Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

University of Akron veterans participating in suicide awareness walk

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Members of American Legion University of Akron Post 808 in Ohio and others will participate in a suicide awareness walk on April 28 at the university.

The April 28 event is one of more than 150 Out of the Darkness suicide awareness campus walks taking place this spring across the country. The walks, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, are aimed at raising funds and awareness alike.

Post 808 Commander Daryll Mauder said they’re hoping “for the biggest turnout yet” for the walk, which will take place at 1 p.m. April 28 at Stile Field House on the University of Akron campus. Those seeking to join the UA Veterans team or to donate can do so by clicking here.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

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The American Legion: Notre Dame is ‘gift to humanity’

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American Legion National Commander Brett P. Reistad expressed his condolences to the people of France in a statement issued today following the recent fire at Notre Dame cathedral.

“On behalf of the entire American Legion Family, I offer condolences to the people of France for the tragic fire that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral,” Reistad said. “The American Legion was founded in Paris. We still maintain an American Legion presence there. We will always have a strong connection to the nation that aided us during our revolution and has been a strong ally ever since.

"For eight centuries Notre Dame has been France’s gift to humanity. We are grateful for the brave firefighters who prevented this precious landmark from becoming a total loss. In June, I will visit France to participate in D-Day observances. I plan to personally convey my condolences to the many French officials and citizens that I will meet during my visit to that great country. Let there be no doubt that this nation that has seen so much destruction over two world wars will rebuild this magnificent structure.”

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Festival air

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On April 11, the American Legion Post 519 Amateur Radio Club put up a booth at the Palm Springs (Calif.) Village Fest. We had a radio set up with UHF/VHF/HF and encouraged the public to stop by. We had over 100 veterans, family members and curious tourists stop by to thank us for our service and inquire about The American Legion. All children passing by received an American flag – we had 1,000 flags to begin with and ran out halfway through. We even got several youngsters and adults on the air. It was a great night.

Mid-April brings the Coachella music festival, with over 100,000 concertgoers in town for a two-weekend extravaganza. Pop Up Palm Springs is a brand-new event taking place on April 16 between the festival weekends. Main Street Palm Springs, the association of Uptown and Downtown Palm Springs businesses, invites local businesses to host an on-site special event, and Post 519 is a participant. We are still finalizing details, but currently our plans include a tour of our historic post including the restored Amateur Radio Room (K6TAL), a lecture on the history of the post, and maybe a lecture on our Palm Springs fallen heroes. For more information, visit or call (760) 325-6229.

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American Legion to attend Tattoo festival next week

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The 23rd annual Virginia International Tattoo – a world-class event in Norfolk that that draws in more than 45,000 people to honor America’s military, patriotism and freedom through music, marching, pageantry, panel discussions and more – gets underway Thursday, April 25 in Norfolk, Va., at the Scope Arena. The American Legion will have two distinguished American Legion women at this year’s celebration with its theme "Celebrating Women in Service to the Nation."

American Legion Past National Commander Denise Rohan and American Legion 100th Anniversary Honorary Committee member Diane Carlson Evans, a Vietnam War combat nurse, will be present at the Tattoo. And The American Legion will display its four-panel “100 Years for God and Country” chronology exhibit at the festival where hundreds of other exhibitors and vendors will be present.

Rohan and Evans will attend the NATO flag raising ceremony the evening of April 25 and participate in the Courage, Commitment and Leadership Forum: Extraordinary Women of the U.S. Military on Friday, April 26, from 1:30-3 p.m. inside the Scope Arena. The event is free and open to the public. Rohan and Evans also will be recognized and honored during the Tattoo Finale later that evening.

Other events where they will be in attendance include the 66th annual Parade of Nations on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m.

The Virginia International Tattoo began in 1997, and is the signature event of the Virginia Arts Festival with over 1,000 performers from around the world. The attraction draws in people from over 45 states and more than eight nations to watch “the largest spectacle of music and might in the United States,” with a display of military music, massed pipes and drums, drill teams, heavy athletics, colorful dances, and much more.

For more information on the 2019 Virginia International Tattoo and how to attend, please visit

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USAA Tips: How to deliver unwelcome news to your boss

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Content provided courtesy of USAA | By Chad Storlie

In both the military and in business, no one likes to be surprised by bad news and no one likes to deliver bad news. Yet, delivering bad news to your boss is a sign of being a great business leader and a solid leader in both good times and bad. Candor, trust, timeliness, and honesty are all signs of a great leader. There is no better test of your leadership qualities than being able to deliver bad news.

Follow these tips to help deliver bad or unwelcome news in a way that is professional.

1. Understand Your Boss’s Priorities. Many times, bad news or off-goal business results which surprise business leaders come from not understanding the priorities of your immediate and next higher-level business leader. Remember that adage of military planning: know the mission of your leaders one and two levels up? The same goes for the business and the civilian world. If you know what is vitally important to your leaders, then the minute anything looks amiss to achieving those goals, you can reach out with information, context, and a revised plan to put their goals back on track. The bottom line: understand the priorities of your immediate and next higher business leaders.

2. Have a Regular and Standardized Way to Report on Business Priorities. Things seldom go wrong in the military or in business from a “perfect” or “on plan” state to a situation of pure disaster. Rather, individuals tend to lose focus on checking on priorities in a consistent manner. Then, when they revisit their priorities and the project status, they are surprised that progress or the situation has deteriorated. To prevent this from happening, have your boss and anyone else senior in the project approve a standard methodology for assessing success and schedule standard updates for the project. This way, there are no surprises on a project's progress (or lack of progress), and everyone agrees on how to evaluate the project’s success (or lack of success). The bottom line: having an agreed upon way to evaluate and measure a project’s success is an integral way to ensure no surprises.

3. Inform Your Boss of the Bad News in a First Report Within 15 Minutes. No one likes to be the last one to hear bad news. When you first hear of bad news, gather as much information as you can in 15 minutes and then go inform your boss. In all organizations, bad news and the rumors that bad news creates travel very fast. In addition, the first reports of bad news tend to miss key facts and other information almost always. After informing your boss and before you leave them, ask when they need additional information and / or a plan on how to react to the situation. Be sure to give your boss written information and a brief timeline to provide to his / her superior. The bottom line: don’t let bad news become worse by not informing your boss immediately. Come to your boss within 15 minutes with a first report of the situation.

4. Don’t Just Rush Back in with 25% of the Information and No Plan. The thing that bosses hate most after being surprised by bad information is when they are given no plan to repair a bad situation. Plans go wrong all the time, but uncorrected initial information combined with no plan to rectify the current situation can make a boss go over the “red” line quickly. After first informing your boss about the bad news, then go back out to gather and to reconfirm the bad news. Most importantly, start to put together a plan or strategic options how to react to the bad news. The bottom line: When you hear bad news then do your best to confirm the information, gather additional facts, and create a plan for your boss how to react to the bad news to get back on plan.

5. Don’t Forget About Your Other Priorities. A classic response in both military and corporate settings is to over-react to the bad news and start to focus 100 percent of the organization on just that problem. Instead, ensure that your other priorities, projects, and plans are in a good situation, progressing, and not showing any possible related problems. The bottom line: don’t overreact in your responses to the bad news and stop being successful on your other projects. Remember that success comes from multiple projects and one piece of bad news should not deter your strategic focus.

Preparing for bad news is the first step to ensuring a successful project. No matter the amount of planning, bad news will always and will continue to happen. Make sure that you have a regular time and process to inform your boss on the current state of your project. And, when bad news does occur, make sure you inform your boss as soon as possible, have a plan to rectify the situation, and make sure you remember and succeed on your other priorities.

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