VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY
August 5, 2011
In This Issue:
1. Veterans' Job Initiative
2. Debt Ceiling Bill and Veterans
3. New Pentagon Leadership
4. MoH Recipients "Speak Out" Against PTS
5. Help Veterans "Make the Connection
6. Vietnam MIA Identified
1. Veterans' Job Initiative:
The VFW joined President Obama when he announced a White House initiative to create more jobs for veterans. The new four-tiered initiative is the latest in a series of federal programs designed to help veterans re-enter the job market after military service. The initiative will be on providing the tools to both employers and veterans seeking jobs in the private sector, addressing key concerns that the VFW has consistently urged the administration to focus on as unemployment for young veterans soared above 13 percent this summer. The VFW has been pushing for improved veterans' employment outreach programs since passing a resolution in 2009 acknowledging the national crisis facing unemployed veterans, particularly young veterans who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To read our Press release click: http://stage.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/VFW-APPLAUDS-PRESIDENTIAL-INITIATIVE-ON-VETERANS-JOBS/
2. Debt Ceiling Bill and Veterans:
Earlier this week, the President signed legislation to raise the federal debt limit and reduce government spending. The deal calls for sharp cuts in agency spending — about $917 billion over the next decade — starting with a $25 billion reduction in fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, with a second set of reductions coming later this year via a special committee charged with wringing at least $1.2 trillion more over the next decade. The question now is how all of this will impact veterans, service members, their families and survivors. Many DOD and VA programs and services could be negatively impacted, which would counteract everything the VFW has worked hard to create over the past 112 years. The VFW and our supporters cannot let this happen. On the VFW website at www.vfw.org is a list of 10 services and programs we believe are most vulnerable to being cut or curtailed in order to help pay for 10 years of war. The "10 for 10" list will form the basis of VFW's legislative efforts and calls to action to its membership and grassroots supporters. Now is the time to re-engage with your members of Congress to ensure proposed fiscal reforms do not negatively affect troops, veterans or their families. Join the effort and make your voice heard by calling, writing, or e-mailing your members of Congress. To learn how, visit VFW's Capwiz page at http://capwiz.com/vfw/dbq/officials/
3. New Pentagon Leadership: The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Army Gen. Martin Dempsey to become the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James Winnefeld Jr. as JCS Vice Chairman, Gen. Raymond Odierno as Army Chief of Staff, and Adm. Jonathan Greenert as the new Chief of Naval Operations. Dempsey, who has been the ArmyChief of Staff since April, will succeed Adm. Mike Mullen who is retiring in the fall. Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter has also been nominated by the president to become the next deputy defense secretary, replacing William Lynn, who is stepping down this fall.
4. MoH Recipients "Speak Out" Against PTS:
A large group of Medal of Honor recipients have made public service announcements in hope to help erase the stigma and help stop the anger, drinking and impatience that are the hallmarks of post-traumatic stress, according to MoH recipient Paul W. Bucha. "It's our mission to emphasize that seeking help takes courage, and that it's the right thing to do for you, for your family, and for your country," he said. To view the downloadable videos, click http://medalofhonorspeakout.org/
5. Help Veterans "Make the Connection":
If you are headed to the 112th VFW National Convention and have a story about overcoming a mental health issue, the VA wants to hear from you. Stories of hope and recovery are at the heart of the VA's new nationwide "Make the Connection"campaign, which encourages veterans to make the connection with other people, with resources, with symptoms of mental health issues, and with treatment and support. If you sought treatment—from any source—and are in a better place today because of it, the VA wants to hear from you. Don't let the stigma of seeking mental healthcare prevent you or others from living more fulfilling lives. Have your story videotaped at the National Convention for use on the "Make the Connection" website. To share your story or to learn more, contact the VA's outreach contractor, Reingold, at email@example.com
6. Vietnam MIA Identified: The Defense POW/MIA Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Chief Warrant Officer George A. Howes, of Knox, Ind. On Jan. 10, 1970, Howes and three crewmembers were returning to their base at Chu Lai aboard a UH-1C Huey, but their helicopter went down due to weather. A search was initiated for the crew, but no sign of the helicopter or crew was spotted.