How to Win a U.S. Flag Actually Made in the U.S.A.

UPDATE May 31, 2014: Due to multiple submission errors awaiting response/correction, the winner and all Memorial photos will be announced and shared on Flag Day (June 14, 2014).


American Flag from Gettysburg Flag WorksAs Memorial Day approaches, we all think about two things: America’s Veterans killed in action and the American Flag.

On Memorial Day 2014, I would like to help honor all veterans (those who survived as well as those killed in action) and give everyone a chance to win a free “Made in the U.S.A.” 5′ x 8′ outdoor American flag.

All you need to do is submit a photo of you or a family member alongside your favorite veteran (living or deceased) and you’ll be entered for a chance to win.

Here’s the How & Why:

Many of us hold a special veteran very close in our hearts, and those of us who do, also appreciate the importance of flying America’s flag.  Almost every active duty service member and veteran in this country would obviously prefer flying an American Flag that was actually made in the U.S.A.

One U.S.-based flag maker has decided to team up with to encourage your help for a very special Memorial Day blog post.  My goal is to make my Memorial Day 2014 blog post the biggest Veterans & Family “memorial” photo album ever published.

Thanks to the folks at Gettysburg Flag Works, I get to encourage widespread photo submissions by offering a highly sought after patriotic item to one lucky winner. That’s because Gettysburg Flag Works has donated one of their very own 5′ x 8′ Outdoor American Flags as a grand prize, shipped to the winner directly from their New York home.

What could be better than honoring a veteran & maybe winning a FREE FLAG??

Here are the Photo Submission Rules:

  1. The photo submitted must be of yourself or a family member alongside (yours or their) favorite special veteran.  Please try to find photos with that veteran in uniform if possible..(but not required :)
  2. You must agree to the publication of this photo (to include your first name, veteran’s name & branch of service) in a Memorial Day post on
  3. You must submit your photo entry by May 19, 2014

If you’re okay with these terms, then follow this link to submit your entry.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR PHOTOS, America!  And BIG THANKS to Gettysburg Flag Works for their generous assistance.  Need a new American Flag? Consider buying a Flag that’s “Made in America” from the patriotic folks at Gettysburg Flag Works!

Gettysburg Flag Works



Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committe Clears Putting Veterans Funding First Act

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The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee cleared several  bills that will improve access to healthcare and shield veterans from any budget or shutdown uncertainly that may occur in the future.  The senate version of The Putting Veterans Funding First Act (S. 932) was cleared and sent for consideration on November 19th.  The bill will fund all VA programs a year in advance.

Currently, only VA medical care accounts are provided an advance appropriation.  The House cleared a similar bill (H.R. 913) in August which calls for advance funding beginning with the 2016 budget.  The House version currently has a 74% chance of being enacted. The Senate’s version currently has 40% chance of being enacted.

The Putting Veterans Funding First Act of 2013 – Authorizes the provision of advance appropriations for the following discretionary (under current law, medical care) accounts of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):

Other bills cleared by the Senate include:

S. 1604 Veterans Health Care Eligibility Expansion and Enhancement Act of 2013

  • Expands the period of eligibility to enroll in VA healthcare for Post 9/11 combat veterans to include Guard and Reserves from 5 to 10 years. It also simplifies VA method in determining eligibility based on income thus allowing more veterans to enroll in VA.

S. 1593 Servicemember Housing Protection Act of 2013

  • Extends protections for service members with regards to sales contracts, mortgage penalties and provides further improvements under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act or SCRA. All of the bills now move to the Senate floor for debate.

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Smile Veterans…VA Extends Optional Dental Coverage

Health Benefits    VA Dental Insurance Program  VADIP




VA has partnered with Delta Dental and MetLife to allow eligible Veterans, plus family members receiving care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), to purchase affordable dental insurance.  Applications are now being accepted, and coverage for this new dental insurance will begin Jan. 1, 2014.

Coverage will be available to veterans and eligible family members throughout the United States and its territories.

More than 8 million Veterans who are currently enrolled in VA health care can now choose to purchase one of the offered dental plans. This three-year pilot program is designed for Veterans with no dental coverage, or those eligible for VA dental care who would like to purchase additional coverage.

Participation will not affect entitlement to VA dental services and treatment. Historically VA’s free dental services have gone to Veterans with dental problems connected to a medical condition that’s officially certified as “service connected.”  Free dental services will continue for those Veterans.

Also eligible for the new benefits are nearly 400,000 spouses and dependent children who are reimbursed for most medical expenses under VA’s CHAMPVA program.  Generally, CHAMPVA participants are spouses, survivors or dependent children of Veterans officially rated as “permanently and totally” disabled by a service-connected condition.

There are no eligibility limitations based on service-connected disability rating or enrollment priority assignment.

Dental services under the new program vary by plan and include diagnostic, preventive, surgical, emergency and endodontic/restorative treatment. Enrollment in the VA Dental Insurance Plan (VADIP) is voluntary.  Participants are responsible for all premiums, which range from $8.65 to $52.90 per month for individual plans.  Copayments and other charges may apply.

People interested in participating may complete an application online through either


Government Chooses Foreign Aid Payments over America’s Veterans and Grieving Families

VFW Disgusted with Elected Leadership and Steps in to Help Military Families

Military Aid Groups Step Up to Help Military FamiliesWASHINGTON (October 9, 2013) — The nation’s oldest and largest war veterans’ organization is disgusted with the partisan bickering and government paralysis caused by a White House and Congress who will not budge from their ideological extremes in order to properly take care of America’s true heroes.

“Monday’s news that the government will not transport or make a death assistance payment to grieving military families was the last straw. It is absolutely appalling and nothing short of a travesty that elected officials continue to receive paychecks and benefits while not providing for those who deserve it most,” said William A. Thien, the national commander of almost 2 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliaries.

Since the shutdown started, 17 servicemen and women have been killed in combat. Normally their families would receive $100,000 from the military within 36 hours to help pay for immediate needs. But now, those payments are not going out and, like everything else associated with this shutdown, they’ve gotten caught up in a partisan feud.

Military death benefits enable grieving family members to travel to Dover Air Force Base to greet their loved one’s flag-draped casket returning from overseas. The money also helps them pay for the funeral.

“Because of failed leadership, we have 56 closed Department of Veterans Affairs regional offices, 7,000 furloughed employees, and more than 4 million disabled veterans and survivors who were told next month’s disability or survivor benefits check will be delayed,” he said. “We also have a hypocritical National Park Service that closes our nation’s war memorials to veterans and a federal government that continues to make foreign aid payments while our own national security is threatened because Congress has failed to pass a defense budget or put an end to the sequester.

“This is totally unacceptable and disgraceful that our elected leaders in Washington would allow this to happen,” said Thien. “We need leadership, not more rhetoric, and if the government is unable to take care of veterans, then the government should quit creating us,” he said. “And should another military family crisis arise like yesterday’s failure, I can guarantee the VFW will provide whatever financial assistance necessary to those families.”


ABOUT THE VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans’ service organization composed of combat veterans and eligible military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation’s largest organization of war veterans and it is also the oldest major veterans’ organization. With nearly 2 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in more than 7,000 Posts worldwide, “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS.” The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs worldwide. For more information or to join, visit their website at

Boy Died to Give Us Our Freedom