Our VA Hospitals

I know some of you are biting at the bit to get back into our VA facilities.  Kathleen Ditch received a letter from the John Cochran Hospital outlining what they are doing.  The VA Hospital or Home you are working with are probably making some of these same changes and we wanted to let you know what John Cochran is doing.
Remember this is from John Cochran, but some of your places are making some of the same decisions.

Hey everyone, I know it seems like forever since we laid eyes on each other, I wanted to reach out to you today and just let you know you are in our thoughts.

Maybe you deliver supplies, maybe you are the first person a veteran sees as a greeter/ambassador, maybe you assist our EMS dept in keeping the place clean, maybe you are providing that invaluable service of bringing our veterans in for their appointment.  Whatever your assignment may be since there are so many of them, trust me your absence is felt. We are beginning to make plans for the future and will definitely keep you posted on that. No date has been confirmed for the movement to reestablishing full medical service. Once we get that information from our clinical staff we will make plans for the safe return of volunteers to the campus.

1.Safe care is our mission. As a health care system we will begin methodically increasing elective care where and when it is safe for Veterans. VA plan moving forward will be a new normal; you will see fewer people sitting in waiting rooms and an increased use of personal protective equipment and masking, among other changes for the safety of  Veterans and our employees.

2.VAVS staff is meeting weekly to discuss what the St. Louis Volunteer Program will be moving forward. The coronavirus pandemic has placed us in the position where we must re-evaluate what we do, how we do it, how often it is performed, who performs it and when it is performed. I can say with certainty that you will not return to the same program that  we had when you departed.  We will have a slow, intentional, and systematic return of our furloughed volunteers. All volunteers INCLUDING current and vested volunteers WILL receive NEW TRAINING before you are permitted to return to active volunteer status. As part of the full program review, we are checking every volunteer job and duties  There will be some jobs that will be changed and/or abolished.  We will review your volunteer position and duties with you upon your return to active volunteer status. As a department we have implemented many new processes to keep, the staff and Veterans as safe as possible. Many of these safety measures will be expected of you as VA volunteers.

3.The medical center’s clinical services are also doing a similar review with our Executive Leadership Team to ensure that as the clinical programs are returned to full operations, we are doing so in a safe and responsible manner. These evaluations will be conducted over a 2 week period. Support services and programs, such as voluntary service will have an opportunity to also review and present program revisions for the future.

4.During the first week of May we typically open enrollment for our Summer Youth Volunteer program. We have made the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s Youth Volunteer program. We plan to use this time to redesign the program and update it to meet today’s more stringent requirements. We will miss the presence and energy of our youth. Our past participants will be receiving a letter from us announcing the cancelation of this year’s program.

5.We have so many canceled plans that I’m happy to be able to announce one redesigned NOT canceled program. This year’s Women Warrior Baby shower hosted by the American Red Cross (ARC) is being rescheduled for July 19th.  I am so impressed with the ingenuity of our partners. ARC is hosting a Drive-Thru Baby Shower for 75 new moms.  We are working with ARC to make this year’s program just as successful as all of the rest. Due to the coronavirus, we are encouraging organizations to make monetary donations. The funds will be will used to purchase items for baby shower. You can make the check payable to AV St. Louis HCS with Baby Shower in the memo section.

6.We are hosting a blood drive at JC in the Enright Building on June 11th.  The blood drive is open to the public.  Appointments are needed.  Donating Blood Makes a Big Difference in the Lives of Others. Red Cross and others have experienced a large drop in Blood drives and donations. VA St. Louis is participating in a Mayo Clinic study that uses convalescent plasma that contains antibodies from individuals recovered from COVID-19. Doctors have seen positive results from this protocol. We have just started the study and have few Veterans that have received the treatment.

7. For the last 32 years, we’ve always known that on the Tuesday before Memorial Day, Rolling Thunder would come riding down 255/270, heading into the VA grounds to remember our hero’s at national cemetery and honor our Veterans at VAMC. The Run was started in 1987 by a couple of Vietnam Veterans to raise awareness of our POWs/MIAs. Due to the COVID 19 situation the 2020 Run For The Wall has been CANCELLED…😩

8. The 70 year tradition of scouts placing flags at each headstone will be observed in a different manner this year. The National Cemetery Administration has announced that the National Cemeteries will not hold public Memorial Day Ceremonies but individual cemeteries may hold private memorial services. Information on the planned JB National Cemetery Memorial Day observation has not been announced. Plans will be consistent with CDC guidelines. The Scouts and Flags will be missed.

9. Last week VA instituted full masking across the entire VA health care system to protect our staff and patients from asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus. All employees, patients, visitors, contractors and volunteers MUST wear a face covering or mask while on duty at any VA health care facility; hospital and clinic.

We hope you are taking good care of yourselves and your loved ones. These are difficult times we are in right now but you are VAVS strong.  Stay Healthy because you will be expected back.  You may be outta sight but definitely not outta mind.


We are still having a Buddy Poppy Display Contest!!!!!!

“Buddy” ® Poppy / VFW National Home

Department of Missouri

2019-2020 Memo

So, our convention has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic! But our Buddy Poppy Department contest is still going on! We are having the contest Via email or snail mail So; you will send 4-5 pictures of your display and the proper information to myself or Adam by May 29th, 2020.

The rules for the contest are below. Good luck and I cannot wait to see you all again!

Adam St. Pierre   VFW Poppy Chairman
13310 Cancuk Ln
Dixion, MO 65459

Amy Jo Lett VFW Aux Buddy Poppy/National Home Chairman
617 W Mason St
Odessa, MO 64076



These guidelines have been designed to place emphasis on the purpose and effectiveness of the displays. It is suggested and recommended that Department (State) contests rule be established in a like form. (Please be advised, as there are no longer Jr. Girls Units or Sons of the VFW, Category 4 has been removed.)


  • Displays will be presented and judged in three categories:


Public Promotion of Poppy Campaign (Window, booth, parade, poster displays, campaign promotions, etc.)

  • Displays must be designed for public exposure and must bear a message soliciting a donation for and wearing of the VFW “Buddy”® Poppy.

(b) At least one (1) of the Poppies used in the display must be in its original form and color, with label attached.


Memorial or Inspirational Displays (Wreaths, memorial tablets or plaques, patriotic or devotional themes)

  • Displays must be designed to honor the dead, to inspire devotion to God and Country, or to dramatize the activities supported by the “Buddy”® Poppy.

(b) At least one (1) of the Poppies used in the display must be in its original form and color, with label attached.


Artistic or Decorative Use of Poppies (Post Home displays, table centerpieces, corsages, pictures, plaques, models, scenes, hats, novelty pieces, etc.)

  • Any display not meeting the qualifications for Categories 1 or 2 shall automatically be entered in Category 3.
  • At least one (1) of the Poppies used in the display must be in its original form and color, with label attached.

Executive Order No 2

March 26, 2020
Pursuant to the authority under Section 810E, the first bullet, effective immediately, we ask that Auxiliaries, Districts, County Councils, and Departments, if possible and within the requirements of mandated Department Special Orders, make the attempt to elect officers. In the event that an Auxiliary, District, County Council, or Department chooses to hold a virtual meeting, a quorum is required. However, the requirement for the quorum to be onsite is waived. The virtual meeting may be held via phone-tele-conference or video conference or any combination thereof.
Executive Order No. 2 shall remain in effect until the COVID-19 virus restrictions are lifted for your area.
By order of Peggy Haake, National President Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary
Attest: Ann Panteleakos, National Secretary-Treasurer Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary

Date Changes to Department!

Due to the Corona Virus, National has extended the time to get in our Patriotic Art winner and Illustrating America winner.  Since we have more time, the Department Chairmen are extending their times. Here are the new dates:
Student entries to Department – May 6 2020
Auxiliaries to Department – May 20. 2020

Below is a letter from the Chairmen on this and the extended dates for the Past National President’s Scholarship will also be changed to the above dates.
Be safe out there and hope to see all of you in June.
Past National Presidents Scholarship new date
New Deadlines Updated

A Message From The VFW Auxiliary Department President

 To:  Missouri VFW Auxiliary Officers and Members

Subject:  COVID -19

The Missouri VFW Commander Troy Williams posted on Facebook the following information about the Post and Auxiliary Members.

  • He asked that all Posts and Auxiliaries in Missouri cancel all activities through March 31st. This includes meetings, Bingo, Dinners, Canteens, etc.
    • They will reassess this when it gets closer to the March 31st
  • Follow the guidelines set out by the Federal, State and CDC on the COVID -19.
  • No unnecessary traveling.
  • Reach out to our Veterans and elderly members to make sure they have what they need during this time. Volunteer to get groceries for them so they do not have to get out.  Give them your phone number so when they need help, they can call.
  • The Service Offices are closed. They are not seeing Veterans currently.  But if someone has an issue, they can call the phone numbers below:
    • Louis – 314-253-4470
    • Jefferson City – 573-636-8761

We do not take this lightly.  Things keep changing daily and with that, we will adjust.  As changes are made, we will update you.   But for right now, keep the hands washed and do the social distancing. Stay at home if possible and only get out when necessary.  We each want to keep our family, our friends and our members healthy and safe.

Rowena Grigsby

Missouri VFW Auxiliary President