On Wednesday, President Trump signed the VFW-championed VA MISSION Act of 2018. “The VA MISSION Act will help improve the care our veterans get at the VA while leveraging the capabilities of the private sector when needed. It will help recruit the best talent at the VA, which is what our veterans deserve, and it also extends caregiver benefits to every veteran who needs it,” said Keith Harman, national commander of the 1.7-million member VFW and its Auxiliary.
Flag Day is June 14
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of The United States, which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. In August 1946, National Flag Day was established by an act of Congress. If you have a U.S. Flag that needs disposed of, take it to a veterans organization so it can be disposed of properly.
United States Army Celebrates Its 243rd Birthday on June 14
The History of the United States Army began in 1775. From its formation, the United States Army has been the primary land based part of the United States Armed Forces. The Continental Army was founded in response to the need for professional soldiers in the American Revolutionary War to fight the invading British Army.
VFW Calls on Congress, VA and DOD to Act on Burn Pits
On Thursday, the VFW testified on the harmful effects of open air burn pits used in Iraq and Afghanistan. VFW Associate Legislative Director Ken Wiseman highlighted the impact on women veterans with particular regard to reproductive health concerns and how research needs a dedicated funding mechanism. The Department of Veterans Affairs testified on continuing research efforts and details of VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. The VFW supports several pieces of legislation that would strengthen the registry’s efforts to collect data on those exposed to burn pits which could be used in future research.
Army Cpl. Ernest L.R. Heilman, a Korean War veteran, 19, of Greenup, Ky., whose identification was previously announced, was buried June 8 in Arlington National Cemetery.
Army Sgt. Julius E. McKinney, a Korean War veteran, 23, of Clay, Ark., whose identification was previously announced, was buried June 8 in Corinth, Miss. McKinney was a member of Heavy Mortar Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment.
Army Pfc. Oscar E. Sappington, a WWII veteran, 19, of Dawson, Okla., whose identification was previously announced, was buried June 9 in Tulsa, Okla. Sappington was a member of 3rd Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 309th Infantry Regiment.
Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert R. Keown, a WWII veteran, 24, of Scottsboro, Ala., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried June 15 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Keown was a P-38 pilot assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group.
Army Air Forces Tech Sgt. John S. Bailey, a WWII veteran, 28, of Woodstock, Va., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried June 13, in Winchester, Va. On Jan. 21, 1944, Bailey’s B-24J bomber crashed shortly after takeoff.
Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Charles A. Drew, a WWII veteran, 29, of Coalinga, Calif., whose identification was previously announced, was buried June 11, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Drew was killed on the first day of the battle.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Henry G. Tipton, a WWII veteran, 20, of Imboden, Ark., whose identification was previously announced, was buried June 8 in Ravenden, Ark. Tipton was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island.
Naval Reserve Lt. Cmdr. Larry R. Kilpatrick, a Vietnam War veteran, was a member of Attack Squadron One Hundred Five (VA-105) on board the USS Saratoga (CVA-60). Interment services are pending.
Army Air Forces Sgt. Alfonso O. Duran, a WWII veteran, was a nose gunner on a B-24H Liberator, assigned to the 724th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 451st Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force. Interment services are pending.
Navy Musician 1st Class Henri C. Mason, a WWII veteran, was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen. Interment services are pending.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio