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VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY

October 14, 2011



In This Issue:
1. Military Faces Tough Benefits Fight
2. DOD Reevaluating Some MEB/PEB Determinations
3. Stop Loss Back Pay Deadline
4. VA Reaches Out to Women Veterans
5. Help Fight Veteran Homelessness
6. Korean War MIA Identified


1. Military Faces Tough Benefits Fight: In testimony yesterday before the House Armed Services Committee, new Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey took a hard line against reforming the military retirement system. He said military pension programs need to be different than civilian programs because of theinherent challenges and dangers of military life. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, however, testified that every weapon system and personnel program needs to be on the table because offiscal realities. He told an audience Wednesday at the Woodrow Wilson Center that difficult choices have to be made between the military America needs versus a military America can afford. The VFW is against balancing the budget on the backs of current and future military service members, retirees and their families. "Our nation's financial situation cannot be solved by breaking faith with those who singlehandedly fight our nation's wars---be it today or tomorrow," said VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer in an AP article published around the country today. DeNoyer is currently in Moscow meeting with Russian veterans' organizations and governmentofficials to further America's search for missing American servicemen in Russia or former Soviet bloc countries.


2. DOD Reevaluating Some MEB/PEB Determinations: The DOD Physical Disability Board of Review is reevaluating Medical Evaluation Board and Physical Evaluation Board disability ratings for some veterans medically separated between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2009, to ensure a correct disability retirement determination was made. Veterans who received a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less, and were not found eligible for retirement, can apply to have their MEB/PEB disability rating reviewed for fairness, consistency and accuracy. Former reserve members with greater than 20 years of total federal military service but fewer than 20 years of active duty---and who meet the above criteria---are also eligible to apply. Learn more here. Questions can also be e-mailed to PDBRPA@afncr.af.mil.


3. Stop Loss Back Pay Deadline: After a half dozenextensions,nextFriday(Oct. 21) may be the last chance to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. The reimbursement is $500 for each month or partial month served in a Stop Loss status between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009. The average benefit has been more than $3,500, but won't get paid unless you apply. Click here for details.


4. VA Reaches Out to Women Veterans: The VA served 160,000 women veterans in the year 2000; last year they served 315,000, to include more than 33,450 for Post Traumatic Stress, a quarter of whom were Iraq and/or Afghanistan veterans. A new 60-second public service announcement video is the VA's latest effort to help change its internal culture to be more understanding andaccommodating of women veterans, as well as to honor the important service they continue to provide to the country. Click here to learn more and towatch the video on the VA's Women Veterans Health Care website.


5. Help Fight Veteran Homelessness: In 2009, nearly 150,000 veterans spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. That's a national disgrace that spurred the VA's commitment to end veteran homelessness by 2015. But they can't do it alone, and that's why VA is asking VFW members to join them this month at more than a dozen events across the country to help raise awareness of VA benefits and community-based programs and services that veterans and their families have earned---to include healthcare, housing, employment and job training---not only for homeless veterans, but also for those who may be at risk of losing their homes. Read more here.


6. Korean War MIA Identified: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identificationof remains belonging to Army Pfc. Aaron Pearce, 23, of Johnston, N.C. In late April of 1950, Pearce and the 25th Infantry Division were advancing north when Chinese forces attacked and pushed them back to Seoul. Pearce and many others were reported as missing in action as a result of the engagement. In 1952, military clothing and human remains were recovered near the area but the Army at the time was unable to identify Pearce, who would eventually be buried as an "unknown" at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Read more here.

 

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!