Certain Health Care Costs Covered For Camp Lejeune Families

Families of Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune are now eligible for reimbursement of health care costs associated with Parkinson’s disease in addition to the list of serious health conditions currently covered. Learn how to apply for health care reimbursement under VA’s Camp Lejeune Family Member Program. To apply for disability benefits related to Camp Lejeune, find a credited Veterans Service Officer.

VA National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report

VA has released its 2023 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report. This is the largest national analysis of veteran suicides through 2021. The report shows 6,392 veterans died by suicide that year, which is 114 more than in 2020. The first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 led to greater financial strain, housing instability, anxiety and depression levels, and barriers to health care. All of these factors are known to be associated with an increased risk of suicide for veterans and non-veterans alike. This report is a peer-reviewed publication that is based on verified data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and DOD.

Reserve Component Compensation Challenges

Recently published data revealed a disparity in the approval of disability compensation claims between National Guard/Reserve and active-duty component members. The Government Accountability Office recommends that VA should implement guidance informing reservists about the importance of reporting medical conditions in real time as related to claims for disability compensation.

Holiday Overseas Mail Deadlines Approaching

The U.S. Postal Service is preparing for the holiday season as many families spend holidays apart due to military service. In order to ensure overseas packages are delivered before Dec. 25, it has provided the following deadlines: Dec. 9 for all Air/Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) addresses with AE zip codes using Priority Mail and First-Class Mail; and Dec. 15 for APO/FPO/DPO addresses using USPS Priority Mail Express (excluding zip 093).

POW/MIA Updates

Army Pfc. Clinton E. Smith, Jr., 19, of Wichita Falls, Texas, was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion. He was killed in action on Jan. 14, 1945. He will be buried in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 27, 2023.

Army Air Force Pfc. Henry J. McConnell, 28, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was assigned to the 2nd Observation Squadron. He died while a prisoner of war on July 26, 1942. He will be buried in his hometown on Nov. 30, 2023.

Army Cpl. William J. Herrington, 19, of Alliance, Ohio, was a member of Dog Company, 1st Battalion. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950.  He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in July 2024.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio