Plymouth Seasonal Jobs and Opportunities Fair

Thursday, April 2, 2015 – 10:00am

On Thursday, April 2, I will be hosting a Seasonal Jobs and Opportunities Fair at the Flying Monkey in Plymouth, NH. As the Representative for the Second Congressional District I am committed to doing everything I can to help businesses grow and create jobs, and to advocate for New Hampshire workers. This job fair is an opportunity for me to help bring employers and job seekers together. I hope that you can join me!

WHAT: Seasonal Jobs and Opportunities Fair with Rep. Annie Kuster

WHEN: 10:00AM – 1:00PM, Thursday, April 2, 2015

WHERE: The Flying Monkey, 39 Main Street, Plymouth, NH

To register for the job fair, please provide the following information:

WASHINGTON WEEK 7 JUNE 2013

           

VFW Washington Weekly June 7, 2013
In This Issue: 1. New Stolen Valor Law 2. Senate Discusses Sexual Assault in Military 3. MST Bill Clears House 4. Military-VA Funding Bill Clears House 5. House Armed Services Moves NDAA 6. VFW Defends Commissaries 7. Burn Pit Registry Seeking Public Comment 8. Three MIAs Identified 1. New Stolen Valor Law: The president signed the new VFW-supported Stolen Valor Act of 2013 into law on Monday. Said VFW National Commander John Hamilton, “the new law is bullet-proof against another constitutional challenge because the focus is now on the intent to profit from the lie — to obtain money, property or something of a tangible benefit or value — which is what con artists have been doing throughout history.” Not every combat award is covered, but the ones most coveted will now have wannabe heroes facing up to a year in jail and $100,000 fines for each offense. For the VFW statement click here: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2013-Articles/VFW-Salutes-New-Stolen-Valor-Law/
2. Senate Discusses Sexual Assaults in Military: On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing to discuss pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military. The hearing marked the first time that each service chief answered specific questions on sexual misconduct in the military and the committee took advantage of the opportunity to speak at length with all stakeholders about legislative proposals. The VFW has consistently advocated for improved reporting mechanisms and recourse for victims of sexual assault in the military, as well as streamlining the path to necessary health care and benefits for victims. For more information, including the archived webcast of the hearing, visit our Capitol Hill blog at: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/06/senate-discusses-sexual-assault-in.html. 3. MST Bill Clears House: VFW-supported legislation, HR 671, The Ruth Moore Act passed the house this week. The bill brings military assault victims a step closer to receiving the care and compensation they deserve. VFW will be testifying on the Senate version, S. 294, introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) next week when the Senate VA Committee holds its hearing on pending benefits’ legislation. Tester’s bill contains stronger language then what was passed in the House, requiring a law change to aligned MST claims with combat PTSD regulations within current VA regulations. VFW has strongly supported this change and looks to the Senate to move the bill quickly.
4. Military-VA Funding Bill Clears House: This week, The House passed the Military Construction-VA funding bill 421-4. HR 2216 is the first appropriations measure to be advanced by the House this session. Overall the bill provides $157.8 billion for veterans programs and military construction in FY 2014. The bill also included several amendments designed to reduce wait times for disability claim decisions to include increased funding for a paperless claims system for digital scanning of health and benefits files to help VA in its goal to end the backlog by 2015. Other Highlights included: * $57.5 billion for VA medical care accounts (this includes $54.5 billion for advanced appropriations for FY 2014). * $55.6 billion in advanced funding for VA Medical programs for FY 2015. * $290 million for disability claims systems * $35 million for TBI and PTSD research * $252 million to establish a single, integrated Department of Defense (DOD) and VA electronic health record system. Short comings include: * Prosthetics research, $586 million requested, $25 million less than the IB request * Medical Facilities (which include non-recurring maintenance), $4.87 billion requested, $698 million less than the IB request. * Construction, $1.2 billion requested, $1 billion less than the IB request. For the IBs press release regarding the Administration’s budget request click here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/veterans-groups-president-budget-falls-212200801.html. For more highlights of the bill, visit the House Appropriations website at: http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=336730. 5. House Armed Services Moves NDAA: This week, the House Armed Services Committee cleared their FY 2014 Defense Authorization bill (HR 1960) after a long day of amendments and discussion about military programs. Among the provisions included in the bills mark was personnel subcommittee language that would bar commanders from dismissing all but minor sexual offenses from a court martial, and prohibit them from reducing a guilty finding in a sexual assault case to a lesser offense. The language adopted comes just a day after the Senate discussed similar bills within their chamber with top military leaders in a hearing about military sexual assaults (see item #2). Other key provisions included a 1.8. percent pay raise for service members, rejection of Tricare Fees or higher pharmacy co-pays except for a $4 increase in out-patient co-pays for Tricare Prime beneficiaries. Members also adopted a bill by Congressman John Kline (R-MN) that would allow those beneficiaries to stay under Tricare Prime using one-time “opt-in” feature — DOD is requiring Prime enrollees who reside more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility to switch to Tricare Standard, effective October 1, 2013. The House is expected to vote on the bill next week and the Senate is schedule to begin discussion on their authorization bill as well. Check back here for more coverage of the NDAA as it moves through Congress. For complete highlights of the bill visit the HASC website at: http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/press-releases?ContentRecord_id=dd06bb6d-c031-488d-88c4-b60e8ff35e28. 6. VFW Defends Commissaries: Last weekend the Washington Post published an article defending critics of military commissaries while attacking groups like the VFW who they believe are advocating to save “wasteful” military programs. The VFW first called attention to proposals to gut the commissary system as part of our “10 for 10” campaign in 2011. Now, it seems the opposition is coming after groups like the VFW. VFW will never apologize for advocating for our active duty military, veterans, retirees and their families. To read our entire blog posting, to include the Washington Post article, and our 10 for 10 campaign talking points, click here: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/06/defending-military-commissariesagain.html.
7. Burn Pit Registry Seeking Public Comment: The VA is asking for public comment on a planned registry of military members potentially exposed to open-air burn pit toxins from our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the from the first Gulf War. To establish its “Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry,” the VA is required to solicit public comment on the proposed collection of information for the index. According to a VA press release issued Wednesday, the registry will include a web-based questionnaire for troops and veterans to report health concerns and exposures. The 2012 Dignified Burial and Veterans Benefits Improvement Act required VA to establish a burn-pit registry by January 2014. Read more at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/06/05/2013-13224/proposed-information-collection-open-burn-pit-registry-airborne-hazard-self-assessment-questionnaire.
8. Three MIAs Identified: The Defense POW/MIA Affairs Office announced the identification of remains belonging to a World War II airman and two Korean War soldiers. Returned home are: * Army Air Force Sgt. Charles R. Marshall, 19, of Martin, Ky. On July 21, 1944, a B-24H Liberator with nine crew aboard was shot down and crashed while on a bombing raid against enemy targets in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Of the nine crew members, six parachuted to safety; a seventh crewmen’s remains were recovered near Hadorf. Marshall and another crewman were not recovered, and attempts to recover their remains after the war were unsuccessful.
* Army 1st Lt. Douglas H. Haag, 26, of Louisville, Ky. In early July 1950, Haag, and elements of the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, were deployed along the Kum River in western South Korea when North Korean forces struck and overran the U.S. positions. Haag was reported missing, and later would be presumed dead and his remains non-recoverable.
* Army Master Sgt. Olen B. Williams, 37, of Verbena, Ala. In late 1950, Williams and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team were establishing a defensive line south of a bridge across the P’ungnyuri River, near a small village in Sinhung-ni, North Korea, when they were attacked by enemy forces. Williams was reported missing in action after the battle. Read more about their individual recovery stories at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/.
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, http://www.vfw.org/Forms/Capitol-Hill-Blog-Submissions/, or simply email photos and stories directly to vfwac@vfw.org.

     

HUD & VA TEAM UP TO PROVIDE PERMANENT HOMES TO 9,000 HOMELESS VETS

 

 

HUD-VASH vouchers to build on 17 percent decline in Veteran homelessness since 2009

 

WASHINGTON – Approximately 9,000 homeless Veterans living on the streets and in the nation’s shelter system will soon find a permanent place to call home.  U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today that HUD will provide $60 million to local public housing agencies across the country to offer permanent supportive housing to homeless Veterans, many of whom are living with chronic disabling conditions.

 

The supportive housing assistance announced today is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. Since 2008, a total of 48,385 vouchers have been awarded and 42,557 formerly homeless Veterans are currently in homes because of HUD-VASH.

 

Donovan and Shinseki announced this additional support for homeless Veterans in an address to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans conference today in Washington.  Find out how much of this assistance will help homeless veterans in your area.

 

“It’s a national tragedy that those who served our Nation in uniform can end up living in our shelters or on our streets,” said Donovan. “Today we make another investment in meeting President Obama’s challenge that we end Veteran homelessness once and for all.”

“These HUD-VASH vouchers are a critical resource to accomplish our shared goal of ending Veterans’ homelessness in 2015,” Shinseki said. “With the continued support of President Obama, Congress, and our community partners, we will end homelessness among Veterans and provide these brave men and women with the earned care and benefits that help them live productive, meaningful lives.”

 

HUD-VASH is a critical part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness in 2015.  Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. HUD’s annual “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons and families for 2012 found that Veteran homelessness fell by 7.2 percent (or 4,876 people) since January 2011 and by 17.2 percent since January 2009.  On a single night in January 2012, 62,619 veterans were homeless.

 

The grants announced today are part of $75 million appropriated this year to support the housing needs of homeless veterans.  Local public housing authorities provide rental assistance to homeless Veterans while nearby VA Medical Centers (VAMC) offer supportive services and case management.  This is the first round of the 2013 HUD-VASH funding.  HUD expects to announce more HUD-VASH funding this summer.

 

VAMCs work closely with homeless Veterans then refer them to public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of the homelessness and the need for longer term more intensive support to obtain and maintain permanent housing.  The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff provides.

 

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.  VA offers eligible homeless Veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.

 

Get Back Outdoors and the Pease Greeters MAY 9TH

It would be great if we could have a big VFW showing at this event.  VFW, Ladies and Men’s Auxiliary members are welcome to attend, wear something identifying your VFW affiliation.

Governor Maggie Hassan, US Rep Carol Shea Porter, NH Senator Nancy Stiles, and Colonel Orson Swindle to speak at Pease Greeters/GBO Thank You Event
co-hosted by US Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Kelly Ayotte, and the Kittery Trading Post recognizing National Military Appreciation Month
Governor Maggie Hassan will deliver keynote remarks on May 9th at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in support of a thank you reception for Get Back Outdoors and the Pease Greeters.  May is National Military Appreciation Month.

The event organized by local businesswoman Marga Coulp of Dover, will be held from 6-9pm in a reception format with no charge for admission.  Expenses of the event have been covered by volunteers and donations.

In addition to Governor Hassan’s remarks, National veteran’s advocate, former POW, and Reagan Administration official Marine Colonel Orson Swindle will also be delivering formal remarks recognizing these two great organizations.  Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter and NH State Senator Nancy Stiles will also be attending and delivering their thanks to these two veterans groups.

“The Pease Greeters meet every flight ensuring that every active duty soldier knows we love and support them”, stated Coulp, adding “Get Back Outdoors works with our valued veterans to reintroduce them to hunting, fishing and being back in the woods with their friends and fellow veterans.”

Ms. Coulp, owner of Classic Cutters in Portsmouth, began this event as a way to say thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who work with both active duty military and veterans.  “These soldiers, sailors and airmen give so much, the least we can do is say Thank you.”  The public is welcome to attend at no charge.

In addition to the cocktail party, a silent auction will be held with special attention given to two US flags flown over the US Capitol by Shaheen and Ayotte in honor of the Pease Greeters and Get Back Outdoors as two of the items available for bid.

RSVP’s are appreciated by calling Marga Coulp at 603.235.0550 or margacoulp@gmail.com

###

This event is open to the press

Support our Troops this coming Memorial Weekend fundraiser May 26th

Support our Troops this coming Memorial Weekend!
Vesting in Veterans is starting off the summer helping the USO support our nation’s troops and their families and we want to give you a chance to show your support to those who sacrifice so much for our country.  Through a new USO campaign called Barbecue for the Troops, we will be hosting a barbecue and inviting many members of the local community to not only have a good time, but to show their support for our service men and women by making a donation to the USO.  The USO is a nonprofit organization that provides critical and morale-boosting programs and services to troops, military families, wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers and families of the fallen.

The barbecue is taking place on Sunday, May 26th in the Greenhouse at the Italian Farmhouse in Plymouth, New Hampshire.  You can make your reservations (limited seating) on line at www.vestinginveterans.us or by calling 603-677-2527.  Tickets are $35 per person which includes the chicken and ribs barbecue, wonderful music by Will Ogmundson, door prizes and even a game of horseshoes if you like!

This is a simple way to help make a genuine impact on the lives of those who have given so much for our country.  Every dollar sent to the USO goes directly to support USO programs and services our troops need most and deserve.  For more information visit the Vesting in Veterans web site and Upcoming Events.

We look forward to seeing you and your friends and family there!

VFW Washington Weekly 3 May 2013

May, 3 2013

In   This Issue:
1. New Student   -Veteran Support Program
2. VFW Joins Discussion on Credentialing
3. Congress returns to   Busy May Schedule
4. Vietnam MIAs Buried

1. New Student-Veteran   Support Program: In partnership with Student Veterans of   America, the VFW launched 1studentveteran@vfw.org   to provide direct assistance to student-veterans on 800 college and   university campuses who may experience problems accessing their GI Bill or   other earned benefits provided by VA. Said VFW National Commander John   Hamilton, “Student-veterans will now have a place to turn to for   reliable and timely help when they encounter problems with the VA.” Read   more at http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2013-Articles/VFW,-SVA-Launch-New-Initiative-to-Help-Student-Veterans/.

2.   VFW Joins Discussion on Credentialing: This week, VFW   spent some time at the White House for a series of roundtable discussions on   military professional credentialing and academic credit for military training   and experience. The discussion is part of First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr.   Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative. Hundreds of stakeholders across the   federal government, private industry, military and the veterans’ community   were on hand to discuss ways to improve the portability of military training   for civilian professional licenses and credentials as well as academic credit   toward a college degree. VFW has been and will continue to be a vocal   advocate on both of these issues. We have helped champion legislation in the   last Congress to improve career portability and academic preparedness for   transitioning service members and veterans. We will continue to work with the   White House, VA, the Pentagon and Congress to ensure that separating service   members have access to quality careers after leaving the military. For more   on the event and the Joining Forces campaign visit our blog at: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/04/vfw-joins-white-house-roundtables-on.html

3. Congress Returns to Busy May Schedule: Congress returns   to Washington next week for a busy month of bill hearings, appropriation   wrangling and mark-ups. Some of the bills that will be debated in committee   are those VFW has been monitoring since the beginning of Congress. They cover   a wide- range of topics to include homeless veteran programs, chiropractic   care, caregiver expansion, research sharing, and improvements to women   veterans’ health care within VA. Check back next week for full coverage of   the bill hearings and our testimony.
For our blog postings, click here: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/
For the Senate VA Committee website, click here: http://www.veterans.senate.gov/

4. Vietnam MIAs   Buried: On July 19, 1967, Navy Lt. Dennis W. Peterson of   Huntington Park, Calif., was the pilot of an SH-3A helicopter that took off   from the USS Hornet on a search and rescue mission of a downed pilot in Ha   Nam Province, North Vietnam. A concealed enemy 37mm gun targeted the   helicopter as it flew in. Also aboard were Ensign Donald P. Frye of Los   Angeles, and Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technicians William B. Jackson of   Stockdale, Texas, and Donald P. McGrane of Waverly, Iowa, all of whom had   been previously identified. The reunited crew was buried as a group on May 2   at Arlington National Cemetery. Read more at http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15968.

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, http://www.vfw.org/Forms/Capitol-Hill-Blog-Submissions/,   or simply email photos and stories directly to vfwac@vfw.org

 
 

MoorMart June Events

Greetings!

MooreMart’s next two events are schedule to take place in June. The first event is the June 1st Adventure 5K Obstacle Course event at Liquid Plant in Candia NH. The Second is our Spring/4th of July Packing Event on June 6 – 8 at the Nashua National Guard Armory.

If you or your group would like to volunteer at either event please let me know as soon as possible as our volunteer slots fill quickly.

If you or your group would like to donate supplies for the June 6 – 8th care package event the drop off date for the supplies is June 6th at the Armory in Nashua from 3 to 7pm. The contact person relative to volunteering is Paul at Paul@MooreMart.org and if possible if you could let us know by Friday (May 3rd, 2013)  if you think your group would like to participate in either event that would be greatly appreciated. A firm list of volunteers would be needed by the 10th of May so we can plan accordingly.

I have included the announcements for both events in this e-mail. carole@mooremart.org

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Have a great day!

Carole  MooreMart.org

June 6 – 8th event:

MooreMart’s Spring/4th of July Packing Event!

 

WHAT:          Help our troops celebrate the Spring/Summer Season by donating a gift bag (no larger than 8″x10″x3″) with Patriotic items/candy, healthy snacks, encouraging notes and cards.
WHEN:          Drop off of gift bags will be on Thursday, June 6th from 3 pm – 7 pm.
WHERE:        U.S. Army National Guard Armory – 154 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua NH 03060.
WHY:             Because we care!
Individuals, organizations, and businesses are welcome to donate decorated brown bags (see photo of gift bags) that are no larger than 8″x10″x3″ (please no brown lunch/sandwich bags).

“Standard Packing Items List

A lot of people have asked what standard items they can purchase for MooreMart’s upcoming packing events. The Standard Packing List Items is:

•           Individual size drink mixes/ water bottle packet flavoring (crystal lite, power aid, etc)

•           Power Bars and Granola Bars

•           Bags of Peanuts/Trail Mix – small size

•           Hot chocolate – individual size

•           Dried fruit or Nuts – small packages

•           Gum

•           Card Games – i.e. Uno, SkipBo, etc.

•           Small Games

•           NEW white tube socks

•           Movie Size Boxes (now available at Wal-Mart) Life Savers, Jolly Rancher, Smarties, Twizzlers, Dum Dum Pops, Starburst, Skittles, Swedish Fish, Air Heads, Sour Patch Kids, Sweet Tarts, M & Ms, Tootsie Roll, Tootsie Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Jelly Beans, Gummy Bears, Blow Pops, Dots, Nerds, Mike & Ike, Dots, Starburst, etc.

•           Fun Size Chocolates

•           M&M’s snack size or individual size bags

•           Licorice snack size or individual size bags

•           Hard Candy- Mixed bags Most Enjoyed – please no bags of only mints

•           Packaged Cookies and peanut butter crackers – i.e. 6 per package (no home baked items)

•           Tooth Brushes, Tooth Paste, and Dental Floss

•           Girl Scout cookies

•           NEW pens and NEW writing paper/cards

•           Hand warmers

•           Foot warmers

•           A card or letter with supportive message”

PLEASE, NO LIQUIDS, TOILETRIES, OR HOME BAKED ITEMS to include your own trail mix!

Nothing larger than 3” in diameter or it won’t fit in our boxes!

Please do not use brown paper lunch/sandwich bags

Financial Donations to help defray the cost of shipping the care packages are always greatly appreciated.

 

 

                       

VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY 26 APRIL 2013

VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY
April 26, 2013

In This Issue:
1. House VA Committee Moves Vet Bills
2. VFW Attends House Leadership Roundtable –Discusses Claims Backlog
3. Affordable Care Act and VA Debated
4. Armed Services Committees Discuss Cuts and TAP
5. New VA Hotline for Women Veterans
6. Support Tools for Military Kids
7. Korean War MIA Recovered

1. House VA Committee Moves Vet Bills: This week, the House Subcommittees on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs and Economic Opportunity moved several VFW-supported bills that would improve benefits and employment/transition options for veterans. All of the bills now move to the full committee for consideration.
Bills cleared by the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity include –
HR 631 — A bill which was amended to now mandate participation in the new education TAP classes for service members who plan to use their GI Bill education benefits.
HR 357 — The GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013, which will require public universities to charge only what is equal to in-state tuition for veterans, and was amended to give states two years to comply.
HR 844 — A bill which extends the eligibility period for veterans enrolling in vocational rehabilitation programs from 12 years following discharge to 17 years.
Five other bills (HR 562, HR 1305, HR 1316, HR 1402, HR 1412, and HR 1453) cleared committee, which the VFW recently supported in testimony. To read VFW’s testimony on these bills, click here: http://veterans.house.gov/witness-testimony/mr-ryan-m-gallucci-1.
Bills cleared by Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
H.R. 570 — A bill to provide an automatic COLA (tied to social security and CPI) increase thereby ending the need for Congress to introduce a bill each fiscal year.
H.R. 671 — The Ruth Moore Act of 2013, which would relax evidential standards and make it easier for military sexual assault victims to receive VA disability benefits
H.R. 679, the Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act, legislation which would recognize those men and women who choose to serve our nation in the Reserve component as veterans
To read VFW’s testimony on these bills, click here: http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/Congressional-Testimony/HVAC-DAMA-Bill-Hearing/
For a list of all the bills and subcommittee action, visit the House VA Committee Website at: http://veterans.house.gov/

2. VFW Attends House Leadership Roundtable – Discusses Claims Backlog: On Thursday, VFW attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as part of ongoing efforts between the VSO community and House leadership to address the critical issues facing veterans, service members and their families. The main topic of discussion was the disability claims backlog with a nod to the goal of eliminating the backlog by 2015 using the new electronic filing system –Veterans Benefits Management System or VBMS. VFW suggested that VA must be held accountable as we move closer to the 2015 goal, but Congress should ask for milestones moving forward and VA must provide results. Criticism directed at VA has been ongoing, but VFW commented that in order to fix the broken system, VA must receive the resources needed to achieve their self-imposed goal of providing quality and timely disability ratings. To learn more about what VFW had to say, click here: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/04/vfw-discusses-claims-backlog-at-house.html.

For pictures and the Democratic Press release click here: http://www.democraticleader.gov/Pelosi_Holds_Roundtable_with_Veterans_Groups_to_Address_Disability_Claims_Backlog.

3. Affordable Care Act and VA Care Debated: On Wednesday, the House VA Committee held a hearing entitled “Examining the Implications of the Affordable Care Act on VA Healthcare.” The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ACA became law in March 2010 and will be fully implemented in January 2014. V.A.’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal includes a request of $88.4 million to implement the provisions of the ACA and meet the department’s responsibilities as a provider of required essential coverage. The Committee asked Dr. Robert Petzel, Undersecretary of Health, Veterans Health Administration and a Ms. Lisa Zarlenga, Legislative Council, Department of the Treasury to discuss factors that may affect veterans. Dr. Petzel discussed enrollment changes and funding levels for medical care and IT to help meet any increase in care. He acknowledged to committee members that they have estimated about 66,000 new enrollees (based on VA surveys of veterans) who may use VA as their choice of health care under the new law. Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) and other members were skeptical of that number and believe that the influx of veterans who may choose VA for their health care needs will be much higher. Confusion on health care coverage and choices for those veterans living in remote and rural areas was also discussed. Ms. Zarlenga noted the Treasury and IRS worked side-by-side with VA and HHS to make sure the rule of law provided flexibility and clarity for veterans when deciding their health care coverage. For full hearing coverage and the recorded webcast, click here: http://veterans.house.gov/hearing/examining-the-implications-of-the-affordable-care-act-on-va-healthcare.

4. Armed Services Committees Discuss Cuts and TAP: This week your VFW was on hand as the House and Senate Armed Services committees hosted hearings to discuss proposed military cuts and the revamped military Transition Assistance Program, or TAP. The Senate hosted each service’s assistant secretary for manpower to discuss proposed cuts to TRICARE, military pay raises, as well as morale and readiness in the wake of sequestration. The subcommittee pushed hard for increases to TRICARE fees, which the VFW vows to oppose. The House hosted officials from the departments of Defense, VA, and Labor to discuss the ongoing roll-out of the new military TAP, which VFW has played a key role in evaluating. To learn more about each hearing and to view archived webcasts, click here: http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/04/armed-services-committees-discuss.html.

5. New VA Hotline for Women Veterans: The VA launched a new hotline, 1-855-VA-WOMEN or 1-855-829-6636, to respond to questions from women veterans, families and caregivers about the many VA services and resources available to women veterans. Women make up nearly 15 percent of today’s active duty military and 18 percent of Guard and Reserve forces. Yet even though the number of women using VA healthcare has doubled over the past decade to more than 350,000, women still only account for 6 percent of the total number of veterans seeking VA healthcare. “Many women who served don’t self-identify as veterans and therefore don’t think they qualify for VA benefits,” said Irene Trowell-Harris, director of VA’s Center for Women Veterans. “We need to correct existing misinformation and misperceptions so we can serve more women veterans with the benefits they’ve earned.” The new hotline joins numerous other VA hotlines that provide critical information and assistance to all veterans, such as those in crises or in danger of becoming homeless. Learn more at www.eBenefits.va.gov and MyHealtheVet.va.gov.

6. Support Tools for Military Kids: April is the Month of the Military Child, which recognizes the nation’s 1.8 million military children for their character, courage, sacrifices and resilience in the face of unique challenges — deployments that take parents away for months at a time; frequent moves that involve changing schools and leaving friends behind; and parents returning home with combat-related injuries. If you’re a service member with children, here’s a strong list of resources to help you help them cope with whatever military life might bring their way: http://www.dcoe.health.mil/blog/13-04-23/Support_Tools_for_Military_Families_Military_Kids.aspx.

7. Korean War MIA Recovered: The Defense POW/MIA Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Master Sgt. Robert A. Stein, 29, of Jamestown, N.Y. In late 1950, Stein and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team were engaged by vastly superior numbers of enemy forces east of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Remnants of the 31st RCT, known historically as Task Force Faith, began a fighting withdrawal to a more defensible position south of the reservoir. Stein was reported missing Dec. 2, 1950. Read more at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/.

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, http://www.vfw.org/Forms/Capitol-Hill-Blog-Submissions/, or simply email photos and stories directly to vfwac@vfw.org

Tractor Supply to Host Memorial Day Activities for Post

TRACTOR SUPPLY COMPANY TO HOST VFW EVENTS THIS MEMORIAL DAY

 

VFW Post and Department leaders: Don’t miss out on your chance to make it a community event!

 

Tractor Supply Company (TSC), the largest farm and ranch store chain in the United States with over 1,100 retail stores nationwide, is offering VFW a unique opportunity! This Memorial Day weekend, in conjunction with its “Salute Our Troops” program, TSC is inviting all VFW Posts and Departments to host events at your nearest TSC location, making this Memorial Day weekend a community event.

 

TSC’s generosity provides a great opportunity for VFW Post and Department leaders to recruit new members, distribute Buddy Poppies, network with their local communities, educate the public on the importance of Memorial Day and more!

 

All activities must be approved and coordinated with your local TSC store manager. Your onsite VFW activities may include:

–          Hosting a BBQ

–          Showcasing your Post’s accomplishments through a display

–          Setting up a Memorial Day display honoring our fallen heroes

–          A VFW Color Guard ceremony

–          Onsite raffles, drawings, and more!

TSC has made it easy to register your Post for participation. Simply call the VFW Registration Hotline at 877-234-0623. To ensure availability, please call the hotline as soon as possible. Once registered, the local TSC store manager will reach out to you to begin making arrangements.

 

We encourage all VFW Posts and Departments to take advantage of this incredible opportunity from our great friends at TSC. And please do not forget to tell store personnel that you appreciate their heartfelt support of U.S. troops, veterans and military families.