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SERVING  THE  COMMUNITIES  OF  LOCKPORT,  LEMONT  &  HOMER GLEN
January 7, 2017
The AMERICAN LEGION with its' 3.5 million members is the world's largest Veterans service organization. Representing the interests of our military 
members
and Veterans, your LEGION'S voice is heard in Washington. Join, renew and support your AMERICAN LEGION
.

MONTHLY MEETINGS:
1st Tuesday,         7:00, POST Members                                      3rd Tuesday,    7:00, Auxiliary                                
1st Wednesday,   7:00 Legion Riders (A.L.R.)                            Last Tuesday,  7:00, POST 18 Executive Board      
2nd Tuesday,       7:00 Sons of the American Legion (S.A.L)                      
                                                                                                                                                                                                              
15052 S. Archer, Lockport, IL 60441        Phone:  815-838-4515
E-mail: alegion18@aol.com     Web site: www.alegion18.org    Webmaster:  praxisllc@aol.com

COMMANDER'S MESSAGE:

It's time to renew your dues for 2017. If your dues card says "2016" then it's time. If you paid your dues for 2017, disregard the all other notices that are automatically sent out from our National HQ in Indianapolis. If you haven't yet paid for 2017, you will receive your new dues card more quickly if you pay at our Post. For any questions, contact Vic Martinka at: 815-372-2656.

In case you haven't seen it, check out this special "National Anthem" presentation; watch it until the end.    ttps://t.co/wbIjQ0ix4X

                                                                                                                                                            Mike Meyers


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TO THOSE WE REMEMBER AND GIVE THANKS. . .

USN/USCG VIETNAM UNIT MEMORIAL NAVAL AMPHIBIOUS BASE CORONADO, CALIFORNIA
                             
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Since being chartered in 1920, our American Legion Post 18 has been welcoming VETERANS from all branches of our Armed Forces. Today, we continue to welcome all current military personnel serving our country. Joining our Post enables you to continue serving your God, Country and Community. Our mission is to implement the goals, aspirations, dreams, peace and blessings for our country, friends and families embodied in our preamble.

 
POST NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS 

NATIONAL COMMEMORATION OF THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR (Nov. 1, 1965 - May 15, 1975) 

THIS DAY IN VIETNAM HISTORY," (WWW.HISTORY.COM)   "OPERATION MCLAIN IS LAUNCHED,"  JANUARY 19, 1968
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/operation-mclain-is-launched
“Sky Soldiers” from the 173rd Airborne Brigade begin Operation McLain with a reconnaissance-in-force operation in the Central Highlands. The purpose of this operation
was to find and destroy the communist base camps in the area in order to promote better security for the province. The operation ended on January 31, 1970, with 1,042 enemy casualties.


"MORE TROOPS ARE BEING WOUNDED IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, THE PENTAGON QUIETLY ACKNOWLEDGES," Andrew Granpre, Military Times, Jan. 5, 2017
At least 14 American military personnel have been wounded in combat since the start of October while battling Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, according to Defense Department data reviewed by Military Times. The sudden increase accounts for nearly half of the 30 wounded-in-action reports that the U.S. has publicly acknowledged since the ISIS campaign began in August 2014, and coincides with two ongoing offensives targeting the terror group's strongholds in both countries: Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, the Islamic State's self-declared capital.

Although comparatively small when measured against monthly casualty reports from the height of America's full-scale conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the numbers suggest that more U.S. troops are being sent closer to the Islamic State's front lines to direct or help local forces who are in the lead. It's a sensitive topic for the Pentagon and the White House, which has made painstaking efforts to minimize any perception that American forces are actively engaged in ground combat despite steadily increasing force levels in both theaters where now more than 5,500 U.S. troops are deployed.


VETERANS' EXPOSURE TO AGENT ORANGE AFFECTING THEIR DEPENDENTS
ProPublica/Journalism in the Public Interest, Jan. 3, Charles Ornstein
For decades, the Department of Veterans Affairs has collected — and ignored — reams of information that could have helped answer that question, an investigation by ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot has found. Its medical staff has physically examined more than 668,000 Vietnam veterans possibly exposed to Agent Orange, documenting health conditions and noting when and where they served. For at least 34 years, the agency also has asked questions about their children’s birth defects, before and after the war.

A recent ProPublica analysis found that the odds of having a child born with birth defects during or after the war were more than a third higher for veterans who say they handled, sprayed or were directly sprayed with Agent Orange than for veterans who say they weren’t exposed or weren’t sure. Experts said more research is needed and that the VA should be taking it on.

This month, Congress passed a bill that requires, among other things, that the VA pay for an analysis of all research done thus far on the descendents of veterans with toxic exposure. It also requires the agency to determine the feasibility of future research and, if such studies are possible, to pursue them. The VA said it recently asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to look into whether exposure to Agent Orange could have effects in vets’ offspring. It could be a couple years before any report is issued with recommendations for future research.


POW/MIA UPDATE

Americans accounted for: The number of US personnel missing and unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War is still 1,618, unchanged since June 9th.  The total accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 965.  Another 63 US personnel, recovered by the US and identified before the end of the war, bring the total of US personnel accounted for from the Vietnam War to 1,028. Of the 1,618 still missing (POW/MIA) and unaccounted-for (KIA/BNR), 90% were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Cambodia and Laos under Vietnam’s wartime control: Vietnam-1,261 (VN-463, VS-798); Laos-301; Cambodia-49; PRC territorial waters-7.  These country-specific numbers can and do fluctuate when investigations result in changes to loss locations.  Since formation in 1970, the League has sought the return of all POWs, the fullest possible accounting for those still missing, and repatriation of all recoverable remains.

VA LOAN LIMITS UPDATED FOR 2017

Military.com | Week of December 12, 2016
VA loans typically have a limit of $424,100 for the guaranty amount, but for many counties in the US, your limit will be higher. For a complete list of all counties and their loan limits, see this updated Military.com VA Loan Limit page.


VA:
OVERDOSE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL DEATH IN U.S.

Opioid overdoses kill 78 Americans every day. To protect Veterans, VA developed a program to teach patients how to prevent, recognize, and respond to an opioid overdose with naloxone. Naloxone (commonly known as Narcan) is an emergency medication that can reverse an opioid overdose and save a life. For more information is available at
veteranshealth@public.govdelivery.com

VA CEMETERIES OFFERING PRE-ENROLLMENT FOR ELIGIBLE VETERANS
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) this week announced it now provides eligibility determinations for interment in a VA national cemetery prior to the time of need. Through the Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility Program, upon request, individuals can learn if they are eligible for burial or memorialization in a VA national cemetery. Interested individuals may submit VA Form 40-10007, Application for Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery, and supporting documentation, such as a DD Form 214, if readily available, to the VA National Cemetery Scheduling Office by toll-free fax
at 1-855-840-8299; email to
Eligibility.PreNeed@va.gov; or mail to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.

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JANUARY EVENT SCHEDULE           

SUNDAYS,  5:00 PM - "QUEEN OF HEARTS" - TICKET SALES END AT 4:55 PM.

Queen of Hearts tickets are available throughout the week in the Club Room: 6 for $5 or $1 each.
If no one wins, the pot rolls over to the following week until we have a winner. Bring your friends
and take a chance to win the jackpot! Proceeds go to support POST 18.

 TUESDAYS

            - "HOT DOG TUESDAYS." S.A.L.'s $1.50 HOT DOG FUNDRAISER 

            - SWING DANCE LESSONS, PAVILION, 7-9:00 PM, no charge; donations appreciated

JANUARY 3, TUESDAY - REGULAR POST 18 MEMBERS MEETING CANCELLED

JANUARY 8, SUNDAY, PANCAKE BREAKFAST, 8:00 - 11:00 AM

JANUARY 22, SUNDAY, PANCAKE BREAKFAST, 8:00 - 11:00 AM, "LADY FIRE" HOMER GLEN

JANUARY 28 & 29, SAT./SUN, "CONCEALED CARRY GUN CLASS," FOR INFO: CONTACT CHUCK SKAGGS @ 708-259-3293

JANUARY 29, SUNDAY

        - SPAGHETTI DINNER, 1:00 - 5:00 PM

        - "GUNNER SCOTT" CONCERT, 2:00 PM

FUTURE EVENTS

MAY 19-21 - POST 18 “POPPY DAYS FUNDRAISING EVENT”

MAY 29, MONDAY, MEMORIAL DAY & "VIETNAM ERA VETERANS WELCOME HOME" CEREMONIES

 PLEASE! Do not use the back parking lot during the winter months due to ice.


                                                                                                                               POTPURRI


IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT CONTRIBUTING TO VETERAN CAUSES...

The following is a list of larger veteran support programs and a comparison to Charity Navigator and the American Institute of Philanthropy. Below is a list of
the programs that rank highest in Charity Navigator, and those who rank lowest.
 
The Top 10
Organization
Charity Navigator Score*
Percent to Program**
DAV
98.2
95.8
Thanks USA
88.3
93.7
Fisher House
99.4
93.4
Operation Homefront
97.2
93.4
Operation Support Our Troops - America
91.2
89.6
Armed Services YMCA of the USA
94.7
89.5
Homes for our troops
92.9
89.4
Army Emergency Relief Fund
96.0
87.4
Navy/marine corps relief society
96.3
86.9
Hire Heroes USA
98.2
85.2



The bottom 10
Organization
Charity Navigator Score*
Percent to Program**
Wounded Warrior Project
82.1
58.8
Freedom Alliance
78.6
56.8
Help Hospitalized Veterans/ Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
58.6
50.1
Paralyzed Veterans of America
29.1
32.7
National Veterans Service Fund
28.0
25.0
 
Charity Navigator Score - a composite ranking of the quality of the program using a financial evaluation and a measure of Accountability and Transparency
** Percent to Program is the percentage of the expenses that are applied directly to the operation of the program
            Provided by Lake County VAC

WHAT IS VETERAN AID AND ATTENDANCE PENSION?
The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an assistingliving facility also qualifies. The A&A Pension can provide up to $1,788 per month to a veteran, $1,149 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,120 per month to a couple. ​A​ veteran filing with a sick spouse is eligible for up to $1,406 per month​. Many families overlook the A&A Pension as it pertains to veterans who are still independent, but have an ill spouse. Keep in mind that in this situation,if the spouse's medical expenses completely deplete their combined monthly income, the Veteran can file as a Veteran with a sick.  Additional information at:
http://www.veteranaid.org/ 
NEED A DD 214?
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s online:
                 http://vetrecs.archives.gov/ or try http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/
HOW TO APPLY FOR AN UPGRADED/CORRECTED DD 214
All records are kept at the "National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri. When discharged a veteran is given a Form DD-214 with most pertinent information on it. This DD-214 can be upgraded to a DD-215 which allows for additional information to be added. The DD-215 is on a 1/2 page and has a Certified stamp embossed on it. The first step to acquiring a DD-215 is filling out a Form 180. Here is a website where the Form is located. You can fill it out online, print it and mail a hardcopy. Always keep a copy of any documentation for your records. Here is a National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) site where you can fill the form out online. A Next of Kin can request records for a deceased Veteran: 
                
http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/
Do not move from the page while filling out the form or you will lose the information that you’ve typed in.  
HEARING AIDS FOR MILITARY RETIREES (Retiree at Cost Hearing Aid Program - RACHAP)
Retirees can obtain hearing aids at significant savings by using our program. Two hearing aids can usually be purchased for less than $2,000. Exact costs are variable and subject to change at any time without notice. Contact your nearest VA audiology clinic for further details. This program is not a TRICARE benefit. The program is open to all military retirees who have hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Dependents of military retirees are not eligible for this program.

NEW POST 18 "95th POST ANNIVERSARY & VIETNAM COMMEMORATIVE COINS" $10.
The new coin reflects the "95th Anniversary of Post 18" on one side and the "50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War"
on the other side. Coins are available in the Club Room for $10.


HALL AND PAVILION RENTAL AVAILABLE
Go to "Hall Rental" page. Contact Mike Meyers at 708-516-1469. Remind your family, friends
and neighbors of our hall and catering availability.

VETERAN INFORMATION RESOURCES (Copy web address and paste to your browser)
AMERICAN LEGION FLAGS
VETERAN SERVICE RECORDS & DD214 REQUESTS:
        http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/
2015 VA DISABILITY COMPENSATION RATES
      
http://www.military.com/benefits/veterans-health-care/va-disability-compensation-rates.html
AID AND ATTENDANCE PENSION
       www.veteranaid.org/program.php
STATE OF ILLINOIS UNCLAIMED PROPERTY I-CASH PROGRAM
      
www.icash.illinois.gov
VA DENTAL INSURANCE OFFERED
      http://va.gov/ 
VA RATING SYSTEM FOR DISABILITY
EARLY BIRD BRIEFS - TO SUBSCRIBE
FEDERAL BENEFITS FOR VETERANS, DEPENDENTS & SURVIVORS. 2013 EDITION
MILITARY RIBBON/MEDAL MOUNTING AND REPLACEMENT
        http://www.ultrathin.com/
MILITARY BENEFITS ONLINE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
        http://www.military.com/NL_MR/1,14852,9883,00.html 
DoD ANNOUNCES VIETNAM WAR 50th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION PROGRAM: 
        http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/
VIETNAM MEMORIAL WALL
        
http://www.virtualwall.org/iStates.htm  
V.A. INFORMATION: 
       
 http://www.myhealth.va.gov/  
        http://va.gov/  
"AGENT ORANGE PRESUMPTIVE DISEASES" 
       
http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp
VIETNAM REFERENCE LINK
        Search lists compiled about the Vietnam War. Please share it with anyone who served in Vietnam Era or knew someone who served.
       
http://www-static.cc.gatech.edu/fac/Thomas.Pilsch/Vietnam.html

HANDGUN MANUALS
        Smith & Wesson:  http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_757821_-1_757814_757812_image 
MEMORIAL AND BURIAL BENEFITS:
        http://www.nwcfoundation.org/Files/Admin/Documents/Military%20Death%20Benefit%20Information.pdf
VETERAN'S LEGAL SUPPORT:

        John Marshall Law School - Phone: 312-717-2737