Oct
05

VFW FL HQ Responds to Tragedy at VFW Post 5045

October 4, 2012

Dear Comrades and Sisters:

As I am sure most of you have heard a very unfortunate incident occurred at Post 5405 in
Winter Springs this past Sunday. There were three people shot in the parking lot of the
Post by some individuals from a motorcycle club. This incident did not have anything to
do with the VFW. There was a charity bike run to take place beginning at the parking lot
at Post 5405 and did not include any VFW members. We have been cooperating with the
various Sheriff’s units and Police units while they are doing their investigation. They have
apprehended four of the people involved in the shooting. All of the law enforcement
agencies involved in this believe this was an isolated incident but they will continue to
monitor all of the activities in and around our VFW Posts in that area.

We thank all of our members for their concern and I assure you that We Will continue to
monitor this situation so as to maintain the safety of all of our members and auxiliaries.

“No One Does More for Veterans”

Respectfully,

Wayne Carrignan
State Commander

Attest:

William J “Joe” Gault
State Adjutant/Quartermaster

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Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/department-news/vfw-fl-hq-responds-to-tragedy-at-vfw-post-5045/

Jun
05

VFW: MIA Searches in Vietnam ‘Great News’

(via AP) Joe Davis, the Director of Public Affairs for the VFW, said Monday that the three new sites being opened in Vietnam to search for MIA remains is great news for the families of missing soldiers waiting for closure three decades later. (video)

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/vfw-national-news/vfw-mia-searches-in-vietnam-great-news/

Jun
02

New Initiative a Positive Step for Transitioning Military

The nation’s oldest and largest major combat veterans’ organization is calling President Obama’s new “We Can’t Wait” initiative an extremely positive step that will help thousands of service members with manufacturing and other high-demand skills receive civilian credentials and licenses.

Today’s announcement tasks the Defense Department’s new Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force to focus on industries and career fields that have an identified need for more skilled workers, such as in manufacturing, emergency response, healthcare, information technology, transportation and logistics. Within a year, the Task Force will identify military specialties that can readily transfer to these high-demand jobs; work with civilian credentialing and licensing associations to address gaps between military training programs and civilian credentialing and licensing requirements; and provide service members with greater access to necessary certification and licensing exams.

“This will be extremely beneficial for transitioning service members and hopefully their spouses, too,” said Richard L. DeNoyer, a retired Marine and Vietnam combat veteran, who leads the 2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/vfw-national-news/new-initiative-a-positive-step-for-transitioning-military/

Apr
23

VFW Washington Weekly, April 20, 2012

In This Issue
1. Soldier to Receive Posthumous MoH
2. VFW Testifies on Disability Claims Process
3. VFW Testifies on VeteranIs’ Health Bills
4. House Subcommittee Clears Vets’ Bills
5. VOW Act Website Launched
6. Two Korean War MIAs Identified

1. Soldier to Receive Posthumous MoH: Army Spc. 4 Leslie H. Sabo Jr., a rifleman with the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War, will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony next month. Sabo is credited with saving the lives of several of his comrades in Company B, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry, when his platoon was ambushed near the Se San River in eastern Cambodia on May 10, 1970. Sabo shielded a comrade from an enemy grenade and silenced a machine-gun bunker before he was killed. Sabo’s unit nominated him for the Medal of Honor, but the paperwork was lost until a fellow veteran and writer for the Screaming Eagle Association magazine came across a thick file on Sabo while on a research trip to the National Archives military repository in College Park, Md. Read more at http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=67965.

2. VFW Testifies on Disability Claims Process: This week, the VFW testified as part of a panel of experts on the role of veterans’ representatives throughout the VA disability claims process. Speaking before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, our remarks centered on the importance of having a claim representative help veterans obtain benefits from VA. Currently, VFW has 1,300 accredited individuals providing assistance to veterans and survivors.
We also spoke about our VA accredited training program and the critical need for a thorough understanding of the complexities of the disability claims process and rating system.
Other panelists included DAV, the American Legion, VA and a local law firm that does litigation on behalf of veterans. To learn more about the hearing and to view the archived webcast, click here: http://www.vfwonthehill.org/2012/04/watch-live-vfw-to-testify-on-va-claims.html.

3. VFW Testifies on Veterans’ Health Bills: On Monday, VFW testified before the House Subcommittee on Health on an array of veterans health care related bills. The Committee appeared most interested in H.R. 3279, legislation which clarifies a serious illness as being eligible for caregiver benefits and H.R. 1460, which would direct VA to automatically enroll service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan into the VA health care system. The VFW also testified on H.R. 3016, which requires VA and DOD to operate a joint Federal Recovery Coordination Program, H.R. 3337, which establishes a burn pit registry for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who may have been exposed to toxins overseas and others. For our complete testimony and listing of all the bills, or to view the recorded webcast visit: http://www.vfwonthehill.org/2012/04/icymi-vfw-testifies-on-veterans-health.html.

4. House Subcommittee Clears Vets’ Bills: The House VA Subcommittee on Disability and Memorial Affairs cleared several VFW- supported bills out of committee. They now move to the full committee for a vote. They included:
H.R. 4142, which would automatically adjust the cost-of-living increase for veterans to the same percentage as social security COLA, thereby eliminating the need for legislation every year.
H.R. 2051, which provides burials for unclaimed veteran remains identified by the Missing in America project.
For a listing of all of the bills, visit the House VA Committee website at: http://veterans.house.gov/markup/markup-of-hr-4114-ans-to-hr-4142-ans-to-hr-2377

5. VOW Act Website Launched: On April 17, VA launched the VOW to Hire Heroes Act website. VFW played a critical role in getting this critical employment legislation passed into law. The site provides comprehensive information on all aspects of the VOW Act to include details about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), tax credits for employers, vocational rehabilitation services, the transition assistance program, and Department of Labor resources for veterans. Qualified veterans will be able to apply for the VRAP program which offers 12 months of retraining assistance directly from the site starting on May 15, 2012. VFW highlighted the new website on our blog, which you can read about here: http://www.vfwonthehill.org/2012/04/va-introduces-vow-to-hire-heroes-act.html. For more information on the new programs and benefits, click here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/VOW/

6. Two Korean War MIAs Identified: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identifications of remains belonging to two soldiers who had been missing in action since the Korean War. Returned home are:
* Army Pfc. Richard E. Clapp, 19, of Seattle, Wash. On Sept. 2, 1950, Clapp and C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, came under fire near Yulchon, South Korea. Clapp was killed in action, but the Army was unable to identify his remains at the time, and he was buried as “Unknown” in a military cemetery on the Korean Peninsula, then reinterred in “The “Punchbowl” National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
* Army Cpl. James N. Larkin, 34, of Kirkwood, Mo. On Feb. 11, 1951, Larkin and his unit, known as “Support Force 21″ from the 2nd Infantry Division, were attacked by Chinese forces near Changbong-ni, South Korea. Following the battle, Larkin was listed as missing in action. It was later learned he had died in April 1951 from battle wounds and malnutrition while held captive in the Chinese operated POW camp known as “Bean Camp” located in North Korea.
Read more at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/.

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/general/vfw-washington-weekly-april-20-2012/

Mar
16

New VFW Promotional Video

The National Veterans of Foreign Wars has unveiled their first video in their new “No One Does More For Veterans” campaign.  Click below to view it.

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/general/new-vfw-promotional-video/

Nov
23

What Does Super Committee Failure Mean to VFW?

 The congressional Super Committee has thrown in the towel and admitted they cannot reach a bipartisan agreement to cut a minimum of $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade.  Under the law passed this summer, mandatory cuts will now take place across all federal departments and agencies beginning January 2013.   

Where and how much, however, is still to be determined. 

Each cabinet secretary will decide where the cuts will be made after the White House Office of Management and Budget identifies which, if any, programs are exempt.  Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare have been mentioned as being exempt, as have veterans programs, but no one has yet identified which veterans programs. 

The VFW believes that veterans’ healthcare programs and benefits will be exempt from any cuts.  Questions remain, however, about increased co-payments for visits and prescriptions, as well as charging VA category 7 and 8 veterans an annual enrollment fee.  We will continue to monitor and report any new developments as they occur. 

Over at the Defense Department are recommendations to change the pay and benefits of those currently serving and military retirees.  The threats include changing the military retirement system for future enlistees, limiting retiree healthcare program enrollment, and imposing or increasing healthcare fees on all TRICARE programs, regardless of age.  These proposals are in addition to possible reductions in force and cuts to other quality of life programs.  The budget crisis has also forced defense hawks to choose between supporting people programs and new weapon systems development.  Sadly, some have forgotten that it still takes people to occupy territory and to operate their shiny new aircraft, ships and tanks. 

Our nation hollowed out its force after Vietnam and again after the first Gulf War.  If the past 10 years have proven anything, it is that the All Volunteer Force works, but it comes with a price and a promise to maintain the quality of life programs for those few who serve.  Since 9/11, many of the less than 1 percent of the population who volunteered to serve their nation have been deployed into the fight numerous times.  The service-connected disabilities thousands have already received will require a strong and viable military healthcare system to return them to duty, and a strong and viable VA healthcare system to meet their lifetime care needs.   

Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress, amputations, and the risk of suicide are predominate issues of a military force at war.  The preservation of military and veteran benefits, improved quality and accessible healthcare, and continued medical research into alternative treatments is how our nation can properly repay those who go into harm's way.   

Over the next year, many in Congress as well as thousands of registered lobbyists will be working hard to protect their special interests and programs.   We must all work hard to protect the Department of Veterans Affairs health, benefits and cemetery administrations, as well as all military quality of life programs for the troops, their families and military retirees. 

I ask each of you to contact your respective members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to demand that these programs be protected.  State Commanders and members of the National Legislative Committee must arrange individual face-to-face meetings with every member of their Congressional Delegation to alert them to our concerns.  These meetings should be in addition to your visits to your Congressional delegations during the March 2012 Legislative Conference.  I also ask that you report the responses you receive back to the VFW Action Corps at vfwac@vfw.org.  

These meetings will be in addition to a massive outreach campaign to the entire U.S. Congress that I ask National Legislative Committee members to spearhead in each state and department.  We need Congress to be flooded with letters and phone calls to protect veterans' programs and military quality of life programs from any cuts.  This is an obligation of every member of the VFW and their families to keep the faith with our comrades who need us to be their collective voice in Washington.  Please refer to the VFW website for constant updates and the "10 for 10" issues we have raised, along with sample letters for your use.   

The VFW needs you to make your voice heard now, because the most powerful message Congress can receive is from the folks who employ them — their voting constituents.  

Thank you for your continued support of America’s heroes. 

ROBERT E. WALLACE 
Executive Director 
VFW Washington Office

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/general/what-does-super-committee-failure-mean-to-vfw/

Nov
23

President Signs Veterans' Jobs Bill Into Law

The VFW joined President Barack Obama and leaders in veterans' advocacy at the White House yesterday [Monday] to sign the VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law. This comprehensive piece of veterans' jobs legislation passed both houses of Congress with unanimous bipartisan support before reaching the president's desk thanks in large part to the advocacy of the VFW on the issue of veterans' unemployment.

Over the last few years, the VFW has consistently passed a resolution at the VFW National Convention calling on Congress to address the ever-growing unemployment crisis among veterans, particularly the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. VFW then testified in support of comprehensive veterans' jobs legislation before both the House and Senate in the lead-up to the compromise bill that the president signed yesterday [Monday].

Both Republican and Democratic leaders, like House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., joined the president, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden at the White House to mark the bipartisan victory that will help veterans become more marketable employees in a cut-throat jobs market.

Continue reading at VFW On The Hill

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/general/president-signs-veterans-jobs-bill-into-law/

Nov
09

Businesses Offering Big Savings to Veterans this Veterans Day

This Veterans Day, a 'thank you for your service' is being paid in the form of free meals and huge discounts from patriotic businesses across the country. VFW has compiled a list of some of the opportunities service members and veterans can take advantage of in honor of the upcoming holiday.  

Please note: Most companies require some form of military ID – including a U.S. Uniform Services ID Card (active/reserve/retired), Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Photograph in uniform, be wearing uniform (if your service permits), Veterans Organization Card (e.g.,VFW), DD214, discharge paperwork, or other form of identification.   

Also, some companies are franchises and policies may vary.  

VFW asks you to please always call ahead to verify your local businesses’ participation details and requirements.

Click to see the list of businesses

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/general/businesses-offering-big-savings-to-veterans-this-veterans-day/

Oct
25

VFW Foundation Announces 2011 Burger King" Unmet Needs Fundraiser

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation is proud to announce that for the fifth consecutive year, participating Burger King® Restaurants will be raising funds for the VFW’s Unmet Needs Program throughout the month of November through the annual Burger King® Unmet Needs Fundraiser. Over 1,200 Burger King® Restaurants have participated since 2007 and have raised over $1.3 million in support of the program. Burger King® customers are encouraged to donate $1 or more at participating locations across the country as the proceeds will help military families in need pay for essentials such as rent/mortgage, utilities, medical expenses, vehicle repairs and food.

Read more

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/general/vfw-foundation-announces-2011-burger-king-unmet-needs-fundraiser/

Oct
25

First Amendment Prevails at Houston VA National Cemetary

The Veterans of Foreign Wars today(Friday) declared victory in a Federal Lawsuit ( Rainey v VA) filed over allegations of religious hostility and unlawful censorship by the VA and its director of the Houston National Cemetery. 

Federal District Judge Lynn N. Hughes signed a consent decree ordering the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to lift the ban on prayer and the word "God" at national cemeteries, to revoke national policies hostile to religion, and to reopen the Chapel which identity was previously changed to "meeting facility" at the Houston National Cemetery.  

Texas-based Liberty Institute filed suit on behalf of the VFW over allegations of religious hostility and unlawful censorship by the VA and its director of the Houston National Cemetery. Officials told the VFW they could not have prayer during the burial services of veterans unless the family requested it specifically in writing and submitted the prayer to VA officials for pre-approval.    

"The VFW is grateful that the government has restored the basic tenets recognized in the U.S. Constitution – which guarantees fundamental rights of religious expression and freedom of speech – to patriotic Americans who sacrifice everything to defend it.  This is indeed a victory." said VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer.

Continue Reading

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post10141/general/first-amendment-prevails-at-houston-va-national-cemetary/

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