VFW To Testify on VA Health Care, Choice Program

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On Tuesday, Oct. 24, the VFW will testify before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, alongside Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David Shulkin. The VFW will testify on the future of VA’s Choice Program and how Congress must consolidate VA’s community care programs into one program with veteran-centric eligibility criteria on when and where veterans can receive their care.

Expect a 2 Percent COLA Increase

Social Security and VA compensation recipients, federal and military retirees, and their survivors, should expect a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their January pay, according to data released by the Social Security Administration last Friday. This will be the highest COLA since 2012. Last year’s adjustment was 0.3 percent; the year before was zero; and 2013-2015 averaged 1.6 percent.

Desert Storm War Memorial Site Selection Update

The Commission on Fine Arts met yesterday to further narrow the number of potential sites for the new National Desert Storm War Memorial. The process began with 18 possible sites, which was whittled to six and then three. It was anticipated that yesterday’s meeting would reduce the number to two, but the commissioners voted to keep the number at three, and require even more site feasibility research. Of the three potential sites, one is along the Potomac River and the other on E Street between the White House and State Department. The preferred site, which the VFW and the memorial foundation supports, is in a vacant corner section of Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street, NW. This location is adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial and its yet-to-be-built Vietnam War Educational Center, and is within easy walking distance of the District of Columbia’s World War I Memorial, the National WWII Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. The VFW’s support of the Desert Storm War Memorial is through the passage of Resolution 305 at the 115th VFW National Convention in St. Louis. To date, the VFW is the only national veterans organization to contribute significant financial support toward its construction, a pledged $500,000.

POW/MIA Update

Army Sgt. Philip J. Iyotte, 21, of White River, S.D., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Oct. 25 in his hometown.

Navy Signalman 3rd Class Charles E. Nix was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Pfc. Francis E. Drake was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl Raymond A. Barker was assigned to Company C, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Pvt. Edwin W. Jordan was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Albert Strange was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Pfc. Donald R. Tolson was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Cpl. John V. McNichol was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Sgt. Elden W. Grimm was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 18th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. Interment services are pending.

Till next week praying for all Service members.

 

– Charles Castelluccio