VFW 28th District meeting set

The Pennsylvania VFW 28th District will have their district meeting Sunday, Sept. 10, at VFW Post 470. The post is located at 1808 W. 26th St. in Erie. The School Of Instruction will start at 1 p.m. The regular district meeting will start at 2 p.m. The district meeting is open to all post members in good standing. Be sure to have your VFW membership card with you. The 28th District covers the counties of Erie, Crawford and Mercer. The Auxiliary will also be meeting at Post 470.

Patriot Day

Patriot Day is a annual observance on Sept. 11 to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Many Americans refer to Patriot Day as 9/11 or Sept. 11. On the direction of the President, the flag of the United States of America should be displayed on the homes of Americans. The flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset. Many people observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. This marks the time that the first plane flew into the World Trade Center.


In accordance with provisions introduced in the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, TRICARE “North” and “South” regions will combine into a single “East” region, while “West” will remain unchanged. The reasoning behind this consolidation is to streamline access and continuity of care, as well as to ensure consistency within the TRICARE network as a whole.

As a part of the consolidation process, there will be a change in managed health care vendors as well. Beginning on Jan. 1, Health Net Federal Services will oversee the TRICARE “West” region, and Humana Military will oversee the TRICARE “East” region. Prior to the beginning of next year, you may be contacted by the new vendor to confirm eligibility, or to answer any questions that you may have about the implementation. In order to ensure that you are prepared for the changeover, the VFW encourages you to review your information in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment System (DEERS), more importantly your contact information, in the event that your new TRICARE vendor needs to contact you.

While “TRICARE For Life” will largely be unaffected, TRICARE “Prime,” “Standard,” “Reserve Select,” “Young Adult” and “Retired Reserve” will be impacted.

Military Spouse Hiring Preference Expanded

On Aug. 8, 2017, the United States Office of Personnel Management implemented a VFW-supported provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. It expanded the time military spouses are eligible for federal hiring preferences following a permanent change of station. This authority allows federal agencies to noncompetitively appoint eligible spouses to fill vacancies. Before this change, hiring preference for military spouses was limited to a two-year period following a service member’s permanent change of station.

Houston Hosts Women Veterans Summit

As Hurricane Harvey closed in on Houston last week, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was preparing for their much-anticipated Women Veterans Summit, scheduled for Aug. 25-26. With VFW as a proud sponsor of the event, over 800 people were slated to arrive in Houston for the summit, alongside VA employees, to attend breakout sessions focused on everything from reproductive health to women veterans receiving better recognition within VA for their service, documentary screenings, entertainment, VIP speakers and more. Hurricane Harvey forced the summit to end early due to safety concerns, with the summit being cut short at lunch on Aug. 24. The VA Center for Women Veterans will be updating their website to include slides and information expected to be passed during the summit.

POW/MIA Update

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Sidney A. Cook, 32, of Ohio, will be buried Sept. 6 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Cook was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Navy Reserve Ensign William M. Thompson, 21, of Summit, N.J, whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Sept. 8 in Petersburg, Va.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– Charles Castelluccio