VA suicide hotline still plagued with problems, IG finds

Despite change in leadership and promises to address ongoing problems with its veteran suicide line, nearly 30 percent of calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs were redirected to outside emergency centers, according to an inspector general report released Monday.

“We found that [Veterans Crisis Line] staff did not respond adequately to a veteran’s urgent needs during multiple calls to the VCL and its backup call centers,” the report said.

Full Story CLICK HERE

USAF Lt. Col. Christine Mau Is The First Woman to Fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This Is Why It Does, And Doesn’t Matter.

It was May 7, 2015. Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. In a (today) seemingly minor event in aviation history deputy-commander of the U.S. Air Force 33rd Fighter Wing Operations Group, Lt. Col. Christine Mau, became the first female ever to fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The event marked several ongoing milestones, the first woman to fly an F-35 anywhere in the world, but also the increasing integration of female combat pilots into the most advanced flight operations in the world.

 

 

Full Story CLICK HERE

VFW Website Solution Program

 

The VFW Website Solution program is geared to assist Posts and Departments in establishing a viable, easy-to-manage website. Working in conjunction with its developers, Drivepath and Pixelbit, this template-based platform offers Posts and Departments an affordable opportunity to stake their claim of the web, making pertinent information easily accessible to members, as well as the public. Further, the website templates being offered adopt a consistent look and feel, working to reinforce the official VFW brand and messaging.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this new program is, through Operation Uplink, the VFW is offering your Posts and Departments grants to cover the first year of service! However, this grant is limited to the first 53 Departments and 4,000 Posts to apply. The grant will cover the cost of domain management, development, integration and hosting for the first year. Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the Posts and Departments to fund the annual domain management and hosting fee of $360. That’s less than $1 per day!

These websites boast many manager-friendly functions, and feature an “integration” component which allows the national website, and Department and Post websites to share information, both manually and automatically. This includes a system which allows the Posts to efficiently submit reports directly to the Department. And Drivepath and Pixelbit offer each Post and Department ongoing support with each website. 

Steps to take for new VFW Website Solution Program

• Any Department and Post needs to have a membership vote to accept the new VFW Website Solution Program for a new website
• Apply for a grant for the first year’s costs paid by VFW National ($360.00)
• After the first year, there is a yearly cost of $360.00. This yearly cost can be paid for by obtaining local advertisers.

Apply for the grant. CLICK HERE (Please allow up to two weeks for processing. You’ll be notified by email once your application has been approved.)

2. Once the grant has been approved, then national headquarters will provide Pixelbit with the point of contact you’ve provided.

3. Within two weeks, Dave Strange of Pixelbit will contact you for a consultation. 

4. Your website will officially launch no more than two weeks following your consultation.

5. Start managing your online presence and communicating with the masses!

If you have any questions regarding the website platform and it’s capabilities, please contact Dave Strange at dstrange@pixel-bit.com.

Please note: 

While Operation Uplink grants are not available to Districts at this time, any District wishing to utilize the Pixelbit/Drivepath platform should contact Dave Strange at dstrange@pixel-bit.com

 

Demo of the VFW Website Solution Program

New Website Demo CLICK HERE

Post website templates CLICK HERE

Additional Materials (click on links below)

VFW Website Solutions Brochure

VFW Website Solution Program-Frequently Asked Questions

 

Prisons Experiment with Cell Blocks for Military Veterans

When Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple decided to create a cell block for military veterans in his upstate New York facility, he encountered resistance from his own staff.

The jail superintendent was skeptical, and the correction officers weren’t keen on the idea of inmates getting special treatment and extra services.

But more than two years later, the “veteran pod” is an unqualified success in the sheriff’s eyes. Of the 195 veterans who have been released into the public, only 10 have returned — while almost half the general population winds up behind bars again, he said.

Full Story CLICK HERE

US soldiers getting credentials for their specialties to help with civilian job hunt

The U.S. Army is boosting efforts to help soldiers succeed in civilian life by giving them more tools and qualifications to find work after military service.

Acting Army Secretary Robert Speer plans to give a directive in the near future that will broaden a transition program to include credentialing soldiers in areas ranging from truck driving and mechanics to information technology, according to Military.com.

Full Story CLICK HERE 

VFW Department Membership – We are in a tie for 6th place Nationally!

 

We are in a tie for 6th place Nationally!

Still second in our conference as Minnesota is still ahead of us.  BUT – we are making a difference!

Department Current Prior %
Montana 6985 7194 97.09 %
Alaska 7021 7396 94.92 %
Pacific Areas 10944 11623 94.15 %
Minnesota 38632 41228 93.70 %
Kansas 19312 20803 92.83 %
North Dakota 6474 6982 92.72 %
Nebraska 15362 16568 92.72 %
California 73990 79819 92.69 %

Omaha Natl’l Vets Cemetery Carillon Project

Omaha National Cemetery

144th Street and Schram Road, south of Interstate 80 in western Sarpy County. At least 170,000 veterans live within a 75-mile radius of any cemetery. The Omaha National Cemetery is open to Veteran burials now.

Any veteran who left the service with anything other than a dishonorable discharge is eligible for a burial plot, opening and closing of the grave, a marker and permanent, professional care, Van Bibber said. Spouses are eligible for free burial, too, as are minor and adult children who become permanently disabled before age 23.

Spaces cannot be reserved in a national cemetery. Van Bibber said plots are provided as they are available, though spouses will be buried together.

Burials may be scheduled through the VA’s national call center in St. Louis (800-535-1117). A DD214 military discharge certificate is required, but Van Bibber said the VA will help to obtain one for veterans or their family members who don’t have one.

AMVETS Nebraska is raising money to construct a Carillon at the Omaha National Veteran’s cemetery.: A  Carillon is a musical instrument that is typically housed in the bell tower (belfry) of a cemetery bell tower . The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. 

AMVETS Nebraska is working to obtain $60,000.00 for construction of the Carillon at the Omaha National Veteran’s cemetery. This Carillon at the Omaha National Veteran’s cemetery Will honor Veterans for centuries. AMVETS Nebraska need your personal donations and corporate donations to make this Carillon at the Omaha National Veteran’s cemetery a reality.

Donate today CLICK HERE

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