November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

1. Compensation Commission to Meet in Hampton Roads: The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission will hold two public hearings and town hall meetings in Virginia's Hampton Roads area on Dec. 2 and 3, at the Waterside Marriott in Norfolk. The Commissioners will hear testimony from witnesses on matters surrounding the location to be determined. All service personnel, veterans, military retirees and their families are encouraged to attend because the Commission is charged with examining how our troops are compensated while in uniform, in retirement, and as veterans, and their reach includes those programs operated by the VA and Department of Labor. Among the compensation and Quality of Life programs under review are the 20-year retirement system; military pay and the tax-exempt status of allowances; concurrent receipt of retiree and disability pay; the GI Bills; military healthcare costs and eligibility; military exchanges, commissaries and schools; and transition and employment assistance programs, among many others. To the VFW, who testified before the Commission on Nov. 5, this is a serious attempt to balance the budget on the backs of military families, retirees and veterans through an erosion of pay and benefits that will negatively impact recruiting and retention, and possibly threaten the continued viability of the All-Volunteer Military. The Commission is required to issue their report to the White House by May 1, 2014. For more information on the Hampton Roads hearings or to leave a public comment on their website, go to

2. Congress in Recess – Time to Speak Out: Congress will be back home for the next two weeks for Thanksgiving and a district work period. Now is the perfect time for VFW advocates to reach out to their members to discuss critical issues facing the military and veterans' communities, to include passing advance appropriations for all VA accounts, in-state tuition for student-veterans, improving military sexual assault prevention policies and victim access to treatment, as well as protecting all the military and veteran Quality of Life programs that are under review by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. Your VFW is fighting hard to get these initiatives passed and funded, but we need your help. View our current legislative priority goals and be prepared to ask your members what they are doing to improve the lives of veterans, our military, and their families and survivors.

3. MyHealtheVet Turns 10: This week VA marked the 10th anniversary of its online health services portal, MyHealtheVet, which allows veterans to manage many aspects of their health care in an easily-accessible and secure online platform. To mark the anniversary, VA medical facilities across the country are hosting events and learning sessions to help veterans enroll in the portal and better understand all of its features. MyHealtheVet allows veterans to access certain health records; save, print and share health information using the VA Blue Button; refill VA prescriptions online and track health activities like VA appointments, wellness reminders and lab results. Veterans can also use the portal's secure messaging feature to communicate electronically with their VA health care teams between visits. Your VFW has been an advocate for the expanded use of MyHealtheVet and other online tools as part of VA's Connected Care initiatives, ensuring veterans can easily access and manage their care options. To learn more about MyHealtheVet, visit here:

As always, we want to share your advocacy stories on the VFW Capitol Hill blog. To share your stories, either fill out our online form by clicking here,, or simply email photos and stories directly to

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© 2013-2015 VFW Post 1037, Waupaca, WI 54981