Nov 21 2008

VA Expands Protections for Veterans with Missing Paperwork

WASHINGTON ? The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) [Monday] announced special procedures for processing claims from veterans, family members, and survivors whose applications for financial benefits from VA may have been mishandled by VA personnel.

These special procedures come after an audit by VA’s Inspector General found documents waiting to be shredded at some of VA’s regional offices that, if disposed of, could have affected the financial benefits awarded to veterans and survivors.

“I am deeply concerned that improper actions by a few VA employees could have caused any veterans to receive less than their full entitlement to benefits earned by their service to our nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.

“In rectifying this unacceptable lapse, VA will be guided by two principles — full accountability for VA staff and ensuring veterans receive the benefit of the doubt if receipt of a document by VA is in question,” he added.

VA worked with the six largest veterans service organizations in developing these special new procedures. The procedures will assist veterans and survivors in establishing that an application or another document was previously submitted to VA, but was not properly acted upon by VA and was not retained in the veteran’s records.

The special procedures cover missing documents submitted by a veteran or other applicant for VA benefits during the 18-month period between April 14, 2007 and October 14, 2008.

VA will process any missing applications or evidence resubmitted under these special procedures as if the document had been originally submitted on the date identified by the claimant.

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Nov 21 2008

VA News – Week of November 17, 2008

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Nov 15 2008

VFW Washington Weekly – November 14, 2008

1. Navy to Design New GI Bill Software

1. JPAC Goes to India
2. Military Healthcare Online Town Hall Meeting
3. Reserve Component Mobilization


1. Navy to Design New GI Bill Software: A navy command center in Charleston, SC, has been chosen to design the new GI Bill software which VA will use to implement its education benefits. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has experience with sophisticated software that can perform some of the complex calculations that are required under the new law. The benefit rollout is scheduled for Aug. 1, 2009. The new education benefit will pay full tuition up to the cost of the most expensive four-year public college or university in the state where a service member or veteran attends school. It also pays a living stipend based on zip code and other fees for the student veteran. SPAWAR is still awaiting funding from VA in order to begin the initial stage.

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Nov 14 2008

VA News – Week of November 10, 2008

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Nov 13 2008

Military Mail Must Include Name; Mail to 'Any Servicemember' Won't Be Processed

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2008–Walter Reed Army Medical Center officials want to remind those individuals who want to show their appreciation through mail to include packages, letters, and holiday cards addressed to ‘Any Wounded Soldier’ or ‘A Recovering American Soldier’ that Walter Reed cannot accept these packages in support of the decision by then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Transportation Policy in 2001. This decision was made to ensure the safety and well being of patients and staff at medical centers throughout the Department of Defense.

In addition, the U.S. Postal Service is no longer accepting “Any Service Member” or “A Recovering American Soldier” letters or packages. Mail to “Any Service Member” that is deposited into a collection box will not be delivered.

If you would like to send a letter to military personnel visit a VFW post in your area for assistance. Find a VFW post in your area

The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes also have a program supported by DoD to accept cards and distribute them to servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Click here to learn more.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center will continue to receive process and deliver all mail that is addressed to a specific individual.

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Nov 13 2008

My Vetwork: Calling all Comrades!

VFW is proud to announce a 21st century communications tool designed to reach out to those we serve. VFW invites you to join MyVetwork, which was launched Veterans Day, is a free online community, created specifically for active-duty military, retired military, veterans, military families and VFW supporters.

Designed by VFW member John R. Campbell, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, MyVetwork facilitates an information exchange with those who share similar experiences and interests. Connections can run the gamut?from lighthearted and entertaining, to deep and meaningful exchange–bringing our veterans community together in ways simply not possible before.

MyVetwork allows VFW to easily create our own online groups, relevant to our interests and individual skill sets. It can be used for both social and professional networking, a service not previously available within the veterans” community. And if you”re interested in mentoring younger veterans, MyVetwork facilitates that, too.

We are asking you to help populate the community?the more who sign on, the more valuable our exchange will be. Go to and create your profile, which takes about 3 minutes. Check out the VFW group. You are encouraged you to share it throughout your departments and create a subgroup for your own department, post or other special interest groups.

VFW would like strong representation on the site, set to launch this Veterans Day, so please take advantage of this opportunity to revolutionize the way we serve our veterans and stay connected to one another!

If you have any questions or would like assistance creating a group for your Department or Post contact Gloria Montgomery (VFW Communications) at

Click here to hear John Campbell”s interview on VFW”s The National Defense:

Gloria Montgomery
VFW Communications

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Nov 10 2008

Thanks to our Veterans Every War Has an End: Upholding Veterans Day

An Editorial by VFW National Commander Glen Gardner

Remembering America’s warriors is often an afterthought for many Americans. It’s about time Nov. 11 is paid its proper respect.

Veterans Day, once a widely celebrated holiday, is increasingly forgotten by many Americans. One need only look at the poor turnouts at ceremonies on Nov. 11. With the percentage of citizens who have worn a uniform rapidly declining, appreciation for the sacrifices made by veterans is correspondingly diminishing.

To help counter this trend, VFW has long promoted Veterans Day as an opportunity to educate the public as to the meaning of this significant time each November. This task can best be accomplished by explaining the five “Ws.”

Click here to read the rest of C-i-C Gardner’s editorial

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Nov 10 2008

U.S. Marine Corps Birthday

VFW Commander-in-Chief’s message regarding the Marine Corps birthday:

Semper Fi!
Happy Birthday, Marines!

On November 10, we celebrate the 233rd year of rich tradition and spirit of the U.S. Marine Corps. From the “Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli,” our “Soldiers of the Sea” have gallantly served our great nation for 233 years. First to land and first to fight, the Corps has demonstrated battle after battle, the heroism and dedication of its Marines.

In 1921, Marine Corps Commandant, Major General John A. Lejeune, wrote “In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term ‘Marine’ has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

There is a special spirit and connection that exists for every man and women who have worn the uniform of the “Few and the Proud.” The 2.1 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Auxiliaries proudly salute you today for your sacrifices and for your dedication to duty and service to country.

Glen Gardner
Veterans of Foreign Wars

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Nov 09 2008

VFW Washington Weekly – November 7, 2008

In This Issue:
1. 2008 Election
2. IB Releases Critical Issues for 2010
3. 2009 Retired Pay COLA
4. Lower Tricare Reserve Select Premiums
5. Guard/Reserve Debt Relief Act of 2008

1. 2008 Election

The 2008 election is one for the history books, with 136.6 million people, or 64.1% of eligible voters turning out. This exceeds the previous records of 122.3 million voters in 2004 and 63.8% of eligible voters in the 1960 elections. The Democratic Party also extended its majority lead in both the House and Senate, despite a few races that have yet to be decided. VFW congratulates everyone and looks forward to working with them when the 111th Congress convenes in January. VFW remains steadfast in our fight to increase VA funding and to help those transitioning from active duty to veteran status. Linked here are VFW’s 2009 Legislative Priority Goals, which are the result of resolutions adopted at the 109th VFW National Convention. We ask that you become familiar with them. Any grassroots action that you take to educate your legislators on them will benefit all us all.
For a list of the 2009 priority goals, go to:
To sign-up to receive our VFW Washington Weekly e-newsletter and join our advocacy team, go to:

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Nov 08 2008

VA News – Week of November 3, 2008

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