Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Half-staff United States Flag - Saturday, December 7 - National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

In accordance with United States Code Title 36, Chapter 1, Section 129, the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation (per Flag Code section 7(m)) for the United States Flag to be displayed at half-staff for the entire day on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Saturday, December 7.


When issued, the proclamation will be found on the White House WebPages @ http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions.





Friday, November 22, 2013

Veteran Events & Announcements 11/21 to 11/28

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Things are slowing down now!  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 4 new items on it!  You can also go to the Legion 328 website to download any flyer for these future events. 
http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html  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:


"Adopt a Vet Family" The last few years the Brain Injury Association has had success with matching up Veteran or Military Service Member families in need of assistance with groups or individuals looking to adopt them for the holidays. The Veteran/Service Member must be willing to provide their contact info, address, names, ages, sexes, and sizes for clothing, etc. and a brief paragraph or two about them and their situation. Please provide their names and information to Rick as soon as possible via email or at 810-229-5880.


"Saturday, November 23, 2013" The South Oakland Shelter is hosting their 5th annual Dancing with the Stars program at the Townsend Hotel, 100 Townsend St, Birmingham, from 7PM to Midnight. Wear your dancing shoes and help raise money for an organization that helps homeless veterans here in Oakland County. See the official website for more information.

And from our friends at the VFW:
  1. November 21st, Thursday 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.  VFW 2358 is located 25671 Gratiot in Roseville, just ½ block South of Frazho.  Phone number is (586) 771-0173.  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
  2. November 22nd, Friday 9:00 a.m. – "MICHIGAN GAMING BOARD HEARING".  The Michigan Gaming Board has scheduled this hearing on the proposed rules for Charity Games.  Plan to attend or find someone to attend this hearing.  This is the "only" hearing that will take place in front of the agency that drafted the proposed rules.  It is a critical part of the rule making process.  Location is at Michigan Historical Library & Museum Forum located at 702 W. Kalamazoo Street in Lansing, MI 48909.  THIS IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
7.      November 22nd, Friday 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – VFW 1669 Royal Oak – "BURGER & FRIES or ONION RINGS for $5.50".  Your choice of a Burger & Fries or a Burger & Onion Rings for $5.50.  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.
  1. November 22nd, Friday 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., VFW 6802 Richmond – "ALL YOU CAN FISH FRY for $10".  Includes, Baked Potato or French Fries, Cole Slaw, Roll & Butter, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Fruit Salad, Cottage Cheese, Cake and Coffee.   All for Just $10.  Post 6802 is located at 34339 Division in Richmond.  48062.  Phone (586) 727-1436.
  2. November 22nd, Friday 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – VFW 2645 Southfield.  "FRIDAY NIGHT FISH FRY".  COD Fish Dinner for $8, CATFISH or PERCH Dinner for $7.50, CHICKEN FINGER Dinner for $7.50, JUMBO SHRIMP Dinner for $9, WING DINGS & FRIES for $7, COMBO Dinners for $9.50, SANDWICHES for $5 and POUND CAKE per slice at $1.50.  Sides include French-Fries, Cole Slaw, Spaghetti, and Macaroni & Cheese.  Extra Sides $1.50.  Extra Fish $2.50.  Beverage is available.  Dine In or Take Out.  Call Ahead for Quicker Service at (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.
  3. November 22nd, 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.
  4. November 22nd, 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.  VFW 2358 is located 25671 Gratiot in Roseville, just ½ block South of Frazho.  Phone number is (586) 771-0173.  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
12.  November 22nd, 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.
  1. November 24th, Sunday 6:15 p.m. – VFW 4156 White Lake – "BINGO".  VFW 4156 is located at 321 Union Lake Road in White Lake 48386.  Phone 248-698-8302.
--   Tim Wirkus  Volunteer  Southfield Veterans' Commission  southfieldvets@prodigy.net  www.southfieldvets.org

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

American Legion fights TRICARE increases

American Legion fights TRICARE increases
Commander says troops, military retirees and their families should not be targeted
in new efforts to cut federal costs.
WASHINGTON (Nov. 19, 2013) – The leader of The American Legion says he strongly opposes White House pressures to raise the cost of TRICARE coverage for some military retirees. TRICARE is the Department of Defense's health-care insurance program for uniformed servicemembers, military retirees and their family members.
As Military.com writer Richard Sisk reports, the White House, as part of 2014 defense budget discussions, is urging the Pentagon to slow the growth of TRICARE costs by phasing in an increase in the TRICARE Prime plan's current enrollment fee for working age retirees as well as raising co-pays for military retirees under the age of 65.
"We have been down this road before," said Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of the 2.4 million member American Legion. "So, we must again strongly reiterate our opposition to TRICARE fee increases or the imposition of new fees for military retirees, regardless of their age. While we appreciate fiscal realities and acknowledge White House and Pentagon concerns about what they term 'spiraling personnel costs,' we remain steadfast in our belief that economies should not be made at the expense of those who have already sacrificed much for our country."
During their latest national convention, leaders of The American Legion adopted a resolution http://archive.legion.org/bitstream/handle/123456789/2110/2012N024.pdf?sequence=1 opposing an earlier move to raise military health-care insurance fees and premiums. The resolution read, in part:  "The American Legion sees this proposal as an erosion of quality of life earned benefits from a grateful nation for honorable military service; now, therefore, be it resolved…that The American Legion is strongly opposed to proposed hikes in premiums and or enrollment fees being paid by enrollees in the military's health insurance program known as TRICARE."
Contacts: Craig Roberts: 202-263-2982/202-406-0887, croberts@legion.org or Marty Callaghan: 202-263-5758/202-215-8644, mcallaghan@legion.org. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at www.legion.org.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

VA Reduces Backlog of Disability Claims 34 Percent since March

Backlog of Disability Claims Reduced by 34 Percent since March

93 Percent of Claims Over One Year Old Completed

WASHINGTON (Nov. 7, 2013) –The Department of Veterans Affairs has made significant progress in reducing the backlog of disability compensation claims – from 611,000 to 400,835 or 34 percent -- since peaking in March.  Concurrently, VA improved the accuracy of disability ratings, and provided hundreds of thousands of claims decisions to Veterans who have waited the longest.  

"Veterans shouldn't have to wait for the benefits they've earned," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.  "This has never been acceptable, but we are executing our plans and moving in the right direction to meet our 2015 goal of eliminating the backlog.  We still have more work to do, but we are making clear progress and no one is more committed than our VBA employees, more than half of whom are Veterans themselves." 

Since the VA launched the initiative to eliminate the oldest claims first, claims processors at the 56 regional offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) have been focused on claims that had been waiting longer than one year.  As of Nov. 4, VBA has completed 93 percent of these older claims, resulting in over 476,000 decisions for Veterans since the initiative began on April 19.  The proportion of claims decisions that resulted in benefits being granted remained on par with historical averages—between 65 and 70 percent.

At the same time, the accuracy of rating decisions has improved.  The three-month average for decision accuracy when evaluating a complete claim file is 90 percent -- a 5 percentage point improvement since 2011, and a 7 percentage point improvement since 2010.  The three-month average accuracy for rating individual medical conditions inside each claim has climbed three points to 96.7 percent since December 2012.

VBA also directed 20 hours of mandatory overtime per month for claims processors, and worked with the Veterans Health Administration to place VA physicians in regional offices to review medical evidence to help speed decisions.  Mandatory overtime was halted during the government shutdown in October, but has been re-established and will continue through Nov. 23.  VBA anticipates mandatory overtime to continue in 2014, based on available funding.  Optional overtime for claims processors will remain in effect.

"I am grateful to our employees, many who have been working long periods of overtime since May, for their great dedication in helping our Veterans get the benefits they've earned," said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.  "I talk to them every day and they are committed to building on their record-breaking progress, helping transform the VA into a paperless system, and ending the backlog for good."

In the coming months, VBA will continue its effort on further reducing the backlog, focusing on those claims that have been pending the longest.  VBA will also continue to prioritize disability claims for homeless Veterans, those experiencing extreme financial hardship, the terminally ill, former Prisoners of War, Medal of Honor recipients, and Veterans filing Fully Developed Claims (FDC).  Filing an electronic FDC is the quickest way for Veterans to receive a decision on their compensation claim (http://www.benefits.va.gov/fdc/). 

Regardless of the status of their compensation claims, Veterans who have served in combat since Nov. 11, 1998, are eligible for five years of free medical care from VA for most conditions.

Veterans can learn more about disability and other Veterans benefits on the joint Department of Defense/VA web portal eBenefits at www.ebenefits.va.gov


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Michigan Secretary of State - Veteran designation is on track for May 2014

Veteran designation is on track for May 2014

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said Michigan is on track to begin issuing  a veterans designation on driver's licenses and state ID cards in May 2014 for the state's nearly 700,000 veterans.

To obtain the designation when it becomes available, veterans will be required to provide proof of past active military service with honorable or general discharge.

Johnson said the designation will make it easier for veterans to obtain the services and benefits they have earned and deserve.

Noted in the 

SOS Express News from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson sent Friday Nov 8th, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Message from National Commander Dan Dellinger

Dear Legion Family Members and Friends,
As veterans, we have a special bond regardless of when we served. While there are millions of us scattered around this great nation of ours, we represent a tiny percentage of America's population.
To many people, Veterans Day is a day off work or school. To some retailers, this day of honor becomes little more than a prop in a patriotic-themed advertisement.
As members of The American Legion - America's Veterans Service Organization - it is up to us to deliver the messages of service, sacrifice and patriotism, especially on and around Nov. 11.
I hope that you will take time out of your busy lives this Veterans Day weekend to help honor all veterans and the families that support them. Many posts and communities have Veterans Day parades or similar events. The Hollywood post, for example, is hosting a nationwide telethon on Sunday night. These are great opportunities to raise awareness of the role that veterans have played.
If you are able to participate in larger events such asAmerica's Parade in New York City or the gatherings in Washington, D.C., I would encourage you to do so.
This is also an opportune time to not only reflect on your service, or the service of others, but to share those stories so that future generations will understand how we persevered to keep our nation safe. The Legion's Honor & Remembrance web pageis a perfect way to tell those stories. To contribute stories about your military service, a family's military legacy or how you are honoring veterans this weekend, please visit www.legiontown.org to submit a story and/or photos.
Thank you for working on behalf of veterans, servicemen and women, and the communities in which they live. 

For God and Country,
Dan Dellinger
National Commander