From: MSN NicknameRev-Lin-McGee___Rain  (Original Message)Sent: 8/4/2006 10:51 PM

Hi Everyone,
Over the past year (since August 2005) we have been putting together the donation of a new 70-foot aluminum flagpole for the Town of Winchester.  With the help of the Winchester Department of Public Works for equipment and manpower, Winchester Police Department for traffic control, Millard Welding who supplied the 60-foot crane and Zimmerman Tree Service with their 45-foot bucket truck, the job is done.  The flagpole and dedication plaque are in place and the date has been set for the dedication in front of the Winchester Town Hall, 338 Main Street, Winsted.  The ceremony will be at 6:00 PM on Wednesday August 9, 2006 with Mayor Maryann Welcome having the honors.  (we have been told there may even be bag pipes present for the ceremony).  Please join us on Wednesday evening for this short but memorial event.
We have changed our e-mailing format from Microsoft Word to Adobe PDF.  As our e-mail list has expanded, it has been brought to our attention that not everyone has MS Word, but does have the ability to read PDF format.  If you don't, please go to for a free download or upgrade to the adobe reader.
Hope to see everyone there!
Ted C. Sweeney, Post Adjutant
VFW Post No. 296
Winsted, CT

 Happenings : Messages For Soldiers

Radio station, KUPL Country Western, in Portland Oregon is going to take messages for soldiers that they will record and send to our troops overseas.
It is the morning show and the date is 9 August 2006. 
For anyone who is interested the phone numbers are 503-733-5000 or toll free 1-800-533-5875.
Messages go to any soldier, so if any one would like to join in on this supportive event please call the number above. 


Hi Blue Star Moms -- this forward is sent to us from Ted Sweeney from VFW Post 296 -- I am hoping that several of us may be able to make this??????
Hi Everyone,
Our Junior Vice Commander, Leah Ward has asked that we pass this information along to you.  The link that is included will take you to the State of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs where you will find additional information.
Ted C. Sweeney, Post Adjutant
VFW Post No. 296
Winsted, CT
----- Original Message -----
From: Leah Ward
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 8:28 PM
Subject: Fw: Connecticut Veteran Stand Down-FYI

Ted:  See below, could you send this around?  Leah
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 7:24 AM
Subject: Connecticut Veteran Stand Down-FYI

To all unit members:


There will be a Veteran Stand Down in Connecticut on Friday, September 22, 2006.  I have included the web link for those of you who are interested who may live in the area (Rocky Hill, CT).   They could use some volunteers. It is somewhat smaller than previously held Stand Down’s at Westover ARB, however, no less important.


Thank you for your time.




Mary E. Grasso

Area Director


USDA – Rural Development

100 Northfield Drive

Windsor, CT  06095

Tel:    860-688-7725 X-4

Fax:   860-688-7979



From: MSN NicknameRev-Lin-McGee___Rain  (Original Message)Sent: 10/18/2006 8:44 PM

 In honor of Veterans Day, beginning October 20th through November
11, Wal-Mart stores and SAM'S CLUBS across the U.S. created their
annual in-store "Wall of Honor" to recognize military men and women
currently serving our country, as well as the veterans who have
fought to protect our freedom. During this time, customers wishing
to honor their "hero" who has served or is currently serving in the
U.S. Armed Forces were invited to bring a photo to any U.S. Wal-Mart
or SAM'S CLUB Photo Center to be included on the Wall.

Customers have their choice of one of the two packages courtesy of
Kodak. The first package includes two free 5"x7" prints. One of the
prints was placed in a decorative photo holder and added to the wall
among other honored veterans and military men and women of that
local community and the other print was given to the customer free
of charge. The second package includes one 5"x7" print, one 3.5"x5"
print and two wallet sized photos. The 5"x7" was placed on the "Wall
of Honor." One wallet sized print was placed in a "Badge of Honor"
and given to the customer along with the second wallet and 3.5"x5"

Also this October, Wal-Mart and Eastman Kodak Company have joined
America Supports You, a nationwide Department of Defense campaign
that highlights military support and encourages others to share
their gratitude for the troops. Although Wal-Mart and Kodak began
the "Wall of Honor" program in 1998, this new partnership further
highlights the shared commitment to honoring those who have
dedicated their lives to protecting ours.

"Wal-Mart and Kodak are true champions for our military men and
women and this is yet another way to show their strong support,"
said Allison Barber, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Public Affairs. "We are excited about this new partnership with Wal-
Mart and Kodak and are looking forward to working with them as they
continue to support our troops and their families." Wal-Mart will
also engage in other activities to support our service men and
women, families and veterans over the coming months and year.

"Veterans Day reminds us how important it is to remember and honor
those who serve and protect our country," said Betsy Reithemeyer,
vice president of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "We
started the Wall of Honor at Wal-Mart seven years ago as a way to
help our communities pay tribute to those who bravely serve our
nation. We are happy to have joined forces with the Department of
Defense's America Supports You team to continue honoring the men and
women who defend our freedom everyday."

"For more information about Wal-Mart's continuing support of our
military and other community giving programs, log on to To learn more about America Supports You and
the stories of Americans supporting the troops, please log on to


Click here for Freedom Walk Info:


Army Times

The Trees for Troops program will be stopping at Fort Benning, Ga., on Tuesday to deliver about 700 Christmas trees to troops and
military families, according to a post press release.

Other trees will be delivered the same day to Fort Bragg, N.C., and
Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Stewart, Ga., get their turn Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

The Trees for Troops program is part of FedEx Special Delivery, a
nationwide program that provides transportation and logistical
assistance for community and non-profit organizations. It is also
sponsored by the Christmas Spirit Foundation.

For the second consecutive year, Christmas tree growers and
retailers nationwide have donated real Christmas trees for military

This year, more than 11,000 trees from 27 states are expected to be
delivered to 25 military bases in the United States and overseas. In
2005, the program delivered more than 4,300 trees to bases across
the United States.

Prior to 2005, members of the National Christmas Tree Association
donated trees to military families in their local area if they could
cover the shipping and transportation costs. In 2005, the Trees for
Troops program came to life and developed into a nationwide
initiative with the support of FedEx.

The 2006 Trees for Troops program launched Nov. 14 when the first shipment of trees from Ohio's Operation Evergreen and the Indiana Christmas Tree Association departed from the FedEx Express Hub in Indianapolis, destined for overseas bases.

The program started Nov. 27 and runs through Dec. 11.

On Friday, trees were delivered to Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Drum,
N.Y. and Fort Lewis, Wash.


You Are participate in the wreath-laying ceremony and activities at Arlington National Cemetery, or at any of the locations across the Country on

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

*see location list for specific times and schedule. A Moment of Silence will be held at ALL locations at Noon EST(sharp).

List of Participating Locations

Help us with these locations we are still waiting to hear from

How can you get involved?

We hope you will be able to join us at Arlington National Cemetery or one of the other participating locations across the Country.

For those not able to attend, please pass the word that there will be a Moment of Silence at Noon EST, where people all across the Nation will stop and share a silent thank you, to all those who serve, to all we've lost, and to their families who will be without loved ones this holidays.

Please Print and Share - Help us spread the word!




Col. Raymond Gates Memorial Cemetery - Rocky Hill
Lt. Col Anthiny Cichocki, Jr.
Royal Charter Composite Squadron


Spring Grove Veterans Cemetery - Darien
Greg Sokerka




Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally
Washington DC
March 17, 2007 Anti-War Demonstration and
March to the Pentagon to Assemble at the



The Connecticut Blue Star Mothers wish to say 'THANK YOU' to every veteran on this May 1, 2007 -- the First Silver Star Day in America and Germany!!!
We especially honor the sacrifices that our wounded veterans have made for the sake of our way of life in America!  As we appreciate being able to go about each day in freedom, we honor you and all you have given!
Please visit the Silver Star Families of America website for further information, they are doing so many things to honor veterans; especially our wounded veterans.  SILVER STAR -- SHINES FOR SACRIFICE!
  Applications for a Silver Star Banner and Certificate of Honor can be applied for through the CT State Coordinator, Rev. Lin McGee  at
Also, application for membership to the organization.  You do not have to be a veteran to belong, only one who supports the vets!  Please consider joining such a worthy cause!
Please visit for further information.


Operation Holiday Toy
Helping Military and veterans get toys to their children for the holidays

If you have children/grandchild ren and are Military or you are a Veteran  and you would like some help this holiday with gifts for children please fill this out below and send to Armywife2@aol. com with TOY in subject line

************ ********* ********* ********* ********* *********

Is spouse deployed?

Active duty or veteran?


Which Holiday do you celebrate?

Children's name(s)/age

Boy or girl?

clothing size:

cartoon character
game to play
 sport team
any pets?
any hobbies?
any collections?
does he/she play sports?  if yes, which?
Top 3 things they would like for the holiday


From: MSN NicknameRev-Lin-McGee___Rain  (Original Message)Sent: 8/15/2006 9:36 AM

Sent To Us From Winsted VFW Post 296
Hi Everyone,
The Glastonbury VFW Post No. 7659, 133 Addison Road, Glastonbury, CT
was ravaged by a fire late last night.  Commander Hunt has e-mailed
Commander Frank Forest with our contact information.  Post 296 stands
and has offered our assistance to our Glastonbury Comrades in any way
we can.
Commander Forest has been doing a great job at the Glastonbury Post and
been sending packages overseas to our troops on a regular basis.
You may contact Commander Forest via. e-mail if you wish to offer your
wishes or other types of support.

Ted C. Sweeney, Post Adjutant
VFW Post No. 296
Winsted, Ct

> ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
These links will take you the the story.
> Copy of the story from
" target=_blank>>
> Homes Evacuated During VFW Post Fire
> POSTED: 6:28 am EDT August 14, 2006
> UPDATED: 7:26 am EDT August 14, 2006
> GLASTONBURY, Conn. -- A two-alarm fire raged through the Veterans of
> Foreign
> Wars Post in Glastonbury late Sunday night.
> When fire crews arrived at the scene just before 11 p.m., they could
> smoke and flames coming from inside the VFW post on Addison Road.
> Police said some people had been in the building assembling care
> for the troops in Iraq earlier in the day.
> "One person was still inside at the time broke out, she was the one
> called 911 and got out safely," Glastonbury police Sgt. Rich McKeon
> Firefighters evacuated two neighboring homes as they worked to
> the blaze. Authorities continue to investigate a cause and estimate
> extent of the damage.


November 3, 2006
Media contact: Jeff Schrade (202)224-9093

( Washington , DC ) With the Senate set to reconvene, the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs issued the following action report on Congressional efforts on behalf of veterans. This report covers the past two years of the 109th session of Congress . Inflation for 2005, and so far in 2006, has gone up a total of 6.8 percent.

It is worth noting that since 2001, while overall inflation has increased 12.9 percent, Congress has increased overall spending on veterans by 64 percent and increased spending on veterans’ health care by 70 percent .


The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs has held 52 hearings during the 109th session of Congress (2005 to 2006). Topics included reducing the backlog of veterans’ benefits claims, VA research, homelessness among veterans, the theft and recovery of VA computers, Presidential nominations, employment concerns of young veterans and, of course VA's budget.

Important Bills Passed

  • S. 1182 - Veterans Health Care Act of 2005
  • S. 1235 - Veterans' Housing Opportunity and Benefits Improvement Act of 2006
  • S. 2694 - Veterans' Choice of Representation and Benefits Enhancement Act of 2006
  • H.R. 5037 - Respect for Fallen Heroes Act

Veterans Cost of Living Adjustment Increased 2.7 percent in 2005, 4.1 percent in 2006 and 3.3 percent for 2007

Each year Congress has approved legislation increasing the veterans cost of living adjusment (COLA) to keep pace with rates of inflation.

VA's Overall Budget Up 27 Percent

The total VA budget will have increased from approximately $63 billion at the end of 2004 to approximately $80 billion for 2007. That is an increase of $17 billion.

VA's Health Care Budget Up By 29 Percent

Spending on medical care for veterans, including collections, has risen will have risen from $27.7 billion at the end of 2004 to approximately $35.8 billion for 2007.

Mental Healthcare Funding To Go Up 30 Percent - Over $3 Billion in 2007

With new surveys finding rising concerns about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Congress has increased funding for treatment, increasing the budget to over $3 billion for 2007.

Homelessness Funding up for Sixth Straight Year

In 2006 VA will spend upward of $221 million on grants, housing and treatment of underlying conditions. In fact, the fiscal year 2007 budget for VA will support a record level of funding for the sixth straight year for targeted programs for homeless veterans.

VA Healthcare Continues to Earn High Marks

Reviews published in two national publications gave VA high marks for its medical care - Time Magazine ran a story entitled: "How VA Hospitals Became The Best," while Business Week ran a story which referred to VA as "The Best Medical Care In The US ."

SGLI and VGLI Increased to $400,000

In 2005, Congress passed and the President signed H.R. 3200 which increased coverage for both the Servicemembers' and Veterans Group Life Insurance programs. Other legislation also allows servicemembers who have been legally determined to be totally disabled when they separated from the military, to have up to two years from that date to apply for premium-free SGLI coverage and convert their coverage to VGLI or an individual plan or policy.

Veterans Employment Numbers at 96.5 percent - Younger Veterans Trending Better

The U.S. economy has done well in the past two years and the overall employment rate for all Americans is now at 95.6 percent. Veterans are doing even better - their employment rate is 96.5 percent. The unemployment numbers for younger veterans continue to be a concern, but their numbers are improving. In 2005 the unemployment rate for veterans 20 to 24 years old was 15.7 percent. As of October 2006, that number had improved to just over 11 percent. VA the and Department of Labor are conducting interviews of 2,000 younger veterans to explore the problems younger veterans face.

Brain Injury Funds Restored

Al though not under the jurisdiction of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, veterans should be aware that the Senate added $12 million to a defense appropriations bill to treat traumatic brain injuries. The final funding level will be determined when Congress reconvenes.

Wounded Warrior Benefit Created

In 2005 Chairman Craig authored, and the Senate and House passed, legislation creating a new benefit for those wounded or seriously injured since the war on terror began in 2001. So far over 2,500 servicemembers have received over $164 million - an average of $65,000 each. Benefits range from $25,000 to $100,000.

Veterans' Housing and Benefits Act Becomes Law

In June President Bush signed into law S. 1235, bill to to help severely injured veterans. It authorizes VA to make grants available ranging from $2,000 to $14,000. The funds assist with housing adaptations on a family member's home in which a severely disabled veteran is living. Prior to the change, severely disabled veterans had to own their homes to qualify.

Promoting Dignity at Funerals of the Fallen Becomes Law

A fringe group of protestors have disrupted funerals of our military heroes. Congress passed the Respect for Fallen Heroes Act which balances the rights of grieving families; the rights of private property owners who live near cemeteries; and the rights of demonstrators to have their message heard.


  • See this release online at: http://veterans.
  • Want to send Chairman Craig a note?  Click on: Contact the Veterans' Affairs Committee
  • Feel free to send this news to your circle of friends, and/or use in your publication as you see fit.
  • Are you receiving both text and picture versions of these news releases but only want one version?  Let us know if you want text or pictures and the change will be made.
  • If you need a higher resolution photo from any of the news releases you receive, contact Jeff Schrade by phone or e-mail
  • No longer want these great news items in your inbox?  Send a kind note with the words delete me to: jeff_schrade@ vetaff.senate. gov



The American Legion Calls on Lame Duck Senate to Pass “Religious Expression” Bill

INDIANAPOLIS, November 03, 2006  -  The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization today called for a full mobilization of America’s veterans, indeed, all Americans to contact their U.S. senators to pass the Veterans’ Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals, and Other Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act of 2006, S. 3696 before the 109th Congress adjourns.

“Pundits may call their return on Nov. 13 a lame-duck session but senators are there to do the business of the people and we expect them to pass this important piece of legislation in this Congress,” said Paul A. Morin, national commander of the 2.7 million-member American Legion. “Today I am asking every member of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion, indeed all Americans to contact their senators, mobilize their communities to do the same, and activate all Americans who care deeply about preserving the religious heritage given to us by our Founding Fathers.”

Together, members of The American Legion family number nearly 4 million, not counting their family members of voting age.

The House passed a measure similar to S. 3696 before Congress adjourned for the election break. Passage of the Senate bill, introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., would prevent organizations such as the ACLU from making enormous profits by filing lawsuits under the Establishment Clause attacking the Boy Scouts, public displays of the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, and other symbols of American religious history and heritage, including religious symbols at veterans memorials. Such cases frequently lead to exorbitant legal fees ultimately covered by taxpayers.

Opponents of S. 3696 have released statements suggesting the measure won’t go to a vote before the end of the 109th Congress. “Pundits in 1944 also wrote off The American Legion’s advocacy in getting the GI Bill of Rights passed,” Morin said. “Thanks to a massive last-minute effort by Legionnaires then, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 passed, and the rest is history. We can do that again to energize the U.S. Senate to pass this important legislation when lawmakers return to Washington on Nov. 13.”

The law would disallow judges to award taxpayer paid attorney fees, and thus the financial incentive, to organizations that file lawsuits against public displays of religious symbols at veterans memorials and other public locations.

Senators may be sent an e-mail or obtain a telephone contact number through The American Legion Legislative Action Center:

The American Legion publication, In the Footsteps of the Founders - A Guide to Defending American Values, provides detailed information and is available free on request to




November 8, 2006</DIR>

Veterans Encouraged to Wear Military Medals on Veterans Day

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson called on veterans across the country to pin on their military medals Saturday as a show of patriotism on Veterans Day.

"On this holiday we honor the 24 million among us who once wore our nation’s uniforms to serve the cause of liberty," he said. "By displaying their medals, veterans can band together again by to show their pride in America and its Armed Forces on this special day."

Nicholson launched the "Veterans Pride Initiative" for Veterans Day 2006 to encourage the wearing of military medals as a gesture of patriotism. Veterans are urged to show their medals no matter what they are doing on Veterans Day, but especially when attending public events. Nicholson said he hopes to see the movement become a tradition.

Additional information about the initiative is featured at VA's Web site at    where veterans can also learn how to replace mislaid medals or confirm the decorations to which they are entitled.

Nicholson said he hopes veterans will sustain the trend by wearing medals on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, and continue to show pride in their military service on these patriotic holidays for years to come.

Major U.S. veterans organizations joined Nicholson at a recent kickoff to endorse the Veterans Pride Initiative.


National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Proclamation
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

On the morning of December 7, 1941, America was attacked without warning at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the air and naval forces of Imperial Japan. More than 2,400 people perished and another 1,100 were wounded, triggering our entry into World War II.

Today, we honor those killed 60 years ago and those who survived to fight on other fronts in the four succeeding years of world war. We also remember the millions of brave Americans who answered our country's call to the battlefield, to the factory, and to the farm, remembering Pearl Harbor by their deeds, their devotion to duty, and their willingness to fight for freedom. The attack at Pearl Harbor fired the American spirit with a determination that freedom would not fall to tyranny; and the United States and its allies fought to victory, preserving a world in which democracy could grow. The tragedy of December 7, 1941, remains seared upon our collective national memory, a recollection that serves not just as a symbol of American military valor and American resolve, but also as a reminder of the presence of evil in the world and the need to remain ever vigilant against it.

Now, another date will forever stand alongside December 7 -- September 11, 2001. On that day, our people and our way of life again were brutally and suddenly attacked, though not by a complex military maneuver, but by the surreptitious wiles of evil terrorists who took cruel and heartless advantage of the freedoms guaranteed by our Nation. Their target was not chiefly our military, but innocent civilians. We fight now to defend freedom, secure civilization, and ensure the survival of our American way of life.

As we fight to defend what we believe is right, we remember the sacrifice of those who have gone before us -- not only the heroes of Pearl Harbor but all the men and women of the greatest of generations who defeated tyranny. We are grateful for their service, and honor it by pledging to do our best to secure for our children, our grandchildren, and all of posterity the continuing blessings of liberty.

The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7, 2001, as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2001, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this solemn occasion with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I urge all Federal agencies, interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff this and every December 7 in honor of those who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth.



From: MSN NicknameRev-Lin-McGee___Rain  (Original Message)Sent: 2/9/2007 6:56 AM

From the Office of the Director of Public Relations
    Post Office Box 2351, Indianapolis, IN 46206-2351
Notify your members that there is a FAKE so-called Veterans Organization operating out of Beech Grove, Indiana that has a primary goal of soliciting money through telephone calls with the spiel they are giving telephone cards to our military men and women.
This outfit calls itself INDIANA VETERANS RELIEF FUND
They are using a storefront address at
157 Bethel, Suite B, Beech Grove,
IN 46107
Telephone (317) 783-1974.
Indiana Veterans Relief Fund is operating under a blanket organization called Common Ground Charities, Inc.  A Michael Q. Risley, Jr. is listed as Director of Fund Raising and a Tanya Risley is shown to be the Office
I visited the location and talked with Ms. Risley.  The rented office space is essentially a telephone Boiler Room.  I viewed about a half-dozen people sitting at small work areas facing three walls wearing headphones and mikes making telephone calls.  The front office room and rear telephone room are unkempt and dirty with no trappings of a veterans organization.  No Flags, no wall pictures, no sign of any
patriotism.  I confronted Ms. Risley with some pointed questions.  How many telephone calling cards have been issued to American troops?  (She said they gave some to departing troops at Camp Atterbury but couldn't
tell me when or how many.)  How much money has been solicited since this operating began last year?  (She told me the figures have not been compiled and are not available.)
Ms. Risley informed me they are legal.  I told her there is a difference of being legal on paper and morally correct in practice!  (I am convinced this outfit is only interested in lining their own pockets with cash from proud Americans whom think they're helping our military and our men and woman in uniform.)
The Indiana Consumer Protection section of the Attorney Generals Office appears to be not interested in this situation after talking with them at length.  IF WE CAN'T SHUT THIS OUTFIT DOWN WE CAN AT LEAST GET THE

    Donald F. Myers, USMC Retired
    Department of Indiana, Marine Corps League
    Director of Public Relations
    Contact point Indianapolis Marine Corps League Office: (317) 546
      (or write Marine Corps League, POB 2351,
Indianapolis, IN

      (Attn:  Director of PR D. F. Myers


February 20, 2007

Department to Review Military Medical Rehabilitative and Administrative Care

The Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Navy have begun a review of the medical care provided at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center to those wounded in service to their country. To complement these efforts an independent review group will be formed to look into outpatient care and administrative processes at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center.
The group shall promptly conduct its work and report its findings and provide recommendations to the Secretaries of the Army and Navy and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.
"The quality of medical and rehabilitative care for all service members at our DoD facilities is second to none," said Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. "We are committed to improving the clinical and administrative processes, including improving temporary living conditions for our service members and their families."
The group will have unrestricted access to all facilities and personnel and will be provided appropriate assistance and administrative support to conduct this review.
The group shall also have a special advisor not serving as a member of the group, who can provide special advice and expertise in the area of social work, rehabilitation, psychological counseling and family support issues.

-- News Releases:<WBR>/releases/
-- DoD News:<WBR>/news/dodnews.html


VFW Urges Reid to Stop Defeatist Rhetoric

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2007--Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Commander-in-Chief Gary Kurpius is urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to stop his defeatist rhetoric because of the negative impact it is having on the morale of American forces and their families.
The senator declared April 2 in Las Vegas that the Iraq war was "a failure." He also announced he would submit legislation to end all funding for the war if President Bush made good on his promise to veto any funding bill that contained troop withdrawal timelines. The Senate version of the $123 billion emergency war supplemental contains language that would withdraw the bulk of the 145,000 American troops from Iraq by April 2008.
At a Capitol Hill press conference yesterday, Reid again said that "This war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything."
"Senator Reid claims to be a legislator who knows how to compromise, but his repeated comments are having an extremely negative impact on our troops, their families and our allies around the world," said Kurpius, a Vietnam veteran from Anchorage, Alaska.
"You can't support the troops without supporting what it is they do, which in a combat zone means the mission, the mission, the mission," he said.
Kurpius said his "Vietnam generation was blamed for losing their war because of politicians in Washington who wouldn't let the generals be generals."
"The senator would have us repeat history again and have America known for the rest of the 21st century as a nation that can't finish what it starts. He would have this new generation of warriors come home to a nation that -- regardless of all the 'Support the Troops' decals and political speeches -- only loves winners. And he would have us quit on our troops, even though they haven't quit on us or their mission in Iraq."
Kurpius said that America has new leadership in the Pentagon and on the ground in Iraq with a new plan that is starting to show signs of success.
"Despite what the senator thinks, our commanders have faith that the ongoing surge will prove to be the final key that the Iraqis need to secure their own country. Our patience is not unlimited, but if our troops have faith, the VFW has faith, and so should America," he said.
Kurpius said that those who have served in harm's way know that good morale comes from knowing that your country and family supports you and the mission you perform. He also said that no matter how Senator Reid attempts to frame or assuage his comments, he is destroying troop morale with his defeatist talk and his insistence to cut troop funding.
"We all want the war to end, but how it ends is very important to this generation of servicemen and women, and to future generations of Americans who may choose to serve their nation in uniform," he said.
"This issue isn't Democratic or Republican, it's about American men and women who we sent to war and now some want to pull back before they finish their job," he said.
"The time to debate the war is not in front of a microphone making irresponsible statements, and it's certainly not in the funding bill that keeps our troops alive. If our troops need funds, it is the responsibility of Congress to provide them the money. Debate the war elsewhere."
Congressional stonewalling impacts U.S. troops


From: MSN NicknameRev-Lin-McGee___Rain  (Original Message)Sent: 6/4/2007 12:20 PM

Recent VA News Releases
To view and download VA news release, please visit the following Internet address:
VA To Establish Nursing Academy
Secretary Nicholson: "Holds Great Promise for the Future"
WASHINGTON (June 4, 2007) - To address a shortage of nurses across the nation and ensure that veterans continue to receive personalized, world-class care in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, VA has announced creation of a new multi-campus Nursing Academy.
"Our new, pilot VA Nursing Academy holds great promise for the future of our health care professionals and, most importantly, our patients," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson.  "It will expand our teaching faculty, improve recruitment and retention, and create new educational and research opportunities."
VA has one of the largest nursing staffs of any health care system in the world, with about 61,000 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, vocational nurses and nursing assistants at the Department's 153 medical centers and nearly 900 clinics.
A five-year, $40 million pilot program will establish partnerships with 12 nursing schools across the country during the next three years, beginning with four for the 2007-2008 academic year.  The VA nursing academy is a virtual organization with central administration in Washington and teaching at competitively selected nursing schools across
the country who partner with VA.
VA currently provides clinical education to nearly 100,000 health professional trainees annually, including students from more than 600 schools of nursing.
Despite a nationwide shortage of nurses, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has reported that more than 42,000 qualified applicants were turned away from nursing schools in 2006 because of insufficient numbers of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space and clinical mentors.
"The new partnerships will reinvigorate VA's nursing academic affiliations and ensure continued quality in clinical education," said Dr. Michael J. Kussman, VA's Acting Under Secretary for Health.
Further information about the pilot program can be obtained from VA's Office of Academic Affiliations Web site at

Related To Story
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division carry a wounded Iraqi man out of their MRAP vehicle after they arrive at their base combat hospital to give him medical treatment on May 16 in Baghdad, Iraq.

Senate Confirms Petraeus' Promotion

Senate Votes 95-2

POSTED: 2:35 pm EDT July 10, 2008
UPDATED: 3:15 pm EDT July 10, 2008

src="/js/13260191/script.js" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT> <LINK href="/css/13260803/style.css" type=text/css rel=stylesheet itxtvisited="1">
WASHINGTON -- The Senate confirmed Gen. David Petraeus on Thursday as the top commander in the Middle East on a vote of 95-2.

Immediately following the confirmation, the Senate was expected to approve the nomination of Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno to replace Petraeus as the chief military officer in Iraq.

Last year, Petraeus helped to tame growing opposition to the Iraq war in Congress by providing measured assessments of progress and warning that an exodus of U.S. troops would result in chaos.

In the meantime, he advocated a buildup of some 30,000 troops in Baghdad and other hot spots, which eventually proved vital in tamping down violence.

Odierno, who implemented much of the strategy as Petraeus' deputy in Iraq, is slated to receive a fourth star as part of his promotion.

Petraeus told senators at his confirmation hearing in May that he may make a decision on troop levels in Iraq by September.

"My sense is that I will be able to make a recommendation at that time for some further reductions," he said.

He also urged lawmakers to give the military more time to make progress.

"In Iraq, Iraqi and coalition forces continue to build on the security gains of the past 15 months as we also continue to reduce U.S. forces and transition responsibility to Iraqi security forces, strive to maintain the conditions necessary for political progress, help build governmental capacity, and seek to foster economic development," he said.

On Thursday, Petraeus and Odierno drew little criticism from congressional Democrats.

"This continuity in U.S. military leadership will be helpful in working with regional and Iraqi political and military leaders," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Senate action will keep the nation on its present course in Iraq for the remainder of the year.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Dear Veterans,

To assist you in applying for a post-service medal, you can acquaint yourself with the official military medal regulations at this site: U.S. Military Medal Issue

How To Apply for Post-Service Medal

Contact Person for inquiry regarding this Posting:

Mr. Roger Simpson, PIO

The American War Library

Building Two, 16907 Brighton Avenue

Gardena CA 90247-5420



A message sent to us from Ted Sweeney at VFW Post 296, Winsted
Hi Everyone,
Here is a great way to say thank you to our wounded troops at the Walter Reed Medical Center.  It only takes a minute to sign the card and by signing the card,you can be a part of the huge presentation on September 11th.
Ted C. Sweeney, Adjutant
VFW Post No. 296
Winsted, Ct
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 11:00 AM
Subject: Sign a thank you card for our wounded troops

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Having difficulty seeing the images in this message? View it online.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Theodore ,

 Let's thank our troops at
Walter Reed Medical Center.

Sign the Card

Thank You Card v2

In just a few short weeks, we’ll mark the 5th Anniversary of September 11th… the day America’s "war on terror" began. Thank the men and women who have left their families and homes to defend freedom around the world. Honor these heroes who have already sacrificed so much.

Sign the VFW’s Thank You Card for our troops wounded in the war on terror.

VFW will deliver the giant "Thank You" Card to Walter Reed Medical Center on September 11th to let these brave men and women know that we have not forgotten them and we are deeply grateful for their sacrifices.

We need all signatures by August 23rd in order to deliver the card on September 11th.

Every signature means so much, so please pass this on to help us deliver the biggest "Thank You" Card ever.

Forward to a Friend

And thank you for supporting our troops and veterans.

Veterans of Foreign Wars | 406 West 34th Street | Kansas City, MO 64111

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To ensure you receive these important communications from VFW, please add to your email whitelist.



The Veterans Pride Initiative


Q.  What is the Veterans Pride initiative?

A.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the Veterans Pride initiative to rally America's veterans and their survivors around the cause of expressing patriotism and pride in past military service.  Veterans Affairs Secretary the Honorable R. James Nicholson has encouraged America’s veterans to join in wearing their medals or miniature replicas on national holidays beginning with the nation's Nov. 11 celebration of Veterans Day 2006.  Veterans organizations are cosponsoring the show of pride and will be urging members to proudly display their decorations on their civilian attire on patriotic national holidays.

Q.  Where did the Veterans Pride initiative come from?

A.  During recent international travel, Secretary Nicholson became aware of a similar tradition in Australia and New Zealand.  In observing the annual April 25 holiday in those countries honoring the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), a tradition evolved wearing medals on ANZAC Day at ceremonies and marches as a show of pride and, in more recent years, with children of veterans wearing a deceased parent's medals.

Q.  I have misplaced one or more of my medals.  How can I get replacements?

A.  An Internet search for "military medals" will generate considerable advertising links from private firms selling replica medals including miniatures.  Retirees may wish to check with military exchanges or military clothing stores.  Under certain circumstances official replacements for lost or damaged medals may be obtained from the government by veterans by sending a request to the appropriate branch of service.  More information and links to initiate requests are available at

Q.  If I request my duplicate medals from the government, will I receive them in time for Veterans Day this year?

A.  The speed of fulfillment varies by military service and the availability of records. But order now to be ready for next year if you qualify for replacements at government expense.

Q.  On what holidays does VA recommend veterans wear their medals?

A.  VA encourages veterans to wear decorations on Veterans Day, July Fourth and Memorial Day. 

Q.  I'm not sure I recall correctly what medals I received.  Where can I obtain this information?

A.  Service histories are available from government archives to veterans and to their next of kin.  Information about these sources and request procedures is available at VA's Web page on the Veterans Pride initiative at

Q.  How should the medals be worn?

A.  Veterans are encouraged to wear their decorations on their civilian clothing over the left breast.  Other guidance such as order of precedence of various decorations is available in links at

Q.  I have seen news articles reporting on concerns about veterans wearing medals they did not earn, including possible legislation.  How does that work with this initiative?

A.  The primary concern you reference has been where individuals have represented themselves to have had military service -- combat zone or other experience -- that is not true, or claiming high-profile medals that they did not earn.  VA views this as a different matter than a veteran wearing his or her earned honors.  VA does not encourage veterans to wear medals where there is uncertainty about their service records.




The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Send Heartfelt Thanks to Each Veteran and Their Families on this
Veterans Day - November 11, 2006
Thank you for your service -- Thank you for your sacrifice
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers



Web Site Celebrates National Guard Birthday, History
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2006 – The National Guard turns 370 years old tomorrow, and the National Guard Bureau is celebrating with a Web site dedicated to the organization and its history.

The site,<WBR>/birthday/index.html , chronicles the Guard's history, starting in 1636 when the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which functioned as the colony's legislature, ordered existing militia companies from the towns surrounding Boston to form into three regiments: North, South and East.

"These first Minutemen answered the call, banding together for the common defense, an effort which grew nationwide to protect towns, states, and ultimately the nation from all enemies, civil, natural and foreign," Army Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, wrote in a letter on the site.

The American colonies adopted the English militia system, which obligated all males to possess arms and participate in the defense of the community, according to the site. The need for a colonial militia was ratified in the Constitution, and since then, Congress has enacted several militia and defense acts to strengthen the National Guard.

"Today, more than 50,000 citizen-soldiers and airmen are serving overseas as part of the global war on terror," Blum wrote in his letter. "Over 9,000 are serving here at home in domestic missions such as supporting our nation's efforts to secure our borders, guarding critical infrastructure, and providing emergency response to our governors.

"Not unlike those Minutemen 370 years ago, today's Guard members are citizens who believe that an organized militia is essential to the common defense. With centuries of courage, commitment and tradition behind them, the National Guard proudly remains always ready, always there."

In a letter commemorating the birthday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanked the members of the National Guard for serving valiantly in times of war and peace. "We simply could not sustain current operations without the National Guard," Pace wrote. "The courage and sacrifice of every Guard member are truly inspiring. Your outstanding service as citizen-soldiers comforts those in need and protects our homeland."

The National Guard has made up a significant portion of the forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. At one point in 2005, half of the combat brigades in Iraq were Army National Guard, according to information on the Web site. The Guard is playing a more active role than ever before, integrating with active forces in combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, information on the site says.

The Web site lists information from each period in the National Guard's history and details on some state-sponsored events commemorating the 370th birthday.

Gen. Peter Pace, USMC
Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, USA

Related Sites:
National Guard's 370th Birthday
Birthday Message from the Chief of the National Guard Bureau
Birthday Message from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
National Guard Bureau



Shannon-Shattuck Post #182 in Granby, Ct. is having a Flag Sale on November 11, 2006 at Geissler's Supermarket, Bank Street, Granby (junction of Rts. 20 & 189). Proceeds to help purchase supplies and ship packages to our deployed troops in Iraq & Afghanistan at the end of November. Contact - Jim Hall, Adj. Gen. at 860-653-3819


You Are participate in the wreath-laying ceremony and activities at Arlington National Cemetery, or at any of the locations across the Country on

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

*see location list for specific times and schedule. A Moment of Silence will be held at ALL locations at Noon EST(sharp).

List of Participating Locations

Help us with these locations we are still waiting to hear from

How can you get involved?

We hope you will be able to join us at Arlington National Cemetery or one of the other participating locations across the Country.

For those not able to attend, please pass the word that there will be a Moment of Silence at Noon EST, where people all across the Nation will stop and share a silent thank you, to all those who serve, to all we've lost, and to their families who will be without loved ones this holidays.

Please Print and Share - Help us spread the word!




Col. Raymond Gates Memorial Cemetery - Rocky Hill
Lt. Col Anthiny Cichocki, Jr.
Royal Charter Composite Squadron


Spring Grove Veterans Cemetery - Darien
Greg Sokerka



The Patriot Guard in Connecticut has been asked to escort the truck as it is passing through Connecticut that will be taking 5000 wreaths from the Worchester Wreath Co. in Maine to Arlington National Cemetary.

The truck will be leaving Harrington, Maine, on Route 1 at noon on Sunday, December 10, 2006 and will be staying for the night in Freeport, Maine.  On Monday, December 11, 2006, it will travel on Route 1 and over to I-95 and cross into New Hampshire and then back onto Route 1 through Massachusetts -- onto Westerly, Rhode Island where it will again rest for the night.   On Tuesday December 12, 2006, it will again travel Route 1 through Connecticut, to New York's Cross Bronx Expressway over the George Washington Bridge and on to New Jersey Turnpike South to Elizabeth, New Jersey.  There it will pick up Route 1 again and go to Trenton, New Jersey for another overnight stay.  On Wednesday, December 13, 2006, the truck will take Route 1 into Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and then to Arlington. 


The Ceremony will be held at noon in the Arlington National Cemetary on the December 14, 2006.






You Are Invited:
Eagle Rock Congregational Church
110 Reynolds Bridge Rd.
Thomaston, CT  06787
Please come in uniform.  Please bring pictures of your troop/veteran loved ones to display throughout the sanctuary.  We will be having a special service to honor those who serve our country, past and present! 
If you have something you would like to share during the service, please call Pastor Lin at 860-379-1298.  If you are participating with VFW Winsted Post 296, please call Pastor David at 860-379-1298.  Refreshments and Presentations to follow worship service in our Fellowship Hall downstairs.   Perhaps you have a display or a project you would like to present?
Display Set Up: 9:00 am
Arrive If Participating in Service or Displaying Pictures:  9:30 - 10:00 am
Flags Presented: 10:30 am
Special Music and Worship Service: 10:30 am
Refreshments and Project Presentations Immediately Following Our Service In The Fellowship Hall Downstairs


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Media Contact: Tim Gray

Cell: (860) 514 9514

Office: (860) 572 5955 x 338



Special Admission Rates Offered and a Documentary

on D-Day Scheduled for this Saturday 

Partial Proceeds to Benefit the

New WWII Memorial in Providence, RI 

MYSTIC, CT – Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration is set to hold a very special Veteran’s Day weekend celebration on Saturday, November 10th.  

Bank of America is the presenting sponsor of the event. Connecticut State Senator Andrew Maynard, who represents the 18th Senate District, will introduce the documentary film at 1:30 p.m. 

All veterans, active military and an accompanying adult will receive a very special $12.00 discount admission ticket to Mystic Aquarium. Children of veterans and active military (ages 3-17) will also be admitted to the Aquarium at the discounted price of $10.00. Active and retired military are asked to bring their military ID to receive the discount prices. We also encourage active military to visit in uniform. 

Spouses with a husband or wife currently serving away from home will also be admitted at the special adult rate as will their children. They should identify that a spouse is currently on active duty when they purchase their tickets. 

The Emmy Award winning 48 minute film on the return of five New England D-Day veterans to Normandy, France in 2006 will be shown in the Marine Theatre beginning at 1:30 p.m.  

The documentary film, D-Day: The Price of Freedom is an emotional look at American World War II veterans and how they are still held in such high regard in Normandy. The film aired nationally this past summer on over 125 PBS stations. 

A percentage of all tickets sold on November 10th will go towards the completion of the beautiful new World War II Memorial in Providence, Rhode Island. 

              WHAT:                       Veteran’s Day Weekend Celebration at Mystic Aquarium
              WHEN:                      Saturday, November 10th, 2007
              WHERE:                   Mystic Aquarium. Film to be shown in Marine Theatre
              FILM TIME:             1:30 p.m.
              BENEFITTING:       World War II Memorial in Providence, RI

              SPONSOR:                  Bank of America


Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration is a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit institution. The Foundation’s mission is to inspire people everywhere to care about and protect our oceans by exploring and sharing their biological, ecological, and cultural treasures.     

Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration

55 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic, Connecticut

Exit 90 off I-95 860 572 5955

Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00am to 6:00pm


Open to Veterans of All Ages – No Registration Required
The Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs will hold the state’s first Veterans’ Benefits and Information Fair on Saturday, April 19, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

            The fair will feature information booths, mobile offices and trained staff from over 30 state, federal and private agencies and organizations.  Visiting veterans will have access to a variety of information about benefits and services that are available to assist them and their families. 

            Information forums on topics of interest to veterans will also be conduced throughout the day featuring presentations and question and answer sessions conducted by multiple organizations.  The forums will begin at 10 a.m. and offer information on benefits for older/senior veterans, health care services for Afghanistan and Iraq veterans, educational benefits, financial assistance, jobs/job training, and readjustment/behavioral health issues. 

            Veterans will also have the opportunity to meet individually with staff from the U.S. Veterans Administration and the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs regarding disability claims, other benefits and individual concerns. 

            The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Career Express, the Department of Social Services’ Mobile Service Center and the Department of Motor Vehicles Licensing Bus will all be on-site to provide specialized services to veterans and their families

            “This event will be one-stop shopping for our veterans,” said Dr. Linda S. Schwartz, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  “In one location in a short amount of time, veterans will make contacts with many people and organizations available to assist them.  Whether for an hour or the entire day, we think this will be time well spent for veterans of all ages.”

 There is no required registration for the fair and the event is free and open to the public.  Free parking will be available in the Legislative Office Building parking garage and state lots in the immediate area.

 Attending veterans are encouraged to bring a copy of their discharge certificate, DD Form 214. 

 For more information please visit or call (860) 721-5826.
Participating organizations include:

CT Department of Veterans Affairs – O A & A 
CT DVA – CT Wartime Service Medal and Veterans Registry  
CT DVA – CT Veterans Home Health Services and Admission to Facility   
CT DOL and USDOL                                                                          
CT Military Support Program                                                                         
CT National Guard Family Support Program                                                 
CT National Guard Child and Youth Program                                               
CT Office of Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities              
CT Dept of Higher Education                                                                         
CT Dept of Social Services                                                                             
Connecticut Community Colleges                                                                  
CT State University System – CCSU and ECSU                                           
Charter Oak State College                                                                              
CT Dept of Public Health                                                                               
US Navy Region Mid Atlantic – Casualty Relief Program                            
Money Management Inc, Debt Adjustors                                                       
Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Fund                                                                
Brain Injury Association of CT                                                                       
VACT – OEF OIF Health care                                                                        
VACT – Senior Citizen Veterans Healthcare                                                 
VACAT Regional Office Claims and Benefits                                                
Vet Centers                                                                                                       
US Small Business Administration – Patriot Express Program                       
CT Housing and Finance Corporation (CHFA) – Veteran Mortgage              
VITAS – Hospice Services for Veterans (referral organization of VACT)     
(pending confirmations)
3 Sessions Per Topic:  (1) 10:00 - 11:15 AM   (2) 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM   (3) 1:00 - 2:15 PM  
STATE ASSISTANCE FOR WARTIME VETS (Soldiers, Sailors, & Marines Fund)