AMVETS in Action

Category: Uncategorized

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

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:

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
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

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.


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.


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

“The Big 6” United Behind Veterans First Act

“The Big 6” United Behind Veterans First Act

(Washington, D.C.)–The Veterans Service Organizations who are most often called before Congress for testimony on the state of Veterans Affairs, known in D.C. as “The Big 6,” are joining together to call on the Senate to vote on the Veterans First Act. While each has been engaged separately in traditional methods of calling for votes–such as letter-writing and email campaigns– they’re maximizing the power of social media to expand their outreach and get more veterans engaged.

“The AMVETS family is in full support of the Veterans First Act. Eliminating arbitrary eligibility requirements is crucial to ensuring family caregivers of veterans from all eras receive the support they deserve and need. We support the mandate on VA to research the association between toxic exposures and health effects among exposed veterans’ offspring.”–Joe Chenelly, Executive Director, AMVETS

“We’ve recognized that Congress is starting to respond to pressure from social media, so we are doing the best we can to optimize the impact each of our members has by enlisting them to assist in less traditional ways. While Twitter may not be used by most Vietnam veterans on a regular basis, our kids and our grandkids use it. Our families will be helped most by the Toxic Exposure Research provisions within the Veterans First Act, and we are glad to bring them into the fold so they can help us let the Senate know that we all deserve a vote.”–John Rowan, National President, Vietnam Veterans of America

“The VFW strongly supports passage of the Veterans First Act because it rightfully eliminates arbitrary eligibility requirements to ensure family caregivers of veterans from all eras receive the recognition and support they deserve. It requires the VA to research the association between toxic exposures and adverse health effects among the descendants of exposed veterans, and it makes urgently needed improvements to the choice program, which would ensure veterans who receive care from private sector doctors are not erroneously billed for that care.”–Robert E. Wallace, VFW Executive Director.

“The provision within the Veterans First Act that allows for the expansion of the Family Caregiver Program is a top priority for Paralyzed Veterans of America members. Caregivers are life-sustaining for veterans with a spinal cord or disease. They are the most critical component of our rehabilitation and eventual recovery, and their well-being directly impacts the quality of care provided to veterans. Caregivers for veterans of all wartimes should be provided with adequate benefits and resources, yet caregivers of pre-9/11 are made to bear the responsibility—and the toll it takes on their own personal and professional lives—alone. We urge the prompt passage of this legislation so that this inequity will finally be addressed.”– Sherman Gillums, Jr, Paralyzed Veterans of America Executive Director

“The American Legion stands with our sister Veteran Service Organizations to support the Veterans First Act. This bipartisan legislation has one third of the senate as cosponsors and will ensure that veterans have access to a Department of Veterans Affairs that maintains accountability, organized leadership, and parity of services for all generations of caregivers.”–Verna Davis, Executive Director, The American Legion

“DAV strongly supports Senate passage of the Veterans First Act, which would extend comprehensive caregiver support to veterans of all eras. The legislation would also increase veterans’ options for long-term care through medical foster homes; enhance VA’s efforts to recruit and retain the best and brightest medical professionals; reform claims and appeals processing by creating a fully developed appeals pilot program; and make dozens of other positive changes to improve the lives of the men and women who served. DAV looks forward to working together with leaders in both chambers of Congress, the VA, and other key stakeholders to enact comprehensive legislation to help keep the promise to all eras of America’s veterans.”–Garry J. Augustine, Executive Director, Disabled American Veterans

The Big 6 Veteran Service Organizations are asking their members, families, and supporters to join them during this campaign by using the hashtag #Vote4Vets1st in our Twitter Storm. The Veterans First Act is a bipartisan effort to improve accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs, provide critical benefits to veterans in need, and improve existing programs. The veterans’ community deserves a vote on the Senate floor before Congress is dismissed for summer recess. In order for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fulfill Lincoln’s promise “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,” they must prioritize veterans over politics and pass the Veterans First Act.

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Kerry Cahill

American Veteran sat down recently with rising star and Veterans’ advocate Kerry Cahill. Many may recognize Kerry from her roll as Lt. Whitley in last year’s major picture Terminator Genisys. Kerry will soon be a familiar face in this year’s release of Free State of Jones starring Matthew McConaughey.

Kerry proudly describes herself as an Army brat, very familiar with the trials and tribulations of the military. Garnering all sincere admiration and respect, she is no stranger to AMVETS’ cause in raising awareness toward lowering suicides among our ranks.

And she is no stranger to the dangers and tragedies that befall those who serve our nation. Kerry’s passion is inspired by her father’s work as a physician assistant, working with pre- and post-deploying Soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas. Tragically, Michael Cahill was killed in 2009 by a gunman, along with 12 others at Ft. Hood.