Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

USAA Tips: 5 ways to demonstrate you are ready for a career promotion

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Content provided courtesy of USAA | By Chad Storlie

We all want to be promoted. More money, more training, a bigger team to lead, more responsibility, more executive visibility, and one step closer to an even bigger job are just a few of the things that we think about when we hope and try for a promotion. Unfortunately, we cannot always be successful to secure a promotion. Organizations reduce head count, promotions go to other peers, businesses reorganize to react to customer and economic changes, and specific employees can be directly placed into new assignments that we want.

Follow these tips to find ways to take on additional responsibility and visibility to highlight your readiness, ability, and leadership to take that next step in a promotion.

Complete a Project No One is Working.

Initiative is a great way to demonstrate your readiness and abilities for a promotion. Finding a new project the company needs and that you have the ability to complete without jeopardizing your current responsibilities is a fantastic way to demonstrate your abilities. Most employees will need to do a significant amount of research to talk to superiors to find a project, but the internal discussions are well worth the time to find a project that is internally supported and of value to the company.

Teach a Class to Employees.

Every employee in a company has a skill or skill sets that others in the company can benefit from knowing. This is another project where discussions with internal leaders, peers, and other employees can help you find 2-3 ideas on skill sets that you know and that others want to know how to do. This can be a skill from the time in military service or an overview of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.

Volunteer Within an ERG.

Employee Resource Groups or ERG’s are diversity groups that incorporate minority employee groups and align those groups to company initiatives and strategies. ERG’s have member development groups, annual conferences, and ways to help group members get promoted. Working on an ERG project gets visibility, helps peers develop, and gets you visibility from company senior leaders.

Find New Customers For Your Company.

Every single company wants to grow as much as they can. Conducting a marketing study for your company, determining ways to produce products at a lower cost, and finding new markets for existing products are ways to create a big impression. Additionally, finding ways to help your company’s customers have a better experience with your company makes your customers happy and your company perform better with customers. This project requires good internal coordination and discussion, but helping your company improve is an amazing way to make a positive impression.

Ask Your Boss for More Responsibility.

Asking your boss for the opportunity to do more in your current job is probably one of the best ways to get a very favorable assessment from your boss. This also gives you a great opportunity to have a strategic discussion with your boss to discuss their goals, what the boss’s boss says, and have a back and forth on what your team requires to be successful.

These five tips are just a few ideas for you to take on more responsibility, find new ways to deliver value to your company, and give employees new skill sets that will help their careers. Promotions come and go. Acting, leading, and serving as an employee that is ready, willing, and able to take on additional responsibility shows that you are the person the company needs to look at for your company’s current and future success.

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'You are a true American hero, and you are a true French hero'

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More than a year after a landmine ended his time on the frontlines of World War II, Jimmie Royer’s leg was still in pain.

“I was having trouble standing on it,” Royer recalled. “I went and asked the surgeon, he said, ‘I wouldn’t touch that again, you wear your Ace bandage and go home and stay off it.’ I got in the car and put my head on that steering wheel, I said, ‘Lord, I’m leaving everything up to you, I’m not worried about a thing anymore, but I don’t plan on being a cripple.’

“So I went home and got barbells and started doing deep knee exercises. I had to put my heels on a 2x4 because I couldn’t bend my ankles. So I got to where I could stand on my leg. I thank the Lord every day, because I’m not a cripple now,” he said.

There was little sign that Royer, 94, had ever had trouble standing as he accepted France’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor, during a Sept. 29 ceremony at Wayne Newton American Legion Post 346 in Terre Haute, Ind.

Royer, while serving in the Army’s 106th Cavalry during World War II, was injured by a landmine during the Lorraine Forest campaign, on Oct. 27, 1944. Royer recalled his experience in the hospital at Marseilles a week after the injury.

“I took a spit bath and shaved, and as soon as I got done, the nurse came to take the water away and I got nauseated. That bed started spinning around like a top,” he said.

Royer was bleeding out: “Every time they would build my blood volume up, I would bleed. When it was down, I wouldn’t bleed.” Doctors couldn’t find the source, but an operation the night before Thanksgiving seemed to do the trick.

“They took me down and put me on the operating table, cut the bandages, and when they cut that bandage, the blood flew to the ceiling. They slapped a tourniquet on me and ether on me and everything went black. But the pain was gone,” Royer said. “I woke up the next morning and I couldn’t bend my arm, it was tied down to the bed with enough blood going in there, and there was something going in this arm. They had started blood in me that night, all Thanksgiving day, all Thanksgiving night and part of the next day. Eight quarts and 1 ½ pints of blood they give me in that time.”

Royer was told the hospital had to ask for donations of blood from the French people because he needed so much. “So I have some French blood in me,” he joked.

Royer had more complications from his wounds after his return to the U.S. But the devout Royer put his trust in God — and exercise.

On Sunday, the spry 94-year-old sat beside his wife of 73 years, Ruby, as family and friends congratulated him and dignitaries saluted him.

Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General of France in Chicago, presented Royer with the Legion of Honor on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron. Lacroix spoke of France’s gratitude to the U.S. for its help in freeing the country from Nazi rule.

“You are a true American hero, and you are a true French hero,” Lacroix told Royer.

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett proclaimed Sept. 29 “Jimmie H. Royer Day” in the city, and Paul Fagin of Post 281 in nearby Cloverdale presented Royer with a challenge coin.

Representing Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana War Memorial Commission Executive Director Stewart Goodwin praised Royer and his generation for shaping and saving the world.

“The fact of the matter is, if the World War II people didn’t do what they did, we’re not here today, and we’re sure as hell not speaking English,” Goodwin said. “The reason we have the freedoms we have today, are because of his generation, and because of the sacrifices that they made.”

As for Royer, who previously received the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon with three Bronze Stars, receiving the Legion of Honor was “beyond my wildest dreams.”

“I never thought about getting anything like this,” he said. “I’m so thankful.”

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Call to fall FODPAL meeting

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FODPAL President James Settle has called for the fall FODPAL meeting to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, at 0730 in Room 301, National Headquarters in Indianapolis.

All FODPAL officers and NECmen are expected to attend. Other FODPAL members (commanders/adjutants) attending the fall C&A meetings are welcome and very much encouraged to attend.


Alaska 2020

Philippines 2019

France 2020

Hawaii 2019

Mexico 2019

Puerto Rico 2020

China Post 1 2024

Montreal Post 1 0

Toronto Post 5 2020

Fort Pepperrell Post CN09 0

Tony Matthews Post CN18 0

Calgary Alberta Post CN20 2018

Charles A. Dunn Post CN75 2019

If you owe FODPAL dues, please mail them to

Doug Haggan

5712 Riva Ridge Dr.

Indianapolis, IN 46237


$40.00 for a department

$15.00 for a post

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Department chaplains learn about SAVE for suicide prevention

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Christa Sutton, a suicide prevention case manager and community outreach specialist at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, shared with American Legion department chaplains during their conference Sept. 21 that on average, there are 764 suicide attempts per month among veterans receiving recent VA health care services.

Suicide is a “public health crisis, and we need everyone on board,” said Sutton. “We believe clergy and religious leaders are an important link to helping their congregants get the mental health care they need. We believe you may be the first person (veterans) turn to for comfort, guidance and help when they are facing mental health issues.” Sutton added that health issues can be depression, anxiety or thoughts of suicide.

Sutton shared one of the VA’s many suicide prevention efforts, which is SAVE: signs, ask, validate and encourage. The acronym can be used to help American Legion chaplains remember the important steps to suicide prevention:

- Signs of suicidal thinking should be recognized (ex. withdrawing from family and friends; looking for ways to die; talking about death, dying or suicide; feeling like there’s no reason to live; anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness or mood swings). “We want to take all comments regarding suicide seriously and address it like it is a crisis. That’s what it is,” Sutton said.

- Ask the most important question of all – “’Are you thinking about killing yourself?’ It’s a difficult thing to say if you haven’t had to ask that question. But it’s very important to ask clearly and concisely,” Sutton said. “Have a level of comfort asking that so it doesn’t make that person feel like they’re being judged. Because there’s a lot of shame that comes along with admitting that, like I’m not strong enough, saying that makes me weak.”

- Validate the veterans experience (ex. recognize that the situation is serious; do not pass judgment; reassure that help is available).

- Encourage treatment and expedite getting help. “The intention is not for you to make a diagnosis, we do not expect you to treat that person from a mental health professional standpoint,” Sutton said. “Get them to seek help immediately, whether that be to the ER or calling the Veterans Crisis Line.”

Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 for veterans, text to 838255, or chat online at to receive confidential crisis intervention and support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“There’s a licensed professional on the other end of that phone who will talk to that person, who will assess that person, put a safety plan in place with them and help them get with their VA or linked with community resources,” Sutton said. “Or you can call (the Veterans Crisis Line) and say ‘Hey, I’m not sure what to do here.’ They will help.

“You have the power to change thousands of (veterans) lives.”

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North Carolina Post 48 provides youth marksmanship opportunities

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The parents of Katie Ezell wanted her to go to college on a shooting scholarship. So they approached Harry Flynn with American Legion Post 48 in Newton, N.C., about getting her involved in the post’s Junior Shooting Sports air rifle program. Within three years of her participation on Post 48’s team, Ezell was named the 2018 and 2019 North Carolina American Legion Air Rifle Precision State Champion, was one of 15 precision finalists to participate in The American Legion’s 2019 national air rifle tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo., in July, and was a 2019 National Junior Olympic competitor in Colorado Springs.

She is now on Ohio State University’s rifle team.

“All we did is open a door to provide opportunity for athletes like Katie to go to college on a shooting scholarship,” Flynn shared with attendees of The American Legion Junior Shooting Sport Conference in Indianapolis Sept. 21. “(With all of The American Legion’s programs) we are in the youth development business. That’s what we are. We are developing youth for the future.”

Upon returning from the Legion’s national tournament in Colorado, Katie’s mother, Shari, wrote a letter of appreciation to Flynn. In part the letter read,

“It was amazing experiences, amazing talent, amazing friendships, amazing support, Katie has told me she will never forget this opportunity.

“Thank you Post 48 for all you do to support the youth in our community. Your time, effort and dedication is shaping a strong future for America. You are making a difference when our nation greatly needs it.

“Harry Flynn, a special thank you for all you do to grow the shooting sport not only in our community but our state as a whole. Katie’s success these coming years was built from a foundation set by The (American Legion) programs!”

Flynn said that for new and advanced Post 48 athletes like Katie, they will loan out the air rifle equipment instead of having athletes purchase it right away, just to make sure this is the direction they want to go in. The athlete takes the equipment home; however, the parents and athlete sign a form stating they are responsible for the equipment and any damages that occur, aside from the usual wear and tear.

Flynn concluded his remarks that in order to have a thriving American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program, you have to “set your goals, make your plan, work your plan … if you put good things into the program, you’ll get great success out of the program. That’s what we’ve done in North Carolina. We started with an empty box of nothing, we put tools in the box and good people, now we have a successful program. If you are not committed and dedicated, it will not work.”

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