On Friday, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) introduced VFW-supported S. 2950, the Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition Act of 2019. This important bipartisan legislation would recognize that veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates were exposed to more than 45 toxins, chemicals, and airborne hazards. Although this bill would not grant a presumption of service-connection, it would help veterans prove that any disability or illness resulting from exposure to these environmental hazards occurred during military service. The VFW thanks Sen. Sullivan and Sen. Manchin for introducing this legislation and for their continued efforts to expand disability benefits for veterans.
TRICARE Open Season
TRICARE Open Season will run through Dec. 9, 2019. It is important to note that new retirees have only one year to enroll for TRICARE Prime. If they forget to enroll in TRICARE Prime, individuals are no longer going to be automatically enrolled into TRICARE Select and will have to wait for the next Open Season enrollment period. Individuals already enrolled can change their TRICARE coverage.
Holiday Shipping Deadlines
Military and U.S. Postal Service officials have issued suggested mailing deadlines for holiday packages and letters to military locations overseas in time for Christmas. To get them there in time for Hanukkah, which starts on Dec. 22 this year, subtract three days from the deadlines. Parcel-Airlift Mail (PAL) deadline is Dec 4. First-Class and Priority Mail deadline is Dec. 11, except for zip 093, which is Dec. 9. Priority Mail Express Military Service deadline is Dec 18. This service is not available for zip 093. The Postal Service has also created a “military care kit,” which consists of items most often requested by military families and it is free.
District Meeting Set
Pa. VFW 28th’s district meeting is schedules for Sunday, Dec. 8 at James D. Bowers Memorial VFW Post 169, 20628 Gospel Hill Rd. in Venango, PA. The Business Session starts at 2 p.m. All Post and Auxiliary members are encouraged to attend.
Important Dates in December
Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Day – On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “A Day which will live in infamy,” National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day. On Sunday morning, Dec. 7,1941, the Imperial Navy Air Service attacked naval Station Pearl harbor in Honolulu Oahu, Hawaii Territory, without warning and with out a declaration of war, killing 2,403 Americans, and injuring 1,178 others. The American Flag should be flown at half-staff, from sunrise to sunset.
Dec. 13: National Guard Birthday
Dec. 14: National Wreaths Across America – There will be a wreath laying at the Erie Soldiers & Sailors Home cemetery at 10 a.m. Dec. 14. The Wreath Across America Ceremony is at noon. The home is located at 530 E. 3rd St. in Erie. For more information, call Ken Vybiral, volunteer coordinator at (814) 878-4961. All veterans service organizations are invited to attend.
Dec. 25: Christmas Day
Dec. 28: Anniversary of The Army Chaplain Assistant
Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Charles G. Ruble, 20, of Parker City, Indiana, was a member of the 99th Troup Carrier Squadron, 441st Troup Carrier Group, serving as an aerial engineer aboard a C-47A aircraft. Ruble will be buried March 2, 2020, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Navy Fire Controlman 3rd Class Adolph J. Loebach, 22, of Peru, Illinois, was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. Loebach will be buried Dec. 19, 2019, in LaSalle, Illinois.
Army Cpl. Gerald N. Wilson, 19, of Camden, Missouri, was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was last seen July 25, 1950, while participating in the defense of Yongdong, South Korea. Wilson will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The date has yet to be determined.
Army Pvt. William D. Hedtke, 28, of Iola, Wisconsin, was assigned to Battery B, 319th Glider Artillery Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. Hedtke will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The date has yet to be determined.
Navy Fireman First Class Bethel E. Walters, 25, of Bellevue, Texas, was killed during World War II. On Dec. 7, 1941, Walters was assigned to the battleship USS West Virginia, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. The funeral date and location have yet to be decided.
Navy Fireman 1st Class Lawrence E. Woods, 28, of Greenwood, Texas, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo hits as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The funeral date and location have yet to be decided.
Navy Fireman 1st Class Rex E. Wise, 21, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo hits as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Interment services are pending.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio