Vacations for Veterans Provides Free Lodging for OIF/OEF Purple Heart Recipients

Nearly 45,000 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans have been awarded the Purple Heart, and one non-profit group has found an amazing way to say “Thank You” to those honored veterans.

Since 2007, Vacations for Veterans has been providing 7 days of free lodging to wounded Purple Heart recipients.  Hundreds of vacation home and time share owners in the United States, have generously donated the use of their getaway spot in support of this program.

Vacations for Veterans became so popular in 2011, that they had to start booking for 2012.  Anyone who knows a wounded Purple Heart recipient that deserves a break, please share this program with them.

People interested in donating use of their homes,  timeshares, money or time can do so here:

 

 

Non-Profit Organizations Continue to Waste Millions on US Postage in 2012

According to the 2012 Statistical Abstract, 71% of U.S. citizens are using the Internet at home, 80% are now also accessing the internet from phones, libraries, and internet cafes, and a whopping 90% of citizens under the age of 29 are primarily communicating online.

So, with over 200 million Americans capable of receiving email communications, why are countless large and small non-profit organizations and groups continuing to waste millions of dollars on paper and U.S. postage?

Is the fear of technology that powerful? Email vs Postage…..just how costly is it?

     Are those postage dollars spent really helping your group gain revenue through donations, or actually wasting valuable funds that could be better spent elsewhere?

How many people even read paper mail anymore, and how do you know they are reading what you send?

In March of 2010, ABC News reported (Video: Snail Mail vs E-Mail) that the number of Americans writing and reading “snail mail” was declining fast enough to put the U.S Post Office in a major budget crunch.  Why?  Because, according to statistics, email is the new “social fabric of American society,” when it comes to “how, and how fast, people communicate.”

With America trending toward email as their preferred method of communication, why would any non-profit choose to use snail mail for newsletters, communications, promotions, events, or fundraisers?  Maybe once or twice a year, sending a bulk fundraising campaign by snail mail still makes sense.

As for the rest of the year…..try THIS money-saving program for sending professional-looking promotions and newsletters via email!  Using an email program allows you to quickly reach your members, discover which folks are actually reading your promotions, and avoid constantly bothering those that really don’t want to hear from you.

Missouri Veterans Homes and Cemeteries in Jeopardy: Please Support HB 1731

Update: May 12, 2012

Great News!!!!
HB 1731 passsed out of the House early this morning and is now on it’s way to the Governor’s desk. Thanks to everyone for their support in this effort.

 

Original Post March 23, 2012:

Unless Missourian’s express their support of HB1731, the closing of area Veterans Homes and cemeteries is eminent.

The bill, which establishes a dedicated funding source to keep veterans homes and cemeteries up to par and operational, arrived in the Missouri Senate March 8, 2012 after overwhelmingly passing the Missouri House of Representatives (149-0) on March 1st, 2012.

The Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations (MAVO) held a rally in the state capitol on Thursday, March 22nd.  Hundreds of veterans, veterans family members, and veteran caregivers flooded the rotunda to show their support of the bill. Several nationally recognized speakers relayed their thoughts and feelings about the horrible reality of possible closures.

Here is a basic description of what the bill entails:

WHEREAS; if additional funding is not made available during Legislative Year
2012 (January thru May 2012) it will become necessary to begin the process of
closing beds, wings, and, possibly close one or more homes and cemeteries, and

WHEREAS; the current waiting list for admission to Missouri Veterans homes is
over 1600 and if such closings are permitted to happen the number waiting will
increase, and

WHEREAS; if homes are closed, Missouri State will owe the Department of
Veterans Affairs for the Federal share of 65% of the unappreciated costs of the
homes, now, therefore be it

RESOLVED; by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Missouri (VFW)
that the VFW URGE the 2nd Session of the 96th General Assembly while convened
in Jefferson City to enact legislation approving a one dollar ($1) addition to the
Entry Fee to all Missouri Gaming Boats and that the entire one dollar ($1) be
deposited in a dedicated Veterans Commission Fund, and be it further

RESOLVED: that the VFW and its entire membership be instructed that this is the
highest priority and that this be communicated to the Governor, all members of the
Legislature and the Executive Director and Commissioners of the Missouri
Veterans Commission.

HB 1731. Modifies how funds from the Lottery and the Gaming Commission Fund are distributed. Sponsor:. LR Number:. 5770H.03P. Fiscal Note not available. Committee:. Veterans’ Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs. Last Action:. 3/8/2012 – Second Read and Referred S Veterans’ Affairs, Emerging Issues, P

Please contact your local Missouri Senator and the Missouri Veterans Commission to express your support of HB 1731 quick passage in the Missouri Senate so that we can continue to house and properly bury Missouri’s veterans!

Professor says US Military Monitors Machines Better than Soldiers Mental Health

As the United States scratches their heads wondering what could have caused a 38 year old Army Staff Sergeant to allegedly massacre 16 Afghan men, women, and children on Sunday, one professor has an idea.

Dr. Bengt Arnetz, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., suggested that the current system used by the military to detect or recognize mental health issues is woefully inadequate.

“All the systems have never been evaluated,” said Arnetz, whose research focuses on the effects of stress on the psychological well being of police, first responders and soldiers. “I think that they’re very, very bad at monitoring people close to the breaking point. We don’t have good surveillance tools.”

To give an example, Arnetz compared the maintenance and monitoring of military machinery to the maintenance and monitoring of soldiers’ mental states. “If you look at the machinery, you check for wear and tear and you do repair work and tune it up on regular basis,” he said. “Where soldiers are concerned; we don’t have a systematic approach.”

If soldiers are expected to be some kind of low maintenance machine, it is no wonder that some soldiers may be hesitant to report unusual behavior on the part of their fellow troops.

“We have talked with police working in inner city Detroit, and they told me it’s very difficult to bring it up,” he said. “Sometimes when you bring it up… you see a behavior change, they either deny it or become quite aggressive. They don’t want to push it.”

Source: Soldier’s Alleged Kandahar Killing Spree: Were Warning Signs Missed?