MONTHLY MINUTES FOR: 08 June 2021
Due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine and travel restrictions throughout the Republic of the Philippines, this meeting was conducted using group video conferencing with the Zoom Application. Opening ceremonies for a regular meeting were conducted in accordance with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ritual; meeting opened at 0900 hours. Opening prayers were given by Comrade Webber.
ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS:
• Commander – Rhett Webber – Present
• Senior Vice Commander – Andrew Dzurissin– Present
• Junior Vice Commander – Edward “Pete” Brozowski– Excused
• Quartermaster – Tim Aukshun- Present
• Chaplain - James Rodgers-Absent
• 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
• Scholarship Committee Chairman—Tim Aukshun—Present • Seam Squirrel – Rhett Webber – Present
• National Home/POW/MIA Chairman - Rhett Webber – Present
• Webmaster – Pete Brozowski – Excused
• Assistant Quartermaster – Charlie Spain – Absent
• Historian—Pete Brozowski—Excused
• 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 9 members in attendance.
DRAPING OF THE CHARTER CEREMONY: None
READING, REFERRING MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS: George Paton’s application was approved, after review and acceptance by the membership committee. Comrade St.Onge made a motion to accept Comrade Paton as a Post 9892 member, seconded by Comrade McGlynn. No discussion. Motion approved.
READING OF MINUTES: The Minutes from the May 11, 2021 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 Bridges. 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 Bridges. No discussion. Motion approved.
READING OF BILLS: None
OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE: None
COMRADE OR FAMILY OF A COMRADE IN DISTRESS:
• JD Keller, is presently in Clark Medical Center receiving treatment.
• Joe Dager is convalescing at home.
• Larry Purdy is convalescing at home. • Jim Kiper is convalescing at home.
REPORT OF SERVICE OFFICER:
• The VFW DPA Department Service Officer (DSO) has returned from Guam. He will be in his required quarantine hotel for 10 days then do four days at home.
• Chris Pierce is the new Assistant Department Service Officer in the Philippines. He, like John Dibble, myself, Mike Castro in Japan/Korea, and the other two in Thailand and Guam are the only VA accredited Veteran Service Officers for the VFW Department of the Pacific Areas.Chris is located at the VFW DPA Department Service Officer office in Angeles City.
• The VAOPC Manila is waiting for the second batch of COVID-19 vaccines…they have requested and hoping to receive Johnson and Johnson. Veterans are still asked to sign up for the vaccine so that the VA can let you know when it is their turn. You can either call the VA at #6982 or go to the VA Website.
• VAOPC Manila is now hosting VA Training by subject matter experts through Zoom in the USA. I will will be inviting D7 District and Post Service Officer to attend these one hour long training sessions. VA OPC Manila is seeking suggestions for future trainig sessions. Next training session will be on Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance, including Chapter 35.
• There have been rating schedule changes, but veterans have nothing to fear that they may lose their ratings. The VA policy will not lower your rating. This new policy change only affects new claims. You, in fact have to be deemed by the VA that you have improved; in essence you must be seen by the VA and your condition would show improvement in order for your rating to be lowered.
• Unmet Needs may now be used overseas. Unmet Needs are to pay for rent, utilities, cellphone bills and car payments, etc. It may also be used to cover medical expenses if not covered by Tricare or FMP. The applicant must “sell it” to Lynn Rolf, VFW UNMET NEEDS Coordinator. Vets must apply directly to the Office On-line and must be receiving VA Pension or Disability to be eligible.
• COVID -19 Vaccines, are now available for veterans and veteran’s spouses at the VAOPC Manila. Caregivers may also be added. Veterans will be contacted based on their priority group, as established by the VA. We encourage each veteran to sign up for it on the My Healthy Vet website. Even if you have not decided on getting the vaccine, the enrollment will ensure that you will receive updated information on the Vaccine, via email. We will provide updates in our minutes monthly.
• 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 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.
REPORTS OF OFFICERS:
JUDGE ADVOCATE: None
SAFETY OFFICER: Emailed
COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN REPORTS:
• COMMUNITY SERVICE:
• BUDDY POPPY: None
• NATIONAL HOME: Emailed
• POW/MIA: Emailed
•MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT: None
• BUDGET COMMITTEE: None
• SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE: None
• SEAM SQUIRREL: PT-7 meeting to follow VFW meeting
• CHILI COOK OFF: See unfinished business
A motion was made by Comrade St.Onge to accept all committee reports, seconded by Comrade Bridges. Some discussion. Motion approved.
REMEMBER OUR NATIONAL HOME: A prayer was said by ComradeReyes, in remembrance of our National Home.
• Post 9892 Birthday celebration is on hold and will be scheduled once we have our first physical GMM at Crown & Anchor.
• Comrade Aukshun was finally successful in meeting all the requirements of the BPI. This resulted in the bank giving us access to our account. This account will be closed and the money transferred to another bank. Access to the post funds will no longer be a problem. Thanks to Comrade Aukshun for his determination and efforts to work through this problem with the bank.
• We will explore the prospects of providing video conferencing for future meetings, after the quarantine restrictions are lifted. This will allow members to participate even if they cannot attend the meeting in person. We will keep you updated on this.
• We are planning on having a Post 9892 BBQ at Crown and Anchor, at 1200 to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. Hot dogs and Hamburgers will be served. Comrade Aukshun made a motion to charge each member 500 pesos for attending this event to help pay for refreshments, motion seconded by Comrade Bridges. Some discussion. Motion approved. The fireworks display will be held at Acapulco Beach in Bauang, Sunset View Resort (formally JD’s) on July 3rd at sunset.
• CHILI COOK OFF: We are still working on the feasibility of having a CCO later this year, However, we are proceeding with our planning with anticipation that it will be acceptable to travel and have an assembly of people at a public event. We will be providing updates each month as we approach the November event. Our raffle, which has always been a part of the CCO, will take place regardless, as we did last year. As in the past we expect each member to be responsible to purchase and sell 1 book of tickets. Each book contains 10 tickets and will be sold for 500 pesos for each ticket, 5000 pesos per book. We need your support in selling these tickets. Contact Tim Aukshun at email@example.com to reserve tickets.
NEW BUSINESS: None
GOOD OF THE ORDER:
•The post was informed that we won the DPA competition for the best Community Service contribution. This was a difficult accomplishment considering that our travel is limited with the COVID restrictions. The following Comrades made a major contribution to this, as follows: Comrade Aukshun, Comrade Brozowski, Comrade Bridges and Comrade Dzurissin. And a special thank you to Commander Webber for his 957 CSRS inputs (72%). Congratulations to all of those members that made this a success.
• 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 and to get involved in the VFW “running membership drive”.
• 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.
• The VFW National Convention, which was scheduled to be held in Baltimore Maryland this year, is now scheduled to me held in Kansas City. The convention will only be to conduct the Business Sessions. More information will be provided as it becomes available. FYI, at this year’s convention, many important issues will be discussed. One of these is the revision of Article 9 of the by-laws. The next edition of the bylaws, published in the next few months, should reflect these changes.
• The Department of Pacific Areas Convention is scheduled for June 19 @ 0900, via zoom.
• 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.
• VA ID: If you or a dependent needs to replace a VA ID card, inform the receptionist when you arrive for a scheduled appointment at the clinic and they will direct you to the staff that can help you. You must have a clinic appointment in order to request this additional service.
• Hepatitis C: if you are between the age of 18 and 79 it is highly recommended that you get tested.
• Agent Orange claims from the Viet Nam War and chemical exposure clams from the Gulf War, that were previously denied are now being reviewed by the VA. No action is necessary on the veterans part. This may result in a favorable adjudication for those previously denied
50/50 DRAWING: None
BUDDY POPPY: P500
Meeting closed at 1040 hours in accordance with VFW ritual. The next Col B.J. Smith VFW Post 9892 meeting will be, 13 July, 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.