope of membership and money.

2

Treat all veterans equally. Both men and women have served honorably in the Armed Forces. To assume only men deployed or served is backwards thinking, and has no room in today’s VSO.

3

Update Posts with free WiFi, offer video gaming like an XBOX or PlayStation 4, and install flat screen TVs, and select programming such as sports that appeal to all veterans

4

I know the more seasoned veterans have life experience and perhaps a different frame of reference. But we should never think that the younger generation is any different. As a leader, I’ve always welcomed new ideas from everyone, and the younger veterans are full of ideas-just as we were at that age. You should embrace their energy and let them share their ideas about improving your Post; you will be pleasantly surprised with the innovative ideas that they come up with. Be open to these new ideas.

5

Welcome all veterans into your Post. When you see someone new walk in, welcome them with open arms, make them feel like they are part of your Post and have found a new family and friends. And don’t criticize the way the look now or their time in service. If you’re welcoming, we may overlook the stale beer smell and nicotine stained walls and windows and stay for a while.

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6

Keep your meetings short and to the point. If you have younger veterans at your Post, assign them a task during the meeting and ask them to work with the membership and complete it. Get them involved in the administration of your VSO and encourage their involvement. The younger generation, especially the millennials like to solve problems by working and teaming with a group. This is a prime opportunity for the VSO leadership to mentor those younger veterans. Be patient. Some of these young veterans suffer from a malady of challenges, such as Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD diagnosed and undiagnosed.

7

Turn your Post or part of your Post into a community type of center. Our younger veterans want a place to network, drop their child off for daycare, or do homework.


@CA_VFW

8

Turn your Post into a place where veterans can network with the community. Invite local business owners, company executives, your local college Veteran’s Representatives, or members of the local Chamber of Commerce to speak at your meetings.

9

Don’t be afraid to work with other veteran organizations within your community. Build a strong support network for all veterans.

10

If you have a Post close to a military base, begin working with the base transition office or AW2/AF2/ USMC Wound Warrior Regiment or the Navy’s Safe Harbor

Program. These once-flourishing programs have had their share of budget cuts, but the mission remains the same. This is where VSOs could make a positive impact with the base leadership as well as the surrounding veteran population.

11

Introduce yourself and your Post to your local Guard and Reserve centers. Most of the members live, work, and shop in your community.

12

Sign up for and attend every veteran event that you can. Make sure the people in your community know that you are the person and Post to contact when it comes to supporting veterans. Talk the talk and walk the walk.

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2018

119TH VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION July 21-25, 2018 – Kansas City, MO

NEW LEADERS, NEW YEAR, BRING NEW OPPORTUNITY TO “MAKE IT HAPPEN” continue to work together to build our organization. The time for talk and saying we must recruit and rebuild is over. The time for action starts today!”

WE ARE GOING TO PUT A REVITALIZED EMPHASIS ON POST DEVELOPMENT, ON POST REVITALIZATION. WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER TO BUILD OUR ORGANIZATION. THE TIME FOR TALK AND SAYING WE MUST RECRUIT AND REBUILD IS OVER. THE TIME FOR ACTION STARTS TODAY!” – B.J. Lawrence, VFW Commander-in-Chief

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Make it happen” rang through the enormous expanse of the Kansas City Convention Center Hall hosting thousands of VFW Comrades and Auxiliary members from across the nation July 25. It was the conclusion of 119th VFW National Convention here and newlyelected Commander-in-Chief of the VFW B.J. Lawrence immediately started rallying the troops. “In this coming year Comrades, I am going to ask that we put an emphasis on our grass roots level which begins at the Post,” Lawrence proclaimed in his acceptance speech. “For far too long we as an organization have been sweeping in a direction that takes our Posts and our Post members for granted. That changes, and that changes today. We are going to put a revitalized emphasis on Post development, on Post revitalization. We are going to

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The Convention was filled with resources and information to prepare those in attendance for a successful year, and featured several inspirational headliners to motivate the masses. Among them were award-winning country music star Trace Adkins who continued his long-time veteran support with a private concert for convention-goers, and an electric speech from President Donald J. Trump. Of course, the electric was received in different ways as has been the norm in today’s political environment, but the overall excitement, set up by motivational speeches from retired Marine Lt Col. Oliver North, and Army brat and broadcast journalist Harris Faulkner, had the crowd excited to get a pep talk from the country’s Commander-in-Chief. California VFW Comrades and Auxiliary members were treated to their own special event courtesy of Commander Lamont Duncan and his Post, PFC Adrienne L. Mitchell All-American VFW Post 2122 in Inglewood, Calif., with a night out at the dueling piano bar Howl at the Moon just blocks from the convention. “I wanted an opportunity to get our California crew together to celebrate our accomplishments and enjoy a little piece of Kansas City culture,” Duncan said. “My Post and I are well aware of our


Department funds challenges, so we wanted to come together to make this happen for our dedicated members who made this trip to honor their commitment to our organization.” The California VFW outing also featured a special individual who made important appearances throughout the convention, including marching along with the newly elected leadership, all in a rare effort to promote something important to the future of the VFW. 10-year-old Junior Miss Buddy Poppy Alexandria Williams of Carter-Smith VFW Post 5867 in Lakeside, Calif., spent many hours in a two-fold effort to promote the Buddy Poppy and youth programs. While most in attendance were well aware of the meaning behind the Buddy Poppy, Alexandria wanted to promote efforts such as a Buddy Poppy Court and Buddy Poppy education at the Post level, the importance of youth involvement in VFW activities. “Our daughters have been involved with us since day one,” said Alexandria’s mother, District 1 Women Veterans

Chairman Miranda Williams. “Our veterans and families at our Post are incredibly happy with the change in the environment at our Post since we started making an asserted effort to make our Post family-friendly and involving our youth in our Post events.” The Williams family said they believed that youth inclusion in the day-to-day VFW environment is among the many efforts that will be important at the grass roots level to achieve Lawrence’s direction to “Make it Happen.” But it is only one of the many goals on the long road ahead to grow the VFW. The myriad of missions were made clear throughout the convention and are listed inside the

National VFW Program Guide available on vfw.org. Also available on the National website is access to the results of the business sessions at the convention. Members can log in to MyVFW at vfw.org and click on the “119th National Convention Proposed By-Laws, MOP and Ritual Amendments and All National Resolutions” link under Member Resources. The success of these changes and wayahead lies on every member in the VFW at the National, State, District and Post levels. Perhaps Lawrence summed it up best when he boasted “we are one voice, one team, and one VFW. We will work together to get the job done. And together, I promise you… as a team communicating and working only… in the best interest of our veterans, our military, and their families, we will make it happen. We will be successful. And we will grow our great organization for years to come.”

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2018

119TH VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION July 21-25, 2018 – Kansas City, MO


@CA_VFW

REMINDER:

2018-2019 VOICE OF DEMOCRACY & PATRIOT’S PEN PROGRAM DEADLINES It’s that time of year again and we encourage you to help create awareness about the 2018-2019 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen Program deadlines!

VOICE OF DEMOCRACY Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the VFW’s premier scholarship program. Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, Why My Vote Matters. All entries competing at the Post level must be in the hands of the VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31, 2018. To download the entry form, click here. Natasha Alvarado, sponsored by District 10, was awarded First Place in California’s 2017-2018 Voice of Democracy Contest and went on to our Nation’s Capital to compete with 52 other finalists for the grand prize!

PATRIOT’S PEN Conducted nationwide, the VFW-sponsored Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, Why I Honor the American Flag. Patriot’s Pen is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students enrolled in public, private or parochial schools in the U.S. To qualify, all entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight on Oct. 31, 2018. To download the entry form, click here. Sophia Trujillo, a 7th grade student who attends Mills Middle School in Sacramento, CA, was awarded First Place in California’s Patriot’s Pen competition earlier this year. Sophia was sponsored by District 17. Her essay was sent to the VFW National Headquarters as a Nominee for the National Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest.

To learn more about the VFW’s National Citizenship Education Teacher Awards, Patriot’s Pen Contest and the Voice of Democracy Contest, visit www.vfw.org.

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2018 - 19 Theme

“Why My Vote Matters” Student Entry Deadline: October 31, 2018 Patriotic Audio Essay Competition Grand Prize: $30,000 Award WHAT IS THE VOICE OF DEMOCRACY PROGRAM? Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW’s) premier scholarship program. Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, Why My Vote Matters.

WHY SHOULD I ENTER? Prizes and scholarships can be awarded at the Post, District, state and national level. Department (State) winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., March 2-6, 2019, to tour the city, be honored by the VFW and its Auxiliary and receive their portion of $154,000 in national awards, the top scholarship being $30,000.

THE RULES

2018-19 OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM VOICE OF DEMOCRACY COMPETITION MUST BE COMPLETED BY ALL CONTESTANTS __________________________________________________________________ Name: First, M.I., Last __________________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip (

)_____________

_______________________________________

Phone

Email

_____________________________ Date of Birth (mm/dd/yy)

_________________ Grade in School

Who can enter?

__________________________________________________________________

The Voice of Democracy is open to students in grades 9-12 by the Oct. 31 deadline, who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or in an overseas U.S. military/civilian dependent school. Although U.S. citizenship is not required, students must be lawful U.S. permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence (the application for which has not been denied) and intends to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law. Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or over, previous Voice of Democracy first place state winners, GED or Adult Education Students are ineligible.

School Name, City, State

What do I need to enter? Record your original 3-5 minute (+ or – 5 seconds max.) essay on an audio CD or a flash drive. One student per CD or flash drive. When burning your CD, make sure that “Create Audio CD” option (or similar) is selected so the program can properly convert your sound file and burn it to CD. After it has finished, be sure to play back your audio CD on a system other than your computer, such as a standard radio or car CD player, to verify that the conversion/burning process was successful. You will submit the recording, typed essay and this completed entry form. Provide these items to your school/group competition or local VFW Post for judging. In addition you can submit your emailed entry form, essay, and audio file to the VFW Post upon approval. You must be the sole author of your essay. The recording must be in your own voice and in English. Hearing/speech impaired students should email the Voice of Democracy National Office at youthscholarships@vfw.org for special instructions. No music, singing, poetry or sound effects are allowed. The body of the essay must not identify you in any way, (including, but not limited to, your name, school, city, state, race or national origin) although the recording & typed essay should be labeled with your name, to show ownership. You may enter only one competition at one Post (if otherwise eligible) per year. At any time during the contest, additional participant personal information could be requested by the VFW, including but not limited to a photograph, SSN or biographical information.

For a downloadable version of this form click here.

__________________________________________________________________ Teacher’s name and Email (if applicable) ________________________________________ First Name You’d Like on a Name Badge

_______________________ Student Jacket Size (Adult Size Only)

TO BE COMPLETED BY STUDENT’S PARENT/GUARDIAN (required even if student is 18 or over) __________________________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature (

Date

) _______________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian’s Daytime Phone __________________________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian’s Email

I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THE D.C. NATIONAL FINALS RULES (ON OPPOSITE SIDE) I certify that I am the sole author of the enclosed audio/essay entry and that I have only entered the competition once yearly if otherwise eligible. I understand that if it is found that I have entered any other Post’s competition or used this essay for another VFW competition, I face elimination from the competition and will return any and all prizes or incentives awarded.

__________________________________________________________________ Signature of Student Participant

Date


Voice of Democracy 2018 - 19 Theme

“Why My Vote Matters” Student Entry Deadline: October 31, 2018 OFFICIAL RULES FOR STUDENTS ADVANCING TO NATIONAL LEVEL If selected as a first-place state winner, I have the consent of my parent/guardian and school to attend the Voice of Democracy National Finals in Washington, D.C. March 2-6, 2019, as a guest of the VFW National Organization. I understand that state winners who do not attend as stated above will forfeit all rights to compete in the National Finals and will be replaced by their state’s second place winner. In the event my audio essay is selected for entry into the National Voice of Democracy Competition, I do hereby for myself, for my heirs, executors, administrators and assignees; waive, release and discharge all rights and claims which I have or which may hereafter accrue against the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) and/or the several Departments (state organizations) of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and their respective officers, agents, successors and assigns from any damages which may be sustained by me in connection with my participation in or association with the VFW Voice of Democracy Competition and/or arising out of my travel to and during the Competition. In the event of sickness, accident or injury in connection with the Competition, I consent to and accept the services of a duly licensed medical, surgical or dental specialist selected on my behalf and for such treatments, as they may deem necessary. I understand that VFW will not be liable for such treatment. I further understand that the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States retains non-exclusive rights to use my tape, essay and likeness in the promotion and execution of the organization’s programs and activities.

TO BE COMPLETED BY THE VFW POST

I certify that this student has an authorized entry in our VFW Post level Voice of Democracy Competition. _______________________________________________________________________ Post Commander’s/Chairman’s Signature Post # _______________________________________________________________________ VFW Auxiliary President’s/Chairman’s Signature (if applicable) _______________________________________________________________________ Post Address _______________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip _______________________________________________________________________

WHERE DO I SUBMIT MY ENTRY? All entries begin at the local VFW Post level. The only exception is where schools/classes/youth groups have large numbers of students and wish to conduct their own competition, submitting one winner for each 15 students to the local VFW Post. Individual students may submit their entry directly to the Post. This VFW Post should be within your local area and within your U.S. state of residence. Entries sent to VFW National will be returned. One winner for every 15 entries from each Post advances to District and one District winner advances to the state (Department) competition. State winners are invited to Washington, D.C., where their audio essays compete in the finals competition. If you need help finding a participating VFW Post in your area, follow these instructions: First, visit this website www.vfw.org/find-a-post to “Find A VFW Post.” Be sure this Post is within the state you reside in. If you do not have success in finding a Post, or if you have trouble getting in touch with them, you can contact your VFW Department (state) office to see if they can offer any information or assistance. You can visit this link https://www.vfw.org/ContactUs/ and look for “Find a State Contact” to get your VFW state office’s phone number and email. If you still need assistance, please email us at VFW National Headquarters at youthscholarships@vfw.org

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR MY ENTRY? All entries competing at the Post level must be in the hands of that VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31, 2018. It is the responsibility of the student to meet this deadline by submitting their entry to the proper location by ensuring it is a participating Post.

WHAT ARE THE JUDGING CRITERIA? Originality is worth 30 points: Treatment of the theme should show imagination and human interest. Content is worth 35 points: Clearly express your ideas in an organized manner. Fully develop your theme and use transitions to move smoothly from one idea to another. Delivery is worth 35 points: Speak in a clear and credible manner. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has again approved this contest for its National Advisory List of Contests and Activities.

VFW Post Email No. of students participating ___________________________________________ No. of winners advanced to District

____________________________________

Amt. of Post/Aux. scholarship awards $ _________________________________ DE DE O

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TO BE COMPLETED BY THE VFW DISTRICT

(816) 756-3390 ext. 6155 Email: youthscholarships@vfw.org www.vfw.org

_______________________________________________________________________ Address

) _______________________

____________________________________ Email

TO BE COMPLETED BY THE VFW DEPARTMENT CHAIRMAN

I certify that the student named in the previous section is the duly selected first-place winner of the Voice of Democracy Department Competition, is our sole entry into the National Judging and will attend the National Finals in Washington, D.C. _______________________________________________________________________ Department Chairman’s Signature ( ) _______________________ Daytime Phone

____________________________________ Email

The winner m has been m will be (check one) notified that they are the first-place Department winner on ________. Note: National Headquarters will contact your winner after this date to make travel arrangements for them to be in Washington, D.C.

For a downloadable version of this form click here.

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For assistance contact:

_______________________________________________________________________ District Chairman’s Signature Dist. #

( Phone

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I certify that the student named in the previous section is the duly selected winner of the Voice of Democracy Contest District Competition and is our sole entry into the Department finals.

_______________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip

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Amt. of Post/Aux. additional expenses (banquet, pins, etc.) $ ____________

Revised 2/2018

LOCAL VFW POST INFORMATION : CONTACT:_________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ PHONE:_______________________BEST TIME TO CALL :__________ ALTERNATE CONTACT: ______________________________________ _________________________________________________________ PHONE:_______________________BEST TIME TO CALL :__________


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2018 - 19 Theme

“Why I Honor the American Flag” Student Entry Deadline: October 31, 2018 Patriotic Essay Writing Contest Grand Prize: $5,000 Award

WHAT IS PATRIOT’S PEN? Conducted nationwide, this VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. We invite you to join the more than 120,000 students who participated last year in this contest. The national winners will receive at least $500. The first-place national award is currently $5,000 plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the winner and a parent or guardian. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has again approved this contest for its National Advisory List of Contests and Activities.

BIG NATIONAL PRIZES National awards total: $54,500 Prizes include the various amounts listed below: 1st: $5,000 7th: $1,750 2nd:$4,000 8-10th: $1,500 3rd: $3,500 11-12th: $1,250 4th: $2,750 13-22nd: $1,000 5th: $2,500 23-24th: $750 6th: $2,000 25-53rd: $500 The Internal Revenue Service requires that any recipient that receives more than a $599 award should receive a Form 1099 identifying the proceeds as taxable.

HOW DOES THE CONTEST WORK? All entries begin at the Post level. The only exception is where schools/classes/ youth groups have large numbers of students and wish to conduct their own competition, submitting one winner for each 15 students to the local VFW Post competition. Individual students may submit their entry directly to the Post. This participating Post should be within your local area and within your U.S. state of residence. The contest consists of four levels. The first level (entry) is sponsored by local VFW Posts. Post winners advance, one for every 15 entries, to the VFW District (regional) level where the one first-place winner is advanced to the VFW Department (state) level. The one first-place winner at the Department level is then advanced into the VFW national competition. The winner from each Department (state) then competes for the national prizes.

WHO CAN ENTER? Patriot’s Pen is open to 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students enrolled by the Oct. 31 deadline in public, private or parochial schools in the U.S., its territories or its possessions. Home-schooled students also are eligible. Although U. S. citizenship is not required, students must be lawful U. S. permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence (the application which has not been denied) and intends to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law. Dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools can participate too. (Foreign exchange students and former winners that placed in the National contest are excluded from the contest.)

For a downloadable version of this form click here.

2018-19 OFFICIAL STUDENT ENTRY FORM PATRIOT’S PEN COMPETITION

ENTRY FORM MUST BE COMPLETED BY ALL CONTESTANTS PLEASE PRINT OR TYPE CLEARLY __________________________________________________________________ Name: First, M.I., Last __________________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip ( )______________ _________________________________________ Phone Email _____________________________ _____________ ________________ Date of Birth (mm/dd/yy) Grade in School Essay Word Count __________________________________________________________________ School Name, City, State _________________________________________________________________ Teacher’s name and Email (if applicable) _________________________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian’s name phone/email I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THE CONTEST RULES __________________________________________________________________ Signature of Student Participant Date

TO BE COMPLETED BY THE VFW POST

I certify that this student has an authorized entry in our VFW Post Level Patriot’s Pen Competition. __________________________________________________________________ Post Commander’s/Chairman’s Signature Post # __________________________________________________________________ VFW Auxiliary President’s/Chairman’s Signature __________________________________________________________________ Post Address City, State, Zip __________________________________________________________________ VFW Post Email No. of students participating ____ No. of winners advanced to District ____ Amt. of Post/Aux. awards $ _________________________________________ Amt. of Post/Aux. additional expenses (banquet, pins, etc.) $ ____________

TO BE COMPLETED BY THE VFW DISTRICT

I certify that the student named in the previous section is the duly selected winner of the Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest District Competition and is our sole entry into the Department finals. __________________________________________________________________ District Chairman’s Signature Dist. # __________________________________________________________________ Address City, State, Zip ( Phone

) ___________________

_________________________________ Email

TO BE COMPLETED BY THE VFW DEPARTMENT CHAIRMAN I certify that the student named in the previous section is the duly selected first-place winner of the Patriot’s Pen Essay Department Competition, and is our sole entry into the National Judging.

__________________________________________________________________ Department Chairman’s Signature (

)__________________

Daytime Phone

___________________________________ Email

The winner m has been m will be (check one) notified that they are the first place Department winner on ________. Note: National Headquarters will contact your winner after this date to notify them of their national placement.


Patriot’s Pen 2018-19 Theme

“Why I Honor the American Flag” Student Entry Deadline: October 31, 2018

HOW DO I GET STARTED? • Ask a teacher or youth group/club adult leader to supervise the Patriot’s Pen writing competition. • Contact a local VFW Post within your local area within your state and indicate your interest in participating. • Establish a contact person who is a member of that VFW Post or its Auxiliary. • Make sure that your essay is submitted to the VFW Post before the contest deadline of Oct. 31, 2018. You can submit your essay and entry form electronically (by email) upon the Post’s approval. Entries sent to VFW National directly will be returned.

HOW AM I JUDGED? You will be judged on how well you understand, develop and present the theme. A positive approach is recommended to express your viewpoint. Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points: You must show a thorough knowledge of the theme in your work. Demonstrate you have researched the issue extensively.

Official Student Entry Form with a staple or other fastener on top of your essay. Contestants are allowed to enter only once each year if otherwise eligible (one Post competition). Contestants found in violation of this rule will face elimination from the competition and will be required to return any and all prize money awarded or received. The essay must be a contestant’s original work and a product of the contestant’s own thinking. The approach to the Patriot’s Pen theme should be positive and clearly focused. Poetry is not acceptable. Quotations may be used sparingly if plainly identified wherever used. A contestant’s teacher, counselor or parent may check the essay for punctuation, grammar and/or spelling, but the content must remain the contestant’s. Contestants will be judged on the basis of their essay alone and are not required to present the essay orally. All essays become the property of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW retains non-exclusive rights to use your essay and likeness in the promotion and execution of the organization’s programs and activities.

DEADLINE INFORMATION To qualify, all entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight October 31, 2018.

Note -If you need help finding a participating VFW Post in your area, follow these instructions: First, visit this website https://www.vfw.org/find-a-post to “Find A VFW Post.” Be sure this Post is within the state you reside in. If you do not have success in finding a Post, or if you have trouble getting in touch with them, you can contact your VFW Department (state) headquarters office to see if they can offer any information or assistance. You can visit this link https:// www.vfw.org/ContactUs/ and look for “Find a State Contact” to get your VFW state office’s phone number and email. If you still need assistance, please email us at VFW National Headquarters at youthscholarships@vfw.org

Theme development is worth 35 points: Answer all relevant facts about the theme such as the who, what, where, when and why. Relate the theme to your own experiences.

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Clarity of ideas is worth 35 points: Write your essay in an easy-to-understand format. Leave your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.

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WHAT IS THE THEME? VFW’s Commander-in-Chief annually chooses the year’s theme. The 2018-19 theme is, Why I Honor the American Flag.

For assistance contact: (816) 756-3390 ext. 6155 Email: youthscholarships@vfw.org www.vfw.org

WHAT ARE THE RULES? • Essay length: 300-400 typewritten words. (+ or - 5 words max). • You must write your own essay. • All essays should be typed in English with no color or graphics and cannot be less than 300 words or greater than 400 words in length. (Essays under or over these word amounts will be eliminated.) Every word is counted regardless of length. The essay title (theme) or added footnotes do not contribute to the word count. At any time during the contest additional participant personal information (i.e. SSN, photo, etc.) could be requested by the VFW. In no way may contestants identify themselves within their essay (including, but not limited to, your name, school, city, state, race or national origin.) Do not put your name on your essay. The entry form is your essay’s cover sheet. Secure the

For a downloadable version of this form click here.

Revised 2/2018

LOCAL VFW POST INFORMATION : CONTACT:_________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ PHONE:_______________________BEST TIME TO CALL :__________ ALTERNATE CONTACT: ______________________________________ _________________________________________________________ PHONE:_______________________BEST TIME TO CALL :__________


Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Advancement Form (Post Teacher Entry Form) (Attach to original Post entry documentation for each teacher nominated.)

Nominee’s Full Name_________________________________________________________________________________________ Street _____________________________________ City _______________________ State _____________ Zip_____________ Home Phone ____________________

Grade level

K-5

6-8

❍ 9-12

Name of School______________________________________________________ School’s Phone __________________________ School Address _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Post/Auxiliary Chairman Section I certify that the teacher named above is the duly selected Post winner of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award Program in his/her grade level category and is our Post’s authorized entry into the District finals. Signature of Post Commander/Chairman ____________________________ VFW Post No. ___________ Phone________________ Post Address ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Signature of Auxiliary President/Chairman ________________________ Auxiliary No.________ Phone ________________ Address __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Total number of teacher nominations for all categories _______

Total dollar amount spent by Post/Auxiliary for awards for all

categories and other (citations, gifts, medals, banquet) $__________

District/Auxiliary Chairman Section I certify that the teacher named above is the duly selected District winner of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award in his/her grade level category and is our District’s entry into the Department finals. Signature of Dist. Commander/Chairman __________________________ Dist. No._________________ Phone ________________ Address __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Signature of Auxiliary Dist. President/Chairman ____________________ Dist. No._________________ Phone _________________ Address __________________________________________________________________________________________________ List all Posts participating in program_____________________________________________________________________________ Total dollar amount spent by Posts/Auxiliaries for awards for all categories and other (citations, gifts, medals, banquet) $ __________

VFW Department Commander/Chairman Section I certify that the teacher listed above is the duly selected winner of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award in our Department in his/her grade level and is our official entry into the National judging. This winner will be/was notified that they are the first place state winner in their grade level on the following date: ___________________________ Signature of Dept. Commander/Chairman ________________________________________________ Phone __________________ Address____________________________________________________________________________________________ Note: Be sure this form is entirely completed before sending to National Headquarters with your state winner’s original nomination form, essay, one page resume, up to five pages of documentation and a good quality head and shoulders photograph. Remember this form is due back to VFW National Headquarters Programs Department by January 15th. Mail to: VFW PROGRAMS, VFW NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, 406 W. 34

For a downloadable version of this form click here.

TH

ST., KANSAS CITY, MO 64111.


VFW Public Servant Award Citation Post Entry Form NOTE: VFW Point of Contact should fill out their section below prior to distributing this form. This will provide individuals from outside of the VFW with the needed information to submit their packets successfully.

To be filled out by VFW representative Sponsoring VFW Post #:

Sponsoring District #:

Date of Presentation: MM/DD/YY (if available) VFW Post POC Full Name: Phone:

Email:

Address: (where to mail entry) City:

State:

Zip:

Individual Submitting Nomination Full Name: Phone:

Email:

Nominee Information Choose appropriate citation: (EMT, Firefighter or Law Enforcement) Full Name: (please list as you wish it stated on the citation) Gender: Occupation Title: (if any) (please list as you wish it stated on the citation) Employer Name: (please list as you wish it stated on the citation) Address of Employer: (please list as you wish it stated on the citation)

City: Employer Phone:

State:

Zip:

Employer Email: (if available)

Please complete this form and submit to your local VFW Post using t he information provided above. Ensure to include all required documentation that is outlined on the instructions sheet provided with this form. All post entries must be received by their Department Headquarters no later than January 1st. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tammy Beauchamp at 816 -756-3390 x 6287, e-mail tbeauchamp@vfw.org

For a downloadable version of this form click here.


For a downloadable version of this form click here.


For a downloadable version of this form click here.


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