VA Electrical Upgrade maintenance February 25, 2018

In case you’re there on the listed Sunday, heads-up.

Please share so others might avoid feeling alarmed.

The PVAHCS Engineering Service will conduct an Electrical Shutdown on February 25th, 2018 (Sunday) from 4 a.m. until 10 p.m. which will impact normal power in the C/D/E towers of building 1, buildings 8, 34 and 37 Emergency Power will not be affected.

Engineering staff will be on site to respond to emergencies and trouble calls.

This shutdown is a part of the electrical infrastructure upgrade project.

Building Impacted:

  • Bldg 1, C wing
  • Bldg 1, D wing
  • Bldg 1, E wing
  • Bldg 8, entire building
  • Bldg 34, entire building
  • Bldg 37, Parking Garage

Selma MCJROTC defeats Arizona American Legion

Shooting their highest score of the season Selma MCJROTC defeated Arizona American Legion 971 to 545 in the National Air Rifle New Shooter League. Their second win in a row, Selma MCJROTC is in thirteenth place with a 2 – 1 record. Selma MCJROTC was led by Emmalie Salazar who shot a 257. The remaining contributing members were Lelise Espinoza, Brandon Hidalgo, and Dedrick Ventura. Selma MCJROTC is from Selma, CA, and is coached by Mike Romero.

Arizona American Legion dropped to 0 – 3 on the season. They are currently in fortieth place. Arizona American Legion was led by Anton Bichler who shot a 248. The remaining contributing members were Chandler Boyd, Jared Stenbak, and . Arizona American Legion is from Glendale, AZ, and is coached by Dan Palmer.

Next up Selma MCJROTC will compete against West AJROTC from Denver, CO. West AJROTC currently has a 2 – 1 record. Arizona American Legion will compete against Washburn Rural AFJROTC from Topeka, KS. Washburn Rural AFJROTC currently has a 0 – 2 record.

These two teams are competing in the National Air Rifle "New Shooter" League. Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the league is a national team league exclusive to athletes in their first year of competition. Teams are from high schools and junior rifle clubs throughout the United States. Over 10 weeks each team competes in 8 games. Each week, each team is paired with another team with a near equal win-loss record. The winner of the league is the team with the best win loss record.

In each game the teams compete in what is known as a Three-Position Air Rifle match. The match is modeled after Olympic Rifle competitions but adapted to high school age athletes. Each athlete will shoots 10 shots in three different shooting positions, prone, standing, and kneeling. Each shot is worth a maximum of 10 points. The sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete’s total. The team score is comprised of the best four athletes from each team.

For more information on the league, including complete standings, visit

Box Score:

Selma MCJROTC team page:

Arizona American Legion team page:

05 – 11 Feb 2018

Olympians’ military background gives them an edge

The U.S. Olympic bobsled and luge teams include several servicemembers, including (clockwise from top left) Nick Cunningham, Emily Sweeney, Matthew Mortensen, Chris Fogt, Nate Weber and Taylor Morris.

Olympians’ military background gives them an edge

The American Legion

FEB 06, 2018

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There’s a notable military presence on the U.S. Olympic bobsled and luge teams. Four bobsledders, three lugers and two coaches are service-members.

Those military ties give them an edge, said bobsledder Nick Cunningham.

“Knowing that we have the support of the military behind us, kind of gives us a psychological edge over our competition. Everyone else has their country and community and family; we have country, community, family and the U.S. military backing up. I’m going in pretty confident into this competition,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham has the most experience of Team USA’s three bobsled drivers; this will be his third Olympic Games. The rest of his four-man bobsled team — Hakeen Abdul-Sanoor, Christopher Kinney and Sam Michener — are making their Olympic debuts; Abdul-Sanoor and Cunningham also qualified in two-man bobsled.

Cunningham’s experience can be beneficial to his teammates. “I’m able to go in there and tell them what to expect, how again to work with the media, work with training times, track times, just how things work with the (Olympic) Village and whatnot. … The goal was not making the Olympic team, that was just a steppingstone to our goal. That’s what I’ve been trying to convey to them at this point,” he said.

Cunningham was a brakeman in the 2010 Olympics with driver Mike Kohn, who’s now a coach of the team. Kohn introduced Cunningham, then a civilian, to the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP).

“I was not looking at the military whatsoever, and he told me about it,” Cunningham said. “There had to be somebody that had something negative to say about this program somewhere, and everybody I talked to only had such positive things to say about the WCAP program, and that’s when I went to a meeting to learn a little bit more information about it, and within two months I was going to basic training and wanting to be a part of this program.

“…One of the cool things about this program is going into an Olympics and knowing that, yes, I’m competing for the United States of America, but when you know that you’re representing so much more than just that competition, I get to represent everyone, beyond even the Army, all of our armed forces. I can go out there and give my best effort for the men and women that are fighting for us, and not able to be at home, and hopefully we can give them something to cheer about and let them know that even though I’m sliding down a sled on ice, I’m still right there with them all.”

Cunningham said his military experience directly correlates to being successful as an Olympian.

“You live those Army values day in and day out. We’re soldiers first, and with everything else, the time management, how to overcome adversity, distractions, all that stuff, and making decision in a stressful situation, all that stuff plays a part, especially in the sport of bobsled where there’s so many variables that play a part, so many moving things can change,” he said. “So the Army has taught me a lot of values and different components that I take into my daily routine as an athlete.”

The servicemembers on the U.S. Olympic bobsled and luge teams through WCAP:

• Sgt. Nick Cunningham, bobsled driver, competing in his third Olympics.

• Capt. Chris Fogt, bobsled brakeman, competing in his third Olympics. Fogt won a bronze medal in 2014 as part of the four-man bobsled team driven by Steven Holcomb.

• Capt. Mike Kohn, bobsled coach. Kohn competed in three Olympics (2002, ’10 and ’14), winning a bronze medal in 2002 as part of the four-man bobsled team driven by Brian Shimer.

• Sgt. Taylor Morris, singles luge, competing in his first Olympics after being an alternate in 2014.

• Sgt. Matthew Mortensen, doubles luge, competing in his second Olympics.

• Sgt. Justin Olsen, bobsled driver, competing in his third Olympics. Olsen was part of the gold medal four-man bobsled team driven by Steven Holcomb in 2010 but underwent an emergency appendectomy, Feb.. 5. The U.S. Olympic Committee said it’s hopeful he will still be able to compete in the Winter Games.

• Sgt. Shauna Rohbock, bobsled driving coach. Rohbock competed in two Olympics (2006 and 2010), winning a silver medal with Valerie Fleming in ’06.

• Sgt. Emily Sweeney, singles luge, competing in her first Olympics.

In addition, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Weber, an active-duty Green Beret, will push Olsen in the four-man bobsled in his first Olympic appearance. Weber was inspired to try out for the team after reading an article about Olsen, and trained while deployed.

The American Legion is tied to the U.S. Olympic Committee through the USOC Multi-Sports Organizations Council (MSOC), whose mission “is to grow and sustain the number of Multi-Sports Organizations (“MSOs”), to assist MSOs in developing national interest in their sports, to expand their chapter networks, and to increase their opportunities for participation and competition nationally, internationally and at the grassroots level.”

The Legion was awarded membership in December 2000 based on its sponsorship of Junior Shooting Sports and American Legion Baseball – both Olympic/Pan-American sports – and has been in good standing with the United States Olympic Committee ever since. The Legion also has in the past distributed copies of the U.S. flag code to members of the U.S. Olympic team, reflecting the Legion’s commitment to Americanism.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be Feb. 8-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. A complete schedule of events can be found here.

Services for Kyle Brayer

Kyle Brayer was a Tempe Fire Captain that was murdered this last weekend in Scottsdale. Kyle was a 34-year-old Marine Corps veteran that lived and breathed esprit de corps. I was friends with Kyle and very close with his best friend.

The services will be held this Friday, February 9th at 10 AM. Scottsdale Bible Church, 7601 E. Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Semper Fidelis

Danny Higgins

Arizona Junior Shooting Sports

Updates: Hopefully the pictures post through this web medium.

Please find attached a photograph of Cactus High School JRAFROTC Air Rifle Team following their third place finish in Round One of the American Legion 3 position Air Rifle Competition held January 13, 2018 in Buckeye, Arizona. In addition, I have attached a photograph of Cactus High School Senior Anton Bichler receiving his Overall 3rd Place Medal for the Competition from myself.

The Air Rifle team has only been shooting for a few months so this is quite an accomplishment. The competition involves shooting a Crossman Sporter Air Rifle from the prone, kneeling and standing positions. The team is sponsored by American Legion Posts 144 and 145 and will be participating in Round 2 of this National American Legion Competition on March 17 and 18, 2018. In addition, they will be competing in the American Legion Department of Arizona Commander’s Cup Competition at the same event. Students, parents and family members are welcome to attend and cheer their athletes.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. The students would be appreciative if you could share this information on the announcements and other media outlets.


Bobbie J Kimelton

Chair, Junior Shooting Sports Program

Department of Arizona

The American Legion


623 738 9755

PS. The group photo includes:

Ryan Conde

Jared Stenbak

Liam Beltam

Jordan Hagy

Anton Bichler Team Captain

Maryssa Cooke Team Captain

Chandler Boyd

JJ Smith

The team placed 3rd overall in Round 1, National American Legion 3 position air rifle match

Picture 3:

Anton Bichler Team Captain

Maryssa Cooke Team Captain

Jordan Hagy

Chandler Boyd

This photograph is shooting from the prone position

Picture 4:

Anton Bichler Team Captain

Maryssa Cooke Team Captain

Jordan Hagy

Chandler Boyd

This photograph is shooting from the standing position

Picture 5:

Anton Bichler Team Captain

Maryssa Cooke Team Captain

Jordan Hagy

Chandler Boyd

This photograph is shooting from the kneeling position

Picture 6:

JJ Smith

Ryan Conde

Jared Stenback

Liam Beltram

This photograph is shooting from the standing position

Picture 7:

Bobbie Kimelton, Chair of American Legion Department of Arizona Junior Shooting Sports Program

Anton Bichler Team Captain

This photograph is Anton receiving his 3rd place medal

Soldier from Arizona dies in Germany while deployed from Fort Riley KS.

Army First Sergeant Nicholas Amsberry, originally from Mesa AZ and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley KS passed away this week while deployed to a training site in Germany. Please be aware that final funeral arrangements are still being developed as his body is being prepared to return to the United States for burial. There is a good potential that there will be a memorial service for the soldier with his unit on Fort Riley in addition to any final funeral plans with his family in Arizona so both of our Departments are being notified of potential requests for assistance with American Legion Family Support Network of programs for his family in both locations.

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Carroll County Times: Commentary: Mitchell: What happens inside the American Legion
Todd Mitchell Other Voices
As an officer in the Westminster American Legion Post 31, I have had numerous people ask me: What does the American Legion do? It is first and foremost a service organization. Within most American Legions are the “Legion Family.” This includes the American Legion, the Sons of the American Legion, the Legion Riders and the Auxiliary. The fact that so few people know what the American Legion really does for our community is simply our own shortcoming.
What I will outline in this column will be about Post 31, but similar activities occur in the other American Legions in our county and the VFW Posts as well. Each post commander attempts to identify and recognize areas within their communities where they can have an impact in dedicating their efforts and resources.
The American Legion was founded in 1919 and chartered by Congress as a patriotic veterans organization. The organization has evolved into a very influential nonprofit organization throughout the country serving our nation and communities.
The Sons of the American Legion is for male descendants of members of the legion or of family members who served during a time of conflict. The Auxiliary is the sister organization of the Sons of the American Legion and is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization.
The Legion Riders is a service organization made up of members from the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion or the Auxiliary who combine their love for motorcycles and serving the community.
Our post commander, who is also the Carroll County commander, Alex Whitney Jr., spoke at our Christmas party. He reflected on the contributions to our community that our post had done. Whether he knew it or not, he was reinforcing why we feel good about being a part of the American Legion and volunteering our time and I believe why others should consider joining our organization.
In 2017, Post 31 made a $25,000 commitment to Carroll Community College to provide a perpetual scholarship for a veteran or the child of a veteran to further their education. We provide two annual scholarships of $2,000 each to graduating seniors. We contributed $5,000 to the National Child Welfare Fund and $5,000 to the American Legion National Emergency Fund. We supported many other organizations to include Johns Hopkins Children’s Fund and Shriners Hospital. We sponsor the Westminster Memorial Day parade, an oratorical contest for high school kids, the Westminster Halloween parade and many other events. We also support ongoing programs like Boys State, Young Marines, Venture Crew and Scouting.
The Sons of the Legion, the Legion Riders and the Auxiliary also had a very productive 2017 as they supported Carroll Hospice, shipped care packages to our service men and women serving overseas, donated to children and youth suicide prevention, and so much more.
Additionally, if you have a veteran family member who is buried in Carroll County you will find an American flag placed upon their grave every Memorial Day weekend. People like Jim Smith pull together a crew of people and for three days to locate and place over 3,500 flags honoring those who served.
If you are a person who would like to get involved to support our veterans, our community and meet new friends while doing something good, give me a call. If you are a person or part of an organization who thinks the American Legion may be able to help you, give me a call. We have five American Legions in Carroll County — Hampstead, Mount Airy, Sykesville, Taneytown and Westminster, all serving their communities. I would be happy to make an introduction for you to one of our post officers to see how you might fit in. Remember the American Legion motto: “For God and Country.”
Todd Mitchell is retired from the veteranfriendlyemployers.

Sound familiar? Please get the word out about the role that your Post enjoys in your community here in AZ.


Anytime you receive a suspicious email asking you to do something unclear and having a link to click on, DO NOT DO SO. In the case of the one received today by some of you, this is what the link goes to. To go any further, or even that far, can cause a lot of headaches for you. If you have any questions, just forward the email to adjutant

if it looks suspicious, it is phishing.

National tested and When you click on the link windows defender grabs it as a nefarious site.

I would not continue to the site as it obviously a virus or crypto. Anyone that opens the file and clicks the download button on a windows machine, windows defender should show this pop up. Not sure what would happen on a phone if anything.