Department of Florida

Category Archives: National

Together We Can Make an Impact

In the wake of the government shutdown, The American Legion went public to assist active duty Coast Guard members through National’s Temporary Financial Assistance program. This program requires families with minor children. The Department of Florida utilized it’s program, Project: VetRelief, to provide assistance to those that did not have qualifying children.

Through both programs, the Department Staff processed nearly 400 applications received from Coast Guard members.

The wave of US Coast Guard member applications has been overwhelming, but we are happy to report that all cases in which there was not a minor child in the home have been provided with a $250 gift card to Publix from PROJECT: VetRelief. To date, there have been 29 Coast Guard members funded for a total of $7,250. Additionally, of the 302 applications submitted to National’s TFA program, 231 families were provided support for a total of $130,000.

In the event that the government shuts down in a couple of weeks, the Department Staff would like to keep providing support for those effected for as long as we can; however, funds for both programs are limited. We ask that you, along with the members of your Post, take a minute to realize the impact a donation can have on someone defending your coastline and not receiving a paycheck.

DONATIONS CAN BE MADE TO BOTH PROGRAMS:

PROJECT: VetRelief

Temporary Financial Assistance

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Creating Mobility for Veterans

13 Scooters Donated for Florida Veterans

Orlando, January 2, 2019 – Jack Kump (Port Orange, FL) and his wife, Joan Wheeler, continue to impact the Florida veteran community and having recently donated twelve (12) brand new mobility scooters to The American Legion, Department of Florida. Inspired by their commitment to our veterans, SpinLife has also added an additional scooter, free of charge, for a total of thirteen (13) brand new mobility scooters to be given away to Florida Veterans.

This marks the third year Jack and Joan have generously donated mobility scooters to Florida’s veterans. We asked Jack and Joan what prompted such a noble act. According to Jack, “Without the military influence, discipline, Espirit de Corps, and direction, my life would have probably taken a much less productive path”. Jack and Joan believe that all vets are very special people and should be recognized, shown compassion, and never overlooked or forgotten. “The scooters are being donated in memory of two WWII vets very special in our lives, Joan’s late father, Robert I. Wheeler, and Jack’s late mentor, Leonard F. Wedge.”

On Friday, January 4th, Jack and Joan arrived at The American Legion, Department of Florida’s State Headquarters office. David Miller, Purple Heart recipient and long-time member of the American Legion, was also in attendance to show his appreciation. David will distribute three (3) scooters within the Tampa area to deserving veterans who are affiliated with the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch in Pinellas Park.

Florida is home to more than 1.6 million veterans, 22% of those veterans have claimed some level of disability. Jack and Joan have asked that these mobility scooters be distributed to disabled veterans who are in need and lack the funds or insurance to cover the costs on their own. They have entrusted The American Legion, Department of Florida with the distribution of this remarkable act of kindness.

The American Legion, Department of Florida would like to extend a debt of gratitude to Jack and Joan, on behalf of all Florida Veterans. It is this type of compassion and kindness that we wish for all of our veterans.

Also featured in:

Orlando Sentinel

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Free Scoutbook on Jan 1, 2019

Scoutbook free for everyone beginning Jan. 1, 2019

It seems too good to be true, but you will absolutely take it.

The BSA announced today that it will make Scoutbook subscriptions free to all BSA units beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Units that already use Scoutbook won’t be charged when they renew their subscription on or after Sept. 1, 2018.

Scoutbook is the BSA’s online unit management tool and helps Scouts, parents and leaders track advancement and milestone achievements along the Scouting trail.

How will my unit be affected?

  • Units with a current Scoutbook account: When they need to renew their subscription this fall, they will not pay any renewal fees, effective Sept. 1, 2018.
  • Councils that provide Scoutbook accounts for their units: When they need to renew these unit subscriptions this fall, they will not pay any renewal fees, effective Sept. 1, 2018.
    • (Essentially, units — or councils paying for their units — can renew Scoutbook subscriptions in September, October, November or December 2018 at no cost.)
  • Units without a current Scoutbook account: They can begin their free Scoutbook unit subscription on Jan. 1, 2019.

Will existing users get a refund?

No. There are no plans to reimburse anyone who has previously paid for a Scoutbook subscription. This change applies only to any new Scoutbook subscriptions effective Jan. 1, 2019, or later — and to any renewing Scoutbook subscriptions that would normally be paid between Sept. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018.

What if a current Scoutbook unit needs to add more Scouts this fall?

Let’s say your pack has a 75-Scout subscription with 15 open slots. You expect to recruit well over that number this fall. Can you add Scouts to your subscription when/if that happens?

Yes, if you have a current Scoutbook subscription, after Sept. 1, 2018, you can renew your subscription (if needed) or add more youth to Scoutbook at no cost.

What should units that don’t currently have Scoutbook do this fall?

Scoutbook will be free to all units beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

In the meantime, watch for the release of Scoutbook Lite for all units later in 2018. This free online tool will provide a slightly different user experience from the full Scoutbook, but it will help your unit track advancements for all your youth members.

How will subscriptions/renewals work in 2019 and beyond?

The need to “subscribe” or “renew” annually will become unnecessary. Once your unit is on Scoutbook, you’ll be set for as long as your unit would like to continue using this free tool.

How will making Scoutbook free affect its performance?

Scoutbook will only continue to improve. The BSA IT and Member Care teams will continue to support Scoutbook with their timely service and quality resources. Scoutbook performance enhancements have been implemented regularly over the years, and its performance is continually monitored.

Where can I get more information about this change in Scoutbook?

First, consult the latest FAQs, available in this PDF.

Contact Scoutbook.support@scouting.org

Source:  Scouting Wire, Dec 26, 2018

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Phishing Emails Purported to be from Natl HQ Staff

From: National Adjutant Dan Wheeler

Many of you have recently received fraudulent emails which appear to be from national headquarters. There are several variations circulating, but all seem to use the name of a national headquarters’ staff member and mention an “invoice.” Some of the emails even use the staff member’s actual email address.

These emails are also known as “phishing.” They are scams and do not originate from national headquarters. Although national cannot prevent outside groups from sending this type of email, there are several things we all can do to help protect ourselves:

  • Right now we are seeing “spoof” sender attacks. These are messages pretending to be from coworkers or external work-related relationships. These messages attempt to entice you into clicking an attachment or provide personal information. Don’t do it! If you are not expecting or generally do not get a message with attachments from the purported sender proceed with extreme caution. When in doubt, contact the purported national HQ “sender” to verify the email is legitimate.
  • Sometimes, but not always, the body of the message gives it away. The English is bad. The contact information at the bottom has errors such as wrong city or area code. The context of the message is just not something this sender would discuss.
  • If you open an email and find that it’s not legitimate, delete the message without opening any attachments.
  • Don’t provide credit card information to the sender. National headquarters will never ask that you provide your credit card information to us in an email.
  • If you wish to share a message that contains the email addresses of other recipients, please delete the email addresses before you forward. That will help prevent those legitimate email addresses from getting into the wrong hands to be misused as has happened here.
  • Report such phishing to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov
  • In general, we all must have our “guard up” at all times when dealing with email. It’s easy to get in the habit of seeing a name we recognize, and clicking to open it or any attachments or links, and that can lead to many hours and dollars to recover. Question anything even slightly suspicious.
  • If you wish to create a message that contains the email addresses of other recipients, get in the habit of placing email addresses in the “Bcc:” field (instead of To: or CC:). If you are going to forward a message that displays others’ email addresses, delete those addresses before forwarding to prevent those email addresses from getting forwarded on, shared or captured by a hacker and being misused as has happened here.
  • Please see the attached link for more information on this subject. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing
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VFW, Legion National Commanders Demand Immediate Action

VA Rates 70 Percent of its Nursing Homes as Failures
VFW, Legion national commanders demand immediate action

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2018) — The national commanders of the nation’s two largest veterans organizations are demanding that Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie bring immediate attention to his nursing home program that currently has 70 percent of its 132 homes receiving failing grades by the VA’s own rating system.

The call by Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. National Commander B.J. Lawrence and American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad is in response to a series of scathing articles by two USA Today and Boston Globe reporters who documented substandard and negligent care at the VA nursing home in Brockton, Mass., which is one of 45 nursing homes that received the VA’s lowest rating of one star. Forty-seven homes received two stars, 16 homes three stars, and 15 homes four stars. Only nine nursing homes received the VA’s top five-star rating.

“While much of the media’s attention has been on the proper implementation of VA healthcare legislation, we cannot forget about 46,000 mostly senior veterans who reside in these nursing homes,” said the two national commanders, who collectively speak for more than 4.6 million members and their auxiliaries.

“The media reports about sub-par care, patient neglect and safety violations at VA nursing homes are more than just disturbing,” said the Legion’s national commander. “Legionnaires, our friends in the VFW, and anybody who respects veterans should be angered by this,” said Reistad. “These are not just patients in a home, these are people who in the prime of their lives risked their lives, and made enormous sacrifices on behalf of our country. America’s veterans deserve better. We not only expect VA to fix these problems immediately, but we want transparency. Those who sleep on the job and ignore the best interests of their patients need to find a different employer.”

Echoing his counterpart, the VFW national commander said “These veterans earned the right to receive high quality care in a fully-staffed and well-managed facility. Their families deserve to know that their loved ones — their heroes — are not being abandoned or abused, and America needs to be reassured that the VA is honoring our nation’s promise to those who have borne the battle,” said Lawrence. “The VA must improve its delivery of quality care at these facilities. It must recruit and retain only the best healthcare professionals and support staff, and it must hold all employees accountable for their actions or inactions. It is not a right but a privilege to work for America’s veterans, and anything less is unacceptable.”

Media Contacts: VFW: Joe Davis, 202-608-8357, JDavis@vfw.org , The American Legion: John Raughter, 317-441-8847  jraughter@legion.org

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Biketoberfest Daytona Event

The American Legion has joined forces with AbbVie Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company, to launch TAKE ON HEP C, a nationwide movement to bring free hepatitis C (hep C) testing to veterans and their communities. Taking center stage of the TAKE ON HEP C campaign is a 45-foot tour bus that is used as a mobile veteran outreach command center known as “The Legion One.” The bus offers free hep C testing, on-the-spot results and information for how to seek treatment, if needed.

This project also provides a great opportunity for local posts to staff a membership outreach tent setup with the bus. We provide the tent, you engage your community AND GROW YOUR MEMBERSHIP!

EVENT: Biketoberfest Daytona
DATE(S): Thursday, October 18 – Sunday, October 21
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday
LOCATION: 307 N Beach St • Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(Adjacent to Indian Motorcycle Daytona Beach)
REQUEST: Please send up to four (4) volunteers who can engage those attending the event. Share information about the benefits of being an American Legion member and encourage them to participate in the free hep C testing.

Volunteers should be scheduled in four-hour shifts. Duties include support with light set-up/tear down (tents, tables, chairs).

Free parking is available onsite. However, please plan ahead and allow extra travel time as parking is limited.

Staff shirts will be provided for all volunteers to wear upon check-in at the event. One shirt per person.

This is a casual, outdoor event so jeans or shorts of an appropriate length are recommended with Legion logo items and cap.

ABOUT
BIKETOBERFEST:
This annual Daytona Beach motorcycle rally draws more than 100,000 visitors. Bikers, motorcycle enthusiasts and curious travel seekers will enjoy beautiful fall weather, live music and more.
ABOUT HEP C: Testing for hep C is especially important for veterans, specifically those who served in the Vietnam conflict between 1964 and 1975. One out of every 20 veterans enrolled with the Veterans Health Administration has hep C, more than three times the infection rate of the general U.S. population.

 

Thank you in advance for your consideration in supporting this important effort. If you’d like to volunteer or have any questions, please contact Dave Baughman at 317-517-4161 or DBaughman@legion.org.

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An urgent matter needs your help

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

I had wanted my first email communication to you to be about Team 100 — my theme for this historic year as The American Legion transcends its first century of service into its next.

There will be plenty of opportunities in my year as national commander to discuss Team 100, pay tribute to the Legion’s century of accomplishments and celebrate our rise into the next 100 years.

But I learned of an urgent matter today that has a potentially significant impact on The American Legion and all its members. I am asking for your support.

The United States Postal Service has proposed a rule that would prevent The American Legion (and other nonprofits) from sending merchandise or goods like calendars, stickers, etc. in nonprofit marketing mail. Instead, the USPS would classify these mailings as first-class mail.

This is not a simple change in the category of how mail is sent. This change would eliminate the use of premiums in nonprofit fundraising mail — and would increase The American Legion’s mailing cost by 200 percent.

That significant increase would critically impact our programs dedicated to helping and advocating for veterans, mentoring children, assisting transitioning servicemembers, providing scholarships for students, comforting the afflicted throughout every community in our great nation.

We must quickly work together to let the USPS know this proposal is unreasonable. My team has prepared a sample templated letter. I encourage you to download the template, personalize it with your information and email it to the USPS (ProductClassification@usps.gov) with the subject line: USPS Marketing Mail Content Eligibility.

Please don’t delay. This is an urgent matter and the letters must be emailed no later than Friday, Sept. 14.

Thank you for your assistance, and for what you do every day on behalf of our nation’s veterans, servicemembers and their families.

#Team100.

Brett Reistad
National Commander
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Legislative Agenda

  • Support VA’s suicide prevention efforts

    As our nation deals with the effects of nearly two decades of war, the need for mental health services for our veterans will no doubt increase in the years to come. It is imperative to combat
    VA’s staffing shortage by increasing recruitment and retention budgets, while also expanding direct hiring authority to medical center directors to expedite the hiring process of mental health professionals. All health care possibilities should be explored and considered to find the appropriate treatments, therapies and cures for veterans suffering from visible and/or invisible wounds. The American Legion strongly advocates for complementary and alternative therapy and urges Congress to provide VA the necessary funding to increase its Integrative Health and Wellness Program.
    (Resolutions 28 and 165)

  • Fully fund a superior national defense as the global war on terror continues        

    It is critical to maintain a well-funded national security strategy to ensure a strong national defense. The United States must enhance foreign policy, improve military intelligence, and increase cyber operations and capabilities. The American Legion advocates for a good quality of life for our troops and an improved transition process from military service to civilian life. The Legion vows to fight against those who desire to reduce the benefits of veterans, servicemembers, and their families to obtain short-term budget gains.
    (Resolutions 17 and 86)

  • Create lifetime electronic health record – ACHIEVED

    The American Legion supports VA in finally implementing a quality lifetime electronic health record (EHR) system that works in concert with the Department of Defense system to ensure that veterans’ medical documents transfer seamlessly from active service to VA and community providers.
    (Resolution 83)

  • Institute gender-specific health care for women veterans

    Women veterans face remarkably different experiences than their male counterparts when transitioning in and out of combat roles, in between services or back to civilian life. VA must
    ensure an improved quality of life for women veterans with gender-specific health care to meet their needs.
    (Resolution 147)

  • Limit outsourcing, unify VA’s programs ACHIEVED

    Continued focus is needed to ensure VA can meet challenges in delivering high-quality, timely benefits and health care to veterans. In 2018, critical policy choices must be made, primarily
    the future of the Veterans Choice Program, which expires in August. A community care option is now a basic expectation for enrollees in VA’s  health-care system. Excessive outsourcing would render VHA too small to function economically or preserve quality of care and essentially dismantle it. Congress should pass legislation to unify VA’s multiple non-VA care programs with VA as the coordinator and guarantor of care.
    (Resolution 372)

  • Support those who care for wounded veterans – ACHIEVED

    There are 5.5 million caregivers who go unnoticed while they care for America’s wounded. Military caregivers suffer higher rates of depression and health problems than others. The American Legion is committed to supporting these hidden heroes.
    (Resolution 146)

  • Reclassify cannabis for medical research

    The American Legion supports increased research into cannabis as part of the larger effort to develop complementary and alternative treatments and therapies. Cannabis is classified
    as schedule I drug and drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and methadone are classified as schedule II drugs. The American Legion urges Congress to amend legislation to remove
    Cannabis from schedule I and reclassify it in  a category that, at a minimum, will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value, and further urge the Drug Enforcement
    Agency to license privately-funded medical cannabis production operations in the United States to enable safe and efficient cannabis drug development research.
    (Resolutions 11,160,165)

  • Defend veterans education benefits – ACHIEVED

    As the primary author of the original GI Bill,  The American Legion continues to focus on the sustainability of this important earned benefit, while ensuring that veterans receive the most benefit possible from it.
    (Resolution 349)

  • Repeal unfair offsets that penalize disabled veterans and widows

    Many military retirees must forfeit some of their retirement pay to receive their VA service connected disability compensation. It is equally outrageous VA survivor benefits (DIC) are offset
    from military Survivor Benefit Plan annuities. The American Legion supports legislation to repeal both of these unjust offsets.
    (Resolutions 85 and 224)

  • Provide mandatory end-of service exams for reservists

    Active-duty servicemembers have the right to physical examinations when separating. After all, servicemembers retiring from active duty are required to have such examinations. This
    same right to an end-of-service exam is only partially authorized for reserve component servicemembers. This unfair treatment must be changed.
    (Resolution 85)

  • Create an American Legion Commemorative Coin – ACHIEVED

    The American Legion will celebrate its centennial in 2018-2019. An American Legion Centennial Coin is under consideration by the U.S. Mint. Timely congressional authorization is needed and your support is requested.
    (H.R. 2519 & S. 1182)

  • Ensure those returning from active duty retain re-employment rights

    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act protects the rights of servicemembers to be re-employed after returning from active duty, including reserve or
    National Guard members. The American Legion wants to prohibit employers from pressuring a veteran into waiving his or her veteran’s employment rights and protections.
    (Resolution 315)

  • Continue funding programs to end veterans homelessness

    To fully implement VA’s pledge to eradicate veterans homelessness, Congress must continue making responsible investments in affordable housing and programs such as Supportive
    Services for Veteran Families that move veterans and their families off the street and into stable housing.
    (Resolution 340)

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Disclaimer: The American Legion’s work is never done! These legislative priorities have been marked “achieved” because we were able to get the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that the President of the United States signed into law. It is important to note that after passage, your American Legion professional staff often participates in the federal rulemaking that translates law into VA or government policy. We are always vigilant in ensuring our veterans receive the healthcare and benefits they have earned through their service to our great nation, and we will fight every effort to reduce or curtail them. Ensuring the protections, benefits, and rights of our servicemembers, veterans, and their families, has and will always be a primary focus of the National Legislative Commission and Division.”

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Navy’s First Female Admiral, Alene Duerk, Passes Away

Story Number: NNS180725-04Release Date: 7/25/2018 12:58:00 PM
From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

An undated official portrait of Rear Adm. Alene B. Duerk. Duerk entered the Navy in January 1943 and initially served as a ward nurse at the Portsmouth and Bethesda naval hospitals. She was later assigned to the hospital ship USS Benevolence and deployed to the Pacific Theater during World War II in support of Adm. William Halsey’s Third Fleet. In May 1970, Duerk was appointed director of the Navy Nurse Corps. She became the first woman to attain flag rank in the U.S. Navy on June 1, 1972. Duerk was born in Defiance, Ohio and retired from the Navy in 1975. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

WASHINGTON (NNS) — Retired Rear Adm. Alene B. Duerk, the Navy’s first female admiral, passed away July 21, 2018. She was 98 years old.

“It took 197 years and a forward-looking Chief of Naval Operations, Elmo Zumwalt, to break with tradition before Alene Duerk became the first woman admiral in the U.S. Navy,” said Naval History and Heritage Command director Sam Cox. “But the credit goes to Duerk. From the crucible of caring for wounded Sailors, Marines and prisoners of war during World War II in the Pacific, she blazed a trail of stellar performance in tough jobs, serving as an inspiration for an ever increasing number of women officers who have followed her path.”

Born in Defiance, Ohio, on March 29, 1920, she received nursing training at the Toledo [Ohio] Hospital School of Nursing, from which she earned her diploma in 1941. From there, Duerk entered the U.S. Naval Reserve and was appointed an ensign in the Nurse Corps.

“Alene Duerk was a strong and dedicated trail blazer who embodied the very principles that continue to guide Navy Medicine today,” commented Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general, upon learning of her passing. “She will forever be remembered as a servant leader who provided the best care to those who defended our nation, honoring the uniform we wear and the privilege of leadership.”

Her first tours of duty included ward nurse at Naval Hospital Portsmouth in Virginia, Naval Hospital Bethesda in Maryland, and sea service aboard the Navy hospital ship, USS Benevolence (AH 13), in 1945. While anchored off the coast of Eniwetok, Duerk and the crew of the Benevolence would attend to the sick and wounded being brought back from the Third Fleet’s operations against Japan.

Upon cessation of hostilities on Sept. 2, 1945, Duerk and the Benevolence crew took on the task of repatriating liberated Allied prisoners of war, an endeavor that solidified her commitment to nursing and patient care.

An undated file photo of Rear Adm. Alene Duerk during a promotion ceremony with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt, left, and Secretary of the Navy John Warner. Duerk entered the Navy in January 1943 and initially served as a ward nurse at the Portsmouth and Bethesda naval hospitals. She was later assigned to the hospital ship USS Benevolence and deployed to the Pacific Theater during World War II in support of Adm. William Halsey’s Third Fleet. In May 1970, Duerk was appointed director of the Navy Nurse Corps. She became the first woman to attain flag rank in the U.S. Navy on June 1, 1972. Duerk was born in Defiance, Ohio and retired from the Navy in 1975. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Years later, when asked about her service for the Library of Congress’ Veteran’s History Project, Duerk said, “The time I was aboard the hospital ship and we took the prisoners of war, that was something I will never forget . . . that was the most exciting experience of my whole career.”

Thereafter, Duerk was assigned to Naval Hospital Great Lakes until being released from active service in 1946.

In 1951, Duerk returned to active duty serving as a nursing instructor at the Naval Hospital Corps School in Portsmouth, Va. and later as inter-service education coordinator at the Naval Hospital Philadelphia, Penn.
Her skills in ward management, surgical nursing and mentoring would be put to use over the next two decades while serving at hospitals in San Diego; and Yokosuka, Japan; at the Recruiting Station in Chicago; and in Wash., D.C.

In May 1970, following assignments as assistant for Nurse Recruitment in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) and assistant head of Medical Placement Liaison (Nurse Corps) at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Duerk was appointed director of the Navy Nurse Corps.

Over the next five years, Duerk provided direction for the Nurse Corps, updating policies affecting Navy Medicine and expanding the sphere of nursing into ambulatory care, anesthesia, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology.

Her selection to the rank of rear admiral was approved by President Richard Nixon on April 26, 1972. The first woman to be selected for flag rank, she was advanced on June 1, 1972.

Rear Adm. Duerk retired in 1975, but remained a strong advocate for Navy nursing through the remainder of her life.

Duerk was awarded the Naval Reserve Medal, American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with bronze star; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star.

Duerk’s biography offers greater insight into her service, it can be found online at the website of the Naval History and Heritage Command here: http://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/diversity/women-in-the-navy/first-female-flag-officer.html

See the entry on Duerk at the Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project online here: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/bib/loc.natlib.afc2001001.28852

The Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy’s unique and enduring contributions through our nation’s history, and supports the fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.

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American Legion’s call to Congress: Pass the VA Mission Act of 2018

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

There is no question that The American Legion is the largest veterans service organization, and we have the influence that we do on Capitol Hill because of our active and caring members. With that said, there is an opportunity this week for The American Legion’s voice to be heard on Capitol Hill.

The VA MISSION Act of 2018 (S. 2372) will be going for a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 16. If passed, this bill would do several things to help veterans, including:

  1. Streamlining all of the community care programs, including the Veterans Choice Program, into one common sense program.
  2. Expanding the VA’s caregivers program to all war eras of veterans, not just the post-9/11 generation, which is critical. This program should be available to all war eras and the veterans who proudly served our great nation.
  3. Providing $5.2 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs to appropriately fund the Veterans Choice Program through the next year while the community care programs are being modified and streamlined. This means the VA will not have to continuously ask Congress for more money, which will allow veterans to receive the immediate care they need and where they need it.

Supporting these issues has long been a goal of The American Legion, and this is the time to get it done. From streamlining the multiple ways and programs a veteran can obtain care in the community into one simple program, to opening the caregiver program to all veterans of any war era, to ensuring the VA has the funding necessary to provide the best care anywhere, the VA MISSION Act of 2018 is a great step forward for veterans.

Please call your congressman or congresswoman and let them know that The American Legion supports S. 2372, the VA MISSION Act of 2018, and encourage them to pass this veteran-centric bill as soon as possible.

Throughout my year as your national commander, I have made “Family First” my theme. It’s time that Congress does the same.

There is some opposition to this legislation so your quick action can make the difference. Call now and tell your representative to support the VA Mission Act of 2018. You can find your representative’s phone number by entering your zip code at https://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep_house?ZIP or by calling the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121; (press 2 for House).

Family First!

Denise H. Rohan
National Commander
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