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Don't feel like a virgin.  Been there, done that but I had better results. 

You have to use the National By-Laws to the letter when dealing with a corrupt VFW leadership or they will use it against you. It is for that reason members need to know the Nat'l By-Laws and Ritual, along with their Dept, District, Council and Post By-Laws and Demeters. (If it is not covered in the By-Laws, Demeters rules).
First off VFW Nat'l By-Laws direct and explain the proper procedures to ban a person. Unless you received banning from Department or National, there is a possibility it was illegal.

I was Post QM and I reported to District Cmdr illegal gambling, violation of ABC & IRS laws, violation of VFW Ritual (Meetings), among other things.  After 9 months, Dist Cmdr reported to Dept who sent Inspector to meeting who reported it was a 3 ring circus. Then Dist appointed 5 Past Dist Cmdrs to investigate charges and do interviews.  Resulting in Post being put on suspension for 3 months and under control of the Dist Investigators.  Results were Post Cmdr and elected officers not allowed to hold VFW positions for 3 years. None were ever removed from office allowing Cmdr to get Past Cmdrs cap. 
I transferred to another Post 14 miles away to allow them to lick their wounds but attended their Post Meetings to be visible. Later I was elected as Cmdr of County Council and Cmdr of my own Post.  The click of my old corrupt post banned me from their club (Cantine) but they could not stop me from attending their Post meetings (VFW By-Laws).
2
Sorry to hear that things are not working out at your post.  I understand that all it takes is a letter to National HQ and request your Life Member fees returned.  I think , though, that they will be prorated so some extent.
Cheerily
IJK
3
WOW! Almost a year of waiting to get accepted into the forum, no wonder the VFW can not get many new members. Don't get me wrong, I finally got my VFW Life Membership back in April 2016, (after paying for annual membership for 6 years prior), and then not long after I was having some issues with members at my VFW, (I was a member of for 6 years without me having any issues or causing issues), and I came here looking for some sort of guidance because Post Commander, District Commander, and State Commander wasn't doing crap about the issues which in turn I got wrongfully banned for 3 years from my VFW Post for no reason that I caused, other than me bringing up to the House Committee about the drugs being smoked outside the patio area right outside both door entrances, (because smoking cigarettes is not permitting inside), selling and buying of drugs on VFW premises, bartenders and members commenting loud enough for other Auxiliary Members that were directed to, (who are married of mixed race, (African American and Hispanic, BOTH Military Veterans),  and the other members and bartender stating, "We don't need those kind in here"! Also the Motorcycle Group Chairman refuses to do any benefits for Veterans, Post Commander doesn't do anything about it, all the MG does is hold monthly meetings and DO NOT support any Veteran Functions! I wasn't the only one who came forward, but, guess there is no need to discuss it here because it will probably be another friggen year before someone even responds! I guess the next step is seek legal counsel to get my Life Membership fees back!
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General VFW Topics / Burial in a National Cemetery
« Last post by IJK3770 on April 06, 2017, 08:25:21 am »
Follow this link to learn about burial in a National VA Cemetery.  There have been some recent changes that will allow for pre-planning.
http://vfwmo.org/vfw-mo/apply-in-advance-for-burial-eligibility-in-a-va-national-cemetery/
Cheerily
IJK
5
General VFW Topics / Re: Membership directory
« Last post by DoggyDaddy on March 15, 2017, 02:37:44 pm »
My college is doing the same soliciting to group/identify graduation classes in a directory. 
A fund raiser is all it is.
6
General VFW Topics / Re: Membership directory
« Last post by ZAP44 on March 13, 2017, 04:41:09 pm »
American Legion Dept of Maine is doing the same thing with the same outfit publishingconcepts.com.
http://www.mainelegion.org/  I got a mailing, made the mistake of replying thinking project was to document veterans then started getting phone calls looking to sell me a book.  It's a money making scheme period...with publishing concepts making most of the money.  And I agree with you.  This kind of data collection could end up being used for illegal purposes.
7
General VFW Topics / Membership directory
« Last post by iamholm on March 11, 2017, 12:12:04 pm »
Need your opinions. State has partnered with a private company to create a membership directory (hardbound and over $100 per edition if you decide to order it). I have received post cards and emails informing me that an "important member verification" is due and it provides a number to this organization. Each communication is signed by our state Adjutant/Quartermaster. They have put up a FAQ page on the state website (myfloridavfw.org) if you would like to take a look at what is being said about this initiative.

I am posting in this forum because I need a sanity check on my reaction to this initiative. Perhaps this is something posts, districts, states, and perhaps even national have done in the past? I called the number and talked to the representative and did opt out, but why is my information being bandied about and perhaps sold?  The solicitations have just enough importance given to their wording and look to make them appear to be a requirement for membership in the VFW and that concerns me greatly - especially in this day and age.

What if I had thrown away the post card/ignored the e-mails? Would my personal information be printed in a book I could have easily dismissed as junk mail? How many members are contacted for personal information and end up the  victims of identity theft? (I'm not implying this company or the VFW are responsible, but scams are becoming ubiquitous.) If anyone can order these directories, what kind of control is placed on how the data will be used (the answer to that is you cannot control it)? Please provide me some feedback on this initiative!
8
Open Forum / Re: you're not paranoid if they really are out to get you
« Last post by shapeshifter on March 10, 2017, 09:46:14 pm »
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
9
Open Forum / you're not paranoid if they really are out to get you
« Last post by shapeshifter on March 09, 2017, 04:03:32 pm »
"I, Gomer Pyle, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign but mainly domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same except when a whistle needs to be blown; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the Wall Street billionaires appointed over me, according to regulations and the UCMJ so help me Allāh"

For last 20 years I have been labeled a paranoid freak because I warned everyone that would listen that the United States was on it's way to becoming a police state and I now take great pleasure in saying "I told you so". Thank god for great American heroes like Smedley Butler, Ed Snowden, Chelsea Manning and the currently unknown CIA "Vault 7" leaker for telling us what I already knew but lacked the evidence to prove it. The 4th amendment is meaningless to the egg sucking weasels currently in power - I wonder which amendment is next on the chopping block? I've also been getting a good chuckle out of everyone crying about the Russians messing with our election. First of all a 15 year old could have pulled off the social engineering hack that got into John Podesta's email server and there is absolutely no evidence that the Russians did it. Even if the Russian's did do it it's total hypocrisy for us to bitch about it.  Our government would never ever try to sway the outcome a foreign election, haw haw. Seriously, we have be influencing free and democratic elections since 1945 to get the results that are best for our national security which actually means what's best for big business and not for the people of said countries. We are still being brainwashed that the Russians are our enemy which couldn't be further from the truth. They act like they do because we are putting full combat brigades on their borders in the Baltic states and Poland. What would we do if they did the same in Mexico or Canada? Answer: It would start WWIII.

I know that most of you on this forum are proud American combat vets like I and think that your sacrifices were just but your are dead wrong. We are actually pawns of the Wall Street elite that couldn't give a f**k about us. Lose both of you legs in combat and get paid $3K a month from the VA while the 1 percent makes billions off of our blood. That doesn't really seem fair to me.  If I hear someone say "My country right or wrong" again I'm going to stick a lobster fork in their eye for good measure.
10
Open Forum / Obama's Military Legacy ► How The Troops Rated Him
« Last post by DoggyDaddy on January 16, 2017, 02:42:33 am »
Obama's Military Legacy ► How The Troops Rated Him | Part I

Between Dec. 16 and 21, Military Times and Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families conducted a voluntary, confidential online survey of U.S. service members. The questions focused on President Barack Obama’s time in the White House and the nation's current political climate. The survey received 1,664 responses from active-duty troops. A standard methodology was used by IVMF analysts to estimate the weights for each individual observation of the survey sample. The margin of error for questions on Obama’s popularity is 2%. Other questions have slightly higher margins of error. The survey audience was 87% male and 13% female, and had a mean age of 30 years old. The respondents identified themselves as 7% white, 12% Hispanic, 11% African American, 4% Asian and 9% other ethnicities. Respondents were able to select more than one race.
 -o-o-O-o-o-
President Barack Obama will step down after eight years as commander in chief with one of the most influential tenures leading the U.S. military, but not necessarily the political support of service members. His moves to slim down the armed forces, move away from traditional military might and overhaul social policies prohibiting the service of minority groups have proven divisive in the ranks. His critics have accused him of trading a strong security posture for political points, and for allowing the rise of terrorists like the Islamic State group whom the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were supposed to silence. But Obama’s supporters define him as the Nobel Peace Prize winner who ordered the elimination of Osama bin Laden and refocused military strategy while wrestling with an uncooperative Congress and unprecedented budget restrictions. They insist the military is more nimble now, and
more prepared to deal with unconventional warfare against non-traditional threats across the globe.
 
More than half of troops surveyed in the latest Military Times/Institute for Veterans and Military Families poll said they have an unfavorable opinion of Obama and his two-terms leading the military. About 36% said they approve of his job as commander in chief. Their complaints include the president’s decision to decrease military personnel (71% think it should be higher), his moves to withdraw combat troops from Iraq (59% say it made America less safe) and his lack of focus on the biggest dangers facing America (64% say China represents a significant threat to the U.S.) But more than two-thirds support Obama's mantra that securing America means building strong alliances with foreign powers. And more than 60% think his use of drones and special forces teams for precision strikes — instead of large-scale military operations — has helped U.S. national security.
 
That’s a conflicted response to a president who entered the White House vowing to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan but instead leaves as the first American president to oversee two full terms with combat troops deployed to hostile zones. In a departure memo released 5 JAN, Defense Secretary Ash Carter defended Obama’s “record of progress” with the military by praising the White House moves as creating “a smaller yet more technologically advanced and capable military that is ready for the threats of today and the challenges of tomorrow.” “America is today the world’s foremost leader, partner, and underwriter of stability and security in every region across the globe, as we have been since the end of World War II,” Carter wrote. “But even as we continue to fulfill this enduring role, it’s also evident that we’re entering a new strategic era ... and it requires new ways of thinking and new ways of acting.”
  The White House did not respond to repeated requests for an interview with Obama to discuss his defense moves and the military legacy he’ll leave behind. In a farewell speech during a military honor review on 4 JAN, Obama said he saw his top priority overseeing America’s military as balancing the need to use force with the need to honor the armed forces. “You committed yourself to a life of service and of sacrifice,” he said. “And I, in turn, made a promise to you ... that I would only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary, with the strategy, the well-defined goals, with the equipment and the support that you needed to get the job done. Because that’s what you rightfully expect and that is what you rightfully deserve.” Still, many troops see Obama less as a wartime commander in chief and more as a politician managing Pentagon affairs. Through his presidency Obama has
 repeatedly promised to keep the military “the strongest fighting force the world has ever known” but many troops question his stewardship of the institution, particularly when it comes to the defense budget.
 
'IT'S THE PRESIDENT'S FAULT'
  “There’s no question this era will go down as the third ‘hollow’ army, and it’s the president’s fault,” said James Jay Carafano, deputy director of international studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “For all his promises, the operations tempo hasn’t gone down as much as he hoped, and he has invested little in the military.” Troops responding to the Military Times/IVMF poll saw years of defense budget fights as the largest blemish on Obama’s presidency. Two-thirds said spending caps enacted in 2011 have had a very negative effect on military morale, and another 28 percent said it was harmful to a lesser extent. Fewer than two percent saw the budget caps as a positive for the military. Conservatives have attacked Obama for the lower defense budgets for years, arguing that his insistence on pairing military spending with non-defense spending has crippled Pentagon efforts to modernize and recapitalize.
  The caps — known as sequestration — have been blamed for shortfalls in parts and repairs, cuts in training time and a gradual drawdown in military manpower. They’ve also contributed to a host of compensation trims, as Pentagon leaders have held down pay increases and stipend raises in recent years to help offset funding reductions in other areas. Obama has shouldered much of the blame for sequestration, even with lawmakers approving the plan and failing to draft a repeal. In recent years, administration officials have tried to push back on the narrative that the president is responsible for that host of budget fights that have consumed Washington and, by extension, the military.
  “The Defense Department has faced this new strategic era while dealing with significant impediments presented
 by Congress, including budget uncertainty, the first government shutdown in a generation, the repeated denial of reform proposals to make the defense enterprise more efficient, and efforts to micromanage the organization of the department,” Carter said in his memo. “Despite this, the Department has been able to manage its strategic priorities during eight consecutive years that began with continuing resolutions, albeit at increasing levels of programmatic risk.” Still, independent military advocates have said lower-than-anticipated defense budgets put enormous strain on military families in recent years. A November Military Times/IVMF poll, conducted in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump's election victory, showed that more than 60% of active-duty service members felt improving troops’ pay and benefits should be a top priority of the incoming administration.
  Obama has pushed back on the idea that tighter budgets have ruined the services, one of Trump's favorite talking points. Last week, Obama said the military remains “the most capable fighting force on the face of the Earth” despite financial challenges. “Our Army, tested by years of combat, is the best-trained and best-equipped land force on the planet,” he said. “Our Navy is the largest and most lethal in the world, on track to surpass 300 ships. Our Air Force, with its precision and reach, is unmatched. Our Marine Corps is the world’s only truly expeditionary force. Our Coast Guard is the finest in the world.” The White House in recent years has helped broker a pair of short-term deals to get around the budget caps, but failed to find a permanent solution with Republican leaders. Trump has promised to do just that, but will likely face the same political obstacles. Carafano said he is hopeful that a change in administrations will produce different results. “We don’t have a just-in-time industrial base anymore, so any changes in defense spending will be gradual,” he said. “But these problems are reversible. We just have to have a president who is interested.”

[Source: MilitaryTimes | Leo Shane III & George R. Altman | January 8, 2017 ++]
                               
 *****************************

Obama's Military Legacy ► How The Military Rated Him | Part II

Budget concerns were at the core of Trump’s attacks on Obama on the campaign trail, with accusations that the president was uninterested in “defending” America and too quick to prefer diplomacy over military might. In
 speech before troops in Florida in December, Obama said that he never shied away from military intervention, but instead took a responsible, cautious approach to those grave decisions. “I believe that we must never hesitate to act when necessary, including unilaterally when necessary, against any imminent threats to our people,” he said. “But I have also insisted that it is unwise and unsustainable to ask our military to build nations on the other side of the world, or resolve their internal conflicts.”
  Obama will leave office with American military units still in the Middle East and Afghanistan, but overseeing training and assistance missions, not direct combat. He has received criticism both for failing to zero-out those deployments and moving too fast to pull down the numbers before those regions were fully secure. “He’s a reluctant warrior,” said Phil Carter, director of the Military, Veterans and Society Program at the progressive Center for a New American Security. “He has struggled to end the wars overseas and fulfill those promises, and he never managed to do so.” Troops polled appear divided on whether Obama ever achieved the proper balance on those deployed force levels. Nearly 60% of poll respondents said the drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq made America less safe. A slightly smaller 55% said moves to pull U.S. forces out of Afghanistan has hurt this country’s national security. While half of troops surveyed see the reduced emphasis on large-scale overseas missions as harmful to military readiness, 45% see the shift to training and advising missions as a positive for the armed forces.
  For his part, Obama appears to have no such qualms about the approach. “Instead of pushing all of the burden onto American ground troops, instead of trying to mount invasions wherever terrorists appear, we’ve built a network of partners,” Obama said in his speech, calling his decisions “a smart strategy that can be sustained.” But Trump and Republican lawmakers have ridiculed the president’s foreign policy as scattered, quick to find any option other than a possible fight. They point to what they see as an overly trusting agreement with Iranian hard-liners over nuclear weapons and indecisive, unfulfilled threats against Syrian President Bashar Assad for attacks on his own
 people. And a host of Obama’s own former defense officials have helped pile on that narrative.
  In his memoir, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates blasted Obama as a leader “who doesn’t believe in his own strategy” and said his plans in Iraq and Afghanistan were “all about getting out.” He also accused Obama of distrusting senior military leaders, and treating them as potential adversaries.
 Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command under Obama and Trump’s nominee to serve as defense secretary, last fall called Obama’s anti-ISIS strategy “unguided by a sustained policy or sound strategy, replete with half-measures.”
 While overseeing U.S. operations in Afghanistan in 2010, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal was effectively fired by Obama after reports of their fights over military strategy were made public.
 In 2014, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, today a top adviser to Trump, was dismissed as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency over his criticism of Obama’s soft approach to Islamic terrorism.
   The president's conflict with military leaders came even as First Lady Michelle Obama launched the White House Joining Forces initiative, designed to better educate the public on the service and sacrifice of military personnel and their families.
 
'WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO ALLOW BARRIERS'
  The biggest impact of Obama’s tenure may be felt by those serving in the ranks, and how dramatically that population has changed in recent years. Since 2009, White House-led changes have allowed gay troops to serve openly for the first time, women to serve in combat posts, same-sex couples to receive military benefits, and transgender service members to announce their presence in the ranks. “Inertia is the most powerful force in the Defense Department,” said Phil Carter, the analyst, who served as an Army adviser in Iraq in 2005-2006. “Some of these changes may have happened without [Obama], but he gets credit for forcing them quicker than they wanted.” It’s unclear if the departing president will get credit or blame.
 About 30% of troops surveyed in the latest poll said the Pentagon's move to open all combat jobs to women has hurt military readiness, versus 15% who see it as a positive and the new open-service policy for transgender troops is less popular, with 41% of those surveyed calling it harmful and only 12% calling it
  helpful.
 Both moves leave the majority of troops in the middle, saying the changes have had no real effect on unit
effectiveness.
 The repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law was seen by many in the military community as a significant
problem when it was finalized in 2010, but now is seen as no big deal to most troops. Only 17% of troops surveyed by Military Times and IVMF saw openly gay troops as a negative for military readiness, versus 24% who believe it has improved the force and 58% who say little changed after the repeal was finalized.
  Obama and a host of defense officials have defended the changes as a way to “strengthen the military” without compromising military readiness. “As an all-volunteer force, the Defense Department must be able to draw from 100 percent of America’s population, focusing purely on a person’s willingness and ability to serve our country,” Ash Carter wrote in his exit memo. “We can no longer afford to allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications topreventusfromrecruitingandretainingthosewhocanbestaccomplishthemission.” PhilCartersaidthat,long- term, those policies could be among the most significant military moves of Obama’s presidency. Advocates have called them life-altering for their members.
  Following the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, officials from the Human Rights Campaign lauded the moves as long-overdue permission for “brave men and women currently serving to have the freedom to come out and be honest with their comrades about who they are and who they love.” Officials from the Service Women’s Action Network called the combat roles expansion “a new era for American women to serve the nation with valor and courage on the battlefield.”
 
STRONG SUPPORT AMONG WOMEN, MINORITIES
  Among troops in the poll, Obama was more popular with officers (44% favorable rating) than enlisted troops (35% favorable) and more popular among Navy personnel (43 percent favorable) than those in any other service. In each of those groups, the percentage of troops who held a negative view of his presidency still outweighed his supporters. That has been a recurring theme for Obama among the military. Past reader polls by Military Times (which unlike the IVMF-partnered polls were not conducted in a scientific manner) have consistently shown him with higher unfavorable numbers than positive marks. Right after taking office in 2009, 40% of readers said they had an unfavorable view of him, with 35% having a favorable opinion. His favorable marks dropped down in similar reader polls in following years, and his unfavorables grew.
  Still, the outgoing president does appear to be admired by some segments of the military. More than 60% of women have a favorable view of him, in contrast with 36% who disliked his presidency. Roughly 57% of minorities in the military approve of the work done by the country’s first black president. And almost 90% of troops who voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (about 29% of service members in the poll say they did) have a favorable opinion of the last eight years of White House policies. Now, all of those them will answer to a new commander in chief. Nearly 49% of troops who voted in the last election said they cast a ballot for Trump, and he enters this Oval Office with 46% of active-duty service members saying they have a favorable view of him and 37% saying they have an unfavorable view.
 
In his exit memo, Ash Carter warned that the incoming administration will face many of the same challenges that Obama faced, albeit with a better plan of attack from the outgoing president. “While the next administration will continue to be challenged by an evolving security environment, I am confident that our military is up to the task of protecting our nation in the years ahead,” he wrote.
 
[Source: MilitaryTimes | Leo Shane III & George R. Altman | January 8, 2017 ++]
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