State Chaplain Peter Hook organized these resources to help Post and District Chaplains understand and carry out their important responsibilities. Questions or comments can be directed to Chaplain Hook: Rev. Peter R. Hook, PA VFW State Chaplain, 534 Parkvale Ave., Langhorne, PA 19047, PeterHook@Verizon.net
or (267) 229-7722.
for the Chaplain's Guide.
Online Reporting System for Chaplains
A special shout-out to those who file their Chaplain’s Report each month. Thank you for the work you do and for faithfully filing reports. For those who are not familiar with the reporting system, simply click on this link and it will take you directly to the reporting system. VFW Chaplains are encouraged to report their activity at the end of each month using this reporting system. Once you submit your report you will receive an email containing the data you submitted. That email can then be forwarded to you State Chaplain or Department if your state has a reporting system in place. It can also be forwarded to your Post and included in the Post Community Service Report.
Again, to submit your Chaplain’s Report please use this link
. Don’t forget to hit SUBMIT at the bottom of the form. For the generic fillable Chaplain's Report click here
For the Original Monthly Chaplain’s Report click here
Posts are encouraged to submit nominations for the annual Department Post Chaplain Award. Here’s a guideline to preparing entries Department Chaplain of the Year Award.
2011 – Lloyd Drake, Post 5207 Daleville
2012 – Bill Nelson, Post 8724 Duncannon
2013 – Robert Stricklin, Post 33 Greensburg
2014 – Phil Atwood, Post 928 Folsom
2015 – John Grillo, Post 92 Lower Burrell
2016 – Patrick Johnson, Post 7043 Coalport
2017 – Timothy McCracken, Post 7842 Linesville
2018 – Gene Staudt, Post 914 West Mifflin
2019 – Charlie Castelluccio, Post 5958 Titusville
2020 – Larry "Rex" Welker, VFW Post 2385 Gratz
Duties, Responsibilities and Post Meeting Guides
Duties of a Chaplain
Planning Tools for VFW Members
Funeral and Memorial Services
Veterans with Memory Loss – A Loving Resource – Life in The US MILITARY is a unique picture book designed for Veterans with Memory Loss. This book is as much for caregivers and family members as it is for the Veteran with Memory Loss. Check it out at – http://www.lifeintheusmilitary.com/
Following the Death of a Veteran
Within first 24 hours:
Determine whether any of decedent’s property needs to be safeguarded, such as a motor vehicle, vacant house, etc.
Notify immediate family and close friends (including Church, Synagogue, and fraternal organizations)
Arrange care of dependents, if any.
Arrange care for pets, if any.
Locate the decedent’s letter of instruction, if any.
Ensure that proper funeral arrangements have been made.
Prepare and arrange for obituary.
Keep records of all payments for funeral and other expenses.
Within two weeks:
Locate the original will.
Locate other important documents such as codicils, trusts, accounts, investments, etc.
Notify agent under any power of attorney.
Locate important records such a titles, deeds, and life insurance policies.
Make appointment with an attorney to discuss estate.
Notify life insurance company(ies) of the death and request claim(s) forms.
Advise Social Security and other agencies as appropriate.
Investigate Social security benefits.
If mortgage insurance on home exists, notify insurance company of death.
Investigate veteran burial allowance and other benefits.
Determine if any bills must be paid immediately.
Contact creditors who are demanding immediate payment and notify creditor of death
Notify credit card companies of death.
Cancel credit cards on which decedent was the only signer.
Obtain bill for last illness from hospital.
Order at least five (5) death certificates from the funeral home.
Contact Post Office to make any necessary changes in delivery of mail.
Within one month:
Notify Social Security of the death, and any other organization paying on retirement or paying an annuity upon death.
Gather together and organize financial documents:
Bank accounts owned by decedent.
Mutual funds owned by decedent.
Brokerage accounts owned by decedent.
Certificates of Deposit in decedent’s name.
Stock Certificates registered in decedent’s name.
Any promissory notes under which decedent was entitled to receive payment.
Titles to Motor Vehicles and/or Mobile Homes that are listed in decedent’s name.
Deeds to real property owned by decedent.
Any appraisals of jewelry or other valuable personal property owned by decedent.
Gain access to and inventory any safe deposit box. (See note on next page)
Obtain the account balance on mortgages, loans, checking and savings accounts as of the date of death.
Bring original Will, financial documents, balances, death certificates, and inventory of safe deposit box to meeting with attorney.
Notify CPA, accountant or bookkeeper of the death.
Within two to six months:
If automobiles are held in joint tenancy, change motor vehicle titles to reflect ownership only by the surviving joint tenant.
If stocks or bonds are held in joint tenancy, contact stockbroker to change records to reflect ownership only by the surviving joint tenant.
Contact Chaplain Hook for a list of Safe Deposit Box Access Procedures. Surviving Spouses are encouraged to contact a PA VFW State Service Officer to apply for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits for Surviving Spouses or Child.
Chaplain Hook’s Articles