Feb
18

SHARE Initiative Video from Mid-Winter Meeting

Feb
06

Georgia’s World War I Commission

vfw-donation

 

On Friday, 3 February, 2017 the Veterans of Wars Department of Georgia presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to Georgia’s World War I Commission.  Created by an act of the 2015 Georgia General Assembly and signed into existence by Gov. Nathan Deal on May 5, 2016. the Georgia Commission is charged with developing a program that educates all Georgians about the significance of WWI in world history and the role Georgians played in that war; honors those Georgians who sacrificed so much for their state and country; and properly commemorates the people, places, and events within Georgia that contributed to the liberation of war-torn Europe.
 
Pictured left to right are WWI Commission advisory member Keith Antonia and Commission Chairman Dr. Billy Wells, VFW Department of Georgia appointee as a Strategic Partner representing our Department, Past State Commander Al Lipphardt, University of North Georgia Military Science Department Commander Colonel Brent Cummings and Executive Officer Major Steve Devitt.  Unavailable to attend the presentation were Department of Georgia State Commander Bill Sandberg and WWI Commission member, Mr. Rick Elder appointed by Governor Deal.  Rick is a member of VFW Post 7116, Sylvania, Georgia. 
 
Two noteworthy items are, first, this is only the beginning of VFW Department of Georgia and Auxiliary’s financial and active support in engaging our members, as our charter directs, “To Perpetuate the Memory and History of Our Dead”.  What happens when you engage the community? Welcome to four of the newest VFW members.  Post 12002 North Fulton, Georgia will be welcoming these four men in the photo who are VFW eligible and enthusiastically applying to join our organization when asked.  Why did they join?  As combat veterans they know “No One Does More For Veterans Than The Veterans of Foreign Wars…….No One!
 
“Believe In What You Do – Do What You Believe In”
 
Yours in Comradeship and Service,
Al Lipphardt

Feb
05

VFW honors first responders

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Every year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars recognizes members of the Police and Fire Departments with a Safety Recognition Award.

Friday afternoon, Newnan’s Tom Fetchet of VFW Post 2667 presented awards to members from the Newnan Fire Department and Newnan Police Department. 

Award winners must have demonstrated recognition by their colleagues or those they serve, consistent excellence in the performance of their duties, and consistent dedication to their official responsibilities over a period of years and continuous growth in responsibilities and skills within their profession.

Lt. Bart Henson from the Newnan Fire Department was honored for his leadership of new recruits in the department and for helping save the life of two victims of cardiac arrest on the same day in May of 2016. 

“Henson personifies the Harvey Firestone saying, ‘The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership,’” Fetchet said. “The leadership he instills in young firefighters is building the future of the Newnan Fire Department.”

Henson also is a volunteer coordinator for all firefighter funerals. The funeral for retired Chief Wesley Meadows in December included transporting the casket on a vintage fire truck from downtown Newnan to Forest Lawn Cemetery. 

“It may sound like a small task, but working with a grieving family is a delicate situation,” Fetchet said. “Henson offers the support of the Newnan Fire Department with respect and dignity.”

Officer Charles Cox from the Newnan Police Department was honored for his proactive attitude toward policing – balancing aggressive patrols in high-crime areas while being an ambassador of goodwill among the community.

He played a role in saving a suicidal woman last December. Upon arriving at the residence, Cox heard a car running inside the closed garage attached to the house. When he entered the home and went into the garage, he found a woman sitting inside the car with the doors locked. 

As he approached the car, the female showed him a handgun and pointed it at her head, according to Fetchet. When Cox attempted to open the garage door, he found it padlocked. 

Realizing the situation, he directed an officer to keep an eye on the victim while he forced the door open with another officer. 

Cox then broke the window of the car and took the victim into the fresh air and stayed with her until emergency medical services arrived. 

Police Chief D.L. “Buster” Meadows praised both the police and fire award recipients.
“You both set good examples, but everyone here today does a great job,” he said. “We appreciate what you do, and Newnan is fortunate to have y’all here in the community.”

Fire Chief David Whitley echoed Meadows’ sentiments. 

“With Chief Meadows, we’ve never had any problems, and we back y’all 100 percent,” Whitley said. “We’re lucky to have you.”

Tuesday, the county version of the same awards will be presented at the County Administration Building to honor sheriff’s deputies and county firefighters before the county commission meeting at 6 p.m.  

Feb
04

Americanism Chairman Update

Comrades, you have been working hard on your Americanism reporting and I appreciate it. As a Department, you have logged more than 50,000 hours, traveled over 164,000 miles and contributed over $148,000.

We are almost to the end of this reporting year – February, March and April are the months that remain. Kudos to Post 4742 Cordele for submitting 108 reports.  You can click on Tools and Online Program Reporting ( http://ga.vfwportal.net/public/ )  to see what your post has reported thus far. Notify your commander  of your activities so it can get reported to give your post the credit it deserves.

In case you forgot the Americanism categories, here they are.

Loyalty Day

Memorial Day

Flag Day

Independence Day

Patriot Day

POW/MIA Day

VFW Day

Wreaths Across America

Veteran’s Day

Pearl Harbor Day

Buddy Poppy Program

Flag Presentation

Flag Raising

Color/Honor Guard

Participated in Patriotic Assembly

Conduct Flag Education

Parades

Get Out The Vote

Distribute Patriotic Literature

Flag Disposal

Teacher Nomination Forward to District

Other Americanism Projects

 

Your Department Officers thank you for your support if the Americanism program. If you have any questions, please contact me.

 

Yours in Comradeship,

Charles A. (Tony) Dobbins

Americanism Chair

Department of Georgia

Feb
03

Department Of Georgia VFW Raffle

2017-raffle

 

** NOTE **

RULES AND REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN POSTED ON THE WEBSITE FOR VIEWING AND DOWNLOAD

http://vfwga.org/state-vfw-raffle/

Feb
03

VFW National Legislative Committee Department of Georgia New Year Message

Al Lipphardt, VFW National Legislative Committee Vice Chairman 2016-2017

Now is not the time to sit back and wait for the new Congress and Administration to act.

In the January 2017 printing of the VFW Magazine our Veterans of Foreign Wars National Legislative Director, Ray Kelley says we must continue to tell Congress what veterans need in 2017. “January 3, 2017, marks the beginning of the 115th Congress.  During their campaigns, many of our elected officials promised to take care of veterans, service members and their families” said Director Kelley.  He continued by saying “Campaign promises don’t provide the health care and benefits veterans have earned and deserve.  It takes constant pressure from advocates to turn these promises into reality.”

Several years ago, the VFW Department of Georgia appointees to our National Legislative Committee began a concentrated focus of holding our Congressmen and Senators accountable, not for their rhetoric, but reporting their actions.  Blind partisanship can no longer be tolerated.  The “we” and “they” must translate into “us”.  That kind of division has created much of the gridlock that exists in Washington today.  The voice of the veteran must be heard.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States IS that voice and it has been since the beginnings of our organization.  VFW National leadership has transitioned from a “going along to getting along” attitude to stronger positions on legislation affecting veterans.  This has been achieved because our members are demanding action.  The “Action Corps” has been a positive tool in translating numbers into voices.  If you have not signed up, do so today and you will receive the “Action Corps Weekly via email.  Go to www.vfw.org/advocacy/grassroots-efforts

The VFW’s reputation for strong legislative advocacy, but more importantly, for our success in that advocacy, began in the 1930s by forcing Congress and the President to provide WWI veterans access to their war bonus, which were to be paid in 1945.  The Armistice was signed November 11, 1918 bringing an end to “the war to end all wars”.  The price of that war paid by those engaged on the ground, in the air and on water was the last breath by many but visible and invisible scars by all.  The bonus promised by politicians was to be paid long after the conflict resulting in many veterans dying before they received the promise made.  It is a historical fact, that with VFW support, and after marches and violent encounters with police and the military, Congress passed legislation to pay the full amount of the bonus in 1936.  VFW members stood up and demanded that the government deliver on its promise.  No one, and I do mean no one understands the inhumanity of war and the physical wounds and mental scars of armed conflict more than those engaged in battle.

Bold action to support the 115th Congress is needed and required.  I dare say combat veterans would do anything to avoid conflict, but we must no longer do nothing.   Someone asked me the other day, “Where are the teeth in the VFW when it comes to legislative advocacy?”  It’s in your voice and the teeth are in your mouth.  If you won’t take a “bite”, then you are just bumping your gums. 

Now is not the time to sit back and wait for the new Congress and Administration to act.

Jan
29

David Poythress, 73: General became a leader in state government

david-poythress

David Poythress didn’t fit the political mold.

He would read scholarly articles and listen to classical music as he crisscrossed Georgia running for statewide office, said George Langford, a former employee and friend of more than 30 years.

“And nobody has a resume like him in state government,” Langford said.

David Bryan Poythress — attorney, a two-time candidate for governor and commander of the Georgia Army and Air National Guard during the Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnian wars — died Jan. 15, while seeking medical treatment for a longtime lung illness. He was 73.

Although he never reached his goal of governor, Poythress parlayed smarts and ambition into several high-level state jobs: deputy revenue commissioner; assistant attorney general; state labor commissioner; secretary of state, and the first commissioner of the state Department of Medical Assistance.

DuBose Porter, a former legislator and Georgia Democratic Party chairman, said few can compare with Poythress. “When his nation or community called, he always answered,” Porter said. “He was an accomplished, noble patriot driven by the credo of ‘do the most good.’ ”

Poythress was born in Bibb County on Oct. 24, 1943 to John Maynor Poythress, head of Macon’s water department, and Dorothy Bayne Poythress, a school teacher and the founder of the state’s special education program.

He received his political science degree, law degree and commission as a U.S. Air Force officer at Emory University in the 1960s.

Poythress entered active duty as an assistant staff judge advocate at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Texas in 1967. He served four years on active duty, volunteering for service in Vietnam and spending a year as defense counsel and chief of military justice at Da Nang Air Base. After active duty, he continued in the Air Force Reserve, retiring in 1998 with the rank of brigadier general.

Before seeking elected office, Poythress was an assistant attorney general, deputy state revenue commissioner and chairman of a study committee Gov.George Busbee appointed to tackle the thorny issue of nursing home reimbursements from Medicaid. This and his subsequent work on Medicaid led to him being nicknamed the “Mr. Fix It” of state government.

In 1979, Busbee appointed Poythress secretary of state after the death of the legendary incumbent, Ben Forston.

Poythress ran for a full term as secretary of state in 1982 but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Max Cleland, a popular, decorated and disabled Vietnam veteran who would go on to run the Veterans Admistration and serve in the U.S. Senate. Poythress took a 10-year break from politics and practiced tax law in Atlanta.

He jumped back into politics in 1992 and won a special statewide election for labor commissioner against Democratic incumbent Al Scott of Savannah. In 1994, he was elected to a full four-year term as labor commissioner.

In 1999, Gov. Roy Barnes appointed Poythress to lead the Georgia Army and Air National Guard. Gov. Sonny Perdue reappointed him in 2002, promoting him to lieutenant general and making him the state’s first three-star adjutant general.

Langford said Poythress “wasn’t fluff and bluster. He was straight ahead and get the job done.” He said Poythress’ interest in politics grew out of “his love of government and his country. He believed in institutions – the military, state government, federal government, the Democratic Party and organized labor.”

“He had a work ethic that never stopped, which he also expected from everybody that was close to him,” Langford said.

Scott Holcomb, an attorney and Democratic state representative from Atlanta, said Poythress “had a heart for service, and he led by example. He cared deeply about our service members and worked hard to promote our nation’s democratic ideals.”

Poythress’ wife, Elizabeth, said her husband strived to make things better for the agencies and employees he oversaw.

“Integrity, honesty and duty before self were his guiding principles,” she said. “He was a great father, incredible grandfather, devoted husband and friend and unwavering patriot.” Poythress was on several boards and was vice chairman of the Board of the National Guard Association of the United States and a two-term chairman of the Board of the State YMCA of Georgia.

He recently worked as a consultant and adviser to international companies in the defense industry.

His survivors include his wife Elizabeth, sister Eva Higgins, son Cullen Gray Poythress, stepdaughters Candace Pinnisi and Kristin Placito, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Jan
23

“” ATTENTION ALL COMRADES The VFW “We Care” fund disaster relief “”

“” ATTENTION “”

South Georgia VFW Comrades . Our prayers go out to you now and assistance to help you overcome the devastation brought by these storms on you and your neighbors. The VFW “We Care” fund disaster relief are for your material needs. More importantly are the prayers offered for your safety and recovery. God bless you and know we are here for you.

In Comradeship
William (Bill) Sandberg
State Commander
Department of Georgia

“We Care Fund”Committee:

Chairman
James R. (Randy) Coggins, (H) 770-961-1497 (C) 770-827-1111 (Email)
randycoggins@att.net

Member:
John F. Gwizdak, (H) 706-846-5699
(C) 404-317-8668 (Email) qmgavfw@yahoo.com

Also You Contact Our State Department Office At
(478)474-3737 For Further Assistance

Dec
01

VFW Seeking Nominations for VA Volunteers of the Year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Each year, thousands of members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States volunteer their time at local Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities to help ensure their fellow veterans receive the compassion and support they deserve. The VFW again wants to recognize their selfless contributions as VA Volunteers of the Year, nominations for which must be submitted in writing to the VFW’s National Veterans Service directorate by December 9, 2016.VFW Seeking Nominations for VA Volunteers of the Year

“Our selfless volunteers have been making an immeasurable difference in the lives of countless veterans since the VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) program was established back in 1946,” said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. “Whether they’re delivering cards and candy, hosting movie nights and other events, or just simply lending an ear, these extraordinary individuals have earned the utmost respect and appreciation of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for their dedication to America’s veterans and deserve our praise and recognition.”  

Of the nominees, one male and one female volunteer will receive the honor of being named VA Volunteers of the Year for the extraordinary volunteer services they have provided to our nation’s veterans. Nominees must be regularly-scheduled volunteers who participate in established VFW assignments through the VAVS program at a qualifying facility or program. These can include VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, veterans’ community living centers, homeless veterans’ programs, and programs or services for veterans confined to their homes, as well as other community functions and events recognized by VAVS. 

Dale Henry, of VFW Post 8884 in Vinton, Iowa, and Mariann Hamann, of VFW Post 7546 Auxiliary in Dearborn Heights, Mich., were honored as last year’s award recipients. Henry contributed nearly 2,100 volunteer hours over four years with the Iowa City VA Healthcare System, and Hamann volunteered more than 700 hours to Ann Arbor’s VA Healthcare System over one year.

Nominations for the VFW’s VA Volunteers of the Year must be submitted in narrative format not to exceed 500 words, with the name of the nominee and the VFW marked in the upper left-hand corner, and also include a completed nomination support form. Nominations must be sent to James Moss, VFW National Veterans Service assistant director for health policy, by close of business Dec. 9, 2016. Nominations can be submitted electronically to jmoss@vfw.orgor by mail to VFW National Veterans Service, Attn: James Moss, 200 Maryland Ave., NE, Washington, D.C. 20002. 

To learn more about the VAVS program and how to become a VFW volunteer, visit www.vfw.org/VolunteerService

Nov
09

Change to the Format of the Website

You may have noticed that we have changed the layout of the VFW Department of Georgia website so that the front of is now a list of articles – a Blog. We hope this new feature is a useful way to share information across the Department of Georgia. All of the other features and pages you use are still there.

Check back here regularly as we work to keep you updated on what is happening in and around the Department of Georgia. Thank-you for all you do for veterans!