Mar 05

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Donates $100,000 to VFW Foundation"s Voice of Democracy Student Essay Contest

Kansas City, MO, March 4, 2010 – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Foundation announced today that it has received a $100,000 gift from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in support of its Voice of Democracy student essay contest.

Each year more than 65,000 U.S. students (grades 9-12) from public, private, parochial and home schools, research write and record an essay based on a patriotic theme.

Winners advance from their local geographic areas to state then national levels, all the while earning money for educational scholarships. The national winner is awarded a $30,000 prize.

Currently, 70,000 teachers/counselors receive informational materials relating to the Voice of Democracy program.

The donation from the Bradley Foundation will be used to increase distribution to approximately 350,000 teachers and school counselors across the United States, thereby dramatically expanding student participation in the scholarship contest.

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Mar 01

Online Help for Wounded Warriors

WASHINGTON (Feb. 25, 2010) – The federal departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor and Defense unveiled today an improved Web site for wounded warriors.

"VA is committed to tapping into the full powers of the Internet to provide accurate, timely, easy to find and easy to understand information that improves the lives of Veterans, service members, their families and all who care for them," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

The National Resource Directory is a comprehensive, free, online tool for wounded, ill and injured service members, Veterans and their families.  Visitors to the site can find an extensive range of information about Veterans' benefits, including disability and pension benefits, VA health care and educational opportunities.  The site also provides information for those who care for Veterans, such as access to emotional, financial and community assistance.

The Web site has been enhanced to provide a single point of access to a wealth of information from more than 10,000 sites by federal, state and local governments and organizations offering services for wounded warriors.

View VA Press Release
Visit National Resource Directory

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Mar 01

VFW Washington Weekly – February 26, 2010

In This Issue:
1. Senate VA Budget Hearing
2. Oversight Hearing on Medication and Suicide
3. House VA Committee Hearings
1. Senate VA Budget Hearing: The Senate VA Committee held its FY 2011 budget hearing this week.  VA Secretary Eric Shinseki testified to changes planned for telehealth services and providing more outpatient services for veterans living in rural and remote areas.  As part of an Independent Budget panel, VFW testimony centered on major and minor VA construction projects, to include a concern that ongoing funding is needed to complete the numerous projects currently under construction, as well as those being planned.  To more information or to view hearing, go to the Senate VA website at

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Feb 24

Up to the Minute

Now you can stay on top of all the latest information no matter where you are in the My VFW Network. 

Just look at the bottom of each page in the network.  You'll see a new toolbar which will make navigating around the network much easier.  On the toolbar you can:

  • Search the My VFW Network
  • Join a chatroom with other network users.
  • See how many other users are on the network
  • Click on "Network News" and see all the latest news stories from anywhere in the network.
  • Keep track of the latest conversations in the VFW Forum.
  • Join our My VFW social network.
  • See the latest story posted by a random VFW Post.
  • Zoom back to the top of the page you are viewing.
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds
  • Share pages via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
  • Become a fan and join our Facebook community
  • and even post to your Twitter account right from the toolbar.

Keeping up to date with the My VFW Network has never been so easy!

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Feb 16

VFW to Stream Video from Legislative Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo., -Due to overwhelming response from the veteran community following last year's live stream from the 110th VFW National Convention, VFW will stream live from this year's National Legislative Conference, March 6-10.

Streaming will begin with the Voice of Democracy Parade of Winners at 6:00 p.m. (EST) on March 7th.

Streaming will resume with the Conference's Opening Session, set to begin at 8:00 a.m. the next morning, featuring guest speakers General George W. Casey, Jr., Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki.

A delayed stream of VFW Commander-in-Chief, Thomas Tradewell's testimony on Capitol Hill will also air the afternoon of Tuesday, March 9.

In addition to streaming the segments live, all events will also be available on demand.


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Feb 08

VFW Applauds VA, National Security Budget Requests

WASHINGTON – The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is applauding President Obama for submitting a fiscal year 2011 budget that strengthens defense and national security, and boosts programs for veterans, servicemembers and their families.

Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran from Sussex, Wis., said the president's vision tracks with key VFW legislative goals that advocate for a strong and secure America, and for ensuring that those who serve in uniform are properly cared for by a grateful nation.

Find more videos like this on My VFW WebCOM

The $60.3 billion discretionary funding request for the Department of Veterans Affairs is 7 percent above 2010 and 20 percent above 2009 funding levels. Key initiatives are to hire 4,000 additional adjudicators to shrink the disability claims backlog; to reduce the homeless veterans' population; to construct new medical facilities in Denver and New Orleans; and to maintain a robust information technology program that will enable a 21st century VA to fully automate its GI Bill benefits system and create a seamless electronic record for military members entering the VA system. Other notable recommendations would enhance women veterans' programs; increase specialized care for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and other mental health conditions; and expand the national cemetery system into areas where 80,000 veterans reside within 75 miles of a potential VA cemetery. Also included for the first time was a request for $50.6 billion in advanced appropriations for the VA's fiscal 2012 budget.

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Feb 01

White House Seeks $125 Billion for Veterans in 2011

WASHINGTON – To expand health care to a record-number of Veterans, reduce the number of homeless Veterans and process a dramatically increased number of new disability compensation claims, the White House has announced a proposed $125 billion budget next year for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Our budget proposal provides the resources necessary to continue our aggressive pursuit of President Obama's two over-arching goals for Veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "First, the requested budget will help transform VA into a 21st century organization.  And second, it will ensure that we approach Veterans' care as a lifetime initiative, from the day they take their oaths until the day they are laid to rest."

The $125 billion budget request, which has to be approved by Congress, includes $60.3 billion for discretionary spending (mostly health care) and $64.7 billion in mandatory funding (mostly for disability compensation and pensions).

"VA's 2011 budget request covers many areas but focuses on three central issues that are of critical importance to our Veterans – easier access to benefits and services, faster disability claims decisions, and ending the downward spiral that results in Veterans' homelessness," Shinseki said.

Reducing Claims Backlog

The president's budget proposal includes an increase of $460 million and more than 4,000 additional claims processors for Veterans benefits.  This is a 27 percent funding increase over the 2010 level.

The 1,014,000 claims received in 2009 were a 75 percent increase over the 579,000 received in 2000.  Shinseki said the Department expects a 30 percent increase in claims – to 1,319,000 – in 2011 from 2009 levels.

One reason for the increase is VA's expansion of the number of Agent Orange-related illnesses that automatically qualify for disability benefits.  Veterans exposed to the Agent Orange herbicides during the Vietnam War are likely to file additional claims that will have a substantial impact upon the processing system for benefits, the secretary said.

"We project significantly increased claims inventories in the near term while we make fundamental improvements to the way we process disability compensation claims," Shinseki said.

Long-term reduction of the inventory will come from additional manpower, improved business practices, plus an infusion of $145 million in the proposed budget for development of a paperless claims processing system, which plays a significant role in the transformation of VA.

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Jan 22

VFW Washington Weekly – January 22, 2010

In This Issue:
1. VFW Presents Legislative Goals
2. House VA Committee Hearings
3. Relief for GI Bill Payments Coming
4. Vets Employment Initiative Launched
1. VFW Presents Legislative Goals: The VFW presented its Top 5 legislative goals this week at a House Veterans Affairs Committee roundtable.  The issues we want Congress to highlight this year are the claims backlog, employment and training, oversight of VA health care, and military-to-veteran transition issues, to include education.  Committee members acknowledged that the VA claims backlog is among their top priorities, and they intend to hold oversight hearings on viable fixes to the critical problem.  The VFW's 2010 legislative priority goals can be viewed at

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Jan 15

VFW Joins in Haiti Humanitarian Effort

Kansas City, MO., Jan. 15, 2010 -The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is assisting in humanitarian efforts in Haiti by providing U.S. service members — with relatives currently located in Haiti — with the funds necessary to purchase airline tickets to the devastated island, so that they may locate, assist or make burial arrangements for relatives affected by the recent earthquake. Funds also may be used to help provide sustenance or other necessities to sustain life.

The veterans' organization donation will be used to assist U.S. service members currently on active duty, in the Reserves or in National Guard units.

VFW National Commander Tommy J. Tradewell Sr., has asked VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary members to come to the aid of victims of the recent natural disaster by individually donating what they can to the VFW National Military Services program (NMS), either online [Donate now online], text [text "VFW" to 90999 – standard text messaging rates apply], or mail directly to VFW National Military Services, 406 W. 34th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111.

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Jan 13

VFW CheckPoint Magazine Jan/Feb 2010

VFW CheckPoint Magazine Jan/Feb 2010

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