Looking Ahead to 2019: A Focus on Spouse Employment
As we look forward to 2019, one of WDVA’s areas of focus will be on military spouse employment. The Washington State Military Transition Council has begun working with our many partners to tackle issues facing military and veteran spouses when it comes to employment and how well licenses and certifications transfer from state to state.
Recently, the Military Transition Council created two strategic priorities around spouse employment:
1. Improving military spouse access to employment and career information; and
2. Obtaining better data on the number of military spouses in the labor market.
The long-term efforts will focus on strategies to improve access to childcare and flexible work, as well as to develop resources for employers to become more ‘military-spouse friendly.’ The license and certificate portability group will also initially focus on improving spouse access to license and certificate information, as well as identifying which licenses, certificates, and other credentials are most valuable to veterans and military spouses. Ultimately, the workgroups will develop and share best practices between agencies to streamline and expedite licenses and certifications.
In addition to the work of the Military Transition Council, we are also collaborating with the US Chamber Foundation on their Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone initiative.
These ‘Zones’ are employer driven partnerships to expand military spouse employment opportunities. Washington State was the first statewide zone endorsed by the Chamber back in June 2018, and Olympia and Spokane quick followed suit in September. We also anticipate future zones in Bremerton, Everett, and Tri-Cities. The Statewide Zone will serve as an umbrella to support local efforts, and each local zone will identify regional career clusters or ‘pillars’ around which to develop spouse employment initiatives.’
Moving into 2019, there will be many opportunities for state agencies and other partners to participate in military spouse employment efforts. If you are not already connected, please contact WDVA’s lead on this work, Mark Sullivan at email@example.com.
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Holiday Happenings at the Port Orchard Veterans Home
Port Orchard Veterans Home residents have been staying busy with holiday activities galore. Residents were able to recently set up the facility's Christmas Tree, enjoy a ballet performance of Nutcracker, decorated gingerbread houses and many more holiday activities. We would like to thank the many volunteers that assisted with making these numerous events possible. #WeLoveOurCommunity
Veterans Day at Spokane Veterans Home
Spokane Veterans Home residents enjoyed several Veterans Day programs and outside group visiting during the month of November. The residents enjoyed playing cards and visits from several groups during the holidays and while also listening to Veterans Day music, receiving donated handmade quilts and participated in the caroling that took place throughout the facility.
American Legion Provides Gift Shop for Washington
Washington Soldiers Home Gift Shop is in Full Swing!
WDVA sends a special THANK YOU to the members of the American Legion "Doughboy Memorial" Post 138 for providing the many gifts for our veteran residents to shop through. Money is raised by the American Legion throughout the year with events such as their coffee stops, rummage sales, cash donations and even making remembrance poppys.
We'd also like to thank the hard working staff of the Soldiers Home for all of their hard work assisting with this year's gift shop.
Wreaths Across America
On December 15, volunteer groups gathered at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, Washington Veterans Home Cemetery in Port Orchard, and Washington Soldiers Home in Orting to place wreaths onto graves of veterans.
The event, called “Wreaths Across America”, began with the Arlington Wreath Project and has spread to over 750 Veterans Cemeteries throughout the country.
These events are possible thanks to generous donations and the efforts of volunteer coordinators at each locations. For more information, visit: https://wreathsacrossamerica.org/
World War 1 Centennial / 2018 Veterans Day Event at the Capitol / IAWP Veterans Day around Capitol Monuments
This year's World War 1 Centennial & Veterans Day event at the Capitol in Olympia saw more than 450 attendees pay tribute and support their veteran community.
A few days before Veterans Day the International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP) held their annual Veterans Day event by walking to and having special veteran guest speakers to speak about the importance of each monument across Capitol Campus.
Questions & Answers: Burial Flags
Why Does VA Provide a Burial Flag?
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased Veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a Veteran’s military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for an other than dishonorably discharged:
1. Veteran who served during wartime
2. Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
3. Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
4. Peacetime Veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950 after serving at least one enlistment, or for a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty
5. Certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S. Armed Forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
6. Certain former members of the Selected Reserves
Who Is Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. The flag is given to the following person(s) in the order of precedence listed:
• surviving spouse
• children, according to age
• parents, including adoptive, stepparents, and foster parents
• brothers or sisters, including brothers or sisters of half blood
• uncles or aunts • nephews or nieces
• others, such as cousins or grandparents Note: When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making a request for it. If there is no living relative or one cannot be located, and no friend requests the flag, it must be returned to the nearest VA facility.
How Can You Apply?
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. U.S. Post Offices are the primary issuing point for burial flags. Generally, the funeral director can help you obtain a flag. Call and confirm with the post office in advance. Not all local post offices have burial flags on hand but they should be able to direct you to the closest issuing post office. Regional VA Offices can also help identify local issuing points.
Can a Burial Flag Be Replaced?
The law allows us to issue one flag for a Veteran's funeral. We cannot replace it if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen. However, some Veterans' organizations or other community groups may be able to help you get another flag.
How Should the Burial Flag Be Displayed?
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed. VA Form 27-2008 provides the correct method for displaying and folding the flag. The burial flag is not suitable for outside display because of its size and fabric. It is made of cotton and can easily be damaged by weather.
Donating Burial Flags to State and National Cemeteries
Most of the Department of Veterans Affairs state and national cemeteries display an Avenue of Flags on patriotic holidays and during special events. The Avenues consist of burial flags donated by the families of deceased Veterans and provide a unique visible tribute to all of our Nation's Veterans. A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to the donor for providing their loved ones' burial flag to a national cemetery.
Please contact the cemetery of your choice for information on how to donate a Veteran's burial flag.
Washington State Patriotic Day is Coming in February
If interested in joining as a group, organization or just to register for the event, please visit:
Learn More about Robocalls and How to Stop Them
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to team up to combat illegal robocalls, especially those targeting veterans and their families.
Each year, the FCC receives more than 200,000 complaints about unwanted calls. While this may seem like a big number, it pales in comparison to the millions of robocalls being made each day. The calls interrupt dinners and family time; they flood landline and mobile phones. Scam calls frequently solicit money for fake charities, including ones claiming to support America’s veterans - some even claiming to be representatives of Veterans Affairs.
We know that scam activity increases during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, so the FCC and VA urge you to be vigilant. We offer the following tips to help you avoid unwanted calls and scams.
- Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. Scammers may spoof their caller ID to display a fake number that appears to be local. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, or passwords in response to unexpected or suspicious calls.
- Be sure to set a password for all voice mail accounts to avoid being hacked.
- Register your number on the Do Not Call List to block calls from legitimate telemarketers at www.donotcall.gov
- Ask your phone company about call-blocking tools and services for your landline phone, and check for helpful apps that you can download to your mobile phone.
Please help spread the word about robocall fraud among those who may need assistance, particularly those who are frequently targeted by phone scams.
For more information, visit: www.fcc.gov/robocalls .
Sea Scouts Complete Projects at Washington Soldiers Home
WDVA would like to the Sea Scout Ship 110, Charles N Curtis of Tacoma, Washington for their volunteer work at painting and restoring Roosevelt Barracks for veterans without homes.
Debbie Moore is a volunteer with the Sea Scouts and wrote the following letter explaining how they decided to do a project at the Washington Soldiers Home.
"Some of our youth wanted something different for their project. I have been a dreamer of doing something that could help our veterans for a very long time. Once I started my career as a Veteran Service Officer with AmVets I began to see a realization for my dreams.
Why couldn’t the Sea Scouts put their talents into helping our disabled veterans? Why not bring the future (our youth) with experience (our veterans) and build a relationship that helps the less fortunate veterans (disabled and/or homeless veterans). Hence, the meeting with Dennis Brown and Mark Atkins to bring the Sea Scouts to the improving of the soldiers homes to benefit veterans and accomplish the requirements for their Quartermaster.
The youth had a perfect opportunity to experience a real life emergent situation. They had less than a day to put together their crew to accomplish four projects at the Washington State Soldiers Home in Orting, Washington. I put the proposal to the candidates and they had their crews together in just a few hours. They showed up to the project Sunday morning and within six hours the project had been completed to satisfaction. The veterans are now closer to having a roof over their heads and a safe environment to thrive. The Quartermaster candidates have their requirements for achieving their final destination with Sea Scouts and move on to their next adventure."
Read the entire letter at: http://www.dva.wa.gov/sea-scouts-complete-projects-washington-soldiers-home
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WDVA Hot Jobs - APPLY NOW
Nursing Assistant Certified- Spokane
Nursing Assistant Certified (Night Shift)- Walla Walla
Nursing Assistant Certified (Day, Evening, Night Shifts)- Port Orchard
More Info: Please visit Employment to see the opportunities that we have!
You can also contact a recruiter at Michele.firstname.lastname@example.org
Hired a Veteran? Sign Up Today at www.YesVets.org
After you’ve notified us that you’ve hired a veteran, we will contact you to arrange delivery of your YesVets decals, to be prominently and proudly displayed at your place of business.
Thank you for your support of those who served!
Visit www.YesVets.org for more information and to signup!
View our WDVA Calendar to stay updated with upcoming events to attend
JANUARY 2019 EVENTS
TO VIEW OUR JANUARY CALENDAR, CLICK HERE
WDVA Web Calendar: www.dva.wa.gov/calendar
WDVA Facebook Calendar: www.facebook.com/WSDVA/Events
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