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VFW of North Carolina PO Box 25337 Raleigh, NC 27611-5337
Non-Profit Org US Postage PAID Rermit No. 1838 Raleigh N.C.
THE VFW LEADER
H OLD T E FUTU RE
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Inside: • Pg. 2 - Letters • Pg. 3 - Officers Columns • Pg. 4 - Post/District Training • • • • Pg. Pg. Pg. Pg. 9 10 11 12 President's Column Home Depot Grant State Commanders New Contest Vander Clute Ride
Briggs & Amos Take Over at Department
Ted H. Briggs of Clemmons and Ginger Amos of Walkertown were elected as the Department of North Carolina's 20122013 Commander and President at the 82nd Annual State Convention on 16 June at the North Raleigh Hilton hotel. Both ran unopposed for these top offices. Briggs had moved up the chain from State Junior Vice Commander and State Senior Vice Commander, and Amos had previously served in the Ladies Auxiliary chain of Guard, Conductress, Chaplain, Junior Vice President, and Senior Vice President. This 2012-2013 Convention proved to be the largest in over 12 years, as the Department introduced the VFW Department Store, payment of fees and purchase of items by credit card, a themed banquet of fun (this year's was a tropical Luau), a professional dancing group of Polynesian dancers, and a new electronic computer vote recording system. Other officers that were elected on an unopposed ticket were Ernest (Ernie) Allis of Harrisburg, moving up from Junior Vice Commander to Senior Vice Commander, and Steve Smith of Jacksonville to replace the deceased A.G. Parker as State Chaplain. Smith is an ordained minister, a professional service officer, and has been the State Chaplain (Sky Pilot) of the Grand (Department) of North Carolina, Military Order of the Cooties, for several years. On the Ladies' side of the house, unopposed were Penny Cacoulidis moving from Junior Vice President to Senior Vice President, Janice Holm moving from Chaplain to Junior Vice President, B. Mae Harris moving from Conductress to Chaplain, and Fran Redfield moving from Guard to Conductress. For the contested office of State Guard, Joyce Preston of Tryon defeated Joan Elmeier of Calabash. Five of the comrades' offices were contested. In each election, a new electronic computer voting system was used to record votes. This allowed the losing comrade to graciously concede to the winner when the halfway point of total votes was exceeded. Therefore, some of the percentages of victory would have been different at the end, but the result would probably have been the same. Jack Goin of Calabash defeated Mark Bergman of Garner by 76% to 24% for the office of Junior Vice Commander. Dean Harris of Newland beat Roland Rochester of Fayetteville for the position of Judge Advocate by 77% to 23%. Surgeon Saundra Clagett of Fayetteville kept her office by defeating Chris Sikes of Fayetteville 66% to 34%. James Goins of York beat Ron Lief of Calabash for North Carolina member of the National Council of Administration by 73% to 27%. There was a period of surprise when unknown comrade Mark Judson declared he would suddenly challenge Quartermaster Bruce Edwards for that position. Edwards defeated Judson 95% to 5%. Judson is currently the Post Commander of Garner Post 10225. In other action, two changes to the State By-Laws were approved by the Convention floor. In the first one, a Men's Auxiliary State Advisory Council was invented. It will consist of the various presidents of all the state's Men's Auxiliaries, and will meet at each Council of Administration meeting and Convention. It has the authority to levy dues on each Men's Auxiliary, but those dues do not affect the amount of dues already collected by the post and the department. This council's role will be strictly advisory, and they have no authority to order Auxiliaries do anything against the desires of their home post. In the second change, a post will be able to apply for transfer to a different district if the new district posts are closer in proximity than the posts of the old district. Both of the changes will be published shortly in a new, updated version of the Department By-Laws, and distributed to all posts, districts, and department officers. Also passed by the Council of Administration under old business on Thursday, 14 June, were three measures. The first was the final approval of the Canteen SOP for all canteens in the department. It will also be distributed to all posts and districts, and will be used as the basis for canteen inspections this year. All canteens are expected to transition to the approved SOP rules by the end of the 2012-2013 year. The second item was the approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Wags For Tags service dog organization and the Department. In this MOU the Department will be moving into the area of training therapy dogs for needy veterans, with Wags For Tags supplying the animals and working closely with the VFW. The Department's first North Carolina state certified service dog trainer is District 17 Commander Skip Hall. The third item approved was an annual approval of the Department's partnership with the American Income Insurance program, which supplies all comrades with a free additional $2000 AD&D insurance. A number of awards were presented to various comrades and posts. Comrades receiving National awards were Michael Ayscue for Patriot Pen Coordinator; Ted Briggs for Voice of Democracy Coordinator, Jack Goin for Teacher of the Year Coordinator, Bruce Edwards as the Vice Chairman of the National Buddy Poppy Committee for the Department's Buddy Poppy program, and Jim Clark for the Department's National Military Services Program. VFW Leader Editor Bruce Edwards awarded the following posts with State Outstanding Newsletter Winner plaques: Post 6060 for small posts, Post 12107 for medium-sized posts, and Post 7288 for large posts. Posts 4542, 5202, and 8466 received letters of commendation for their fine newsletters. Past National Commander-in-Chief Tom Pouliot of Montana and State Commander Jason Schoolcraft handed out All State hats to the winners of that ultimate State membership/program competition. The posts receiving this high honor were 1142, 2423, 2514, 2740, 4286, 4542, 5381, 5464, 6018, 7034, 7946, 9100, 9133, 9436, 10346, and 12107. In a separate action, Wal-Mart Regional Manager Nicole Brown-Hardy was given a standing ovation when she announced at the Joint Session that Wal-Mart would be sponsoring the Department's Voice of Democracy program in 2012-2013. This will allow the Department to return to the practice this year of having all 17 District winners attend the VOD/Patriot Pen Banquet at the February Council of Administration meeting. After several months of negotiations with Lynn and Bruce Edwards at Department Headquarters, Wal-Mart generously has offered to pay for the students' and parents' meals and rooms at the Greensboro Embassy Suites in February. The Department will continue to fund the scholarships for the program, and will award each student a special jacket with the VOD symbol and Wal-Mart logo upon it.
Volume No. 72
The VFW Leader
Fayetteville VA Medical Center Iraq & AfghanistanVeterans
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The Fayetteville Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) hosted a Ribbon Cutting for the new $3 million dollar state-of art Emergency Department at 1 :00 p.m., Monday, June 18. The ribbon cutting took place inside the Emergency Department waiting area located at the C-wing emergency entrance on the basement floor of the hospital. Veterans and families were invited to attend as well as the general public. A tour of the Emergency Department followed the ribbon cutting. "Our new state-of-art Emergency Department provides access to exceptional health care and services while enhancing the patient experience for our Veterans and their families," said Elizabeth Goolsby, Director of the Fayetteville VA Medical Center. "We provide traditional emergency care services as well as women's health, mental health and tele-consultation with other VA Medical Centers to ensure Veterans receive the best care possible."
License Plates Available
NC Cooties 1st Female Grand Commander
May 2012. She is Saundra Clagett of Fayetteville Post 6018, and has been the VFW Department Surgeon since 2007. In Cootie talk, a "Grand" is their equivalent of the "Department." Thus the "Grand Commander" is the equivalent of the Department Commander. A "Scratch" is the same as a Convention or a Council meeting. The MOC is the honor branch of the VFW, and is dedicated to helping sick and injured veterans, particularly those in V A facilities. Their motto is "Keep 'em smiling in beds of white." Saundra Clagett has been a member of Pup Tent 78, the Headhunters, since 1998. A "Pup Tent" is the equivalent of a Post, and is usually sponsored by an actual Post, in this case 6018. Clagett has held many positions in Pup Tent 78 to include the MOC offices of Seam Squirrel (Commander), Blanket Bum (Sr Vice Commander), Hide Gimlet (Jr Vice Commander), Shyster (Judge Advocate), Pill Pusher (Surgeon), Historian, and Newshound (Public Affairs Officer). She has also sat in those positions at the Grand level in North Carolina. A long-time member of the VFW Department of North Carolina, she has also held numerous positions in the parent organization. These include Post Commander of 6018 and District 8 Commander, as well as Department Surgeon. Membership in the MOC is open to all active members of the VFW, who have been in good standing in a Post for at least six (6) months and have completed satisfactory service on a major Post committee or has satisfactorily performed Post duties or participated actively as a leader of Post functions. There are several Pup Tents within the Department of North Carolina, so any comrades who is interested in finding where their local Pup Tent is located can contact Grand Commander Clagett at 910-488-3669.
State Representative Graham Martin, a combat veteran and strong supporter of all veterans' rights issues, has announced that the North Carolina Legislature has approved the issuance of special license plates for veterans of the Afghanistan campaign, the Iraq campaign, and the War on Terror. To obtain one of these plates, if you are such a veteran, follow these steps: *Download the application from www. indot.gov/dmv/forms/. *When at the website, look at the left side of the screen and notice the Forms section, then click on the Specialized Plates tab. This will take you to the appropriate forms. *Many license plate options will appear in the Specialized Plates section. Among these are the Afghanistan, Iraq, and War on Terror license plates. By clicking on the appropriate one, it will open to a PDF titled MVR-33A. *Print and fill out the MVR-33A form, select-
The Military Order of the Cootie (MOC), Grand of North Carolina, has elected its first female Grand Commander in history at their State-level Scratch in
Veterans Legislative Day
ing the license plate of choice. A veteran may also obtain an application by mail or from their local license plate office. *Once the form is completed, send it to the Veteran's Affairs office at the address listed on the form - North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs, 1315 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, C 27699-1315. You may purchase the plate using cash, check, money order, or cashier's check made out to NCDMV. *When Veterans Affairs finishes completing section 3 o the MVR-33A, which confirms the individual veteran's war service, they return it to the individual purchasing the plate. *You will then mail the form to the NCDMV along with the appropriate $10 fee. Send to the Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, Raleigh, NC 276993135. Again, you may pay as stated previously. *If you qualify according to Veterans Affairs and the proper fees are provided, you will receive your desired plate in four to six weeks.
VFW Supporter Sport Clips
2011-2012 State Membership Chairman Lewis Hunt with the Sports Clip NASCAR Racing Team. Also shown is driver Brian Czobat and members of the Armed Forces. Sports Clip is a heavy supporter of the VFW. Members ofthe various Veterans Service Organizations, including the VFW, listen to NC House Speaker Thorn Tillis at the recent Veterans Legislative Day in Raleigh.
Page 2 The VFW LeAder
The VFW Leader is published quarterly by the Department of North Carolina Veterans of Foreign Wars at 917 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina. Editor........................Bruce Edwards News stories, photographs and other matters for publication should be addressed to Editor, VFW Leader, P.O. Box 25337, Raleigh, N.C. 27611. Correspondence regarding subscription and circulation should be addressed to VFW Leader, P.O. Box 25337, Raleigh, N.C. 27611.
"Department Headquarters normal operating hours 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Closed for holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day."
The VFW LeAder
Emergency Care Payment
WA S H I N G T O N - T h e Department of Veterans Affairs announced recently a change in regulations regarding payments for emergency care provided to eligible Veterans in nonVA facilities. "This provision helps ensure eligible Veterans continue to get the emergepcy care they need when VA facilities are not available," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.The new regulation extends VA's authority to pay for emergency care provided to eligible Veterans' at non-VA facilities until the veterans can be safely transferred to a VA medical facility. More than 100,000 Veterans are estimated to be affected by the new rules, at a cost of about $44 million annually. VA operates 121 emergency departments across the country, which provide resuscitative therapy and stabilization in life-threatening situations. They operate 24 hours a day, seven- days a week. VA also has. 46 urgent care units, which provide care for patients without scheduled appointments who need immediate medical or psychiatric attention. For more' information about emergency care in non- VA facilities, visit www.nonvacare. va.gov.
Fallen Heroes Fund
Chris Sikes District 5 Sr. Vice Commander Greetings Comrades. I am going to start sharing information from the VA's Medical Centers around the State and some health promotion tips in each Edition of The Leader." This edition is going to focus on the Website and program that the VA has setup called MyHealtheVet. This site is designed for the Veteran to be able to access your medical record, track your healthcare, obtain health promotion tips, refill prescriptions, and communicate directly with your healthcare team. To access the site point your internet browser to www. myhealth.va.gov. One the right hand side there is the option to Register and to log on. If you are signing up and are a patient at any VA medical center please make sure you check the 'VA Patient' box. Once you have signed up you will be able to access only a portion of the site until you complete the 'In-Person Authentication' form. This can be completed at any Medical Center or Community Outpatient Clinic. After the In-Person Authentication process is completed you will be able to access the pharmacy refill, secure messaging and medical record download. The Secure messaging portion of the
Letters to the Editor
Great Opportunity for Veterans.
Good Afternoon, I thought that you might be interested in sharing this great opportunity for veterans. National home remodeling franchise, Kitchen Tune-Up, wants to thank honorably discharged veterans for the sacrifices they and their families have, and continue to make for our country. Kitchen Tune-Up is providing honorably discharged veterans with a business opportunity when they transition to civilian life or seek a career change. The company is waiving over 80% of their $39,995 franchise fee, making the investment only $5,000 for honorably discharged veterans. Financing options are also available. About Kitchen Tune-Up: Kitchen Tune-Up specializes in kitchen and bath remodeling. They are known for their signature wood reconditioning "Tune-Up," cabinet refacing and redooring, custom cabinetry, and closet organization. The franchise offers personalized service and incredible results. I appreciate you taking the time to consider sharing this great opportunity for much deserving veterans and their families. If there is someone else that I should contact regarding spreading the word on this opportunity, please let me know! I would love to get in touch with them. Also, if you know of any interested qualified veterans please send them here to fill out an information request form. Have a great rest of the week and let me know if you have any additional questions. In 2010, the company awarded several franchises to veterans as part of a special incentive, and the first was to Frank Skubel of Tallahassee, Florida. Before being awarded a Kitchen Tune-Up franchise he was employed with a large telecommunications company, had been laid off and was in search of a business opportunity. "The business has exceeded my expectations," said Skubel. "I'm enjoying the satisfaction of making great transformations in the kitchens and baths ,of my customers, and being my own boss is a great benefit that I haven't had previously." "We are providing veterans with a business opportunity when they transition to civilian life or seek a career change, at a very low initial fee," said Kitchen TuneUp founder and president, Dave Haglund. "There are many franchisors offering great programs this year, and we're proud to play a small part in showing appreciation of our military veterans. Service men and women have proven their leadership and teamwork skills, and we know they will do a fantastic job of stimulating their local economies by utilizing this unique home improvement business." If interested, applicants should contact Heidi Morrissey by phone at 800.333.6385 or email email@example.com. They can also fill out the interest form at: www.kitchentuneup.com/veterans.html. About Kitchen Tune-Up - Kitchen Tune-Up specializes in affordable kitchen and bath remodeling. They offer wood reconditioning "Tune-Ups", cabinet refacing and redooring, closet organization, and custom cabinetry. Kitchen TuneUp has been franchising since 1988 and territories are available nationwide and in Canada. Learn more at kitchentuneup.com or ktufranchise.com.
My Healthe Vet site is the most valuable feature to patients. This allows you to send an email directly to your medical provider. These messages are tracked and if not answered within three day they become escalated. This eliminates the need to call the clinic or going there to have a question answered. You are able to request, change or cancel an appointment, request more refills for medications, or ask a question. Recently we added the option to view your DoD military service information. This is a direct link to the Record Center and will give you access to Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) codes, Pay Details, Service Dates, Deployment Periods, and Retirement Periods. This information is available through the Blue button download within the site. In addition to this you are also able to see your lab results and upcoming appointments. As always I am able to assist you if needed by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Christopher Sikes Telehealth Clinical Technician Wilmington & Brunswick CBOC 736 Medical Center Drive Wilmington, NC 28401 Phone (910) 763-5979 ext 236 Fax (910) 763-4935 doors until fund raisers and volunteers from the community helped to rebuild this Post of mostly WWII veterans. They were once 400 strong but are now down to 32 members. Harold said they were grateful but still had one large bill for lumber and no way of paying it.
Dear Comrades: My VFW Post 9010 is in Clemmons, NC. We are a service Post that prides itself on helping needy Veterans and their families. The reason that I joined was to make a difference in the lives of fellow Veterans. Post 9010 is very fortunate to have a strong Bingo program which brings in revenues allowing us to give scholarships to our members' families and help to local Veterans where needed.
Health Benefits Handbook
WASHINGTON-Veterans enrolled in the health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs have begun to receive personalized booklets that explain their health care benefits and contain other useful information. VA is committed to providing our nation's Veterans with consistent, clear information about the services available to them," said Secretary of Veteransl Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. The new booklet, called a Health Benefits Handbook, will provide a personalized listing of health benefits based on each Veteran's specific eligibility. The handbook will also have contact information for their local V A medicall facilities, appointment scheduling information guidelines for communicating.
I asked my VFW Post to help our comrades from Mocksville, as I could think of no one more worthy than these brave men who served us all so well. My proudest moment was when our. membership voted unanimously to pay the bill and At our last district meeting, I was honor these men. When you can moved by the story of Harold help another Post in need, the feelFranks, Commander of VFW Post ing you get is beyond words. 4024 in Mocksville, NC. Their Post had fallen into disrepair and was in Terry L. Poling Commander, Post danger of being forced to close its 9010 Clemmons, NC
Kitchen Tune-Up is currently offering a program that supports veterans seeking to own their own home improvement franchise. The company is waiving over 80% oftheir $39,995 franchise fee, making the investment only $5,000 for honorably discharged Stay Tuned, veterans. Financing options are available for up to $4,500 for Jill Hansen Director of Technology qualified applicants. PR Specialist "This is the second program of this kind that we have offered," said Kitchen Tune-Up founder and president, Dave Haglund.
Service Members Were Promised Care
Collins as chief of staff, U. S. Army. This field manual was made official by "Wm. E. Bergin, Major General, In the April 29 Military Update, the Adjutant GeneraL" Tom Philpott quotes U. S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican of Chapter 5, Individual Interest, Duth Carolina. He was talking about Section 1: "You're the world's best medical care and Tricare hikes: "I paid soldier. "Section Other Benefits, don't believe anybody was promised page 127: "In addition to retirement free lifetime medical care. That's pay, you are entitled to commisa popular myth." Sen. Graham sary, post exchange privileges, mediis very wrong. I joined the U.S. cal care and hospitalization."I still Army in 1956. We were all issued have my original copy of this field a Department of the Army field manual. manual, FM 21-13, The Soldier's Guide, dated June 1952. J. Lawton Robert B. Arnold
The VFW Leader
Flying Squadron Training School in your Conference. This Conference level training will take the place of District Schools of Instruction. It is very important you attend. I would like to commend Curtis and all the Comrades and Sisters of VFW Post 7312 Sunbury, for their dedication to the Veterans at the Hampton VA Hospital. Twice a year they sponsor "Veterans Appreciation Day". When I attended in April, two buses of Veterans and nurses arrived at Sunbury around 10:30 A.M. They enjoyed the delicious food that had been prepared especially for them, along with a live band that was present to play their kind of music. It was an awesome event. A reminder, if you have not sent your election report in, please do so immediately. Also, if you need assistance with your programs or if an officer needs help, please contact the Department, we have Comrades available to assist you. Looking forward to working with each of you this year, as we "Get Involved" to support the work of our organization, and have another great year for the Department of North Carolina. Yours In Comradeship.
sr. ViCe CoMMander CoLuMn
treatment facilities, makes this selfcontained community the real deal. I was so impressed by the pristine condition of this home and the others, surrounded by quiet, open country, I have to tell you about it. The people living in those 43 homes are individuals and families with special needs. These special needs folks meet some very strict criteria before they can become part of the community. They have to be veterans with children, who need vocational rehabilitaion or, the spouses and children of active or deceased service men/women that need a saftey-net. Children who have no parent or guardian can live at the State licensed home with a "family" to care for them. There are also single parents that need a safe atmosphere that is conducive to improving their lives. To become a resident of this community they must be related to a Veteran, or be in the military to qualify. The residents are expected to attain measurable goals that are designed to help them transition to an independant life outside the community. With training and assistance, most aresuccessful. By now, you have guessed that I am talking about the VFW National Home for Children. I went with our state National Home Chairman, Jeff Frier, to Eaton Rapids, Michigan, to see the National Home operations first-hand. The campus, and the help they provide is maintained strictly on donations. How they help so many with their limited resources, is truely amazing. The house I described is the Carolina Cottage. The funds we have sent to support this cottage over the years, have been well spent. We continue to be a part of this effort through you and your post contributions. Over the next year, many of you will probably hear from Jeff. When you do please be generous. Yours in Comradship, Ernie Allis
Ted h. Briggs Let me begin by thanking each Comrade in this great Department of North Carolina, for supporting me for the past two years, and for electing me to serve as your State Commander for the 2012-2013 year. I appreciate the opportunity to serve this Department, and I will do all I can to ensure that we grow in membership, promote our core programs, and serve the needs of our Veterans. Comrades, my goal this year is to reach 30,000 in membership. Not for me, but for the Department of North Carolina. I feel we can achieve that goal, but it will take all of us working together. Post and District Commanders, Quartermasters, Auxiliary Presidents, and Treasurers, please plan to attend the
Comrades, In May, I visited a home that was built in 1954. The house is a brick structure with four bedrooms, an enclosed sun porch, and was a little over 2400 square feet. It is located within a small community of 43 homes and 9 other structures that serve as administration buildings. Maintaining its own roads, play areas, ball fields, water and sewer
Greetings To the Comrades of North Carolina, thank you for electing me as your Department Chaplain. Becoming your Chaplain is a bittersweet event in my life. It was my hope that when I could be elected, that my friend and mentor would be here to offer his wisdom and guidance. Along with everyone else in our Department, I truly miss AG. To I would also like to thank the Cooties have Mrs. Parker attend the first and Sisters of the Grand of North Department Memorial Service I con- Carolina. Thank you for your guidducted was an honor. I wish AG's smiling face could have been at her side. While I have a beard like AG and wear clothes like AG, I cannot be Chaplain Parker. I have been told he left big shoes to fill and I cannot. I cannot follow in his footsteps. I can step forward, as your Department Chaplain, and lead as he taught me. I stand ready to do just that. ance, instruction, encouragement and your endless patience. Lastly, to my travel companion, navigator, and favorite critic. Tamara, you have always kept me grounded, propped me up, and have been my mental "slap upside the head" when needed. You are truly a blessing from my Lord. You are my Helpmate. IHS SR Smith+
The VFW LeAder
1 ($10,000) - John Carney of Melbourne, FL, 2 ($2000) - Mike neville of supply, 3 ($1000) - John norkus of raleigh, 4 and 5 ($500) each - Michael Bolch of Marietta, Ga, and delories Beaman of ararat
VFW Leader prize Winners For the VFW Leader neWspaper raFFLe heLd on 16 June :
New Education Benefit for Unemployed Veterans
New Education Benefit for Unemployed Veterans Has Strong Response VA Outreach for Veterans Retraining Assistance Program Garners Over 12,000 Applicants since May 15. WASHINGTON - Within two weeks of being announced, a program to give skills training to some unemployed Veterans has garnered over 12,000 online applications, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. "VA is committed to supporting Veterans as they seek employment. This initiative will help provide education and training so that Veterans have an opportunity to find meaningful employment in a high-demand field," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "We will continue to build on the success of our initial outreach efforts to Veterans. Called the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), the program allows qualifying Veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 to receive up to 12 months of education assistance. Maximum payments are equal to the full-time rate for the Montgomery GI BillActive Duty, currently $1,473 monthly. Under VRAP, Veterans apply on a firstcome, first-served basis for programs that begin on or after July 1. VA began accepting applications on May 15. Forty-five thousand Veterans can participate during the current fiscal year, and up to 54,000 may participate during the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1,2012. The goal of the program is to train 99,000 Veterans for high-demand jobs over the next two years. To qualify Veterans must: • Be 35 to 60 years old, unemployed on the day of application, and have been issued discharges under conditions other than dishonorable. • Be enrolled in education or training after July 1,2012, in a VA-approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school leading to an associate degree, non-college degree or a certificate for a high-demand occupation as defined by the Department of Labor. • Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. • Not have participated in a federal or state job training program within the last 180 days; and not receive VA compensation at the 100 percent rate due to individual unemployability. While the initial response has been encouraging, VA officials stress the need for a sustained effort to reach potential VRAP applicants. Besides the Veterans themselves, we are asking anyone who knows of an unemployed Veteran to help us get the word out so everyone can take advantage of this new benefit," said Curtis Coy, VA's deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity. "With the help of our Veterans community and our partners in the Department of Labor, we hope to reach as many eligible Veterans as possible." In addition to its national outreach campaign, VA will seek out potential VRAPqualified Veterans through online applications and at the National Veterans Small Business Conference being held in Detroit June 26-28. During 2012, VA representatives will also provide VRAP information and assistance at hiring fairs sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce through the Hiring Our Heroes campaign. For more information on the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) program, the Hire Heroes Act of 20 11, VRAP, high demand occupations, and application procedures, visit the website at www.benefits.va.gov /VOW, or call VA National Call Center toll free at 1800-827-1000. Veterans may also access the VRAP application online at https://www. ebenefits.va.gov through eBenefits, a joint project between VA and the Department of Defense. Veterans are also encouraged to visit the nearly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the nation for assistance from staff, Local Veterans' Employment Representatives (LVERS), and Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists. Center locations are listed at www.servicelocator.org.
Post District Training Down to Conference Level
For the first time, post and district level training will be presented so that many more comrades, Ladies Auxiliary members, and Men's Auxiliary members can attend. The Department Council of Administration decided at their February meeting that officer training, referred to as Flying Squadron training, will now be conducted at three local locations throughout the state, instead of just at the annual State Convention in June or at a Council meeting in either October or February. These Flying Squadron training sessions will be held in North Carolina, and will be credited to a district as its mandatory District School of Instruction if a number of its posts attend. They will also take the place of the districts' summer meetings, where the Schools of Instruction are normally taught. Districts are encouraged to have three meetings during the 2012-2013 year, one in September 2012 to precede the October Council meeting, one in January 2013 to precede the February Council meeting, Posts/auxiliaries and districts in the and the District Convention in May Eastern Conference will attend their 2013 to precede the annual State training session from 9:00 a.m. to Convention in June. 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 4th, at Mount Olive Post 9959 at 1012 N. Subjects to be taught at the trainChurch Street. The Eastern Conference ing will include How To Be An consists of all the posts and auxilia- Effective Post Commander/Auxiliary ries in Districts 1, 2, 3,4,5, ,and 7. President, How To Be An Effective Posts/auxiliaries and districts in the Post Quartermaster/Auxiliary Central Conference will attend their Treasurer, the Internet Reporting session from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. System and Official VFW Webmail on Saturday, August 11th, at Sanford Email System, Voice of Democracy/ Post 5631 at 1500 Webb Street. The Patriot Pen/Teacher of the Year proCentral Conference consists of all grams, Recruiting and Membership, the posts/auxiliaries in Districts 6, 8, the Buddy Poppy King and Queen/ 9, 10, and 12. Posts/auxiliaries and Scouting/Young Volunteer Programs, districts in the Western Conference and How To Start A VFW Motorcycles will attend their session from 10:00 Riders Group. a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18th, at Statesville Post 2031 at 139 Monies will be included in the 2012Jordan Lane. The Western Conference 2013 Department budget to offset consists of all the posts/auxiliaries in some costs of the training. Each host Districts 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. post will receive $500 to offset the cost of lunch at the location. The Department will pay $.30/mile round trip for the driver of one car from each post that has no or only one auxiliary to encourage car pooling for the post and auxiliary officers. The starting point will be designated as the post horne or a central location if no post horne is available. If a post has two auxiliaries (Ladies and Mens) the Department will pay $.30/mile round trip for the drivers of up to two cars, if all three organization representatives attend. Again, the starting point will be designated as the post horne or a central location if no post horne is available. Also, each District will receive $.30/mile for the drivers of up to two cars from two central locations, as District officers may not live close enough to each other to all go in one car. Instructors, of course, will also be reimbursed by the Department. Special reimbursement forms will be distributed to the proper individuals at the training locations. District Commanders, Presidents, Quartermasters and Treasurers are required to attend this training as part of their official VFW duties. Post/ Auxiliary Commanders, Presidents, Quartermasters, and Treasurers are strongly encouraged to attend, as they will receive much needed VFW schooling. Other post/auxiliary members may attend voluntarily if they wish.
WASHINGTON-The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today the national deployment of claims transformation initiatives to 12 regional offices in the remaining months of fiscal year 2012 to improve benefits delivt?ry to Veterans, families and their survivors. "This is an important milestone in our transformation to achieve the goal we established in 2009 to process all disability claims within 125 days at a 98 percent accuracy level in 2015," said Secretary of Veteran's Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. The 12 regional offices to begin the deployment of the transformation initiatives include: Huntington, W.Va.; Hartford, Conn.; Portland, Ore.; Houston, Texas; Cleveiand, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, Ariz.; New
VA Initiatives to Improve Benefits Delivery to Veterans
Orleans, La.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Atlanta, Ga. & Newark, N.J. This deployment follows four pilot programs at Indianapolis, Ind., Wichita, Kan., Milwaukee, Wis.; and Fort Harrison, Mont., in 2012. VA will further track and gauge the integrated effects of the transformation plan to reduce the backlog of disability claims imd provide Veterans, their families, and survivors with more timely and accurate claims decisions. VA expects to deploy the transforVA's transformation plan is based mation plan to the remaining 40 on more than 40 measures that regional offices throughout calenwere selected, evaluated, tested dar 2013. and measured from over 600 stakeholder and employee inno- The major components of the vation ideas. transformation plan that will be nationally deployed include: This national deployment, con- • The Intake Processing Center, sisting of people, process and which adds a formalized process technology initiatives, follows for triaging claims documents and comprehensive planning and test- other mail, and drives faster and ing to ensure we have the right more accurate association of mail recipe for success," added Under with Veterans' claims files. Secretary for Benefits, Allison A. Hickey. • Segmented Processing Lanes, which all claims that can be more During the national deployment, easily rated, to move quickly through the system and the more complex claims to be processed by VA's more experienced and skilled employees.
to eliminate errors at the earliest possible stage. • Simplified and Standardized Rating Notification Letters, which give veterans one simplified decision letter that • Cross-Functional Teams, which provides notice of VA's decision, support a case-management including a summary of the eviapproach to claims processing dence considered and the reason that mininizes rework and reduces for the decision. processing time and VA provides compensation and • The Veterans Benefits pension benefits to more than Management System, which is a four million veterans, family memnew electronic claims processing bers and survivors. Veterans filing system that employs rules based claims may file online through technologies to improve decision e-Benefits, a joint project between speed and qualIty. the Department of Defense and VA, at www.ebenefits.va.gov. VA has already nationally implemented:' • Quality Review Teams, They can check the status of their which are composed of dedicated claim with a Premium e-Benefits local, quality review specialists account, and use a growing numwho will evaluate situations and- ber of online services or contact individual employee performance VA Call Centers for more informa and conduct in-process reviews tion at 1-800-827-1000.
VA Adding Hundreds of Mental Health Clinicians
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki recently announced the department would add approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce. Fayetteville VAMC estimates that 23 clinicians and support personnel will be hired to support mental health operations at Fayetteville VAMC. Funding has now been distributed to the Fayetteville VAMC and recruitment is underway. locally supporting Fayetteville Veterans. With each additional mental health care provider, a facility could potentially reach hundreds more Veterans battling mental illness. New providers will join a team that is already actively treating Veterans through individualized care, readjustment counseling, and immediate crisis services. Additional staff members also afford opportunities to look longterm and expand into cutting edge VA has an existing workforce of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 20,696 mental health staff that (PTSD) research and to explore includes nurses, psychiatrists, alternative therapies. psychologists, and social workers. Currently, 151 mental health pro- Secretary Shinseki noted that "as fessionals and support staff work the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the respon- campaign that includes targeted sibility, to anticipate the needs of recruitment of mental health proreturning Veterans." viders willing to take positions in rural and highly rural markets, VA anticipates the majority of as well as throughout the nation mental health clinicians and sup- to serve all VA medical centers port staff will be hired locally and community clinics. "Mental within approximately six months health services must be closely and the most hard-to-fill positions aligned with Veterans' needs and filled by the end of the second fully integrated with health care quarter of FY 2013. To speed the facility operations," said VA Under hiring process, VA developed the Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Mental Health Hiring Initiative Petzel. "Improving access to mento improve marketing, recruit- tal health services will help support ment, and hiring efforts for men- the current and future Veterans tal health professionals so that the who depend on VA for these vital new 1,600 mental health provid- services." Last year, VA provided ers can be hired as quickly as pos- quality, specialty mental health sible. The initiative is an aggres- services to 1.3 million Veterans. sive, multi-faceted, sustained Since 2009, VA has increased the national marketing and outreach mental health care budget by 39 percent. Since 2007, VA has seen a 35 percent increase in the number of Veterans receiving mental health services, and a 41 percent increase in mental health staff. Interested mental health care providers can find additional information about VA careers online at www.va.careers.va.gov. Open positions will be announced online at USA Jobs (www.usajobs.gov). To locate the nearest VA facility or Vet Center for enrollment and to get scheduled for care, Veterans can visit VA's website at www. va.gov. Immediate help is available at www.VeteransCrisisLine. net or by calling the Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (push 1) or texting 838255.
The VFW Leader presidenT's CoLuMn
Staff must achieve 90%. Membership awards have also changed, and our Department challenge is to recruit 164 new members by October 31 st to achieve $500 for our Department. We must also have 95% membership by December 31st for the President to achieve her "Night Out on theTown" during the Mid-Year Conference. Please read the additional changes that will affect our budget in the National Program book. This year as members of the North Carolina Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, we will need to inspire, motivate, dedicate, rejuvenate, recruit, retain and reinstate members. As we reach out to our communities, we need to remember to project a positive and professional image as to who we are and what we are about.Yes, we are a volunteer organization however...we are a business. A business that helps Veterans and their families! In 2012-2013, let's "Create a Recipe for Success" as we continue to "Serve from the Heart for Our Veterans". I look forward to visiting your Auxiliaries and Districts and hearing about the "Great Work" you are doing for our Veterans!!!
We begin a new membership year as the Premier Women's Organization of today! However, we still sell ourselves short! We have much to do to carry out our mission of service to Veterans, Active duty and Military families. We have seen and will continue to see much change, and we need to embrace the changes and do the work of the organization. We must have "everyone" in the Department of North Carolina working together to hit our target set by our Ladies Auxiliary National organization. Each Department must achieve 100% participation in Americanism, Veteran's and Family Support and Cancer Aid and Research this year. All other programs except for Membership and Chief of
Passing of 2 Past Dept. Presidents
Two Past Department Presidents of the Ladies Auxiliary Department of North Carolina have recently died. They are Elois Cameron Kelly, President from 1962 to 1963, and Melba Thompson Batten, President from 1970 to 1971. PDC Kelly was 82 years old, and PDC Batten was 89 years of age. of Jonesboro, when she was 30 years old. They had one child, a son Gary, who was born in January 1962 and died in January of 2011. The same year her son was born, Ms. Kelly became the Department President of Ladies Auxiliary, Department of North Carolina. She served her term with State Commander Robert J. Bowers, who was Elois Kelly was born in Harnett County also a member of Stanley McLeod Post in the small rural community of Olivia 5631 in Sanford. Following her tenure as on January 1, 1930. She was the young- President, she became the Department est of three daughters, and attended Musician and the long-term floor work the Benhaven School for all 12 years of instructor. Her husband died in August her education. Upon graduation, she 1995. started working for a car dealership in the town of Sanford. After two years at She is survived by several nieces and that position, she was hired as a civil- nephews. ian employee on Fort Bragg. She held this position for a long period of time, Melba Batten was born on August retiring from there after more than 30 2, 1922, to the late Lewis and Rosa years. Thompson of Pine Level. She married Charles Kelly, a native She graduated from Pine Level High
School in 1939, where she was voted the very first Miss Pine Level. She became a Life member of VFW Post 5886 in Smithfield, her eligibility through her husband, Joseph Elbert Batten, to whom she was married for 67 years. She then served a number of years as local, district, and state president. She worked for 33 years as a bookkeeper and office manager of Medlin Printer Company. In her later years she enjoyed baking cakes and fishing in Nevil Creek. She was also a Life member and past president of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary to Post 405 of Pine Level. She is survived by a daughter, two granddaughters, two great grandchildren and her sister Carol Dale Bennett of Selma.
Ladies ofVFW Auxiliary 9488 enjoy themselves at the Kentucky Derby Party held at Post 9488 in Charlotte. Prizes were awarded for Best Dressed, Celebrity Look Alike, and Best Poppy Hat. In the seated photo are Bonnie Williams, Geneva Williams, Rose Thompkins, Ann Hicks, and Donna Watts. In the standing photo are Joan Vincent, Elaine Friar, Deanna Long, Bonnie Williams, and Geneva Williams.
We need Foster Parents for VFW Trained Service Dogs. If interested call state Headquarters at 919-828-5058
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Camp Lejeune to Get $11 Million TBI/PTSD Treatment Center
Camp Lejeune service members living with Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress will finally be able to get the treatment they need without having to separate from their units or leave their families for extended periods of treatment. The NICoE Satellite Center at Camp Lejeune will provide psychiatric testing, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy equipment, sleep labs, neuro and psych testing for service members as well as a family room where patients can spend time with their family and take a break for their clinical treatment regime, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes according to a press release from the Fund is building an $11-million Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. NICoE Satellite Center extension of the National Intrepid Center "Although American combat operaof Excellence (NICoE) at Camp tions in Iraq and Afghanistan are Lejeune dedicated to treating service winding down, the suffering of members returning from Iraq and our wounded heroes is not," said Afghanistan with PTSD and TBI. Richard Santulli, Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, via the "Traumatic Brain Injury and Post release. "Our nation owes the best Traumatic Stress are invisible wounds care possible to those who have sacthat we need to make visible," said rificed so much for us, and NICoE Arnold Fisher, Honorary Chairman and the Satellite Centers will help us of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, fulfill that responsibility." at the Lejeune center's groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon. The Camp Lejeune Satellite Center "These men and women raised their is one of about 10 new $11 million, right hand and swore allegiance to 25,000 sq. ft. satellite centers being this country and when they go over- built. The centers are set to be fundseas and they come back hurt, we ed and completed by the Intrepid are obligated to get them the help Fallen Heroes Fund and gifted to they need ... this country's respon- the Department of Defense within sibility is to help (wounded service the next three years. The funding of members) and that's what we are the centers is made possible through here to do." a $100 million fund-raising program set forth by the Fallen Heroes Fund. "We're grateful and we're blessed to have a really fine military treatment facility here at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune," Lt. Gen. John Paxton, Commanding General, II Marine Expeditionary Force, told The Daily News. "What the NICoE treatment center brings to Camp Lejeune is a national-level state-of-the-art facility that will help us with both the diagnostics and the treatment of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury ... it gives us capabilities that we don't have now." The design and mission of the new Satellite Centers is based on the original NICoE, which opened in 2010 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. and was also funded by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Operated by the DoD, the NICoE treatment center is the most advanced facility of it's kind, designed to help the Armed Forces research, diagnose and treat TBI, PTSD and related injuries sustained by military personnel. For more information about the Satellite Centers or to donate to the cause, visit fallenheroesfund.org.
Ribbon Cutting for a New Facility Home Depot Grant to Serve Disabled, Homeless Vets
Winston-Salem, NC Supporters stood shoulder-to-shoulder today to cut the ribbon for Veterans Helping Veterans Heal's (VHVH) new housing facility at 3614 North Glenn Avenue. The goal ofVHVH will be to help veterans overcome barriers so that they can transition into permanent housing, achieve personal goals including self-sufficiency, and function well with family, coworkers, and friends. Today's ribbon-cutting celebration served to recognize the successful completion ofthe acquisition and rehabilitation ofthe VHVH building, to thank everyone who has helped make this project possible and to allow our community to see the facility before it is occupied. It is important to note that the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has not yet inspected and accepted the VHVH project at this time. This is expected to be a comprehensive inspection and review process which will begin within the next few weeks now that the rehabilitation of the building has been completed. Occupancy by homeless veterans will follow the receipt of all final approvals by the V A. VHVH will address the gap in housing services in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County that are needed for chronically homeless veterans who are coping with substance abuse and/or mental illness, the two highest rated problems within the homeless veteran population. VHVH will also help the local Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness (United Way of Forsyth County) meet its housing goals and build on the programs offered by the various homeless shelters and other transitional housing facilities. VHVH wIll offer a supportive housing environment in collaboration with the VA, CenterPoint Human Services and others that will include on-site case managers and the provision of services to meet the special needs of the veterans. Each veteran will work with his case worker to establish personal goals. All residents will attend lifeskills training and participate in the daily upkeep of the facility. Regular Alcoholic and Narcotics Anonymous meetings will be held on-site. The Triad Community Kitchen will provide food service under the leadership of Jeff Bacon, director and executive chef. VHVH also plans to acquire a passenger van in order to provide transportation for the veterans to medical facilities, job interviews, workshops, and other meetings. Veterans will be referred by VA and community outreach providers. VHVH will serve 30 veterans at one time in dormitory style housing for a period of up to two years. It is anticipated that some ofthe veterans will transition out of the program within six to nine months enabling other veterans to participate in the program. VHVH will, therefore, likely serve between 30-45 chronically homeless veterans each year. Chronically homeless veterans make up about 20 percent of the entire local homeless population in Forsyth County. Veterans will be referred to the program by local homeless service providers and the VA Medical Center in Salisbury, among others. Since VHVH will serve veterans, space at other shelters will be freed up for other individuals who are homeless. VHVH was developed by the North Carolina Housing Foundation (NCHF) in partnership with the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post # 1134. Funding for the development of VHVH includes grants from the Veterans Administration Grants Per Diem program, Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T), the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the Winston-Salem Foundation, United Way of Forsyth County, and donations from individuals and members of many local military service organizations. Funding for the annual operations of the program, will come from multiple sources including an Emergency Shelter Grant from the City of Winston-Salem, a two-year grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the VA Per Diem reimbursement for each veteran in the program. VHVH will also be one of the beneficiaries from fundraising by groups like the Winston-Salem Elks annual golf tournament and the Marine Corps League Mud Run. Rehabilitation of the former VFW Post # 1134 at 3614 North Glenn Avenue in Winston-Salem began in late October. The architect was Mike Osman of the Steele Group and the general contractor is Landmark Builders of the Triad. Stimmel Associates' Luke Dickey assisted with zoning and road closure. Carolyn Scogin at Blanco Tackabery provided legal assistance. All are Winston-Salem companies. Countless veterans have helped with the demolition of the interior of the building. VHVH will be owned and managed by the North Carolina Housing Services and Management Corp., a nonprofit affiliate of the North Carolina Housing Foundation also based in WinstonSalem. The program manager will be Peter Moorman, Jonathan Evans will serve as operations director, and Dan Fisher will be resident manager. All three men are veterans. The North Carolina Housing Foundation (NCHF) is based in Winston-Salem and is the parent affiliate of VHVH and the North Carolina Housing Services and Management Corp. (NCHSM). NCHF is an experienced nonprofit developer of affordable housing which focuses on developing quality affordable housing for low and moderate income households throughout the state. NCHSM currently manages 26 properties with a total of nearly 1000 apartment units. These units include apartments for families, independent elderly, persons with disabilities or special needs, and transitional and permanent supportive housing for the homeless. The Development Team includes Garry Merritt, NCHF Board Chair; John Nichols, NCHSM ; Diane Evans, NCHSM Director of Development; Jane Milner, NCHSM Development Coordinator; Peter Moonnan, VHVH-ProgramManager;Jeff~Bacon, Triad Community Kitchen; CharlieClayboum, VFW Post #1134; Mary Claybourn, VFW Post #1134 Women's Auxiliary; Ron Hairston, US Department of Veterans Affairs; Andrea Kurtz, Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness/United Way of Forsyth County; and Paula Stephen, The Stephen Company. VHVH is a project of the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. The Plan, overseen by United Way of Forsyth County with the full support of the community and homeless service providers, seeks to provide effective solutions and accessible services to eliminate chronic homelessness and improve the system's effectiveness for all persons experiencing a housing crisis. Andrea Kurtz is the director of the Plan, and BB&T's Chris Henson chairs the Plan's council. For additional information, please visit VHVH.org (currently under construction). February 24, 2012 - The Home Depot (HD) has opened their Community Impact Grants cycle, which will be in effect from February 6, 2012 through August 13, 2012, though it is suggested you apply as soon as possible. VFW Posts can receive up to $5,000 to fix up their buildings; however, of course, there is no guarantee of funding. To begin the process, type in the following Internet link: www.homedepot foundation.orglhow-we-help/grants.html. Near the bottom of the Web page, choose. "Click here to start the application". To help you complete this application, the VFW Foundation has prepared a step by-step, how-to guide. We have tried to make the instructions as simple as possible. Any deviation from this guide will most likely result in not being able to submit the application. To receive this information send an email to: email@example.com. Type the following in the subject head ing: Need Home Depot Guide. The application must be filled out via the Internet only (no telephone calls to HD, e-mails or written submissions will be accepted nor will you be able to turn this application in at your local HD ∆7 store). Pay close attention to the Tax ID Instructions Section. You will use the Employee Identification Number (EIN) of your Post and upload the Post's 501(c) (19) IRS determination letter at the end of the application. If you receive funding it will come in the form of Home Depot gift cards that- can be used to buy materials at your local HD store. You will need to recruit Post members or other community volunteers to do the work. The project must be completed within 6 months. You will also be required to fill out a final report. Failure to do so will negatively impact your Post's ability to receive any future funding from The Home Depot. After submission of the application, you should receive a written e-mail response from HD usually in six weeks letting you know if you received the grant. Should you have any, questions, please contact Richard Freiburghouse, Grants Manager, at 816-968-1124 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Date Heroes Remembered: Korean War Armistice Day 2012 on July 27, 2012 at 9:00am - 10:30am at Arlington National Cemetery
Mark your calendars and make plans to join the Dept. of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee on July 27, 2012 at 9:00am for a very special ceremony honoring the 59th anniversary of the Korean War Annistice at Arlington National Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The event is open to the public and kicks off with a wreath laying ceremony and keynote remarks by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
More infonnation and details to follow in the coming weeks. To RSVP for the event, please email at email@example.com
The VFW LeAder
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