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VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY

April 15, 2011

In This Issue:
1. VFW Supports New White House Initiative
2. VFW Supports Stronger Funeral Protest Restrictions
3. Senate Talks Jobs
4. Congress on Recess
5. New SMMC Selected
6. Korean War MIA Identified
7. WWII MIA Identified


1. VFW Supports New White House Initiative: VFW National Commander Richard Eubank is calling on VFW and Auxiliary membership to redouble their outreach efforts in response to the "Joining Forces" initiative announced by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. "Our military and their families have been fighting for almost a decade in a war that has had virtually zero impact on the rest of country," said Eubank. "What the first and second ladies are asking is for America to do more to support the troops and their families by getting actively involved through employment, education and wellness. This is an initiative the VFW can fully embrace because it aligns with our motto to 'Honor the dead by helping the living.'" Read more at http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/VFW-TO--JOIN-FORCES--WITH-WHITE-HOUSE-INITIATIVE/.


2. VFW Supports Stronger Funeral Protest Restrictions: The VFW endorsed a bill by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to help ensure that the right to free speech does not trump a family's right to mourn in private. S. 815, the Sanctity of Eternal Rest for Veterans (SERVE) Act, would strengthen and extend existing protections to civilian cemeteries, double the "No Protesting" window to two hours before and after funerals, increase distances between cemetery boundaries and the residences of immediate family members, toughen penalties to two years in jail and/or a $250,000 fine, and would permit grieving family members and the U.S. Attorney General to sue violators for monetary damages. Read more at http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ContentRecord_id=0395ea38-ee86-4f30-8e19-14436463818f.


3. Senate Talks Jobs: On Wednesday, the Senate VA Committee met to discuss the high unemployment rate among recently separated veterans. March statics reflect a 27% unemployment rate for veterans age 20-24. The committee discussed the Transition Assistance Program and the need to update and deliver it in a way that is relevant to today's veterans. Panelists discussed the need to educate employers on the valuable skill sets veterans possess. Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) noted that many states need to streamline certification processes, and that the federal government needs to close gaps within veterans' preference guidelines. For more, visit the Senate VA Committee website at http://veterans.senate.gov/.


4. Congress on Recess: Congress begins their two-week spring recess today. Now is the time to visit them in their district offices and let them know about issues important to you and the VFW. Tell them you expect them to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2012 that takes care of all of America's veterans, as well as our service personnel and their families. For a list of VFW priority goals, go to http://stage.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/National-Legislative-Service/. To locate their district offices, go to http://capwiz.com/vfw/dbq/officials/.


5. New SMMC Selected: Sgt. Maj. Micheal P. Barrett has been selected to become the 17th sergeant major of the Marine Corps. He is scheduled to succeed the retireeing Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, who has served in the position since April 2007. Barrett recently returned from Afghanistan where he served as the sergeant major of Regional Command Southwest and I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). He currently serves as the sergeant major of 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton. Read his bio at http://www.i-mef.usmc.mil/external/1stmardiv/command/biographies/sgtmaj/micheal.barrett.jsp.


6. Korean War MIA Identified: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Cpl. John W. Lutz, 21, of Kearny, NJ. From May 16-20, 1951, Lutz was captured when hid 1st Ranger Infantry Company was attempting to infiltrate enemy lines near Chaun-ni, South Korea. Lutz would later die from malnutrition in a North Korean POW camp. Read more at http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14403.


7. WWII MIA Identified: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office also announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Martin P. Murray, 21, of Lowell, MA. On Oct. 27, 1943, Murray, along with 11 other crew members, took off in their B-24D Liberator on a reconnaissance mission of shipping lanes in the Bismarck Sea. The aircraft failed to return to base. Read more at http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14407.

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!