GENERAL ORDERS


VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA

NUMBER 5
SERVICE, HONOR, PRIDE

NOVEMBER 1, 2002



1. STATE COMMANDER'S MESSAGE:

Comrades and Sisters it is hard for me to believe that we are now about to enter our 6th month of this VFW year. I'd normally ask where has the time gone, but believe you me, I know what has been happening to our time.

Your Council of Administration has been working in full force. A lot of situations have come up, some have been settled and some are yet to be settled. But with the time we have left we shall continue to work out these issues until the final gavel falls on this year. And if it must, it will be carried over into the next year until fully resolved, this I truly promise.

There are not enough words to put on paper to express my appreciation and gratitude for the work and dedication that went into the homecoming for Madam President and I, by VFW Chairman Kim DeShano and Ladies Auxiliary Chairwoman Lee Miller and their committee members. There are so many to thank, yet I fear I will leave someone out. Please let it be said here to all that had anything to do with it, and by that I mean traveling to it, gifts, just being there to share our night, a heart felt thanks.

Each committee Chairman has submitted reports to me concerning the weaknesses and the strengths they perceive from each District. I'll be arranging a meeting with the mentors for each District in the next few weeks. The purpose is to formulate a plan to eliminate all the problems prior to arriving at Mid Winter Conference.

November is a time for the holidays to begin. Many of our local military bases maintain a list of personnel needing to be adopted for the holidays. Lets all put our thinking caps on and think back to when we were that Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman and Coast Guardsman and how lonely it was being away from home on the holidays.

Lawrence F. (Larry) Mattera
State Commander


2. GENERAL ORDER CUT OFF DATES:

PLEASE NOTE: ANY information to be published in the General Orders must be in by the 20th of the month. Changes of address or phone numbers within the Department must be in writing or via e-mail. Headquarters can accept handwritten, typed and faxed information, BUT we would prefer to receive your input as an email that we can import directly into our draft of the next edition.


3. IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

The Department of Virginia, VFW has a web page. The General Orders can be found on the web page at http://www.vfw-virginia.com. It is now possible for individual Posts, with their own Web site, to become linked to our web page. Posts who already have web sites can incorporate a Department of Virginia link on their Website. Please contact the State Adjutant/Quartermaster at State Headquarters: 1-800-888-3521 [for calls from inside Virginia only]. State Headquarters' new e-mail address is stateheadquarters@vfw-virginia.com (case sensitive).

The State Officers now have e-mail addresses on the state web page:
State Commander Larry Mattera - commander@vfw-virginia.com
Senior Vice Commander Pete Snelling - seniorvice@vfw-virginia.com
Junior Vice Commander Mike Hoiness - juniorvice@vfw-virginia.com
Judge Advocate Tom Hines - judgeadvocate@vfw-virginia.com
Surgeon Dan Boyer - surgeon@vfw-virginia.com
Chaplain Ed Powers - chaplain@vfw-virginia.com
Adjutant/Quartermaster Fred Wolking - quartermaster@vfw-virginia.com

State Headquarters also has voice mail, where you can call and leave messages before or after business hours, and a letter box located right outside the front door, where you can drop things off before and after business hours.


4. THE QUARTERMASTER'S LEDGER:

This month I want to share some thoughts about the infamous Trustees Quarterly Audit report with all who read these General Orders.

The duties of the post officers are listed in Article II section 218 of the Manual of Procedure. Section 218 (a) (11) a. defines the timing of the audits and reports. Post Audit Reports for the period 1 July - 30 September 2002 must be performed by 31 October 2002. A report of each audit shall be submitted to the Department Quartermaster after it has been signed by the trustees and the post commander. The act of putting those signatures on the report is certification that the information on the report is accurate. In order for the information to be considered accurate it should also be in compliance with all the related requirements given in various sections of the Congressional Charter and Bylaws AND the Manual of Procedure. During my review of the reports submitted to state headquarters since 5 September 2002 I have noted the following items that to not comply with those requirements, or with the standards of practice established by the state commander and state inspector.

I am returning audit reports that fail to meet the criteria discussed above, and those containing obvious mathematical errors to the cognizant commanders for correction. I am crediting your post or district for having submitted the report even though it may be returned for correction. Any post or district commander, trustee, or quartermaster who needs advice or help with the proper completion of the quarterly audit report call me on the 800 number [1 800 888 3521], drop by state headquarters for a chat and a cup of coffee, or ask that I visit them to resolve any questions they may have.

On other topics -

Overall membership is a little ahead of 2002, but we cannot afford to relax, making 100% by December 2002 is possible but will take hard work in some posts. If you need help, the commander and his entire staff stands ready to help you.

I frequently receive requests for Operation Uplink calling cards. When I was at the annual Adjutant/Quartermasters meeting in Kansas City they told us cards are in short supply and Operation Uplink can always use donations to help maintain the program. There is an article later in this issue about one special effort to help, but donations for Operation Uplink are legitimate draws on the Post Relief Fund, and are always welcome. Just send the check to state headquarters marked for that purpose. Calling cards are available but I have to call Kansas City, identify what type of cards are needed, where they are going to be used and when they are needed.

Buddy Poppies are ninety dollars a thousand, minimum order of 500. If your post bought poppies between 1 July and 4 September and paid a higher price, send me a copy of your receipt and I will make appropriate refund. Why the change? In September we had over 60,000 poppies taking up space in the back room. They were bought before the price went up and I need the space for other things.

Dues reminders - According to the schedule I received this week, dues reminders are scheduled to be mailed to Virginia in November 2002, January 2003, and March 2003. Remember, there is a delay between the time you receive the members dues, and the time the database in Kansas City is changed. Don't sit on dues you could submit to Staunton. We process them on to Kansas City as quickly as we can, usually within two or three days, unless there are problems with your submission [check for wrong amount, no DOB on life member application, P-110 says 15 cards, check only covers 13, etc.). It probably takes a week from the time we mail the package to Kansas City to get the information entered.

HELP HARRY HUFF & OPERATION UPLINK

Harry Huff of Post 2216 is a barber [among many other things]. During the quartermaster's visit to Harry's barber shop, Harry expressed a desire to include removal of the quartermaster's handlebar mustache as part of the service. Well, the quartermaster did not think that was necessary at the time. But Harry insisted he really wanted to shave it off. So the quartermaster finally told him that if he can raise an extra ten thousand dollars for Operation Uplink he can shave it during the Awards Ceremony at the 2003 state convention. If you want to help Harry in the pursuit of his goal, send your checks to him at 703 Stonewall Circle, Staunton, Virginia, 24401; or mark them for Harry's Special Operation Uplink Fund and send them to state headquarters. If Harry can raise an extra ten thousand dollars for Operation Uplink, you can all watch him perform the act, on Awards Night, at the 2003 state convention.


5. DISTRICT MEETINGS:

FIRST - 11-16-02, PHOEBUS POST 3219, will meet at Keith's Dockside restaurant for breakfast, 9:00 a.m. With meeting starting at 11:00 a.m. Representative, Dan Boyer, State Surgeon

SECOND - 11-16-02, OCEAN VIEW POST 3160, 12:00 NOON Lunch, 1:00 Meeting, Representative, Tom Hines, State Judge Advocate

THIRD - 12-7-02, Third District Headquarters, Meeting 2PM, Meal to follow, Representative Lawrence F. Mattera, State Commander

FOURTH - 11-03-02, CREWE COMMUNITY CENTER, Meeting 1:00 p.m., hosted by Post 7819, Representative Otis N. Berry, Past State Commander

FIFTH - 11-17-02, STUART POST 7800, American Legion Post, Stuart, Lunch 12:00 NOON, Meeting 1:00 p.m., Representative Tom Hines, State Judge Advocate

SIXTH - 11-17-02, VA MEDICAL BUILDING 10, Meeting 2:00 p.m., Lunch to follow, Representative Michael J. Hoiness, State Junior Vice Commander

SEVENTH - 12-08-02, WINCHESTER, Post 2123 11:30 a.m. lunch, 1:00 p.m. meeting, Representative Lawrence F. Mattera, State Commander

EIGHTH - 11-24-02, REMINGTON POST 7728, Meeting 1:00 p.m., Representative Lawrence F. Mattera, State Commander 2-23-03, Post 7589, MANASSAS, 1:00 pm Meeting

NINTH - 01-12-03, Marion Post 4467, 1030 AM Registration, 1130AM Joint Session, 1200PM Meeting, Representative Lawrence F. Mattera, State Commander

TENTH - 12-08-02, WOODBRIDGE POST 7916, (Occoquan), Meeting 1:00 p.m., Meal to follow, Representative Peter Snelling, State Senior Vice Commander

ELEVENTH - 12-1-02, Bridgewater Post 8644, 1130 Lunch, 1PM Meeting, Representative Tom Hines, State Judge Advocate

TWELFTH - 01-05-03, POUND POST 9600, Pound Elementary, 11:00 a.m. Registration, 12:00 NOON Lunch, Meeting to follow, Representative Michael J. Hoiness, State Junior Vice Commander

THIRTEENTH - 12-08-02, GORDONSVILLE POST, 1:00P.M. meeting, Meal to follow, Representative Lawrence F. Mattera, State Commander


6. ROSTER CHANGES:

Judge Advocate - T. W. Hines, 811 Craig Mill Road, South Hill 23970

MAP Coordinator - Connie Agresti, 828 Slaters Lane, Alexandria 22314, phone 703-706-5828

new email addresses are; home mcaiii@aol.com; work michael.agresti@navy.mil

Post 1211 - Meets First Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Charity Neck Methodist Church at the intersection of Gum Bridge Road and Charity Neck Road

Post 2820 - Meets Third Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Preston Ruritan building, 2955 Preston Road (SR 887), Martinsville

Post 4468 Commander is Blake S. Denny, 1391 Senseny Road, Winchester 22602, phone 540-662-3689
Senior Vice Commander is Ivan L. Arbogast, 38165 W. Colonial Highway, Hamilton, 20158-3403, phone 540-338-2842
Post 4468 (continued) Junior Vice Commander Bernard R. Gallahan, 116 Williamson Road, Winchester 22602, phone 540-545-4180
Adjutant is George R. Pruneau, 20375 Furr Road, Round Hill, 20141-1950, phone 540-554-8409
Quartermaster is Charles C. Fletcher, 2432-170 Berryville Pike, Winchester 22603-4878, phone 540-722-9424
Post 4468 meets on the Second Saturday of each month at 2:00 p.m., Purcellville Valley Community Center, Purcellville

Post 6975 - Meets Second Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.

Post 7327 - Commander is James C. Grummons, 6313 Willowood Lane, Alexandria 22844

Post 9382 - Quartermaster is Richard J. Lauver, 5908 Wayne Avenue, Suffolk 23425-1826, phone 757-484-7599

MOC - Adjutant/Quartermaster John L. "Jack" Roberts, 604 Braddock Avenue, Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania 15145


7. REPORTS AND FORMS:

PLEASE NOTE THE INDIVIDUAL RECRUITING AWARD FORM, THE COMMUNITY ACTIVITY REPORT, HOMELESS VETERANS REPORT, HOSPITAL REPORT AND EVALUATION GUIDE CAN BE FOUND ON THE WEBSITE. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE E-MAIL PLEASE LET US KNOW AND WE WILL SEND THE FORMS TO YOU. PLEASE SEND FORMS TO THE CURRENT COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, NOT STATE HEADQUARTERS. THE ONLY REPORT THAT SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO STATE HEADQUARTERS IS THE DECEASED COMRADE FORM.


8. IMPORTANT 2002-2005 DATES:

Oct 31- Nov 3, 2002 Southern Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas

March 9-12, 2003 Community Service Conference, Washington, DC.

March 10-13, 2002 Legislative Conference, Washington, DC.

July 26, 2003 Satellite Training

August 23-29, 2003 National VFW Convention, San Antonio, Texas

August 14-20, 2004 National VFW Convention, Cincinnati, Ohio

August 20-26, 2005 National VFW Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah


9. GOLDEN CORRAL RESTAURANTS SALUTE TO VETERAN:

On Veterans Day ( November 11), the 475 Golden Corral restaurants nation-wide will offer veterans a free buffet dinner between the hours of 5 and 9 p.m.

Connie Agresti


10. PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY:

Lynchburg VFW Post 8184 will host a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Program Saturday, December 7, 2002 at Moose Lodge #715 - Route 221 at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served following the program. We will be reserving a section for Pearl Harbor Survivors. Please feel free to bring any family members or guests. We sincerely hope you can attend and are looking forward to seeing you there.


11. SCHOOL OF INSTRUCTION:

2003 July 11- 13 Holiday Inn Select, 601 Main Street, Lynchburg, Virginia 24504; Rates are $69.00; phone 434-528-2500


12. WINTER COUNCIL MEETINGS:

2003 January 17-19 Clarion, 500 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg 23185, rates are $45.00 a night, telephone 1-800-666-8888


13. DONATIONS:

Please send your donations (WWII Memorial, Operation Uplink, USO Christmas Tour, etc.) to VFW State Headquarters, P O Box 2067, Staunton, VA 24402.


14. VOICE OF DEMOCRACY: 2002-2003 THEME: "Freedom's Obligation"

September is here and schools are in session, this year's Voice of Democracy Program should be in the schools. At the School of Instruction, in Lynchburg, the question was posed to me as how could Posts participate in the program when the schools aren't willing to participate. There are many ways to participate in the program. Your Post can get the information to a Boy Scout or Girl Scout Troop, home school students, or you next door neighbor's children are all eligible to participate. If your Post cannot find anyone to participate then you do have another option. National Commander-In-Chief Ray Sisk has stated that when all other efforts to sponsor a child have failed. The Post may contribute $25.00 to the Department of Virginia, VFW to be used for the VOD Program. By submitting the monies to Department you will receive credit that will entitle you to receive participation points for "All State." Also, a certificate of participation will be issued by National signed by the Department Commander and myself. All checks must be sent to the Department Quartermaster and designated for the VOD program by the deadline date for Department Judging.

Dates to remember: Post Judging by November 1, 2002
District Judging by December 15, 2002
Department Judging by January 15, 2003
National Judging February 1, 2003

There is no reason why the Department of Virginia, VFW should not be 80% reported for The Voice of Democracy Program for 2002-2003. I encourage all District Commanders to work toward achieving 80% for your District in the program. If I can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact me at 540-879-2066 or by e-mail at weekslock@adelphia.net.


Earle (Buddy) P. Weekley


15. PATRIOT'S PEN: 2002-2003 THEME: "My Pledge to America"

2002-2003 DEADLINES: Student Entry - December 1, 2002
District Deadline - January 15, 2003
Department Deadline - February 1, 2003
National Deadline - February 10, 2003

Please send all Patriotic Pen materials to: Earl E. Harris, Jr., Patriotic Pen Chairman, 2601 North Augusta Street, Staunton, VA 24401.


16. VETERANS DAY PARADE:

There will be a Veterans Day Parade in Downtown Staunton, Virginia on Saturday 9 November 2002 at 11:00 a.m. Everyone is invited to attend or participate for more information please call 540-885-8837 (day), 540-885-7970 (night) 0r 540-887-8024. VFW Post 2216 will have an Open House following the parade. Any donation would be gratefully appreciated; please mail them to: Veterans Day Parade, P O Box 1843, Staunton 24402.

Harry Huff
Parade Chairman


17. MILITARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:

You've all read in either these General Orders, Checkpoint, or the VFW Magazine about the Adopt-a-Unit Program. It's a great program but it may not be for every Post. Beyond Adopt-a-Unit though, is the support that we veterans, collectively or individually, can offer to family members of reservists activated and called to duty from within our hometowns. Many of these families are not accustomed to lengthy military deployments and may be having difficulty making ends meet; or in dealing with the multitude of home problems that always seen to crop up only when a spouse is away. Here is where the experience of we veterans can help - either financially, by performing chores, by babysitting, helping with shopping, or in other meaningful ways. Guard and reserve units from allover Virginia are activated - Richmond, Danville, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach, Sandston, Alexandria, Bowling Green, etc. The web site http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2002/d20021002ngr.pdf lists currently activated Guard and reserve units, their hometowns and the number of personnel activated. The VFW motto is "Remember the dead by helping the living." Now is the time to answer that call.

M.C. "Connie" Agresti
Department MAP Coordinator


18. LEGISLATIVE:

Members of the VFW National Legislative Committee, myself included, met late in the evening of 25 September in a hotel in Arlington, VA to finalize the legislative goals fo the VFW for 2002-2003. Dennis Cullinan the Chief of the National Legislative Service Office in Washington, D.C., led the discussion, cited collective effort was successful. It may be sometime before the VFW brochure containing this information is disseminated throughout the Department. Consequently the following is provided now:

VA BUDGET - ensure needed funding is authorized and appropriated for the continuing operation and enhancement of the entire Veterans Healthcare Administration.

VFW "LEGISLATIVE DAY ON THE HILL" IN RICHMOND, VA IN JANUARY 2003

The VFW Department of Virginia will conduct its annual "Legislative Day on the Hill" in Richmond on Thursday, 16 January 2003. We will meet in the General Assembly Office Building at 8:20 a.m. in a conference room yet to be determined. Members of the VFW auxiliary have been invited to join us. Following a short briefing and the distribution of Issues Booklets we will break down into teams and visit all 140 members of the General Assembly.

The 2003 of the Virginia General Assembly will address issues of importance to the Veteran Community. According to various sources, significant budget cuts to all Commonwealth departments/agencies are under consideration. Across the board cuts, ranging from 5 to 15 percent have been mentioned in the media. As an example, permit me to address the impact of any budget cut on the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs (VDVA). Effective 1 July 2002, the VDVA suffered cuts on its budget that permitted the funding of only 49 of its 56 authorized positions. At the present there are insufficient Claim Agents in the Commonwealth to provide responsive and efficient service to Veterans who are filing claims for the first time or need additional help on claims already filed. Any additional budget cuts will only exacerbate an already unsatisfactory. Not only should all 56 VDVA positions be funded, there is ample just justification for additional Claims Officers within the Commonwealth. On 16 January 2003, we need the support of VFW members throughout the Commonwealth to oppose proposed cutbacks in the VDVA and other agencies/programs deemed important to the Veteran Community. Join the Senior Leadership of the Department for our "Legislative Day On The Hill" in Richmond. Numbers do count! There are 3 components to a successful Get Out The Vote campaign. They are:

1. Host a Town Hall Meeting or Meet Your Candidate (s) Night
2. Organize a voter registration drive
3. Educate the candidate (s) on the issues

Guidance on how to conduct cited meetings is contained in the General Orders for June 2002. The goal of the VFW Department of Virginia is for every District and Post to participate in the Get Out The Vote Campaign. The next article in this issue of the General Orders provides questions to ask candidates at meetings. We need to know where they stand on issues of importance to the Veteran Community.

WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES FOR NATIONAL OFFICE STAND ON VETERANS ISSUES?

On 5 November 2002, Virginia voters will select all of its 11 members in the U.S. House of Representatives and 1 member of the U.S. Senate. As I have mentioned in previous issues of the General Orders, a very effective way to determine where the candidates stand on various issues is to host Town Hall Meetings. Listed below are questions for the candidates that were of importance to the VFW Community:

VA HEALTH CARE:

1. VA funding has been flat-lined for nearly a decade and has only seen slight increases in the past couple of fiscal years. As a result, veterans are waiting months and even years for medical appointments. Would you support and work for passage of annual Budgets/Appropriations providing fully sufficient funding for veterans medical care?

2. Currently, Medicare is prohibited from reimbursing VA for services provided to non-service connected Medicare eligible veterans. Would you support or introduce legislation that would allow the VA to be reimbursed for the treatment of non-service connected Medicare eligible veterans (Medicare Subvention)?

3. At this time VA Health Care is funded on a "discretionary" basis resulting in annual battles to secure sufficient dollars for this purpose in the Budget/Appropriations process. The result has been successive years of inadequate funding. Would you support legislation to fund our veteran's health care system on a "mandatory" basis in accordance with a formula to ensure adequate dollars as well as enhanced planning options for VA?

MILITARY RETIREE (CONCURRENT RECEIPT)

1. Recent Law authorized military retirees to receive both their military pay for longevity and their VA disability compensation without offset. However, Congress did not appropriate the funding to carry out concurrent receipt. Are you in favor and will you work toward providing full funding for concurrent receipt?

2. Will you vote in favor of concurrent receipt for military retirees following President Bush's announcement that he would veto the Fiscal year 2003 Defense Authorization Act if it contained any concurrent receipt language?

VA BENEFITS:

The VFW has long envisioned the creation of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, one modeled after the highly successful GI Bill of 1944. Would you support or introduce legislation that would provide an educational benefit that covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and related expenses along with a stipend to cover housing expenses, at the institution of higher learning at which a veteran accepted?

NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

1. Do you support a Department of Homeland Security as proposed by the President? If not, what do you envision?

2. There have been recent articles in the media reducing overall troop strength in order to be able to cover the costs of changing the force structure. Do you support reducing end strength to achieve this goal? Or would you support an increased Defense budget that would allow DOD to maintain current levels?

ACTIVE DUTY QUALITY OF LIFE:

1. With the changing demographics of the military, many more active duty members are married with children. Will you support legislation that will improve the substandard and often limited housing available to support our force structure?

2. Regarding reservists, many are required to deploy more often and for longer durations and their military pay is often significantly less than what they earn on their civilian job. This results in financial hardship. Will you support legislation to address this issue?

3. Given the continuing pay gap between military members and their civilian counterparts for equivalent work, Congress has approved significant increases in military pay in recent years. Will you support additional increases to completely eliminate this disparity?

4. Will you support legislation and funding for programs to provide assistance to the military spouses overseas for employment opportunities?

If you have any suggested input on matters of concern to the Veteran Community here in Virginia, please contact me or another member of the Legislative Committee.

THE GOVERNOR'S ADVISORY COMMISSION FOR VETERANS' AFFAIRS (GVCVA)

The GACVA is chartered by Governor Warner to do the following:
1. Review the agencies and boards that serve the Veteran Community.
2. Assess the current and future needs of the Commonwealth Veterans.
3. Identify funding sources to meet cited needs and,
4. Provide recommendations.

The Commission is composed of 11 senior retired officers and non-commissioned officers of the Armed Forces headed by Admiral (Ret) Gehman, USN. Since 31 July 2002, there have been three public meetings held by GACVR, seeking input from the Veteran Community. A fourth will be held on 30 October in Roanoke. Following a final meeting in Richmond in mid-November, the Governor's Advisory Commission for Veterans' Affairs will submit it's report, including its recommendations to the Governor. Of importance, the Commissioner advised those in attendance at the public meetings that the Governor is required to submit a zero-deficit budget to the General Assembly next session which will be January 2003. The leadership of the Department has been well represented at all the GRCVA public meetings thus far, and has been very vocal, both orally and in writing regarding the needed Commonwealth support for programs that impact the Veteran Community. Further, the Department leadership is well aware of the importance that the Commission's recommendations may have on Veterans programs in future state budgets. Fortunately, there is general agreement among the major Veterans organizations attending the public concerning the issues facing Commonwealth Veterans. However, for certain, we will have a tough time during the next session of the General Assembly in preventing budgetary cuts to Veterans' programs. More next month.

CO-SPONSORS FOR HEALTH CARE FUNDING GUARANTEE ACT OF 2002, N. R. 5250

The leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, The American Legion and The Disabled American Veterans have combined forces to support the passage of legislation to provide an adequate level of funding for Veterans health care. Since the Fall Conference (25-29 September) the top priority of members of the National Legislative Committee has been to get more co-sponsors for H.R. 5250. Information on this Bill follows:

Background:

1. The current system of discretionary funding has failed to provide adequate resources to meet the demand for VA health care.

2. Discretionary funding consistently falls short of Independent Budget recommendations.

3. The President's Task Force To Improve Health Care Delivery For Our Nation's Veterans' Interim Report acknowledged that the federal government is not properly funding the demand for VA health care services.

4. VA requested $417 million in supplemental funding for FY 2002 because discretionary appropriations were inadequate.

5. There are currently over 300,00 Veterans waiting for medical appointments with many reporting that they cannot be seen for six months to over two years in certain areas of the country.


GENERAL ELECTION ON 5 NOVEMBER 2002

On Tuesday. 5 November, Virginia voters will select all of its 11 members in the U.S. House of Representatives and one member of the U.S. Senate. We can make ourselves count on that date by voting, encouraging others to vote and assisting voters to/from polls.

John P. McAnaw
Legislative Chairman


19. COMMUNITY SERVICE REPORTS:

We need Community Activity Reports for this reporting period which ends October 31, 2002, those Post's that HAVE NOT SUBMITTED ONE, PLEASE COMPLETE A PROJECT AND SUBMIT REPORT. Post's that HAVE NOT submitted a report as of October 26, 2002 are listed below:

DISTRICT 1: 5500
DISTRICT 2: 100%
DISTRICT 3: 100%
DISTRICT 4: 5313, 7559, 8599, 8902, 9618, 10570, 10571
DISTRICT 5: 8243
DISTRICT 6: 1444, 1841, 4165, 7854, 8184, 9805
DISTRICT 7: 4698, 7899, 8613, 9292, 9660
DISTRICT 8: 472, 1177, 1811, 4468, 7728, 8208, 9835, 9865
DISTRICT 9: 7969, 9343, 9864
DISTRICT 10: 9478
DISTRICT 11:1499, 7578, 7814, 9480
DISTRICT 12: 4301, 5715, 8652, 9830, 10298, 10611
DISTRICT 13: 1827, 2217, 2613, 7638, 8169, 8717, 10295, 10574

If you have any questions, please give me at 804-276-5457. You may also e-mail your Community Service reports to me at Post2163@aol.com .

Ken Vitale
Community Service Chairman


20. YOUTH ACTIVITIES:

Department Youth Activities Report as of 18 October 2002, 1st half reporting period

Total number of Posts reported: 118 of 194
Number of completed projects: 557
Number of volunteers: 1591
Number of hours: 21,418.75
Number of miles driven: 27,440
Amount of monies expended: $74,187.87

Following posts HAVE NOT reported:

District 1: 9358, 9636
District 2: 2582, 3160
District 3: 8046
District 4: 5313, 5371, 7559, 7897, 8048, 8228, 8446, 8599, 8902, 9618, 9855, 10570, 10571
District 5: 644, 6130, 8243
District 6: 484, 1033, 1444, 1841, 2515, 4165, 5311, 7854, 8184, 9805
District 7: 2123, 2447, 4698, 7899, 8613, 9292
District 8: 472, 1177, 4468, 7728, 8208, 9835, 9865
District 9: 2719, 4667, 6000, 7969, 9343, 9864
District 10: 5412, 8815, 9274, 9478
District 11: 100% Reported
District 12: 1994, 5715, 6975, 8652, 9600, 9830, 10298, 10611
District 13: 1827, 2044, 2217, 2613, 8169, 8717, 10295, 10574

Please send all Youth Activities material to: Donald L. Hall, Youth Activities Chairman, 35 Eidson Creek Road, Staunton, VA 24401.

Don Hall
Youth Activities Chairman

21. AMERICANISM:

Consider adding some upcoming dates to your Post calendar of events:

5 November - Election Day 10 November - U S Marine Corps Birthday
11 November - Veterans Day 7 December - Pearl Harbor Day

Americanism Reporting Form: Yours comments on the form or a separate sheet can be helpful to you and me. However, it is not necessary to send in photos and news clippings, etc. Keep those for Americanism books to be submitted to the Awards and Citations Committee for judging in May 2003. Do NOT report events before they occur. Some Posts have already reported events such as Veterans day or Pearl Harbor Day. You cannot receive credit for them in the First Half -- or before the event occurs. You may include planning for such events ahead of time BUT include a comment to that effect. If you already reported them, you must report them again in the Second Half. Earliest beginning date for upcoming reports will be 1 November 2002. Add your email address and I will acknowledge receipt of your report.

Any final First Half reports ( 1 May 2002 - 31 October 31 2002) must be received by Saturday, 2 November, for them to count and be included in reports forwarded to National for the First Half.

In addition to mailing the form to the address at the bottom of the form, you may email your report to me at 103636.1543@compuserve.com or us the on-line report at http://www.vfw392.org/historian.htm.

208 reports have been received from 133 Posts. Twenty-five Posts reported for the first time. Status as of 20 October 2002 the following Post's HAVE NOT reported:

DISTRICT 1: 9358, 9636
DISTRICT 2: Congratulations! 100% Reported
DISTRICT 3: 394
DISTRICT 4: 5313, 7559, 7819, 7897, 8599, 8902, 9618, 9855, 10570
DISTRICT 5: 644, 6130, 8243
DISTRICT 6: 1033, 1444, 1841, 2515, 4165, 5311, 7854, 8184
DISTRICT 7: 4698, 8613
DISTRICT 8: 472, 1177, 4468, 7228, 8208, 9835, 9865
DISTRICT 9: 2719, 4667, 7969, 9864
DISTRICT 10: 8815
DISTRICT 11: 1499, 4989, 7578, 7814, 9339
DISTRICT 12: 4301, 5715, 6975, 8652, 9600, 9830, 10298, 10611
DISTRICT 13: 1827, 2044, 2217, 2613, 8169, 8717, 10295, 10574

J. Gary Wagner
Americanism Chairman


22. HOSPITAL REPORTS:

Congratulations to Districts Two and Three for being 100% reported. Districts that need one or two reports to be 100% are: Districts One, Five, Seven, Nine and Eleven.

The following Post's HAVE NOT Submitted Hospital Reports for the 1st half:

DISTRICT 1: 7167
DISTRICT 4: 5313, 8599, 8902, 9855, 10570
DISTRICT 5: 644, 6130, 8243
DISTRICT 6: 1444, 1841, 2515, 5311, 7854, 8184
DISTRICT 7: 4698
DISTRICT 8: 472, 1177, 4468, 7728, 8208, 9835, 9865
DISTRICT 9: 9343, 9864
DISTRICT 10: 5412, 8469, 8815, 9274
DISTRICT 11: 7578, 7814
DISTRICT 12: 4301, 5715, 6975, 8652, 9830, 10298, 10611
DISTRICT 13: 1827, 2044, 2217, 2613, 7638, 8169, 8717, 10295, 10574

Lynn Harris
Hospital Chairman


23. SAFETY REPORTS:

As of October 24, 2002, the following Post's HAVE NOT submitted Safety Reports:

DISTRICT 1: 100%
DISTRICT 2: 2582
DISTRICT 3: 100%
DISTRICT 4: 637, 5313, 7559, 7897, 8599, 8902, 9618, 9855, 10570
DISTRICT 5: 644, 8243
DISTRICT 6: 1033, 1264, 1444, 1841, 2515, 4165, 5311, 7854, 8184
DISTRICT 7: 621, 1150, 1860, 2123, 2447, 6044, 9760
DISTRICT 8: 472, 1177, 4468, 7728, 8208, 9835, 9865
DISTRICT 9: 2719, 4667, 7360, 7969, 9864
DISTRICT 10: 8241, 8875, 9274, 9478
DISTRICT 11: 1499, 4989, 7157, 7578, 7701, 7814, 9339, 10673
DISTRICT 12: 4301, 5715, 6975, 8652, 9600, 9830, 10298, 10611
DISTRICT 13: 1827, 2044, 2217, 2613, 8169, 8717, 10295, 10574

Victor A. Weaver
Safety Chairman


24. ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE

Virginia is heavily endowed by nature with oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, mountains, forests and caves is unique among states. Yet today her once tall timberlands which persuaded the early settlers to land at James are defiled. Her 43, 000 square miles and 7.6 million peoples have ravaged the countryside and contaminated and polluted her waterways. Added to this the toll of maturity, war, fire, flood, erosion and disease has destroyed the pristine environment of Virginia.

The goal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Environment Programs is to offset that. To make Virginia a better place to live, visit, work, raise our children and retire. Some of the ways we can do that is to focus our efforts on programs is to: recycle papers, metals, glass, wood, appliances, furniture and vehicles. Remove piles of rubbish and trash from the wayside; remove obsolete or abandoned structures (with owners permission). Plant seedling trees and shrubs for shelter, shade, fuel and wildlife. Set our feeding stations and nesting boxes to attract songbirds and bluebirds. Remove a promiscuous dump which none is responsible for presently.

We can start by having the Post Commander and a few dedicated comrades tour the area and make a list of those types of programs that would improve the appearance of the area. Make visits with public works' officers, foresters, nurserymen and librarians to determine what programs may be in place or planned for your community. Keep in mind these programs require money, manpower, motivation and material. Organizations such as Audubon Society, conservancy, Keep Virginia, Garden Clubs and The National Wildlife Federation have well-established programs. Make a list of programs that might improve your community. Decide which one is possible with Post funds. Discussion with major firms and groups may participate if they will benefit from the community improvement. Invite them to participate and contribute whatever they wish. Give details and photos to local Radio, TV and news media ask them to help with our publicity. The next step is to select a suitable date and inform everyone concerned. Take before and after photos and send to the local media. Keep track of the man-hours and money spent and include it on your Community activity report to State. On the work day keep VFW membership applications handy. Ask all volunteers if they are eligible to join. Tell them why they should. Help them fill out the form, get proof of their eligibility and send it to State Headquarters.

These new members will keep Commander Mattera in the All American Column. Think how much better Virginia would be if everyone one of our 190 Posts completed one small program this year.

Ernest B. Glynn
Environmental Chairman


25. CONDOLENCES:

We express our deepest sympathy to the family of Robert Gordon Past Department Chaplain and to Mary Corkle and the family of Frank I. Smith Past District One Commander.


26. NATIONAL TEACHER AWARDS:

Please be advised of the following deadlines for the National Citizenship Education Teacher Award entries.

Nominations must be received at a VFW Post by November 1st for their judging which begins November 2 and to be completed by November 15.

Post winning entries are to be sent immediately to District for their judging and received prior to November 15.

District winning entries are to be sent to Department Headquarters prior to December 15 for their judging beginning December 16 and to be completed and forwarded to National Headquarters and received prior to January 15.

(All winning entry packets forwarded to National Headquarters should contain the original nomination form and up to 350 word essay, completed Post entry form, a resume (not more than two sided), up to five pages of documentation, and a good quality head and shoulder photo of the winner.)

Mike Gormalley
Director Citizenship and Community Service


27. HOMECOMING THANK YOU:

I would like to start by saying thank you to everyone who worked so hard at making the Commander Larry Mattera & Auxiliary President Pat Baldwin's Homecoming such a great success and some of them are:

Lee Miller (Aux Chairman) 9954 Louise Cox (food prep) 9954
Stu Carson (head bartender) 392 Ginevieve Covington (food prep) 9954
Mike King (bartender) 392 Helen Ashworth (cheese ball extra-ordinaire food prep) 9954
Dave Goldstein (bartender) 392 Barbara Grossnickle (food prep) 4809
Patty Stokes (decorator) 392 Jim Kerr (MC) 3150
Bob Loy (decorator) 392 Muriel Sue Kerr (balloon tier) 3150
Nancy Loy (decorator) 392 George McCracken (Balloon tier) 609
Ellen Stogsdill (food prep) 392 Ida McCracken (balloon tier) 3103
Mary Richards (food prep) 392 Judy DeShano (taxi drive/go getter) 392

If for some reason you were unable to attend the HOMECOMING you can view the pictures on my web site at www.vfw392.org/historian.htm.

Kim DeShano
Department Historian

VFW Calls Measure to Limit VA Disability Claims "Mean Spirited"
Downed Gulf War Pilot Status Changed to Missing Captured
Mip Applications
Thank You Card From James A. Couper
Win A Ford Mustang From the Ladies Auxiliary
Official: By Order of:
Fred L. Wolking Lawrence F. Mattera
State Adjutant State Commander