Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

February 22, 2013

WHO WE ARE: Local veteran organizations step up to the plate

GOSHEN — How important are organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US (V.F.W.), Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.) and the American Legion to local military veterans?

“We laugh together, we grieve together at certain times when we lose a member,” said Commander Ed Hutchinson of V.F.W. Post 985 in Goshen. “It’s a place to come and meet friends, eat a meal on a Friday night. There is entertainment and if they need assistance, we can help. It’s a club if you want to join and if you want to become involved. A member makes it what they want. You can pick out who you want to talk to or ignore the rest, but we all try to get along.”

Each organization provides similar services for veterans, such as providing rides to VA hospitals and clinics for medical appointments or medical devices including wheelchairs, canes or walkers to borrow or keep. They offer financial assistance for bills such as heat, support for job searches and military funeral honors.

Meeting needs

Commander Charlie Hostetler of American Legion Post 210 in Middlebury describes the difference between the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans.

“The American Legion is one of the oldest veteran organizations with a large membership,” Hostetler said. “The Legion does a lot of lobbying for our memberships and we have a lot of clout with senators and representatives to help veterans nationwide on a national basis.”

The D.A.V. chapters focus on local disabled veterans, Hostetler added.

Commander Jim Gills of D.A.V. Post 19 in Elkhart said their chapter is a place to meet and talk with other vets about issues concerning them.

“We advocate to get their needs met,” Gills said.

There’s a laptop at the chapter with websites bookmarked for medical assistance, job applications and social media connections.

“We serve meals at low cost or for free and provide money if they need some help,” Gills said. “We go to people’s houses to rake leaves or help in other ways. We have a chaplain who spends time with every veteran in the hospital. We have a honor guard for our fallen comrades if a family asks. We have had 17 funerals this year, so far.”

Helping the community

The groups help the community and each other through various programs.

At the V.F.W. in Goshen, there’s a meal every Friday night with a varied menu and bingo or music at different times including special meal deals for holidays such as Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day.

“We utilize our kitchen,” Hutchinson said. “When you have bills to pay you have to make money. We have a good bunch of volunteers who are members and a couple individuals who aren’t members.”

The Middlebury American Legion and the American Legion Riders support the Robert L. Miller Sr. Veteran’s Center (MVC) for homeless veterans in South Bend.

“The post is used to hold benefits for people in the community. We support a Boy Scout troop and the Girl Scouts sell their cookies here. We interact with numerous groups from schools,” Hostetler said. “We have our own scholarship fund of $4,500 for Northridge High School seniors. The Legion Riders club raised $20,000 for scholarships last year, but we didn’t have enough applicants for the money from our own school system so we opened it up to Elkhart Career Center for seniors to apply for scholarships.”

The D.A.V. in Elkhart is holding a fundraiser March 2 from noon to 11 p.m. to raise money for a female veterans retreat.

Attracting younger veterans

The organizations currently face a big challenge — trying to attract the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan wars as members.

“We would love to have younger veterans, but young people don’t historically play bingo,” Hutchinson said. “We do offer stuff for younger ones. The average age of our members is approaching senior age status. The World War II vets are dying off. The Korean War vets are in their 70s and Vietnam War vets, myself included, are in our 60s. We sure could use the younger members.”

Hostetler shared his thoughts on the challenge facing the Legion.

“We want to reach out to the younger ones and help them,” Hostetler said. “I don’t think they realize we can help them, even though we have dues. We have strength in numbers and we can give them information for different things like benefits. They can talk with other vets who understand what they have gone through. It’s a challenge with the social media versus coming into the Legion for socializing. I don’t think the younger guys value the social aspect like the older guys do.”

Hostetler added the Middlebury Legion is a smoke-free facility and encourages young families to come in and socialize.

“The kids are welcome and we don’t turn anybody away,” he said.

Gills said a club will live or die based on its membership, voluntarism, and the support of the auxiliary, who are individuals that didn’t actively serve in the military, but are connected with veterans.

Text Only
Breaking News
  • CORRECTION: Outdoor worship, barbecue at Goshen Christian Reformed Church not happening It was incorrectly reported in Wednesday's edition — the Briefly column on A3 — that Goshen Christian Reformed Church was to have an outdoor worship service and barbecue Thursday through Saturday. The event was submitted by a church with the same nam

    August 21, 2014

  • South Ninth Street area under boil water order South Ninth Street, between East Jackson and Franklin streets in Goshen, is under a boil water order from noon until further notice.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police cars hit during multi-county chase According to Middlebury police, officer Gary Smith attempted to locate a silver Saturn leaving McDonald’s on Ind. 13, near U.S. 20 in Middlebury at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

    August 19, 2014

  • GN140820 hospital network hacked.jpg Kosciusko Community, Lutheran hospital among 206 hacked

    WARSAW — Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals including Kosciusko Community Hospital and Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, announced Monday that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Perry Indicted [GOSHEN NEWS] Texas' Gov. Perry indicted AUSTIN, Texas — A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state's first indicted governor in nearly a century.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rail work to close U.S. 33 Sunday, Monday

    The Indiana Department of Transportation announced that U.S. 33 at Ninth Street, is scheduled to close the morning of Sunday, Aug. 17 as Norfolk Southern rebuilds its railroad crossing. 

    August 13, 2014

  • Obit Robin Williams_Selm.jpg Robin Williams, manic comedy star, dead at 63

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palestinians-12 [GOSHEN NEWS] Israel accepts Egypt's Gaza cease-fire proposal CAIRO — Israel and the Hamas militant group on Sunday accepted a renewed Egyptian cease-fire proposal, clearing the way for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce meant to end a month of heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip that has taken nearly 2,000 lives.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq [GOSHEN NEWS] US officials: New round of airstrikes near Irbil NEW DELHI — American officials say the U.S. launched a second round of airstrikes against Islamic State targets near Irbil on Friday, using drones and fighter jets. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millersburg under boil order

    August 5, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results