Jun 17 2009

Ladies Auxiliary Names Winners

The Ladies Auxiliary recently named several national program winners:

Young American Creative Patriotic Art


First Place
Savanah Miller
Sponsored by Auxiliary 6143, Weatherford, Oklahoma

See all the art winners here

Junior Girls Scholarship

KRYSTA BROWN
Santa Barbara, CA
2008-2009 National Junior Girls Scholarship
First-Place Recipient

Find out more here

Outstanding Young Volunteer of the Year

JAMES SMITH JR.
Altoona, PA
2008-2009 Outstanding Young Volunteer of the Year Award

Read more here

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/ladies-auxiliary-names-winners/

Jun 12 2009

VFW Washington Weekly – June 12, 2009

In This Issue:
1. VA Committees Hold Hearings on CARES
2. House Committee Clears Advanced Funding/Other Vet Bills
3. Defense Bill Update
1. VA Committees Hold Hearings on CARES: This week, VFW testified before both House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees on the future of VA’s health infrastructure. VFW has been supportive of VA’s Capitol Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services process (CARES). The CARES model is a systematic, data-driven assessment of VA’s facilities designed to evaluate present and future demands for health-care services. We testified that the strength of CARES is in the decision making framework that it created enabling VA to reassess annually their construction priorities and veterans’ needs. Currently VA has a large number of projects underway and some still in the planning and design phase. One of the challenges remains the funding issue. We stressed the need for Congress and the Administration to provide full funding for major construction accounts to reduce the backlog and to begin funding future construction priorities. Another difficulty has been communication between VA and the veteran communities affected by the changes to the CARES process. We believe that VA needs to do a better job of explaining what their plans are for every location based on the facts so as to not create a sense of urgency among veterans that there care is being taken away. Access to care for all involved, especially those in rural areas, is a major challenge and we believe that many of the answers lie outside of the construction process.
To read our testimony visit the VFW website at: http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=caphill.leveld&did=3702
For more on both hearings, visit the House and Senate VA websites at:

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/vfw-washington-weekly-june-12-2009/

Jun 08 2009

The American Veteran – June Edition

(via The Pentagon Channel)

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/the-american-veteran-june-edition/

Jun 08 2009

Over 700 Schools Partner with VA to Help Veterans Pay for Education

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today [June 5] that it has entered into more than 700 agreements with institutions of higher learning across the nation to participate in the Post-9/11 GI Bill”s “Yellow Ribbon Program.”

Many schools signed agreements for participation in not only undergraduate programs, but graduate and doctoral programs as well. Some schools entered into one agreement that covered all their campuses throughout the United States.

“VA is very pleased with the wide-spread interest in the program,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Patrick W. Dunne. “We strongly encourage any interested universities to formally sign-up with the agency before the June 15 deadline to ensure participation in the 2009-2010 academic year.”

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that allows degree-granting institutions to voluntarily enter into a formal agreement with VA to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the highest public, in-state undergraduate rates.

The institution can contribute up to 50 percent of those expenses and VA will match this additional funding for eligible students. This may enable qualified students to potentially attend school tuition-free.

Read more

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/over-700-schools-partner-with-va-to-help-veterans-pay-for-education/

Jun 08 2009

Scout of the Year

1st Place – Ian Turner Gibson is the winner of a $5,000 VFW Scholarship for being selected as the “VFW Scout of the Year” in the organization’s National Competition. Ian was sponsored by the Department of Virginia, originaly submitted by Post 392, Virginia Beach.

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/scout-of-the-year/

Jun 07 2009

VFW Washington Weekly – June 5, 2009

In This Issue:
1. House Committee Marks up Vet Bills
2. Healthcare Bill for Women Veterans Cleared
3. House VA Committee Hearings
4. Japan Apologizes to American POWs
5. McHugh Tapped for Army Secretary
1. House Committee Marks up Vet Bills: Several VFW-supported bills cleared their respective subcommittees this week. All of the bills now move to the full committee for consideration.
HR 952 would expand the meaning of combat with the enemy to mean active duty service in a combat theater during a time of war not just during actual combat. The bill aims to shorten the claims process for many veterans suffering from psychological injuries.
HR 2270 would establish a compensation fund for certain WWII veterans who were not eligible for readjustment benefits. Those eligible would receive a monthly payment of $1000
HR 1037 would authorize $10 million annually to implement a five-year pilot program to expand work-study activities for veterans on campuses.
HR 1098, The Veterans’ Worker Retraining Act of 2009 would increase educational assistance for veterans pursuing internships or on-the-job training. It also increased the monthly training assistance for eligible veterans and their dependents under the Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance program.
HR 2180 would waive housing loan fees for veterans with service-connected disabilities called to active duty.
HR 1821, The Equity for Injured Veterans Act of 2009 would extend VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation program to 15 years following discharge or release from active duty. It also authorizes single parents participating in the program up to $2000 a month for child care services.
For more information on any of the bills cleared visit the House VA website at: http://veterans.house.gov/
OR type the bill # into the box at http://thomas.loc.gov/

Read more Washington Weekly

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/vfw-washington-weekly-june-5-2009/

Jun 06 2009

VA News – Week of June 1, 2009

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/va-news-week-of-june-1-2009/

May 30 2009

VFW Stands Up Against Military Suicides

In an open letter, VFW Commander-in-Chief Glen Gardner is urging his 1.6 million members to help OEF/OIF veterans cope with the stresses of war.

Dear Comrades:

There is an enemy in our midst that is having a devastating effect on our servicemen and women in the field and at home. That enemy is stress.

Since 9/11, more military personnel and veterans have committed suicide than the total dead from both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, and this tragedy is occurring despite the best of intentions and programs offered by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. That is because the need has overwhelmed the capacity of government and civilian mental health centers. It’s also because some people simply refuse to admit they need help.

After incurring 11 suicides since the beginning of the year, the 101st Airborne Division commander at Fort Campbell, Ky., ordered a three-day standdown of activities this week so that his soldiers could refocus on the mission of healing themselves and each other.

This is a very positive initiative, but more needs to be done to overcome the stigma that’s unfortunately attached to seeking help, which Army Secretary Pete Geren called a significant challenge to the culture of the Army that places “a premium on strength: physically, mentally, emotionally.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen even asked his military leaders to set an example for lower ranking personnel. “You can’t expect a private or a specialist to be willing to seek counseling when his or her captain or colonel or general won’t do it,” he said.

Since then, general officers as well as sergeant majors have admitted publicly to mental health counseling. And even though few of them would be seen manning remote outposts, and still fewer would be at risk of being separated from the military due to “preexisting personality disorders,” their personal testimonials do help to lessen the stigma attached to seeking help.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/vfw-stands-up-against-military-suicides/

May 28 2009

VA News – Week of May 25, 2009

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/va-news-week-of-may-25-2009/

May 27 2009

Mojave Veterans Memorial Threatened by ACLU

(Via VFW Wisconsin)

Mojave veterans memorial

By Glen M. Gardner Jr.

Many Americans think of Memorial Day as a three-day weekend at the beach, but to those of us who have worn the uniform and to our families, who also have sacrificed, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance.

Remembering is what a group of veterans had in mind in 1934 when they erected a simple memorial in the shape of a cross to honor 53,000 Americans who had died in battle during our nation’s 19-month involvement in what was called the “War to End All Wars.”

Seventy-five years later, the U.S. Supreme Court will determine whether that gesture of respect violates the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state. This is because the memorial resides on federal property in the middle of California’s Mojave National Preserve.

More is at stake, however, than just the fate of a 7-foot-tall white cross atop Sunrise Rock – currently covered with a plywood box by lower court order. The real issue behind Salazar v. Buono is whether the use of religious symbolism in veterans memorials on public property violates the Establishment Clause.

If the High Court rules in favor of the plaintiff, every such memorial across the land will be in jeopardy of being torn down – and the ultimate loser will be America. That’s because veterans memorials help our nation remember what came before.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://vfwva.org/uncategorized/mojave-veterans-memorial-threatened-by-aclu/

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