VFW Action Corps Weekly – July 17, 2015
In This Issue:
1. President to Speak at VFW National Convention
2. Hearing on Pending Health Legislation
3. Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration Begins
4. The VFW Wants to Hear from You
5. 116th National Convention of the VFW
6. Korean War MIA Identified
1. President to Speak at VFW National Convention: President Obama is scheduled to speak Tuesday at the VFW’s 116th National Convention, which begins this Saturday through Wednesday in Pittsburgh. VFW National Commander John Stroud said it’s a long standing VFW tradition to provide the commander-in-chief a platform to address issues of importance to veterans, military service members and their families. Stroud said this is especially important during a time of war and instability abroad, and continued economic belt tightening at home. Other special guests and award recipients include:
– the VFW Eisenhower Award to retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis;
– the VFW Armed Forces Award to U.S. Army Medics (68 Whiskies), accepted by Army Medical Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Ecker;
– VFW National Teacher Awards to Ann Parker Komara of Ottobine Elementary School, Dayton, Va., Melinda Hamilton of River Bend Middle School, Claremont, N.C., and Craig Blackman of Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Va.;
– the VFW Citizenship Award to the Arlington Ladies, accepted by Margaret Mensch (Army), Paula McKinley (Navy), Jean Anderegg (Air Force), and Maggi Paar (Coast Guard);
– the VFW Gold Medal of Merit to Army National Military Cemeteries Executive Director Patrick Hallinan; and
– remarks by Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Director Michael Linnington, and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Brian Battaglia, among many others.
To watch live streaming video of the convention beginning at 8 a.m. Eastern, July 20-22, log on to: www.vfw.org.
2. Hearing on Pending Health Legislation: On Tuesday, the House Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to consider a number of important bills pending before the Subcommittee. Subcommittee members discussed the importance of improving VA construction and leasing processes and ensuring VA employees are held accountable for poor performance and wrongdoing. VFW Senior Legislative Associate Carlos Fuentes testified, offering the VFW’s support for most of the bills and recommendations to strengthen others. In his testimony, Fuentes urged the Subcommittee to consider improving VA’s hiring authorities to ensure VA is able to quickly fill vacancies when it fires bad employees. To view a video of the hearing, visit:http://veterans.house.gov/hearing/legislative-hearing-3.
3. Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration Begins: 50 years ago this month the first combat troops deployed to Vietnam. The VFW, through DOD’s Vietnam War Commemoration partnership program, is working in local communities to recognize the sacrifice, service and tremendous contribution our Vietnam War veterans have made to the security of our nation. The Commemoration will have ongoing events at more than 2,100 locations in local communities
around the country. To learn more about where events are taking place or how to become a partner click here: http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/.
4. The VFW Wants to Hear from You: In our continued effort to better represent the needs of our membership on Capitol Hill, the VFW is asking you to take a short survey on what’s important to you when you seek health care. To take the survey, click here: https://www.research.net/r/VACareSummer15.
5. 116th National Convention of the VFW: The VFW heads to Pittsburgh, Pa., for our annual convention from July 18-22. The National Legislative Service invites you to visit us at our booth through the week and to attend our workshop on Sunday at 10am. With 12,000 delegates expected to attend and resolutions set to be voted on, this convention will set the tone for our next year. For more information on the events, visit the VFW’s website at:www.vfw.org/convention.
6. Korean War MIA Identified: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced the identification of remains of Army Sgt. 1st Class John C. Keller, 26, of the Bronx, N.Y., who had been missing in action since the Korean War. He will be buried with full military honors on a date and at a location yet to be determined. In November 1950, Keller was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when his unit was forced into a fighting withdrawal from their position northwest of Unsan, North Korea. He was reported missing on Nov. 2, 1950. It would be later learned he had been captured by the Chinese, but died in 1951 as a result of malnutrition and medical neglect. Read more at:http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/607948/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-keller.aspx.