Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Support Wilwin Lodge Fundraiser

American Legion SAL Squadron 558 is hosting a 4 person Scramble golf outing June 21st, 2013 in Farwell, MI.  All proceeds go to the Wilwin Lodge http://www.wilwin.org




The American Legion Department of Michigan represents over 70,000 members in the State of Michigan. The American Legion was founded in 1919, based on “The Four Pillars”; veteran rehabilitation, Americanism, child welfare, and national security and continued above all its mission as a consumers’ advocate for veterans. For more information contact the Michigan Legion at 517-371-4720 ext 16, mark@michiganlegion.org, or visit our website at www.michiganlegion.org.

Monday, March 25, 2013

2012 - 2013 District Meetings Remaining

The following are District Meetings left for 2012-2013 Year.


District Meetings 2012-2013

1st District Meeting Schedule

5/6/13 *                        Joe Louis Post #375
6/3/13                          Fred Beaudry Post #126
1st Zone Picnic (8/4/12) in Taylor, Michigan
Veterans Day Parade (11/3/12) in Detroit
*  Memorial Day Observance - Joint Legion Family.

 Guests are welcome - those planning to attend and speak should notify the District Adjutant, John Burke at 59jaydee@prodigy.net so you may be included in the meeting agenda.

2nd District
 May 19, 2013  LYNN C. WEEMAN 514 IDA
            SAL 11.30   MEMORIAL SERVICE 12:30 REGULAR LEGION 2:00 NO SERVICE OFFICERS
3rd District
 4th District
 MAY 5TH BRIDGMAN POST 331
DINNER SERVED AT 12:30 AND  IS $7.OO PER PERSON. CALL POST FOR RESERVATIONS. BARNDOG

5th District

May 9th, 2013, 7 p.m., Charles A. Conklin Post #28

6th District
May 5, 2013 Brighton, MI Post 235
Service Officer School 11 am- Lunch at 12 – Meeting at 1pm


7th District
May 19, 2013  Port Huron

8th District
May 5th at Laingsburg

9th District
Executive Board Noon, Past Cmdrs. /  Service Officer Info 12:30 p.m., Lunch 1:00 p.m., General Membership Meeting 2:00 p.m. ( or as soon as dishes are cleared if lunch runs long).
May 11. 2013-Traverse City Post 35.


The 10th District
May 5, 2013           Harrison 404 (Memorial)
June 1, 2013           T.B.A. (incoming commander Post)
Lunch at noon, meetings at 1pm all dates.

11th District Meeting April 20th 2013 Rapid River 10:30 am

12th District meeting May 4th, 2013 Post 144 Lanse 11:00 am

16TH District Meetings
April  9th, 2013  Allen Park Post 409*
May 14th, 2013  Lincoln Park Post  67**
June 11th, 2013 Garden City Post 396
Meetings at  7:30pm
* Denotes Service Officer School 6:30PM
** Memorial Service 6:30PM

17th District Meetings

April 17, 2013  7.pm. 7p.m. Knights of Columbus Hall 25300 5 Mile, Redford Post 302
May 15, 2013 7 p.m.   7p.m. Knights of Columbus Hall 25300 5 Mile, Redford Post 302
June 5, 2013 6:30p.m. American Legion Post 32, Livonia MI

18th District Meetings

May 19, 2013  Farmington, MI Post #346 
            Memorial Service at 1 p.m.  Election of Officers at 2 p.m.
June 9, 2013 2p.m. Royal Oak, MI Post #253

District 19
Spring Conference, Sunday, March 10, 2013 Elk Rapids
Convention, Saturday, May 18, 2013 Boyne City


The American Legion Department of Michigan represents over 70,000 members in the State of Michigan. The American Legion was founded in 1919, based on “The Four Pillars”; veteran rehabilitation, Americanism, child welfare, and national security and continued above all its mission as a consumers’ advocate for veterans. For more information contact the Michigan Legion at 517-371-4720 ext 16, mark@michiganlegion.org, or visit our website at www.michiganlegion.org.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

American Legion Commander: CBS Should Apologize for Insulting Vietnam War Veterans


National Commander James Koutz has sent a letter of  protest to CBS regarding a recent broadcast of the show “The Amazing Race” which insults Vietnam Veterans. Below is a Fox News article which contains some background. It is followed by National Commander Koutz’s letter and a news release by American Legion National Headquarters which was issued to the media.
 
Fox News Insider
Bob Beckel Outraged Over CBS Airing B-52 Memorial During ‘Amazing Race’ Episode: “Take That Show and Shove It!”
 
CBS’s reality show the “Amazing Race” featured an episode set in Vietnam where contestants went to a B-52 Memorial, which is wreckage of an American B-52 bomber shot down during the Vietnam War.
“How did it not cross the producers’ minds that this might offend the men who fought in Vietnam and the families of those who died there?” Greg Gutfeld questioned on The Five.
Bob Beckel didn’t hold back any punches. “I’m so outraged by this I can’t believe it. CBS is idiotic, they’re stupid. The idea that they would put something like that on TV, […] to have people go to a memorial where Americans died, then you ought to get off the network. Take that show and shove it!”
He charged, “It was a communist show put on a by a network that out to know better.”
They also had to learn a song performed by kids in front of a portrait of former communist leader Ho Chi Minh. One contestant remarked, “It’s like One Direction,” referring to the popular European boy band.
Gutfeld remarked, “Yes, if that direction was the inevitable massacre of millions of Vietnamese.”
Mr. Leslie Moonves
President & CEO
CBS Headquarters
51 W 52nd St   
New York, N.Y. 10019
 
Dear President Moonves:
 
        As National Commander of the 2.4 million member American Legion and as a Vietnam War veteran, I would like to register my disappointment at the disgraceful slap in the face administered to American war heroes during your recent broadcast of the show “The Amazing Race.”
 
The show is called “The Amazing Race” but I prefer to call it “The Amazing Gall.” In a broadcast reminiscent of Tokyo Rose, reality game show contestants visited a ‘B-52 Memorial’ in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the war. What wasn’t shown were the U.S. crewmembers that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Department of Defense is encouraging Americans to honor and commemorate our Vietnam War veterans for the sacrifice that they made 50 years ago. The American Legion takes this obligation very seriously. We only wish that the network that once gave us Kate Smith—famous for her rendition of ‘God Bless America’—would return to its great roots and not be so eager to broadcast anti-American propaganda.
 
Not only did your show do a disservice to those who served aboard the B-52, it included young people singing songs with the lyrics, “Vietnam Communist Party is glorious…Socialism is growing more beautiful with time. Follow the party’s step. Be loyal. Be pure…”
 
A prominent Legionnaire from Iowa said to me, “As a Marine Corps veteran having served two tours in Vietnam, it is extremely offensive to me and our country to glorify a communist regime that without mercy killed and tortured our Vietnam allies and now is portrayed as something that is acceptable in our society.”
 
Mr. Moonves, at the very least, I think that you owe our Vietnam War veterans an apology.
 
Sincerely
James E. Koutz
National Commander
 American Legion Commander: CBS Should Apologize for Insulting Vietnam War Veterans
INDIANAPOLIS (March 20, 2013)  -- In a scathing letter sent to CBS, Vietnam War veteran and American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz called for the Tiffany Network to apologize for  “its disgraceful slap-in-the face administered to American war heroes” during a prime time broadcast Sunday night.
“The show is called ‘The Amazing Race,’ but I call it ‘The Amazing Gall,’” Koutz said.  “In a broadcast reminiscent of Tokyo Rose, reality game show contestants visited a ‘B-52 Memorial’ in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the war. What wasn’t shown were the U.S. crewmembers that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Department of Defense is encouraging Americans to honor and commemorate our Vietnam War veterans for the sacrifice that they made 50 years ago. The American Legion takes this obligation very seriously. We only wish that the network that once gave us Kate Smith – famous for her rendition of ‘God Bless America’—would return to its great roots and not be so eager to broadcast anti-American propaganda.”
The B-52 visit was not the only portion of the show that The American Legion found objectionable. Contestants watched a performance by young people singing a song before a portrait of communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Lyrics included the phrases, “Vietnam Communist Party is glorious…Socialism is growing more beautiful with time. Follow the party’s step. Be loyal. Be pure…”
Ken Danilson, a prominent Legionnaire from Iowa, was particularly offended. “As a Marine Corps veteran having served two tours in Vietnam, it is extremely offensive to me and to our country to glorify a communist regime that without mercy killed and tortured our Vietnam allies and now is portrayed as something that is acceptable in our society.”
Koutz is encouraging Americans to show support for Vietnam veterans by letting CBS know of their disapproval and by refusing to watch future episodes of the show. “Vietnam War veterans were maligned enough when they returned to this country. We need to send a loud message that we will never again tolerate America’s veterans being disrespected.”
     With a current membership of 2.4-million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
 
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Contacts:  John Raughter (317) 630-1253(317) 441-8847; Marty Callaghan (202) 263-5758(202) 515-8644A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Koutz is available at www.legion.org.

Legion submits solutions for VA backlog



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Legion submits solutions for VA backlog
 
As the number of undecided claims continues to grow, The American Legion calls for greater attention to accuracy and employing more veterans as claims processors.
 
WASHINGTON (March 20, 2013) -- One day after Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., called for the resignation of Allison Hickey, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under secretary for benefits, she found herself testifying before Miller as he chaired a March 20 hearing by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs that focused on VA’s mounting backlog of disability claims.
For the hearing, The American Legion submitted a statement recognizing a substantial increase in the claims backlog since 2010, along with specific recommendations to help solve the problem. In 2010, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) had about 509,000 claims pending with 39 percent in backlog (pending more than 125 days). As of this week, VBA’s figures show nearly 896,000 claims pending with more than 70 percent in backlog.
While VA has been aggressively pursuing technological initiatives to reduce the backlog, they are not the only key to the solution for reducing the backlog. The American Legion recommended three specific actions for VA to take:
  • Fix a broken work-credit system for VA employees, which currently gives the same credit for work, whether it is correct or incorrect.
  • Develop a system to aggregate common errors made in claims processing, and use the information to create a training plan for employees.
  • Hire more veterans to process claims to increase understanding of the military among those who are interpreting claims files.
Error rates continue to be a problem among VA claims adjudicators. When an error is made processing a claim, that claim can be appealed. The lengthy appeals process means a claim that should have been decided in a few months now can take years. Appeals based on errors clog the system with work that could have been removed from the flow if the claim had been done correctly the first time.
Improving VA’s work-credit system would not require a major overhaul, according to The American Legion. It could be as simple as giving credit for when a claim is finished but also applying a negative credit or debit when it is found to be in error. If an office finishes 5,000 claims but only at an 80-percent accuracy rate, for instance, the office would get credit for 4,000 claims.
By aggregating common errors made in the claims process, VA should be able to develop effective computer models of where their employees are making the most mistakes and adjust training accordingly, the Legion statement suggests.
For example, if the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims finds a consistent pattern of failure to apply proper evidence standards for post-traumatic stress disorder cases involving combat zones, then refresher training material should be developed and delivered to VA regional offices.
By hiring more veterans, VA will have more claims processors who have familiarity with military records in claims files, according to The American Legion. Veterans don’t have to spend time looking up military acronyms; they just know that “CIB” means that a servicemember has been in combat and that certain U.S. Code provisions apply to his or her case.
Another advantage to hiring more veterans at VA would be to decrease unemployment among their ranks. In recent years, veterans have seen unemployment rates that were two-thirds higher than those of non-veterans.
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Media contacts: Marty Callaghan:202-263-5758/202-215-8644, mcallaghan@legion.org or Craig Roberts: 202-263-2982/202-406-0887, croberts@legion.org. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Koutz is available at www.legion.org.

The American Legion Department of Michigan represents over 70,000 members in the State of Michigan. The American Legion was founded in 1919, based on “The Four Pillars”; veteran rehabilitation, Americanism, child welfare, and national security and continued above all its mission as a consumers’ advocate for veterans. For more information contact the Michigan Legion at 517-371-4720 ext 16, mark@michiganlegion.org, or visit our website at www.michiganlegion.org.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Birthday American Legion


March 15th, 1919:  The birth of The American Legion.

The American Legion Department of Michigan represents over 70,000 members in the State of Michigan. The American Legion was founded in 1919, based on “The Four Pillars”; veteran rehabilitation, Americanism, child welfare, and national security and continued above all its mission as a consumers’ advocate for veterans. For more information contact the Michigan Legion at 517-371-4720 ext 16, mark@michiganlegion.org, or visit our website at www.michiganlegion.org.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What do Parents say about Boys and Girls State?


"The American Legion Department of Michigan are seeking boys with outstanding qualifications in character and leadership to attend one of the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction ever designed for high school students.”

For more information visit www.michiganlegion.org/boysstate

To receive an application email packet@michiganlegion.org 

For information about Girls State in Michigan visit www.michalaux.org

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 2013 District Meetings


The following District have their meetings still left in March.

5th District
March 14th, 2013, 7 p.m., Neal E. Fonger Post #179

7th District
March 17, 2013  Caseville

16TH District Meetings
March 12, 2013  Wyandotte Post 217

17th District Meetings
March 20, 2013  7p.m. Knights of Columbus Hall 25300 5 Mile, Redford Post 302







The American Legion Department of Michigan represents over 70,000 members in the State of Michigan. The American Legion was founded in 1919, based on “The Four Pillars”; veteran rehabilitation, Americanism, child welfare, and national security and continued above all its mission as a consumers’ advocate for veterans. For more information contact the Michigan Legion at 517-371-4720 ext 16, mark@michiganlegion.org, or visit our website at www.michiganlegion.org.