VFW Action Corps Weekly – August 28, 2015
In This Issue:
1. Candidate Suggests Eliminating VA
2. Prudential’s SGLI Records to be Unsealed
3. Senate Field Hearings on VA Health Care
4. VFW & SVA Accepting 2016 Legislative Fellowship Applications
5. DOD Launches Website on New Prescription Drug Policy
6. GI Bill Covers O&P Training
7. End of WWII 70th Anniversary Commemoration
8. Sing It America
9. Former Vietnam MIA Burial Update
1. Candidate Suggests Eliminating VA: Earlier this week presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson suggested that the Department of Veterans Affairs could be eliminated by moving its services and programs under the Department of Defense. The VFW strongly opposes this idea and VFW National Commander John Biedrzycki Jr., explains why this breaks faith with our wounded, injured and ill veterans here: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2015-Articles/VFW-Against-Candidate%E2%80%99s-Call-to-Eliminate-the-VA/. To view Carson’s comments, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=814&v=VfGQG7oH-CY.
2. Prudential’s SGLI Records to be Unsealed: VFW National Commander John Biedrzycki Jr., praises a U.S. District Judge who granted a VFW motion on Wednesday that will unseal documents related to a class action lawsuit that was filed against Prudential Insurance. The original lawsuit was filed for Prudential’s handling of Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI). The VFW asked that the files be unsealed so our organization can better understand how the program is being administered. To read more on this suit, click here: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2015-Articles/VFW%E2%80%99s-Motion-Granted–Unseal-Prudential%E2%80%99s-SGLI-Records/.
3. Senate Field Hearings on VA Health Care: In the past week, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held two field hearings on access to VA health care and the Veterans Choice Program. In Georgia, Chairman Isakson heard testimony from VA, HealthNet and veterans on ways to improve the VA health care system and how the Veterans Choice Program has performed. In Alaska, Senator Sullivan heard testimony from veterans who have utilized the Veterans Choice Program and testimony on how the VA health care system in Alaska is different from VA medical facilities in the continental 48 states. To learn more about these hearings, visit: http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings.
4. VFW & SVA Accepting 2016 Legislative Fellowship Applications: On Monday the VFW and Student Veterans of America (SVA) launched the 2016 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship program. The fellowship will again offer 10 selected student veterans the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their legislators as part of the VFW’s National Legislative Conference next spring, as well as additional academic opportunities for them to substantively address veterans’ issues in their communities. Applicants must complete a package that includes an essay proposal on one of four specific legislative issues discussing why the issue is important to the veterans’ community and how the fellowship candidate would address the issue through community-based advocacy. Selected fellows will then be flown to Washington, D.C. to storm Capitol Hill as part of the 2016 VFW Legislative Conference. For more information and to apply, visit: http://www.vfw.org/StudentFellowship/.
5. DOD Launches Website on New Prescription Drug Policy: Earlier this month, the VFW reported on a new TRICARE prescription drug policy that will require certain beneficiaries to refill select maintenance medications through home delivery or at military treatment facilities. This week, TRICARE published a summary of the changes on its website, including which beneficiaries will be affected, which medications will fall under the new rules, how to request waivers if necessary, and contact information for additional questions. Active duty military personnel are exempt from the new policy. The change will take place on October 1, 2015, and DOD will begin sending letters with additional information to beneficiaries on September 1. To view the new TRICARE prescription drug webpage, click here: http://www.tricare.mil/RxNewRules.
6. GI Bill Covers O&P Training: The Department of Labor wants veterans to know that the Post-9/11 GI Bill also includes the training required to become licensed Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) technicians. O&P is a trending health profession that includes both cutting edge technology and hands-on patient care. The training, which is only offered at five colleges or universities, includes the evaluation, fabrication, and custom fitting of artificial limbs and orthopedic braces. According to the department, the career field is very marketable in industry, as well as in public, private and government medical facilities. Learn more at: http://www.opcareers.org/.
7. End of WWII 70th Anniversary Commemoration: To commemorate the Allied Forces Victory in the Pacific and the end of World War II, the Friends of the National World War II Memorial and the National Park Service will co-host a special V-J Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration on Sept. 2 at 10:30 a.m. at the National World War II Memorial in Washington. WWII veteran and VFW life member Sen. Bob Dole will provide remarks, as well as other veterans and dignitaries from our allied nations. More than 400,000 Americans and 60 million worldwide lost their lives in the deadliest military conflict in human history. The WWII Memorial has very few disability parking spaces, and street parking will be extremely limited since it’s still the tourist season in Washington and Sept. 2 is a workday. Taxis to the memorial are plentiful and recommended, and the two closest Metro stations, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian, are both about a half-mile away. To learn more, or to RSVP your attendance, go to: http://www.wwiimemorialfriends.org/v-j-day-70th-anniversary.
8. Sing It America: Visitors to Washington on Sept. 14 might consider joining thousands of others at the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the bicentennial of the Star Spangled Banner. Musicians and choirs will be saluting our National Anthem for a full 24 hours, from Dawn’s Early Light to Dawn’s Early Light. Read more at: http://www.singitamerica.com/.
9. Former Vietnam MIA Burial Update: Army Maj. Dale W. Richardson, 28, who was identified earlier this year, will be buried Aug. 29 with full military honors in Mountain View, Ark. He was lost when the UH-1H helicopter he was a passenger in was shot down near the Vietnamese/Cambodian border on May 2, 1970. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Read more at:http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/614394/soldier-missing-from-vietnam-war-accounted-for-richardson.aspx.