AMERICAN LEGION POST 397

of Creve Coeur, Missouri, 63141

IN Saint Louis County

JANUARY 2018

 ACTIVITIES AND CURRENT EVENTS OF POST 397

OUR MONTHLY MEETINGS ARE FIRST THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH AT 7:00pm

NEW MENU::  HOT DOGS, BRATS & TJ PIZZAS AVAILABLE AT BAR EVENINGS & SATURDAYS!

WINGS NITE EVERY THURSDAY!


CALENDAR PAGE for 2018(click here)

VIEW OUR CHILDRENS PARTY PHOTOS HERE (CLICK HERE!)


CLICK HERE FOR AMERICAN LEGION MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM


  JANUARY 2018 
1   NEW YEARS DAY
4   LEGION MEETING, 7:00PM
5   FISH FRY
7   REMOVE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
8   AUXILIARY MEETING, 7:30PM
9   QUILTING 
14  ORATORICAL CONTEST, 1:00PM
19  FISH FRY
24  QUILTING
29  RIDERS AND SAL MEETINGS, 6PM AND 7PM
30  HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETING

FEBRUARY 2018
1    LEGION MEETING, 7:00PM
2    FISH FRY
7    QUILTING
10  G. I. JOE BREAKFAST/BRUNCH
12  AUXILIARY MEETING, 7:30PM
16  FISH FRY
21  QUILTING
26  RIDERS AND SAL MEETINGS
27  HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETING


   CHICKEN WINGS AT THE POST ON THURSDAY EVENINGS. 


 POST COMMANDER  ERIC LOWING

POST 397 OFFICERS for 2018
Commander Eric Lowing Asst. Finance Gary Biehl
1st Vice Cdr Charles Martinez Chaplain Scott Owen
Asst 1st Vice Cdr Ben Hunter Judge Advocate John Birkby
2nd Vice Frader Smith Service Off. Ed Kieffer
Asst 2nd Vice Chuck Martinez Asst. Svc Off Rich Hackenberger
Adjutant Arder Jordan Sgt at Arms Mim Goree
Asst Adj Rick McGee Asst Sgt at Arms Mario
Finance Off. Al Katzenberger Historian Les Dennis
Delegate Eric Lowing Delegate Arder Jordan
Delegate Rich Hackenberger Delegate Norm Gentry
Delegate John Chapman Delegate Robert Mort
Alt. Delegate Rick McGee Alt. Delegate Charles Martinez
Exec. Comm. Victor Hezel Exec. Comm Robert Mort

NEW HOUSE COMMITTEE MEMBERS FOR 2018: John Birkby, Frazer Smith, Chuck Martinez, Gary Biel and Randy English.


WEBSITE ADVISORS Lester Dennis & Ben Hunter
FACEBOOK ADVISOR: Warren Martin

 COMMANDER'S CORNER:  
On behalf of all Post Officers and Members, I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! We have some very positive things in the making for the upcoming New Year; you will start to notice some changes and improvements for the Post and Post Family. I am looking forward to a wonderful New Year and the continued success of Post 397. Eric Lowing Commander Visit our website: www.legionpost397.org Visit us on Facebook: American Legion Post 397 (Creve Coeur MO) POST TELEPHONE #: 314.872.3186

 


FISH FRY Friday Night Fish Fry will resume the 3rd week in January, the first being January 19th, 2018 and will continue to be on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month until the Lenten Season, which will then go to every Friday. We are looking for volunteers for both fish fry crews! Please contact SAL Commander - Rick McGee, Post Commander Eric Lowing, or Marc Knapp to sign up! You do not have to be a Post Member to volunteer! Please spread the word for anyone looking for volunteer opportunities.

SONS OF AMERICAN LEGION SAL will be hosting the Annual New Years Eve Party! We will be providing the main dish, so please bring your favorite side dish to share! Doors open at 6:00pm and we will have music, karaoke, and fun! Looking forward to a great turn out!


Our Miss Poppy for the 2017-2018 year is Amanda King; she was introduced by Poppy Chairman
Margie Ross. She is the daughter of Niki King and the granddaughter of Vivian Sanders.


 POST TELEPHONE #: 314.872.3186 
 Newsletters are available electronically. 

 Commander Eric Lowing


  NEW MEMBERS:

September New Member: Troy Rimmer, Navy, Viet Nam Vet.  September New Transfer Members:  Members not Shown:  Berry G. Herring, William E. Siffors and Walter 

New members Marian Landis (Navy) and Virgil Lucas (Air Force) at our July meeting.  Other new members not shown here are: Kenneth E Patterson, Richard Biermann and Kim Price.
 


VISITORS:

 Scott beaty talked to us about Visions for Vets. This is about a great way that our injured veterans are being helped through art. Veterans learn to paint, draw, sculpture, and do wood carving. They learn much about themselves and their problems from these activities. Check out VisionsforVets.com for more information.


New Planter for our yard presented by Juan Castro and Al Katzenberger in honor of Knights of Rizal which is a Phillipine military organization.  Our members here are members of this organization.

 

 BAR AND GRILL: 
The Posts Grill is open Monday to Friday for breakfast from 8-10:00 AM and lunch, 11:00AM to 2:00PM. Soups, sandwiches, hand-made hamburgers, salads and much more are available. DANOS and TJ Pizzas are also available for purchase in the afternoon, nights and weekends.
 Taco Tuesdays from 5:00 8:00 PM (or until we run out of tacos!). There are 3 different types of tacos: beef, chicken or pork. We are also offering Taco Salads.
Thanks to all those that volunteer their time to prepare and serve the food!

TACO TUESDAY Taco Tuesdays from 5:00 8:00 PM (or until we run out of tacos!). There are 3 different types of tacos: beef, chicken or pork. We are also offering Taco Salads. Thanks to all those that volunteer their time to prepare and serve the food!

WING DING THURSDAY The SAL conducts its Wing Ding every Thursday night from 5:00-8:00PM. We will be adding new spring and summers wing flavors. Enjoy the best wings in town!

 MEMBERSHIP:National dues have been increased by $5.00 effective 1/1/2016.  Renewals may be made online through the American website (www.mylegion.org), at the Post meeting, or mailed to the Post at P.O. Box 410424, Creve Coeur, MO 63141.

PULL TABS have returned. Play the new games in our "Entertainment Cubby"!

POST COLOR GUARD HELP:
Commander John Chapman has asked for members to join our Color Guard.  We do not have enough members to fill our ranks.  The job involves participating in parades and funeral events.  The Sgt-at-Arms could use help in posting the colors on holidays for our Post.  We place several flags at the entrance to the building on all holidays.  Call CDR. John Chapman if you can help.  636-230-9257.

Veterans can apply for VA health care at any time by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387)

FLY YOUR FLAG: 
If you do not fly your flag daily, be sure to fly it on May 7 (VE Day), May 8 (Mother's Day), May 21 (Armed Forces Day), July 4 (INDEPENDENCE DAY), Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and May 30 (Memorial Day).  The Flag is half-staffed on Memorial Day from sunrise until noon.  It is displayed at full-staff from noon until Sunset.

 ERIC LOWING: Commander              Artie Jordan:  Adjutant       Asst. Adjutant: Richard McGee
**************************************

ITEMS OF LASTING INTEREST

G.I BILL:   
Use Your GI Bill 2.0 Benefits in 2012 Now is the time to take the first step towards advancing your career in
2012. The job market today is very competitive; a college degree may improve your chances.
Find out if you qualify for these enhanced benefits: 
 -Increased payment rates, as high as $1,473 per month
 -Housing Stipend for online and on-campus students
 -Up to $1,000 per year for books
 -Support for on-the-job apprenticeship programs  (non-degree training
programs)
 Start Now- Request Information from Schools with VA Approved Programs to
find out what the GI Bill can do for you.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This tool does not contain all schools offering VA-approved
programs. GI Bill eligibility depends on individual circumstances. Confirm
with schools whether programs and policies meet your specific requirements.

MILITARY CEREMONIES OR HONORS AT FUNERALS:
Make sure your family members know your desires and where your DD-214 form is located.  Whether it be a 10th District Guard of Honor service that takes place the night before at the Funeral home &/or Military Honors which takc place at the grave site.  These are two different services but you can have one or both.  The family must let the Funeral Director know your wishes.  Only the funeral director can arrange these ceremonies.

ON-LINE DD-214 APPLICATIONS:
The National Personnel Records Center has provided the following web site for veterans to gain access to their DD-214 online.  http://vetrecs.archives.gov/

LETS BE CORRECT ON FLAG ETIQUETTE Check with our website page on FlagPage etiquette.  

AMERICAN LEGION DEPARTMENT OF MISSOURI SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
For more information on this view our Scholarship page

USPS DISCOUNTS 'CARE PACKAGES'
The U.S. Postal Service has lowered the price for delivering its popular "care package" boxes to deployed service members.  Beginning March 3, the price for sending a 12 by 12 by 5 1/2 inch priority mail large flat-rate box to APO or FPO addresses will be $10.95, two dollars less than the regular rate.  The new boxes will be available in post stateside offices on March 3.  Anyone wishing to get a head start can order them as of Feb. 20 on the www.usps.com/supplies site or by calling 800-610-8734.

HOUSING GRANT BENEFIT FOR INJURED SERVICE MEMBERS EXPANDED
Service members who are seriously injured or disabled can now receive special adaptive housing grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs, which range from $10,000 to $50,000, as many as three times  as long as the total grant
money they receive is within limits specified by law. Previously, veterans could only use the grants once. "This change ensures that every eligible veteran and service member has the chance to use the maximum amount afforded to them by
our grateful nation," says VA Secretary Dr. James B. Peake. More than 16,000 veterans will soon receive letters from the VA notifying them of their eligibility for the expanded benefit. VA has averaged about 1,000 adaptive housing grant applications per year during the past 10 years. Since the program began in 1948, it has provided more than $650 million in grants to about 34,000 seriously disabled veterans. For eligibility requirements and other information, contact the VA at (800) 827-1000 or at www.home loans.va.gov/sah.htm on the Web. Local chapters of veterans' service organizations can also provide details. 
 

VA Advises on Aid and Attendance Benefit
The Department of Veterans Affairs is notifying wartime veterans and surviving spouses of deceased wartime veterans about an under-used, special monthly pension benefit called Aid and Attendance. The Aid and Attendance pension may be
available to veterans and surviving spouses who have in-home care or who live in nursing-homes or assisted-living facilities. Many elderly veterans and surviving spouses whose incomes are above the congressionally mandated legal limit for a VA pension may still be eligible for Aid and Attendance if they have large medical expenses, which can include nursing home expenses, for which they do not receive reimbursement. To qualify, claimants must be incapable of self support and in need of regular personal assistance. For more information, call 1-800-827-1000, or visit www.va.gov or any local veterans service
organization. Applications may be submitted on-line at www.vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp.
 

VA LAUNCHES ON LINE PRESCRIPTION REFILLS: The Department of Veterans Affairs has added online prescription refill service to its My HealthVet (MHV) web site at https://www.myhealth.va.gov. To use Online Refill, VA patients must have prescriptions written by VA doctors that have been filled at least once at a VA pharmacy, and need to register for an MHV account. Register by clicking on “Register Now” at the MHV web site. Once registered, log in and click on “My Care.” Then under “My Prescriptions,” either click on “View Prescription History” or “Refill Prescriptions.”

PRESCRIPTION SCAM SURFACES:  The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that the "Patient Care Group" is conducting a scam operation against veterans who receive VA prescriptions. Callers claiming to be representatives of this group tell veterans that their prescriptions are being administered by the company. They then ask for credit card information so that the veterans can continue to receive their medications. VA officials said that the department has made no change to its prescription system, and that veterans should not provide any information to callers from this group.

DEFENSE BUDGET TARGETS YOUNG RETIREES: The DOD budget released Feb. 6 includes a previously disclosed plan to increase Tricare costs for military retirees younger than age 65 and their families.  Fees for health benefits would triple over three years for officers and double for enlisted.  According to Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., asst. secretary of Defense for health affairs, the changes will not modify the benefits beneficiaries receive.  The DODs only motivation is to ensure health benefits are maintained at current levels.  The proposed changes will save billions of dollars over the years and will allow the department to sustain the best health system in the country he declared..  He said the "leadership" is in agreement that the plan is "appropriate, prudent, fair, equitable and necessary."  Many veterans' organizations vehemently disagree and are lobbying Congress to reject the plan. 

NEW VA ID CARD:  Because identity theft is the major fraud reported by Americans in 2003, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs has designated a new identity card for veterans that will safeguard confidential information.  The card will have the vets photo on the front and identify them as enrollees in the VA health care system.  The card should be requested from the local medical center.  Existing cards are valid until a new card is issued. 

LAW HELPS TROOPS DEAL WITH CREDITORS:  All service members are protected under the Service members Civil Relief Act.  There have been reports of military members having their homes repossessed.  This type of activity is illegal and should be reported to their local military legal assistance officers for assistance in enforcing their rights.

VETERANS EMPLOYMENT: Need a Job? or assistance in getting a job?
Contact: Jeffery G. Fink, Veterans Representative, Division of Work Force Development, Missouri Career Center, 2780 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63314. Telephone (314)877-2748 or Email jfink@east.wfd.state.mo.us

TAX CREDITS FOR TROOPS:  Troops deployed to combat zones now can apply for tax refunds based on earned income tax credits and additional-child tax credits, explained Army Lt. Col. Janet Fenton, executive director of the Armed Forces Tax Council. The earned income credit, Fenton explained, primarily involves lower-income filers with children. The additional-child tax credit, she added, may provide refunds for
children under age 17. Service members who want to apply for the credit refunds
must file a federal tax return, Fenton noted. Enlisted troops serving in
combat areas already have all of their military pay excluded from federal taxes,
Fenton pointed out, while officers in combat zones can exclude up to $6,529 of
their monthly pay.
 

SCAM TARGETS FAMILIES OF KIAS:  Officials with the Department of Homeland Security are warning the public about an Iraq-related Inter net scam directed at the relatives of fallen U.S. service members. The scheme involves e-mail sent to relatives of service members killed in Iraq. Claiming to be a volunteer working with U.S. forces, the sender states that a late friend, who also was a service member killed in Iraq, was a very good friend of the relative's slain son or daughter. The sender then asks for assistance in obtaining funds kept for them by the deceased friend, promising more details when the relative responds to the e-mail. To enhance credibility, the sender adds a link to the portion of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Web site that discusses operations in Iraq. Recipients should ignore and delete such messages, said Michael J. Garcia, DHS assistant for
immigration and customs enforcement.
 

VA ACTIVITIES SURVIVING SPOUSE WEB SITE:   (source: Armed Forces news.com) The Department of Veterans Affairs has activated a new web site dedicated to the surviving spouses of service members who died on active duty and surviving spouses of veterans who died after serving their country. The site, at http://www.vba.va.gov/survivors, has links not only to VA pages describing survivor benefits but also to other government sites that may offer information and assistance. It also contains a link to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). For questions more specific than those covered on the FAQ link, the site has instructions for contacting the VA directly.  

VETERANS EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE FOR WOUNDED VETS:  Officials unveiled this initiative for injured service members returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.  They will get individualized job training, counseling and reemployment services.  REALifelines is a joint commitment by the Dept. of Labor, the Military Medical community and local agencies.  Labor Department officials are investing $500,000 into the first phase of the program.  REALifeline counselors will help veterans identify barriers to employment and set up individual recovery and reemployment plans. There will also be a national tracking system to ensure follow-up services are provided and are successful.  A national call center will soon be available.  As many as 3,500 one-stop career centers will be available at Department of Labor sites nationwide.   

FREE TRANSPORTATION:  The St. Louis County Veterans services program is offering free transportation for Veterans who use wheel chairs and those with limited mobility to and from Doctor and hospital appointments at Veterans medical facilites and out patient clinics at the Missouri Veterans Home.  This service is for Veterans who reside in St. Louis County.  The service is free and is curb to curb.  The trip must be scheduled 24 hours in advance.  Contact Erica Way at 314-615-7414 for information.

VA OUTREACHES TO WOMEN VETERANS:  The Department of Veteran Affairs has developed initiatives for women veterans that assure they received benefits.  For example, most VA regional offices, medical centers and veteran centers must now have a woman Veteran Coordinator.  In addition, women VA patients receive complete physical exams upon admission, including breast and pelvic exams.  Check the national toll free number at 800-827-1000  or the Center for Women Veterans home page at http://www1.va.gov/womenvet/.

THANKS AUXILIARY UNIT 397 for the "Path of Honor" brick that you had placed around the flag pole at JB in the name of our post. 

NEW DATABASE LOCATES BURIED VETERANS, SPOUSES:The Dept. of Veterans Affairs has posted a database on the web containing 3.2 million records for veterans and their spouses who have been buried at most of the 120 National Cemetaries since the Civil War.  Visit www.cem.va.gov and click on Nationwide Grave site Locator.

FOUNDATION AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS TO CHILDREN OF FALLEN MARINES:   With increased US Marine deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is stepping up fund raising so it can honor its pledge to award scholarships to all children of Marines killed in the war on terror.  This includes children of Navy Corpsmen killed in combat with the Marines.  Scholrships run up to $10,000 each.  All are funded through private donations.  For more information visit http://www.marine-scholars.org/ or call 800-292-7777 toll free.

KOREAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL:  Eligibility includes the land area of Korea and contiguous waters out to 12 nautical miles, and air spaces above land and water areas.  Dates are from 7/28/1954 and are open ended. 

VA COMES TO DOWNTOWN:  A service Officer from the Missouri Veterans Commission will visit the Missouri Career Center on Mondays and Thursdays at 2780 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63114.  Telephone (314) 877-2748.

SERVICE OFFICER AT VETERANS HOME:  is established by the Missouri Veterans Commission.  If you have questions about residency, or other VA matters call Al Brinkman at (314)388-0470.  Doug Meyer is also a representative from the Missouri Veterans Commission and can be reached at (314)877-2748.

G.I. BILL UPDATE: Since the October 2002 increase of GI Bill benefits, service members and veterans can now receive up to $900 per month to finance their education.  The increase, along with over $300 million on scholarship money designated for military personnel and grants from individual military-friendly schools, provides service members and veterans with even more options for pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees. Get More Information

POWs: If any of our post members were Prisoners of War please tell our assistant adjutant. This was omitted in our members register and we wish to correct this omission.

APPLICATIONS FOR SPECIAL COMBAT RELATED PAYMENTS for disabled military retirees should be on tap May 1 and first payments expected in July says the Defense Department.  Eligibility criteria:(1) retirees who earned a Purple Heart with a VA disability rating of 10 precent or more for the combat injury or (2) retirees with disabilities of 60 percent or more derived from combat situations.  For those retirees drawing VA disability compensation, and whom DoD determines are qualified, the special payments will replace the current offset in their retired pay.  Get More Information

VA BENEFITS EXPANDED FOR VIETNAM VETS WITH LEUKEMIA:  Based upon a recently released review of scientific studies, Sec. of Veteran Affairs is extending benefits to Nam Vets with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  "compelling evidence has emerged within the scientific community that exposure to herbicides such as Agent Orange is associated with CLL."  This decision means that vets with CLL who served in Vietnam during the war don't have to prove that the illness is related to their military service to qualify for VA disability compensation.  Payments will not begin until a final rule is published in the Federal Register.  VA will publish further details, when available at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/benefits/herbicide/.  Meanwhile, veterans can call    1-800-749-8387.

CAPS ARE AVAILABLE:The Post Adjutant has caps for sale in selected sizes. If your size is not on hand it can be ordered at the same price. Each member of the Post should be encouraged to buy the Official American Legion Overseas Cap with the post emblem.

PRISONER OF WAR COMPENSATION BILL INTRODUCED: Idaho Chairman of the House Veterans Benefits Subcommittee Congressman Mike Simpson has authorized legislation to increase the compensation of POWs. H.R. 5235, the former prisoners of war special compensation act of 2002 established a three-tiered special monthly pension. Simpson's bill would create a new compensation system delivered through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Under this new bill, POWs detained 30-120 days would received $150/mo, 121-540 days would receive $450/mo.

VETERANS' BURIAL BENEFITS INCREASED: (source armed forces news.com) The Veterans' education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001 increases from $1,500 to $2,000 the burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who die as a result of a service-connected disability. The act also raises the cemetary plot allowance for certain other disabled veterans from $150 to $300. (The plot allowance is paid when a veteran who is buried in a non-government cemetary was either eligible to receive VA disability compensation or a VA pension; or was discharged from military service due to disability; or died in a VA hospital. The law also directs the VA to honor requests for government markers for veterans buried in private cemetaries even if their graves have headstones or markers furnished at private expense. Previous law prevented the VA from providing markers on that situation. The new provision for markers applies to veterans' deaths on or after Dec. 27, 2001.

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