VFW Action Corps Weekly – April 6, 2018
In This Issue:
1. Certain Adoption Expenses Reimbursable
2. Arlington Launches Second ‘Future of the Cemetery’ Survey
3. World War I Memorials Update
4. Education Information
5. VFW Teams Up with Vet Tix to Support Veterans
6. MIA Update
1. Certain Adoption Expenses Reimbursable: VA has amended its regulation to provide reimbursement of qualifying adoption expenses incurred by veterans with a service-connected disability that results in infertility. Covered veterans may request reimbursement for qualifying adoption expenses incurred for adoption finalized after Sept. 29, 2016. With this rulemaking, funds are authorized to provide reimbursement for qualifying adoption expenses incurred by a covered veteran in the adoption of a child under 18 years of age. More information is available here. VA Form 10152, Reimbursement Request for Qualifying Adoption Expenses, can be downloaded and printed here.
2. Arlington Launches Second ‘Future of the Cemetery’ Survey: Only 1 percent of all veterans are buried or inurned at Arlington National Cemetery, but the cemetery is still projected to run out of space in two decades unless new land is obtained, eligibility requirements change, or some combination of both. That’s why Congress asked the Department of the Army to consider what could be done to preserve Arlington as an active military cemetery well into the future, and that’s why Arlington has launched a second survey to hear from its stakeholders. The first survey was conducted in July 2017 in partnership with the VFW and other organizations. Those results can be found here. The new survey further refines the first. Finding new land that is adjacent to the cemetery would be extremely difficult in an urban environment, but would closing Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall be a solution or just prolong the inevitable, since one acre extends the service life of the cemetery by only three months? Should Arlington be reserved just for active-duty deaths, combat deaths, former POWs, high heroism medal recipients, or not? “Your opinion matters — not only to us, but to our military and civilian leaders as they face a difficult future for our hallowed national shrine,” said Executive Director of Army National Military Cemeteries Karen Durham-Aguilera. Take the new survey here.
3. World War I Memorials Update: The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library have announced the final 50 WW1 Memorials to be awarded grants and honored with the official national designation as “WW1 Centennial Memorials.” All 100 memorials in all 100 cities have now been designated, including such national landmarks as Chicago’s Soldier Field, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, San Francisco’s War Memorial Veterans Building and Opera House, Honolulu’s “Natatorium,” the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C., plus many smaller, local community projects, to include several that were VFW-initiated. The newly designated memorials are in 37 different states, and each will receive a $2,000 matching grant toward the restoration, conservation and maintenance of these local historical treasures. View the list here.
4. Education Information: For any service member or veteran looking to pursue their educational goals through the use of the GI Bill, there is an important tool offered by VA. The GI Bill Comparison Tool allows users to compare different programs and institutions that accept the GI Bill. In the past few years, some student veterans have been impacted by the abrupt closures of the schools they were attending. These schools were using predatory business practices and had numerous complaints against them. The GI Bill Comparison Tool gives users the ability to check on the schools they wish to attend, and provides up to date data received from current and past students, helping GI Bill users make better, more informed decisions about where to attend school, and hopefully avoid programs that offer little to no value.
5. VFW Teams Up with Vet Tix to Support Veterans: The VFW and Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix) are pleased to announce they’ve entered into an official alliance designed to benefit all veterans and service members, as well as their families and caretakers. By teaming up, both organizations increase awareness of the opportunities offered by both the VFW and Vet Tix. Vet Tix events provide service members and veterans a unique opportunity to spend quality time with one another and family to strengthen social connections. Vet Tix seats are often grouped in blocks enabling VetTixers to be seated with other VetTixers at events, helping to promote comradery similar to that experienced while in service. Learn more.
6. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced identification and burial updates for eight American service members who had been missing in action from WWII and Korea. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
— Marine Corps Pvt. Edwin W. Jordan, 19, of Pittsburgh, whose identification was previously announced, will be buried April 9, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C., was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. On Nov. 20, 1943, Jordan’s unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll against stiff Japanese resistance. Jordan was killed on the first day of the battle, one of approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors killed in the intense fighting. Read about Jordan.
— Navy Seaman 1st Class Walter C. Foley was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Foley was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Foley.
— Navy Seaman 2nd Class Bernard V. Doyle was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Doyle was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Doyle.
— Navy Seaman 1st Class Robert V. Young was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Young was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Young.
— Navy Seaman 1st Class William G. Bruesewitz was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Bruesewitz was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Bruesewitz.
— Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Percy C. Mathews was a member of the 422nd Bombardment Squadron, 305th Bombardment Group, 8th U.S. Air Force, participating in a strike against the German submarine base at Saint-Nazaire, France. On May 29, 1943, the B-17 Mathews was aboard was hit by enemy fire as it left the target area. Mathews did not make it out of the bomber before it crashed. Interment services are pending. Read about Mathews.
— Army Cpl. Thomas W. Reagan was assigned to Company A, 14th Engineer Combat Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, participating in the defense of the 24th ID’s main supply route and the town of Yongsan. He was reported missing in action on Aug. 12, 1950, as a result of fighting that occurred between his unit and enemy forces near Naktong Bulge, in South Korea. Interment services are pending. Read about Reagan.
— Army Sgt. Donald L. Baker was assigned to Company H, 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Sept. 6, 1950, as a result of fighting that occurred between his unit and enemy forces near Haman, South Korea. Interment services are pending. Read about Baker.
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Missed last week’s issue? Read it here.