VFW Action Corps Weekly – August 7, 2015
In This Issue:
1. Congress is in Recess
2. VA to Establish Presumptive Exposure Rule for Camp Lejeune
3. Coast Guard Seeks Reliable Budget
4. Three MIAs Recovered
1. Congress is in Recess: This week Congress went into recess until early September. The VFW’s latest grassroots campaign “Meet them in the District” is in full swing with a goal of having our members contact their congressional delegations during the recess. Promoting issues that the VFW is fighting for shows our strength as voters and helps to secure vital legislation. Contact your National Legislative Committee member for more details about this campaign or reach out directly to the district offices of your members of Congress for information on where town hall meetings will be held.
2. VA to Establish Presumptive Exposure Rule for Camp Lejeune: On Monday, VA announced that it will amend regulations to establish presumptions for service connection for certain conditions related to exposure to contaminated water at the North Carolina Marine Corps Base. Treatment for veterans and reimbursement for treatment received by family members currently exists for 15 conditions tied to the exposure. The VFW strongly supported legislation that allowed Camp Lejeune veterans and their dependents to receive health care for those conditions and strongly believes that granting compensation benefits is the next logical step. Those veterans needing assistance with filing a VA claim can contact the VFW Service Officer in your area by visiting: http://www.vfw.org/NVS/. For more information and to read the VA press release, visit: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2720.
3. Coast Guard Seeks Reliable Budget: The VFW was present at the National Press Club on Wednesday to hear Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft speak about the successes and challenges that face his service, which celebrated its 225th birthday this week. What he ultimately needs is a reliable acquisitions budget so that he can phase out 50-year-old ships with new platforms, but not at the expense of losing people, which he called his most valuable asset. “You can trim operations and platforms but not people,” he said, as he described Coast Guard operations on virtually every continent, with missions ranging from drug interdiction and rescue operations to cyber, refugees, the environment, and Russia’s attempts to militarize the Arctic. With a total force of 88,000, only half of whom are active duty, the Coast Guard is the nation’s smallest service, but the only one to have a military mission and civilian law enforcement authority responsibilities. Read more at: https://www.press.org/news-multimedia/news/coast-guard-commandant-zukunft-seeks-bigger-budget.
4. Three MIAs Recovered: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of an airman missing from World War II and two soldiers missing from the Korean War. Recovered are:
–Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stephen V. Biezis, 23, of Chicago, Ill., will be buried Aug. 14 in Arlington National Cemetery. Biezis was assigned to the 575th Bombardment Squadron, 391st Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force as co-pilot of a B-26C Marauder that crashed after being struck by enemy fire during a bombing mission near Ahrweiler, Germany. His remains were not recovered during the war. Read more at:
–Army Cpl. Nehemiah E. Butler, 19, of Pocomoke City, Md., will be buried Aug.10
in Arlington National Cemetery. Butler and elements of Company C, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division were deployed near Seoul, South Korea, when their unit was attacked by enemy forces. He became separated from his unit while attempting to move toward a more defensible position. Read more at:
–Army Cpl. Donald A. Therkelsen, 23, of Chicago, Ill., will be buried Aug. 8 in Medical Lake, Wis. Therkelsen was assigned to Medical Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action following a massive attack by the Chinese during the Battle of Kumsong along the Kumsong River in North Korea. Read more at: