American Legion Lt. B. R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291, Inc.
Legion Year 17 – 18 Newsletter No. 4
Dear Legionnaires 親愛的會友：
We want to thank our members and their families for joining us at the lunar New Year Eve celebration at Delight 28 Restaurant and Joy Luck Palace Restaurant. We hope the year of the Dog brings everyone good health and prosperity. The dinner was enjoyed by over 700 members and their families. The Joy Luck Restaurant was equipped with a modern sound system and a huge screen, so members enjoyed a great night of karaoke without incurring any additional charges. On February 13th, our Post, along with Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York were invited by U. S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to attend the Lunar New Year celebration at the Transportation Headquarters, in Washington, DC. The last time our Post was invited to attend the Lunar New Year celebration in Washington, DC was when Secretary Chao was with the Labor Department under the Bush administration. Over 300 Leaders of the Chinese-American communities from all over the United States were among the invitees to attend this year’s celebration. Secretary Chao reiterated her gratitude to our Post for hosting the parade and the memorial service at Lt. Kimlau Square while she visited New York’s Chinatown last Memorial Day weekend.
Alexis Wichowski, PhD, Press Secretary and Senior Advisor to Dr. Loree Sutton, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services along with two of her deputy Secretaries kicked off their tour of visiting veterans’ organizations in New York City. Our Post was chosen to be their first stop in their New York City veterans’ group tour. The primary reason for their visit was to listen and gather information of how they can best serve veterans by knowing their concerns and issues they face every day. They also reiterated that veterans in New York City seeking help with permanent housing, mental health, education, employment and other problems can contact the Department of Veterans’ Services for assistance. They also explained the Department of Veterans’ Services can do a lot more for veterans than their predecessor, the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs (MOVA), which is mostly ineffective, under-staffed, and lacking the authority to deal with the increasing needs of the City’s 225,000 veterans.
The latest NY Department membership renewal report is at 88%. The First District has been and still is, in last place of the 10 districts in the Department. New York County which is part of the First District is also in 54th place of all 63 counties, due in large part that our Post’s renewal is at 74%. There are still 160 members that have yet to renew to date. The higher renewal rates in the past were largely due to a policy that was put in place many years ago to help members with transportation reimbursement. This policy was to be ratified by membership each year based on the financial health of the Post and other factors. The transportation reimbursement was purposely set at the same rate as the membership dues, to encourage member participation at Post functions and increase meeting attendance. Members qualified to receive the transportation reimbursement when they achieved five or more continuous membership years with our Post. We also encouraged members to substitute the transportation reimbursement for membership dues to reduce the extra steps of the back and forth mailing. At the first membership meeting of this year, the transportation reimbursement policy was modified so that qualifying members must achieve 15 continuous years instead of 5 continuous years. This good deed policy instituted by the Post for many years created some unwanted problems. When members under 15 years of continuous membership were reminded to renew their membership, to our surprise, some of the answers we have heard from members are “do we have to pay dues?”; “over five year members do not have to pay dues”; “our dues were paid the Post”; “I do not want to be a member if I have to pay dues”…
We would like to advise these members to reflect a moment and understand why you as a member of the American Legion are important. The American Legion is the largest veterans’ organization and has the most influential voice in advocating veterans’ issues and benefits on Capitol Hill. It has recorded consistent accomplishments for veterans and their families since 1919. We should also remember that “it is not the price you pay to belong, but the price you paid to be eligible to belong.” Most importantly, the biggest intangible benefit of being a member is the lifelong friendships that are created. That being said,we would like to remind our members once again to remit membership dues to the Post in a timely manner.
本會非常感謝各位會員及眷屬參加本年度在喜運來及彩福樓舉行的團年晚宴，祝各位狗年快樂，身 體健康。今年團年晚宴約七百多位會員及親友分別在兩家酒樓共聚一堂迎接新年，彩福樓餐廳裡配備了現代化的音響系統和大屏幕，當天晚上會員們享受免費卡拉OK 娛興，大家歡樂而歸。本會，中華公所及中華總商會在二月十三日被美國交通部趙小蘭部長邀請參加在華盛頓交通部舉辦的慶祝農曆新年宴會，與會華裔各界團體領袖遍佈美國各州超三百多人。本會上次參加由趙小蘭部長舉辦的慶祝農曆新年活動是她在小布殊總統任內當勞工部部長。趙小蘭部長仍非常感激本會在國殤日週未為她安排並舉辦華埠遊行及在華裔退伍軍人忠烈坊獻花紀念。
Pentagon to Open Online Exchange Shopping to Vets in 2017
A Defense Department retail board has given the green light to a plan to open online exchange shopping to all honorably discharged veterans, with hopes of starting the program on Veterans Day in 2017.
To get started, please visit the site to register:
The Exchange is excited to welcome Veterans of all United States Armed Forces as part of the Veterans online shopping benefit. We will soon be able to serve you through the lifelong shopping privileges you’ve rightfully earned.