Friday, February 18, 2011

Our National Anthem

Nat'l Anthem at the Super Bowl - an editorial
“So, with all the kindness I can muster, I give this one piece of advice to the next pop star who is asked to sing the national anthem at a sporting event: save the vocal gymnastics and the physical gyrations for your concerts. Just sing this song the way you were taught to sing it in kindergarten — straight up, no styling. Sing it with the constant awareness that there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines watching you from bases and outposts all over the world. Don’t make them cringe with your self-centered ego gratification. Sing it as if you are standing before a row of 86-year-old WWII vets wearing their Purple Hearts, Silver Stars and flag pins on their cardigans and you want them to be proud of you for honoring them and the country they love — not because you want them to think you are a superstar musician. They could see that from the costumes, the makeup and the entourages.  Sing “The Star Spangled Banner” with the courtesy and humility that tells the audience that it is about America , not you.”


Luana L. Clow, 87, of Auburn passed away February 9, 2011 at Auburn Memorial Hospital.

 Luana was long active in the American Legion Auxiliary serving as VAVS representative at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. She was a past Onondaga County president and past 5th District Auxiliary President.

She was chairman of several state conventions in Syracuse and was the state president of the American Legion Auxiliary in 1975-1976, the Bicentennial Year.She held several National committee appointments and was a certified leadership instructor.

Luana was a member of the 8et40 Salon #154, Onondaga County, a members of the Order of the Eastern Star Tully/Manlius Chapter #493, Martin June Auxiliary Unit 1388 of Fabius, among her many activities.

Luana amassed more than 9000 hours of volunteer work for the retired Senior Volunteer Program at the Boyle Center where she lived.

She was predeceased by her husband, George J. Clow, who served as Department Commander of The American Legion as well as her son, George W. Clow.

May she rest in peace.


Rec'd this from Past Dept. President Mary Williams, it is a definite read
This poem was written and published in 1987
by syndicated columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt.

A Poem Worth Reading
 He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a  common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at  least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps  just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:

Pass On The Patriotism!
YOU can make a difference

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Freedom Car charges from last to second

Monday, February 14, 2011


Comment: Someone has gone to a lot of trouble. If this helps one person, then it was worthwhile. Please pass this on to all Veterans on your e-mail list.
Below are web-sites that provide information on Veterans benefits and how to file/ask for them. Accordingly, there are many sites that explain how to obtain books, military/medical records, information and how to appeal a denied claim with the VA. Please pass this information on to every Veteran you know. Nearly 100% of this information is free and available for all veterans, the only catch is: you have to ask for it, because they won't tell you about a specific benefit unless you ask for it. You need to know what questions to ask so the right doors open for you and then be ready to have an advocate who is willing to work with and for you, stay in the process, and press for your rights and your best interests.

Click THIS for VA Benefits website.

 For a Veterans Benefits Newsletter, please click NEWSLETTER.

To find out What Can the VA Do For Me?, go HERE


Sunday, February 6, 2011


VA launches caregiver support line
Byline - February 2, 2011

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has launched of a toll-free national Caregiver Support Line at (855) 260-3274. The Caregiver Support Line was created to recognize the significant contributions made by caregivers in allowing veterans to remain at home surrounded by family and friends.

The line is available Monday through Friday from  8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time. Licensed clinical social workers will be available to answer questions, listen to concerns and directly link callers to the Caregiver Support Coordinator at their local VA medical center. Each VA medical center has a Caregiver Support Coordinator who can locate assistance tailored to the particular situation.

For more information, click here

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Legion opposes proposal to cut VA spending
The American Legion - January 29, 2011

Responding to a proposal by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to freeze VA health-care spending and cut veterans disability payments to help reduce federal spending, American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster said his organization steadfastly opposes the initiative.

"It is absurd to suggest such a thing when we are fighting two wars and creating more veterans every day who have served their country honorably and have already earned their benefits," Foster said.

The plan, which proposes to cut a total of $400 billion in federal spending, is derived from an Oct. 28 report from the Heritage Foundation that projects $2.5 billion in savings from a freeze on VA health-care spending increases, and $1.9 billion in savings from scrapping disability payments for veterans already receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) .
Peter Gaytan, executive director of The American Legion's office in Washington, said "Congress must find other ways to reduce federal spending that don't affect veterans benefits and health care.

"The need for high-quality veterans health care certainly isn't decreasing, so the VA budget shouldn't, either. Congress needs to stay focused on providing an adequate budget to care for those who have made sacrifices in Iraq, Afghanistan or in previous wars."

Tim Tetz, legislative director of The American Legion, said the idea of taking SSDI away from veterans receiving disability payments "has been floated before and thankfully defeated every time.

"Why would anyone want to take away disability benefits veterans have already paid for, simply because they have earned additional benefits through their honorable service in the military?"

The American Legion has consistently opposed any attempts by Congress to reduce or eliminate veterans benefits. It considers such benefits as earned and has urged the federal government to find other methods to reduce its expanding budget.

The Legion stands by the sentiments expressed long ago by George Washington: "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

"Of all the items in our federal budget that could be drastically cut, or dispensed with altogether, why would a member of Congress think it might be a good idea to take benefits away from those people who protect the very freedoms they operate under?" Foster said.

Foster said he agreed that Congress needs to take decisive action in reducing the federal budget, "but we must be mindful of the sacrifices borne by the men and women who have served and sacrificed in America's armed forces."