Vets Update – 2016 General Assembly – Vet Events – The Guard – US Navy

As we are between the closing of the regular Session of the 2016 General Assembly and the Re-convened Session, I want to provide you with a short summary of veterans’ legislation passed by the General Assembly. I also want to pass along information on a milestone for Colonial Heights American Legion Post 284; a Vietnam Combat Art exhibition; Women’s Army Corps historical marker ceremony at Fort Lee; two articles on the importance of the Guard in WW I and WW II; and an article by Congressman Forbes on the importance of a strong US Navy.

General Assembly Update
The 2016 session of the General Assembly adjourned on Friday, March 11th, one day early. During this Session we passed 39 veterans’ Bills, as well as a supporting balanced budget and sent them to the Governor for signature. He has already signed 14 of these bills. My Bill (HB477) supporting JLC’s #1 Legislative Objective – Veterans Care Centers – is one of the Bills the Governor has signed. We will re-convene on April 20th to consider all the Bills the Governor has vetoed. You can view the latest DVS Military and Veterans Bills status report here.

American Legion Post 284 turns 70
Post 284 in Colonial Heights celebrated 70 years of service to veterans, military personnel, their families, and the local community at a 70th Birthday celebration on March 19th. The Post provides generous support to the community such as Legion baseball (5 teams); selection of outstanding young folks for Boys and Girls State (20 plus delegates); memorial services at the Colonial Heights War Memorial; Academic Scholarships for deserving students; and strong participation in the “Day on the Hill” to advocate veterans’ legislation at the General Assembly. Some of the Post’s lesser known community support programs include support to veterans at McGuire Hospital; the annual McGuire picnic; Honor Guard support for memorial services; Christmas baskets; children’s shopping trip; Halloween in the park; after prom support; and participation in the Colonial Heights Christmas Parade. In addition the Post provided some of the initial group of computers to the Colonial Heights Library and financial support to needy veterans, children and others.
I was pleased to share the evening with Post 284 members and supporters to present a Commending Resolution patroned by 19 Delegates and Senators who represent Post members.

Past Post 284 Commanders join current Post Commander Bob Shumar (far left) for a round of applause and thanks.

Post 284 Commander Bob Shumar accepts the General Assembly Commending Resolution from Del. Cox, Chief Patron for the Resolution.

There was a great crowd on hand for the 70th Birthday Celebration.

Vietnam Combat Art Exhibition

This image, “A Soldier”, by SPC4 Victory Von Reynolds, watercolor on paper, South Vietnam, 1969. Von Reynolds enlisted in the Idaho Army National Guard in 1966, and, while serving in Vietnam in the 116th Engineer Battalion, he was selected to be part of Combat Artist Team Vlll from February to June 1969. This piece is included in the ‘Vietnam Combat Art’ Exhibition, which opens April 3, at the Prince George Regional Heritage Center.

The Prince George County Regional Heritage Center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Located at 6404 Courthouse Road, the Center is free to the public and is fully accessible. For more information, call 804-863-0212.

Courtesy of the Petersburg Progress Index.

Click here for details.

Women’s Army Corps Historical Marker
On the afternoon of 26 May, 2:00 p.m., there will be a ceremony to unveil the new VA state historical marker for the Women’s Army Corps training center at Fort Lee.

The National Guard 1916 – WWI & WWII
In Virginia we are very proud of our Virginia National Guard which is always ready for service in war, natural disaster, or other emergencies.  Our Guard today has almost 1,200 members deployed outside of Virginia. This is particularly important as we approach the 100th anniversary of the deployment of the National Guard to the Mexican border as part of the Punitive Expedition.  I also wanted to pass on some history about the important role the National Guard played in World War I and II.  We will continue to feature the Guard from time to time in future Vet Updates.

A Well-Guarded Peace by Congressman Forbes
It’s been called the Forgotten War, but it left a strong mark here in Virginia. The War of 1812 tested both the quality of our Navy and its importance. At that time, the American fleet barely had a dozen ships to its name. Our country was young and relatively inexperienced- and so was its Navy.”

In the article, Congressman Forbes emphasized several factors our Virginia War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, that I chaired, recognized as we honored the war’s 200th Anniversary. This was the first implementation of a Homeland Security Program.

RAO Bulletin
For the latest RAO Bulletin containing numerous articles of interest to veterans click here.

Hopewell Job Fair
Goodwill Industries, Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Community Housing Partners and The Salvation Army are inviting organizations to participate in a spring job fair taking place on Thursday April 21st, from 10:00am-2pm, at the Hopewell Community Center located at 100 W. City Point Road, Hopewell, VA 23860. For more click here.

Vietnam Memorial Wall & V3 Training
Final Calendar notes – The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be in Powhatan 13-18 July – click here for details.

Virginia Values Veterans (V3) webinar training for employers on the value of hiring veterans to include the benefits of hiring a Virginia Guardsman – click here for details.

In closing, you can contact me at my home office by email or by calling 804-526-5135, by US mail – PO Box 1205, Colonial Heights 23834 or by stopping by my Colonial Heights office at 215 B East Ellerslie Avenue. I appreciate your views on legislation that will help me do a better job for the people I represent.
Please visit my Facebook page. This page, along with my website, has information/links to the 2016 General Assembly Session to include my 44 pieces of legislation, visitors’ photos, my legislative survey, videos of floor remarks, and related topics.

Please forward this Update to your fellow veteran friends and neighbors.