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Information of interest to Veterans



2 Veterans to Washington DC project
3 Brunswick County Veteran Services
4 NEVER FORGET mobile exhibit
5 SPAM WARNING - Century Club
6 Deploy or GET OUT policy
7 Books designed for Soldiers
8 Veterans Benefits Center coming back to NC
9 AAFES Online Shopping for Vets
10 FCC & VA Targeting Robocallers Targeting Veterans


Operation Donate with Honor:

Law enforcers unite to challenge deceptive fundraising 





The American Legion Post 68, Leland, NC announces a program to take veterans to Washington D. C. to see the war memorials. We know that there are an amazing number of veterans who have never had the opportunity to visit the very memorials that were built in their honor.

All veterans are invited to join us on this journey. It doesn’t matter how long you served, what branch you served or if whether or not you served during wartime. But the opportunity to see these monuments, especially with those who served with you, has shown to be very rewarding. It has helped many find the closure they have sought for so many years. We are including a tour to the White House and Capitol Hill.

The journey is planned for Oct. 4-7, 2018. We are also fundraising to help offset the costs for these vets. If you can’t make the trip, please consider a donation.

For more information contact Gerald Decker at:

          gdecker1226@gmail.com      706-424-0830




Veterans to Washington Project



Email: gdecker1226@gmail.com              Phone: 706-424-0830

Door to door service provided by Holiday tours will cost $639 per person/double occupancy


Depart Leland Oct. 4 (Thursday) 1300 hours

Arrive Washington, DC- approx. 2100 hours

Oct. 5    0800 Visit White House

1300 Visit Capitol

              1700 Free time

Oct. 6    0800      Tour Arlington/ Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

              0915-1015-Travel to and tour Vietnam Memorial

              1015-1045- Travel to National Marine Museum

              1100-1300-Lunch and tour National Marine Corps Museum

              1300-1330-Tavel to Air and Space Museum

              1330-1500 Tour Air and Space Museum

              1500-1530 Travel to WWII Museum

              1530-1730 Tour WWII and Korea Memorials

              1730-1930 Dinner Break at Hotel

              1930-2100 Tour Memorials lit up at night

Oct. 7    0800 Group picture at Vietnam and WWII Memorial

              0900 Return to Leland

              1300 approx. Arrive Leland

If you can’t make this trip please consider a donation to help offset expenses for those who are going.

As funds are raised, individual costs will be offset.

Please register with me as soon as possible if you intend to make the trip. I am making arrangements with the White House and Congressman Rouser’s Office and headcounts are important.



  Brunswick County Veterans Services


Memorial Day Observation
Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day. Many people use this day to mark the start of summer and to come together with family and friends. However, as you know, the true purpose of this day is to reflect and honor those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their Country. The Brunswick County Veterans Services Office would like to wish you all a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend, and we hope that you will keep the true purpose of this holiday in mind.

If anyone would like to attend a Memorial Day program, here are some of the locations available to you in Brunswick County:

Date               Time                  Location
5-28-18        11:00 a.m.        VFW Post # 10400,
                                              3161 George II Hwy.,
                                              Boiling Spring Lakes
5-28-18        11:00 a.m.        American Legion Post # 503,
                                             10277 Beach Drive SW,

5-28-18        10:00 a.m.        VFW Post # 7288,
                                              900 Carter Drive,
5-28-18        11:00 a.m.       VFW Post # 8866,
                                             573 Sabbath Home Road,
                                             Holden Beach
5-28-18            1:00 p.m.     VFW Post 10226
                                            103 SE 50th Street
                                            Oak Island
5-28-18        11:00 a.m.       American Legion Post # 543,
                                            4140A Southport-Supply Road 
                                            St. James Town Hall/Community Center
5-28-18        10:00 a.m.       Veterans Memorial Park
                                            Sunset Beach

Carolina Opry - Military & First Responders Appreciation
The Carolina Opry is having "Military & First Responders Appreciation" days from May 21st to May 31st. Charging $15.00/ticket for current and past military and first responders with a valid ID. May purchase up to 3 guest tickets at $23.25 each. Valid for regular tier seating. Prices do not include tax. Some restrictions apply.
Call (843) 913-4000 for reservations and details.  

American Spirit - Paul Taylor Dance Company
The Cape Fear Community College is hosting a performance of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, which is a prestigious modern dance troupe based in New York City. The performance, in recognition of Memorial Day, is in honor of our armed forces, past and present. Presented with support by the non-profit Folded Flag Foundation, dedicated to helping the families of the fallen reach their educational goals.
Date: Thursday, May 24th at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)   All tickets: $20.00
For reservations call: (910)362-7999
Website: http://cfcc.edu/capefearstage/tickets-and-events/

Join the Flight
Climb aboard EAA's B-17G Aluminum Overcast for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly in one of
World War II's most vital aircraft. Veterans Posts in Brunswick County are raffling tickets for a chance to ride the aircraft, check with your local post to see if they are participating in the raffle.
Where: Cape Fear Regional Jetport, Oak Island
When: June 8-10, 2018
For Information and pricing: Call 1-800-359-6217 or visit their website: https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/flight-experiences/aluminum-overcast-eaa-b-17-bomber-tour

Volunteer Opportunity
If anyone is interested in volunteering their time at the Brunswick VA Clinic, or in donating supplies of coffee, snacks, or items for homeless veterans, please contact Tyra Hoffman. Ms. Hoffman is the Voluntary Service Specialist at the Wilmington Health Care Center.
Ms. Hoffman's phone number: (910)353-5300, ext. 3685
Email: tyra.hoffman1@va.gov

 We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

As always, if you have any VA related questions or would like to file for VA benefits, our office is here to assist you, please call our office at 910-253-2233 to schedule an appointment.

Anita L. Hartsell
Senior Veterans Service Officer
Brunswick County Veterans Services Office
P.O. Box 249
Bolivia, NC 28422
Phone # (910)253-2233
Fax # (910)253-2235



NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit
Visits July 4th Celebration Southport, NC

JUNE 30 - JULY 1

The Siller Family started the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor the memory and carry on the legacy of their brother, Stephen, a New York City ­firefighter (FDNY) who lost his life on September 11, 2001 after strapping 60 lbs. of gear to his back and rushing on foot through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others.

In 2013, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation launched its 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit; a tribute to all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, including, of course, the 343 members of the FDNY who made the ultimate sacrifice. The high-tech, 53-foot tractor-trailer, which transforms into a 1,000 square foot exhibit, is a tool to further educate citizens throughout the country about the events of that tragic day.

Welcomed around the country, from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, the memorial provides interactive education; including artifacts such as steel beams from the towers, documentary videos, and recordings of first responder radio transmissions. Interactive guided tours are carried out by FDNY firefighters who provide firsthand accounts of the day and its aftermath. The 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit, which has traveled to nearly 30 states and Canada, has welcomed in over 250,000 people to date.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is committed to ensuring WE NEVER FORGET.


Start/End:              June 30 thru July 1
Event Categories:    
Organizer:             9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit
Email:                  exhibit@tunnel2towers.org
Website:              http://tunnel2towers.org/activity/never-forget-exhibit/




From the American Legion - Department of Wisconsin


If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from The American Legion calling on behalf of the Century Club- DO NOT give them information. The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin does not and will not do phone solicitations- THIS IS A FRAUD. If you get a call like this and are able to capture the number, please contact Department Headquarters at (608) 745-1090 with the number they called from. Thank you- Your HQ Staff.                                                                                                         3/2/18

To report such scams go to https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Publications/Telemarketing976.aspx 




It’s official:
DoD releases new ‘deploy or get out’ policy: 





How Books Designed for Soldiers’ Pockets Changed Publishing Forever

Prior to WWII, Americans didn’t think much of softcover books.


A hospitalized soldier passes the time with an Armed Services Edition.

In early June, 1944, tens of thousands of American troops prepared to storm the beaches of Normandy, France. As they lined up to board the invasion barges, each was issued something less practical than a weapon, but equally precious: a slim, postcard-sized, softcover book.

Please clink on this >> LINK << to see the rest of the story!





Veterans benefits center headed back to North Carolina

Source: https://www.legion.org/veteransbenefits/239083/veterans-benefits-center-headed-back-north-carolina

The American Legion

Sep 06, 2017

In September 2016, American Legion Post 67 in Cary, N.C., teamed up with other organizations and agencies to conduct a Veterans’ Experience Action Center (VEAC). Over the course of three days, 600 veterans and their families received assistance in areas such as veterans benefits claims, mental health treatment and other health-care concerns.

Post 67 Service Officer Richard Spyrison thinks this year’s VEAC can make an even bigger impact.

“Our expectations (in 2016) were actually a little lower because we were kind of flying by the seat of our pants, not knowing, really, what we were doing,” said Spyrison, who also serves as Post 67’s 1st vice commander. “It just kind of fell into place.

“We think we’ve got a good possibility of 800 (this year). I think we’ve got (the word) out pretty good right now.”

This year’s VEAC is taking place Sept. 14-16 at the Cary Herbert Young Community Center, 101 Wilkinson Ave., in Cary. Post 67 will team up with the Cary VFW Post 7383, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Wake County (N.C.) Veterans’ Services to provide assistance in processing benefits claims and claim status updates, and distribute information regarding available services. Veteran service officers from throughout North Carolina also will be present to assist with the claims process.

The VEAC started as a Veterans Benefits Action Center in 2014 under the leadership of former Department of North Carolina Service Officer Cajun Comeau. A series of such events garnered more than $1 million in retroactive VA payments to veterans and their families.

“Cajun had put together these programs … across the state, but nothing had been done in Central North Carolina,” Spyrison said. “We saw a need. I was representing our post at our county veterans council … and found out we have over 70,000 veterans just in our county alone. We felt there was a need, and it just fell into place and grew from there. The whole post got involved. We thought it was important and got the community involved, businesses involved.

“We are trying to reach the hundreds of veterans who may not have access to those services or got lost while navigating the claims process. It is our hope that our outreach program will gain traction on a national level and garner funding and support from top officials in Washington.”

A year ago veterans came from as far away as Maryland and Georgia to receive assistance at the VEAC. “We’ve tried to look at about a three-hour drive for a veteran,” Spyrison said. “These guys or girls will do anything to be able to sit down with a veteran’s rep and talk about their case. Distance is really no object to them.”

The hours for the VEAC are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 14-15 and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 16.




Welcoming home all of America’s Veterans

with online Shopping Benefits

AAFES: Will open to all honorably discharged veterans on Veterans Day 2017

DALLAS – After four years of coordination with the Departments of Defense, Army and Air Force as well as several other federal agencies, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) will welcome home approximately 15 million veterans on Nov. 11.  “AAFES is honored to offer this well deserved benefit to those who raised their right hands, took the oath and served our Nation with honor,” said AAFES Director/CEO Tom Shull. “There are many generations of service members who have not been properly recognized for their sacrifices.

The Veterans Online Shopping Benefit (VOSB) acknowledges their service and welcomes them home.” Extending online shopping (shopmyexchange.com) privileges to all honorably discharged veterans will directly improve family and support programs for Soldiers, Airmen and their families.

Consistent with each exchange’s dividend policy, increased earnings as a result of VOSB are expected to generate tens of millions of dollars in increased annual dividends to Quality-of-Life programs for the military community including contingency operations, Army child development centers, youth services and fitness centers, Air Force outdoor recreation, combat uniforms, overseas school lunches and more. VOSB also strengthens AAFES’ online business to better serve current shoppers. Including honorably discharged veterans will conservatively double exchanges’ online presence, improving the experience for all shoppers. From technology upgrades to associate training to inventory planning, AAFES has been working on implementation of VOSB since it was first proposed in 2013.

As a result, most of the required business capabilities are already in place, and AAFES will be ready for a smooth rollout on Veterans Day. “AAFES, along with its sister exchanges, is ensuring America’s veterans are honored for their service and recognized as Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors for life,” said Shull. “We look forward to welcoming our veterans home this Veterans Day and every day thereafter.”



 FCC & VA are teaming up to combat illegal robocalls targeting Veterans & Families.

From: Veterans Benefits Administration <Veteransbenefits@public.govdelivery.com>
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2018 12:00 PM
To: ddodge@stny.rr.com
Subject: FCC and VA to Combat Illegal Robocalls Targeting Veterans

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Seal of the US Department of Veterans Affairs


Dear Veterans and Stakeholders,

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to team up to combat illegal robocalls targeting Americans, including Veterans and their families.

Each year, the FCC receives more than 200,000 complaints about unwanted calls. While this may seem like a big number, it pales in comparison to the millions of robocalls being made each day. The calls interrupt dinners and family time; they flood landline and mobile phones. Scam calls frequently solicit money for fake charities, including ones claiming to support America’s Veterans - some even claiming to be VA representatives.  

We know that scam activity increases during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, so the FCC and VA urge you to be vigilant. We offer the following tips to help you avoid unwanted calls and scams.

  • Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. Scammers may spoof their caller ID to display a fake number that appears to be local.  If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, or passwords in response to unexpected or suspicious calls.
  • Be sure to set a password for all voice mail accounts to avoid being hacked.
  • Register your number on the Do Not Call List to block calls from legitimate telemarketers.
  • Ask your phone company about call-blocking tools and services for your landline phone, and check for helpful apps that you can download to your mobile phone.

Please help spread the word about robocall fraud among those who may need assistance particularly those who are frequently targeted by phone scams.  

For more information, visit: fcc.gov/robocalls.

Veterans Benefits Administration