Aug
27

VFW Appoints First Female Assistant Quartermaster General

image003KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) has appointed a 13-year Army and Desert Storm veteran as the first female Assistant Quartermaster General for the nation’s largest combat veteran service organization.

Debra Anderson was sworn in on August 23, 2015, before the VFW’s National Council of Administration. The announcement comes just days after a historical change to extend VFW Auxiliary membership eligibility to male spouses and male family members, solidifying the VFW’s commitment to membership equality for all military families.

“Since coming to the VFW in 2006, Debra has been dedicated to furthering the VFW’s mission at Post, District and National levels. I have no doubt that she will continue to ensure the VFW remains the top veterans’ service organization FOR VETERANS,” said John Biedrzycki, VFW national commander.

Prior to her appointment, Anderson served as director of Human Resources and Investment Coordinator where she managed all aspects of human resources for the VFW National Headquarters.

Anderson earned her VFW eligibility for service with the U.S. Army during Desert Storm and left the Army in 1993 as a Major. Among her numerous military decorations, she has been awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal and Parachutist Badge.

She graduated cum laude with a degree in Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and earned a master’s degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.

Anderson joined the VFW in 2006 at Post 7356 in Parkville, Mo., where she currently maintains her Gold Legacy Life membership. She has served as Voice of Democracy chair, junior vice commander, senior vice commander, All-American Post Commander, trustee and district adjutant.

(via VFW.org)

Aug
27

DOD Announces New Prescription Drug Policy

The DOD has announced a new TRICARE policy that will require military retirees and family members to obtain certain prescription drugs through the mail or at a military treatment facility (MTF). The change affects only maintenance medications. Acute medications such as antibiotics may still be obtained through retail pharmacies. Active duty military are exempt. Similar to the TRICARE for Life pharmacy mail order pilot program, generic formulary drugs will be free with home delivery and name brand formulary drugs will cost $16 for a 90 day supply. This is compared to $8 for generics and $20 for name brands currently charged at network pharmacies for a 30 day supply. There is no charge for drugs obtained at MTFs. DOD estimates this new policy will save $88 million a year for them, and $16.5 million a year for beneficiaries. Receiving a single name brand drug through home delivery rather than a retail pharmacy will save beneficiaries up to $176 per year. Affected beneficiaries will begin receiving letters on September 1 with additional information on the new policy and how to obtain waivers if necessary. For more information on TRICARE pharmacy copays, visit: http://www.tricare.mil/pharmacycosts.

Aug
27

Action Alert: Veterans Choice Program and Access Survey

Background: Last year, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act) to improve access to health care for veterans and reduce VA appointment wait times. Since its enactment, the VFW has worked to ensure this important law serves the best interest of veterans. In the past year, the VFW has commissioned several surveys; compiled three reports; worked directly with VA officials and health care contractors; and testified before Congress multiple times on the state of the VA health care system and the implementation of the Choice Act, resulting in significant changes in the program to better serve veterans.

Action Needed: Take the VFW’s latest Veterans Choice Program and Access Survey to help the VFW hold VA accountable for delivering veterans timely access to high quality care. To take the survey, click here:

http://capwiz.com/vfw/utr/1/EUTAVCFUQO/LWFSVCFUYW/10968957876.

Aug
27

VFW Auxiliary Now Accepts Men

John A. Biedrzycki Jr., national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [last week] added his official signature to the new congressional charter of its Auxiliary organization in a historical event solidifying the VFW’s commitment to membership equality for all military families.

The former Ladies Auxiliary VFW, founded in 1914, is the VFW’s highly regarded support organization and is considered its “Partner in Service.”

Under its former name Ladies Auxiliary VFW, membership within the organization was offered exclusively to female spouses and family members of any member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The gender-specific eligibility requirement remained for more than 100 years until July 20, 2015, when delegates to the VFW’s 116th National Convention in Pittsburgh voted to amend the dated by-law to extend the same membership opportunity to eligible males.

Appropriately, the Ladies Auxiliary VFW has changed its official name to the VFW Auxiliary.

“It’s an exciting time to be a member of the Auxiliary,” said National President Francisca Guilford. “Women comprise nearly twenty percent of our nation’s military, and this change allows all spouses, fathers, grandfathers, sons, grandsons and brothers to serve others in honor of their veteran.”

Currently, the Auxiliary has more than 465,000 members, a number that is now expected to sharply increase over the next year. Its members represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, several foreign locations including Germany, Guam and Panama, and have made an impact in local communities around the globe.

Last year alone, its members worked to provide $4.6 million dollars in monetary aid to veterans, active duty military and their families, and volunteered nearly 800,000 hours in VA Medical Centers, hospitals, nursing and veterans’ homes. Auxiliary members also contributed greatly to cancer research, youth activities, civic patriotism and much more.

For more information about the VFW Auxiliary, please visit www.vfwauxiliary.org.

(via VFW.org)

Aug
14

VFW Service Officer now has office hours at the Brockton VAMC

Department of Massachusetts

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

The Department Service Office is available for ALL veterans needing claims assistance. Whether you are filing an initial VA claim, requesting an increase in benefits or would like to file a notice of disagreement with a recent claim – we are here to assist you.

If you reside anywhere in the south region (Boston to the Cape) – Assistant State Service Officer Michael Raymond is working specifically for you. You no longer need to drive into downtown Boston, we will come to your local VFW Post and also have a remote office located at the Brockton VAMC that is open each Tuesday between

10am – 2pm starting September 1, 2015.

Please contact Michael Raymond at: (603) 608-6898

or email: ChaplainRaymond@aol.com to schedule an appointment or to meet at the Brockton VAMC.

The Brockton VAMC Office is located at 940 Belmont Street, Brockton, MA 02301. The VFW office is located in Building 3, Floor 5, Room A-503 (next to the Dental Clinic).

“No One Does More For Veterans”

 

Print Flyer South-Flier.pdf (14 downloads)

 

Aug
07

Contact Massachusetts Judiciary Committee to Pass Stolen Valor Act

stolen valor photo
Please forward the below information to the membership.  We asked that every member and supporter  send an email to the below recipients to urgently pass H1641 “Stole Valor Act” and move it out of committee.  Members and supports can copy and paste the text below and address it to the Chairmen’s and Judiciary Committee  members.
Dear Chairman Brownsberger and Chairman Fernandes and members of the Judiciary Committee,
Please support H.1641 An Act concerning false representation of military status- otherwise known as the Stolen Valor act- filed by Representative John Velis. This bill would make Massachusetts one of the toughest states in the nation in protecting the valor of the members of our military. Our veterans and service members sacrifice so much for us and it is important that we protect the valor they earned.
The Stolen Valor bill has more than fifty cosponsors from both sides of the aisle. It has received widespread support from the people of the Commonwealth. Please vote for this bill to be favorably released from the Judiciary Committee.
Thank you,

 (Insert Your Name Here)

Email to:

Judiciary Committee Chairs:

William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov
John.Fernandes@mahouse.gov
Members:

John.Keenan@masenate.gov
Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov
Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov
Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov
Richard.Ross@masenate.gov

Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov
Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov

john.velis@mahouse.gov
Michael.Day@mahouse.gov
Paul.Tucker@mahouse.gov
James.Lyons@mahouse.gov
Jeffrey.Roy@mahouse.gov
Evandro.Carvalho@mahouse.gov

Sheila.Harrington@mahouse.gov

Jul
29

Newspaper Deadline

Comrades,

State Commander Joseph S. Stavolta would like to start off the year with a GREAT newspaper, getting “Back to Basics”.  Communication is key!

Please submit what you, your post or post members have done this summer!  Community service, cook outs, fund raisers, up coming events!!

Is there something you would like to see the Department publish in the newspaper?

The deadline is AUGUST 5TH!!!  Please get your articles and pictures in as soon as possible.

Jul
29

Life Membership Amnesty Deadline approaching

Life Membership Amnesty

All life members who are reported deceased between July 1, 2015 and Aug. 31, 2015, will be removed from the Post rolls and the Post’s prior year membership count will be adjusted accordingly.

 

Jul
24

VFW Elects New National Commander

VFW Elects New National Commander

Biedrzycki calls ‘service to others’ VFW’s most important mission

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 22, 2015) — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) concluded its 116th National Convention by electing Pittsburgh-native John A. Biedrzycki Jr. as its new national commander.

Biedrzycki served in the U. S. Army from 1967-1970. He served in Korea with the 7th Infantry Division, and his decorations include the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Korean Defense Medal. He is a VFW Legacy Life Member and served in elected and appointed positions at the Post, County, District and Department (state) levels prior to his elections to national office. He has been a member of the VFW for 46 years, having first joined the VFW at Post 418 in McKees Rocks, Pa., in 1969.

In his acceptance speech, the VFW’s new leader called on the organization’s nearly 1.4 million members to recommit themselves in service to others, which was one of the primary reasons his organization’s founders formed in 1899, and formerly merged here in Pittsburgh in 1914. He also urged everyone to consider how much poorer the country would have been had the VFW never existed.

“If not for the VFW, who in our communities will help organize and participate in patriotic salutes to our nation and remember those who serve or fell?” he asked. “If not for the VFW, who will help America’s veterans and troops navigate the complex VA claims system, or ensure their individual needs are properly taken care of? And if not for the VFW, who will give a collective voice on Capitol Hill against all the noise generated by 30,000 registered lobbyists who, other than lip service, don’t have the best interest of veterans, service members and families first on their agendas?”

While addressing convention delegates, Biedrzycki had high praise for the work being done by VFW members in communities across America. He cited several examples of projects and programs that well-illustrate the VFW’s mission to stand up for veterans, service members and their families.

A retired high school history teacher, Biedrzycki also stressed that “freedom isn’t free” – something America tends to forget.

“The success of America was built on the service and sacrifice of many Americans, but our continued freedom falls squarely on the shoulders of those who wear the uniform. Everyone in the VFW understands that,” he remarked.

During his tenure he will log thousands of miles within the U.S. and internationally to promote the VFW, veterans’ issues, and quality of life initiatives for active-duty, Reserve and Guard members, and all their families.

Also elected were Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Brian J. Duffy of Louisville, Ky., and Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Keith E. Harman of Delphos, Ohio.

Biedrzycki will lead under the theme Loyalty, Honor and Service for the ensuing year; values that have long-guided the VFW and its new national commander alike.

Jul
12

VFW: Sequestration Must End

WASHINGTON (July 10, 2015) — There was nothing shocking about Thursday’s force reduction announcement by the Army. The Budget Control Act of 2011 had dictated the terms by which America’s largest military service would incrementally shrink from a wartime high of 570,000 active-duty soldiers to 450,000. Still to come, however, is the return of mandatory sequestration in fiscal year 2016, which would further shrink the active Army to 420,000 soldiers, as well as drastically slash the operating budgets of all four military services.

“Sequestration is the most significant military readiness and national security threat of the 21st century, and despite almost universal congressional opposition to it, no member of the House or Senate has yet introduced any legislation to end it,” said John W. Stroud, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. “Our military can beat any military in the world, but they can’t fight a Congress that is essentially forcing them to operate for a decade on only eight years’ worth of funding.”

Though the Army’s announced two-year plan to reduce its end strength by 40,000 soldiers and 17,000 civilians was preordained four years ago, Stroud said what’s important now is for the new Congress to act.

“We need both political parties to finally say ‘enough,’ not because a continued sequester will hurt civilian economies in certain congressional districts, but because a continued sequester weakens America, worries our allies and emboldens our enemies,” he said. “Our brave men and women in uniform will continue to perform and excel at every mission, but overtasking with inadequate resourcing will cost lives — American lives — which is an impending disaster the VFW will not allow. Sequestration must end!”

(via VFW.org)

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