VFW Testifies Before House Subcommittee

VFW National Legislative Service Deputy Director Tammy Barlet testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health regarding several pieces of pending legislation. She spoke about how Vet Centers are a vital resource for veterans and the importance of VA’s Veteran Justice Outreach program (VJO). “As the demand for veterans treatment courts increases, the program’s success faces barriers and challenges due to lack of financial support, open-minded prosecutors, and reliance on judges to volunteer for the position,” Barlet said on the importance of holding VA accountable for the VJO program.

Congress Passes Maternity Care Bill

The Senate passed VFW-supported S. 796, Protecting Moms Who Served Act of 2021. This legislation would require VA to coordinate maternity care programs with community providers to meet the unique needs of pregnant and postpartum veterans. It would also require a report on maternal mortality rates and racial and ethnic disparities in care. The bill, which passed the House in May, now heads to the President’s desk for signature.

Senate Passes Buddy Check Bill

The Senate passed VFW-supported S. 544, to direct VA to designate one week each year as “Buddy Check Week.” This legislation would promote outreach and education concerning wellness checks for veterans. In addition, VA would provide scripts as well as online and in-person training for veterans to facilitate successful buddy checks.

Renew Your ID Card Before They Expire

To reduce the risk of exposure during the Covid-19 pandemic, DOD electronically extended the expiration dates of ID cards. DOD has now requested that all dependents of active-duty service members, and Reserve and National Guard service members and their dependents schedule appointments immediately as these cards will expire on Oct. 31, 2021. ID cards of retirees and their dependents that were extended under the above conditions are valid through Jan. 31, 2022. DOD will not issue any further extensions, so schedule your appointments today! ID cards for retirees and their dependents have changed to the Next Gen USID cards which are being issued now.

POW/MIA Update

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Alan E. Petersen, 23, of Brownton, Minnesota, was assigned to 345th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force. On Aug. 1, 1943, the B-24 Liberator aircraft on which Peterson was serving as a bombardier crashed as a result of enemy anti-aircraft fire. He will be buried Oct. 30, 2021, in Glencoe, Minnesota.

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Pete Turk, 20, was assigned to the battleship USS California, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio