|American GI Forum Texas News
COVID-19 Affects AGIF Conferences
American GI Forum 2020 National Conference Postponed – Texas State Conference , Mid-year Cancelled!
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. AUSTIN, Texas – Mr. Larry Romo, National Commander, and the American GI Forum (AGIF) National Board of Directors, on a request from host of the 2020 AGIF National Conference Texas Commander Ceasar Ruiz and the AGIF National Conference Chair Gil Rodriguez have agreed to postpone the 2020 National Conference scheduled for July 30 to August 1, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas until the summer of 2021. It was a decision based mostly on the COVID-19 Crisis that has shaken the entire Nation and the difficulty of getting definite commitments from speakers, sponsors and delegates. The 2020 National Mid-Year in Mighigan had been postponed earlier byi the National Board. More>
March 22-25, 2020
American GI Forum 2020 National Mid-Year Conference to be in Detroit
American GI Forum of Texas, In. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The National Mid-Year Conference will be held in Detroit, Michigan, Sunday, March 22-Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Registration is set at 150 for early Registration and after that date and on-site it will be 175. Youth fees will remain constant at $100.00 with non-member youth at $125. Adult non-members will be $200. Make checks payable to AGIF US Mid-Year Conference 2020 and mail to: Rebecca Lugo, Conference Coordinator, P.O. Box 9697, Detroit, MI 48209. Get Registration Forms Here>
Conference Headquarters will be at the Wyndham Gardens Romulus Hotel, 9191 Wickham Road, Romulus, MI 48174. Room rates Sun-Wed. $66.00. Reservations Direct 734-728-2800. You must request special requirements from hotel. For additional information: 313-293-0612.
Fall State Board of Directors’ Meeting held in San Marcos, Texas
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN MARCOS, Texas – The State Board of Directors met on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the San Marcos Clubhouse, San Marcos Texas, Texas. The Finance Committee met with CEO Gil Rodriguez before the meeting to establish a budget for the state office expenses and Board travel for the 2020 year. This yearly undertaking sets funding that helps execute our established mission for another year. All executive officers are allotted a yearly travel budget for all state business that includes funding for AGIF national travel for the State Commander, State Chairwoman and the State CEO.
Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter unveils 2019-2020 Hispanic Heritage Month Bus Wrap
By Patsy M. Vazquez-Contes, BTP Director of Events and Partnerships
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – On Sunday October 13, 2019, the American G. I. Forum (AGIF), Beatrice T. Perez (BTP) Robstown Women’s Chapter will host the unveiling bus wrap ceremony with the theme: “The Power of Hispanic Leadeship” on the Domingo Live Show (on Sunday, October 13, 2019 between 10:30 AM – Noon). Our Keynote speaker will be Robstown City Manager Herman Rodriguez.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15 each year to show awareness of the history, culture and contributions of American citizens whose ancestry originates from any one of the Latino countries is celebrated. More>
California Forumeer Former National Commander Jake Alarid, with a sense of Pride, remembers,”My 2 Cents Worth" on the Moon Landing
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc Report: EL CAMINO REAL CHAPTER, CALIFORNIA – My parents always reminded me that being the oldest of 13 children I had to set an example for my brothers and sisters and that was to go to college and get an education. My 5th grade teacher, Sister Mary Louis demanded to know what I wanted to be when I grew up, which prompted me to tell her I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. More>
State Conference Update:
Seguin Manuel Castillas Chapter Commander Thanks all Delegates Attending the 2019 State Conference
American GI Forum Report: AUSTIN, Texas – “On behalf of our chapter I want to thank and show my appreciation to all members who attended at our 2019 Annual State Conference here in Seguin,” remarked newly Elected Chapter Commander Javier Castilleja and Co-chair of the State Conference. Commander Castilleja replaced Commander Chris Aviles as Seguin Commander.
“I also thank and proud, grateful and thankful for the local chapter members who dedicated time, effort and resources to make the 2019 Conference in Seguin a success with a special thanks to Mr. JP Amador, Conference co-chair.” More>
Myrna Chavarria, Miguel Hernandez Cmdr is Texas AGIF Facebook Administrator
American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas. The American Gi Forum of Texas is hoping to expand coverage of news and activities throughout the AGIF as it expands its Facebook coverage. Myrna Chavarria, Commander of the San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Memorial Chapter has been selected and accepted the job to administer the Texas Facebook Page. She is being assisted by State Vice Commander Ceasar Ruiz when needed. Gil Rodriguez, Texas State Exec will also be contributing information from the AGIFTX.org Web site. More>
AGIF 2018-19 National Executive Board
News From Around Our State
2019-2020 State Executive Board Members
2018 National Conference
2018 State Conference Photos
|Veterans Benefits News
VA To Implement Appeals Modernization in February
Act will simplify process for how Veterans make appeals
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) announced that the Federal Register will publish on Jan. 18 regulations accompanying the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which will help Veterans experience a more transparent claims decision-review process.
After publication of the regulations, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie will certify the department’s readiness to implement appeals modernization, which will transform a complex appeals process into one that is simple, timely and provides greater choice to Veterans who disagree with a VA decision. More>
Get an Answer Within 30 Days of VA Receiving Your Claim
Considering submitting a claim for an increase in your disability compensation? VA’s new Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program delivers decisions within 30 days.
Eric, a Marine Corps Veteran, was urged to apply for VA disability compensation because of an injury to his upper back that occurred during boot camp.
“The only thing that helps are massages, so I use the money for that. It goes towards normal living expenses too, because it is more than I expected,” he says. “It has made my life a lot easier to have that extra income.” Read More>
VA Disability Claims Application Process for Veterans
American GI Forum of Texas, STATE OFFICE, AUSTIN, Texas –The AGIFTX is publishing the fllowing information for our members and other veterans in the hope of helping them in seeking help from the VA.
In the face of dramatically increasing workloads and a backlog that affects Veterans of all eras – and both first-time filers and Veterans coming back to VA for a supplementary claim – the Veterans Benefits Administration must deliver first-rate, timely benefits and services, faster and more effectively than ever before. The steps that we publish below are to help you file a service Claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. You may click on any of the links we are providing for you to get the maximum help when filing your claim.
More information about VA Forms 21-526EZ, 21-527EZ, 21-534EZ or VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement, may be found at www.ebenefits.va.gov or www.va.gov/vaforms/.The VA must help you meet your needs. You can find a list of all the benefits by going to http://www.benefits.va.gov/ or by uploading the General Overview of Filing a Service Claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs here.
To achieve our goals for improving the delivery of benefits to Veterans, we are paroviding a General overview of filing a service claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Transformation Plan that includes initiatives to re-train and reorganize our people, streamline VA business processes, and build and implement new technology solutions to eliminate the claims backlog and process all claims faster and at a higher quality.
TTexas Veterans and AGIFTX members can get more information form the Texas Veterans commission here http://www.tvc.state.tx.us/ or http://www.agif-nvop.org
|Past Events & Schedules
|American GI Forum News
State Conference and Board of Directors' Mid-Year Set for San Antonio have been Cancelled!
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Mr. Roy Reyes & Mrs. Dee Leal, State Conference and Mid-Year Co-Chairs have informed us through Roy that the San Antonio and Houston Chapters, hosts of the State Conference and State Mid-year Conference for 2020 have decided that due to the coronavirus crisis the timing at this time was not practical nor realistic to hold the Conferences, scheduled for March 30 to May 3. In the best interest of all concerned there was little choice but to cancel. In a letter from Roy, the committee has advised the Hotel that they are opting out of their contract and expect the hotel to honor their request. More>
Judge Bob Perkins Honored–
Austin Chapter Hosted its Annual Christmas Awards Dance December 21
American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas–The Austin Chapter held its annual Christmas Awards Benefit Dance on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at the Wyndham Garden Inn Hotel, 3401 N. IH-35 in Austin, Texas. Chapter Commander Armando Longoria and members welcomed attendees to a memorable evening right before Christmas. This year’s annual awards event honored retired Judge Bob Perkins for his many years of work for the Central Texas community with a Community Award. Perkins was also named as an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Texas AGIF and was presented with a Garrison hat and an American GI Forum Pin. Two Austin Chapter members also received awards for their work and dedication to Veterans and their families and our community. More> Photos>
Remembering Benny C. Martinez, Member AGIF/TX Lucian Adams Chapter
JANUARY 4, 1934 – DECEMBER 29, 2019
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Please join the Lucian Adams Chapter in remembering a dear friend and long-time American GI Forum (AGIF) member, Benny C. Martinez who passed away December 29, 2019. Benny was born on January 4, 1934 in Goliad, Texas and was one of eleven children born to Placido Lozano Martinez and Paula Cabrera Cortinas. Benny served in the U.S. Army, in Korea from 1957–1958 and from 1958–1962. He also served in the Reserves as a Medic at Fort Hood, Texas. All seven brothers would serve in the US Army with four brothers serving in WWII. We was an active member of the American GI Forum Lucian Adams Chapter in Houston. More>
San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Memorial Chapter’s Pancho Claus Present at Annual Turkeys and Toys Program
By Cosme J. Barcelo, Program Chairman
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas–The Pancho Claus Christmas Program, sponsored by the Miguel Hernandez Memorial Chapter of the American GI Forum distributed turkeys with all the trimmings to over 85 families on Saturday, December 20 at the Circus Play-Mor Bingo Hall in San Antonio. And individually gifted wrapped toy was given to over 450 children in these participating families. More>
American GI Forum Awards Students Laptops in Essay Contest
By Vicky Camarillo, Corpus Christi Caller Times
World War II veteran, doctor and activist Hector P. Garcia made history in 1967 when he gave a statement to the United Nations General Assembly in Spanish. It was the first time an American representative had addressed the assembly in a language other than English.
Those kinds of actions helped cement Garcia as an advocate for Hispanic civil rights, according to essays written by local students. More>
For the full story, video & photos: https://www.caller.com/story/news/education/2019/10/10/american-gi-forum-awards-students-laptops-essay-contest/3906502002/
Corus Christi Caller Times:
“Top Moments of 2019 in South Texas”
American GI Forum of Texas Inc Report: CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Former National Chairwoman Patsy Vazquez Contes named in Chorpus Chrisit Caller times' list of “Top Moments of 2019 in South Texas” featuring 65 top moments. Patsy Vasquez-Contes, Event Coordinator for the Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter helps organize a Yearly Essay Contest for local area schools. Students are required to read their essays during the competition. Last year the Event was held at Three Elementary School and as part of the American GI Forum Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women's Chapter annual essay contest top students are awarded electronic equipment.
Patsy and the AGIF surprised Students at three schools with the electronic tablets on Thursday, October 10, 2019. The theme of the essay was how the American GI Forum promotes higher education to live out the American Dream. Congratulations to Patsy and the Beatrice T. Perez Women’s Chapter. Patsy, a native Texans, recites in Pueblo Colorado with husband and past National Commander Luis Vazquez Contes.
RACHEL DENNY CLOW/CALLER-TIMES
Update on 71st Annual American GI Forum National Conference held in Las Vegas, August 4-8, 2019
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.: AUSTIN, Texas –2019 American G I Forum of the United States National Conference took place August 4-8, 2019 at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada 89101. Below are some updates and events that occurred during the Conference. National Commander Larry Romo won a close race for rel-election with Texas Commander Ceasar Ruiz. National Chairwoman Dora Gonzales ran unopposed. All new officers are listed below. More>
From National Vice Commander Russell Lopez
Embassy of the Republic of Korea Seeks Korean War Veterans to Honor With the Ambassador for Peace Medal
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: DENVER, Colorado –National Vice Commander Russell Lopez is untaking an effort seeking Veterans who qualify for the Ambassador for Peace Medal. If you have a friend or family member who served in Korea and it doesn't matter whether they're alive or passed on. Commander Lope has a medal to award them and needs your help. Attached is the history, criteria, and application form for this medal. He will create an awards ceremony for the recipients once he gets the qualified veterans and medals. This is a recent medal that they probably haven't received yet. More>
TX Mid-Year Conference in Del Rio Feb. 21-23
Thank you Del Rio!
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: DEL RIO, Texas – The State Board of Directors met February 21-23, 2019 in Del Rio, Texas for their annual Mid-year Conference.
The Conference convened on Friday February 22 at 1:00 am. Commander Ceasar Ruiz opened the conference to a quorum of Texas delegates from throughout the state. Local Commander Jose Martinez welcome the delegates and Vice Commander Howdy Leal and chairwoman Sylvia Garza responded by thanking the Dr. Fermin Calderon and San Felipe del Rio Women's Chapters for hosting the event. More>
Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter Annual Veterans & Youth Education & Technology Program
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: CORPUS CHRIST, TX – The American GI Forum, Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter hosted their annual Veterans and Youth Education & Technology Program allowing them to continue the legacy set on March 26, 1948 in Corpus Christi, Texas at Lamar Elementary School.
They are committed to working collectively with local Corporate Sponsors and Community Leaders to build a bridge that offers the American Dream for the next generation of veterans, their families and our future leaders of America. More> See Photos>
AGIF National News
National Office Update:
Important Information from the National Office for 2019-20
American GI Forum of the U.S.: Pueblo, CO – The 2018-19 National Board reminds the States that dues and assessments for Charter Charters are due by January 31, 2020. Dues payed begining October 1, 2019 til December 31, 2018 will be be considered payed for the entire 2020 year. Chapters being late in remitting dues and assessments may be subject to an additional charge per chapter per month.
Forum Chapters must have at least 8 veterans when submitting transmittals. 25% non-veterans are allowed under the constitution and must be maintained in order to qualify as a chapter in good standing. Women and youth chapters must have at least 8 members to qualify as viable chapters.
Dues must be submitted and paid through each State Treasurer. Each State Treasurer will submit all dues and assessments to the National Office, attention to Mr. Luis Vazquez Contes (acting Office Manager) at the National Office. Along with checks, transmittal and charter renewal forms must be submitted. Membership applications are not necessary except for new members. New Veteran members must show proof of status. When running for State of National Office copies of a DD-214 or VA card will be needed for proof of status. More>
MALDEF Suit Stops Exclusion of Mexican Americans from “Whites Only” Cemetery
Normanna Cemetery Association Agrees that Refusal to Bury Latino Residents is Discriminatory and Violates Rights of Latinos
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: CORPUS CHRISTI, TX— A MALDEF lawsuit filed in April aimed at stopping the exclusion of Mexican Americans from being buried in a “Whites Only” Cemetery came to a swift end Friday when the Normanna Cemetery Association agreed in court that its policy is discriminatory and violates the rights of Latinos.
MALDEF filed the lawsuit on behalf of the American G.I. Forum of Texas, Inc. a non-profit membership organization that serves and advocates on the behalf of Latino military veterans throughout the State of Texas. Read More>
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
San Antonoio, Texas is the site selected for the 2020 National Conference. The dates are July 30-Ausgust 1, 2020 at the Wyndham San Antonio River Walk Hotel 111. N. Pecan Street
The State office along with the Board of directors are happy to report that the next Board meeting will be in conjunction with the State Conference which this year will be held in San Antonio, Texas in March 2020. We will report all updates on this site as we receive them.
The NVOP will be having its Spring Meeting in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Area next March. The Board plans to visit both local NVOP sites in Dallas and in Ft. Worth during the 2-day event. The location of the meeting has not yet been established. Past National Commander Juan Mirecles is the present Board Chair. The Board has in the past visited sites where NVOP programs exist during their Spring meetings.
Past National Commander Tony Morales lives in Ft Worth and hopefully he will attend some of the meetings. He is a former NVOP Board member. Tony and his wife Guillerma attended the Austin Chapter Annual Christmas Dance last December 21st