Congress is voting now on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022. Amendments have been added to the NDAA for H.R.1115/ S.535 the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act, and H.R. 1282 / S.344, the Major Richard Star Act. Post-9/11 veterans deserve to be honored with a GWOT memorial on the National Mall and Purple Heart recipients deserve to receive all the benefits they earned. Now is the time to move these two important pieces of legislation forward. Contact your members of Congress today and demand they pass this crucial legislation. Take action!
VA Extends Presumptive Period for Gulf War Illness Disability Claims
VA has extended the time limit for veterans of the Persian Gulf War to make disability claims for presumptive conditions associated with Gulf War Illness. Since military operations in Southwest Asia continue and there is scientific uncertainty as to the causes and onset of symptoms, the presumptive period has been extended from Dec. 31, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2026. Public comments on this amendment by VA may be submitted to the Federal Register through Oct. 14, 2021.
Online Suicide Prevention Training
VA has collaborated with PsychArmor Institute to provide the public with a 25-minute online training course in suicide prevention awareness. The free training video, S.A.V.E. (Signs, Ask, Validate, Encourage and Expedite), covers suicide as a public health issue, signs of suicide risk, and what actions can be taken. For any veteran in crisis, you are not alone. The Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone at (800) 273-8255, press 1, text to 838255, or online chat by visiting VeteransCrisisLine.net.
Gold Star Families Remembrance Week
In 2018, Congress designated Sept. 23 – Sept. 29 as Gold Star Families Remembrance Week to honor and recognize the sacrifices made by the families of members of the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice. This year, Gold Star Mother’s and Family Remembrance Day will be observed on Sept. 26. All Americans are encouraged to perform acts of goodwill and celebrate the families of those who gave their lives for our freedom.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio