I just found out there is a Stand Down going on this week, the first one is going in Virginia and the next day in Duluth. There are a lot of free services for Veterans that are available at a Stand Down to include free meals, haircuts, clothing, benefits, legal assistance and more. Check out the links in the Items of Interest on the left. I also just found about the Rampage on the Ridge race. the Rampage on the Ridge is a 5K obstacle course and mud run designed to test participants’ strength, stamina and most importantly teamwork. That sounded like fun. To find out more, check out their website
We are now on Facebook at VFW MN 8th District. Now we can share information about what's happening in the 8th District as it's happening and can use it to let others know of scheduled events coming up. Add us to your friend list so you can stay updated.
Wow, not even a month into my term as Commander and all ready I'm hearing about great things happening in the 8th District. I've heard about members from the International Falls Post 2948 and Cook Post 1757 taking Veterans from Vets on the Lake for a full day of fishing. I've learned about the Warrior Paddle, where Combat Veterans spend 4 months paddling the entire length of the Mississippi River to the Delta and local VFW Posts along the river supporting those paddlers in what ever fashion they can provide. Our members from the Grand Rapids Post 1720 took Veterans from their local nurnsing home and brought them to Tioga Beach on Lake Pokegama, served them a grilled lunch and took them fishing on wheel chair accessible Pontoons. Members from the Cloquet Post 3979 served meals at the Duluth Air Show to honor local Veterans. And I'm sure that each Posts Honor Guards were busy leading local parades and showing their pride as Veterans in the 4th of July parades. And these are just the ones I've heard from. Talk about Community Service, I couldn't be prouder of the 8th District, but I know that I will be. Stay tuned because I'll be getting with the rest of the Posts and the Auxiliaries to see what they've done and I know I'll be impressed.
Well, it's official, I am now the 8th District Commander. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do, but I know I have the support and confidence of the members of the Great 8th District behind me and I'm looking forward to a great year. I also have a great Auxiliary President, Jean Scholar, standing beside me to lead the Auxiliary into a productive and memerable year ahead. We will do our best to support all the VFW and Auxiliary programs and try to help every Post within our boundries. We look forward to a great year and thank you for all your hard work.
I've posted a few items under the Items of Interest section that I believe you should read. These are from email I've received from Rick Nolan, whether or not you agree with him, at least you know where he stands.
On the Legislative page, Rick has been busy collecting information as well. If you've been exposed to Toxic Burn Pits, the office of Senator Klobuchar and Tillis introduced legislation to help Veterans. (Read more
). If you need any help from Senator Klobuchars office, you will need to complete a privacy release form (Read more
). Rick has some comments on the pace of fixing the Crisis Hotline (Read more
). And Rick offered more information on Agent Orange that you'll find interesting (Read more
). I told he's been busy. He'll also be putting out a legislative report soon too, so check back soon.
Loyalty Days went well. The new officers and chairmen were elected or appointed, except for a new Chaplain and Chief Inspector. We can really use a Chaplain and a Chief Inspector! If you are interested or know of someone that is, please let em know. After the June Convention in Rochester, I will be posting the new list of officers. And speaking of the State Convention, we hope to see as many delegates from the 8th District as possible. The more that show, the more votes we get to elect the officers we care about to the Department positions. Last year, we were short about 5 votes to elect one of our own to a Department Chair. If one more delegate would have been there to vote (one person from your post can vote for your whole post), we may have had enough. Your Post Commander should know if there is anything delinquent that would prevent your post from a vote. Let get those items completed so you can have a voice.
Don't forget about Loyalty Days coming up this weekend at Post 8831 in Pengilly. Print a copy
of the agenda and accomodations.
The Generals Orders have been updated with the events schedule. Please give it a read so you are up to date on Loyalty Days (print a copy). We'll see you at Loyalty Days in Pengilly.
I took some time to make a couple adjustments on the website. For one, the site should be more responsive to what you can view it on, for example, take a look at it on your cell phone, tablet or computer, the columns should adjust to your screen size. And on the Post pages, you'll be able to tell what the weather is like in your town for the next 4 days. This will be useful for anyone that is heading your way, so they can be better prepared. I've also added quite a few Items of Interest that you'll find interesting. Hope you enjoy.
It's time to gear up for Veterans Day on the Hill coming up on March 16th so check with your CVSO for transportation or catch a ride with a friend. Read more about it on the Legislative Officers page. As long as you're there, catch up on the pending legislation on Agent Orange and read the Legislative Agenda Items. Find out what may be affecting you and your future.
We had a good turn out for the District meeting last week end but not many stuck around for the Voice of Democracy dinner afterwards. Maybe next year we can plan thing a little differently.
Changes to the General Orders have been posted. We now have a schedule for Friday and a menu. Check it out
Time to change the last digit on the date from a 5 to a 6. Seems like a long time since that's happened, and it's been a long time since the last District meeting. The next one is still a ways away but it's coming up soon enough. The next meeting will be February 20th in Gilbert. Read all about it in the updated General Orders
. I don't have any other updates for you at this time, but stay tuned, I'm sure there'll be something coming up shortly.
By now, hopefully you've been able to digest all the Thankgiving turkey and fixings and are getting ready for more holiday delights. Hope everyone had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and will have a safe and Merry Christmas. May your New Year be prosperous and may you stay healthy, wealthy and wise. Don't forget to help a Veteran and/or their family as well this holiday season. There are still some Veterans that are homeless and some is need of help. Every little bit help. Thank you.
Did you know that as of August 21, 2015, the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars ended their 100 year existance. Now they are hereby called the VFW Auxiliary. This Proposed Resolution to the Bylaws and proposed Revisions to the Ritual were voted on at the 102nd National Convention in Pittsburgh, Penn. This change now allows men (with the same eligibility qualifications as before) to join the Auxiliary. For more information about the new VFW Auxiliary, visit their website at http://www.vfwauxiliary.org/. To help Auxiliaries get the information out for the name change, you can complete this media press release. For a copy of the new VFW Auxiliary emblems/logo's and other information related to the name change go to http://www.vfwauxiliary.org/?s=logo.
We recently attended the first VFW Fall Conference since the induction of the new Officers and Chairman. I was able to get some information regarding our new District Commander Jim Sellner for the Commanders Corner page. Now you can get to know your District Commander a little better. We also have a new Chaplain - Robert (Bob) Posch who would like to share some words of inpirational wisdom on his new page. Bob has many years of practicing ministry which date way back before he joined the VFW. Please contact Bob if you need some inspiration or could use some advise. The Legislative Team has been hard at work looking out for your rights as a Veteran and keeping you up to date on the latest legislature. One of which is the Agent Orange Act that was set to expire on September 30, 2015.
It seems like forever since I've updated this site, and it has. I've taken on more roles at our VFW which makes it more difficult to find the time to do some of the things I would rather be doing, like updating this website more often. However, for our efforts in keeping you informed, our District website once again did take first place in the Department website conpetition at the State Convention this summer. Thank you to all who contributed and I'll try my best to update this site more often. Speaking of updating this website, check out the new Chaplains
page with words of wisdom and inspiration. The Legislative Officers
page and Service Officers
page have also been updated. Keep up the good work in keeping the rest of the District in the know.
There was a lot of information passed at the last District meeting in Cook and I apologize for the delay in posting the information (my data drive just quit and I can't retreive anything from it). But anyway, I posted a lot of information on the Legislative Officers
page so hopefully you'll give it a read. I'll try to get caught up after we get back from the State Convention.
Welcome to our new edition of the 8th District website. There is still a lot that needs to be done but this layout will get us started. Check out the information on each Post and let me know any changes that need to be done. I know there is still some names that need to be added but I just received another list that I'll be adding soon. Let me know what you think.
The date and time for the 8th District VFW party at the Silver Bay Veterans Home is April 15th at 10:00 a.m. with BINGO and lunch to follow. If you'd like more information the Silver Bay Veterans Home, you can check out their website here
. Make sure to check out the link to Take a Virtual Tour so you see what it looks like.
I just received the new General Orders
and it is way ahead of schedule. Those guys (and gals) from Cook are really 'Cookin' when it comes to putting out the GO's. All punning aside, it looks like they got it together over there, and put out the GO's in enough time for us to read them. You would think that Darrel has some experience with being a District Commander or something. For those that plan on staying at Fortune Bay Resort, let them know you are a Veteran and you get a better discount than any other discounts they offer, at least they gave me a good discount.
There hasn't been much going on around the district that I was made aware of. I haven't heard the outcome of the trip to the capitol for Vets on the Hill yet but I'm confident that a lot of progress was made. I did receive an email blast from Department regarding a Security Alert for Commanders and Quartermasters. You can give that a read on the Items of Interest page.
There seemed to be a good turnout for the 8th District meeting we had last weekend. There was some good discussion and reports given by the Committee Chairmen. There was so much information from the Legislative Committee that it took all four of them to give the report. I've posted what I've received on the Legislative Officer's page and let me tell you there are a lot of information that you don't want to miss.
Well the official word came out at the Mid-Winter Conference in Minneapolis, our 8th District website took first place again as the Best Veterans Service District website for the state of Minnesota again for the 2014 season. A lot of work goes into making and updating a website and it couldn't have been done with out you. Thank you to everyone who gives me the information to put on this website and to those who come here to access that information. Thank you and Congratulations. We haven't received a plaque yet but I'm sure it's on its way.
Are you a female Veteran who feels alone? People don't understand what you have gone through. Would you like to be able to talk to another female Veteran who could relate? Why not try looking into your local VFW Post? Women could get together at least once or twice a year from our district, just so we could get together and talk about what is important to our female Veterans. If you would like to talk, my name is Clara Kardell and you can reach me at 218-410-3238.
The new General Orders have been posted. Time is running out for getting the Voice of Democracy and Patriots Pen essays due to the Posts, but there is still time. Good luck to all the contestants and may the 8th District win the State and National competition.
This year the Department Fall Conference in Wilmar went fairly well. Attendance from all over the State of MN was about normal but the seminars had better than average attendance. A couple of the sessions yielded important information which the chairmen wanted to share before the 8th District meeting on October 26th. Your Legislative Chairman Jack Lund attended the Legislative session and posted it on his page. ...Read more...
Your Poppy Chairman Don Douglas is reporting an increase in the price of poppies coming soon so now is the time to order your poppies before the increase. ...See letter...
For your entertainment for the 8th District meeting on October 25th, a few comedians will be putting on a show at the Cloquet VFW. The headliner is a comedian/magician named PizPor and is claimed to be very funny. One of the other comedians is Carol Vnuk, also an actress, who has appeared on several TV shows and movies and is also claimed to be very funny. The emcee, host and featured comedian is Dennis Carney and claims to be funnier than the other two, time will tell. There is also a meal and fundraiser for the Northland Honor Flight before the show and you have the option to stay for the show. We are looking forward to seeing you there. ...See flyer...
After the 8th District meeting, there will be a FREE Kids Halloween party at the Cloquet Armory. The Halloween party used to be held at the Cloquet VFW but due to the large attendance of kids and adults, space was limited. The Armory gives everyone more room to have fun, play games and have a really good time. If you have time, you are invited to stop in and have some fun too.
By now a lot of you are back into your Autumn routine with your scheduled meals and activities. Hopefully you've picked up a few more planned activities before you get into buckling down for the winter. Just take a moment from your busy day and remember those who can not be with us to enjoy all these activities and for all those families and friends that wish they could.
We have a few events coming up soon, like the State Fall Conference this weekend (Sept 12-14) in Wilmar, the POW/MIA Observance Day on September 19, the 8th District Fall conference in Cloquet on October 25 - 26, and Veterans Day on November 11. I know some of these dates are out there a ways but now is the time to start planning for these events. There will be more information upcoming on some of these so stay tuned. See you there.
Don't forget about the upcoming Fall Conference going on in Wilmar on September 12th - 14, 2014. If you want to know what will be going on, check the state website for the most up to date information.
You've probably noticed I've made a few changes to the appearance of the website, however, most of the content will remain the same. I'll be trying to add a few more pages in the future to help make it more informative. We have a District meeting coming up in a couple weeks (July 26th and 27th at the Virginia Serviceman's Club) so I'll try to get updated rosters of our officers so you know who they are too.
Getting to spend time with politicians can be a daunting task, and getting them to actually listen to what you have to say is a feat all in itself. 8th District Veterans have had opportunities to get our issues heard, check out our Events page for more information. Talk to your CVSO (County Veterans Service Officer) to see if your issues have been addressed.
The visit from the VFW National Commander Bill Thien went very well. He said he was well received at the different posts and enjoyed his tour of Minnesota. Although he has been in Minnesota before during his campaigning days for National positions, this was the first time he was able to get down to the Post level. VFW Post 137 in Duluth was his last stop in the 8th District and was given a warm welcome along with souvenirs to remember his northland visit. See pictures of his visit to Duluth.
On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, in Veterans Memorial Park in Cloquet, MN, representatives from the Governors office, the Mayors of Cloquet and Carlton, the Mission Commander of the 148th Fighter Wing and Officers of Crazy Troop, and more (see list below) joined together to proclaim Carlton County as a Yellow Ribbon Community. ... Read More ...
Do you have a problem with the VA? A question, concern or suggestion? Your County Veterans Service Officer can help you determine eligibility for local, state and federal veterans benefits. Since the 8th District encompasses such a vast area in the northland, here is a list of the CVSO's that could help you with information on your veterans needs in your county.
The VFW Commander-In-Chief is visiting certain VFW Posts in Minnesota. Our Department Commander is giving him a grand tour of our Great State. By the time they are done, they will have traveled a thousand miles. Check here to see if they will be stopping by a Post near you. If they are, stop by and show them a warm Minnesota welcome.
You are invited to participate in a roundtable discussion on Veterans issues with Congressman Rick Nolan. Congressman Nolan is working to increase funding to eliminate the VA backlog, fully fund the National Guard, boost veterans benefits and housing, expand services for mental health issues, and establish a Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration to help vets return to the workforce. Print this flyer to see the opportunities you have to join in the discussion.
There was a good attendance at the Loyalty Day conference in Carlton on the first weekend in May. There still wasn't 100% attendance but it was close. I've enclosed some pictures of the events that took place. It's sad to hear that the Hibbing VFW Post 8510 will be closing down in June with all it's members being dispersed to other VFW's or to the "At Large" status.
There was a big discussion about who to send the monthly program report forms to in the District. The District Chairmen are saying they are not receiving a copy of the form or being notified that a form was sent to Department or if one was sent at all. It was discussed that if the forms were electronic and could be emailed, the reports would be more timely, less time consuming to complete and more cost effective. The Assistant Department Adjutant (Lee) was present for the Sunday meeting and said the reports are already on line at the Department website, however, you have to have a password to access the reports. He also said the reports will also be on disc for those who attend OTI at the convention in June so they can be copied to a computer, filled out electronically and emailed to the appropriate chairman and Department HQ. I will get with the new District Commander (Darrel Lindgren) to find out which chairman need a copy of the reports so they can be in the loop and I'll post a link to each chairman's email address. If you want to access the reports on line, get with your Commander to find out what the password is and go to the Department website to log in and get the reports you need.
There are a lot of activities geared toward Veterans during the month of May, check out the Items of Interest on the left. As more come available, I'll post them as I get them. Don't forget about the Loyalty Days conference going on this weekend in Carlton, this is one you don't want to miss.
It appears that our Judge Advocate
, Tom Moors, and CVSO Hugh Quinn have been getting some constructive personal time with Congressman Rick Nolan, more time spent with our politicians to make them aware of Veterans issues, the better it is in helping our Veterans. ...Read more...
Congratulations to the members of VFW Post 1757 in Cook for their Posts completion of 75 years of service to the community and the Veterans of Minnesota. Join them for dinner on April 26th as they celebrate their Diamond Jubilee Award. Good job and keep up the good work!
It's finally spring and tomorrow is the 1st Annual Ice Fishing Contest (I haven't been told otherwise) and looks like the weather will be a little cool with partly cloudy skies so the conditions look good for a good day of ice fishing. Hopefully the recent warm weather has left enough ice on the lake to support the weight of all the fishermen (and women) attending the event. Good luck to all and may your lines stay active.
Veterans on the Hill day brought in a few Veterans from the northland, from what I've heard, attendance could have been better. However, for those that did attend, thank you for doing your part to let our Legislators know you are very interested in Veterans affairs and that our rights matter. Our Legislative Officer, Jack Lund brought back the latest copy of the Commanders Task Force 2014 Legislative Agenda for you and added a few good links to help you stay abreast of legislative matters. Thank you Jack.
Per an email received from Rick Stoehr, there was also something that needed to be addressed while in St Paul on the 17th and that was HF 2557 in the House of Representatives and SF 2406 in the Senate, both bills are basically the same and have to do with duties of CVSO's and eligibility for entry into Veteran's Homes. The concern with the Veteran's homes is a potential shift in who controls these homes as well as providing sufficient numbers of beds available and where those beds are located. This was also an email blast from your VFW Department Legislative Chairman, Rich Zierdt. You can also view a short video on this matter by going to the Items of Interest under Veterans Home Eligibility.
And on a final note, check out this website found by Rick Stoehr called The High Ground. Its a Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Memorial Project and seems to be very informative. Rick has been there on several occasions and is suggesting a bus or motorcycle ride out there. Sounds like fun.
Change 2 to Change 1 - The Fishing Contest is now changed to March 22nd, same times, same place. Check back often to see if there are more changes.
I just got word that the 1st Annual Ice Fishing Contest has been postponed due to the cold weather predicted for Saturday. The contest is still going, but it is now scheduled for March 15th. Hopefully it won't be as cold and will give those who need to renew their fishing license a chance to do so. Good luck and happy dangling.
So far I've been unable to put the video of the Voice of Democracy/Patriots Pen and Congressman Nolan's speeches in a format that I can use online, but I'll still work at it. In the mean time, check out the updates on the Legislative Officers page for important information that may effect you. The Calendar has been filled with a lot of events that are happening all over the 8th District, if you have an event that you want to draw a crowd to, let me know so I can add it to the calendar. There are a few events listed under the "Items of Interest" column on the left, but there are lots more in the calendar. And don't forget to check out the Events page for the latest on "What's Happened in the 8th District".
Our 8th District conference this past weekend in Cloquet went very well. There was a great attendance at the Voice of Democracy/Patriots Pen Banquet on Saturday and at the District meeting on Sunday. We were a few Posts shy of 100% attendance but it was still a great turnout. Both First Place winners from the 8th District for the Voice of Democracy (Molly Deatherage sponsored by VFW Post 1757 and Auxiliary (Cook)) and Patriots Pen winner (Quinn Muhich sponsored by VFW Post 1172 and Auxiliary (Eveleth)) read their award winning speeches and had everyone standing in applause. Both did an outstanding job. Then Congressman Nolan had a few words emphasizing key points of each winners speech to complete the evening festivities. Overall, the banquet was a huge success and thanks to all who did their part to put this event together.
Another cold winter for the record books, hope you were able to stay warm and safe. In a few months summer will be here and maybe all this snow will be gone by then. Don't forget about the 8th District meeting coming up this weekend in Cloquet. Hope to see you there.
I've added another page to the navigation bar called "Events". This page will highlight recent events that have taken place in the 8th District, such as the Town Hall meeting and the Voice of Democracy winner meeting the Governor at the Mid Winter State Convention. If you have an event you'd like to share, send me the information, to include pictures (if any). The page is still a little rough around the edges but keep checking it out to see "What's Happened in the 8th District".
I've also received a News Release from Rick Stoehr regarding a bill to Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Tackle Veterans Benefits Backlog (by Sen Franken and Rep Walz), give it a read.
The latest word (from Rick Stoehr) is that Congressman Nolan will be attending the 8th District Banquet and honoring the Voice Of Democracy/Patriots Pen winners for the district meeting on February 15th. The General Orders page has been updated (and corrected). You can also print a copy for yourself.
Although I was unable to attend the meet and greet in Hibbing with the legislators, I heard it turned out pretty well. I'm looking forward to hearing what they had to say at our next district meeting.
Yea, it's finally a new year! What a cold one it has been. And what a better way to bring in a new year than to have a little competition amongst friends. Yes, it's finally here, the 1st Annual VFW Ice Fishing Contest. Print this flyer and post it all over. It doesn't say whether or not it's for Veterans only though so you may want to call or email the contact on the flyer if you need to know.