Victory in Europe, generally known as VE Day, is a day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on May 8, 1945. Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, had committed suicide on April 30, during the battle of Berlin, and Germany’s surrender was authorized by his successor, President Karl Donitz. The administration headed by Donitz was known as a Flensburg Government. The act of surrender was signed at 2:41 a.m. on May 7 in Shaef HQ, at Reims, and a slightly modified document was signed on May 8 in Berlin. In the United States, the event coincided with President Harry Truman’s 61st birthday. He dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died of cerebral hemorrhage less than a month earlier, on April 12. Flags remained at half-staff for the reminder of the 30 day mourning period. Truman said of dedicating the victory to Roosevelt’s memory and keeping the flags at half-staff that his only wish was that Roosevelt had lived to witness this day.
VFW-Supported Bill to protect Student Veterans Becomes Law
On Tuesday, the president signed into law H.R. 6322, the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. This bill will ensure student veterans who are engaged in work study programs can continue to receive their work payment checks, along with their housing payment allowance. This bill will also make sure student veterans whose schools are closing due to the COVID-19 crisis are not penalized any months of their GI Bill entitlements while this pandemic is still impacting the country. The VFW would like to thank Chairmen Takano and Moran, along with Ranking Members Roe and Tester for making sure that veterans are still being taken care of during this uncertain time.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
The VFW calls on the community to reach out to veterans who may be experiencing mental health issues, especially during the COVID-19 health crisis. There are resources from VA, especially their Make the Connection campaign, where they provide resources for veterans and also for those who care about a veteran. VFW partner, Give An Hour, provides free mental health counseling for veterans and their families. Give An Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction has resources such as learning the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering, which empowers people to recognize signs of emotional suffering and guides them on how to reach out for help. When reaching out, discussion topics can include the status of their physical and mental well-being, reviewing the checklist of COVID-19 symptoms, asking about the state of their supplies, or a recommendation for a good book, TV show or movie. Remember to follow up in a day or two to keep that connection going.
DPAA Cancels Meetings
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) has announced that the Family Member Update to be held May 15, 2020, in Chicago has been canceled. DPAA has also canceled the Vietnam War Annual Government Briefings which was set to be held with the National League of POW/MIA Families Annual Meeting on June 24-27, 2020, in Washington, D.C. If you have further questions, DPAA asks that you contact your service casualty officer.
Have You Filled Out Your Census Form Yet?
It’s time to be counted in the census again. The results of the census will determine congressional representation, advise hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding, and be used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. The VFW encourages all Americans to take part in this year’s census.
Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Howard E. Miller, 22, was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Beito. Miller died on the third day of battle, Nov. 22, 1943. Interment services are pending.
Army Staff Sgt. Raymond C. Blanton, 19, was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. He was killed in action on Oct. 14, 1944. Interment services are pending.
Army Pfc. Glenn E. Collins, 21, was a member of Heavy Mortar Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.
Army Pfc. Clarence W. Brotherton, 20, of Gibson City, Illinois, was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces near Germeter, Germany. Interment services are pending.
Army Cpl. Burl Mullins, 23, was a member of Heavy Mortar Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Interment services are pending.
Marine Corps Cpl. Raymond J. Tuhey, 24, of Chicago, was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio. Tuhey died on the fourth day of battle, Nov. 23, 1943. Interment services are pending.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio