Items of Interest

Nursing Home Abuse and Veterans

Nursing Home Abuse is a serious issue that affects millions of seniors from all walks of life. Unfortunately, certain elderly demographics are at increased risk for abuse, either for political, physical, or mental health reasons. Nursing home abuse cannot be ignored, as it can lead to serious physical injuries, financial downfall, serious depression, and in serious cases, even early mortality.

Veteran Mental Health Facts

Veteran mental health services are essential in order to help our returning vets recover from their combat experiences and mental health issues related to their military service. There are a number of troubling statistics which show that enough is not being done and that many of our veterans are not receiving the care that they deserve in this area.

Surviving PTSD: Helping Your Military Loved Ones Get the Help They Need

The changes in personality PTSD causes can be terrifying for family members, who are often at a loss for what to do. Sadly, in many cases, the illness goes untreated. Here are some links you need to know about PTSD and how to get the help you need.

Best Online Electronics Stores for 2017

The best electronics stores are a very useful tool when searching for any item, especially computers and TV's but some have different strengths and weaknesses. Here is a compilation of the electronics retailers to help you to score deals on electronics. But first, take a look at some of the factors and features to keep an eye out for while browsing.

Minnesota Senior Guide

The Minnesota Senior Guide contains key statistics and information about how senior citizens in Minnesota live. Use this tool to compare healthcare quality, senior housing options, demographic and financial statistics, and other important data for Minnesota with the rest of the country. This guide also contains helpful contact information for local government agencies that offer assistance to senior citizens.

Spring Fashion Show

Time to get ready for the walk-way shuffle cause we're having a Spring Fashion Show. On April 11 from 10 - 3, get ready to feast your eyes on the newest Spring Fashion, complete with guest speakers, entertainment, drawings, raffles and lunch. Brought to you by our Post members and Ladies Auxiliary. Post this flyer for more information.

Military Appreciation Weekend

The Minnesota Wilderness would like you to join them for a great weekend of hockey and to support all active and former military personnel. They will be auctioning off their special military designed jerseys to raise money for local military families. Come watch them play at the Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet on Friday and Saturday (March 20/21) for your chance to bid on a jersey. All current and former military will get in free. Post this flyer for more information.

Scotch Pool Tournament

For all the Pool enthusiasts and those who want to be, Saturday, March 21st is the day to come down to the Post and enjoy a day of Pool and participate in a Scotch Pool Tournament. If you don't know what a Scotch Pool Tournament is, that the day to see for yourself how much fun it can be. Post this flyer as a reminder of time and date.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

As part of the fundraising effort for the Ladies Auxiliary, on the evening of the drawing for the Wheelbarrow of Cheer, the Auxiliary is serving up a mouth watering delight of Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner. Dinner starts promptly at 4:00 pm and will last until the drawing at 7:00. As usual, the ladies work hard on ensuring the meal is delicious so don't miss out. See flyer for more details.

Wheelbarrow of Cheer

The Ladies Auxiliary has put together a Wheelbarrow of Cheer raffle as a fundraiser for Veterans Support. There are only 1000 tickets printed and are sold for $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00. The drawing will be held at 7.00 p.m. March 17, 2015 on St. Patrick's Day following a Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner. Tickets are available at the Post or from an Auxiliary member. There have been donations received from House of Spirits, Rendezvous, Cold One, Grandma Polos, Hidden View Winery, Lemon Tree, Super One Liquor, VFW, Tall Pine Liquor, Auxiliary Members and more. Please help support our veterans! Thank you!

Psychic / Medium

On Saturday February 28th, from 5 - 7 p.m. the Ladies Auxiliary is hosting a Psychic/Medium BrendaLynn Hammon at our VFW. BrendaLynn is a gifted clairvoyant, sixth-generation natural medium and a life-long student of spirituality. She will hold your hands, put light and protection around you and call forth messages of the highest good. Admission is only $20.00 and seats are filling up fast.

Indoor Flea Market

Come One Come All to the February Indoor Flea Market! The Ladies Auxiliary is hosting an indoor flea market on Saturday, February 7th and Sunday February 8th at the VFW. Booth space is available, call the VFW at 218-879-2447 for more information and reserve your space today.

Cloquet Bantam AA

The Cloquet Lumberjacks Bantam AA Hockey Team (which our VFW sponsors) has been doing an outstanding job this year winning their last four in a row which brings them to 14 wins and 3 loss so far this year. This places the Lumberjacks in the #10 spot in the YHH NOW rankings. Read about their shutout over #9 spot Jefferson. Keep up with their scores and upcoming matches.
With a great season behind them of 29 Wins - 11 Losses and 1 game left in the regular season, our team is off to Hibbing to square off with Duluth East for the VFW District Tournament on February 20th. Then it's off to Roseau for the Bantam AA Regions on February 26th to March 1st. Congratulations for taking 3rd Place in the 46th Annual Edina Invitational Bantam AA tournament. Great Job!!! For a team picture and more news, click here.

New Years Eve Party

Reserve your seat early for this years New Years Eve Party going at our Post on (you guessed it) New Years Eve. Start the evening out right with your choice of Prime Rib or Chicken, then have fun dancing and singing your favorite Karaoke songs. Have a great time!

Kids Christmas Party

Come join the fun and entertainment at the Annual Kids Christmas Party on Sunday December 14th at the National Guard Armory in Cloquet. There will be games, prizes, fun activities, candy and more. It all starts at 1:00 pm. Don't forget to bring the kids.

Holiday Showcase

The Cloquet VFW presents Holiday Showcase of area crafts, foods and holiday ideas. From 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday November 15th come to the VFW for your Holiday Shopping. Print flyer for details.

Meals for Veterans and Families in Need

The Cloquet VFW Auxiliary is partnering with the Carlton County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) to provide holiday meals for Veterans and their families in need. Donations and Volunteers needed. Meals will be distributed in November. Please read flyer for details.

Kids Halloween Party

Come join the fun and entertainment at the Annual Kids Halloween Party on Sunday October 26th at the National Guard Armory in Cloquet. There will be games, prizes, fun activities, costume contests, candy and more. It all starts at 2:00 pm. Don't forget to bring the kids.

Comedy Show/Fundraiser

PizPor - Comedian/Magician, along with 2 other comedians (Dennis Carney and Carol Vnuk) will be putting on a show on Saturday, October 25th at the Cloquet VFW. Come early for the meal and stay for the show. This will also be a fundraiser for the Northland Honor Flight. See flyer for details.

2015 Veterans Appreciation Ride

The Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association and Minnesota Snowmobile Education and Advancement Fund will hold their 7th Annual Veterans Appreciation Snowmobile Ride on Saturday, January 10, 2015 in Silver Bay, MN. The ride is provided as a token of appreciation to the veterans who have given part of their lives to serve all of us. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and one night's lodging will be provided to the attendees and 20 snowmobiles will be available to those that want to to try snowmobiling. Others are invited to come along and bring their own snowmobile. All veterans and active duty military personnel are welcome to attend. Visit MnUSA website for more information, posters and photos.

Silver Bay Halloween Party 2014

This year the annual VFW and Auxiliary Halloween party will be at Silver Bay on Friday October 31st. The costume theme this year is Hippy Halloween. Print flyer for more details.

Gold Star Family Weekend

Gold Star Family Weekend announces its 4th Annual Gold Star Family Weekend to be held August 22-24, at Camp Ripley, just North of Little Falls, Minnesota.
Gold Star families are children, spouses, parents, and siblings of those who gave their life in service to our county in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea or any other conflict. These families are invited guests for this special weekend to Honor, Remember, and Cherish the lives of their loved ones.

VFW Baseball

Baseball season is in full swing and the line up for games is hot and heavy this year. Join your friends, neighbors and fellow veterans for a baseball game that's sure to impress. Cheer on our VFW 3979 sponsored players to victory this year and support our youth baseball team. Print and post the June schedule. Print and post the July schedule.

MN Veterans Career Fair 2014

On Wednesday, July 9th, the MN Veterans Employment Service invites all job-seeking veterans to this Veteran Friendly employer event. Print flyer for more information

Have you attend OTI in the Past? Think you've 'been there' and 'done that'?

Attention ALL Minnesota V.F.W. Members
You Haven't been to OTI until you've come to OTI 2014!
Have you Never been to OTI? Wondering how to help your Post be successful?
OR... Simply want to know more about what Posts do/ should be doing?
Then you Can't Miss OTI 2014!
What IS OTI??
Department of Minnesota's Officer Training Institute
Did you know this is our 29th Year?!?
We have created a whole new class format for OTI 2014
At OTI 2014 You Will...

  • Explore all V.F.W. Manuals & Resources available to you
  • Recieve ACTUAL Copies of almost all Manual & Resources (neatly placed in a binder)
  • Take home a CD of these Manuals & Resources (great for printing copies of forms)
  • Get information on all V.F.W. Programs, Events and Activities
  • Learn where to find answers to all of your questions throughout the year (anytime- day or night)
  • Participate in Q & A
  • Share ideas with your Comrades during a fantastic lunch and snack

ALL of this and much more!
NO need to bring ANYTHING...
just yourself and a willingness to learn how to be the best V.F.W. Member & Officer you can be!
Reserve your spot early to be sure we have materials ready for you
(A handy OTI Registration Form, Schedule and Hosuing Form is attached)
DATE: Thursday, June 5th, 2014
TIME: 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
PLACE: Best Western Kelly Inn, St Cloud, MN
Save YOUR Spot TODAY!

OTI flyer - Convention Housing Reservation - Convention Schedule

Legislative Alert: Join VFW for Senate Hearing on VA Health Care Problems

Take Action!
On Thursday, your VFW will testify before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee about ongoing allegations of veterans dying waiting for VA health care, calling for leadership accountability and proper resources for VA health care. In advance of the hearing, we need you to email your legislators and tell them that this is a serious issue that demands serious attention, and not politics from Congress. If you are in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., or Maryland on Thursday, come to Capitol Hill and join your fellow VFW members in calling for accountability in the VA health care system.
Since the news broke that as many as 40 veterans waiting for appointments may have died in the Phoenix VA health care system alone, neither VA nor Congress has been forthright with the American people about what actually happened in Phoenix and who is responsible. Moreover, new allegations seem to come out every day about VA facilities across the country fudging the numbers on appointment wait times and failing to deliver timely care to veterans.
In an effort to better understand the VA care climate, VFW encouraged members to call the 1-800-VFW-1899 helpline to share their experiences. Hundreds of veterans responded, raising concerns at VA facilities coast to coast, most often reaffirming unreasonable wait times, improper protocols, and inadequate staffing, and insufficient care delivery. Contact your legislators today and tell them that veterans deserve better, and if you are in the Washington, D.C.-area, join us on Thursday on Capitol Hill.
What: Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Hearing on VA Health Care
When: Thursday, May 15, 2014, 10:00 a.m. Eastern
Where: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106
The Dirksen Senate Office Building is open to the public, but visitors will be subject to airport-style security screening to enter the building.
If you cannot join the VFW on Thursday, tune in online via the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee website by clicking here:
http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/the-state-of-va-health-care-051514

Legal Clinic for Veterans

MACV invites you to participate in a FREE Drop-In Legal Clinic for Veterans at the American Legion West Duluth. See flyer for details.

Joining Community Forces - MN

You are cordially invited to the Joining Community Forces – Minnesota (JCF-MN). The goal of JCF-MN is to collaborate and synchronize community resources to support Veterans, Servicemembers, and their Families. How to register

Career Fair Preparation Workshop for Veterans

Attached is a flyer for a Career Fair Preparation Workshop for Veterans that is coming up on May 5th at the Minnesota WorkForce Center - Duluth. There will be an HR Representative from Minnesota Power - Allete as a guest speaker.

5th Annual Northland Job Fair

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 7th, for the 5th Annual Northland Job Fair!
More than 70 employers from northern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin will have displays and details about open and future opportunities. Job seekers can visit one-on-one with resume and job search experts, learn about education opportunities, network with employers and possibly interview for positions on site. Also, we will have resume critique and interview snapshot (practice) in our Resource Area.
The event will be open exclusively to veterans, students and interns from 10 to 11 a.m. and to all job seekers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here is the current list of exhibitors.
This list will be updated on this link weekly... http://mn.gov/deed/events/NJF14/index.jsp
Job Fair flyer.

Senate File 1982 - Comprehensive Veterans' and Health Benefits Package

Subject: VFW Legislative Alert: Urge Senate to Pass S. 1982 - Comprehensive Veterans' and Health Benefits Package Today!
VFW Legislative Alert: Urge Senate to Pass S. 1982 - Comprehensive Veterans' and Health Benefits Package Today!
Background: S. 1982, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 is the most comprehensive veterans' legislation to be introduced in decades. It addresses many of the VFW's legislative priority goals, but remains stalled in the Senate.
While Congress is on recess, we ask all of our members and advocates to once again take action by sending a letter, calling or attending a town hall meeting with your Senators. Ask them to support and pass this sweeping legislation when they return to Washington.
If signed into law, the bill would expand and improve health care and benefit services to all generations of veterans and their families. Most notably, it would expand the current caregiver law to include all generations of veterans; offer in-state tuition protection for recently-transitioned veterans; reauthorize the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP); improve access to mental health and treatment for victims of sexual assault in the military; and authorize construction of more than 20 Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC's) to serve veterans in their communities.
Action Needed: Send a letter, call or meet with your Senators - urge them to support and pass S. 1982, the Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014. Tell them that this historic legislation will provide vital services to all generations of veterans and their families. Remind them we are a nation still at war, and veterans are still in need of the critical services this legislation will provide.
For contact information, to include State office locations and DC phone numbers, visit our webiste - www.vfw.org and click on Action Corps - Get to Know Your Elected Officials.

MN House File 2557 - Veterans Home Eligibility

Please contact your Legislators today regarding Minnesota House File 2557 - Veterans Home Eligibility (and the Senate version of the Bill - SF 2406)
The following video was made by Tom Johnson, Quartermaster of Hopkins VFW Post #425
http://2putt.it/1fVAC7S
This is great, a must see.
From Your VFW Department Legislative Chairman,
Rich Zierdt

Veterans Day on the Hill

Join VFW and Auxiliary Members at the Rotunda at the Minnesota State Capitol on Monday, March 17, 2014 (See Attachment for more details)

Submit Your Patriotic Photo for the V.F.W. Charitable Assoc. 2015 Calendar Raffle

Submit your photos for the 2015 Calendar Raffle Patriotic Photo Contest (See Attachment for more details)

Submit Your Post for the Home Depot Improvement Grant

(See Attachment to Apply)
The Home Depot (HD) has just opened their Community Impact Grants cycle which will be in effect until August 15, 2014. There will likely be 2-3 rounds for submission during that time frame.

VFW Posts can receive up to $5,000 to fix up their Post building! Although of course there are no guarantees (so please be mindful of that) I encourage all Posts to apply ASAP if you desire to remodel your building.

To begin the process, click on the following link: http://homedepotfoundation.org/page/applying-for-a-grant
YOU WILL COMPLETE THIS APPLICATION DIRECTLY VIA THE INTERNET ONLY(no telephone calls to HD, emails or written submissions will be accepted nor will you be able to turn this application in at your local HD store).

PLEASE OPEN AND CAREFULLY READ THE PDF ATTACHMENT TO THIS EMAIL AS IT WILL WALK YOU STEP-BY-STEP THROUGH THE PROCESS. I have tried to make the instructions as simple as possible using actual computer screen shots. Any deviation from this guide will most likely result in not being able to submit the application.

ALSO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE TAX ID INSTRUCTIONS SECTION. You will use the Employee Identification Number (EIN) of your Post and upload the Post's 501(c)(19) IRS determination letter at the end of the application. If you cannot locate the Post's 501(c)(19) letter let me know as I can give you instructions on how to request a duplicate copy from the IRS.

If you receive funding it will come in the form of Home Depot gift cards that can be used to buy materials at your local HD store. You will need to recruit Post members or other community volunteers to do the work. The project must be completed within 6 months. You will also be required to submit a final report. You should also be willing to include stories and before-and-after photos of the project. Failure to do so will negatively impact your Post's ability to receive any future funding from The Home Depot.

After submission of the application, you should receive an email response usually in six weeks letting you know if you received the grant.

I wish each of you the BEST OF LUCK!

Should you have any questions and or concerns, please contact me directly, Richard Freiburghouse, Manager - VFW Foundation, at (816) 968-1124 or rfreiburghouse@vfw.org

Richard G. Freiburghouse
Manager, Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation
VFW National Headquarters Building
406 West 34th Street, Suite 920
Kansas City, MO 64111
p: 816-968-1124 f: 816-968-2789

VFW Supports Sanders Bill

S. 1950 expands VA services and eliminates COLA penalty

WASHINGTON (January 23, 2014) - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States has thrown its support behind a bill introduced by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee chairman because it fulfills a number of VFW legislative priorities that benefit all generations of veterans and their families, and it eliminates the cost-of-living adjustment penalty on military retirees.

S. 1950, the "Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Restoration Act of 2014," was introduced last week by Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and VFW National Commander William A. Thien is calling it "The most comprehensive veterans' legislation to be introduced in decades."

In a letter of support, Thien said the bill expands the current caregiver law to include all generations of veterans, something the VFW has been advocating since the law was signed in 2010. It provides advance appropriations for all mandatory accounts, which ensures disabled veterans, survivors and GI Bill student-veterans will continue to receive their monthly payments regardless of future government shutdowns. S. 1950 improves and expands education and training programs to allow veterans to receive in-state tuition rates, extends the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, improves mental healthcare access to veterans and families, expands military sexual trauma treatment services, authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to proceed with contracts to build community-based outpatient clinics that have been on hold, and mandates that VA provide a comprehensive assessment of its capital infrastructure and how it will address its deficiencies. The bill also eliminates the 1 percent COLA penalty on working age military retirees younger than age 62.

The VFW national commander is now pledging to work with Senator Sanders to get other senators and congressmen from both sides of the aisle to support S. 1950. "Now is the time for every member of Congress to support those who have served and sacrificed the most for our nation," he said.

To urge your members of Congress to support S. 1950, and to read the VFW's letter of support to Senator Sanders, click here or go to http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2014-Articles/VFW-Legislative-Alert--Urge-Passage-of-Comprehensive-Veterans--and-Health-Benefits-Package-Today!/.

VFW Legislative Alert: Urge Passage of Comprehensive Veterans' and Health Benefits Package Today!

Take Action!

Background: Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman, Bernie Sanders intorduced the Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Resotration Act of 2014. The bill, S. 1950, is the most comprehensive veterans legislation to be introduced in decades. It addresses many of the VFW's legislative priority goals, including a full repeal of the military retiree one percent COLA reduction that penalizes working-age military retirees and their families.

If signed into law, this sweeping legislation would expand and improve health care and benefit services to all generations of veterans and their families. Most notably, it would expand the current caregiver law to include all generations of veterans and provide advance appropriations to ensure monthly compensation and pension as well as education payments are protected from future budget battles. The bill also offers in-state tuition protection for recently transitioned veterans, improves access to mental health and treatment for victims of sexual assault in the military, and authorizes construction of more than 20 Community Bases Outpatient Clinics to serve veterans in rural and remote communities.

Action Needed: Call and email your Senators today. urge them to pass S. 1950, the Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Restoration Act of 2014. Tell them that this historic legislation will provide vital services to all generations of veterans and their families. Remind them that past, present and future veterans have earned the critical services this legislation will provide.

To read VFW Commander-in-Chief Bill Thien's letter of support click here:
http://www.vfw.org/uploadedFiles/2784_001.pdf

Veterans Service Organizations Concerned About Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Groups Call for Advance Appropriations for All VA Accounts

January 16, 2014 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the co-authors of The Independent Budget - AMVETS, DAV, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars - expressed concern with the funding provided for the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA) in the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill being considered in the House and Senate. The omnibus bill provides funding levels for FY 2014 and advance appropriations for VA medical care accounts for FY 2015 that virtually mirror the recommendations of the Administration made in April 2013.

"Unfortunately, this budget agreement contains the same inadequate funding levels proposed by the Administration for infrastructure and medical and prosthetic research. Congress needs to dramatically increase annual appropriations required to repair, renovate and replace essential VA medical facilities as well as boost funding for life-saving and life-changing biomedical research programs."

AMVETS National Commander John Mitchell expressed the organization's disappointment with the Omnibus bill: "It is very disappointing that we are fully three months into the new fiscal year and critical funding needed to maintain services in the VA has yet to be provided." While the veterans organizations doubt that the funding levels for medical care for FY 2014 and the advance appropriations for FY 2015 are sufficient to meet the continually growing demand on the VA, they expressed serious concerns with the reduction of funding particularly for Major Construction, as well as similar cuts in Medical Facilities. The Omnibus bill provides only $342 million for Major Construction, nearly $800 million less than what The Independent Budget for FY 2014 recommends, and billions less than the true need for construction funding. Additionally, the bill would slash funding for Medical Facilities, reducing that account by nearly $500 million.

DAV National Commander Joseph W. Johnston urged the following: "Unfortunately, this budget agreement contains the same inadequate funding levels proposed by the Administration for infrastructure and medical and prosthetic research. Congress needs to dramatically increase annual appropriations required to repair, renovate and replace essential VA medical facilities as well as boost funding for life-saving and life-changing biomedical research programs."

While the veterans groups appreciate the modest increases provide Medical Services and the Veterans Benefits Administration, as well as Information Technology, they emphasized that more must be done. Specifically, the organizations have called for passage of legislation in the House and Senate (H.R. 813 and S. 932, respectively) that would make all of the accounts of the VA advance appropriations. Currently, only the medical care accounts are funded through advance appropriations.

Paralyzed Veterans' National President Bill Lawson stated the following: "The last couple of years have clearly shown the benefits to the VA of having the health care system funded by advance appropriations. The VA health care system has been shielded from the severe negative consequences of political gridlock that ultimately led to a partial government shutdown last fall. It is time that the rest of the VA is afforded the same protection."

The organizations will release the 28th edition of The Independent Budget- a comprehensive budget and policy document written by veterans for veterans - in February 2014. The document will once again call for sufficient, timely and predictable funding to be provided for all VA programs. Additionally, it will emphasize the need to end the partisan warfare that has jeopardized the health care and benefits of the men and women who have served and sacrificed for this country.

VFW National Commander William A. Thien expressed the following: "Our organizations and the millions of veterans we represent will no longer tolerate Congress leveraging veterans' health and wellbeing to achieve unrelated political ends. It is time for Congress to put the interests of veterans and their families ahead of their own." http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140116005207/en/Veterans-Service-Organizations-Concerned-Omnibus-Appropriations-Bill#.UtfqsXx3tMw

About:
AMVETS- a leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America's Armed Forces - provides not only support for veterans and the active military in procuring receipt of their earned entitlements, but also community services that enhance the quality of life for this nation's citizens. www.amvets.org

DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America's injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with 1.2 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.

Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes from the "Greatest Generation" of World War II. They created a non-profit organization to meet the challenges that they faced back in the 1940s - from a medical community not ready to treat them, to an inaccessible world. For more than 66 years, Paralyzed Veterans national office and 34 chapters across the nation have been making America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities. www.pva.org

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans' service organization composed of combat veterans and eligible members from the active, Guard and Reserve force. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans' organization, with almost 2 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in 7,200 VFW Posts worldwide. For more information or to join, visit the organization's Web site at www.vfw.org.

Contacts
AMVETS: Andrew Keirn, 607-745-5499
DAV: David E. Autry, 202-314-5219
Paralyzed Veterans: Doug Larkin, 202-416-7686
VFW: Joe Davis, 202-608-8357

VFW Legislative Alert: Oppose Budget Deal That Cuts Military Retiree COLA!

Background: The House and Senate Budget Committees have reached a deal within the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (H.J.Res 59) that includes a proposal to cut future cost of living adjustments (COLA) by one percent for military retirees under age 62. The VFW calculates that this will have a devastating impact on retirement benefits for retirees and survivors and jeopardizes the future value of military career benefits, and adversely effects recruitment, retention and our national security.

Action Needed: Call and email your legislators today and urge them to oppose any provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (H.J. Res. 89), that tries to balance the budget on the backs of our military retirees. Tell them that current and future service men and women are watching.

Take Action!

VA Marketing Fraud Alert

VA Marketing Fraud Alert... Note "...the VA will 'Never' ask for credit card or banking information over the phone."
ALL:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a fraud alert about a marketing scam that is targeting veterans who misdial the VA National Call Center (800-827-1000) or the GI Bill Call Center (888-442-4551) phone numbers. A marketing company created two phone numbers that differ from the real VA numbers by one digit. If a veteran misdials and calls the bogus number, the answering party will offer a gift card and try to obtain sensitive personal data, to include credit card information. Please note that the VA will "never" ask for credit card or banking information over the phone.
The two bogus numbers are 800-872-1000 and 888-442-4511. Please forward this information to all your members, Posts and friends, and share it on your websites. The bottom line is make sure you know who you are talking to before providing personal information over the phone. The VA has notified law enforcement authorities.
For a list of toll-free VA phone numbers, go to the VA's Inquiry Routing &Information System webpage at https://iris.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1703.

Regards,
Joe Davis
Public Affairs Director
VFW Washington Office

VA Offers Dental Insurance Program

WASHINGTON (Nov. 15, 2013) - VA is partnering with Delta Dental and MetLife to allow eligible Veterans, plus family members receiving care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), to purchase affordable dental insurance beginning Nov. 15, VA officials announced today.
"VA continues to explore innovative ways to help Veterans get access to the care and services they have earned and deserve," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "This new dental program is another example of VA creating partnerships with the private sector to deliver a range of high-quality care at an affordable cost, for our Nation's Veterans."
More than 8 million Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care can choose to purchase one of the offered dental plans. This three-year pilot has been designed for Veterans with no dental coverage, or those eligible for VA dental care who would like to purchase additional coverage. Participation will not affect entitlement to VA dental services and treatment.
There are no eligibility limitations based on service-connected disability rating or enrollment priority assignment. People interested in participating may complete an application online through either Delta Dental, www.deltadentalvadip.org, or MetLife, www.metlife.com/vadip beginning Nov. 15. Coverage for this new dental insurance will begin Jan. 1, 2014, and will be available throughout the United States and its territories.
Also eligible for the new benefits are nearly 400,000 spouses and dependent children who are reimbursed for most medical expenses under VA's CHAMPVA program. Generally, CHAMPVA participants are spouses, survivors or dependent children of Veterans officially rated as “permanently and totally” disabled by a service-connected condition.
Dental services under the new program vary by plan and include diagnostic, preventive, surgical, emergency and endodontic/restorative treatment. Enrollment in the VA Dental Insurance Plan (VADIP) is voluntary. Participants are responsible for all premiums, which range from $8.65 to $52.90 per month for individual plans. Copayments and other charges may apply.
Historically VA's free dental services have gone to Veterans with dental problems connected to a medical condition that's officially certified as “service connected.” Free dental services will continue for those Veterans.
For more information on VADIP, visit www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vadip, or contact Delta Dental at 1-855-370-3303 or MetLife at 1-888-310-1681. Veterans who are not enrolled in the VA health care system can apply at any time by visiting www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or visiting their local VA health care facility.

VFW Commander-in-Chief introduces VFW Spokesperson

Dear Comrades,
As you know, Lou Diamond Phillips has come on board as the VFW's official spokesperson. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say how excited I am to have him spreading the word about the VFW mission. As a renowned entertainer, I'm certain he'll introduce the VFW and our work to a whole new audience.
He recently recorded several outstanding radio public service announcements for our great organization, and I'm pleased to share these with you. VFW National Headquarters has placed them to air in some large markets around the country, but I want these to be shared with every single American–coast-to-coast.
Please download these PSAs, and work with your local radio stations to get them aired in your city. Because the VFW is a nonprofit, many stations will not charge to air them.
You or a representative of your radio station can download the files here: https://vfw.sharefile.com/d/s20d3b62619b46fab. These are large files and may take several minutes to download to your computer. Or you can listen to them from here.

I greatly appreciate your assistance with this endeavor. Your efforts are crucial to ensuring the VFW mission is shared with patriotic Americans around the country.
Remember, the VFW is about Serving the Deserving—America's Veterans.
No One Does More For Veterans than the VFW!

Yours in comradeship,

Bill Thien
VFW Commander-in-Chief