Dept of NY VFW State Convention

Commander Dave Rogers attended the Dept of NY State Convention.

During the convention he attended the Legislative Committee, where they talked about the legislative issues before VFW.

VFW Veteran Service Officer Funding:

The VFW has requested continued funding for the highly effective Veterans Service Officer program. In 2018 funding of up to 125,000.00 for the VFW was approved and more than 500,000.00 of back funding has been justified and is soon to be awarded to the VFW for Service Officer activities for the past six years. We will lobby to continue this 125,000.00 yearly.

PFC Joseph P. Dwyer- Peer to Peer Mentoring:

The VFW Strongly supports continued funding for the highly regarded Dwyer Program and supports additional grant funding routed through the Division of Veterans Affairs of one million dollars for veteran to veteran services. In 2018 funding of 500,000 was approved and will be available for all Posts to apply for approximately 30,000.00 in accordance with DVA requirements published on their website.

Division of Veterans Affairs -RFP Enabled funding for VSO’s:

The VFW supports continued direct funding for VSO’s of Congressional recognized Veterans Service Organizations such as the VFW and DAV and lauds the newly appropriated funding to develop a two-year RFP within the Division of Veterans Affairs for the recognized veteran service organizations to apply for funding for additional veteran service officers and peer to peer counseling. In 2018 500,000 was approved.

Dwyer Peer to Peer Certification Program:

To encourage this career path, we are asking the legislature and the Governor to examine existing resources within the Division of Veterans Affairs, Office of Court Administration, Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse to create an optional registration/accreditation track for veteran mentors in and out of the court system.

Veterans Defense Program:

The VFW is grateful that the legislature and Governor have a Veteran Focus and provide funding directed to the Veterans Defense Program. For the past three budget cycles, appropriations have provided highly successful defense counseling for veterans who get in serious trouble with the law as a result of service related stressors. The VDP creates hope for veterans and was instrumental in interfacing with veterans who have crossed paths with the law at the felony level. While Veteran Treatment Courts are expanding in all areas of the state, that focus is largely on misdemeanors. The VFW, deems the Veterans Defense Program essential in taking up where VTC leaves off as service related stressors do not distinguish between felony and misdemeanor.

Educational Funding for Veterans Defense Program:

We support additional funding for VDP initiatives including a Veterans Defense Practice Manual, Veteran Mitigation Specialist Training, a convening of Veterans Treatment Court defense attorneys and full-time specialists to assist in their already overburdened caseload.

Section 55-c Program amended to encourage Governor’s Executive Privilege:

The VFW supported a legislative initiative to amend the civil service law creating a new section (55d) which mandates rather than leave optional a requirement that the Civil Service Commission create up to 500 additional civil service positions for disabled veterans. In reviewing the mandate approach to this disability issue the VFW supports the law remaining permissive but requests a provision requiring the State Agencies to report to the Governor and/ or the Legislature on efforts to fill these vacancies within a reasonable timeframe.

Active Duty Service-Members Property Tax Exemption:

This legislation amends the real property tax law to redefine an active duty member of the military thereby broadening the application of the permissive property tax exemption currently given veterans honorably discharged. The VFW seeks an amended approach to create a separate section of law extending a similar permissive property tax exemption to those on active duty. The objective of this bill is to encourage active duty service members to stay in New York upon retirement and to assist them while they serve. This bill passed the Senate, has not seen movement in the Assembly.

The Convention:

Commander Rogers also had a chance to address the Convention and talk about the issues facing the next generation of veterans which the VFW is looking to approach for membership. He talked about the need to make some changes, while understanding that change is not always easy, but also about mentoring veterans today for the leadership of tomorrow.

The Commander attended the State Commanders Dinner, a BBQ at the Albany Post, and networked with comrades from different districts on working together and building programs to help veterans.

Published by daves-studio

I truely believe that "Even ordinary life can be immortilized through art". I have always been awed by the mystery of how people are connected and for most of my life as an artist I have looked for new ways to express what was inside of me, what I was feeling and how I wanted people to view and understand what I wanted to say. This caused me to restrict my art to forms that others could understand. I was speaking to the masses, but I was not using my own voice. Over time I realized that it was not so important weather people truly understood what I was saying but rather that I was speaking so I started to look for the way to think out loud and be heard and have found that voice in papercutting. My work is a mixture of Eastern and Western Art that I started after a visit to China in 2004. while there I discovered the ancient and demanding art of Chinese paper cutting and line drawing. On my return from China I began to make connections between the craft of paper cutting and my years as a soldier. The results of this unusual connection have been beautiful two and three dimentional metaphors of the importance of time and the fragility of life and democracy. Paper cutting itself can be found in many cultures and just like in China those cultures for the most part have thought of it as a decorative or folk art, few artists have explored the idea of using this form of art in a more substantive way. It is part of what has attracted me to papercutting in the first place. While the beauty of paper cutting was appealing, more appealing was the idea of using this fragile material to represent serious and even realistic ideas. The process that I use for my paper structures is the same as found in traditional Chinese paper cutting. What is different is the paper, the way it is displayed and the topics talked about in the art. It is these differences in the works that make them stand out from other forms of paper cutting and structures. Instead of using traditional types of paper for papercutting I have made the cuttings out of aluminum or mirror paper. The paper was chosen for its reflective properties, not just for making the art brighter but for the ability of the viewer to see reflections of themselves in the art, showing a connection between the viewers and the subjects in the work. While most paper cutting are laid flat on the board these works are placed between two pieces of glass in the front of the frame allowing the light to cast shadows on the background, making these papercutting sculptures of art. The other aspect of this work that is different from traditional paper cutting is that each piece is individually designed and not mass produced. This is an important aspect of my work as it is about keeping the appeal of POP art while reducing the images to singular forms. My hope for the future is to continue to explore ways to bridge the techniques and styles of paper cutting and western ideals of art. Not just as a way for me to produce my art but as a way to communicate western ideas in Asia and Asian ideas in the West. For art is the only true international language that all people no matter where they come from can appreciate, and it is through art that we can learn about other cultures beyond mere words.

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