Thursday, October 17, 2013

Veteran Events & Announcements 10/17 to 10/24

Listed below are the events I have for the next 7 days here in the Metro Detroit area.  I have also attached my latest event listing which has 7 new items on it!  You can also go to the Legion 328 website to download any flyer for these future events.  Clicking on "attached flyer" for each event either below or on the future listing will get you the flyer for that event.

You can get a monthly view of events by going to:


"Veteran Job Fairs" The State of Michigan, Workforce Development Agency, Veterans' Service Division, is hosting a number of job fairs around the state in November. See the flyer for exact times and addresses for each, plus items you need to bring.

"Home Front Strong" This is a free 8-week group that will help spouses/partners prepare for, cope with, or rebound from the challenges of a military deployment. This group focuses on promoting resiliency and coping, building social support and positive relationships, learning new approaches to self-care, and connecting to resources. This is open to all OEF/OIF/OND spouses or partners, of National Guard, Reserve, Active Duty service members or veterans, and at any point in the deployment cycle (pre, during, or reintegration). The group includes a meal and a separate children's program. Up to $160 will be offered to participants for group attendance and program research evaluations. See attached flyer for complete information.

Western Wayne County Area Agency on Aging 1C" The Area Agency on Aging 1C, in western Wayne County, is looking for a veteran to sit on their advisory council, to make sure the needs of veterans are met. You must live in Wayne County. If interested see the attached application.


"Thursday, October 17, 2013" Mt Clemens Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 is holding its annual fund raiser at BD's Mongolian Grill, 29004 Gratiot, Roseville, from Noon to 9PM. Bring the attached flyer and the chapter will receive 20% of the bill to use to support veterans.

"Saturday, October 19, 2013" The Michigan War Dog Memorial located on Milford Rd and 11 Mile is requesting volunteers to help reset small flat headstone from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Lunch will be provided. We are pleased to announce the Walmart Corp in New Hudson has stepped up as a sponsor and assigned their landscaping vendor to maintain the mowing and trimming of the cemetery twice a month. Our mission on October 19th is to reset all the flat stone at ground level. If your available to help please bring a shove. Your participation will be greatly appreciated. Phil Weitlauf - President Michigan War Dog Memorial, Inc 248-685-8307

"Thursday, October 24, 2013" The Desert Angels are hosting their Miracle Box packing party fund raiser pasta dinner at the Fraternal Order of Police Hall, Lodge 124, 11304 14 Mile, Warren, starting at 5PM. Ticket donations are $20 per person, or $40 per family. Every ticket purchased will send a box of Home to our Troops. There will also be a silent auction, 50/50, etc. For more information see attached flyer.

And from our friends at the VFW:
8.      October 18th, Friday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Bruce Post 1146 St. Clair Shores – "FISH FRY".  Bruce Post 1146 is located at 28404 Jefferson (N. or 11 Mile Road) in St. Clair Shores.
9.      October 18th, Friday 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – VFW 1669 Royal Oak – "BURGER & FRIES or ONION RINGS for $5".  Your choice of a Burger & Fries or a Burger & Onion Rings for $5.  Happy Hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!  Tell your Family & Friends.  Post 1669 is located at 214 E. 4th Street in Downtown Royal Oak, just 2 blocks East of Main Street.  Phone (248) 541-9846.
10.  October 18th, Friday 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. - VFW 2645 Southfield - "FRIDAY FISH FRY".  Featuring a Little Bit of Class Classic Car Club.   Come out and see the 50's & 60's Cruise Cars.  COD Fish Dinner $8, CATFISH or PERCH Dinner $7.50, CHICKEN FINGER Dinner $7.50, JUMBO SHRIMP Dinner $9, WING DINGS & FRIES $7, COMBO Dinners $9.50, SANDWICHES $5, POUND CAKE per slice $1.50.  Sides include French-Fries, Cole Slaw, Spaghetti, and Macaroni & Cheese.  Extra Sides $1.50.  Extra Fish $2.50.  Dine In or Take Out.  Call Ahead for Quicker Service (248) 350-3529.  Come out, bring your Friends, and Enjoy a Great Meal.   OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!  Parking in rear of Post.  Post 2645 is located at 24222 W. 9 Mile Road, just West of Telegraph in Southfield.
  1. October 18th, Friday 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – VFW 1370 Pontiac – "Burger's- $4 w/ fries $5, Devil Dog- $3 w/ fries $4; bacon wrapped "Koegel" hot dog, beans, fresco cheese, and all the fixings including devil sauce, Steak Burrito - $4; steak, rice, bean, pico de gallo, and cheese - 2 pounder! $6, Boot Camp Burrito Challenge - 3 pound version of the regular steak burrito, loaded in devil sauce and extremely spicy.  1 out of 3 contestants have been able to complete the Ghost Chili Burrito challenge so far, the first to do it was a fellow U.S. Marine, Tom LaForge.  $12 or free if you complete the challenge within 45 minutes.   This is an open challenge, so any member or guest is welcome to try.  WARNING: it is extremely spicy.  To get a good look at the difficulty feel free to pull it up on YouTube under VFW 1370 1st Annual Boot camp Burrito Challenge."  VFW 1370 is located at 791 Mae Court in Pontiac 48340.  Phone (248) 858-9501.
  2. October 18th, Friday 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – VFW 2358 Roseville.  "Bingo with Linked – Progressive Jackpots"  Doors Open at 4:30 p.m.  Bingo starts at 6:30 p.m.  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! VFW 2358 is located 25671 Gratiot in Roseville, just ½ block South of Frazho.  Phone number is (586) 771-0173.  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
  3. October 18th, Friday 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. – VFW 9507 Madison Heights.  KARAOKE IN THE CLUBROOM!"  No Cover Charge!  VFW 9507 Madison Heights is located at 630 E. 11 Mile Road in Madison Heights 48071.
14.  October 18th, Friday 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. – VFW 1146 St. Clair Shores – "KARAOKE IN THE CLUBROOM".  No Cover Charge!  Bruce Post 1146 is located at 28404 Jefferson (N. or 11 Mile Road) in St. Clair Shores.
15.  October 19th, Saturday 5:30 p.m. – VFW 7573 – "Ladies' 80's & 90's Night Out Cancer Benefit".  Starts at 5:30 p.m. and Dinner at 6:30 p.m.  Dinner includes Chicken Marsala, Cheesy Potatoes, Spinach & garden salads, rolls, and a variety of Desserts for a minimum donation of $15.  Also includes dancing, 50/50 drawing, best costume, biggest hair contest, and many more raffles.  There will Vendors on hand for cash and carry items.  Please purchase tickets in advance, limited to 80 tickets.  Any questions, call Crystal at 586-260-7975 or Robin at 586-339-4784.  Post 7573 is located at 35011 23 Mile Road in New Baltimore.
16.  October 19th, Saturday 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. – Bruce Post 1146 St. Clair Shores – "SWEETEST DAY SHOW".  Featuring Geoff Watz and Tim Murray with Special Guest Lisa King.  Tickets are $20 or 2/$35.  Contact Tim Litz at 586-713-1519.  Snacks Allowed.  Doors Open at 6:30 p.m.  "OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!"  Invite your Family & Friends.  Bruce Post 1146 is located at 28404 Jefferson (N. or 11 Mile Road) in St. Clair Shores.
  1. October 20th, Sunday 6:15 p.m. – VFW 4156 White Lake – "BINGO".  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!  VFW 4156 is located at 321 Union Lake Road in White Lake 48386.  Phone 248-698-8302.
--   Tim Wirkus  Volunteer  Southfield Veterans' Commission

Friday, October 11, 2013

Legion commends vet-friendly colleges for suspending fees during shutdown

Legion commends vet-friendly colleges for
suspending fees during shutdown
WASHINGTON (Oct. 9, 2013) -- The leader of the nation's largest veterans service organization is praising a handful of schools who are suspending tuition fees for active-duty servicemember students supported by Department of Defense's Military Tuition Assistance (TA) while the current government shutdown continues.
"The generosity of these institutions of higher learning is commendable and wise," said Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of The American Legion. "Obviously, these schools' administrators understand and appreciate the sacrifices already being made by our servicemembers and their families. To compound those difficulties by introducing the financial strain of unpaid tuition, or by threatening the continuation of their Military Tuition Assistance-supported students' academic studies, would be unfortunate, indeed.  I am heartened by the actions of the schools who are obviously cognizant of the quality of these students and the promise of their post graduation contributions to our nation."
Northeastern University in Boston, Columbia College in Columbia, Mo., and National University in San Diego are among the schools announcing tuition payment suspensions for military students.
This past weekend, Northeastern University assured the more than 100 active-duty men and women currently enrolled as students there that the university would provide whatever financial assistance was needed to prevent a disruption in their education. University President Joseph E. Aoun reportedly wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel urging a reversal of DoD's decision to halt the processing of TA program applications in light of the government shutdown.
In announcing Columbia College's military-friendly tuition policy, Mike Lederle – assistant dean for military and federal programs – said, "This is an opportunity to create some consistency and stability for our military students.  We value the contributions of our servicemember students, and we want to continue to help them during this time of uncertainty."
Similarly, National University President Dr. Michael Cunningham said, "We are not going to allow a government shutdown to adversely impact the academic pursuits of our active-duty military students. Our nation has a shortage of citizens with four-year and advanced degrees. To maintain our position in the global economy we must continue to ensure those who want to pursue a degree have the opportunity to do so – especially those who have served our country so honorably."
Contacts: Marty Callaghan: 202-263-5758/202-215-8644, or Craig Roberts: 202-263-2982/202-406-0887, A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at

Update: President Signs Death Benefits, Legion thanks him

Legion thanks President for signing death benefits
            INDIANAPOLIS (October 10, 2013) – Just a couple of hours after the leader of the nation's largest veterans organization took strong issue with the White House's description of a bill which would restore death benefits for fallen military servicemembers, the national commander of The American Legion thanked the president for signing the belated legislation.
"While I'm still disappointed that the White House press secretary called this important legislation a 'gimmick,' I am extremely gratified that President Obama has signed it into law and the military families that have sacrificed so much can now get this small financial benefit that they would prefer not to need in the first place," National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said. "This is proof that when the Senate, House and president want to get something done, they can make it happen. Now let's get on with re-opening the government and making sure that veterans and their families can receive their benefits, visit their memorials and continue the work of keeping us safe."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

VA regional offices shut down

VA regional offices shut down
Because of the continuing government shutdown, VA closes all
public services at its regional offices
WASHINGTON (Oct. 8, 2013) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced it is placing more than 7,000 employees on furlough, effective Oct. 8, a move that will eliminate public access to all 56 of its Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) regional offices.
As a result of the furloughs, VBA can no longer conduct personal interviews and hearings, process GI Bill benefits, offer educational or vocational counseling, or provide outreach activities and programs -- including VetSuccess on Campus. The reduced work force also means that American Legion service officers are unable to use office space allocated to them at the regional offices.
Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of The American Legion, expressed outrage at the latest impact of the government shutdown on veterans. "Because Congress and the White House refuse to speak to each other, our country's veterans are suffering more with each passing day of this extremely dangerous impasse.
"Now we've reached the point where VA can't even process benefits claims for our men and women who served in uniform. Our nation's leaders need a reality check. Do they really think they are serving the best interests of our veterans -- or the best interests of all Americans -- by forcing government agencies to shut down?"
On Oct. 4, Dellinger held a press conference at the World War II Memorial in Washington, a memorial that was initially closed to World War II veterans and is still closed to the public. He told reporters that the House of Representatives, the Senate and President Obama were all to blame for the shutdown.
Besides the 7,000 VBA workers furloughed, VA has also placed more than 2,700 OIT workers on furlough. This means that all development of VA software has ceased, including work on the Veterans Benefits Management System, which VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has repeatedly identified as a key component to eliminating the claims backlog.
In a statement, VA said claims processing will continue until funding is exhausted, "which is projected to happen in late October." Mandatory overtime for claims processors, scheduled to continue until Nov. 16, has also been abruptly halted.
VA employees who staff the department's compensation and pension call centers are still on the job. Veterans who want to file benefits claims or check on a claim's status can still do so by calling (800) 827-1000.
VBA also announced it will no longer be able to respond to congressional inquiries until appropriations have been restored.
Secretary Shinseki is scheduled to testify Oct. 9 at a House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing that will examine the impact of the current government shutdown on VA operations.
Contacts: Marty Callaghan: 202-263-5758/202-215-8644, or Craig Roberts: 202-263-2982/202-406-0887, A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at

Friday, October 4, 2013

Congress is missing its chance to help America's veterans

Congress is missing its chance to help America's veterans
WASHINGTON (Oct. 2, 2013) -- The House of Representatives failed to pass a bill yesterday that would have guaranteed payments of benefits to America's veterans beyond this month as a partial shutdown of the federal government continues.
The Honoring Our Promise to America's Veterans Act, which failed by a 264-164 vote, also would have provided funding to the Veterans Benefits Administration so that processors could continue to work overtime to reduce the massive backlog of undecided claims.
"Yesterday, Congress had a chance to put America's veterans before politics and failed," said Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of The American Legion, the nation's largest veterans service organization. "Because of its inability to pass legislation for necessary VA funding, Congress is jeopardizing veterans and their families who won't be receiving their benefits payments next month if the government shutdown continues.
"Veterans and their families should be protected from this impasse and should not be made pawns in the budget debate."
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the overtime put in by claims processors over the past six months has helped to reduce the backlog by about 190,000 claims. Because of the government shutdown, VA said in a statement, "this clear progress for veterans and their families is at risk without immediate action by Congress to make fiscal year 2014 funding available by passing a clean (continuing resolution) to reopen the government."
Dellinger said if VA is forced to cancel overtime for its claims processors, "hard-fought progress in the battle to reduce the backlog of undecided benefits claims will be deliberately forfeited. Years of hard work and dedication have finally achieved a reduction in the backlog.
"The withdrawal of VA's commitment to put in the overtime to solve the problem stands to rebuild the backlog, leaving thousands of veterans and their families in limbo. Veterans and their families are not responsible for this federal-spending conflict. They should not be victimized by it."
VA claims processors have been working a minimum of 20 hours' overtime per month, and were scheduled to continue that workload through mid-November, when working overtime would then become voluntary through the end of this year.
While overtime claims processing and benefits payments to veterans are continuing for now, VA said in the event of a prolonged government shutdown, "claims processing and payments in these programs would be suspended when available funding is exhausted."
Although Congress has yet to address the looming VA default in benefits payments, it has taken action to protect the paychecks of America's servicemembers. A bill signed into law by President Obama on Sept. 30 will keep paychecks flowing to members of the military and many Department of Defense civilian workers, despite the government shutdown.
The Pay Our Military Act, which passed the House and Senate without opposition Monday and was signed into law, protects military paychecks and the jobs of many civilian employees of the Defense Department. The American Legion called for such protections.
Contacts: Marty Callaghan:202-263-5758/202-215-8644, or Craig Roberts: 202-263-2982/202-406-0887, A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at

American Legion leader to address press about government shutdown

American Legion leader to address press
about government shutdown
WASHINGTON (Oct. 3, 2013) -- The leader of the nation's largest wartime veterans' service organization will conduct a high profile press conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Oct. 4.  With the National World War II Memorial as a backdrop, Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of the 2.4-million member American Legion, is to present his organization's views on the current partial shutdown of the federal government and how the suspension of services affects military veterans and their families.
Topics to be addressed include the current state and possible future of veterans benefits payments, how the much publicized Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits application processing backlog could be exacerbated by the government shutdown, the effects of the shutdown on VA medical facilities and the delivery of healthcare to veterans among other matters.
While at the World War II Memorial, Commander Dellinger will be flanked by Peter Gaytan, executive director of the Legion's Washington, D.C. headquarters, and numerous Legionnaires. Joining them, it is hoped, will be a contingent of World War II veterans hosted by the Honor Flight Network, a national, non-profit organization that transports "Greatest Generation" soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to Washington as a tribute to their service. Despite the government shutdown and the resultant temporary barricading of such sites as the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, veterans and their loved ones continue to visit these places of honor. 
The news conference is set for 10:00 a.m. ET, Fri. Oct. 4 at the National World War II Memorial, 17th St., SW, Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: Craig Roberts, 202.263.2982, 202.406.0887 cell,