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.
Thank you to the ladies preparing and serving our monthly Food Night fundraiser meals. They have been very sucessful, serving both as a sit down meal and for curbside pick-up. We also thank staff members of the WAVP for helping with taking the phone calls and assiting with the curbside meals. Moving forward, we will continue with both the sit down and the curbside pick-up. By calling ahead the day before, it helps with the preparations, cutting down on having leftovers and also to make sure enough food is made.
September is the beginning of our membership drive. Your membership to the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary is important and appreciated, helping us to continue the support to our Service Members, our Community, our Hospitals, and the Youth of our community.
You can now renew your AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary membership for the year 2021. If you have not been a member for a while, would you please think about rejoining? If you know of someone who qualifies please get them an application and have them get it to me. Many of the VSOs are aging and the younger Vets and their families are not becoming involved. Just think about where we would be if the VSOs weren’t lobbying in Congress to protect the benefits of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our Country. Think about the younger Vets not having Military Rites because there are no longer VSOs available to perform the service. Think about the VSOs and the work they do within the community, schools, and hospitals.
Think about renewing your membership.
AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post #79 dues are just $25.00 per year. WAVP has many events to enjoy. If you have not checked it out, please do so.
If you are interested in joining or rejoining you may send your $25.00 due to:
- Mary Steinbach
- 901 7th Ave. NW
- Waverly, Iowa 50677
- Mary Steinbach, 1st Vice President, membership chair
- AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post #79
It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the bravery of America’s heroes in the midst of this pandemic. They’re all around us, but what can we do while we’re stuck at home?
Perhaps you have a child, family member or friend serving on the front lines of the battle against coronavirus. We want to honor their service, and help you find ways to pray for them.
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)
Hear our prayers. By your healing power, grant them quick minds and skillful hands. Strengthen them in times of trauma. In quiet times, give them rest and assurance of the value of their work. Keep them ever prepared for the work you have called them to do, for your mercy’s sake.
Give us, we pray, grateful hearts for the courageous willingness of our neighbors to enter into danger on our behalf. In your mercy, bind up the injured, and replenish the spirits of those wounded in body or soul. Help us to honor and serve those who have served in our name.
All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
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.
Scholarship winner, Rachel Jebe and her family attended the July meeting where she was
presented with her $500.00 award. Rachel will be attending the University of Iowa in
the fall where she will be majoring in actuarial science and minoring in accounting. Her
AMVETS connecting is her grandfather, James Jebe. The other Scholarship winner, Gentry Eick was unable to attend the meeting.
Membership Chair Mary Steinbach had nothing new to report, but encouraged everyone promote the Auxiliary and recruit new members.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have been unable to volunteer at the Iowa Veterans’
Home. The IVH regularly posts a want/need list on their Facebook page. It was
suggested that you could purchase these items from the Marshalltown HyVee online
and have them delivered to the Veterans’ Home if you’d like to donate. Mary is going to
look into whether or not Walmart provides a similar delivery service. Please view “Latest News” to see a message from Betsy Randall from Volunteer Services at Iowa Veterans Home concerning their updates and a list of items needed at the home.
Chaplain, Nancy Edwards reported that sympathy cards were sent to the Eavon Woodin
for the loss of her son, Curt and Sandy Lahr for the loss of her father, Kenny Miller.
Donations were made to the Department scholarship fund their memories. A get well
soon card was sent to Jean Lanske who fell and hurt her back.
Thank you to the members volunteering for the Food Night in July, preparing and serving the food. The menu was barbecue beef sandwiches, homemade chips, pasta salad, and brownies. The meal was available both for carryout and dine in.
The menu for the August 27, food night will be meatloaf, baked potatoes, cucumber salad,
and dessert. We will be raising the cost of the meals to $9.00. With the rising cost of meat and other food items, we feel this necessary. This is still a wonderful value for a “Home Cooked” meal, and a wonderful night to spend with your friends a the WAVP. The menu for the September 24, food night will be grilled hamburgers,
potato salad, cucumber salad, and a dessert.
There will be no meeting in August.
A BIG thank you those that are still contributing to the Sons can collection box and following the New Guild-lines for the donations. Please be mindful of the glass beer bottles by not dropping them into the box. It is OK to place them, in their original containers, next to the bin so that they do not break.
Your continues support is always appreciated so we can continue to provide scholarships and make our donations back to the WAVP. One project that has been discussed is the improvement to the dock area. If you would like to learn more or have questions, consider attending the Sons Meeting.
John Mohlis-Sons of AMVETS Commander
In tough times, the best way to overcome hardship is to lean on all of your loved ones — but the novel coronavirus pandemic has made that quite (literally!) impossible to do. Some may be quarantining in homes and apartments all alone, away from family members, friends, or colleagues or classmates, and social distancing efforts means you probably won’t be able to do all the things you normally do together. Regardless of how many people you live with or how many times you’ve been able to safely see loved ones, the quarantine lifestyle that’s necessary to keep COVID-19 at bay is far from easy.
Why not heed words of advice from those who have overcome all the issues we’re experiencing now? Take stock of the moment to remind yourself that the pandemic will come to an end one day, and find motivation to empower yourself to get through the situation as best as you can.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know.” — A.A. Milne