The VFW is saluting a decision by the Justice Department to not contest Procopio v. Wilkie, which now paves the way for the return of veterans disability benefits to some 90,000 so-called Blue Water Navy veterans. “This is a huge victory for tens of thousands of deserving veterans who were arbitrarily stripped of their earned benefits,” said VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence. “Now we need the Senate to quickly pass H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs can never again interpret the intent of law differently,” said Lawrence. “Now we can focus on getting H.R. 299 passed into law to protect VA benefits for Blue Water Navy veterans and expand much needed benefits for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in Thailand and the Korean DMZ, as well as continue research on Gulf War illnesses.” If you need help filing a VA claim for a presumptive condition, VFW Service Officers stand ready to assist you.
VA Implements New Health Care Programs
Last week, VA began the implementation of two key aspects of the VFW-supported VA MISSION Act. Starting this week, veterans will have the opportunity to visit a network of urgent care and walk-in clinics throughout the country. Certain veterans will be given three free urgent care visits per year, but all veterans would pay $30 per additional visit, regardless of priority group or service-connection. VA has also replaced the Veterans Choice Program with the new Veterans Community Care Program. The new program includes six eligibility criteria, which provide veterans the option to use community care (private-sector doctors and other federal health care facilities) when VA is unable to provide needed services, if it is in the veteran’s best medical interest, if veterans live in a state without a full-service VA medical center, if VA is unable to meet quality or access standards, and others.
U.S. Army’s Birthday
United States Army’s birthday is June 14. The United States Army will celebrate 244 years. It was established in 1775.
Flag day is June 14
On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a National Flag Day. If you have a torn or tattered flag that needs disposed of, take it to your local veterans organization so it can be deposed of properly.
Army Pvt. Edward M. Morrison was a member of 1st Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. His unit was holding a defensive position north of P’yongt’aek, South Korea. Interment services are pending.
Army Cpl. William S. Smith was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action after an enemy assault on his unit’s position along the Naktong River. Interment services are pending.
Army Master Sgt. James G. Cates was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 3, 1950, following combat actions against enemy forces. Interment services are pending.
Army Pfc. Hulett A. Thompson was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 5307th Combat Unit (Provisional), also referred to as Task Force Galahad, or Merrill’s Marauders, in the China-Burma-India region. Interment services are pending.
Navy Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Harold L. Dick was stationed aboard the USS Colorado, which was moored approximately 3,200 yards from the shore of Tinian Island. Interment services are pending.
Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Charles G. Ruble was a member of the 99th Troup Carrier Squadron, 441st Troup Carrier Group, serving as an aerial engineer aboard a C-47A aircraft. Interment services are pending.
Navy Signalman 3rd Class William J. Shanahan was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Ralph H. Keil was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio