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AUSN Blogs


In the Fire this month is the video tapping of our TV messaging that is being done by the PBS program Biography. This Wednesday we will be shooting in the National Naval Museum in the Washington Navy Yard and in Senator McCain’s office on Capitol Hill. Besides a five minute piece that will air on Biography there is a one minute call to join/donate piece that will air 400 times in the 200 largest television markets in the U.S. Additionally we will own a five to six minute piece about AUSN that we can use on our web site and at other venues to promote what we do. Steve Rogers, I, Senator McCain and two of our members whom we have helped will be featured in the program.

Last Friday AUSN was a major sponsor of the Washington Navy Birthday Ball. We had three tables there, one which we donated to Navy enlisted personnel and their spouses (paid for by Jerry’s brother). Admiral and Mrs. Israel and prospective new Board member Charles and Mrs. Collum Jr. joined our Board of Directors table. Thanks to the Board for paying for a table even though all of them were not able to attend.

On the 18th I will be going over to the Pentagon with CAPT Puzon to meet with former Maine Governor Baldacci. He is the President’s pentagon point man on military health care.

On the 20th Jerry will attend an event at the Navy Memorial where the Sea Services Leadership Association will dedicate a plaque to Navy women. Speaking of the Navy Memorial, the Foundation recently announced that VADM John Totushek will assume duties as the President and CEO of the Navy Memorial. John has been a member of the Foundation Board for a while now and we salute his move to take charge of the day-to-day at the Memorial. RADM Ted Walker is the retiring CEO and Ted has been a great friend to AUSN as we cooperate on a number of projects.

Bob Lyman, Bill Loockerman and I are busy finalizing next year’s budget for presentation to our Board at their November meeting. Just as with our Navy when times are tough preparing the budget takes more time as we work to rebalance expenses and ensure that we spend where it is important to spend while wringing out every nickel that we don’t need to spend. Bob is still working from home and I expect that he will be until some time next spring. That’s not the best of situations for AUSN but we are getting by and supporting Bob which is what we all want to do.

CAPT Bill Overend has taken on our Midshipmen project and is working to add several new schools this fall. He is actively recruiting members to make the presentations at various schools. He just about has the Southeast Region covered and is working on North Carolina and Virginia. We can use more support in the West so if any of you can help please step up. I just got word that the Navy has approved our Midshipmen medal. This was created by Vanguard and was spearheaded by CAPTs Ann Holler and Elaine Allen.

The ballot for elections of new Board members will appear in our November magazine which goes to the press this week. The Board has an ambitious agenda for its meeting in November and we look forward to having them in town.

As we wait for the Super Committee to figure out the budget cuts there is a lot in the various media sources about what the Pentagon is or is not considering. Please pay attention to our legislative alerts. Working the Hill is what we do that separates us from a number of other organizations. Frankly some pretend that they are involved when that involvement is almost irrelevant. We are in the thick of it and if you use our CAPWIZ system you can be too.

BTW some of you may have seen an e-mail which said that the White House directed the removal of “From the President” from funeral honors when the flag is presented to the family. I asked our resident expert in the Pentagon, CAPT Matt Dubois to run this down for us and here is the answer:

Due to the increased tempo of military funerals, there was difficulty having the proper representation at every event across the country. "Proper" in this case means a commissioned officer representing the President. Only an officer can speak for the Commander-in -Chief. DoD came up with a minimum spoken wording that would allow any military person to render honors without sacrificing proper honor and authority.

The certificate is still called the Presidential Memorial Certificate ( and is signed by the President. The new minimum spoken wording is "On behalf of a grateful nation, please accept this flag in honor of your loved one's faithful service to his country." This can be added to and if given by an officer, "from the President" can be added. If an enlisted person is rendering honors, "from the Secretary of Defense" can be added. Other things like name, etc can be added also.

The change took place 4 or 5 years ago at the request of DoD. I hope this helps?

That’s it for this edition.


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