On Thursday, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a markup hearing to consider H.R. 3495, the IMPROVE Well-Being for Veterans Act. The bill passed the committee and can now be voted on by the full House of Representatives. H.R. 3495 creates a three-year pilot program that would offer grants to community providers who offer services that target factors that contribute to suicide such as financial stress, relationship stress, readjustment and community integration issues, housing insecurity, and others. The goal is to reach the two-thirds of veterans who commit suicide and have not utilized VA prior to their suicides.
Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act Passed
Last Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 4803, Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act. This bipartisan legislation was introduced by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to ensure that children of deployed military and government families benefit from provision of U.S. law that confers automatic U.S. citizenship and are not disadvantaged because their parents are serving our country abroad.
National Wreaths Across America is Dec. 14
To honor and remember veterans during the holiday season, the nonprofit organization, Wreaths Across America, organizes the annual event of laying Christmas wreaths on veterans’ graves. The event is held every December, on the second or third Saturday of the month. This year’s National Wreaths Across America Day takes place on Dec. 14. Wreaths Across America’s annual escort to Arlington National Cemetery kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 7. It will make stops in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The escort’s final stop will be Arlington National Cemetery on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 14.
The Erie Soldiers & Sailors Home Wreaths Laying
The home will have wreaths placed on the graves of Veterans that are laid to rest at the Homes Cemetery. It will be held Saturday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. After the placing of wreaths, there will be a PSSH Veterans Memorial Cemetery Wreaths Across America Ceremony, it will be at noon indoors. The Home is located at 560 E. 3rd St. in Erie. For more information, contact volunteer coordinator Ken Vybrial at (814) 878-4961 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All veterans organizations are invited to attend, so is the public. This is an outdoor event. Dress accordingly.
Navy Fireman 1st Class Leo T. Keninger, 20, was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. Interment services are pending.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Orval A. Tranbarger, 20, was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. Interment services are pending.
Army Master Sgt. Harold F. Drews, 21, was assigned to King Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. For several days, his unit was engaged in intense fighting with the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Interment Services are pending.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Riley Burchfield, 22, of Cleveland, was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He was captured by enemy forces near Kunu-ri, North Korea on Nov. 26, 1950. Burchfield will be buried Jan. 10, 2020, in his hometown.
Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Steve Nagy, 23, of Lorain, Ohio, was a member of the 407th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 92nd Bombardment Group (Heavy), 40th Combat Bombardment Wing, 1st Air Division, 8th Air Force. Nagy will be buried in his hometown. The date has yet to be determined.
Navy Quartermaster 2nd Class Daryle E. Artley, 21, of Maywood, Nebraska, was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. Artley will be buried May 15, 2020, in Vancouver, Washington.
Navy Chief Water Tender Frances D. Day, 37, of Milburn, New Jersey, was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. Day will be buried at the Punchbowl. The date has yet to be determined.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio