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VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY

September 16, 2011



In This Issue:
1. National POW/MIA Recognition Day
2. Marine Receives Medal of Honor
3. Deficit Reduction Committee Hosts First Hearing
4. VFW to Testify on G.I. Bill Accountability
5. House VA Committee Holds Vet Job Summit
6. Senate Recommends Deeper Defense Cuts
7. Rule Change Brings Extra Retiree Paycheck
8. Korean War MIA Identified


1. National POW/MIA Recognition Day: As Americans gather today to remember former POWs and those who remain missing in action, VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer asks that you don't forget the families of those 83,000MIAs. "Every day the families relive the moment they were first notified, and every day they continue to hold out hope that new information will be uncovered that will lead to the recovery andreturn of their loved one," he said. "The responsibility is on all of us to never forget those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and to comfort and support those who still grieve in silence." Read more here: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/VFW-ASKS-AMERICA-TO-REMEMBER-MIA-FAMILIES/


2. Marine Receives Medal of Honor: President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor yesterday to former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, 23, of Columbia, Ky., who in September 2009 braved intense enemy fire in Afghanistan to rescue 36 fellow Marines and Afghan allies, and to recover the bodies of four fallen comrades who were ambushed. He is the first living Marine to receive the medal since 1973, and third living recipient (and 10th overall) to receive it from the wars inAfghanistan and Iraq. Read his Medal of Honor citation at: http://www.marines.mil/community/Pages/MedalofHonorSgtDakotaMeyer-citation.aspx


3. Deficit Reduction Committee Hosts FirstHearing: On Tuesday, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or "Super Congress" hosted its first hearing on the history and threats of America's debt, hearing from Dr. Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office. VFW was once again on hand to hear the discussion, where Elmendorf laid out three basic options for how to handle the debt crisis: Increase revenue through taxes, dramatically reduce spending in programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, or essentially decimate the other parts of the budget that do not include entitlement programs. VFW continues to monitor the proceedings of the committee and discussed concerns over potential program cuts with Roll Call earlier this week. VFW encourages veterans to also reach out to the Super Congress via thecommittee's new website, www.deficitreduction.gov. For more details on this week's hearing, visit: http://www.vfwonthehill.org/2011/09/super-congress-hears-first-testimony-on.html.


4. VFW to Testify on G.I. Bill Accountability: Next week, the VFW is scheduled to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management to discuss persistent problems with accountability of G.I. Bill and military Tuition Assistance funds. VFW played a key role in passing the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill in 2008. However, since the benefit took effect in 2009, the VFW has learned of rampant impropriety among certain institutions of higher learning seeking to exploit veterans for financial gain. Recently, the VFW sent letters to several key committees in the House and Senate, expressing concern over the issue and calling for regulatoryaction. Details on the hearing, including a link to a live video feed, will be available next week on the VFW Capitol Hill blog, www.vfwonthehill.org. Check back Wednesday morning forupdates


5. House VA Committee Holds Vet Job Summit: The House Veterans Affairs' Committee discussed jobs for veterans when they hosted more than 25 companies during a Veterans Employment Summit to discuss best practices within the private sector for hiring veterans. All the companies in attendance were unanimous in expressing their desire to do more to help lower veteran unemployment rates, which currently stands at 7.7% for all generations of veterans, with higher percentages for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. VFW has long advocated for a more aggressive plan to combat unemployment rates for veterans and has made job initiative legislation a top priority. For more information go to the House VA Committee website at: http://veterans.house.gov/


6. Senate Recommends Deeper Defense Cuts: The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended Tuesday to reduce DOD's FY 2012 budget request by $26 billion less than White House officialsrequested last spring and $17 billion less than the House approved in July. The committee's $513 billion budget plan would terminate the joint light tactical vehicle program and delay production of the F-35, among other cost cuts. It does not include almost $118 billion in funding for Iraq and Afghanistan operations, which is included in separate legislation. The proposal must still pass the full Senate and then be reconciled with the House, which is not expected to be easy. House Armed Service Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said he intends to fight excessive defense cuts simply to stabilize the federal budget. The VFW, too, will stay alert to any threats to military quality of life programs for service members, retirees and their families.


7. Rule Change BringsExtra Retiree Paycheck: After no COLA increases for the past two years, military retirees will receive 13 paychecks this calendar year thanks to a new rule change in how the monthlychecks are disbursed. According to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act now requires military retiree pay to be processed on the first day of the month, not first business day. When the first day falls on a weekend or a national holiday, the pay date is moved to the previous business day, which now means the payment scheduled for Oct. 3 will be issued on Sept. 30, and the Jan. 3, 2012, payment will be issued Dec. 30 --- therefore, 13 payments in tax year 2011. For tax year 2012 and beyond, retirees will receive 12 payments. Read more at: http://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary.html


8. Korean War MIA Identified: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Sgt.Lee D. Henry, Jr., 22, of Tyler, Texas. In August 1950, Henry died and was buried, but available documentation didn't identify the individual or indicate where the remains were originallyfound. He was subsequently exhumed and reburied as an unknown in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. In 2010, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command concluded they had evidence to support his identification.

 

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!