MONTHLY MINUTES FOR: 13 October 2020
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 Reyes.
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 - Excused
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 – Present
Assistant Quartermaster – Charlie Spain – 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 12 members in attendance.
DRAPING OF THE CHARTER CEREMONY: At our next physical General Membership Meeting at Crown & Anchor Resto; we will drape the charter for Comrades Clint Sherbondy and Cecil McMillian Jr .
READING, REFERRING MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS: None
READING OF MINUTES: The Minutes from the September 8, 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 Webber. No discussion. Motion approved.
QUARTERMASTER’S REPORT: The Post’s financial status was read by QM Aukshun. 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:
• Daniel Cimo is currently recovering at home.
• Dave Ransom is still ill at home.
• James Kiper is convalescing at home.
• Roger Limle has been in and out of Lorma hospital for the past few weeks and as of this meeting he is at home recovering.
REPORT OF SERVICE OFFICER:
1. The VFW DPA Department Service Officer (DPA) has finally been able to access Veterans Benefits Management Systems (VBMS). This means that the District Service Officer or the Assistant Department Service Officer can contact our DSO and get immediate real time updates on the status of Veterans claims. They are in the process of trying to get the regional Assistant Department Service Officers access.
2. 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.
3. Tricare Overseas Select enrollment Open Season ends December 14, 2020. If you haven’t started an allotment by then then on January 1, 2021 you will be disenrolled form Tricare.
4. VAOPC Manila will continue to have telephone appointments until November 6. More information will be passed as things change.
5. 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. 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: Tricare Select Overseas open season starts from November 9 to December 14. If you are enrolled in Tricare For Life and enrolled in Medicare Part A and B this does not apply to you. You can do it online using DFAS or set up with Tricare Overseas Select. If you miss the deadline you will not be covered under Tricare on January 1, 2021.
1. Comrade Reyes is the Assistant Department Service Officer (ADSO) for the Philippines, and is working on obtaining accessibility to Vetraspec. Service Officers shall submit requests for assistance to ADSO Reyes or DSO John Dibble. The Post will soon have a new page in our VFW Home Page to contain links to important VA Forms.
2. VAOPC Manila is rescheduling VA appointments until the clinic can operate at full capacity. Once the clinic opens you may be contacted to schedule a face to face appointment with your doctor, or you may have a scheduled appointment that you made previously. Evaluate your ability to travel freely from your home to the clinic. Presently it is too difficult to travel from outside of Metro Manila and this may continue for an extended period of time. We advise you not to accept a face to face appointment unless you are confident that you will be able to travel there.
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: This year’s event is cancelled due to travel restrictions. We will replace it with a 50/50 raffle draw as our fundraiser. All raffle tickets must be returned to Comrade Aukshun by December 6th. The drawing will be held at our Post meeting on December 8, 2020.
A motion was made by Comrade St. Onge to accept all committee reports, seconded by Comrade Brozowski. No discussion. Motion approved.
REMEMBER OUR NATIONAL HOME: A prayer was said by Commander Webber, 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.
• VFW Posts are required to store and safeguard our important documents. This is a three-step process, as follows:
o #1: Comrade Brozowski has set up a document vault on line to store our Post documents. The officers have been provided access information.
o #2: On October 24th the DPA will make final decisions of the list of documents that we must retain.
o #3: The District will provide this information to the Posts and determine what addition documents must be retained, specific to the Philippines. This will be the guidance that the Posts will follow, until modified.
GOOD OF THE ORDER:
• From Depart of Pacific Areas Commander, Ken Stein:
1. “The Pacific Times”, our newsletter that replaced “The Typhoon”, is published every other month. The next one will be published on 1 November, followed by one in January and so on. For the November/December issue I would like all Department officers and program chairman to write a short article about their area of responsibility. Please send to Public Relations Chairman Leon Ellison @ email@example.com with a copy to Pacific Times editor Augie Augustine @ firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, please reemphasize the need for input from posts so we can “Spotlight” them. If your district has something news worthy we would like to “spotlight” that as well.
2. The Department of Pacific Areas General Order #1 and MEMO #1 are on the DPA website under members only.
3. Current programs being worked are VOD/PP/TA, any questions please contact Department Chairman and D3 CDR Don Kelley @ email@example.com. The Safety/EMT/LE/Firefighter awards should also be moving forward. Contact chairman Mike O’Kelley for further information. firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Happy Birthday to the United States Navy on 13 October. 245 years of keeping the sea lanes open and preserving America’s strategic influence in key regions of the world.
5. Our Department Service Officer (DSO) John Dibble now has remote access to the VA Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS). This means your District Service Officer or if you have an Assistant Department Service officer residing within your District , can contact our DSO and get immediate real time updates on the status of a Veterans claim. This is a significant upgrade to our DSO program.
6. The VFW Foundation is shifting its grant making focus for the 2021 fiscal year to provide urgently needed financial relief to VFW Posts affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The VFW Foundation Post Pandemic Relief Grant (PPRG) is an opportunity for VFW Posts that own or lease their buildings to receive up to $2,500 in support toward expenses such as mortgage/rent, utility bills and property taxes. Posts will need to meet certain requirements to be eligible to receive funding from this program. PPRG applications will be accepted beginning 10/1/2020. However, Posts may access and begin completing the application prior to October 1 by visiting www.vfw.org/grants and clicking on “Apply Now”. For more information please visit: www.vfw.org/grants. You may also contact Jason Couch, Grants & External Relations Coordinator, at email@example.com.
7. 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
• A copy of Post 9892 by laws was distributed and reviewed, finalizing this document. Comrade Reyes made a motion to accept the revised by-laws, seconded by Comrade Brozowski, No discussion. Motion approved. Approved by-laws will be forwarded to the DPA commander for approval.
• 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 to get 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.
• The District 7 quarterly meeting, scheduled for November 10th has been rescheduled for November 12th at 1000, via zoom. This rescheduling was done after today’s meeting but the information is being provided to the membership to allow ample time to plan ahead, for those that want to attend.
• We will purchase a wreath for the Veterans Day Ceremony at Clark on November 11. The cost will be shared with Pup Tent 7.
• Post 9892 is doing well with CSR reporting. We are currently at #2 for donations and #1 for amount of CSR’s reported for District VII.
50/50 DRAWING: None
BUDDY POPPY: P500
Meeting closed at 1000 hours in accordance with VFW ritual. The next Col B.J. Smith VFW Post 9892 meeting will be 10 November, 2020 @ 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.