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Greetings Western Division Team,
April is here and spring is in the air, among all the seasons, spring is my favorite, it opens many fun opportunities for Units to celebrate these April holidays with veterans and their families. Month of the Military Child Month of April Military Saves Month Month of April April Fool’s Day April 1 Good Friday April 7 Easter April 9 Gold Star Spouses Day April 5 National Former POW Recognition Day April 9 Air Force Reserve Birthday April 14 Purple Up! Day April 15 Earth Day April 22 Army Reserve Birthday April 23 National Military Brats Day April 30 April is designated as Month of the Military Child – a time to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide, with an emphasis on the experience of the dependent children of military members serving at home and overseas. Month of the Military Child is sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy and supported by many other organizations including the American Legion Auxiliary. This is a time to put special emphasis on this programs that is administered year-round by holding events, ceremonies, contests, and special nights through the month of April, urging military families to get involved, learn about the military lifestyle, and learn from the past experiences of other military families. “Purple Up! For Military Kids” is a day for American Legion Auxiliary to wear purple to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Purple indicates that all branches of the military are supported. Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine red, and Coast Guard blue all are thought to be combined as a single color, purple. Many organizations will often celebrate Purple Up! Day by offering free treats to any child who wears. These are just a few programs and events to celebrate for the month of April, however we have many other organizations who support the Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation program in our community all year round. This is a good way to network and reach out to people who share the same passion to support our veterans and their families. Reach out to these following organizations: Red Cross: Military and Veteran Caregiver Network. The Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN) offers peer-based support and services to connect those providing care to service members and veterans living with wounds, illnesses, inju ries and/or aging. https://www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/services-for-veterans/military-veterancaregiver-network.html Psych Armor Psych Armor is a national nonprofit organization that provides education and training to improve the health and life outcomes of military-connected individuals. They create data-driven and evidencebased virtual training courses that help to enhance the level of connection between civilians and military-connected people. https://www.psycharmor.org Honor Flight Network The Honor Flight Network is a national network of independent Hubs working together to honor our nation’s veterans with an all-expenses paid trip to the memorials in Washington, D.C., a trip many of our veterans may not otherwise be able to take. Participation in an Honor Flight trip gives veterans the chance to share this momentous trip with other veterans, to remember friends and comrades lost, and share their stories and experiences with each other. https://www.honorflight.org The National Coalition of the Homeless The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To end and prevent homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights are respected and protected. www.nationalhomeless.org End of Year Reports are due before May 15, 2023 Questions to be answered on your report: • How did your units and department support veterans and their families? • Provide details on how your department supported homeless veterans? • Detail activities, projects and success stories related to supporting the Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation program in your department. • Detail activities related to caregiving: both caring for veterans and caring for caregivers. • Detail activities and projects related to supporting veterans who may have felt disenfranchised due to their personal circumstances. Do not forget to include pictures with your report and you should send them in the largest pixel size possible and as a separate attachment from your report. The Best Photos are: • Showing members in action working our mission • Smiling and having fun We cannot use photos: • That are embedded in reports. • Have poor quality. • Questionable Content Please send in your Reports by March 15th, for Western Division to reach 100% reporting for our Year End VA&R Report. I know we can DO IT! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Wishing you and your families a wonderful and safe Easter. Darlene Allen, Western Division National VA&R Chairman, Department of New Mexico, P O Box 21055, ABQ, NM 87154, Cell Phone: 505-321-1974, email: email@example.com American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Washington VA & R Bulletin – February 2023
Veterans our heart’s valentines – let it shine!
The Western VA & R Team greets February as a fun and exciting month to share with veterans!
Celebrating Valentine’s Day is one of the simplest things that means a lot to our Veterans.
If you miss Valentine’s Day, consider St. Patrick’s Day.
Here are some creative ideas:
· Decorate and create boxes to fill with surprises to share at your local VA Medical Center or Veterans Home by contacting their volunteer services or activities director
· Consider contacting your church, coworkers, or American Legion Family for donations to include in the boxes (comfort items, clothing, books to read, magazines, and bedside activities)
· Contact local elementary teachers to participate by giving their students the opportunity to make greeting cards (no glitter, please!) for Veterans
· If you fill your boxes with pre-packaged foods, please contact volunteer coordinator or activities director for their suggestions.
Year-end VA & R Reports are due on May 15, 2023! National needs details about how our Units in Washington support the Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation program whether as Voluntary Service at a VA Medical Center or in our communities as Service to Veterans. Especially important are activities and projects related to caregiving for both Veterans and caring for Caregivers. Photos are also needed to include with our report. (Our report period is from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.)
Please send your items to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteering at our National Cemeteries is also part of VA & R. Some of the ways in which you can volunteer includes honoring Veterans at the time of burial, serving in Military Funeral Honors, providing staff support greeting visitors, directions around the grounds, administrative and groundskeeping support or planning ceremonies for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Please contact your local VA Medical Center Voluntary Service Office (Center for Development and Civic Engagement) for more information.
Lastly, we need your help!! The Department needs a Chair and Vice Chair for the Orting Gift Shop.
Our Gift Shops truly are a year-round activity as planning and shopping for gifts is continuous. Currently, big box stores like Costco have fantastic bargains on clothing (pajamas, fleece wear, tops, pants, jackets, and shoes).
Please send news and photos of your VA & R activities as they occur. They are welcomed at any time. All news will be added to the Department’s VA & R Year-End Report.
Service Not Self
2022-2023 Dept. VA & R Chair