MONTHLY MINUTES FOR: 9 February 2021
Due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine and travel restrictions throughout the island of Luzon, Republic of the Philippines this meeting was done using group video conferencing with the Zoom Application. Opening ceremonies for a regular meeting conducted in accordance with Veterans of Foreign Wars Ritual; meeting opened at 0900 hours. Opening prayers were given by appointed Post Chaplain, Comrade Rogers.
ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS:
• Commander – Rhett Webber – Present
• Senior Vice Commander – Andrew Dzurissin– Present
• Junior Vice Commander – Edward “Pete” Brozowski– Present
• Quartermaster – Tim Aukshun- Present
• Chaplain - James Rodgers-Present
• Trustee One – John Mesaros - Absent
• Trustee Two – Garret Bridges – Present
• Trustee Three – Fred Russian–Present
• Adjutant – Bud St.Onge - Present
• Judge Advocate – Bud St.Onge – Present
• Surgeon –Andrew Dzurissin—Present
• Safety Officer – Rhett Webber – Present
• Service Officer – Bobby Reyes – Present
• Student Assistance Chairman—Tim Aukshun—Present
• Seam Squirrel – Rhett Webber – Present
• National Home/POW/MIA Chairman - Rhett Webber – Present
• Webmaster – Pete Brozowski – Present
• Assistant Quartermaster – Charlie Spain –Present
• Historian—Pete Brozowski—Present
• OOD—Garrett Bridges - Present
Commander Reyes recognized the following distinguished attendees:
• All past Department, District and Post Commanders.
o Current District 7 (acting) Commander and past Post Commander: Bobby Reyes
o Past All American District 7 Commander and Post Commander: Tim Aukshun
o Past District 7 Commander and Post Commander: Bud St Onge
There were 12 members in attendance.
DRAPING OF THE CHARTER CEREMONY: None
READING, REFERRING MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS: None
READING OF MINUTES: The Minutes from the January 12, 2020 meeting have been posted on the Post website and distributed via email. A motion to accept the minutes, as distributed and posted, was made by Comrade St. Onge, seconded by Comrade Aukshun. No discussion. Motion approved.
QUARTERMASTER’S REPORT: The Post’s financial status was read by QM Aukshun. A motion to accept the Quartermaster’s Report, upon audit, was made by QM Aukshun, seconded by Comrade Rodgers. No discussion. Motion approved.
READING OF BILLS: None
OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE: None
COMRADE OR FAMILY OF A COMRADE IN DISTRESS:
• Daniel Cimo is currently in Clark Medical Center for treatment of several ailments.
• Dave Ransom is convalescing at home.
• James Kiper is convalescing at home.
• JD Keller, is convalescing at home.
REPORT OF SERVICE OFFICER:
• Presently working with clients.
• Service-Connected Veterans enrolled with VAOPC Manila will be offered the COVID-19 Vaccine when available.
• CLAIMS: A reminder to look at our post Webpage and you will find the documents that most people would use to file a claim. Your post service officer and District Service Officer can assist you. The post Service Officer will forward the paperwork through the District 7 Service Officer and Assistant Department Service Officer. Claimants can set up a Zoom or telephone appointment with the Post Service Officer using the Email
• SO9892@vfwpacific.org VA Form 21-22 must be filled out giving the VFW Power of Attorney to assist with the claim.
• VAOPC Manila will continue to have telephone appointments until further notice, although they do have limited face to face appointments. We advise that you check with them prior to your appointment, to confirm it. Ensure that they have your current phone number on file, as they will be contacting you by phone or by secure messaging in My Healthy Vet. There are strict guidelines that must be followed for clinic visits. Some specialty doctors are no longer available at the clinic. Check with the clinic to confirm your options for receiving specialty care. In most cases you will have to be treated by a private doctor and seek reimbursement from FMP (Foreign Medical Plan).The VA can also provide you a VES exam with a local doctor at no cost to the Veteran.
• See our new link in our VFW 9892 Website entitled, “VA Survivors Benefits”. Here veterans and survivors can find information on filing and be able to download forms. There are many links to documents on our Website. We have been receiving positive feedback on its content. Of interest is the link “Planning Your Legacy”. It is a rather large download as this is a book that will give guidance to the veteran and family. www.vfwpost9892.com We have a link to the page on our Facebook also.
• Attachments to this month’s minutes are as follows:
o VA Manila Outpatient clinic phone numbers o Questions from veterans that have been forwarded to VA
o VA Manila Regional Office Benefits section latest guidelines
o Minutes from the February 4, 2021 VA Advisory Board meeting
o VHA (Veterans Health Administration) directive 1521. Guidelines for the Manila clinic as of February 5, 2021
REPORTS OF OFFICERS:
JUDGE ADVOCATE: None
SAFETY OFFICER: None.
COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN REPORTS:
• COMMUNITY SERVICE: All CSRs shall be inputted on the new VFW DPA page at www.vfwpacific.org
• BUDDY POPPY: None • NATIONAL HOME: None
• POW/MIA: None • MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT: None
• BUDGET COMMITTEE: None
SCHOOLS: Still need a School Committee Chairman
• SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE: None
• SEAM SQUIRREL: A pup tent 7 meeting will follow the VFW meeting.
• CHILI COOK OFF: See “Good of the Order” for information on the drawing.
A motion was made by Comrade Brozowski to accept all committee reports, seconded by Comrade Roscoe. Some discussion. Motion approved.
REMEMBER OUR NATIONAL HOME: A prayer was said by Comrade Rogers, in remembrance of our National Home.
• Membership Drive Booth at CSI continues to be on hold.
• Bacsil Ridge project is on hold.
• Post 9892 Birthday celebration still reset for at a later date once we have our first physical GMM at Crown & Anchor.
• Post 9892 bank account: We are working with the bank (Bank of the Philippine Islands) to provide them with the necessary documents so that we can have access to our funds. This account has been locked for some time now due to additional documents required by the bank. We expect to resolve this soon. A motion was made by Comrade Brozowski to defer all community service projects until we have full access to our BPI bank account. The motion was seconded by Comrade Reyes, some discussion, motion was disapproved. As a result of this we decided to continue to do community service projects as long as we have funds, either through the money we do have available or by Post members funding it, until all of our bank account funds are available.
• School scholarship program: A motion was made by Comrade Dzurissin to establish a committee to review applicants for this program, motion seconded by Comrade Aukshun, some discussion, motion approved. Commander Webber assigned the following comrades to the school scholarship committee: SVC Dzurissin, JVC Brozowski, QM Aukshun. All applicants for this program shall be submitted to the committee for review and consideration.
• A motion was made by Comrade Dzurissin to add fireworks purchases (4th of July celebration) of 10,000 pesos to the annual budget, seconded by Comrade Reyes, some discussion, motion approved. We discussed doing a celebration this year on July 3rd and possibly including a fundraising event/BBQ with the La Union Hashers, as we have done in the past. More information will be provided on this event in the coming months.
GOOD OF THE ORDER:
• We have been advised by our National organization that they are experiencing delays in the production of Buddy Poppies. Please continue to submit your orders while they actively work toward fulfilling your requests. All orders will be processed in the order in which they are received, but fulfillment may be significantly delayed. Feel free to send inquiries to the National Buddy Poppy program administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Commander Webber encourages any Veteran scheduled for a Manila VA appointment to request a telecom with their primary doctor, to avoid having their medications cut off. This guidance shall remain in place until quarantine restrictions are lifted.
• Keep the press on membership. Ask; you never know if anybody is interested in joining unless you give them an opportunity to say yes...or no.
• Comrade Reyes encourages all post members to follow/friend the two DPA Facebook Pages: "DPA Official Communications" and "DPA Around the Pacific" and to sign up for the VFW Action Weekly on www.vfw.org up to date information on what the VFW is doing on the legislative front.
• The new Department of Pacific Areas Webpage is www.vfwpacific.org Log in to Members Only to input CSR data using the member’s VFW membership number and your last name as the password.
• Blue Water Navy Veterans are now approved for Agent Orange disabilities claims, subject to verification and approval by the VA.
• Three new Agent Orange presumptive’ s, bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and parkinsonism have been added to the existing presumptive’ s.
• The VFW National Convention is scheduled to be held in Baltimore Maryland this year. The dates have not been set but this event typically is in the July – August time frame. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
• The Department of Pacific Areas Convention is scheduled to be held at Pattaya Beach, Thailand June 27 – 30. However, this depends on people’s ability to travel in and out of their respective country. We will provide updates on this in the coming months. It is advised that you should not make any hotel reservations at this time.
• There has been a letter circulating throughout the Veterans community labeled the Veterans Alliance Petition, seeking support for vaccines being made available to U.S. Citizens residing in the Philippines. If you support this initiative, you may sign it as an individual. Do not make any reference of being a member of the VFW. The VFW organization has not taken a position on this as of this date and until further guidance is provided by our National Office, it will remain neutral.
• Chili Cook Off: Comrade Brozowski suggested that we begin exploring the prospects of having a CCO event in November. He will meet with the Municipality of Bauang and San Juan to discuss having the event in one of these two cities, considering that quarantine restrictions may still be in place. This type of event requires the blessing of the respective city to comply with the social distancing rules. We will provide more information in the coming months.
• Visa’s: There are strict rules and restrictions for entering the Philippines. These rules are constantly changing. The SRRV holders, issued by the Philippine Retirement Authority, are now allowed to enter the country. However, there are compliance requirements that must be followed. We are suggesting that you follow the Facebook pages of the BI (Bureau of Immigration) and the PRA (Philippine Retirement Authority) to get up to date information on these entry requirements.
50/50 DRAWING: None
BUDDY POPPY: P500
Meeting closed at 1020 hours in accordance with VFW ritual. The next Col B.J. Smith VFW Post 9892 meeting will be March 9,2021 @ 0900, at Crown & Anchor Resto, # 475 National Highway, Barangay Pagdalagan Sur, Bauang, La Union. However, if we are still in quarantine, we will have the meeting via Zoom.