Veterans Affairs Committee
(From Hibernian Digest)
Veterans Affairs Report
Brothers, I am proud to report that our National Veterans Affairs Committee has commenced its work. I am honored to welcome Brendan Cooney of Virginia, Patrick Flaherty of Montana, Charles Hagan of Florida, Leo McGuire of New Jersey, and Daniel Regan of South Carolina, who have enlisted to join me and Jim Green on the committee. I thank them all and will be featuring more information about their service in future articles. We have already been able to engage in constructive dialogue on important information for our veteran community. The schedule and agenda for our committee meetings have been sent to our seven committee members as well as the 35 interested members from the Convention. Meetings will be every third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., Eastern Time, and held virtually on Zoom. Any member who is interested in our meetings is welcome to join; please contact me and I will be sure to get the calendar invite and details to you.
Veteran Services Spotlight: Veteran Records
Veteran records are the foundation on which all services and benefits for veterans and their families are built. Upon separation from the Uniformed Services, veterans will receive a formal discharge document, typically a DD-214 (Active Duty) or an NGB-22 (National Guard). A copy of these forms is also furnished to the State Veteran Agency (SVA) the veteran designates as well as the National Archives. To gain access to these documents, and other military records, veterans and their families have several options. For most veterans, a copy of their discharge and complete military record is available through the National Archives and requests can be made through their website. Unfortunately, a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973 destroyed millions of official records for Army and Air Force veterans who served between 1912-1964. Veterans are also encouraged to check with their SVA or local County Clerk or Recorder to see if they have a copy of their discharge document. For most veterans who have served since 1993, they can work with a SVA or County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) to access their military record through the Defense Personnel Records Information System (DPRIS), a collaboration originally spearheaded by Ohio and Massachusetts. Links to the NationalArchives, DPRIS, SVAs and CVSOs are posted on the AOH VA website. Hat-tip to committee member Leo McGuire for emphasizing the importance of veteran records.
Veterans Day 2020
On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, our country will observe Veterans Day as our national commemoration honoring ALL who have served in the United States Uniformed Services. As throughout history, people of Irish descent have fought for many of the Western Allies through many conflicts and have continued to serve the United States and partner nations into the 21st Century. This year, this day will take place in the wake of a contentious political season for all Americans. Along with expressing our appreciation for our Veterans, let us also commit ourselves to acts of service in support of our fellow Americans in a lifelong effort to build the type of country so many have sacrificed for. As always, I encourage all Hibernians to check out the veteran resources listed on the national AOH website under the “Veterans Affairs” committee tab: www.aoh.com/veterans-affairs . Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions you may have regarding the committee or veteran benefits. I wish you and your families a peaceful Holiday Season!
firstname.lastname@example.org / 614-893-8833 Garryowen!
President’s Veterans’ Day Message
November 11, 2017 By Judge James McKay
I would like to thank and congratulate all of the Veterans who belong to the AOH. We owe each of you a debt of gratitude. It is because of your work we enjoy the many freedoms we have in the United States of America.
In honor of the Hibernian Veterans, I share a poem that National Veterans Affairs Chairman Jim Green sent along. I invite all Hibernians to watch this recording of the poem in honor of our Veterans: I Am a Veteran.
Also Thanks to Brother Green and Brother Cole, you will notice a change on our membership cards this year indicating Veteran Status for all Veterans who are identifies on your division membership list. The National Office is in the process of sending each division their current membership list in order that we may have the most up to date addresses, any misspelled names corrected, e-mail address added and corrected if necessary and now an indication of veteran status.
In additional to the indication on your membership card, your division will now have an opportunity to purchase an AOH USA Veterans pin for each of your division Veterans. I have included a photo of the new pin and an advance order form. Any division using this form to order their pins by December 1 will receive their pins in our first mailing with no shipping fees. After December 1, normal shipping fees will be added to your order.
This pin exclusive to AOH USA Veterans is a small token of our continued appreciation for your service.
The Allegheny County AOH Veterans Affairs Committee would like to send out a very sincere THANK YOU, to everyone who helped the Committee raise money last fall. The mission is to then donate that money to the local non-profit organizations in the Greater Pittsburgh area that directly support and benefit the veterans in our community and in the AOH. Some initial groups that we will be donating to are;
Soergel's Orchardview Stables in Wexford, Pa. This wonderful family owned farm, has been helping local kids and is now expanding into their veteran community with Therapeutic Horsemanship to help veterans reconnect and rebuild relationships through trust and hard work!
Yoga on Mars in Mars, Pa. This is another great non-profit owned and operated by a Gold Star mother hell bent on helping "Her sons and daughters" (veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, AND Vietnam) by reversing the effects of PTSD & TBI through veterans Restorative Yoga and iRest Yoga Nidra.
Memorial Day 100 Run, Pgh, Pa. A group of Marines, wives, family & friends of the 3rd Bn, 25th Marine Regiment that lost 49 Marines & Sailors in Iraq in 2005, that run a 100+ mile relay run every Memorial Day weekend to honor their fallen brothers and raise money for local veterans based non-profits.
Vietnam Veterans Inc. Pgh, Pa Chapter. A local chapter of the VVI, with several members in the AOH who have a great relationship in supporting each other, highlighted annually at the Vietnam Veterans POW/ MIA vigil at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust.
Operation Troop Appreciation, West Mifflin, Pa. Operation Troop Appreciation is dedicated to the active and veteran members of our Armed Forces who serve and sacrifice for our country. By providing them with items that contribute to their morale and well being, we present a united front to our deployed military by supporting them as individuals, for every one of them
~Memorializes our nation’s past
~Sacrifices to maintain our nation’s culture and freedoms
~Ensures the safety and freedom of our nation’s future generations
In addition we sponsored an add with the Brentwood VFW's post program.
Thank you again, to everyone who helped us make these donations and future donations possible.
Additionally, thank you to all of our brothers and sisters who signed on the dotted line. If you are interested in any or all of these groups and would like more information, please contact committee co-chair Seán Ó Néill.
The video on our Facebook page is from last years Memorial 100 Run in up state New York. The Police Departments and Fire Departments along the 128 mile route went absolutely above and beyond in their processional and roadside support. This years run is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh/ SW PA possibly from the Flight 93 Memorial to downtown.
Contact your division to notify them of your service so that they can order the appropriate number of pins. You can also click on the button above to send an email to Co-Chair Sean O'Neill. Thank you for your service!!!
Monthly BINGO at the VA - PGH
Every 2nd Sat of each month.
Jan - Div 17
Feb - Div 1
Mar - St. Paddy
Apr - Div 23
May - Div 32
County AOH Veteran Highlight
Medal of Honor Grove at Valley Forge
AOH National Veterans Affairs Chairman & Allegheny County Board Communications Chairman and Past President, Jim Green enlisted in the U.S. Navy on August 8, 1973 for a 4-year tour of duty. After initial training in Great Lakes, Illinois, he attended "Anti-Submarine Warfare" technical training near Memphis, Tennessee.
After graduating, he attended aircrew survival training near San Diego before transferring to his permanent duty station at Moffet Field Naval Air Station in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Petty Officer Green served until the end of his enlistment in 1977 as a "Primary Acoustic Sensor Operator" on a P3-C Orion flight crew, flying on Soviet submarine tracking missions all around the Pacific Rim, from the Aleution islands of Alaska to Hawaii, Guam, Taiwan, Japan, and all points in between. Jim received numerous commendations from the Pacific Fleet Command and once was named "Man of the Month" by his Patrol Squadron VP-47.
His interest in the computerized tracking system he used during flights led him to use the GI Bill after his enlistment to attend technical school for computer programming, which he used to create a very successful career. His plans are to retire from his position as a Senior Finance Developer and Analyst from PNC Bank in June 2017.
Thank you for your service Brother Seamus!