Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Legion opposes permanent extension of Choice program

Legion opposes permanent extension of Choice program
 
WASHINGTON, May 27, 2016 — During a congressional hearing May 24, The American Legion delivered written and oral testimony regarding access to healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
 
Director of Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Lou Celli addressed members of the Senate's Committee on Veterans' Affairs, highlighting the Legion's views on the Care Veterans Deserve Act of 2016.
 
If enacted, this Act would eliminate the VA's Veterans Choice Program (VCP) termination date, expand program eligibility, and extend certain operating hours of VA pharmacies and medical facilities.
 
"We stated at the time, and state here again today, that we never supported Choice becoming a permanent program," Celli said. "The reason is because we know that VA already has every authority granted to it through Choice when it comes to providing contracted care to our nation's veterans." 
 
The director also mentioned several contracting vehicles VA already had in place that allowed them to send veterans into their local communities for care, regardless of how far they live from the nearest VA facility. However, there are issues with outside providers not returning medical records in a timely fashion.
 
"This is an issue that The American Legion was very concerned about," Celli said. "That was the main reason that the provision in the original act that required Choice contracted doctors to turn over the medical records before getting paid."
 
Before concluding his testimony, Celli weighed the pros of the drafted legislation to improve and modernize the current VA disability claims appeals process. "This new proposed process requires congressional approval and will ultimately save money. We've done our part – now it's your turn," he added.
 
To see the Legion's written testimony in its entirety, visit the legislative center http://www.legion.org/legislative/testimony/232825/pending-veterans-affairs-legislation.
 
With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, 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 nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.
 
About The American Legion
The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.2 million members in nearly 14,000 posts in communities across in America. The Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instrumental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
 
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

#Veteran Events & Announcements 5/26 to 6/3

Listed below are the events I have for the next 14 days here in the Metro Detroit area, of which there are 1 new item. You can also go to the Legion 328 website to download any flyer for these future events at  http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html 

You can also find many other veteran events & information for Veterans on the State of MI Veterans website, Detroit Public Televisions' Veterans website, and a few others:
http://www.michiganveterans.com/home/Calendar.aspx
http://www.veterans.dptv.org/all-events

http://www.hostmtb.org/RADs_and_Other_Retiree-Veterans_Events.html#MI
https://sites.google.com/site/miveteranevents/home/military-events

ANNOUNCEMENTS!

"Free Legal Services" The Legal Aid & Defender Association, Inc., is hosting numerous (17 to be exact) free legal clinics (priority for vets) in both Oakland & Macomb counties for the next 6 months, all starting at 10AM. See Oakland flyer for those dates & locations. Macomb flyer for their dates & locations. More info at 877-964-4700 in Oakland County, 586-465-1344 in Macomb.

"More Free Legal Services!" The Wayne County Friend of the Court is hosting outreach asssitance where you can discuss your FOC issues. There are numerous locations for the next couple of months so see flyer for times and places where you can get your issues resolved.

"VA Golden Age Games coming to Detroit (IMPORTANT)" The VA Golden Age Games are coming to Detroit in July 2016 & volunteers are still needed!. This will be open to all veterans that are enrolled in the VA Health System. To get a sneak peek see early flyer or visit their new website to volunteer or participate!

EVENTS!

Happy Memorial Day!

"Monday thru Saturday, May 23 thru 29, 2016" I would like to let you know about a fun event coming up in Southeast Michigan, the 1st Annual Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Volvik Championship Tournament taking place at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor. All veterans, service members (including active duty, Reservists, and Guard) can get free tickets for themselves plus a guest either in advance at https://events.cuetoems.com/volvik_2016/OnlineTicketSales.aspx or at the gates for any and all days of the tournament. Show your special Military Grounds ticket at DTE Energy's Military Appreciation Tent at the 9th hole to enjoy complimentary drinks and lunch each day of the tournament.

"Friday, May 27 2016" The Great Lakes National Cemetery is looking for volunteers, starting at 5PM, to help place flags on all the graves at the cemetery! The cemetery is located at 4200 Belford Rd, Holly. They will also need help on 5/31 to remove the flags. To help call 810-348-9960 or see flyer.

"Saturday, May 28, 2016" American Legion Post 364 is hosting a Gun Raffle along with their annual ALR Steak Dinner, at their post located at 3001 S Telegraph, Dearborn, starting at 4PM. Cost of the dinner is $14. For types of weapons in the raffle and more info see flyer.

"Saturday, May 28, 2016" A number of groups are sponsoring a #Stop 22 Awareness Concert at the Ford Community & Preforming Arts Center, 15801 Dearborn, starting at 7PM. Admission is free with donations accepted & proceeds toward the MI Wounded & Returning Warrior Program. For more info see flyer.

"Monday, May 30, 2016" The Michigan Veterans Foundation is proud to invite all veterans to the Ground Breaking Ceremony of their new facility at 4626 Grand River, corner of Forest, at 10AM. Please bring the attached flyer and wear your cover!

"Monday, May 30, 2016": The Franklin Cemetery is hosting a Memorial Day service at 11AM honoring all veterans, especially Korean War veterans. There will be a performance by the Franklin Community Band, singing of patriotic songs, readings and tributes. A special feature will be West Point graduate, COL Carmen Milia, Class of 1950, who will talk about his experiences in the Korean War. All are welcome and bring your lawn chairs. Cemetery address is 26298 Scenic Dr, Franklin, MI"

"Wednesday, June 1, 2016" Southfield VFW Post 2645 is having an all you can eat spaghetti dinner at their post, located at 24222 W 9 Mile, Southfield, starting at 5PM. Donation of $6 is requested. For more info see flyer.

"Wednesday, June 1, 2016 (NEW)" The Yankee Air Museum, at the Willow Run Airport, presents another in their lecture series, this time on Michigan's role in the war of 1812. This is a free event starting at 7:30PM in the General Purpose Room. Eastern Michigan University Graduate Assistant, Adam Franti, will be the guest speaker

"Saturday , June 4, 2016" Talons Out Michigan is having a Rosie The Riveter flight out of Metro Airport to take the Rosie's from WWII to Washington to the WWII Memorial. They are still looking for Rosie's that want to go, guardians to help on the trip, and other volunteers to assist. For more info you can call them at 269-273-4545. The application for Rosies at this link, application for guardians at this link, and for volunteers at this link. For some additional info see their website.

"Saturday, June 4, 2016" The Montford Point Detachment of the Marine Corps League is hosting its 60th annual luncheon & award ceremony from 11AM till 1PM, at their location, 13721 Joy Rd, Detroit. Food, Music, Dancing starting after the ceremony at 1PM. Donation of $10 requested. For more info call them at 313-587-1206 or see flyer.

--   Tim Wirkus  USAF 66-70  VFW 2645  Life Member  VVA 154 Life Member  DAV 19 Life Member  AM Legion 328 Member  Sfd Vet Commission Member

Friday, May 20, 2016

#LegionRiders New Data: Motorcyclist Deaths Surge 10% in 2015


GHSA News Release Header

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2016
Contact: Kara Macek, 202-789-0942 x140
202-262-4889 (mobile)

New Data: Motorcyclist Deaths Surge 10% in 2015

Fatalities Expected to Top 5,000

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Preliminary data provided by state highway safety offices indicates that more than 5,000 people were killed on motorcycles 2015. This represents an estimated 10 percent increase compared with 2014 -- more than 450 additional deaths. This grim news, presented in the Governors Highway Safety Association's (GHSA) annual forecast of motorcyclist fatalities, comes as warm weather prompts thousands of bikers to hit the road either for the first time, or after taking their motorcycles out of storage following winter.

Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2015 Preliminary Data is GHSA's sixth annual motorcyclist fatality Spotlight report. The series provides an early look at current data, trends, and developing issues. GHSA projects the final motorcyclist fatality total for 2015 will be 5,010 -- only the third year in U.S. history and the first time since 2008 in which the fatality number topped 5,000.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia contributed their preliminary motorcyclist fatality counts for the full 2015 calendar year for this latest report. Compared with 2014, motorcyclist fatalities increased in 31 states, decreased in 16 states, and remained the same in three states plus the District of Columbia. The report was authored by Richard Retting and Heather Rothenberg of Sam Schwartz Consulting.

According to Retting, "These sobering findings provide a stark reminder of how susceptible motorcyclists are to fatal and life-threatening injuries. The risk of motorcycle crashes and fatalities is compounded by factors such as alcohol and drug use, increased speed limits, the repeal of state helmet laws, and a record number of vehicles on U.S. roads. Concerted efforts are needed to reduce this tragic loss of life."

The change likely to produce the largest reduction in motorcyclist fatalities would be restoration of helmet use laws covering all motorcyclists in the 32 states that lack such measures. Even in states with helmet use laws, not all specify that helmets must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation standards. This additional requirement could also improve enforceability of helmet laws and the level of protection offered by helmets.

Currently, only 19 states and D.C. require all riders be helmeted. Another 28 mandate helmet use by riders younger than age 18 or 21, and three have no requirement. According to a 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, the use rate of helmets in universal law states was 89 percent, compared with 48 percent in all other states.

GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins notes that "State and national data illustrate that motorcyclists are far more likely to be injured or killed in a crash than motor vehicle occupants. GHSA and its members will continue to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based motorcycle safety countermeasures to improve rider safety and, ultimately, save lives."

Motorcyclists can take actions on their own to reduce the risk of being involved in a fatal crash, including the following:
  • Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, even when not required by state law.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to make it easier to be seen by other drivers.
  • Never ride impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • When purchasing a new motorcycle, opt for a model with antilock brakes, which have been shown to decrease fatal motorcycle crashes by preventing a motorcycle's wheels from locking during braking and assisting with maintaining the stability of the motorcycle.
Drivers of other motor vehicles should always be aware and looking out for motorcyclists around them and, of course, obey all traffic laws.

All 2015 data in the report are preliminary. State-by-state data and image files are available from GHSA.
 
# # #

About the Governors Highway Safety Association
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter at @GHSAHQ.




Thursday, May 19, 2016

#Veteran Events & Announcements 5/19 to 6/2

Listed below are the events I have for the next 14 days here in the Metro Detroit area, of which there are 15 new items!!  You can also go to the Legion 328 website to download any flyer for these future events at  http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html 

You can also find many other veteran events & information for Veterans on the State of MI Veterans website, Detroit Public Televisions' Veterans website, and a few others:
http://www.michiganveterans.com/home/Calendar.aspx
http://www.veterans.dptv.org/all-events

http://www.hostmtb.org/RADs_and_Other_Retiree-Veterans_Events.html#MI
https://sites.google.com/site/miveteranevents/home/military-events

EVENTS!

ARMED FORCES DAY EVENTS, SATURDAY MAY 21st!

For a brief history of Armed Forces Day and a copy of the official 2016 Poster go to the official DOD website.

  1. The US Vietnam War Commemoration is hosting an Armed Forces Day 50th Anniversary Ceremony at Cass Park, Detroit, starting at 10AM. All vets are invited to attend. See flyer for more info.
  2. Northville High School Baseball Team is sponsoring a Run/Walk starting at 8AM at their baseball field. All participants are $35 except military which is $20. All proceeds go to the Metro Airport Freedom Center, which has served over 300,000 since opening in 2011. For registering & more info see flyer.
  3. Rolling Thunder Chapter 5 is hosting their annual Ride to Remember to honor our fallen soldiers of Michigan & the Gold Star Families. Staging will be at Stricking Lanes Bowling, 1535 Old US 23, Hartland, at 9AM. Ceremony to honor fallen vets is at Noon at the old Courthouse in Howell. For more info see flyer.
  4. Troy VFW Post 4037 is hosting a Golf Outing at Somerset Park Golf Course, 2400 Golfview Rd, Troy, starting at 10AM. Cost is $40 per player for 9 holes of golf, including cart, with lunch afterwards at the post. For more info see flyer.
  5. The Women Marines of Michigan is hosting another in their famous Packing Parties for the Troops, Sending a Taste of Home to our Heroes. This will take place starting at 10AM at the Romeo Masonic Temple, 231 N Main St, Romeo, till 2PM. A complete listing of items they are looking for and some various drop off locations are on theflyer.
  6. The Heart of Michigan is hosting Michigan Day starting at 10AM, till 2PM, in downtown Howell. Artisans, vendors, taste of MI foods, wine tasting, etc. 10% of all proceeds goes to the Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund. For a complete list of events see flyer.

"Monday, May 23, 2016" State Representative Peter Lucido is hosting a Seniors & Veterans Benefit Expo at the Palazzo Grande, 54660 Van Dyke, Shelby Twp. Veterans from 10AM till Noon, Seniors from 1PM till 3PM. Lunch provided at noon. For more info see flyer.

"Monday, May 23, 2016 (NEW)" The Kitchen Cabinet & The MI Veterans Institute is hosting their 1st annual Veterans Townhall at Le Petite DeJeuner, 2548 Grand River, Detroit, from 6 till 8PM. Guest speaker is Sen David Knezek & Rep Tom Barrett. For more info see flyer.

"Monday thru Saturday, May 23 thru 29, 2016 (NEW)" I would like to let you know about a fun event coming up in Southeast Michigan, the 1st Annual Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Volvik Championship Tournament taking place at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor. All veterans, service members (including active duty, Reservists, and Guard) can get free tickets for themselves plus a guest either in advance at https://events.cuetoems.com/volvik_2016/OnlineTicketSales.aspx or at the gates for any and all days of the tournament. Show your special Military Grounds ticket at DTE Energy's Military Appreciation Tent at the 9th hole to enjoy complimentary drinks and lunch each day of the tournament.

"Friday, May 27 2016" The Great Lakes National Cemetery is looking for volunteers, starting at 5PM, to help place flags on all the graves at the cemetery! The cemetery is located at 4200 Belford Rd, Holly. They will also need help on 5/31 to remove the flags. To help call 810-348-9960 or see flyer.

"Saturday, May 28, 2016" American Legion Post 364 is hosting a Gun Raffle along with their annual ALR Steak Dinner, at their post located at 3001 S Telegraph, Dearborn, starting at 4PM. Cost of the dinner is $14. For types of weapons in the raffle and more info see flyer.

"Saturday, May 28, 2016" A number of groups are sponsoring a #Stop 22 Awareness Concert at the Ford Community & Preforming Arts Center, 15801 Dearborn, starting at 7PM. Admission is free with donations accepted & proceeds toward the MI Wounded & Returning Warrior Program. For more info see flyer.

"Monday, May 30, 2016" The Michigan Veterans Foundation is proud to invite all veterans to the Ground Breaking Ceremony of their new facility at 4626 Grand River, corner of Forest, at 10AM. Please bring the attached flyer and wear your cover!

"Monday, May 30, 2016 (NEW)": The Franklin Cemetery is hosting a Memorial Day service at 11AM honoring all veterans, especially Korean War veterans. There will be a performance by the Franklin Community Band, singing of patriotic songs, readings and tributes. A special feature will be West Point graduate, COL Carmen Milia, Class of 1950, who will talk about his experiences in the Korean War. All are welcome and bring your lawn chairs. Cemetery address is 26298 Scenic Dr, Franklin, MI"

"Wednesday, June 1, 2016" Southfield VFW Post 2645 is having an all you can eat spaghetti dinner at their post, located at 24222 W 9 Mile, Southfield, starting at 5PM. Donation of $6 is requested. For more info see flyer.

--   Tim Wirkus  USAF 66-70  VFW 2645  Life Member  VVA 154 Life Member  DAV 19 Life Member  AM Legion 328 Member  Sfd Vet Commission Member


Thursday, May 12, 2016

#Veteran Events & Announcements 5/12 to 5/26

Listed below are the events I have for the next 14 days here in the Metro Detroit area, of which there are 15 new items!!  You can also go to the Legion 328 website to download any flyer for these future events at  http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html 

You can also find many other veteran events & information for Veterans on the State of MI Veterans website, Detroit Public Televisions' Veterans website, and a few others:
http://www.michiganveterans.com/home/Calendar.aspx
http://www.veterans.dptv.org/all-events

http://www.hostmtb.org/RADs_and_Other_Retiree-Veterans_Events.html#MI
https://sites.google.com/site/miveteranevents/home/military-events

ANNOUNCEMENTS!

"Free Legal Services" The Legal Aid & Defender Association, Inc., is hosting numerous (17 to be exact) free legal clinics (priority for vets) in both Oakland & Macomb counties for the next 6 months, all starting at 10AM. See Oakland flyer for those dates & locations. Macomb flyer for their dates & locations. More info at 877-964-4700 in Oakland County, 586-465-1344 in Macomb.

"More Free Legal Services!" The Wayne County Friend of the Court is hosting outreach asssitance where you can discuss your FOC issues. There are numerous locations for the next couple of months so see flyer for times and places where you can get your issues resolved.

"Buddy-2-Buddy May Job Fairs" This listing is complied by the B2B network, but does not host any of them. See listing!

"VA Golden Age Games coming to Detroit (Updated website)" The VA Golden Age Games are coming to Detroit in July 2016 & volunteers are needed. This will be open to all veterans that are enrolled in the VA Health System. To get a sneak peek see early flyer or visit their new website to volunteer or participate!

EVENTS!

"Thursday, May 12, 2016" The Desert Angles are hosting a Packing Party for the troops & K-9's at the Oakland Sportsman Club, 4770 Waterford Rd, Clarkston, from 4 till 6PM. For more info email Louise.

"Thursday, May 12, 2016" The Fallen & Wounded Soldier Fund is hosting a women's varsity soccer tournament at the Pickney High School, Pickney, starting at 5:30PM. Color Guard, Pom Pom completion, etc. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, May 14, 2016" Southfield VFW Post 2645, 24222 W 9 Mile, Southfield, is hosting a community Garage Sale & Craft Show, from 8AM till 5PM. Rent a space for $15 you get a 10X10 space & one table, extra tables are $5. For more info, space info, etc., see flyer.

"Saturday, May 14, 2016" The Detroit Wolverine Chapter 67, Women's Army Corps Veterans, is hosting its 74th annual anniversary luncheon at the Karas House, 23632 Plymouth Rd, Redford, starting at Noon, ending at 4PM. Donation of $35. To attend this great event & for more info see attached flyer.

"Saturday, May 14, 2016 (NEW)" Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 175 is hosting an Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting, Noon till 2PM, at the Swartz Creek United Methodist Church, 7400 Miller Road, Swartz Creek. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, May 14, 2016 (NEW)" Highland Charter Twp VFW Post 9914, 3200 Duck Lake Rd, Highland Charter Twp, is hosting a veterans breakfast, POW/MIA Honors, & Flag Retirement starting at 9AM. Many speakers will be in attendance. For more info call them at 248-887-9914 or see flyer.

"Saturday, May 14, 2016" Camp Liberty is hosting their 3rd Annual "Conservation Habitat Volunteer Day" at their facility at 13400 Austin Road, Brooklyn, MI from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. We hope to have anywhere from 50 to a hundred volunteers on hand to help with all kinds of clean up and tree and other planting work around the 138 acre facility. There is something for everyone of all abilities to do. A BBQ and beverages will be provided. Please dress for the weather and bring work boots and gloves, rain or shine we're digging in. .

"Sunday, May 15, 2016" The Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society is hosting another in their lecture series on WWII, this time on US Military Dodge Trucks with David Doyle as the presenter. The museum is located on Stevens in Eastpointe, starting at 2PM. Admission by donation. For more info see flyer.

"Sunday, May 15, 2016 (NEW)" Celebrate Detroit is hosting a Vintage & Valor car show to honor all of our veterans, at the Packard Historic Site, Shelby Twp, from Noon till 5PM. Tickets at the gate are $12 for adults, $10 for children. Discount tickets are available at www.celebratemetrodetroit.com. For how to show your car & all other info see flyer.

"Tuesday, May 17, 2016" Jewish Vocational Services & USAJobs is hosting a job fair at JVS Bldg, 26999 Southfield Rd, Southfield, from 1PM till 3:30. Learn how to apply for government jobs. No registration required. For more info see flyer.

"Tuesday, May 17, 2016" Madison Hgts VFW post 1407 is hosting a Firekeepers Casino trip for $40 per person. Will leave from the post at Madison Hgts Shopping center at 12 Mile & John R at 9AM. For more info see flyer.

"Wednesday, May 18, 2016 (NEW)" Level One Bank Sunrise Networking Group are sponsoring a free Veterans in Business forum at the Level One Bank, 43683 Schoenherr Rd, Sterling Hgts, from Noon till 1:30PM. Detroit Score will be the guest speaker. You must preregister to attend by calling Randy at 248-930-6420. See flyer for more info

ARMED FORCES DAY EVENTS, SATURDAY MAY 21st!

For a brief history of Armed Forces Day and a copy of the official 2016 Poster go to the official DOD website.

  1. The US Vietnam War Commemoration is hosting an Armed Forces Day 50th Anniversary Ceremony at Cass Park, Detroit, starting at 10AM. All vets are invited to attend. See flyer for more info.
  2. (NEW) Northville High School Baseball Team is sponsoring a Run/Walk starting at 8AM at their baseball field. All participants are $35 except military which is $20. All proceeds go to the Metro Airport Freedom Center, which has served over 300,000 since opening in 2011. For registering & more info see flyer.
  3. (NEW) Rolling Thunder Chapter 5 is hosting their annual Ride to Remember to honor our fallen soldiers of Michigan & the Gold Star Families. Staging will be at Stricking Lanes Bowling, 1535 Old US 23, Hartland, at 9AM. Ceremony to honor fallen vets is at Noon at the old Courthouse in Howell. For more info see flyer.
  4. (NEW) Troy VFW Post 4037 is hosting a Golf Outing at Somerset Park Golf Course, 2400 Golfview Rd, Troy, starting at 10AM. Cost is $40 per player for 9 holes of golf, including cart, with lunch afterwards at the post. For more info see flyer.
  5. (NEW) The Women Marines of Michigan is hosting another in their famous Packing Parties for the Troops, Sending a Taste of Home to our Heroes. This will take place starting at 10AM at the Romeo Masonic Temple, 231 N Main St, Romeo, till 2PM. A complete listing of items they are looking for and some various drop off locations are on the flyer.
  6. (NEW) The Heart of Michigan is hosting Michigan Day starting at 10AM, till 2PM, in downtown Howell. Artisans, vendors, taste of MI foods, wine tasting, etc. 10% of all proceeds goes to the Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund. For a complete list of events see flyer.

"Monday, May 23, 2016" State Representative Peter Lucido is hosting a Seniors & Veterans Benefit Expo at the Palazzo Grande, 54660 Van Dyke, Shelby Twp. Veterans from 10AM till Noon, Seniors from 1PM till 3PM. Lunch provided at noon. For more info see flyer.

--   Tim Wirkus  USAF 66-70  VFW 2645  Life Member  VVA 154 Life Member  DAV 19 Life Member  AM Legion 328 Member  Sfd Vet Commission Member

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

American Legion National Commander: Sorrow at Hiroshima but no apology

American Legion National Commander: Sorrow at Hiroshima but no apology
 
WASHINGTON (May 10, 2016) –  American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett released the following statement today concerning the White House announcement that President Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan.

“We are heartened that the White House promised today that President Obama will not apologize for the bombing of Hiroshima,” Barnett said. “We share his sorrow for the many innocent civilians who were lost that day.  But we temper that sorrow with the joy for the many more American, Allied and Japanese lives that were saved because the war was finally brought to an end in the short aftermath that followed. President Truman was a proud Legionnaire who made a painful but brave decision. It would never be appropriate to apologize for it.”

With a current membership of 2.2 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 nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.
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Media Contact: In Washington: Crystal Jackson, (202) 263-5758, cell  (202) 320-0408, cjackson@legion.org; Indianapolis: John Raughter, (317) 630-1350 / cell (317) 441-8847,  jraughter@legion.org
 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Hepatitis Awareness Month: Action Required



Dear Legionnaire,

All year we have been alerting American Legion members about how serious hepatitis C (hep C) is for the veteran population. May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and The American Legion is launching a social media "Thunderclap" to engage the community and inform veterans about the risks associated with hep C. In addition, we will be encouraging all veterans to get tested for hep C antibodies on May 19th, which is National Hepatitis Testing Day. You can join us and help spread the word by signing up on our Thunderclap page and asking your friends to assist us in amplifying the message!

What's Thunderclap? .
Thunderclap is a tool that allows thousands of people to share the same message at exactly the same time on social media. People sign up on the Thunderclap website and give permission for Thunderclap to share a single message on Facebook and Twitter at a specified time.

If you and enough others support our Thunderclap, The American Legion will reach thousands of people and let veterans know that they may be at greater risk for hep C.

How Do I Join?
Joining is simple. Go to our Thunderclap page and sign up with your Facebook and/or Twitter account. You can sign up from more than one account if you have them. Once you are signed up, you don't need to do anything else. The message will automatically post to your account(s) at the correct time.

This next part is very important. When you sign up, you also have the option of creating a post to invite your friends to join as well. Please take a moment to send this invitation, as it will help us spread our important message. Maximize your social media reach and encourage others join the campaign.

If you haven't already, you can also like our official Facebook page (The American Legion National Headquarters) and follow us on Twitter (@AmericanLegion) to stay up to date on our progress. Like, share and retweet our posts to help spread the word.

This next part is very important. When you sign up, you also have the option of creating a post to invite your friends to join as well. Please take a moment to send this invitation, as it will help us spread our important message. Maximize your social media reach and encourage others join the campaign.

This is a really easy way to help The American Legion spread the word about hep C. Please stand with us, and encourage veterans to get tested for hep C antibodies.

Sincerely,
Scott Miller
Deputy Director, Marketing
The American Legion National Headquarters







#Veteran Events & Announcements 5/5 to 5/19

Listed below are the events I have for the next 14 days here in the Metro Detroit area, of which there are 7 new items.  You can also go to the Legion 328 website to download any flyer for these future events at  http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html 

You can also find many other veteran events & information for Veterans on the State of MI Veterans website, Detroit Public Televisions' Veterans website, and a few others:
http://www.michiganveterans.com/home/Calendar.aspx
http://www.veterans.dptv.org/all-events

http://www.hostmtb.org/RADs_and_Other_Retiree-Veterans_Events.html#MI
https://sites.google.com/site/miveteranevents/home/military-events
ANNOUNCEMENTS!
"Free Legal Services" The Legal Aid & Defender Association, Inc., is hosting numerous (17 to be exact) free legal clinics (priority for vets) in both Oakland & Macomb counties for the next 6 months, all starting at 10AM. See Oakland flyer for those dates & locations. Macomb flyer for their dates & locations. More info at 877-964-4700 in Oakland County, 586-465-1344 in Macomb.
"More Free Legal Services!" The Wayne County Friend of the Court is hosting outreach assistance where you can discuss your FOC issues. There are numerous locations for the next couple of months so see flyer for times and places where you can get your issues resolved.
"VA Golden Age Games coming to Detroit (Updated website)" The VA Golden Age Games are coming to Detroit in July 2016 & volunteers are needed. This will be open to all veterans that are enrolled in the VA Health System. To get a sneak peek see early flyer or visit their new website to volunteer or participate!
EVENTS!
"Friday, May 6, 2016" The 57th International Armed Forces Night will be held at the Fogolar Rurlan Club, 1800 E. C. Row Expressway, Windsor, from 6:30PM. Guest speaker will be Major General Dean Miller, OMM, MSC, CD, with the subject of Canadian Impact in Afghanistan. For info and to register to attend visit their website. For some additional info see the flyer.
"Saturday, May 7, 2016" Michigan State University Baseball Team is hosting a Military Appreciation Day at their game starting at 1PM at McLane Stadium, in East Lansing. Ticket requests should go to this email. For more info see flyer.
"Saturday, May 7, 2016 " The Sons of the American Legion, Dearborn Chapter 364, is hosting a Kentucky Derby Dinner starting at 4:30PM, located at 3001 S Telegraph, Dearborn. Dinner is $10 and you get to watch the race. For more info see flyer.
"Saturday, May 7, 2016" Madison Hgts VFW Post 1407, 630 E 11 Mile, Madison Hgts, is having a Mexican Fiesta night from 4 till 7PM. Tacos, Fajitas, Enchiladas, Salsas, Nachos & more. Cost is $8 per person. For more info see their flyer.
"Saturday, May 7, 2016 (NEW)" The Fallen & Wounded Soldier Fund is hosting Lo Lax for a Cause (Lacrosse game) at the LOHS Varsity Field, starting at 11AM. For more info see flyer.
"Tuesday, May 10, 2016" The Desert Angles are hosting a Packing Party for the troops at the Wixom Senior Center, 49045 Pontiac Trail, Wixom, from 1 till 3PM. For more info contact Jean via email.
"Wednesday, May 11, 2016" Jewish Vocational Services is hosting a job fair at Southfield City Hall, Parks & Rec room 115, Southfield, from 9AM till Noon. Learn how to apply for government jobs. No registration required. For more info see flyer.
"Thursday, May 12, 2016" The Desert Angles are hosting a Packing Party for the troops & K-9's at the Oakland Sportsman Club, 4770 Waterford Rd, Clarkston, from 4 till 6PM. For more info email Louise.
"Thursday, May 12, 2016 (NEW)" The Fallen & Wounded Soldier Fund is hosting a women's varsity soccer tournament at the Pickney High School, Pickney, starting at 5:30PM. Color Guard, Pom Pom competition, etc. For more info see flyer.
"Saturday, May 14, 2016" Southfield VFW Post 2645, 24222 W 9 Mile, Southfield, is hosting a community Garage Sale & Craft Show, from 8AM till 5PM. Rent a space for $15 you get a 10X10 space & one table, extra tables are $5. For more info, space info, etc., see flyer.
"Saturday, May 14, 2016" The Detroit Wolverine Chapter 67, Women's Army Corps Veterans, is hosting its 74th annual anniversary luncheon at the Karas House, 23632 Plymouth Rd, Redford, starting at Noon, ending at 4PM. Donation of $35. To attend this great event & for more info see attached flyer.
"Saturday, May 14, 2016 (NEW)" Camp Liberty is hosting their 3rd Annual "Conservation Habitat Volunteer Day" at their facility at 13400 Austin Road, Brooklyn, MI from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. We hope to have anywhere from 50 to a hundred volunteers on hand to help with all kinds of clean up and tree and other planting work around the 138 acre facility. There is something for everyone of all abilities to do. A BBQ and beverages will be provided. Please dress for the weather and bring work boots and gloves, rain or shine we're digging in. .
"Sunday, May 15, 2016" The Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society is hosting another in their lecture series on WWII, this time on US Military Dodge Trucks with David Doyle as the presenter. The museum is located on Stevens in Eastpointe, starting at 2PM. Admission by donation. For more info see flyer.
"Tuesday, May 17, 2016 (NEW)" Jewish Vocational Services & USAJobs is hosting a job fair at JVS Bldg, 26999 Southfield Rd, Southfield, from 1PM till 3:30. Learn how to apply for government jobs. No registration required. For more info see flyer.
"Tuesday, May 17, 2016" Madison Hgts VFW post 1407 is hosting a Firekeepers Casino trip for $40 per person. Will leave from the post at Madison Hgts Shopping center at 12 Mile & John R at 9AM. For more info see flyer.

--   Tim Wirkus  USAF 66-70  VFW 2645  Life Member  VVA 154 Life Member  DAV 19 Life Member  AM Legion 328 Member  Sfd Vet Commission Member

Thursday, May 5, 2016

#American Legion Backs ‘#Veterans First Act’


American Legion Backs 'Veterans First Act'

WASHINGTON (May 3, 2016) – The head of the nation's largest  veterans organization praised the recently-introduced Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs comprehensive omnibus bill, known as the "Veterans First Act."

       "There is much to like in this bill," said National Commander of The American Legion Dale Barnett. "Since the wait time manipulations and other irregularities were exposed in 2014, The American Legion has demanded accountability. This legislation will shorten the grievance process, make it easier to dismiss VA officials that  breach the trust of the veterans that they are supposed to serve and allow VA to offer competitive pay and incentives to attract talented physicians and other professionals.  We hope that Congress will pass and the president will sign this bill quickly."
Barnett pointed out that accountability is a term that all veterans are familiar with. "I said during my congressional testimony in February that the men and women of the U.S. armed forces understand what the word means. When asked to stand in harm's way – knowing that fulfillment of obligations and responsibilities can cost their lives – they accept without hesitation.  And they go about the business of executing their missions. That's accountability. The VA Secretary needs to spread  that spirit throughout the entire VA system."
If passed, this legislation will expand caregiver benefits to include the families of military veterans of all eras. Also, the bill includes improvement to every aspect of VA operations, including the G.I. Bill and prescription medications.
With a current membership of 2.2 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 nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.