2019-2020 National Legislative Ambassador
VFW Priority Goals
There are six Priority Goals. The VFW and VFW Auxiliary believe these are important for the well-being of our veterans and to ensure the VA system is here to provide a health care for current and future veterans.
Priority Goal #2: Health Care
- Properly implement the VA Mission Act of 2018.
- Reduce the number of service members and veterans who die by suicide.
- Preserve the integrity of TRICARE. Modernize VA and DOD health IT systems.
- Strengthen health care and research for mental health and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Expand gender-specific programs and competencies.
- Research and effectively treat health conditions associated with toxic exposures.
- Prevent the increase of pharmaceutical copayments and remove copayment requirements for preventative medicines.
- Research the efficacy of medical cannabis.
- Expand telehealth services.
- Make nursing home eligibility part of the VA health benefits package.
- Keep community care reimbursement rates competitive with private health insurance.
The VFW Urges Congress to:
- Pass H.R. 553, Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, or S. 622, Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act of 2019, which would honor the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes by ensuring their survivors are able to maintain a modest quality of life, without unjustly offsetting their benefits.
- Pass H.R. 303 or S. 208, Retired Pay Restoration Act, which would enable disabled retirees to concurrently receive the retirement pay and VA disability compensation they have earned and deserve, without offset
- Pass legislation requiring VA to make much needed improvements to the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.
- Provide veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan the care and benefits they need to cope with pulmonary health conditions that are associated with their exposure to burn pits.
- Pass H.R. 663 or S. 191, Burn Pits Accountability Act, which would improve how DOD tracks, treats, and prevents the harmful impact of burn pits.
- Establish and properly fund independent research on the impact of burn pits on exposed veterans and their descendants through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).
VFW Action Corps Weekly
The VFW’s National Legislative Service in Washington, D.C., does an excellent job of keeping us informed on actions regarding veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families on Capitol Hill. VFW and Auxiliary members, as well as interested third parties, can sign up for the very informative VFW Action Corps Weekly e-Newsletter. Visit the VFW Auxiliary National Website / What We Do / Legislative to sign up.
How Can We Spread the Word?
In this age of email, cell phones and texting, many members have an email address and access to a smart phone. Help increase legislative knowledge:
- Work with your local VFW Auxiliaries to sign up members for Action Corps Weekly.
- Use Action Corps Weekly to encourage more discussion about the Legislative Program in your Auxiliary meeting and in the community.
- Visit congress.gov where you can find a specific bill by its number or by a key word or phrase.
- Work with your local Membership Chairman to promote these legislative resources to new members.
These sources can be resources for people to engage with an issue and say, “Let’s get together…”; “Let’s watch this…”; “Let’s have a panel…”; “Let’s bring in local experts to…”; “Let’s follow this bill through the stages of the legislative process”; “Let’s vote.”
Vote the “Privilege”
We, as citizens of this country, have the right to vote. It is an honor, a privilege and a responsibility of all citizens. Let’s continue our civic duty and vote in honor of veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families.
- Exercise your right to vote at every opportunity; it’s important to vote in local, as well as national, elections.
- Vote for veteran-friendly candidates.
- Have “I Vote in Honor of a United States Veteran” stickers available at membership recruiting tables, community festivals, for parents at school carnivals and other events.
- Encourage others to go to the polls and vote on Election Day.
- Encourage all to vote for veteran-friendly candidates.
- Encourage those who have not registered to vote to do so before their state deadline.
- Go to https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote for support information and help to register them.
Any person can make a difference! Let’s get out and VOTE on Election Day!
“Serving our Veterans with Aloha” is showing kindness and commitment to a better future for our veterans, active-duty military personnel, their families and our communities. Thank you for all your work on behalf of our veterans. The love and care shown have been wonderful.