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Post 3274
VETERANS
Group One
VFW PHOTO ALBUM
VFW POST 3274 MESSAGE BOARD
Friday, 23 September 2016
ACTION CORPS
Now Playing: REPRINTED FROM ANN MARKEL
Topic: VETERANS
                               September 23, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. A Day to Change Direction
2. Subcommittee Hearing on VA Procurement
3. Congress Advances Veterans Legislation
4. House Committee Advances Several Veterans Bills
5. Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week Discussion
6. Male Military Sexual Assault Prevention
7. Nominate a Military Child of the Year
8. MIA Update
 
1. A Day to Change Direction: The VFW Mental Wellness Campaign, sponsored by National Commander Brian Duffy and Auxiliary National President Colette Bishop, is continuing to move forward. On Saturday, Oct. 8, VFW Posts and Auxiliaries everywhere have been asked to participate in community service projects, as well as to host discussions on mental wellness and mental health to help reduce the stigma of seeking care for veterans and non-veterans alike. VFW is partnering with Give an Hour (www.giveanhour.org) to host “A Day to Change Direction.” As such, the VFW National Headquarters wants to know all of the great things happening at VFW Posts and Auxiliaries that day. In addition to sharing “A Day to Change Direction” photos on social media using #changementalhealth and #VFWPostPride, please e-mail photos and contact information to Janie Dyhouse at jdyhouse@vfw.org. We look forward to publicizing the great work of our VFW Posts and Auxiliaries!
 
2. Subcommittee Hearing on VA Procurement: On Tuesday, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing to identify some of the issues plaguing VA and its ability to obtain resources for its health care providers. Currently, VA has multiple suppliers from which it obtains medical resources and medications. Witnesses testified that a single source provider of resources would greatly improve the care and efficiency VA offers its patients. Subcommittee Chairman Mike Coffman (R-CO), tasked VA with providing a plan moving forward that will allow for a single provider of supplies and a more efficient way of tracking them by 2017. To view the hearing, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lQl9c8gF1g.
 
3. Congress Advances Veterans Legislation: This week the Senate advanced four veterans bills that were recently passed by the House. The bills include H.R. 5936, the Veterans Care Agreement and West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016, to authorize VA to enter into needed leases in West Los Angeles; H.R. 1475, the Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance Act to authorize the construction of a wall of remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial; H.R. 5985, the VA Expiring Authorities Act of 2016 to extend a number of important veterans programs set to expire this year and provide relief for veterans impacted by the closure of ITT campuses around the country; and H.R. 5937 to authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission to acquire, operate and maintain the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette, France. H.R. 1475 was amended by the Senate and must be reconsidered by the House before being sent to the president. The other three bills now await the president’s signature.
 
4. House Committee Advances Several Veterans Bills: On Wednesday, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a markup of 11 bills, which would authorize VA employees to work flexible hours and expand operating hours of VA medical facilities; authorize headstone medallions for Medal of Honor recipients buried in private cemeteries; authorize the spouses of veterans to retain their residency for tax purposes; and require VA to provide veterans information on the transferability of credits for educational programs authorized under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill program. To learn about all the bills advanced by the committee, visit: https://veterans.house.gov/legislation/markups/pending-legislation-3.
 
5. Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week Discussion: The Department of Justice hosted a discussion panel on Tuesday for Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. The discussion was veteran specific and focused on exploring the intersections of substance use, mental health, homelessness, suicide and how veteran treatment courts are positively affecting those in need. Among those in attendance were Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald, Principle Deputy Associate Attorney General William J. Baer and Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The panel discussions focused on tackling the difficulties stemming from opioid and heroin use in a holistic manner and on exploring how opioid and heroin use actually affects and causes difficulties such as incarceration and homelessness. For more information visit: https://www.justice.gov/opa/blog/opioid-abuse-awareness-veterans-treatment-courts-focus-roundtable-discussion.
 
6. Male Military Sexual Assault Prevention: The Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus held a briefing on Wednesday to discuss male sexual trauma victims. Co-chaired by Representatives Mike Turner (R-OH) and Niki Tsongas (D-MA), the two aimed at better informing Congress of sexual assaults on members of the military who are male. While female service members suffer from Military Sexual Trauma (MST) in alarmingly higher numbers than their male counterparts, male service members suffer from MST at a higher ratio and men who are assaulted are much less likely to come forward. This results in possible untreated mental health conditions which many are worried can lead to suicide. To read more about the briefing, please visit: https://turner.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/turner-and-tsongas-host-briefing-on-male-military-sexual-assault-to-give.
 
7. Nominate a Military Child of the Year: The military family-oriented nonprofit Operation Homefront is now accepting Military Child of the Year nominations through Dec. 5, 2016. The annual awards program, now in its 9th year, will recognize six outstanding young people ages eight to 18 with $10,000 each, new laptops, and will be flown with a parent or guardian to attend an awards gala April 6 in Washington, D.C. Nominations are also being accepted for a Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation, for youth age 13-18. The winner of this category will receive $5,000, mentorship by award sponsor Booz Allen Hamilton, as well as be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington for the gala. Operation Homefront received 502 nominations last year, with the winners ranging in age from nine to 18. For more information, go to: http://www.militarychildoftheyear.org/.
 
8. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced the identification of remains of two pilots and five soldiers who have been missing in action since World War II and Korea. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert W. Ward, 22, will be buried Oct. 1 in his hometown of Pontiac, Mich. On Dec. 23, 1944, Ward was co-piloting a B-26C Marauder with eight other crew members when it was shot down by enemy fire while on a bombing mission near Philippsweiler, Germany. Ward and one other were reported killed in action. He was assigned to the 559th Bombardment Squadron, 387th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/906008/airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-ward/.
-- Army Cpl. William H. Smith will be buried Oct. 7 in Elmira, N.Y. In late November 1950, Smith was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, which was forced into a fighting withdrawal from Unsan, North Korea. He would be reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/949853/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-smith-william/.
-- Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Ben B. Barnes will be buried Oct. 15 in Miller, S.D. On Dec. 5, 1944, Barnes was piloting a P-51D Mustang on a bomber escort mission to Germany when he was shot down by enemy fighters northeast of Berlin. He was a member of the 361st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/952187/airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-barnes/.
-- Army Cpl. Donald R. Hendrickson will be buried Oct. 15 in Janesville, Wis. In late November 1950, Hendrickson was a member of Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, when it was forced into a fighting withdrawal from east of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. He would be reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/939146/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-hendrickson/.
-- Army Pfc. William V. Giovanniello was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, when on April 25, 1951, he would be declared missing in action after his unit was forced into a fighting withdrawal from Chorwon, South  Korea. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/949412/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-giovanniello/.
-- Army Pfc. Everett E. Johnson was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when on Sept. 3, 1950, he was killed by enemy fire as his company was forced into a fighting withdrawal from Taegu, South Korea. Interment services are pending.
-- Army Cpl. Roy C. Fink, 20, from New York, was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when his unit was forced into a fighting withdrawal. Fink would be reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/953602/soldier-killed-in-korean-war-accounted-for-fink/.
 
 
 
To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 11:01 AM MDT
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Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Cold & Flu Season
Topic: VETERANS

The cold and flu season is upon us and the Department of Veterans Affairs has once again teamed up with Walgreens Pharmacies nationwide to allow all veterans who are currently enrolled in the VA healthcare system to be able walk into any of the over 8000 Walgreens nationally (and the Duane Reade pharmacies in the New York metropolitan area) to receive a vaccination at no cost.  Vaccinations will be available through March 31, 2017.

Veterans wishing to receive the no cost vaccination simply need to present a Veterans Identification Card and a photo ID, at any participating Walgreens to receive the vaccination.

In addition, after the Walgreens pharmacist administers the vaccine Walgreens will transmit that information securely to VA where it becomes part of the patient’s electronic medical record.

VA is committed to keeping Veteran patients healthy, and during this flu season, vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of flu.  No matter where you live, visit your local VA clinic or Walgreens to get a free flu shot.  

 To find your local VA, visit va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp.
 To locate a Walgreens store near you, call 800-WALGREENs (800-925-4733), or go to com/findastore.
 To learn more about the partnership, call 1-877-771-8537 or visit ehealth.va.gov/Immunization.asp.
 To get more information on flu and flu vaccine, visit publichealth.va.gov/flu or www.cdc.gov/flu.

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 7:26 AM MDT
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Friday, 16 September 2016
ACTION CORPS
Now Playing: REPRINTED FROM ANN MARKEL
Topic: VETERANS
                              September 16, 2016
                                                              National POW/MIA Recognition Day
 
In This Issue:
1. VFW Launches Mental Wellness Campaign
2. VFW Legislative Conference Concludes
3. VFW Supports GWOT Memorial Legislation
4. Senate Reviews Commission on Care Report
5. VA’s Misuse of Employee Settlement Agreements
6. House Advances Veterans Legislation
7. VFW Hosts Former Marine Corps Commandant/National Security Advisor
8. National POW/MIA Recognition Day
9. MIA Updates
 
1. VFW Launches Mental Wellness Campaign: On Tuesday, the VFW, VFW Auxiliary and three partnering organizations launched the new VFW Mental Wellness Campaign at a press event inside the National Press Club in Washington. Joined by leadership from Give an Hour, One Mind and PatientsLikeMe, VFW National Commander Brian Duffy said the overall campaign goal is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health –– for veterans and non-veterans alike –– and to raise awareness, foster community engagement, improve research and provide intervention for those affected by invisible injuries and emotional stress. Also addressed was the partnership with Give an Hour for “A Day to Change Direction” on Oct. 8 – a day in which VFW Posts can host training sessions or perform community service. A key component of the campaign is to make communities aware of the five signs of emotional suffering: personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care and hopelessness. Learn more at: https://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2016-Articles/VFW-Introduces-Partners-in-Fight-Against-Mental-Health-Stigma/.
 
2. VFW Legislative Conference Concludes: More than 70 members of the VFW’s National Legislative Committee met with their members of Congress this week to urge them to eliminate sequestration and to pass a new budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs, so that a nation that creates veterans can properly take care of them when they return home. Congress, however, would rather complain about the problems instead of fund the necessary reforms to bring permanent change to the VA, said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. “I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in the 114th Congress,” he said. “Both the VA and the VFW have pointblank told Congress what the department needs to better serve veterans, yet it appears every funding bill is going to be tabled until after the November elections, which means another continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government that does little to strengthen national security or bolster the VA’s programs and services for veterans.” The VFW wants Congress to fix the issues that surfaced after the Veterans Choice Program was implemented two years ago, to expand family caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras, pass meaningful accountability and workforce reform legislation, consolidate and improve the VA’s community care programs, reduce the appeals backlog, and pass the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2016. “None of this can happen if Congress is in recess,” said Duffy, who said Congress must also remove the forced sequester provision of the Budget Control Act to ensure that the Department of Defense, the VA, and other agencies have the resources needed to defend our nation and to care for those who do the defending. “Federal election year or not, the near 1.7 million members of the VFW and the VFW Auxiliary fully expect those who are elected to represent us do their jobs,” he said.
 
3. VFW Supports GWOT Memorial Legislation: Earlier this week, Montana Congressman and former Navy Seal, Ryan Zinke, introduced legislation to authorize the building of a Global War on Terrorism Memorial in Washington, D.C. The VFW passed Resolution 302 in July of this year at our annual convention in Charlotte, N.C. Congressman Zinke and the VFW agree that due to the nature of the War on Terrorism, waiting for 10 years after the conclusion of the war is too long to wait to honor those who gave their lives to defend our freedoms and way of life.
 
4. Senate Reviews Commission on Care Report: On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to discuss the Commission on Care’s recommendations for improving how VA provides health care to veterans. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald discussed how the Commission on Care’s recommendations are closely aligned with a proposal VA has sent Congress and that VA is ready to enact reforms, but congressional inaction is preventing it from moving forward. VFW Deputy Legislative Director Carlos Fuentes testified in support of most of the commission’s recommendations and suggested alternatives to ones the VFW opposes. To view a webcast, visit: http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/commission-on-care-report09142016.
 
5. VA’s Misuse of Employee Settlement Agreements: On Wednesday, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to discuss VA’s use of employment settlement agreements.  Committee members discussed their concerns with VA’s recurring practice of settlement agreements, 72 percent of which include monetary compensation, to resolve disciplinary actions against wrongdoers. VA testified that it weighs the strength of the evidence against an employee, financial implications, plus disruption and divisiveness that litigation will likely create for VA’s workforce when determining whether to settle a case. The Office of Special Counsel testified that settlements help it manage its workload and reach favorable outcomes for whistleblowers who have experienced retaliation. To view the webcast, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1woZ47CTCTM.
 
6. House Advances Veterans Legislation: The House passed three veterans bills this week, which include the Veterans Care Agreement and West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016, to authorize VA to enter into needed leases in West Los Angeles and improve leasing practices for VA; the Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2016 to improve the standards and quality of vehicles modified with VA adaptive equipment grants; and H.R. 5937 to authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission  to acquire, operate and maintain the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette, France. These bills now head to the Senate, which has been unable to act on the Veterans First Act that would also authorize VA to move forward with leases in West Los Angeles. Please stay tuned to the Action Corps Weekly for updates on these important bills.
 
7. VFW Hosts Former Marine Corps Commandant/National Security Advisor: On Thursday, the VFW hosted a group of VSOs and the former Commandant of the Marine Corps and National Security Advisor, General James L. Jones (USMC, ret.), to discuss the role trade has on our national security. The idea is, if the United States does not develop and maintain strong international trade agreements, countries like Russia and China will fill the void, negatively impacting both our nations’ economy and security. His hope is Congress can find agreement on and pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) before the end of the year.
 
8. National POW/MIA Recognition Day: Today, the VFW nationwide commemorates National POW/MIA Recognition Day in honor and recognition of the service and sacrifice of almost 140,000 former American prisoners of war and the 83,000 Americans who continue to be listed as missing and unaccounted for from World War II forward. To read the official presidential proclamation for today, click here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/09/15/proclamation-national-powmia-recognition-day-2016. To view the ceremony at the Pentagon, click here: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/483375/pow-mia-national-recognition-day-ceremony.
 
9. MIA Updates: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced burial updates and the identification and remains belonging to one Marine and six soldiers who had been missing in action since World War II and Korea. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Marine Pvt. Emmett L. Kines, 24, will be buried Sept. 19 in his hometown of Grafton, W. Va. In November 1943, Kines was assigned to Company F, 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. After 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. Kines died sometime during the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/939067/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-kines/.
-- Army Cpl. Wayne Minard, of Sedgwick, Kan., was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting a delaying action south to Kunu-ri, North Korea. He would be reported missing in action on Nov. 26, 1950. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/942631/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-minard/.
-- Army Cpl. David T. Nordin Jr., of Los Angeles, was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, moving northward toward Unsan, North Korea, when forced to withdraw. Nordin was reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950. It would be later learned he had been captured but died in a North Korean POW camp. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/940647/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-nordin/.
-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Louis M. Baxter was a member of Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, when his unit was forced into a fighting withdrawal southward. He would be declare missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/942626/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-baxter/.
-- Army Cpl. Joseph Trepasso, 20, of Fulton, N.Y., was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, when his unit was forced into a fighting withdrawal southward. He would be declared missing in action on Dec. 12, 1950. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/942633/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-trepasso/.
-- Army Pfc. Kenneth Miller was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, when his unit was forced to withdraw from their position on April 23, 1951. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/942623/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-miller/.
 
 
To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 2:26 PM MDT
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Friday, 9 September 2016
ACTION CORPS
Now Playing: REPRINTED FROM ANN MARKEL
Topic: VETERANS
September 9, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. Remembering 9/11
2. VFW Mental Wellness Campaign Kickoff
3. VFW Calls on Members to Take Action
4. House Hearing on Commission on Care and Subpoenas
5. Senate Holds Hearing on VA Best Practices
6. ITT Technical Institute Closes Doors
7. Presumptive Disability Compensation for Camp Lejeune Veterans
8. Direct Scheduling for Audiology and Optometry Appointments
9. Join #ExploreVA Facebook Chat: Suicide Prevention for #WomenVets
10. DOD, VA Launch Suicide Prevention Campaign
11. VA Finds Higher Rate of Mental Health Conditions in Male MST Victims
12. MIA Update
 
1. Remembering 9/11: As the 15th anniversary of the worst attack on American soil approaches, VFW National Commander Brian Duffy wants everyone to remember that America is still at war against those responsible for killing nearly 3,000 innocents in New York City, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania, as well as against radical Islamic terrorists who slaughter without mercy. “Just as generations before me remembered the Alamo, the Maine and Pearl Harbor, I will never forget Sept. 11, 2001,” he said, while commending the one percent who secure every freedom for every other American, who choose a harder path while others don’t, and who are still in the fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other hotspots around the world. The Chief said the nonstop conflict has produced a lot of hindsight, but perhaps none more reassuring than to know that America’s military was capable of fighting a two-front war for 15 years with just an All-Volunteer Force. “That they have, and continue to do so magnificently, is testament to the high-caliber of today’s military, to our youth, and to their leadership,” he said. “America was built on the service and sacrifice of many Americans, but our continued safety, security and freedoms fall squarely on the shoulders of those who wear the uniform — be they military or first responder — and on behalf of nearly 1.7 million VFW and VFW Auxiliary members, I salute all who have and continue to serve and sacrifice for our great nation, and their families, too.”
 
2. VFW Mental Wellness Campaign Kickoff: VFW National Commander Brian Duffy will be at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday to launch a new nationwide campaign that focuses on mental wellness within the military and veterans’ communities. The VFW Mental Wellness Campaign will leverage the power, influence and reach of nearly 1.7 million VFW and Auxiliary members in more than 6,600 VFW Posts around the world with the nation’s leaders in mental health care, research, and peer-to-peer support. The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness, foster community engagement, improve research, and provide intervention for veterans, service members, and their loved ones who may be suffering from invisible injuries or emotional stress. The Chief will be joined at the press event by three high-profile national partners –– Give an Hour, One Mind and PatientsLikeMe. Read more at: https://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2016-Articles/VFW-Announces-New-Mental-Wellness-Campaign/.
 
3. VFW Calls on Members to Take Action: Congress has failed to pass a bill that would properly fund veterans’ health care and benefits. If Congress does not pass this important bill before September 30, 2016, veterans will be denied the care and benefits they have earned and deserve. Take action –– tell Congress to prioritize veterans and properly fund VA programs: http://capwiz.com/vfw/issues/alert/?alertid=73858626&queueid=11299959531.
 
4. House Hearing on Commission on Care and Subpoenas: On Wednesday, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to subpoena VA on the Denver VA health care system construction project and art expenditures. The committee also discussed a report by the Commission on Care, with included 18 recommendations on how to improve the VA health care system. Commission Chairperson Nancy Schlichting and Vice Chairperson Delos (Toby) M. Cosgrove M.D., testified that the commission believes VA and Congress must reform the way VA provides health care, because veterans deserve a better organized, high-performing health care system. VFW Deputy Legislative Director Carlos Fuentes offered the VFW’s support for most of the commission’s recommendations and proposed alternatives to those the VFW opposes. To view a webcast of the hearing, visit: https://veterans.house.gov/hearings/tumult-transformation-commission-care-and-future-va-healthcare-system.
 
5. Senate Holds Hearing on VA Best Practices: On Thursday, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss best practices that improve how VA delivers health care to veterans. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, VA deputy undersecretary for health for organizational excellence, informed the committee about VA’s initiative to identify clinical and administrative best practices, disseminate such practices to other health care facilities, and encourage standardization of practices that improve health care for veterans. Committee Chairman Isakson discussed the importance of discussing the success stories that occur throughout VA to ensure VA is recognized for the good things it does, rather than the tragedies that took place in Arizona and Denver and in other places. To watch the hearing, visit: http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/vha-best-practices-exploring-the-diffusion-of-excellence-initiative.
 
6. ITT Technical Institute Closes Doors: After weeks of speculation, ITT Technical Institute will not offer its September semester classes and has permanently discontinued all of its academic programs. This decision leaves thousands of veterans in jeopardy of losing both academic credit accrued through ITT and their GI Bill living stipend. Veterans do have options to transfer to a qualifying college or university, but they must act fast to preserve their stipend. Veterans can explore their options by visiting the Department of Veterans Affairs’ “GI Bill College Comparison Tool” at: https://www.vets.gov/gi-bill-comparison-tool. Veterans who need more assistance can call VA’s education call center at 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551) between
7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday.
 
The VFW also operates the 1 Student Veteran program. This program offers direct assistance to student veterans who have questions or are experiencing problems accessing their VA benefits. To make an inquiry through VFW, click here: http://www.vfw.org/1StudentVeteran/.
 
7. Presumptive Disability Compensation for Camp Lejeune Veterans: Today, VA issued a proposed final rule to establish presumptive disability compensation eligibility for veterans who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune during the period beginning August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987. To be eligible, veterans must have served in Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 cumulative days during the specified dates and have a diagnosis of kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, adult leukemia, liver cancer, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, Parkinson's disease, or aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes.
This proposed rule would apply to claims received by VA on or after the date of publication, pending review of the comments received and publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. The rule would not apply retroactively. A veteran whose claim was denied before the final rule is published must file a new claim to obtain a new determination of entitlement under the final regulation.
 
8. Direct Scheduling for Audiology and Optometry Appointments: On Thursday, VA announced it would eliminate a primary care referral requirement for veterans seeking appointments with audiologists or optometrists. The Audiology and Optometry Direct Scheduling Initiative is being piloted throughout the country and is expected to be fully operational within all VA Medical Centers by the end of 2016.
 
9. Join #ExploreVA Facebook Chat: Suicide Prevention for #WomenVets: VA and American Women Veterans will host an #ExploreVA Facebook chat on Sept. 16 centered on suicide prevention for #WomenVets. Representatives from VA will discuss how women veterans, service members and their families can use VA benefits and services to manage stress, treat conditions and access resources dedicated to suicide prevention. During the chat, participants will learn how to spot warning signs of suicide and what you can do to help; where to find VA mental health and suicide prevention resources, services and treatment options; and how to determine VA eligibility and apply for VA health care benefits. This event is part of the #ExploreVA From Service to Success online event series showcasing how veterans and their families are using VA benefits to earn degrees, start careers, buy homes, stay healthy, and do much more in life after the military. You will need a Facebook account to participate. Register here: http://explore.va.gov/events?utm_source=September%20Event%20Registration&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=ExploreVA.
 
10. DOD, VA Launch Suicide Prevention Campaign: September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and DOD and VA have teamed together to launch a campaign. The two agencies began the #BeThere campaign to raise awareness for the importance of being there for yourself and others. Throughout the month, both agencies will be hosting events, webinars and ceremonies highlighting the importance of continuing suicide prevention throughout the entire year. To learn more about the DOD campaign visit: http://www.dspo.mil/Campaign/. For more on the VA campaign visit: http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2016/September/Be_There_for_a_Veteran_in_Crisis.asp.
 
11. VA Finds Higher Rate of Mental Health Conditions in Male MST Victims: After conducting the “National Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans” survey of 20,563 Post-9/11 veterans, VA found a higher prevalence of mental health conditions in male victims of sexual trauma. The survey researched self-reported data from veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as non-deployed veterans. VA researchers believe the difference in mental health conditions between the genders may be because women are more likely to seek treatment. For more information, click here: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/publications/oef-oif-ond/post-9-11-vet-fall-2016/mst.asp.
 
12. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of nine Americans who had been missing in action from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Marine Pvt. Frank F. Penna, 24, will be buried Sept. 17 in his hometown of Canastota, N.Y. Penna was assigned to Company E, 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, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded in securing the island; the enemy force of 4,700 was virtually annihilated. Penna died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/937886/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-penna/.
-- Army Cpl. Larry M. Dunn, 18, will be buried Sept. 17 in his hometown of Cullman, Alabama. On Dec. 1, 1950, Dunn was a member of Company B, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting through a roadblock that was heavily defended by enemy forces near Sonchu, North Korea. He was declared missing after the battle. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/937905/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-dunn/.
-- Air Force Maj. Dean A. Klenda, 25, of Marion, Kan., will be buried Sept. 17 in Pilsen, Kan., exactly 51 years after he went missing. On Sept. 17, 1965, Klenda was piloting an F-105D Thunderchief when it was shot down by enemy fire while on an attack mission west of Hanoi in Son La Province, Vietnam. He reportedly was able to eject from the aircraft, but failed to separate himself from the ejection seat. He was assigned to the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 6234th Tactical Fighter Wing. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/937910/airman-missing-from-vietnam-war-accounted-for-klenda/.
-- Marine Pfc. Nicholas J. Cancilla, of Blair, Pa., was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 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, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded in securing the island; the enemy force of 4,700 was virtually annihilated. Cancilla died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/937392/marine-killed-in-world-war-ii-accounted-for-cancilla/.
-- Marine Pfc. James S. Smith, of Amite, Miss., was assigned to Company C, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 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, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded in securing the island; the enemy force of 4,700 was virtually annihilated. Smith died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/937401/marine-killed-in-world-war-ii-accounted-for-smith/.
-- Army Cpl. Vernon D. Presswood, 20, of Perry, Ill., was a member of Heavy Mortar Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, as one of approximately 2,500 American and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team, which was attacked by an overwhelming Chinese force east of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Presswood would be reported missing on Dec. 2, 1950. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/937359/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-presswood/.
-- Marine Pfc. John W. MacDonald, from Boston, was assigned to Company F, 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, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded in securing the island; the enemy force of 4,700 was virtually annihilated. MacDonald died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Interment services are pending.
-- Marine Sgt. James J. Hubert, of Duluth, Minn., was assigned to Company H, 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. Over several days of intense fighting, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded in securing the island; the enemy force of 4,700 was virtually annihilated. Hubert died on the second day of battle, Nov. 21, 1943. Interment services are pending.
-- Marine Pfc. Ben H. Gore, 20, of Hopkinsville, Ky., was assigned to Special Weapons Group, 2nd Defense Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, 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, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded in securing the island; the enemy force of 4,700 was virtually annihilated. Gore died of his wounds on Nov. 25, 1943. Interment services are pending.
 
 
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Saturday, 3 September 2016
ACTION CORPS
Now Playing: REPRINTED FROM ANN MARKEL
Topic: VETERANS
                              September 2, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. Potential 1.6% Military Pay Raise in 2017
2. Veteran Homelessness Nearly Halved
3. VA Awards $300 Million More in Grants to End Veteran Homelessness
4. Study Finds Potential Biomarkers for Gulf War Illness
5. Women Veterans Social Media Campaign
6. MIA Update
 
1. Potential 1.6% Military Pay Raise in 2017: The president announced plans this week to cap military pay raises at 1.6 percent next year. In a letter to Congress, Obama used his executive powers to set the increase a half-percent below the expected increase in private sector wages, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI). Unless changed by Congress — the House wants a 2.1 percent increase — the amount would mark the fourth consecutive year military pay failed to keep pace with their civilian peers. VFW National Resolution 408 calls on Congress to maintain military base pay comparability by matching annual ECI increases. Congress erased the double-digit pay gap of the 1990s by directing military pay raises from fiscal years 2000-2006 to be a half-percent above private sector wage increases, and raises from FY 2007-forward to match the ECI, although more could be authorized. However, the Department of Defense, in its continuing campaign to slow the growth of military compensation due to budget constraints and the sequester, keeps recommending that future pay increases be limited, despite knowing it could lead to another pay gap similar to the past. The last time a military pay raise matched the ECI was a 1.7 percent increase in FY 2013. Congress reconvenes after Labor Day to take up this issue, as well as all the federal government’s major funding bills.
 
2. Veteran Homelessness Nearly Halved: The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, along with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, announced last month that the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States has been cut nearly in half since 2010. While the government did not meet its goal to end veterans’ homelessness by the end of 2015, all agencies can be credited with dropping the total number of homeless veterans down from 76,000 to around 40,000 on any given night nationwide. The achievement is largely attributed to more government attention and better public-private partnerships at the local level. Learn more at: http://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/881729/veteran-homelessness-drops-nearly-50-percent-since-2010/source/GovDelivery.
 
3. VA Awards $300 Million More in Grants to End Veteran Homelessness: On Aug. 30, VA awarded another $300 million in grants to the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program to assist extremely low-income veteran families who are in need of permanent housing. SSVF funding supports outreach, case management and other assistance to prevent veteran homelessness or to re-house veterans who do become homeless. For more information, click here: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2812. To better understand SSVF, please visit: http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf/index.asp.
 
4. Study Finds Potential Biomarkers for Gulf War Illness: Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Minneapolis performed a study on 85 Gulf War veterans that resulted in the development of a tentative panel of blood biomarkers that could possibly verify a diagnosis of Gulf War Illness with 90 percent accuracy. The study will go on to a larger population of participants for validation of the methods used. For more information, click here: http://www.research.va.gov/currents/0716-1.cfm.
 
5. Women Veterans Social Media Campaign: In an effort to raise awareness of women veterans’ contributions to the military and society, VA has partnered with Women Veterans Interactive for a new social media campaign. The campaign launched Sept. 1 and will continue through Veterans Day weekend. To learn more about the campaign, visit: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2814.
 
6. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of one sailor and a soldier who had been missing in action from World War II and Korea. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Navy Water Tender 1st Class Walter H. Sollie, of Alabama, died on Dec. 7, 1941, while stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which capsized after receiving multiple torpedo hits as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The battleship suffered 429 casualties that day, second only to the losses aboard the USS Arizona. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/927315/sailor-killed-in-world-war-ii-accounted-for-sollie/.
-- Army Cpl. Curtis J. Wells, 19, of Ubly, Mich., will be buried Sept. 10 in nearby Harbor Beach. In late November 1950, Wells was assigned to Company C, 65th Engineer Combat Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, when his company joined with Task Force Wilson to fight in the vicinity of Unsan, North Korea. The task force was overwhelmed and by Nov. 27, 1950, began to extricate themselves south. Wells would be reported missing after his unit regrouped. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/932875/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-wells/.
 
 
 
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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
SEPTEMBER EVENT CALLENDAR
Now Playing: Thanx Laverne
Topic: Post 3274
Thursday, September 1st - Veterans Day Parade Meeting - 6:00 PM
Friday, September 2nd - Dart Tournament
Wednesday, September 7th - House Committee Meeting - 5:30 PM
Thursday, September 8th - VA Town Hall Meeting 6:00 PM
Friday, September 9th - Cathy Brock's Birthday
Sunday, September 11th - Patriot's Day
                                               Grandparent's Day
                                               Canteen opens at 11:00  for Football Sunday
Thursday, September 15th - Troop Care Packages  -  4:15 PM
                                                   Auxiliary Meeting - 5:00 PM
                                                   VFW Meeting - 6:30 PM
Friday, September 16th - Constitution Day
                                             National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Sunday, September 25th - Gold Star Mother's and Family Day

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Friday, 26 August 2016
ACTION CORPS
Now Playing: Reprinted from a weekly article by Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS
                                 August 26, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. Free Flu Shots
2. VFW 2016 Federal Elections Survey
3. VA, DOD and NCI Create Targeted Screening Program
4. VA to Launch Service Animal Pilot Program
5. MIA Update
 
1. Free Flu Shots: From now through March 31, 2017, all veterans enrolled in the VA health care system can receive free flu shots at any Walgreens or Duane Reade pharmacy. The joint outreach health initiative is designed to help serve veterans closer to where they reside. Veterans must bring their VA identification cards with them, as well as another photo ID, and complete a short four-question application, which will be used to automatically update their VA Electronic Health Records. No appointments are necessary.
 
2. VFW 2016 Federal Elections Survey: There are 2.2 million service members and 21 million veterans. Including spouses, surviving parents and voting age children, the estimated military/veteran voting bloc exceeds 100 million. However, America’s military/veteran population is politically and ideologically even, according to a CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll taken in 2004, which was the last time two veterans ran for president. With another federal election year upon us, the VFW believes it is important to survey our members to better understand how our community thinks. The 16-question survey will run through Sept. 12, 2016. Please take the survey and share with other comrades: https://www.research.net/r/VFW2016FederalElectionSurvey.
 
3. VA, DOD and NCI Create Targeted Screening Program: On Tuesday, VA, DOD and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced a partnership to tailor care for lung cancer patients based on the genes and proteins associated with their tumors. The Applied Proteogenomics Organizational Learning and Outcomes consortium, or APOLLO, is part of the wider national Cancer Moonshot initiative. This partnership will leverage the expertise and resources of the largest health care delivery and research systems in the country to significantly improve the efficacy of cancer treatments. The program has the potential of saving the lives of the 8,000 veterans diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the VA health care system alone. To learn more about the APOLLO, visit: https://medium.com/cancer-moonshot.
 
4. VA to Launch Service Animal Pilot Program: The Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week the creation of the first program specifically for veterans suffering with their mental health who may be eligible for a service dog. The pilot, created by the new VA Center for Compassionate Intervention, foresees being able to enroll up to 100 veterans. Individuals selected for the new program will be chosen based on their medical team’s belief that the veteran’s daily life would be improved by having a service dog. Veterans interested in the program are encouraged to talk to their health care provider or medical team. For more information, please view: http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/va-pilot-to-cover-service-dogs-for-mental-health-conditions.
 
5. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains belonging to six servicemen who had been missing in action since World War II and Korea. All will be buried with full military honors. Returned home are:
-- Army Sgt. James L. Campbell, 18, is being buried today in his hometown of Waterford, Conn. On the night of Nov. 27, 1950, Campbell, who was assigned to the 31st Regimental Combat Team, was attacked and forced into a fighting withdrawal from their positions on the east side of the Chosin River in North Korea. He would be reported missing after the battle. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/919610/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-campbell/.
-- Marine Pfc. James F. Mansfield, 19, will be buried Aug. 27 in his hometown of Plymouth, Mass. In November 1943, Mansfield 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. 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. Mansfield died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/919624/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-mansfield/.
-- Marine Pfc. George H. Traver, 25, will be buried Aug. 28, in his hometown of Chatham, N.Y. In November 1943, Traver was also assigned to Company K, 3rd 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. Traver died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/919617/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-traver/.
-- Navy Lt. Julian B. Jordan, 37, of Dawson, Ga., will be buried Aug. 29 in Bremerton, Wash. On Dec. 7, 1941, Jordan was assigned aboard the USS Oklahoma, which capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo hits as the battleship was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen. With the exception of the USS Arizona, no single ship at Pearl Harbor suffered more fatalities. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/921305/uss-oklahoma-sailor-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-jordan/.
-- Marine Pfc. Anthony Brozyna, 22, of Hartford, Conn. will be buried Aug. 31 in Arlington National Cemetery. In November 1943, Brozyna 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. Brozyna died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/924174/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-brozyna/.
-- Army Capt. Elwood J. Euart, 28, will be buried Aug. 31 in his hometown of Pawtucket, R.I. On Oct. 26, 1942, Euart was assigned to Headquarters, 103rd Field Artillery Battalion, 43rd Infantry Division, aboard an Army transport ship that struck two mines near Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides, in the Republic of Vanuatu. The ship was beached on a nearby coral reef and evacuated. Hearing that men were trapped inside, Euart entered the sinking ship to help the men escape. The ship rolled and slid off the reef an hour later. Euart was one of only two crewmen lost out of approximately 5,000 troops aboard. The captain would be posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/924176/soldier-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-euart/.
 
 
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Friday, 19 August 2016
ACTION CORPS
Now Playing: Reprinted from article by Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS
August 19, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. VFW, VA Host Successful Vet Center Tour and Q&A
2. VA Adds New Women’s Chat Service
3. Help with Health Care Billing Issues
4. Expanding Online Exchange Shopping Access
5. MIA Update
 
1. VFW, VA Host Successful Vet Center Tour and Q&A: On Wednesday, the VFW partnered with VA to host a live Facebook tour of the Annapolis, Md., Vet Center and a Facebook chat regarding the benefits and services available at the 300 Vet Centers and 80 mobile Vet Centers throughout the country. National Veterans Service Deputy Director Ryan Gallucci and Chief Officer for VA’s Readjustment Counseling Service Mike Fisher toured the Annapolis Vet Center and discussed the array of confidential health care and services one-stop Vet Centers provide to service members, veterans and their families. Following the tour, VA subject matter experts and VFW staff answered questions regarding Vet Center eligibility, community programs and how to find the nearest Vet Center. Many veterans also shared how Vet Centers have positively impacted their lives. The VFW urges VFW members and leaders to partner with local Vet Centers for community outreach and service projects. To learn more about Vet Centers, visit: www.explore.va.gov/health-care/vet-center-services. To view a video of the tour or read the questions and answers, visit: www.facebook.com/VFWFans.
 
2. VA Adds New Women’s Chat Service: The VA’s Women Veterans Call Center is expanding its outreach to women veterans with a new online, one-to-one chat function. The new service enables women veterans to go online and anonymously chat via real-time text messaging with trained representatives, all of whom are women and many of whom are veterans themselves. The new chat feature, which is open extended hours Monday through Saturday, provides another avenue for women veterans to ask general questions about benefits, eligibility and services specifically related to them. Learn more at: http://www.womenshealth.va.gov/WOMENSHEALTH/programoverview/wvcc.asp.
 
3. Help with Health Care Billing Issues: VA has established a toll-free phone number for veterans to call if private sector health care providers have improperly billed them for care that VA is required to pay. The VFW urges any veteran being pursued by collection agencies to seek VA’s assistance. VA will help you resolve adverse credit reporting and debt collection issues. Veterans who believe they have been incorrectly billed for their care should also call the billing call center to determine if VA is liable for the cost of the care. For assistance, call 1-877-881-7618 and press 1, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Eastern Time.  
 
4. Expanding Online Exchange Shopping Access: Military Times is reporting that the Defense Department’s Executive Resale Board is recommending that all honorably discharged veterans be authorized to shop online through military exchange store websites. The VFW-supported idea was first pitched two years ago by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service as a way to increase donations to respective service morale, welfare and recreation programs, as well as to thank the great majority of honorably discharged veterans who do not make the military a career. If approved, the new benefit would apply to online shopping only, not at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where access will remain restricted to military ID card carrying service members, retirees, 100 percent disabled veterans, and their eligible family members.
 
5. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of one soldier and two sailors who had been missing in action from the Korean War and World War II. Returned are:
-- Army Pvt. Virgil B. Adkins, of Summers, W.Va., who is scheduled to be buried with full military honors on Sept. 3 in Hinton, W.Va. On July 17, 1953, Adkins was reported missing after his patrol came under attack north of the former Demilitarized Zone in North Korea. He was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/914298/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-adkins/.
-- Navy Fireman 1st Class Jim H. Johnston and Seaman 1st Class Murry R. Cargile, were both stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, when the battleship suffered multiple torpedo hits and capsized as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During salvage efforts, a large number of remains representing as many as 400 individuals were recovered and buried as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. The remains were exhumed in 2015, and due to advances in forensics technology, both Johnston and Cargile were identified. Interment services are pending. Read more at:
http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/915779/sailor-killed-in-world-war-ii-accounted-for-johnston/ and http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/915769/sailor-killed-in-world-war-ii-accounted-for-cargile/.
 
 
 
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Posted by vfwpost3274 at 12:49 PM MDT
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Charlie Luera, Sr. Vice, Awarded for Postumous Performance on the Job
Topic: Post 3274

Posted by vfwpost3274 at 12:42 PM MDT
Updated: Friday, 19 August 2016 12:47 PM MDT
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Sunday, 14 August 2016
ACTION CORPS
Now Playing: Reprinted from weekly article by Ann Markel
Topic: VETERANS
                 August 12, 2016
 
In This Issue:
1. VFW 2016 Federal Elections Survey
2. Visit the VFW Website
3. VFW to Host Facebook Chat on Vet Centers
4. V-J Day Commemoration
5. MIA Updates
 
1. VFW 2016 Federal Elections Survey: There are 2.2 million service members and 21 million veterans. Including spouses, surviving parents and voting age children, the estimated military/veteran voting bloc exceeds 100 million. However, America’s military/veteran population is politically and ideologically even, according to a CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll taken in 2004, which was the last time two veterans ran for president. With another federal election year upon us, the VFW believes it is important to survey our members to better understand how our community thinks. The 16-question survey will run through Sept. 12, 2016.
Please take it here: https://www.research.net/r/VFW2016FederalElectionSurvey.
 
2. Visit the VFW Website: Each week, the VFW Action Corps Weekly comes to you and summarizes the VFW’s activities for the week. The VFW is on Capitol Hill every day ensuring that you get what you have earned because of your service. To assist you when you call or meet a candidate or member of Congress in your district, the National Legislative Service also provides information on where we stand on issues and how to best address those issues. To learn more, click on the links below:
–The VFW Priority Goals is the overarching position paper which identifies major policy goals of the VFW. Read them here: http://www.vfw.org/uploadedFiles/VFW.org/VFW_in_DC/2016PriorityGoalsBrochure.pdf.
–The VFW’s “LESS=MORE” campaign highlights the impact of sequestration on several programs that help veterans. To read the LESS=MORE campaign literature, click here: http://www.vfw.org/uploadedFiles/VFW.org/VFW_in_DC/Less=More%20packet.pdf.
–Numerous policy areas have Talking Points which can be used when you meet with your members of Congress to encourage them to vote in support of veterans issues. Read them here: http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/National-Legislative-Service/.
–The see all of the research we have done on your Health Care desires and the VFW’s recommendations for the future of VA, click here: http://www.vfw.org/vawatch/.
–To find the VFW’s position on legislation that Congress is considering and to read our Congressional Testimonies, click here: http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/Congressional-Testimony/.
If you ever have any questions or comments, feel free to email the VFW Action Corps at vfwac@vfw.org and our National Legislative Service staff will answer your email.
 
3. VFW to Host Facebook Chat on Vet Centers: On August 17, 2016, from 7-8 p.m. EDT,
the VFW and VA will host a video tour of a Vet Center. Eligible service members, veterans and their families can learn about the free and confidential counseling services offered at the more than 300 Vet Centers around the country. VA subject matter experts will be available to answer questions about eligibility, services, and how to locate a Vet Center. If you have served in a combat zone, area of hostility, experienced military sexual trauma or served as part of a drone crew––regardless if you are active duty, reserve, guard, recently separated or served many years ago––please join the conversation on the VFW’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VFWFans. For more information on this event and other #ExploreVA events, visit: http://explore.va.gov/events.
 
4. V-J Day Commemoration: Visitors to Washington, D.C., can join in a Victory over Japan Day observance at the National World War II Memorial on Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. The WWII Memorial has very few disability parking spaces, and street parking will be very limited since it’s a workday and still the tourist season in Washington. Taxis to the memorial are plentiful and recommended. The two closest Metro stations, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian, are both about a half-mile away. Learn more about this and other events at: http://www.wwiimemorialfriends.org/.
 
5. MIA Updates: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Office has announced burial updates and the identification of remains of 12 Americans who had been missing in action from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Army Pfc. William R. Butz, 19, of Glendive, Mont., is being buried today in Vancouver, Wash. He was declared missing in action on Dec. 12, 1950, after his unit was heavily attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Butz was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Learn more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/906224/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-butz/.
-- Navy Ensign John C. England, 20, of Alhambra, Calif., is being buried Aug. 13 in Colorado Springs, Colo. On Dec. 7, 1941, England was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma when the battleship suffered multiple torpedo hits and capsized as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/906114/uss-oklahoma-sailor-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-england/.
-- Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert W. Ward, was co-piloting a B-26C Marauder bomber that was shot down near Philippsweiler, Germany, on Dec. 23, 1944. Ward and one other of the nine-member crew were reported killed in action. He was assigned to the 559th Bombardment Squadron, 387th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/906008/airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-ward/.  
-- Marine Corps 1st Lt. Stanley Johnson, was co-piloting a UH-34D Choctaw helicopter when it was shot down west of Tam Ky Town in South Vietnam on Dec. 3, 1965. Three Americans and nine Vietnamese soldiers were killed in the crash. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/906069/marine-missing-from-vietnam-war-accounted-for-johnson/.
-- Navy Seaman 2nd Class Vernon N. Grow, Machinist's Mate 1st Class Earl L. Melton, and Ensign Verdi Sederstrom, were stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma when the battleship suffered multiple torpedo hits and capsized as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The USS Oklahoma’s 429 casualties were second only to the USS Arizona’s that day. Interment services are pending.
-- Marine Pvt. Emmett L. Kines, Pvt. Frank F. Penna, Pfc. Wilbur C. Mattern, Pfc. Ronald W. Vosmer and Sgt. Fae V. Moore, where killed in action when the 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, landed Nov. 20, 1943, against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded; Japanese forces were virtually annihilated. Falling on the first day of battle were Penna, Vosmer and Moore, who were assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, and Kines, who was in Company F, 2nd Battalion. Falling on Nov. 21 was Mattern, who was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion. Interment services are pending.
 
 
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Posted by vfwpost3274 at 6:52 AM MDT
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