Action Corps Weekly – November 13, 2015
In This Issue:
1. Fiscal Year 2016 MilConVA Appropriations Bill Clears Senate
2. VA National Access Stand Down
3. Veterans Day Week in Washington
4. New Medal of Honor Recipient
5. MIA Burial Update
1. Fiscal Year 2016 MilConVA Appropriations Bill Clears Senate: On Tuesday, the Senate voted 93-0 to pass an updated appropriations bill for VA’s and DOD’s military construction accounts. The bill reflects new budget levels that were established under the bipartisan budget deal. The updated appropriations bill would provide $79.74 billion for VA’s discretionary accounts. It includes a nearly $2 billion increase to VA’s medical services account from the previous Senate version. The bill also includes $8.2 billion for military construction and $101 million for the Arlington National Cemetery. The bill now heads back to the House for consideration. Stay tuned to the Action Corps Weekly for updates on this important bill.
2. VA National Access Stand Down: In an effort to meet the urgent care needs of veterans, VA plans to hold a national access stand down at every VA medical center. On Saturday, November 14, a team of clinical leaders, administrators and volunteers will be on site at every VA medical center from 9 a.m. to noon to reach out to all veterans waiting for urgent care. The VFW urges veterans who are waiting for urgent care to visit their local VA medical centers. If you are interested in sharing your experience with the VFW, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call: 1-800-VFW-1899 (1-800-839-1899).
3. Veterans Day Week in Washington: VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr.’s agenda this week included discussing big picture issues with senior military and civilian officials in Washington. On the military side, he met with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and the Army personnel, operations and budget chiefs, as well as with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Jim Cody. He discussed military accession issues with Selective Service Director Lawrence Romo, and met with five Ukrainian military and civilian health professionals who were here on a State Department-sponsored visit to learn how their country might replicate our Department of Veterans Affairs. The VFW National Commander and his wife, Bette Jean, and VFW Auxiliary National President Francisca Guilford, also represented the VFW at a Veterans Day breakfast at the White House, plus laid wreathes at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He also presented a check for $100,000 towards the construction of the Desert Storm War Memorial, which was the first installment on a VFW pledge to donate $500,000. He will end the week in D.C. by attending the U.S. Marine Corps’ 240th birthday ball on Saturday.
4. New Medal of Honor Recipient: President Obama presented retired Army Capt. Florent A. “Flo” Groberg the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony yesterday for tackling a suicide bomber in Afghanistan’s Kunar province three years ago. Groberg was serving at the time as a personal security detachment commander in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. According to an Army Times article, the bomber’s explosive vest detonated, as did one worn by a second suicide bomber, killing four Americans and wounding several others. But, had it not been for Groberg’s actions, the planned simultaneous detonations could have caused far more casualties. Groberg becomes the 10th living and 17th overall recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq. Read more at: http://www.defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/628805/president-presents-medal-of-honor-to-army-captain?source=GovDelivery.
5. MIA Burial Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that Marine Corps Cpl. Roger K. Nielson, 22, of Denver, will be buried with full military honors in his hometown on Nov. 16. Nielson was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, when he was killed in action fighting on the Pacific island of Tarawa on Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at:http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/NewsReleases/tabid/10159/Article/628301/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-nielson.aspx.