October 26, 2012
1. Impact of Sequestration:
The VFW released a Talking Paper this week on the impact mandatory sequestration could have on defense and VA programs. It is very important that all members and supporters are aware of what sequestration is, its impact, and how you can help by addressing our concerns with your elected leaders at every opportunity. Current budget realities are forcing very hard choices in Congress and in agencies and departments across the executive branch, but then we also recognize that balancing the budget on the backs of disabled veterans, those in uniform, their families, and military retirees is not a solution, and could potentially jeopardize the continued success and viability of the all-volunteer force. After the election, the VFW will contact every member of Congress and tell them to put their petty issues aside and do what's right for the country. Read the Talking Paper at : http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2012-Articles/VFW-TALKING-PAPER-ON-SEQUESTRATION/
2. VFW Joins Panel for Documentary:
This week, VFW joined Congressman Jared Polis, (D-CO) for an advance screening of "High Ground," a new documentary that chronicles the experiences of wounded warriors who climbed Mt. Lobouche in Nepal. After the screening, VFW joined film producer Don Hahn and one of the climbers from the film, retired Marine Cody Miranda, for a question-and-answer session hosted by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give An Hour. The discussion centered around what happens when wounded heroes return home in and are challenged by their struggles with life-changing experiences and injuries from their time at war. The film, which opens for a limited engagement on Friday, November 2, shares the stories of one Gold Star mother and 11 veterans representing all branches of the military who returned from deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and suffer from injuries ranging from invisible wounds, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury, to the visible, like loss of limbs. For the complete story visit our Capitol Hill blog at http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2012/10/vfw-joins-panel-to-discuss-high-ground.html
3. New Arlington App:
Arlington National Cemetery released an application that enables family members and the public to find gravesites and explore Arlington's rich history. ANC Explorer allows users to use a smart phone or common web browser to locate gravesites, events or other points of interest throughout the cemetery; generate front-and-back photos of a headstone or monument; and receive directions to these locations. The free app is now available on Arlington's website, the iTunes store, and Google Play, and is loaded on new kiosks in Arlington National Cemetery's Visitors Center. For additional information and the link to the ANC Explorer app, go to http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Map/ANCExplorer.aspx
4. Three MIAs Identified:
The Defense POW/Personnel
Office announced the identification of remains belonging to three servicemen who had been
missing since post-World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. They are:
* Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. William S. Cassell, of Mt. Airy,
N.C. On Nov. 1, 1946, Cassell and seven other crew members were aboard a B-17G Flying Fortress
that went missing after departing Naples, Italy. Search and rescue attempts proved unsuccessful
and the remains of the crewmen were declared non-recoverable.
* Army Cpl. Joseph W. Fontenot, 20, of Maurepas, La. In February
1951, Fontenot was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division when he was captured by enemy forces near
Saemal, South Korea. He reportedly died in June 1951 in a North Korean POW Camp.
* Air Force Airman 1st Class Jerry M. Wall, 24, of Jacksonville,
Texas. On May 18, 1966, Wall and four other crew members were aboard a C-123B Provider that
crashed while carrying out a nighttime flare-drop mission over Binh Dinh, South Vietnam. Heavy
enemy presence in the area prevented immediate search and rescue efforts. The remains of three
of the five crew members were later recovered.
Read more about their stories at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/