Last Wednesday, Reps. Josh Harder (D-Calif.) and Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) introduced VFW-supported H.R. 5610, the Fair Care For Vietnam Veterans Act. This important bipartisan legislation would expand the list of presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure to include parkinsonism, bladder cancer, hypertension, and hyperthyroidism. In October 2019, it was revealed that White House officials impeded the inclusion of these diseases as presumptive conditions despite a recommendation from former Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin that they be added. In a press release, Harder stated, “No more studies. No more excuses. Everyone seems to think this is the right thing to do except for some Washington bureaucrats – it’s time to stop playing games and give our vets the benefits they earned.” The VFW has long advocated for the inclusion of these diseases on the list of presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure, and thanks Harder and Stauber for introducing this legislation.
New Navy Aircraft Carrier to be Named After Doris “Dorie” Miller
Last Monday, the Navy announced that it will be naming a new aircraft carrier after Mess Attendant 3rd Class Doris Miller. Miller was the first black service member to receive the Navy Cross for valor. On Dec. 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Miller got his mortally wounded officer to a safer location and manned a machine gun to fire at the Japanese aircraft until he was ordered to leave, even though he had never been trained to operate the machine gun. Miller continued his service in the Navy after the Pearl Harbor attack, he died when the carrier he was serving on was sunk by a Japanese torpedo.
Important Dates in February
Feb 3 – Four Chaplains Day: A day set aside to honor the four U.S. Army Chaplains who gave their lives to save others when the troop ship USAT Dorchester sank during Word War II.
Feb 4 – USO Birthday
Feb.12,1973 – Operation Home Coming Begins: Marks the return of 591 American Prisoners of War held by North Vietnam. The signing of the Paris Peace Accord was Jan. 27th, 1973.
Feb.10-14 – National Salute To Veterans Week
Feb 14 – Valentines Day
Feb 17 – Presidents Day
Feb. 19 – Coast Guard Reserve Birthday
Army Cpl. Arthur C. Ramirez, 19, was a member of Battery B, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, when enemy forces attacked his unit near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. His remains could not be recovered following the attack. Interment services are pending.
Army Pvt. Horace H. Middleton, 20, of Northumberland, Pennsylvania, was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), also known as Merrill’s Marauders. After taking the airfield in Myitkyina, Burma, from the Japanese on May 17, 1944, Middleton’s battalion was tasked with holding the airfield and taking part in the siege of Myitkyina. Middleton will be buried April 18, 2020, in Milton, Pennsylvania.
Army Sgt. John V. Phillips, 25, of Cassville, Missouri, was a member of Headquarters Company, 31st Infantry Regiment. Intense fighting continued until the surrender of the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942, and of Corregidor Island on May 6, 1942. Phillips will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The date has yet to be determined.
Army Pvt. Roy Brown, Jr., 22, of Des Moines, Iowa, was a member of Company I, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, when his unit was forced into intense engagement with Japanese forces in the vicinity of Soputa-Sanananda Track in the Australian Territory of Papua (present-day Papua New Guinea). Brown will be buried in his hometown. The date has yet to be determined.
Army Pvt. Charlie M. Waid, 26, of Chico, California, was a member of the Medical Detachment of the 31st Infantry Regiment when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands. Intense fighting continued until the surrender of the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942, and of Corregidor Island on May 6, 1942. Waid will be buried in Hollywood Hills, California. The date has yet to be determined.
Army Cpl. William L. Brown, 18, of Sesser, Illinois, was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action Dec. 2, 1950, in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Brown will be buried in Mound City, Illinois. The date has yet to be determined.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio