100 mile Diabetes walk, fitness classes set

Erie to Pittsburgh 100 Mile Diabetes Walk: The Annual Erie to Pittsburgh Diabetes Walk will start Friday in Erie. Participants will walk Rt. 19 South. They will start walking around 7:30 a.m. in Erie and walk to Meadville, arriving about 4:30 p.m. The next day Saturday, they will depart Meadville around 8 a.m., arriving in Mercer round 5 p.m.; and on Sunday from Mercer to Pittsburgh. This is the 39th year of the Diabetes Walk. Donations will be accepted. You can also donate at any VFW and put on the memo, Diabetes Walk 2016. Many veterans have the disease and more than 40 million Americans are at risk of developing the disease. Many veterans have the disease, including some who developed it as a result of being exposed to herbicides while serving in Vietnam. Nearly one in four VA patients has the condition.

New Fitness Classes for Veterans at the Erie VA: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday starting Oct. 4, 2016, through July 30, 2017. Times are 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. The classes will be held at the Erie VA second floor conference room. Veterans are invited to attend free fitness classes to invest in their health and well-being. Tuesday and Thursday classes focus on interval training and Wednesday classes focus on Tai-Chi, balance and coordination. All fitness levels are welcome to attend. Classes are led by a certified YMCA instructor. For more information, call the Erie VAMC health promotional team at (814) 860-2695.

Government Shutdown Averted: A government shutdown was averted last Wednesday night when Congress passed a continuing resolution to temporarily fund the federal government for 10 weeks into fiscal year 2017, which begins Saturday. Congress also approved full-year funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a significant VFW victory. The VA/military construction budget that the president is expected to sign will provide $74.4 billion in discretionary spending to VA next year, as well as $7.72 billion for military construction. Included in the new funding package are a number of VFW-supported initiatives and programs, such as authorizing VA to provide In Vitro Fertilization and covering the cost of adoptions, eliminating co-payments for medications that counter potential opioid overdoses, expanding VA childcare pilot programs and whistle-blower protections, and increasing the transparency of VA Office of Inspector General reports.

CVS Dropped from TRICARE Pharmacy Network: Today, Express Scripts, the contractor who manages the TRICARE Pharmacy Network, announced that starting Dec. 1, 2016, service members, retirees and their families will no longer be able to have their prescriptions filled at CVS pharmacy stores. To find a network pharmacy, visit tricare.mil/CoveredServices/Pharmacy/FillPrescriptions/Network.

MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced the identification of remains of seven Americans who had been missing in action since World War II and Korea. * Marine Sgt. Fae V. Moore, 23, will be buried Oct. 6 in his hometown of Chadron, Neb. In November 1943, Moore was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. * Army Cpl. William H. Smith, 18, of Hornell, N.Y., will be buried Oct. 7 in Elmira, N.Y. In late November 1950, Smith was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, when his unit was forced into a fighting withdrawal from their positions near Unsan, South Korea. * Marine Pfc. Ronald W. Vosmer, 22, will be buried Oct. 8 in his hometown of Denver, Colo. Vosmer was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. * Army Sgt. 1st Class Louis M. Baxter, 22, will be buried Oct. 8 is his hometown of Massena, N.Y. Baxter was a member of Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. * Navy Seaman 2nd Class Lewis L. Wagoner, 20, of Douglas County, Mo., will be buried Oct. 8 in Whitewater, Kan. On Dec. 7, 1941, Schmitt was stationed aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma. * Navy Lt. j.g. Aloysius H. Schmitt, 32, of St. Lucas, Iowa, will be buried Oct. 9 in Dubuque, Iowa. On Dec. 7, 1941, Schmitt was stationed aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma when it capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo hits. * Army W. Pfc. William Cowan was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action after his unit attacked an enemy roadblock near Hoengsong, South Korea, on Feb. 12, 1951. It would be later learned he died in captivity in North Korea. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all veterans.

— Charles Castelluccio