Commander’s Corner (July 2024)

Greetings Comrades,

As we approach the 4th of July holiday, I hope you all have plans to enjoy this special time with family and friends. It’s a perfect opportunity to reflect on the freedoms we cherish and the sacrifices made by so many in the name of freedom.

Meeting Time Change

Please note that due to the Independence Day celebrations, our regular monthly meeting is rescheduled to the second Thursday, which is July 11.

Core Values, Mission, and Vision Statements

Our post members have worked diligently with a facilitator to develop a list of Post 3063 core values and draft mission and vision statements. Leadership will use these statements to guide our strategy for potential redevelopment. We need everyone to take a look at the draft statements and make their top pick for a vision and mission statement by July 10! We’ll review the results and deliberate at the July 11 business meeting.

Volunteers Needed for Ballard SeafoodFest

We need volunteers for the Ballard SeafoodFest on July 13-14. We only had a few volunteers for the Fremont Fair, which created a burden for a couple of us who had to staff the booth nearly the entire weekend. Let’s not do this again. Please step up and write your name down on this volunteer schedule. Thank you in advance to everyone who is willing to take time out from a summer weekend to help!

Upcoming Brunch

Lastly, we’re hosting a brunch on July 20 that will be cooked by our business neighbor, Colt. (He cooked the amazing lasagna for our Vietnam Veterans social.) We’re still working on the menu, but I’ve heard whispers about biscuits and gravy. In the very least, come on out, grab a coffee, and say hi as you start your weekend.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to veterans. Stay safe and happy 4th of July!

In comradeship,
Aly Teeter, Commander

Quartermaster Update (May 2024)

By Harold Hamilton

Hello comrades! We have made it through another VFW year. It’s had its share of ups and downs. Comrades who have moved on to new opportunities and adventures, as well as comrades who have crossed into the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns. Through it all, our constant core has continued to move the post forward. I want to thank Aly for her leadership. I want to honor our trustees and senior members who have been the heart and soul of our post. Let’s also give a special shout-out to our Scottish Swiss army knife, Jan! We may not appreciate how crucial Jan is to the post’s operation.

We are facing a challenge of relevance in the lives of our veterans. We can be at the forefront of addressing this here at the post. We have the membership mix capable of achieving great things. How do we activate it? Yes, the problem is significant but we must not go gently into that dark night of irrelevance. We have work to do. In this coming year, let’s all commit to spreading our mission. In July, we will ask our members to commit to eight hours of service per month and to bring one guest to a social event per quarter.

Service Officer Update (May 2024)

By Joseph Mesa

In 2023, several critical issues concerning veterans have come to the forefront. Some of the key areas:

Disability and Retirement Pay:
1. Last year, Congress passed a significant benefits expansion for veterans affected by toxic exposure injuries during their service.
2. However, the focus this year is on ensuring that veterans who suffered injuries while on duty receive all the compensation they deserve.
3. The issue revolves around concurrent receipt and the Major Richard Star Act.
4. Currently, veterans with a disability rating of at least 50% receive both their full military retirement pay and disability benefits. But those with a disability rating below 50% face dollar-for-dollar offsets, resulting in reduced payments.
5. The Major Richard Star Act aims to allow combat-wounded veterans medically discharged before serving 20 years to receive both retirement and disability pay, without any offsets.

Mental Health Crisis:
1. Veterans experience high rates of mental health conditions, including PTSD, depression, and substance use.
2. Suicides among veterans increased significantly from 2006 to 2020.
3. Innovative treatment strategies are urgently needed, and addressing mental and metabolic health simultaneously may lead to better outcomes.

VA Workforce Challenges:
1. The Department of Veterans Affairs faces a flood of new cases due to the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act(PACT Act).
2. Claims processors are strained, leading to workforce challenges and impacting veterans’ access to services.

Finally, all veterans, including those exposed to toxins and hazards during military service, are now eligible for VA health care. Veterans who are exposed to toxins or hazards during training or active duty in the United States are also eligible. Eligible Veterans can enroll directly in VA health care without needing to apply for VA benefits.

Commander’s Corner (March 2024)

Greetings! I heard I missed out on a fantastic social in February that was put on by Quartermaster Harold “H2” Hamilton. H2 stepped up to represent his hometown of New Orleans with some good grub and Mardi Gras trivia. If you have a special cuisine you like to cook and a theme in mind, please consider volunteering to plan a post social or cook a meeting dinner. Organizing and executing socials have fallen on the shoulders of a few in years past but this model isn’t sustainable. We will discuss more at our March meeting and in the meantime, feel free to send me your thoughts about our socials and how they should look going forward.

For our March social, we plan to honor our Vietnam Veterans in recognition of Vietnam Veterans Day later in the month. Stay tuned for details, which I’ll send out over email.

H2 isn’t only a good social host and cook, but he’s also offered to teach Yoga. He’ll hold a mid-day and evening session this month. It’s open to anyone, for free, so bring a family member or friend and come and experience “Body by Harold.” 

March is the start of spring AND VFW election season. woohoo! Nominations open at the March business meeting and we vote in April. We have a variety of leadership opportunities available so let me know if you’re interested in doing more to help the post. This is truly a team effort!

In comradeship,
Aly Teeter, Commander

Surgeon Update

By Robert Lehman, M.D.

I wanted to let all the veteran members know of a long-term research program you can get involved with.  This is called All of Us, which involves a number of Medical Centers and universities, but for our purposes it is also partnered with the VA.  The goal is to develop a database of information on 1 million people that then can be anonymously accessed by researchers trying to correlate all sorts of genetic and other medical conditions. Your medical information will go into the database, but not your name or any identifying data.

The basic foundation of this is determining your DNA genome.  Whether your DNA might signal an increased (or decreased) risk of some current or future condition is unknown; that is the reason for the database.  I just heard of this program at a Legion meeting last week, completed the online registration, and had my blood drawn on the 26th, so I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of how long the results take to be sent out or even what those results will look like.  But it seems like an easy way to learn about my DNA for free.   Actually, it is even better than free as they give you a $25 gift card to your choice of Amazon or a few others.

To learn more, you can go to  You can then do the multiple modules to register into the program, including playing some “games” that check your reflexes, etc.  Or, after just registering a little bit, you can complete the rest of the process when seen at the VA hospital on Columbia.  Whether you do the full online registration or just partial, you can contact them directly at 206 277-1210 to complete the process.  I should warn you that it took me maybe 30 minutes to do all the online registrations modules, but it would take a lot longer if you waited to do it at the VA itself.  There is a last option after completing the online registration, and that is to have a sputum test sent to you to submit instead of going down for a blood draw.  I went for the blood as I knew it would give more information, but still the sputum is an option if you don’t have transportation down to the VA.

If you don’t have access to the online information, just call them at 206 277-1210 and they can answer your questions as well as send more information out to you if you wish.