Sport Clips Donates $1.35 Million to VFW

At the national headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., the Vietnam War veteran who founded Sport Clips Haircuts handed over a check for $1.35 million to the VFW Foundation today in order to support Help A Hero Scholarships for active-duty U.S. service members and veterans. Sport Clips began fundraising in October with the goal to exceed the $1.25 million raised last year for the program. By Veterans Day, November 11, Sport Clips, along with its clients, team members and product partners, raised the money for the largest donation in its 11-year history of supporting those who’ve served through the Help A Hero initiative.

In attendance was first-time scholarship recipient Army Specialist Ian Tucker, who is currently enrolled at Missouri State University studying criminal justice and legal studies. Tucker’s goal is to earn his law degree, work for the Department of Justice and eventually make his way into the political arena.

2018 Sport Clips check presentation for Help A Hero
(L to R) VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence is joined by Sport Clips representatives Martha England, vice president of marketing, Amanda Palm, corporate communications manager, and Gordon Logan, founder and CEO at today’s presentation of Sport Clips’ largest donation to date of $1.35 million in support of the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program which provides scholarships to service members and veterans.

“To see the impact of 1,300 Help A Hero scholarships at work in the lives of individuals who are pursuing post-military careers is powerful and one of the best ways we can say, ‘Thank you for your service,'” says Sport Clips Haircuts Founder and CEO, Gordon Logan, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Life Member of the VFW. “We’ve been doing this as a team with the VFW for over a decade and have put $5.5 million into these scholarships that have supported men and women in their education and training goals for so many sound professions…everything from doctors to truck drivers to chefs, counselors and lawyers. We’re grateful to be a part of an effort that’s making a positive difference for them, their families and the communities in which they live and work.”“Issues surrounding the GI Bill educational benefits have plagued student veterans this year and our Help A Hero Scholarship provides the peace of mind student veterans and their families need,” said VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence. “With the help of Sport Clips, their supporters and all their team members around the county, we’re helping take care of tuition fees so our veterans don’t have to take on additional student loan debt. They’ve sacrificed enough, and they deserve every road to a successful career that we can help pave.”

Clients, individual supporters and Sport Clips team members donated the largest portion of the money raised, while Sport Clips partners Sally Beauty Supply/Direct Beauty Express, John Paul Mitchell SystemsAmerican CrewNioxinSexy Hair and Gibs Grooming also made generous donations to the Help A Hero program. More than $100,000 of the money was raised from Sport Clips $1 per haircare service donation made on Veterans Day.

The Help A Hero program started when Sport Clips first worked with the VFW to provide phone calls home for deployed and hospitalized service members and veterans in 2007. When the drawdown in troops began a few years later, the partnership transitioned in 2013 to become the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program. To date, nearly 1,300 student veterans have received scholarship grants of up to $5,000 to enable them to continue in their higher education programs.

Sport Clips is the Official Haircutter of the VFW, and its Help A Hero campaign is just one of the many ways it supports active-duty military and veterans. To find out more, visit your local Sport Clips or SportClips.com.

Grants Available to Help Post with Service Projects

From building local playgrounds and organizing clothing drives, to military support events and disaster relief efforts, we take great pride in our long history of service to communities across the globe by being pillars of support in our local communities. If your Post or Auxiliary is interested in a receiving a grant to help with the cost of your next community service event, the VFW Foundation may be able to help! Click here for more information.

Nat’l Academies Link Hypertension, MGUS to AO Exposure

VFW urges VA to swiftly add both diseases to presumptive list

The VFW’s case is bolstered by a new report just released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The report, entitled Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018), found that sufficient evidence exists that links exposure to at least one of the hazardous chemicals with hypertension and MGUS, or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. The hypertension finding is an upgrade from their 2014 report and MGUS is a newly considered condition.

Vietnam War Agent Orange

Said VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence, “There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Agent Orange made veterans sick, it made their children sick, and it brought pain and suffering and premature death to many. Even though it’s been a half century since they were exposed, the results of that exposure is something they continue to live with daily,” he said.

“The VFW thanks the National Academies for continuing to honor the charter that Congress gave them, and we now call on VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to use his authority and recognize the science in the report to swiftly add these two illnesses to the presumptive list so that these veterans can finally receive the assistance they earned and deserve,” said Lawrence.

The VFW will continue to monitor the progress of the potentially two new presumptive illnesses. In the meantime, the VFW encourages all veterans who served in Vietnam, in Thailand or along the Korean DMZ to contact a VFW Service Officer to discuss whether they are eligible to file a VA claim for Agent Orange exposure.

PA VFW Presents Eagle Awards to Top State DMVA Officials

On November 5, the Pennsylvania Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars presented Pennsylvania Adjutant General Anthony Carrelli and Deputy Adjutant General of Veterans Affairs Erie G. Weller with honorary VFW Eagle Awards for their outstanding leadership accomplishments. Major General Carrelli and Retired Major General Weller were praised by the State VFW for dedicating their lives to both serving in the military and managing how the Commonwealth supports its service members and veterans.

The presentation took place inside the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Joint Forces Headquarters building in Annville, which also houses the administrative offices of the State Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). The event was attended by command and support staff of the Pennsylvania National Guard as well as the State DMVA administrative team.

“The VFW has a long and proud tradition of supporting and assisting our military and veterans—119 years to be exact,” said VFW State Commander Thomas M. Hanzes, a Vietnam War veteran, who was joined during the presentation by VFW State Adjutant John B. Getz, Jr. “Pennsylvania is blessed to have the best State National Guard in the nation and a premier Veterans Affairs agency that provides life-changing services and benefits to Pennsylvania veterans every day.

“We created the State VFW Eagle Award to honor and salute Pennsylvania Guardians whose integrity, dedication and leadership drives mission success in a variety of service environments. We’re proud to honor Generals Carrelli and Weller as recipients of this distinguished award. We’re equally proud to call them comrades in the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” added Commander Hanzes. “The VFW stands ready to continue supporting our Pennsylvania Guardians and the State Veterans Affairs agency as our citizen soldiers and veterans program leaders march forward to continued excellence.”

Major General Carrelli was confirmed by the Senate of Pennsylvania as the 53rd Adjutant General of Pennsylvania on June 29, 2016. In this cabinet-level position with the Pennsylvania DMVA, headquartered at Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, General Carrelli is responsible for the command, control and supervision of National Guard units–Army and Air–allocated to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, six state-owned veterans’ homes and programs for Pennsylvania’s nearly 800,000 veterans.

General Carrelli is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours. During his 33-year career, General Carrelli deployed in numerous operations to include Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and served as commander of the 111th Fighter Wing in Horsham, and the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh, and Deputy Adjutant General – Air.

“The Pennsylvania Guard is often relied on by our nation’s top military commanders to executive mission critical activities in far off places. The VFW salutes Adjutant General Carrelli, his officers and enlisted personnel for employing their impressive capabilities to accomplish their objectives in commendable fashion,” noted State Commander Hanzes. “We also honor Adjutant General Carrelli for keeping lines of communication open with the VFW so we can demonstrate our longstanding support of all Pennsylvania Guardians and share our priorities for how the State serves its veterans.”

Major General (Ret) Weller was appointed Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs on November 21, 2016. He supervises the administration of state veterans programs, outreach and reintegration and veteran initiatives for nearly 800,000 veterans and their dependents. Major General (Ret) Weller also oversees the operation of the commonwealth’s six Veterans’ Homes.

Major General Weller retired in August 2016 after over 35 years of military service. Prior to retirement, he served as the Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He has also commanded Air Force units at the Squadron, Group and Wing level.

Major General Weller’s career includes participation in numerous operations in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

“The VFW works closely with General Weller and his Veterans Affairs staff to help veterans across Pennsylvania access benefits and services that enhance their lives,” Commander Hanzes stated. “We know that General Weller’s passion for serving veterans is second to none. His dedication, frankness, humility and drive to do what’s best for those who have served their nation truly benefit veterans of all ages and their families. The VFW appreciates his willingness to seek opinions and ideas from within the veteran community, and his commitment to apply this input into his agency’s planning process.”

The State VFW also presents VFW Eagle Awards to Pennsylvania Guardians twice a year during the organization’s State Convention and Mid-Winter Conference. Nominations for the award are routed through the Adjutant General’s office. Seventeen members of the Keystone State’s Army and Air National Guard have received VFW Eagle Awards through these nominations. Additionally, the Pennsylvania VFW has chosen seven Guard officers or State agency officials to receive honorary VFW Eagle Awards.

(Photo Caption: Pictured are (from left) Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars State Commander Thomas Hanzes, Pennsylvania Adjutant General Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania Deputy Adjutant General of Veterans Affairs Eric G. Weller and PA VFW State Adjutant/Quartermaster John Getz. Photo by Thomas Cherry/PA DMVA)

VA returns medical professionals currently serving unions to serving Veterans

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will be moving nearly 430 medical professionals from taxpayer-funded union work back to health care jobs serving Veterans.

The move, which will improve VA’s ability to deliver health care to Veteran patients, will take effect Nov. 15 when VA repudiates certain provisions of master collective bargaining agreements VA accepted during the Obama administration with the following unions: American Federation of Government Employees, National Federation of Federal Employees, National Association of Government Employees and National Nurses United.

VA has a separate employment system under title 38 of the U.S. Code for medical employees. The repudiation will apply to all of VA’s nearly 104,000 title 38 employees, eliminating all forms of taxpayer-funded union work for the following professions:
•Physician
•Dentist
•Podiatrist
•Chiropractor
•Optometrist
•Registered Nurse
•Physician assistant
•Expanded-Duty Dental Auxiliary

“It’s common sense,” VA Acting Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd said. “Allowing health care workers to do taxpayer-funded union work instead of serving Veterans impacts patient care negatively. President Trump has made it clear – VA employees should always put Veterans first. And when we hire medical professionals to take care of Veterans, that’s what they should do at all times. No excuses, no exceptions.”

As an example of the negative effect taxpayer-funded union time has on Veteran care, one VA registered nurse who was elected as a local union official receives 100 percent taxpayer funded union time. Although she no longer provides patient care, she continues to receive a nurse’s salary, which at VA averages more than $90,000 per year.

Department-wide in fiscal year 2016, VA employees spent more than a million hours doing taxpayer-funded union work at a total cost of more than $49 million.

VA is in the process of renegotiating several of VA’s national collective bargaining agreements to ensure official time allocations are putting Veterans first. The negotiations are guided by federal law that permits VA to set taxpayer-funded union work (also known as official time) amounts contractually that are reasonable, necessary and in the public interest.

VFW Announces New Brand Identity

Change to better represent America’s largest combat veterans organization

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., America’s largest and oldest major combat veterans organization, is pleased to announce it has deployed a new look.

The new VFW logo and visual language embraces the organization’s storied 119 years of service to America’s veterans, service members and their families, while underscoring its forward-thinking approach to service and distinguished membership base. The VFW believes the new logo will improve market position and provide visual clarity to its mission.

“We’re excited about the bold, new look,” said B.J. Lawrence, national commander of the VFW. “There’s a lot of complex meaning built into our new logo, yet it clearly communicates who we are and what we’re about – service to nation while in the military and continuing service to our nation as veterans.”

The new logo is a drastic change from its predecessor, and is the first-ever official logo that was designed without the organization’s traditional Cross of Malta shield, which remains the official seal of the VFW. It includes an artistic representation of service stripes which represent length of service on most U.S. military uniforms. As such, the first and leaner of the two service stripes represents the organization’s steadfast entry into its second century of service to America’s veterans, service members and their families. The second, broader stripe, represents its first storied century of service, spanning back to 1899. In addition to the direct metaphor of the stripes, the visual progression leading to the build of the letter “V” represents our sustained and forward movement into achieving the VFW’s mission of service to others.

The distinctive gold coloring gives nod to the VFW’s stringent membership eligibility requirements and the gold standard of service the VFW provides. The red represents the danger each of its members has faced and the energy with which the VFW operates.

In support of the project, the VFW has created individual custom logos for use by each of its 52 VFW Department headquarters in all 50 states and overseas, and nearly 6,300 individual VFW Posts.

“The VFW is such an amazing organization and just as relevant, if not more so, than any other time in our history. It’s time all of America notices us and I feel confident this is another step in accomplishing just that,” said Lawrence.

Watch VFW new logo launch video.

HQ Seeking Candidate for Part-TIme Position

Part-time position available at PA VFW State Headquarters in Harrisburg – administrative/VFW program support person needed for three days a week, 7 hours per day, working out of State HQ. Knowledge about the VFW preferred, but not necessary. General computer and office skills required. To inquire call State Adjutant John Getz at (717) 234-7927.