Last week, the House unanimously passed three veterans bills: H.R. 6168, Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2020; S. 3414, Major Medical Facility Authorization Act of 2020; and S. 3084, to modify the limitation on pay for certain high-level employees and officers of VA. The VFW is grateful that veteran issues are not pushed to the back burner during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are encouraged to see our supporters in the House working in a bipartisan way to benefit veterans.
VA Expands Digital Capabilities of Veterans Legacy Memorial
The VA National Cemetery Administration has enhanced and expanded capabilities on the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) website to allow for family, friends, and visitors to leave “tributes” or comments on a veteran’s memorial page. The VLM website is the nation’s first digital platform dedicated entirely to the preservation of the memory of the 3.7 million veterans interred in VA national cemeteries. “Online memorialization becomes more prominent these days, allowing people to remotely honor the service and sacrifice of our Veterans,” said VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves. “The increased capabilities of VLM are in place at a critical time to ensure “No Veteran Ever Dies” by telling their stories to a larger audience through an enhanced digital platform. In addition, VLM allows people to express their appreciation and gratitude for the dedicated service of our Nation’s heroes.”
D-Day: The Exercise that Changed WWII
D-Day was originally to take place on June 5, but bad weather caused it to be postponed to the next day. By dawn on June 6, thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines, securing bridges and exit roads. The amphibious invasion began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture beaches code-named Gold, Juno and Sword, as did Americans at Utah Beach. U.S. forces faced heavy resistance at Omaha Beach, where there were over 2,000 American casualties. However, by day’s end approximately 156,000 Allied troops had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches. According to some estimates, more than 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the D-Day invasion, with thousands more wounded or missing. Less than a week later on June 11, the beaches were fully secured and over 326,000 troops, and more than 50,000 vehicles and some 100,000 tons of equipment had landed at Normandy.
Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Charles D. Miller, 19, was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio. Miller died on the third day of battle, Nov. 22, 1943. Interment services are pending.
Army Sgt. Jesse D. Hill, 20, was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Resolver. Interment services are pending.
U.S. Navy Metalsmith 1st Class Leonard F. Smith, 29, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Smith. Interment services are pending.
Till next week, praying for all.
– Charles Castelluccio