Tour Station Seven: The American Legion, U.S. Military Veterans Center

Located on the second floor of the Center’s Learning and Resources building, The American Legion is the second national veterans service organization (VSO) to establish an official presence at the U.S. Military Veterans Center in Second Life. Their information desk includes a clickable laptop that loads the official website of The American Legion. A clickable signboard toward the left of the information desk provides information about services provided by The American Legion. To leave a message for The American Legion’s representatives in Second Life, click on the suggestion box on the information desk, then wait for the “beep” which will appear as green text in chat. When you see the word “beep” in green letters, simply type your message and press enter to send it to the suggestion box.

The American Legion’s group in Second Life allows anyone to join as a Friend. However, if you are in real life a member of The American Legion, please address an Instant Message to Taz Mubble and include your real life name, city, state and membership number. He will then be able to locate you on The American Legion membership database and add you to the SL group as a Member.

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Tour Station Six: VFW Post Extension, U.S. Military Veterans Learning and Resource Center

Nomad Albatros, a group owner and a RL Post Commander maintains the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Extension, located to the left of the main entrance of the U.S. Military Veterans Learning and Resource Center. At the information desk, you will find a clickable laptop, which will take you to the official VFW website, and a suggestion box. If you have time or inclination, click the suggestion box and fill out the notecard with your comments, but please do not forget to sign it before submitting it.

In the far left corner you will find various clickable plaques that will provide you information about who the VFW is and the services they provide. By clicking the map, you are directed to a website to find a local VFW near you. Should you need assistance from a National Service Officer in regards to a VA claim, please contact Nomad with the state you currently reside in and he will provide you with a notecard with the NSO contact information specific to your location. Please keep in mind the services provided by the VFW are open to all veterans, regardless of whether or not you are currently a member of the VFW.

In the middle of the window, we have a multimedia presentation that pays tribute to current VFW membership, proudly displaying the mantra of the VFW, honoring the dead by helping the living. To date, more than 12 people have been referred to National Service Officers for assistance in filing VA claims or VA centers for PTSD counseling.

In the far right corner you will find Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resources, not only for military service members, but for their family members as well. The information provided include specific information regarding diagnosis and assessment, treatment, a counselor locator, and information about the types of problems families with someone suffering from PTSD can have as well as things to do to cope.

Lastly, on the far right wall are some of the medals required in order to join the VFW. By clicking the poster, you are directed the online membership form.

Should you want to talk to Nomad directly, or if you are an active VFW member and would like to join the VFW group, please use his plaque at the Help Desk to send him an IM.

Tour Station Four: U.S. Military Veterans Learning and Resource Center

Welcome to the U.S. Military Veterans Learning and Resource Center. As you enter the building, you will pass a Donation Box, but please do not feel obligated in any way to contribute. We do however appreciate the support of our many friends.

As you continue forward, notice the two magazine racks…a blue one for VFW Magazine on the left and a red one for DAV Magazine on the right. Each of these is clickable and will open the respective magazine in a browser.

Please take a moment to glance left, overhead, straight ahead, and right when you enter the building. To the left is our VFW Post Extension, operated by a real-life VFW Post Commander, Nomad Albatros. Overhead you will notice a bronze plaque honoring the veterans who seek and provide information and support. And to the right is a nationally authorized Disabled American Veterans office in Second Life.

Straight ahead is the Information and Help Desk–we have provided a bell to ring that pages staff to provide services such as Center tours, look up needed resources, and admit veterans to the U.S. Military Veteran group. Vet Center Guides provide tours of our area and assist with admitting veterans to the group with the correct service. Members of the Management Team can also be paged to provide accurate information about such topics as how to locate your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs, VA benefits eligibility, joining a Veterans Service Organization, applying for VA disability, how to obtain your DD214 and more. And of course anyone in the Management Team can admit visitors to the U.S. Military Veteran group.

If you need assistance from a Manager/Owner, look at the Help Desk for names lit up in green. This indicates that the corresponding Management Team Member is online and can be paged to the Veterans Center to assist you. Please click on the photo of any staff member whose name is lit up in green to send an Instant Message requesting assistance.

Several memberships are available to those interested in joining. All require prospective group members to provide satisfactory demonstration that he or she is genuinely a U.S. military veteran/active duty, a family member of a vet, or in real life supports veterans and/or active duty service members. We do this in the course of friendly, casual conversation to screen out role-players and pretenders. We do NOT require submission of a DD214. Typically we invite current members of the group, particularly those of the same service and time period, to report to the Veterans Center to welcome the newcomer. One of the singular events in a day at the U.S. Military Veterans Center is the arrival of fellow veterans at the teleport landing point to welcome one of their own to our growing family.

When those vets are satisfied that the newcomer is truly a veteran, they notify the Management Team Member or Vet Center Guide on duty so that the newcomer can be admitted into the group.

Also note the computers on the Help Desk. One of them launches this blog. The other opens the official website of the National Native American Veterans Association, a Veterans Service Organization.

Goodbye to Gazillions of Group Notices

You asked for it…reduced group notices. Now we’re going to experiment with the blog so our group members can check in at their convenience.

As always, you’re encouraged to sound off with your comments, corrections, suggestions and concerns.