April, 2024 Newsletter

Unified Arizona Veterans April Newsletter.


Jhennicea Morrow

4/1/202425 min read

Image of a desert mountain rage, with blue text reading: You're a part of the conversation. On the right side is the UAV Logo
Image of a desert mountain rage, with blue text reading: You're a part of the conversation. On the right side is the UAV Logo

“April is a reminder that life is a beautiful, ever-renewing cycle.”

— E.E. Cummings

Remarks from Chair Travis Burns

Hello everyone,

I wrote this before the ASU Office of Veteran Military Academic Engagement (OVMAE) & Phoenix College Veteran Recreation Fair. That event was focused on how veterans can find recreational activities that may interest them, and allow them to pursue things outside of military service and working.

Some might think that a focus on recreation would take away time and effort that may be better spent working to solve all the urgent crisis and issues facing the veteran community such as homelessness, food insecurity, medical care, and benefits claims.

I disagree.

The veteran service community is a team, just like we were in the military. And it doesn’t take anything away from others if we do self-care, and spend time with our families, while team members continue addressing those critical issues.

At the Recreation Fair, there were art classes. There were yoga classes. The Forest Service was there, with passes to National Parks for veterans. The State of Arizona was there, along with a veteran non-profit dedicated to repairing trails in National Forests. Those people were there for one reason: So veterans could find a way to re-engage with their lives, find something that they used to like doing, or something that they may have always wanted to try.

Many of the people offering these opportunities for recreation were veterans themselves. Many of them had spent years trying to find something that they could do to add a little joy to their own lives, and now, they hoped to share those things with other veterans. I want to thank all of them for the work they put in to make this event a success.

The ability to relax, the ability to find something recreational that we love is especially important for veterans. The reason is that for so many of us, our time in the military becomes such a central part of our lives, that we see almost everything in our lives in relation to it.

I experienced this in my own life, when I used the mindset, abilities and skills I acquired in the military to succeed as an entrepreneur. For many years, this worked for me. However, as happens for so many veterans, the effects of military service began to catch up with me, physically, mentally and spiritually. Working 60-70 hours a week to avoid thinking and dealing with the effects of military service began to catch up with me.

Over time, the mindset, abilities and skills I acquired in the military, which I first used to succeed as an entrepreneur, were instead used to just get through the day. Then the next day, and the next, until one of those days, I found myself sitting in my home office, with a gun, a phone, and a choice.

That was April 24th, 2013, the day I called the Veterans Crisis Line. That day was the true beginning of my journey in the VA mental health system. Early in this journey, I asked my counselor a question. "If I'm not just Travis the soldier, then who am I?"

"Let's find out," she replied, and so began the journey of Travis, the beginner guitar player, Travis, the writer of books and songs, and Travis, who writes these words for any of you who ask yourself: "If I'm no longer just who I was in the military, then who am I?"

Let's find out together.

Wonderful words from our Chair! And in this newsletter we hope to add to his words and aid in his message by helping other veterans find recreation and activities that they enjoy; empowering them to continue their lives and experience the joy every veteran deserves.
To start off, I'd like to talk about Mesa Arizona's Art In Service Program. Thanks to generous grant support, Mesa Arts Center is pleased to present Arts in Service, which provides creative pathways for veterans and service members to use studio arts experiences in reaching their personal goals, whether those are finding a supportive community, stress relief, working toward overall health and wellness, or pursuing career interests in art-making. Registration Begins April 5th for the free veteran courses, and April 9th for regular classes. I have signed up for a few of these classes and, let me tell you, they go quickly. Make sure you visit their website or call in at 12 noon on April 5th, with the class name(s) at the ready so that you can secure your spot. If you have any questions, please contact the Box Office at (480) 644-6500 or email ArtStudioClass@mesaartscenter.com. You can also Sign up for Arts in Service emails notifications. 

Onward to the Events

Be the One

The 1st of each month is BeTheOne Day in The American Legion.

It’s when we highlight our primary mission: reducing the number of veteran suicides.

Learn more at www.betheone.org & help us spread the word on

April 1: it's ok to not be ok.

Douglas Veterans Resource Fair

Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2024
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Fred Hilburn American Legion Post, Douglas, AZ

1325 G Ave.
Douglas, AZ 85607

Month of the Military Child Bingo

Come join us for a fun-filled evening of BINGO at Luke Air Force Base-Youth Programs! This exciting event is dedicated to celebrating the brave and resilient military children. It's a fantastic opportunity for families to gather, have a great time, and win amazing prizes.

Date: Friday, April 5, 2024

Time: 6:00-8:00 PM

Location: Luke Air Force Base-Youth Programs

Bring your friends and family along for an unforgettable night of friendly competition and laughter. We'll provide all the necessary materials, so just bring your enthusiasm and a bit of luck! Whether you're a seasoned BINGO player or a beginner, this event is suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Don't miss out on the chance to show our military children how much they mean to us. Let's come together as a community to create lasting memories and make this Month of the Military Child BINGO Night a roaring success! What will be the grand prize (PRIZES) this year???

Winter Warrior

Group of individuals wearing white Winter Warrior t-shirts
Group of individuals wearing white Winter Warrior t-shirts

The primary objective is to bring the community together through an event shedding light on the issue of Veteran and First Responder Suicide.

All funds raised will go towards supporting a chosen local Veteran or First Responder family in Arizona.

Despite the seriousness of the cause, the event, scheduled for April, is designed to be a lively fitness gathering. Your ticket includes a group lead workout, complimentary food, drinks, games, and live music by a band! Join us for an impactful and enjoyable experience. Discover the plans for 2024 at the event!

Date and time: Sunday, April 7 · 11AM - 7PM

Location: 1606 East University Drive Phoenix, AZ 85034

Side by Side Mini Clinic for Spinal Cord Injury/Multiple Sclerosis Veterans

Image is a flyer for the Spinal Cord Injury/Multiple Sclerosis Veterans Side-by-Side Clinic.
Image is a flyer for the Spinal Cord Injury/Multiple Sclerosis Veterans Side-by-Side Clinic.

Join us on April 11, 2024 from 10 AM to 12 PM for our Side by Side Mini Clinic for Spinal Cord Injury/Multiple Sclerosis Veterans!

The Phoenix VA Health Care System is partnering with Paralyzed Veterans of America and Adrenaline Therapy to offer Veterans the opportunity to transfer, sit in and go for a ride in Side-by-Side off-road vehicles.

This is the pre-clinic to a planned half day event at Four Peaks. The clinic is only available to Spinal Cord Injury/Multiple Sclerosis Veterans who are enrolled in adaptive sports.

To sign up for enrollment in adaptive sports, contact Michelle May at 602-277-5551 ext. 5395 or your provider can send consult to outpatient recreation therapy adaptive sports.

STRONG employers are eager to connect with YOU!

Event flyer for the direct networking event
Event flyer for the direct networking event

50strong Exclusive Employer Connect

Thursday 4/11
12 PM

All Service Members, Veterans, Guard, Reserve, Spouse Jobseekers & Military-Affiliated Students are invited!

Women Veterans Meet-Up

Women Veterans Meet-Up: April - Veterans Benefits & Disability Claims, Military Sexual Trauma Hosted by West Valley Women Veterans.
Thursday, April 11th, 6 PM - 7 PM

Join us for our Monthly Women Veteran Meetup, a gathering designed to bring together women veterans for an evening of connection, support, and empowerment.

This in-person event, exclusively for women veterans, will take place on Thursday April 11 2024 at 6:00 PM in the private American Legion Post 29 Hall at 6822 North 57th Drive Glendale Arizona. (Located 1/2 block south of Glendale Avenue in the Hall, which is the separate non-smoking building with the large mural.)

At this meetup, we aim to create a space where women veterans can share their experiences, form meaningful connections, and find support from fellow veterans who understand their unique journey. Whether you're still in the military, recently transitioning into civilian life, or have been out of the service for years, this event provides an opportunity to create genuine connections, exchange stories, and build a strong community of like-minded individuals.

During the meetup, we will facilitate engaging discussions, offer resources, and provide valuable information on various topics relevant to women veterans.

Reinforce Men's Group

Men's Group to explore mental health in work, relationships, and more. Specialized support for veterans, healthcare workers & beyond.

Step into an inclusive space where men come together to explore mental health in every facet of life: work, relationships, family, and health. Our goal is to foster understanding and dialogue around men’s mental well-being, equipping you with tools to navigate life’s challenges with resilience.

Led by experienced professionals with specialized expertise in men’s mental health, our group addresses a range of concerns, including work-related stress, relationship dynamics, health issues, and more. Whether you're a veteran, healthcare worker, going through a tough time in your relationships, or simply seeking support, our group offers a safe haven for growth and connection.

Join us to expand your support network, gain insights, and strengthen your ability to thrive. Take the first step towards a healthier, happier you. You don't have to face life's challenges alone. Come join our supportive community today.

We accept Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance.

Date and time: Friday, April 12 · 6 - 7:30AM MST

Location: The Arizona Relationship Institute
7565 East Eagle Crest Drive #ste 201
Mesa, AZ 85207

AVPA 2024 Spring Conference

Arizona Veterand Program Association Logo
Arizona Veterand Program Association Logo

Date and time: Friday, April 12 · 9AM - 4PM MST

Location: Mesa Community College 1833 West Southern Avenue Navajo Room - KSC35C Mesa, AZ 85202

Arizona School Certifying Officials gathering and learning from each other! Please join us for the annual Arizona Veterans Program Association (AVPA) conference!

The official agenda will be sent via email as the event nears.

Topics: Vocational Rehabilitation, Various Chapter of Benefits, SAA, NAVPA updates, Army Ignited, and best practices.

Tickets: If you are planning to attend the conference: Institution Membership - per college charge.
Conference Fee - per person attending the conference. If you are unable to attend and wish to remain an AVPA member: Individual Membership - renews your membership. Refunds: AVPA Membership Fees are non-refundable. Eventbrite Fees are non-refundable. Parking: Free at Mesa Community College.
MCC Contact Number: 480-461-7425

Last Roll Call Ceremony of Remembrance

Photo of a man in uniform next to a flag covered coffin with candles burning in the forground
Photo of a man in uniform next to a flag covered coffin with candles burning in the forground

Please join us on Friday, April 12, from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM for a Memorial Service honoring the lives and sacrifices of Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System’s Veterans who have passed away.

Seating is limited please call (520) 792-1450, extension 15536 to RSVP by April 5th

Healing of Memories Workshop for Women Veterans

Flyer for the Healing of Memories Workshop for Women Veterans
Flyer for the Healing of Memories Workshop for Women Veterans

April 12 – 14, Friday - Sunday

With Graciela Marroquin, BA, MSW, and Lori Rubenstein, JD, PCC

The Healing of Memories Workshop is a safe place for women veterans to learn empathy for themselves.

This is a free workshop.

Registration: Michael_W_Wold@msn.com (651) 687-9767

Women R Veterans 2 - Saguaro Chapter 68 Phoenix WACVA

Flyer with bright pinks and roses for the WAVCA-AWU Chapter 68 event at Spokes on Southern
Flyer with bright pinks and roses for the WAVCA-AWU Chapter 68 event at Spokes on Southern

The Chapter 68 April Social will be on Sunday, April 14th at 4:00 PM at Spokes on Southern. We do hope you will join us for a leisurely time with friends and veterans sisters. Meet someone new.

Guests welcome.

The menu can be located on their website.

Please RSVP to Shirley Vega by April 10th by emailing her at: savega1967@gmail.com or texting her at 602-689-4270

2024 Symposium in Support of Service Members, Veterans & Their Families

Image shows a crowded room, people in a presenation, watching a speaker ahead of them
Image shows a crowded room, people in a presenation, watching a speaker ahead of them

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families and our public & private sector planning partners invite you to attend the 2024 Statewide Symposium in Support of Service Members, Veterans & Their Families.

April 17 · 8AM - April 18 · 4:30PM

Desert Willow Conference Center
4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Registration rates include breakfast, lunch and snacks each day. All attendees are invited to attend a networking reception at the end of day one with refreshments, music and giveaways.

To pay by credit card: select credit card on the registration page and enter your payment information.

To pay by check or purchase order: select the check or invoice option on the registration page and follow the instructions at the end of the page.

Special rates: Individual scholarships are available for those who would not otherwise be able to attend.There are registration discounts for Military/Veteran Resource Network partner organizations, Arizona Veteran Supportive Employers and Military/Veteran Resource Navigators.Group rates for 3+ and 8+ from the same organization.

Please visit the Symposium page for the link to the scholarship application and more information and links for special rates.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Representatives of the military, government and community, including health care & allied health professionals, mental health counselors & social workers, first responders, managed care providers, Veteran Service Organization members, employers & HR professionals, military personnel (Active Duty, Guard, Reserve), educators (early childhood, K-12, higher ed), faith-based community representatives, attorneys & legal advocates, veterans, family members and other community members.

For complete event information, agenda and registration packet, visit the ACMF Symposium page: http://arizonacoalition.org/symposium
We look forward to seeing you at the Symposium!

Earth Day At Luke

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory

Date: April 17th, 2024

Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Location: BX entrance Bldg 1540

Visit the booth for FREE giveaways!

eGreen IT Solutions will be at Luke to collect e-waste for recycling off base.

Consumer Property Only.

• Eligible e-waste includes: computers, laptops, monitors, keyboards, mice, peripherals, cables, copiers, cd/dvd drives, fax machines, phones, stereos, radios, projectors, networking equipment, TV's, etc.

• All PCs/laptops with hard drives will be wiped clean and certified by NIST Standards. A certificate of recycling will be emailed upon final disposition by eGreen IT Solutions.

NO batteries, oils, paints, or other chemicals.

Hosted by 56 CES Environmental in partnership with AAFES Exchange & eGreen IT Solutions. For questions call (623) 856-4748.

Women Veteran Coffee Connections

West Valley Women Veterans logo, infront of a collage of phoos of different women veterans
West Valley Women Veterans logo, infront of a collage of phoos of different women veterans

Women Veterans Coffee Connections Hosted by the American Legion Post #62

Third Thursday of each month for open social, support, and light refreshments.

Date: Thursday, April 18th
10-11:30 (in bingo hall)
American Legion Post # 62
7 W Desert Cove Ave
Peoria, AZ 85345

American Legion Membership not required!

Support Fellow Veterans!

Art In Service Flier, showing a couple of veterans looking over at the art they have created.
Art In Service Flier, showing a couple of veterans looking over at the art they have created.

🎨 Arts In Service! 🎨
2024 Exhibition
Celebrating 6 years of Arts In Service
Share this everywhere, please!
Arts In Service is a free program for veterans and service members that teaches welding, photography, knife making, creating cabochons, printmaking, bead making, jewelry and fabrication, pottery, borosilicate, and painting. Classes fill up quickly, but if you are in the Mesa area and want to sign up, I have included a link below because classes are starting soon. Most Arts in Service classes do not require prior experience. Enrollment for the next round starts April 5th!
Students are encouraged to sign up online at www.mesaartscenter.com/classes/artsinserviceTo register over the phone please call (480) 644-6500Registration is available in-person at our Box Office located at 1 E Main Street Mesa, AZ 85201. We ask that students arrive no earlier than 11:45 AM to register. 🔵 You can register online, over the phone, or in person for Arts in Service, and will be asked to verify your service via email upon registering.
🔵 New students can send in their driver's license or DD214 to verify service. We do not keep this information once verified.
🔵 Requirements to attend Arts in Service are simply that you are a veteran or service-member of the United States Armed Forces.

This program is all in thanks to a few very generous grants, which is amazing but challenging to keep. We want to show that supporting veterans and service members is vital, and so we need to show support for the program by showing up, signing up, and letting our voices be heard.

On Thursday, April 18th, 2024 at the Mesa Arts Center, Joanie Flatt Terrace, between 5:00 PM and 7:30PM there will be an exhibition displaying the completed projects of individuals in the program. Showing up shows the sponsors that there is interest in what veterans can do. Your presence supports Arts in Service by letting the sponsors know that the community has taken an interest in their altruism. 

So please spread this all over to every Veterans group you know, and let's come out and show our support on April 18th.

Veterans Medical Leadership Council (VMLC)

Support Veterans on the Verge of Crisis by eating at ANY Red Robin location in Arizona on April 18th.

20% of food sales go towards the VMLC.

**DO NOT FORGET - Print one of our ads or mention "VMLC" to ensure that your meal counts! The Veterans Medical Leadership Council (VMLC) is committed to connecting Maricopa County Military Veterans to medical, mental health, and general wellness resources and opportunities to ensure no true need is left unmet and exemplary honor is

bestowed where it has been earned. For more information, or to make a direct donation, please visit our website:


UAV 2024 Scholarships

Banner for the UAV's 2024 scholarship awards
Banner for the UAV's 2024 scholarship awards

Wonderful news!

Thanks to the approval of funding, we are awarding 2024 Scholarships to three deserving military recipients.

Jacob N. Dickson Adkinson
- attending N.A.U, completion date 2027
- Program: Nursing, focus; anesthetist
- Planned graduation: May 2027
- Father: USMC
- 100% total & permanent disability

Leslie James Nelson Jr.
- USMC Native American Veteran
- Attending Dine' College
- Major: Psychology, focus: Substance Abuse
- Planned Graduation: December 2024

Antoinette (Ann) Adkinson
- Military Spouse/Caregiver
- USMC veteran, 100% total & permanently disabled
- Attending: A.S.U.
- Major: Positive Psychology
- Planned graduation: May 2025

Thanks to the efforts of the Scholarship Chairperson Jhennicea Morrow, and her team: Committee Members Jennifer Harris, and Jessica Roza, who will present these awards at the AVHOF 2024 Patriotic Awards Luncheon on April 19th, 2024, from 11 AM - 2:15 PM.

Held at the Doubletree by Hilton - Phoenix - Mesa, located at 1011 W. Holmes Avenue, Mesa, AZ

The 17th Annual Patriotic Awards Luncheon

Flier for the 17th Annual Patriotic Awards Luncheon happening April 19th
Flier for the 17th Annual Patriotic Awards Luncheon happening April 19th

hosted by the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society, will be held on Friday, April 19, 2024.
11 AM - 2:15 PM.
Please note that there's been a change of venue -- the event will be held at: Doubletree by Hilton - Phoenix - Mesa, located at 1011 W. Holmes Avenue, Mesa, AZ (US 60 & Alma School Rd)

We are also pleased to announce this year's Copper Award honorees which include:
UAV Copper Star
- Abe McCann, City of Tempe
UAV Copper Shield
- Representative Stacey Travers
AVHOFS Copper Eagle
- Military Assistance Mission and TriWest Healthcare Alliance

AVHOFS Copper Sword - Kelly Mills, Veteran Advocate

Please check the AVHOFS website at www.avhof.org or our social media pages for the registration link and more info!

We Serve Too! Print Tote Bag Workshop

Come print your own canvas tote bag during this drop-in printmaking workshop. Participants get to select from 3-4 designs specifically created for the Arts in Service/We Serve Too! program. Stick around to enjoy snacks and visit the Arts in Service Exhibition.
This program is opened to ages 4 and up.

Location: Print Studio | 1st Floor | North Studio Building | 1 E Main Street Mesa, AZ 85201

Date: Friday, April 19th, 2024

Time: 1PM - 3PM

To register: Please email engagement@mesaartcenter.com

Parking: Free parking in our lot on the northwest corner of Center Street and First Avenue.

Earth Day Trail Clean-Up

April 20: Earth Day Cleanup Event at New River Trail

Please join West Valley Women Veterans as we join “Friends of New River”
& City of Peoria for their Earth Day event! This event is dedicated
to cleaning up the New River Trail at Rio Vista Community Park.

This event promises a fun-filled Saturday for the entire family.
Activities include a kids' craft table, appearances by the mascot Toby,
and informative booths designed for families to discover ways to protect
our planet. Come together with us to make a positive impact and
celebrate Earth Day in a meaningful way!

Rio Vista Community Park, Ramada 4 & 5, 8866 W Thunderbird Rd., Peoria, AZ 85381

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

April 20, 2024

Registration for the Earth Day trail cleanup event: https://form.jotform.com/240425617876160

Earth Day Operation Legacy

Service Project

Join the TMF Phoenix Chapter as we come together with The Mission Continues, WWP, Team RWB, and Team Rubicon at the Rio Salado Restoration Habitat Area to remove brush, undergrowth, weeds, trash, refuse, invasive grasses, trimming trees and possibly painting over graffiti.

Saturday, April 20th • 7:45 AM

We will be down in the Salt River bottom, working both along the paved trail that runs through the Habitat and off the trail. The latter terrain is rocky. When working off trail, there are hazards to be aware of, including rocky terrain, thorny undergrowth and wildlife. Gloves will be provided. Please wear closed toed shoes, preferably work boots if you have them!

Volunteers recommended to be 12 and older.

Breakfast after event hosted by Operation BBQ Relief.

In Honor of Fallen Hero Sergeant E-5 Thomas Z. Spitzer, USMC.

Registration Link: https://donate.travismanion.org/.../phoenix-az.../e562942

Airbase Arizona and Army Aviation Heritage Foundation Helicopter Expo

Date: April 20th, 2024
Time: 11AM - 4PM
Location: Airbase Arizona Flying Museum
2017 N Greenfield Rd
, AZ 85215

Airbase Arizona and the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation will host their annual Helicopter Expo which will exhibit helicopters that represent 70 years of the history of rotary aircraft on Saturday, April 20, 2023, from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Helicopters appearing in the show will include the H-19 Chickasaw that was first introduced in 1949 for service in the Korean War, and several legendary helicopters from the Vietnam era including the legendary UH-1 Huey, AH-1 Cobra, and many more.

On The Green Sport Grill- Golf Tournament for- Missing in America Project

On The Green Sport Grill- Golf Tournament for- Missing in America Project

Join us for a thrilling day of golf and support a great cause at the On The Green Sport Grill- Golf Tournament for Missing in America Project! This in-person event will take place on Fri Apr 26, 2024 at the beautiful Arizona Golf Resort & Event Center.

Get ready to tee off and showcase your golfing skills while making a difference in the lives of missing veterans. As you enjoy the scenic greens and challenging fairways, your participation will contribute to raising awareness and funding for the Missing in America Project.

Whether you're a seasoned golfer or a beginner, this tournament welcomes players of all levels. So gather your friends, family, or colleagues and create a team to compete against other golf enthusiasts.

Not only will you have a fantastic time on the course, but there will also be various activities and prizes throughout the day. So, make sure to bring your A-game and be prepared for some friendly competition!

Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to combine your love for golf with supporting a worthy cause. Mark your calendars and be a part of the On The Green Sport Grill- Golf Tournament for Missing in America Project on Fri Apr 26 2024!

Date and time: Friday, April 26 · 7AM - 4PM MST

Location: Arizona Golf Resort & Event Center
425 South Power Road Mesa, AZ 85206

MPRA Grand Canyon Chapter Inaugural Golf Tournament

The MPRA is hosting their inaugural charity golf tournament in memory of SFC Ramon Rivera.

All military and first responders are highly encouraged to join the fun…all profits made go the the MPRA benevolence fund and 2 scholarships.

Date: April 27th
Time: 6AM start time
Location: Orange Tree Golf Resort
10601 North 56th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Veteran Support Roundup

Save the date for the inaugural Veteran support roundup Saturday April 27, from 10:00 to 3:00 at Rancho Milagro 32905 N. 140th St. Scottsdale AZ 85260

Join the Southwest Veterans Foundation & Rancho Milagro
to help us “round up” organizations and individuals who support veterans and their families.

Admission is free to all!

Golfing With Gratitude 2024

Get Every swing you take and every putt you make will help us raise funds to provide home repair services to disabled veterans and veterans in need, improving their quality of life. By participating in our annual Golfing Event, you directly contribute to rebuilding their lives by providing the support and resources needed for our restoration projects.

Where: 17225 N Citrus Rd, Surprise, AZ 85374

When: April 27th, 2024

Registration Time: 6:30 AM

Tee Time: 7:30 AM

Veteran's Recovery Festival

Date and time: Saturday, April 27 · 3 - 5 PM MST
Location: 2992 North Alma School Road #ste 3 Chandler, AZ 85224

Come join us at the Veteran's Recovery Festival! It's a day dedicated to honoring you as our brave veterans leading a life in recovery.

The event will be held at the Recovery Cafe and will feature live music, food, activities and resources.

Allow us to support you for having served our country and enjoy a fun-filled day with the community. Meet friends and make new ones.


FREE Raffle Prize of a mountain bike sponsored by Spartan Rides!

Veterans Heritage Project

Date: Sunday, April 28, 2024
1:00 - 4:00 PM
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
340 N. 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Veterans Heritage Project invites you to celebrate 20 years of
Connecting Students with Veterans and honor the 28 Gold Star Families
and 216 Veterans whose stories are preserved across four editions of
Since You Asked.TM Following the formal program, this year's interviewed
Gold Star Families and veterans will sign their stories for the public.
This free event is open to all community members, and books will be
available for purchase. https://www.veteransheritage.org/bookreception

Military Support Concert

Mark your Calendar for Gary Sinise Lt. Dan Band Concert.

Open to our Military members, DoD Cardholders and families on April 28th!

Doors open an hour before at 5 PM!

Date: April 28, 2024
6 PM
Hanger 999,
Luke Air force Base

Kingman Veteran StandDown

Veterans- you’re invited to the Kingman Veteran StandDown happening May 3rd, from 10 AM until 2PM at the Mohave County Fairgrounds.

Multiple agencies will be on site.

Projects & Information

USS PHOENIX (SSN 702) Cold War Monument


We’ve been working on this project now for over 25 years and during the past five years we’ve managed to fundraise $3.6M towards our construction goal of $4M. That’s 90% of our goal, and just $400K to go!!

Please help us raise the remaining amount. Simply go to our website at www.ussphoenixmonument.org and hit the DONATE button. Your choices consist of credit card, Pay Pal and GoFundMe, or alternatively, buy a brick and become an actual part of the monument! Join our “Veterans For Veterans” program where “Twenty ($20) is Plenty!”. Or, if
you have any corporate or philanthropic connections, please shoot your leads to me -

Captain Pete Lumianski, prom65@cox.net – and I’ll pursue them.

Thanks for helping get a great project over the top and underway!!

The Women Veterans Call Center

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it is delivering disability compensation benefits to a record number of women Veterans.

Right now, 702,557 women Veterans are receiving disability compensation benefits from VA — an all-time record and an increase of 180,959 women Veterans (or 26%) over five years ago. The average woman Veteran who receives disability compensation benefits from VA has a 68% combined disability rating, and they receive an average of $26,809 in earned disability compensation benefits per year from VA.

The average grant rate for women Veterans is 89.2%, meaning that 89% of women Veterans who have applied for disability benefits with VA have received benefits for at least one condition. "If you know a woman who has served in the military for ANY length of time, during ANY era, with OR without combat experience, please tell her she is A VETERAN & she is WORTHY of utilizing the benefits she already EARNED.

Please help her get connected to the Women Veterans Call Center!" - West Valley Women's Veterans. Also, tell her about the West Valley Women Veterans and see if they wouldn't be an amazing resource for her.

Battle Buddy Check In

Let's make it a habit to reach out to our battle buddies this month and every month.

Just a simple call or text can make a world of difference in boosting mental well-being.

Remember, if you or someone you know needs assistance, dial 988 and press 1.

Expanded Health Care Eligibility

What do I get when I enroll?
VA offers world-class, comprehensive health care – including yearly physicals, health assessments, free screenings (including a toxic exposure screening), specialized care for issues related to military service, and more. This is true regardless of whether or not you have a service-connected condition. Our clinicians know Veterans – they often are Veterans themselves – and they are ready to help.

What are the minimum service requirements?
In general, Veterans must have served 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty. Former members of the Reserves or National Guard are eligible for VA health care if they have qualifying service (as described above) and meet one of the health care eligibility requirements in the PACT Act. Former members of the Reserves or National Guard who only served for training purposes may not be able to establish Veteran status if they did not incur a qualifying disability during such training.

Are there exceptions to the minimum active-duty service requirements?
Of course, there are. The minimum active-duty service requirement for VA health care may not apply if any of these are true: The Veteran was discharged or released for a qualifying reason (e.g., early discharge, hardship, medical discharge); The Veteran was discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by active-duty service; The Veteran served prior to the early 1980s. Please visit www.va.gov/health-care/eligibility for more information.

Healthcare Program Grants for active-duty military, Veterans and family members

Arizona Western College was awarded the Congressionally Funded Community Projects (CFCP) Grant to support active-duty military, Veterans and their dependents with interests in pursuing an education in healthcare related career fields. With the growing demand for skilled healthcare professionals, this grant helps to bridge the gap between education and employment opportunity.

For more information, please call the Arizona West College Veteran Services at (928) 344-7622 or email veteran.services@azwestern.edu

Home Base Arizona

Home Base Arizona is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of war for Veterans, Service Members, Military Families and Families of the Fallen in Arizona at no cost to them.

Veteran Benefits Counselors Now Offering Online Appointments

Veterans wanting to make an appointment with a Veterans Benefits Counselor (VBC) can now do so online via Calendly!

The new online system allows an alternative contact method to scheduling VBC appointments and will help eliminate double booking issues related to the VBC call center.

When a Veteran or client sets and appointment, it is automatically added to the VBC's calendar. Calendly will only show available slots on a VBC's calendar.

The new system will also send out four reminders — two emails and two text messages — prior to the appointment. For those who don't wish to use the online system, they can still call the VBC appointment line and staff will be able to walk them through the process of setting up an appointment.

To make an appointment, click here to schedule an in-person appointment, click here to schedule a virtual appoint, or call 602-535-1215.

Event Wrap-Up

Luke Days 2024!

Hello everyone!  I'm Jhennicea Morrow, Director of Communications for the UAV,
U.S. Navy, Med. Ret
. I enthusiastically attended the massive flyover ceremony at Luke A.F.B. Saturday, March 23rd with my husband, Roger Morrow - U.S. Air Force Veteran. The skill, dedication and power behind the aerial demonstration was incredible. Thousands of Arizona fans gathered to watch, cheer and celebrate. It was so incredible so see the amount of veterans and service members in attendance. Military hats and shirts were proudly worn by a large portion of those watching and sharing the gorgeous weather. We can easily say that not a moment was wasted at this event. There were always things to see, so many people to talk to, and so many tasty treats to enjoy.

Accessibility! These airmen and women had it down and made this day incredible, they went out of their way to be kind and to ensure everyone was having fun. We especially loved the attention given to handicapped guests. We got parking and transportation straight into the event! It is always so wonderful to see when an event truly plans and cares about being as accessible as possible, especially when it comes to events where veterans are concerned as so many of us use wheelchairs or have different needs and the last place we need to be told we aren't welcome is a veteran event. Also! Shuttles, too many to count, were available throughout the day to all attendees, bringing people directly to the flight line. Prompt service for everyone! We got to see so many different types of aircraft up close, eat some tasty hot dogs, and generally enjoy the day surrounded by people with the same appreciation for the U.S. Air Force as we have.

We took some photos, some of which we'll share here and others will go onto the UAV's Instagram page, and took a few videos that will be on the YouTube channel. But you can also see some much better photos directly on the Luke Air Force Base facebook page.

Looking forward to the next powerful demonstration in 2026.

See you there!



For more than 35 years, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Association has maintained a powerful presence in Arizona. Chapter XXV has hosted national reunions (in 1996 and 2022) which attracted hundreds of paratroopers and their families to the amenities of our state. Sky Soldiers (Bryan Bowley, President E: 173d1965@gmail.com; M: (602) 999.1794) maintain contact with the active-duty brigade currently stationed and deployed in Europe.

The Chapter is active in community school and weekend meal delivery programs and takes part in veteran related activities and remembrances around the Valley each year. In this image, Sky Soldiers are concluding their March 17, planning and fellowship meeting in Scottsdale. Special guest Sister Betty Banja, Order of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a Phoenix resident, is of Sudanese decent and is affiliated with MANA House and Phoenix Catholic Charities. Chapter stalwart Campbell “CB” Long was her sponsor.

The Sky Soldiers have among their ranks many Vietnam combat veterans and one Mrs. Senior Arizona. Current recruiting efforts are focused on 173rd Airborne Brigade and veterans of all services and eras who are interested in serving veterans and the community. Vice President, Cy Bassett, E: cyjacbassett@gmail.com; M: (602) 410.1947 is available for additional information.

The Sky Soldiers are proud to have four members in the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame: Former President and Past UAV Chair, Robert Madden (’10), the aforementioned Cy Bassett (’23), Secretary, William L. “Bill” Reynolds (’18), Chaplain, Past UAV Chair, A.R. Yates (’13).

Did You Know...

Did you know... April 22nd is Earth Day! All around Arizona, the parks are having some incredible events and activities! Go out and celebrate ways to make our beautiful state even more beautiful.

Did you know... April 8th will have a solar eclipse! While it won't be directly overhead in Arizona, it may still be a change we'll experience and see.