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Post 3274
VETERANS
Group One
VFW PHOTO ALBUM
VFW POST 3274 MESSAGE BOARD
Friday, 22 July 2016
Action Corps
Now Playing: reprinted from Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS
                                      July 22, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. VFW Heads to Charlotte for 117th National Convention
2. Women Veterans Panel Discussion at Convention
3. VA Expands Health Care Eligibility for Camp Lejeune Veterans
4. VFW Life Member Receives Medal of Honor
 
1. VFW Heads to Charlotte for 117th National Convention: From July 23-27 several thousand VFW and Auxiliary members will gather in Charlotte, N.C. for our annual convention. New this year, the VFW has launched a mobile app to give attendees the tools needed to make the most of their visit. As the official mobile guide to the 117th VFW National Convention, the app is available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. If you are attending, make sure to stop by the National Legislative Service/Action Corps booth to learn more about what NLS is doing for you. On Sunday at 10 a.m., there will be a workshop hosted by the National Legislative Service staff introducing our new grassroots campaign. To see more about the convention, including live streaming beginning July 24, or download the mobile app, visit: http://www.vfw.org/Convention/.
 
2. Women Veterans Panel Discussion at Convention: The VFW Advisory Committee for Women Veterans, along with the Department of Veteran Affairs, is set to host a panel discussion regarding women veterans. The panel will take place at the Charlotte Convention Center on Saturday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Participants from VA will be the Director of the Center for Women Veterans, Kayla Williams, and Dr. Sally Haskell, deputy chief consultant for clinical operations and director of comprehensive women’s health in women’s health services. Main topics covered will be outreach, recognition, homelessness and health care. VA is set to give a presentation before the discussion and a half hour at the end will be open for questions. To learn more about the Center for Women Veterans, visit: http://www.va.gov/womenvet/.
 
3. VA Expands Health Care Eligibility for Camp Lejeune Veterans: On Monday, VA issued a final rule to expand VA health care eligibility for veterans affected by contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Starting this week, veterans who served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987, are eligible to receive no-cost health care for 15 medical conditions that have been linked to the contaminated water. Previously, only veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from January 1, 1957 were covered. Veterans who have been diagnosed with any of the 15 medical conditions may receive reimbursement for the cost of treatment if the care was provided on or after December 16, 2014, when the law expanding eligibility was signed. However, veterans must submit a request for reimbursement no later than July 18, 2018. For more information on benefits and services for Camp Lejeune veterans, visit: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune.
 
This rule does not impact disability compensation benefits. VA is still in the process of finalizing a rule to grant Camp Lejeune veterans presumptive disability compensation for 8 of the 15 medical conditions found to be associated with exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. However, veterans who have been diagnosed with any of the 15 conditions should file a claim when possible to preserve the effective date. To contact a VFW Service Officer for assistance filing a disability compensation claim, visit: http://www.vfw.org/NVS/.  
 
4. VFW Life Member Receives Medal of Honor: President Obama presented the Medal of Honor on Monday to Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles in a ceremony at the White House. Lt. Col. Kettles is credited with saving some 44 lives on May 15, 1967, while serving as a UH-1 Huey helicopter commander. Kettles, of Ypsilanti, Mich., is a Life Member of the VFW. Early that morning, his platoon had dropped about 80 soldiers into a river valley, but the troops were ambushed and surrounded. Kettles and his fellow pilots made several trips back and forth, bringing in reinforcements and evacuating the wounded, but by afternoon, it was clear that the situation was hopeless. Only 44 troops remained, facing what Kettles estimated was a battalion-sized force. During the emergency extraction, Kettles learned eight men had been left behind. He immediately turned around and headed back to the landing zone. “The bottom line is those soldiers went home to their families,” said Kettles. “Their names aren't carved in stone on a wall in D.C. No medal can compare with that.” Read more at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/07/18/president-obama-awards-medal-honor-lt-col-charles-kettles.
 
 
To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 11:45 AM MDT
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Saturday, 16 July 2016
Action Corps
Now Playing: reprinted from Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS
                                   July 15, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. Senate Hearing on Electronic Health Care Records
2. House Committee Holds TBI Hearing
3. Flurry of Activity as Congress Leaves for Long Recess
4. VFW and SVA Launch 2017 Legislative Fellowship Program
5. U.S. to Keep 8,400 Troops in Afghanistan
6. Korean War Armistice Commemoration
7. MIA Update
 
1. Senate Hearing on Electronic Health Care Records: On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs held a hearing to discuss progress on the exchange of health care record data between VA and DOD. Subcommittee members were concerned that the data currently exchanged is not presented in a way doctors are able to use. VA and DOD estimate that they will achieve complete interoperability by the end of Fiscal Year 2018. To view a video of the hearing, visit: http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/hearings/hearing-to-review-the-va-electronic-health-record-network-vista.
 
2. House Committee Holds TBI Hearing: On Wednesday, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a hearing on inadequate examinations for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) claims. In 2008, VA issued a directive stating that any veteran who files a disability claim for TBI, and who hadn’t been previously diagnosed with TBI, must have the initial examination performed by either a psychiatrist, physiatrist, neurologist or neurosurgeon. A later report found that 24,000 veterans’ initial exams did not meet the directive’s guidelines. On May 16, 2016, VA sent letters to all affected veterans, giving them one year to contact VA for reexamination. Hearing participants discussed what caused the failures and whether or not the single letter is sufficient notification to these veterans. To watch the full hearing, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyes33Dpch4. The hearing starts at the 28:47 mark.
 
3. Flurry of Activity as Congress Leaves for Long Recess: This week, Congress advanced a number of veterans’ bills before leaving town for a seven-week break. Congress passed H.R. 5588, the Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016, which authorizes a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for veteran benefits tied to COLA increases for Social Security. The Social Security Administration typically announces COLA changes in October. Congress also passed   S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, which aims to address the abuse of opioids throughout the country. S. 524 includes a number of provisions to curb the use of opioids to treat veterans with chronic pain and mental health conditions. It will also establish an Office of Patient Advocacy, which will oversee local medical facility patient advocates to ensure they fulfill their duties. Both bills await the president’s signature.
 
The Senate also passed S. 1555, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, which recognizes Filipino veterans for their support of the United States Armed Forces during World War II. However, the Senate failed to act on S. 2921, the Veterans First Act, which would expand caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras, increase accountability of VA employees, and make needed improvements to the Choice Program. The Veterans First Act, which the VFW supports, failed to pass due to a disagreement on how to offset the cost of the bill.
 
4. VFW and SVA Launch 2017 Legislative Fellowship Program: The application process for the 2017 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship opened on Thursday. First held in 2015, the program mentors 10 student veterans as they research policy areas affecting veterans and the military. Once their research is completed, the fellows will advocate for legislative and regulatory fixes related to their selected issues. Part of that advocacy includes attending the VFW’s National Legislative Conference in March where fellows will join more than 500 VFW members in promoting the VFW’s legislative agenda by meeting with members of Congress. Last year, fellows also briefed staffers from the White House and both the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees. The program, with all travel expenses covered, is for VFW members who attend a college or university with a Student Veterans of America chapter. For more information, including the topics for research and the application link, click here: http://www.vfw.org/studentfellowship/.
 
5. U.S. to Keep 8,400 Troops in Afghanistan: The president announced this week that 8,400 U.S. troops well remain in Afghanistan through next January. He had planned to reduce the number of Americans from the current 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of 2016. He said their mission will remain the same––to train and advise Afghan forces, as well as support counterterrorism efforts. Afghanistan is still dangerous, as witnessed by the deaths of 38 Americans in the country since combat operations stopped in December 2014, Obama said, while calling the United States a leader, but just one nation among many seeking a safe and stable Afghanistan. There are 41 allies and partners working in the country, fielding more than 6,000 troops of their own, as well as Afghanistan’s own security forces of more than 320,000 members. Read more at: http://www.defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/827640/obama-8400-us-troops-to-remain-in-afghanistan-through-january-2017?source=GovDelivery.
 
6. Korean War Armistice Commemoration: The Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation and the Korean War Veterans Association are inviting all Korean War veterans and families to attend a commemoration in recognition of the 63rd signing of the Korean War Armistice at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 27, at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  RSVP your attendance to Jim Fisher at 703-740-7596 or jrfisher1121@verizon.net.
 
7. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of three soldiers who had been missing in action since the Korean War. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Army Master Sgt. Charles J. Brown, who died fighting in North Korea on Nov. 2, 1950. He was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment. The date and location of his burial has yet to be announced.
-- Army Sgt. Harold L. Curtis, 18, was declared missing in action while fighting on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea on Dec. 12, 1950. He was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regimen. The date and location of his burial has yet to be announced.
-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence Smith, who died fighting in South Korea on Feb. 12, 1951. He was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment. The date and location of his burial has yet to be announced.
 
 
To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 7:17 AM MDT
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Saturday, 9 July 2016
Action Corps
Now Playing: reprinted from Ann Markel article
 July 8, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. Bridging the Divide
2. Commission on Care Releases Final Report
3. VA Releases Results From Largest Veteran Suicide Study
4. House Votes to Protect Veterans Preference
5. Online Health Care Application
6. Arlington National Cemetery’s Future
7. MIA Update
 
1. Bridging the Divide: VFW Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Brian Duffy joined a panel of mental health experts at the National Press Club this week to discuss the public’s perception—and employer perceptions—of military veterans transitioning back into their communities and workforce. The panel focused on the results of two surveys conducted recently by the George W. Bush Institute and the global public relations and marketing firm, Edelman. Survey results indicated 40 percent of Americans believe half of all veterans are experiencing mental health challenges, where in fact it’s one in five veterans, which matches the civilian sector. Also troubling was 92 percent of employers believe veterans need access to mental health care programs, and that the great majority of Americans and employers perceive veterans as heroes, but not as strategic assets, which is a disconnect between the civilian population and those who serve, according to Duffy. “We understand that in times of war there are heroes, but just because you went to war doesn't mean that you came back a hero,” he said. “By calling everybody a hero, it devalues the term, plus it puts everyone on a pedestal when you’re just trying to successfully transition back into the community.” Read both surveys at: http://www.bushcenter.org/publications/resources-reports/reports/infographic-confronting-invisible-wounds.html and http://www.slideshare.net/EdelmanInsights/2016-veterans-wellbeing-survey.
 
2. Commission on Care Releases Final Report: On Wednesday, the Commission on Care, created by Congress to recommend ways to improve the VA health care system, issued its final report which includes 18 recommendations on how VA delivers care to veterans, the governance and workforce of the VA health care system and which veterans are eligible for VA health care. VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr. thanked the commission for their hard work and offered the VFW’s support for most of their recommendations and expressed the VFW’s concerns with one recommendation that would create another layer of bureaucracy to manage the day-to-day operations of the VA health care system. To read the VFW’s press release, visit: https://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2016-Articles/VFW-Statement-on-Commission-on-Care-Report/. To read the commission’s final report, visit: https://commissiononcare.sites.usa.gov/.
 
3. VA Releases Results From Largest Veteran Suicide Study: On Thursday, VA released preliminary findings from the country’s largest study on veteran suicide. Over the past year, VA has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense to gather and analyze mortality records for 55 million veterans from every state and U.S. territory, dating from 1979-2014. A study in 2010, which used data from 20 states, estimated the number of veteran deaths by suicide averaged 22 per day. The latest study estimates the number of veteran deaths by suicide averaged 20 per day in 2014. The report validates previous findings that veterans who use VA health care are at lower risk of suicide compared to veterans who do not use VA care. VA plans to release the entire study by the end of this month. The VFW is alarmed by this report’s findings and will do what is necessary to ensure veterans who contemplate taking their own lives have the care and support they need to cope with their mental health care issues. To read the preliminary findings, visit: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2801.
 
4. House Votes to Protect Veterans Preference: On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved language which would ban the use of federal funds to change hiring preference for veterans. The amendment, part of a larger appropriations bill for several federal agencies, now goes to the Senate for consideration. This ban would protect veterans from a Senate proposal that the VFW adamantly opposes which would allow veterans preference to be used only one time.  To read the VFW’s statement opposing the Senate bill, go to http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2016-Articles/VFW-Opposes-Veterans-Preference-Restriction/.  To see how your member of Congress voted on this amendment, go to:  http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2016/roll395.xml. Continue to follow the VFW Action Corps for more updates on this issue.
 
5. Online Health Care Application: Last week, VA launched a new and easier way for veterans to enroll in VA health care through the vets.gov website. The new application was developed in response to concerns with the current Veterans Online Application––a fillable PDF that can only be opened with devices that can read Adobe documents. The new application is an HTML form that can be viewed with any web browser, including mobile devices. If you would like to enroll in VA health care using the new application, visit: https://www.vets.gov/healthcare/apply/. To learn about other ways to enroll in VA health care, visit: http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/apply/.
 
6. Arlington National Cemetery’s Future: The VFW attended a discussion this week about the future of Arlington National Cemetery. Currently, only one percent of those eligible choose to be buried or inured at Arlington, with the rest being interred at the VA’s 134 national cemeteries or in state veterans cemeteries or elsewhere. Even so, based on its current pace, Arlington will run out of space sometime between the years 2050 and 2070, a timeframe that takes into consideration the 90,000 current available spaces, the 27,000 additional spaces from its millennium project, and the 45,000 to 50,000 spaces to be gained from a southern expansion into where the Navy Annex once stood. The question the Arlington advisory committee is pondering is whether changes could or should be made to eligibility requirements to extend the cemetery’s lifespan. Right now, all active-duty deaths are eligible, as well as military retirees, those with qualifying medals, and those with honorable discharges. The VFW will report more as this discussion continues.
 
7. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of Marine Corps Pvt. Robert J. Carter, 19, of Oklahoma City, who will be buried July 13 in Arlington National Cemetery. In November 1943, Carter was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed, and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Carter died on Nov. 20, 1943. Learn more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/831327/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-carter/.  
 
 
 
To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 8:40 AM MDT
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Friday, 1 July 2016
Action Corps
Now Playing: reprint from Ann Markel article
Topic: VETERANS

                            July 1, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. Senate Hearing on Pending Legislation
2. Military Construction and VA Appropriations Bill Blocked
3. Recognizing National PTSD Awareness Day
4. Congress Prepares For Summer Recess
5. Senate Confirms New Leadership
6. MIA Update
 
1. Senate Hearing on Pending Legislation: On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to consider 18 veterans’ bills, including legislation to expand disability compensation benefits to veterans who participated in classified mustard gas experiments, to reimburse veterans who have been defrauded by their fiduciaries, and to expand USERRA rights for Guardsmen and Reservists. VFW Deputy Legislative Director Carlos Fuentes offered the VFW’s support for most of the bills and made recommendations to improve others. Committee members discussed VA’s opposition to expansion of benefits for veterans exposed to mustard gas and veterans who were involved in the cleanup of atomic waste in Enewetak Atoll. To view a webcast of the hearing, visit: http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/pending-legislation06292016.
 
2. Military Construction and VA Appropriations Bill Blocked: On Tuesday, Senate Democrats blocked a conference agreement on an appropriations bill to fund military construction and VA service and programs through the end of fiscal year 2017 and to provide advance appropriations for fiscal year 2018. The bill is traditionally a non-partisan issue, but political differences on how to fund Zika prevention and research has derailed its progress. The bill’s future is uncertain and will likely require a second conference agreement before being considered again. Stay tuned to the Action Corps Weekly for updates on this important bill.
 
3. Recognizing National PTSD Awareness Day: Monday was National PTSD Awareness Day. Federal agencies who work with the military and veterans used the day to promote programs available for help and to end the stigma associated with seeking assistance. PTSD can be successfully treated, but service members and veterans must work to help each other overcome the hurdles it can impose. For information on PTSD treatments, how to help a loved one or to help spread the word, visit the VA’s National Center for PTSD website at: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/about/ptsd-awareness/index.asp.
 
4. Congress Prepares For Summer Recess: As the summer begins, members of Congress will also begin their long summer recess on July 16, with many of them running for re-election. This is a great opportunity for you to meet them face-to-face in their home districts and promote issues important to the VFW. There are many resources at your disposal to assist you. Each week, the Department’s representative on the VFW National Legislative Committee is emailed information if a member of Congress in that state is having a town hall meeting. Additionally, you can visit the websites of your Senators and Representatives to learn about events.  Furthermore, the VFW Action Corps at the VFW’s Washington Office is able to generate talking points for you to use during town hall meetings. Visit http://www.vfw.org/VFWinDC/ for more information. You can email vfwac@vfw.org or call (202)608-8363 to contact the VFW Action Corps for more help.
 
5. Senate Confirms New Leadership: The Senate this week confirmed the next Air Force chief of staff, the new head of U.S. Africa Command, and the next leaders of the National Guard, Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve. Confirmed are:
-- Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein, was confirmed as the next chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, where he currently serves as its vice chief. He is a command pilot, primarily in fighter aircraft, and has 33 years’ service. Read his bio at: http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/108013/general-david-l-goldfein.aspx.
-- Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph H. Lengyel will be promoted to general and become the next chief of the National Guard Bureau, where he currently serves as its vice chief. He is a command pilot, primarily in fighter aircraft, with 35 years’ service. Read his bio here: http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/108432/lieutenant-general-joseph-l-lengyel.aspx.
-- Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser will be promoted to general and become the next commander of U.S. Africa Command. He is currently the director for joint force development at the Defense Department. He is the former commanding general of the I Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Marine Forces Central Command. Read his bio here: http://www.jcs.mil/Leadership/Article-View/Article/572011/lt-gen-thomas-d-waldhauser/.
-- Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Charles D. Luckey will be promoted to lieutenant general and become the new chief of the Army Reserve, as well as commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command. The general currently serves as the chief of staff of U.S. Northern Command. Read his bio at: http://www.northcom.mil/Leadership/Article-View/Article/578785/major-general-charles-d-luckey/.
-- Air Force Maj. Gen. Maryanne Miller will be promoted to lieutenant general and become the next chief of the Air Force Reserve, where she currently serves as its deputy chief. She is a command pilot, primarily in tankers and transport aircraft, with 35 years’ service. Read her bio at: http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/108440/major-general-maryanne-miller.aspx.
 
6. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced one burial update and the identification of remains of one sailor and one soldier who died fighting in World War II and Korea. Being returned home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Navy Fire Controlman 1st Class Paul A. Nash, 26, of Carlisle, Ind., will be buried July 9 in Sullivan, Ind. On Dec. 7, 1941, Nash was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which suffered multiple torpedo hits as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack capsized the ship, resulting in 429 casualties, including Nash. Read more here: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/821260/uss-oklahoma-sailor-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-nash/.
-- Army Chief Warrant Officer Adolphus Nava, of Queens, N.Y., was declared missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950, while fighting in North Korea. It would be later learned he had been captured but died in a POW camp on May 31, 1951. He was assigned to Battery B, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. Burial details have yet to be announced.
 
 
To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 1:41 PM MDT
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
July Events Calendar
Now Playing: Thank you Laverne
Topic: Post 3274

Friday, July 1st - Dart Tournament

Monday, July 4th - Independence Day

Thursday, July 21st - VFW Meeting - 6:30 PM
                                     VFW Auxiliary Meeting - 5:00 PM
                                     Troop packages - 4:15 PM

July 23rd - 27th - VFW and Auxiliary - National Convention - Charlotte, North Carolina

ADDITIONS:

Saturday, July 9th - Auxiliary Council of Administration - Clovis #3280 at 9:00 AM

Thursday, July 14th - House Committee Meeting - 5:30 PM


Posted by vfwpost3274 at 1:02 PM MDT
Updated: Friday, 1 July 2016 10:13 AM MDT
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Monday, 27 June 2016
Action Corps Weekly
Now Playing: reprint from Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS
June 24, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1.      VFW Testifies in House
2.      Senate Holds Hearing on IT System
3.      Senate Holds Hearing for New Assistant Secretary
4.      Military Construction and VA Appropriations Agreement
5.      House Passes Veterans Measures
6.      VFW Opposes Veterans Preference Restriction
7.      VFW Life Member to Receive Medal of Honor
8.      MIA Update
 
1. VFW Testifies in House: On Thursday, Raymond Kelley, director, VFW national legislative service, testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on 12 bills under consideration by the Committee. The subjects of the bills included improvements for hiring and retaining quality doctors, providing greater access to therapy dogs for veterans with PTSD and TBI, and a key piece of legislation that will reform the disability appeals process. To watch this hearing click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hZ2Q3Rpdd0. The second panel of witnesses, begins at 1:22:00, and includes the deputy secretary of VA, Sloan Gibson, followed by Kelley and several other veteran service organizations.
 
2. Senate Holds Hearing on IT System: On Wednesday, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on VA’s Information Technology (IT) system. VA provided an update on the current state of the system, to include VA/DOD health record interoperability, and VA’s plan to meet its future needs. To read VA’s testimony and to watch the hearing click here http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/it-hearing-06222016.
 
3. Senate Holds Hearing for New Assistant Secretary: On Tuesday, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a nomination hearing for Christopher O’Conner. O’Conner is a retired Marine and is currently the acting assistant secretary for VA’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. Once confirmed, O’Conner’s title as assistant secretary will be made permanent. To read O’Conner’s written statement and to watch the hearing, click here http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/pending-nomination-of-christopher-e-oconnor06212016.

4. Military Construction and VA Appropriations Agreement: On Wednesday night the House and Senate Appropriations Committees announced a conference agreement on an appropriations bill to fund military construction and VA service and programs. The agreement would appropriate $74.4 billion for VA’s discretionary programs, which is an increase from previous years, but falls short of the Administration’s request and Independent Budget’s recommendations. Specifically, the bill would underfund VA major construction projects and community care programs, which allow veterans to seek private sector care when VA care is not readily available. The VFW commends the conferees for expanding VA fertility treatment options for veterans who are unable to start a family due to their service-connected disabilities.  The agreement would authorize VA to use assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, to treat service-connected infertility and reimburse veterans for the cost of adoption. The agreement was passed by the House on Thursday morning, but faces an uncertain future in the Senate due to a disagreement on how to fund Zika research and prevention. Stay tuned to the Action Corps Weekly for updates on this important bill.

5. House Passes Veterans Measures: On Tuesday, the House passed two veterans bills. H.R. 4590, authorizes VA funding to carry out the construction or improvements to seven VA medical facilities. H.R. 3936 calls on VA to carry out a three-year pilot program which will allow veterans to file a disability claim with the assistance of a Veteran Engagement Team. The VFW is supportive of both of these proposals. Both bills now move to the Senate for passage, before being signed into law.
 
6. VFW Opposes Veterans Preference Restriction: The VFW is adamantly opposed to a Senate proposal that would restrict veterans preference to a one-time deal when applying for work within the federal government. The Senate proposal is buried in section 1134 of S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. “Veterans preference was created because military veterans are at a competitive disadvantage when applying for federal jobs,” said VFW National Commander John Biedrzycki. “For the Senate to intentionally erect barriers to employment and advancement makes zero sense because it harms veterans and weakens the talent pool available to the federal government.” Veterans preference is a point system that human resource offices use to rack-and-stack job applicants, yet contrary to popular belief, the only preference veterans receive is the job interview, not a job offer. Veterans must still prove they are the best qualified during the job interview.
 
7. VFW Life Member to Receive Medal of Honor: The White House announced this week that the president will award the Medal of Honor next month to retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, who is credited with saving some 44 lives on May 15, 1967, while serving as a UH-1 Huey helicopter commander. Kettles, of Ypsilanti, Mich., is a Life member of the VFW Department of Michigan. Early that morning, his platoon had dropped about 80 soldiers into a river valley, but the troops were ambushed and surrounded. Kettles and his fellow pilots made several trips back and forth, bringing in reinforcements and evacuating the wounded, but by afternoon, it was clear that the situation was hopeless. Only 44 troops remained, facing what Kettles estimated was a battalion-sized force. During the emergency extraction, Kettles learned eight men had been left behind. He immediately turned around and headed back to the landing zone. “The bottom line is those soldiers went home to their families,” said Kettles. “Their names aren't carved in stone on a wall in D.C. No medal can compare with that.” Read more at https://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/kettles/.
 
8. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Office announced burial updates and the identification of remains of one soldier, two Marines and one Army Air Forces pilot, who had been missing in action from World War II. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Army Cpl. George P. Grifford, 18, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., will be buried June 27 in Arlington National Cemetery. On Nov. 30, 1950, Grifford was a member of the 37th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near Kunu-ri, North Korea. It would be later learned he died as a prisoner of war on Feb. 6, 1951. Read more at http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/803444/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-grifford.aspx.
-- Marine Pfc. James F. Mansfield, 19, of Plymouth, Mass., was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. He reportedly died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Burial details to come.
-- Marine Pvt. Harry K. Tye, 20, of Gallagher, W.Va., was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. He reportedly died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Burial details to come.
-- Army Air Forces Flight Officer Judson B. Baskett, 26, of Harris County, Texas, went missing on Nov. 28, 1946, while piloting a C-47B Dakota aircraft with two other crewmen over Malaysia. He was assigned to the 1305th Army Air Base Unit. Burial details to come.
 
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Saturday, 18 June 2016
Action Corps
Now Playing: reprinted from article by Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS
                                 June 17, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. Tell Your Members of Congress to Improve VA Health Care
2. House Hearing on VA Paper Record Management
3. House Hearing on Strategies for Veterans Seeking Jobs
4. Senate Passes Defense Authorization
5. White House Summit on United State of Women
6. VFW Supports Expanding Fertility Treatment Options for Veterans
7. SCOTUS Rules for Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses
8. Women Veterans Sought for Registry
9. MIA Update
 
1. Tell Your Members of Congress to Improve VA Health Care: Politicians, pundits and politically-motivated organizations are using the national crisis in access to care at the Department of Veterans Affairs as justification to dismantle and privatize the VA health care system, with some even proposing that veterans be charged for their service-connected care. The VFW says no! Contact your members of Congress and let them know that VA health care reform must be based on the needs and preferences of veterans, not political rhetoric: http://capwiz.com/vfw/issues/alert/?alertid=72925626.
 
2. House Hearing on VA Paper Record Management: The House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the management of paper records within the Veterans Benefits Administration. The hearing was called after the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General investigated 438,000 documents that regional offices had been shredding. According to VAOIG, 155 of those documents were related to veterans’ claims, and 130 of them were inappropriate to shred and either affected or could have affected someone’s claim. VBA defended itself by saying the issue was a human error, while VAOIG argued it was a systematic error. To watch the hearing, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7OC7Sk0C4U.
 
3. House Hearing on Strategies for Veterans Seeking Jobs: The House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a hearing Wednesday to discuss innovative ways to help veterans seeking employment in the modern world. Last month, the committee discussed how to better place veterans in technologically based jobs. This month was a continuance of that discussion, but was more focused on the holistic approach of how to best place veterans successfully into the economy. To watch the hearing, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLsIOr3fzFI.
 
4. Senate Passes Defense Authorization: On Tuesday, the Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. While S. 2943 calls for $206 billion in spending, it also calls on retirees to pay more for their health care, provides less housing assistance to married military couples, and provides only a 1.6 percent pay increase for our active force. The bill also requires women to register with the Selective Service System, and includes language that would require discharge review boards to give liberal consideration to petitions to discharge status if the service members have PTSD, TBI or related conditions to their military service. It is clear that sequestration and arbitrary budget caps are forcing DOD and Congress to push cost burdens onto our military families and retirees. As the differences between the Senate and House versions are negotiated through the conference process, the VFW will work to mitigate the financial burdens placed on our service members, their families and retirees.
 
5. White House Summit on United State of Women: Over 5,000 women gathered on Tuesday and Wednesday this week in Washington, D.C., for the first ever White House Summit on The United State of Women. In attendance at the event were President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Oprah Winfrey, Amy Poehler and many more. Throughout the two-day event, panel discussions were held on important topics for women, including health care, education, violence against women and women in the military. Dr. Jill Biden, who was not able to attend, recorded a video discussing women in the military, issues they come across and the amazing things they do for our country. Following her video, Gen. Lori Robinson, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, made remarks to the crowd regarding her experiences and pride toward females who serve our country. To learn more about the summit, visit: http://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/. To watch Gen. Robinson’s remarks, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQpi2Bpvclw.
 
6. VFW Supports Expanding Fertility Treatment Options for Veterans: On Monday, the VFW sent a letter to the members of the conference committee currently deliberating the differences between Senate and House appropriations bills for military construction and VA. In the letter, the VFW made clear that it is unacceptable for veterans to incur debt to start a family or forgo having children altogether simply because VA is prohibited from treating their service-connected infertility. To read the letter, visit: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2016-Articles/VFW-Supports-Expanding-Fertility-Treatment-Options-for-Veterans/.
 
7. SCOTUS Rules for Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses: The Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously against the Department of Veterans Affairs yesterday for failing to comply with a law aimed at increasing the number of federal contracts awarded to disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The eight justices sided with Kingdomware Technologies, a disabled veteran-owned contractor based in Maryland, which VA did not consider as a potential contractor when it awarded a contract to a company that did not qualify as a veteran-owned small business. Federal law requires government agencies to use a bidding process if two or more disabled veteran-owned companies can offer service at a fair and reasonable price. A federal appeals court ruled VA did not have to follow the “Rule of Two” if it otherwise met the government’s goal of awarding between 7 and 12 percent of all contracts to veteran-owned small businesses. In overturning the lower court ruling, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said meeting annual benchmarks does not allow VA to ignore a mandatory contracting rule; that it applied to all contract determinations. Read the 16-page ruling at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-916_6j37.pdf.
 
8. Women Veterans Sought for Registry: The Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation is reaching out to the public to raise awareness and support for its memorial, education center and registry. Its 33,000-square-foot building opened in 1997 at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery. Its mission is to recognize all women who served in the armed forces. It is the only major national memorial to honor all of our nation’s 3 million service women, yet its registry only lists less than 10 percent of those who have served or are serving. Register at: www.womensmemorial.org/Membership/reg.html.
 
9. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced burial updates and the identification of remains of six soldiers and two Marines who had been missing in action from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Alan L. Boyer, 22, of Chicago, will be buried June 22 in Arlington National Cemetery. On March 28, 1968, Boyer was a member of an 11-man reconnaissance team on a classified mission inside Laos when they were attacked by enemy forces and requested emergency extraction. The Air Force CH-3 extraction helicopter came under heavy fire, and after recovering seven team members, began pulling away. Boyer was reportedly climbing the rope ladder when it broke. A search team was inserted into the area four days later but found no evidence of Boyer or the three other team members. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/801292/soldier-missing-from-vietnam-war-accounted-for-boyer.aspx.
-- Marine Pvt. Palmer S. Haraldson, 31, of Lincoln, Neb., will be buried June 22 in Fort Dodge, Iowa. In November 1943, Haraldson was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Haraldson reportedly died on the third day of the battle, Nov. 22, 1943.
-- Army Master Sgt. Richard Davis, 30, of Black Lick, Pa., will be buried June 24 in Blairsville, Pa. In early November 1950, Davis was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, deployed near Unsan, North Korea, when it was engaged by an overwhelming number of Chinese forces. Davis was reported missing in action as a result of the battle on Nov. 2, 1950.
-- Army Cpl. Charles B. Crofts, is scheduled to be buried July 9 in Shelley, Idaho. In late November 1950, Crofts was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea when it was engaged by an overwhelming number of Chinese forces. Crofts was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950.
-- Army Cpl. Frederick G. Collins Jr., from California, died in a Japanese POW camp in the Philippines on Nov. 19, 1942. He was assigned to the 263rd Quartermaster Company, Quartermaster Corps. Burial details to come.
-- Marine Pfc. Roland E. Schaede, 22, of Maywood, Ill. In November 1943, Schaede was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Schaede reportedly died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Burial details to come.
-- Army Pfc. William R. Butz, of Clark County, Wash., died fighting in North Korea on Dec. 12, 1950. He was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Burial details to come.
-- Army Sgt. Harold L. Curtis, died fighting in North Korea on Dec. 12, 1950. He was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Burial details to come.
 
 
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Posted by vfwpost3274 at 10:36 AM MDT
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Don't Dismantle the VA Health Care System
Now Playing: fwd: article by Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS

Action Alert: Improve, Don't Dismantle the VA Health Care System    
Take Action!

 
Background: Politicians, pundits and politically-motivated organizations are using the national crisis in access to care at the Department of Veterans Affairs as justification to dismantle and privatize the VA health care system, with some even proposing that veterans be charged for their service-connected care.  The VFW says no!

Veterans must not stand idle as politicians who never served or use the VA health care system dictate when and where veterans can receive care.

For almost 117 years, the VFW has worked tirelessly to identify issues veterans face when accessing their earned benefits, and has worked with Congress to ensure a grateful nation fulfills her obligation to those who sacrificed to defend her.  In the past two years alone, the VFW has collected direct feedback from more than 20,000 veterans regarding their experiences receiving VA and private sector health care.  Their message is clear: “Improve, don’t dismantle the VA health care system.”

 

Take Action: Contact your Members of Congress and let them know that VA health care reform must be based on the needs and preferences of veterans, not political rhetoric.

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 8:10 AM MDT
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Tuesday, 31 May 2016
JUNE CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Now Playing: Thanx Laverne
Topic: Post 3274
Friday, June 3rd - Dart Tournament

Friday, June 3rd and Saturday, June 4th - VFW and Auxiliary State Convention in Albuquerque at the Sheraton  
                                                                         Uptown

Tuesday, June 14th - Flag Day

Thursday, June 16th - Pack Troop Care Packages - 4:15  PM
                                       Auxiliary Meeting - 5:00 PM
                                       VFW Meeting - 6:30 PM

Sunday, June 19th - Father's Day

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 11:53 AM MDT
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Friday, 27 May 2016
ACTION CORPS
Now Playing: Reprinted from Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS
                                 May 27, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. Memorial Day 2016
2. Senate Hearing on Pending Health Care Bills
3. House Advances Veterans Legislation
4. Democratic Leadership Roundtable
5. VA Proposes APRN Full Practice Authority
6. Brain Health Summit Focuses on TBI/PTSD
7. VFW Hosts U.S.-Russia Joint Commission
8. MIA and Burial Updates
 
1. Memorial Day 2016: National Commander John Biedrzycki will be representing the VFW at the White House Monday morning, as well as participating in Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Locally, many of our 6,600 VFW Posts will be hosting similar ceremonies to honor our fallen. As we gather to remember the more than one million Americans who died in our nation’s conflicts going back to the Revolutionary War, please remember to keep our 83,000 missing and unaccounted for servicemen — and their families — in your thoughts. Memorial Day weekend activities in Washington include:
-- National Memorial Day Concert, Sunday, May 29, from 8-9:30 p.m. on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, and aired live on PBS stations nationwide.
-- National World War II Memorial Observance, Monday, May 30, at 9 a.m.
-- Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Day Observance, from 11 a.m. to noon, Monday, inside the Memorial Amphitheater next to the Tomb of the Unknowns.
-- Vietnam War Memorial Observance, from 1-2 p.m., Monday.
-- National Memorial Day Parade, start time 2 p.m., Monday, from the National Archives building down Constitution Avenue past the White House.
-- Korean War Veterans Memorial Observance, at 5 p.m., Monday.
 
2. Senate Hearing on Pending Health Care Bills: On Tuesday, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss several bills on veterans health care and benefits, including legislation to expand the Veterans Choice Program, expedite the disability compensation appeals process, and improve mental health care programs for women veterans. VFW Senior Legislative Associate Carlos Fuentes offered the VFW’s support for many of the bills being considered and offered recommendations to improve others. Fuentes urged VA to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the more than 450,000 appeals backlog before reforming the process for future appeals. VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson and members of the committee also discussed Secretary McDonald’s recent comments on how VA measures wait times. To read the testimony or view the webcast, visit: http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/pending-legislation-052416.
 
3. House Advances Veterans Legislation: On Monday, the House of Representatives advanced several veterans bills. These include the VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act, which would require VA to develop and carry out a plan to hire permanent directors at each VA medical center; bills to rename VA outpatient clinics and U.S. post offices after heroic veterans; and a bill to grant veterans the opportunity to appeal Caregivers Program eligibility determinations to an independent contractor. The House has passed several veterans bills in the past couple of months, and awaits Senate action on a large veterans health care and benefits bill before negotiation on a final veterans bill that would be considered by Congress and sent to the president. However, the House has failed to pass legislation to expand the Caregivers Program to pre-9/11 veterans who suffer from injuries and illnesses which limit their ability to live independently. The VFW urges its members and supporters to call on the Senate to pass the Veterans First Act, which includes language to expand the Caregivers Program, and tell the House to act on legislation to expand the Caregivers Program to veterans of all eras. Stay tuned to the Action Corps Weekly for updates.
 
4. Democratic Leadership Roundtable: Four times a year the House Democratic leadership hosts a veterans service organization (VSO) roundtable in an effort to stay connected with the issues that most concern the veterans community. The most recent roundtable took place on Wednesday, May 25. Topics the VFW discussed were the legislative action Congress must take to continue to improve veterans’ access to care. This includes making it easier for VA to hire more physicians, allowing VA outpatient clinics to have extended hours and weekend appointment options, simplify the contract process so private community doctors can more easily see veterans, and consolidate and streamline the non-VA care payment system so veterans aren’t charged for care in the community that VA should pay for. We also discussed the need for increased resources to pay for expansion of caregiver benefits, Blue Water Navy, and other benefits and services veterans and their families’ need. Leaders from the Appropriations Committee committed to working more closely with VSOs so they can better understand these needs and work to find ways to fund them.
 
5. VA Proposes APRN Full Practice Authority: The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing a policy to allow full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) within VA. By doing this, APRNs will be able to assess, diagnose, interpret diagnostic tests and prescribe medications for patients. Permitting full practice to APRNs is being proposed as a means of increasing access to care for veterans. APRNs are clinicians with advanced degrees and training to provide primary, acute and specialty health care services. Depending on their specialization, they are certified as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives. All VA APRNs are required to obtain and maintain current national certification. For more information on the APRN proposal, visit: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2791.
 
6. Brain Health Summit Focuses on TBI/PTSD: On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, One Mind –– an organization led by retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli that is dedicated to promoting and supporting brain health –– held a summit in Arlington, Va. Among those in attendance were employees of The Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institute of Mental Health, and The Food and Drug Administration. Panel discussions were hosted by world renowned Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) researchers, clinicians and policy analysts. The key sessions focused on the translation of science into clinical practices, standardized screening for TBI, the diagnosis of PTSD, and progress toward better diagnostic and prognostic assessments for TBI and co-morbid conditions. The conference wrapped up with talks centered on recommendations for advancing TBI/PTSD treatment and policy implementation in the future of medicine. For more information on One Mind, visit their website at: http://onemind.org/.
 
7. VFW Hosts U.S.-Russia Joint Commission: On Tuesday, VFW National Commander John Biedrzycki hosted a reception for the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs at the VFW Washington Office. The commission was formed in 1992 by then Presidents George H.W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin to help thaw superpower relations around a humanitarian issue. Their meeting in Washington this week was their first in 11 years and 20th overall. The commission’s purpose is to help break down bureaucratic barriers in order to help determine the fates of American and Russian MIAs from World War II through the end of the Cold War.
 
8. MIA and Burial Updates: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced burial updates and new identifications of remains of 13 missing and unaccounted for servicemen from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Being returned for burial with full military honors are:
-- Navy Seaman 2nd Class Challis R. James, of Portsmouth, Ohio, Fireman 1st Class Frank E. Nicoles, 25, of Eau Claire, Wis., Warrant Officer Daryl H. Goggin, 34, of Eugene, Ore., and Chaplain (Lt. j.g.) Aloysius H. Schmitt, 32, of St. Lucas, Iowa, had been missing since Dec. 7, 1941, when the battleship USS Oklahoma they were aboard suffered multiple torpedo hits and capsized as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Davis, of Indiana County, Pa., who was lost fighting in North Korea on Nov. 2, 1950. It would be later learned he was captured but died in captivity. He was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.
-- Navy Lt. Cmdr. Frederick P. Crosby, 31, of Orlando, Fla., was piloting an RF-8A Photo Crusader on a combat mission in North Vietnam when his aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed in Thanh Hoa Province on June 1, 1965. He was assigned to Light Photograph Squadron 63.
-- Army Pvt. Earl J. Keating, 28, will be buried May 28 in his hometown of New Orleans. Group remains representing Keating and Pvt. John H. Klopp, 25, also of New Orleans, were buried in Arlington National Cemetery on March 23. On Dec. 5, 1942, Keating and Klopp died repulsing a Japanese attack in present-day Papua New Guinea. Both were subsequently buried, but their graves couldn’t be located after the war. Both were assigned to Anti-Tank Company, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/777845/soldiers-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-keating.aspx.
-- Marine Pfc. Elmer L. Mathies Jr., 21, will be buried May 28 in his hometown of Hereford, Texas. Mathies died Nov. 20, 1943, while fighting the Japanese on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. He was assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/777823/marine-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-mathies.aspx.
-- Navy Motor Machinist's Mate 1st Class John E. Anderson, 24, will be buried May 28 in his hometown of Willmar, Minn. On June 6, 1944, Anderson was stationed aboard a Landing Craft Tank that after offloading its men and equipment during the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach was destroyed by enemy fire. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/777787/sailor-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-anderson.aspx.
-- Army Pvt. John P. Sersha, 20, of Leoneth, Minn., will be buried May 28 in Eveleth, Minn. On Sept. 27, 1944, during Operation Market Garden, Sersha was one of three “Bazooka Men” sent out with a platoon to assault German positions near Groesbeek, Netherlands. None of the three men returned. Sersha was assigned to Company F, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/777857/soldier-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-sersha.aspx.
-- Air Force 1st Lt. Donald W. Bruch Jr., 24, of Montclair, N.J., will be buried May 29 in East Petersburg, Pa. On April 29, 1966, Bruch was piloting an F-105D Thunderchief toward a target in North Vietnam when his aircraft was struck by enemy anti-aircraft artillery. He was assigned to the 333rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/778981/airman-missing-from-vietnam-war-accounted-for-bruch.aspx.
-- Marine Pfc. James B. Johnson, 19, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., will be buried May 31 in Arlington National Cemetery. Johnson died Nov. 20, 1943, while fighting the Japanese on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. He was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/779753/marine-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-johnson.aspx.
 
 
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