The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Caution: Magazine In Progress

From now until May 5, the editorial staff of American Veteran is focused on laying out the spring issue of American Veteran magazine.

If you have any letters you wish to submit for publication or any content for the spring Keeping Posted section, please feel free to submit them this week to

We apologize in advance if updates to American Veteran Online are not as frequent as you have come to expect, as we close on our flagship publication for the spring.

(Image: "Caution: Men at Work" sign from Open Clip Art Gallery, released.)

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Rutgers Student-Vets Honor Fallen Classmate

Over the weekend, the student-veterans from Rutgers University in New Jersey hosted a benefit run to honor their fallen comrade, Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremy Kane. More than 150 people--including veterans, civilians, campus leaders and local civic leaders--braved the rainy weather to honor the fallen Marine.

Kane, a student at Rutgers Camden who was enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, was killed while serving in Afghanistan when his team was hit by a suicide bomber in the Helmand Province last January.

Kane was an active member of the student-veterans' group at Rutgers, Veterans For Education, which was featured in the fall 2008 issue of American Veteran magazine discussing veterans' transition issues on college campuses.

Veterans For Education organized Sunday's 2-mile, in-cadence, military-style run raising more than $8,500 for a memorial at Rutgers honoring the school's fallen heroes.

“It was nice to be out there running in the rain again calling cadence,” said Bryan Adams, president of Veterans For Education. “We brought together several communities in a positive display of respect.”

The run started at Kane's high school, Cherry Hill High School East, and wound through his home town, ending at Congregation M'kor Shalom, where Kane and his family worshiped. Rep. John Adler (D-N.J.), who serves on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, joined his local student-veterans to pay his respects to Kane.

Last night, Veterans For Education and the Chancellor's office at Rutgers honored Kane and his family by presenting a posthumous degree and a memorial plaque dedicated to Kane, which will be on display at Rutgers Camden.

Since Kane made the ultimate sacrifice, Veterans For Education has also renamed its annual veterans' scholarship in their fallen classmate's honor.

To read more about the Jeremy Kane Benefit Run from the South Jersey Courier-Post, Click Here.

(Photos: Top: Veterans For Education pose for a photo at Cherry Hill High School East prior to the Jeremy Kane Benefit Run. Middle: Marine Corps veterans participating in Sunday's run gather in formation prior to the start. Bottom: Hundreds of supporters gather at Cherry Hill High School East to honor Jeremy Kane on Sunday. Photos courtesy of Bryan Adams and Veterans For Education.)

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Monday, April 26, 2010

This Week at American Veteran

This week at American Veteran, we will follow the AMVETS Legislative Department to Capitol Hill, where Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof will testify before the House VA Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on veterans' small businesses.

Roof will also be on Capitol Hill throughout the week, continuing to muster support for wounded veterans' assistance dogs.

We will also continue to follow the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Care Act, which passed both the House and Senate last week and is awaiting Presidential approval. The new act establishes new benefits allowing veterans' families to care for their wounded loved ones and creates new programs to better serve female veterans and rural/remote-located veterans.

We will also post on the recent open house at Camp Hope hosted by William "Mike" White, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary 2010 Humanitarian of the Year. Camp Hope, the wounded warriors' outdoor retreat in Missouri, is the national project for the AMVETS Riders, who were on hand for the open house.

This week, we will also highlight this weekend's benefit run in honor of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremy Kane in Cherry Hill, N.J., hosted by the Rutgers University student-veterans group, Veterans For Education. Veterans For Education was featured in the fall 2008 issue of American Veteran magazine, discussing veterans on campus. Kane was a student-veteran at Rutgers who was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

We will also highlight this year's military opening night for the San Diego Padres at Petco Park in San Diego and the Padres' ongoing commitment to serving the military community.

We are also in the process of laying out the spring issue of American Veteran magazine. Be on the look-out for the new issue in mid May.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

BREAKING: Senate Passes Landmark Caregiver Bill

Tonight the Senate passed the Caregivers and Veterans Health Services Omnibus Act, offering groundbreaking aide and benefits for family caregivers of wounded veterans. The bill also includes significant improvements in care for female veterans and rural/remote veterans--two of AMVETS' top legislative priorities for 2010.

AMVETS National Commander Duane J. Miskulin applauded yesterday's passage of the bill in the House, calling it a "significant innovation in how VA cares for our wounded veterans and our underserved veteran populations."

AMVETS leaders were on hand at the U.S. Capitol yesterday for a press conference by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-Calif.) alongside wounded warrior Ted Wade and his wife, Sarah, and other House veterans' advocates.

Since Ted was severely injured in Iraq, suffering a severe traumatic brain injury and losing his right arm, Sarah left school, quit her job and took on the role of caring for her husband.

"I was going to do whatever it took for Ted to live in the community, out of institutional care," said Sarah during the press conference, "but I would lay awake at night wondering how we'll get through this."

Sarah, who now telecommutes for the Wounded Warrior Project, said the new caregiver benefits will allow more than 2,000 other military families in similar situations to make ends meet while properly caring for their loved ones thanks to living stipends, formal caregiver training, available health care, and respite care.

The caregiver bill will now go to President Barack Obama for signing and American Veteran will be following closely. Check back regularly for updates.

(Photo: Wounded warrior Ted Wade and his wife, Sarah, discuss what the passage of the veterans' caregiver bill means to them. Photo by Ryan Gallucci.)

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Reps. Boccieri and Hunter Introduce Resolution on Military Funerals

Last week, two Iraq veterans serving in Congress, Reps. John Boccieri (D-Ohio) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on the Supreme Court to preserve privacy for military families mourning their loved ones.

The resolution, House Continuing Resolution 261, would express the sense of Congress that the Supreme Court should uphold lower court decisions that military funeral proceedings should be private, peaceful ceremonies where Gold Star families are allowed to mourn with dignity.

The resolution comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear the case of Gold Star father Albert Snyder, who sued the Kansas church that picketed the funeral of his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snider, who was killed in Iraq in 2006.

The church, which we refuse to acknowledge on this blog, has picketed military funerals since 2005, brandishing offensive signs and screaming at mourning Gold Star families, posturing that American troops were dying in combat as a result of America's tolerance for homosexuality.

In an effort to protect grieving families, motorcycle groups like the Patriot Guard Riders and AMVETS Riders have offered escorts and cordons for funeral processions alongside local law enforcement.

After being exposed to the group's hateful message, Snyder decided to take action, suing the Kansas church for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Snyder was originally awarded more than $10 million in damages, until the decision was overturned by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which also ordered Snyder to pay associated court fees for the Kansas church.

With the case making its way to the Supreme Court, AMVETS leaders support Boccieri and Hunter's resolution, calling to preserve dignified military funerals.

"What this radical church has done is abhorrent and cannot simply be viewed in the context of preserving First Amendment rights," said AMVETS National Commander Duane J. Miskulin. "Our grieving Gold Star families deserve only the utmost respect when mourning the loss of their loved ones. AMVETS hopes that the Supreme Court will agree that picketing military funerals violates the personal rights of a grieving family."

The Boccieri/Hunter resolution, which has already garnered support from fellow veterans in Congress, Reps. Chris Carney (D-Pa.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), among others.

Both Hunter and Boccieri said the issue was personal in nature to them, given their experiences in the current conflicts. Hunter has served multiple combat tours, leading Marines in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and Boccieri, a life member of AMVETS Post No. 44 in Youngstown, Ohio, flew C-130 missions in Iraq.

"Service members who make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation--as well as their families--deserve our unending respect and appreciation," said Hunter. "Those who attempt to discredit their sacrifice by hurling insults and engaging in other offensive behavior bring great shame to themselves. The right to free speech is one of our nation’s most fundamental and protected rights, but it’s unfortunate when certain individuals or groups think it’s appropriate, for the purpose of creating controversy, to publicly malign our fallen heroes and disrupt such an important moment for their families. It’s my hope is that the Supreme Court will move to uphold existing laws that allow these families to mourn the loss of their loved ones without disturbance."

"The right to free speech ends where the privacy of a family mourning the loss of a service member begins,” said Boccieri. “While our law doesn’t restrict hate groups from spewing their venom, it forces them to do it at a respectful distance from the grieving family. This is personal for me after flying wounded and fallen soldiers out of Baghdad."

The Supreme Court granted certiorari on the Snyder case earlier this year and it has been placed on the docket for the current session, with a decision expected to come by fall.

American Veteran will continue to follow developments closely.

(Image: Dear Colleague letter from Reps. Boccieri and Hunter, calling for support to H.CON.RES 261. Letter courtesy of the Office of Congressman John Boccieri.)

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Live from Capitol Hill: Senate to Host G.I. Bill Hearing

This morning the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs will listen to testimony from VA administrators on the progress of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill implementation. The hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building Room 418 at 9:30 a.m.

Veteran Benefits Administration Director of Education Services Keith Wilson will testify on recent progress in developing a digital education benefits processing system, the ongoing recoupment of emergency living stipend checks, and status of the benefit roll-out, including the issues faced during the fall semester.

Yesterday, Military Times reported that living stipends for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill would not be adjusted to the 2010 rate until this summer. VA has acknowledged that technological limitations under the current system are to blame, but that all veterans entitled to back pay will receive it this summer and those whose living stipend rates would have decreased will not be required to pay back the difference.

VA said that it has been transparent about this potential shortcoming for months, as VA focused on delivering benefits to all enrolled veterans, rather than attempt to adjust the living stipends in the midst of the program's roll out.

From the time VA was tasked to deliver the new benefit, VA officials acknowledged that there could be technological hiccups until the final IT solution could be activated in December 2010, and that it was more important to ensure all enrolled student-veterans were processed into the system and receiving timely payments. To date, VA says that all claims have been processed for enrolled student-veterans and that all payments are up to date.

American Veteran will follow this morning's hearing closely. Check back later for updates.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

This Week at American Veteran

This week at American Veteran, we will follow hearings in both the House and Senate committees on Veterans Affairs. Wednesday, the Senate committee will hear testimony on VA's implementation of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and on Thursday the House committee will seek to address the VA's controversial fiduciary program. American Veteran will post video links the morning of each hearing. We will also post AMVETS leaders' thoughts on each of these critical issues.

This week, AMVETS will also play a role in hosting the annual VA Research Week Forum with the nation's other leading veterans' organizations on Thursday at VA headquarters in Washington. VA leaders and top researchers from around the country will converge on Washington for the week to discuss advancements in fields such as rehabilitation, neurology, and Gulf War research. American Veteran will follow the day's events closely.

AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof will also be out in force on Capitol Hill, mustering support for a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki asking for an update on the VA's assistance dog study.

This week, American Veteran will also highlight the work of two veterans in Congress, Rep. John Boccieri (D-Ohio) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) who introduced a bipartisan resolution late last week, expressing the sense of Congress on military funeral protests.

Finally, the editorial staff of American Veteran magazine will begin to lay out the spring print edition of American Veteran magazine this week. Any last-minute submissions should be submitted to this week. Be on the look-out for the new issue in early May.

As always, we're eager to hear from you, our readers about the blog and the magazine, so please leave us your comments.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

AMVETS Meets With Sen. Franken to Discuss Vets' Assistance Dogs

Yesterday, AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof and AMVETS member Luis Montalvan joined Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Capitol Hill to discuss assistance dogs for wounded veterans.

Accompanied by Montalvan's assistance dog, Tuesday, AMVETS met with Franken and his staff to discuss the current VA study on the benefits of assistance dogs and recent policy changes, allowing veterans to enroll their assistance dogs with VA to cover associated costs, as outlined in Title 38.

Since AMVETS and partner non-profit Paws With A Cause came to Capitol Hill last month with Montalvan, Tuesday, and fellow AMVET Kevin Stone and his assistance dog, Mambo, AMVETS has been inundated with calls and e-mails about the status of VA's study and VA's policies on assistance dog enrollment. VA's Prosthetics and Sensory Aides department and Office of the Inspector General also took notice, reaching out to AMVETS on the issue.

Earlier in the week, Montalvan received confirmation from VA that Tuesday would now be enrolled with the VA's assistance dog program, entitling Montalvan to reimbursement for requisite veterinary care. Montalvan also received clarification on how VA plans to implement the assistance dog provisions in Title 38, offering veterinary benefits for more than 200 veterans who currently rely on assistance dogs to perform day-to-day tasks.

Earlier in the day, Roof also met with staff for Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House VA Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, who have started to circulate a letter to Congressional colleagues, asking for support to further veterans' assistance dog programs.

This afternoon, Roof will be on Capitol Hill, rallying support for the letter.

During yesterday's meetings, Franken was called to the Capitol for a series of votes and asked AMVETS to accompany him. Between votes, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came over and took the time to greet Roof, Montalvan, and Tuesday. During last month's meetings, AMVETS and Paws sat down with McCain's staff to explain the assistance dog issue.

AMVETS will look to build on the momentum of yesterday's meetings, asking VA to publish its policies on assistance dog enrollment authorized under Title 38 and bolstering support in Congress for veterans' assistance dog programs.

Last month's meetings were designed as a way to refocus attention on the issue, which Franken brought to light during his first days in office. For more on this issue as it develops, check back regularly with American Veteran Online.

(Photos: Top: Luis Montalvan and Christina Roof discuss veterans' assistance dogs with Sen. Al Franken outside the floor of the Senate yesterday afternoon. Bottom: Sen. John McCain takes a moment for a photo alongside Montalvan and Roof between votes yesterday. Photos by Ryan Gallucci.)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Live from Capitol Hill: House Hearing on Vets' Unemployment; AMVETS to Meet With Legislators on Assistance Dogs

This afternoon, AMVETS will be on Capitol Hill for a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee hearing on veterans' unemployment and for follow-up meetings with legislators on assistance dogs for wounded veterans.

Though AMVETS will not testify during this afternoon's hearing, AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof submitted a statement for the record on behalf of AMVETS.

The House VA Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity called the hearing in the wake of recent veterans' unemployment numbers, which point to an ever-growing crisis, particularly among young male Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

The hearing convenes at 1 p.m. in the VA committee chambers in Cannon 334. To view live video from the hearing, Click Here.

This afternoon, AMVETS members Luis Montalvan and his assistance dog Tuesday will join Roof on Capitol Hill for follow-up meetings on last month's visits with legislators to discuss assistance dogs for wounded veterans.

Montalvan and Roof will meet with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), the leading voice on veterans' assistance dogs on Capitol Hill, and Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House VA Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, to discuss VA's pilot program funded through last year's military construction budget as well as the provisions in Title 38 allowing for veterans to receive compensation for assistance dog costs through VA's prosthetics and sensory aides office.

American Veteran will follow today's hearing and this afternoon's meetings closely. Check back later for updates.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

AMVETS to Participate in ACE Veteran Success Jam

The American Council on Education, or ACE, and the Kresge Foundation will be hosting a three-day online brainstroming event May 3-6, 2010 called the Veteran Success Jam.

AMVETS leaders will join thousands of service members, veterans, military families, college campus leaders, government agencies and other non-profits for the national discussion on how higher education plays a role in the successful transition of today's veterans into successful civilian lives.

The Veteran Success Jam will focus on seven issues facing today's student veterans:
  • Criteria that make campuses "veteran friendly"
  • Awarding academic credit for military training
  • Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and other veterans' education benefits
  • Ways to support veterans navigating academic life
  • How schools and employers can support veterans' transitions into their next career
  • Physical and psychological health challenges affecting today's veterans
  • Challenges and success stories of friends and families supporting veterans
Leading up to the Jam, ACE is looking for registrants who can lend a significant point of view to the discussion, encouraging all who are interested to register for the online forum.

The Jam is based on successful internal brainstorming models used by IBM where subject matter experts can lead discussions among contributors in a peer-reviewed environment, allowing for salient ideas to develop through collaboration.

Once the Veteran Success Jam opens, registered contributors will be able to follow discussions and post ideas 24 hours a day throughout the 72-hour window.

Registration is free. To register as a participant with an e-mail address ending in .edu, .mil, or .gov, Click Here.

To register with another e-mail address, Click Here.

Additional information about the Veteran Success Jam is available on the ACE's official Jam Web site, Facebook and Twitter.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

AMVETS PNC Brown Presents Prestigious Scholarship to Maryland Student

Over the weekend, Marwah Ahmed, a senior at Gaithersburg High School in Gaithersburg, Md., accepted the prestigious James H. Parke Memorial Fund Scholarship Award from AMVETS Past National Commander John P. "JP" Brown III during an awards banquet in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ahmed, who plans to use the scholarship toward pursuing a major in pre-medicine and becoming a doctor, has volunteered at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center since she was 13 years old.

The $20,000 scholarship award is presented each year by the James H. Parke Memorial Fund to a noteworthy high school senior who has distinguished him or herself through scholastic achievement and service to the nation's hospitalized veterans. The award is named after VA's first director of voluntary services, or VAVS, James H. Parke.

VAVS offices from VA medical centers across the country may nominate youth volunteers for the annual award. This year, Ahmed was chosen from a pool of more than 30 distinguished candidates.

PNC Brown currently serves as president of the Parke Board and presented the award to Ahmed during the closing banquet of 64th annual VAVS National Advisory Committee meeting in Cincinnati.

(Photo: Marwah Ahmed accepts the 2010 James H. Parke Memorial Fund Scholarship Award from PNC Brown, alongside VAVS Director Laura Balun; Washington, D.C., VAVS Program Chief Stephanie Burns; and Ahmed's mother and brother. Photo by Beryl Love.)

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This Week at American Veteran

This week at American Veteran, Congress reconvenes in Washington and AMVETS national legislative department will be out in force on Capitol Hill, serving our veterans.

On Thursday, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs will host a hearing on veterans' employment, sparked by recent unemployment figures among young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Later Thursday, AMVETS will also be meeting with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.) to discuss assistance dogs for wounded veterans, following up on March's Capitol Hill visits.

This week, American Veteran will also highlight the latest recipient of the James H. Parke Memorial Scholarship, which AMVETS helped to present last week in Ohio. Parke was VA's first director of voluntary services, or VAVS.

This week also marks the editorial deadline for the spring issue of American Veteran magazine. If your post or department has photos you would like to submit for the Keeping Posted section, or if you would like to submit a letter to the editor for publication consideration, please send it to no later than Friday, April 16.

American Veteran will also continue to follow the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and VA's recent recoupment of emergency check funds. As the week progresses and as leaders reconvene in Washington, check back regularly with American Veteran Online for updates.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Remember that Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl is a POW

Yesterday, the Taliban released a video of captured Army Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl. In light of the video's content, it's important to remember that any statements made by the young soldier were made under duress; under the constant threat of his life.

As Americans, we need to keep Bergdahl and his family in our thoughts and prayers throughout this ordeal until he returns safely.

AMVETS leaders continue to call on the departments on Defense and State to do everything in their power to find Bergdahl and ensure his safe return home.

Last year, AMVETS National Commander John C. Hapner condemned the release of a similar video, calling a the video a violation of international law, and asking Bergdahl's captors to offer the same level of dignified care American service members provide to captured enemy combatants.

Bergdahl disappeared on June 30, 2009 from his forward operating base in the Paktika province of Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. Several videos have surfaced since his capture, including a message timed to coincide with Christmas.

To date, two soldiers remain missing in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Let us all take a moment to pray for the safe and honorable return of Bergdahl and Army Sgt. Ahmed Altaie, who is missing in Iraq.

(Image: Official Army photo of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl courtesy of Fort Richardson Public Affairs, released.)

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

White House Hosts AMVETS Families for Easter Egg Roll

Yesterday, AMVETS families joined thousands of children from around the country on the White House Lawn for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

The theme to this year's Egg Roll was "Ready, Set, Go!", promoting health and wellness for America's youth. In addition to offering the traditional egg roll races, an Easter Egg hunt, and celebrity story-telling, this year's event offered children dozens of games and activities encouraging proper diet and exercise, such as Yoga stations, dance lessons, sports zones, celebrity chef demonstrations, and gardening tips in First Lady Michelle Obama's organic garden.

NFL's "Play 60" campaign also sponsored a football-themed obstacle course.

The White House extended thousands of invitations to local military personnel, wounded warriors, veterans, and veterans' organizations, including AMVETS.

Special guests for this year's event included the cast of the Fox television show "Glee," singers Sarah Bareilles and Justin Bieber, actress Reese Witherspoon, author J.K. Rowling, Olympian Apolo Ohno, Chef Susie Limb, Chef Nora Pouillon, and the White House chefs.

President Barack Obama also made several appearances throughout the day, greeting guests and reading Dr. Suess' "Green Eggs and Hamm," alongside the First Family.

The annual tradition dates back to the 1870s, when President Rutherford B. Hayes opened up the White House lawn to host the Capitol's annual Easter Egg Roll.

(Photos: Top: Bridgette Agg, daughter of AMVETS' Jay Agg, chases down her egg during yesterday's egg roll races on the White House lawn. Bottom: Air Force veteran A.J. Anderson looks on, as his daughter, Bella, talks to Bridgette during the White House Egg Roll. Photos by Ryan Gallucci.)

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Keeping Posted Online: Tennessee Riders Honor Vietnam Vets

Riders from AMVETS Riders Chapter 104 in Strawberry Plains, Tenn., came together on Monday, March 29 to honor those who served in Vietnam.

The Chapter 104 Riders held a brief ceremony at the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial in Knoxville, then rode to the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery to memorialize Vietnam veterans Hugh "Rabbit" Snow and others who had fallen in the conflict.

March 30 is considered Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day by many states across the country, including Tennessee, marking the final withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Vietnam.

Links to other AMVETS-supported Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans ceremonies around the country are included below:

AMVETS Post No. 113, Irwindale, Calif. Click Here.

AMVETS Post No. 6, Gary, Ind., Click Here.

AMVETS National Service Foundation also hosted a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans ceremony at AMVETS National Headquarters last week.

If your post or department has a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans story you would like to share, please send photos and details to

(Photos: Top: Vietnam veteran Jerry Taylor takes an etching at the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial. Bottom: AMVETS Riders National 2nd Vice Commander Bruce "Bruiser" McElhaney clears the headstone of Hugh "Rabbit" Snow at the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. Photos courtesy of Bruce McElhaney and AMVETS Riders Chapter 104.)

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Monday, April 5, 2010

This Week at American Veteran

This week, Congress is still on a break for the in-district work period. However, the work continues for the AMVETS National Legislative Department, which is planning for more Capitol Hill visits to discuss veterans' issues ranging from recent daunting unemployment figures to follow-up on assistance dogs for wounded veterans.

Over the weekend, AMVETS National Commander Duane Miskulin was quoted by CNN on the latest veterans' unemployment figures, which surpassed 14 percent. Cmdr. Miskulin is in Indiana for the week, touring the AMVETS Department of Indiana.

This week, American Veteran will begin to discuss AMVETS' new program to help address the invisible wounds of war, as details emerge this week. We will also discuss the upcoming 2010 AMVETS Symposium for 21st Century Veterans. Details about the upcoming symposium are now available on the AMVETS National Web site.

This week, we will also highlight the work of AMVETS Riders in Tennessee, who honored local Vietnam veterans last week.

Finally, members of the AMVETS family were on hand at the White House this morning for the annual Easter Egg Roll. Photos will be available shortly.

If you have a story you would like to share with us for publication on the blog for American Veteran magazine, or in the quarterly print edition, please let us know. And, as always, we're eager to read your comments.

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