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)

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)

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

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

Read more Washington Weekly

VFW Day 2010

Each year on September 29th VFW Day is celebrated at Posts and in communities around the world. It's a day devoted to the organization and its dedicated members who are so deeply committed to serving those who bravely serve this nation.

This year marks the 111th year since the VFW was established. On this date in 1899, a small group of Spanish-America war veterans joined together to form what would become the nation's largest and most dedicated group of combat veterans.

For 111 years the VFW has been unwavering in its devotion "to honor the dead by helping the living." VFW and its Auxiliary members carry out this mission by promoting good will, patriotism and youth scholarship. Their commitment is demonstrated through national veterans and legislative services, military assistance and community service programs, youth activities and scholarship programs, as well as millions of volunteer hours in their local communities each year.

Show your support by honoring all members and veterans in your community. Today everyone is invited to celebrate the tradition of continuous service and steadfast devotion that defines the VFW.  (VFW.org)

Click here for a complete video history of the VFW

Presidential Proclamation–National POW/MIA Recognition Day

"Until every story ends" is a solemn promise to those who wear the uniform of the United States that they will never be left behind or forgotten.  On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we pay tribute to the American men and women who never returned home from combat, to those who faced unthinkable suffering as prisoners of war in distant lands, and to all servicemembers who have defended American lives and liberties with unwavering devotion.  As a grateful Nation, we can never repay the profound debt to our heroes, and we will not rest until we have accounted for the missing members of our Armed Forces.

  We demonstrate our deep gratitude and admiration for our brave patriots not in words alone, but in our actions to bring them home.  Each year, specialists in our Department of Defense scour foreign battlefields and burial sites, interview witnesses, and search national and international archives for information about those missing from the Vietnam War, Korean War, Cold War, World War II, and other conflicts.  Their work will not be complete, nor our commitment fulfilled, until the families of those taken or missing in action can rest knowing the fate of their loved ones.

  On September 17, 2010, the stark black and white flag honoring America's prisoners of war and those missing in action will be flown over the White House; the United States Capitol; the Departments of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs; the Selective Service System Headquarters; the World War II Memorial; the Korean War Veterans Memorial; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; United States post offices; national cemeteries; and other locations across our country.  It is a powerful reminder that our Nation will never cease in our task to recover, remember, and honor the courageous men and women who have served and sacrificed so much for each of us.

  NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 17, 2010, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  I urge all Americans to observe this day of honor and remembrance with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

  IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

Via Whitehouse.gov

President Obama Urges Veterans to Claim Stop Loss Pay

WASHINGTON DC – Today, the White House, Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs jointly released a new web video in which President Obama encourages active duty troops and veterans whose service in Iraq or Afghanistan was involuntarily extended or retirement was suspended due to 'stop loss' to apply for the special retroactive pay to which they are entitled.  Under legislation President Obama signed into law last year, servicemen and women who served between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009 and whose service was extended due to 'stop loss' are eligible for $500 per month in retroactive  pay for each month their service was extended.

Eligible servicemen and women should submit their applications for this retroactive pay to www.defense.gov/stoploss.  While by law, service members who received a bonus for voluntarily reenlisting or extending their service are not eligible, it is strongly recommended that all who may be eligible submit an application before the deadline.  The deadline to apply is October 21, 2010.  The tens of thousands of veterans who have already been approved have received an average of nearly $4,000.

VFW Departments Make Facebook Push

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) : WV 110 Fans