VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows on Capital Hill

Six 2023/2024 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows traveled to our nation’s capital to participate in the VFW Washington Conference. Joining VFW delegations from their respective states, the fellows met with key staffers and congressional members, including some who serve on the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs. The fellows focused their discussions on the VFW’s support for H.R. 4157/S. 928, Not Just a Number Act, which aims to improve veteran suicide prevention.

Celebrating Women Veterans

VFW Junior Vice Commander Carol Whitmore and National Legislative Deputy Director Kristina Keenan attended a women veterans event hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement. A panel discussion on the administration’s work supporting women service members and veterans included VA Deputy Secretary Tanya Bradsher, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Defense Policy Jason Israel, Special Assistant to the President for Veterans Affairs Terri Tanielian, and Strategic Partnerships Project Director at Creative Forces Carolyn Bartley. Following the panel were poetry and storytelling performances by women veterans.

VA Trauma Coordinators

Military sexual trauma (MST) is sexual assault or harassment that occurs during military service. MST survivors can receive assistance from MST Coordinators at VA health facilities to connect with no-cost care. Community-based Vet Centers provide MST-related outpatient counseling and referral services in nonmedical settings.

Important Dates This Week

March 21 – Rosie the Riveter Day, day set aside to honor the women that worked in the factories that manufactured war machinery during WWII.

March 25 – Medal Of Honor Day. We honor the valor that the most courageous servicemen and servicewomen in the United States military has displayed. There are 63 recipients still living. Nineteen have received the medal two times. Only one woman has received the Medal of Honor.

March 29 – National Vietnam War Veterans Day, to honor all veterans that served during the Vietnam War from Nov. 1, 1955, to April 30, 1975.

POW/MIA Updates

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Cecil H. Thornton, 21, of Rogersville, Alabama, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. He was among 429 crewmen killed that day. He was buried in his hometown on March 11, 2024.

Navy Radioman Third Class Starring B. Winfield, 22, of San Rafael, California, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. He will be buried on May 9, 2024, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Army Pfc. Raymond U. Schlamp, 28, of Dubuque, Iowa, was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion. The War Department issued a finding of death in September 1945. He will be buried on a date and location to be determined.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio