July 7, 2015

Sgt. Shaft caricatureDear Sgt Shaft
Last December, the Philly POPS presented the first of five 2015 Salute Series concerts, each designed to celebrate the American tradition. This year, on December 4, 2015, the Second Annual I’ll Be Home for Christmas Spectacular – A Salute to the Military and First Responders will again usher in the season 2,000 members of the service community with a night of magical music and holiday spirit.

“Just think about what it would be like if we didn’t have these brave men and women in public safety and in the military out there doing what they do.”-  Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia Police Commissioner

In order for this event to be possible, we rely on sponsorships through our Commemorative Tribute Book. By placing an advertisement, your message of appreciation will reach all those in attendance from our active military, Police and Fire Department. Your contribution for this event is monumental in keeping our mission alive while supporting those who protect and serve.

I’d like to invite you to review our packages and submit the order form at your earliest convenience. Feel free to reach out me directly at the number below or by replying to this email if you have any questions.

Express your support today!

Warmest regards,
Christian Poarch
Advertising & Special Events Coordinator
Encore Series, Inc. | The Philly POPS
215.252.7454

Dear Christian
I urge all of the veterans services to support your wonderful patriotic program.

Shaft Notes
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is saluting today’s decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin accepting disability claims from veterans potentially exposed to Agent Orange-contaminated aircraft in the post-Vietnam era. The decision by VA Secretary Bob McDonald could now benefit as many as 1,500 to 2,100 Air Force and Air Force Reserve personnel who might suffer from any of 14 presumptive medical conditions that have been determined to be related to Agent Orange exposure.

The VA secretary made the decision to expand benefits following a 2015 report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine on Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. The report found evidence that those who served aboard or worked on the C-123 aircraft were exposed to the herbicide, both during and after Vietnam, when many of the aircraft remained in service for aeromedical transportation or in a mosquito abatement role back in the U.S.

“The VFW has been pushing for this decision for years,” said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, “because something inside these aircraft was making people sick years after the plane last flew a defoliating mission in Vietnam. We thank the Institute of Medicine for determining a contributing link between exposure and the 14 medical conditions, and Secretary McDonald for making a quick call to care for more veterans.”

All airmen who were assigned to flight, ground or medical crew duties at Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio (the 906th and 907th Tactical Air Groups or 355th and 356th Tactical Airlift Squadrons), at Massachusetts’s Westover AFB (the 731st Tactical Air Squadron and 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron), or with the 758th Airlift Squadron in Pittsburgh, during the period 1969 to 1986, and who may have developed an Agent Orange-related disability, are encouraged to file a disability compensation claim through the VA’s eBenefits web portal (https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/), or to seek the free and expert assistance of a national VFW Service     Officer at http://www.vfw.org/NVS/.

Read more about the today’s decision at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/20825/va-expands-disability-benefits-for-air-force-personnel-exposed-to-contaminated-c-123-aircraft/ .

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) has been recognized by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) with the 2015 Summit Award for its Military Caregiver Assistance Program, which incorporates several programs and services that provide practical, meaningful assistance to more than 1 million military family caregivers of disabled veterans.

The Summit Award is ASAE’s highest recognition under The Power of A Awards, given to associations that make exemplary commitments to creating a stronger America. MOAA is one of only six associations chosen for this honor.

MOAA’s Military Caregiver Assistance Program began in 2009 with MOAA’s advocacy work on the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010. As co-chair of The Military Coalition, 32 of the most influential military-family and veteran’s associations in the nation, MOAA helped lead the effort that resulted in passage of this historic caregiver-support legislation.

Following that hallmark success, MOAA was selected to receive an Innovation Grant from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to build “Tips for Lifelong Caregiving,” an online tool specifically addressing the legal and financial needs of military caregivers. Guided by a focus group of 40 military caregivers, MOAA collaborated with several national associations and government departments to create this unique resource. The final product was launched in April 2014 at a White House ceremony keynoted by first lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and former Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

As an adjunct program and in partnership with the American Bar Association and the Public Council Law Center, MOAA coordinated the design and launch of “Lawyers for Heroes,” offering caregivers of disabled veterans pro bono legal assistance. This initiative then formed the basis for “Financial Education for Heroes,” a program partnership providing free financial education services to military family caregivers, that is expected to launch in late July 2015.

“We are honored to be recognized again by ASAE with this distinguished award that reflects the extraordinary and positive impact MOAA programs are having on currently serving uniformed service members and veterans of all ranks and their families and their survivors,” said retired Navy Admiral Norb Ryan Jr., president and CEO of MOAA. “Since early 2013, MOAA has been honored and privileged to be a partner with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation: Caring for Military Families in helping to meet the needs of the military caregivers.”

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