Friday, March 20, 2009

April/May 2009 KWVA Newsletter

Chaplain's Corner
O April, I have been impatient for your coming. I have needed your warm rains; To cleanse me of my winter melancholy, And to heal me of my weariness.
O April, There is healing power in your dawns. Pushing your way up in green shoots; Of the iris and the determined tulips, Heartily singing your way with the robins, Splashing over the rocks in swollen streams, You take away my grief and pain; You heal me with the glory of your dawns.
O April, Come in the wind-blown clouds of rain; To ripple the quiet pools beneath eager willows. Come in the rain-washed sky of light; To set our limpid lakes flashing in the sun. Come in the cool-warm wind of night; To make me glad and strong again.

If you are “winter-tired,” you may want to pray, Dear Lord, let the healing joy of spring flow through every channel of my life and make me whole again. Amen. Retain in your mind only the single thought that God’s vital energy is flowing through you….now….now, in this holy, healing hour of spring….

Easter is observed, according to a decision made by the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325, on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21, and, therefore, falls between March 22 and April 25. St. Paul ’s word “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast.”( I Co. 5:7-8), suggests that Easter is not only the most important but also the first of all Christian festivals. Christ’s resurrection on the first day of the week made Sunday the holy day for all Christendom and gave a special meaning to every Sunday as “as a little Easter” and the occasion for the remembrance of the resurrection life.

Because upon the first glad Easter. The stone that sealed his tomb was rolled away, So through the deepening shadows of death’s night - Men see an open door beyond it light.
May you all have a blessed Easter.

Be happy, Bill Cummins, Chaplain

“Membership KWVA:” If you need a new membership card, send either a letter to the Membership Office, or email to Mailing address: Korean War Veterans Assn., PO Box 407, Charleston, IL. 61920-0407.

Chapter dues are due by April 1st. Dues are $8 for the year. Please mail them to the Chapter address listed on page 1 of the newsletter. Please remember to send in your dues so that you will continue to receive your newsletter.

I would like to thank all members past, present and future to have had the privilege to have served as your President, Board member and now 1st Vice Commander.

I will never be able to thank you all for the Prayers and thoughts you gave to me for the passing of my beloved wife Gladys. You will always be in my prayers and thoughts.

And a very special thanks to Rev. Bill Cummins, he is a true friend.

May God bless you all.
Russ Klein

If you are a wartime veteran or a widow(er) of one, you could be eligible for almost $1,950 per month. Tax-free. The problem is you probably haven’t heard about this little known benefit. It’s called the Veteran’s Improved Pension Benefit, which is a non-service connected benefit and sinfully enough it has been available for Veterans since November 1, 1951. According to a VA estimate, only one in seven veteran widows who probably could qualify for the pension actually get the monthly checks. Here are the basics: To meet the military qualifications, a Veteran has to have served 90 days active duty, (one of which was during wartime), have a discharge of any kind other than dishonorable, and be either age 65 or disabled. In addition, the Veteran or his widow must also meet other means testing criteria for their income and assets. When properly understood, neither of these is as exclusionary as they first appear. To qualify financially, an applicant must have less than $80,000 in assets, excluding their home and vehicles. Income according to the VA is income minus un-reimbursed medical expenses. It may take up to six months before a veteran is approved and it may be a pain to fill out the forms properly, but imagine getting an extra $1,950 a month tax-free. If you think you might be able to take advantage of this benefit, please visit:
This article was originally written by Robb Beltran for the Illinois VFW News, Vol. 46, No. 6, March 2009. It has been edited to fit size requirements for this newsletter.

A Few Words from your PR Person
It is with regret that we announce the passing of Gladys Klein. She and Russ were always a team. I'm sure you will remember her greeting everyone at our chapter meetings and passing out the drink tickets. It is difficult to realize that she is no longer with us but she will continue to be with us in spirit.

Our Feb. meeting was a great Valentine's Day party thanks to Bill Cummins who organized the event. The ladies were glad not to have to fix a pot luck dish. Everyone enjoyed a good meal and liked the fellowship.

Remember to have your chapter dues of $8.00 sent in to KWVA, PO Box 211, O'Fallon, Il. 62269, by April 1st (April Fools Day). If not paid by then you will no longer receive our newsletter.

Also, remember to support our food pantry with canned and/or paper goods.

See you at the April meeting. Bill Juergens.

Joke of the month:
Sister Smith invited the children to come forward around the altar for an object lesson using squirrels as an example of industry and planning ahead. She requested that the boys and girls raise their hands when they knew what she was describing.

“This thing lives in trees(pause) and eats nuts (pause).” No hands went up. “It is gray (pause) and has a long bushy tail (pause) “The children looked at each other, but no hands were raised. “And it jumps from branch to branch (pause) and chatters when it gets excited (pause).” Finally a little boy tentatively raised his hand. . Sister Smith breathed a sigh of relief and called on him. “Well,” he said, I know the answer must be Jesus, but it sure sounds more like a squirrel to me.

Stick to Fish
In 1971, when Tokyo got its first McDonald’s the company’s Japanese partner, Den Fujita, made this politically incorrect statement: “The reason Japanese people have yellow skins is that they have eaten nothing but fish and rice for 2,000 years. If we eat McDonald’s hamburgers and potatoes for 1,000 years, we will become taller, our skin will become white, and our hair will become blond.” Tribune news services.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

February 2009-March 2009 KWVA Newsletter

Chaplain’s Corner By Bill Cummins, Chaplain
When Americans think of February, they are usually reminded of their school days- when the cherry tree, the log cabin, the solemn countenances of the two great patriots looking down from pictures above the blackboard. But we know all of these objects represent more than the childhood impressions they conveyed.

The one virtue in George Washington which impresses us is his incredible determination. In his youth he was touchy about his honor, eager to make money and thoroughly human. In the years of his greatest trials, when he led the ragged Continental Army, his almost superhuman qualities emerge. Consider the man with as few as 3,000 ragged, hungry, ill-equipped troops facing a disciplined, well-equipped, vastly superior enemy and through it all stuck to the job at hand. Any other man would have thrown up his hands in disgust.

Abraham Lincoln’s greatness is different. In him it is humanity and humility that compels our respect. It was sheer horror for Lincoln to think of a war of brothers against brothers. His duty was with humanity. It was with deep sadness that he sent relief to Fort Sumter knowing, in all likelihood, that his move would precipitate a shooting war. The Lincoln of the Gettysburg Address, and of the Emancipation Proclamation, is the Lincoln we remember and respect. It is fitting that we should remember the birthdays of our two patriots. Washington ’s determination and Lincoln ’s humility should serve as lamps to light our way.

LENT, traditionally a season of penance begins on February 25. This holy season presents us with a golden opportunity to reflect on the faults in our character and to strive by appropriate action to correct them.

Don’t let the days of Lent slip by as days of no action. Take time for recollection and communing with God in prayer each day. Take time for serious examination of self, and ask God for the graces you need to make yourself a better person in his sight and in your dealings with humankind.

The days of Lent, like all days, will slip by quickly. Don’t let yourself be caught at the end of Lent saying: “I wish I had spent those days more fruitfully.” Resolve now to spend them well, and each day renew that good resolution.—Be happy, Bill Cummins, Chaplain

“Membership KWVA:” If you need a new membership card, send either a letter to the Membership Office, or email to Mailing address: Korean War Veterans Assn., PO Box 407, Charleston, IL. 61920-0407.

Joke of the month:
A pastor got this note accompanying a box of Christmas goodies, addressed to him and his wife, from elderly Sister Rose Mary:
Dear Pastor, Knowing that you do not eat sweets, I am sending the candy to your wife—and nuts to you.

May the roads rise to meet you May the winds be always at your back May the sun shine warm upon your face The rains fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the hollow of His hand. St. Patrick

Chapter dues are due by April 1st. Dues are $8 for the year. Please mail them to the Chapter address listed on page 1 of the newsletter. Please remember to send in your dues so that you will continue to receive your newsletter.

Retired Soldiers are Still Proud! Still Serving! Congress has put Still Saluting into law for Retired Soldiers and other veterans. The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 110-181) changed Sect. 9, Title 4, U.S. Code, which covers “Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag.” Following is that section of the U.S. Code, as reworded by the law change. Please share this information with veterans and other retired military who don’t get Echoes.

“During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.”--submitted by Billy D. Gray.

A Few Words from your PR Person
I trust that everone had a good holiday season. Our Christmas party at our Dec. meeting was excellent according to the feedback that we have heard. Thanks to all who participated, brought gifts and food and helped in any way. Cheers to Bill Cummins who organized the whole event.

While we are in the party mode, a Valentine’s Day celebration will be held at our Feb. chapter meeting. Bill Cummins will cover this in his article.

It was sad that our battlefront Christmas tree at our monument in Swansea Park was demolished due to a hard windstorm. Plans are being made to do another one next Dec.

This year’s dues are now being collected. They are still $8.00 and may be sent to our P.O. Box 211, O'Fallon, Il. 62269. This must be done by April 1st to continue receiving your newsletter.

See you at the Jan. meeting. Bill Juergens