Thursday, January 23, 2014

FW: Forwarding Military Retiree and Veteran Info Items

VVA 17 Member
Blog Master
To all my fellow veterans friends and family my we all remember

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 12:41:12 -0800
Subject: Forwarding Military Retiree and Veteran Info Items

I am forwarding two newsletters that are targeted at either military retirees locally or veterans that help other veterans.  Some addressees might wonder why they received them.  About 35 were people who signed up for information at places like the Retiree Appreciation Day or other Retiree/Veteran activity.  If you do not need it, just email back and I will strike you from the list.

Some items you may receive the same bits of info from standard and official publications but some are from LinkedIn forums and other sources.  With my added opinions.

Some comments and items you may not agree with  as they are from experiences gleaned from working and volunteering with the VA and DoD agencies like Retiree Activities, councils, and many people who work helping veterans like service officers and veteran organization officers and members.   I have been working with this stuff since 1987.  Perhaps I have not been exposed to all the good that goes on helping veterans, but I do know there is a lot more that can be done.  I have seen veteran councils come and go usually because one or two groups want to run the show or get their organization into the limelight.  That is not what volunteer work is about.  There is a working coalition of 13 veterans groups who go to congress and agencies with one voice on matters of importance to all veterans.  This is needed locally.  I wish those attempting this much success.

I am critical of many organizations that say they help veterans.  I used to support some until I found out that only 10% of donations collected went to their charitable work.  A couple of organizations have CEOs and senior employees that make more in salary than the elected Congress and even the President.  Some local ones I support have no salaried employees.  Just people with their hearts in the right place.  I have also observed the dedicated work of professionals HELPING veterans even though they are in a dysfunctional setting working for someone who has bullied or used other than professional skills to get into positions of authority and then make life miserable to the real professionals to the point they just leave for friendlier environments.

I also have seen that not everyone gets the word.  That is why I re-started these information emails.  We used to do them from the RAO but lack of funds preclude a printed newsletter these days and computer access is a matter of security.  What would work well would be some input from anyone doing things for veterans.  Advanced word on events can help enlist more support.  On the whole, there is no other group that does more volunteer work than military retirees.  Now I see many more Veterans, now retired from their careers and work getting involved.  That is very, very good.   Some have been doing this in their service organizations for many years - raising funds, working at stand downs, delivering food.  That is very, very good.

The things I have noticed over the past year is that the light at the end of the tunnel is a little brighter.  The huge bureaucracy of the VA has many problems, some of them very serious problems.  Those in charge are trying to fix things.  Perhaps they may be successful when a layer of mis-managers either retire or get the boot.  I am critical of the VA but use some of the services available.  I have a great primary care doctor but follow on areas have caused me heartburn at times.  I can go elsewhere.  I still carry VA Form 10-10EZ's around to start the sign-up process for Vets who have not yet enrolled.  I would hope that when some of you experience or hear about a problem from a veteran that it gets reported to the appropriate council or person.  I have witnessed far too many veterans who have their situation shipshape but will do little or nothing to advocate for those who do not.  More Veteran Service Organizations might consider appointing a member to represent all members at the Healthcare Consumers Council.  These work well in many areas.  The VA exists to provide benefits, healthcare, and in the end, burial to the Veteran.  Without us, a few hundred thousand employees would not have the jobs they do today.  We need to take actions to correct deficiencies we see.  Remember police call?  Uniform checks prior to liberty? 

One in eight Nevada residents are Veterans, most with families.  That is one of the highest ratios in the country.  It is also one of the fastest growing population groups in our communities.  This cold winter will bring even more to the Sun and when wives discover Bingo, it is all over except for the physical move.  What surprises me is that communities like my town of Henderson do not advertise nationally in military and veteran-related periodicals.  The cost of living is relatively low, housing affordable, retirement activities abound, the Air Force has expanded the hospital to a full medical center and of course we have new VA facilities.  The City has the rating as the second safest city in the country.  The police department is rated #6 in the country and even during the recent economic downturn, parks and recreation expanded.  Plans are in the works for large scale senior housing and health care.  A little advertising as a Veteran and military friendly area expanded the former little burg of Branson, Missouri into a serious competitor for military and veteran conventions and reunions.  We have a lot to offer the retiree.   We even have our own distillery now.  How about sharing these things with your council person?   As the veteran community grows, so do the services.  That is how our elected officials convinced Washington that we needed a new and big hospital.  The five new VA hospitals under construction in the sun belt will probably be the last to be built.  Several VA hospitals in areas where the veteran population is decreasing will probably downsize to clinics.  So get your buddies to move here and join a Veteran's organization.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Please click on lonk below to see January 2014 news letter for you chapter
or look under news letter page

Monday, January 20, 2014

Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall

1. Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs
2. Memorials
3. Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall
Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall
On June 19th, 2004 a Granite Memorial Wall was dedicated commemorating the servicemen and women who have lost their lives in worldwide conflicts since 1979. The project was conceived by Tony Cutrano and Jerry Kuczera, built with donated material and labor and is the first of its kind in the History of the United States to give honor to our fallen by name while a conflict is ongoing. It took 20 years to Honor our Vietnam Veterans. Almost 60 years to Honor our World War II Veterans. The names on the wall represent our fallen heroes from such diverse locations as Panama, Lebanon, the Balkans, Grenada, Somalia, Haiti, USS Cole, USS Stark, Terrorist attacks in Italy, Greece, Scotland, and the current conflicts in the Middle East.
The Purpose of the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run is to show Our Brave Servicemen and Women, and their Families, that we support them, and to Honor Fallen Heroes. The route is lined with Americans waving American Flags and paying tribute.
Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial | 6219 W. 127th St., Palos Heights Il, 60463 |

Thursday, January 2, 2014

FW: Save the Date for the 2014 Veterans Stand Down hosted by U.S.VETS - Las Vegas

Blog Master
To all my fellow veterans friends and family my we all remember 

Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2014 15:03:14 -0500
Subject: Save the Date for the 2014 Veterans Stand Down hosted by U.S.VETS - Las Vegas

U.S.VETS National Office
800 W. 6th St., Suite 1505
Los Angeles, CA 90017
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2014 is here... and the Veterans Stand Down is fast approaching!
Join us in planning for this important event.
Upcoming Planning Meetings:

January 8, 9:30 am - U.S.VETS Dining Hall, 525 E. Bonanza Road
January 22, 9:30 am - U.S.VETS Dining Hall, 525 E. Bonanza Road
February 5, 9:30 am - U.S.VETS Dining Hall, 525 E. Bonanza Road
February 19, 9:30 am - Goodwill of Southern Nevada, 1280 W. Cheyenne Ave.
March 5, 9:30 am - U.S.VETS Dining Hall, 525 E. Bonanza Road
Tuesday, March 11, 9:30 am - Mandatory Provider Training:
Cashman Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd North

March 19 & 20, 2014 - 11th annual Veterans Stand Down!
Cashman Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd North

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U.S.VETS | 800 W 6th St. Ste. 1505 | Los Angeles | CA | 90017