VFW Action Corps Weekly
June 5, 2020
In This Issue:
1. Senate Holds Veterans Affairs Budget Hearing
2. Veteran Employment Bill Introduced
3. VA Resumes In-Person C&P Examinations in Some Locations
4. HVAC Health Subcommittee Holds Online Hearing
5. New DOD Web Tool Launched for Families with Special Needs
6. Men’s Health Month Begins
7. MIA Update
1. Senate Holds Veterans Affairs Budget Hearing: This week, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a budget hearing to discuss funding requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The VFW, along with Independent Budget (IB) co-authors, Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America, provided written testimony advocating for more VA funding. Due to the strain on the VA health care system, the IB recommends increased funding for staffing, PPE, and infrastructure upgrades. Watch the hearing and/or read the statement.
2. Veteran Employment Bill Introduced: This week, congressional leaders introduced the VFW-supported bipartisan, bicameral bill to help curb veteran unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reps. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), and Mike Levin (D-CA), along with their colleagues Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the Veterans Economic Recovery Act of 2020, which would provide much needed support for veterans who recently lost their jobs due to the pandemic. This proposal would offer eligible veterans one year of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to be used at approved high demand programs to get them back into the workforce as quickly as possible. The VFW applauds our congressional leaders for swiftly introducing this legislation to help curb unemployment among veterans. Read the release.
3. VA Resumes In-Person C&P Examinations in Some Locations: VA has announced that it will resume in-person compensation and pension (C&P) examinations at 20 locations across the U.S. VA will continue to conduct telehealth examinations at locations where in-person exams have not yet resumed. If you live in one of the locations where in-person appointments have resumed, but you are unable to make your appointment or do not feel comfortable with an in-person C&P exam, please contact your service officer to reschedule. Find a VFW service officer near you to file a claim for disability benefits.
4. HVAC Health Subcommittee Holds Online Hearing: On Wednesday, members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, discussed VA’s preparedness for natural disasters during a pandemic. VA Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administrations/Operations, Security and Preparedness Daniel Sitterly, cited a three-phase (preparation, post-event, and recovery) disaster response during a pandemic. Sitterly stated, “The nation’s emergency management system works best and is most successful when it’s locally executed, managed by the states, and federally supported.” It was also noted that the expansion of telehealth offers the capability to provide health care services to those at the disaster’s ground zero. Overall, the panelist expressed their gratitude to Congress for the passed COVID-19 pandemic legislation that provides resources to expedite care where needed. Watch the hearing.
5. New DOD Web Tool Launched for Families with Special Needs: The DOD Office of Special Needs, and Military OneSource launched a new digital tool to guide families in The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). Using this tool, EFMP & Me, families can learn about support services to prepare for a move or deployment, respond to changes in education or medical needs, and adjust to new life situations. Support is available from EFMP on installations and through the Military OneSource network, which provides 24/7 support to service members and families anywhere in the world. You can contact Military OneSource at 800.342.9647 or live chat with a consultant.
6. Men’s Health Month Begins: June is Men’s Health Month, which raises awareness about health care for men. The focus is on encouraging boys, men, and their families to implement healthy living decisions, such as exercising and eating healthy. This month, the Military Health System will highlight the importance of recognizing preventable health problems, early detection, and treatment of diseases among men and boys in the DOD community. Proper sleep, physical activity, regular medical check-ups, and nutrition are key components of preventive health and day-to-day wellness. The CDC’s Check-Up Checklist offers things to do before your next check-up. Learn more.
7. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced four new identifications for service members who have been missing and unaccounted-for from WWII and the Korean War. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
— Army Master Sgt. James Hart, Jr., 25, was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. Interment services are pending. Read about Hart.
–– Army 1st Lt. Anthony R. Mazzulla, 26, was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, after a fighting withdrawal near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. Interment services are pending. Read about Mazzulla.
— Army Cpl. Billie Joe Hash, 18, was a member of Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. Interment services are pending. Read about Hash.
— Army Pfc. John J. Sitarz, 19, was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces near Germeter, Germany, in the Hürtgen Forest, when he was declared missing in action on Nov. 2. 1944. Sitarz could not be recovered because of the ongoing fighting, and his status was changed to killed in action on Nov. 3, 1945. Interment services are pending. Read about Sitarz.
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