VFW Action Corps Weekly – September 25, 2015
In This Issue:
1. VFW Holds Fall Legislative Conference in Washington, DC
2. Our Care Report
3. Grants to Reduce Veterans Homelessness
4. This Sunday is Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day
5. New Military Leadership
6. Two Korean War MIAs Identified
1. VFW Holds Fall Legislative Conference in Washington, DC: This week, VFW members stormed Capitol Hill to communicate our legislative agenda to Congress. More than 70 members of the VFW National Legislative Committee and VFW leadership met with their Senators and Congressman to give their perspective on issues affecting veterans, the military and their families. These included implementation of the Veterans Choice Act, employee accountability, the claims backlog and eliminating the one percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment penalty for future members of the military. At the top of the list on the VFW agenda was ending sequestration, the arbitrary spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act, which is harming DOD and could potentially threaten VA. Although most members of Congress told VFW members that they oppose sequestration, no bipartisan plan to balance the budget and bring an end to the spending caps has been introduced. All VFW members and supporters are strongly encouraged to continue the momentum of the conference by contacting your Senators and Congressmen to let them know what they can do to keep faith with veterans and service members. To learn more about VFW priority goals and talking points, visit: http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/National-Legislative-Service/. To read the VFW’s statement, click here: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2015-Articles/Sequestration,-Budget,-Veterans-Top-VFW-Legislative-Agenda/.
2. Our Care Report: On Tuesday, the VFW released its report on veterans’ options, preferences and expectations when seeking health care entitled “Our Care.” The report is part of the VFW’s commitment to ensuring the dialogue surrounding the future of the VA health care system is based on the needs and preferences of the brave men and women it was designed to serve, not political rhetoric. Among other things, the report evaluates why the majority of eligible veterans prefer to use their earned VA health care benefits despite having other health care options. The report also includes ten conclusions that must be considered when reforming the VA health care system. To learn more and read the report, click here: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2015-Articles/VFW-Report–Veterans-Prefer-VA-Care/.
3. Grants to Reduce Veterans Homelessness: This week, VA announced the award of $4 million in funding offered through the Grant and Per Diem Program to 21 community agencies currently serving homeless veterans. For more information on VA’s Grant and Per Diem program, visit:http://www.va.gov/homeless/GPD.ASP.
4. This Sunday is Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day: Yesterday, President Obama proclaimed September 27, 2015 as Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day. This is pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 115 of June 23, 1936 which designated the last Sunday of September as Gold Star Mother’s Day. This is a day of remembrance, intended to honor the survivors of service members who died on duty. In the proclamation, the president called upon all government officials to display the U.S. flag over government buildings this Sunday, and encouraged all Americans to display the flag and hold ceremonies as a public expression of respect and gratitude for Gold Star Families. To read the full proclamation, click here:https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/25/presidential-proclamation-gold-star-mothers-and-familys-day-2015.
5. New Military Leadership: There have been a host of top leadership changes at the Pentagon over the past two months, to include today’s change of responsibility ceremony that had Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey transferring the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., who just yesterday relinquished command of the U.S. Marine Corps to new Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller. On Sept. 18, Navy Adm. John Richardson became the new Chief of Naval Operations, succeeding Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, and just last month Army Gen. Mark A. Milley succeeded Gen. Raymond T. Odierno as the new Army Chief of Staff. Up next will be the confirmation hearing of Eric K. Fanning, who’s been nominated to become the next Secretary of the Army.
6. Two Korean War MIAs Identified: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has identified the remains of two soldiers who had been missing in action since the Korean War. Returned home are:
– Army Cpl. Martin A. King, was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when he was declared missing in action while fighting in North Korea on Nov. 2, 1950.
– Army Cpl. Robert V. Witt, 20, of Los Angeles, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, when he was captured while fighting in North Korea on Dec. 2, 1950. He reportedly died in a North Korean prisoner of war camp on Jan. 31, 1951.