Open Letter to NH Delegation: Veterans Support Keystone Pipeline

Dear New Hampshire Congressional Delegation:,

We are writing to you to express our support- and to solicit yours – for construction of the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline.

Though our support is multifaceted, our primary focus as military veterans is on the national security benefits of this project.

We know from the study of military history and from personal experience that national security depends on energy security.

Our enemies will not supply the fuel we need to fight them in times of conflict, and it would be foolhardy to count on them even in peacetime.  Only by developing our own natural resources or by contracting with dependable allies can we be certain of a steady supply of the fuel we need.

Canada is a dependable ally, and the KXL Pipeline could contribute mightily to the energy security we need to ensure national security.  We share the world’s longest peaceful border with Canada, and the world’s largest trading partnership.  The KXL Pipeline could safely and securely deliver 830,000 barrels of additional Canadian oil to U.S. refineries every day.

It’s also true that the pipeline will give a tremendous boost to our state and national economies, its construction creating more than 15,000 high-paying U.S. jobs and adding $20 billion to our national economy.  And most of the money we spend on Canadian oil will come back to us iin Canadian purchases of U.S. goods and services.

Ask our friends in Teamsters Local 633, UA Local 131, and IBEW 490 why they support the pipeline and they’ll explain all the economic benefits to you even better than we can.

What motivates us most is our conviction that the Keystone Pipeline will make a major contribution to our national security, allowing us to import more oil from allies and less from undependable and unfriendly sources.

That means less chance of hostilities breaking out, few American lives placed in harm’s way, and the freeing up of funds formerly dedicated to defending our access to unstable energy sources (to be redirected to other pressing needs in a dwindling defense budget).

Think how the threat of an interruption in oil exports from the Middle East has loomed so large over the last five decades, and how the situation in that part of the world is now more perilous than ever.  How could we possibly ignore an opportunity to lessen our dependence on resources from a region so volatile?

Here’s the executive summary:  We cannot keep depending on unreliable energy sources.  To continue doing so, leaving both our national economy and our national security in jeopardy, is irresponsible.  The Keystone XL Pipeline could help liberate us from that dangerous dependence, so why not build it?

The U.S. has already surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world leader in oil production.  Energy independence is on the horizon for us.  Increased oil imports from Canada and increased production here at home could supply all of our liquid fuel needs for the next decade, by which point we may very well be a net oil exporter.

That’s good news for all Americans, but especially for our service men and women.

The Canadian pipeline company, TransCanada, applied to the U.S. State Department for permission to build the pipeline six years ago.  The Department concluded multiple times, after multiple consecutive environmental impact assessments, that the project would have no significant adverse impact.  A majority of Congress and nearly two-thirds of the American people support the pipeline.

All that’s lacking is President Obama’s approval.  We ask you – we urge you – to join us in petitioning him to give the go-ahead.

Yours Respectfully,

Paul Chevalier, USMC
Hudson

Other Veterans & Military Signers Below

 

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Open Letter to NH Delegation from Veterans Supporting Keystone XL Pipeline

Dear New Hampshire Congressional Delegation:,

We are writing to you to express our support- and to solicit yours – for construction of the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline.

Though our support is multifaceted, our primary focus as military veterans is on the national security benefits of this project.

We know from the study of military history and from personal experience that national security depends on energy security.

Our enemies will not supply the fuel we need to fight them in times of conflict, and it would be foolhardy to count on them even in peacetime.  Only by developing our own natural resources or by contracting with dependable allies can we be certain of a steady supply of the fuel we need.

Canada is a dependable ally, and the KXL Pipeline could contribute mightily to the energy security we need to ensure national security.  We share the world’s longest peaceful border with Canada, and the world’s largest trading partnership.  The KXL Pipeline could safely and securely deliver 830,000 barrels of additional Canadian oil to U.S. refineries every day.

It’s also true that the pipeline will give a tremendous boost to our state and national economies, its construction creating more than 15,000 high-paying U.S. jobs and adding $20 billion to our national economy.  And most of the money we spend on Canadian oil will come back to us iin Canadian purchases of U.S. goods and services.

Ask our friends in Teamsters Local 633, UA Local 131, and IBEW 490 why they support the pipeline and they’ll explain all the economic benefits to you even better than we can.

What motivates us most is our conviction that the Keystone Pipeline will make a major contribution to our national security, allowing us to import more oil from allies and less from undependable and unfriendly sources.

That means less chance of hostilities breaking out, few American lives placed in harm’s way, and the freeing up of funds formerly dedicated to defending our access to unstable energy sources (to be redirected to other pressing needs in a dwindling defense budget).

Think how the threat of an interruption in oil exports from the Middle East has loomed so large over the last five decades, and how the situation in that part of the world is now more perilous than ever.  How could we possibly ignore an opportunity to lessen our dependence on resources from a region so volatile?

Here’s the executive summary:  We cannot keep depending on unreliable energy sources.  To continue doing so, leaving both our national economy and our national security in jeopardy, is irresponsible.  The Keystone XL Pipeline could help liberate us from that dangerous dependence, so why not build it?

The U.S. has already surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world leader in oil production.  Energy independence is on the horizon for us.  Increased oil imports from Canada and increased production here at home could supply all of our liquid fuel needs for the next decade, by which point we may very well be a net oil exporter.

That’s good news for all Americans, but especially for our service men and women.

The Canadian pipeline company, TransCanada, applied to the U.S. State Department for permission to build the pipeline six years ago.  The Department concluded multiple times, after multiple consecutive environmental impact assessments, that the project would have no significant adverse impact.  A majority of Congress and nearly two-thirds of the American people support the pipeline.

All that’s lacking is President Obama’s approval.  We ask you – we urge you – to join us in petitioning him to give the go-ahead.

Yours Respectfully,

Paul Chevalier, USMC
Hudson

Other Veterans & Military Signers Below

 

ADD YOUR SIGNATURE

Add Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Yes, I support KXL Pipeline
 Add my name to the letter

Your City/Town/

 

VA Updates Disability Claims Application

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2014

 New Process Will Reduce Processing Times and Improve Quality

 The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it is introducing a uniformed disability claims form to better serve Veterans, families and survivors. Standardizing the process by which Veterans file claims and initiate appeals will make it easier for Veterans and their survivors to clearly state what benefits they are seeking from VA and provide information that is necessary to process their claims and appeals. The new forms eliminate applicant guesswork, which often leads to delays in decisions and ultimately delays in receiving benefits. The new regulations go into effect in late March 2015.

“We must do everything that we can to make it as fast and easy as possible for Veterans and their survivors to file for and receive an accurate decision on their claim,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “Our Veterans and survivors will know, at the outset of the claims process, what is needed, which removes subjective interpretation from the process. We want to eliminate any barriers that make it difficult for our Veterans or survivors to receive benefits to which they are entitled.”

In the past, a Veteran or survivor did not have to use a certain form to seek compensation or other benefits from VA.  Claims or appeals (Notice of Disagreement) could be submitted on any piece of paper which caused delays due to missing information.

By using standard forms for all disability claims, VA can more quickly and accurately identify what the Veteran is claiming or appealing. This will allow VA to immediately move on to next steps in the evidence-gathering and decision-making process, which saves administrative processing time and speeds the delivery of earned benefits.  The existing process is also inconsistent with most, if not all, other government and non-government application processes, such as applying for social security, applying for a driver’s license, applying for a job or filing for an income tax refund.

“These days, government agencies and private businesses rely on standard forms to deliver faster and more accurate customer service,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.  “VA’s ability to deliver better customer service requires the use of standard forms as well. That is why we worked extensively with our partners in the Veterans community to streamline the way we process claims while  preserving the effective date rules concerning informal claims through the creation of a new intent to file a claim process.”

The updated process also includes standardizing the traditional informal claims process by employing a new “Intent to File a Claim” process which affords the Veteran or survivor one year to compile the necessary documentation or evidence to support the claim while preserving an effective date of claim.

More information about VA Forms 21-526EZ, 21-527EZ, 21-534EZ or VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement, may be found at www.ebenefits.va.gov or www.va.gov/vaforms/.

Air Force Veteran Elected to Lead Veterans of Foreign Wars

Stroud speechKANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 24, 2014) — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States concluded its 115th national convention yesterday with the election of the new VFW National Commander, John W. Stroud.

Stroud served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976-1997, including a tour in Korea in 1992-1993 with the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base as a Flight Operations Superintendent. His decorations include four Meritorious Service Medals, three Air Force Commendation Medals, three Air Force Achievement Medals, the Korea Defense Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

He is a resident of Hawthorne, Nev., and a Gold Legacy Life Member of Post 2313, and has served the VFW in a number of leadership positions including Nevada Department Commander and Chairman of the National Veterans Service Committee.

During his acceptance speech, Stroud addressed the recent VA crisis stating, “the VA is a health care system worth saving that right now must identify and fix what’s broken … that needs to hold people appropriately accountable to the fullest extent of the law … and a system that must restore the faith of veterans in their VA. He added that he is confident Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson and nominee Bob McDonald—if confirmed—will not make the same mistake as the previous VA Secretary who simply trusted his employees to the point of his demise.

Stroud recounted his first experience with the VFW, stopping in Post 10047 in Las Vegas, Nev., after seeing a sign that read ‘Active Duty Military Welcome.’ Dressed in fatigues, he entered the Post and was immediately welcomed. Surrounded by his comrades, he learned of the organization’s many programs and services, and he knew he wanted in.

“Comrades, I share my story to encourage you to tell your own stories to others.  A great part of the VFW story involves the relevance between different generations, and the ability to educate others about who we are, what we do, and who we do it for,” he said.

Stroud had high praise for members’ work and VFW programs, citing several outstanding instances of disaster relief, troop support and veterans resource efforts. He commended those who worked with the U.S. European Command to operate a Visitor’s Center for hundreds of American D-Day veterans and thousands of visitors who were in Normandy for the 70th anniversary of the landing, and praised the Ladies Auxiliary for its donations to cancer research which now total $30 million.   

“One of the best things about being a National Officer is I get to brag about the VFW wherever I go … to the troops, to veterans, their families, nonveterans and politicians, too,” he said.

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