Visit 9th District Burger Kings & Help Local Vets This Weekend!

All Burger Kings in Wisconsin’s 9th District are participating in the Special Unmet Needs Drive! Be a part by Taking Part!

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Burger King remembers Veterans all year long… but most especially now, during Memorial Day Weekend. Continue reading


MIA and Burial Updates

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced burial updates and new identifications of remains of 13 missing and unaccounted for servicemen from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Being returned for burial with full military honors are: — Navy Seaman 2nd Class Challis R. James, of Portsmouth, Ohio, Fireman 1st Class Frank E. Nicoles, 25, of Eau Claire, Wis., Warrant Officer Daryl H. Goggin, 34, of Eugene, Ore., and Chaplain (Lt. j.g.) Aloysius H. Schmitt, 32, of St. Lucas, Iowa, had been missing since Dec. 7, 1941, when the battleship USS Oklahoma they were aboard suffered multiple torpedo hits and capsized as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. — Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Davis, of Indiana County, Pa., who was lost fighting in North Korea on Nov. 2, 1950. It would be later learned he was captured but died in captivity. He was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. — Navy Lt. Cmdr. Frederick P. Crosby, 31, of Orlando, Fla., was piloting an RF-8A Photo Crusader on a combat mission … Continue reading

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VFW Hosts U.S.-Russia Joint Commission

On Tuesday, VFW National Commander John Biedrzycki hosted a reception for the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs at the VFW Washington Office. The commission was formed in 1992 by then Presidents George H.W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin to help thaw superpower relations around a humanitarian issue. Their meeting in Washington this week was their first in 11 years and 20th overall. The commission’s purpose is to help break down bureaucratic barriers in order to help determine the fates of American and Russian MIAs from World War II through the end of the Cold War.

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Brain Health Summit Focuses on TBI/PTSD

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, One Mind –– an organization led by retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli that is dedicated to promoting and supporting brain health –– held a summit in Arlington, Va. Among those in attendance were employees of The Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institute of Mental Health, and The Food and Drug Administration. Panel discussions were hosted by world renowned Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) researchers, clinicians and policy analysts. The key sessions focused on the translation of science into clinical practices, standardized screening for TBI, the diagnosis of PTSD, and progress toward better diagnostic and prognostic assessments for TBI and co-morbid conditions. The conference wrapped up with talks centered on recommendations for advancing TBI/PTSD treatment and policy implementation in the future of medicine. For more information on One Mind, visit their website at:

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VA Proposes APRN Full Practice Authority

The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing a policy to allow full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) within VA. By doing this, APRNs will be able to assess, diagnose, interpret diagnostic tests and prescribe medications for patients. Permitting full practice to APRNs is being proposed as a means of increasing access to care for veterans. APRNs are clinicians with advanced degrees and training to provide primary, acute and specialty health care services. Depending on their specialization, they are certified as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives. All VA APRNs are required to obtain and maintain current national certification. For more information on the APRN proposal, visit: 

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Democratic Leadership Roundtable

Four times a year the House Democratic leadership hosts a veterans service organization (VSO) roundtable in an effort to stay connected with the issues that most concern the veterans community. The most recent roundtable took place on Wednesday, May 25. Topics the VFW discussed were the legislative action Congress must take to continue to improve veterans’ access to care. This includes making it easier for VA to hire more physicians, allowing VA outpatient clinics to have extended hours and weekend appointment options, simplify the contract process so private community doctors can more easily see veterans, and consolidate and streamline the non-VA care payment system so veterans aren’t charged for care in the community that VA should pay for. We also discussed the need for increased resources to pay for expansion of caregiver benefits, Blue Water Navy, and other benefits and services veterans and their families’ need. Leaders from the Appropriations Committee committed to working more closely with VSOs so they can better understand these needs and work to find ways to fund them.

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House Advances Veterans Legislation

On Monday, the House of Representatives advanced several veterans bills. These include the VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act, which would require VA to develop and carry out a plan to hire permanent directors at each VA medical center; bills to rename VA outpatient clinics and U.S. post offices after heroic veterans; and a bill to grant veterans the opportunity to appeal Caregivers Program eligibility determinations to an independent contractor. The House has passed several veterans bills in the past couple of months, and awaits Senate action on a large veterans health care and benefits bill before negotiation on a final veterans bill that would be considered by Congress and sent to the president. However, the House has failed to pass legislation to expand the Caregivers Program to pre-9/11 veterans who suffer from injuries and illnesses which limit their ability to live independently. The VFW urges its members and supporters to call on the Senate to pass the Veterans First Act, which includes language to expand the Caregivers Program, and tell the House to act on legislation to expand the … Continue reading

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Senate Hearing on Pending Health Care Bills

On Tuesday, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss several bills on veterans health care and benefits, including legislation to expand the Veterans Choice Program, expedite the disability compensation appeals process, and improve mental health care programs for women veterans. VFW Senior Legislative Associate Carlos Fuentes offered the VFW’s support for many of the bills being considered and offered recommendations to improve others. Fuentes urged VA to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the more than 450,000 appeals backlog before reforming the process for future appeals. VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson and members of the committee also discussed Secretary McDonald’s recent comments on how VA measures wait times. To read the testimony or view the webcast, visit:

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Memorial Day 2016

National Commander John Biedrzycki will be representing the VFW at the White House Monday morning, as well as participating in Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Locally, many of our 6,600 VFW Posts will be hosting similar ceremonies to honor our fallen. As we gather to remember the more than one million Americans who died in our nation’s conflicts going back to the Revolutionary War, please remember to keep our 83,000 missing and unaccounted for servicemen — and their families — in your thoughts. Memorial Day weekend activities in Washington include: — National Memorial Day Concert, Sunday, May 29, from 8-9:30 p.m. on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, and aired live on PBS stations nationwide. — National World War II Memorial Observance, Monday, May 30, at 9 a.m. — Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Day Observance, from 11 a.m. to noon, Monday, inside the Memorial Amphitheater next to the Tomb of the Unknowns. — Vietnam War Memorial Observance, from 1-2 p.m., Monday. — National Memorial Day Parade, start time 2 p.m., Monday, from … Continue reading

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