Jim Topps appointed to national Legion post 2012.06.06

Written by David Green.

with photo

A former Morenci resident and Legionnaire was recently appointed to a national position with the American Legion.

James Topps, a member of Hannan-Colvin Post 180 in Hudson, will serve on the National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission. He currently serves as Department of Michigan Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Director.

 As a member of the commission, Topps will advise the national commander and the national executive committee on issues involving America's veterans and their families, including earned benefits. He will also advise on legislative priorities and serve as a liaison with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 The American Legion is the nation’s leading advocate for proper health care, economic opportunity and legal benefits for U.S. military veterans and qualified family members. One of the marquee programs under the Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission is the System Worth Saving Task Force, which conducts site visits and interviews at VA health-care facilities across the nation to learn first-hand the issues faced by veterans, their families, healthcare providers and facility administrators.

The information is compiled into an annual report for Congress, VA and the White House. The commission also staffs offices in Washington to provide free representation before the board of Veterans Appeals for veterans whose claims have been denied at the regional-office level.

 Topps will work with other commission members to reverse the VA’s backlog of undecided claims; improve the quality of health care for female veterans; enhance treatment for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); eliminate priority groups within the VA system; obtain better access to health care for veterans in rural areas; increase volunteering in VA facilities; and ensure adequate federal funding for VA health care.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016