Tag Archives: AMVETS Auxiliary post 79

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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

 Sarah Maples 

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.

Latest News – October 15, 2015

Latest News/Table Talk                               15 October 2015

From: AMVETS Post 79 Commander – Ted Lanske

Why the change from “Social Member”?

First please read the following from the Internal Revenue Code 170(c)(3) regarding Veterans Organizations operating under the 501 (c)(19), which is the VFW, AMVETS, Legion, MCL and WAVP at present.

  1. To meet the membership requirement, at least 90% of the members must be war veterans. In addition, substantially all the other members must be either veterans (but, not war veterans), or cadets, spouses, widows, or widowers of war veterans, veterans or cadets. For the purpose of the 90% test, war veterans may include members of expeditionary forces who actually served in combat situations in foreign countries between the periods of war as defined below.A war veteran is defined as anyone who served in any capacity during WWII, Korean or Vietnam conflicts, Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns and continues through the present.

There is more to this, but simply put; for our Veteran Organizations to maintain their status of an income tax deduction for contributions to a post of “war veterans”, no social members are allowed.

Question:  Why did we have social members in the past?  Ans – Truthfully, if there were social members, the IRS laws were being broke.

Question:  Why the sudden worry or change now?  Ans – 1. Our National Offices have let it be known, that we will abide by the IRS rules.  2.  After 9-11 and the patriotic fever that hit the US, many new “veterans groups” started or attempted to start using the 501 (c)(19) and were not even close to meeting the requirements.  This brought the attention of the IRS and now they are monitoring all Veterans Groups closer than ever before.

Question:  What’s the answer?  Ans – What is being proposed for this year; is that you will be an Annual Patriot Supporter for 2016 with a donation of $35.00.  Since it is a donation, it is tax deductable and you will receive a card noting that you are a supporter.

Question:  What does that get me?  Ans – Since our liquor license is for an open bar or club, you will be allowed the same privileges as before, except you cannot have a voice or vote regarding Veteran activities.

That being said; know that many of us want your input and comments.  Some of our best supporters and contributors have been non-veterans and that is greatly appreciated and is not taken for granted.  We are trying our best to meet the IRS requirements and also maintain a way to show our gratitude.  There easily could be some changes in the future, but some sort of action was needed now.

As an Annual Patriot Supporter of the WAVP, you will be asked for one (1) $35.00 donation for 2016.  This annual donation allows you to attend the membership dinners if invited, the open activities listed on the calendar, our Canteen and no further charges except those posted for Thursday meals, steaks or activities that are also charged to VSO members.

You will not be listed under any Veterans Service Organization, e.g.  AMVETS, but will be under the WAVP.  Again, the previous “social” members have been an important component of our organizations; this is simply a legal way for them to continue their support.  Thanks!


WAVP update:

As of Friday, October 16, 2015, the plumbing, electrical, and any other utilities have been installed on the lower level.  Baker is now back on site, backfilling and making preparations for adding rock and bringing everything to grade.  When setup is complete, the lower level concrete will be poured.  Peter’s Construction was on site and framing steel work is being delivered.  All I can say is; “Things are moving forward”.

C44.

C42.C50.