New VFW ALTAS Site Open For Patients

Last week, VFW Post 7842 in Linesville became the second VFW Project Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations (ALTAS) location, allowing veterans and their families to virtually connect to care with the Erie VA Medical Center. For many rural and underserved veterans, connectivity remains a critical issue. Through Project ATLAS, the VFW has worked with VA and Philips to leverage VA’s anywhere-to-anywhere authority to expand telehealth options for rural veterans. More than 20 VFW Posts have been identified as possible Project ATLAS telehealth locations. The VFW-supported Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019 will provide grant programs to expand telehealth capabilities such as ALTAS sites.

VA Continues COVID-19 Debt Relief

VA will continue to suspend debts in order to provide critical financial relief for veterans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. VA’s suspension of collections will apply to all veteran benefit overpayments and medical copayment debts incurred after April 1, 2020. VA will notify veterans of their current debt and their options for relief. For benefit overpayment questions, you can submit a request online or call (800) 827-0648. For health care debts, veterans should contact the Health Resource Center at (866) 400-1238.

VA Extends Existing Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures

VA’s current moratorium on evictions and foreclosures set to expire March 31 has been extended to June 30, 2021. VA will also extend VA loan forbearance requests. VA home loan borrowers can find helpful information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, online from VA, or they can call VA at (877) 827-3702.

POW/MIA Update

Navy Fireman 1st Class William D. Tucker, 19, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Tucker. Interment services are pending.

Army Cpl. Paul Mitchem, 20, was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on July 7, 1950, after his unit sustained heavy casualties while defending against the North Korean army’s advance near Ch’onan, South Korea. Interment Services are pending.

U.S. Army Pfc. Michaux Turbeville, 31, was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 1, 1950, in South Korea. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio