Tuesday, July 29, 2014

American Legion says compromise bill is 'critical component' for VA improvement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
American Legion says compromise bill is 'critical component' for VA improvement
The measure would seek to correct longstanding systemic problems within the department
WASHINGTON (July 28, 2014) – The country's largest wartime veterans organization welcomed the introduction of a bill in Congress that would fix longstanding, widespread problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs, which have impaired its ability to deliver timely health care and benefits to America's veterans.
At a news conference today, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., discussed their joint sponsorship of the Veterans Access to Care Act of 2014, a compromise measure that emerged from previous bills introduced in the House and Senate.
"This measure is a critical component in developing a long-term solution to problems that have dogged the VA for years," said American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger. "We know that Sen. Sanders and Rep. Miller have labored diligently to reach bipartisan consensus. But it would be a great mistake to see this legislation as a one-time fix for all the woes that have been hobbling VA's performance and credibility."
Sanders, chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, said at the news conference that the bill "makes certain that we will address the immediate crisis of veterans being forced onto long waiting lines for health care. It strengthens the VA so that it will be able to hire the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel it needs, so that we can put a permanent end to long waiting lists.
"It addresses the very serious problems of accountability and makes certain that dishonest and incompetent senior officials at the VA do not remain employed there…."
Sanders said funding for veterans needs must be considered "a cost of war."
Miller, who chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, said, "We have a VA that is in crisis today. This agreement will go a long way to helping resolve the crisis that exists out there today. Helping to get veterans off of waiting lists is extremely important and this bill does that."
The VA reform bill, Miller said, "starts a conversation, I think, about VA for the future. Sen. Sanders and I differ about certain things but one thing that we do agree about is that the veterans of this country deserve the best-quality health care that they can get, in a timely fashion – and that has not been the case as of late …. The VA is not sacred, the veteran is."
Major provisions of the bill include:
·       Authorization and funding for VA to contract with community providers to help get veterans immediate care for those who had to wait, or would have to travel excessive distances to VA facilities.
·       Authorization of 27 Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), which is one more than the number authorized by the Senate bill
·       Increased authority for the VA Secretary to manage senior personnel. Expedited authority to move or fire SES and other senior-grade executives.
·       Extension of the traumatic brain injury (TBI) resident pilot program.
·       $5 billion to help VA to hire more physicians.
·       $10B to help VA reduced the benefits claims backlog.
·       Continued VA development of an upgraded IT patient-scheduling system.
The bill would also require the establishment of a Commission on Capital Planning for VA medical facilities, in order to improve VA's capital asset processes -- from facility planning and individual project management to managing the multi-billion dollar backlog of facility construction and maintenance projects.
At his congressional testimony last September, Dellinger addressed The American Legion's concerns over VA's chronic cost-overruns and construction delays for new medical centers.
"We hope this commission, after thoroughly examining the way VA builds facilities, will have some useful recommendations to make. In any case, we appreciate Congress's interest in taking a very close look at the department's construction process."
The bill would also establish another commission to examine VA health-care access issues and recommend actions to bolster capacity. A report to the president would be required within 90 days of the commission's first meeting.
-30-
 
Media contact: Marty Callaghan:202-263-5758/202-341-8900, mcallaghan@legion.org. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at www.legion.org.
 
 
 

Monday, July 28, 2014

VA budget request snags veterans health bill


 
The American Legion
Dear Legion Family Members and Friends,

Today, I want to share with you a joint statement regarding the inappropriate posturing by members of Congress following a request made by Sloan Gibson, acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Gibson requested emergency funding of $17.6 billion  to help repair access problems for veterans seeking VA health care.

What follows is a joint statement from myself representing The American Legion, Stewart Hickey, executive director of AMVETS (American Veterans), and Pete Hegseth, chief executive officer of Concerned Veterans for America:

"Regardless of the merits, a last-minute VA request for $17.6 billion dollars in additional spending only hampers an already difficult VA conference committee negotiating process. Both the House and Senate VA reform bills that passed were centered on two things—accountability and access. It is disgraceful and utterly painful to see bipartisan efforts erode and lawmakers lose sight of what's important. Negotiations, which should happen in public, not behind closed doors, must stay focused on ensuring VA leadership is held accountable and veterans have timely access to care. All other discussions only undermine a critically important process.

"We urge Congress to take immediate action to regain their focus on ensuring the VA Secretary exercises their authority to hold management and staff accountable for their inappropriate behavior, and immediately stop the corruption and mismanagement within the VA. Before asking for more money, the VA must start making good on the nation's promise to its honored veterans."


For God and Country,
 
Dan Dellinger
National Commander
Dan Dellinger

Dan Dellinger
National Commander
The American Legion

National Emergency Fund
National Emergency Fund
The American Legion
 



Vet Groups Hit Sanders Over Bill Negotiations

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/07/25/vet-groups-hit-sanders-over-bill-negotiations.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=1

Vet Groups Hit Sanders Over Bill Negotiations

Jul 25, 2014 | by Bryant Jordan

Three veterans' organizations issued a statement on Friday chiding lawmakers for inserting a $17.6 billion supplemental budget request into conference committee negotiations on veterans' legislation.
"Regardless of the merits, a last-minute [Department of Veterans Affairs] request for $17.6 billion dollars in additional spending only hampers an already difficult VA conference committee negotiating process," the statement from The American Legion, AMVETS and Concerned Veterans for America read.
The statement comes as Congress readies to adjourn for the summer and lawmakers are trying to come up with a bill acceptable to all sides that can be passed and signed into law quickly.
The statement also served to distance the three groups from a letter signed by 16 other veterans' organizations and touted on Thursday by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, to show support for the supplemental funding.
None of the three groups signed the letter, which Lou Celli, legislative director for The American Legion, said Sanders used to "make it appear as though there was broad and united support among the veterans organizations"  regarding the funding.
Celli said the Legion would have liked to sign on, but could not because no one at the VA, the White House or Congress could show how VA came up with the number.
The letter sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees noted that Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson's testimony that the department needs $17.6 billion from now through 2017.
Celli said a paragraph stating that Congress "must quickly approve supplemental funding that fully meets the critical needs identified by Secretary Gibson" is what caused the Legion to back away from the message.
"It was agonizing for us," Celli said. "The reason is not that we're opposed to additional funding for the VA, but [no one] could explain what went into coming up with that figure."
The $17.6 billion emergency funding was first put before Congress earlier this month by Gibson, who said that was the amount needed to quickly end the backlog in appointments and get the country's veterans<http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits> into VA care.
The testimony came even as House and Senate lawmakers were in discussion to resolve separate bills already passed that were aimed at improving access to healthcare. The VA, already under fire over a backlog in disability claims, has been under intense scrutiny since May after media reports that VA hospitals across the country were manipulating patient data to conceal the fact thousands of veterans were not getting the care they were seeking.
In dozens of cases veterans on a so-called secret wait list died before getting an appointment.
The scandal finally resulted in the resignations of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
Gibson's mid-July testimony led to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., adding the $17.6 billion request in to conference committee negotiations.
Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who co-chairs the committee with Sanders, and other Republican lawmakers, have balked at the sudden inclusion of the multi-billion-dollar request<http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/07/17/lawmaker-doubts-vas-17-billion-budget-request.html>.
On Thursday, both men released proposals for a bill they could agree on, but not before bickering led to a GOP-only meeting on the House side and a press conference<http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/07/24/senate-and-house-bicker-over-va-funding-bill.html> by Sanders and Democrats on the Senate side, where they chided Miller and the Republicans.
Miller on Thursday said he would go along with pretty much everything in the Senate version of the bill, but instead of agreeing to a $17.6 billion supplemental, offer $10 billion that would go to improving access to medical care and $102 million to cover VA funding shortfalls for the remainder of 2014.
But anything more than that, he said, should go through the regular appropriations process.
Celli said The American Legion believes the same thing.
During a House Veterans Affairs committee hearing on Thursday, only Disabled American Veterans Legislative Director Joseph Violante responded positively when asked if his group supported the $17.6 billion request.
Officials from the Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Vietnam Veterans of America showed less faith in the VA figure than would be guessed from the letter sent to Sanders.
"The $17.6 number we're not going to defend because we don't know how it came there," Rick Weidman, government affairs executive director of VVA, told the panel. He said VVA was more concerned that VA be more accountable for how it spends the money it gets, noting that millions it has been given in the past for programs have vanished with nothing to show for it.
IAVA Legislative Director Alex Nicholson said his organization "certainly supports giving the VA more resources, and believes it does need more. Whether or not $17.6 billion is the exact number we don't know and I don't think anyone knows. Our concern is making sure VA is well resourced."
-- Bryant Jordan can be reached at bryant.jordan@monster.com<mailto:bryant.jordan@monster.com>

Related Topics  Congress<http://www.military.com/topics/congress> Department of Veteran Affairs<http://www.military.com/topics/department-of-veteran-affairs> Legislation<http://www.military.com/topics/legislation> Bryant Jordan<http://www.military.com/topics/bryant-jordan>
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Friday, July 25, 2014

VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System OEF/OIF/OND Facebook Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, July 30 at 12 Noon

Please help us spread the word about an upcoming Facebook Town Hall Meeting we are having on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 12:00 noon. We will have subject matter experts and clinical providers on hand to answer any questions about VA healthcare that OEF/OIF/OND Veterans may have. Please pass along to any OEF/OIF/OND Veterans you know.

 

 

 

Semper Fi,

 

Derek D. Atkinson, VHA-CM

Public Affairs Officer (006)

VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System

2215 Fuller Road

Ann Arbor, MI 48105

(Office): (734)845-5043

(Cell): (734)548-3451

(Fax): (734)845-3245

derek.atkinson@va.gov

Description: Facebook_Icon_30x30Description: Twitter_Icon_30x30

cid:image003.jpg@01CD7BA3.A686F300

 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Veteran Events & Announcements 7/24 to 7/31

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 3 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  

You can get a monthly view of events by going to:
http://www.michiganveteranresources.com/Events.aspx

ANNOUNCEMENTS!

"Golf, Golf, & more Golf" It's that time of year when everyone is hosting a golf outing. To help you duffers pick the ones you like I am listing them here. Date, group hosting & where the golf takes place:

  • "Saturday, August 2, 2014" Great Lakes National Cemetery in Lepeer. Flyer
  • "Saturday, August 2, 2014" Pontiac VVA Chapter 133 at Highland Hills. Flyer.
  • "Saturday, August 2, 2014 " Wayne State SVA in Novi. Flyer.
  • "Friday, August 8, 2014" Marine Corps League at Selfridge. Flyer
  • "Saturday, August 16, 2014" Garden City AM Legion in Dearborn Hgts. Flyer
  • "Sunday, August 17, 2014" MI Women Marine Association at Selfridge. Flyer
  • "Monday, August 18, 2014" Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund in South Lyon. Flyer.
  • "Thursday, September 11, 2014" Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund in South Lyon. Flyer.
  • "Sunday, September 14, 2014 " Macomb Homeless Coalition in Macomb. Flyer.
  • "Saturday, September 20, 2014 " Pontiac VFW in Oakland Charter Twp. Flyer.

"Tiger Baseball Tickets" Active members and Veterans of the military are eligible to purchase half-price box office dynamically priced Upper Box Infield and Upper Reserved tickets to all 2014 Monday-Thursday regular season home games excluding July 8, 9 and August 26, 27 and 28. Tickets must be purchased at the Comerica Park Box Office and a valid military ID or Veteran ID must be presented at time of purchase. Service members may purchase a maximum of four (4) tickets per customer. This offer is based on availability. http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/community/saluteheroes.jsp

EVENTS

"Saturday, July 26, 2014" The Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund is holding a Live To Ride event which begins at 10AM at the 100 Proof Saloon, 207 N Hamilton, Saginaw and ends at the Sanford American Legion in Sanford. Rider fee is $20, passenger is $10, with all money supporting their fund to help veterans. For more information see attached flyer or their website.

"Saturday, July 26, 2014" Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 154, is hosting its annual Ride for Hospitalized Veterans, with a line up at 10AM at Wolverine Harley-Davision, 44660 Gratiot, Clinton Twp. Riders will then ride to the VA Hospital in Detroit. To run you must donate one item (see flyer) or pay $10. For complete info and a list of needed items call 586-776-9810 or see flyer.

"Saturday, July 26, 2014" Fowlerville will host their annual Armed Forces/Government Day Veterans Tribute at the Fowlerville Fairgrounds from Noon till 4PM. Many guest speakers will be attending. See flyer for complete info.

"Sunday, July 27, 2014" The Dearborn Allied War Veterans Council will be placing of a wreath to pay respect to those that died in the Korean War. Ceremony will take place at the Korean War Memorial outside of Dearborn City Hall, 13615 Michigan, Dearborn, starting at 10AM. A second ceremony will be held at the Living Korean War Memorial at the Ford CC, 15801 Michigan, at 10.45AM.

"Tuesday, July 29, 2014" Fred Waara Chapter Trout Unlimited is Partering with Vets with free Fly Casting Lessons, with all equipment provided, from 6:30 to 7:30PM, located at Lakenen Land near Marquette. For more information contact Phil at 906-249-9180 or see attached flyer.

Sorry, nothing this week from my friends at the VFW!
--   Tim Wirkus  Volunteer  Southfield Veterans' Commission  southfieldvets@prodigy.net  www.southfieldvets.org

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Military Retiree Appreciation Day Event - 20 September 2014

Request widest dissemination within your means - thank you

22 July 2014
To Whom It May   Concern:
The Ft McCoy Lower Michigan Retiree Affairs Council, located at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, are hosting their annual Appreciation Day for Retirees from the Uniformed   Military Services residing in Michigan and surrounding states on 20 September 2014.  
Request you publish or announce the following public release at your earliest convenience to facilitate registrations which will be closed on 10 September. If possible, please publish a second time closer to the event.
Thank you,
Michael F. Schmansky, Chief Master Sergeant, USAF Retired
Chairman, Retiree Activities Council
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MILITARY RETIREE APPRECIATION DAY, Selfridge ANG Base 
The Ft McCoy Lower Michigan Retiree Affairs Council is hosting the 2014 Retiree Appreciation Day on September 20th at the Joint Dining Facility, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan.  All Uniformed Military Services retirees (including reserve "Gray Area" retirees within a couple years of full retirement), their spouses, widows and widowers are cordially welcome to attend.  
Conference subjects include pension, TRICARE Medical and Dental benefits, pending legislation, National Cemeteries, and VA   activities.   
For more information call (586) 239-5580, toll free (800)645-9416 x239-5580, email selfrao@yahoo.com
 or view our website: http://www.detroitarsenalfmwr.com/community/rso.htm_.
The registration form and tentative agenda may be downloaded from the website.












UPDATED ADVISORY: Health Veterans Affairs Committee To Hear From Acting VA Secretary on Fixes to Dept. Health Care, Integrity, Accountability Failures

Please note the witness list has been updated below.


Media Advisory    
  

For Immediate Release
July 23, 2014
Media Contact: Curt Cashour

HVAC To Hear From Acting VA Secretary on Fixes to Dept. Health Care, Integrity, Accountability Failures

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs will hold a hearing on Thursday, July 24, 2014, at 9:30 AM in room 334 of the Cannon House Office Building to examine the steps VA has taken in response to the many problems facing the department, including extensive patient wait times, manipulation of data within the Veterans Health and Veterans Benefits Administrations as well as VA's widespread and systemic lack of accountability.

Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson will testify before the committee just over a week after telling the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs that VA would need $17.6 billion in additional funding over the next three years. Gibson's request came despite the fact that VA has had hundreds of millions more in medical care funding than it could spend each fiscal year since 2010 and after years of assertions from VA leaders at all levels that the department had nearly every dollar and every person necessary to accomplish its mission.

The committee will also hear from Gibson regarding VA's efforts to regain the trust of veterans, Congress, veterans service organizations and other important stakeholders in the wake of recent department scandals. The department's delays in care scandal came to light after an April 9 HVAC hearing revealed whistleblower allegations that senior Phoenix VA Health Care System officials were lying about medical appointment wait times. A subsequent internal VA audit found that some VA health care facilities suffer from a "systemic lack of integrity." In recent years, the relationship between VA and the committee has becoming increasingly strained, with VA officials instructing employees to stonewall Congress, providing misleading congressional testimony and VA's continued reluctance to respond to committee requests for information, of which there are 118, some dating back as far as 2012.

The following event is open to the press:
WHO:       House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
WHEN:    9:30 AM, Thursday, July 24, 2014
WHERE:  334 Cannon House Office Building and streaming at veterans.house.gov

The witness list is below.

WITNESS LIST

Panel 1
The Honorable Sloan D. Gibson
Acting Secretary
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Accompanied by:

Mr. Danny Pummill
Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits
Veterans Benefit Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Philip Matkovsky
Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Administrative Operations
Veterans Health Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Panel 2
Ms. Verna Jones
Veterans Affairs Director
The American Legion

Mr. Ryan M. Gallucci
Deputy Director, National Legislative Service
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

Mr. Carl Blake
Acting Associate Executive Director for Government Relations
Paralyzed Veterans of America

Mr. Joseph A. Violante
National Legislative Director
Disabled American Veterans

Mr. Rick Weidman
Executive Director of Government Affairs
Vietnam Veterans of America

Mr. Alex Nicholson
Legislative Director
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

###

For more news from the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, please visit:

Find us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/HouseVetsAffairs or follow us on Twitter at:



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

9th annual Metropolitan Detroit Veterans Day parade- Update

There's a lot going on, what with the M-1 light rail project to begin soon on Woodward Avenue, as well as a Veterans Expo being held at Cobo Hall that weekend, and the parade being an official event of the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War  Commemoration.
 
We are still working on times, route, ceremony; we will announce them as soon as determined.
 
The main thing is to keep the date of Saturday, November 8, 2014 penciled in. The parade will still be mid-morning staging and step off; exact times to be determined..
 
Get your registrations in, as soon as you can.
 
We welcome any donations, new members, volunteers. Spread the word. Remember, this is the only Veterans Day parade in Michigan,  recognized by the Dept of Veterans Affairs. It is a parade of Veterans, by Veterans, for Veterans. 
 
Our web-site, at     www.detroitveteransdayparade.org         will be updated as soon as possible.
 
Feel free to contact me, by e-mail, or phone, at (248) 569-0824 if you have any questions........
 
 
John Williams
Trustee, Metropolitan Detroit Veterans Coalition
American Legion Post # 253, Royal Oak MI
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 19, South Oakland County



--
Mark Sutton
Public Relations Director
The American Legion
Department of Michigan
(517) 371-4720 Ext 16

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Brooklyn American Legion Post 315
Is hosting a breakfast to benefit wounded soldiers!

Where:  211 Chicago St.  Brooklyn, MI 49230
When:  Sat 7/19 & Sun 7/20-from 7:00 AM to NOON
Cost:   $8.00 (includes: Juice, scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits & gravy)
At an additional cost there will be a full bar available to those 21 and over.

FREE TRANSPORTATION!

Pick up at MIS, to Legion for breakfast, and then back to MIS, with a stop at Country Market so you can pick up any needed supplies!


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, July 14, 2014

ATTENTION LEGIONNAIRES!!!!! Tonight's Hearing on Veterans' Benefits Administration

This is the big hearing tonight on CSPAN 2 at 7:30. 
 
Veterans Benefits Administration Evaluation Process
House Veterans' Affairs Committee
Full Committee Hearing
House Veterans' Affairs Committee (Chairman Miller, R-Fla.) will hold a hearing to discuss the Veterans Benefits Administration evaluation process.
Contact: Jon Towers - Staff Director at 202-225-3527
Updated
Date Monday, July 14, 7:30 p.m.
Place 334 Cannon Bldg.
Note Witnesses added.
Panel Whistleblowers, Veterans Benefits Administration
Panel Allison A. Hickey, undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for benefits, Veterans Benefits Administration
Diana Rubens, director, Philadelphia Regional Office, Veterans Benefits Administration
Thomas Murphy, director, Compensation Service, Veterans Benefits Administration
Linda Halliday, assistant inspector general for audits and evaluations, Office of Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs
Brent Arronte, director, San Diego Benefits Inspections Division, Office of Audits and Evaluations, Office of Inspector General
Daniel Bertoni, director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security, Government Accountability Office
 
 
 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Press Release: American Legion National Commander: 'If children can cross our borders, what about terrorists?'

American Legion  National Commander: 'If children can cross our borders, what about terrorists?'
 
WASHINGTON (July 11, 2014) – Calling the spike of illegal aliens entering the United States a "full-blown crisis," the leader of the nation's largest veterans organization called on President Obama to secure the borders and remove all economic benefits that incentivize and exacerbate the problem.
 
"If unaccompanied children can so easily enter the United States, what kind of message does this send to a committed foreign terrorist?" asked American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger. "It is inhumane to continue a policy that encourages children to risk violence and rape by human traffickers, or death in the desert. Moreover, we simply cannot afford the economic toll that it places on our country which is already burdened by an enormous national debt."
 
The American Legion has passed numerous national resolutions over the years opposing illegal immigration and amnesty. Dellinger added that "politics should never get in the way of securing our borders. The president should send the National Guard to our borders immediately.  On 'Meet the Press,' the Homeland Security Secretary repeatedly dodged the question as to whether the latest wave of people crossing the border would be deported. If given the opportunity, hundreds of millions of people from third world countries would love to live in the United States. We simply cannot sustain this invasion of our national sovereignty."
 
The American Legion's immigration strategy can be found here: http://www.legion.org/documents/legion/pdf/illegal_immigration_2013.pdf
-30-
 
Media contacts: John Raughter (317) 630-1253 / 317-441-8847 or Joe March (317) 630-1253 /(317) 748-1926.
 
  
 
 

Veteran Events & Announcements 7/10 to 7/17

Listed below are the events I have for the next 10 days here in the Metro Detroit area.  I have also attached my latest event listing which has 2 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  

You can get a monthly view of events by going to:
http://www.michiganveteranresources.com/Events.aspx

ANNOUNCEMENTS!

"Golf, Golf, & more Golf" It's that time of year when everyone is hosting a golf outing. To help you duffers pick the ones you like I am listing them here. Date, group hosting & where the golf takes place:

  • "Monday, July 14, 2014" Selfridge Air Show Group in Chesterfield Twp. Flyer.
  • "Saturday, July 19, 2014 " VVA 154 in Macomb Twp. Flyer.
  • "Sunday, July 20, 2014" Vet Treatment Courts in Oxford. Flyer.
  • "Saturday, August 2, 2014" Great Lakes National Cemetery in Lepeer. Flyer
  • "Saturday, August 2, 2014" Pontiac VVA Chapter 133 at Highland Hills. Flyer.
  • "Friday, August 8, 2014" Marine Corps League at Selfridge. Flyer
  • "Saturday, August 16, 2014" Garden City AM Legion in Dearborn Hgts. Flyer
  • "Sunday, August 17, 2014" MI Women Marine Association at Selfridge. Flyer
  • "Monday, August 18, 2014" Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund in South Lyon. Flyer.
  • "Thursday, September 11, 2014" Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund in South Lyon. Flyer.

"Tiger Baseball Tickets" Active members and Veterans of the military are eligible to purchase half-price box office dynamically priced Upper Box Infield and Upper Reserved tickets to all 2014 Monday-Thursday regular season home games excluding July 8, 9 and August 26, 27 and 28. Tickets must be purchased at the Comerica Park Box Office and a valid military ID or Veteran ID must be presented at time of purchase. Service members may purchase a maximum of four (4) tickets per customer. This offer is based on availability. http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/community/saluteheroes.jsp

EVENTS

"Friday, July 11, 2014" Neighborhood Legal Services & the VA Justice department will hold a seminar on Assistance for Homeless Veterans - Removing barriers to housing & on child support, expungements, tickets, etc. This will be held at the John Dingell VA Hospital, Room B1290 (Red Area) from 9AM till Noon. Seating is limited so contact the outreach program at 313-576-1000, ext 65537. See flyer for more information.

"Saturday, July 12, 2014" Suits for Soldiers, that helps make sure new veterans seeking employment are properly dressed, is hosting a bowling fundraiser at Classic Lanes, 2145 Avon Industrial Dr, Rochester, starting at 4PM. For a cost of $20 you get 2 games of bowling, shoes, pizza, & pop. For more info contact Sarah at 248-757-8829 or see flyer.

"Saturday, July 12, 2014" CTK Veterans Ministry is holding its Veterans Summer Hog Roast from 11AM till 4PM at Christ the King Community Church, 1550 W Drahner Rd, Oxford. This is a free event for all veterans and their families. See flyer for more info.

"Saturday, July 12, 2014" The Michigan War Dog Memorial, 11 Mile & Milford Rd, S Lyon, will be conducting a burial for MWD Chyan with full military honors at Noon. MWD Chyan served in Bosnia, Iraq, & Afghanistan.

"Thursday, July 17, 2014" Team River Runner is hosting a wounded veteran fishing event at Tourist Park in Marquette, from 6 to 8PM. Learn how to fish with free instructions & equipment. Contact Sarah at 906-228-5744 for more information or see flyer.

"Friday & Saturday, July 17 & 18, 2014 (NEW)" The Michigan Veterans Foundation is holding its annual homeless veteran Stand Down at their location, 2770 Park, Detroit. They are in need of numerous items to help the homeless veteran population in Detroit. See attached on how you can help and a listing of items needed or call Sarah at 313-831-5500.

And from our friends at the VFW:
  1. July 11th, Friday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – Bruce Post 1146 St. Clair Shores – "CRUISING at the BRUCE".  Food & Beverage available.  Post 1146 is located at 28404 Jefferson (N. of 11 Mile Road) in St. Clair Shores. 
 
  1. July 11th, Friday - VFW 2645 Southfield - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. "FRIDAY FISH FRY". 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. July 11th, Friday 3:00 p.m. to Midnight – VFW 9507 Madison Heights – "Burger & Fries for $5.50".  Karaoke from 9 p.m. to Midnight.  $.75 for 12 oz. Draft Beer.  $1.75 for 22 oz. Draft Beer.  VFW 9507 is located at 630 E. 11 Mile Road in Madison Heights 48071.  Phone (248) 543-2557.
 
  1. July 11th, 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, VFW 1370 1st Annual Boot camp Burrito Challenge."  VFW 1370 is located at 791 Mae Court in Pontiac 48340.  Phone (248) 858-9501.
 
10.  July 11th, 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. of 11 Mile Road) in St. Clair Shores.
 
  1. July 11th, 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.
 
  1. July 13th, Sunday 9:00 a.m. – "4th & 5th DISTRICT TRAINING SESSION" at Village-Stinson Post 9021 Warren.  ALL ELECTED OFFICERS SHOULD ATTEND AND RECEIVE VALUABLE TRAINING ON THEIR POSITIONS.  ALL POST MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND AND LEARN ABOUT THE POST POSITIONS & PROCEDURES.   Post 9021 is located at 32100 Ryan Road in Warren 48092.  Just North of 13 Mile Road on Ryan.
 
  1. July 13th, 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  southfieldvets@prodigy.net  www.southfieldvets.org


Action Alert: Message from Legion Commander



Take Action
Action Alert: Message from Legion Commander
Legion to Senate: Ratify the Disability Treaty

Take Action!

Contact Your Senators Now!
 

(July 10, 2014)  American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger is calling on the Senate to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) before the month is out.  Commander Dellinger is also strongly urging all Legionnaires and veteran advocates to contact their U.S. senators immediately to ask them to support ratification.

An international disability treaty inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities, the CRPD creates a framework for legislation and policies around the world to improve the lives of all people with disabilities, including millions of disabled American veterans who travel abroad.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was the model for the CRPD, and the treaty echoes its values of independence and respect for persons with disabilities, as well as reasonable accommodations.

The U.S. Armed Forces stand for the importance of promoting human rights and dignity around the world, and in the power of the United States to be a leader in the fight for these ideals.  Supporting the CRPD is in keeping with these ideals.  By ratifying it, the U.S. would not only clearly demonstrate its commitment to protecting the rights of people with disabilities but would have the opportunity to participate in the discussions going on at the international level about how to best promote and protect those rights in practice.

Some have expressed misgivings about the treaty.  However, The American Legion is confident these concerns can be addressed by the adoption of a set of treaty conditions called reservations, understandings and declarations.  These protect U.S. sovereignty, ensure parental rights and recognize the treaty as a nondiscrimination instrument, similar to the landmark ADA.  Furthermore, the CRPD has bipartisan support.  More than 700 American organizations, including over 20 of the top veterans organizations, faith-based groups, civil rights organizations, disability groups, and business leaders like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have pledged their support to this treaty.

Please stand with Commander Dellinger by contacting your Senators now and ask them to pass CRPD now.

(If received by email, scroll up and click the Take Action link, otherwise see below and send a prepared message to your senators. Also, Like this on Facebook. Twitter #CRPD)

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Veteran Events & Announcements 7/3 to 7/10

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 9 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  

You can get a monthly view of events by going to:
http://www.michiganveteranresources.com/Events.aspx

ANNOUNCEMENTS!
HAPPY 4TH!

"Golf, Golf, & more Golf" It's that time of year when everyone is hosting a golf outing. This week I added 1 new one! To help you duffers pick the ones you like I am listing them here. Date, group hosting & where the golf takes place:

  • "Monday, July 14, 2014" Selfridge Air Show Group in Chesterfield Twp. Flyer.
  • Saturday, July 19, 2014 (NEW)" VVA 154 in Macomb Twp. Flyer.
  • "Sunday, July 20, 2014" Vet Treatment Courts in Oxford. Flyer.
  • "Saturday, August 2, 2014" Great Lakes National Cemetery in Lepeer. Flyer
  • "Saturday, August 2, 2014" Pontiac VVA Chapter 133 at Highland Hills. Flyer.
  • "Friday, August 8, 2014" Marine Corps League at Selfridge. Flyer
  • "Saturday, August 16, 2014" Garden City AM Legion in Dearborn Hgts. Flyer
  • "Sunday, August 17, 2014" MI Women Marine Association at Selfridge. Flyer
  • "Monday, August 18, 2014" Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund in South Lyon. Flyer.
  • "Thursday, September 11, 2014" Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund in South Lyon. Flyer.

"Free Legal Services for Vets" Many veterans don't know that they can get a free attorney to help them appeal a veterans benefits claim denial at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program (http://www.vetsprobono.org/) is a nonprofit organization that provides free attorneys to any veteran or survivor with a viable case for benefits at the court. For more info you can also contact Ami Neiberger-Miller at ami@steppingstoneLLC.com

"Tiger Baseball Tickets" Active members and Veterans of the military are eligible to purchase half-price box office dynamically priced Upper Box Infield and Upper Reserved tickets to all 2014 Monday-Thursday regular season home games excluding July 8, 9 and August 26, 27 and 28. Tickets must be purchased at the Comerica Park Box Office and a valid military ID or Veteran ID must be presented at time of purchase. Service members may purchase a maximum of four (4) tickets per customer. This offer is based on availability. http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/community/saluteheroes.jsp

EVENTS

"Saturday, July 5, 2014" The City of Westland is hosting the 338th Army Band for a free concert at their city hall, 35665 Ford Rd, Westland, starting at 6PM. This is a free event. For more info call 734-716-3432 or see attached flyer.

"Thursday, July 10, 2014" The Montford Point Detachment Marine Corps League is hosting a 4 day trip to Washington DC to visit all the war memorials there. Cost is $299, per person, double occupancy. For more information call 313-587-1206 or see attached flyer.

"Friday, July 11, 2014" Neighborhood Legal Services & the VA Justice department will hold a seminar on Assistance for Homeless Veterans - Removing barriers to housing & on child support, expungements, tickets, etc. This will be held at the John Dingell VA Hospital, Room B1290 (Red Area) from 9AM till Noon. Seating is limited so contact the outreach program at 313-576-1000, ext 65537. See flyer for more information.

"Saturday, July 12, 2014" Suits for Soldiers, that helps make sure new veterans seeking employment are properly dressed, is hosting a bowling fundraiser at Classic Lanes, 2145 Avon Industrial Dr, Rochester, starting at 4PM. For a cost of $20 you get 2 games of bowling, shoes, pizza, & pop. For more info contact Sarah at 248-757-8829 or see flyer.

"Saturday, July 12, 2014" CTK Veterans Ministry is holding its Veterans Summer Hog Roast from 11AM till 4PM at Christ the King Community Church, 1550 W Drahner Rd, Oxford. This is a free event for all veterans and their families. See flyer for more info.

"Saturday, July 12, 2014 (NEW)" The Michigan War Dog Memorial, 11 Mile & Milford Rd, S Lyon, will be conducting a burial for MWD Chyan with full military honors at Noon. MWD Chyan served in Bosnia, Iraq, & Afghanistan.

And from our friends at the VFW:
.      July 4th, Friday 10:00 a.m. – "1st ANNUAL BELL RINGING CEREMONY" at First Baptist Church of Wixom. Bring your Colors.  For further information, contact Pamala Young at (248) 981-4852.  First Baptist Church is located at 620 N. Wixom Road in Wixom.  Just North of Pontiac Trail and South of Maple Road.  
 
6.      July 4th, Friday 12 Noon – "BELL RINGING CEREMONY" at Post 7573 New Baltimore.  Arrive Early!  Ceremony starts at 12 Noon.  Please bring a dish to pass.  Post 7573 is located at 35011 23 Mile Road in New Baltimore 48047.  Phone (586) 725-7100.
 
  1. July 4th, Friday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – Bruce Post 1146 St. Clair Shores – "CRUISING at the BRUCE".  Food & Beverage available.  Post 1146 is located at 28404 Jefferson (N. of 11 Mile Road) in St. Clair Shores.
 
  1. July 4th, Friday - VFW 2645 Southfield - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. "FRIDAY FISH FRY CANCELLED".
 
  1. July 4th, Friday 3:00 p.m. to Midnight – VFW 9507 Madison Heights – "Burger & Fries for $5.50".  Karaoke from 9 p.m. to Midnight.  $.75 for 12 oz. Draft Beer.  $1.75 for 22 oz. Draft Beer.  VFW 9507 is located at 630 E. 11 Mile Road in Madison Heights 48071.  Phone (248) 543-2557.
 
  1. July 4th, 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, VFW 1370 is located at 791 Mae Court in Pontiac 48340.  Phone (248) 858-9501.
 
  1. July 4th, 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.
 
12.  July 4th, 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.
 
13.  July 6th, Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon - VFW 7573 New Baltimore – "BIG BREAKFAST".  Includes Eggs and Omelets to Order, Scrambled Eggs, French Toast, Homemade Gravy, Biscuits, Bacon, Sausage, and Potatoes.  Minimum donation of $4 per person.  Children 10 and Under $2.  Great Breakfast! Awesome price!   Post 7573 is located at 35011 23 Mile Road in New Baltimore.  Phone (586) 725-7100.
 
  1. July 6th, Sunday 6:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – VFW 4156 White Lake – "PROGRESSIVE BINGO".  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!  VFW 4156 is located at 321 Union Lake Road in White Lake 48386.  Phone (248) 698-8302.
 
  1. July 7th, Monday 6:15 p.m. – Bruce Post 1146 St. Clair Shores – "MONDAY BINGO".  Doors Open at 5:00 p.m.  Bingo starts at 6:15 p.m.  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!  Sponsored by Dad Club #193.  BRUCE POST 1146 is located at 28404 Jefferson Avenue in St. Clair Shores.  Just North of 11 Mile Road.
--   Tim Wirkus  Volunteer  Southfield Veterans' Commission  southfieldvets@prodigy.net  www.southfieldvets.org