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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 - Letters Pg. 3 - Officers Columns Pg. 4 - State Convention Pg. 7 - President's Column Pg. 8 - VOD Pg. 9 - Post District Training Pg. 10 - Veterans College Clubs Pg. 11 - Tarheel Happenings Pg. 12 - Viet Nam Moving Wall

2012

Giant Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration


More than 216,000 North Carolina residents served in Vietnam, and some 1600 made the ultimate sacrifice in that war. Now, the usa of North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway, with support from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, will honor their service with an incredible Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration for the military members and their friends and family. The VFW Department of North Carolina will participate with four recruiting tables scattered about the speedway grounds. The inaugural Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration became a reality on Thursday, Dec. 15, after years of planning - and some 40 years after the Vietnam Conflict ended. A highly decorated military audience was on hand to announce the event, which will be held March 31, 2012 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Vietnam veterans never received the type of homecoming celebration that today's troops receive as they return from service. To honor those who served and the military members who returned from combat, the USO of North Carolina is holding a long, overdue homecoming celebration. Hosted by the USO of North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration 2012 is set to be an unforgettable experience featuring live entertainment, displays and demonstrations, military salutes, and much more! Supporting partners for the event include Lowe's, Coca-Cola, Coca Cola Consolidated, Lorillard and RJR. Tickets to the event are free and available in advance at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/WelcomeHome or at the gate. Honored guests included David Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize Winning Vietnam Combat Photographer, Lt. Gen. Tom Waskow, Air Force, (Retired), Forward Air Controller, Republic of Vietnam, Col. Quincy Collins, Air Force, (Retired), Vietnam POW, Col. Charles Williams, U.S. Army, (Retired), Artillery Battery Commander and Battalion Operations officer, 101st Airborne Division, Republic of Vietnam, Lt. Col. John Falkenbury, U.S. Army (Retired), President, USO of North Carolina, and Danny Highsmith, President, North Carolina Association of Broadcasters. Also in the audience were Vietnam veterans and representatives of the USO of North Carolina, Rolling Thunder, the North Carolina Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, the Purple Heart Association and the Veterans' Legacy Foundation. "This a way for we, the North Carolinian community, to say thank you to a generation who perhaps didn't get the thank you's that we would have expected when returned from combat from 1965 to 1973," said Lt. Gen. Tom Waskow, Air Force, (Retired), who shared his perspective on the need to recognize the Vietnam veterans at the press conference. "We want to bring the veterans here so we can give them a venue where they can sit down and look at the benefits which they have earned, but number two we wanted this to be an opportunity for we the North Carolinian family to say thank you to them because no one really did that in 1972 when I came home. This is an opportunity for us to show our appreciation to these great men and women and to show them that the legacy lives on in the wonderful way that our men and women are treated today, and that same courtesy is extended to these older folks." To help spread the word about the upcoming event, the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration launched a new public service announcement featuring Col. Quincy Collins, Air Force, (Retired). He had an illustrious Air Force career, from opening the new Air Force Academy in 1955 as an Air Training Officer, to being the Aide to the Four Star Commander-In-Chief of U. S. Air Forces in Europe, to being shot down by the North Vietnamese Communists and spending 7 1/2 years in prison cells in and around Hanoi. "I feel a passion for this operation," said Col. Collins. "When I came out it was sort of the end. And here were a group of POWs who had been held and America liked that, they liked the fact that we were out. So, no tomatoes, no vegetables thrown at us. Two weeks before that, that wasn't the case. Guys still coming back getting bad mouthed, couldn't get jobs and so forth. But, when we came back hopefully that changed the atmosphere a little bit. I remember when I landed in San Francisco, the first thing I did was to go through a VA hospital. I wanted to tell those guys how much I appreciated what they did because America had not expressed that to them. And when those guys knew I was there they sought me out in that hospital and said "Man, I am glad you're out." And I'm trying to say, "Hey we really appreciate what you did" and their voices were "we would have not have changed places with you at alL" I mean how humbling can that be. And that is why this is so very important. It's time to get this out of our brawl so to speak and let the guys feel like they really are welcome and I think this group can do that." The Vietnam Veterans' Homecoming Celebration will feature an incredible display of photographer David Kennerly's Pulitzer prize-winning portfolio of combat photos from the Vietnam conflict. At 25, the Roseburg, Oregon native won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his previous year's work that included photos of the Vietnam, Cambodia, and India-Pakistan Wars, and the AIi-Frazier fight in Madison Square Garden. "I think that is the role of the photographer to shed a little light into corners of the world you wouldn't see otherwise," said Kennerly. "It certainly is a tribute to the fighting men and women. And I think a lot of the pictures, not mine necessarily, but other photographers in the Vietnam War for instance really depicted the courage and valor of the American soldiers who were fighting the war. That is really important for back then and for future generations." The USO of North Carolina, which created the event, encourages Vietnam veterans and their families to join in the event. "The Vietnam Veterans' Homecoming Celebration was created to educate, to inform and to assist those who served our country in the Vietnam Conflict," said Lt. Col. John Falkenbury, u.s. Army (Retired), President, USO of North Carolina. "We are going to educate people about the sacrifices of our Vietnam Veterans and all veterans. We are going to assist our Vietnam veterans by having veterans' services organizations out here, the VA and the American Red Cross. And then we are going to entertain everyone. We are going to have top-tier entertainment here and make this a day that the people in the Charlotte area and around the region will always remember. " For more information on the Vietnam Veterans' Homecoming Celebration, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com!WelcomeHome. Follow the event on twitter at http://twitter. com/VetsWelcomeHome and "like" it at http://www.facebook.com/ VetsHomecoming2012. To see the PSA, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/ VetsHomecoming. For display and sponsorship opportunities, contact Geoff Ulrich, Victory Management Group, at 704.591.1265.

Volume No. 71

The VFW Leader

JaN/Feb/mar 2012

State Chaplain A.G. Parker Passes


Longtime State Chaplain Augustus G. Parker, known to all in the Department of North Carolina as "A.G" and affectionately called "Padre," died at the Winter Council of Administration meeting on Saturday, February 4th, at the North Raleigh Hilton Hotel. He was 88 years old. '. Well known for his booming voice and great concern for all comrades and sisters in the state, Chaplain Parker served in that office continuously from 1990 to the present day, with the exception of 2007-2008, when the State Chaplain was John Negus of Biscoe. Just prior to that election year, he had lost his wife of many years, Georgia Parker, and was desolate. Fortunately, he found another love to spend the rest of his life with, Frances Parker, who was with him when he was stricken in his hotel room. Chaplain Parker was well known and well liked throughout the entire Veterans of Foreign Wars, as he had served as National Chaplain from 1989-1990. He was a comrade of the Advance post for many years, and had recently transferred to the Clemmons post. He was a veteran of the United States Army, having been in that service from May 1943 to April 1946. He obtained his eligibility for the Veterans of Foreign Wars by serving in the European Theater of Operations from October 1944 to April 1946. Parker was buried on Tuesday, February 7th, at the Yadkin Valley Baptist Church cemetery in Advance. The number of VFW comrades at the funeral was the largest of any VFW-attended funeral in at least a decade.

Dept Headquarters To Get Credit Card Capability


The State Headquarters of the VFW Department of North Carolina has made arrangements with the Wells Fargo banking company to obtain the ability to accept credit card payments for many goods and services. The credit card system is set to begin on 1 April 2012 (and NO, it is not an April Fool's joke!). Comrades, Ladies Auxiliary members, and Men's Auxiliary members will now be able to use their VISA, Mastercard, and Discover cards to accomplish a number of financial tasks with the Headquarters. American Express cards will not be a part of this system. Members will be able to call the Headquarters at 919-828-5058, and by giving State Adjutant/Quartermaster Bruce Edwards or State Bookkeeper/ Secretary Lynn Edwards their credit card information, can buy military/veterans clothing, pay for Council of Administration or State Convention banquet tickets, and purchase Buddy Poppies, among other tasks. The Headquarters will accept either individual or post credit cards for these transactions. Additionally, members will be able to pay for their VFW Leader newspaper raffle tickets by using their credit cards. The newspaper raffle tickets will arrive as usual from the Department in April, and will now have a credit card information section on the bottom of the cover letter. Members will be able to send that section and their ticket stubs to the Department if they wish, thereby avoiding writing a check. The Registration desk at the State Convention in June and at the Council of Administration meetings in October and February will also be able to utilize this system to purchase clothing and other goods, pay for their banquet tickets or hospitality room bracelets, and even buy extra raffle tickets! Paying for hotel rooms and meals will still be directly with the hotel, as in the past. The purpose of adopting this system is three-fold: First, the use of the system will greatly reduce the amount of cash received by the headquarters, which has been a long-term goal of the Headquarters professional auditors. Of course, cash and checks will still be accepted, but it is projected that a much smaller amount of cash will be received. Second, most comrades, sisters, and brothers now prefer to use their credit cards over cash or checks, so this system will be a great convenience for all members. And third, it is hoped that use of the credit card system will increase sales of both goods and services for the Department.

World War II Tour Hostess Vi Ranney


World War II Tour Hostess: Vi Ranney of Yankton, South Dakota, will be escorting her 18th and 19th WWII tours this summer in a row. This is the eighth year in a row that she, and often her WWII husband, Dr. Brooks Ranney, have enjoyed caring for veterans and others as they journey back to the battlefields, cemetaries and other historical places of WWII interest. Countries visited are France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany. Vi is a local Ladies Auxiliary Past President and life member, and Dr. Ranney is a VFW life member. "It has been my humble honor to escort the veterans and others on these tours," Vi stated. "And to be there on the D-Day anniversary is truly spectacular. The people of Normandy have not forgotten what our military did for them and our veterans are so overwhelmingly honored at these ceremonies." Call the Ranneys at 605-665-3596 if you are interested in traveling with them on one of these VFW journeys back into the past.

WINNERS OF THE VFW DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA'S 2011-2012 VOICE OF DEMOCRACY/ PATRIOT PEN RAFFLE CONDUCTED ON 4 FEB 2012

$10,000 - Jacob E. Beckworth Jr. of Goldsboro $2,000 - William K. McCrimmon of West End $1,000 - R. L. Roper of Hendersonville $500 - George F. Wooten of Jacksonville $500 - Elizabeth R. Beaver of Hurdle Mills

Page 2 The VFW Leader


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.

Jan/Feb/Mar 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."

Letters to the Editor


Brinks Incorp.
January 11,2012 Brink's U.S. A Division of Brink's, Incorporated 601 Mercury Street Raleigh, NC 27603 U.S.A. Tel: (919) 833-6479 Fax: (919) 832-5711 Dear VFW North Carolina: Brink's, Incorporated ("Brink's") is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We are requesting your support in our affirmative action efforts as they relate to providing employment opportunities for qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and disabled veterans, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, newly separated veterans, other protected veterans and Armed Forces Service medal veterans ("Covered Veterans"). Brink's does not discriminate against any employee or qualified candidate for employment on the basis of race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Brink's also takes affirmative action to recruit, hire, and promote qualified minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and Covered Veterans. We seek candidates for various positions from time to time. Weare committed to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. In order to achieve those objectives, we request that potential candidates for employment, particularly qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and Covered Veterans, continue to be referred to Brink's for any and all applicable job openings. Those individuals seeking to apply for employment with Brink's should be directed to visit the Brink's website, http://www. brinksuscareers.com and follow the instructions set forth on the website. Altematively candidates may also visit the Raleigh Branch and complete an application on the computer terminal located there or request assistance from Brink's personnel in completing the application if necessary. If you have any questions or would like to discuss employment opportunities at Brink's, do not hesitate to let me know. Very truly yours, Joseph Pinckney Branch Manager

Funeral Honors Update


A story about the White House changing the military funeral protocols for the presentation of the American flag to survivors has gained a good deal of traction in recent weeks. The email, a variation of which is shown below, states that the statement made by the soldier to the recipient of the flag has been changed to remove mention of the President of the United States and replaced with Secretary of Defense. However, there has been no change in policy regarding funeral protocol, and the separate services maintain their own version of the presentation statement. The presentation of the flag and the accompanying statement from the service varies by service. They are as listed: United States Army:, On behalf of the President of the United States and the people of a grateful nation, may I present this flag as a token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service your loved one rendered this nation. United States Navy: On behalf of the President of the United States and the Chief of Naval Operations, please accept this flag as a symbol of of appreciation for your loved ones in service to this Country and a grateful Navy. United Sta!es Marines Corps: On behalf of the Presidient of the United States, " the Commander of the Marines Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved ones service to Country and Corps. United States Air Force: On behalf of the President of the United States, the Department of the Air Force, and a grateful nation, we offer this flag for the faithful and dedicated service of Service members rank and name). United States Coast Guard: On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commander of the Coast Guard, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a sym bol of our appreciation for your loved ones service to Country and the Coast Guard. Military funeral protocols are spelled out in law under U.S. Code, Title 10, Chapter 75, Section 1491, last revised in January 2007. But the code only govems who receives the flag at the presentation. The statement made is left up to the services and according to each source contacted; there has not been any modification of their tradition. (Source: ~ MOAA News Exchange 19 Oct 2011 ++)

The VFW Leader


CoMManders CoLuMn
was only because of the hard work and support of the leaders at all levels of our VFW. From post officers and chairmen to members of the department council, everyone stepped up and did a commendable job. We have a lot to be proud about in North Carolina and our future is looking bright. While I need to thank dozens of people for their help, there are two comrades who were invaluable to me this year: State Senior Vice Commander Ted Briggs and Junior Vice Commander Ernie Allis. Without their guidance, advice, and support I don't know what I would have done. We worked together as a team toward common goals and met all the challenges that arose and managed to have a great time along the way. I know that our best days are ahead of us with Ted and Ernie leading the Department. And finally, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't talk about membership. There was once a young veteran who didn't know much about the VFW. One day while he was standing in line at the post office someone asked him to join. He said yes and soon went to his first meeting. When he got there he was treated with respect and shown comradeship, so he came back. He kept coming back so they asked him to be an officer. Some really great mentors helped him, gave him advice, and showed him the ropes. Before long that young veteran, who was standing in line at the post office, was sitting here writing this article. That day in the post office changed my life profoundly. If that person hadn't asked me to join the VFW, I would have missed out on so many amazing experiences and would never have met some ofthe dearest friends I have. Don't let anyone miss out on all the VFW has to offer. Ask every eligible veteran you meet to join our ranks! Yours in Comradeship, Jason

Jan/Feb/Mar 2012

Page 3
man that are dedicated to the work of the VFW, and will do the job they are elected or appointed to do. Be sure to complete the election report and send it in to the Department Headquarters as soon as the election is over, as requested information is needed for our Department officers and Department Chairman. I would like to commend VFW Post 9010 Clemmons for assisting a Post in need. 4024 Mocksville needed assistance in paying for repairs made to their VFW Post home. 9010 Clemmons took care of their need entirely. Comrades, that is what we are all about, Veterans helping Veterans, and I am proud to be a member of 9010 Clemmons. They support many programs that benefit many people in need. Also, I would like to recognize the Comrade from 10346 Hamptonville that handed me $40.00 for 4024 Mocksville. I do not know his name, but thank you, Comrade. Congratulations to Jason, he has done an outstanding job! We have had a good year, and I would like to thank all of you for everything you have done to help our Department grow. To the Ladies Auxiliary and Men's Auxiliary, thank you for helping your Post, your District, and our Department. However, I feel you could do more assisting in the work of our great. organization, and I know that you want to do more. With the help of each of you, we can continue to grow. I appreciate the support I have received from each of you so far this year, and need your continued support the balance of this year and throughout our 20122013 year. Yours in Comradeship, Ted Briggs

sr. ViCe CoMMander CoLuMn

Jason sChooLCraFT
As this will be the last issue of The Leader published before our state convention, I wanted to let everyone know what an honor it has been to serve as commander this year. It has been a remarkable experience that has provided me with opportunities I never imagined. I've traveled to posts all over North Carolina and witnessed first hand the amazing events and programs the VFW conducts. I've seen incredible veteran's service activities, youth development programs, military support actions, and the list goes on and on. There are astonishing deeds being done by our Posts and Auxiliaries in North Carolina and I am privileged to have experienced so much of it. I owe quite a debt to the many folks who have done so much to make this year a success. Without the assistance of our Adjutant/Quartermaster Bruce Edwards I would have been overwhelmed by paperwork alone. Bruce, and our department secretary Lynn Edwards, deserve a lot of credit for all the work they do. The department could not function without them. I thank them both for making this year manageable for me. Our success as a department, and any I might have achieved as the commander,

Ted h. briggs
On February 4th, 2012 , everyone was saddened when news was received we had lost our devoted Chaplain and dear friend A.G. Parker. A. G. was always where he was needed, and he will truly be missed, but memories of him will live in our hearts forever. We will have District Conventions soon. Elect officers and appoint chair-

Jr. ViCe CoMMander CoLuMn


attend in the future. Let the line officers or your post representatives know if there is anything we can do to enhance your experience. These get-togethers are not just about comrades, other good friends, good food and drinks, but an opportunity to share ideas, voice concerns, and find out how you can contribute your many talents to the betterment of the organization. Let's continue to be a part of something larger than ourselves. - please contact your local state representatives and let them know that implementing the proposed "10 for 10" plan is a breach of faith and is totally unacceptable. We need to "play to our strength" of numbers; if they hear from enough of us, maybe we can convince congress to look elsewhere in making budget cuts. I want to thank you again for allowing me to be your Junior Vice Commander. I have enjoyed getting around to meet many of you and look forward to visiting more areas around the state in the upcoming months. As always, if there is anything I can do to help your Post or District; do not hesitate to call me. I will assist in any way I can.

ernie aLLis

Vet. Admin. Launches Personalized Health Benefits Handbook


VA Launches Personalized Health Benefits Handbook WASHINGTON - Veterans enrolled in the health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs have begun to receive personalized booklets that explain their health care benefits and contain other useful information. "V A is committed to providing our Nation's Veterans with consistent, clear information about the services available to them," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. The new booklet, called a Health Benefits Handbook, will provide a personalized listing of health benefits based on each Veteran's specific eligibility. The handbook will also have contact information for their local V A medical facilities, appointment scheduling information, guidelines for communicating with their clinical team and, as applicable, information about copays. Distribution of the handbooks began this month, with all 8.5 million Veterans enrolled in V A's health care system scheduled to receive their handbooks by 2013. Veterans will receive updates to their handbook to reflect changes to their benefits or eligibility. VA operates 152 medical centers and more than 800 communitybased outpatient clinics. Last year, inpatient facilities treated more than 690,000 patients, while outpatient clinics registered more than 79 million visits. For more information about the Health Benefits Handbook, visit www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhbh or call VA's toll-free number at 1877-222-VETS (8387).

It was great seeing so many of you at the Winter Cof A. Hopefully, you were able to get useful information and training to take back to your Posts and Districts. Your input and participation is appreciated, and I would like to see many more of you

On another subject. There has been discussion in Congress about imposing reductions in national security spending. This includes the "'10 for 10" plan, eliminating 10 specific benefits for veterans and military personnel to pay for 10 years of war. Commander in Chief De Noyer addressed Ernie this and other issues at the Legislative meeting in Washington DC in March. Junior Vice Commander Comrades, Ladies, and Mens Auxiliaries

Come to Chief Flanders 97 Birthday Bash!


Chief James E. Floanders will celebrate his 97th Birthday at the Red, White and Blue Ball at VFW Post 6018 in Fayetteville on June 30th from 3pm to 7pm The Post is located at 116 Chance Street, Downtown Telephone 910-323-3755 and home is 910-488-6948 COME ONE, COME ALL!!! EVERYBODY IS INVITED TO HELP CHIEF FLANDERS CELEBRATE!

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Jan/Feb/Mar 2012

The VFW Leader

2012 State Convention


The Department of North Carolina's 2012 annual State Convention is been set for Friday,15 June to Sunday, 17 June at the North Raleigh Hilton Hotel. It will be preceded on Thursday, 14 June, by the [mal meeting ofthe outgoing Council of Administration.

This year's convention is shaping up to be an exciting one, with many comrades running for a number of state-level offices. A summary of which comrades have announced their candidacies follows: *Current Senior Vice Commander Ted Briggs of Clemmons Post 9010 for Commander. *Current Junior Vice Commander Ernis Allis of Charlotte Post 9488 for Senior Vice Commander. *Current Judge Advocate Jack Goin of Calabash Post 7288 and current Post Quartermaster Mark Bergman of Garner Post 10225 for Junior Vice Commander. *Current Quartermaster Bruce Edwards of Henderson Post 2417 for Quartermaster. *Current District 15 Commander Dean Harris of Newland Post 4286 and current National Recruiter Roland Rochester of Fayetteville Post 6018 for Judge Advocate. *Current Surgeon Saundra Clagett of Fayetteville Post 6018 and nurse Chris Sikes for Surgeon. *Current Cootie State Chaplain Steve Smith of Jacksonville Post 9133 for Chaplain. *Current National Deputy Chief-of-Staff Ron Lief of Calabash Post 7288 and Current Western Conference Chairman Jim Goins of Charlotte Post 9488 for National Council of Administration member. State Commander Jason Schoolcraft, who had announced his candidacy at the CofA in February, has now decided to accept 20122013 projected State Commander Ted Briggs' offer of State and National Legislative Chairman, and will run for National Council Member in 2014. The upcoming term on the National Council will be from 2012-2014 and will be the first one that has a separate seat for each Department. Currently, and in the past, a single Council member represented both North and South Carolina.

On Saturday, the organizations will conduct business sessions, and have both nominations for and election of state-level officers. The new officers will be installed after the election, and the Installation Banquet with entertainment will be held that night. The Department Hospitality Room will be open most of Saturday, except for during the Installation Banquet. Candidate hospitality rooms will also be open most of the day, except for during the banquet. On Sunday morning, the 17th, the first meeting of the incoming Council of Administration will take place. The theme of the Convention is a "Luau" or Hawaiian Celebration. All banquet attendees are encouraged to wear bright, tropical style clothing. Dept. Hqs. will be offering Luau shirts for sale- watch the Dept website for details. Post Service Officers are encouraged to attend the day-and-a-half long service class, to be taught by the State Service Officer. It will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and end at 12:00 noon on Saturday, so that attendees may still attend the election. One interesting Department By-Laws change that will be voted upon is the establishment of a Men's Auxiliary state-level advisory council. This council, if approved, would consist of all the presidents of the various Men's Auxiliaries, and would be available to advise the State Commander and Council of Administration on matters of importance to Men's Auxiliaries throughout the state. It would have no power to order Auxiliaries to do anything against its host post's wishes. Another possible By-Laws change would allow posts to petition to move to a different district if they are closer to most of the posts in the new district than they are to those in their current district. This will be the last annual State Convention held at the North Raleigh Hilton hotel, as the convention will move to the Embassy Suites in Greensboro for June 2013. All comrades, sisters, and brothers are highly encouraged to attend to understand how the VFW and the Auxiliaries operate at the State level. The attending National Representatives from both VFW National and Ladies Auxiliary National are unknown at this time, but current National Council of Administration member Frank Fogner of South Carolina will certainly be in attendance.

Serve Your Community & the Nation


Become a Selective Service System Local Board Member: The Selective Service System wants to hear from men and women in the community who might be willing to serve as members of local boards. , A prospective Board Member must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old, registered with the Selective Service (if male), and not be an employee in any law enforcement occupation, not be an active or retired member of the Armed Forces (includes National Guard and Reserves), and not have been convicted for any criminal offense. Once identified as qualified candidates for appointment, they recommended by the governor and appointed by the Director of Selective Service on behalf of the President. Each new member receives five (5) hours of initial training after appointment, followed by annual self-study training for as long as he or she remains in the position.

who play an important community role closely connected with our Nation's defense. If a military draft becomes necessary, approximately 10,000 local and Appeal Board Members throughout America would decide which young men in each community receive deferments, postponements, or exemptions from military service, based on federal guidelines.

These Presidential Appointees For more information on may serve as Board Members Selective Service System, visit up to 20 years. our website at www.sss.gov. Local Board Members are uncompensated volunteers

On the Ladies' side of the house, the following sisters have declared their intentions: *Current Senior Vice President Ginger Amos for President. *Current Junior Vice President Penny Cacoulidis for Senior Vice President. *Current Chaplain Janice Holm for Junior Vice President. *Current Conductress B. Mae Harris for Chaplain. *Current Guard Fran Redfield for Conductress. *Current Dist. 5 President Joan Elmier for Guard, the bottom wrung of the 6-chair Ladies For payment purposes, the outElection System. going Council of Administration and appointed convention The annual State Convention chairmen/convention commitwill begin on Friday, 15 June, tee members, will be paid for and include a joint session of the three nights at the North Raleigh comrades, sisters and brothers; Hilton plus mileage. New, incommeetings of the Eastern, Central, ing Council of Administration and Western Conferences; meet- members will be paid for two ings of the various committees; nights plus mileage. Projected and several seminars and training State Commander Briggs' proclasses. One change this year is posed chairmen and any other that the classes scheduled for the nonDepartment officers will be three Flying Squadron training paid $.20/mile per attendee if sessions in Mount Olive, Raleigh, they attend the Convention, to and Statesville in the first three include being present Sunday weeks of August will not be dupli- morning at the incoming Council cated at the Convention. The meeting. Reimbursement forms Department Hospitality Room for $.20/mile will be distributwill be open beginning at noon ed only at the Sunday morning on this day. meeting.

The VFW Leader PresidenT's CoLuMn


has proven how team work does payoff. To my line officers and chairmen, thank you for being there every step of the way. I want to say a special thank you to the members responsible for bringing in new Auxiliaries this year, and to others for saving Auxiliaries that were experiencing troubles. Thank you to the sisters who have opened their home and let me stay with them. To the Past Dept. Presidents, thank you for the help you gave me this year and faith you have shown in me. Without your assistance, I would never have been able to do this. We have shown a lot of people that North Carolina does have what takes to be a winner.

Jan/Feb/Mar 2012

Page 7

BarBara Icard

My deepest sympathy goes to Rev. Parker's family. The Department feels a huge loss, even though we know he is in a better place. As I reflect back to the funeral, I realize we are all a family - we laugh together and we cry together. That is a bond like no other Thank you Dept. Commander Jason Schoolcraft. It has been organization. an honor and pleasure. I Wow! What a year! Thank you am proud to say you are my so much for the warm wel- Commander. We did it right! come in the Districts I have Thank you to Bruce Edwards visited. It made me feel so for making the arrangements special and so at home. I want for our Ladies to meet in the to thank all of you for your fashion we have become accushard work. We have passed tomed to. the 95 % now. And it is a thrill to have three new Auxiliaries My hope is that you all show (so far) and possibly a new our next President the same Junior Girls Unit. I'm looking support that you have shown forward to the combat boots me. To next year's officers, I (for 100%). And now I look hope you have a year as good forward to seeing the reports as mine - or may I say, even come in. I know we are doing better! I hope that the memthe work for our Veterans, we bers continue to show "Unity just have to report. in Peace" in their "Service with pride" to our Veterans. I want express my apprecia- Let us never forget what our tion to all of you for "Stepping purpose is and why we joined Up And Leaving No Veteran Behind" and for supporting this Great Organization. my special project. Everyone has made my year a year I Barbara K. Icard, Dept. Pres. will never forget. I have seen how close we really are. It

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Education Center Advisory Director and former Director of Programs at VFW National headquarters Mike Gormalley has asked all Departments for assistance in the "Call For Photo's" program. The project's purpose is to find a photograph for each of the 58,000 fallen warriors listed on the Wall, and place these photos in the Education Center of the Wall. You can go to www.vmf.org/pafwan to find more information on this program, and even see where our state totals are and how many photographs have been collected. If you have fur- U.S. SAVINGS BONDS ther questions about this program, you may contact Matt Johnson of hAVE GONE PAPERLESS: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund It's the end of an era. It's no longer staff at 202-393-0090, ext 120 or possible to walk into a bank or credit union and buy a U.S. Savings Bond email to mjohnson@vvmf.org. in paper form. Savings Bonds can now be purchased online only. The ShIPPING paperless shift is designed to save the FEE INCREASES: U.S. Treasury an estimated $120 milBeginning 1 April the shipping lion in the next five years, as well as fees charged by the Department help protect consumers against loss or headquarters will be slightly theft of their paper bonds. This move increased. Most fees will increase by ends a 76-year old tradition of paper $1.00 per shipment. For example, the savings bonds, which made their first

VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL CALL FOR PhOTO'S PROJECT:

Tidbits From the State Quartermaster


shipping for any amount of Buddy Poppies will increase from $5.00 per shipment to $6.00. National ByLaws Podium Edition and National Service Officer Manual will go from $10.00 (which includes shipping) to $11.00, and the Department ByLaws will go from $2.00 to $2.50. The headquarters will again be able to supply posts with free patriotic goods (such as red/white/blue leis, hats, paratroopers, jet planes, etc) beginning 1 June, but will include an invoice for the shipping costs. These increases are due to the increased costs of shipping by USPS or UPS, and the fact that shipping costs to the posts have not changed for ten years. appearance in 1935 under President Franklin Roosevelt to help battle the Great Depression. Going electronic doesn't change the basics of buying or redeeming savings bonds, according to the Treasury. Buyers can still purchase annually up to $5000 of new Series EE and Series I bonds. Saving bonds can still be bought as gifts, but are held electronically until ready to be gifted. Existing paper bonds can still be redeemed at financial institutions and will continue to earn interest for as long as 30 years from the date of issue. To purchase and redeem bonds electronically, you will need to set up a Treasury-Direct account, using your Social Security number and a savings or checking account where the funds can be deposited. This may affect the way that Posts and Districts award Voice of Democracy, Patriot Pen, Buddy Poppy King/Queen winners, etc. because an account using some comrade's or sister's Social Security number would have to be set up. For that reason, the Department will no longer issue savings bonds to Department-level Patriot Pen, Scout of the Year, and Buddy Poppy King/ Queen winners. Instead, the winners will now be presented with their usual plaque and a check for the amount of the previous EE Series bond. For example, the Patriot Pen 1 st place winner will receive a check for $500 instead of a $1000 savings bond. the fmancial institution receiving the Government payments about the death of the annuitant. In addition to notifying DF AS, one should also notify the following agencies/departments as soon as possible: Social Security Administration at 1-800772-1213 to end social security pensions *Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) at 1-800538-9552 to end Tricare or Tricare For Life enrollment. *Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-827-1000 for annuitants receiving Dependency Indemnity Compensation from VA to end that pension.

Eligibility for Survivor Benefit Plan annuity pay ends with the death of the annuitant (beneficiary). Prompt reporting of a deceased military annuitant's death can help avoid delay and possible fmancial hardship to surviving members or executors, who will be required to return to the Government any unearned payments of the decedent's annuity pay. VETERANS VILLAGE Surviving spouses of a deceased mili- IN SURF CITY: tary retiree would be the annuitant In the last issue of The VFW Leader, in this case. a story was published on the back page about the building of a Veterans here is what to do to report the death Village in Surf City, North Carolina of an annuitant: as a residence for retired veterans. The First, call 1-800-321-1080 to report progress of the building of the village the death of the annuitant. Second, is being monitored by Department send a copy of the annuitant's death headquarters, and the results will be certificate (not the military retiree's reported to all comrades using this death certificate) showing cause newspaper. of death to: DFAS U.S. Military Annuitant Pay, P.O. Box 7131, London, Kentucky 40742-7131 or Fax 1-800-982-8459. Third, inform

STEPS TO TAKE WhEN AN ANNUITANT DIES:

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Miss Molly A. Price of Norwood was declared the Department 1st place winner of the annual Voice of Democracy oral scholarship competition at the Council of Administration meeting at the North Raleigh Hilton Hotel on February 4th. She was sponsored by Norwood Post 6183, and then won at District 12. Miss Price attends South Stanly High School, and is the daughter of Anna K. Price. Second place in the competition was secured by Miss Lindsay R. Sendek of Nashville. She was sponsored by Rocky Mount Post 2057, and also won first place at District 3. She attends Nash Central High School, and is the daughter of Karen Sendek. Miss Sendek is the first student in the Voice of Democracy competition in North Carolina to win 2nd place at the state level for two years running, as she won last year as well as this year. Third place was garnered by James Elliott of Wake Forest. He was sponsored by Wake Forest Post 8466, and won the District 7 competition as well. He attends J.F. Webb High School in Oxford. Miss Price will now compete at the National level against the 53 1st place winners from the other 53 Departments of the VFW. There are 50 stateside Departments, the Department of Washington, DC, the Department of Latin America/ Caribbean, the Department of Europe, and the Department of the Pacific. All 54 contestants are flown to Washington DC during the VFW National Legislative Conference in early March, where the various winners are announced. The 1st place National winner receives a $30,000 scholarship. Last year, the Department of North Carolina placed the highest it had in years by its entry winning 3rd place Nationally and receiving a $10,000 scholarship.

Jan/Feb/Mar 2012

The VFW Leader

Department Level Voice of Democracy Winners Announced


When battles are fought overseas and men from your family are not fighting in the wars, it is easy to become disconnected with the sense of patriotism America has once seen. It's not that we've forgotten true patriotism and pride but rather we have lost some of its reality and relevance to our lives. It is easy to lose sight of the pride found in serving in the military at a time of peace on our soil. But, though some of us may have forgotten, America's military is not just something we read about in history books, something we send our distant relatives off to occasionally, or something we join for fmancial assistance through college. America's military is a brotherhood who has fought, died, bled, sacrificed, and lives for, not just what America is, but what America strives to become and no matter what state our country is in, there will always be pride in serving in this pact of brave soldiers.

Of course, posts, auxiliaries, and districts award their winners with various amounts of prizes on the way up to the Department competition. At the Department level, Miss Price will receive $3,000 worth of scholarships, Miss Sendek $1500, and Mr. Elliott $1000. The Voice of Democracy topic for 2011-2012 was "Is There Pride in Serving in our Military." Miss Price's winning speech follows: In the sweet darkness of the night there is a sudden burst of light and a thunderous noise. It wakes John. He is only six years old and this sudden fright shakes him. He looks out his window and sees a glorious light. Redfiery red. Suddenly, another burst. What little Johnny doesn't see as he stands illuminated in the presence of these lights, stunned in wondrous awe, is that these beautiful lights were not set off with beautiful intentions. These were the. beginnings of a war and the beginnings of the end of Johnny's innocence.

the best. We are Americans and in that name we claim the names of those who came before us, who lifted our nation up on callused and blistered hands. These men fought thoughtlessly and without complaint because they understood what it meant to be American. They understood that defending our country was a thing of pride and that without them, our nation would simply be an idea. They are the execution of these ideas that stream through the To call yourselves American is some- Heart of America. thing you should take pride in! The history of our nation is one worthy Little Johnny's dad will join the of pride. Brave men fought and died fight. He's leaving tomorrow mornand lived for ideas that seemed impos- ing. His bags are packed with his sible. Ideas of freedom and equality. wife and child's picture safely stored Ideas of hope and democracy. Ideas in his pocket. Johnny cries when his that have now been achieved. But daddy kisses him goodbye but his still we strive for ideas. That is the father doesn't cry-not until he's safebeautiful thing about America. We ly in solitude. He must be strong. He are not content! We must constantly fights, bravely. He serves, selflessly. become a land of freedom. Become a He dies, honorably. And though lithome for strangers. Become better. Become

tle Johnny knows the hurt of this sacrifice, he is proud of his father. And the day little Johnny turns eighteen, he joins the military, too-knowmg the risk, knowing the cost. Because he understands the pride that there is in serving our country! Without the brave, heroic soldiers, who serve our country with courage, our country would not have freedom. We would not have hope or protection or family for that matter. And while, at times, we may lose sight of the value of the military, the value of the military is never lost! It is never compromised by our misinterpretation of it or our lack of acknowledgement of it. Fighting and dying for the cause of our country, protecting our country, these things that make up the military cannot be devalued. They are undying and they are what make America such an honorable thing. We are Americans and we have every right to be proud.

Patriot Pen Winner Gives it Her All at CofA in Raleigh


The 2011-2012 Patriot Pen middle school written competition 1st place winner was announced at the February 2012 Council of Administration meeting in Raleigh. She is Miss Cecilia L. Cardelle of Salisbury. A 7th grader in the Sacred Heart Catholic School in that town, Cecilia was sponsored by Salisbury Post 3006 and won at the District 12 level as well. The Patriot Pen competition is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students enrolled in public, private, or parochial schools in the U.S. Homeschooled children can enter as well. The top 46 winners at the National level will receive at least a $1000 savings bond, and the number 1 National winner will receive a $10,000 bond. Miss Cardelle's entry has been sent to National Headquarters to compete at that high level. The 2nd place winner was Miss Leanna E. Long of Chapel Hill, where she attends 8th grade at the McDougle Middle School. She was sponsored by Chapel Hill Post 9100, and took 1 st place at the District 6 competition. The 3rd place winner was Mr. Alex T. Kroeger of Charlotte. He is an 8th grader at Holy Trinity Middle School, and was sponsored by Charlotte Post 9488 and then by District 13. At the Department level, Miss Cardelle will receive a $500 check, Miss Long a $400 check, and Mr. Kroeger a $300 check. They will be presented to the student along with a Patriot Pen plaque at that student's school watched by hundreds of other students and teachers. This year's theme was "Are You Proud of Your Country?" Miss Cardelle's winning written essay follows: Two reasons that are most important to me. Back in 1959, when Cuba had just been taken over by Fidel Castro and turned into a communist country, my grandparents were nineteen years old and couldn't find refuge anywhere. They then turned to the United States, desperate for asylum. In 1961, the United States graciously granted them exile and they were freed from the communist country of Cuba. If the United States hadn't granted my grandparents safe haven they would still be in Cuba to this day, and that would mean that I would be, too. It makes me proud to think that when horrible things happen, such as wars and dictatorships, that people turn to the United States asking for help and almost always we open our arms and welcome them. If the United States didn't do this, thousands of innocent people would die because of wars, dictatorships, or terrorists. I know my grandparents are so grateful to the United States and are so proud to be citizens that it makes me wonder how horrible their lives would be without our country. That was one of many reasons that I am proud of our country, but I want to tell you exactly what I think of

Making Connections in Hope Mills


HOPE MILLS VFW POST 10630 ADOPTS 95TH CIVIL AFFAIRS BRIgADE, USASOC PAO It was a brief hallway ceremony and handshakes between four men in mid November. Two were in Army uniform, Co!, Jay Wolff 95th Civil Affairs Brigade Commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Wall. The other two, Robert Proulx and William greene, wore the colorful garrison caps of Post 10630 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Proulx is the VFW Post 10630 commander, while greene is a three-year trustee and chairs the membership committee. The handshakes cemented a relationship that will hold for years to come, according to greene, who first helped connect the two organizations a year and a half ago, when Post 10630 of Hope Mills adopted the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion as part of VFWs Adopt-A-Unit program. In October 2011, the post was authorized by its national headquarters to expand that relationship to include the battalion's higher headquarters, the 95th CA.Bde. and all of the brigade's five battalions. "Retired Sergeant 1st Class greene and the VFW were an incredible asset to the 96th when I was the battalion command sergeant major," said Wall. "The adoptionof the brigade provides increased resources to take care of our Soldiers and their Families," he said. "We enjoy interacting with active-duty Soldiers," said Proulx. "We help in any way we can. Adopting the brigade allows us to be a little closer and to help out." greene said the VFW has advocated for and supported military veterans since the end of the Spanish-American War, when it was organized by and for those who have served in wars overseas. The VFW has a lot to offer adopted units, said greene. The VFW military assistance program allows posts to help their adopted units with morale activities like the brigade's Trunk or Treat Halloween event in October. The Hope Mills post received a grant from its headquarters to help pay for all the food

our country. When I think of the United States I picture a big quilt with stars and stripes like our flag. And whenever horrible things happen to us, such as 9/11, I picture a hole being made in our quilt. But after these terrible things take place, we work together to stitch the hole right back up, and when we do, we make the quilt stronger and more beautiful than ever before. I mean, just listen to our name, the United States of America. I believe it was

John Dickinson that said, in 1768, "United we stand, divided we fall." United we can do anything, but divided it's not so easy. This essay explains exactly why I'm proud of my country and in short terms what I was trying to say is that the reason I am so proud is because we care, and not just individually, but as a whole.

and drinks at the event that drew hundreds of brigade Soldiers and their Families. The VFW also sponsors a phone card program that helps military personnel deployed overseas to call home for free. Another program allows Soldiers and spouses to request small grants through their chaplains to pay for emergency repairs like car breakdowns and plumbing leaks. Besides regularly visiting patients at Veterans Affairs hospitals and greeting returning military personnel at the green Ramp on Pope Field, the VFW is involved in an awards program for high school teachers and ROTC students, essay contests, and advocating for state and national veterans programs. greene's connection with the civil affairs Soldiers at

Fort Bragg goes back over six years, when he retired as a sergeant first class for the 96th CA Bn. as the 95th CA Bde. was being formed. "I've known greene for over seven years, said Wolff. "Bill's' passion for leading Soldiers has transitioned into an incredible dedication to taking care of all who have served and are serving today. He and his wife are a tremendous asset to the Fort Bragg community," Wolff said. "My aspirations for the brigade is to have a centrally located place where we can be more closely be involved with the battalions and the brigade," greene said. "It's all about families and friends. One unit, one person can't do everything in the world, but if you work as a team, you can accomplish anything."

The VFW Leader


F or the first time, post and district level training will be presented so that many more comrades, Ladies Auxiliary members, and Men's Auxiliary members can attend. The Department Council of Administration decided at their February meeting that officer training, referred to as Flying Squadron training, will now be conducted at three local locations throughout the state, instead of just at the annual State Convention in June or at a Council meeting in either October or February. Central Conference will attend their session at the Department Headquarters from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 11th, at 917 New Bern Avenue in Raleigh. The Central Conference consists of all the posts/auxiliaries in Districts 6,8,9, 10, and 12. Posts/auxiliaries and districts in the Western Conference will attend their session from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18th, at Statesville Post 2031 at 139 Jordan Lane. The Western Conference consists of all the posts/auxiliaries in Districts Posts/auxiliaries and districts in 11, 13, 14. 15, 16, and 17. the Eastern Conference will attend their training session from 9:00 These Flying Squadron training a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, sessions will be held in North August 4th, at Mount Olive Post Carolina, and will be credited 9959 at 1012 N. Church Street. to a district as its mandatory The Eastern Conference consists District School of Instruction if of all the posts and auxiliaries in a number of its posts attend. Districts 1, 2, 3,4, 5,and 7. Posts/ They will also take the place of auxiliaries and districts in the the districts' summer meetings,

Jan/Feb/Mar 2012

Page 9
VFW Motorcycles Riders Group. Monies will be included in the 2012-2013 Department budget to offset some costs of the training. Each host post will receive $500 to offset the cost of lunch at the location. The Department will pay $.30/mile round trip for the driver of one car from each post that has no or only one auxiliary to encourage car pooling for the post and auxiliary officers. The starting point will be designated as the post horne or a central location if no post horne is available. If a post has two auxiliaries (Ladies and Mens) the Department will pay $.30/mile round trip for the drivers of up to two cars, if all three organization representatives attend. Again, the starting point will be designated as the post horne or a central location if no post horne is available. Also, each District will receive $.30/mile for the drivers of up to two cars from two central locations, as District officers may not live close enough to each other to all go in one car. Instructors, of course, will also be reimbursed by the Department. Special reimbursement forms will be distributed to the proper individuals at the training locations. District Commanders, Presidents, Quartermasters and Treasurers are required to attend this training as part of their official VFW duties. Post/Auxiliary Commanders, Presidents, Quartermasters, and Treasurers are strongly encouraged to attend, as they will receive much needed VFW schooling. Other post/auxiliary members may attend voluntarily if they wish.

Post/District Training Pushed Down To Conference Level


where the Schools of Instruction are normally taught. Districts are encouraged to have three meetings during the 2012-2013 year, one in September 2012 to precede the October Council meeting, one in January 2013 to precede the February Council meeting, and the District Convention in May 2013 to precede the annual State Convention in June. Subjects to be taught at the training will include How To Be An Effective Post Commander/ Auxiliary President, How To Be An Effective Post Quartermaster/ Auxiliary Treasurer, the Internet Reporting System and Official VFW Webmail Email System, Voice of Democracy/Patriot Pen/ Teacher of the Year programs, Recruiting and Membership, the Buddy Poppy King and Queen/ Scouting/Young Volunteer Programs, and How To Start A

Ladies Auxiliary National Mid-Winter Conference in Hawaii

Past State President Lynn Edwards having a happy meeting with Pearl Harbor survivor SGM (Ret) Sterling R. Cale.

The NC Ladies at Pearl Harbor. L-R: Dist 5 Pres. Joan Elmier, Past State Pres. Farres Upton, Past State Pres. Lynn Edwards, straphanger Jack Icard, State Pres. Barbara Icard, State Jr. Vice Pres. Penny Cacoulidis.

State Pres. Barbara Icard receives her Ladies Auxiliary Medallion for achieving the Ladies' Membership goal of 91% by Dec. 31. Presenting are Nat. Pres. Gwen Rankin & Nat. Membership Chair. Tootsie Dougherty.

The Ladies love pineapples! At the Dole Pineapple Plantation are Past State Presidents Deborah Crowder, Lynn Edwards, Farres Upton.

State Pres. Barbara Icard and her husband Jack, visiting the battleship, U.S.S. Missouri, the Mighty Mo. While not at launched at the time of the Pearl Harbor raid, the Missouri was where the Japanese surrendered in Tokyo Bay in Aug. 1945.

The NC Ladies visiting the shrine of the U.S.S. Arizona. Shown are State Jr. Vice Pres. Penny Cacoulidis, Dist. 5 Pres. Joan Elmier, Past State Pres. Lynn Edwards, and Past State Pres. Farres Upton.

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Jan/Feb/Mar 2012 The VFW Leader


Is your Post located near a college or university campus? Are you looking for new members to fill your ranks? Would you like to reach out to younger veterans? If so, grab this opportunity to host a college veterans club at your Post. Many veterans are seeking higher education and they may be looking to be part of a group with similar interests. Here's how you can help them feel the camaraderie that you do by being part of VFW: Plan a Kick Off meeting at your post to which you will invite student veterans and your members. Customize the enclosed flyer and make copies. Post them at all local colleges and universities on bulletin boards and other designated areas In addition, send news releases to campus and local newspapers, radio and television stations. Use this sample news release as a guide. At the meeting you will introduce students to the benefits of a veterans organization, including employment assistance, volunteer opportunities and making a difference in the lives of other veterans. Be sure your Post service officer or representative is present to answer questions about VA benefits. At the meeting's conclusion, offer your Post as a potential location for future college vets club meetings. Remember, as representatives of VFW, you should make a favorable impression. While students may express interest in VFW membership, this is not the purpose for inviting them. College Vets Unite Stay Active! Join the New College Vets Club! If you're a veteran currently taking college. courses and find yourself needing assistance, have questions on your benefits or just miss the camaraderie of military life; a college veterans c1ub may be for you. The Veterans of Foreign Wars is willing to provide resources to help interested veterans join or form a college veterans club in your area. Initially the club will be located at a local VFW, Post read on: Are you prior military, in the National Guard or Reserves? Are you looking to be part of a group with similar interests? Are you interested in volunteering your services to fellow veterans in your community? Do you need assistance understanding or filing for VA benefits? Would you like to make a difference in the lives of those who have already served our country? If you said yes to any of the above, WE'D LIKE TO TALK WITH YOU. Join Us for Our Kick-Off Meeting Great Partnership Potential VFW National Headquarters is testing the academic waters in the Kansas City metropolitan area to gauge the interest level in college veterans clubs. In August 2004, about 20 representatives from community colleges and major universities attended a VFW sponsored luncheon to discuss the possibility of teaming up with VFW Posts to establish such clubs. Russ Little, a younger veteran intern at VFW while finishing law school at the University of Missouri- Kansas City, conceived the idea after realizing he didn't have a lot in common with the average college student. "I just feel like this is something VFW can do to reach out to younger veterans," said Little, a Persian Gulf War vet and life member of Post 1 in Denver. "Colleges are untapped resources for Posts located near the campuses." According to Kevin Jones, assistant director of VFW Programs and coordinator of the effort, the underlying goal is to help promote a positive, energetic image of veterans on college campuses. "Of course, by doing this, we hope to also introduce students to VFW," Jones added. "Right now, we're just trying to determine what kind of response we will get if we launch this nationwide." The idea is for these groups to use an area Post home for meetings or activities and to also help VFW in any community service endeavors. Jones sees it as a social. orgimization that blends social activities, camaraderie, benefits and charitable service. He noted that some Posts indicated interest even prior to the August meeting. Little found a Post in Pennsylvania that has sponsored a vets club since 1968 during the Vietnam War. Post 321 in State College, Pa., began sponsoring the Pennsylvania State University Veterans Organization when an influx of Viet Nam Veterans received flack from their fellow students. Connection to VFW Both VFW Posts and campus veterans clubs could stand to benefit by joining forces in achieving common goals. Because VFW is looking to reach out to younger generations, it has a natural interest in the student groups. The clubs in turn could use VFW's assistance because some groups, have folded due to lack of funding and support. Some clubs have shown initial interest in a partnership with VFW, but such a connection does not yet exist. "At one point, we were thinking of trying to organize something with the local Ithaca [N.Y.] Post, like a joint care package project for the soldiers in Iraq, but it just never came to fruition," said Tim Alden, president of the Johnson Veterans Club at Cornell University's school of business. The Military Veteran Student Society at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., boasts a link on their Web site to VFW's homepage, and founder Jeff Memmer said he became a member of Post 604 in Bloomington after speaking with the Post commander. He hopes to cooperate with VFW in future service projects and wants to invite Post members to speak at club meetings in order to educate other student veterans about the organization. "Honestly, most members have no idea what the VFW or other veteran organizations do or that they even exist," Memmer said. "There is definitely a generation gap within the local VFW Posts that seems to unintentionally project an aura of alienation toward the younger veterans." However, a relationship between the organizations is not out of the question. When asked about the possibility most club members were optimistic. "I think the clubs would love to have some help ftom VFW," said Jeremy Kirsch, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management veterans club. "There could be a great partnership potential." Excerpt from the September 2004 VFW magazine. Veterans of Foreign Wars Great Partnership Potential NEWS RELEASE Contact Information Name: Phone: For Immediate Release: College Veterans Invited to College Vets Club Meeting Date: VFW Post: is forming a college veterans club for students who served in the military, National Guard or Reserve. A kick-off meeting is scheduled at________________ __________________________________ on ________________at_____________ Student veterans may come and learn about the benefits a veterans club has to offer, including employment assistance, volunteer opportunities and making a difference in the lives of other veterans. For more information on forming a college vets club in your community, contact: VFW National Headquarters Attn.: Kevin Jones 406 W. 34th Street Kansas City, MO 64111 Phone: 816-7563390 E-mail: kjones@vfw.org

WASHINGTON - Make the Connection, a new campaign launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is creating ways for Veterans and their family members to connect with the experiences of other Veterans - and ultimately to connect with information and resources to help them confront the challenges of transitioning from service, face health issues, or navigate the complexities of daily "life as a civilan."

Make the Connnection Guide to Forming a College Vets Club


ditions. The Web site also connects Veterans and their family members with services and resources that may help them live more fulfilling lives. "VA is heartened bv the tremendous commitment of Veterans of all service eras, genders and backgrounds who are stepping up to share their stories," said Shinseki. "Just as they would never leave a fellow Servicemember behind on the field of battle, they are once again reaching out to support their fellow Veterans with their compelling examples of successful treatment and recovery." At MakeTheConnection.net, Veterans and their family members can explore information on mental health issues and treatment and easily access support in comfort and privacy, anywhere, anytime. Visitors to the Web site can customize and filter their online experience, directly connecting with content that is the most relevant in their own lives and situations. VA's Make the Connection campaign is raising awareness through public service announcements, advertising and partnerships with Veteran Service Organizations and mental health service providers, nationwide. For more information visit MakeTheConnrction.net or VA's mental health services web site at www. mentalhealth.va.gov

"I have seen over and over again how important it can be for a Veteran to hear a message from another Veteran. This type of communication will be especially useful in helping to break down the stigma associated with mental health issues and treatment," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "VA is leveraging this powerful connection using an approachable online resource that links Veterans to personal stories from their peers, to VA resources and support, and to reliable information about mental health and resilience." The campaign's central focus is a Web site, www.MakeTheConnection.net, featuring numerous Veterans who have shared their experiences, challenges, and triumphs. It offers a place where Veterans and their families can yiew the candid, personal testimonials of other Veterans who have dealt with and are working through a variety of common life experiences, day-to-day symptoms, and mental health con-

The North Carolina Pets For Vets chapter briefed the attendees at the Winter Council of Administration meeting in February on their mission to connect veterans suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), TBI (traumatic brain injury), and other physical or emotional injuries with homeless shelter dogs facing euthanasia. The organization is now three years old and has been successful in California, Washington, and Florida, according to Alicia Hinton, the NC Chapter volunteer.

Pets for Vets

ans to dogs each month. The goal is to save as many dogs as possible (from the kill shelters), and in doing so, help as many veterans as possible, especially now with all ofthese soldiers coming back from the Iraq War. The chapter has close connections with V A hospitals and dog advocacy groups in the Tarheel State. It now also has been voted on by the VFW Council of Administration as a partner with the VFW to help veterans. When a veteran requests a companion dog, the animal is rescued, professionally trained, vaccinated, and more, to help with the transition to the new life of both the dog and the veteran. Pets For Vets has requested of the VFW of North Carolina that comrades be on the lookout for returning veterans who may need a loving, dog companion. If they know such a veteran, they should contact Terri Stober at (919) 522-0575 or Ronnie Sadoski at (919) 4752076. The organization's website is at www.pets-for-vets.com. Any attendee at the February Council meeting would certainly have had their eyes opened as to the effectiveness of trained dog companions by the incredible behavior of the service dog "Sarge" at that meeting. The companion of District 17 Commander Skip Hall, Sarge was welcomed by all, and has really helped the Bryson City post veteran's own personal situation. Commander Hall urges the comrades to to give enthusiastic recognition and support to Pets For Vets.

Pets For Vets is not to be confused with Paws For Vets, which presented their briefing at the annual state convention last June. Paws For Vets train service dogs for veterans with serious physical disabilities and injuries, and Pets For Vets concentrates on training dogs as companions for mentally-stressed veterans. According to Ronnie Sadoski, the co-chairman of the NC Chapter of Pets For Vets, North Carolina has the highest euthanasia rate in the nation for animals, along with a large military and veterans population. Sadoski himself is part the organization's success story. As a veteran suffering from PTSD, he has been matched with a German Shepherd, "who has saved my life numerous times in the past couple of years." "When you have depression and PTSD, it is very hard for veterans to get back to the reality of life," stated Sadoski. "They just need a companion that gives them unconditional love. We would like to see four to five matches of veter-

State Americanism Chairman Jack Goin and his selection committee announced the winners of the State Citizenship Education Teachers of the Year for 2011-2012. They are Mr. Shearon Miller of Hope Mills, Ms. Anne Avery-Foster of Plumtree, and Mr. Tom Stanfa of Chapel Hill. The Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year is a VFW National program which recognizes great teachers in each Department (State) who excel in teaching their students about citizenship and patriotism in the United States. Each Department can select one teacher from the elementary grades (K-5), middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12). Those individuals are honored by the Department by the presentation of a National Certificate and a Department check at the winner's school in front of his/her peers and students. Mr. Miller, the winner at the Elementary School level, teaches at C. Wayne Collier Elementary School in Hope Mills. Sponsored by Post 10630, he teaches

Teachers of the Year Selected in North Carolina


music to fascinated young students. His citizenship specialty is to expose his students to the music, customs, and cultures of the United States of America. Many of the lessons and activities have led to student performances for Veterans' Day and other patriotic holidays. A native of Smithfield-Selma, Mr. Miller was educated in the Johnston County school system, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education at Livingston College in Salisbury. He is currently serving his seventh year as the Music Teacher at C. Wayne Collier. Mr. Miller has earned many honors during the past seven years, to include Chairman of the School Improvement Team, Teacher of the Year at C. Wayne Collier for 2011-2012, and Department/Grade Level Chair for the Resource Team at the same school. Ms. Avery-Foster is the winner at the middle school level, and teaches at the Cranbery Middle School in Elk Park on Highway 19E North. Sponsored by Newland Post 4286, she is an expert in teaching Exploring Careers in Agricultrue and Computers. She emphasizes setting high goals for her students with service for others modeling the sacrifices made for Americans by patriots. Her lessons engage students in flag etiquette and history lessons that remind young citizens to stand at attention with respect during the Pledge of Allegiance and playing of the National Anthem. Business Administration from Lees McRae College and her North Carolina Teaching Certification from Appalchian State University. She has previously received the Entrepreneurship 101 Award in 2011. Mr. Tom Stanfa, the top choice in the High School department, lives in Chapel Hill and teaches Honors English I & 2, and Yearbook Journalism 1 & 2. He has earned his Bachenlor of Arts in English Literature from Northern Illinois University, and is partially finished with his Master of Arts in Education from Saint Xavier University in Chicago. He was sponsored for the award by Chapel Hill Post 9100. Mr. Stanfa strives to teach American ideals while bringing technology skills into his curriculum. Last year he organized a unit where his Honors English class teamed with an Advance Placement (AP) World History and Web Design class to create a documentary about D-Day, based upon the Alex Kershaw novel, The Bedford Boys. He led two field trips to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, a town that suffered the highest per capita losses on D-Day, and another trip to D-Day sites in Normandy, France. His students created a 45-minute documentary that recorded the testimony of a dozen veterans, preserving their history while teaching his students about sacrifice and devotion to country. In addition, he inspired his students to raise funds to help the financially troubled memorial by amassing over $2000 for the National D-Day Memorial's Education Center. The book and the documentary are about a Virginia National Guard unit that was filled with citizen soldiers from Bedford, a town of 3200 people. The unit from Bedford went to D-Day together and were gunned down as a group as the struggled to get ashore from their landing craft. 19 of them died on D-Day itself and three more later in the Normandy campaign.

Ms. Avery-Foster's classes are filled with good examples of young, patriotic businessmen and businesswomen. One group of students has opened their own business called "Scarf It Up!" These students will be making and selling scarves, which will then donate money to the Wounded Warriors and the Susan G. Komen Organization for Breast Cancer Awareness." Another project is "Trees For Troops", which donates Christmas trees to send to the troops. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in

Department Public Servant Award Gold Medals


The Department of North Carolina has announced its three state-level winners of the 2011-2012 Public Servant Gold Medal Awards. They are Franklin Lee Westbrook of Fayetteville for the Emergency Medical Technician Gold Medal, Jeffrey G. Hill of Hope Mills for the Firefighter Gold Medal, and Melissa Kiefer of Charlotte for the Law Enforcement Officer Gold Medal. Westbrook and Hill were sponsored by Hope Mills Post 10630, and Kiefer was sponsored by Monroe Post 5464. The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) award is presented to any individual, who actively gives emergency medical treatment, provides rescue service of civil disaster assistance as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to give emergency medical care, and/or provide rescue and civil disaster assistance to our nation's citizens. Westbrook is a member of the Cumberland County EMS System of Cape Fear Valley Health. No stranger to awards, he was the champion of the 2010 Journal of Emergency Medical Services national paramedic competition. He and his team helped to place Cumberland County EMS in elite company by defeating teams from major metropolitan areas such as New York City and Miami Dade. Having served continuously in Cumberland County since 1998, Westbrook teaches specialty certification classes for the American Heart Association, has participated in the tactical medical program with law enforcement, and currently trains and responds with the North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Team. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force. The Firefighter award is given to any individual who actively fights fires as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to fight fires and give assistance to our nation's citizens. Jeffrey Hill joined the Hope Mills Fire Department in 2007 after attending Emergency Medical Technician school, obtaining his state EMT certification, serving as a volunteer firefighter, and obtaining his state firefighter certification. He is currently the primary Driver/Engineer on his work shift. His many accomplishments include certifications as an Hazardous Materials Responder, an Emergency Vehicle Driver, a Pumper Operator, an Aerials Operator, a Rescue Technician, and Fire Service Instructor. He also has ribbons for many of those accomplishments. The Law Enforcement Officer award is presented to any individual who serves in municipal, county, state or federal unit tasked with enforcement of the laws pertaining to their area of responsibility. It does not apply to individuals employed by private companies or security services. Melissa Kiefer is an officer, soon to be promoted to Sergeant, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. She began her law enforcement career in 2004 as a patrol officer, and then advanced to directed patrol units, community coordination, civil emergency unit work, and administration. She has certifications in RADAR, crime scenes, bicycle patrols, high risk warrant, segway patrol, crisis intervention, child maltreatment investigations, standardized field sobriety testing, and field force operations. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

Franklin Lee Westbrook

Melissa Kiefer

Jeffrey G. Hill

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Jan/Feb/Mar 2012

The VFW Leader

Tar Heel Happenings

State Commander Jason Schoolcraft and his wife Tanya attend the Valentine's Day party at Calabash Post 7288. There were 131 attendees who were served a sit down dinner by waiters from the Men's Auxiliary, and music for dining & dancing. In this photo, Post Commander Ray Ketcham is capturing the moment for the State Commander and his wife.

The March of the Buddy Poppy hats at the Council of Administration Meeting at the North Raleigh Hilton. Looking good from Left to Right: State Jr. Vice Commander Ernie Allis, State Membership Chairman Lewis Hunt, Dist. 5 Commander Joe Stanley, Past Dist. 2 Commander Erwin Wade, and an enthusiastic final comrade. Who won?

Durham VA Med. Ctr. Staff accept donations of much needed comfort items and clothing from members of Wake Forest Memorial Post 8466, VFW. The hospital voluntary service staff's supply has reached a critical stage. These comfort items are the much desired personal comfort items not normally provided by the VA hospital. The $700 donation of goods that came straight from a donation list will be put to great use for the Vets who are housed at this center. L-R: Bill Wilkinson Post Adjutant, Howard Lowdermilk, Hank Pierwola Post Quartermaster, Comdr., Frankie Anderson, Sara Haigh Asst. Dir. VA med. Ctr, Rich May Dist 7 Chaplain & Rich Heroux Sr. Vice Comdr.

Christmas gifts delivered to shut-in vets. Local vets of the VFW Post 8466 & Walter E. Cole Post 187 American Leg. prepared Christmas meals and fruit baskets for delivery on Dec. 24th to area shut in vets. The meals are prepared by the staff of the "Border" Restaurant and fruit baskets are prepared by "Lowes Foods." Members assembled early Sat. morning at the local restaurant to affect the personal transport. Members of the VFW and Amer. Leg. participating in the delivery process are L-R: Alec Heroux, Joe DeLois, Howard Lowdermilk, Owner Jerry Ammon, Rich Heroux, Hank Pierwola, Dave Frohnapple and Frankie Anderson. The vets have been performing this annual undertaking for over 10 years. Christmas gifts are always graciously accepted by the shut in vets and their family members.

Buzz Griggs, the State National Guard Coordinator, presents SGM (Ret) Andrew Jackson with a VFW plaque of appreciation at the North Carolina National Guard Headquarters in Raleigh. SGM Jackson is the head of the NCNG's Transition Program.

Buzz Griggs, the State National Guard Coordinator, presents SGM (Ret) James T. Gaddis with a VFW plaque of appreciation at the North Carolina National Guard Headquarters in Raleigh. SGM Gaddis is the head of the NCNG's Yellow Ribbon Program.

The Service Santas. Marine Santa (Joe Echols), Holly Ho (Cathy Boze), and Army Santa (Brian Boze), all of Indian Trail Post 2423 visited the Salisbury VA Hospital with Post Commander Jack Campbell. They were allowed to go room to room, as well as attend the Christmas Party held in the Social Hall for all veterans. The veterans were wished a Merry Christmas, thanked for their service to the nation, and presented a small American Flag and a VFW hat pin. When the Service Santas left the room, Commander Campbell call room to attention and the Service Santas saluted the veterans.

Jim Milstead, center is joined by Rich Murray, Left and Ray Ketcham during Calabash VFW Post 7288's Annual Golf Tournament in 2010. Milstead has been looking for Soan Ngo for 41 years, ever since the Vietnamese boat crew Jim was an advisor to was shot up so badly that everybody was feared killed. Milstead was badly wounded in the attack and Ngo survived, was later a boat person to escape the pressure of Communitst rule, made his way to Thailand, Singapore, to an Indonesian Island and eventually America. He now lives in Venice, Fl. where a realtor named Jack Gang began a search to find Milstead, who thought Ngo had been killed by the enemy fire on that fateful Jan. 4, 1971. Gang somehow found the picture above in the VFW Leader and showed it to Ngo. Ngo called Milstead, an emotional contact which is leading to a reunion over President's Day weekend in Feb. A great ending for a story 41 years in the making and 41 years awaiting resolution.

State Q!uartermaster Bruce Edwards presents MG Gregory Lusk with a VFW plaque of apprec iation for the Guard's cooperation in VFW recruiting. MG Lusk is the State's Adjutant General and commands all the Guardsmen in NC.

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Jan/Feb/Mar 2012

The VFW Leader

Vietnam Moving Wall


The Indian Trail Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2423, will be hosting THE VIETNAM MOVING WALL from Thursday June 14th through Monday June 18th 2012 at the VFW Post located in Indian Trail, NC. "IN HONOR OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES WHO SERVED IN THE VIETNAM WAR. THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES AND THOSE REMAIN MISSING ARE INSCRIBED IN THE ORDER THEY WERE TAKEN FROM US." Preamble of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial "The Moving Wall" is the half size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for more than twenty-five years. When John Devitt, a former helicopter door gunner and Army veteran, attended the 1982 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, he felt the positive power of "The Wall." He vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington and created The Moving Wall in 1984. The wall coming to Indian Trail is the "original" wall that contains all of the 58,272 service members that were killed during the Vietnam War and is an exact half size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. There are several other "walls" that travel the country, but they are not as detailed as The Moving Wall. The Moving Wall will be displayed at VFW Post 2423 and will be open to the public from 2:00 pm on Thursday, June 14th through 2:00 pm on Monday, June 18th 2012. Viewing of this display will be open to the public 24 hours a day, and there is no charge for admission. Army General Douglas MacArthur once stated, "The soldier, above all others, is required to perform the highest act of religious teaching, sacrifice". There are over 58,000 names on the Wall, with over 1,600 of those that made the ultimate sacrifice coming from North Carolina alone, with Union County (Post 2423's home county) having 19 fallen heroes. Ofthe 58,272 names on the Wall, over 1,200 are listed as still Missing in Action. The Moving Wall will be escorted to the VFW Post on Thursday, June 14th starting at 9am. All Veterans are welcome to join the escort that will be travelling from the Charlotte Motor Speedway to Indian Trail. The route is approximately 25 miles. Local members of the VFW Riders, Legion Riders and Patriots Guard are supporting this event and are planning to attend. Anyone with a motorcycle and a willingness to ride in honor of those that made the ultimate sacrifice are welcome to join the escort. An opening ceremony will be held that same day starting at 6:30 pm. The opening ceremony will be dedicated to the families of those Heroes that gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War. Prior to the ceremony, VFW Post 2423 is hosting all Gold Star families with a dinner. All Gold Star families are encouraged to attend this ceremony. All VFW Posts are encouraged to spread the word to any Gold Star families about this event. Other ceremonies will follow during the course of the five days The Moving Wall is at Indian Trail. On Saturday, June 16th at 1:00 pm will be a dedication ceremony. And on Sunday, June 17th will be the remembrance ceremony. The Moving Wall exhibition will officially close on Monday, June 18th at 2:00 pm. In Oct 2007, VFW Post 2423 hosted The Moving Wall for five days and witnessed over 35,000 people come to show their appreciation and pay their respects to so many that gave their lives for the nation. VFW Post 2423 is expecting even large larger crowds this year. "It was an honor to host The Moving Wall in 2007, and an even bigger honor to be selected again", said Brian M. Boze, Post Sr. Vice Commander and Chairman of the Moving Wall Committee. "For us, there are three reasons we are hosting The Moving Wall. To honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice, to thank those that served in Vietnam, and to educate the public and our children of the sacrifices that were made half a world away." Hosting The Moving Wall is, however, a costly event. Because ofthe magnitude of hosting such an event, the VFW Post is required to hire local law enforcement, local paramedics, pay for programs, feed an Army of volunteers three times a day for five days, and the list goes on and on. VFW Post 2423 is currently seeking donations to help offset the expense which will top nearly $40,000.00. Those individuals or VFW Posts that wish to make a donation can do so by sending their check to: The Moving Wall Committee, VFW Post 2423, PO Box 535, Indian Trail, NC 28079. Please make your check payable to the VFW Post 2423; or by visiting the Post website at www. vfwpost2423.com. On the website you can donate through PayPal or use a credit card. All donations are tax deductible. For additional information, contact VFW Post 2423 Public Affairs Officer Troy Comer at 706-537-9788. Also, visit the post web site at www.vfwpost2423.com and click on The Moving Wall link. There will be found information about The Moving Wall, directions to the VFW Post, the schedule of events for the five days the memorial is there, and a lot of other useful information. Escort information can be found on the Post website or by calling VFW Post member Marshall Adcock at 704-221-4207. Those who would like to be a volunteer and assist during the five day period, are requested to contact Ladies Auxiliary member and Volunteer Coordinator Cathy Boze at 704-243-1475. "If every member within the Department of North Carolina VFW and each VFW Post in North Carolina could contribute a little, we all can make this the best memorial to honor our brothers that gave so much, and helped to ensure the freedoms that we all continue to enjoy today", said Post Commander Jack Campbell. "Please continue to pray for those families that lost loved ones, and pray for our troops that are currently in harm's way."