VFW NC Leader Newspaper Oct-Dec12

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Official Publication of the N.C. Department
VFW of North Carolina PO Box 25337 Raleigh, NC 27611-5337
Non-Profit Org US Postage PAID Rermit No. 1838 Raleigh N.C.

THE VFW LEADER
W
EH

H OLD T E FUTU RE

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Inside: • Pg. 2 - State Commander's Contest • Pg. 3 - Officers Columns • Pg. 4 - Past State Commander Obits • Pg. 5 - Cruise Give-a-Way • Pg. 9 - President's Column • Pg. 10 - IRS Tax Status • Pg. 11 - Home Depot Grants • Pg. 12 - Upward Bound Project

2012

State Sr. Vice Attends Historic Cherokee Veterans Day
State Senior Vice Commander Ernie Allis of Charlotte Post 9488 was recently honored to attend and be recognized as a Special Guest at the Veterans' Day Ceremony held at the Cherokee Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall in the town of Cherokee. The celebration was sponsored by Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143 of Cherokee. The ceremony was a historic one, as the wartime of medals of Cherokee hero Charles George were presented to remaining members of the George family. Two New York boys, Michael and Mauro Mazzariello, had found the medals, lost long ago, and determined to return them to their rightful owner. Accompanied by their father, they journeyed to the Cherokee Reservation for the special presentation. State Senior Vice Commander Allis was able to address the gathering and speak with all the historic figures there, to include Chief Robert S. Youngdeer, whose new book "The Memoirs of Robert Youngdeer - Marine, Chief, & Proud American" has been a bestseller. Charles George, for whom the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Asheville is named, is a Medal of Honor winner from the Korean War. He was a Private First Class in the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45 Infantry Division when engaged in action against the enemy on the night of 30 November 1952. George was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slop of the key terrain feature, the group was subjected to intense mortar and machine gun fire and suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, George fought valiantly and upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When the U.S. troops were ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and two other soldiers remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches, a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. George shouted a warning to one comrade, pushed the other comrade out of the way, and unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast. Although seriously wounded in this display of great courage, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his comrades. The two other soldiers were able to silently evacuate him to the rear aid station, where he died of his wounds.

Volume No. 74

The VFW Leader

oct/NoV/dec 2012

State Senior Vice commander Ernie Allis addresssed the Cherokee assembly.

State Senior Vice Commander Ernie allis discusses the ceremonies with Andy Komonchak, Executive Director of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor in Newburgh, New York, who flew down for the special activities. Michael and Mauro Mazzariello present the missing Charles George medals o members of the George family.

Winter Conference/Council Meeting
The Department of North Carolina's 2012-2013 Mid-Winter Conference/ Council of Administration meeting has been scheduled for Friday, 1 February through Sunday, 3 February. For the first time, it will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel right off Exit 210 of 1-40 in Greensboro. That is at the junction of 1-40 and NC State Highway 68. The new hotel is a complete change of venue for the Department's three annual state level meetings. Every room is a suite with a small sitting room, and all rooms face out to the center of the hotel where a sumptuous atrium fills the entire center of the hotel. At one end of the atrium will be located the various vendors and exhibitors, as well as the Ladies Auxiliary Cancer Tables. At the other end is the hotel's breakfast area. All participants in the conference will receive a free hot breakfast for each morning they are there. Cost of a suite is $112.00 per night, plus taxes. However, if comrades or sisters wish to save money, the Embassy's sister hotel, the Homewood Suites, is right across the parking lot. If a reservation is made at that hotel, one can get a large twobedroom (with kitchen) suite for only $179.00 per night and split the cost. Also, new for this conference is the return of the Department hosting all 17 winners of the District Voice of Democracy oral scholarship competitions, with their parents. For the past several years, only the top 3 of the winners were able to be hosted, due to cost prohibitions. However, Wal-Mart corporation has stepped forward and will reimburse the Department for all costs of hosting all 17 winning students, to include the cost of their banquet meals, their parents' meals, their rooms for one night, and a special VOD/Wal-Mart jacket. The top 3 winners of the VOD competition will not be announced until the banquet the evening of Saturday, 2 February, when the 1st place winner will read his/her excellent oral essay. In addition, the top 3 Patriot Pen middle school patriotic essay competition state level winners and their parents will be present. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level winners will be announced at the same banquet, and the 1st place winner will read his/her essay. Cost of the banquet to attendees is $25 per person. Banquet tickets will be purchasable at the Registration Desk, if any tickets are left available. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Department Headquarters. Cost of visiting the Department Hospitality Room for the entire weekend is $10 per person. The conference will cover a number of important topics, to include meetings of the Council of Administration on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning, meetings of the Eastern, Central, and Western Conferences, various committee meetings, a Service Officers' Update class on Saturday morning/afternoon, a seminar on National and State By-Laws on Saturday afternoon, and a Men's Auxiliary meeting that same day. Of course, the very popular Department Store will be open all day Friday and Saturday, where VFW / Auxiliary and military items can be purchased by credit card, debit card, check, or cash. Several important and interesting persons will be attending this MidWinter Conference. The VFW National Representative will be National Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, John Stroud of Navada. He was elected Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief on July 25 of this year at the National Convention in Reno, Navada. Prior to that, Stroud joined Post 10047 in Las Vegas in 1996, and is currently a member of Post 2313 in Hawthorne, Nevada. He is a Triple Crown All-American Commander (post,

Canines For Warriors Is Leaping Forward!!!
The Department's service dog program is progressing in great leaps and bounds with actual dog training being successfully applied and a modern training area being operated at Whittier Post 8013 in the mountains of District 17. The very popular program, which was approved by the 2012 Convention and 2012-2013 Council of Administration, is designed to supply service and/or emotional support dogs to VFW comrades in the state of North Carolina. An outpouring of supplies and funds from the enthusiastic posts of District 17 and a $4000 grant from a generous and patriotic Wal-Mart have meant that the program so far is paying for itself. Other posts are planning fund-raisers and supply runs even now, such as the large amount of dog supplies amassed by centrally located Spring Lake Post 4542 and waiting to be delivered to the program in the mountains. Currently, five dogs are undergoing actual service-level training. They are called RJ, Chance, Nam, Elmo, and Ti. Three of them are already promised to VFW comrades, one a wheelchair-bound warrior, and have been working with both head trainer, District 17 Commander William "Skip" Hall, and their future owners. A modern training facility is being constructed on the property of Post 8013 complete with concrete and kennels, where all the dogs spend a great deal of their time in the training process. Six more puppies are in the very early stage of development - however, all they can do now, according to Commander Hall, is eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, and walk on a leash. Also, two puppies have been given to a Cherokee grandfather, father, and son, all of whom are veterans and who learned to train search and rescue dogs during their periods of service. These dogs, named Tracy and Jennie, will become full-fledged search and rescue dogs, able to assist in any type of rescue operation in that area starting this summer. The Cherokee authorities are very interested in the service dog program for their own disabled veterans, and are expected to substantially assist in the program's operation. Additionally, the dogs are very popular with the local public in that area. They participated on a float in three different Christmas parades, to include ones in Franklin, Bryson City, and Hayesville, and were greeted by cheering and waving by the parade bystanders. The next step in the development plan will be to formalize the permanent structure of the program, thereby giving some much needed support and rest to Commander Hall, who so far has carried the entire weight of the effort on his own shoulders. This may take the form of a committee or coordination team to run the administrative and financial side of the house, while Hall as the head trainer, does the actual service dogs training. State Commander Briggs has called for a special meeting of district commanders to obtain their input on the formalization of the effort.

National Junior Vice Commander-inChief, John Stroud of Navada district, and state), and has served on numerous VFW National Committees. Also attending will be Brian Duffy of Kentucky, who is widely considered to be the Southern Conference's next nominee for Junior Vice Commander-in Chief. If that occurs, he will step into that office in July of 2016 when the National Convention will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The winners of the statewide raffle will be drawn Saturday night. One drawing is the Voice of Democracy/Patriot Pen annual raffle, the tickets of which were sent to all comrades, sisters, and brothers by mail. The winner will receive $10,000, to be followed by smaller prizes of $2000, $1000 and two $500. The other raffle is State Commander Ted Briggs' contest to win a weekend at the Ocean Dunes/Sand Dunes resort in Myrtle Beach. Every time a sister, comrade, or brother signs up a new member for the VFW, they get a ticket entered into the drawing pool.

Every post in North Carolina has their own website. It takes a minute to visit your post's site. Just log in to: www.vfwwebcom.org/northcarolina

Visit Your Post's Website

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The VFW Leader is published quarterly by the Department of North Carolina Veterans of Foreign Wars at 917 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina. Editor.......................Bruce Edwards News stories, photographs and other matters for publication should be addressed to Editor, VFW Leader, P.O. Box 25337, Raleigh, N.C. 27611. Correspondence regarding subscription and circulation should be addressed to VFW Leader, P.O. Box 25337, Raleigh, N.C. 27611.

Oct/NOv/Dec 2012

the vFW LeaDer

"Department Headquarters normal operating hours 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Closed for holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day."

TAPS

The VFW Leader
cOmmaNder’s cOLumN
Enjoyed a wonderful dinner, and great Comradeship with the members. Their hospitality was great. November 10, 2012, the Veterans Day Parade in Fayetteville was another event I was privileged to participate in. It was a great honor to ride in such a large Veterans Day parade, the nicest I have ever seen. Thanks to District President Jean Clark, and District Commander Jessie Bellflowers for your assistance. November 11, 2012, I traveled to 7034 Sparta for their Museum Ribbon Cutting. I was truly touched by the ceremony conducted by District 15 Commander Blevins, and Post Commander Owens. I received the grand entrance at 7034 Sparta "Pipe Me Aboard", as if I was the Admiral boarding the Ship, it was such an honor. It was a privilege to participate in their Museum Ribbon cutting. 7034 Comrades, your Museum is an asset for your Post, and I commend you for your accomplishments. November 18,2012, I attended a POW/MIA program sponsored by 5352 Kernersville Ladies Auxiliary. The Honor Guard from 10346 Hamptonville conducted the service. Another memorable event. The Department was saddened when we received news about the loss of two Past Department Commanders, Stacy Foster and Douglas Seay. Both ofthem contributed much to the success of our Department - they will be missed. I am hoping all Posts have been working on membership and their programs. If not, please do so. Be sure to attend the Council of Administration meeting February 1-3, 2013, in Greensboro. We will have the Voice of Democracy Banquet, honoring all 17 District winners. An event you will not want to miss! Yours in Comradeship, Ted Briggs

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Ted h. Briggs In September and October I had the opportunity to visit 2423 Indian Trail, 6060 Elizabeth City, 4203 Rockingham, 5631 Sanford, 7318 Southern Pines, 8989 Kannapolis, 1706 Lincolnton, 9010 Clemmons, 1160 Charlotte, 10485 Arcadia, and 9811 Kings Mountain. Received outstanding hospitality from each of them and, pleased to see most of them are doing great work for our Department. Also in October I had the honor of placing a wreath representing 2031 Statesville honoring a World War II Veteran, and was the Department VFW representative at the Vietnam Moving Wall in Cherokee. It was a great honor to be with the Chief and the Eastern Band Cherokee Indians. Another great honor was representing the Department of North Carolina VFW, at Black Mountain on October 25, 2012, when the new Nursing Home was dedicated. Another awesome event that I truly enjoyed. November was another memorable month. I had the honor of participating in the Gold Star Banquet at 1142 North Wilkesboro. For 52 years the 1142 VFW and Ladies Auxiliary have sponsored this awesome event, which honors family members who have lost loved ones in combat. I commend them for a job well done. November 9, 2012 I attended a program at the Fayetteville VA Hospital, and that evening was a guest at VFW Post 670.

erNie aLLis
On Veterans Day Past I had the privilege of attending and speaking at a ceremony in Cherokee to honor Veterans from the surrounding area. During the ceremony an event took place that impressed me so much that I want dedicate this article to get you acquainted with the three people that made this Veterans Day so special to me. As you read on, you will find a biography of Pfc. Charles George and the citation awarding him the Medal of Honor. You will also note an article from the One Feather newspaper in Cherokee, about two young men who became involved with the George family. Please enjoy. Charles George Charles George (August 23, 1932November 30, 1952) was a US Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat on November 30, 1952, during the Korean War. He was fatally wounded when he threw himself on a grenade to protect other soldiers in his company and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. George was born in Cherokee, North Carolina and was a Cherokee Indian. He entered service in Whittier, North Carolina.. At the time of George's death in battle, he held the rank of Private First Class in Company C of the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. The action for which he received the Medal of Honor was near Songnae-Dong, Korea. Medal of Honor citation The Medal of Honor was awarded on March 18, 1954. The citation read: Pfc. George, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on the night of November 3D, 1952. He was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the group was subjected to intense mortar and machine gun fire and suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and 2 comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. Pfc. George shouted a warning to 1 comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his companions. The 2 soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wound. Pfc. George's indomitable courage, consummate devotion to duty, and willing self-sacrifice reflect the high-

Mauro and Michael Mazzariello return three medals they found in a New York state antique store, belonging to Pfc. Charles George, to the George family during the Veteran's Day ceremony on Monday, Nov. 12. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos) est credit upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service. HIS MEDALS ARE HOME November 12,2012 Medals returned to George family during Veteran's Day Ceremony By SCOTT MCKIE B.P. ONE FEATHER STAFF Pfc. Charles George is an American and Cherokee hero. He sacrificed his life to save his comrades in 1952 in the Korean War and won the Medal of Honor and other awards for his heroic actions. Sixty years later, three of his medals were returned to the George family by two New York young men who happened upon them in an antique store in Newburg, NY. Michael Mazzariello, 11, and his brother, Mauro, 8, found the medals in the store while searching for a G.I. Joe doll. The medals were returned during the Veteran's Day ceremony at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds on Monday, Nov. 12. The medals, which included a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and a Good Conduct Medal, were inscribed with the name "Charles George" so the boys began a quest to find out who he was and where his family is now. Michael Mazzariello related, "We were looking for an action hero figure and came out with a true American hero's war medals belonging to Charles George." Michael said the medals were for sale for $450, but they persuaded the owner to give them the medals on the condition that they find the rightful owner. Michael and Mauro contacted numerous people and agencies on their search for Charles George's family including the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Senators, Congressman and even wrote a letter to the President. The boys found a video online on the renaming of the VA Hospital in Asheville after Charles George and contacted Warren Dupree, Post 143 Service Officer, who was featured in the video. Dupree related that he received an email from the Mazzariello family in April on the subject of the medals. This set the wheels in motion for the medals to be returned during Monday's event. "As both of our grandfathers served in World War II and our uncle Tony served in Vietnam, we had heard the stories of real life veteran's struggles," said Mauro Mazzariello. "It's real. It's not a video game." "It is only now that Michael and I can rest knowing that the tribal leaders and the family of Charles George have in possession the medals that belong to them." Patty Buchanan, a relative . George, said, "On behalf of the George family, we would like to thank them very much. We really do appreciate it." Ernie Allis, North Carolina VFW Senior Vice Commander, commented, "Private George sacrificed his life by putting himself between certain death and his fellow soldiers. For this act of immeasurable courage, Private Charles George was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, this country's highest award. His actions define the meaning of above and beyond and call of duty." Allis continued, "It is unknown how three of his medals ended up in a store in New York, but we do owe a special thanks to the Mazzariello family for recognizing the importance of the medals they discovered. Then caring enough to take on the mission of bringing Private George's medals home." Dupree said George "is not only an American hero, but a Tribal treasure". "Pfc. George gave his life for his fellow soldiers, for his buddies. There is no greater honor than to sacrifice and to make the supreme sacrifice as he did. His memory must never be forgotten, nor will it because the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, his fellow veterans, will always remember his sacrifice." Barbara Duncan, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, related, "The medals returned to the George family were given to the Steve Youngdeer VFW Post 143, and their Service Officer, Sgt. Warren DuPree, donated them to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian on behalf of the George family today. Charles George's Medal of Honor and his second Purple Heart were donated to the Museum some years ago by the George family, and we will display the newly returned medals with them." Comrades, we all must wonder what we would do if faced with a split second decision like the one Pfc. George had to make. He and all who have been awarded the Medal of Honor act without thought for their personal safety. They just did what had to be done. That's what makes them so special to this nation. Michael and Mauro Mazzariello are special too. I wish each of you could meet them. Their sincerity and desire to do the right thing was evident in their manner and speech. Their parents taught them well and they took their lessons to heart. It was a delight to see the commitment those young men and their parents provided to a perfect stranger. They represent hope from a much younger generation. I can't think of a better day than Veterans Day to repatriate those medals with Pfc. Charles George's family. I'll leave you with something I said at the ceremony: Veterans and military people spend a lifetime paying it forward, and do so gladly. The Mazzariello family, especially Michael and Mauro, showed how to pay it back. For that, we owe them a Thanks and a Well Done! See you at the next meeting. Ernie Allis

Moving Wall to Goldsboro
After already coming to Indian Trail Post 2423 and the Cherokee Indian Reservation, the Vietnam Moving Wall, "The Wall That Heals," is now coming to Goldsboro. It will be open for viewing from 18-21 April 2013 on the Wayne County Community College campus. Heading this effort is Goldsboro Post 2615, heavily supported by Kinston Poste 2771 and Mount Olive Post 9959. Programs are being planned now, and will include Purple Heart tributes. For more information on this visit, contact Post 2615 Commander Bill Graham at [email protected]. com or 919-394-2200.

Trailer is available for sign out and pick up by contacting the State VFW Headquarters at 919828-5058. It comes complete with recruitThe newly renovated and painted VFW State Recruiting ing documents & Patriotic Giveaways.

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Jr. vice cOmmaNDer
membership has decreased from over 2.1 million members to 1.4 million? It is extremely important that we not only increase our membership but retain our present members. We must stay strong to support veteran's issues on the state and federal level and that is reflected in our membership numbers. Speaking about membership, don't forget we have a mentoring program in place within the department. As we sign up new members assign a mentor to call and communicate what is going on at your post. Don't let that new member come in the front door and then walk out the back door never to be seen again. I have visited several posts these past months and I hear the same story over and over that once someone joins our ranks it is hard to get them out and help the post in their programs. Maybe it is because you don't invite that comrade back; maybe you haven't spent some time and explained to the comrade what you actually do at the post and in the community. Find out what the new member is interested in, what their expertise is, what is or was their profession. Invite the comrade to come to a breakfast or a dinner at the post. I have a hard time saying "no", I try not to accept "no" for an answer. We are going thru a period of consolidations of posts within our department this year. At times it is a scary thing for two or more posts to consolidate but it certainly beats the alternative of possibly loosing your charter. We, your line officers, don't want that to happen we want all posts to grow. If your post is considering consolidation I would strongly urge all members involved - not just the post officers- to read the manual of procedure, ask questions in your post, find out what the pros and cons, educate yourself and your fellow comrades and above all attend the meetings when the discussion of consolidation will be addressed.

Oct/NOv/Dec 2012

the vFW LeaDer
"break" we promised ourselves. The New Year may be here, but for many in the Department, the year is almost half over. The "break" we promised ourselves gets pushed further back in our schedule. We may begin to carry the added stress around with us like some invisible luggage. Some words have just the right name. You lug around luggage. Sometimes we do the same thing with stress. It weighs us down until we find a way to release it whether we are aware of the release or not. I like to think about fire extinguishers and ketchup packets under stress. Like us, each can be placed under pressure. A fire extinguisher can be released under controlled actions. You pull the pin, aim the nozzle, squeeze the handle and sweep. The intended fire is extinguished and the pressure relieved. If you have ever seen someone stomp on a ketchup packet, you know ketchup flies everywhere! Sometimes innocent bystanders get hit. As you keep seeing your "break" move in your schedule, realize that at some point you will become either the extinguisher or the packet. Chronic stress is defined as a "state of prolonged tension from internal or external stressors, which may cause various physical manifestations - e.g., asthma, back pain, arrhythmias, fatigue, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and suppress the immune system". Chronic stress takes a more significant toll on your body than acute stress does. It can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, increase vulnerability to anxiety and depression, contribute to infertility, and hasten the aging process. For example, results of one study demonstrated that individuals who reported relationship conflict lasting one month or longer have a greater risk of developing illness and show slower wound healing. Similarly, the effects that acute stressors have on the immune system may be increased when there is perceived stress and/or anxiety due to other events. For example, students who are taking exams show weaker immune responses if they also report stress due to daily hassles. Bottom line? Become the Fire Extinguisher and release the pressure. Make that break fit your schedule as often as you can. For me, prayer works (just saying). Looking forward to seeing all my fire extinguishers and ketchup packets in my travels. May God Bless!

chapLaiNs cOLumN

Jack GOiN Time sure does fly by as the saying goes. Just six months ago you elected me as your junior vice commander. It has been an extremely busy time for your line officers. As a quick picture we attended our fall council of administration meeting in October, I traveled to Kansas City for several days and participated in the junior vice commander training program along with the department quartermasters and on the following weekend I attended the Southern Conference meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia. On my trip to Kansas City it was rewarding to meet and speak to our National Officers and National Chairpersons. Very often when a question comes up we get on the telephone and call National. Sometimes we get the answer we expect other times we don't, but to meet our national leaders and actually meet the face behind the voice was rewarding. What really impressed me was the officers and chairpersons had their assistants with them and we received an answer. All made the commitment that if someone called with a problem or question you would be guaranteed a return call within 24 hours. We all have heard the call for increased membership over the years. Did you know that over the past 17 years our

sr smith Another holiday season has come and gone with all of its excitement and joy. I pray that all had a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year with family and friends. Even though December is a joyous time in my life, it doesn't come without a level of stress. Our schedules are tasked to its limits. New demands come in daily and we find that we may be running in circles just waiting for the holidays to pass in order to take a break. The focus on the "reason for the season" may get over shadowed by outside events. The New Year comes and we look for that

2 Past Commanders Pass Away
Douglas L. Seay, State Commander from 2010-2011, and Stacey S. Foster, State Commander from 1978-1979, both died recently from natural causes. Seay was 65 years old and Foster was 89. Seay, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps in the Vietnam War, was a lifelong resident of Haywood County. He was a retired diesel mechanic with ABF Freight Systems, and died unexpectedly on October 28 at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville. In the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he was State Commander in 2010-2011, State Senior Vice Commander in 2009-2010, State Junior Vice Commander in 2008-2009, State Judge Advocate in 2007-2008, State Surgeon in 2006-2007, and District 17 Commander in 20022004 and again in 2005-2206. to the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs by longtime Governor Jim Hunt. Foster died on November 8 at the Hugh Chatham Nursing Center in Elkin. In the VFW, he was State Commander in 1978-1979, State Senior Vice Commander in 1977-1978, State Foster served in the U.S. Navy in Junior Vice Commander in 1976World War II, and then went on to 1977, District 10 Commander serve in the U.S. Coast Guard. He in 1975-1976, and Lexington was a member of the Lexington Poste 3074 Commander in 1974Police Department, a retired truck 1975. His successful VFW career driver with McLean Trucking culminated in his serving as a Company, and a retired director member of the National Council of Davidson County Emergency of Administration for North Services. He also was appointed Carolina.

Stacey S. Foster, State Commander from 1978-1979

Douglas L. Seay, State Commander from 2010-2011

The VFW Leader
The 5th Supreme District of the Military Order of the Cootie has secured a four day cruise for two aboard the Schooner American Eagle. (The 5th Supreme District consists of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.) Windjammer Association.

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a small amount. The prevention of even one suicide will make this project a success. The Military Order of the Cootie is the Honor Degree of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and works with the Veteran Administration Medical Centers and other facilities with hospitalized veterans. This fun organization has been around since 1920 and was instrumental in the formation of the VFW National Home for Children. For more information on the MOC, contact Supreme Headquarters at www.lotcs.org. For more information about the Schooner American Eagle, check out their website at: www.schooneramericaneagle.com. Contact Anna Holm for more information concerning donations. She can be reached at 919-210-3268.

Military Order of the Cootie Giving Away Cruise
While aboard the schooner, you will enjoy meals prepared on a wood burning stove, the traditional lobster bake and the peace of sailing. You will be able to assist with raising and/or lowering the sails and other The American Eagle is owned and shipboard chores. You do as much or operated by Captain John Foss (who as little aboard as you please. This is donated the cruise at the request a chance to get away and totally shut of North Carolina's Anna Holm, the world out. 5th Supreme District President and a longtime member of the Ladies With no phones, radios, TVs or Auxiliary 10225 in Garner). The newspapers, you will enjoy four days schooner was built in 1930 in of listening to the wind in the sails Gloucester, Massachusetts as a fish- and waves on the hull. ing vessel. In 1984 the schooner was taken to Rockland, Maine for recon- The American Eagle sails from and struction and restoration. By June of returns to Rockland, Maine. You will 1986 it was sailing along the coast of be responsible for getting yourself to Maine. It participated in the July 4, and from Rockland. You will enjoy 1986 Parade of Sail in New York for the beauty of the Maine coast and the Statue of Liberty rededication. have the chance to visit islands. The ship anchors every evening off an The American Eagle has been desig- island or the coast and you are given nated a National Historic Landmark. the chance to go ashore and check The schooner is part of the Maine out the scenery. Donations are $5 for one chance or $10 for three chances. The winner will be drawn at the 5th Supreme District meeting to be held in Waycross, Georgia on March 17,2013. The winner will be contacted and given information on booking their cruise. You do not have to be present to win. If for some reason, the winner is unable to take the cruise, it can be donated back to the 5th Supreme District and the VFW Department of Maine will be contacted and the cruise will be given to a deserving veteran. Or you may give the cruise to someone else. All donations will benefit veteran's mental health issues with a stressor on suicide prevention. Anna Holm will contact the VAMC's in the 5th Supreme District, requesting a proposal on how the money will be used and the entire amount will be given to the VAMC with the best proposal. It is felt that by giving all the money to one VAMC a bigger impact can be made than by giving several VAMC's

Dept. Opens Own VFW Store
The Department of North Carolina has opened its own Department VFW Store to cater to the wishes of the comrades, sisters, and brothers of the Tarheel State. It is available both at the Department Headquarters at 917 New Bern Avenue in Raleigh and online at www.vfwnc.org, then "Tools", then "VFW NC Online Store." ate lower prices with the National store when the Department buys in bulk. Therefore, the prices of specialized North Carolina items are being offered at a low, competitive price. Additionally, when buying at the Department Store, the profits stay in North Carolina to help Tarheel veterans and their families, as opposed to going to other states. Comrades, sisters, and brothers After negotiating with VFW National may purchase items from the store Headquarters, the Department was by either attending the Council of able to advertise both VFW items Administration meeting or Annual and non- VFW military items on the Convention (where the store will new store. VFW State Secretary and be physically present), or by visitLadies Auxiliary Past State President ing the Headquarters, or by calling Lynn Edwards was able to negoti- the Headquarters at 919-828-5058 to order over the telephone, or by visiting the Online site and using a credit card or Paypal. The physical store accepts cash, checks, debit cards, and credit cards. There are many specialty items available for purchase. For example, individuals or posts or auxiliaries may purchase shirts displaying the appropriate VFW/Auxiliary Cross of Malta symbol, the individual's name, his/her position, and the post number. Or caps can be purchased with the symbol and the post location and number.

Brunswick Shaggers
Once again, the patriotic dancers of the Brunswick Shaggers, have had a successful fundraiser for the National Military Services program, and turned the money over to Oak Island Post 10226 for transmitting on to the Department of North Carolina. The Shaggers, who have raised and donated over $20,000 in the past several years, contributed $3870 this year to the cause of soldiers and veterans' care and communications.

Retirement (COLA)
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is predicting a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment in military retirement and veterans' disability benefits in 2013, an increase far smaller than the 3.6 percent hike received this year. Social Security and federal retirement pay automatically adjust each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index, a measure of the cost of goods and services maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The COLA is announced each fall, but CBO provided an estimate for the increase in order to put a price tag on the veterans bill. Providing the 1.3 percent increase in veterans' benefits will cost $686 million in fiscal 2013 for a hike that would take effect December 1 and first appear in January 2013 checks, according to the cost estimate. Money for the increase already is factored into the federal budget, so there is no need for lawmakers to find offsets to cover costs, according to a CBO statement.

VA Claims Backlog
The VA's claims system will soon be getting up to speed as it clears the gridlock of nearly 230,000 claims related to the three newest Agent Orange-related presumptive service connected illnesses of ischemic heart disease, hairy cell and other chronic B-cellleukemia and Parkillson's disease. The completion of work on the claims means that 1,200 senior claims representatives dedicated to review the Agent Orange claims can now be reassigned to tackle the current backlog of other disability claims. claims cases had been denied before the VA decision to award presumptive service connection for the three illnesses due to Agent Orange exposure. "As a result of the VA's diligence, all of the Agent Orange Nehmer claims for living veterans have been completed, and there are fewer thim 500 remaining claims that benefit survivors," said Jesinoski. "Now these skilled VA raters can direct their talents to reducing the huge backlog of claims pending. The Agent Orange claims originated from a 20 I 0 VA amendment to its regulations to add the three diseases to the list of those presumed to be related to exposure to the herbicide. The VA raters can now work current claims pending.

The VA announced it was nearing completion of the Agent Orange-related claims, which had been assigned to about 37 percent of its rating staff. The VA's Veterans Benefits Administration had set up 13 resource centers exclusively dedicated to deciding these claims. Among the cases were more than 150,000 complex claims that required review under a U.S. District Court order. These so-called Nehmer

The VFW Leader PresideNT's cOLumN
Kernersville Auxiliary 5352 District 11 sponsored a POW MIA ceremony, provided food and toiletries for the Veterans at the Salisbury VA Hospital, set up a Suicide Awareness Display during the Dixie Classic Fair, placed flags on graves for Veterans Day and adopted two adults for Christmas. Auxiliary 1142 North Wilkesboro District 15 cosponsored a Blue Star Families Banquet where approximately 200 attendees honored 28 families. They also GinGer Amos assisted with the National Guard Sisters... Deployment Ceremony where they distributed goody bags to the We are entering the most won- troops and helped with the Buddy derful and heartwarming time of Poppy Drive. the year when our focus centers around church, family, friends Auxiliary 2057 Rocky Mount and digging a little deeper into District 3 meets each Wednesday our pockets to help those families to work on projects for Veterans in need. I applaud your Auxiliaries which includes handmade cards, for the work that you're carrying pillows and backpacks. They out for Veterans and your com- sponsor a Christmas Tree at their munities and would like to share local mall during the holidays and some of their stories with you. included photos of Veterans, Law Enforcement Officers and EMT. Over the past five years District The program has been so success9 Auxiliary 7318 Southern Pines, ful that this year they will sponsor VFW and Men's Auxiliary have two trees. made a $32,000 donation to their local Hospice Home. They Sisters, once again you can see all are collecting backpacks for the the programs that can be planned usa and have adopted a Veteran and implemented when we set and helps with their needs on a goals and work together. Please monthly basis. They also partici- remember as we reach out to our pate in the Patriot's Pen and Voice communities, we need to project of Democracy Essay contest and a positive and professional image served coffee and cake during the as to who we are and what we Veteran's Day ceremony. are about. Yes, we are a volunteer organization, however... we are a Kannapolis Auxiliary 8989 business that helps Veterans and District 12 meets twice a month their families! and has assisted the VFW by paying half of the cost of a new refrig- Let's "Create A Recipe For Success" erator for the Post home. They as we continue to "Serve from the have also cosponsored a Hot Dog Heart for Our Veterans"" and Hamburger Supper and visited the Salisbury VA Hospital and Love to all... prepare dinner for the Veterans and Sisters prior to their Post meeting.

OcT/NOV/dec 2012
Lee, who was a helicopter pilot serving in the US Army. I belong to the Azalea Chapter in Wilmington, NC. I am an MOCA member, occupied the MOCA chairs, served as President of PT 6 Sand Fiddlers in Beaufort, NC, and now I belong to MOCA PT #14 in New Bern, NC. I am also a life member of the American Legion Post 11 in Goldsboro, NC. Department President of the Year, runner up 2004-2005, District President of the year 2009-2010, Auxiliary President of the year 1997-1998, 1998 -1999 and 2006-2007, Auxiliary Member of the year 1999-2000 and 2001-2002, National Aid de Camp 1999-2000 and was many times State and Auxiliary Aid de Camp over the years. I was Chairman, National Award Junior Girls 1st place 20062007, Hospital Volunteer of the Year in 2000, Carteret/Craven County Retired Senior Volunteer of the year 2000, Caswell Center Volunteer of the year award 2001. I have a plaque recognizing my many hours given to Helpline of Carteret County 2002, and a Plaque from the Department of the Army (Adopted Unit to Post 2401) for my support in 2007. I received numerous letters and commendations over the years for my service to our veterans and other organizations for my volunteer work (too many to list all of them), but some memorable ones are from President George W. Bush, President Barrack Obama, Senator Kay Hagan, Senator Richard Burr, Governor Jim Hunt, Governor Mike Easily, and Governor Beverly Perdue. In addition to those, I also received letters from Senator Jesse Helms and Senator Lauch Faircloth when I eagerly became a US citizen in April 1981. I was so very proud to become a citizen of the United States and retain that pride of citizenship to this very day. I have several awards from the Navy/Marine Relief Society for crocheting baby blankets. I don't know how many I have made over the last 10 years. I got a lot of awards and I just

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got a clock and a 6,OOO-hour pin. I have also received United States Marine Corps plaques and several awards for my work at the Air Terminal at Cherry Point in the last seven years for seeing the troops off on training and deployment overseas. I serve all branches of the military and all reservists that come through Cherry Point Terminal, all of whom are all looking for something to eat or drink. For some it is the third, fourth, or even fifth time through, and they know we are there for them with all the goodies. I can count on the help of Betty Mace, past commander Joe Mlzzi, and Commander Dan Myers at all times if I cannot be there myself. They know all there is to know and take care of things. All three have several awards themselves. We serve coffee, water, Kool-Aid, lemonade, cakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, gum, crackers, candies and anything else I can get. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a favorite. I bake a lot of the items myself, and with the help of Dan I make more than 240 P&J sandwiches at a time and they all disappear in no time at all. I also send care packages overseas with homemade cookies, brownies, hard candy, and toiletry items. We exchange emails, letters, and pictures. In the last 25 years I missed two national conventions, one Southern Conference, one District Meeting, and two Auxiliary Meetings, all due to circumstances beyond by control. I have missed no Department C of A meetings and no Department Conventions. I always plan everything around my Auxiliary obligations. Thanking you in advance for your consideration of me as your National Council member # 9. I am Loyally, Maria Myers 204 South Drive Beaufort, NC 28516 Email: [email protected] Phone: 252-342-3728

CANDIDATE FOR NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBER # 9 MARIA MYERS My name is Maria Myers and I am running for the office of National Council Member # 9. I am a life member of VFW Ladies Auxiliary 2401 in Beaufort, NC, and I have been a very active member since 1984. I joined under my husband, Daniel T. Myers, who retired from US Air Force and is a Viet Nam Veteran. He also retired after 20 years from Cherry Point. I have served in all chairs up to and including President in the Auxiliary, District, and Department. I have served in most of the appointed Chairs and all elected offices all the way to up to President in the Auxiliary of Jones-Austin Post 2401. I have been Auxiliary president eleven times. I have gone through the District 4 Chairs up to District 4 President, served as Chairman and Trustee several times in the 4th District, and served as District 4 President two times. I have gone through the Department Chairs up to Department President and served several times on committees and chairmanships. I also have been appointed as a Page several times. I joined the Gold Star Mothers of America in 1997 after I lost my son Captain Donald J.

VFW Honor Guard Faithful
by Robert Kelly-Goss Albemarle Life Editor Six members of the VFW Post 6060 Honor Guard gathered around an old white Ford van inside Westlawn Cemetery in Elizabeth City. Each dressed in his and her Honor Guard green uniform; they talked, smoked and readied themselves for a grave side service that would include full military honors. This honor guard is the only one operating in Northeastern North Carolina, says leader, Maj. Monica Sandridge (ret.). "We've been a long way," says the crew's honorary bugler; Bruce Parron, referring to the miles these folks are willing to travel to provide military services to the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. The job of the honor guard is to provide memorial and funeral services to soldiers who have passed on, but are not active military service members. Although this honor guard can participate to a degree in those services the military will provide full honors for the active duty men and woman who have died in the service of their country. For their purposes, however, the men and women who serve in the VFW Post guard honor the deceased with anything from a simple flag folding ceremony to a full honors service that includes rifle volley, a bugler' playing taps and flag folding and presentation. Sandridge says there are a number of veterans who serve with this honor guard, but only a few can be on hand at any give time due to work commitments. On this day there is Sandridge, 44, who served in the Army from 1987 to 2010; Parron, 75, who served in the Navy from 1954 to 1962; Miguel Rosario, 62, served in the Army from 1968 to 1971; Jack Fortenberry, 75, was an Army airborne ranger from 1954 to 1969; Joe Franzese, 71, was a ranger from 1958 to 1961; Mural Tackett, 62, served in the Army from 1973 to 1993; and Dan Serick, 55, served in the airborne infantry from 1973 to 1993. As the crew spots the arrival of the first Twiford Funeral Home vehicle, the six member honor guard team begins to slip on their white gloves. Three of the men take the M-1 Carbine rifles, and Parron grabs his bugle. They solemnly walk to take their positions just beyond a tent that will house the family of Frank Fortunato and his casket during the service. Parron takes his position, standing solo beneath a tree where he will play taps. Fortenberry, Rosario, Franzese and Serick form the rifle squad and stand ab out 15 yards from the grave site. Sandridge and Tackett will perform the flag folding and presentation, so they stand ready near the tent. As the casket and pallbearers arrive, Fortenberry calls the crew to attention. The riflemen present arms as the other members snap to a salute. The pallbearers carry a casket draped in the American flag and place it on a stand. When the pallbearers take their place beyond the seats beneath the tent, the family arrives. As they are seated the honor guard stands at attention. A priest recites the words of the funeral service. And then, on cue, Parron raises his bugle and taps begins to echo into the air. The rifle men begin a volley of rifle fire as Sandridge and Tackett fold the flag from the casket in ceremonial fashion, slowly, thoughtfully and fully aware of the significance of this moment. The flag folding takes time. The bugle and rifle volleys are finished before the folding is done. For a time, the only sounds in the air are birds. The people are calm and quiet as Sandridge and Tackett carefully execute this ceremonial folding. Once the flag is folded, Sandridge places it between the gloved palms of her hands and walks to Jeanette Fortunato, the wife of the deceased. Sandridge kneels before Mrs. fortunato and as she offers her the flag she says a few words. The honor guard will stay in position until the funeral service ends. Once it ends they slowly begin to make their way back to their old van. The looks on their faces are heavy, especially Sandridge. Sandridge says it's difficult to offer the flag to family members. She explains that some members of the honor guard won't do that for fear of breaking down, while other veterans won't even go near honor guard duty because it's just too emotional. As the members of the honor guard make their way to the van, each of them comment on the emotional toll it takes on them, but more importantly the depth of the meaning this sort of duty has for them. "It means a great deal to me," says Parron. "We honor the dead by respecting the family," says Fortenberry. "It still brings tears to your eyes," says Tackett. The honor guard is always on hand for performing a service at memorials and funerals. They estimate that they average 85 funerals a year. Sandridge says they've done as many as three in a day. And Tackett points out that this honor guard is there, at the grave site of a veteran, regardless of the weather. They've performed honors in the blazing hot sun and in the freezing rain. "We're true warriors that never relinquished our oath to country and comrades," says Serick.

Gender Disparities
WASH INGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a report that shows improvement in gender disparities in 12 out of 14 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures in VA since 2008. HEDIS measures are used by 90 percent of America's health plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service, such as screening, prevention and chronic disease management. VA consistently scores higher than private sector health care on both gender-specific and gender-neutral HEDIS measures. "We have a solemn obligation to provide high quality health care to all Veterans, regardless of gender. Although we are encouraged by the progress we have achieved, we are not going to stop working until all gaps are eliminated," said Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. VA began a national initiative to eliminate gender gaps in preventive care in 2008. In 2011, VA asked each health care region across the country to review gender disparity data and create and implement an improvement plan. The Comparing the Care of Men and Women Veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs report released by VA's Office of Informatics and Analytics (alA) indicates progress. The report shows that VA improved gender disparities in six performance measures specific to VA, including the screening rate for persistence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Other findings from the report include: • VA has improved rates of screening women Veterans for depression, PTSD and colorectal cancer. • VA has improved disease prevention for women Veterans through increased vaccination rates. • VA has improved. chronic disease management for women Veterans in hypertension) diabetes, hyperlipidemia, all significant risk factors for cardiac disease. Although the gender gaps have narrowed, care remains better for men than women in cholesterol control, diabetes management and flu vaccination. The OIA report includes results of Veterans' inpatient and outpatient satisfaction surveys, which show that men and women Veterans reported similar satisfaction except in the Getting Care Quickly and Getting Needed Care outpatient sections. VA has implemented a national initiative to improve all care for women veterans. Some of the components include training VA providers in basic and advanced women's health care, implementation of women's health primary care teams at VA facilities nationwide and ramped up communications efforts. The Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group, which leads the initiative, also issued a report looking at gender disparities. That report, Gender Differences in Performance Measures, VHA 2008-2011, identifies best practices for eliminating gender gaps based on success in VA networks. "We're looking at what works and trying to replicate it throughout VA's system," said Patricia Hayes, chief consultant for the Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group. "We want to sustain this trend toward shrinking gender disparities and become a model for all other health care systems on how to eliminate gender disparities. Most importantly, we want to give every Veteran the best health care." Both reports can be downloaded via www.womenshealth.va.gov. For more information about VA programs and services for women veterans, please visit: www.va:gov/womenvet and www.womenshealth.va.gov.

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Apr/MAy/Jun 2012

The VFW LeAder

Camp Lejeune to Get $11 Million TBI/PTSD Treatment Center
Camp Lejeune service members living with Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress will finally be able to get the treatment they need without having to separate from their units or leave their families for extended periods of treatment. The NICoE Satellite Center at Camp Lejeune will provide psychiatric testing, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy equipment, sleep labs, neuro and psych testing for service members as well as a family room where patients can spend time with their family and take a break for their clinical treatment regime, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes according to a press release from the Fund is building an $11-million Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. NICoE Satellite Center extension of the National Intrepid Center "Although American combat operaof Excellence (NICoE) at Camp tions in Iraq and Afghanistan are Lejeune dedicated to treating service winding down, the suffering of members returning from Iraq and our wounded heroes is not," said Afghanistan with PTSD and TBI. Richard Santulli, Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, via the "Traumatic Brain Injury and Post release. "Our nation owes the best Traumatic Stress are invisible wounds care possible to those who have sacthat we need to make visible," said rificed so much for us, and NICoE Arnold Fisher, Honorary Chairman and the Satellite Centers will help us of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, fulfill that responsibility." at the Lejeune center's groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon. The Camp Lejeune Satellite Center "These men and women raised their is one of about 10 new $11 million, right hand and swore allegiance to 25,000 sq. ft. satellite centers being this country and when they go over- built. The centers are set to be fundseas and they come back hurt, we ed and completed by the Intrepid are obligated to get them the help Fallen Heroes Fund and gifted to they need ... this country's respon- the Department of Defense within sibility is to help (wounded service the next three years. The funding of members) and that's what we are the centers is made possible through here to do." a $100 million fund-raising program set forth by the Fallen Heroes Fund. "We're grateful and we're blessed to have a really fine military treatment facility here at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune," Lt. Gen. John Paxton, Commanding General, II Marine Expeditionary Force, told The Daily News. "What the NICoE treatment center brings to Camp Lejeune is a national-level state-of-the-art facility that will help us with both the diagnostics and the treatment of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury ... it gives us capabilities that we don't have now." The design and mission of the new Satellite Centers is based on the original NICoE, which opened in 2010 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. and was also funded by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Operated by the DoD, the NICoE treatment center is the most advanced facility of it's kind, designed to help the Armed Forces research, diagnose and treat TBI, PTSD and related injuries sustained by military personnel. For more information about the Satellite Centers or to donate to the cause, visit fallenheroesfund.org.

Ribbon Cutting for a New Facility Home Depot Grant to Serve Disabled, Homeless Vets
Winston-Salem, NC Supporters stood shoulder-to-shoulder today to cut the ribbon for Veterans Helping Veterans Heal's (VHVH) new housing facility at 3614 North Glenn Avenue. The goal ofVHVH will be to help veterans overcome barriers so that they can transition into permanent housing, achieve personal goals including self-sufficiency, and function well with family, coworkers, and friends. Today's ribbon-cutting celebration served to recognize the successful completion ofthe acquisition and rehabilitation ofthe VHVH building, to thank everyone who has helped make this project possible and to allow our community to see the facility before it is occupied. It is important to note that the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has not yet inspected and accepted the VHVH project at this time. This is expected to be a comprehensive inspection and review process which will begin within the next few weeks now that the rehabilitation of the building has been completed. Occupancy by homeless veterans will follow the receipt of all final approvals by the V A. VHVH will address the gap in housing services in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County that are needed for chronically homeless veterans who are coping with substance abuse and/or mental illness, the two highest rated problems within the homeless veteran population. VHVH will also help the local Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness (United Way of Forsyth County) meet its housing goals and build on the programs offered by the various homeless shelters and other transitional housing facilities. VHVH wIll offer a supportive housing environment in collaboration with the VA, CenterPoint Human Services and others that will include on-site case managers and the provision of services to meet the special needs of the veterans. Each veteran will work with his case worker to establish personal goals. All residents will attend lifeskills training and participate in the daily upkeep of the facility. Regular Alcoholic and Narcotics Anonymous meetings will be held on-site. The Triad Community Kitchen will provide food service under the leadership of Jeff Bacon, director and executive chef. VHVH also plans to acquire a passenger van in order to provide transportation for the veterans to medical facilities, job interviews, workshops, and other meetings. Veterans will be referred by VA and community outreach providers. VHVH will serve 30 veterans at one time in dormitory style housing for a period of up to two years. It is anticipated that some ofthe veterans will transition out of the program within six to nine months enabling other veterans to participate in the program. VHVH will, therefore, likely serve between 30-45 chronically homeless veterans each year. Chronically homeless veterans make up about 20 percent of the entire local homeless population in Forsyth County. Veterans will be referred to the program by local homeless service providers and the VA Medical Center in Salisbury, among others. Since VHVH will serve veterans, space at other shelters will be freed up for other individuals who are homeless. VHVH was developed by the North Carolina Housing Foundation (NCHF) in partnership with the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post # 1134. Funding for the development of VHVH includes grants from the Veterans Administration Grants Per Diem program, Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T), the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the Winston-Salem Foundation, United Way of Forsyth County, and donations from individuals and members of many local military service organizations. Funding for the annual operations of the program, will come from multiple sources including an Emergency Shelter Grant from the City of Winston-Salem, a two-year grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the VA Per Diem reimbursement for each veteran in the program. VHVH will also be one of the beneficiaries from fundraising by groups like the Winston-Salem Elks annual golf tournament and the Marine Corps League Mud Run. Rehabilitation of the former VFW Post # 1134 at 3614 North Glenn Avenue in Winston-Salem began in late October. The architect was Mike Osman of the Steele Group and the general contractor is Landmark Builders of the Triad. Stimmel Associates' Luke Dickey assisted with zoning and road closure. Carolyn Scogin at Blanco Tackabery provided legal assistance. All are Winston-Salem companies. Countless veterans have helped with the demolition of the interior of the building. VHVH will be owned and managed by the North Carolina Housing Services and Management Corp., a nonprofit affiliate of the North Carolina Housing Foundation also based in WinstonSalem. The program manager will be Peter Moorman, Jonathan Evans will serve as operations director, and Dan Fisher will be resident manager. All three men are veterans. The North Carolina Housing Foundation (NCHF) is based in Winston-Salem and is the parent affiliate of VHVH and the North Carolina Housing Services and Management Corp. (NCHSM). NCHF is an experienced nonprofit developer of affordable housing which focuses on developing quality affordable housing for low and moderate income households throughout the state. NCHSM currently manages 26 properties with a total of nearly 1000 apartment units. These units include apartments for families, independent elderly, persons with disabilities or special needs, and transitional and permanent supportive housing for the homeless. The Development Team includes Garry Merritt, NCHF Board Chair; John Nichols, NCHSM ; Diane Evans, NCHSM Director of Development; Jane Milner, NCHSM Development Coordinator; Peter Moonnan, VHVH-ProgramManager;Jeff~Bacon, Triad Community Kitchen; CharlieClayboum, VFW Post #1134; Mary Claybourn, VFW Post #1134 Women's Auxiliary; Ron Hairston, US Department of Veterans Affairs; Andrea Kurtz, Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness/United Way of Forsyth County; and Paula Stephen, The Stephen Company. VHVH is a project of the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. The Plan, overseen by United Way of Forsyth County with the full support of the community and homeless service providers, seeks to provide effective solutions and accessible services to eliminate chronic homelessness and improve the system's effectiveness for all persons experiencing a housing crisis. Andrea Kurtz is the director of the Plan, and BB&T's Chris Henson chairs the Plan's council. For additional information, please visit VHVH.org (currently under construction). February 24, 2012 - The Home Depot (HD) has opened their Community Impact Grants cycle, which will be in effect from February 6, 2012 through August 13, 2012, though it is suggested you apply as soon as possible. VFW Posts can receive up to $5,000 to fix up their buildings; however, of course, there is no guarantee of funding. To begin the process, type in the following Internet link: www.homedepot foundation.orglhow-we-help/grants.html. Near the bottom of the Web page, choose. "Click here to start the application". To help you complete this application, the VFW Foundation has prepared a step by-step, how-to guide. We have tried to make the instructions as simple as possible. Any deviation from this guide will most likely result in not being able to submit the application. To receive this information send an email to: [email protected]. Type the following in the subject head ing: Need Home Depot Guide. The application must be filled out via the Internet only (no telephone calls to HD, e-mails or written submissions will be accepted nor will you be able to turn this application in at your local HD ∆7 store). Pay close attention to the Tax ID Instructions Section. You will use the Employee Identification Number (EIN) of your Post and upload the Post's 501(c) (19) IRS determination letter at the end of the application. If you receive funding it will come in the form of Home Depot gift cards that- can be used to buy materials at your local HD store. You will need to recruit Post members or other community volunteers to do the work. The project must be completed within 6 months. You will also be required to fill out a final report. Failure to do so will negatively impact your Post's ability to receive any future funding from The Home Depot. After submission of the application, you should receive a written e-mail response from HD usually in six weeks letting you know if you received the grant. Should you have any, questions, please contact Richard Freiburghouse, Grants Manager, at 816-968-1124 or [email protected]

Save the Date Heroes Remembered: Korean War Armistice Day 2012 on July 27, 2012 at 9:00am - 10:30am at Arlington National Cemetery
Mark your calendars and make plans to join the Dept. of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee on July 27, 2012 at 9:00am for a very special ceremony honoring the 59th anniversary of the Korean War Annistice at Arlington National Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The event is open to the public and kicks off with a wreath laying ceremony and keynote remarks by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

More infonnation and details to follow in the coming weeks. To RSVP for the event, please email at [email protected]

The VFW Leader

apr/May/Jun 2012

page 11

NEW STATE COMMANDERS MEMBERSHIP CONTEST

NC VFW Scholarship
School Newspaper, and the Gaston County High School Envirothan Science Team. While on that team, he received a PlanetConnect Environment Education Grant, only one of 10 awarded in the entire United States. He graduated with a 3.53 unweighted grade point average and a 4.25 weighted average (which includes credit for Honors Courses in high school). He ranked 59th out of his class of 272. He plans to attend Western Carolina University, where he will major in Natural ~ Resources Conservation Alex Clayton Hall of Gastonia Management. and Jebediah Gray Bryant of Westfield were chosen as the Jebediah Bryant won the Billy Otis N. Brown and Billy Ray Ray Cameron Scholarship Cameron Scholarship winners which also pays $1000 per for 2011-2012. Both are high year for 4 years. He qualified school seniors who just gradu- for the competition through ated, and will now be moving his grandmother, Nellie Gray on to college. Wilson, a member ofthe Ladies Auxiliary 5352 of Kernersville. Alex Hall, winner of the Otis N. His mother is Julie Gautier, a Brown Memorial Scholarship property management specialof $1000 per year for 4 years, ist. graduated a few weeks ago from Forestview High School. Jebediah recently graduatHe was eligible to compete for ed from North Stokes High the scholarship through his School in Danbury, and plans grandfather, long-time com- to attend Surry Community rade Mickey Carroll Grindstaff College to major in Computer of Absher-Flowers Post 9337 in Sciences. While in high school Gastonia. His mother is Linda he was Vice President of his Grindstaff, a teacher in the Senior Class, President of the Gaston County School system. Monogram Club, and a 4-year ScholarAthlete in varsity footAlex is an Eagle Scout in the ball and wrestling. He had a Boy Scouts of America, and 3.10 unweighted average and a a member of the National 3.31 weighted average, ending Beta Club, National Honor up ranked 48 out of 105. Society, 2009 Baseball Team,

State Scout of the Year
To be eligible, a candidate must be a registered, active member of a Boy or Girl Scout Troop, Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship. In addition, he/she must have received their Eagle Scout award, Girl Scout Gold Award, Venture Silver Award, or Sea Scout Quartermaster Award. They have to have demonstrated practical citizenship in school, Scouting and their community, reached their 15th birthday, and be enrolled in high school at the time of selection. For the first time this year, Girl Scouts were considered for this award as well as Boy Scouts. This ruling was passed at the VFW National Convention in San Antonio in 2011. This resulted in the best year ever for applicants in North Carolina, to include 4 girls out of 15 applicants. Caleb just graduated from Green Hope High School in Cary, and plants to attend a 4-year university. He has been in some level of Scouting since joining the Tiger Cubs in Danville, Pennsylvania, in 2000. He received his Eagle Scout rating, the highest award in Boy Scouting, in May of 2011. In Troop 204, he has held the positions of Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Instructor, and Crew Leader at Philmont National Scout Camp. FFor his Eagle project, which is required to obtain that rank, Caleb worked with a local women's and children's shelter called The Good Samaritan in Durham. He complety renovated two rooms that were unlivable due to unhealthy conditions of the carpet and bathrooms after a sewage problem. He and his fellow Scout volunteers gutted both rooms, and then refurbished them with a new coat of paint, new ceiling tiles, new carpet in the living space, new vinyl in the entryway, closet and bathroom, and new vinyl baseboards throughout. All the materials were donated to the project by local businesses.

Caleb Luke Gallentine of Cary has been chosen as the 2011-2012 Scout of Year by the Department's Scouting Coordinator, Terry Middleton, and his committee. Caleb is a member of Troop 204, and was sponsored by Cary Post 7383. Scout of the Year is a highly prestigious award at the VFW Department level.

Calabash Memorial Day Ceremony
More than 250 people gathered at Calabash VFW Post 7288 on May 28th to remember those who gave their all for our country. The featured speaker, Sergeant Major Chuck Jarrell with the US Army Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg, emphasized the importance of just that: Keeping the "memorial" in Memorial Day. He remembered that Memorial Day originated in 1863 during the Civil War when family members cleaning the graves of Confederate soldiers noticed the nearby graves of Union soldiers were also unkempt, so they cleaned those as well. Decoration Day for the graves of fallen soldiers gave way to Memorial Day, a day to remember and honor those who died in our nation's wars. Pictured during the Calabash VFW ceremony are cadets from West Brunswick High School preparing the American flag for raising, then lowering to half-staff in honor of our lost heroes. During the ceremony, the names of 26 members of the Post who've died since last Memorial Day were read.

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Oct/NOv/Dec 2012

the vFW LeaDer

Upward Bound Project
SANFORD - Military veterans will find support in getting and staying on track for a college education, thanks to the new Veterans Upward Bound project headed by Central Carolina Community College (CCCC). The VFW Department of North Carolina is coordinating with the college on how the two organizations can help Tarheel veterans. The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the college a five-year, $1.23 million dollar Veterans Upward Bound project grant to increase college attendance and success among veterans. The DOE has been awarding Veterans Upward Bound grants nationally since 1972, but this is the first one awarded to an institution in North Carolina. "We're pleased that the Department of Education looked at our grant request and felt confident that CCCC could build on the success we already have in reaching out to and serving this important population," said college president, Dr. Bud Marchant. More than 87,000 veterans reside in the grant project's service area. Many are potential first-generation college attendees, low-income, or academically at-risk students who can benefit from this program, according to Dr. Brian Merritt, CCCC Dean of Student Learning. CCCC will receive $245,086 per year for five years to serve veterans residing in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties. Partnerships with Wake Tech Community College and Johnston Community College will provide the services to eligible veterans in those counties as well, he said. VFW posts in these counties can assist the program by finding and referring young veterans who wish to be prepared for a college education. "No group deserves our support for opportunities to learn and advance their knowledge and skills more than our veterans," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Veterans Upward Bound grants will help prepare our returning veterans for college by providing the academic instruction, mentoring and guidance they need to succeed in college and in life." The grant will pay for project support staff, provide stipends to the veterans, and cover other expenses as needed, such as the cost of college preparatory classes. The primary goal of the VUB project is to increase the rate at which participants emoll in and complete postsecondary education programs. Veterans Upward Bound is designed to motivate and assist veterans in the development of academic and other skills necessary for success in a program of postsecondary education. The college's VUB program will engage veterans in a rigorous, college-prep curriculum, as well as provide them with well-rounded support for success in education and a career. The services will include needs assessment, academic advising, career counseling, mentoring, tutoring, assistance with college application/admission, financial aid information, and assistance with enrollment in postsecondary education. It will also assist veterans in securing support services from other locally available resources such as the Veterans Administration, state veterans agencies, veteran associations, and other state and local agencies that serve veterans. Participation in this program is designed to prepare veterans to attend college - it does not affect their Gl Bill benefits once they actually enroll in college. The support of county commissioners was important in CCCC's obtaining the grant, Marchant said. It demonstrated to the Department of Education that the communities understand and are behind efforts to reach out to veterans and help them be successful both personally and as contributing members of their communities. "Support for the college's application for the Veterans Upward Bound grant was unanimous among the Lee County commissioners," said Linda Shook, chair of the board of commissioners. "We praise the college administration for being proactive and looking out for the veterans in our community - this is for them." lf the program is successful, it is hoped that it can be expanded to more counties in North Carolina in a year or two. While the college is fully staffing the program, veterans interested in signing up for the VUB can make initial contact with a staff member by email at veteransub@cccc. edu.

The Real Miss America
Vanessa Dobos is a gunner on a USAF AC130 gunship. She has seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan. She likes long walks on lhe beach, men who aren't afraid to cry and puppies. Her dislikes include feed tray stoppages, tracer flareout of her NVGs and premature fixedwing strikes scattering her high-value targets. This 19 year old excheerleader now an Air Force Security Forces Sniper, was watching a road in Pakistan that led to a NATO military base when she observed a man digging by the road. She engaged the target. It turned out he was a bomb maker for the Taliban, and he was burying an lED that was to be detonated when a U.S. patrol walked by 30 minutes later. It would have certainly killed and wounded several soldiers. The interesting fact of this story is the shot was measured at 725 yards. She shot him as he was bent over burying the bomb. The Air Force made a motivational poster of her.

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