• On Aug. 14, Don Stevens will be installed as commander of American Legion Post 62. He has served as a vice commander and emergency preparedness coordinator for the post. All are welcome to attend the ceremony at 7 p.m. and meet him and Third District commander Tom Patterson. The Legion supports AA groups in the community, participates in the Irrigation Festival parade, puts out flags and conducts services on Memorial Day and assists veterans and their families. The Sequim and Port Angeles posts will have a booth at the Clallam County Fair - stop by and say hi and find out the advantages of belonging to this service organization.
• The VFW has completed a remodel of the interior of the public areas of its building. Go check out the updated décor! The VFW serves breakfast on Sunday and has bands on some Friday nights. These events are open to the public.
• Voices For Veterans will hold a stand down at the Clallam County Fairgrounds in October. Now is the time to collect items and get them to me - 683-6419. They need camping gear, warm coats, hats, gloves, personal hygiene items, nonperishable food - cheese and crackers, potted meat, trail mix. The stand down held in Port Townsend on July 28 attracted 100 people who were veterans or had connections to veterans. Thirty-two folks identified themselves as homeless. The Stand Down featured breakfast and a hot buffet lunch. The attendees were offered haircuts, free clothing, hygiene items and outdoor equipment and the opportunity to talk with several service organizations.
• The Department of Veterans Affairs is accepting online applications from veterans, survivors and other claimants filing initial applications for disability compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits without the additional requirement to submit a signed paper copy of the application. VONAPP (www.va.gov/onlineapps.htm) is a Web-based system that we can use. It helps reduce the number of incomplete applications and provides a link to apply for VA health care benefits. For more info on VA benefits, go to www.va.gov or call the toll-free number at 800-827-1000.
• The Military Officers Association of America, Olympic Peninsula Chapter, will have a picnic Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. at St Luke's Episcopal Church. All officers, retired and active duty, are welcome to come share food, meet new friends and hear guitarist Tom Davis. For reservations, call me at 683-6419. The MOAA is very active in legislation affecting military benefits. This group also supports the NJROTC Unit at Port Angeles High School and participates in the Veterans Day ceremony.
• Connecting Military Families is a nonprofit organization that provides free Web sites to deployed U.S. service members and their families. Families can post photo albums, maintain children's pages, write family blogs, post the latest news from home, send and receive e-mail and more. Go to www.
connectingmilitaryfamilies.net to set up a site. If you would like to help a family keep in touch, go to the site and sponsor a year on the Web for $175.
• Last, but not least, please vote! Read the voters' guide, mark your ballot and put it in the mail. U.S. troops around the world are fighting to protect your rights. Honor them by casting your vote - every one counts. Thank you.
Contributors: DAR, Regent Kayellen Garrison, firstname.lastname@example.org; American Legion, Lorri Gilchrist, email@example.com; VFW Commander, Roger Padie, firstname.lastname@example.org; MOAA, President Jim McEntire, email@example.com , Marine Corps League, Jake Fish, firstname.lastname@example.org.