Veteran Events

On September 27, 2010, in Events, by alpha10

Check out Veteran Events on LinkedIn: http://events.linkedin.com/veterans

July 22, 2009

WASHINGTON – More than 1,000 Veterans who own small businesses and seek to do more contracting with the federal government recently heard Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki extol the importance of small businesses and reaffirm the commitment of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help veterans start or expand their companies.

“If Veterans tell us their definition of success, we’ll put our capabilities behind them,” Shinseki said July 21 at the government-sponsored National Veteran Small Business Conference in Las Vegas.

Speaking at the largest annual conference to help Veteran-owned and service-disabled Veteran-owned firms do business with the federal government, Shinseki encouraged potential suppliers to seek VA’s business, telling them his Department leads the government in prime-contract dollars spent with businesses owned by service-disabled Veterans and other Veterans.

He said last year VA spent more than $2 billion with Veteran-owned small businesses – 15 percent of its procurement dollars, up 5 percent from the previous year. Of that amount, $1.6 billion – or 12 percent of VA’s purchasing — was spent with service-disabled Veteran-owned businesses.

Even though VA has exceeded government-wide goals for supporting Veteran-owned small businesses, Shinseki said VA should raise its support for them even higher. VA will set goals to increase Veteran subcontractors’ work for VA, as well.

To help Veterans win bids and perform the work successfully, he said VA is launching contractor certification training to explain the complexities of federal contracting. The VA secretary said he has urged other presidential Cabinet departments to increase contract opportunities for Veterans.

Shinseki suggested Veterans get state and local governments to partner with Veteran-owned businesses. He said the nation’s defenders earned the right to participate in all taxpayer-funded contracts.

Finally, he urged Veteran entrepreneurs to find ways to assist men and women returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan to find meaningful work. Shinseki said, “We’ll do our part at VA, but we can’t do it all.”

VA has a special unit, the Center for Veterans Enterprise, which offers a variety of services to Veterans wanting to start or expand a business. These include one-on-one coaching, referrals for business training, listing in an online database for potential clients and verification of the Veteran status of those registrants.

More information about the Department’s services to the owners of small businesses is available on the Internet at www.va.gov/oamm.

Source: VA Press Release

Veterans Day

On September 24, 2010, in News, by alpha10

First and foremost, a great big THANK YOU to all our veterans, their families, and to all of those who have served our great country in one way or another.

Today is Veterans Day, and as the child of parents who both served in the military, I am especially grateful to those who serve in our armed forces. Also called Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries, November 11th marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held at 11am at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony includes a color guard, with representation from each of the branches of our Armed Forces. A ceremony will honor the fallen at the Tomb of the Unknowns, with another ceremony following at the Memorial Amphitheater.

Veterans Day is marked around the country with various parades, ceremonies, and tributes. How do you and your community celebrate? How do you thank your loved ones who have served?

When I was in third grade, my elementary school sponsored a Veterans Day essay contest. The winner was to read their essay at the dedication of the community Vietnam War Memorial. My sister was in the 6th grade and also in my school at the time. When the Principal announced the winner throughout the school over the PA system he said my sister’s name but my classroom teacher as the sponsor. Ultimatley there was a lot of household confusion and hulabaloo over who was the rightful winner.  When things were sorted out, as fate may have it, I was the winner. Just call it my Ely Manning winning the Superbowl  moment. I’d love to find that essay again, and see what was going on in my 8-year-old head, but I’m just glad that even at that age I appreciated all that our veterans sacrificed for our country.

Much gratitude to those who have served.

Source: Gov Gab: Your US Government Blog

VFW Files Motion to Intervene in Mojave Desert Memorial Case: This is Our Land, Our Memorial. We Want it Back!

PLANO, Texas, September 21, 2010 – Liberty Institute is filing a motion today in district court to intervene in the Mojave Desert War Memorial lawsuit on behalf of the VFW Department of California and VFW Post 385. The veterans have a vested interest in the case since the 76-year-old Memorial and the land where it once stood is theirs. This action comes more than 90 days after the veterans asked President Obama to help restore the stolen Mojave Desert War Memorial.

“The veterans and the fallen heroes this memorial represents paid for this small parcel of land with their own blood, sweat, and tears,” said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO of Liberty Institute. “Our nations’ veterans deserve a voice and must not be ignored, especially since this is their monument and their land.”

In 2002, Congress passed a land transfer statute, which gave the one acre surrounding the Mojave Desert War Memorial to the VFW in exchange for the federal government’s annexation of five acres elsewhere in the Mojave National Preserve.

The district court halted the transfer statute, as did the Ninth Circuit of Appeals. On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the lower courts decisions and sent the case back down for further review.

“The court should grant our motion to intervene,” said Ted Cruz, a Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and co-counsel with Liberty Institute. “By Act of Congress, this land belongs to the VFW, and the veterans have an acute interest in restoring and preserving this 76-year-old memorial to those brave American soldiers who gave their lives in World War I.”

The memorial has remained in a vandalized state since it was torn down on May 9, just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that is should stand.

On June 14, a coalition of veterans, including VFW, The American Legion, and Military Order of the Purple Heart, sent a letter to the President asking him to help put the vandalized memorial back in its rightful place.

“This is our land, our memorial and we want it back,” said James Rowoldt, State Adjutant/Quartermaster of the VFW Department of California. “To deny the veterans a chance to defend our own is to continue to dishonor those for whom the Memorial stands.”

Liberty Institute works to uphold Constitutional and First Amendment religious and speech freedoms in the courts. Liberty Institute represented all major veterans groups as amici in the Supreme Court case of Salazar v. Buono involving this 76-year-old war memorial, and continues to represent them as the case returns to the district court.

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VFW Files Motion to Intervene in Mojave Desert Memorial Case: This is Our Land, Our Memorial. We Want it Back!

Stop Loss Pay: Use it or Lose it

On September 8, 2010, in News, by alpha10

Stop Loss Pay: Use it or Lose it

RETROACTIVE STOP LOSS SPECIAL PAY (RSLSP)
Those eligible must submit their claim by Oct. 21, 2010.

The DoD Web site (http://www.defense.gov/stoploss) links to service-specific sites, where you can get more information, or begin the RSLSP claim process.

The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act established Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay (RSLSP), providing $500 for each month/partial month served in stop loss status. Service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of service members whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009 are eligible for RSLSP.

To receive this benefit, those who served under stop loss must submit a claim for the special pay (by Oct. 21, 2010). Throughout the year, the services have been reaching out to service members, veterans and their families through direct mail, veteran service organizations, and the media. But there is still money left to be claimed, and the deadline is approaching.
The average benefit is $3,700.
Note on Eligibility

Effective Dec. 19, 2009, per the Defense Appropriations Act, stop-lossed service members who voluntarily reenlisted or extended their service, and received a bonus for such reenlistment or extension of service, became no longer eligible to receive retroactive stop loss special pay.
The following service-specific sites provide more information and allow you to begin the RSLSP claim process.

Army:
877-736-5554
Website: https://www.stoplosspay.army.mil
E-mail RetroStopLossPay@CONUS.Army.Mil

Navy:
901-874-4427
Web site: http://www.npc.navy.mil/ReferenceLibrary/MILPERSMAN/7000FinancialMgmt/7220_410.htmE-mail: NXAG_N132C@navy.mil

Marine Corps:
877-242-2830
Website: https://www.manpower.usmc.mil/stoplossE-mail: stoploss@usmc.mil

Air Force:
800-525-0102
Website: http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/stoploss
E-mail (active):afpc.dpsos.stoploss@randolph.af.mil
afpc.dpsos.stoploss@randolph.af.mil
E-mail (guard/reserve): arpc.contactcenter@arpc.denver.af.mil

General Procedure
Individuals who meet eligibility criteria may submit an application between 21 October 2009 and 21 October 2010. By law, there is no authorization to make payments on claims that are submitted after 21 October 2010.

Eligible members should print, complete and sign Department of Defense Form 2944, Claim for Retroactive Stop Loss Payment.
Next, choose the appropriate method for submitting the claim form and available supporting documents based on your service specifications. This information can be found on your service’s stop loss Web site.
The following documents are examples of authorized source documents but may not be comprehensive, depending on specific status and service.

Source Documents
1. DD 214 (8-09), Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and/or DD 215 (8-09), Correction to DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
2. Personnel record or enlistment or reenlistment document recording original expiration of service date.
3. Approved retirement/transfer to the Fleet Reserve memorandum or orders establishing retirement prior to actual date of retirement as stipulated in DD 214 or DD 215.
4.Approved resignation memorandum or transition orders establishing a separation date prior to actual date of separation as stipulated on DD 214 or DD 215.
5. Signed documentation or affidavit from knowledgeable officials from the individual’s chain of command acknowledging separation/deployment, etc.
6. Revocation of retirement or separation orders.

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Stop Loss Pay: Use it or Lose it

VFW Strongly Against ‘Burn A Koran Day’

On September 7, 2010, in News, by alpha10

VFW Strongly Against ‘Burn A Koran Day’

WASHINGTON September 7, 2010 — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is strongly against the “Burn a Koran Day” that has been proposed by Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., to occur this Saturday on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

VFW National Commander Richard L. Eubank, a retired Marine and Vietnam combat veteran from Eugene, Ore., said this self-serving act to burn another religion’s holy book will fuel anti-American sentiment for years, and directly endanger our troops and destroy the goodwill that they have built throughout the world’s Muslim nations.

“No one will remember the tremendous multi-national coalition that freed Kuwait back in 1991, or America’s huge humanitarian response in Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami or this year’s disastrous flooding in Pakistan,” said Eubank, who said no one outside the United States will recognize or even care that the act was done by a single or small group of individuals.

“The only thing Muslims will remember and our enemies will exploit was American laws permitted American citizens to burn the Islamic holy book without consequence,” he said.

“The First Amendment may protect the pastor and his followers’ rights to protest, but there is nothing to be gained and everything to lose from this selfish act,” said Eubank. “Our war is against a small number of religious extremists who kill indiscriminately and without remorse. Let’s not allow an equally small number of religious extremists in America to widen the war.”

See the article here:
VFW Strongly Against ‘Burn A Koran Day’

VFW Calls Simpson Comment Irresponsible

On September 2, 2010, in News, by alpha10

VFW Calls Simpson Comment Irresponsible

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2010 – The nation’s largest organization of combat veterans is taking strong issue with a comment made by the Republican co-chairman of a presidential commission on fiscal responsibility and reform, who suggested that benefits provided to disabled military veterans are partly responsible for the nation’s financial crisis.

On Tuesday, former three-term U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming said “The irony [is] that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess.”

“The only polite way to respond is to call his comment totally irresponsible and potentially detrimental to the great programs and services our nation now provides to her disabled veterans,” said Richard L. Eubank, the new national commander of the 2.1 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries.

“The VFW’s founding fathers returned home from the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection to a government that bore little responsibility to care for their wounds or their rehabilitation,” explained Eubank, a retired Marine and Vietnam veteran from Eugene, Ore. “Since 1899, the VFW along with our sister organizations who followed later have been petitioning our government to properly care for those who not only saved our country, but who allowed all others to flourish and build their tomorrows unburdened by the patriotic responsibilities of national defense and personal sacrifice,” he said.

“Regardless of his reasoning, Mr. Simpson is totally out-of-line to lay any part of the nation’s economic woes on disabled veterans,” said Eubank. “The VFW believes in fiscal responsibility, but veterans’ programs are sacrosanct, and the day our government cannot afford to take care of veterans is the day our government should quit creating them.”

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VFW Calls Simpson Comment Irresponsible

Win a Free Trip Through VFW’s “Return to Vietnam” Drawing

If you received a Purple Heart for being wounded in Vietnam, you could be one of the 13* lucky vets to win VFW’s “Return to Vietnam” trip. This in-country tour from March 30-April12, 2011, will visit Hanoi, Saigon, Dong Ha, Khe Sanh, Chu Lai, Hue, the DMZ, Da Nang, Hoi and Marble Mountain. Airfare, accommodations and meals are included. Don’t miss this chance to revisit battle sites and to share your experiences with fellow Vietnam vets.

Click here to access complete rules and entry form.

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Win a Free Trip Through VFW’s "Return to Vietnam" Drawing

Former Marine Elected to Head Nation’s Largest Organization of Combat Veterans

Richard L. Eubank is new VFW National Commander

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 26, 2010 – America’s largest organization of combat veterans has elected a Vietnam War veteran to head the 1.5 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Richard L. Eubank, now a resident of Eugene, Ore., was elected VFW National Commander on Aug. 26, 2010, during the VFW’s National Convention held Aug. 20-25, in Indianapolis, Ind.

During his acceptance speech Eubank, who served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967-1987, pledged his support to help the organization’s state and local leaders in fighting for our troops and veterans. “Just let me know how I can use the influence of this position to help you at the local level…any combat unit worth its salt will take their objective and accomplish their mission. I want warriors who are willing to go into battle with me. For those that do not wish to wage war for our veterans, please stand aside and let us pass through,” he stated.

When emphasizing the need for new members, Eubank asked the mostly Vietnam-era audience to compare their roles within the organization to rifles and bullets. “Everyone at this convention is a rifle, and so are the thousands of others back in your home states and [VFW] Departments, Districts and Posts. You are the leaders…but every rifle needs bullets, and that’s our membership – and from one grunt to the many warriors in this room-you can never have too many bullets…every program and service we provide takes rifles to do the legwork and bullets to provide the support.”

During the Vietnam War Eubank served as a field radio operator with the 1st and 3rd Marine Division. His military decorations include the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Achievement Medal with Combat V device, Good Conduct Medal with 5 Stars, Vietnam Service Medal with 5 stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medal among others.

Eubank joined the VFW in 1988 at Post 10165 in Cameron Park, Calif., and is currently a Life Member of Post 4084 in Ridgecrest, Calif. He has served in elected and appointed positions at the Post, District and Department (state) including Department Commander in 1999 – 2000. He earned distinction by achieving the Triple Crown; All American Commander honors at the Post, District and Department levels. He has served on numerous national committees.

During his yearlong term, Eubank will log thousands of miles across the globe to promote the VFW, veterans’ issues and quality of life initiatives for active-duty, Reserve and Guard members. By the time the commander’s term ends, he will have visited every state and numerous overseas areas.

Also elected were Richard L. DeNoyer, senior vice commander-in-chief, of Middleton, Mass., and John E. Hamilton, junior vice commander-in-chief, of Jacksonville, Fla.

Download Commander Eubank’s acceptance speech.
Watch Commander Eubank deliver his acceptance speech.

Read more:
Former Marine Elected to Head Nation’s Largest Organization of Combat Veterans

VFW Convention Videos Now Available Online

On August 26, 2010, in News, by alpha10

VFW Convention Videos Now Available Online

Video segments from the 111th VFW National Convention are now available by clicking on the “more videos’ button in the player below. Daily highlights are also available on the 111th National Convention page.

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VFW Convention Videos Now Available Online

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