The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center honored World War II veteran, Don M’Sadoques
November 9th of this year. Over the past months, he has crocheted 120 blankets for fellow veterans living at the medical center.
At a young age, Don has had a talent for weaving, crocheting,
and caring for others. At age 21, he enlisted into the U.S. Navy Seabees and served until 1945.
The following are those who personally know Don and felt is necessary to speak about his undying generosity and service to others.
“Don is a gentle soul and a friend to all. A natural leader who encourages everyone to attend game nights and always willing to teach those who didn’t know how to play the games. You can’t help but feel love for Don.” – Bonnie Covaleskie
“Don is the best friend anyone could have. His organizational skills and good deeds he does for all his friends and neighbors cannot be surpassed. He is a loving friend to all.” – Bernie Diamond
“Just think, a member of the Greatest Generation, of whom there are far too few today. Don grew up poor, left home young, joined the Navy Seabees and was one of the many brave ones who helped allow the generations after him to enjoy the freedom they have today. An honest, dependable man whose word was his bond and a humble and kind soul whom we are proud to say is our friend.” – Larry and Peggy Killeen
Jacksonville Illinois’ AMVETS Post 100 was established in 1946, just a year after the national AMVETS organization was formed. On Saturday, Post 100 marked its 70th anniversary with a celebration at the post home on East Court Street.
“About five years ago, the post had fallen on some hard financial times, but through some luck and by implementing better business practices, we were able to turn things around,” Post 100 Commander Jim Duncan said. “The reason we decided to hold the celebration was because 70 years is a long time and it’s a milestone we wanted to recognize.”
Doors opened at 10 o’clock, kicking off an exciting day of presentations, food and entertainment. Commander Duncan presented certificates of service to past commanders of the post, as well as to former leaders of the Sons of AMVETS and AMVETS’ Ladies Auxiliary.
“As a past AMVETS state commander and a longtime AMVETS member, I’m proud to be part of this 70th anniversary celebration of Post 100,” Ed Wright of Jacksonville said.
“The celebration is another way to get the AMVETS name out into the public, letting them know we are an open club,” Vice Commander Alice Towers added. “We hope to draw younger members to the organization. I would also like to reach out to more female veterans and encourage them to participate in the AMVETS.”
With over 260 members, Post 100 is one of the largest AMVETS posts in Illinois.
“The reason I enjoy belonging to the AMVETS is for the camaraderie and the shared experiences of serving in the military,” Lewis Camerer of Jacksonville said. “It doesn’t matter what branch you served in, we are all part of one big family.”
“We also act as a clearinghouse for veterans looking for assistance or information on benefits,” Commander Duncan said. “We are also active with the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. We host an annual Good Friday party for the residents and some of our members serve on the Veterans Home’s advisory council. Our vibrant Ladies Auxiliary also donates resources to the five Illinois veterans homes.”
To find out more information about AMVETS Post 100, call them at 217-243-9990 or visit their Facebook page.
November 8th marked the 14th annual Charter Night Dinner for AMVETS Post 2180 in Murphy, Wisconsin. Their members, along with VFW, American Legion and Veterans Assistance Foundation in Tomah gathered at Veteran Memorial Hall in Necedah. They had a lot to celebrate.
Murphy AMVETS Post 2180 has been awarded Post of the Year from the AMVETS Department of Wisconsin for seven of the last eight years. Post 2180 members have been active in the community, making a total of 1,641 visits to schools and memorial services this year, totaling over 5,500 hours of service. Also, Post member Kenneth Hornburg received the Edward L. Janczak award for his work with Veterans in their community.
Hornburg, who also serves on the American Legion and VFW, said “Most all of it has to do with the support of the American veteran.” He goes on to say “the person that gives some time to the service of his country needs to be thanked. Because he has given his life over and above what everybody else does.”
Leaders of AMVETS (American Veterans), a congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization in the U.S., just completed their extended annual visit to Taiwan.
AMVETS National Commander Harold Chapman and AMVETS National Ladies Auxiliary President Evelyn R. McElvin were visiting at the invitation of the Minister of the R.O.C. Veterans Affairs Council (VAC) General Lee Hsiang-jow.
While in Taiwan, they paid a courtesy call on President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office.
President Tsai noted that AMVETS had been a strong supporter of Taiwan for over three decades, and that each year, leaders from the VAC and AMVETS exchanged information on veterans’ affairs, national defense and foreign relations.
President Tsai thanked the visitors for the latest AMVETS National Resolution on Taiwan, in which AMVETS recognized that the R.O.C. on Taiwan was a long-time friend, ally and strategic partner of the U.S.
At a welcome dinner party, Minister Tung expressed his gratitude to AMVETS’ continued support of Taiwan through its Resolutions at the AMVETS National Convention each year.
In return, Commander Chapman and President McElvin conveyed appreciation for their hospitality and noted that they were impressed with the dedication of the VAC in caring for the country’s veterans.
Lanham, MD, November 14, 2016 — AMVETS selected the 10 lucky sweepstakes winners from thousands of entries from around the country for prizes ranging from $500 to the $10,000 grand prize. The drawing took place today at the AMVETS National Headquarters in Lanham, MD.
Proceeds from the sweepstakes will help support AMVETS’ continuing mission to deliver quality of life programs for veterans and their families.
Congratulations to the following winners of the 2016 AMVETS Veterans Day Sweepstakes:
$10,000.00 – Mr. & Mrs. William Carter of Huntley, IL
$5,000.00 – Mr. George Ben Johnson of Seabeck, WA
$2,500.00 – Mr. John M Evers of Iselin, NJ
$1,000.00 – Mr. Thomas J. Melvin of Millsboro, DE
$500.00 – Mrs. Betty D. Kelm of Bowling Green, KY
$500.00 – Mrs. M. Bissinger of Ormond Beach, FL
$500.00 – Mr. Charles Kelley of Davie, FL
$500.00 – Ms. Marlene Kearns of Pittsburgh, PA
$500.00 – Mr. James L. Lutz of Eastlake, OH
$500.00 – Mr. Robert Zellner of Green Bay, WI
A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit www.amvets.org.
CHEYENNE – Veterans Day may have come and gone, but for the Ladies Auxiliary at AMVETS Post 10 in Cheyenne, every day is a day worth giving back to our men and women overseas.
On Saturday, the ladies of the auxiliary did just that, spending the afternoon stuffing dozens of red and white Christmas stockings with the comforts of home to send to Wyoming Army and Air National Guard active duty members.
“We have 123 Wyoming troops serving overseas, so we’re stuffing 123 stockings so maybe they can get a smile for Christmas, and it’s our way of saying thank you,” said Peggy Spears, auxiliary president. “We’re fairly new ladies auxiliary, but our support members are awesome and I think we can keep this as a yearly type project.”
Though similar care packages have been put together at AMVETS Post 10 in the past, Spears said the newest iteration of the Ladies Auxiliary has grown swiftly in membership and reach. Though the group itself paid for the stockings and the cost of shipping them, virtually all of their contents came from donations.
“We’ve got shampoos, granola bars, peanuts, deodorant, socks, wipes, toothpaste, nuts, crackers, cookies, beef jerky,” said auxiliary treasurer Jennifer McWaters. “You name it; we’ve got it – everything legal, that is.”
McWaters said the auxiliary put up fliers around the post asking for donations from post members, but they also received donations from outside groups, including the Cheyenne Women’s League.
“We had an abundance of donations, so our plan is to follow up by taking some of this stuff to the vets at the VA (medical center),” she said.
Spears said due to operational security interests, the ladies don’t know for certain exactly where their donations are being sent. And while their stuffing duties came just one day after Veterans Day, that was more of a coincidence than anything, borne out of the knowledge that the care packages could be traveling clear around the world.
“We’re not allowed to know the destination or even the names of individuals receiving them,” Spears said. “And we have to get these out by Dec. 9 at the latest, but we’re hoping to have them out by next week.”
Though it’s been several years since the ladies auxiliary has had a coordinated care package drive, vice president Joy Reed said she remembers just how much such efforts mean to those serving abroad.
“We did something similar to this about four years ago,” Reed said. “And we received a lot of thank you cards from our troops saying they were so grateful for it.”
“It’s their highlight (of their overseas tours),” Spears added. “Knowing somebody at home is thinking of them, it means so much to them.”
Sunday’s stocking-stuffing is only one small part of the ladies auxiliary’s plans for the coming weeks. In addition to donating to the VAMC, the ladies also plan to assist with a Thanksgiving dinner at Post 10 later this month, followed by Christmas caroling in December.
And while the auxiliary has been enjoying good growth since its new officers took over in June, Spears said they’re always willing to take in new members.
“What I would love to have folks know is we would like to have more people participate in stuff like this,” she said. “If they’d ever like to come down and check out the club, we’d love to show them how awesome this club is.”
In honor of Veteran’s Day, here is a partial list of the free services or discounts offered to veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their dependents. For the complete list, click here.
AARP is offering up to a 30% membership discount for veterans, their families, and anyone interested in annual or multi-year memberships and renewals.
Offering 20% off of select apparel on Veterans Day. Promotion code: “20veterans”
Bed Bath & Beyond
U.S. Military and Veterans get 20% off Thursday, November 10th – Sunday, November 13th.
This Veterans Day, former and current members save an additional 15% on select PCs and electronics.
11% off total purchase in-store or online on Veterans Day for veterans and active military and their family members. Shop online with promo code AVAILABLE 11.11.16 Valid for participating locations and on qualifying purchases.
Get 50% of all donated apparel with a valid military ID.
Great Clips Free Haircut
On Veterans Day, customers who come in for a haircut at any U.S. Great Clips salon will receive a free haircut card to give to an active/inactive/retired military member of any branch, including the National Guard. Veterans can also visit any U.S. Great Clips salon on November 11 to get either a free haircut that day or to pick up a free haircut card to use later.
For every cut bought on Veterans Day, Hair Cuttery will donate a free haircut certificate to a Veteran.
Home Depot offers a free “Build a Veterans Day Jet” workshop for children ages 5-12 to help teach them about Veterans Day. Event is from 9am-12pm while supplies last. Register online, or arrive at the allotted time, while supplies last. A 10% discount is also offered to all other military veterans on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day.
From Nov. 7 – Nov. 11 veterans can enjoy a free entree at Ikea. Please show some form of military ID.
All current and former military personnel can enjoy discounts off purchases on Veterans Day.
Lowes Home Improvement
Lowes honors all Veterans on three specific holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day. During these three holiday weekends, Lowes extends the discount to all veterans who served honorably and who present a valid Form DD214 or other proof of service.
Meineke Free Oil Change
This Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, all veterans and active duty will receive a free Basic Oil Change* at participating Meineke locations.
Newegg is offering a 10% military discount on select items when you verify your military service.
Active and retired military personnel and family members receive a 10 percent discount on Veteran’s Day. Proof of service required.
Sleep Number Military Discount
Sleep Number is providing exclusive offers for current and past military personnel. Save $500-$700 on selected Sleep Number® mattress sets, or 20% – 30% off for other select sets, depending on the designated discount per product.
Get 15% off. Offer valid for Military, Veterans & First Responders Click for Details.
Veterans Day Run
Discounted entries to all veterans and active duty military as well as discounts for military spouses. Runs are held in cities throughout the US.
Offering a 20% discount to all Veterans, Active duty military, and their immediate families, on Veterans Day 2016. Must present a Walgreens Rewards card and valid Military ID or proof of service to receive discount on eligible items.
Western Union is offering consumers the opportunity to make U.S. domestic money transfers — and transfers to and from U.S. military bases around the world where Western Union has a retail Agent location — for zero fee on Veterans Day using promo code HERO.
Westgate Resorts is giving away 1,000 free vacations on Veterans Day. The first 1,000 eligible service members who complete the online military appreciation form and place a fully refundable $75 deposit will receive a complimentary three-day, two-night vacation for up to four people at Westgate Town Center Resort from May 5-7, 2017.
On Saturday, November 12, Santa will officially arrive at Santa’s Wonderland at 79* Bass Pro Shops locations nationwide to start the 2016 holiday season. With a little holiday magic, Santa’s Wonderland transforms Bass Pro Shops into a sprawling Christmas village featuring free photos with Santa and free family holiday activities, crafts and games. This year families can also help Bass Pro Shops and AMVETS send a quarter-million cards to active military and recovering veterans overseas and at home.
The magic begins at 5 p.m. local time on opening day when customers can greet Santa, enjoy free cookies, McSteven’s hot chocolate and carols. Children are invited to help Santa light up the outside of the store and a big Christmas tree in the main entrance at participating locations.
“Offering free photos with Santa and craft activities at Santa’s Wonderland is a way for us to say thank you to our customers and communities. Last year we provided more than one million free photos with Santa,” said Stan Lippelman, Bass Pro Shops Vice President of Marketing. “We are also proud to partner with USO and AMVETS to thank the men and women of our armed forces who make all of this possible. We cannot thank them enough for their sacrifices.”
In the spirit of the season, Bass Pro Shops again this year invites customers to support service members, military families and veterans at stores across the country through a donation program for the United Service Organizations (USO) and AMVETS. Beginning on Veteran’s Day, November 11, through the end of the year, customers can round up their purchase and donate the balance to the nonprofit organizations. Families can also complete one of 250,000 cards that AMVETS will deliver to active duty military and recovering veterans. The efforts are just one part of Bass Pro Shops significant commitment to supporting active duty military, veterans and their families including employing thousands of veterans and offering a monthly military/veteran discount.
About Santa’s Wonderland
Nobody celebrates Christmas like Bass Pro Shops. For the ninth year, Santa’s Wonderland will transform Bass Pro Shops into an immersive holiday experience with rustic Christmas cabins, animated holiday characters, interactive talking caribou, and live elves set amongst snow-covered hills, illuminated Christmas trees and an arctic sky. The Christmas village offers remote control trucks, a laser arcade and a foam toy arcade. Families can also spend time at one of the activity tables where they can write a letter to Santa and make Christmas decorations and handmade crafts to take home, all for free.
Get a time, skip the line
The highlight of Bass Pro Shops Santa’s Wonderland is the big guy himself. Guests can enjoy family activities and avoid waiting in line with the free Bass Pass system. Upon arrival in-store, visit the Bass Pass Ticket Depot located at the entrance of Santa’s Wonderland to pick up a time-stamped pass. Return to see Santa at the time marked on the Bass Pass to share Christmas wishes and take a photo. Bass Pass reservations are only available in-store on a first-come, first-served basis; weeknights have the most availability.
Families visiting Santa Claus receive a free 4 x 6 studio-quality photo, and a digital Christmas video card to share online with family and friends.
New In-Store Activities in 2016
Holiday greeting cards for veterans – 250,000 cards provided in-store for customers to personalize from November 11 through December 16; Bass Pro Shops to mail on their behalf, in partnership with AMVETS
A big dig excavation area where kids can try out a new ride-on digger and control the scoops and shovels
Lincoln Logs building area for boys and girls to create anything they can imagine
An activity center for kids to play games and test out fun new toys of the season
Christmas Wish List Giveaway
Fans can also tune in online where celebrities from the world of sports and outdoors will share their photos with Santa on social media and followers can submit custom photo captions for a chance to win great prizes. Customers have the chance to win their Christmas wish list and share the generosity with a member of their community. For more information and to enter to win your Christmas wish list, visit www.basspro.com/santa.
On Oct. 17, Watertown, Mass. AMVETS Post 41 presented the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) with a check for the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica Plain to install 8 ceiling lifts in resident rooms on the first floor.
The check was accepted with gratitude by representatives of the AWWA, President Brenda Khederian, Vice-President Susan Giragosianm and Director JoAnn Janjigian. The eight lifts will help 16 patients have more comfortable transfers in and out of beds. It is also a tremendous help for the staff of the nursing home and creates a safe environment for all concerned.
Watertown AMVETS Post 41 was founded in 1952 by a group of 11 charter members, all WWII veterans led by Kasper (Casey) Bejoian. The Post is open to veterans of all U.S. wars and military conflicts. Most of its members are of Armenian heritage. The Post unites veterans for fellowship and community service, and to share common interest exemplified by its slogan: “We fought together, let’s build together.”
In 2015 the Post sold its building on Grove Street in Watertown and transferred its headquarters to the AGBU building on Mt. Auburn St., where it holds monthly meetings and continues to meet and follow the traditions set forth by their founding members.
The Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) sponsors the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC) in Jamaica Plain and is the major funding source for the Hanganak Clinic in Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh/NKR).
The AWWA is eternally grateful for the generous donation by AMVETS Post 41 for the continued safe environment for the elderly at the ANRC.
Twenty-year Army veteran Ken Gingras served in Vietnam from 1970-71 and retired from the Army in 1990, but was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) only three years ago. A psychologist leading a veterans counseling group then connected him and other veterans with a therapeutic horsemanship program.
Gingras was one of six veterans in the program at Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center in Brewster, where two veterans are paired up with an abused horse. He lights up when he talks about the program.
“We learn how to calm them and clean them and learn horsemanship skills,” he said, “After the horse has established a comfort level, we are able to get them to circle and come to you. They have to have a comfort level with you and you feel comfort as well.”
The program is among the many beneficiaries of the Field of Honor, the fourth annual Veterans Day event, which displays more than 300 flags in honor of veterans and other everyday heroes at Johnny Kelley Park in Dennis. The flags, which are purchased by individuals, will be on display from Nov. 11-14 with a public ceremony on Nov. 13.
The event leaders are looking for more people to buy flags at $35 each to bring the total up to 400 this year, said Vinnie Fontaine of Dennis, a Marine veteran who got the program started.
Gingras went on to explain how the horse program works. He said horses are prey animals, much like the military veterans feel who have been through war. The horses can pick up danger through their ears and eyes and signal with their heads when they are stressed or relaxed, he said.
“It gives you a better understanding of what you’re going through. We have trust issues,” Gingras said of veterans with PTSD. “We’re always looking behind us.”
The four-hour program once a week for five weeks also helps the veterans to develop a camaraderie with each other, he said. In his group, there were two other Vietnam veterans and veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars. A second session is under way at the farm.
“I felt it was an excellent program for me. It should be for others,” Gingras said. After the program finishes, he said, “You’re always welcome to come back to the farm and you can be a facilitator.”
The therapeutic horse program receives no outside funds and is run by trained volunteer guides along with a therapist.
DAV Chapter 96 gave $1000 donations each to the Delta Dogs and Emerald Hollow Horse Farm, which are designated as the primary recipients for this year’s Field of Honor, according to Brian Hawkesworth of Dennis, a Vietnam veteran and veterans service officer for the DAV chapter and AMVETS Post 333, co-sponsors of Field of Honor.