Tell Congress to Axe Widows Tax

America must honor military survivors NOT tax them

May 01, 2019

More than 65,000 surviving military spouses and dependents are unjustly penalized because their loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Similar to life insurance, the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) is purchased through DOD by military retirees to ensure their surviving loved ones can maintain a modest standard of living. When service members or veterans die from injuries or illnesses related to their military service, survivors are eligible for VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Despite the two payments being paid for two different reasons from two different federal departments, all monthly SBP retirement payments are reduced by $1,319 –– the current payout for DIC benefits.

For many survivors, this offset completely eliminates their SBP payments and threatens their financial security. The recent tax law makes this situation worse by doubling the tax on dependents to whom parents transferred SBP benefits to avoid having to forfeit DIC benefits.

The VFW needs you to take action now!

Contact your members of Congress and urge them to end the injustice now! The message these aptly termed “Widow’s Tax” and “Kiddie Tax” sends to service members, veterans, and their families is that our government salutes their service while in uniform, but they cost too much if they die on active duty or from service-connected conditions.

PA Teacher Wins Nat’l VFW Award

Carlisle Post 477 Sponsors Top Educator

News Release – For Immediate Distribution

Carlisle PA Teacher Receives VFW’s National Education Award – Wagner will be honored during the VFW’s 120th National Convention in July

KANSAS CITY, MO/National VFW Headquarters – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce Kevin Wagner, an advanced placement history teacher at Carlisle high School in Carlisle, Pa., has been selected for its 2019 Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award at the high school level.

Kevin Wagner, an advanced placement history teacher at Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Penn., was chosen to represent the high school level for his dedication to honoring the memory of America’s veterans. Through his “Silent Heroes” project, students explore the life and service of a local World War II veteran killed at Normandy and create a webpage preserving their legacy.

Last year Wagner’s project expanded to identify local Vietnam War veterans, leading to the construction of a Vietnam Wall of Honor which displays the names of more than 213 veterans and 10 flag cases in honor of the former students killed during the war. VFW Post 477 and its Auxiliary in Carlisle, Pa., sponsored Wagner.

“Students who are lucky enough to have teachers like Kevin develop a deep sense of patriotism and understand the values and freedoms upon which our nation was founded,” said VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence. “The VFW is honored to recognize the vital role America’s educators play in nurturing and encouraging the civic-minded leaders of tomorrow.”

Post 477 Commander Rick Olson noted that the Post is extremely proud of Kevin for his dedication to generate patriotism and a growing appreciation among students for freedom.

Co-sponsored by past VFW National Commander John Smart and retired VFW Quartermaster General Larry Maher, the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award was established in 1999 to recognize three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and patriotism to their students.

Each of the three national recipients will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Orlando, Fla., where they will each be presented with a $1,000 award for professional development and $1,000 for their school during the 120th VFW National Convention, July 20-24.

Secretary Position Candidates Sought by State HQ

VFW State HQ Job Announcement:

JOB SUMMARY: Secretary under supervision of the Department Adjutant, position located at State HQ.
Individual must have excellent written and oral communication skills. Responsible for Commander and Adjutant’s correspondence as well as VFW program support as determined by the Adjutant. Possess outstanding organizational skills and work independently, effectively, and a part of a team in a challenging and fast paced work environment. Person must conduct multiple projects simultaneously and maintain knowledge for all Veterans of Foreign Wars programs.
Candidates are encouraged to be an active participant in programs involving communities, Military Troops, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Strong typing/computer skills are necessary to interact daily with multiple audiences in a professional manner. Respond to inquiries by voice and e-mail.

– Maintain computer filing system that is user friendly and networked to all stations.
– Ensure all tasks directed by the Adjutant are processed quickly, accurately and keep file area current to reflect recent work.
– Maintain an efficient flow of correspondence by reviewing, planning, and prioritizing work on a daily basis.
– Perform duties such as maintaining filing system, photo copying and collating messenger services, mailing system, and other office duties as assigned by the Adjutant.
– Limited travel to some Veterans of Foreign Wars functions as required to assist the Commander and Adjutant and to support other staff—with the Mid-Winter Conference and State Convention among the events requiring travel.
– Ability to assist the Adjutant with planning meetings, conventions, multifaceted projects, and special sessions.- Ability to use Microsoft Word or other program to design certificates used to honor participation in VFW Programs.
– The above duties are general in nature and are not intended to reflect all duties which may be required of the employee.

1) Computer skills
– Demonstrated proficiency in:
– Word, Outlook, Excel, Access, Power Point- Veterans of Foreign Wars Member Information System (database)- Internet Resources
2) Clerical Skills
– Efficient and accurate typing
– Ability to write concise, grammatically correct and easy to understand documents
– Calculating and compiling data, manually and by computer programs
– Transcribe minutes/notes from digital files and audio tapes
– Ability to work well with and communicate with program/committee chairpersons, Department officers and staff, and external audiences
– Excellent clerical qualifications by knowledge and experience
– Reliability and flexibility
– Ability to work while maintaining strict confidentiality
– Ability to work well with Military Units and Military Family Groups
– All other duties as assigned

WORK WEEK: Work week up to 35 hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (1/2 hour lunch)

SALARY: To be negotiated during the interview process. An increase may be offered after 90 days, provided the work performed and other job measures are satisfactory.

Applications are being accepted now.

Send your cover letter, resume, business writing samples and contact information to State Adjutant at [email protected] or mail it PA VFW State HQ, 4002 Fenton Ave., Harrisburg PA 17109-5943.

If you have questions about this position, please call (717) 234-7927 and ask for the State Adjutant.

PA State Winner Takes Nat’l VFW VOD $30k Scholarship

Congratulations to Christine A. Troll for winning the National VFW Voice of Democracy first-place award of $30,000, which follows her receiving a $5,000 prize from the PA Department for winning the State VFW VOD contest during our Mid-Winter Conference in January. Here’s the video of the National VFW VOD Awards reception in Washington. Her winning address appears near the end of the video file. Way to go Christine A. Troll and congratulations to Post 554 and District 23 for sponsoring the national VOD champion!

State Cmdr. Announces Spring Membership Contests

All Posts that reach 100% in membership by June 30, 2019 will be entered into a drawing for one (1) of fifteen (15) life memberships.  The drawing will be held in early July and the Post will be notified by mail.  It will be the choice of the Post who will receive the life membership.

All Posts that recruit three (3) new or reinstated members from March 15th to May 15th will be entered into a drawing for one (1) of three (3) $100 awards.


All Posts that meet the All State Mandatory Criteria by April 30, 2019, the Post Commander and Quartermaster will receive their cap, pin, and special recognition at the Department Convention in Erie, June 12-15, 2019.

Any Post that meets the All State Mandatory Criteria between May 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019, the Post Commander and Quartermaster will receive their cap and pin at the OTI in their area.


All District Commanders who reach 100% in membership by June 30, 2019 will receive a special gift from State Commander Hanzes.  Also, the District will receive $100.00 from State Commander Hanzes.