National League of POW/MIA Families Turns 50

The VFW attended the National League of POW/MIA Families’ 50th annual meeting last week in  Arlington, Va. The League originated on the West Coast in the late 1960s as the result of the U.S. government’s policy at the time to maintain a low profile on the POW/MIA issue, which included urging family members to refrain from publicly discussing the problem. The reason the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exists today is because of the perseverance of this organization to have our government account for their loved ones, a fullest possible accounting mission that has since expanded beyond the Vietnam War to encompass World War II, Korea, Cold War and post-Vietnam losses.

The GI Bill Turns 75

Last week, the Service Members Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the GI Bill, will celebrate its 75th anniversary. The first-ever GI Bill was signed into law on June 22, 1944. Since then, the GI Bill has been a critical tool for veterans during their transition to civilian life. The bill has provided veterans and their families education benefits, financial assistance, and home loan guarantees that have led to the expansion of the American middle class and economic growth and opportunity. Recently, the VFW-supported Forever GI Bill expanded this incredible benefit so future service members will be able to use their education benefits throughout their lives.

VFW Supports Harmony’s Law

Last Monday, the VFW sent a letter of support to the office of Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) for H.R. 2388, Harmony’s Law. The bill would rightfully clarify the National Defense Authorization Acts of Fiscal Years 1987 and 2006, that sexual assault offenses in the military will have no statute of limitations. Since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled in U.S. v. Mangahas that the statute of limitations for sexual assaults that occurred before 2006 shall be five years, convicted sexual offenders who committed offenses before 2006 are now able to appeal their convictions and be set free. The bill would hold convicted sexual assault offenders accountable and restore justice to victims.

Scammers Calling Your Phone

It has been reported all across the state that there are scammers calling area residents. Your caller ID shows the call coming from your own area code and at times it is from a phone number you might know, even the name. They are using there phone number to get you to answer the phone. If they ask for you by your name, which they have at times. Do not say “yes.” Ask who is calling, or just hang up. Also the VA will never ask for payment over the phone. Don’t get scammed.

VFW Testifies In Support of Medicinal Cannabis Research

Last Thursday, VFW National Legislative Service Director Carlos Fuentes testified during a hearing of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and offered the VFW’s support for legislation to require VA to research the efficacy of medicinal cannabis and other alternatives to high-dose prescriptions VA provides veterans who suffer from chronic pain and other health conditions. Committee members also discussed the need to improve VA Specially Adaptive Housing program by increasing the number of applications VA is able to process per year and expediting the process for veterans with serious illnesses. The VFW also supported legislation to improve the reimbursement of ambulance service costs when veterans are transported to emergency rooms, expand a successful health care seminar during the Transition Assistance Program for servicewomen transitioning out of military service, and others.

POW/MIA Update

Navy Reserve Seaman 2nd Class Moyses A. Martinez was stationed aboard the USS Colorado, which was moored approximately 3,200 yards from the shore of Tinian Island. Early in the morning, the USS Colorado came under attack by a concealed Japanese shore battery. Interment services are pending.

Army Pvt. Jacob W. Givens was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, which was engaged in battle against enemy forces in the Raffelsbrand sector of the Hürtgen Forest near Germeter, Germany. He was reported missing in action as of Oct. 20, 1944.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio