At this time I don’t have all the information on our Newly Elected National Officers, but here is AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Officers:
President- Dee Baggett from Florida
First Vice President- Joan Shirek from Wisconsin
Second Vice President- Karin Simmons from Alaska
Third Vice President- Amy Stopyra
National Chaplain- Mary Lanphere from New York
Sgt. At Arms- Debra Gass from Indiana
Treasurer- Barbara Guth
Americanism Officer- Denise Rodzen
Scholarship Officer-Peggy Liss
Hospital Chair- Cyndi Rice
We congratulate them all and wish for them a very successful year!
Support our Veterans at the VA Central Iowa Health Care System in Des Moines
A terrain therapy garden outside of Central Iowa’s Veteran’s Hospital in Des Moines will provide an abundance of benefits for our hospitalized Veterans. The therapy garden will assist recovering veterans in achieving their rehabilitation goals and have a positive impact on the overall well-being of veterans, visitors and staff.
By providing an outdoor rehabilitation space, it will ensure the success of Veterans when transitioning into independent community living. The garden will encompass a variety of terrain elements including river rock, mulch, sand, gravel, pavers and uneven steps; all surfaces faced in the community on a daily basis.
The Therapy Garden will provide rehabilitation in a safe outdoor environment for Veterans to practice a variety of skill sand encourage hospitalized Veterans to engage in life’s activities again. It will include areas such as gardening, golfing, shuffle board, and other areas for enjoying the outdoors again.
To learn more, visit the website VATerapyGarden.org. Donations to this project may be sent to Mary Steinbach Department of Iowa AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Hospital Chairman 901 7th Ave. NW Waverly, Iowa 50677
ONE OF A KIND
Waverly’s AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary President Donna Fischer remembered for service to veterans and our community
She advocated for them, supported them, and met with senators and legislators to ensure that veterans’ rights and benefits are honored.
Donna Fischer, the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary President for Waverly’s Post 79, will be greatly missed. “We were truly honored and privileged to have those last times with her,”
A 1966 graduate of Waverly-Shell Rock High School, she started working at Lutheran Mutual in November of 1966 and retired from CUNA Mutual in June of 2017.
As president of the organization, Donna was especially proud of the work the group’s 132 current members.
Donna joined the Waverly auxiliary in 1996, and became the local president from 2000 to 2012 and from 2017 to 2019.
At the Department level, she served as the AMVETS Department of Iowa Ladies Auxiliary Second Vice President. Prior to that, she had also served as Department of Iowa AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary President in 2004 and again from 2007-2008.
Donna held, for many years, the office of National Executive Committee woman, and in that role she would lobby various senators and congressmen to protect veterans’ rights and benefits.
Donna was exceptionally proud of the Ladies Auxiliary annual scholarship fundraiser, which sustains scholarships for excelling students. Donna was instrumental in developing the Monthly Food Night program which was and still is the biggest fundraiser for the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary.
Donna was at the helm of the Ladies Auxiliary during the historic flood of 2008, which destroyed the AMVETS building in Waverly. Eventually, after years of community fundraising and joining forces with the other veteran organizations, the AMVETS found its new home at the state-of-the-art Waverly Area Veterans Post.
“From the very beginning, when she became involved in 1996, she was passionate about veterans ”
“She was a big part of all of us and she will be greatly missed,”
Some important changes:
AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary meeting time has changed. We will meet the 3rd Wednesday of the Month at 6:oo instead of 7:00
WAVP Hours: Monday and Tuesday the hours will change to 4-7 through August 15
There will be no Kitchen service on Mondays only until August 15
Please come down to the Post and donate blood for the American Red Cross! Blood will be drawn in Patriots Hall from 1 PM to 5 PM on April 18th. Help Save A Life By Donating Blood!
3 Reasons You Should Join a Veteran Service Organization
This articles was taken from a VFW newsletter, but it applies to all the Veteran’s Service Organizations. In the near future, older Veterans will be gone and younger Veterans are not joining, and the programs we support will be in jeopardy. Who will be there to perform military rites, color guards for sporting events and parades, and making sure the benefits of all Veterans are protected and preserves on the Government level? Encourage everyone you know that qualifies to belong to a VSO or an Auxiliary, or Sons. Submitted by Mary Steinbach, Membership Chair, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post #79
Courtesy of VFW
It took me a long time to join a veteran service organization. To be honest, before I joined one, I didn’t fully understand the value of being part of these groups. You may have similar reasons for not joining: You may think they aren’t relevant to you, or maybe you think you won’t be welcome. Or that you have to wait until you leave active duty to join. Or maybe you simply picture a bunch of old guys in funny hats sitting around drinking and smoking in a dark and dingy bar.
Whatever reason you may have for not getting involved with a VSO, let me give you three reasons why I think you should reconsider.
1. You get the opportunity to make an impact.
Many who have served say that one thing they enjoyed was being part of something greater than themselves. VSOs can give you that, too.
While almost all VSOs are active in their communities, many are also active on the national stage, developing and advancing policies and laws that improve services and benefits that millions of service members, veterans, their families and survivors receive. They testify to Congress and walk the halls of the Pentagon, taking the concerns and complaints of those who serve and have served to the ears of the very individuals who can address them. (And, if you are still serving, saying things you and your leadership may not be allowed to say.)
Many VSOs offer opportunities for leadership positions at the local, state, regional, and national levels, giving their members the opportunity to be actively involved in the advocacy process. The Forever GI Bill, troop pay raises, correcting 12304b benefit discrepancies for Guard and Reserve mobilizations, declassification of toxic exposure-related documents, and Department of Veterans Affairs accountability are just a few of the legislative and policy areas VSOs have fought in the last year alone.
2. It’s where your battle buddies hang out.
At its heart, a VSO is a military alumni network. They are places where those who don the uniform can come together and enjoy one of the things they enjoyed most about serving: the people.
The mission and composition of VSOs vary: Some require service overseas, others are comprised of disabled or wounded veterans, still others may focus on minority groups or even a shared religion. But all of them are built around bringing together individuals with a common background in a place where they can share camaraderie and develop relationships.
Social opportunities may include regular local meetings, national conventions, annual retreats, monthly dinners or drink meetups, community service projects, business or employer networking events, movie previews, travel opportunities, group workouts, and even formal balls and galas. Whether you are looking for a lead on a job, social support after relocating to a new town, advice for what to expect when you transition off active duty, a place to do yoga, or even just a place to tell a story without having to explain the acronyms-there’s a VSO for that.
3. They have access to resources and information.
One of the advantages of an alumni network is that those who have gone before are willing to reach back and assist the next generation. VSOs are no different: Philanthropy and service are key tenets of VSOs and they offer a variety of different kinds of programs and assistance, often for the both the veteran and his/her family, to include surviving dependents. Services often include scholarships and fellowships, financial need grants, employment and education help, discharge upgrade services, caregiver support and legal advice, to name a few. Several are also accredited by the VA to file and assist with disability claims, including for those transitioning off active duty.
Additionally, they are often the best place to find information on what’s happening in the military and veteran communities. Through magazines, newsletters, webinars, podcasts, meetings, guidebooks, research projects, and social media, VSOs work hard to find the most important and latest information about the topics that matter to their members and many have access to people and places that you may never have access to on your own, to include the people and organizations responsible for overseeing services, policies, and benefits for service members, veterans, and their families.
Veteran service organizations aren’t just places to drink a beer — though many offer that if that’s what you’re looking for. They are organizations that provide a variety of benefits to their members, their communities, and to the broader military and veteran populations as a whole. And the more members they have, the more they can do on all fronts.
If you don’t yet belong to a VSO, I challenge you to put aside any stereotypes or preconceived notions you may have and go explore them. Check out their social media. Subscribe to their newsletters, or walk-in to the closest post, service platoon, or chapter. See what they have to offer and how you can contribute. What do you have to lose?
If you aren’t sure where to start, you can check out VA’s VSO directory. It breaks out which VSOs are nonprofits chartered by Congress, which are accredited to assist with VA claims, and provides contact information for them and others.