Public Comments sought for Desert Storm Memorial Location

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The National Park Service is seeking public comment about where the new VFW-supported National Desert Storm Memorial should be located in Washington, D.C. Of the three proposed locations, the VFW joins with the Desert Storm Memorial Foundation to place it at the end of Constitution Avenue near 23rd Street, NW, which is within eye-shot of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the yet-to-be-built Vietnam Veterans Education Center and the Lincoln Memorial. The other two locations being considered are next to the Potomac River or on the other side of the U.S. Department of State – both sites being nowhere near the Vietnam Wall. At a Commission of Fine Arts hearing last week, the commissioners voted to locate the new memorial next to the Potomac River, ignoring the voices of many veterans and VFW members in the room. America’s Desert Storm leaders honed their teeth in Vietnam, where, among many things, they learned how not to fight the next war. The nexus between Vietnam and Desert Storm is perfect. So make your voice heard. Get in touch with your representative and speak out.

Veterans Legislation Roundup

This week, the House passed two VFW-supported bills – H.R. 506, the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2017, and S-324, the State Veterans Home Adult Day Health Care Improvement Act of 2017. The Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2017 would close an existing loophole which allows individuals and businesses to target veterans seeking to file disability compensation, pension, and aid and attendance claims, and charge them exorbitant fees for little to no actual assistance. H.R. 506 now moves to the Senate, where the VFW hopes it will receive swift consideration and passage.

Vietnam Helicopter Memorial Dedication April 18

Visitors to the nation’s capital on April 18 might want to head over to Arlington National Cemetery for a 4 p.m. dedication of the VFW-supported Vietnam Helicopter Crew Monument. Almost 5,000 American helicopter pilots and crew died during the Vietnam War. A reception will follow at the Women In Military Service For America Memorial near the cemetery’s Welcome Center at the west end of Memorial Avenue. All Vietnam veterans and Gold Star Families are invited to attend.

POW/MIA Update

Marine Corps Pvt. George F. Patrick, 22, of Dallas, whose identification was previously announced, was buried March 17 in his hometown. Patrick was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943, and initially buried in a battlefield cemetery.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Harry E. Harkness, 22, of Lansing, Mich., whose identification was previously announced, was buried March 17 in his hometown.  Harkness had been captured and held at POW Camp 5, where he died in early 1951.

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Manuel Menendez, 20, of Elizabeth, N.J., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried March 22 in Arlington National Cemetery. Menendez was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943, and was initially buried in a battlefield cemetery.

Army Staff Sgt. David Rosenkrantz, was a WWII veteran assigned to Company H, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. Interment services are pending.

Army Cpl. James I. Jubb was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was declared missing in action on Aug. 10, 1950. Interment services are pending.

Army Sgt. Julius E. McKinney was a member of Heavy Mortar Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was declared missing on Dec. 2, 1950. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– Charles Castelluccio