America’s largest organization of combat veterans has elected a Vietnam War veteran to head the 1.5 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Richard L. DeNoyer, a resident of Middleton, Massachusetts, was elected VFW Commander-in-Chief on September 1, 2011, during the 112th VFW National Convention, held August 27 – September 1, in San Antonio, Texas.
Click here to read DeNoyer’s acceptance speech.
Also elected were John Hamilton, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, of St. Augustine, Florida, and William Thien, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, of Georgetown, Indiana.
Several major measures affecting the operation of the Veterans of Foreign Wars were also approved during the business sesssion. Click here to read a summary by North Carolina VFW Member Ken Sellers. For more information on convention events, visit the VFW.org Summary page.
And finally, watch the slideshow below for some random photos from the convention.
Dear VFW, Ladies Auxiliary and Supporters:
The president this afternoon signed congressional legislation to raise the federal debt limit and reduce government spending. The larger question is now how this all impacts veterans, service members, their families and survivors.
The measure passed by the Senate today and in the House yesterday will raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion. An additional $500 billion could come in the fall, provided two-thirds of Congress approves. The final increase, expected early next year, would provide the Treasury enough borrowing power to pay its bills into 2013.
The deal also calls for sharp cuts in agency spending — about $917 billion over the next decade — starting with a $25 billion reduction in fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, with a second set of reductions coming later this year via a special committee charged with wringing at least $1.2 trillion more over the next decade. If the committee fails to act — or if Congress does not adopt its recommendations by Dec. 23 — government spending would be cut across the board by the same amount, with the reductions split 50:50 between security and non-security programs.
Either way, many DOD and VA programs and services could be negatively impacted, which would counteract everything the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. has worked hard to create over the past 112 years. The VFW and our supporters cannot let this happen.
On the VFW website is a list of 10 services and programs the organization believes are most vulnerable to being cut or curtailed in order to help pay for 10 years of war. The “10 for 10” list will form the basis of VFW’s legislative efforts and calls to action to its membership and grassroots supporters. Now is the time to re-engage with your members of Congress.
Yours in Comradeship,
ROBERT E. WALLACE
VFW Washington Office
In This Issue:
1. VFW Legislative Conference Wrap-up
2. Caregiver Hearing
3. GITMO Trials to Resume
4. VFW Invited to Buckles Funeral
5. Five WWII MIAs Identified
1. VFW Legislative Conference Wrap-up: More than 600 VFW and Ladies Auxiliary members attended the annual VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. Highlights ranged from the selection of Kelsey Woo from California as the 2011 Voice of Democracy winner to presentations from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. James Cartwright, USMC, as well as VFW members meeting with their U.S. representatives and senators. VFW National Commander Richard Eubank hosted 100 wounded warriors and their families to dinner, and met with the Coast Guard Commandant and Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, and with the Marine Corps Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, before testifying Tuesday before a joint hearing of the House and Senate VA Committees. He met with President Obama on Wednesday to discuss issues important to America’s veterans, servicemembers and families.
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For more information, and other video, go to www.vfw.org.
Since 1949, VFW’s annual National Legislative and Youth Scholarship Conference has provided an opportunity for VFW’s Commander-in-Chief and other key leaders to testify on behalf of veterans on Capitol Hill.
Topics covered this year will include: minimizing the VA claims backlog, decreasing veteran unemployment, improving VA health care and many more.
Also at the event, the winners of the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen scholarship contests will be announced. Each national winner will read their winning essay before conference delegates and will then be presented with their winnings.
For the second year in a row, VFW will stream live video from the National Legislative and Youth Scholarship Conference in Washington D.C., March 5-9, on www.vfw.org.
Streaming will begin with the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen Parade of Winners at 6:00 p.m. (EST) on March 6.