VFW, Bergmann & Moore Collaborate to Assist with Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Section 804 of the VFW-championed Honoring our PACT Act of 2022 authorizes veterans and military families who were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987 to file a federal tort claim for harm caused by such exposure. “Since the PACT Act added another recourse for veterans and their families suffering the effects of toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune, getting the right legal advice is crucial,” said VFW National Commander Tim Borland. “That’s why we turned to our long-trusted relationship with Bergmann & Moore to provide counsel for those we assist.” The VFW encourages anyone who wishes to join the Camp Lejeune Justice Act lawsuit to visit vfw.org/CampLejeuneHelp or call (800) 898-9450.

TRICARE Open Season Begins Today

TRICARE Open Season will run through Dec. 13, 2022. This is your chance to enroll or change your health care plan for the next year. If you are satisfied with your current plan then your coverage will continue automatically for 2023, as long as you remain eligible. It is important to note that new retirees have only one year to enroll for TRICARE Prime. Enrollment in TRICARE Prime or Select is not automatic for retirees.

The PACT Act and VA Benefits

Following the recent passage of the Honoring our PACT Act, VA is providing responses to commonly asked questions. What is the PACT Act and how will it affect my benefits? What does it mean to have a presumptive condition for toxic exposure? What is the eligibility for veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras? For more information or assistance filing a claim, contact a Certified Veterans Service Officer.

VA Caregiver Phase II Expansion

Caregivers of veterans who served after May 7, 1975, and before Sept. 11, 2001, can apply for VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). This program offers education and training, access to health care insurance, mental health counseling, financial stipends, and respite care among other benefits for caregivers of eligible veterans. As part of the VA MISSION Act of 2018, PCAFC will expand in two phases. The first phase launched in 2020 is for caregivers of veterans injured in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975. The second phase is for those injured in the line of duty between May 7, 1975, and Sept. 11, 2001.

POW/MIA Update

Army Air Force Staff Sgt. David E. Holeman, 39, of Le Harpe, Kansas, was assigned to the 17th Pursuit Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1941. He will be buried April 23, 2023, in Independence, Kansas.

Army Pvt. James R. Tash, 20, of St. Louis, Missouri, was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1941. He will be buried in St. Louis, Missouri, on a date yet to be determined.

Army Sgt. Alfred H. Sidney, 23, of Littleton, New Hampshire, was assigned to Company H, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. A repatriated POW reported Sidney had been captured and held as a prisoner of war at Camp #1 where he died in July 1951. He will be buried in his hometown on a date yet to be determined.

Army Air Force Cpl. Charles W. Eeds, 23, was assigned to the 48th Material Squadron, in the Philippines, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1941. Eeds was among those captured and held at the Cabanatuan POW Camp where he reportedly died on July 19, 1942, and was buried. Interment services are pending.

Army Reserve Chief Warrant Officer 3 Larry A. Zich, 24, was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 37th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade. On April 3, 1972, the UH-1H Iroquois helicopter on which Zich was co-pilot was shot down near, Quang Tri City. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all.


– Charles Castelluccio