MONTHLY MINUTES FOR: 11 May 21
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 Commander Webber.
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 Chirman—Tim Aukshun—Present
• Seam Squirrel – Rhett Webber – Present
• National Home/POW/MIA Chairman - Rhett Webber – Present
• Webmaster – Pete Brozowski – Present
• Assistant Quartermaster – Charlie Spain – Absent
• Historian—Pete Brozowski—Present
• OOD—Garrett Bridges - Present
There were 11 members in attendance.
Commander Webber recognized the following distinguished attendees:
• All past Department, District and Post Commanders.
o Current District 7 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
READING, REFERRING MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS: None
READING OF MINUTES: The Minutes from the April 13, 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 Rodgers. No discussion. Motion approved.
READING OF BILLS: None
OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE: None
COMRADE OR FAMILY OF A COMRADE IN DISTRESS:
• JD Keller, is convalescing at home.
• Joe Dager is convalescing at home.
• Larry Purdy is convalescing at home.
REPORT OF SERVICE OFFICER:
• 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.
• VMS STUDENT VETS. This program is now open to E-5 and below, active duty personnel. The program pays for school up to $5000. The program is 100% funded by Sports Clip’s “HELP A HERO SCHOLARSHIP”.
• 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:
• COMMANDERS REPORT: Sent via email
• SURGEON: None
• JUDGE ADVOCATE: None
• CHAPLAIN: None
• HISTORIAN: None
• SAFETY OFFICER: Sent via email
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: Sent via email
• POW/MIA: Sent via email
• MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT: None
• BUDGET COMMITTEE: None
• SCHOOLS: Still need a School Committee Chairman
• SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE: None
• SEAM SQUIRREL: No report
• CHILI COOK OFF: We are working on the feasibility of having a CCO later this year, more information will be provided in the upcoming months.
A motion was made by Comrade Aukshun to accept all committee reports, seconded by Comrade Bridges. Some discussion. Motion approved.
REMEMBER OUR NATIONAL HOME:A prayer was said by Chaplain Rogers, 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 is still working with BPI to gain access to our VFW account. He will soon have all the requirements fulfilled and meet 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 4th of July BBQ at Crown and Anchor, to celebrate this important holiday. The fireworks display will be held at Sunset View Resort (formally JD’s) on July 3rd. However, this will only be possible if restrictions are lifted. We will make a final decision on this at next month’s meeting and provide an update in June minutes.
• All newly elected officers, for the 2020-2021 term, were sworn in by District 7 Commander Bobby Reyes. Their term will begin June 19, 2021. Congratulations to all of the incoming officers.
• Post 9892 will provide a wreath for the Memorial Day Ceremony at Clark Veterans Cemetery.
• Comrade Bridges initiated a discussion regarding having ceremonies at the local cemeteries, on Memorial Day. In spite of the travel restrictions, several comrades will visit the local cemeteries in the San Fernando Area, as we have done in the past. They will place flags on the gravesites of deceased veterans.
• An individual associated with the family of MOH recipient, Jose Nesperos, has requested financial assistance from the post. A motion was made by Comrade Reyes to open a discussion on this, motion seconded by Comrade Bridges, lengthy discussion, motion denied. In summary our financial situation does not support this request. Commander Webber will prepare a response and send it to the family.
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.
• 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 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 was scheduled to be held at Pattaya Beach, Thailand June 27 – 30. However, due to travel restrictions the face to face meeting has been cancelled and rescheduled for June 19, via zoom. • Chaplin Rogers reminded us to maintain social distancing and the wearing of masks, even if you have received the vaccine.
• 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.
• Letter from the DPA Commander, Ken Stien: Effective immediately and for the remainder of this term the Department will contribute $100 to a post for all new Life Members added to the rolls. This is a change from the original program and from the modification announced a few months ago. With this change the Department will contribute $100 to a post for ANY new Life Member. We expect the Post to match the $100 DPA contribution, thereby making the Life Membership very affordable by reducing the cost by a total of $200. Due to this unprecedented action, we will be discontinuing the Life Member Recruiting Program (Posts) whereby posts with 500 and fewer members received $400 for every four new life members recruited, and posts with over 500 members received $400 for every seven new life members recruited. This program is discontinued effective immediately. We look forward to transferring cash incentives to a post account as you increase Life Membership. Remember one of the keys to a strong and viable post is a solid foundation of Life members.
District Elections: The District 7 convention was held on April, 17, 2021, via zoom. The following comrades were elected to District positions, as follows:
o Commander; Bobby Reyes
o SVC; Rosco McGlynn
o JVC: Barry Larson
o Chaplin: Jim Rodgers
o Quartermaster: Norm Smith
o Judge Advocate: Mike Applegate
o Surgeon: Tim Aukshun
o Trustee 1: Cliff Wilsey
50/50 DRAWING: None
BUDDY POPPY: None
Meeting closed at 1040 hours in accordance with VFW ritual. The next Col B.J. Smith VFW Post 9892 meeting will be, 8 June, 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.