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VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY

September 28, 2012





1. Congress Clears CR: The Senate worked into the early hours last Saturday to clear a six-month continuing resolution. The measure, cleared by the House earlier this month, extends funding through March 27, 2013, with a 0.6 percent increase for most programs and agencies. With the beginning of the fiscal year looming (October 1) and all 11 appropriations bills still awaiting passage, the must-pass funding bill was the last item on the agenda for those congressional members hoping to get back to the campaign trail. The President is expected to sign the bill soon.
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2. House Discusses New Transition Programs: Last week the House VA Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hosted a hearing to discuss the implementation of the military's new Transition Assistance Program. Your VFW, which has been highly critical of TAP over the years, was on hand to hear from the departments responsible for the new program's implementation, including Department of Defense, Department of Labor, and VA. To learn more about the hearing and to read VFW's reaction, go to http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2012/09/house-hears-updates-on-new-transition.html.
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3. Absentee Voting Begins: The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) encourages service members, spouses, voting-age dependents and overseas civilians who want to vote to visit http://www.fvap.gov/ to register and request their absentee ballots. If voters do not receive their ballot by October 6, FVAP recommends they complete and mail the back-up Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to their local election office. If, after submitting the FWAB, they receive their State absentee ballot, they should also vote and return it. If both ballots are received by the deadline, only the State ballot will be counted. It is also very important that election officials have your correct current address. Of the 67,000 ballots received at overseas APO/FPOs for the 2010 election, 20,000 were redirected to another address and 13,000 were returned to sender.
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4. New Web Address for VFW Capitol Hill Blog: Last month, the VFW's Capitol Hill blog experienced technical difficulties, during which time our registration for the name "vfwonthehill.org" expired, only to be scooped up by a cybersquatting company. The technical issues have been resolved, but VFW's blog is now back at its old address at http://thevfw.blogspot.com.
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5. Field Report: North Carolina Advocates Storm the Hill: VFW National Legislative Committee members Elree Smith and Jonathan Schoolcraft of North Carolina met with many of their representatives and senators as part of VFW's Fall Conference on Capitol Hill, telling the 112th Congress to "Finish Strong For Veterans." Smith and Schoolcraft spent their days highlighting the VFW's priorities and outstanding issues to members of the North Carolina congressional delegation, soliciting support for pending legislation and oversight issues, like looming defense budget cuts, mental health care, and veterans' benefits-delivery. To learn more about their visit, visit the VFW Capitol Hill blog at: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2012/09/finish-strong-highlights-from-north.html.
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6. Send Us Your Campaign Season Stories: Campaign season is in full swing, and hosting or attending Town Hall meetings or visiting with your members in their district offices is strong grassroots advocacy in action. This is why the VFW wants to highlight your advocacy work on our Capitol Hill blog, http://thevfw.blogspot.com. It is the work you do in the community that has helped stop bad legislation and advanced good bills to improve programs and services for service members, veterans and their families. The VFW's sustained voice in Washington, however, is only as strong as the voice of VFW members and our advocates around the country. With your support, the VFW helped bring about the Post-9/11 GI Bill, traumatic injury insurance, hiring preferences, advance health care appropriations, and family caregiver benefits, among many other accomplishments. Help us publicize your local success stories. Go to http://www.vfw.org/Forms/Capitol-Hill-Blog-Submissions/ or simply email photos and stories directly to vfwac@vfw.org.
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7. Two MIAs Identified: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of two servicemen who were missing in action from World War II and Korea. Returned home are:
     * Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Samuel E. Lunday, 20, of Marianna, Fla. On April 24, 1943, Lunday and four other U.S. servicemen were flying a C-87 Liberator Express aircraft from China over the Himalayan mountains to their home base in India. Radio communications were lost following take-off and the crew was never heard from again. Eleven aerial search missions were unable to locate the aircraft or crew.
     * Marine Pfc. Richard S. Gzik, 19, of Toledo, Ohio. On Dec. 2, 1950, Gzik and the other Marines of M Battery, 11th Artillery Regiment, 1st Marine Division, came under attack on the west side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Gzik was killed in action and buried. The fighting withdrawal of U.N. forces later that month prevented the recovery of his remains. Read more about their stores at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/.
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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!