Show cover of #StillServing: The VFW Podcast

#StillServing: The VFW Podcast

#StillServing: The VFW Podcast is the official podcast of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the oldest combat veterans service organization advocating for and serving our veterans, service members and military families worldwide. #StillServing will feature interviews, one-of-a-kind perspectives and insightful conversations concerning veteran legislation, educational and financial assistance programs, national veterans’ services, critical initiatives from the VFW National Commander, and much more.

Tracks

Landmark Legislation: a Discussion About the PACT Act with Jon Stewart
A little more than a month has passed since the landmark legislation of the PACT Act was signed into law by President Biden at the White House. It was a much-celebrated win for many of the VSOs and for veteran advocates who worked hard for so long to get a bill passed in Congress to finally award veterans the benefits and care they need after suffering for so long with the effects of toxic exposure during their military service.   Recently, Host Rob Couture had the unique opportunity to host and moderate a discussion on the PACT Act with Director of National Legislative Service, Pat Murray, Assistant Director of National Legislative Service Kristina Keenan, and veteran advocate and comedian Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart, veteran advocate, comedian, and host of Apple TV's The Problem with Jon Stewart, Pat Murray, Director of National Legislative Service, and Kristina Keenan, Assistant Director, National Legislative Service   Jon shares his thoughts on 9/11 and the brave men and women who continue to be affected by the event. [2:31]   Jon answers Rob’s questions about the unity and focus of Americans since 9/11. [5:40]   Kristina was surprised at the time it took to tackle toxic exposure issues for veterans from Vietnam to today. [7:24]   Along with an inspiring grassroots effort by veterans, Pat was instrumental in solidifying multiple pieces of toxic exposure legislation into the PACT Act. [10:12]   Jon, Kristina, and Pat describe how the advocates circumvented the processes in place designed to delay or deny what veterans needed. [28:15]   Kristina and Pat share the emotional release felt when the legislation finally became law. [38:15]   What the VFW can do to ensure the bill is implemented swiftly and correctly. [45:29]   Kristina shares her final thoughts on toxic exposure legislation. [47:53]   For more information or to continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story National Veterans Services — Claims Help  
54:03 09/14/2022
On Location: The VFW 123rd National Convention in Kansas City
The 123rd VFW National Convention just concluded at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City Missouri. It was the first time the convention has been back in full swing since 2019. One of the new things was an exhibit sound stage in the exhibit hall where #StillServing Podcast Host Rob Couture had the pleasure of interviewing sponsors, exhibitors, comrades, and special guests. Ryan Gallucci, Director of the VFW’s National Veteran Service   Ryan describes all of the available services at the convention including the Claims Clinic and Health Fair provided by the NVS. [2:29]   How the NVS and VFW help veterans understand the full breadth of benefits available to them. [5:33]   The delegates function as the governing body but each VFW member has a voice in how decisions are made. [7:55]   Joe Bailey, President of Bridgestone’s BRAVO Employee Research Group Joe shares his military background and his civilian career history. [11:21]   The BRAVO initiative supports veterans with career-based transition services and more. [12:19]   Firestone Direct is a new program that offers on-site mobile services directly from mobile specialists. [15:48] Clayton Smith, Senior Director for Sales at Twisted X     Clayton spoke at the convention in place of Twisted X’s President, Prasad Reddy. [20:50]   In 2005, Twisted X morphed from cowboy gear to lifestyle and casual styles. [23:17]   To be more sustainable, Twisted X developed a fabric made from discarded plastic water bottles. [24:54]   Twisted X is a proud sponsor of the voice of democracy scholarship program and the Tough Enough to Wear Pink program. [28:43]   Honorable Denis McDonough, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs   During the convention, Denis discussed the partnership VA has with the VFW organization. [31:35]   Denis shares what VFW can expect for the next year regarding the PACT act. [33:47] Kelly McKeague, Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA)   Kelly vehemently thanks the VFW for the time and effort they put forth finding, identifying, and recovering POW/MIA military members. [37:28]   Raising the nation’s consciousness about National POW/MIA Recognition Day. [40:47]   Kelly describes the various methods that connect families to the remains of their beloved service members. [43:01]   Johnny Webb was awarded a gold medal for his well-established dedication to the DPAA. [44:36] Aaron McCoy, Regional Veteran Executive for Humana   Aaron is a life member of the VFW Post #3345 and served in the Army and National Guard. [48:36]   Humana donated $25,000 to the VFW’s Unmet Needs Program and helps educate veterans about their medical benefits. [49:52]   At the convention, Humana sponsors two booths to show their gratitude to the VFW organization. [53:16]   Humana also partners with the service officers of the NVS to enhance their veterans’ service offerings. [55:40]   To address food insecurity, Humana joins forces with the VFW for the Uniting to Combat Hunger campaign [57:15]   Chris Ward, Public Affairs Manager for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)   Chris describes the changes and new benefits available to veterans as part of the AAFES. [1:00:06]   The AAFES currently has a robust hiring program for veterans and military spouses. [1:02:56]   Teddy Robb, country music recording artist   Teddy describes his experience at the VFW National Convention [1:07:13]   Leaving football behind in Akron, Ohio, Teddy got his recording career started in Nashville, Tennessee. [1:10:15]   In his song, “Heaven on Dirt,” Teddy reached out to the VFW to promote the Unmet Needs program. [1:14:12]   For more information or to continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story National Veterans Services — Claims Help Firestone Direct Apply My Exchange Website Find out more about the VFW National Convention    
77:11 07/27/2022
Giving Veterans A Fighting Chance: Focus on Charity through Mixed Martial Arts
Ever since the invention of war, combat sports seem to have been part of the military community. It is something integral to the warrior class. Whether it be wrestling, grappling, boxing, martial arts, or even modern-day combatives, veterans, for the most part, across generations love a good fight. Or, at least, love watching them.   In this episode, Host Rob Couture welcomes back to #StillServing Extreme Sports Enthusiast, Veterans Advocate, and MMA Fighter Ricky Folse. He’ll tell us about the charity MMA fight event he’s putting together down in Louisiana called Summer Salute, as he pays tribute to veterans. Joining in the conversation will be Iraq War veteran Richard Lee who is also fighting on the card. Then, he catches up with VFW National Ambassador SEAC (Retired) John Wayne Troxell about what he’s been doing, health and wellness, and a charity MMA watch party event he’s hosting in Iowa with UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich. Ricky Folse, Extreme Sports Enthusiast, Veterans Advocate, and MMA Fighter, and Richard Lee, Iraq War Veteran and MMA Fighter   Ricky Folse recaps his road trip visiting veterans in homeless camps. [2:49]   Starting in martial arts at ten helped prepare Richard Lee for his tour in Afghanistan. [9:01]   The Summer Salute event was created for veterans by veterans with 40% of the profits going to the non-profit After the Mission. [14:23]   Richard shares his personal PTSD experience which mirrors the experience of many other veterans. [21:05]   2 Live Crew is making a special appearance at the after-party on June 25, 2022, at the Summer Salute event. [26:44]   SEAC (Retired) John Wayne Troxell, VFW National Ambassador On his way to celebrate the Army Week Association, John hired a helicopter to see all of Manhattan. [33:46]   Participating in the Cateran Yomp through the Scottish highlands was an exercise in building international relationships for John. [36:28]   Health and wellness are paramount in living life to the fullest. Veterans don’t have to be unhealthy to maximize their rating. [41:38]   On July 2, 2202, Knoxville VFW 3519, DownRange Excursions, and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association are holding a UFC Fight Night event. [47:37]   How John incorporates MMA-style elements into his fitness regime. [54:15]   For more information or to continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story  
63:42 06/22/2022
Why We Are Still Serving: Finding Your Place in the VFW
Each of us has a different reason for why we joined the VFW or why we joined a veterans service organization. Maybe it's because we needed help with our veterans’ claim, and we found a service officer that offered us to be part of their organization? Maybe we were looking for the comradery we missed when we left the military? Or, maybe, we were just looking for a way that we could still serve even though we were no longer in uniform?   In this episode, Host Rob Couture is joined by VFW Assistant Adjutant General Dan West. A proud Texan who tells us about his long and illustrious career in the Marine Corps, how he became a VFW member, and how he is still serving. Then, in the still serving spotlight, Rob speaks with two individuals from post #6027 in NE Maryland. They are two generations of veterans working together to reach veterans in their community with their #InviteaVeteran program. Dan West, VFW Assistant Adjutant General   Dan describes his long and diverse career in the US Marine Corps. [2:42]   After being discharged, Dan had a difficult time finding a job and was filled with rage until he discovered a service officer and a support system within the VFW. [9:29]   In Dan’s Texas VFW post, he found peers who truly understood what he had been through. [16:14]   Dan shares some of the fond memories he acquired moving through the VFW on his way to becoming the Assistant Adjutant General. [30:14]   The first thing Dan will do when he becomes Adjutant General and what he expects to accomplish as he accepts the role to lead the VFW. [36:27]   Dan offers leadership advice to VFW employees and members. [43:35]   Post Commander Gene Daley and Tommy Lyons, VFW Post 6027, North East, Maryland Gene and Tommy share their military service and how they still serve in the VFW. [49:25]   Tommy describes the multi-faceted #InviteaVeteran program. [50:43]   Gene describes the new direction VFW Post 6027 is taking to support veterans in NE Maryland. [58:03]   The exciting things happening at VFW Post 6027. [1:02:57]   Addressing the homeless veteran population in the area around Post 6027. [1:05:37]   Gene stresses the importance of using social media and how it works as a force multiplier. [1:07:56]   Tommy and Gene speak to younger and older veterans about the benefits of joining the VFW and the volunteer opportunities at the Posts. [1:10:46]   For more information or to continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story MakeTheConnection.net  
83:02 06/08/2022
Command Visit — Hawaii and a Discussion with DPAA
This episode of the #StillServing podcast aptly drops on the National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, April 9th. During the podcast, Rob speaks with Tim Borland, VFW Senior Vice Commander-In-Chief, and Duane Sarmiento, VFW Junior Vice Commander-In-Chief, about their informative trip to Hawaii to discover how the VFW can better support troops in the field. During their visit to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, they see firsthand how the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) works to bring back the remains of POW/MIA service members. To describe the mission of the DPAA in detail and describe how they piece together lost stories of American war history, Rob is joined by DPAA members Kelly McKeague, Director, Greg Kupsky, Historian, Rachel Wendt, Forensic Anthropologist, and Capt. Matt Moschgat, Executive Officer, DPAA Indo-Pacific Region. Tim Borland, VFW Senior Vice Commander-In-Chief, and Duane Sarmiento, VFW Junior Vice Commander-In-Chief   Tim and Duane describe the trip designed to gain an understanding of the military footprint in Hawaii. [2:55]   Tim details the role of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and how they connect American families with veterans’ remains. [5:46]   Why the VFW traveled to receive a strategic overview of possible threats from the Indo-Pacific command. [12:08]   Learning about the Coast Guard's extensive responsibilities was a highlight of the visit to Hawaii. [18:18]   Rob, Tim, and Duane were informed of the strategic repositioning of troops around the Pacific. [23:31]   Duane summarizes the trip and the experience of being on board a brand new Navy destroyer. [29:57]   Tim shares his final thoughts about the visit and his hope for future travel opportunities to connect with service members. [35:24]   Kelly McKeague, Director, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), Greg Kupsky, DPAA Historian, Rachel Wendt, DPAA Forensic Anthropologist, and Capt. Matt Moschgat, Executive Officer, DPAA Indo-Pacific Region Greg explains the conditions surrounding the Bataan Death March and why we commemorate it on April 9th. [41:41]   Director McKeague describes the mission of the DPAA and how his team works together to fulfill our nation’s commitment. [44:28]   Matt explains the role of Infantrymen in the DPAA’s mission. [48:06]   Greg describes the process of reconstructing history through various sources of documentation. [51:52]   DPAA works with U.S. Embassies in 46 other countries to help identify remains. [55:57]   How listeners of the #StillServing podcast can assist the DPAA in the identification of service member remains. [59:04]   For more information or to continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story MakeTheConnection.net VFW Day of Service DPAA  
69:25 04/09/2022
Poised, Polished and Empowered: Focus on Female Competitive Fitness
The month of March is Women’s History Month and National Nutrition Month. To recognize them both in one episode, Host Rob Couture speaks with two women who are the epitome of poise, polish, and empowerment. Rachelle Cannon and Julia Waring are both veterans and professional bodybuilders. During the interview, Rob inquires about their respective military academies, their military service, and how they maintain their physical prowess for competitions and beyond.   Rachelle Cannon, U.S. Coast Guard Veteran, Prevention & Wellness Program Manager and IFBB Pro Physique Competitor + Julia Waring, U.S. Army Veteran, Civil Engineer Supervisor, USACE Baltimore District, and IFBB Figure Pro   Rachelle had her sights on West Point and ended up in the Coast Guard and Julia had her sights on the Coast Guard and ended up at West Point. [2:29]   After graduating from the academy, Rachelle landed as a Deck Watch Officer, and Julia was deployed to Iraq. [5:48]   Julia explains what it was like to lead a platoon of 30 males during her time in Iraq. [9:52]   Rachelle and Julia share the positive experiences and the challenges of being African-American women in military academies. [12:25]   How Julia and Rachelle got into the bodybuilding community. [20:58]   The goal of female bodybuilders is to show muscle development by being lean but it takes a toll on their hormone development. [31:10]   Rachelle shares mental, spiritual, and physical wellness tips based on her prevention and wellness certified coach status. [37:04]   How Rachelle and Julia maintain their heart health through cardio workouts. [42:42]   Julia and Rachelle share their last thoughts for women veterans. [49:12] For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story VA Home Loan Benefit VFW Day of Service Rachelle Cannon (@rachellecannonfitness) • Instagram photos and videos Julia Waring (@jujub_waring) • Instagram photos and videos
53:09 03/09/2022
Everyone Has A Story To Tell: Focus on Black History Month
February is a significant month when it comes to black history. The 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, was passed by the House of Representatives on January 31, 1865, and the following day President Lincoln approved a joint resolution of congress submitting it to the state legislature for ratification. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays are also in February. It's no wonder that the second week of February was chosen as National Negro History week back in 1926. Other important dates like the founding of the NAACP on Feb 12th, 1909 was the centennial anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.   Host Rob Couture speaks with George Pettigrew, Executive VP/Historian for the Alexander/Madison Chapter of the KC Buffalo Soldier, who shares not well-known stories of African-Americans in American history. George shares the robust and detailed research accomplishments of his mother, the stories of Medal of Honor recipients from some of our nation's earliest wars, and how the military has influenced social change in North America. George Pettigrew, Executive VP/Historian for the Alexander/Madison Chapter of the KC Buffalo Soldier   George is a Navy vet who was the first pilot on a hydrofoil gunboat. [4:16]   As a Subject Matter Expert on the Buffalo Soldiers, George is continuing his mother’s legacy. [8:18]   Looking back at the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and the unexpected actions that earned them Congressional Medals of Honor. [16:17]   Black History month puts focus on people and events but more appropriately it should be considered American history. [23:12]   Honoring Buffalo Soldiers and remembering the life and career of Colin Powell. [29:34]   George shares the history of the first pre-colony of African-Americans on the North American continent. [41:16]   The military has been the leader in social change in the U.S. and the need for all Americans to communicate with veterans and ask about their stories. [45:07] For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story  
52:20 02/23/2022
Striving for Excellence: Focus on Team USA and Careers in Fitness
Everyone wants to operate at their top level of mental, emotional, and physical performance. Often, when service members leave the military, many believe they won’t ever be at the top of their game again but that is not true. So, if now is the time of year when your New Year’s resolution is going by the wayside, starting to slip through the cracks, or maybe even forgotten about altogether, here is some inspiration to help you get back after it.   Host Rob Couture speaks with three soldier Olympians from the Army World Class Athlete Program who are representing Team USA in the bobsled event at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. Then, CEO and Founder of the Fit-Ops Foundation and Founder of the University of Health and Performance, Matt Hesse shares how his organization and the University are helping veterans get to the starting line of a career in the fitness industry. Matt shares what motivated him to create his veteran-focused organization and how veterans benefit from it. This is great information, especially for those who want to get their foot in the door of a new wellness-centered career.   LTC Garrett Hines, Push Coach for Bobsled & Skeleton Teams SGT Shauna Rohbock, Assistant Coach, Bobsled Teams SPC Frank Del Duca, Athlete-Pilot, Bobsled Teams   LTC Hines, SGT Rohbock, and SPC Del Duca describe their roles on the Olympic team and how they transitioned from track and field into bobsledding. [2:41]   SGT Rohbock describes what it is like to coach the men and women as one of only two woman coaches in the sport of sledding. [10:48]   LTC Hines talks about what it feels like to represent the USA on the world stage. [11:56]   LTC Hines and SGT Rohbock explain what it feels like to be standing on the podium with a silver medal. [13:50]   Parting thoughts about the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. [20:46]   Matt Hesse, CEO, and Founder of the FitOps Foundation and the University of Health and Performance   With the intention of helping people grow stronger, Matt created FitOps for veterans to thrive in their lives through fitness and purpose. [30:05]   Matt’s forthcoming book, The Purpose Blueprint is based on four pillars and looks to help veterans regulate themselves and to serve others. [37:53]   After completing the FitOps program, veterans become certified trainers and are alumni of the University of Health and Performance. [41:21]   Matt shares how to learn more about the scholarships available through FitOps or to apply at the University of Health and Performance. [48:47] For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program FitOps and the University of Health and Performance Make the Connection Cup of Joe Radio Show — Helping Veterans Through the Power of Music VA-backed Veterans Home Loans or 877-827-3702  
52:36 02/02/2022
Smart Money: Exploring the VA’s Financial Literacy and Home Loan Programs
The VFW is dedicated to the wellness of our members. Physical and mental wellness are well-known attributes of a good life but few consider financial wellness as a contributing factor to overall wellness. As we begin the new year, we always want to do better. We have resolutions. We want to make better financial decisions using all of the tools at our disposal. But, it can be a hunt to discover what all those tools are. To explore some of the VA’s financial offerings for veterans and service members, Host Rob Couture, talks with Mr. Shak Hill and Mr. Joe Bell. Shak Hill is a Program Analyst for the Office of Transition & Economic Development (OTED) in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). He describes the free Wellness Wednesday Financial Education courses offered by the VBA and Prudential. John Bell is the Acting Executive Director of Loan Guaranty Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He shares resources and information regarding the VA Home Loan program and why it is the right financial choice for veterans.   Shak Hill, Program Analyst for the Office of Transition & Economic Development (OTED), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)   Mr. Hill describes his service in the Air Force, becoming a flight commander, and how the fruits of his physical fitness developed into him officiating MLS games. [3:43]   Wellness Wednesday Financial Education is a series of free classes offered to veterans, transitioning service members, and their families to help them achieve financial fitness. [7:52]   Mr. Hill describes how individual needs and questions are addressed after a Wellness Wednesday class. [15:12]   Additional financial educational opportunities are on the horizon, as Mr. Hill explains. [18:09]   Mr. Hill provides how veterans, transitioning service members, and their families can register for financial classes and information. [20:41]   John Bell, Acting Executive Director of Loan Guaranty Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)   In the military, John was part of Operation Restore Hope and later became involved in the mortgage business. [27:23]   Joe describes his role as Executive Director of Loan Guaranty Service at the VA and key elements of the VA Home Loan program. [29:28]   What an appraisal is and what it isn’t. [37:34]   The residual income requirement ensures a veteran can stay in a home once the loan has been approved. [40:16]   Resources for additional information about the VA’s Home Loan program. [42:06]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Sport Clips VFW Help A Hero Scholarship Afghan Resettlement Initiative — Welcome.us Find more about the Financial Wellness classes offered by the VBA here Cup of Joe Radio Show — Helping Veterans Through the Power of Music VA-backed Veterans Home Loans or 877-827-3702  
47:25 01/12/2022
War Stories: Heavy Drop Into Panama
Just imagine it is December 1989, and you think you are just going out on a regular training mission. As it turns out, you are getting ready to jump into combat. That is what happened to SEAC (Ret.) John Wayne Troxell when he was a young Staff Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division. And thus began Operation Just Cause and the invasion of Panama. John and his unit were the only people to ever jump into combat with armored vehicles.   But before John shares his remarkable story with Host Rob Couture, VFW National Commander Fritz Mihelcic offers updates as to what he’s been doing since the time of the summer convention.   Fritz Mihelcic, VFW’s National Commander   Fritz confirms that any VFW member can be presented as a candidate for an office within the organization. [2:35]   Video calls and online communication may suffice but there is nothing like meeting people face-to-face, as Fritz recalls from his trip to Hawaii. [8:58]   Over 150 WWII veterans attended the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor on the pier across from the USS Arizona Memorial. [13:13]   Fritz details his route as he compiles the list of priorities from the service organizations the VFW works to assist. [16:01]   Words of wisdom and a personal holiday greeting from VFW National Commander, Fritz Mihelcic. [28:45]   John Wayne Troxell, SEAC (Ret.)   John describes the days leading up to Operation Just Cause in Panama and shares his role in the forced-entry mission. [32:42]   Operation Just Cause was the first to air-drop a Sheridan Mini Tank. [40:38]   As the vehicle commander, just after landing, John’s crew was created by the soldiers who arrived at the tank first. [54:11]   For John, Operation Just Cause in Panama was more dangerous than Desert Storm in Iraq. [58:27]   John was finally able to call his family on Christmas Eve after not communicating with them since before the operation. [1:13:31]   Final words from John about leadership and training. [1:20:47]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Sport Clips VFW Help A Hero Scholarship Afghan Resettlement Initiative — Welcome.us  
90:06 12/22/2021
War Stories: A Ranger’s Perspective of the Afghan War
This summer was a tough time for many veterans who watched the evacuation of Afghanistan and the end of the war after 20 years. It was difficult for many veterans to deal with the feelings that surfaced as they watched everything unfold. To give those feelings an outlet, Host Rob Couture decided to give veterans a platform to share their perspectives of history, combat, and what life was like serving their country at a time of war. In this episode, he speaks with Tony Mayne, an Army Ranger who jumped into Afghanistan the month after 9/11 as the war in Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism began. Now retired, Tony is the Founder and CEO of the Ranger for Life program.   Tony Mayne, U.S. Army Retired Major — Founder & CEO, Ranger for Life Tony recounts his journey from college to joining the Army Rangers. [2:29] Immediately after graduating from PDLC, Tony discovered the country was going to war and he was going to Kandahar. [6:50] A Kodak camera caused Tony more grief than any firefight. [17:07] Tony describes the beginning of his unit’s deployment to Afghanistan. [21:17] No one knew how long Operation Enduring Freedom would last. [36:33] Tony went back to Afghanistan to execute government policy as a Public Affairs Officer. [43:25] Watching the evacuation, Tony saw examples of the American spirit being alive and well. [49:23] Tony describes the Ranger for Life program and how it assists the veteran community. [52:54] For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Sport Clips VFW Help A Hero Scholarship Afghan Resettlement Initiative — Welcome.us Ranger for Life Gallant Few — Rangers  
60:59 11/24/2021
Medal of Honor Recipient David Bellavia
In this special Veterans Day edition of #StillServing, Host Rob Couture interviews his friend and the only living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Iraq War, Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia. David was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 25, 2019, for his action at the battle of Fallujah. Rob reflects on his time as a master sergeant serving as the Department of the Army’s lead communicator for the Medal of Honor where he served as David’s public affairs advisor and travel coordinator. The airing of this podcast on November 10th not only serves to celebrate David’s birthday but also the anniversary of his action on November 10th, 2004.   David Bellavia, Medal of Honor Recipient — Operation Iraqi Freedom —   A recording of David explaining the events surrounding the action that earned him the Medal of Honor. [2:03] How “Thank you for your service” translates for those #stillserving. [8:55] David describes the kinship, love, trust, and respect shared by those in the Armed Forces and how he became part of the tribe. [11:27] Military service is a great place to meet people with a rich tapestry of backgrounds and stories, which serve as life’s entertainment. David shares a humorous example. [16:42] After 20 years of the war on terror, David reflects on his experience and the sacrifices veterans make. [25:13] Post-traumatic stress is not a lifetime condition. How David helps himself and others find balance. [32:27] Wearing the Medal of Honor can test your mettle. [40:41] In addition to House to House, David’s new book, Remember the Ramrods will be released in 2022. [52:49] David’s inspirational Pentagon Hall of Heroes Induction Ceremony remarks. [55:23] For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Sport Clips VFW Help A Hero Scholarship Afghan Resettlement Initiative — Welcome.us Learn more about David Bellavia at Army.mil/medalofhonor/bellavia David Bellavia
58:41 11/10/2021
Every Day is Veterans Day in this Office
ntinue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Sport Clips VFW Help A Hero Scholarship Afghan Resettlement Initiative — Welcome.us Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Memorial Cohen Veterans Network
68:23 10/27/2021
Getting What’s Due: Focus on Veterans’ Benefits
This past September 29th, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States celebrated its 122nd birthday. As one of the nation’s oldest combat veterans service organizations, the VFW has been unwavering in its devotion to serving those who served. Whether it’s fighting for health care, education, or disability compensation — No One Does More For Veterans than the VFW. More than 100 Service Officers attended an eight-day training session put on by VFW’s National Veteran Service. During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks to Junior Vice Commander for the VFW, Duane Sarmiento, about how important this training is to the VFW in continuing our legacy of helping veterans. Deputy Director of National Veteran Service, Gregg Orto, breaks down the fundamentals of VA Claim eligibility and filing and an interview with the Defense Commissary Agency discussing commissary benefits veterans are entitled to even after leaving service.   Duane Sarmiento, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, VFW —   Duane shares his opinion of the Service Officer training based on his many years of service as Director of Veterans’ Affairs in NJ. [2:56]   Taking care of veterans is paramount because only eight percent of Americans serve in the military to protect the nation’s freedoms. [5:04]   Duane’s military service includes the Navy and the Navy Reserves. [11:19]   Joining the VFW was a rite of passage and his continued membership is a significant part of his life, explains Duane. [14:15]   Duane is the first person of color to be a VFW National Officer. [19:39]   Gregg Orto, Deputy Director, National Veterans Service —   Gregg shares the story of his transition from active duty to working through his pre-disposition claims. [27:28]   Gregg defines processes, timelines, and recommendations to use when being discharged from military service. [29:13]   Sgt. Maj. Michael Saucedo, U.S.M.C., Senior Enlisted Advisor & Deborah Harris, Dietician and Health and Wellness Program Manager, Defense Commissary Agency —   Michael and Deborah describe how and why they arrived in the Defense Commissary Agency. [39:28]   The commissary offers service members and retirees scientifically-backed nutritional food. [42:44]   Veterans are now allowed to access the commissary benefit. [45:29]   New initiatives by the commissary include the Come Back to Savings campaign and home delivery services. [51:49]   The various payment options available at commissaries and final thoughts on DeCA. [1:01:05] For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Sport Clips VFW Help A Hero Scholarship Afghan Resettlement Initiative — Welcome.us
68:51 10/06/2021
A Cut Above the Rest: On Location at the Sport Clips Haircuts National Huddle
If you are a veteran enrolled in college for this fall semester, you are more than likely knee-deep in classes by now. If you took advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill you're probably not worried about the debt. But, scholarships can go a long way to help you reach educational goals when benefits don't quite get you there. Since 2013, the generous folks at Sport Clips Haircuts have helped raise millions of dollars for the VFW's Sport Clips Help A Hero scholarship. With that in mind, Rob took the #StillServing podcast on the road and traveled to San Antonio, Texas, for this year's Sport Clips Haircuts annual National Huddle convention. During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with Sport Clips Chairman and Founder, and VFW life-member Mr. Gordon Logan to hear about how he went from being a C-130 pilot during the Vietnam war to the head of one of the most innovative franchises in North America. He also speaks with influencers within the Sport Clip system and with a mutual partner of both the VFW and Sport Clips, president and founder of Dream Flights, Mr. Darryl Fisher to learn about what his charity does to give the experience of a lifetime to our most senior veterans.   Gordon Logan, Chairman, and Founder, Sport Clips Haircuts —   Mr. Logan shares his inspiration for developing Sport Clips and how the organization goes the extra mile to give men and boys the style and service they deserve. [3:20]   How Sport Clips helps the VFW with the Help A Hero Scholarship program. [6:34]   Being an Air Force veteran himself, Mr. Logan wanted to do something to say thank you to veterans for helping to keep America safe. [10:23]   Amanda Palm, Corporate Communications Manager, Sport Clips Haircuts —   Amanda describes the purpose of the Sport Clips Haircuts Huddle. [13:53]   Amanda highlights some of the fundraising efforts for the Help A Hero campaign that comes from Sport Clips clients and franchisees. [15:32]   On Veterans Day, Sport Clips is offering free haircuts to active duty military personnel in addition to their fundraising efforts. [20:57]   Joe Klimek, Navy veteran and Area Developer, Sport Clips Houston —   Joe shares his 5-year military service story. [23:15]   How military service can translate into future civil career opportunities at Sport Clips for veterans. [24:50]   Joe explains how leadership skills learned in the military are the same leadership skills needed to run a Sport Clips store. [28:00]   Ted McMurdo, Team Leader, Sport Clips Colorado —   Ted describes his passion for fundraising and supporting the military through his 17 Sport Clips stores and golf events. [31:34]   Teams in Colorado Springs look forward to free haircuts for veterans on Veterans Day. [35:39]   Darryl Fisher, President, and Founder, Dream Flights —   Mr. Fisher describes how Dream Flights came into existence and how it serves elderly veterans. [39:15]   The entire fleet of Dream Flights is all World War 2 era planes that still serve America in a multitude of significant ways. [43:20]   Mr. Fisher shares a story of a 99-year-old World War 2 veteran who took his final flight. [45:50]   The relationship between Dream Flights and Sport Clips was developed out of a similar mission to help veterans. [47:30] For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story VFW Help A Hero Scholarship Sport Clips Afghan Resettlement Initiative — Welcome.us Dream Flights  
54:43 09/22/2021
Passing the Colors: Focus on the National Convention and our Change of Command
ant is a present reminder that this pandemic is not quite over. Nevertheless, we must press on with life and continue to get after business even if we've got to make adjustments in the way we do things. The VFW's 2021 National Convention is proof that our organization can and will make things happen. During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with the three leaders guiding the VFW through this time of transition. First, he speaks to the Adjutant General of the VFW, Kevin Jones, to learn about the tough decisions and hard work that brought about this year's business-only convention. Then the VFW's outgoing Commander-In-Chief Hal Roesch looks back at this year in the chair, and finally he introduces us to the VFW's incoming Commander-In-Chief, Fritz Mihelcic to understand his priorities and vision for this next year.   Kevin Jones, VFW Adjutant General — Kevin shares his Air Force service story. [2:47] Looking back at the 2020s VFW virtual convention and ahead to the 2021s business-only convention. [5:55] Kevin gives an audible tour of the logistics and safety protocols of the VFW convention. [14:33] The VFW gave everything they had during the difficult time during COVID. [19:53]   Hal Roesch, Outgoing Commander-in-Chief, VFW — In the Air Force, Hal was part of the most successful US military campaign, Desert Shield/Desert Storm. [24:05] How Hal became a member of the VFW during his active-duty service. [29:24] The fellowship and benefit of a VFW membership at the Post level. [33:35] A pandemic, the end of a war, and racial strife, how Hal led the VFW during the difficult days. [39:58] What veterans and community members need to keep in mind during the political process. [45:42] Hal speaks his final comments for the VFW organization. [54:49]   Fritz Mihelcic, VFW Commander-In-Chief— Born in Germany, Fritz started his service story in the National Guard because he is proud to serve this country. [1:00:31] The future of the VFW is to make the world a better place for all military generations. [1:05:47] Fritz traveled physically and virtually to perform as much member outreach as possible as Vice Commander during 2020. [1:12:24] How to leverage social media to tell the VFW story. [1:16:05] To break the cycle of PTSD, a service dog named Mama is Fritz’s partner. [1:25:31] The time is now to focus on veterans’ service and legislation. [1:32:44]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story VFW Action Corps
96:55 08/03/2021
Honor The Dead By Helping The Living: Focus on the VFW Washington Office
Veterans are a unique breed of individuals. They are the only demographic in the nation tied together by the oaths they take to the country and the values they hold instilled in them from the moment they step off that bus at boot camp. As they continue through life, the values, like duty and selfless service, continue to drive many of them to not walk past problems in their communities. When they see a need they step up to meet it. It's just who they are. During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with Pat Murray, Director of the VFW's National Legislative Service who talks about the work his team does with Congress on behalf of veterans’ rights. Then, Ryan Gallucci, Director of the National Veterans Service discusses what National Veteran Service is and how VA accredited VFW service officers help veterans and their families get the benefits they are due. And, Bob Jackson, Director of Operations at the VFW Washington office tells us about some of the history of the VFW Memorial Building and its unique role as the silent Sentinel on Capitol Hill.   Pat Murray, Director, VFW National Legislative Service —   Pat shares his Marine Corps service story and how, today, he helps veterans with disability, employment, and education issues. [3:03]   The National Legislative Service works face-to-face with Congress as the public voice of VFW on Capitol Hill. [8:08]   Pat describes the process of how veterans’ interests are introduced to Congress, how the issues are resolved, and partner organizations. [11:57]   Current topics being addressed include Toxic Exposure Benefits. [21:50]   How to sign up for the VFW Action Corps and how to support veterans. [28:27]   Ryan Gallucci, Director, National Veterans Service —   Ryan shares his Army service story and how he came to advocate for veterans as Director of the National Veterans Service. [33:55]   The National Veterans Service trains a global network of accredited advocates and represents 500,000-plus veterans for free. [43:02]   Certain consulting groups not affiliated with the VA have taken advantage of newly transitioning veterans. [51:38]   The importance of paying it forward by joining the VFW. [59:44]   Bob Jackson, Director of Operations, VFW Memorial Building —   Bob recalls his service story, which started in 1976. [1:05:38]   A virtual tour of the majestic VFW Memorial Building, which has a rich history of service to the country. [1:11:14]   The VFW is the only service organization that ensures the U.S. Government keeps its promise to all service members. [1:28:48]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story VFW Action Corps  
93:33 07/21/2021
Meeting the Need: Focus on Veteran Charity in Action
Veterans are a unique breed of individuals. They are the only demographic in the nation tied together by the oaths they take to the country and the values they hold instilled in them from the moment they step off that bus at boot camp. As they continue through life, the values, like duty and selfless service, continue to drive many of them to not walk past problems in their communities. When they see a need they step up to meet it. It's just who they are.   During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with Lt. Gen. (USMC, Ret.) James Laster, the President, and CEO of the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation who details the charity's history and the great work it does both past and present. Director of VFW Programs Lynn Rolf and VFW Foundation Administrator Richard Potter team up to talk about the VFW’s Unmet Needs Program and the partnership with Burger King Franchisees. And, Craig DeOld, Commander of the Boston Police VFW Post #1018 talks about how his post became June’s Post of the Month in the #StillServing Spotlight.   Lt. Gen. (USMC, Ret.) James Laster, the President & CEO of the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation —   Originally from Dallas, James served 39 years in the Marine Corps. [3:08] James describes his transformation from Chief of Staff to becoming the president and CEO of Marine Toys for Tots. [4:52] In 1948, Toys for Tots became an official activity of the U.S. Marine Corps and the mission of the Marine Corps Reserves. [6:57] From start to finish, Toys for Tots relies on the generosity of the American people and 26,000 volunteers. [12:27] Since 2006, the Toys for Tots Literacy program has successfully distributed 44 million books to impoverished children. [15:27] The process of identifying and supporting the less fortunate of the American population and how VFW posts can assist the effort. [21:28]   Director of VFW Programs, Lynn Rolf & VFW Foundation Administrator, Richard Potter —   Lynn describes how the Unmet Needs program has helped over 11,000 veterans with financial assistance. [28:36] Since 2007, franchisees have donated over 6.5 million to the Unmet Needs program. [32:25] Lynn and Rich share Unmet Needs success stories. [35:58] How listeners can help or get involved and how veterans can apply for the program. [41:38]   Craig DeOld, Commander, #StillServing Boston Police VFW Post #1018 —   Craig describes his military service story. [52:55] Boston Police VFW Post #1018 has a unique history. [56:27] During the pandemic, Post #1018 stepped up to become a collection point to assist the redistribution of PPE and as a vaccination station. [58:58] Craig shares recent triumphs and future plans for #StillServing Post of the month #1018. [1:07:43]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Toys for Tots Foundation Good 360 Foundation
73:57 07/07/2021
Through Thick and Thin: Focus on Veteran Encouragement and Restoration
Camaraderie comes in many forms, from combat deployment to live-fire ranges, or field exercises. To ruck marches to morning PT sessions and back-to-back hour-long death by Powerpoint mandatory annual training. Service members almost always had a battle buddy there soldiering through it together. But, civilian life is much different and for some of us, the loneliness and lack of connectivity with others make even the most mundane aspects of life sometimes hard to bear. That is why there are many on this side of the DD-214 who have dedicated themselves to walking side-by-side with veterans through thick and thin, ready to encourage and help bring restoration to our warrior spirit. We speak with three men who have dedicated themselves to that cause today. During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with Stuart Taylor, President & CEO of the Allied Forces Foundation who describes the challenging, yet rewarding events his charity puts on for veterans from both sides of the pond. Ken Faulk, Founder and Chairman of the Bouldercrest Foundation, talks about his retreat setting in Northern Virginia and how it's helping veterans and their families cope with past traumas and feel whole again. And extreme sports enthusiasts and veterans advocate Ricky Falls shares his passion for bringing awareness to the plight of homeless veterans by way of a long-distance cycling trip.   Stuart Taylor, President & CEO, Allied Forces Foundation —   Stuart shares his deep military roots which span multiple countries and multiple centuries. [4:11] The Allied Forces Foundation is driven to support wounded or injured warriors in events that foster communication and rehabilitation. [12:00] A Cateran Yomp and the upcoming Appalachian Yomp is a heroic, restorative event that blends personal experiences with marching and traditions. [17:18] How to register to participate or volunteer for the Appalachian Yomp on the Allied Forces Foundation website. [34:30]   Ken Falke, Founder & Chairman of the Boulder Crest Foundation —   Ken pursued a military career as a Ceremonial Guard and EOD after playing professional hockey. [45:01] After selling A-T Solutions, Ken began to assist the families of wounded EOD personnel and the project morphed into the Boulder Crest Foundation. [51:21] Boulder Crest works in alignment with a posttraumatic growth program to build confidence. [1:00:06] Ken shares a story of Admiral James Stockdale and how he reinstated hope to returned POWs. [1:03:24] The Appalachian Yomp begins at the Boulder Crest retreat center and goes to Harper’s Ferry. [1:09:30]   Ricky Folse, Extreme Sports Enthusiast, and Homeless Veterans Advocate—   Ricky assists homeless veterans by raising awareness during a long-distance biking trip that ends in our nation’s capital. [1:15:23] In an upcoming fight, Ricky is working with the promoter to have the fight of the night trophy named to honor a WW2 veteran. [1:25:32] To donate to Ricky’s Veterans Day century ride to help homeless veterans visit Ricky Fit on Facebook. [1:29:13]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Allied Forces Foundation Boulder Crest Foundation Rick Fit on Facebook  
93:07 06/23/2021
Hallowed Grounds and Fallen Heroes: Focus on Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a time to reflect, honor, and commemorate our nation’s sons and daughters who laid down their lives in defense of all of us and our way of life. It is time to remember who they were and their selfless service to the United States of America, who flag-draped their coffins as one final embrace from the country they loved as they were laid to their final rest. Let us remember their sacrifice and find a way to commemorate them this weekend. During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with Arlington National Cemetery’s Director of Operations, Dr. Gerald Lowe. Dr. Lowe discusses the historic resting place close to the heart of our nation’s capital. Danny Devine, Executive Director of the National Cemetery Administration Office of Engagement and Memorial Innovation, shares the many ways of memorializing service members that are made available by the VA. And Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Kelly McKeague, describes the efforts his organization makes every day to bring all of our military’s fallen sons and daughters home.   Dr. Gerald Lowe, Director of Operations, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) — Arlington National Cemetery is taking measures to re-open to the public based on Federal guidelines and CDC recommendations. [4:53] A summary of the special events taking place at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day, 2021. [8:21] What Arlington National Cemetery is doing to commemorate the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. [12:21]   Danny Devine, Executive Director of the Office of Engagement and Memorial Innovation, National Cemetery Administration (NCA) — Veterans make up 75% of the people who lovingly care for National Cemeteries. [19:47] The differences between National Cemeteries and State Veterans Cemeteries are few. [22:39] Headstones, markers, and medallions are just a few of the burial benefits available to the families of our nation’s veterans. [24:57] Protocols of National Cemeteries for Memorial Day. [27:13] The Veterans Legacy Memorial is an online resource that includes a page for each of the veterans laid to rest in National Cemeteries. [29:14] Additional resources for remembering and memorializing service members. [34:23]   Kelly McKeague, Director, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) — The dignified manner in which remains are repatriated and honored by the Department of Defense. [40:57] The history of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. [44:44] Kelly describes the diverse roles the agency must have to complete its mission. [47:56] The bilateral, diplomatic negotiations the VA has with other countries to repatriate remains goes above and beyond common negotiations. [51:09] A call to action to return wartime artifacts acquired in other countries. [56:13]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Arlington National Cemetery Website Arlington National Cemetery on Facebook ANC Explorer App Veterans Legacy Memorial National Cemetery on Facebook  
64:48 05/26/2021
Starting the Conversation: Focusing on Mental Health Awareness
May is Mental Health Awareness month. If you are a proud veteran or service member who finds it difficult to reach out to others during life transitions, know that the VFW and veteran community is here for you. During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture reaches out, checks in, and starts the conversation about mental health and wellness. He speaks with the National Director for VA/DOD Mental Health Collaboration, a military evangelist and member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, and Ms. Veteran America 2019 2nd runner-up. They discuss the challenges veterans face, share useful resources and perspectives, and remind us of the many ways to connect so we don't have to go it alone. Doctor Chris Loftis talks about the new “1 Step Today” initiative that is part of the Make a Connection campaign. The honorable Rob Wilkins from the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, discusses wellness from the top of our head to the soles of our feet and how veterans can stay motivated and inspired. And, Ms. 2019 2RU Zoe Magnertta, from VFW Post #2245 shares her story of overcoming the challenges of transitioning into civilian life in our #StillServing Spotlight.   National Director for VA/DoD Mental Health Collaboration, Veterans Health Administration, Dr. Chris Loftis —   Chris describes how the 1 Step Today program helps veterans connect during Mental Health Month. [2:58] The Make the Connection website assists veterans in overcoming the stigma about mental wellness by helping them express what they are experiencing. [4:38] Mental wellness is important for all veterans, even those in non-combat positions. [9:41] What veterans should do if they want to reconnect with a supportive community. [12:12]   Member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition and Military Evangelist, Honorable Robert Wilkins —   Robert describes his role as a member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. [21:30] Slowly removing the COVID-19 and how to regain a high quality of life. [26:49] Participants of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally need to be fit because the ride takes its toll on a body. [30:44] Robert describes how his family stays mentally and physically fit. [32:25] No matter how proud you are, reaching out to others will be one of the best things to increase mental wellbeing. [37:09]   #StillServing — Ms. Veteran America 2019 2RU from VFW Post #2245, Zoe Magnetta —   Being on the cover of VFW magazine was an honor for Zoe. [44:36] Zoe spent 12 years in the Navy and helped others thrive during her service as a Drill Instructor. [48:05] As an Aviation Electronics Technician, Zoe served on an aircraft carrier during the Gulf War. [51:40] Zoe recalls the difficulty she experienced finding work after honorably discharging from the Navy. [56:15] The Ms. Veteran America competition and Final Salute focus on ending homelessness for women veterans. [1:02:10]     For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook @RobCoutureVFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story Make the Connection— 1 Step Today Health.GOV Ms. Veteran America Final Salute, Inc  
75:22 05/12/2021
Health & Fitness for Physical, Mental, and Emotional Wellbeing
During this episode of the Still Serving Podcast, Host Rob Couture shares news and information you can use to get motivated and get healthy. Dr. Jane Kim is the Chief Consultant for Preventive Medicine for the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Veterans Administration. She comes armed with all the information you need to know about the VA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Executive Director and Founder of Team Red, White, & Blue, Mike Erwin, is joined by VFW Director of Programs, Lynn Rolf, to discuss the newly created partnership between the two organizations and how we veterans can use it to enhance our wellness efforts. Then, SEAC (Retired) John Wayne Troxell shares how his role as a fitness advocate, motivational speaker, consultant, and brand ambassador for multiple health and fitness organizations promotes healthy, nutritious initiatives. To wrap things up, Post Commander for VFW Post 7916, Jeff Lett, describes how his post became the #StillServing Post of the Month.   Chief Consultant for Preventative Medicine VA, Dr. Jane Kim —   What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccination program at the VA. [2:25] Reactions and possible side effects from the vaccines. [6:02] Can fully vaccinated people transmit COVID-19 to friends or family? [9:32]   Founder Team Red, White, & Blue, Mike Erwin, and VFW’s Director of Programs, Lynn Rolf —   Why Mike created Team Red, White, & Blue. [15:54] Lynn reflects on his fitness journey and how the joint effort of the VFW and Team R, W, & B to help veterans stay healthy. [19:25] Physical, mental, and emotional accountability is a key factor in Team Red, White, and Blue’s program. [26:43] The benefits of the partnership between Team R, W, & B offers VFW members. [29:20] Marching orders is a simple way veterans can get moving toward better health. [31:23]   SEAC (Retired) John Wayne Troxell —   John designed the PME Hard program to be a foundation for resiliency for troops in harsh conditions. [36:42] The challenging, non-traditional motivation techniques John integrated into his PT routines. [43:48] Why nutrition is the most important way for veterans to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. [48:31] John promotes “better for you” choices by partnering with private companies that provide military services. [53:14] Why physical fitness is vitally important to a healthy retirement. [1:04:27] John has two podcasts The Ron & John Show and Leader Talk. [1:10:46]   #StillServing Post Commander VFW Post 7916, Jeff Lett —   Jeff describes how he is #StillServing and how VFW Post 7916 thrives in the community. [1:17:36] Post 7916 was voted Post of the Month based on the good deeds done by its members. [1:23:13]     For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story VA COVID-19 Vaccine Website Team Red, White, & Blue Website The Ron and John Show Podcast Leader Talk FB Live Podcast
90:23 04/28/2021
Mind on Your Money: 2020 Taxes and VA Home Loans
Spring means tax time and for many veterans and military members, our minds are on our finances. 2020 brought the coronavirus, economic impact payments, job transitions, and for some, unemployment. All of these things can complicate filing your taxes. And, if you are planning to become a new homeowner or move this season, a VA home loan is designed specifically with the needs of veterans in mind. During this episode of the Still Serving Podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with IRS Spokesperson, Karen Connelly about the updates and information veterans need to know for filing 2020 taxes. And, from Veterans Lending Group, National Director, Brooke Villano, National Director of Education, Retired Force Master Chief, David Carter, and VA Home Loan Specialist, U.S. Army Ranger Veteran, Ron O’Ferrall join the show. The team offers helpful home buying tips, do’s and don’ts when considering mortgage financing, and common misconceptions about the VA home loan benefit.   IRS Spokesperson, Karen Connelly —   Changes in the Federal Tax Code for filing 2020 taxes. [4:13] Tax resources and assistance for veterans and military members. [6:35] Beware of scammers calling for your personal information. [10:00] Tips for filing: State taxes, changes in unemployment tax, and identity theft. [11:41] Tax Information for military retirees who received a deferment in 2020. [18:02] The quickest way to receive your income tax refund. [20:16]   Veterans Lending Group, Brooke Villano, David Carter, and Ron O’Ferrall   National Director Brooke Villano describes why the Veterans Lending Group was created, its purpose, and who it serves. [24:17] National Director of Education David Carter explains how his team disseminates information to veterans, service members, and their families. [26:43] VA Home Loan Specialist Ron O’Ferrall and Brooke describe the mission of the Veterans Lending Group. [29:55] Dispelling common myths of VA lending and best practices for making sound financial decisions. [37:21] David shares his personal journey of financing his home mortgage and working with the Veterans Lending Group. [44:57] Working with a VA Home Loan Specialist offers the best home buying experience for military families. [50:04] Ron shares fast facts about the benefits of VA home loans. [57:19] The Ron and John Show is the official podcast of Veterans Lending Group. [1:01:05]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story IRS — Free Tax Filing Where’s My Refund Military One Source — Miltax, Free Tax Services for Military Members Veterans Lending Group VA Home Loan Bootcamp Veterans Affairs The Ron and John Show Podcast  
68:19 04/14/2021
Honoring Women’s History Month: Military Women’s Memorial and First Woman VFW Department Commander, Idaho
Women were not legally permitted to be part of the military until the creation of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. Since that time, women have been granted the right to vote and the right to serve in combat units. Today, women hold positions of rank, are decorated veterans, and continue to break glass ceilings. During this episode of The VFW Podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with the newly appointed Press Secretary and Official Spokesperson for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) and former host of this podcast, Terrence Hayes about current initiatives and directives of the VA. In honor of Women’s History month, Rob speaks with the President of the Military Women’s Memorial in DC, Phyllis Wilson about HERstory, the facility, and upcoming events and exhibits. And, Melanie Foster describes her duties and goals as the first woman VFW Department Commander of Idaho.   Press Secretary and Official Spokesperson for Department of Veterans Affairs, Terrence Hayes —   Congratulations to Terrance for being newly appointed as Press Secretary for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. [3:23]   Initiatives and directives of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs for 2021. [7:42]   Terrence received his COVID-19 vaccine and why you should too. [10:15]   President of Military Women’s Memorial, Phyllis Wilson   Phyllis stepped into her new role as President of the Military Women’s Memorial just before the onset of the pandemic. [18:10]   The Military Women’s Memorial is an architectural marvel and the gateway to Arlington Cemetery. [20:31]   Phyllis shares her journey as a proud woman in the military before women were widely accepted in combat units. [23:23]   The Color of Freedom exhibit and upcoming events at the Military Women’s Memorial [34:50]   Recapping the amazing accomplishments of women in the military. [42:47]   VFW Commander, Department of Idaho, Melanie Foster —   Melanie describes her position, her community, and her service in Iraq. [47:44]   In the process of being medically discharged, Melanie wanted to deploy for a second tour in Iraq. [50:51]   From her article in VFW magazine, Melanie recalls her harrowing, decades-long, medical journey. [52:51]   As the first woman Department Commander in Idaho, Melanie takes every opportunity to educate the community about female veterans. [56:59]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Women’s Memorial Website Today’s VFW — Share Your #StillServing Story  
66:15 03/31/2021
Cooking with a Veteran, GI Bill Benefits, and the National Museum of the U.S. Army
Many veterans continue to give service to our great nation long after their military service ends. Some volunteer for veterans’ causes, some support organizations such as the VFW financially, and some share their knowledge to enrich veteran’s lives. We acknowledge all the individuals who give back to the veteran community with time, love, and compassion. During this episode of The VFW Podcast, Host Terrence Hayes speaks with Cooking with a Veteran host and VFW life member, Dave Rogers. Dave describes his Facebook Live cooking show and what sparked him to make magic happen in the kitchen for veterans. Veterans Benefits Administration Education Service Executive Director Charmaine Bogue discusses widely-used GI Bill benefits and changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Army LTG (ret) Roger Schultz discusses the huge undertaking to design the National Museum of the U.S. Army and why it is imperative you visit when you are in the D.C. area. VFW Life Member, Dave Rogers —   Dave describes the struggles of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. [1:32] Cooking with a Veteran assists veterans with one of the major insecurities they face, food security. [3:43] Dave has always loved cooking but honed his skills during his military career. [6:40] Dave cooks some of his favorite dishes on his weekly show Cooking with a Veteran; available on Facebook Live and YouTube. [9:00] Dave shares an anecdote about his first cooking influences and experiences. [13:49] VBA Education Service Executive Director, Charmaine Bogue   The VA administers five educational benefits programs. [19:14] The impact of COVID-19 on student-veterans education benefits. [20:50] Charmaine describes how veterans can find out more about what GI Bill benefits apply to them and how they can utilize the benefits. [23:17] Disabled veterans and their families are also eligible for educational opportunities. [29:08]   Army LGT (ret), Roger Schultz —   General Schultz describes how the National Museum of the U.S. Army was financed. [35:21] The National Museum of the U.S. Army gives non-service members a chance to understand what it is like to serve in the ranks. [37:32] The exhibit hall and museum feature a tour of America’s history and the Army’s contribution to society. [41:43] The Army Medal of Honor Wall and Garden is a special place. [46:50]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Cooking with a Veteran on Facebook GI Bill Information Army History  
53:10 03/03/2021
Center for Minority Veterans, VFW Foundation, and the All of Us Program
The VFW organization helps veterans to thrive by keeping veterans informed, engaged, and educated about all the benefits and programs available to them and their families. This podcast highlights how additional financial and charitable donations are collected and utilized, unique programs for minority veterans, and how veterans can continue to be of service through medical research. During this episode of The VFW Podcast, Host Terrence Hayes chats with Executive Director of the Center for Minority Veterans, Stephen Dillard who discusses the wonderful work his team does to ensure our minority veterans have the health care, benefits, and entitlements they have earned. Director of the VFW Foundation, Richard Potter, discusses the 25th anniversary of the foundation and what lies ahead as they continue to seek ways to best serve our amazing veterans, service members, and families. Drs. Chris O’Donnell, Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Center for Population Genomics, VA Boston Health Care System, and Phil Tsao, Assistant Chief of Staff for Precision Medicine and Director of the Palo Alto Epidemiology Research and Information Center for Genomics, discuss the All of Us Research Program and how this program helps ensure veterans are represented in this historic effort to speed up biomedical breakthroughs.   Executive Director for the Center for Minority Veterans, Stephen Dillard —   Stephen offers an overview of the Center for Minority Veterans and details the people served by the organization. [2:01] How the VFW and Center for Minority Veterans collaborate. [5:22] Information about the benefits available to minority veterans and their families. [6:50] The Minority Veterans Advisory Committee consults and advises the Center for Minority Veterans. [10:48] The Minority Benefits Summit is postponed due to COVID-19. [14:35]   Director of the VFW Foundation, Richard Potter —   Richard explains the creation and the purpose of the VFW Foundation. [17:26] How the VFW Foundation and corporate sponsors support veterans and service members. [20:04] The VFW Foundation has provided financial relief to VFW community posts during the COVID pandemic. [27:55] The VFW Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary. [30:51]   Dr. Chris O’Donnell and Phil Tsao, Ph.D. —   Dr. O’Donnell shares the goals and accomplishments of the Precision Medicine Initiative. [36:36] How veterans can join the All of Us program and how the program benefits veterans. [38:14] Over 250,000 veterans participate in the ongoing All of Us program. [41:18] The genetic feedback veterans receive from participating in the program. [43:02]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Center for Minority Veterans VFW Foundation All of Us Program — 1-833-805-0426  
50:50 02/17/2021
Celebrating the Efforts of African-American Veterans
In honor of Black History month, the VFW is highlighting veterans who made a difference during their service and continue to make a difference in their communities. The VFW donates to organizations that assist service members who have battled spoken and unspoken, systemic biases based on race, equity, and justice as well as other deserving causes. During this episode of The VFW Podcast, Host Terrence Hayes chats with Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (ret.) Kaleth Wright about the many contributions African-Americans have made in our military and shares his experience while serving as we recognize African-American History Month. Internal Revenue Service Media Relations Officer, Karen Connelly shares how veterans and service members can prepare for the 2021 tax season. And Park University Associate Professor of History Dr. Timothy Westcott shares the amazing work The George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War is doing in regards to the Valor Medals Review Project for minority service members.   Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (ret.) Kaleth Wright — Kaleth joined the world's greatest Air Force on a whim, but now service means everything to him. [2:18] Kaleth shares the African-Americans who made a significant impact on his life. [8:56] Why leaders need to have conversations about systemic race, justice, equity, and bias issues to become better leaders. [10:35] The advancement of females and minorities in positions of authority is well overdue. [15:35]   Internal Revenue Service Media Relations Officer, Karen Connelly — The steps veterans can take to prepare to file taxes. [22:12] Tax filing advice for deployed service members. [24:16] Navigating 2020 taxes, including the Recovery Rebate form, the CARES Act, and SS tax deferment. [25:38] What veterans can do to avoid being the victim of a tax fraud or scam. [27:08] “A Closer Look” into the IRS. [33:10]   Park University Associate Professor of History, Dr. Timothy Westcott — Dr. Westcott describes the process in which Park University reviews those denied Valor medals due to racial bias. [35:40] The individuals involved with the Valor Medals Review Program and the role they play in the process. [40:31] Dr. Westcott shares the heartbreaking and heartwarming aspects of the Valor Medals Review Program. [44:31] How the 2019 VFW donation of $70,000 was used to recognize future Valor Medal recipients. [49:31]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program IRS Publication #3 for Armed Service Members IRS Free File The Valor Medals Review Program  
55:50 02/03/2021
Housing and Wellbeing Initiatives and Benefits
Serving in the military instills strong values and honorable virtues that last a lifetime. But, when active duty is complete, keeping up-to-date with quality-of-life benefits and programs for service members transitioning into civilian life is essential. The VFW organization is always striving to gather the information that matters most to its members. During this episode of The VFW Podcast, Host Terrence Hayes discovers programs that assist veterans with wellbeing initiatives and housing benefits. R&B Artist and Navy Veteran B. Taylor shares his continued passion for the military and why his service was key to leading him to his musical career. Army LTC (ret.) and Merging Vets and Players National Director J.C. Glick, and former Major League Baseball star Slade Heathcott discuss MVP’s mission and how it helps veterans and former athletes manage issues such as post-traumatic stress, career-separation anxiety, and other challenges. Veterans Benefits Administration Home Loan Guarantee Service Executive Director Jeff London discusses VA home loans, the Cares Act, and how veterans can maximize their home-buying experience. Navy, B. Taylor — Not only did B. work as an Aviation Electronics Technician, but he also played football, basketball, and played music at a birthday party for Snoop Dog’s mom. [2:24] B. describes how the opportunity to make music with Snoop Dog came to pass. [7:53] Wise words from a football coach led B. to follow his musical ambitions and work with Motown greats. [9:57] In addition to making hit singles, B. created 1 Life Wellness Centers to assist military, veterans, and first responders to overcome mental health afflictions. [15:55]   Army LTC (ret.), J.C. Glick & MLB’s Slade Heathcott — J.C. recalls his time of service in an elite Army unit. [22:33] Striving to be the best you can be is a commonality of being a baseball player and military service. [24:12] J.C. describes how Merging Vets and Players (MVP) was founded and its mission. [27:07] Slade appreciates the trust and accountability of the MVP program. [36:44]   Veterans Benefits Administration Home Loan Guarantee Service Executive Director, Jeff London — Jeff describes what makes the VA home loan guarantee a great option for service members and veterans. [42:01] How veterans can find out if they are eligible for VA home loans. [46:21] The mission of the VA home loan program is to help veterans obtain, retain, and adapt homes. [49:35] Veterans can benefit from the Cares Act forbearance during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. [54:49]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit:   Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program B. Taylor @btaylorofficial on Instagram Merging Vets and Players (MVP) Veterans Administration Home Loan Info or 877-827-3702  
63:19 01/20/2021
Working as a Team to Support Those in Need
A successful mission is never the result of just one person. Those who have served, as well as those currently serving, know that no one goes it alone. By applying the teamwork ethic, VFW and its partners have served veterans for over a hundred years. Trust is a key tenet in our quest to assist our brethren. When members of the VFW family reach out for help, no matter the issue, we offer varying means of support provided by our organization, partners, contributors, and volunteers. During this episode of The VFW Podcast, Host Terrence Hayes chats with Medal of Honor Recipient Army SGM Thomas Payne, who discusses his service to the nation, leading soldiers in today’s Army, and the events that resulted in him becoming our newest Medal of Honor recipient. Jesse James Dupree chats about joining forces with the VFW and the Unmet Needs Program that helps raise money for veterans and service members facing financial hardships. Army COL (ret.) George W. shares his personal story of ruin, resilience, and redemption as a recovering alcoholic.   SGM, Thomas Payne —   Inspired by being born into a family of service and an innate sense of duty to serve his country, Thomas joined the U.S. military after 9/11/01. [2:01] What it means to Thomas to be a leader of soldiers. [4:16] Thomas describes the privilege of working with his teammates, receiving the Medal of Honor, and winning the Best Ranger Competition. [5:49] Thomas’s advice for young leaders includes the three pillars of leadership and the importance of trust and relationships. [8:21] Entertainer & VFW Supporter, Jesse James Dupree — Terrence challenges Jesse with a game of Start One, Fire One, and Bench One. [12:00] Jesse shares the story of how the chainsaw became part of Jesse and Jackyl’s famous live show. [15:59] The many ways Jesse supports, raises funds, partners with, and brings awareness to the VFW organization. [20:02] Jesse describes his plans to make 2021a year to remember at Sturgis with Harley Davidson and the VFW. [27:04]   Army COL (ret.), George W. — George describes his journey through alcoholism, his denial, his road to recovery, his resilience, and why it is important to share recovery stories. [30:48] The first step a person can take in helping a loved one overcome alcoholism and how Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can help. [34:12] George shares his role in building a foundation for functional recovery for the Armed Forces and veteran communities. [40:25] Reaching out to AA is just a keystroke or phone call away. [43:34]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit: Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program Jesse James Dupree VFW Pappy Hoel Campground @JesseJamesDupree on Instagram JJD MightyLoud on Facebook @JackylJesse on Twitter  
47:27 01/06/2021
Working Together for Veteran Welfare
Chartered in 1899, the VFW is the oldest and most-experienced non-profit veterans service organization in the United States. Many people believe the VFW organization is funded by the Federal Government, but this is a common misconception. One of the ways the VFW offers the most comprehensive services to veterans is by collaborating with other veteran service organizations and maintaining good relationships with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Donations from individuals and corporate sponsorships are vital to our providing veterans with the grants and services they require. Please make your charitable donation to the VFW this holiday season.   During this episode of The VFW Podcast, Host Terrence Hayes chats with VFW Adjutant General Kevin Jones who speaks about the importance of giving during the holiday season and how the VFW utilizes the charitable dollars to help veterans, service members, and military families. And, VA Senior Advisor and Director of Community Engagement, Anthony Love talks about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to lower veteran homelessness nationwide. Then, Student Veterans of America President and CEO, Jared Lyon discusses the organization’s priorities and how student veterans can get involved in SVA on campuses and virtually.   VFW Adjutant General, Kevin Jones —   During COVID-19, Kevin is proud of the work his organization has done for meeting objectives while telecommuting. [1:53]   Why the VFW chose a podcast as a new communication tool. [3:00]   Donations are important. The VFW does not receive any assistance or aid from the Federal Government. [4:55]   Kevin explains what sets the VFW apart from other veterans service organizations. [6:55]   How to make a donation that will directly impact the lives of veterans. [12:29]   VA Senior Advisor and Director of Community Engagement, Anthony Love —   Anthony describes the varied definition of homelessness and shares what the American people can do to combat veteran homelessness right now. [19:04]   Steps veterans or friends of veterans can take if a veteran is in immediate need of housing. [22:39]   Anthony describes the role of the Department of Veterans Affairs in preventing and ending veterans’ homelessness. [23:34]   How the pandemic has changed the game when it comes to combating veteran homelessness. [26:54]   Resources to discover more about how the VA administration assists veterans. [30:18]   Student Veterans of America President & CEO, Jared Lyons —   Jared explains the mission of Student Veterans of America.  [34:28]   How veterans can connect and become involved with the Student Veterans of America on college campuses. [34:50]   Since 2016, research has driven the policy and advocacy of the SVA. [38:44]   Jared describes the tightly woven relationship between the SVA and the VFW. [43:17]   For more information or continue the conversation, please visit:   Veterans of Foreign Wars Website VFW Podcast Page @VFWHQ on Twitter VFW on Facebook VFW Unmet Needs Program Call 1-888-JOIN-VFW Text “NEEDS” to 20222 to donate to the Unmet Needs Program National Call Center for Homeless Veterans 1-877-424-3838
51:20 12/02/2020