By Michael Hjelmstad
American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt led members of the Department of California Legion family on a chilly, yet enthusiastic, second annual Walk for Veterans in Sacramento, Calif., Dec. 16.
The walk kicked off with a wreath laying ceremony at the California State Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, located on the grounds of the Capitol Park. Department leadership and Legion family members from across the state walked with the national commander around the park to engage the community and raise awareness about the Legion and issues facing America’s veterans.
Read the complete story HERE
97-year-old veteran plays national anthem on harmonica 97-year-old Peter Dupre,
who served as a medic treating the wounded during the Battle of the Bulge,
plays the national anthem with his harmonica before the start of the
Pearl Harbor Invitational between California and Seton Hall.
2015-2016 "By The Numbers"
The Consolidated Post Report shows the many ways Legionnaires are making differences in their communities and beyond.
American Legion posts around the world gave millions of hours, raised millions of dollars and influenced millions of lives in 2014 and 2015. The newest American Legion Consolidated Post Report, released in August, attaches numbers to the Legion's acts of advocacy and outreach.
In addition to traditional paper reporting, posts can fill out and submit their forms online through myLegion.org.
The California Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Foundation (CALVAR) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation, established to help fund the good work of our Veterans Service Officers. You can visit their web site for more details about the foundation.
District 16 has been looking for new ways to help CALVAR raise the funds needed for our VA&R programs. Fortunately, some years ago CALVAR set the foundation up as one of the charities in the AmazonSmiles Program. It is listed as:
The American Legion CA Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Foundation
"What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support."
The AmazonSmile program is rather simple to use. Once you set up your AmazonSmile account and select The American Legion CA Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Foundation as your charity, just use smile.amazon.com web site to buy what you would normally buy and the 0.5% donation of your purchase takes place automatically.
The AmazonSmile program costs those making the purchases via AmazonSmile
Amazon uses 0.5% of your purchase (their profits) to fund
the donations made from your purchases.
When you select the CALVAR Foundation as your charity,
Select this as your charity. Then 100% of the donations from your purchases, on the smile.amazon.com web site (Easily found with your BOOKMARK.), will go to the VA&R Foundation.
Recently a local Legionnaire reported earning over $50 in donations to the CALVAR Foundation through the AmazonSmile program. That is just one Legionnaire having 0.05% of his AmazonSmile purchases generating $50. It does not take much to realize that the more Legionnaires who use the AmazonSmile program for their online purchases, the more donations we can generate for the VA&R.
If one Legionnaire can generate $50 in donations, 1,000 Legionnaires could generate $50,000 in donations, or more. Many people making small donations produce big results. The trick for us, is to get everyone we can to use smile.amazon.com with the VA&R Foundation as their charity. It is the sum total of all the small donations that will tell us how successful this campaign will become.
The process is automatic and is basically transparent, yet the donations continue each time a purchase is made, year after year. The individual donations are small, but when a lot of people make enough small donations over a long period we can generate a lot of money to support our veterans!
There are 460 Posts in the Department of California. If the Legion Families in each of our posts started using the Amazon Smiles Program and asked all the good people they know, to do the same, we could make this into an impressive fundraising effort to help serve our veterans. Will you please, help spread the word?
Post Commanders, Squadron Commanders and Chapter Presidents, please ask all your members to support our VA&R Programs by using the AmazonSmiles Program. Then ask them to ask all the good people they know, even their Facebook friends, to select the AmazonSmiles Program and select California VA&R Foundation (CALVAR) as their charity.
The more people we can get involved in using the AmazonSmile Program and selecting the California VA&R Foundation (CALVAR) as their charity the greater our success will be. Success in such things is good, it makes one smile.
For God and Country.
District16, 2nd. Vice Commander
The Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation (VA&R) pillar of service in The American Legion was established in 1919, as one of our Four Pillars of Service. It is the foundation of our service to veterans.
This is a big job and it takes a dedicated and well trained staff of Veteran Service Officers (VSO) and others to do the job well. We have three offices in California staffed with Veterans Service Officers and support staff, to handle the rather large and growing case load of work veteran claims our VSO's process each year. The offices are in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego. These offices and staff account for many hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Department budget.
To help you better understand how our VA&R Commission serves, in the 2015-2016 Department of California, “Book of Reports” our Department Service Officer, Scott McKee provides an account of the good work our VA&R Program does to support our veterans.
“The demand for our services is continuing to be greater than it has been in the past. Our returning veterans are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill for their education in the hopes of obtaining employment and/or better employment. Additionally, we are seeing that our returning veterans are now seeking out VA medical services and the compensation/pension benefits, which go with it. Unlike the claims filed from our previous wars and conflicts, which would, average a few disabilities and/or issues, today’s claims filed average 8 issues or more. The disabilities and/or issues are more complicated today, with the signature claims of these wars and conflicts being PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).”
The complete "Service Officer Report" by Scott McKee, it is well worth reading and can be found on page 19 of the
When members use the online renewal feature on The American Legion national web site, members can set their account for automatic renewal using their credit/debit card.
Recently Al "Abbey" Ramirez, of Vandenberg Post 125 in Lompoc, jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, on his 90th birthday. Impressive!
This was Abbey's 105th.and final jump. The jumps started as a member of the Army Airborne during WWII. He later served in the US Navy.
Abbey is thought of by many Legionnaires as an "Elder Statesman" of Post 125 and District 16. He has served as Commander of Post 125 and as District 16 Sgt-at-Arms. Many know him as an Assistant Sgt-at-Arms for District 16, where he has faithfully served for many years.
Featuring the voice of renowned actor Mr. Sam Elliott, this video is a tribute to the 7.2 million living veterans and the 9 million families of all who served from February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975.
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Friday, December 16
Saturday, January 28, 2017
- Ventura County - Post 48
- Santa Barbara County - Post 56
- San Luis Obispo County - Post 66
Sunday, February 26, 2017: 10 a.m.
Post 482 Ojai, 843 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai
Friday-Sunday, March 10 - 12
Spring DEC, Department Executive Committee
West Covina Post 790
330 N. Azusa Ave., West Covina
Tuesday, March 14
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Area 6 Caucus
Post 741 Camarillo,
7 Veterans Way, Camarillo
June 1-4, 2017, 5th Annual ROMP
American Legion Riders
Sponsored by Chapter 66
2017 ROMP Flier
Sunday, June 4, 2017: 10 a.m.
Post 56, Veterans Memorial Building, 501 N. Pine Street, Santa Maria
Member Muster Software
Free Download for posts in
Department of California
Post 48 - Oxnard
Post 56 - Santa Maria
Post 66 - San Luis Obispo
Post 125 - Lompoc
Post 211 - Lompoc
Post 339 - Ventura
Post 432 - Cambria
Post 502 - Moorpark
Post 534 - Orcutt
Post 741 - Camarillo
National Emergency Fund
Child Welfare Foundation
District Sixteen is an important part of Area 6 in the Department of California. It serves The American Legion Posts in the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.