VETERANS AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN: Section 22. Shall: Serve to provide information and advice for members of the Order who currently serve, or who have served, in the United States military. The chairman shall focus primarily in areas pertaining to Veteran’s benefits, advocacy, and the development and maintenance of a historical record of Hibernians that have served. The individual appointed to this position shall be an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces or an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces
Provide Information & Advice
Written monthly reports distributed via email as part of your report process are the best means to fulfill this responsibility. Each month I file a report to my division and state boards that are published statewide and locally. My division reports are published by email as part of our monthly meeting notices distributed by the division President. My state reports are distributed statewide via email by the State Board Secretary and as part of the State Newsletter. I strongly encourage all state, county, and division leaders and VA chairs to distribute information in those reports as broadly to the membership as possible. Non-veteran members of our Order often have family members or friends who are veterans and are in a good position to share benefits or support information to those they care for. It is also important for your VA Chairman to be an active member of the division to be visible and available to help not only our veteran brothers, but also advise members who have veterans in their families.
Maintain a Historical Record of Hibernians That Have Served
The National AOH Veteran Lapel Pin and Membership Card Identifier was implemented by the National Board in 2019. The express purpose of these two initiatives is to encourage veterans in our Order to identify themselves so that their service can be honored, and divisions can record their veteran status as part of the AOH membership database. It is important that Financial Secretaries work with their division leadership to identify the veteran status of prospective members on their application and ensure that information is included as their details are reported to the National Secretary. The online Form 41 member application form includes the veteran status identifier on the form, but there may be old PDF/paper versions of that form used that do not have the latest updates. Therefore, it is important for Financial Secretaries, Standing Committee Chairs, and Presidents remain proactive in “asking in the question” to potential members re. their veteran status. Divisions should also work to identify current members who have not been previously identified as veterans. Recognition events and the annual membership renewal process are opportunities to accomplish this task.
National AOH Veterans Affairs Committee & Website
The National VA Committee has been established and meets via Zoom every third Tuesday of each month at 7pm ET. Any brother, veteran or civilian, is encouraged to attend and VA Chairs are strongly encouraged to attend. Anyone interested in receiving regular updates regarding those committee meetings should contact me directly. The National Board also maintains a section dedicated to AOH Veterans Affairs on the national website at www.aoh.com/veterans-affairs. The site includes key links to veteran benefits and services resources. Garryowen!