Legislation Introduced to add New Presumptive Diseases for Agent Orange Exposure

Last week, Sen. Tester (D-MT) introduced VFW-supported S. 3444, the Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act of 2020. This important legislation would expand the list of presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure to include parkinsonism, bladder cancer, hypertension, and hyperthyroidism. “Vietnam veterans did our part,” said VFW Commander-in-Chief William J. “Doc” Schmitz. “After winning every battle they fought while they were in Vietnam, many of them have lost their fight to the horrible health conditions they received from Agent Orange exposure. It’s unacceptable that the list of conditions presumed to be associated with Agent Orange exposure does not include bladder cancer, Parkinson-like symptoms, hypertension, and the other conditions that the scientists have said are connected to military service. The VFW is proud to support the Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act of 2020, which would correct this wrong.”

How to Switch to TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery During COVID-19 Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 virus guidance includes the recommendation to have a supply of necessary medications on hand. TRICARE offers beneficiaries the option to get a 90-day supply of their prescriptions at military pharmacies, via TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery, or at retail network pharmacies. During this outbreak receiving prescriptions at home will help lessen the spread of COVID-19 for vulnerable populations.

Beware of COVID-19 Virus Scams

The White House is warning the public to ignore rumors of a national quarantine due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, which were circulated by erroneous text messages. “Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE,” according to a March 15 tweet posted on the Twitter page of the National Security Council. “There is no national lockdown.” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told defense reporters Monday that he “was not familiar” with any plans of using the U.S. military to enforce a national quarantine to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Social media has been flooded with virus-related rumors, many of which are being perpetrated by cybercriminals, according to U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

National Medal of Honor Day

National Medal of Honor Day is March 25. It recognizes all Medal Of Honor recipients. On March 25, 1863, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton presented the first Medal of Honor (Army) to six members of  “Andrews Raiders” for their volunteering and participating during an American Civil War raid in April 1862. There are three versions of The Medal Of Honor, one for the Army, one for the Navy and one for the Air Force, with personnel of the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard receiving the Navy version. Since its creation, there have been 3,468 Medal Of Honor awarded to the country’s Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast-guardsmen. In 1990, the United States Congress designated March 25 of each year as National Medal Of Honor Day.

National Vietnam War Veterans Day 2020

National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed every year on March 29, and is a way to thank and honor our nation’s Vietnam War veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. There were 9,087,000 military personnel that served or were on active duty during the official Vietnam era from Aug. 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975. In all, 2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam and 240 men were awarded the Medal Of Honor. Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old. The oldest man killed was 62 years old. Over 58,200 were killed in Vietnam; 75,000 severely disabled. Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21 years old; 11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old. Of those killed, 17,539 were married. It is estimated that there are 1,253 still Missing In Action.

POW/MIA Update

Navy Seaman 1st Class Orval A. Tranbarger, 20, of Mountain View, Missouri, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. He will be buried in his hometown. The date has yet to be decided.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. George M. Johnson, 23, of Seaford, Delaware, was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll. Johnson will be buried May 8, 2020, in his hometown.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Herbert B. Jacobson, 21, of Grayslake, Illinois, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Jacobson will be buried May 15, 2020, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Marine Corps Sgt. Jerome B. Morris, 22, of East St. Louis, Illinois, was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Morris will be buried in Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. The date has yet to be determined.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio