Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 7 p.m.
American Legion Post 42
430 Paoli Pike,
Floyd Knobs, IN 47119
INDIANAPOLIS – Learn about federal, state, and local veterans’ benefits. Specific topics will include, among others, medical benefits, disability compensation, non-service connected pension, education, home loans, survivors’ compensation and pension, burial benefits, government life insurance, discharge upgrades, Department of Defense concurrent receipt and combat related compensation benefits, and benefits available for the spouse and children of veterans.
An American Legion, Department of Indiana Veterans Service Officer will conduct the presentation and stay after to answer individual questions. The American Legion will also offer Veterans Affairs accredited representation to claimants seeking appeals assistance with VA claims.
This free service is open to all Veterans of the United States Armed Services, their dependents, and survivors. American Legion membership is not required. Your attendance will likely benefit you or someone you know.
"American Legion Service Officers are experts in their field and secure millions in new veterans’ benefits in the State of Indiana every year, free of charge to our service members," said Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Director John Hickey.
If you have any questions, please contact the Indiana Legion Communications Director John Crosby at 317-630-1264 or by email at email@example.com.
Governor Eric Holcomb, a Navy veteran, has asked the Indiana Legion and other veterans organizations to stand with him as he fights to exempt all retired military pay from state income tax.
Additionally, the current tax deduction of $5,000 on current military pay may be at risk of being eliminated by the Indiana General Assembly.
A resolution passed by the Department Executive Committee Meeting in regular session assembled in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 9, 2017, positions The American Legion, Department of Indiana to work with Governor Holcomb on this endeavor and make Indiana a better place for our military service members and retirees.
Therefore, The American Legion is calling on all our members, family and friends to contact their state legislators, now before it's too late.
New, user-friendly, advocacy software has recently been introduced to the department website at www.indianalegion.org/legislative. This new tool allows our members to become advocates on veterans issues, simply by entering their information. A list of your elected officials in your area are generated, and pre-drafted letters supporting issues concerning veterans can be sent at the click of a button.
Visit www.indianalegion.org/legislative to take action and spread the word throughout our Hoosier Legion community.
2017 Spring Conference is was broadcast live on the department website. General Session began at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8, and ran approximately 2.5 hours.
Special and announcements and guest speakers regarding future partnerships with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indiana Red Cross were presented.
Additionally, the leading candidate for national commander, Denise Rohan was able to make it on Saturday after battling for more than 24 hours of flight cancellations! Thank you Mrs. Rohan for your support!
Commission Minutes and Resolutions passed at the Department Executive Committee will be posted ASAP here and in the next edition of the Hoosier Legionnaire.
National Lead Candidate for Cmdr. Denise Rohan visits Indiana 2017 Joint Spring Conference
Born in McGregor, Iowa, Denise lived in Elkader, Iowa, until joining the Unites States Army in 1974. Denise's father was a volunteer Fireman, both parents were volunteer EMTs and very active in their church and community. Learning from their parents Denise and her two sisters have always given back to their church and communities in some way.
Denise has served the American Legion for over 32 years. While Post Commander she established Sons of the American Legion Squadron 333 and chartered Boy Scout Troop 333.
She and her husband are both 2006 graduates of the National American Legion College and 2015 Graduates of the Wisconsin American Legion College - Basic Course. Both have gone on to serve as State and National American Legion College Facilitators.
Denise was employed with the University of Wisconsin Madison as the Assistant Bursar of Student Loans until her retirement in 2012. She managed the University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Wisconsin Green Bay and University of Wisconsin Colleges 120 million dollar loan portfolio made up of approximately 200 different Federal, Institutional and State programs in compliance with all laws, regulations, and policy. She was responsible for the efficiency and design of the computerized student loan accounts receivable system.
She is a graduate of the Mount Senario College (AA), and The Collegiate Management Institute.
Denise currently serves as a volunteer in the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard Airman and Family Readiness Program.
She has been married to her husband Mike for 40 years. They have a son, Nicholas, daughter-in-law Angie, grandchildren Sawyer and Isla. Mike is very active with the American Legion on both the State and National levels and is a Past Department Adjutant. Nick and Sawyer are members of Squadron 385, and Isla is a member of Unit 385.
INDIANAPOLIS – The United States officially entered World War I on April 6, 1917, a war that changed our state, nation and the world forever. To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I, the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee will host a ceremony on April 6, 2017 from noon to 1 p.m. inside Pershing Auditorium at the Indiana War Memorial to commemorate the start of the war.
This event will bring Hoosiers together in honor of the United States’ official entry into World War I. The ceremony will feature speakers including Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Brig. Gen. Ronald A. Westfall, director of Joint Staff, Indiana National Guard and Judge Jim Osborne, vice chair of the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee, president of the Indiana Military Museum. The members of the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee will also be introduced to the public.
“The World War I anniversary is a time to honor and remember the many Hoosiers who have served in our military and given their lives for our freedom,” said Jim Corridan, chair of the Indiana World War Centennial Committee and director of the Indiana Archives and Records Administration. “It is important for us to recognize the 135,000 Hoosiers who served in The Great War and the 3,000 who sacrificed their lives.”
Attendance is free and open to the public. Parking is available at metered locations surrounding the Indiana War Memorials Plaza Historic District.
For more information about the event visit www.ww1cc.org/indiana.
This is the first in a series of events that the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee will sponsor throughout the commemoration over the next two years.
About the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee
The Indiana World War I Centennial Committee is responsible for planning, developing and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I in the state of Indiana. The Committee aims to encourage private organizations and local governments to organize and participate in activities commemorating the centennial of World War I. The Committee’s goal with its endorsements is to increase the number of people in Indiana who will be exposed these educational programs, tools, projects, and activities, and broaden their impact.
INDIANAPOLIS - Legion Family members of Post 64 in Indianapolis know how to raise money for causes they believe in. Their fundraising efforts were showcased last Sunday when they raised more than $24,000 during their fifth annual Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) fundraiser, bringing their total OCW donation for the year to more than $55,000.
The event, which has raised more than $150,000 over the past five years for the Legion’s wounded warrior support program, was initiated by Post 64 Adjutant Danny Rice in 2012 upon the election of Indiana native James Koutz as national commander. Koutz made OCW his primary fundraiser and raised more than $1 million for the program.
“(Koutz) is a very happy man when he comes to Post 64,” Rice said. “We fell in love with the OCW program when he was commander and we have been supporting it ever since. We have just taken OCW under our wing.”
Koutz attended the fundraisers, where all proceeds benefited OCW. The event, which was open to the public, included a $5 all-you-can-eat ham and bean dinner, raffle prizes of OCW T-shirts and hats, homemade quilts, military wreaths and a 50/50 raffle.
“Post 64 knows how to raise a lot of money in very little time,” Koutz said. “We have to continue helping our wounded, injured and sick veterans, and veterans receiving care at VA hospitals.”
Besides Sunday’s event, Post 64’s Legion Family members have been donating proceeds from their 50/50 raffles and other community fundraising events, such as the Legion Riders motorcycle OCW benefit ride, to surpass their last year’s OCW contribution total by nearly $30,000.
“It was a really great event and I appreciate everyone that came out to volunteer. We had a packed post,” Rice said. “And we are already starting today to raise donations for OCW.”
Stroy by Emily Longnecker
CARMEL, Ind., } WTHR - More than 40 years ago, the men who fought in the Vietnam War came home to a country where not everyone was happy to see them.
"When I came through the airports, they spit on me and called me all kinds of names and everything else," said Vietnam veteran Richard Leirer.
Years later, the country is saying thank-you to its Vietnam veterans with National Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.
"I think it's good and it's long overdue," said veteran Ernest McClendon, who served in Vietnam in the United States Air Force from 1968-69.
Dozens of Vietnam veterans like McClendon gathered at the American Legion in Carmel where they received thanks and appreciation, decades after their service.
"For 40 years, we didn't get welcomed and they didn't say thank you or nothing, so it's great that we can do it now, it may have taken 40 years, but we are doing it now," Leirer added.
Among the guests, Medal of Honor Recipient and Vietnam veteran Sammy Davis.
"To make a day that is dedicated to the Vietnam veterans is excellent," said Davis.
Also, among the veterans were surviving members of a National Guard Unit from Indiana, who served together in Vietnam, D Company, Airborne Rangers, 151st Infantry.
"It's about time," said William "Pappy" Hayes, who was part of the unit.
The recognition of the more than seven million Vietnam veterans across the country comes at a time when the Library of Congress Veterans History Project is collecting and archiving the stories of Vietnam veterans across the country.
By Jennie Amias, Starfish Media Group
Garrett Combs, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan who lives with PTSD, produced and shot these 4 video shorts.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by a vast array of traumatic events and can take many forms. The stories of the four individuals profiled here illustrate how PTSD’s symptoms and solutions are as varied as the people it affects.
For Roosevelt Ray, it was his experience as a young recruit at Fort Ord in 1971. Ray recounts escalating racial tensions during basic training. An accusation of attempted murder landed Ray in military prison for months. The charges were eventually dropped and Ray was discharged. Although he hadn’t deployed to combat the trauma was there.
Staff Sergeant Sabrina was sexually harassed by her CO during an overseas deployment. When she lodged a complaint she was separated from her unit while the investigation progressed. The military is built in part on the strong bonds between soldiers, and Sabrina felt shunned and betrayed by those she trusted the most, compounding the trauma she was already experiencing.
Robert Vessels always knew he wanted to join the Army, which he did the moment he graduated from high school. Vessels deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq at the height of combat operations. He came home filled with feelings of disillusionment, hopelessness and guilt. He isolated himself in his room, drinking, playing video games, emerging only for meals.
Columbian born Diego Camargo was living the American dream when 9/11 happened. He decided to do something, and after improving his English he joined the Marines in 2003. His career took him through 3 deployments to 5 countries and he came home with PTSD and a host of physical injuries. Camargo’s training was so ingrained that during his 8 years of service he didn’t feel any trauma. He was on automatic pilot, doing what needed to be done. It was only after re-entering civilian life that he noticed feelings of isolation and not belonging.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has many faces and the cure is not one-size-fits-all. Diego Camargo found solace in photography and the adoption of a rescue dog. Robert Vessels solved the isolation problem by packing up his belongings and moving in with an Army buddy. Once that was resolved he was able to go to school and embark on a career. Sabrina is undergoing therapy. She is still struggling, but knows what she needs to do to manage her PTSD. Roosevelt Ray found comfort in his church and community in the National Association of Black Veterans.
INDIANAPOLIS | Associated Press - People who have epilepsy could be treated with a marijuana-derived oil under a bill approved by the Indiana House.
The bill passed the chamber Tuesday on a 98-0 vote. The state Senate previously approved a similar measure.
The American Legion, Department of Indiana recently passed a resolution at their 2017 Mid-Winter Conference encouraging Indiana elected officials to change their stance on medical marijuana, calling for more research and a rescheduling of the drug.
Indiana's legislature has long resisted efforts to allow the use of medicine derived from marijuana, but that appears to have changed this year. Supporters say the bill's approval marks a significant shift after years of medical marijuana-related bills stalling.
The bill would allow the use of cannabidiol oil, which is commonly referred to as CBD. The measure is a far cry from legalizing a comprehensive medical marijuana program.
The oil cannot get patients high, but it contains compounds that have been found to lessen the effects of some forms of epilepsy.
Hoosier Legionnaires speak out in support of medical marijuana research to treat PTSD, TBI and depression in veterans.
Story by Jeff Goldberg
BOONVILLE | 44 News WEVV – He has been saving lives for 25 years, the past ten with the St. Mary’s Warrick EMS, and on Saturday he was awarded for his service. David Fitzsimmons was named the St. Mary’s Warrick EMS Person of the Year.
The award was given to a man who has trained generations of paramedics, working closely with students at Ivy Tech where he is a adjunct professor.
The EMS Person of the Year is voted on by his peers and is awarded by the Boonville American Legion.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Wednesday is officially National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
A bill commemorating the day was signed into law by President Trump Tuesday evening.
Tonight I'm proud to sign S. 305, which encourages the display of the U.S. flag on National Vietnam War Veterans Day tomorrow, March 29th.
It encourages the display of American flags and also names March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
The bill was co-authored by Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly.
March 29 is the day the last U.S. soldiers were choppered out of Vietnam in 1973.
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