State Flags Fly At Half-Staff

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s order for state flags at half-staff in all state institutions, buildings, and public parks is still in effect until further notice. The governor said this is to honor those who have died from the corona virus pandemic. Too many Pennsylvanians have lost there lives to Covid-19. We have lost community members. Each of these Pennsylvanians are irreplaceable. Each deserves to be honored individually for their contribution to our commonwealth, but this cruel disease will not give us a respite to morn. This virus prevents us from honoring the dead at traditional gatherings. All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.

Covid-19 Related Extensions for Claims Deadlines

Last Monday, VA announced, in a policy memorandum, that veterans impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for extensions for deadlines related to claims and appeals. The memorandum states extensions can be requested by a veteran or the veteran’s service officer and will be granted for the perfection of claims after an intent to file, appeals and higher-level review, the submission of additional evidence, and attendance at a hearing or a compensation and pension (C&P) examination. “While the VFW appreciates the intent, VA must suspend all claims and appeals deadlines until after this national emergency ends,” said VFW National Legislative Service Associate Director Matthew Doyle. “The process VA has established does not guarantee an extension will be granted.” The VFW continues to urge our members to maintain communication with their service officers. Keep your service officer informed if you are unable to attend a compensation and pension (C&P) exam, and contact the C&P examiner to reschedule your appointment.

Beware of COVID-19 Testing Scams Targeting TRICARE Beneficiaries

The VFW wants its members and supporters to be careful of scams that target TRICARE beneficiaries regarding coronavirus testing. If you receive a call from someone offering to send you a COVID-19 testing kit, you could be the target of a scam. COVID-19 testing isn’t available for everyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your medical provider is the only one who can determine if you need testing. So be sure to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms. The people involved in the COVID-19 testing kit scam are looking to steal personal information from you, like your Social Security number, credit card, or bank account numbers. “If someone you are unfamiliar with requests your personally identifiable information, immediately hang up and call your medical provider or TRICARE,” said VFW Director of Communications Terrence Hayes. “Don’t give these perpetrators an opportunity to steal your ID.”

POW/MIA Update

Army Pvt. Wayne M. Evans, 21, was a member of Battery G, 59th Coast Artillery Regiment, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1942. Evans was captured and died as a prison of war. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Sgt. Donald D. Stoddard, 22, was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio. Interment services are pending.

Army Cpl. Ralph L. Cale, 19, of Covington, Virginia, was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950. Cale will be buried Aug. 14, 2020, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Till next week, praying for all.


– Charles Castelluccio