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)

Jul
11

VFW TO HOST PATRIOTIC CELEBRATION

VFW TO HOST PATRIOTIC CELEBRATION AT THE 2015 NATIONAL CONVENTION Featuring live music and a special guest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 9, 2015) – Again this year, in lieu of the traditional VFW Patriotic Rally we have another new and exciting event planned! The VFW will host a Patriotic Celebration featuring live music and a surprise appearance from a well-known star, notorious for his support of veterans and service members, as well as his love of the red, white and blue.

 

The Patriotic Celebration will take place from at 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (EDT), Tuesday, July 21, 2015, at Heinz Field. Busses will begin making trips from all designated hotels beginning at 5 p.m., Heinz Field is within walking distance from all hotels if you prefer. Concessions will be open, offering a variety of food and beverage items for purchase.

 

All convention delegates are welcome to attend, but MUST be accompanied by a VFW or Auxiliary member so don’t forget to bring your membership card or your convention name badge! Showing your patriotism and pride with patriotic apparel is always appropriate and you’ll get the chance to proudly wave small American flags as they will be distributed at the event. There will be no parade and space is limited, so please leave your Department colors behind.

 

Don’t miss out on this year’s Patriotic Celebration!

 

-VFW-

 

ABOUT THE VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of veterans and eligible military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation’s largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans organization. With nearly 1.9 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in more than 6,800 Posts worldwide, “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS.” The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at www.vfw.org.

Jul
11

Sequestration Must End!

Sequestration Must End!

VFW says inadequate military resourcing will cost lives — American lives

WASHINGTON — 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!”

-VFW-

Jun
22

VFW Salutes New Agent Orange Decision

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United is saluting today’s [last week’s] decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin accepting disability claims from veterans potentially exposed to Agent Orange-contaminated aircraft in the post-Vietnam era. The decision by VA Secretary Bob McDonald could now benefit as many as 1,500 to 2,100 Air Force and Air Force Reserve personnel who might suffer from any of 14 presumptive medical conditions that have been determined to be related to Agent Orange exposure.

The VA secretary made the decision to expand benefits following a 2015 report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine on Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. The report found evidence that those who served aboard or worked on the C-123 aircraft were exposed to the herbicide, both during and after Vietnam, when many of the aircraft remained in service for aeromedical transportation or in a mosquito abatement role back in the U.S.

“The VFW has been pushing for this decision for years,” said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, “because something inside these aircraft was making people sick years after the plane last flew a defoliating mission in Vietnam. We thank the Institute of Medicine for determining a contributing link between exposure and the 14 medical conditions, and Secretary McDonald for making a quick call to care for more veterans.”

All airmen who were assigned to flight, ground or medical crew duties at Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio (the 906th and 907th Tactical Air Groups or 355th and 356th Tactical Airlift Squadrons), at Massachusetts’s Westover AFB (the 731st Tactical Air Squadron and 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron), or with the 758th Airlift Squadron in Pittsburgh, during the period 1969 to 1986, and who may have developed an Agent Orange-related disability, are encouraged to file a disability compensation claim through the VA’s eBenefits web portal (https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/), or to seek the free and expert assistance of a national VFW Service Officer at http://www.vfw.org/NVS/.

Read more about the today’s [last week’s] decision at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/20825/va-expands-disability-benefits-for-air-force-personnel-exposed-to-contaminated-c-123-aircraft/.

(via VFW.org)

Jun
17

116th VFW National Convention

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Click on the link below for more information about the National Convention, Hotel info and much more…

http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Events/116th-VFW-National-Convention/

 

 

Jun
17

“Stolen Valor Act” to be heard by the Judicial Committee

MA House Bill H.1641 189th (Current)  Known as the “Stole Valor Act”

is Schedule to go before the Judicial Committee
on July 22, 2015

Tentative Time:1pm (may change 48 hours prior)

We are seeking as many Veterans,, families and supporters from across the State to attend and support this bill.

“Stole Valor Act” if passed will be one of the strongest bills across the country concerning the false representation of military status

Introduced by Rep. John Velis- Westfield, MA

Also Contact the Chair(s) of the committee below and voice your support and urge passage.

House Chair on Judicial
John V. Fernandes
Representative
D Milford

Senate Chair:
William Brownsberger
D-Belmont
Phone: 617-722-1280
Email: William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov

 

Jun
15

Newly Elected Officers for 2015-2016

Congratulations to our newly elected State Officers for the 2015-2016 year:
Joseph Stavolta, Commander
Brian Martin, Sr.Vice Commander
Eric Segundo, Jr. Vice Commander
Stan King, Quartermaster
Keith Jackson, Judge Advocate
Bryan P O’Brien State Surgeon
Father Garlick, Chaplain

And newly appointed State Adjutant Allison Joy Cumming

Jun
03

Convention Schedule

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Jun
03

100% Posts, District Totals and Recruiter Count

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