Department of Florida

Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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2018 Freedom Raffle Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the WINNERS of the 2018 Freedom Raffle as follows:

 

  • Grand Prize winner of $10,000 – Frank Klimekoski
  • 2nd Place winner of $2,500 – Jose Cintron
  • 3rd Place winner of $1,000 – James Allbrook
  • 4th – 5th Place winners of $500 – William Coopy, Barry Murante
  • 6th – 10th Place winners of $100 – David LeRoy, James Handly, John McCoy, William Walz, Steven Pommer

 

All recipients will be notified within the coming week by The American Legion, Department of Florida.
To watch the live footage of the drawing, click here. The Raffle is featured at the 6:00:36 time mark.
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Weekly Reports – May 31, 2018

LEGION REPORTS

Department Membership Summary
Post Membership Summary


SAL REPORTS

Detachment Membership Summary
Squadron Membership Summary

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Weekly Reports – April 26, 2018

LEGION REPORTS

Department Membership Summary
Post Membership Summary


SAL REPORTS

Detachment Membership Summary
Squadron Membership Summary

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National Veterans Wheelchair Games Coming to Orlando

The Orlando VA Medical Center and the Central Florida Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America are hosting the 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Orlando, FL July 30-August 4, 2018.

Each year more than 500 athletes attend the National Veterans Wheelchair Games which is a multi-event sports and rehabilitation program for military service Veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, amputations or other neurological disorders. Over the years, the Games have produced several national and world-class champions.

However, the event provides the opportunity for newly disabled Veterans to get involved and push further than they thought possible. Typically, one quarter of the competitors are new to the Games.

The Games rely on the support of more than 3,000 volunteers with opportunities ranging from helping set-up events, greeting Veterans at the airport to providing informational service at various locations. We hope you will think about volunteering for this remarkable event that

celebrates the athleticism of our Veterans!

Athlete registration is also open. Participation in the NVWG is open to Veterans having spinal cord injuries, amputations, multiple sclerosis or other central neurological conditions who require a wheelchair for athletic competition. The individual’s physical injury must be permanent and measurable. Exclusionary primary diagnosis includes but are not limited to conditions related to pain, arthritis, emotional and psychological conditions. All participants must be eligible for VA healthcare.

To register as an athlete or a volunteer visit: wheelchairgames.org. Once on the site click under the Orlando 2018 tab at the top to sign up as an athlete or a volunteer.

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Legion urges passage of S. 2193

On Dec. 7, The American Legion and several other veterans service organizations sent a letter to U.S. Senate leadership, urging passage of S. 2193, the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2017. The legislation would build on current community care programs by putting an end to arbitrary standards for when veterans may receive community care and by consolidating the disparate community care programs into one program. The intention is to remove confusion over when and how veterans can access community care doctors, and ensure VA remains the coordinator of care for veterans regardless if care is delivered at VA medical facilities or through community care providers.

The letter comes on the heels of The American Legion, and other VSO representatives and members of Congress joining together Dec. 6 for a Capitol Hill press conference to urge Congress to pass a bill expanding caregiver benefits to veterans injured before 9/11. The group presented Congress with more than 180,000 petitions calling for expansion of the benefits.

The full text of the Dec. 7 letter follows.

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer:

On behalf of the millions of veterans we represent, and all veterans who use the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, we write to urge you to take whatever actions are necessary to swiftly bring to the floor and pass S. 2193, the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation approved by the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs last week to improve and modernize the care America provides her veterans.

The brave men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform must have timely access to high-quality, comprehensive and veteran-centric care. The majority of our members rely on VA to provide such care, but understand that VA must turn to private sector partners when it is not able to reasonably meet the demand for care in its health system. This legislation would build on current community care programs by putting an end to arbitrary standards for when veterans may receive community care and by consolidating the disparate community care programs into one program. In doing so, this legislation would remove confusion over when and how veterans can access community care doctors, and ensure VA remains the coordinator of care for veterans regardless if care is delivered at VA medical facilities or through community care providers.

We are pleased this legislation would empower veterans and their health care providers to work together to determine when and where veterans should receive care based on access and quality measures. This approach is also very similar to VA’s Veterans Coordinated Access and Rewarding Experiences (CARE) plan, which was developed with direct input from major veterans service organizations. The bill would ensure certain community care doctors are trained to provide veteran-centric care that abides by VA’s best practices and clinical practice guidelines. Importantly, this legislation would ensure VA does not rush implementation of the new and improved community care program by funding the current Choice Program through the end of fiscal year 2018. It also consolidates future community care funding within one discretionary appropriations account to end the current dual-funding process which has led to numerous community care funding shortfalls and veterans being denied access to community care.

The legislation would also give veterans the opportunity to access walk-in clinics throughout the country to fill the gap between costly emergency room care and waiting for ambulatory care. However, it does not protect a covered veteran from paying out-of-pocket fees for service-connected illnesses and injuries. We call on Congress to make certain veterans are not charged copayments for illnesses and injuries related to their military service.

Additionally, this legislation includes important provisions to strengthen the VA health care system and expand its ability to provide direct care to our nation’s veterans, while preserving VA foundational services not accommodated in the private sector. It would expand and improve VA’s graduate medical education, loan repayment and residency programs to ensure VA is able to recruit and retain high-quality health care professionals. It also includes much-needed supplemental appropriations to expand and improve VA’s capital infrastructure and authorizes VA health care professionals to practice telemedicine across state lines to ensure veterans, particularly those in rural settings, have convenient access to virtual health care.

Finally, we strongly support Title III of the legislation which would extend VA’s comprehensive caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras. The legislation would finally correct a serious inequity between veterans who served before September 11, 2001 and their post-9/11 comrades, who believe the caregivers of pre-9/11 veterans must have access to comprehensive caregiver services that are fully funded and properly managed. As this legislation moves through the Senate and into conference discussions with the House, we urge you to ensure this critical caregiver equity provision remains part of the final legislation.

We ask that you work together to secure Senate passage of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2017 before the end of the year so the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs are given enough time to reach a final agreement before funding for the Choice Program is depleted again. Failure to do so would deprive veterans access to the high-quality care they have earned and deserve. We look forward to working with you and all members of the Senate to ensure swift passage of this important, bipartisan and comprehensive legislation.

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The American Legion Legacy Run 2017

This year’s six-day ride will begin in The Kansas Soldier’s Home at Ford Dodge, Kansas, and will follow much of historic Route 50 through Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada, to arrive at the 99th annual American Legion Convention in Reno. Which will be held from August 18-24, 2017.

Should you wish to follow the riders on this year’s Legacy Run

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DHL Now Hiring

DHL is now hiring for the following positions:

Courier: $10.00 per hour
SUP: $40,000 Annual
MGR: 50,000 Annual

Please send resumes to Pompey Mansilla, Pompey.Mansilla@INTLLS.com.

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2017 Spirit of ’45 Day Proclamation

Governor Rick Scott has signed the 2017 Spirit of ’45 Day Proclamation, commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the end of World War II.

Monday, August 14 is Spirit of ’45 Day.

There are currently more than 65,000 World War II veterans living in Florida.

Click here to view proclamation.

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2017 Freedom Raffle Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the WINNERS of the 2017 Freedom Raffle as follows:

 

  • Grand Prize winner of $10,000 – George W Pettit
  • 2nd Place winner of $2,500 – William R Horne Jr
  • 3rd Place winner of $1,000 – Charles J Cunningham Sr
  • 4th – 5th Place winners of $500 – Ronald B Goodman, James S Rawlings
  • 6th – 10th Place winners of $100 – John Peacock, James A Cook, William R Boring, Steve J Guldan Jr, Michael G Hibbard

 

All recipients will be notified within the coming week by The American Legion, Department of Florida.
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