Wednesday, June 30, 2010
In the afternoon, American Veteran joined Congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to recognize the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.
The Congressional leaders took the time to honor two of their colleagues who fought in the war, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).
Rangel, who was injured in the war, earning the Purple Hearth and Bronze Star with "Valor" device, recounted the significance of his experience in the conflict, telling those assembled that our nation must never forget the 37,000 brave Americans who gave their lives in the conflict.
Though the Korean War is often referred to as America's "Forgotten War," the conflict is technically ongoing. Each year AMVETS leaders visit with American troops stationed along the demilitarized zone on the Korean peninsula and meet with South Korean allied military leadership.
Late in the morning, American Veteran also joined the House VA Subcommittee on Health, where subcommittee chairman, Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine), brought together telehealth industry experts. To view video from the hearing, Click Here.
Much of the hearing focused on expanded use of available wireless technology to ensure veterans can be easily reached by VA. The subcommittee also asked each of the panelists what steps could be taken by federal agencies to improve access to wireless technology for rural and remote located veterans.
"It starts with ensuring the infrastructure is present," said Dr. Joseph Smith, who represented West Wireless Health Institute in the hearing. Smith went on to say that through VA's work, cost savings and improved outcomes have been quantified, directly resulting in a 19 percent reduction in hospitalizations through VA, which should allow for the federal government to expand available telehealth resources and fund the necessary infrastructure expansions.
Smith also said that mobile technologies also offer veterans proper reminders of medication and appointments.
AMVETS, which made rural and remote veterans' access to health care a top legislative priority in 2010, supports expanded use of telehealth and improving wireless infrastructure for remote-located veterans.
(Photos: Top: Rep. Charlie Rangel discusses his experiences in the Korean War with leaders and dignitaries gathered at the U.S. Capitol, marking the 60th anniversary of the conflict. Bottom: The House VA Subcommittee on Health hears testimony on improving telehealth services for rural and remote-located veterans. Photos by Ryan Gallucci.)
To view live video from this morning's hearing, which commenced at 10 a.m. Eastern, Click Here.
VA's Office of the General Counsel is tasked with interpreting and implementing new laws that affect VA, including last year's defense appropriations, which commissioned a VA study on the benefits of assistance dogs for physically and psychologically wounded veterans.
VA General Counsel Will A. Gunn will appear before the subcommittee, answering questions on behalf of his office and VA on how recent legislation has been enacted.
American Veteran will follow this morning's hearing closely. Check back later today for updates.
Monday, June 28, 2010
This week, AMVETS Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof will be out in force on Capitol Hill, bringing together signatories from the Senate on a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki asking for clarification on the veterans' assistance dog study authorized under the 2010 defense appropriations.
Similar to Roof's letter which had 14 signatories in the House, the Senate version also asks for clarification on VA's outreach efforts on current assistance dog benefits, which were unexpectedly stalled last month.
We will also discuss recent changes VA has made to the claims paperwork for veterans seeking service-connected compensation. VA recently released a 10 page version of the VA form 21-526, allowing first time claims applicants to use the more streamlined version.
We will also continue to follow the command transition in Afghanistan, as the Senate considers Gen. David Petraeus to replaces Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who resigned last week.
We will also post an update on the 2010 AMVETS Symposium for 21st Century Veterans, taking place this summer in Louisville prior to the 66th annual AMVETS National Convention. A quick reminder that the deadline for registering participants is close-of-business on Friday, July 2.
Finally, we are laying out the summer issue of American Veteran magazine in an effort to ensure that the issue is in your hands prior to the national convention in August. If you have letters to the editor, photos and stories that you would like to share for consideration in our letters section or Keeping Posted, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. The final deadline in Friday, July 2.
And, as always, please leave your comments on this blog and let us know what you think.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Something still doesn't sit quite right with me about this situation, though. Upon reading through Hasting's "The Runaway General," I was left with more questions about the author and his work as a journalist than the leadership and candor of one of our nation’s top military minds.
Though the smoke is starting to clear and President Barack Obama has asked for Gen. David Petraeus to take over in Afghanistan, I still cannot comprehend the genesis of the Rolling Stone article.
A New York Times blog posting claims that Hastings may have inadvertently gained such in-depth access to McChrystal camp thanks to the Iceland volcano eruption that shut down the skies over Europe earlier this year, and Rolling Stone claims that all of Hastings' interactions with McChrystal were clearly on the record.
Unfortunately, even if more stringent ground rules were discussed for Hasting's profile of the general, nothing is ever really "off the record." Perhaps this is something of which McChrystal's inner circle should have been more cognizant. Nevertheless, to me, many of the frustrated quotes from "Runaway General" seemed to be water cooler chatter taken out of context and used to exemplify the author's personal feelings about counterinsurgency operations and the war in Afghanistan.
I cannot take anything away from Hastings for agreeing to cover Afghanistan, where he remains today, or from his unwillingness to pander to his subject in the interest of future access. However, I'm certainly concerned about the lens through which he's portraying the war. Vanity Fair labeled Hastings as a "a perfect specimen of the new breed of journalist-commentator," which, to me, sounds dangerous. Journalist-commentators (read: Pundits) blur the lines between objective news reporting and subjective news commentary, sullying the public discourse on critical issues like the current wars. For example, many Americans today do not differentiate between the opinionated punditry of commentators like Glenn Beck and the dispassionate reporting of anchors like Shepard Smith, consuming both as objective sources of information.
Next, McChrystal and his team chose to speak with Rolling Stone--the same mouthpiece that has used its pages over the years to stew conspiracy theories over 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush Administration, the pharmaceutical industry, and so on, seamlessly interspersed with the latest exploits of Lil Wayne and Lady Gaga. To me, it seems highly unlikely that McChrystal's public affairs staff would agree to such a no-holds-barred exposé. Was McChrystal's staff fully aware of Hastings' intentions or his past body of work?
Given my prior experience working in military public affairs, I first thought someone along the way could have been duped. After all, Hastings was a freelance writer who had yet to publish anything in Rolling Stone. Unfortunately, Hastings is an easy man on whom to do your homework. He maintains a regular blog for the Entrepreneurial News Network True/Slant, where he regularly showcases his filters as a journalist. Though quick Web searches pop up with Hastings' work for traditional, reputable publications like Newsweek and the Washington Post, readers can also easily find Hastings' musings on why he chose to move away from traditional media.
Finally, I've been asked whether this ousting is something McChrystal actually sought all along. Was he so frustrated by the constraints of his position that he welcomed the abrupt, inglorious end to his military career?
Again, it doesn't make much sense. Gen. McChrystal will probably now be reassigned until he quietly retires in the not-so-distant future, leaving the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan to his successor. But bowing out like this would be a highly uncharacteristic move for a military man who has served with valor for more than 30 years--a soldier's soldier who many say was capable of establishing a rapport with the greenest of troops and the most seasoned veterans; a man who brought credibility to his post and instilled confidence in those he was tasked to lead. He was a Ranger, a Green Beret--the man was even instrumental in tracking down and killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (I don’t really care that he closed the Burger King in Bagram). To me, it seems highly unlikely that he would ever simply quit--never mind quit so publicly and controversially.
I guess we'll see what develops in the coming days and weeks, as we learn more about Michael Hastings, the interview and Gen. McChrystal's intentions.
I remain confident in our mission in Afghanistan and I'm certain that Gen. Petreaus will be able to prosecute the war effectively. For now, though, I think I'll continue to beat my head against a brick wall asking myself how this could ever happen to a leader like Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
This is just my opinion and I'm still quite confused. What are your thoughts? Please share your comments below.
(Photo: Gen. Stanley McChrystal speaks with U.S. Army Capt. Joey Nickel during a foot patrol through Muqur District in Afghanistan's Badghis province earlier this month. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mark O'Donald, released.)
American Veteran is out in full force on Capitol Hill today.
This morning, American Veteran was on hand to listen to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen for a breakfast hosted by The Hill.
American Veteran was also on hand for this morning's hearing before the House VA Health Subcommittee discussing telehealth and wireless healtch care solutions for rural/remote veterans. Rural and remote veterans' access to healthcare is one of AMVETS' top legislative priorities for 2010.
Finally, American Veteran joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional leaders at the U.S. Capitol to honor America's Korean War veterans, leading up to the 60th anniversary of the conflict on Sunday, June 27.
We will bring you highlights from each of these events later today. Check back regularly with American Veteran Online for updates.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Miskulin and Piening were joined by their fellow AMVETS for a tour of the facility and a luncheon where Kelley Kash, chief executive officer of the Maine Veterans Home, provided an overview of the state veterans' home program and discussed challenges facing the Maine home today.
One issue facing state veterans' homes today is the "70 Percent" program, which offers veterans with a service connected disability rating of 70 percent or more nursing home care free of charge. However, VA is not adequately covering these associated costs, threatening the ability of state veterans' homes to function.
Earlier this year, AMVETS testified on this issue before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, calling for increased flexibility in payments from VA to state veterans' homes.
Following the luncheon, Miskulin, Piening and the AMVETS members were treated to a tour of the facility by home administrator Greg Urban. During the tour, Miskulin and Piening took the time to meet residents.
(Photo: Maine Veterans Home CEO Kelley Kash discusses the services available through the Maine Veterans Home with Cmdr. Miskulin and President Piening during the luncheon at the home. Photo and additional contributions courtesy of Jeff Roosevelt.)
Monday, June 21, 2010
During the morning's testimony, American Federation of Government Employees representative Molly Ames accused the current VA administration of fostering a hostile work environment for VA's claims processors--a comment that stirred a reaction from AMVETS' leaders, in light of the current VA claims backlog.
Ames made vague allegations of individual discrimination against union members, but went on to say that the total workforce faced a "constant threat of termination" while struggling to comply with increases in production requirements.
AMVETS leaders attribute the new production requirements to the laissez-faire workplace attitude propagated throughout the last decade, which has led to a backlog of nearly 1 million claims and appeals.
"To AMVETS, it appears that the new administration has created an environment of accountability for VA claims processors in an effort to stave off a decade's worth of apathy within the workforce," said AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley. "Allegations about singling out workers must be taken seriously, but from what we've seen, the current administration has only asked VA claims processors to do their jobs or face consequences."
During her statement, Ames also called for VA to study the work credit and work management systems, which AMVETS supports. AMVETS leaders said that VA needs to focus more on quality of output, rather than volume of claims processed to measure success.
AMVETS' Independent Budget partner Disabled American Veterans appeared before the subcommittee and also discussed perceived issues within VBA that have exacerbated the claims backlog and the status of VA's pilot programs designed to remedy the situation.
To view a full list of witnesses from the hearing and to read their testimony, Click Here.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Over the years, all the attention to PTSD has encouraged thousands of veterans dating back to WWII to finally seek the care they need to silence the demons of war.
However, recently-returned Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are facing record unemployment and reports of passive discrimination within the interview process have surfaced connected to the perception of instability among today's returning war fighters.
Does the public truly understand our veterans and the realities of PTSD, or has all the attention only perpetuated the stereotype of the "crazy veteran?" Let us know what you think by clicking below!
AMVETS' letter calls for an update from VA on progress of the assistance dog benefits study commissioned in the 2010 Defense Authorization--a measure successfully spearheaded by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.).
In the weeks leading up to sending the letter to Secretary Shinseki, AMVETS secured 14 signatures from a bipartisan group of legislators, including leading Congressional voices on veterans' issues, Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), who spearheaded efforts to expand availability of PTSD treatment, and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), who led efforts in the House to pass the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.
The letter, which can be viewed by clicking on the images above, calls on VA to furnish Congress with a report on progress in commissioning a three-year study on the benefits of assistance dogs for today's wounded veterans.
Under the 2010 Defense Authorization, VA had 270 days to commence the study, leaving VA with a July 2010 deadline.
AMVETS leaders will continue to work with VA for an update on the assistance dog study, tracking the issue closely. AMVETS has recognized the benefits assistance animals can offer wounded veterans since partnering with non-profit Paws With A Cause to place assistance dogs with worthy wounded veterans. Today, AMVETS is the only major veterans' service organization actively addressing the issue.
As VA's study moves forward, check back regularly with American Veteran Online for updates.
(Images: Congressional letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki calling for an update to the assistance dog study for wounded veterans.)
Monday, June 14, 2010
We will also highlight the 235th Army birthday, AMVETS' Congressional letter calling for an update on VA's assistance dog study, AMVETS National Commander Duane J. Miskulin's visit to the Department of Maine, and the recent open house at Camp Hope.
We will also discuss recent changes VA has made to the claims process and the proposed increases in VA prescription drug costs for low priority group veterans.
As always, we're eager to hear from posts and departments around the country to highlight your work on this blog and in the print edition of American Veteran magazine. We also always invite your comments on the blog. Let us know what you think!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Concerned families can call (703) 607-8000 and press "0" for information.
Yesterday, AMVETS National Commander Duane J. Miskulin released a statement expressing sadness and anger over the revelations. To read Miskulin's statement, Click Here.
AMVETS also spoke with Fox 5 News in Washington, D.C. on the impact of Arlington's mismanagement on the veterans' community and particularly surviving spouses.
News quickly spread around the world about the sad situation at Arlington and last night the BBC also spoke with AMVETS about the issue.
In the wake of the Army investigations, both the superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery and his deputy have been relieved of their duties and the Army is reworking the command structure for the cemetery in an effort to improve accountability.
Army leaders have also ensured that additional steps will be taken to modernize operations at Arlington, ensuring that similar incidents never happen again.
AMVETS will continue to follow this story closely, as the Department of the Army works to remedy the situation. Check back regularly with American Veteran for updates.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The daring attack on Nazi strongholds in the north of occupied France remains the largest single-day amphibious assault ever recorded, with more than 160,000 American and allied troops storming the 50-mile stretch of beachhead.
More than 1,400 brave American troops lost their lives storming Omaha Beach, as Nazi machine gun positions peppered allied landing craft. In total, more than 2,500 Americans were killed in the first day of assaults on Nazi positions across the north of France.
Marking the 66th anniversary of D-Day, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen joined WWII veterans at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., for a special ceremony honoring the nation's D-Day veterans.
To view Pentagon Channel coverage of Mullen's comments and the D-Day ceremony from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Click Here.
Bedford, Va., is the town which lost the most service members in the invasion of France. Nineteen "Bedford Boys" from A Company, 116th Infantry of the Virginia National Guard were killed in the assault.
In his remarks, Mullen connected the courage and valor of D-Day's veterans with the courage exemplified by American men and women fighting today on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To read the Armed Forces Press Service coverage of the Bedford ceremony, Click Here.
On D-Day, AMVETS posts and department around the country also gathered to recognize the sacrifices of Americans who served on the Western Front in WWII--especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy.
Born out of WWII, AMVETS will continue to pay special tribute to the sacrifices of our nation's Greatest Generation. The men who fought at Normandy truly embody the best of what our nation's military has done to secure the freedoms we cherish today.
(Photos: Top: American troops observe Omaha Beach approaching the landing at Normandy on D-Day in 1944. U.S. Navy photo, released. Middle: Adm. Mike Mullen addresses the crowd gathered at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., on Sunday, June 6, 2010, reflecting on the 66th anniversary of D-Day. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad McNeeley, released.)
AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley submitted comments for the record and AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof will be on hand for the hearing.
To read Kelley's submitted remarks, Click Here.
This afternoon's hearing will focus on seven specific bills being considered by the subcommittee ranging from expansion of Chapter 30 benefits to improving veterans' employment resources and protecting homes for veterans and surviving spouses.
In Kelley's prepared testimony, AMVETS voiced its opposition to the proposed Chapter 30 G.I. Bill changes, H.R. 114, that would allow veterans to use the money toward the start-up costs of a small business. AMVETS believes that the change would set a bad precedent for all veterans' education benefits and redefine the role VA plays in distributing education funding.
AMVETS voiced its support for the other bills under discussion in the hearing, including H.R. 3685, which would establish a specific "Employment" menu for veterans on VA.gov simplifying access to VA's employment resources; H.R. 4635, which mandates mediation for veterans facing home foreclosure; H.R. 4664, which protects surviving spouses' military housing for one year after the combat death of their loved one, and H.R. 5360, which changes VA's strict definition of blindness to fall in line with the federal definition of legal blindness.
American Veteran will continue to follow developments out of the subcommittee, should these bills proceed in the House. Check back regularly for updates.
Monday, June 7, 2010
For the first time, the online edition of American Veteran features an audio option, allowing visually-impaired veterans to enjoy the magazine from cover to cover.
(Image: Cover art for the spring issue courtesy of Owen Franken.)
We will also highlight the AMVETS Riders national project, Camp Hope, and the recent visit by AMVETS National Commander Duane Miskulin and AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary National President Patty Piening to the AMVETS Department of Maine.
On Thursday, AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley will also testify before the House VA Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on pending veterans' legislation. A live video link will be available on this blog the morning of the hearing.
American Veteran will also follow this week's House hearing when VA's Office of the Inspector General will testify on VA's problem-solving ability. AMVETS National Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof has been working closely with OIG on several critical issues, including the implementation of the VA's Uniform Mental Health Service Handbook and the continued implementation of new veterans' assistance dog policies.
We will also highlight the recent Congressional letter, orchestrated by Roof, which was sent to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, calling for an update on the VA's assessment of service dog benefits for today's wounded veterans. Roof secured 14 signatures from leaders on veterans' issues.
As always, please submit your story ideas and photos for American Veteran Online and the print edition of American Veteran magazine, and please let us know how we're doing.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
AMVETS continues to confirm subject matter experts to lead discussions as part of the symposium and sign on key sponsors, and AMVETS National Headquarters continues to receive participant registrations for the three-day event.
To date, AMVETS Department of Ohio and Indiana AMVETS Post No. 99 lead the way in identifying participants, and AMVETS leaders encourage posts and departments to submit their registrations in early to ensure space, as AMVETS plans to host 100 veterans representing a broad spectrum of today's veterans community for this year's symposium.
Many AMVETS departments have chosen to wait until after the conclusion of state conventions to identify participants. With this in mind, AMVETS National Headquarters asks that all participants be identified and registered no later than Friday, July 9, 2010.
All participants' information should be submitted directly to AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley at email@example.com.
AMVETS is hosting the 2010 symposium as a follow-up to the 2006 National Symposium for the Needs of Young Veterans, which helped to identify hundreds of shortfalls in meeting the needs of the newest generation of American veterans.
Many problems identified in 2006 have been remedied as a result of the symposium, however, new issues have arisen and many problems persist. With this in mind, AMVETS leaders decided to hold a follow-up to ensure continued progress.
American Veteran will keep you posted as we move closer to the symposium. We will also be on hand to cover the event in August. Check back regularly for updates.
(Images: Top: Official logo for the 2010 AMVETS Symposium for 21st Century Veterans. Bottom: Veterans register for the 2006 National Symposium for the Needs of Young Veterans in Chicago.)
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
In this spring's Outside the Wire, we sat down with comedian and Minnesota junior Senator Al Franken. Franken, who has visited troops serving in harm's way nearly every year since 1999 was elected to the Senate in 2008. After being seated, his first piece of legislation centered on caring for today's veterans and he continues to be a critical voice on issues affecting America's heroes.
This spring we also highlight the recent HBO miniseries "The Pacific," which chronicled the experiences of the Marines who served in the Pacific theatre of WWII. The miniseries, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, follows a similar format as the 2001 "Band of Brothers" miniseries and is the latest Hanks/Spielberg collaboration to preserve the storied history of America's Greatest Generation.
In this issue we also discuss new Pentagon programs designed to help veterans reintegrate from combat life. In light of daunting suicide and unemployment statistics among today's veterans, AMVETS made reintegration one of its top legislative priorities for 2010, and American Veteran was able to speak with military leaders tasked to assist today's veterans in the transition--specifically Army's Yellow Ribbon Program and the post-deployment health reassessment, or PDHRA.
AMVETS National Legislative Director also discusses the upcoming AMVETS Symposium for 21st Century Veterans, and we hear from Denise Anderson, the Gold Star mother of Army Spc. Corey Shea, who was killed in Iraq in 2008. Anderson is calling on VA to allow her to be buried with her son.
Finally, we also discuss the recent signing of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Service Act, which offers unprecedented benefits to family caregivers for today's wounded warriors and establishes new programs for underserved veteran communities. We also discuss the goings-on at AMVETS posts and departments around the country, including the Gold Star license plates and Spirit of '45 campaigns in California.
Be on the look-out for the latest issue of American Veteran magazine in your mailboxes today, and, as always, let us know what you think.
(Photos: Top: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) pets Tuesday, AMVETS member Luis Montalvan's service dog during a meeting on Capitol Hill with AMVETS to discuss veterans' service dog legislation. Photo by Ryan Gallucci. Middle: Tom Hanks addresses hundreds of Pacific Campaign veterans at the National WWII Memorial during a recent Honor Flight visit hosted by HBO in honor of the Hanks/Spielberg miniseries "The Pacific." Photo by Ryan Gallucci. Bottom: President Barack Obama signs the veterans' caregiver bill at the White House, while AMVETS Executive Director Jim King and other leading veterans' advocates look on. Photo courtesy of the White House.)
Miskulin and Piening hosted four wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the AMVETS' box for the day's program.
Miskulin and Piening also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and accompanied their guests on a visit to Arlington's Section 60, where the fallen heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan are laid to rest.
Throughout the day, AMVETS participated in a variety of events around the nation's capitol ranging from the culmination of the annual Run for the Wall motorcycle ride to the national Memorial Day concert at the U.S. Capitol.
AMVETS Riders had participated in the Run for the Wall over the ten days leading up to Memorial Day, starting in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and following two routes across the United States.
AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), her staff, veterans, and other top veterans' advocates on the Speaker's balcony for the Memorial Day concert.
At 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, AMVETS leaders also joined in the National Moment of Remembrance--the national moment of silence commissioned by Congress to demonstrate national solidarity and honor the sacrifices of America's fallen war heroes.
(Photos: Top: Cmdr. Miskulin and President Piening lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Photo by Jay Agg. Middle Top: AMVETS hosted four wounded warriors from Walter Reed in the AMVETS box at Arlington National Cemetery. L-R: Cmdr. Miskulin, Spc. Cunningham, Staff Sgt. Waugaman, Staff Sgt. Hockaday, Sgt. 1st Class Huey, and President Piening. Photo by Jay Agg. Middle Bottom: Riders participating in the national Run for the Wall cross Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C. Photo by Toni Roof. Bottom: The crowd gathers at the U.S. Capitol for the National Memorial Day Concert. Photo by Christina Roof.)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
AMVETS National Commander Duane Miskulin and AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary National President Patty Piening took part in the national memorial services at Arlington National Cemetery and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
AMVETS posts and departments around the country also participated in a variety of events, which we will highlight.
We will also post some photos from the annual Run for the Wall event, which rolled into Washington, D.C., over the weekend with the support of AMVETS Riders.
We will also post photos from recent events, including the launch of the AMVETS Warrior Transition Workshops and the recent Camp Hope open house, as promised in previous weeks.
Congress is on a break for the Memorial Day holiday this week, allowing for the AMVETS National Legislative Department to focus on the upcoming AMVETS Symposium for 21st Century Veterans, taking place prior to this summer's AMVETS National Convention in Louisville. American Veteran will bring you an update on the symposium this week.
We will also highlight the spring edition of American Veteran magazine, which shipped last week.
As always, we're eager to hear what you think, and if you have a Memorial Day story you would like to submit for consideration on the blog or in the print edition of American Veteran magazine, please send them my way, firstname.lastname@example.org.