Sending Packages to Troops

The time to send packages to troops to receive by Christmas is very near. For Priority mail, the last day to ship packages is Dec. 11. The last day for First Class Priority is Dec. 16. For more detailed information, call your local Post Office.

PA VFW 28th District Meeting

The Pennsylvania VFW 28th District meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10,  at VFW Post, James D. Bowers 169 Venango. The Post is located at 20628 Gospel Hill Road in Venango. Members in good standing are encouraged to attend. The 28th District covers Erie, Mercer and Crawford Counties. For more information, call (814) 398 8214.

Important Date in December

December has many important days. Here are just a few: * Dec. 1 is Civil Air Patrol’s (USAF Auxiliary) birthday. * The Somalia Campaign began on Dec. 5, 1992. * National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is Dec. 7. It is observed annually in the United States to remember and honor the 2,403 American service members that were killed, and the 1,178 injured. The attack sank two U.S. Navy Battleships and damaged five others. It also damaged three cruisers, three destroyers and one mine layer. On Pearl Harbor Day, remember to fly your American flag at half-staff from sunrise to sunset. * The United States declared war on Japan on Dec. 8, 1941. * On Dec. 11, 1941, Germany and Japan declared war on the U.S. * National Guard’s birthday is Dec. 13. * The Iraq War ended on Dec. 15, 2011. * National Wreaths Across America is Dec. 16. * The Panama Campaign began on Dec. 20, 1989. * Dec. 25 is Christmas Day. * Dec. 28 is the anniversary of the Army Chaplain Assistant. * The official end of WWII was Dec. 31, 1946. * The Kosovo Campaign ended  on Dec. 31, 2013, which is also New Year’s Eve.

Senate Committee on VA

Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a markup on Tuesday and voted 13-1 on the future of VA’s Choice Program. The legislation, Caring for Our Veterans Act, would consolidate all of VA’s current community care programs into one, remove arbitrary barriers for eligibility to use community care, provide the ability for veterans to use private clinics for walk-in appointments at no cost, twice a year, and expand VA’s current caregiver program to all eras of service.

Congressman Introduces Bill to Privatize VA

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) recently introduced a bill that would break our promise to veterans. H.R. 4457, the Veterans Empowerment Act, would dismantle the VA health care system, charge veterans for service-connected health care, and reduce VA to an insurance program for veterans. Congressman Lamborn and bill cosponsors Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) must not be allowed to advance this dangerous proposal. Urge your member of Congress to oppose H.R. 4457 and let Congress know if they cannot take care of America’s veterans, then Congress should quit creating them. Call your congressman today and tell them to vote no.

Millions Unaware of New TRICARE Costs

The VFW released the results of a survey this week that confirmed that potentially millions of military TRICARE beneficiaries are still unaware that in one month their health care program costs are about to increase.

VFW And American Legion Send Budget Letter to Congress

With ongoing negotiations on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget at an impasse, the VFW and The American Legion co-signed a letter urging a solution. Calling for an end to sequestration, adjusted budget caps for spending in both FY 2018 and 2019, and a need to ensure care for veterans, the letter serves as a reminder that millions of veterans are impacted by the budget impasse.

POW/MIA Update

Army Pvt. Shirley E. Bailey, 19, of Charleston, W.Va., whose identification was previously announced, was buried Dec. 1 in Dunbar, W. Va.

Marine Corps Pfc. Donald R. Tolson, 20, of Bakersfield, Calif., whose identification was previously announced, was buried Dec. 2 in Kansas City, Mo.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Robert L. Mains, 27, of Rochester, N.Y., whose identification was previously announced, was buried Dec. 2 in Wading River, N.Y.

Navy Radioman 3rd Class Howard W. Bean, 27, of Everett, Mass., whose identification was previously announced, was buried Dec. 6 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.

Marine Corps Reserve 1st Sgt. David H. Quinn was assigned to Company C, 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion (C-2d Amp Tr Bn), 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– Charles Castelluccio