National POW/MIA Recognition Day

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Sept. 15 is POW/MIA Recognition Day. In the United States, it is observed on the third Friday in September. It honors those who were prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action. The National League of Families POW/MIA flag, also known as the POW/MIA flag, consists of a silhouette of a prisoner of war (POW) before a guard tower and barbed wire in white on a black field. “POW/MIA” appears above the silhouette and the words “You Are Not Forgotten” appears below in white on the black field. On Aug. 10, 1990, the 101st Congress passed the U.S. Public law 101-355, recognizing the national League of Families POW/MIA flag and designated it as a symbol of our nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation. “Beyond Southeast Asia, it has been a symbol for POW/MIAs from all U.S. Wars.”

VFW Clarifies New VA Decision-Ready Claims Initiative

Last week VA announced its new Decision-Ready Claims (DRC) initiative, which promises to deliver faster rating decisions to veterans. On the surface, any new option for veterans to access their benefits may sound good, but the reality is that the new program actually puts more responsibility on the veteran to develop the claim before submission – a task VA usually handles on a veteran’s behalf. While this may help some veterans with more simple claims or veterans who require flexible timelines to gather evidence, VFW’s Service Officers know that DRC will not be the best option for many clients. The VFW encourages all veterans considering filing a claim to have an honest discussion with their accredited VFW Service Officer to determine the best course of action.

Disaster Resources

Disasters, such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma, can cause disruptions in veteran services, such as GI Bill benefits or prescription refills.

DOD Announces New DPAA Director

The Department of Defense announced Tuesday that Kelly McKeague has been sworn in as the new director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). McKeague, a retired Air Force major general, previously served as the DPAA deputy director and commander of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. Acting Director Fern Sumpter Winbush will resume her role as principal deputy director for the agency.

POW/MIA UPDATE

Navy Fireman 1st Class Samuel W. Crowder, of Kentucky, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Pvt. Vernon P. Keaton, of Oklahoma, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Elmer D. Nail, of Kansas, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Army Pvt. Raymond Sinowitz, of New York, was a member of 454th Ordnance Company, 27th Bombardment Group, the Far East Air Force. Interment services are pending.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class William G. Payne, of Chicago, Ill., was a medical specialist assigned to the 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He was reportedly buried in a temporary cemetery at Yudam-ni. Interment services are pending.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Donald J. Hall, of Stroud, Okla., was a member of Detachment 5, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– Charles Castelluccio