Draft of Minutes for Review

Veterans of Foreign Wars
District 17 Meeting
Saturday, August 11, 2018

District 17 Commander, William Buck, opened the meeting at 9:00 am, at Post 6158, Fair Oaks, CA @ 8990 Kruitof Way.
District 17 Officer of the Day, verified VFW membership ID cards and participation
District 17 Adjutant, James Astesana, conducted roll call of District 17 Posts and Officers.
The following Posts were absent: 1985, 2003, 8254 (excused), 9241, 11091, 11294
The following Officers were absent: Dist. Senior Vice (Resigned), Dist. Chaplain (excused), Dist. 2nd Year Trustee (excused)

Draft of Minutes for District 17 prior quarterly meeting May 19, 2018 was not read by the Adjutant. Commander Buck informed the District that printed copies will no longer be available at District meetings, that they are published on District 17 website (www.vfwcadistrict17.org) and emailed to each Post Officer for membership review. The May minutes were approved and accepted as final by membership present at today’s meeting.

Quartermaster Lu, gave the Quartermasters report. A copy was handed out to each post. The Report was motioned and accepted as presented to the District.

There was no Service Officer Report.

Committee Reports:

Budget Report: Commander Buck noted a sizeable drop in the budget across several positions and activities. A motion by Comrade Squire (Scouting and Youth Activities) to adjust the current budget from $100 to $600 (to continue the current award amounts) was seconded and passed. 

There was no District Chaplain Report.

There was no District Surgeon Report.

Comrade Squire provided a thorough Scouting and Youth Activities report, and handout on the Scouting efforts throughout the District, including selection for Scout of the Year. He updated this years due dates and reported 7 posts have submitted 60 reports and as of Aug 10 2018, 3 posts reported 3 youth activities, 2 scouting and 0 JROTC.

Dept. Snr. Vice Cmdr. Kuznik spoke on the National Home and the need for donations, and reminder that those in need have a house there.

Commander Buck, announced dates and locations for School of Instruction. The Commander also reminded the posts of the intricacies of obtaining All American Post and to make sure to read the details.  

District Adjutant Astesana, provided information on a new bill attachment headed to the President for signature. It will allow all Veterans with a service connection, to utilize Post Exchanges and commissaries.

Judge Advocate Overby, presented to the District “Vet Stock” a fundraiser for the CA Veterans Home.

No Snr. Vice Report.

No Jr. Vice Report.

The Auxiliary President Rebecca Overby and guest presented dates for the POW/MIA Diner, Homecoming, and District 17 Fundraiser Dinner. Commander Buck was presented with a steel water bottle as a present. The Commander was then escorted to the Auxiliary to speak.

The meeting was continued under the head of Jr. Vise Byers

No unfinished business was reported

Under New Business, elections for District 17 Officer positions were conducted and voted upon. Results were as follows:

Jr. Vice Commander – John Kennedy
3rd Year Trustee – James Milton

Comrade Morgan, Post 3010, expressed an interest to change the current post fundraiser at “Top Golf” in Roseville, to a District Fundraiser. Concern was raised about the date and time from the Quartermaster and Comrade Linnares. The Officer of the Day recommended to table the discussion until the next meeting. Comrade Linnares made a motion to have Comrade Morgan see if he can change his reservation date. Jr. Vise Cmdr. recommended February and due to amount, keep it held on Sunday afternoon. A motion was made and seconded to table until next meeting with the Jr. Vise advising the District possibly set up a committee for the event. 

Comrade Christensen, Post 67, spoke on her current post fundraisers.

Comrade Tool, Post 67 Historian, spoke on his post having started a Military Research facility, if posts have books they would like to donate, or anyone in need of their post library, send them to Post 67.

Comrade Mangone, Post 1487, had in hand 10 tickets to the nights River Cats’ game.

Comrade Hobdy, Post 10125, offered a request for forklift drivers are needed for the upcoming Sept. 16th Sacramento County Stand Down.

Comrade Wilson, Post 8985, reported on the District Military Order of the Cootie. He expressed that the District can raise funds like the MOC and should. If posts want to donate, they can through their Relief Funds.

Comrade Rankin, Post 3982, reminded the District of the need to join the National Home and to donate, the lifetime membership fees will be going up on Jan 1 2019. They also have a brick program for donations. General Info 18003134200 (Dept. Snr. Vice Cmdr. Kuznik later added 18004248360 for “in need” assistance.)

Comrade Brashear, Post 8762, notified the District that their post will be hosting the “Pin-Ups on Tour” Dec 7th. A Pin Up show that raises moneies for them to go to VA Hospitals.

Comrade Linnares, Post 4647, notified the District his post is having a pig roast on August 25th.

Quartermaster Lu addressed the District on the need to not turn potential members down, if not in their area or cannot quickly find their eligibility quickly. He expressed need to do some research, if needed to assure we allow in all we can.

Comrade Kuta, Post 8358, advised the District posts to consider sponsoring nearby military units. He also explained that businesses can deduct donations to a 501c19 from their “Advertising” taxes.

Officer of the Day, Fernandez, expressed concern of the simplicity of not helping a veteran, if they are not eligible to join the VFW. He stated we need to assist in pointing them to another organization.

Comrade Forzaglia, Post 7143, commented on Veterans in Distress. Glen Albright, the posts last WWII Veteran had passed.  He also requests prayers for Comrade Steve Dahl, as he is losing his fight with cancer.

Comrade Garman, Post 6604, advised the District posts to reach out to each other for help and information.

The Commander and Judge Advocate then delivered awards to All State Posts, 3010, 6604, and 10125. Comrade Milton earned 5 or more recruit shirt. Comrade Thompson earned an All State cap and recruit shirt.
The Scout of the Year (2nd Place), Bryan Hsieh, was presented a plaque and a check from the Department for $300 and one from the District for $100. His project was to place a meditation garden in Mather Hospital.

Dept. Snr. Vice Cmdr. Kuznik spoke to the District on increased attendance to the meetings. Concern was stated that if it’s a childcare problem, look into bringing in a form of childcare. He addressed that an “Officer” has taken the oath to the VFW and with that Oath, the “Officer” is no longer a simple “volunteer” member. The District needs to have Family days and work with the Auxiliary in joint ventures, not be so separate of entities. He stated the Dept. is down one permanent VSO position due to budget constraints. He expressed that other posts need to reach out to each other and join each other on events, noting another District sees almost the whole District at each post event. VFW National has seen the devastation in California and Department has received a $25,000 check to donate to those effected veterans, $300 to each that applies.

Commander Buck and Dept. Snr. Vice Cmdr. Kuznik then swore in the days elected Officials.

Flyer passed out seeking participation at the Freedom Fest August 25th for recruitment possibilities, the District was given a booth area.

Commander Buck spoke on the need for retention. The Posts can not simply recruit and have the veteran walk away after a year. They need to get active and see a reason for their membership.

Commander Buck recessed the meeting at 11:30am. The next District meeting will be in IONE on Oct 27th at 09:00am.
Commander Buck offered the District to stay until 12:00pm if they wanted training on Voices of Democracy. Training was complete at 12:10pm

The August draft minutes submitted by James Astesana District 17 Adjutant and will be posted on www.vfwcadistrict17.org for review.

The VFW welcomes all who meet our eligibility criteria. It is through service to this country that our membership has earned their elite status. If you have received a campaign medal for overseas service; have served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea; or have ever received hostile fire or imminent danger pay, then you are eligible. Get started and join our ranks.

You will need to show proof of eligibility, for example a DD 214**. You are eligible if you meet any of the criteria listed on the following site VFW Eligibility
**If you do not have a copy of your DD214 go to this Internet site: Government Archives and follow the directions to obtain it.

Membership Fees: You can pay an annual fee of $35.00 or get a life time membership.

Lifetime Membership Fee is based on Age  
Age 17 - 30 31 - 40 41 - 50 51 - 60 61 - 70 71 - 80 81 and Above
Fee $425 $410 $375 $335 $290 $225 $170
12 Month Payment Plan $38.64 $37.27 $34.09 $30.45 $26.36 $20.45 $15.45

VA Medical Center Information Desk
  (1)           DD Form 214: Put in a secure location and tell family how to find it.                     
  (2)           McClellan VA Clinic: 5342 Dudley Blvd., McClellan Park, CA 95652, (916) 561-7400
  (3)           Sacramento VA Medical Center: 10535 Hospital Way, Mather, CA 95655            
                        (916) 843-7000 (Menu prompt for Operator).                                                          
                       Information Desks: Located in lobbies of Bldgs. 650 & 700                                    
                        (Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)  (916) 366-5324.                                   
                                                                       Handouts at Desk: 
 - Advanced Directive information (your written direction for medical care and decisions if you
are unable to communicate). Done by Social Worker located in Bldg 650. You must have a  
separate directive for other than VA medical service. Contact a lawyer.                                   
 - Sacramento Valley VA National Cemetery: 5810 Midway Rd., Dixon, CA 95620               
Take Midway Rd. exit off of I-80 West, turn left on Midway Rd., Cemetery is on the right, 1.3 miles.
Gravesites cannot be reserved. (707) 693-2460. DD Form 214 is required.                              
  - Standard Form 180: "Request Pertaining to Military Records" to obtain DD Form 214.     
  - Websites:  www.va.gov/         www.va/gov/vaforms/                            www.cem.va.gov/    (Burial Benefits)
  (4)           Service Officers / Benefits Counselors:                                                                                
                       VFW Rep.:  Oakland Regional Service Officer                        (510) 835-1246  
                 Located: 10365 Old Placerville Rd., Sacramento, CA 95827 (916) 364 – 6798
                 AM VETS:                                                 Bldg. 650 1st floor    (916) 843 - 7076
                 American Legion:                                      Bldg. 650 1st floor    (916) 843 - 7077
                 Disabled American Vets (DAV):              Bldg. 650 1st floor    (916) 843 - 7002 / 7040
                 VFW State Representative:                       Bldg. 650 1st floor    (916) 843 - 7016
  (5)           VA Enrollment & Eligibility Office, in Bldg: 650 First Floor  (916) 843 - 7035
  (6)           Appointments: (Make/change/cancel) + Advice Nurse:             (800) 382 - 8387
  (7)           Pharmacy:  Mather:  (916) 366 - 5321                                      McClellan:  (916) 561 - 7430
                  VA Mail Order:  (866) 600 - 8279                      TRICARE Mail Order:  (866) 363 - 8667
  (8)           EMERGENCY Dept./Admissions Office: Bldg. 700:  (916) 366 - 5406/5407:  Open 24/7.
Note:        911 responders (Emergency Vehicles, EMS and Ambulances) WILL transport patients to                             
                 the VA Med Center as of June 1, 2016.                   

(9)                 OIF (Iraq) & OEF (Afghanistan) Patient Advocate:                     
                             Located in Bldg. 727      (916) 843-9016                                                                                                                                                                          

 (10)              Woman's Health Clinics:                     Mather: Bldg. 650 1st floor                 (877) 780-0555                                               

                                                                                                           McClellan: Located in VA Clinic       (916) 561-7480

  (11)             Patient Advocate:                                 Bldg. 650 1st floor                              (916) 843-7034               
  (12)             Social Workers (in Primary Care);       Bldg. 650 1st floor                     (916) 843-9030/7255           
PART II:                               WHO TO CONTACT WHEN A VETERAN DIES:                                                 
 NOTE:         Family provides DD Form 214 to Funeral Director to arrange Military Honors.                                                                                                                                                          
                      DD Form 214 also needed for burial in any VA National Cemetery and to get veteran
  (1)               Social Security Office:                            (800) 772-1213                                                                
  (2)               Bank/Credit Union, DMV, auto/life insurance, IRS, lawyer, VA enrollment office, health   
                             care providers and pharmacies (cancel prescriptions).                                                                                            
 NOTE:         Get at least a dozen death certificates from the Funeral Director. Ask agencies to accept                                              photo copies of death certificate since originals and certified copies are expensive.                            
  (3)               If veteran was a military retiree:                                                                                                                                                                                                    
                             Casualty Assistance Office (Travis):                               (866) 819-7250 (also handles SBP)                                    
                             Retiree Activities Office (McClellan):                             (916) 640-8446                                                                                                                     
                             Retiree Activities Office (Travis):                                   (707) 424-3904                                                                                                                          
                             Retiree Finance Center:                                                   (800) 321-1080                                                                                       
                             DEERS (Military ID cards):                                            (800) 538-9552                                                                                                                               
                             Military Retiree Death notification:                                (800) 269-5170                                                                                                                      
  (4)               Important documents to have available to the family:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
                             DD Form 214,    Birth Certificates,    Wills,    Marriage Certificates                                  
                             Living trusts          Estate disposition      Name change/Adoptive documents                                                                           Power of Attorney    Advance Directive (VA and California State)                         
                             Medical Info Card containing medications, dosage, Doctors, etc. Also keep in wallet.                
The above information should be helpful but is not intended to be the only checklist that you may need.    Information should be reviewed and periodically updated as necessary.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
                               Due to construction at Mather information is subject to change during the year!