Nothing new to report at this time.
Membership is important.
This article was publish in another Veteran’s Service Organization magazine, but it applies to the AMVETS, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, and Sons of AMVETS here at Post #79. We appreciate you past support and look forward to your continued membership. We need to work as a TEAM to recruit new members. When you meet someone that has served, ask for their membership to the AMVETS, remembering family members who might qualify as an Auxiliary or Sons member. Give them the information about what our organization is, services that we perform, volunteering opporunities within our community and through the VA system.
January 12, 2018 at 08:00 AM
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This is an update from the Iowa Veterans Home
It’s hard to believe we have been navigating COVID-19 for nearly 5 months. We miss seeing you at IVH! We wanted to connect with you to let you know you are frequently on our minds. Residents continue to ask how you are and they let us know how much they miss your presence.
We continue to grow our “Phone a Vet” program. If you are interested in phoning a resident or two periodically please let us know and we will get you started.
Outdoor family visits have been taking place for roughly 3 weeks and are going well. Although social distancing is in place our staff continue to get residents outside and engaged in 1:1 activities. Residents and staff are handling ever changing CDC and WHO guidelines with patience and understanding. We continue to take things day by day and celebrate no residents in our COVID unit. Together we are making the best of the circumstances.
At this point we have no indication on when we will be able to have volunteers again. For updates regarding our current visitor status follow our Facebook page or call the switchboard. With restrictions in place we are still unable to open the canteen or have outside vendors come to IVH. For those of you who don’t frequent social media we have included the current needs list below. If you have any questions please reach out to Betsy at 641-758-9751.
Reach out to Kristy at 641-753-4489 or call the main switchboard 641-752-1501 with questions.
On behalf of all Iowa Veterans Home residents and staff we thank you for your continued support and wish you, your family, and your community health and peace.
All our best,
Betsy Randall & Kristy Kelley
- Non-food items
- Ball caps
- Hand held games
- Men’s & Women’s body wash
- Puzzles (esp. 200-300 large pieces)
- Art Supplies (paint, model cars, paint by number, leather kits, etc.)
- After shave
- Men’s cologne
- Activity books
- Adult coloring books
- DVDs & CD’s
- Small baggies
- Food Items
- Candy (individually packed)
- Little Debbie/Hostess or store brand snack cakes
- Peanut Butter sandwich crackers & Cheese sandwich crackers
- Party crackers
- Diabetic snacks (almonds, peanuts, beef sticks & cheese sticks)
- Sugar free cookies and snacks
- Single serving bags of chips
- Cans of nuts
- Prepackaged donuts
- Hershey bars
- Reese’s peanut butter cups
- 3 Musketeers
- Peppermint Patties
- Milky Way Midnight
- Mini Muffins
- A friendly reminder that all food donations must have the expiration date visible and be in sealed packages.
The WAVP is open! There has been some changes in procedures to make sure you are protected including cleaning and sanitizing, fewer tables in use for the social distancing guidelines, and more events planned for outdoors and outdoor seating. If you haven’t already, sign up with your email address to receive up-to-date activities and news.
We are asking for suggestions to make our AMVETS website easier to access and information you, as a reader, would like to read. Please contact Mary Steinbach, email@example.com or call 319-230-9318.
Included on the Updated version of the AMVETS website is a tab at the top of the page for Scholarship forms. Currently it includes all the local forms, links to all National scholarship forms, and the Department Ladies Auxiliary form. When forms are available for the Department AMVETS, Sons of AMVETS, and Riders, these will be added to the page.
Included on the Updated version of the website is a tab at the top of the page for Scholarship forms. Currently it includes all the local forms, links to all National scholarship forms, and the Department Ladies Auxiliary form. When forms are available for the Department AMVETS, Sons of AMVETS, and Riders, these will be added to the page.
These forms are downloadable and fillable. This should make it easier for students to access the forms.
All officers of the AMVETS, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of AMVETS, and the WAVP board members are asking for your patience and understanding of the events happening around us at this time. We continue to function as a Veterans Service Organization supporting Veterans and their families. The WAVP will remain closed until the State determines it is safe to do so. As soon as it is possible regular meetings will presume and also the activities at the WAVP. Some current social distancing practices may still be in place. Please continue to support the Thursday food drive up events.
Thank you for your continued support, stay safe, stay strong, and stay healthy.
The WAVP will continue to be closed at this time. No meetings planned for April. There has not been anything added to the calendar for events at this time. If things change, watch for email updates, Facebook updates, or something posted in the paper.
This is a difficult times for everyone, but we will stay strong and stay united.
Please continue to support the AMVETS Steak night, Auxiliary Food night, the WAVP Breakfast and Fish Fry. Other Service organizations support us during these events, so join them at their events.
When you receive the monthly email notification for the newsletter, the entire articles are not included in the email. The messages and the calendar information are too big to send within an email. To view an entire article or to view the calendar you must click on the heading of the article (example: Commanders column) (or on your phone, tap the heading). This will take you to the actual website where you will have a drop down box from the HOME tab for the various articles. You can then read the entire article. There is also a tab on the top to view the calendar. When you hover over a date it will give you more information about a certain event. Also, on the top is a tab for tributes which includes a memorial page for those members we have lost. There is also a tutorial tab that you could read through to give you more information to navigate through the website.
Other helpful tabs include the “links” tab. Check out these links to access helpful information.
If you are still having issues pertaining to the newsletter and the website, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319-230-9318 Mary Steinbach