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Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall Meeting in Hollywood
Monday
March 23, 2015
7:00 pm

 
Hollywood Post 43
 2035 N. Highland Ave

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City of Sanger Officials and CA Legion Officers at the Spring D.E.C

City of Sanger Officials and CA Legion Officers at the recent Spring D.E.C 


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


 
CALIFORNIA AMERICAN LEGION HEADQUARTERS
Plans are underway to relocate from the San Francisco Bay Area to Sanger in the Central Valley

Attention:  ALL California American Legion Family Members
The “NEW” Department HQ Building in Sanger, CA

The “NEW” Department HQ Building in Sanger, CA


     After 96 years in the Bay Area, California American Legion will relocate its Department headquarters to the City of Sanger (Fresno County) in the Central Valley.  By a majority of votes (29-1) in favor of the move by the Department Executive Committee (DEC) on Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Santa Maria, Department was given the go-ahead to initiate negotiations with the City of Sanger for the purchase of property located at Seventh Street and West Avenue.  The building on this property was once a bank and is large enough to provide comfortable office space for the entire California Legion:  Department Headquarters, Department Auxiliary Headquarters, Sons of the Legion, and the American Legion Riders. 
     Following several weeks of research and “number crunching,” the Department’s Finance Commission has placed its seal of approval on the purchase of this property.  In coming weeks, the Finance Commission will be meeting with Department Staff, as well as the developers in Sanger to discuss preliminary plans for the relocation.  Further details will be presented to the DEC on June 25 in Ontario. 
     The Department of California has had a great run for 81 long years at the War Memorial Building in San Francisco.  We are grateful for the association that grew out interaction with other Veteran Service Organizations that have called this building Home.  
     I am asking for your patience and understanding during the coming months as Department prepares to transition.

Thank you... Janet M. Wilson, Commander, Department of California The American Legion



 

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  Special articles submitted to the “California Legionnaire”
 
  1.  Town Hall Meeting at Hollywood Post 43
       American Legion responds to reports of delayed VA health care in L.A.

           by Marty Callaghan, Media Relations
  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



Town Hall Meeting at Hollywood Post 43
American Legion responds to reports of delayed VA health care in L.A.
 
     WASHINGTON (March 18, 2015) -- The American Legion will hold a town hall meeting in Los Angeles on March 23 for local veterans, in response to reports of serious delays in scheduling medical appointments at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
     The meeting will be at American Legion Post 43 on 2035 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood, starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 23. It is open to the public and veterans experiencing serious wait-times for their VA medical appointments are strongly encouraged to attend.
     Verna Jones, the Legion’s executive director in Washington, and her team of experts will conduct the meeting and also visit two VA facilities: the West Los Angeles Medical Center and the Los Angeles Regional Benefit Office.
     “We want to find out why our veterans are experiencing such long delays in getting their medical care,” Jones said. “It is especially troubling to hear about this nearly a year after the VA wait-time scandal in Phoenix was first reported, and seven months after President Obama signed the VA reform law.”
     Jones said the Legion will evaluate the quality of health care at the hospital and disability claims processing at the regional office. “We will hear from veterans at the town hall meeting, carry their concerns to VA leadership, and make recommendations for improvement. America’s veterans should not have to wait months or years for proper medical care, or to receive benefits they have already earned.”
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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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