AMVETS in Action

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AMVETS ‘Employer of the Year”

Since 1983, the AMVETS Veteran Friendly Employer of the Year Awards program recognizes employers from the private sector and government (local, state and federal) who have made great strides to by providing employment to our veterans.

The AMVETS Veteran Friendly Employer of the Year Awards recognize organizations based on their commitment to serving veterans through both their hiring practices and community involvement. This award allows our organization to recognize those employers who make a commitment to including veterans in their organizational culture. Through community service, fundraisers, and veteran preference hiring practices, employers are showing their continued dedication to improving the lives of veterans throughout the United States. We hope you will take the time to tell us about some of these employers so that we may get the chance to recognize their outstanding achievements.Below are examples of our past winners, AECOM and the Washington State Corps of Engineers.


Named as one of Fortune magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for two consecutive years, AECOM is a pillar of the engineering world. In 2015, AECOM hired almost 4,000 new employees; over 1,100 of those new hires are veterans. Over 250 of those veterans are disabled. In total, AECOM employs over 9,000 veterans. AECOM is truly a Veteran Friendly employer; they prove that companies value the unique training and experience the military provides. Thank you, AECOM, for your commitment to hiring our nation’s heroes. Please accept our award of Employer of the Year for your outstanding veteran-friendly employment.


The United States Corps of Engineers employs 37,000 dedicated civil servants in 130 countries around the world. The Department of the Army, Washington State Corps of Engineers employs over 1,700 engineers and civil servants in the state of Washington to further the mission of the Corps of Engineers to “deliver vital public and military engineering services.” In 2015, Washington State Corps of Engineers hired 259 new hires, 102 of which are veterans. Of those 102 veterans, 39 are disabled veterans and 12 are women veterans. Thank you, Washington State Corps of Engineers, for actively pursuing Veteran candidates and prioritizing the hiring of local veterans. Please accept our award of Employer of the Year for your outstanding veteran-friendly employment.

All submissions can be mailed to:

AMVETS Programs
4647 Forbes Blvd.
Lanham, MD 20706

Questions/concerns can be addressed to Stephanie Mullen at smullen@amvets.org

VAntage Point: Joe Chenelly – Marine Veteran, AMVETS National Executive Director

 

This week in VA blog news, out National Executive Director, Joe Chenelly, was featured in the Veteran Affairs Podcast. For those that didn’t know, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in March 1998, serving with the 1st Marine Division, and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in April 2006. He is a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, having served in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Kuwait, East Timor and the Horn of Africa.

On this episode, Joe speaks with Tim Lawson on his experiences as a Marine, the 9/11 terrorism that occurred while being a service member, suicide, and being a leading veteran advocate voice in D.C. through AMVETS.

Post 122 Donates $10,000 to School District

Amvets donate 10K to JCSD

Board votes to purchase, install freezer at EJHS

Julianne Cahill via The Sentinel

MIFFLINTOWN — The Juniata County School District is the recipient of a significant community donation.

Thompsontown Amvets Post 122 presented $10,000 to the district’s cafeteria fund during the board of directors’ meeting Jan. 19.

“We (the Amvets) choose between veterans and youth to help out in the community,” manager Greg Spancake said.

This time, they decided to help youth.

He said their donation provides food for the schools, therefore benefiting students throughout the whole county.

Also during the JCSD meeting, directors approved:

¯Purchase and installation of a freezer for East Juniata High School, at a cost of $36,306;

¯Resurfacing of the infield at EJHS’ baseball field with Diamond-Tex;

¯Administration and solicitor to proceed with the purchase of .046 acres of land adjacent to the existing Monroe Elementary School, at a cost of $14,000, to be used as a turning lane for the proposed construction project;

¯Financial reports for November and December;

¯Listing of bills for payment;

¯Compensation for tax collectors at $2.90, per real estate payment in 2018, $3 in 2019, $3.10 in 2020 and $3.20 in 2021;

¯Transportation plan and memorandum of understanding with Children and Youth Services to establish transportation procedures for foster care youth;

¯ 2017-18 academic year calendar;

¯Corrected 2016-17 academic year calendar;

¯First reading of revised transportation policy for video/audio recording;

¯Listing of student field trips;

¯Homebound instruction for two high school students and extended instruction for one student;

¯Robert St. Clair Jr.’s request to electronically survey students in grades nine through 12 in regard to bullying at Juniata High School;

¯Two teacher conference requests;

¯First reading of revised district policies related to policy manual access, emergency preparedness and conflict of interest;

¯Collective bargaining agreement between the JCSD and United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, on behalf of local union 1940-09, effective July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2019. This agreement affects custodians, secretarial workers, paraprofessionals and nursing staff.

The board also approved the scheduling of workshop meetings monthly on the Wednesday prior to regular voting meetings, with the exception of December 2017.

Director Danny R. Snyder will serve as JCSD representative to the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit Board of Directors, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.

Post 91 supports “Adopt a Veteran”

The Black Hawk County Veteran Affairs Commission conducted their first “Adopt a Veteran” event this Christmas, aiming to provide gifts for veterans and their families struggling or alone during the holidays.With the help of several organizations, AMVETS included, the event ran successful enough to increase chances of it becoming annually scheduled.

“There were nearly 70 people, companies, organizations who came forward to adopt a veteran,” stated Kevin Dill, commission executive director. “The Cedar Falls AMVETS riders adopted two families and held a craft sale that generated money in the form of gift cards to families.

“We received monetary donations from (Waterloo) AMVETS Post 19, the local Disabled American Veterans, DENSO (Waterloo engineering and service center), Black Hawk County bake sale, Waterloo Woman’s Club,” Dill said. “The Cedar Falls AMVETS donated some socks as gifts. The Cedar Falls VFW Post 3896 adopted a family as well.”

AMVETS Post 251 donates toys

· By Rebecca Carlbon (Burlington County Times staff writer)
· Dec 14, 2016

Members of AMVETS Department of New Jersey and Riverside Post 251 AMVETS (American Veterans) are donating new unwrapped toys to children, ages 3-10 years old as part of Operation Homefront.
The toys will be delivered on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at the AMVETS location at 611 Beverly-Rancocas Road, Willingboro in the old Beneficial Bank. The toys benefit children of the surrounding communities.

Congress Finally Approves Veteran Status

John Goheen (via NGAUS.org)

Washington Report

(December 13, 2016) All retired National Guardsmen and Reservists are now only a presidential signature away from finally being recognized as veterans.
Congress approved legislation last week that would expand the legal definition of a veteran to include Guardsmen and Reservists that honorably serve 20 years. It now goes to the White House as part of a package of veterans bills.

The current definition requires a Guardsman or Reservist to have spent more than 179 days on federal active duty for other than training to be considered a veteran, regardless of how long they served.

“The current definition has long been out of date,” said retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, the NGAUS president. “Many of those affected underwent arduous, even dangerous, training to maintain their combat readiness. Others worked in direct support of those who did deploy. Yet our nation tells them that they aren’t veterans.

“That’s wrong, but we’re on the cusp of righting that wrong.”
NGAUS has been pushing the change for six years. It easily passed the House every session only to be killed in the Senate by fears that it would increase eligibility for some benefits, thereby raising the cost of veterans’ programs.

“It took a while, but we finally convinced everyone in the Senate that we weren’t seeking more benefits,” Hargett said. “Guard retirees just want the honor of their nation calling them veterans.”

The House and Senate actually approved the change in concept last year, but they disagreed on the specific language. This forced the two chambers to come up with and formally approve a compromise provision, which they did last week.

“This won’t provide the Guard one extra dollar for better training, equipment or benefits,” Hargett said, “but it is one of our most satisfying accomplishments since I’ve been here.”

– See more at: http://ngaus.org/newsroom/news/congress-finally-approves-veteran-status#sthash.5uFmLei1.dpuf

AMVETS Post 118 sends care packages to Delco military residents

Care Packages Being Sent To Delco Residents Serving In Military

(Story via Max Bennett of Patch.com)
December 2, 2016 10:04 am ET

Delaware County Council and county employees will once again spread cheer to Delaware County natives who are serving in the military either overseas, stationed on base in the United States, or recuperating in a veteran’s hospital.

For the past nine years, County Council and the department of Public Relations, which oversees the Armed Services Tribute Board, have collected and mailed hundreds of holiday cards and gifts as part of the Armed Services Tribute initiative, according to the county

“During the holidays, it’s important to remember the brave men and women of the armed services who are fighting for our freedom at home and overseas. With tensions overseas and random acts of terrorism in the news, we are all painfully aware of how precious our freedom is,” Councilman Mike Culp said in a statement.

This year, County Council is partnering with the AMVETS Post 118 in Morton to mail care packages to our troops serving on base overseas or here in the United States, according to the county. Every month since 2006, Harry Mirra and his fellow veterans have been sending care packages to troops.

Mirra, the past department commander of the AMVETS Post and current chairman of the Care Packages initiative, said he has the support of several organizations including Wawa, the local senior center, school groups and other veterans groups. Mirra was joined at the Council meeting by Charles Dougherty, commander, AMVEST Post 118, Jeff Elliot, past post commander, and Ginny Valonis.

“We are grateful to Harry and his post for partnering with us to send care packages to our Delaware County men and women,” Culp said.

“New this year, Council is providing greetings and gifts for the nearly 100 veterans living at Fair Acres, our skilled care facility in Middletown. We are partnering with the Delco News Network to provide copies of the 2016-2017 Veteran’s Book to each of the veterans at Fair Acres along with a greeting from County Council,” Culp said. “We are really pleased to be able to partner with these organizations to make the holidays a bit brighter for our troops and veterans.”

Culp reminded people to stop by the Armed Services Tribute Board where we honor active duty troops.

Wayne native and Radnor graduate Galen Fisher, who is a U.S. Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade, recently was added to the board.

Delaware County residents who have family members actively serving in the military are invited to submit a 4-by-6 inch color photograph of the individual, along with the soldier’s name, town of residency and their official military address to The Public Relations Department, Room 226A, Delaware County Government Center, 201 W. Front St., Media, PA 19063.

Photos and information can also be sent via e-mail to Katherine Morrone at morronek@co.delaware.pa.us.

BOOK REVIEW: A Tour of Duty

Our most recent read here at AMVETS is A Tour of Duty, by physician Michael R. Butner. His work centers around Marine sniper, Mitchell Rice, who is situated in the highlands of Vietnam as a part of a two-man team. When his partner is killed, Rice finds ways to deal with his inner demons through support of those in the Catholic Church.

From there the story take a James Bond-like turn, when Rice (now back from Vietnam and studying medicine) saves an unstable chemist named Jacob Wade, but fails to save Wade’s wife. As a result, Wade seeks vengeance against Rice and our protagonist is sought out twice throughout the book to hunt down and capture Wade.

This book had its share interesting, even occasionally comical, moments in it. I appreciate the constant battle between Wade and Rice, it breaks up the monotony of what I was expecting of a veteran coming back from war, struggling through PTSD, and finding solace in a passion, story that we’ve been exposed to several times before.

This is also simple to read, not bombarded with run-on sentences and pretentious wording. Despite its occasional moments where the events tend to drag on slightly longer making it a little harder to contain a reader’s attention, I find A Tour of Duty, to be a good read for those who enjoy a “feel good” read with a splash of a James Bond or Taken vibe. However, DO NOT expect the same amount of action-packed content.

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AMVETS Post 26 collecting donations

MANSFIELD – The Ladies Auxiliary of Amvets Post 26 is collecting personal hygiene items — such as razors, body wash, undergarments and deodorant — to be distributed across Ohio to female veterans who are in need.

Also, a portion of collected items will be donated to the domestic violence shelter in Mansfield.

Items may be dropped off through Dec. 23 at Post 26, 1100 W. Fourth St. For details, call 419-631-5150.

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Editor’s Notes: Some V-Day Notes and the Direction of AMVETS Social Networking Presence

Some Veteran’s Day Notes and the Direction of AMVETS Social Networking Presence

Back in July of 1950, right after the Korean War started, my father called us all together, my fourteen cousins and I. He told us there’s a war that has started; it’s your generation’s turn to volunteer to go. In our family you didn’t wait ‘til you were drafted, you just go.”

Native American Veterans Associate National Commander, Don Loudner is standing between the oak tree-sized pillars of the Arlington National Cemetery amphitheater, telling the story of how his military service came to be.

He pauses to cover his hand to his face, momentarily blocking the calm but consistent wind whistling through the marble structure. The light morning fog causes him to squint in focus, collecting his thoughts before explaining on what today symbolizes to him.

“As National Commander of all Indian Veterans serving with a whole range of other soldiers, I can remember when we got back a lot of us didn’t even go to the VA (Veteran Affairs) We told people we didn’t go to war for the benefits,” explains Louden.

“We went to keep the freedom we’ve had for years. Needed to retain the freedom.”

Loudner had flown in from Portland, Oregon, after previously traveling to Portland from his home in South Dakota. No matter how busy, his determination to reach Arlington Virginia can only be echoed by the other veterans in a representative position like his.

To many, the Arlington Veteran’s Day wreath laying observance is circled in calendars months before November, as well as flights and accommodations booked early, as they diminish fast. Diversity between those who have served our nation range from those who are Catholic to Jewish, men to women, Scottish, African or Native American, etc.

Several times of the year, representatives for each organization dedicated to our diverse vets gather in the tradition of wreath laying. They silently symbolize that while veterans carry different ancestry and served in unique ways, they make up one forever-holding bond; they are America’s veterans. They are America’s finest. They act as the sheepdog, endlessly guarding its herd from the wolves, foreign and domestic, that seeks to unleash evil onto all they come in contact with.

Many civilians not acquainted to military lifestyle find it hard to distinguish between the days we honor or celebrate. Most Americans find little difference between Memorial and Veteran’s Day, some even going so far as to salute the flag upon hearing our National Anthem or wear un-authorized articles of uniform that they find.

I’ll pause for a moment to let that sink in.

At AMVETS, we strive to provide exceptional service to those who have served this country and its citizens. This includes raising awareness and creating a platform that properly displays what our vets are all about. As we continue to build on our social network presence, AMVETS aims to bridge the relationship gap that is occasionally visible between citizens and veterans, while also maintaining a hunger, considerably a mild obsession, to provide undying service our veterans.

God Bless Our Vets,

 

Miles Migliara

Communication Manager, AMVETS

 

amvets_logoMiles Migliara

Communication Manager, AMVETS