To Enlarge Picture, click it, when opened, click again.


Commander’s Message:

As autumn arrives the trees and weather are changing’ which bring many activities to our Post and community.

Our Fish Fries have gotten under way, thanks again to our fish fry chairmen Steve Ballard for getting this off to a good start. If you are unable to work, please come and support the Legion and let us make you a delicious dinner for you and your guests. Remember, the fish fries will be every Friday 4:30- 8pm until Nov.21th.

Like October, November will be busy month for our veterans, which play a big part in the Post activities. Once again the Holland Patent High School music department will be having its Veterans Concert on November 5th Wednesday at 7:00pm in the high school auditorium. Come see how these young people, who do a great job in honoring our veterans from the surrounding communities.

Saturday, November 8th will be our Veterans cover dish dinner at 7pm. Happy hour is 6-7 pm. A signup sheet will be near the bar at the Legion. Tuesday, November 11th at 11:00 am our Post will celebrate Veteran’s day at the Legion with a service followed by a luncheon for all the Veterans within our area. Anyone wishing to bring in pictures or memorabilia of your time in the service to display and share with us would be appreciated.

As always we ask all of our members to look for and recruit new members that are eligible to belong to the American Legion. There are a lot of eligible people out there so please help us maintain strong by asking them to join us. Applications are available at the Post for the asking. This applies to the Auxiliary SAL as well as for the Legion.

Remember, November and December is coming faster than you think, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be time to spend with our families and friends to help bring in the New Year, let’s not forget what we have done to help our veterans throughout the past year! So let’s end the year on a good note ,remember the Veterans who have done so much for the freedom we have every day and to all the men and woman around the world who defend this great nation.

Special Date: Roberts Post 161 Annul Blood Drive, Date 12/15/14 – 1:00pm-6pm Monday at the Legion. Let’s give for a friend, our family, and a veteran!

We also would like to extend to all our Post members and their families, a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Veterans Serving Veterans,

Richard Roberts—Commander

Legion Membership:

Thank you to all the members who have paid their 2015 dues under the Early Bird program which ended 10/15. Currently we are at 65% of our membership quota. Our 2015 dues are payable through 12/31/14 to stay current. Please encourage friends and neighbors to pay dues by that date so the Post can be 100%.

We currently have 5 new members and look forward to welcoming more.

For God and Country and the Good of the Legion,

Gary Wedgewood, Membership

Ladies Auxiliary:

HAPPY FALL! We are off to a fairly busy one with the Fish Fries starting. They will end on Fri., Nov. 21, 2014. If you aren’t able to work, please come and join us by having one of our delicious dinners on a Fri. night. We would love to see you.

Diane Money is working very hard on the raffle we are having for the month of Nov. Thank you Diane for all your hard work. After this fundraiser is over, we are thinking of doing an Auxiliary cookbook with recipes from our excellent cooks who are also valuable members. If you have a favorite recipe, please mail or e-mail it to me, or drop it off at the Post.

We just did the Sitrin’s “Stars & Stripes” run/walk as part of Team Blaise. It was a wonderful experience and a big thank you to Linda Covich and Ruth Duheme for all the hours you spent on this. Many more of our Auxiliary were involved and I am so proud to be a member of such a great team of ladies.

Mary Briggs and Alice Shaler are planning the Juniors activity Christmas card making on Sat. Nov. 29, 2014, from 10:00 until ?, for our veterans who are in Oneida Co. nursing homes . It is a wonderful way to let these men and women know we care about them. Please feel free to come and join us in this event.

Alice is doing a really good job with membership, our quota was raised by county because last year we were fortunate enough to have ladies join our team and we hope this will continue. Remember the saying, “a woman’s work is never done”, and that is so true of the Auxiliary. The more members we have, the more we will be able to do for our veterans, our active military men and women, our children, and our community. Let’s help Alice by getting the word out that Leon R. Roberts Unit 161 can never have too many members.

November is very a very important month. Don’t forget to get out and vote. A Veteran’s Concert will be held at the Holland Patent High School on Nov. 5th at 7:00 pm. The students and teachers put on an excellent show for our area veterans. It will be a lovely way to spend a night out. Nov. 11, the Legion will hold a Veterans Day ceremony starting at 11:00 am. This, too, is a heartwarming event in honor of our veterans.

December always brings busy times. We will be decorating the Legion for the holidays and all help would be appreciated. I don’t have a date for that yet, but I will try to let many of you know when it will be. There will also be bookings for Christmas parties and we will be calling and asking for help with these.

I am so pleased with the number of ladies who come to the meetings. Sometimes a meeting goes longer than I would like, but that is usually because we have a lot of matters to tend to. Don’t forget, our meetings are the first Monday of each month and they start at 7:00 pm.

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends, a very Merry Christmas, and a New Year that starts off with happiness and love for all of you.

Yours in Service,

Debbie Roberts

Sons of the American Legion:

S. A. L. 2015 membership is currently at 75%. We are always open to new members so encourage friends to join. There is a joint project this fall to refurbish the emblems on the end of the Post which we will contribute to. I want to thank the members who are participating in the NFL Sunday food sales, Friday fish fries and other Post functions. Keep up the good work!

For God and Country,

Commander John Bieksza



The Leon R. Roberts Post 161 is once again sponsoring our annual Cash Bash
We want to give everyone an opportunity to win one (or more) of twenty seven (27) prizes. Only 2000 Tickets will be sold on a first come first serve basis. Odds of winning any prize is one out of seventy four. – . – .

Prizes for the Cash Bash Raffle are:

1 @ 1O,000

1 @ 3,000

1 @ 2,000

5 @ $500.

4 @ $250.

15 @ $100.

The drawing will be held at the Leon R. Roberts Post 161 on Sunday,

December 7, 2014 starting at 5:OO pm. You do not have to present to win, but everyone is welcome to join us for food and drink specials.

To acquire the application please write request to the Post Raffle Committee, PO Box 161, Holland Patent, NY 13354. After receiving the application just follow the instructions that are on each one.

Please use one application for each ticket, photo copies of applications are
acceptable. Your official ticket will be mailed to you.

Thanks for your support,

Post Raffle Committee.

VA Takes Next Step to Modernize Scheduling System

Announces Request for Proposal for New Scheduling System

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new Medical Appointment Scheduling System; the next step in a series of actions VA has taken to replace its antiquated legacy scheduling system. The new system will improve access to care for Veterans by providing medical schedulers with cutting-edge, management-based scheduling software. The RFP will be made public by the end of September 2014; eligible vendors will have 30 days to respond from the day of issuance.

“We want this process to be open to all eligible vendors to make sure the Nation’s Veterans have the full benefits the innovative marketplace has to offer,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “When we can put a solid scheduling system in place, this will free up more human resources to focus on direct Veterans’ care. As VA recommits to its mission of caring for Veterans and evaluating our actions through the lens of what serves them best, we know a better scheduling system is necessary to provide them the timely, quality health care that they have earned and deserve.”

VA will issue a draft RFP prior to releasing the full RFP to maximize industry and stakeholder input. The solicitation will require a two-part demonstration of capabilities: a written proposal and a technical demonstration to scheduling staff. VA hopes to award the contract by the end of the calendar year.

“VA chose a full- and open-competitive strategy to acquire a ‘commercial, off-the-shelf’ scheduling system,” said Stephen Warren, VA’s Chief Information Officer. “We want a system that is user-friendly and tailored specifically for our Veterans.”

Even as VA issues an RFP to replace the existing system, efforts are underway to make the current system easier to use for schedulers and Veterans. Among those enhancements:

· VA recently awarded a contract to improve the existing scheduling interface, providing schedulers a calendar view of resources instead of the current text-based, multiple-screen view.  This update is scheduled to begin roll out beginning in January 2015.

· VA is also developing mobile applications to allow Veterans to directly request certain types of primary care and mental health appointments (scheduled to begin deployment December 2014).  Another application under development will give VA schedulers an easier-to-use interface to schedule medical appointments (scheduled to begin deployment December 2014). 

· VA is also rolling out new clinical video telehealth capabilities in October 2014 to further enhance access to care.

As part of the current RFP preparation process, VA is working with Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) to incorporate the groups’ feedback on requirements important to Veterans. VA’s VSO partners are currently reviewing user experience and business process documentation, and VA will continue to consult with VSOs as it works toward publishing its acquisition solicitation.

VA’s acquisition process will comply with recently established legislative requirements related to the Department’s scheduling software.

Commander’s Message:

Summer is almost over and our Post is gearing up for an active fall. July and August have gone by so fast I hope everyone had time to enjoy these lazy days of summer! Again, I would like to thank the Legion for letting our members to attend this year’s Department Convention in Albany, NY on July 16-19. Oneida County was represented well from many Posts in our area. Many resolutions were passed in dealing with our veterans and their needs. I will try to update these resolutions and try to put them on the our web site.

Again, congratulations to Anthony Palladino for being elected as County Commander. I know all the Posts in the county will work hard to support him on the up-coming year.

“Thanks” go out to our Legion Baseball team for another fine year. Our team was young but played very well against some veteran teams within the county. We were 19-12 and played in the District #5 playoffs. I’m proud of these young men who represented our Post with pride and honor. Again, thanks to Rich & Chris Hurlbut who have done so much to make this program so successful at Roberts Post and this community should be proud of giving these boys a place to play baseball, in making their school and parents proud.

Once again September & October will be here soon, so check the calendar in the newsletter for the up-coming events. Remember school will be in secession soon so watch out for our children and youth, they are a big part of our programs throughout the year!

Dues for our Legion members will now be $35.00 beginning with the 2015 cards. You may pay online or bring it in to the Legion addressed to membership chairmen Gary Wedgewood.

Fish Fries will be starting in October and as usual help is needed to make this a successful year. Anyone wanting to help, please come in and signup, or call 865-9921.

Also in October is The 3rd Annual Sitrin’s Stars & Stripes Run-Walk at SUNY IT Campus, Marcy, NY. What a way to support our Nation’s Heroes with the Sitrin’s Military Rehabilitation Program which has helped many of our veterans. This year Roberts Post is going to be a part of “Team Blaise” with Upton Post 8259, Floyd F.D. and many businesses to support the Oleski family in this walk & run!

Dates to remember for our veterans who served: September 2nd, 1945 – V-J Day; September19th POW/MIA Recognition Day; September 28th “Gold Star Family Remembrance Sunday; October 7th 2001- Operation Enduring Freedom begins in Afghanistan; October 13th 1775—US Navy established.

In closing, I just want to thank everyone at Roberts Post for all the hard work we’ve done and must continue to do more for our Legion, Community, and, most of all, our Veterans.

Veterans Serving Veterans,

Richard Roberts, Commander

Legion Membership:

Membership for 2015 is coming along very well and I appreciate all your support. If you have not yet paid your dues, you can send them to the Post or pay online at www.MyLegion.org. Either way I will send your card out promptly. Dues received by October 15th will receive an “Early Bird” stamp.

For God and Country,

Gary Wedgewood, Membership


Ladies Auxiliary:

Hope your summer was awesome but it’s that time of year – vacation is over. It’s get back to Auxiliary business again. I will tell you this coming year will be busy with many items that are on the agenda for us to talk about and carry out.

To catch you up – our own Roberta “Bobbie” Owen was elected 5th District president and we are very proud of her. She is going to need our help and support this coming year so let’s be there for her.

It is with deep sadness in my heart that I have to report we lost one very sweet lady, friend, and Auxiliary member “Gert” Buczkowski. Our love and condolences go out to Mike and the family.

This summer has seen some of our teammates on the DL [disabled list] due to injury, surgery, or illness. If you would like to send a “Thinking of you” card to Debbie Williams, Barbara Doucette, Ursula Walker, Coleen Leahy Firshing, or Karen McMahon – please get in touch with me for their addresses if you don’t have them.

One of our Legion members who is a WWII veteran had his 90th birthday this summer. His name is Jack Boak and if you would like to send him belated birthday wishes I am sure it would make him very happy. I have his address if you need it.

The one BIG project on the agenda is the Sitrin’s “Stars & Stripes” Walk/Run on Sat. Oct. 11, 2014, at SUNYIT in Marcy. This event funds the Sitrin’s Military Rehabilitation Program for veterans. It is a marvelous program and has helped many and it will continue to help many, many more in the future. TEAM BLAISE has been formed for this walk with the support and tremendous amount of help and work from the Oleski family. It is our hope to get the entire community involved in the project. Right now we have team members from Roberts Legion Post 161, Upton VFW Post 8259, Floyd F.D., area businesses, and family and friends of Blaise. If you want to help but can’t for whatever reason, a donation could always be given. There is still time to join this team – all are welcome! Any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me.

On Sat. Sept. 6, 2014, at Upton VFW there will be a “Stars & Stripes” Across the Land ceremony. It is part of the fundraising efforts for the Sitrin veterans program. Words are not going to be able to describe how much this will mean to all of us – you will have to be there to experience it. For further information, call Ruth Fallon Duheme.

Our first Auxiliary meeting will be Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, at 7:00 pm at the Legion. At this meeting we will vote on the standing rules that we worked on this summer and they will help govern us. I hope many of you will attend. The finance committee will be working on a budget before the first meeting, but it probably won’t be ready to vote on until at least October. The purpose of the things we are doing is to help us run more efficiently and, hopefully, to shorten our regular meetings a little.

Don’t forget: fish fries will start the first week of October, be ready for the call asking for a donation to the salad bar or to help work one. We always need help and yours will be greatly appreciated. Before the next newsletter comes out we will be having our Halloween Party for the children. I am not sure when it will be because Halloween falls on a Friday night this year and that is also the night of a fish fry. We will decide at the October meeting which night to have the party. Help is always needed for this and it is so much fun to see all the little trick or treaters in costume and having such a good time at our party.

Remember, school starts Sept. 4. So please watch out for the children and school buses. We want everyone to be safe when school opens.

Membership: Alice has the 2015 cards and you can renew any time now. Don’t forget – dues are: Sr. Aux. $23.00 ; Jr. Aux. $7.00. Thank you.

Yours in service,

Debbie Roberts

Sons of the American Legion:

Hope everyone enjoyed their summer. Our Officers for this year are: John Bieksza, Commander; Peter Fenton, 1st Vice; Jim Owen, 2nd Vice; Bob Stanger, 3rd Vice, Treasurer, Membership; Rod Koenig, Adjutant; Peter Chambrone, Chaplain; Ted Heburn, Sergeant-at-Arms; and Art Stark Historian.

Please join us for our 1st meeting of the year Sept 8th at 7pm. Your ideas are always welcome. The SAL is sponsoring Team Blaise for the Stars & Stripes Walk in October. For more information or to sign up please see me. Fish fries are starting again in October. Help is always appreciated.

For God and Country

Commander John Bieksza

S.A.L. Membership:

If you have changed your address let me know. We currently have 87 members with 14 paid. Dues are $15 and $10. If you want to know where your money goes, $8 goes to state and $1.75 goes to county. If you pay late your current number of years will not be on your card.

For God and Country,

Bob Stanger, Membership


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.