VFW Attends Congressional Roundtable on Burn Pit Exposure

On Wednesday, VFW National Legislative Service Director Carlos Fuentes participated in a roundtable discussion with House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs members to discuss the importance of researching the impact burn pits exposure has on the health of service members and veterans who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Fuentes urged Congress and VA to ensure existing toxic exposure research is disseminated to all VA health care professionals and compensation and pension examiners, which would help ensure veterans receive the health care and benefits they deserve. VA announced it is in the process of improving the registry and partnering with the National Academy of Medicine to review existing research to evaluate the association between adverse health care outcomes and exposure to burn pits.

VA Launches VEText Appointment System

VA has launched VEText, a text messaging system that reminds veterans of upcoming health care appointments and allows them to confirm or cancel via phone. There are currently 138 VA facilities using the automated system. Veterans who have previously used the VA health care system with a cell phone number listed in their electronic health records are automatically enrolled in VETtext.

VA Seeks WWII Veterans Exposed to Mustard Gas

VA is reviewing previously denied claims from World War II veterans who participated in full-body testing for mustard gas or lewisite in the 1940s. VA has contacted identifiable WWII veterans with a previously-denied claim for exposure to mustard gas or lewisite to readjudicate those claims. WWII veterans who were previously denied benefits for mustard gas or lewisite exposure and have not been contacted by VA, should contact a accredited service officer to request that their claim be reviewed.

Korean War Ended July 27, 1953

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when communist North Korea invaded South Korea. Almost immediately, the United States secured a resolution from the United Nations calling for military defense of South Korea. In a matter of days, U.S. land, air, and sea forces had joined the battle. More than 36,000 of Americans were killed and more than 105,000 were wounded in the Korean War. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 7,697 personnel from the Korean War are still unaccounted for, 5,300 of whom are believed to be north of the 38th parallel. Note: The Department of Defense calls it a Conflict. Ask any Korean Veteran and they will tell you it was a war. Be sure to fly your American Flag proudly.

POW/MIA Update

Army Pfc. Walter W. Green, a Korean War veteran, 18, of Zanesville, Ohio, whose identification was previously announced, was buried July 20 in Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Staff Sgt. David Rosenkrantz, a WWII veteran, 28, of Los Angeles, whose identification was previously announced, was buried in June 20 in Riverside, Calif.

Navy Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class George H. Gibson, a WWII veteran, 20, of Winchester, Kan., whose identification was previously announced, was buried July 21 in Inglewood, Calif.

Army Cpl. Francisco Ramos-Rivera, a Korean War veteran, was a member of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.

Army Master Sgt. Leonard K. Chinn was a member of Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.

Army Pvt. Delbert J. Holliday, a Korean War veteran, was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 7th Cavalry Division. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio