NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS
120TH VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION PAGE 4
VFW RIDERS PAGE 12
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INSIDE THE ISSUE
MEET RODGER MEIER PAGE 2
120TH VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION PAGE 4
VFW IN THE NEWS PAGE 6
VFW RIDERS PAGE 12
SOCIAL MEDIA CORNER PAGE 14
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!
Meet Rodger Meier,
VFWCA’S NEWLY ELECTED STATE ADJUTANT DURING HIS TIME AS STATE ADJUTANT, RODGER AIMS TO MAKE THE VFWCA ONE THE PREMIER DEPARTMENTS IN THE NATION. “WE SHOULD BE SETTING THE STANDARDS, NOT COPYING OTHER DEPARTMENTS.” – Rodger Meier, State Adjutant
Rodger Meier first demonstrated interest in the U.S. Army when he joined the North Dakota National Guard in May of 1981. He attended Basic Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey that summer and was then transferred to the California Army National Guard. Once in California, Rodger was assigned to the 270th Military Police Company in Sacramento, where he remained for over ten years. During his time with the 270th Military Police Company, Rodger was deployed to Desert Storm in January 1991, participated in three Team Spirit exercises in South Korea, and was deployed to Los Angeles to help manage the Rodney King riots. In addition to his military experience, Rodger has several years of experience working in criminal justice. After attending college, Rodger began working for the California Department of Correction as a Correctional Officer at Folsom State Prison. He was later transferred to High Desert State Prison to work as a Correctional Counselor. Throughout his time with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Rodger worked in several areas, including the Division of Rehabilitative Programs, to which he was appointed as the Deputy Director by Governor Brown. He held the position from 2013 to 2015. Rodger came to be involved with the VFWCA after attending a Buddy Poppy event outside the Rancho Cordova WalMart. He is an active member of Post 10125 and has previously served as Post Adjutant and currently holds the position of Post Quartermaster. During his time as State Adjutant, Rodger aims to make the VFWCA one of the premier departments in the nation. “We should be setting the standards, not copying other Departments,” he says emphatically. Rodger is excited to assist his fellow comrades, veterans and the surrounding communities on supporting one another and working as a team throughout his tenure as State Adjutant.
MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS REASONS TO JOIN THE VFW:
• Camaraderie and fellowship that comes with being part of the nation’s largest group of combat veterans
• Save money through discounts on numerous insurance and health care plans
• Opportunity to socialize and perform service with veterans who served on the front line and in support roles
• Cut vacation expenses through discounts on travel and other services
• Receive support during the tough times that can follow military service
• Enjoy knowing other veterans, military personnel and their families
• Access assistance for securing VA and State benefits you are entitled to as a veteran
• Help to generate patriotism and troop support through VFW programs
• Utilize resources to help you learn about and secure jobs
• Relax and enjoy life knowing that the VFW has your back on many fronts
ABOUT THE VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation's largest and oldest major war veterans organization. Founded in 1899, the congressionally-chartered VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With more than 1.6 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in 6,200 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at www.vfw.org. MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Davis, VFW Director of Communications, Publications and Public Affairs, JDavis@vfw.org
120TH VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION July 20-24, 2019 – Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida was selected to host the 120th VFW National Convention, July 20-24, 2019. Every year, thousands of VFW and Auxiliary delegates gather to represent the organization’s total membership of more than 1.6 million at the weeklong convention. While there, our mission is to approve new national priorities to guide our organization as we lobby Congress on issues important to the nation’s veterans, service members and their families. This year, a number of distinguished guests and award recipients, as well as a number of elected officials from Florida appeared during the weeklong event. In addition to addresses by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Retired Lt. Gen. Chuck Horner and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, Retired Admiral Michelle Howard, DPAA Director Kelly McKeague and Retired Brig. Gen. Jack Hammond all received VFW national awards.
For highlights of the 120th VFW National Convention visit www.vfw.org
VFW IN THE NEWS
VFW NAMES 2019 SCOUT OF THE YEAR WINNERS California Gold Scout takes top national prize of $5,000
recipient, Elizabeth will receive a $5,000 college scholarship. Owen Sumter, sponsored by VFW Post 9675 in Bellevue, Neb., was selected as the second-place winner for his notable community service work, his work supporting the homeless community through food and dental hygiene drives, and for his history of work within the Boy Scouts. Owen will receive a $3,000 college scholarship.
(left to right): 2019 VFW Scout of the Year first-place winner Elizabeth Bock, second-place winner Owen Sumter, and third-place winner, Megan Rogers.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 9, 2019) – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce the selection of the top three winners of its 2018 – 2019 Scout of the Year scholarship competition. Enacted in 2001, the Scout of the Year competition was designed to reward eligible members of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Venturing Crew or Sea Scouts who have risen above their peers
in exemplifying standout citizenship, patriotism and love of country with college scholarships of up to $5,000. This year’s first-place winner, Elizabeth Bock, was sponsored by VFW Post 3208 in Sierra Madre, Calif. She was selected for her activism with local youth and government programs, dedication to serving others and her work advocating for women’s issues and gender equality. As the first-place
Sponsored by VFW Post 8466 in Wake Forest, N.C., Megan Rogers was selected as the third-place winner for her work combating the gender disparity in science-related fields, dedication to serving and improving her local community, and her positive leadership skills. Megan will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. Read more about the VFW’s Scout of the Year program.
FALL 2019 · VFWCA.ORG
LOCAL PAINTER VOLUNTEERS TO PAINT VFW FOR FREE by Madison Pitsch, 1011now KOLN/KGIN
PHOTO FROM WWW.1011NOW.COM
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The man who taught Jeff Bovee to paint was a military veteran.
“We decided on veterans because really, if they weren't protecting our freedoms we wouldn't be doing this right now,” said Bovee.
(ABOVE) Jeff Bovee, owner of All Colors Painting, stands in front of a wall at the Miller-Long VFW that is ready for a fresh coat of paint.
SCREEN CAPTURE FROM WWW.1011NOW.COM
After winter had ended and he was able, Bovee wanted to give back to the community that built his business. When Bovee and his crew were looking for a way to give back, the Miller-Long VFW seemed like the obvious choice.
SCREEN CAPTURE FROM WWW.1011NOW.COM
“He was a military veteran, an older guy. He really taught me a lot and I wouldn't be able to do this unless he took that time with me,” said Bovee, the owner of All Colors Painting.
Members of the VFW said when Bovee approached them about painting the building for free, they were shocked. “We love it when you give back to the veterans, that's really thrilling,” said Charlene Hobelman, the President of the VFW Auxiliary. Earl Motschenbacher, a past Commander at the post said they were in awe. “Kind of sat there and looked at one another and said 'Is this for real?'”
could be making money by the hour like normal, but they chose to be here.”
As it it turns out, Bovee wasn't alone in wanting to do some good; his supplier Sherwin-Williams supplied the paint for free.
For some on the All Colors Painting Crew, this job hits a little closer to home.
Bovee's crew also is working for free. Said Bovee: “My guys, I gave them the option to be at other jobs today. And they're all volunteer today, where they
“My son's a veteran," said Scott Davies. "I was just way willing to donate my time. It's the least I can do for veterans for what they've gone through and what they're going through right now.”
The crew will be finishing this job on their own time, all in the spirit of giving back. They estimate that it should be done sometime next week. Said Motschenbacher: “I just wanna thank them guys for remembering that we're all free because of veterans.” Click here to watch the news segment on 1101now.com
POST 10125 CELEBRATES 98TH BIRTHDAY OF WWII VETERAN CHUCK VINTON On Saturday, July 27, VFW Members of Post 10125 Celebrated the 98th Birthday of WWII Veteran Chuck Vinton by throwing him a surprise part at his home.
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I SERVED FOR
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JOIN USAA AND BEGIN YOUR LEGACY. CALL 800-274-8839 OR VISIT USAA.COM/VFW USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates. Veterans of Foreign Wars receives financial support from USAA for this sponsorship. 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. To join USAA, separated military personnel must have received a discharge type of “Honorable.” Eligible former dependents of USAA members may join USAA. © 2019 USAA. 250717-0219-VFW
VFW SNAPS 27-YEAR MEMBERSHIP DECLINE AND ADDS NEARLY 25,000 NEW MEMBERS by Brian Mackley, militarytimes.com
LAUREN KOSKI/THE AMARILLO GLOBE NEWS VIA AP
Veterans service organizations like the VFW have seen a steady decline in membership as the bulk of their members, veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, continue to pass away.
Don Foran, who as a teenager spent the last months of World War II on dangerous assignments driving a jeep, restored and donated the same model of a 1942 Jeep to the Canyon VFW post.
THE VFW IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF COUNTLESS OTHERS EVERY DAY, AND THANKS TO THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET, MORE PEOPLE ARE TAKING NOTICE AND WANTING TO BE PART OF OUR TEAM. – B.J. Lawrence, VFW National Commander
The Veterans of Foreign Wars said it has added almost 25,000 new members during the past year, ending a long period of steady decline. Officials with the 120-year-old veteran service organization attribute the uptick to a new strategy to target new members using social media, as well as word of mouth, to inform veterans how much work they do to serve veterans. “The VFW is making a difference in the lives of countless others every day, and thanks to the power of social media and the internet, more people are taking notice and wanting to be part of our team,” VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence said in a recent post on the organizations website.
Traditional veterans groups like the VFW and the American Legion have also struggled to appeal to the latest generation of veterans as those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been joining them in the same numbers as veterans from previous wars. This year, the VFW helped advocate on the behalf of 526,000 veterans for $8.4 billion in disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also highlighted it’s prominent legislative advocacy for veterans in the nation’s capital, as well. At 1.165 million members strong, the VFW will be holding it’s 120th annual national convention next week in Orlando, Florida, from July 20-24. “Thanks to a robust membership and a 120-year relevance that spans generations, the VFW will continue to make a difference in the lives of others every day, because the programs and services we provide are needed just as much now as they were then,” Lawrence said in the post.
FALL 2019 Â· VFWCA.ORG
LOCAL POST HOSTS ADOPT-A-UNIT BBQ Angel Cardenas is with Boy Scout Troop 363 in Rancho Cordova for the Adopt-A-Unit BBQ for members and officers of the National Guard.
SCREEN CAPTURE FROM WWW.YOUTUBE.COM & GOODDAYSACRAMENTO.COM
Click here to watch the live news segment on Good Day Sacramento.
The VFW Riders
By Randy Brenneman, Department Chair, VFW Riders It was great to hear and participate in discussions at this years’ Department Convention when it came to the subject of the VFW Riders Group. What I found interesting are the various ideas and opinions that many of the delegates had about the riders.
The VFW Riders are one of the VFW’s fastest growing programs in the nation. The inherent value brought by sponsoring a Rider Chapter is something that unit level leadership is taking advantage of to help grow Post membership and participation.
Let me start by explaining what the VFW Riders are. We are a Ride Group (RG), which differs significantly from a Motorcycle Club (MC). This is an important distinction since California also has a VFW MC. Sometimes this difference is not fully understood by those who do not ride or are casual riders. While both are endorsed by the VFW, the two operate differently. There are plenty of websites that talk about those differences, so I won’t discuss them here, it’s sufficient to just say the VFW Riders are not a MC. Instead I want to concentrate on what the VFW Riders are, what we do, and the value that having a rider chapter in your post.
The VFW Riders are a family-oriented Riders Group that share a passion for motorcycling; made up of VFW and VFW Auxiliary members who have come together to further the mission of the VFW. Riders span the generational gap, and ride everything from sport bikes, cruisers and even the big touring “geezer-glides”. As long as it can keep up on the highway, we don’t care what you ride … just as long as you ride. The VFW Riders typically attract younger veterans that are interested in getting involved with events that actively support their local veterans and community. They are VFW and
THE VFW RIDERS ARE A FAMILY-ORIENTED RIDERS GROUP THAT SHARE A PASSION FOR MOTORCYCLING; MADE UP OF VFW AND VFW AUXILIARY MEMBERS WHO HAVE COME TOGETHER TO FURTHER THE MISSION OF THE VFW.
FALL 2019 Âˇ VFWCA.ORG
Auxiliary members first and foremost, and generally more inclined to become active within their Posts, often seeking leadership positions. Wise leadership will welcome this active participation to help the Post grow and adapt to the everchanging membership demographics.
The Department Advisory Committee is comprised of riders from existing Chapters; and has five Regional Representatives that represent the interest of the Chapters in their region to the advisory committee. These representatives are also the Post and District points of contact for information concerning the Riders, and to get assistance in forming new Chapters.
So, what is this inherent value that Riders bring to a post? The most obvious is that riders provide a positive visible representation for the post. Each rider has a back patch that proudly displays the VFW Cross of Malta (or the VFW Auxiliary), and when they are out riding in the community, they are not only representing their Post, but the entire VFW. Essentially, they are moving billboards that people notice.
You will find the VFW Riders participating in various types of events and fundraisers such as escorting veterans to their final resting place; helping veterans who are homeless or down on their luck; working in their posts to help revitalize the facilities; and even conducting fundraisers by hosting or participating in events like poker runs. They also do fun runs where they just pick a direction and ride. But whatever the ride, they give life to the VFW. When riding in the community and participating in the various veteran and community support events, they are actively showcasing why we are the premier Combat Veterans Service Organization in the world. When the community sees the riders out doing good works, they see the VFW out in the community, actively supporting veterans. The VFW Riders Department of California currently has seven approved VFW Rider Chapters and we are growing! Ours chapters are currently as far south as Escondido, and as far north as Manteca. Structured to lead from the bottom up, each chapter is sponsored by a host unit, which can be a Post or a District, and in collaboration with the other Chapters and the Rider Department Committee; who maintains administrative oversight.
Northern Regional Representative (Districts 14, 15, 16 & 17)
Vacant (No Chapters)
Western Regional Representative (Districts 4, 6, 7 & 11)
Eastern Regional Representative (District 5)
Central Regional Representative (Districts 9, 10, 12 & 13)
Southern Regional Representative (Districts 1, 2 & 3)
If youâ€™re interested in learning more about the California VFW Riders, or about how to form a Rider Chapter, contact us at: CaVFWRiders@gmail.com
SOCIAL MEDIA CORNER
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FALL 2019 Â· VFWCA.ORG
VETERAN FALL 2019
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