January 18, 2013



January 18, 2012

1. Stolen Valor Act /Other Bills Introduced: The Stolen Valor Act, legislation that would make it a crime to knowingly benefit from lying about receiving a military valor medal was introduced this week by Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV). VFW has been very vocal and intimately involved in the stolen valor debate. The bill, H.R. 253 currently has 63 original cosponsors and was referred for consideration to the House Judiciary Committee, the same panel that approved Heck's bill last year. Violators would face a fine and up to one year imprisonment. For more information or to join the conversation visit our blog at: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-stolen-valor-act-introduced.html Other VFW-supported bills, all of which we advocated for last year were reintroduced this week, they include:
     **H.R. 303 legislation that would extend full concurrent receipt to all military retirees receiving VA disability pay and their retirement pay---current law provides concurrent receipt on a phase-in schedule for only those retirees rated 50% or above by VA.
     **H.R. 288 allows dependent children of veterans covered by CHAMPVA to remain eligible until age 26 (this provides equity with DOD and the Affordability Health Care Act which increased eligible age from 23 to 26 under their plans)
     **H.R. 32 would repeal the offset for military spouses receiving survivor annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and DIC from VA - also referred to as the Widows Tax.
For information on any of the bills visit our advocacy site at: http://capwiz.com/vfw/issues/bills/

2. VFW Inaugural Events: VFW senior leadership is in Washington for the 57th Presidential Inauguration. On Saturday, National Commander John Hamilton will host a reception for 29 Medal of Honor recipients, plus other guests from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Congress, and the Veteran/Military Service Organization community. The VFW reception is a decades old salute to kick off inauguration weekend for those who wear the nation's highest military medal for bravery. Other scheduled events include a VFW booth inside the National Day of Service Fair tent on the National Mall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., an AMVETS-hosted inaugural breakfast and DAV reception on Sunday, and the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Banquet & Ball Monday evening, which is hosted by the American Legion and cosponsored by the VFW and 12 other organizations. Highlights will be posted on the Capitol Hill blog next week. For more, click here: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/01/vfw-prepares-for-57th-presidential.html

3. Afghan Veteran to Receive Medal of Honor: The White House announced last week that the president will award the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha for actions taken to repel an Oct. 3, 2009, attack by some 300 fighters against Combat Outpost Keating in eastern Afghanistan. Eight American soldiers were killed and two dozen others were wounded in the early morning, four-sided attack. Romesha, 31, was a section leader in B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He will become the fourth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Read more at http://www.armytimes.com/news/2013/01/army-medal-of-honor-romesha-011113.

4. WWII Airman Recovered: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William R. Parkinson, of Norfolk, Va. On May 7, 1944, Parkinson was a pilot of a B-24D Liberator that departed New Guinea on a bombing mission. Mechanical troubles delayed the aircraft's departure and it was unable to join the formation after takeoff. Neither the aircraft nor crew were seen again, until 1973, when a Papua New Guinea Forest Department official reported a wartime aircraft in the mountains southeast of the city Lae. Read more at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/2013/release_parkinson.pdf.


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