VFW Action Corps Weekly
September 18, 2020
In This Issue:
1. VFW Testifies Before House Committees
2. Medal of Honor Recipient Chats with VFW National Commander
3. VA-VFW Joint Facebook Live Event
4. House Holds Hearing on VA Supply Chain
5. VA Debt Relief for Disaster-Impacted Veterans
6. VA Notifies Veterans of Compromised Data
7. VA Women’s Event Rescheduled
8. MIA Update
1. VFW Testifies Before House Committees: VFW National Legislative Service Director Patrick Murray testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittees on Economic Opportunity and Technology Modernization regarding VA’s IT needs. Murray spoke about the need for proper funding for VA’s office of Education Services to make sure valuable benefits like the GI Bill are delivered on time to the veterans who earned these benefits. “It’s not time for an IT upgrade, it’s time for an IT overhaul,” Murray said of the VA’s IT systems. The VFW supports fully funding VA’s IT needs to ensure prompt delivery of VA benefits to all veterans, families, and survivors. Watch the hearing.
2. Medal of Honor Recipient Chats with VFW National Commander: Medal of Honor recipient Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas Patrick Payne chatted with VFW National Commander Harold “Hal” Roesch II on Sept. 16 during a VFW-hosted Facebook Live event. Roesch thanked Sgt. Maj. Payne for his heroism and courage during the extremely difficult and challenging mission on Oct. 22, 2015, that resulted in the rescue of more than 70 Iraqi hostages from ISIS fighters. Watch the event.
3. VA-VFW Joint Facebook Live Event: All veterans deserve a place to call home. If you or a veteran you know is facing homelessness, VA can connect you with the support services you may need. Join VA and the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. EDT for a Facebook Live event to learn how veterans and their family members can access expanded support during the COVID-19 pandemic, made available by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.Join the event.
4. House Holds Hearing on VA Supply Chain:On Wednesday, members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee conducted a hearing on modernizing VA’s medical supply chain and lessons learned from the pandemic. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) gave insight to a report due to be released at the end of the month, which will outline VA’s inefficient supply chain process and GAO’s recommendations. In response to lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, VA Regional Readiness Centers will be nationwide and house six months’ worth of supplies, including gloves, gowns, and masks. Three centers are up and running and the remaining centers will be ready by July 2021. Watch the hearing.
5. VA Debt Relief for Disaster-Impacted Veterans: VA announced that it will be extending debt relief to veterans who have been impacted by natural disasters. “Veterans and their families should be focused on their health and safety during the natural disasters,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA is taking action to give those with pending debts greater flexibility during these challenging times.”VA can suspend debt collection action for up to 90 days or extend repayment terms on pre-existing debts. To request financial relief, veterans should contact VA Debt Management at 1.800.827.0648.
6. VA Notifies Veterans of Compromised Data: The VA Office of Management announced on Sept. 14 that there had been a personal information data breach of approximately 46,000 veterans. VA’s Financial Services Center (FSC) is alerting the affected individuals, including the next-of-kin of those who are deceased. The department is also offering access to credit monitoring services, at no cost, to those whose social security numbers may have been compromised. Veterans are advised to follow the instructions in the letter from FSC to protect their data. There is no action needed from veterans if they did not receive an alert by mail, as their personal information was not involved in the incident. Any questions should be directed to the FSC Customer Help Desk at VAFSCVeteransSupport@va.gov, or by mail to the VA FSC Help Desk, Attn: Customer Engagement Center, P.O. Box 149971, Austin, TX 78714-9971. Learn more.
7. VA Women’s Event Rescheduled: VA’s next VetXL Veterans Experience Live Women Veterans Series with Acting Deputy Secretary Pamela Powers has been rescheduled for Sept. 21, 1:00 –1:30 p.m. EDT. This part of the series is entitled “Advice on Transitions, Employment and Building Business.” Learn more.
8. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced one burial update and three new identifications for service members who have been missing and unaccounted-for from WWII. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
— Navy Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Harold L. Dick, 22, of Tipton, Missouri, was aboard the USS Colorado, which was moored approximately 3,200 yards from the shore of Tinian Island, of the Northern Mariana Islands. Early in the morning of July 24, 1944, the USS Colorado, along with the light cruiser USS Cleveland and destroyers USS Remey and USS Norman Scott, commenced firing toward the island. Within two hours a concealed Japanese shore battery opened fire on the USS Colorado. The first hit resulted in a heavy explosion and the ship sustained extensive fragmentation damage. From the attack, four crewmen were declared missing in action, and 39 personnel were killed, including Dick. Dick will be buried Oct. 10, 2020, in his hometown. Read about Dick.
— Navy Gunner’s Musician 1st Class Joseph W. Hoffman, 24, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Hoffman. Interment services are pending. Read about Hoffman.
— Navy Mess Attendant 3rd Class Isaac Parker, 17, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Parker. Interment services are pending. Read about Parker.
— Army Pvt. Warren G.H. DeVault, 24, was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces near Hurtgen, Germany, when he was reportedly killed in action on Nov. 20, 1944. Interment services are pending. Read about DeVault.
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