Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health Hearing

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Last week, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to discuss 10 bills pending before the committee. The hearing focused on women veterans’ health, Veterans Health Administration data collection, organization and transparency, pharmaceuticals for service members transitioning into the Department of Veterans Affairs, billing issues, Veterans Treatment Courts and access to service dogs. The VFW submitted testimony in support of a bill to improve VA’s hiring and retention authorities to ensure it is able to quickly hire high quality doctors, provide increased access to VA medical care for women veterans, expand availability of Veterans Treatment Courts to ensure justice-involved veterans are not wrongfully punished for instances related to their service-connected conditions, and several other important bills.

Get Your Annual Flu Shot

Now through March 31, 2018, all VA-enrolled veterans can receive their free annual flu shots at their local Walgreens or Duane Reade pharmacies. While this immunization program is limited to VA patients, Walgreens can provide flu shots to most VFW members and their families through other coverage programs, such as TRICARE, Medicare and most insurances.

Important Dates in October

The month of October has many important days. Here are just a few:

Oct. 7 – Afghanistan War began (2001)

Oct. 9 – Columbus Day: A day set aside to commemorate Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas in 1942

Oct. 13 – U.S. Navy’s Birthday

Oct. 23 – Grenada Campaign began (1983)

Oct. 24 – United Nations Day

Oct. 26 – National Day of the Deployed

POW/MIA Update

Army Pfc. Charlie H. Hill, 31, of Williamsburg, Ky., whose identification was previously announced, was buried Sept. 29 in Augusta, Mich.

Marine Corps Pvt. Joseph C. Carbone, 20, of Brooklyn, N.Y., whose identification was previously announced, was buried Sept. 30 in his hometown.

Army Sgt. Thomas E. Zimmer, 19, of Milwaukee, Wis., whose identification was previously announced, was buried Sept. 30 in his hometown.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Walter B. Rogers, 22, of Bison, S.D., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Oct. 2 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.

Seaman 1st Class Milton R. Surratt, 21, of Greenville, S.C., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Oct. 6, in Mauldin, S.C.

Marine Corps Reserve 2nd Lt. Elwood R. Bailey was a pilot assigned to Marine Fighting Squadron 223 (VMF-223), Marine Aircraft Group 23, (MAG-23). Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Charles A. Drew was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Pvt. John M. Tillman was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Army Air Forces Tech Sgt. John S. Bailey was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group. Interment services are pending.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Homer A. Spence was a member of the 96th Fighter Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group. Interment services are pending.

Army Cpl. Donald L. Baer was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.

Army Maj. Stephen T. Uurtamo was a member of Headquarters Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.

Army Pfc. Leroy W. Bryant was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– Charles Castelluccio