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Is advice helping or hurting your transition?

From Military.com | By Lida Citroën

Question: I’m leaving the Army in 3 months, and I’m overwhelmed with suggestions and advice from people around me. How do I know what to act upon and what to let go?

Answer: Good for you that you’ve got people in your life who are willing to offer you advice! Let’s assume the people in your life mean well as they offer you guidance, suggestions, ideas, business offers and advice about your transition from the military. As you sift through their recommendations, here are five things to ask yourself:

  1. Does the person offering the advice have enough context for their suggestions? Sometimes, we get advice from teachers in the TAP program, at job fairs or from family friends. Consider whether the person giving you the ideas knows you and your situation well enough to make their claims: Have they been where you are? Are their goals similar to yours? Do they have access to resources and people that give them credibility?

  2. Are they bitter because their transition wasn’t smooth? Unfortunately, you will run into veterans who did not have a positive experience leaving the military. Their perspective might be tainted with this experience, thus coloring their advice to you.

  3. Are they overly optimistic because their transition was easy? Similarly, if the person offering advice to you had a seamless transition from a military to civilian career, this can cloud their judgement on what the process really entails, how it works and what it takes to be successful in the private sector.

  4. Is their advice helping or hurting? Someone else’s views and vision can actually make you nervous and confused. Listen to your body if you find yourself becoming anxious as they share advice: Is it because you’re excited at the possibilities they’re describing or is their advice off track, making you confused and unsettled?

  5. Are they offering specific action items or painting a broad picture? Being able to see the entirety of someone’s vision is helpful to get the big picture, but if they aren’t offering specific steps to get there, you might be left confused. Similarly, if the advice is all tactics and no vision, you might not be fully enlisted in the vision of their message.

BEST WAY TO RECEIVE ADVICE

Someone offering you counsel is doing just that — offering. They aren’t telling you or insisting you follow their suggestions. To receive advice, it’s best to:

  • Have a plan and use the advice to test the plan. Advice is not the same as a mandate. They are offering you their ideas. The best way to take in these ideas is to have a sense of who you are and where you’re heading and then use their recommendations to “test” or “vet” your plan. Otherwise, everyone’s advice can feel like a course you’re expected to pursue and you can get stuck in analysis paralysis.

  • Say “thank you.” Whenever someone offers you their time and effort, regardless of whether it was helpful or not, show appreciation. If you’re not going to act on their advice, don’t mislead them into thinking you are. If you are going to take their advice, perhaps leave the door open for you to return to them for additional guidance in the future.

  • Look for patterns in the advice. Hopefully you will gather advice from many people, across industries and backgrounds. Consider the patterns that emerge from the advice you’re receiving. For instance, are most of your advisors suggesting you go back to school before starting your own business? This could indicate they see a lack of skills or training needed for you to be successful.

Receiving advice is a gift. Sometimes you just have to weed through some not-so-helpful advice to find the advice that’s right for you in your situation. Take in all the advice you are given and put it through your personal brand filter to determine which you should follow to have a successful transition.

Boys Nation Day 2: The session begins

Sahil Inaganti of Pennsylvania and Andrew Furman of Delaware stood beside each other on the stage at Marymount University Saturday night, waiting for the votes to be tallied in their race to become president pro tempore of Boys Nation 2018.

Forty-nine votes for Inaganti and 49 for Furman.

After nine ballots had narrowed a field of 14 candidates down to two, it would take a 10th vote to finally decide the first election of the 72nd edition of the American Legion Boys Nation program.

“Absolutely, it’s just shock,” Inaganti said after edging Furman 49-48 in a second vote.

Inaganti, representing the Nationalist party, was the top vote-getter after the first ballot, but Furman, also a Nationalist, surged ahead on the second ballot as 20 members of his section, Adams, cast their votes for him.

Inaganti was elected president pro tem at Keystone Boys State, so he was familiar with the office’s duties.

“I enjoyed that quite a bit because I was able to interact with people more than if I had been elected governor or if I had been elected to the judiciary. So being able to interact with a larger portion of the people present, that was one of the most important things coming into this,” Inaganti said. “I know just before coming to Boys Nation, it’s called ‘a week that shapes a lifetime.’ I think beyond the positions we earn, it’s the relationships that we make, and I think becoming president pro tem allows you to make possibly even more relationships than you would in other positions.”

Inaganti wants to build those bipartisan relationships that he sees lacking across the nation.

“I mentioned this in my campaign speech, ensuring everyone has a chance to speak and is able to contribute to discussion because I think that’s one of the biggest problems facing our nation is that people aren’t willing to listen to both sides of the aisle, to listen to things they might disagree with, and as pro tem I think I have a unique position. I’m able to give voice to others, to allow their viewpoints to be heard as well,” he said.

As president pro tempore, Inaganti will preside over the senate until a vice president is elected on Tuesday.

Also on Saturday, the Boys Nation senate elected Nationalist Hap Waddell of Kansas secretary of the senate. He outlasted a field of six candidates for the position, which maintains the journal of the Boys Nation senate.

“I didn’t want to run for pro tempore but I wanted to do something that I thought I would be good at. And although I have never officially been a secretary of an officially recognized club, I think that I will be able to put in enough work to be one of the best that we have,” Waddell said.

At Kansas Boys State, Waddell served as the majority whip and said one of his favorite parts of the experience was “connecting with both sides of the aisle.”

“Like I said in my (campaign) speech, I’m from the middle of nowhere, so the viewpoints available to me are quite limited. Being able to meet with people from California and Oregon and either of the coasts, that’s an amazing opportunity that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” he said. “I think bipartisanship will be very important (here at Boys Nation). I also think that we’re at least on the right path. … Everyone seems to be at least very accepting and willing to have a discussion if they do disagree.”

More from Saturday

  • The senators took their oath of office and officially began submitting their bills and resolutions. That legislation can be tracked online at www.legion.org/boysnation/legislation.

  • The senators also received their committee assignments and met in committee for the first time. One committee covers bills that in the U.S. Senate would be assigned to the Agriculture, Nutrition, Forestry, Appropriations, Armed Services, Banking, and Housing and Urban Development committees; a second covers Budget, Commerce, Science, Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources issues; the third addresses all bills assigned to the Environment, Public Works, Finance, Foreign Relations, Government Affairs, Indian Affairs, and Intelligence committees; and the fourth considers Judiciary, Rules, Veterans Affairs, Health, Education, Labor, Pensions, Small Business, Ethics, and Aging. Committee chairmen are Federalist Ruben Banks of Mississippi, Federalist Joe Pitts of Arizona, Nationalist Ashwin Bindra of New Jersey, and Federalist Aabid Razvi of Texas.

  • Party chairmen were elected at party conventions, with Federalist Mark McAllister of Kansas and Nationalist Gian Zaninelli of Mississippi earning their respective party nods.

  • Representatives from C-SPAN talked to the senators about the network, including details on the annual student video documentary competition, StudentCam. The 2019 competition theme is “What does it mean to be an American?”, with students in grades 6-12 encouraged to choose a constitutional right, national characteristic or historic event and explain how it defines the American experience.

Quotable

“I think that’s going to inform these men that partisanship isn’t always a solution, you have to have compromise. We had a massive field coming into this, but we narrowed it down through compromise. That’s a valuable lesson that everyone is able to take away from this.” – president pro tempore Sahil Inaganti, after winning election by one vote.

How to craft your personal definition statement

From Military.com | By Lida Citroën

Transitioning from a military career and culture to a civilian one means you must be able to clearly and consistently communicate your value to potential employers, investors, networking contacts and colleagues. To create your value proposition, start with a personal definition statement.

WHAT IS A PERSONAL DEFINITION STATEMENT?

Your Personal Definition Statement is a way you will clarify your offer to yourself. It will likely roll into your elevator pitch, onto your resume and become part of your communications toolkit, but the Statement is a core foundational element of what you do and who you serve.

CREATING YOUR STATEMENT

To understand who you are and what you’re looking for in a next career, begin by taking a step back. Assess your military career, successes, challenges and the opportunities you pursued. Then, ask yourself:

  • What drove me to join the military? (identify the values, beliefs and goals you had)

  • What led to my success in my past careers? (look for patterns of goals and skills)

  • Where have I fallen short in achieving my goals? (identify roadblocks – internal and external – which hindered your success)

  • Have I compromised my values? (clarify what the driving factors were – did you feel pressured, was it for the betterment of the group, were you afraid?)

Next, articulate what you do: What problems do you solve? If you are a logistician by training, that means you were paid to analyze and coordinate a chain of equipment, people or products. But what problem did you solve for the people who needed to rely on you?

Using the logistician example, consider what would have happened if you’d not been good at your work. Missions could have been thwarted, materials destroyed (at a high cost) and lives could have been lost. While the tactical part of your work was to ensure items got from Point A to Point B, the problem you solved was to ensure the success of the mission and the safety of those involved.

Let’s look at another example: As a reputation management and personal branding specialist, I am hired to help individuals set themselves up for career advancement, manage their online reputation, revise their resume, etc. But what problem am I solving? I help these individuals gain control over the way they are perceived — in their work, career, online and in their network. That control is valuable! If I were to market my services as “resume writing,” I could fall into the commodity sale (lots of people do this). Rather, I sell the value of solving the problem I fix, and my clients see that!

Your Personal Definition Statement should also include proof that you have, and can, solve those problems. Think about specific examples of times you’ve deployed your skills and talents to solve these problems.

Then, your Statement should clearly speak to the individuals, groups or communities you seek to attract. Be as specific as you can! This is not the time to be generic! Picture that person standing in front of you – needing you to help them with your gift – what do they need, like, fear, and embrace? Crystallize in your mind who your target audience is.

Your Personal Definition Statement will empower you to make good choices, form emotional connections with people around you and stand in your value as you build your life outside of the military. It becomes your mantra, your narrative and how others will describe you over time. Take the time to craft it well, and update it as needed over your life.

Boys Nation Day 1: The senators arrive

Change has come to American Legion Boys Nation—staff changes, schedule tweaks, and most notably, two more delegates than in years past.

The 72nd annual Boys Nation program includes two rising seniors representing the District of Columbia in Chris Bond and Robert Gerber, bringing the total number of delegates in Boys Nation’s mock Senate to 100. Hawaii remains the only state without a Boys State program.

The D.C. delegates and their peers arrived Friday at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., to begin their second “week that shapes a lifetime” of the summer, the first being the time they spent in May or June at their respective Boys State programs. Each one selects two delegates to represent them in July at Boys Nation. Some served as governors at Boys State, but most did not.

With the retirement of PNC Bob Turner as Boys Nation’s Director of Activities last year after 35 years on staff, another past national commander, Dale Barnett, has stepped into the role. There’s also a new program director in Tyler Mitchell, replacing the retired Mike Buss, and Dennis Barlow taking on the retired Bob Craig’s duties as office manager.

But much remains the same. Marymount University has hosted Boys Nation since 1986. As the delegates check in, they’re reminded as they are every year to take care of their room keys and are handed the yellow polos that will serve as their uniforms for the next week. There are section meetings to attend, the welcoming ice cream social, and the party receptions in which Federalist party counselor Joe Bishop and Nationalist party counselor Joe McCraith let the fledgling senators know what awaits when party conventions begin on Saturday.

It’s a day for the members of Boys Nation 2018 to get acclimated to each other and the campus they’ll call home for the next week. The real work begins Saturday, when they’ll be sworn in and elect a president pro tempore and secretary of the senate.

Follow the happenings at American Legion Boys Nation 2018 here on legion.org and on social media using the hashtag #BoysNation2018.

What to do if your first civilian job doesn't work out

From Military.com | By Lida Citroën

You’ve followed the experts’ advice on de-militarizing your resume, networking, job searching and interviewing. You got your first civilian job, hooray! It’s going okay for about six months. It doesn’t seem to be your dream job, but you figure, it takes a while to get trained and on board, so you’re giving it the benefit of the doubt.

At about the eight-month mark, you realize, this job is NOT for you. Maybe you’re not using your skills. Maybe the job seems boring to you. Maybe the culture or people aren’t a good fit. Or maybe it’s just not what you thought it would be.

It could also be that your manager has decided that, while you seemed like a good fit from your resume and the interview, after sufficient training and on-boarding, perhaps it’s not as good of a fit as s/he originally thought. And so, regretfully, your manager has to “let you go,” and once again, you find yourself on the job market.

That happens sometimes, whether you’re a veteran or civilian. Either things aren’t how you expected they’d be at the job or you aren’t exactly what they expected. You can only tell so much from a job description and an interview. Likewise, they can only tell so much from a resume and an interview. The important part is that you can move forward and determine what your next step is going to be. Here are 4 tips on what to do if your first civilian job doesn’t work out.

  1. Get Feedback. If your manager didn’t feel like you were a good fit for the job, talk to him/her and ask the honest question….Why not? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, feedback is a gift. You can take the feedback and learn if there’s something you can do differently to make your next civilian job more successful.

  2. Write Down Your Likes. What are the things you liked about the job? It may not have been a good fit, but I’m guessing there were certain aspects of the job you liked. Make a list. When you’re looking for a new civilian job, look for those things you did like in a new job.

  3. Write Down Your Dislikes. If you didn’t feel like the job was a good fit, make a list of why it wasn’t. If the culture was not a good fit, write down what the culture was like, why you didn’t like it and what you would rather it be. If you didn’t like what your job responsibilities were, write down why not and list out what you would like to do instead. Taking note of these things will help guide you on what to and what NOT to look for in your next civilian job.

  4. Get More Information. Perhaps if you had more information before taking the job, you would have had a better feel for what the job was really like and you wouldn’t have taken it. Before taking your next job, try to collect some more data. Informational interviews are always a good way to collect information from the company and what it’s like to work there. Try talking to some of the other employees who work there and ask them some honest questions about the culture and position. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn from their answers and even their personalities when talking with them.

The bottom line is, don’t get discouraged if that first civilian job didn’t work out. It happens to everyone at some point in their life. It’s important to learn a lesson from your experience and use what you learned to make the next experience on your journey a better one.

Commander's 'Family First' membership incentive pin still available

American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan's "Family First!" membership incentive pin is available for the entire American Legion Family. It's her way of supporting her "Family First!" theme and encouraging the American Legion Family to join forces when it comes to increasing membership.

The "Family First" pin is still available for Legion Family members to earn for recruiting new members into The American Legion for 2018.

Rohan will award her national commander incentive pin to any American Legion Family member who obtains any combination of three eligible new members into the Legion Family (The American Legion, Sons of The American Legion or American Legion Auxiliary).

A new member is any eligible person joining for the 2018 membership year who was not a member of the American Legion Family during the 2017 membership year.

To maintain the integrity of the national commander's pin incentive program, only one pin will be awarded per individual.

Upon receipt, national membership staff will confirm the names and mail the pin directly to the person who earned it.

Download the membership incentive pin form here.

130,000 veterans may be eligible for refund for taxes paid on disability severance payment

The Department of Defense has identified more than 130,000 veterans who may be eligible for a refund for taxes paid on their disability severance payment.

Veterans who are eligible for a refund for taxes paid on their disability severance payment can submit a 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return for their reimbursement. The department began mailing notices to veterans July 9.

The deadline to file for the refund is one year from the date of the Defense Department notice, or three years after the due date for filing the original return for the year the disability severance payment was made, or two years after the tax was paid for the year the disability severance payment was made, according to the IRS.

Affected veterans can submit a claim based on their actual disability severance payment by submitting to the IRS a completed Form 1040X, the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

The IRS also has approved a simplified method for obtaining the refund, in which veterans can claim the standard refund amount on Form 1040X based on when they received the disability severance payment. Those standard refund amounts are $1,750 for tax years 1991 to 2005; $2,400 for tax years 2006 to 2010; and $3,200 for tax years 2011 to 2016.

The disability severance payment is not taxable or subject to federal income tax withholding for a veteran meeting either of these criteria:

• The veteran has a combat-related injury or illness as determined by his or her military service at separation that resulted directly from armed conflict; took place while the member was engaged in extra-hazardous service; took place under conditions simulating war, including training exercises such as maneuvers; or was caused by an instrumentality of war.

• The veteran is receiving disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs or has received notification from VA approving such compensation.

However, many of the veterans had taxes withheld, but the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016 remedies that. The act directed the secretary of defense to identify disability severance payments paid after Jan. 17, 1991, that were included as taxable income.

Even if a veteran did not receive a letter from the Defense Department, the individual may still be eligible for a refund. DoD recommends visiting the IRS website and searching “combat injured veterans” for further information.

Estates or surviving spouses can file a claim on behalf of a veteran who is now deceased, the IRS explains on its website.

Follow the Legion's legislative efforts

Whether testifying before congressional committees or meeting with U.S. representatives and senators, members of The American Legion Legislative Division are busy advocating for U.S. veterans, the military and their families on a regular basis.

Through The American Legion Legislative Update monthly e-newsletter, subscribers are kept up to date on Legion legislative efforts, including testimony, key pieces of Legion-supported legislation and how members of the Legion Family can help lobby their members of Congress. Included in each edition are bills in Congress that affect issues such as veterans benefits, the quality of military life, VA health care, veterans employment and defense/VA appropriations. The e-newsletter extends the reach of the Legion's advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill, linking subscribers to what the organization does to represent America's veterans and servicemembers in Congress.

Subscribing is easy. Simply go to www.legion.org/newsletters and scroll down to the Legislative Update.

Erie Bean Feed: 'It means something to us'

They start in Erie, Kan., at around 7 a.m. on a Friday, dropping 1,400 pounds of navy beans into more than 50 metal kettles ranging from 25-75 pounds each filled with water. A few hours later, with wood stacked under each kettle, a team goes around lighting a fire under each kettle, using a propane tank attached to what looks like a combination of a blow torch and hair dryer. Within a few minutes, a fire is going under each metal container.

And for the next five or so hours, members of the George L. Hendricks Post 102 American Legion Family will add seasoning and meat to the pots until they are ready to serve to hundreds of Kansas residents lined up with their own pots, pans, buckets and coolers. At 6 p.m., the serving lines are open, and 26 minutes – a testament to the efficiency the post members have developed over 90-plus years of experience – the lines are gone and most of the beans have been served.

“Most of these guys are here helping every year,” Post 102 Sergeant-at-Arms John Gilbreath said. “That’s how we’re able to do what we do.”

Post 102 has been doing it for more than 90 years, six-time Post Commander Jack McGowen said. The bean feed is part of Erie’s Old Soldiers and Sailors Reunion, which celebrated its 145th year July 9-14 this year. McGowen believes the post took over sponsorship of the reunion in around 1925.

Gilbreath has been helping cook and serve beans for 14 years, attributing dedication and patriotism that keeps bringing him back to brave temperatures that hit the mid-90s this year.

“I’m American,” he said. “I was born American, I’m going to die American, and this is part of keeping the tradition of this going on. It’s been going on 145 years. You’re talking about a small town and a bunch of country people pulling together to make things work. You’ve got to keep it going. It’s just like celebrating the Fourth of July. It means something to us.”

And it means something to those who live in the area. Alberta Westhoff, 80, comes nine miles every year for the bean feed. An American Legion Auxiliary member for more than 50 years, she said it’s an excellent opportunity to get together with others and see old friends.

“You see a lot of class reunions this week,” Westhoff said. “It’s a good time for everyone.”

Tony Jimenez drove the nearly 20 miles from Chanute to Erie to stock up on beans. He wasn’t surprised by the lines at the bean feed. “If it’s a bean feed, there’s going to be a line,” he said. “It’s the people getting together.”

Bill Locke, a 92-year-old member of Post 102, was born and raised in Erie, spent 24 years in the Navy and now lives in Raymore, Mo. He came to the reunion when he was younger and spent many years helping cook the beans. Now – after a 120-mile ride on his Harley-Davidson trike – he sits back and watches, a fixture at the bean feed who comes to the reunion for “camaraderie. They’ll be people here that I haven’t seen for 40 years. I probably wouldn’t know half of them, but they’ll know me. That’s what it amounts to: camaraderie.”

Though he still enjoys the reunion and won’t miss a bean feed, Locke does miss the old days. “This was before television, air conditioning and microwaves,” he said. “People would get their beans, sit here in the courtyard, and eat and talk. That’s the way it was back then. They didn’t go home.

“Now they get a bucket of beans and head to the house and turn on the television.”

The bean feed is by no means the end of the Legion’s involvement. On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the 38th annual American Legion IPRA World Championship Rodeo takes place at Post 102’s outdoor arena. The rodeo started in 1980 with portable everything, including chutes. Now there are permanent chutes, corrals, bleachers, stands for selling food and beverages, and an announcer’s box. Members of the International Professional Rodeo Association and the American Cowboy Rodeo association compete in the rodeo.

“The rodeo has basically gotten bigger since its start,” McGowen said. “We get the gate money. It costs us X amount of dollars to have a contractor produce the rodeo. And the post and its Auxiliary unit man food and beverage stands.”

The Legion-sponsored week also features a youth rodeo, children’s tricycle and bicycle races, concerts, fireworks, a 5k run and walk, a car and truck show, a golf outing and a parade down Main Street – right in front of Post 102 – on the final day of the reunion. Post 102 invites all of the Legion posts in the Third District to march in the parade. More than 100 Legion Riders also take part in the parade, and this year’s parade also included Department of Kansas Commander Dan Wiley, Department Adjutant/Past National Commander Jimmie Foster and other state Legion leaders.

Post 102 hosts community meals during the week, and several high school classes have their reunions in one of Post 102’s rooms. And in the last 10 or so years, local organization Main Street Memories has teamed up with Post 102 on the reunion, adding an arts and crafts show to the lineup.

People don’t just come from all over the state, but “all over the country,” McGowen said. “We probably have a group of 25-30 volunteers from the (post’s Legion Family) who help out during the reunion, from the rodeo to the bean feed and other events. And as long as we’re breathing and still available, we’ll keep doing this. And we’ve gotten three or four new members involved in the past couple of years, and they’ve been working their butts off this year learning the ropes. So I’m pretty confident they’ll be involved for a while.”

Wiley said the Old Soldiers and Sailors Reunion is typical of what one will find in Smalltown, USA. “This is about giving back to the community, and it’s really pretty reflective of the central part of this country: a lot of small towns, small-town pride and small-town festivals. And that’s exactly what this is,” he said. “And the Legion in these smaller communities is at the forefront of these.”

Hosting the community event is in line with what American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan asked posts to do when she was elected last August. “Commander Rohan wanted our posts to open up to the community and be a focal part of the community, and that’s certainly what they do here,” Wiley said. "(Post 102) has done an excellent job. They open up their doors, put on this week of programs and open up to the community.”

This year’s grand marshal was David Larsen, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1972 and was awarded the Navy Cross while serving as the gunner’s mate on River Patrol Boat 775 during the Vietnam War. A member of Post 102, Larsen said the Legion’s involvement in the reunion shows the members’ effort to ensure that those in the military continue to get both remembered and honored.

“Now veterans are treated with respect, and I think it was a handful of veterans who helped change that culture,” Larsen said. “I don’t think you ever see (veterans) treated like they were (after the Vietnam War) because of the people that are here today.”

Legionnaires from all over the state come to Erie to take part in the parade, one of the final events of the reunion. Roger May, an American Legion Rider from Post 225 in Ozawkie, Kan., rode more than 150 miles for the second straight year to attend the bean feed and then ride in the parade the next day. “I just heard about it from other (Legion) Riders who said it was a neat thing to see,” he said. “And as you can see, it is.”

May said being a part of an event that has lasted for 145 years “is motivating to know that there’s people out there that still care enough to do this sort of thing.”

John Melvin, a member of Post 182 in Arma and Kansas’ Third District vice commander, has been coming to the reunion for 15 years. He made the 45-minute drive again this year to take part in the parade and regularly marches in parades while representing The American Legion.

“It’s really kind of interesting … that you will see a different reaction along a parade route in different areas,” Melvin said. “There’s more patriotism and more respect in some places. Very seldom do you see community members just sitting on the side of the road in Erie when the color guard passes. That’s nice to see.”

Long-awaited Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center to open

The oft-delated, 1 million-square-foot new VA regional medical center for Denver-area patients will soon be serving patients.

VA will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Rocky Mountain Regional Medical Center at 10 a.m. July 21, at 700 N. Wheeling St., Aurora, Colo. Speakers will include Ralph Bozella, chairman of The American Legion’s Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission, and Sallie Houser-Hanfelder, director of VA’s Eastern Colorado Health Care System. Other speakers include several members of Colorado’s congressional delegation: U.S. Reps. Jared Polis, Ed Perlmutter, Diana DeGette and Mike Coffman as well as U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner and Mike Bennett. Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.

The new medical center will replace the nearly 70-year-old VA hospital just east of downtown Denver. Outpatient services will start moving from the Clermont Street site in Denver to the new facilities in Aurora on July 27. The emergency room at the old hospital closes Aug. 4.

The PTSD clinic and other medical services will remain at the old hospital for the foreseeable future. The modern spinal cord injury unit will not open for about six months.

For more information or a map of the hospital complex go to www.denver.va.gov/about/coming-soon.asp.

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