National Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29

National Vietnam War Veterans Day is a commemorative holiday in the United States which recognizes the sacrifices that veterans and their families made during the Vietnam War. It is also a day to give proper recognition to the men and women who returned home from that war and didn’t receive a proper welcome home. It is a holiday that has been celebrated since 1973 on either March 29 or March 30 of each year through a patchwork of state resolutions. However, in 2017, the date of the holiday was set as March 29 by President Donald Trump. This day is now known as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. To All my brothers and sisters that have served in Vietnam, I say to you, welcome home!

Omnibus Bill Omits Three VA Program Improvements

Congress reached a deal last week to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2018. But the VFW isn’t happy that the $1.3 trillion omnibus omits consolidating and reforming VA’s community care programs, expanding family caregiver support to pre-9/11 veterans, and better aligning VA’s infrastructure to its main mission of delivering quality care to veterans. The improvements are what the VFW has advocated for in the past, to include just this last week a joint letter to the majority and minority leadership of the House and Senate. “The VFW is very disappointed, but we will continue to work with House and Senate VA Committee leadership to bring these important issues to fruition,” said VFW National Commander Keith Harman, “because the needs are not going away.”

VFW Testifies

The VFW-supported Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018 would automatically increase VA benefits to match cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases for social security beneficiaries. Other VFW-supported bills that were considered by the subcommittee would expand burial benefits to family members who precede their service members in death, expedite the adjudication of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation claims, and require the U.S. Department of the Interior to provide grave liners for veterans interred at cemeteries operated by the National Park Service.

POW/MIA Update

Army Pvt. Rudolph Johnson, 20, of Malvern, Ark., whose identification was previously announced, was buried March 23 in Little Rock, Ark. Johnson was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Johnson was reported missing in action as of Feb. 6, 1945. His status was changed to killed in action on Feb. 21, 1945.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Donald J. Hall, 29, a Vietnam War Veteran, of Stroud, Okla., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried March 26 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington.

Army Cpl. Dow F. Worden, 20, of Boardman, Ore., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried March 27 in Arlington National Cemetery. The Army declared him deceased in December 1953.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Frank A. Fazekas, 22, of Trenton, N.J., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried March 28 in Arlington National Cemetery.  His remains were not recovered and the Army reported him deceased on May 27, 1944.

Army Cpl. Thomas H. Mullins, 18, of Harriman, Tenn., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried March 29 in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was later reported to have died while being held in POW Camp 5, Pyokdong, North Korea.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Jarvis G. Outland was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Interment services are pending.

To everyone have a Happy Easter. Remember what the day is all about.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– Charles Castelluccio