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Amador Post 108 Donates $10,000 to the Commanders VA&R Challenge

Amador Post 108 Donates $10,000 to the Commanders VA&R Challenge


Welcome to California!
 
 The American Legion Department of California
 San Francisco Headquarters
 

   205 13TH Street, Suite 3300, San Francisco, CA 94103--2461
 
   Phone: 415-431-2400  Fax: 415-255-1571   E-mail: SFHQ@calegion.org
 
   Contact the San Francisco HQ Staff
      
Contact the SFHQ Staff
  
   E-mail Commander Janet Wilson: commander@calegion.org
   E-mail Editor of the “California Legionnaire”; editor@calegion.org


 
Four Chaplains’ Day Inter-Faith Service
50th Anniversary for the Department of California

 
Four Chaplains’ Day Inter-Faith ServiceA San Francisco Bay Area Inter-Faith Service will be held at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough St., San Francisco, CA Saturday afternoon, February 14th, 2015 at 2:00pm in the interfaith observance of “Four Chaplains’ Day”.
 
Selected High School Jr. ROTC cadets, UC Cadets, and our own Legion Family Color Guards will participate in the service, which marks the 72nd anniversary of the heroic four chaplains who gave up their life jackets so that others might live and went to their deaths when the troop transport “USS DORCHESTER” was torpedoed off the coast of Greenland.
 
The religious service will start at 2:00 p.m. with Department Chaplain Mary Estrada serving as Chairman, and assisted by John Aldridge, Chairman of Religious Emphasis Committee.
 
“Four Chaplains’ Inter-Faith Service” marks the start of Religious Emphasis Week by The American Legion each year.
 
Please invite friends and the public to attend.

 

Awareness Campaign

Awareness Campaign

     Military veterans in and around the North Bay and surrounding areas are invited next week for a special service session at the Vallejo Veterans Memorial Building located at 420 Admiral Callaghan Lane in Vallejo.
     National and state teams from The American Legion will be in town to discuss veteran’s benefits and service to the community.
     All wartime veterans in these areas are invited to the Memorial Building to learn more about The American Legion and veteran benefits. Membership and veteran information staff will be available on Thursday, February 12th and Friday, February 13th from 10 am to 5 pm and on Saturday, February 14th from 9 am to 3 pm along with members of American Legion Posts in this area to kick off this community and veteran service campaign.
    A Service Officer will also be available for all area veterans with claims or other veteran-related questions on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm.
     Contact: Robert Mattson, 5th District Commander
                   707­644­6295, rsmattson@att.net

Awareness Campaign



 

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  Special articles submitted to the “California Legionnaire”
 
  1.  Good PR and commendable initiative ...
           by Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant
  2.  The American Legion Launches New Fundraising and Awareness Campaign
          by Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant

  3. Survey:  Veteran Perceptions on Help-Seeking Activities
          shared by Hugh E. Crooks Jr, CA NECman

  4.  Youth Environmental Leadership Conference
          by Barbara Ross, Coordinator
  5.  ON-LINE Enrollment is Now Available for LIT No Cost AD&D
          by Howard Bender
  6. Califiornia’s Eagle Scout of the Year
          James McDaniels, BSA Troop 7050, Yuba City, CA
  7. Posts now have a guaranteed way to raise big money playing Bingo
         Jesse James, Area 5 Finance Commissioner



Good PR and commendable initiative ...

… yet something every Post and Department could easily do... Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant

 
GUEST COMMENTARY: How do you perceive the American Legion?
 
February 01, 2015 12:00 am  •  by Patrick O'Donnell

     When most people think about veteran groups, they picture old soldiers sitting around the bar telling each other war stories. This is the perception that, at one time, seemed to prevail. That has changed thanks to the biggest veterans group, the American Legion and its auxiliary.
     Hundreds of local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the nation one community at a time.
American Legion Baseball is one of the nation's most successful amateur athletic programs, educating young people about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship and fitness. Did you know more than 50 percent of Major League Baseball players are graduates of the program? About 82,000 youth play on Legion-sponsored teams each year.
     On May 29, 1946,The American Legion, along with its auxiliary, presented a small struggling organization called the American Heart Association with a $50,000 grant. The grant inaugurated a nationwide program for the study, prevention and treatment of rheumatic heart disease.
     The American Legion wrote the GI Bill of Rights for veterans. The Legion practically created the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and its predecessors.
Starting in 1978, the Legion demanded medical and monetary benefits for veterans exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
     In our community we have just finished with the American Legion Oratorical Contest. This exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Over $138,000 in scholarships can be awarded each year.
     Operation Comfort Warriors is another American Legion program dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded, injured or ill military personnel by providing them with comfort items not usually supplied by the government.
     The list of all programs the American Legion has created and supports would be too numerous to go into detail today.
     The American Legion family is available to sons and daughters of veterans as well as veterans. To find out if you are eligible, call or visit your local American Legion post. Remember there is strength in numbers, and veterans groups do a lot more than most people perceive.

     Patrick O'Donnell is First District public relations liaison for the American Legion. The views are the writer's.
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The American Legion
Launches New Fundraising and Awareness Campaign

   by Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant

     The American Legion is launching a national awareness campaign to raise funds to help our organization assist veterans, their families, young people and communities. The first installment of that campaign will focus on the mental health needs of veterans, particularly those who are battling the signature wounds of today’s war era: PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
     Because these messages will air nationally and before audiences that may be unfamiliar with The American Legion and its services, you may receive calls, visits and other correspondences from veterans in need,or their families. If the request is routine, please handle as you usually would, as being a service organization. If the need is urgent, refer the veteran or family member to a VA emergency support service, such as:

     • Suicide prevention hotline: 800-273-8255, press 1.
     • Texting service: 838255
     • Online chat service: www.VeteransCrisisLine.net

     If a veteran comes to you or your post as a result of the message, please be welcoming and helpful. Offer him or her the services of the nearest accredited American Legion service officer, who can easily be found online at www.legion.org/serviceofficers  or connect the veteran to local resources through your post service officer or other members.
     Please feel free to contact Chuck Krupa, Managing Director of Non-Member Fundraising at 317-860-3030 or ckrupa@legion.org  if you have any further questions.
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California’s Premier Youth Program

Youth Environmental Leadership Conference

 by Barbara Ross, Coordinator    Ross4834@comcast.net   (916) 798-3317

     Things are moving right along for the 2015 conference - May 15th to 19th.  Hopefully all those Posts who plan to sponsor students have started their interview process.  We also hope that Posts not sponsoring students will make a donation to the program either directly, or through Posts in your District who are sending students.
     The reservation form, $400 registration fee, and transportation fees are due to the coordinator no later than March 1, 2015 so we can confirm and sign contracts for all services. Late reservations and/or payment result in extra costs. All mail goes to P.O. Box 60494, Sacramento, CA 95860-0949.
     All forms are available on the Department website under the Agriculture Commission section.  PLEASE throw away any forms you have from past years, since there are some important changes on the new forms - mailing addresses, alternate paperwork, etc.  Make sure all forms are complete before sending them to the coordinator - signatures, medical insurance information, LEGIBLE names for both the student and parents, and contact numbers.   If you are sponsoring a student who will be 18 by the date of the conference please contact the coordinator.  This does happen, and since the student will be an adult they need to sign their own consent paperwork.
     When submitting forms please make sure the student has given a complete address, including apartment number, space number, etc.  We send a letter out to families with FAQ information and get several back each year due to incomplete addresses.
     Post or District Chairman - don’t overlook asking other Legion Family units for some help with the cost of sponsoring students.  Auxiliaries, Squadrons, Chapters, 40/8, PCC often will assist if asked.  This is, after all, a Legion program - and one unique to the Department of California.
     Stay in touch with your student(s).  Give them a business card with your name, number and address of your Post and any other contact information they may need.  During our Sunday evening program we always ask how many of the students know who sponsored them, and we get very few positive responses.  
     Many Posts overlook their Conference participants when they invite their Boys State, Oratorical and other sponsored youth to a meeting or make awards such as scholarships.   
     As always, bus itinerary won’t be available until a week prior to the conference.  We sometimes have last minute changes in pickup points and it only confuses things if we have to make time changes - no matter how slight - and we have already published the detailed itinerary.

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ON-LINE Enrollment is Now Available for LIT No Cost AD&D

  by Howard Bender

The Legionnaire Insurance Trust is pleased to announce that online enrollment is now available for the LegionCare No Cost Accidental Death benefit. Please be sure to let your Department know about this one-of-a-kind benefit offered exclusively to Legionnaires.
 
LegionCare provides all Legionnaires with:
 
     •  $5,000 in Accidental Death Coverage for covered accidents that occur if you are traveling on official Legion business.
 
     •  $1,000 for all other covered accidents.
 
     •  24/7 protection that covers Legionnaires at home, at work and while they are traveling away from home available for all Legionnaires in your Department.
 
To learn more or to sign up, please visit http://www.thelit.com/no-cost-legioncare
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Survey: Veteran Perceptions on Help-Seeking Activities
  
shared by Hugh E. Crooks Jr, CA NECman

Please tell everyone this:

Dr Wendy Ashley and Dr Jodi Brown are studying veteran attitudes toward help seeking. How veterans feel about seeking help for themselves and other veterans may impact their willingness and/or ability to access available services. Because veterans are at substantial risk for PTSD, depression and traumatic brain injury, we want to identify as many potential barriers to effective treatment as possible. 

We hope you will be willing to fill out our survey (link below). Everything is completely anonymous.

     https://qtrial2014.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eG6Xm0HkcDPJ7WR

Many, many thanks... Wendy Ashley, Psy.D, LCSW
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American Legion Posts
Now have a guaranteed way to raise big money playing Bingo

by Jesse James, Area 5 Finance Commissioner

     Taking something old and making it new again….bingo…or in 2014 we like to call it Remote Caller Bingo or Linked Bingo. This new method of playing traditional bingo provides a way for American Legion bingo halls to make guaranteed money on their paper and allows players to win much greater prize money.  This works because all American Legion Posts are playing the same game at the same time as if they were in the same room—thanks to a new innovative technology that broadcasts the ball calling of the game to everyone at precisely the same moment.
     For the participants, the bingo game is played in the traditional manner with paper and bingo markers (aka daubers).  The biggest difference for the players is the amount of prize money that can be won by a single player. Where charities playing traditional bingo are limited to paying out a couple hundred dollars on a single game, Bingo Innovations of California, Inc. can help their participating charities payout an unlimited amount of prize money, potentially reaching thousands of dollars on a single game.
     The great advantage for the charity bingo hall is how much easier it is to attract players when large prize money is at stake. In addition, the new California law that allows Remote Caller Bingo was designed to insure that the charities receive no less than 43% of the games gross receipts. This is the highest legislative mandated payout for any charity bingo in the entire United States.
     Because the game is pari-mutual, there is no risk of any kind for each American Legion post. There is a profit for the charity bingo hall in every game played. For those locations that already play a traditional bingo game, you know that having a guaranteed 43% revenue of your card sales is unheard of.  What’s even better…the American Legion Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Foundation now has a statewide license—so individual American Legion posts no longer have to deal with the state’s “red-tape” of becoming licensed, they can play under the statewide license already issued. 
     To get more information on how your post can link in with other American Legion Posts statewide and start raising much needed funds, please contact Bingo Innovations of California, Inc. (909) 948-2033 or Email: Info@Remotecallerbingo.com or visit www. Remotecallerbingo.com
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The American Legion - Department of California

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