Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Flat Rock Breakfast


 

Stuffed Animal Donation - Flat Rock Post


 
VFW District 4 Riders
 
 

We would like to express our gratitude for the Flat Rock Post 9363 recent donation of stuffed animals to support the District 4 VFW Riders Stuffed Animal Donation program. Your contribution will go a long way in helping us collect these toys and deliver them to local police organizations that provide support to children in need. Thank you for being a part of this meaningful initiative.

 

 District 4 Riders

District 4 Riders Blog Link District 4 Riders Blog Link
 
VFW District 4 Riders Group
Michigan Department

 






 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Lambertville Post Bike Night


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Fwd: District 4 Riders Stuffed Animal Program


VFW District 4 Riders
The VFW District's 4 Riders Group is resuming its "Stuffed Animal Police Donation Program." As is customary, members are requested to bring stuffed animals to meetings and other events. These cuddly toys are then given to the Downriver Police Department and the State Police, who run programs for needy children. These programs distribute stuffed animals to help soothe and comfort children in times of stress. Last year, the Detroit Police Department received hundreds of stuffed animals from the Group. Members attending the meetings or functions in December are requested to bring a stuffed animal for donation. The program will commence at the September meeting, and participants are encouraged to bring along an animal to contribute.

 Matt Dzikowicz, our 4th District Commander, donated stuffed animals to our program at the August 2023 District meeting held at Post 4012.




District 4 Riders Blog Link District 4 Riders Blog Link
VFW District 4 Riders Group
Michigan Department

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Northville VFW Post 4012 · 438 S Main St · Northville, MI 48167-1647 · USA

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Thursday, August 10, 2023

BREAKING NEWS: PACT Act backdated benefits deadline extended



Michigan Veterans News

PACT Act deadline extended through Aug. 14 

Burn pit in iraq

A burn pit in Balad, Iraq, 2004. Photo courtesy of DVIDS.


The VA has announced that veterans and survivors who apply (or submit their intent to file) for PACT Act benefits by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, will be eligible to have their benefits backdated to Aug. 10, 2022 – the day that President Biden signed the PACT Act into law. This is an extension from the original deadline of Aug. 9, 2023.

All veterans and their survivors are encouraged to apply – or submit their intent to file – for PACT Act benefits now by visiting VA.gov/PACT.

The VA has made this decision out of an abundance of caution after experiencing technical difficulties with VA.gov/PACT in recent days. Specifically, due to extremely high demand, some veterans who have sought to submit their intent to file for PACT Act benefits have received error messages while doing so. Despite these messages, VA has successfully logged every one of these intents to file – meaning that every veteran or survivor who has received an error message while applying for PACT Act benefits can consider their intent to file complete. The VA is working to contact these individuals to confirm directly to them that their intent to file will be honored and their effective date protected. Most importantly, no veteran or survivor will miss out on a single day of benefits due to this issue.

The VA has also resolved nearly all of the technical issues with VA.gov/PACT. As of 5 p.m. on Aug. 9, less than one tenth of 1 percent of attempts to submit an "intent to file" had resulted in an error message. This percentage is down from about 18% on Aug. 8. Additionally, there have been a high volume of calls to VA call centers throughout this week, and the VA is working to decrease abnormally long call center wait times. 

The VA will continue to encourage veterans and their survivors to immediately file their PACT Act claims — or submit their intent to file — at VA.gov/PACT. With the extended deadline, veterans and survivors who do so by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, may receive benefits backdated to Aug. 10, 2022.


Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE
ARE IN CRISIS:

The Veterans Crisis Line is staffed by caring, qualified crisis responders who are there to help. Many of these responders are veterans themselves.

Online Resources

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LEAN ON US:

Call 1-800-MICH-VET

(1-800-642-4838)

Visit Michigan.gov/MVAA

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Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Michigan Honors Vietnam War-Era Veterans. Michigan Veterans News & Resources for Aug. 8, 2023

On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, 6:31 AM, Michigan Dept of Military & Veterans Affairs <MVAA@govsubscriptions.michigan.gov> wrote:
Michigan Veterans News

Michigan honors Vietnam War-era veterans

David Mester and Bob Bezotte

Vietnam veterans Bob Bezotte, left, and David Mester both played a role in creating the Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate — Bezotte as a state representative and Mester as a veteran advocate. Mester received the first certificate on Aug 1. Photo: Michigan National Guard

Michigan is recognizing its veterans who served in the Vietnam War era with a special certificate program developed by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate honors a generation of veterans — both alive and deceased — who were treated poorly by many fellow citizens for serving in an unpopular war and who found VA benefits lacking when they returned home.

Veterans or their representatives can submit their information for a certificate at Michigan.gov/VietnamCertificate. The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) is facilitating the certificate program.

More than 400,000 Michigan servicemen and women served during the Vietnam War era. A total of 2,651 Michigan service members lost their lives in the war.

"The Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate honors our Vietnam War-era veterans for their service," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "This new certificate ensures that these veterans, many who were mistreated and received insufficient VA benefits when they returned home, get the recognition they deserve for serving our nation in uniform."

The certificate is available to those who served during the Vietnam War era, were honorably discharged and are citizens of Michigan or were citizens of the state while serving in the Armed Forces (including the Michigan National Guard and Reserve).

The certificate also includes an option of a special designation recognizing individuals who were exposed to Agent Orange during their service. To receive this designation, the service member must have been exposed to dioxin or phenoxy herbicides, as evidenced by a medical diagnosis of a disease associated with dioxin or phenoxy herbicides.

Read more at Michigan.gov/MVAA.


Veterans see historic expansion of benefits for toxic exposure

Pact Act thumbnail photo

Nicole Leger always thought of the burn pits at military bases in Afghanistan as more like campfires than health hazards. Ordered to dispose of sensitive documents, the Army medic would toss the paperwork into the flames while catching up with fellow soldiers.

"We really didn't see that it was dangerous at the time," she told the Associated Press. "It was just part of the mission."

But then her sinus problems began, only worsening after she returned home, where she sometimes found herself gasping for breath at night. She remembered thinking, "This wasn't who I was before I got in."

Although Leger already received disability benefits for PTSD, migraines and a hip fracture, it wasn't until President Biden signed legislation known as the PACT Act last year that her monthly payments expanded to take into account the impact of the burn pits. Now 34, Leger and her fiancĂ© have moved out of a cramped townhouse and into a larger home in a suburb of Tampa, Florida, where their four children can each have a bedroom.

Leger is one beneficiary of the largest expansion of veterans assistance in decades, and the administration is racing to sign up as many people as possible as the first anniversary of the law approaches. Although there's no deadline to apply, anyone who files a claim or simply signals the intent to do so by Wednesday, Aug. 9, could collect payments retroactive to last year if the claim is approved.

For veterans who file a PACT Act claim, there is a 97% chance that their benefits will either increase or stay the same, according to the VA. 

File a disability claim online.

Learn how to submit your intent to file.

Read more at va.gov/pact.

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) can help connect you to VA and other benefits. To locate an accredited Veteran Service Officer in your area who can help you file a claim, visit our online search page or call us at 1-800-MICH-VET (1-800-642-4838). As a state agency that works closely with the federal VA, our services are free and confidential.


Nominations open for Michigan military, veteran and veteran advocate awards

Ryan Sanderson at the 2022 Gala

Ryan Sanderson, right, received the Community Outreach and Regional Engagement Award at the 2022 Michigan Military & Veterans Gala. With him, from left, are MVAA Deputy Director Robert Near, Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers and former MVAA Director Zaneta Adams.

Nominations are now open for the 2023 Michigan Military and Veterans Gala awards.

Do you know a veteran who dedicates their time to serving fellow veterans? Or a veteran service provider who made a big impact on your life? What about a civilian volunteer who has gone above and beyond to impact the veteran/military community?

Fill out the nomination forms for the seven awards at michigan.gov/MVAA by Sept.1. 


Coast Guard veteran Crystal Murry: 'Living my life for me'

Crystal Murry with dog

Coast Guard veteran Crystal Murry is part of MVAA's "I Served. I Am a Veteran" campaign. Murry, who now works as a court bailiff, is proud of her service and her decision to live her life authentically. Photo by Ara Howrani


Crystal Murry in Coast Guard

As a university student in the late 1980s, Crystal Murry worked as a security officer in the dorms and picked up extra shifts whenever possible. But the job forced her to miss class and she ended up on academic probation.

So Murry joined the Coast Guard, where she could put her strong work ethic and sense of duty to good use. And this, she says, was the true beginning of her journey — a journey in which she would grow up and come out as gay, but also face adversity simply because of who she is.

"I decided to live my life for me," says Murry, now 53 and living near Muskegon. "It's very stressful to try to be something you're not to please other people."

Read Murry's full story at michigan.gov/IAmAVeteran.

Veterans who would like to submit their story for our "I Served. I Am a Veteran" campaign can fill out this Nomination Form and send it to MVAA-Newsroom@michigan.gov


Thousands expected at Vet Fest in Fowlerville on Saturday

Vet Fest

Vet Fest, which bills itself as Michigan's largest veteran-engagement event of the year, is Saturday, Aug. 12 in Fowlerville.

Attracting several thousand veterans and family members from around the state, Vet Fest is free for all active duty, retired or military veteran families. Veterans can enjoy a day of camaraderie while learning about a variety of veteran-specific resources. This event is family orientated and veterans and their family members can enjoy food, bounce houses, live music, backpack and school-supply giveaways, and more. All veterans in attendance are also eligible to win a wide variety of prizes valued from $300-$1500.

The event, presented by Vetlife, runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fowlerville Fairgrounds, 8800 W. Grand River Road in Fowlerville. 

Registration is required for free entry, and you will be asked to show your military ID (Department of Defense Identification Card, Health Identification Card, Veteran ID Card or veteran designation on a state-issued driver's license) at check-in.

Register at Eventbrite.


'Why We Serve Veterans:' Erika Hoover, MVAA's women veterans and special populations coordinator

Why We Serve - Erika Hoover

Erika Hoover has been serving her fellow veterans for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency since October 2017. In her role, Hoover identifies challenges and barriers that female veterans and special populations face, works with community partners to implement best practices and innovative solutions and performs interagency, public and federal VA advocacy efforts. 

"I advocate for veterans who are underserved in Michigan," said Hoover, who served in the Navy from 2009 to 2013. "That's any veteran — from LGBTQ+ veterans to those experiencing homelessness, women veterans, justice-involved veterans and tribal veterans."

In our latest video highlighting MVAA's staff members, hear why Erika is proud to work at the MVAA and serve Michigan veterans and their families every day.

The MVAA is the central coordinating agency for Michigan's 530,000-plus veterans and their families. We connect veterans to their earned benefits. For more information, visit michigan.gov/MVAA or call 1-800-MICH-VET (1-800-642-4838). 


Fight brews in Congress over companies that charge veterans for filing claims

A fight is bubbling up over competing proposals in Congress to address companies that charge fees to help veterans file disability benefits claims.

On the one side is a bipartisan group of lawmakers, veterans service organizations and the Department of Veterans Affairs that wants to impose criminal penalties on any unaccredited company that charges veterans to file claims on their behalf.

On the other side is another group of lawmakers and some unaccredited companies that argue a small number of bad actors charging outrageous fees is making the whole industry look bad and that veterans should be able to choose to hire someone to help them if they want. That side is pushing to change the accreditation process so companies can legally continue their operations, in addition to imposing criminal penalties on businesses that remain unaccredited.

Read the full story at Military.com.


Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE
ARE IN CRISIS:

The Veterans Crisis Line is staffed by caring, qualified crisis responders who are there to help. Many of these responders are veterans themselves.

Online Resources

MVAA Logo

LEAN ON US:

Call 1-800-MICH-VET

(1-800-642-4838)

Visit Michigan.gov/MVAA

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Follow Us on Social Media


This email was sent to jmc001@ameritech.net using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs · 3411 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. · Lansing, MI 48906