American Legion Auxiliary — February 2013
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It’s All Good

GOOD NEWS. GOOD WORKS. GOODWILL.

“We stand on the shoulders of all women who have served in America’s military. They changed the military and changed life in America for women because they stepped out and did things women hadn’t done before.”

— Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught (Ret.), USAF

In 2008, President George W. Bush issued Presidential Proclamation 8225 declaring March as Women’s History Month. In his proclamation, the President stated, “Women’s History Month provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the myriad contributions and achievements of American women – from the millions of unsung heroines who have strengthened our nation through their homes, families, and communities to the many celebrated women who have enjoyed more widespread recognition and fame. While this occasion helps to bring honor where it is due, we must nevertheless resist the notion that ‘women’s history’ is somehow separate from the rest of history. In fact, they are thoroughly entwined.” During the month of March, we especially honor the women who have bravely served in America’s military.

Tell 3 Women — Pay Forward the Legacy is the latest initiative by the Women in Military for America Memorial Foundation to help the nation’s 2.5 million women veterans take their rightful place in history. The campaign asks each of us to embrace women’s rich legacy of service and to cultivate and pass it forward by introducing three women veterans to the memorial and encouraging them to register. The Foundation’s annual goal is 10,000 registrations per year.

This summer, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act as being unconstitutional, the Department of Defense (DoD) promised to set up a website listing the heroes who have been awarded our country’s most valorous and prestigious medals. The DoD kept its promise, and even though it is still under construction with names being added, the site is up and running. You can find it at http://valor.defense.gov.

Green bows will be attached to 1 in 6 trees at Air Force bases across the country this April to raise awareness of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), symbolizing the 1 in 6 women who are victims of sexual assault in the United States. SAAM helps to raise awareness of sexual assault crimes across the Department of Defense.

Cheri Fuller is an award-winning author of 42 books whose passion is to encourage women and inspire people of all ages to connect with God in their busy lives and impact their world through prayer. As a mom whose son has served in the combat zone, Fuller said she finds praying God’s Word releases the Lord’s power, protection, and presence in his life, especially if he is in harm’s way. Fuller wrote Prayers for our Military and Their Families, offering a number of prayers that you can pray for your loved one and others serving in our military, including the following:

Protection: Thank You, Lord, for the courage and selfless service of our military troops. May my loved one and all who serve around the world turn to You for rest and protection. Keep them safe from all hidden dangers and deadly diseases. Keep their feet from slipping, and hold them securely in Your strong right hand until they are safely home.

Mercy: Faithful father, Your mercy and compassion never fails; they are new every morning. May my loved one and all our troops freshly experience Your mercy as they get up each morning.

Good commanders: May the military commanders in the field submit themselves to Your leadership. May they be dedicated to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the troops assigned to them.

Provision for children: Father of the fatherless, fill the gaps of love that the children of our servicemen and women miss from their parents today because they are absent or deployed. May these children sense Your everlasting love for them.

Visit www.cherifuller.com to order Fuller’s book and learn more about her son, Lt. Christopher Fuller, a battalion surgeon serving in the U.S. Marines.

GOOD TO GIVE

WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY

A gift to the American Legion Auxiliary in your will or trust expresses your everlasting faith in our mission of serving veterans, the military, and their families by funding mission-driven programs for years to come. A bequest:

• is easy to arrange

• will not alter your current lifestyle in any way

• can be easily modified to address your changing needs

To find out more, contact the American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters at 317-569-4500 or www.ALAforVeterans.org.

NEW GUIDE DEMYSTIFIES PLANNED GIVING — IT’S NOT JUST FOR THE RICH

Most Americans want to leave some kind of lasting legacy – they want to make a difference. A tax-beneficial gift supports the American Legion Auxiliary’s mission work for veterans, the military, and their families for generations to come. Planned giving simply involves balancing your personal financial goals and your charitable intentions in your important life and financial documents. The American Legion Auxiliary’s new Planned Giving Guide helps you understand how planned gifts of any size let you show compassion for our veterans in a deeply meaningful and rewarding way. Anyone can be a philanthropist. The guide explains why a will is important, ways to give (i.e., wills, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and more), and how other ALA members are using planned giving as a way to leave a legacy of support for our veterans. Call National Headquarters at 317-569-4500 to discuss planned giving, or download a free copy of the Planned Giving Guide at www.ALAforVeterans.org.

FEDERAL PROGRAM HELPS OUR TROOPS TRANSITION HOME

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) was created to help troops transition from military to civilian life. Whether a servicemember retires after 20 years of service or one tour of duty, the program offers job-search assistance and related services.

Recently, this program has been getting more attention due to the large number of unemployed and/or homeless veterans. A federal mandate states that “in the case of a separation other than a retirement, preparation counseling shall commence as soon as possible during the 12-month period preceding the anticipated date.” Not only is it a military regulation to get preparation counseling, it’s the law.

So, why aren’t all transitioning troops attending? In some cases, outprocessing servicemembers are looked at as “temporary” and used to accomplish miscellaneous duties. Sometimes, troops simply aren’t given the time required until the last minute. Some may simply ignore the requirement and choose not to attend.

What can Auxiliary members do to help? When working with veterans and their families at VA hospitals or welcome- home events, encourage them to attend TAP events so they can prepare for outprocessing as a family. Most troops leaving the service have more work and life experience than their civilian peers. We owe it to our troops, who have selflessly served our country, to make sure they can transfer those skills to gainful careers after they leave the service.

THE ABCs OF MILITARY ACRONYMS

All Auxiliary members have a relative who served in the armed forces, so understanding the military acronyms at Legion posts and VA hospitals should be easy, right? No way! The list of acronyms is exhausting, and to make things even more confusing, some acronyms differ between military branches, or several have the same spelling but different meanings. To help you learn the lingo, the Department of Defense (DoD) has assembled a 695-page downloadable dictionary of common military words and definitions, as well as a full list of military acronyms and their meanings. Test your knowledge of selected acronyms starting with the first three letters of the alphabet, then download the entire book to become a military acronym aficionado.

AAAS Amphibious aviation assault ship
ACIC Army Counterintelligence Center
ADAM Air defense airspace management
AFME Armed Forces medical examiner
ALCS Airlift control squadron
APO Air Force or Army post office
AT/FT Antiterrorism/force protection
AWOL Absent without leave
BAH Basic allowance for housing
BHR Bureau of Humanitarian Response
BI Battlefield injury
BOSS Base operating support service
BSSG Brigade service support group
BW Biological warfare
BZ Buffer zone
C2 Command and control
CAB Combat aviation brigade
CAP Combat air patrol, consolidated appeals process
CBTZ Combat zone
CCD Camouflage, concealment, and deception
CHB Cargo handling battalion
CICA Counterintelligence coordinating authority
C-IED Counter-improvised explosive device

AUXILIARY SCHOLARSHIP FUND SUPPORTS CHILDREN OF WARRIORS

Every year, 15 outstanding students from around the United States are awarded thousands of dollars in scholarship money from the American Legion Auxiliary. With your support, we can continue honoring the children of those who served with the Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship and show that we, as a nation, care. The 2013 American Legion Auxiliary Parade of Checks will honor those sacrifices with donations benefiting the Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship fund, which National President Peggy Thomas has chosen for her president’s project with a goal of raising $30,000. The parade of checks will take place Feb. 25 at the ALA Washington DC Conference. Checks must be made payable to the American Legion Auxiliary and brought to the Washington DC Conference, where they will be collected at the conference registration desk. If you plan to participate in the Parade of Checks, contact development@ALAforVeterans.org no later than Feb. 11 and include the department/unit/individual’s name, check amount, presenter’s name, and email address.

GOOD THOUGHTS FROM ALA MEMBERS

We asked American Legion Auxiliary members, as they reflect on those they love and those they have lost, which veteran, servicemember, or military family is on their mind today?

MY DAD, HUSBAND, NIECES, AND NEPHEWS “My dad, Grover, who served in WWII, my husband, Jim, who served in both the Air Force and Ohio Army National Guard, and my two nieces and two nephews who are on active duty. Thank you all for your service!”

— Judith Farrar, Unit 66, Indiana

JOSHUA, THE SERVICEMAN I ADOPTED

“I am thinking of Joshua, the serviceman I ‘adopted.’ He has been silent for a while, and I am asking for prayers for his safety. And I am thinking of all of us, who, in our own small way, are trying to make a veteran’s life a little easier. Let’s remember each other in our prayers.”

— Laura Spicer, Unit 382, Michigan

PARENTS WHO INSPIRED LOVE FOR VETERANS

“My dad, Bob, and my mom, Jo Ellen. I thank them for inspiring my love for our veterans, our military families, and the American Legion Auxiliary. I miss them dearly.”

— Kimberley Palasota, Unit 618, Texas

ALL THOSE WHO HAVE EVER SERVED

“Thanks to all veterans who have ever served, as well as their families. My family goes back to the signing of the Declaration, so my list is a long one. Most recent are my dad (WWII), Uncle Fred (Korean War), Sister Louise (Vietnam War), and Brother Kevin (Vietnam War). Love all our vets!”

— Kathee Coughlin, Unit 84, Florida

ALL OF OUR VETERANS

“I am proud of all of our veterans. We are lucky to still have several family members with us, but a few we have lost close to our family are Kenneth (grandpa), Lawrence (close friend), Howard (close friend), and Jim (close friend). Thank you to all who have served and who were not able to be home over the holiday season.”

— Kimberly Jane Goings, Unit 187, Minnesota

GOOD WORKS BY ALA MEMBERS

Since the Vietnam Conflict, Auxiliary Unit 82 of Gorham, N.H., has sent boxes overseas to active-duty servicemen and women. Every year, the requests are different. This year’s boxes included colored chalk to mark mines, handwarmers, safety glasses, and gloves. Pictured are Unit 82 members and two Legionnaires on packing day.

More than eight years ago, Post/Unit 66 members Nicholas and Ruth Zinqurelli in Avondale Estates, Ga., began having veterans from the VA hospital in Decatur come to the post for a Thanksgiving lunch. Today, Ruth walks in the path of her now-deceased husband and continues to carry on this tradition for local veterans in conjunction with the VA hospital. “Not many people are aware of her longtime service and dedication to our post,” said Audrey Hogg, fellow Unit 66 member.

As part of its National Security 2012 project, members of Ole Semling Unit 135 in McVille, N.D., were asked to knit or crochet caps and scarves to be distributed to homeless veterans by Christmas. At the unit’s meeting in September, they discovered that due to many circumstances, only three women did all the knitting, including a nonmember who used her own yarn. Unit 135 members provided additional yarn used to knit 17 caps and 32 scarves which were delivered to the Gladys Ray Shelter/Veterans Drop-in Center in Fargo before Christmas. An estimated 186 hours and $200 went into the project, said Unit 135 member Judy Johnson.

D.J. Martin Unit 8 (Wisconsin) members held a party for the Legion veterans of Post 8 on Veterans Day with food and entertainment. For a festive mood, the women made funny hats out of poppies. Pictured are Unit 8 members Sandra Hase (left) and Jeanne Kramp.

Women Veterans Stand Down

Eau Claire Unit 53 in Wisconsin held a special holiday stand down event in December for women veterans. Exhibitors gave haircuts, blood pressure checks, and other services to women veterans who live in the Chippewa Valley. “There’s a huge need for women at risk who have served in the military,” said Jane Dale, Unit 53 treasurer, to a Wisconsin TV station. “They come back, and women typically do not like to ask for help. So we’re looking for the ladies and hoping they’ll let us help them. We want to share what we have and thank them for their service.” Members also offered free clothing, bedding, books, and games for women veterans in need and for their children.

Unit 298 of Mifflintown, Pa., sponsored a “First Baby Born on/around Veterans Day” program at the Lewistown Hospital. Members filled a basket with various patriotic items for the newborn. Many items were handcrafted – including an airbrushed onesie to commemorate the special event. Baby Levi was born Nov. 13 to proud parents Donald and Tammy. Of note: Tammy was born on Veterans Day, and Donald is a veteran of the Marine Corps, having served six years.
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