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VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY

March 25, 2011

In This Issue:
1. Update on Physical Disability Board Review
2. VA Updates Veterans Crisis Line
3. Retroactive Stop-Loss Payments Extended Again
4. Military Family Scholarships Available
5. WWII Airman Identified


1. Update on Physical Disability Board Review: Mike LoGrande, President of the DOD Disability Board of Review offered a startling overview of the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) findings. He revealed that 56 percent of the cases reviewed under the congressionally mandated program were recommended for an upgrade to disability retirement. Further, 85 percent of those cases involving medically separated veterans with a history of combat were upgraded. There was some evidence that Physical Evaluation Boards (PEB), charged with assigning disability evaluations to service members awaiting medical separation, were using a modified set of rules and not the VA rating schedule, to suppress evaluations. Veterans who were medically discharged from September 11, 2001 through December 31, 2009, should consider applying for a review of their evaluation. Under PDRB rules, evaluations are either confirmed or increased, never reduced, so veterans have nothing to lose by seeking a review. More information can be found at: http://www.health.mil/About_MHS/Organizations/MHS_Offices_and_Programs/pdbr.aspx


2. VA Updates Veterans Crisis Line: VA is rebranding its suicide hotline as the Veterans Crisis Line to encourage more use of the service and promote broader VA suicide prevention efforts. VA hopes to emphasize its efforts toward providing critical first call help for veterans and their families. The number (1-800-273-8255) is available 24/7 and provides confidential counseling and referrals to veterans and their families. Since its launch, the prevention hotline has answered more than 390,000 calls and made more than 13,000 life-saving rescues. For more information visit the VA website at: http://www.va.gov. And again the number for help is 1-800-273-8255.


3. Retroactive Stop-Loss Payments Extended Again: The deadline to apply for retroactive Stop-Loss payments has been extended again, this time to April 8. Everyone on active duty between 9-11 and Sept. 30, 2009, is eligible for $500 for every month they were involuntarily extended beyond their normal date of separation. Payouts have been averaging almost $4,000 per person, but you must apply to get paid. The VFW asks that you forward this information to everyone you know. To apply, go to http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0710_stoploss/.


4. Military Family Scholarships Available: Applications will accepted from April 1 through May 15 for the ThanksUSA military family scholarship program that is open to the dependent children and spouses of active, Guard and Reserve families, as well as the families of those killed or wounded-in-action. To apply or for more information, go to www.ThanksUSA.org.


5. WWII Airman Identified: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Air Forces Technical Sgt. Robert S. Wren, of Seattle. On Oct. 27, 1943, Wren and 11 other crewmembers took off from New Guinea in a B-24D Liberator on a reconnaissance mission of shipping lanes in the Bismarck Sea. They failed to return to base. Read about the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command's search and recovery efforts at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/

Home    Upcoming Events    Links of Interest    Ladies Auxiliary
Webmaster    Newsletters    VFW Documents    VFW NSFA Updates
Agent Orange    Contact Us    Stories    Friends of the Post
Let Them Not Go In Silence    Photo Gallery    Flag Rules and Regulations
Listen Up!: Commander’s Message    Freedom is NEVER Free!