Dec 20

VFW Washington Weekly – December 17, 2010

In This Issue:
1. Congress Improves GI Bill
2. New Defense Bill Introduced
3. DHS Expands Security Awareness Campaign
4. WWI, Korean War MIAs Identified
 
1. Congress Improves GI Bill: Congress passed S. 3447, the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010.  Though VFW did not support all of its provisions, the bill does fix a number of shortcomings in the current Post-9/11 GI Bill.  It will cover vocational and technical education courses, provide benefits to Guard and Reserve members, clarify tuition and fee reimbursement rates at private schools, and provide a living stipend to students taking classes from home (distance learning).  The President is expected to sign the bill soon. 
For information on GI Bill benefits, go http://www.gibill.va.gov/.

Continue reading Washington Weekly

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/vfw-washington-weekly-december-17-2010/

Dec 07

Remember Pearl Harbor Day

Each year on December 7 we recall an event that changed the course of history and the destiny of civilization.

Nearly 70 years ago, the attack on Pearl Harbor awoke a sleeping giant, and with it, produced what has been called the "greatest generation."

That day of infamy produced many U.S. casualties: 3,500 dead or wounded, 18 ships sunk or damaged and more than 350 aircraft destroyed.  Although it was a day of great tragedy, it was also a day that served to reignite our national pride and our great national spirit.

We recall the events of December 7, 1941, but more importantly, we remember the thousands of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who died during that terrible ambush and in the years that followed.

America was strengthened by its enduring values of freedom, tolerance and service.  The long odds we faced during the dark days that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor, served to fuel the indomitable spirit of our nation and carry us through to victory.

Many of the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor are no longer with us.  Many of them went on to serve in other places; some became casualties of other battles.  A good many returned home to their families and friends and quietly resumed their lives as civilians.   

Their contributions, their sacrifice, their steadfast devotion to duty, God, country and to their families, provide us with examples we need to emulate every day of our lives.  We remain inspired by their diligence and their perseverance, and today, we are strengthened by the memory of their actions.

(Via VFW.org)

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/remember-pearl-harbor-day/

Nov 29

Warning to Veterans

(via VFW.org)

The following has been forwarded by Kevin Secor, VSO Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

               An organization called Veterans Affairs Services (VAS) is providing benefit and general information on VA and gathering personal information on veterans. This organization is not affiliated with VA in any way. http://www.vaservices.org/us/index.html         

               VAS may be gaining access to military personnel through their close resemblance to the VA name and seal.  Our Legal Counsel has requested that we coordinate with DoD to inform military installations, particularly mobilization sites, of this group and their lack of affiliation or endorsement by VA to provide any services. 

               In addition, GC requests that if you have any examples of VAS acts that violate chapter 59 of Title 38 United States Code, such as VAS employees assisting veterans in the preparation and presentation of claims for benefits, please pass any additional information to Mr.Daugherty at the address below. 

Michael G. Daugherty 
Staff Attorney 
Department of Veterans Affairs Office of General Counsel (022G2

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/warning-to-veterans/

Nov 11

VFW National Home Children Thank Veterans on Veterans Day

Children from the VFW National Home for Children extend their thanks to our nation’s veterans on this Veterans Day 2010.

 

The VFW WebCOM Network team would also like to extend a heartfelt Thank You as we honor all veterans, past and present, today.

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/vfw-national-home-children-thank-veterans-on-veterans-day/

Nov 08

VFW Washington Weekly – November 5, 2010

In This Issue:
1. Election 2010 Results
2. New Compensation Payments Begin
3. Retroactive Stop-Loss Pay Going Unclaimed
4. IB Releases Critical Issues
5. Help Burger King Support Unmet Needs Program

1. Election 2010 Results: Significant changes are coming to the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committees, as a number of military and veteran champions were defeated in Tuesday's federal election.  The VFW asks that you thank those who are leaving for their service to the troops, and use this interim period to congratulate and offer to help educate the winners on why taking care of those who protect our nation and their families is a sacred responsibility.  We lost friends on Tuesday, but we will make new ones when the 112th Congress takes office in January, because the VFW's mission in Washington is to ensure legislators do what's right for national defense, homeland security, and for our servicemembers, veterans and their families. 

 2. New Compensation Payments Begin: The VA began paying disability compensation to Vietnam veterans who qualify under the three new presumptive illnesses associated with Agent Orange exposure — B-cell (or hairy-cell) leukemia, Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease — but providing initial or increases to existing payments to the estimated 200,000 veterans who now qualify could take several months.  VA officials encourage all Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and suffer from one of the three diseases to make sure their applications have been submitted by calling 1-800-827-1000 or going online to www.fasttrack.va.gov.

Continue reading Washington Weekly

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/vfw-washington-weekly-november-5-2010/

Oct 28

Sign VFW's Welcome Home Register

Let our newest Veterans Know You Care

Veterans Day is November 11, 2010.

This fall, more than 100,000 heroes are returning from Iraq, and VFW needs you to help welcome them home! Please sign the Welcome Home Register today.

We're collecting signatures to present to our newest veterans across the country. Be among the first to welcome home America’s sons and daughters.

We'll share your signature of support with returning defenders at VFW’s Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) offices, located at 13 military installations from Washington, D.C., to California. Our pre-discharge claims reps help new veterans with entitlements claims … educational and medical benefits … and VA home loans. Last year, VFW helped America's veterans recover $1.5 billion in VA entitlements.

Solid, practical support is what these men and women need. Thanks to friends like you, we’re able to give it to them—here at home and on the front lines.

There's only 5 days left to sign the register so don't delay, sign today!

(Via VFW.org)

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/sign-vfws-welcome-home-register/

Oct 18

VFW National Commander Moves for Dissolution of Political Action Committee

I have reviewed the Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors' response to our request to rescind this year's Congressional endorsements.  I disagree with their assessment.

It is now evident to most of the VFW leadership, both National and especially the departments, that the VFW has been subjected to extreme negative publicity throughout the nation, and the recent endorsement decisions have, in fact, harmed the VFW's reputation and future ability to fulfill our mission.

I cannot let this erosion of public support for our great organization continue.  The apparent lack of the committee to address these concerns will lead to a proposal by me, as Commander-in-Chief, to amend the by-laws at the 112th National Convention for the purpose of dissolving the PAC.  Meanwhile, under the authority granted to me as Commander-in-Chief in section 619 of the VFW National By-Laws and under section 620 of the Manual of Procedure, I am withdrawing all PAC appointments effective October 15, 2010.

Accordingly, I'm asking the VFW national council for a vote of "no confidence" in the VFW PAC.

Commander-in-Chief
Richard Eubank

(Via VFW Facebook)

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/vfw-national-commander-moves-for-dissolution-of-political-action-committee/

Oct 15

2009-2010 Year in Review

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/2009-2010-year-in-review/

Oct 12

VFW Leadership at Odds with VFW-PAC

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 8, 2010 – The national line officers of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are at odds with the VFW Political Action Committee (PAC), calling the methodology process used by the PAC "seriously flawed at best this year and in immediate need of extensive review," in the wake of the recent congressional endorsements made by the committee.

"Even though the law requires that VFW-PAC be a separate organization, the acronym 'VFW' is attached to the committee and the natural assumption is that the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is somehow making the endorsement decisions. Nothing could be further from the truth, but perception is reality," said National Commander Richard Eubank.

"Obviously, an organization's political positions have to reflect the opinions of its members. But those opinions can't be perceived as 'off the wall,' and the methodology used this year to grade candidates obviously is skewed in favor of the incumbent. That isn't fair, and it actually subverts the democratic process."

Because of the controversy surrounding the endorsements, VFW line officers have decided to bring the question of continued existence of the PAC to the floor during the 112th VFW national convention in August.

Richard L. Eubank
National Commander

Richard L. DeNoyer
Sr. Vice Commander

John E. Hamilton
Jr. Vice Commander

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/vfw-leadership-at-odds-with-vfw-pac/

Oct 01

VFW Washington Weekly – October 1, 2010

In This Issue:
1. No COLA for 2011
2. CR Passes as Congress Recesses
3. Stop-Loss Payments Extended
4. VA Adds 9 Gulf War Presumptions
5. GAO Investigates Long-Term Neglect
6. Veterans Benefits Package Passes Senate
7. Two WWII MIA's Identified

1. No COLA for 2011: VFW has been made aware of a document going around the internet which falsely increases the VA compensation rates up to 50% effective December 1, 2010. The document is not valid. Congress did pass a COLA bill (HR 4667) which authorizes an increase in payments to recipients of compensation, Dependency and Indemnity compensation (DIC), the VA clothing allowance, and certain wartime disability and other compensation based on cost-of-living increases that are provided to beneficiaries of Social Security.  The COLA allowance this bill provides is based on changes in the Consumer Price Index, a calculation of inflation in the United States measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Data accumulated to date indicates that it is unlikely that the CPI will increase by an amount necessary for veterans to receive a COLA increase for 2011 The congressionally passed bill (HR 4667) summary is posted here: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.111hr4667

4. VA Adds 9 Gulf War Presumptions: The VA published its final regulation in the Federal Register this week to establish new presumptions of service-connection for nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in Southwest Asia beginning on or after the start of the first Gulf War on Aug. 2, 1990, through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  With the final rule, a veteran only has to show service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan, and that he or she had one of the nine diseases within a certain time after service, and has a current disability as a result of that disease. Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Visceral leishmaniasis may appear any time after discharge; however, the other seven disabilities must be shown to a compensable degree within one year of discharge.  The nine new presumptions are: Brucellosis, Campylobacter jejuni, Coxiella Burnetii (Q fever), Malaria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nontyphoid Salmonella, Shigella, Visceral leishmaniasis and West Nile virus.  Read the VA press release at http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=1974

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Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post8696/general/vfw-washington-weekly-october-1-2010/

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