The APWU 480-481 Area Local

John P. Smeekens

Veterans Director


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Roscoe Woods

Steve Wood
  Executive V.P.

Gary Thomas
  Vice President

Stan Porter
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Joe Wrobel
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John Diem
  Maintenance Craft Director

Joe Gordon

Elaine Dunlap

John P. Smeekens
  Veterans Director

Lucy Morton
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Richard Dale
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*Director Position Vacant*
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The Wall That Heals:
Memorial Holiday Visit to Clinton Township, Michigan

Grounds of the Civic Center in Clinton Township will host The Wall That Heals, a Vietnam Wall replica supported by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.

The Clinton Township Civic Center is located at 40700 Romeo Plank, Clinton Township, Michigan 48038. There is ample parking & restroom facilities on site.

There a few events leading up to the visit. The first event will be a screening of Our Vietnam Generation on Tuesday, May 19th.

The next day, Wednesday, May 20th, there will be an motorcycle escort of the truck into Clinton Township in the mid afternoon. Set-up of The Wall will take place the morning & afternoon of Thursday, May 21st. An Opening Ceremony will commence at 6pm and The Wall will be open to the public around the clock until the Closing Ceremony on Monday, May 25th at 4pm.

This site will be updated often as details of the events are confirmed, so please check back often.

50th Anniversary
of Vietnam War Commemorative

We received the following information from former local President Donna Ratkos-Mercier’s husband Mike Mercier.

For the years of 2015, 2016, & 2017 the Vietnam War Commemorative Committee will be holding events to honor our Vietnam Veterans, their families and POW/MIA (prisoners of war / missing in action). These Lapeer County happenings are part of a bigger event designed for National, State, and local Communities, Veterans organizations and other nongovernmental organizations to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam Veterans and their families. These occasions are meant to show appreciation and solemnity of war and the losses suffered by many.

The kickoff event will take place March 6th, 7th & 8th at the American Legion Post 16, 1701 West Genesee Lapeer MI 48446.

Veteran artifacts will be on display from the Vietnam War from 9 AM to 5PM Daily. Demonstrations of military service related items, a POW/MIA ceremony, a display of The Quilt of Tears, (a traveling memorial to those who have died or are dying from Agent Orange exposure) and more. The Committee is also seeking Vietnam Veterans and others who have items related to Vietnam or the Vietnam War to show others at our March event.

Items could include such things as photographs, movies, military equipment/ supplies, art and craft items produced in Vietnam, etc... If you are a Vietnam Veteran please consider attending. All are welcome to come show support at any and all the events we the committee have planned. For those who would like to be involved in the Commemorative Committee, to plan these local events, you may contact the Committee liaison Linda Bonner at 810-724-8541 or Chairman Joe Cain at or Vice Chairman Mike Mercier at

Financial contributions from individuals and organizations are needed to finance these local events. Please make checks payable to “Vietnam Commemorative Committee” and mail to: P.O. Box 894, Lapeer MI 48446

If you can participate please do, if you have time to make the drive and see these items on display please do.

Link to map for American Legion Post 16.

In Solidarity,

John Smeekens
480-481 Area Local Veterans Dir.

Roscoe Woods
480-481 Area Local President
and Proud member of American Legion Post 16 in Lapeer MI.


June is PTSD Awareness Month

John P. Smeekens

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like combat, assault, or disaster.

Most people have some stress reactions after a trauma.

If the reactions don't go away over time or disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

The link below can provide information that can help you or your loved ones who have been through a traumatic event. This information is not just for Veterans we encourage all postal employees who have either been through a difficult experience, or who know of someone close to them who has to review this site and find the best way to help them or yourself. With respect to our brothers and sisters who have served in this nations armed forces this site and this information is designed to let you know that you are not alone.

What strikes us with respect to PTSD is how many people have it and don’t even know it. PTSD is real, and PTSD can be treated. The first step is getting the right information the link below gives you that information.

Please point, and click your way to a better understanding of PTSD, its cause and its treatment.

In Solidarity,

John Smeekens – 480 481 Area Local Veterans Dir.
Roscoe Woods - 480 481 Area Local President


Veterans Benefit Alert

If you live in Michigan and are a 100% Disabled Vet
This message is one you must read!!!

From 480 481 Area Local Veterans Director John Smeekens and President Roscoe Woods.

P. A. 2013 # 161 was signed by Governor Snyder on November 12, 2013 and was effective, immediately.

The new Act, # 161, now allows 100% disabled Veterans to file papers at their local assessor’s office, where their Homestead is located, to be EXEMPT from property taxes.

This new law affects several different categories of 100% disabled Veterans.

#1; 100% disabled Veterans that are 100% Scheduled.

#2; 100% disabled Veterans that are I.U. (individually unemployable).

#3; A Veteran who has a certificate from the United States Veterans’ Administration, or its successors, certifying that he or she is receiving or has received Pecuniary Assistance due to disability for specially adapted housing.

Also, the un-remmaried spouse of a 100% disabled Veteran, needs to talk to their assessors’ office for further information that will affect them.

You must take a copy of your 100% disabled Veteran status from the Department of Veterans Affairs (you know, the one you get every December), and take it to your Assessors’ office to be verified, and fill out the proper paperwork from that office. IT MUST BE DONE EVERY YEAR WHEN YOU GET YOUR NEW UPDATED FORM FROM THE VA!!!

Email questions or concerns to 480 481 Area Local Veterans Director John Smeekens at:

You can also call: 248 543 3262 and we will get you in touch with Director Smeekens.

To all those serving, who have served and who have made the ultimate sacrifice we thank you for your sacrifice and your service and we stand here to serve you all any way we can.

Please print the pdf version of this article to post in your office and to share with your fellow Veterans.


E-Mail links are intended for questions of a general nature and are not for formal administration of the grievance procedure. Individuals with specific questions and or problems must contact their steward within 14 days in order to protect grievance time limits.

The 480-481 Area Local maintains offices at 810 Livernois in Ferndale, Michigan 48220 and represents all APWU members in the following USPS installations: Almont, Allen Park, Anchorville, Belleville, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Carleton, Chelsea, Clarkston, Clawson, Davisburg, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Fair Haven, Flat Rock, Garden City, Grosse Ile, Hartland, Hazel Park, Highland, Keego Harbor, Lake Orion, Marine City, Marysville, Michigan Call Center, Michigan Metroplex, Milan, Milford, Mt. Clemens, New Baltimore, New Boston, New Haven, New Hudson, Novi, Oxford, Pinckney, Plymouth, Pontiac, Port Huron, Richmond, Rochester, Rockwood, Romeo, Romulus, Royal Oak, South Lyon, South Rockwood, St. Clair, Sterling Heights, Trenton, Troy, Troy Customer Care Center, Union Lake, Utica, Walled Lake, Warren, Washington, Waterford, Wayne, Westland, Willis, Wixom, Wyandotte and Yale.

The Union office is normally open from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday and the telephone numbers are (248) 543-3262/3263/3264. The 24 hour number is (248) 543-3262. FAX: (248) 543-2750.