VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY
April 13, 2012
In This Issue:
1. Two Crosses Awarded
2. Sunday Registration Deadline for Montford Point Marines
3. Congress Returns to Busy Schedule
4. Nevada VFW Town Hall Field Report
5. Roth TSP Phase-In
6. Three Korean War MIAs Identified
1. Two Crosses Awarded:
The Air Force and Army on Thursday awarded their highest service medals for bravery to two Operation Enduring Freedom veterans.
* Army Sgt. Felipe Pereira became the first 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagle" to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross since Vietnam. During a Nov. 1, 2010, dismounted patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan, an improvised explosive device detonated, killing two soldiers in Pereira's squad. With an enemy ambush underway, and despite sustaining shrapnel wounds and a collapsed lung himself, Pereira drove a vehicle into enemy fire to help evacuate wounded soldiers, and then went back again to help others. Pereira is credited with saving the lives of two of his fellow soldiers, while risking his own on multiple occasions. Only after all of the wounded had been evacuated and were receiving medical care did he accept treatment himself. Read more at http://www.army.mil/article/77726/Screaming_Eagle_Soldier_receives_Distinguished_Service_Cross/
* Air Force Capt. Barry F. Crawford Jr. was awarded the Air Force Cross for his actions as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller to brave enemy fire while controlling over 33 aircraft and more than 40 airstrikes during a May 4, 2010, ambush in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, that allowed his special operations team to get out of the kill zone and ultimately saved the lives of his American special forces and Afghan commando teammates. The team of approximately 100 personnel had to run a gauntlet of enemy fire no matter where they were in the valley. Acting without hesitation, Crawford bounded across open terrain to guide in a medevac helicopter and engaged enemy positions with his assault rifle while calling in AH-64 Apache attacks to defeat the ambush. Read more at http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123297774
2. Sunday Registration Deadline for Montford Point Marines:
Sunday, April 15, is the final day for Montford Point Marines to register to attend the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony that will soon take place in Washington, D.C. Invitations to the ceremony are limited to properly documented living Montford Point Marines; one lineal descendent of a Montford Point Marine killed in action during World War II; or one lineal descendent of a Montford Point Marine who was alive when President Obama signed the bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal into law last November. For more information or to register, contact Joe Geeter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (610) 495-3619, or go to http://www.dvidshub.net/news/86351/montford-point-marine-congressional-gold-medal-registration-deadline-announced
3. Congress Returns to Busy Schedule:
Congress returns next week to a busy schedule of hearings and budget negotiations. VFW will be testifying at two House VA Committee hearings. On Monday, VFW will be testifying on an array of healthcare related bills before the Health Subcommittee, and on Wednesday, to discuss the VA disability claims process in front of the full committee. The hearing, entitled "From the Inside Out: A look at Claims Representatives' Role in the Disability Claims Process," intends to look at the entire process from the VSO representatives perspective. Be sure to check our blog at www.vfwonthehill.org
for more information on both hearings. To view the live webcast of either hearing, visit the House VA Committee website at http://veterans.house.gov/
5. Roth TSP Phase-In:
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service will begin processing Roth Thrift Savings Plan elections for Defense Department civilian employees and military customers using a phased approach beginning in June and continuing through October 2012. The retirement investment choice will give civilian employees and military service members the option to contribute after-tax wages into TSP for the first time. Implementation will begin with the Marine Corps in June, DOD civilians in July, and Army, Navy and Air Force members in October. Read more at http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=67933
6. Three Korean War MIAs Identified:
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office recently announced the identification of remains belonging to three soldiers who had been missing in action since the Korean War. Recovered are:
* Army Cpl. Patrick R. Glennon, 18, of Rochester, N.Y. On Nov. 1, 1950, Glennon and G Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, were holding a defensive position along the Nammyon River near Unsan, North Korea, when they were attacked by Chinese forces. Glennon was listed as missing in action following the heavy fighting.
* Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard L. Harris, 23,of Spokane, Wash. In late November 1950, Harris and elements of the 2nd Infantry Division, were in a defensive line north of Kujang, North Korea, when they were attacked by Chinese forces in what became known as the Battle of the Chongchon. It would be learned that Harris had been captured, but died of malnutrition in a North Korean POW camp on Jan. 22, 1951.
* Army Pfc. Frank P. Jennings, 20, of Parsons, Tenn. In late April 1951, Jennings and E Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, were battling Chinese Communist Forces near Jeon-Gog, South Korea. Jennings was reported as missing in action; his status was later changed to killed in action.
Read their individual stories at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/