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THE

WINTER 2018

CALIFORNIA

VFWCA.ORG

VETERAN

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DEPT. OF CALIFORNIA SOUTH HONORS POWs, MIAs PAGE 14

DISTRICT 1 CONTINUES USS COLE REMEMBRANCE PAGE 16


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WINTER 2018

VFWCA.ORG

INSIDE THE ISSUE

MESSAGES FROM YOUR OFFICERS & CHAIRMEN VFW IN THE NEWS

THE CALIFORNIA VETERAN IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES, DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA

DISTRICT 9 HOSTS MEMORABLE POW/MIA REMEMBRANCE PROGRAM

It is an online magazine published four times a year to keep our members informed about important news affecting the VFW and veterans.

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DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA SOUTH HONORS POWs, MIAs PAGE 14

DISTRICT 1 CONTINUES USS COLE REMEMBRANCE JOINING LARGER JOINT EFFORT PAGE 16

SOCIAL MEDIA CORNER PAGE 20

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MESSAGES FROM YOUR OFFICERS & CHAIRMEN

@CA_VFW

STATE COMMANDER Lamont Duncan

Comrades, Sisters and Brothers, The first quarter of this administrative year is finished. Tremendous strides have been made regarding membership and for that I am very grateful. California is now at 91.771% membership to start the 2nd quarter. Membership has not been this high this early in the year for a very long time. Our Commanderin-Chief, B.J. Lawrence, will soon be revealing a monthly membership challenge where the winning Posts will receive rewards. I want to encourage all Posts to take advantage of those challenges. After reviewing the first quarter financials, we are staying within budgetary constraints. One unfortunate result of this quarter was the termination of a very good service officer in the Oakland office. Myself, along with my line officers and State Adjutant Jerry Brady, lobbied our National Officers and Program Directors while at the National Convention to try to have them rethink the algorithms used to send NVS funds to California. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful. The cost of our VSO program in California is enormous, partly because

WINTER 2018

VFWCA.ORG

of the cost of living here and partly because of the fact that we are the only Department that has three regional offices to staff. We will continue to solicit additional help from National as well as stepping up our Foundation efforts to land some sustaining grants to shore up the cost of the program. What you can do at the Post and District levels is donate to the Veteran Service Program and/or conduct fundraisers that channel the funds into the Program. Remember this is your Department and our primary mission is to help veterans. So, I am asking for your help to make our Service Officer Program whole again. I had the pleasure of visiting Districts 5, 16, 3, 15 and 12, however I would like to give a hand clap to Hawk and John of the 3rd District for raising the bar for entertaining Official Visits. This is not to disparage 5, 16, 15 and 12, as Annie and I had a great time with them as well. What made the visit to 3 special was the fact that it was the first time Marines outnumbered the other services. Belaying all that each District is doing well, there were also issues in each. This is normal; nothing will run totally smoothly with this many Posts and members.

Again, I want to encourage complete cooperation with the Auxiliary and respect for our female Comrades and each other. It appears that some Comrades misread Sec. 1101 (b) (2), where it states an Auxiliary of a Post shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the respective Post whose name or number it bears. Such Auxiliary shall be governed by the By-Laws, Rituals, and Rules and Regulations of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary and Department Auxiliary. Now, the reason I have underlined ‘governed’ and ‘Auxiliary’ is so that there is no misunderstanding that the Auxiliary is governed by its own hierarchy of ByLaws and Rituals. Any Post or District Commander who does not adhere to this, or thinks that he/she has the right to interfere with Auxiliary activities, or request any additional information as it relates to membership or financials other than what is prescribed in our By-Laws, will be dealt with accordingly. Again, thanks to all for all that you do and please press on doing what you are doing. God Bless, Semper Fi, Lamont Duncan Department Commander

TREMENDOUS STRIDES HAVE BEEN MADE REGARDING MEMBERSHIP AND FOR THAT I AM VERY GRATEFUL. CALIFORNIA IS NOW AT 91.771% MEMBERSHIP TO START THE 2ND QUARTER. MEMBERSHIP HAS NOT BEEN THIS HIGH THIS EARLY IN THE YEAR FOR A VERY LONG TIME. – Lamont Duncan, State Commander

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WINTER 2018 · VFWCA.ORG

AS WE PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS, LET US REMEMBER THOSE DAYS WHEN WE SERVED AND WERE NOT ABLE TO BE WITH OUR FAMILIES DURING THIS TIME. OUR TROOPS ARE STILL IN HARM’S WAY AND THEY NEED US AND OUR SUPPORT EVERY DAY. – John G. Lowe, State Junior Vice Commander

STATE JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER John Lowe Comrades, The ‘ole saying “Time flies when you are having fun” has never been more true. One quarter of the year is already gone. Like you, keeping busy is the least of my problems. There is always something to do. I have enjoyed the past few months meeting many people within the Districts I have had a chance to visit. You are all doing a great job. Keep up the good work. All the excitement of the National Convention is behind us and we are getting ready to enjoy some time with our families during the upcoming holiday season. As we prepare for the holidays, let us remember those days when we served and were not able to be with our families during this time. Our troops are still in harm’s way and they need us and our support every day. We have a Council of Administration meeting coming up in January. This meeting is a time for us to review our progress towards the goals that Commander Duncan set at the beginning of the year. Please be sure to pay attention to your reporting sheets and membership stats to

measure and chart your progress. As a reminder – many programs will be coming soon. Keep in mind the Teachers Award, Patriots Pen, and Voice of Democracy were already due to your Posts by Oct. 31. Law Enforcement, Fire Fighter and EMT packages were due Nov. 1. Those are all due to your District Chairs by Nov. 15. For me, two areas I am focusing on this year are our Service Department and our Foundation. Our Service officers continue to do a great job assisting our veterans in obtaining their benefits. But we need your help to maintain this quality of service. As everyone knows it costs a lot of money to operate three regional offices, and with the financial constraints we have had over the past few years, this job is becoming more and more difficult. I hope each of you will join me in agreeing that providing assistance to veterans is job number “one” for us. So I am going to ask for your help. In 2001, we started a Foundation to help support our Department’s programs, particularly our Service Department. Over the next few months you will be receiving information on how you can help

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support the programs and services we provide as a Department. Simply put, we need to have the resources to continue supporting veterans and their families here in California. We have a team in place, we are moving the Department forward, and we have made steps to address our financial situation. But to be successful, it will take each of us to make a commitment. We must continue standing together so that we can make the VFW Department of California great again! Airborne all the way! John G. Lowe Jr Vice Commander VFW Department of California


@CA_VFW

a personal well done to Comrade Sherrod Conyers and District 4 for being the first District to have 100% completion of the School of Instruction Requirement (Commander, QM, and at least one trustee to attend School of Instruction).

STATE ADJUTANT Jerry Brady

Comrades, Welcome to autumn, where our thoughts begin to turn to cooler temperatures, holidays, gatherings, festivals, food and family. I hope you all take the time to enjoy these things and the many more positive blessings that have been bestowed upon us. And speaking of positive, almost 99% of our Posts have submitted their bonds – an astounding improvement over last year. 91% of the Posts have turned in their June audits while the September audits are coming in at a steady clip. As an entire department, 60% of the yearly poppy goal has already been ordered – that’s a solid number for early October. Meanwhile, I’d like to extend

On the Post front, we have had some changes in our Posts as we bid fair winds and following seas to Post 2015 in Lakeport, while at the same time welcoming the members of former Post 72 (San Rafael) into the family of Post 7816 (Novato) in the form of consolidation. These changes have brought us down from 295 posts to 293. Our new reporting system is working very well. In just over two months, we have received more than 2,100 reports of Post accomplishments. I would like to thank the Posts who have reported and encourage all Posts to partake – remember we are required to report to National and Congress on our performance – so PLEASE ensure you are reporting what you do. Many have questions/advice going forward and I assure you this is a living, breathing program. I intend to have a forum at Mid-Winter regarding this program and the Post Status Report.

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As we transition into the Fall, we also have a lot on our plates within our organization. Posts hopefully focused on our Patriots Pen, Voice of Democracy, Law Enforcement, Firefighter, EMT, and Teacher of the Year awards. I am looking forward to seeing a significant increase in those programs being worked this year. I was informed that out of the 6,400 Posts within the organization, around only 10% are known to have an Adopta-Unit partnership. I would be willing to bet that we are well above 10%, but that the paperwork hasn’t been properly submitted to National (with a copy to Department). If you do have a partnership, please let my office know so we can ensure that you are getting proper recognition and that National is aware of it. Remember, Adopt-a-Unit is 20 points towards your All-State goal. I want to say that things are improving on the administrative side and it is great to see Posts being more proactive. Keep up the great work, and if you need anything, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Jerry Brady Department of California Adjutant


WINTER 2018 · VFWCA.ORG

HERE AT THE VFW DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA, I HOPE YOU ARE FINDING THE NEW ONLINE REPORTING SYSTEM FORM EASIER TO USE IN SUBMITTING YOUR POST PROGRAM REPORTS. IF YOUR POST DOES THE WORK, TAKE THE CREDIT BY REPORTING IT! CHAIRMAN, CITIZENSHIP ED, COMMUNITY SERVICE & SAFETY COMMITTEES Robert “Brock” McMahon While I was at this year’s VFW National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., I attended a VFW Program Workshop facilitated by Mr. Lynn W. Rolf, III, Director, VFW Programs. Mr. Rolf emphasized five reasons why VFW Programs should be important to your Post: ommunity involvement, membership incentive, member retention, tax exemption and impact on history.

The remaining VFW Patriotic Days for 2018 are: • Veterans Day (November 11th) • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7th)

Here at the VFW Department of California, I hope you are finding the new online reporting system form easier to use in submitting your Post program reports. If your Post does the work, take the credit by reporting it!

Our upcoming Patriotic Days for 2019 are: • Loyalty Day (May 1st) • Memorial Day (May 27th) • Flag Day (June 14th) • Independence Day (July 4th) • Patriot Day (September 11th) • POW/MIA Recognition Day (September 20th) • Veterans Day (November 11th) • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7th)

Citizenship Education (Americanism)

Community Service

In the first five months of the 2018– 2019 reporting year, 42 Posts have made 135 online reports detailing their Citizenship Education (Americanism) accomplishments totaling 2,020 hours worked and $10,430 spent. November is VFW’s “Veterans in the Classroom” month. Promoting Citizenship Education in schools is an important goal for VFW, and there are many programs you can plan and present in schools.

In the first five months of the 2018– 2019 reporting year, 90 Posts have made 356 online reports detailing their Community Service accomplishments, totaling 7,770 hours worked and $44,181 spent. I encourage each Post to join their local Chambers of Commerce to increase identity and networking opportunities in the community. The key to community recognition is visibility. It is important that we give back to our community. Volunteering empowers others to be better, to help more and we should set

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the example within the community as doing so is incredibly rewarding beyond any dollar sign. Safety Recognition In the first five months of the 2018– 2019 reporting year, 8 Posts have made 10 online reports detailing their Safety Recognition accomplishments, totaling 119 hours worked and $700 spent. Safety Recognition is the VFW’s long-standing commitment to promote programs designed to safeguard our community. Safety is the state of being "safe" (from the French word sauf, meaning free from injury) and the condition of being protected from harm or other non-desirable outcomes. Safety can also refer to the control of recognized hazards in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk. Think safety at all times because the VFW cares about you! The success of these 2018–2019 programs will be measured by my difficult time deciding on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall (Post & District) award recipients for each category. I am proud to serve as a State Chairman.


@CA_VFW

REMINDER: SUPPORTING THE BUDDY POPPY PROGRAM HELPS FUND OUR SERVICE DEPT. BUY BUDDY POPPIES! is processed efficiently, and provides you with prompt access to your benefits.

CHAIRMAN, STATE SERVICE COMMITTEE Art Napiwocki Before filing a claim, contact one of our Department Service Officers/ Representatives. Our VFW Dept. of CA Service Officers/ Reps is available to serve Veterans and their families. They provide free professional assistance in obtaining benefits and services earned through military service. Filing a Claim with the VA can be overwhelming for transitioning Service Members, Veterans and their family members. Partnering with our VFW Department Service Officers/Reps will be your best bet for guaranteeing that your claim is as thorough as possible,

Our Dept. Service Officers/Reps is trained and accredited by the VA. “Accredited” is the keyword, as each one of our Department Service Officers/ Reps attends rigorous training. The VA Accreditation Process includes a background investigation, examinations and continuing education requirements to ensure our officers and representatives are providing the most up-to-date information. When a Veteran partners with one of our Department Service Officers/ Reps, the veteran is utilizing the skills, knowledge and resources of someone who’s primary job, day in and day out, is submitting claims. Not only are they up-to-date on all of the VA’s processes, they have learned from filing hundreds of claims. This experience is the best way for the veteran to access the benefits he/she has earned.

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DON’T MISS AN ISSUE! SIGN UP NOW TO RECEIVE THE CALIFORNIA VETERAN DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNT! Click the link below to subscribe to the digital distribution list of The California Veteran, and to receive news updates from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California.

https://www.vfwca.org/in-the-news/ ca-veteran-magazine This list will not be sold, shared, or utilized for any purpose other than to send you the latest publications of The California Veteran and news updates directly from State Headquarters! 6

All of our Department Service Officers/ Reps are accredited and have been approved by the VA to be assigned a Power of Attorney (POA) designation by their veteran clients. With POA representation, a Department Service Officer/Rep is able to: • Initiate your claim to preserve an effective start date • Advise on specific records and evidence that you will need and guide you on where to find the necessary documents • Review your application prior to submission to ensure that there’s no missing evidence or information that may delay your claim • Receive the VA’s decision on your claim 48 hours before you do to review it and ensure it is correct (this will allow the Department Service Officer/Rep to correct any mistakes in the decision before you receive final notification)


T HA NK YOU, V E T E R A NS For 96 years, USAA has been honored to serve you, the 20 million men and women who answered the call for our nation. On Veterans Day — and every day — thank you for your service to America.

VETERANS DAY 2018

USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates. © 2018 USAA. 254921-1118


WINTER 2018 · VFWCA.ORG

VFW IN THE NEWS “A FAMILY AFFAIR” Fifty-two years ago, Michael M. Halldorson, a veteran of World War II, was elected the Post Commander of Post 1555 in, Chico, California for VFW year 1965-1966. Halldorson had been a Tech Sergeant in the Army, wounded twice in combat, and was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. He was imprisoned in Stalag IX-B at Bad Orb, Germany. Always the optimist, although almost dying of malnutrition, jaundice, and pneumonia while suffering from gunshot wounds and being away from his family, he never let his challenging circumstances get him down. After the war, he became a successful businessman and an advocate for veterans’ welfare. Memorial Day and Veterans Day would find him at the Veterans Hall on the Esplanade in Chico. For years, he and his sons Michael and Alan would pick up a truck load of American flags, fitted with extension poles, and assemble them on the run as they placed the flags around the city streets of Chico in honor of these special holidays. Afterward, they would take down the flags and return them to their “holding area” until the next holiday. Michael eventually served in the Vietnam War where served aboard the Navy destroyer USS Hopewell (DD-681) from 1964 until 1967. Upon returning from the war, and while attending Chico State College, he continued installing flags with his father and brother, and attending traditional “hot dogs and beans” lunches at the Veterans Hall. Unfortunately, repeated vandalism of the flags eventually forced a halt to this placing the flags around the community.

Michael Halldorson holding his father’s flag at the Chico Cemetery on Memorial Day 2018. Fittingly, he is amongst the flags he loved so much.

However, Michael was elected as Post Commander for Post 1555 for the 20152016 VFW year.

“What are the chances that exactly USS Hopewell (DD-681) underway during the 50 years to the year, I would be the 1960s. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Commander of the Post I love?” he fondly asked his Post members upon assuming the position. day, his Post Comrades and Auxiliary members carry on the tradition of gathering in the Hall in the spirit of comradeship Halldorson is now in his third year as Commander of the and esprit de corps, every single month with coffee and Post, which has grown to 238 members and meets at a new dessert after their meetings. Veterans Hall on Rio Lindo Avenue in Chico. And to this

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@CA_VFW

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PHOTO BY TAMMI AQUECHE

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

The Danny Martinez Scholarship Award was presented to Cesar Romo.

VFW POST PROVIDES ARMY VETERAN WITH TOOLS FOR LEARNING AT MJC By John Holland Cesar Romo, an Army veteran, is studying at Modesto Junior College with the aid of a laptop computer and printer provided through the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is the first recipient in a the Danny Martinez Scholarship Award program recently launched by Post 3199 in honor of a late Veterans Service Officer for the Post. “A veteran or spouse will be chosen each semester, and more if donations to the effort grow,” Commander Kevin Aqueche said. The program also could expand to California State University, Stanislaus. Romo had started at MJC before leaving in 2014 for military service which ended this March. He was a health care specialist in the Army and is studying sports medicine at the college. He hopes to major in kinesiology at a 4-year campus. Mike Jackson, who counsels veterans at MJC, said many classes require online discussions and homework. That is why Post 3199 felt it was important to initiate the Martinez Scholarship program. It has received one donation so far, from Modesto Republican Women Federated, and is seeking more. Checks can be sent to VFW Post 3199, P.O. Box 580509, Modesto 95358.

Reasons to join the VFW:

• 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


@CA_VFW

DISTRICT 9 HOSTS MEMORABLE POW/ MIA REMEMBRANCE PROGRAM By Jim Anderson VFW District 9 Quartermaster

VFW Department of California District 9 held its annual POW/ MIA program in Clovis, Calif., Sept. 22 in an hour-long program crammed with a lot of action in front of more than 200 veterans, Auxiliary, youth and community in attendance. in Action. Raidt was well received but more was to follow. The family of Private Alva Cremean was in attendance with 3 nieces on stage. Cremean was aboard USS Oklahoma Nov. 7, 1941 and his remains were identified last month by DNA donated by family members years ago. The family received a great ovation. All in the audience was invited on stage to meet the veterans and families. It was especially touching as the 25 Young Marines and Cub Scout Pack 322 took their turns to cross the stage to greet veterans. A WWII Paul Loeffler, Captain Raidt and MC David McFerrin greeting Veterans from audience. German survivor, Marlene Raffety, crossed the stage and told of the great gratitude of being freed and rescued the Unites States military. All area Veteran Service Organizations were represented and in attendance. Fourteen flags were posted including the U.S. Closing was also great with Amazing Grace by Valerie Saucedo, Flag carried by Vietnam Veteran former Army Maj. Wayne a joint Rifle Squad between Post 3225 and American Legion Scott, Association of the United States Army, dressed as Post 147, Taps by Reggie King, and benediction by Terry Abraham Lincoln. All the service flags were carried by current Rommereim, Chaplain for the VA Hospital. serving military members in full dress while campaign flags Clovis Senior Center hosted a lunch coordinated with VFW were carried by veterans. Post 1981 Commander Alan Hansen Commander Post 1981. The program opening also included inspirational singing by Valerie Saucedo and District 9 Commander Carlos Fernandez leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, Master of Ceremonies Dave McFerrin, VFW Post 3225 in Clovis, introduced speakers Paul Loeffler (great veteran friend) and Vern Schmidt (Commander Ex-POW). Paul and Vern honored the Ex-POW on stage and gave a history lesson on their ordeals. They also recognized family members on stage and in the audience. District 9 Auxiliary presented red, white, and blue necklaces to families of the POWs. They were very appreciative of the extra recognition. McFerrin then introduced Army Capt. Raidt of the Army Recruiting Company ho gave an excellent speech on Missing

Benediction by Terry Rommeriem VA Chaplain

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WINTER 2018 · VFWCA.ORG The room was set up for 150 people and there was not an empty seat, and even a few stood to eat. Several memorial displays were on the side walls: Clovis Post 3225, Central Valley Honor Flight, Ex-POW Chapter, Vietnam Veterans Post 933, Sierra Nisei VFW Post 8499, and Private Jack Cremean's family. Donna Moren, niece of Cremean, gave a history of the family and showed some fantastic items Cremean sent home for Christmas. A short explanation of the rest of the displays was given.

Taps by Reggie King, Madera Post honorary bugler

People were still visiting long after the dinner, making new connections and renewing old friendships. The Design Science High School JROTC stayed until the end, cleaning the hall, putting up chairs and tables, and mopping and sweeping the hall. That was in addition to the JROTC’s contribution during the program escorting veterans, organizing the people entering the stage, and assisting veterans to the Senior Center. Cub Scout Pack 322 of Sanger also helped set up and gave out programs. Vern Schmidt, Commander AUSA

Also, involved behind the scenes were District 9 Auxiliary committee and support; Madera Post 1981 committee and support and bugler; Fresno Post 8900 represented by District Commander Carlos Fernandez; Clovis Post 8499 ceremony participants and display; Sanger Post 7168 Chairman, planning and ceremony participant; Fresno Post 5057 committee and attendance; Biola Post 5845 committee and attendance; and Hanford Post 5869 material for display. Others instrumental in the event were Clovis Veterans Memorial District, Fresno Veterans Hospital, Clovis Senior Center, American Legion Clovis Post 147, American Veterans Sanger Post 98, Vietnam Veterans of America Post 933, Design Science High School JROTC, Cub Scout Pack 322 Sanger, and Association of United States Army Valley Chapter 6105.

Rifle Squad VFW Post 3225

Each year has been special with a new twist each time. There were so many highlights this year with a new Ex-POW discovered, an MIA identified, the march across stage by anyone wanting to greet veterans, singing, and taps. It was difficult to pick the best moment — each was great.

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@CA_VFW

DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA SOUTH HONORS POWs, MIAs Photos by Miranda Williams

A VFW Department of California POW/MIA South Ceremony was hosted Sept. 16 at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego. Comrades, Auxiliary members and other patriots from across the State and District attended the event to Department Auxiliary Conductress Mary Anne Kreutz and Past State Commander Jack Turner.


FALL 2018 · VFWCA.ORG


@CA_VFW

DISTRICT 1 CONTINUES USS COLE REMEMBRANCE JOINING LARGER JOINT EFFORT By Steven Williams

The VFW entered its 18th year honoring the 17 Sailors who perished Oct. 12, 2000 when terrorist bombers attacked the USS Cole in Yemen, and this year, thanks to new relationships, VFW California District 1 was able to expand its remembrance efforts in San Diego. The District has gathered at Mt. Hope Cemetery at the gravesite of Seaman Lakiba Palmer, a San Diego native who died in the bombing, every year laying a wreath, honoring her sacrifice, and comforting her family and friends. The annual remembrance evolved into a much larger ceremony held aboard USS Midway in downtown San Diego thanks to California Department of Veteran Affairs Deputy Secretary of Minority Veterans Affairs Elizabeth Perez, who attended boot camp with Palmer, American Legion District 22 Commander Chris Yates, and several other veteran organization and community leaders. District 1 purchased a wreath to be tossed into the Bay by Palmer’s family members; lined up special guest Retired Navy Chief Chris Regal, who is a USS Cole survivor and was presented the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his efforts rescuing shipmates that day and battling flooding for 4 days; and secured the amazing bugler John Blakely from Post 2111 Jack E. Carlton VFW Auxiliary. The ceremony was followed by the traditional wreath laying at Seaman Palmer's gravesite where VFW California's State Chaplain James Wright led a prayer for Palmer and her Shipmates. The graveside ceremony was much calmer than usual, but the remembrance of the 17 Sailors who perished 18 years ago was much louder than ever, and dozens, including local media, gathered to carry on the tradition of honoring our fallen.


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

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#vfwpostpride

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WINTER 2018 · VFWCA.ORG

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y p p a H s y a d i l o H FROM THE VFW DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA


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VETERAN WINTER 2018

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The California Veteran - Winter 2018  

The California Veteran is the official publication of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Department of California. It is an...

The California Veteran - Winter 2018  

The California Veteran is the official publication of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Department of California. It is an...

Profile for vfwca
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