Action Corps Weekly – October 12, 2015
In This Issue:
1. Senate Holds Legislative Hearing
2. House Hearing on Independent Assessment of VHA
3. “Meet Them in the District” Campaign a Huge Success
4. WWII Marine Identified
1. Senate Holds Legislative Hearing: On Tuesday, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss pending health and benefits legislation. The VFW submitted testimony for the record supporting several of the bills, including measures that would expand the number of judges on the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims, amend the definition of a homeless veteran, and increase the pension amount for Medal of Honor recipients. The VFW also offered suggestions to improve bills that would provide training to non-VA doctors and improve access for rural veterans. National Legislative Committee Member and California native, David Norris, testified in support of a bill that would allow the West Los Angeles VA medical center to lease portions of their unused property for the purposes of supportive housing, vocational training, and other services that principally benefit veterans and their families. The committee was very appreciative to hear his views on this new policy which would impact Los Angeles area veterans. To watch his testimony and read the full VFW statement, visit: http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/pending-health-and-benefits-legislation-100615.
2. House Hearing on Independent Assessment of VHA: On Thursday, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss an independent assessment of the Veterans Health Administration. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald testified that the $68 million assessment provided insightful and detailed information regarding the challenges the department faces, and assured the committee he is aware of the problems it highlighted and is in the process of addressing them. Committee members discussed the assessment’s recommendation for a VA defense base closure and realignment commission or BRAC, the private sector’s role in providing care to veterans and aligning resources with veterans demand for health care. To view a video of the hearing, visit: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hclive14.
3. “Meet Them in the District” Campaign a Huge Success: During the recent congressional recess in August, VFW members and supporters were challenged to attend town hall meetings and schedule individual meetings with their members of Congress. The numbers show that you responded with enthusiasm and pressed your officials to support the VFW’s position. More than 300 people attended nearly 70 events around the country. Additionally, two official hearings were held in Alaska and Michigan and local VFW leaders were center-stage testifying about the needs of local veterans. Mobilizing the grassroots to paint the local face on national issues is why the Action Corps exists and we thank you for your push to make this happen!
4. WWII Marine Identified: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains belonging to Marine Corps Cpl. Roger K. Nielson, from Adams, Colo., who was killed in action while fighting on the Pacific island of Tarawa on Nov. 20, 1943. He was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. He will be buried with full military honors on a date and location yet to be announced.