On-Base Shopping Eligibility Expands Jan. 1

Beginning in the new year more than 3 million service-connected disabled veterans with VA ratings from zero to 90 percent will be authorized for on-base exchange and commissary shopping privileges, as well as access to certain MWR facilities, but you must have a VA-issued Veteran Health Identification Card, or VHIC, to gain access. The VHIC is issued only to veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system. You can apply online, or in person at your local VA medical facility. Family members of the newly eligible veterans will not be authorized to shop, but will be permitted on-base as guests of the VHIC-carrying veteran. Veterans who do not reside near a military installation can still shop online at the four military exchanges. Search for stores at ShopMyExchange, Marine Corps Exchange, Navy Exchange, and Coast Guard Exchange. Caregivers will be processed differently, initially, since they have no military or VA affiliation. The VA will post a memo to VA.gov for caregivers to be used for access at the front gate, along with a driver’s license. This process is expected to transition to a caregiver-type ID card, which will have scanning swipe capability. One hundred percent disabled veterans, their spouses, and eligible dependents already have access because they are issued military identification cards.

DOD to Divert $3.6 Billion to Fund Barrier Projects

On Wednesday, DOD announced that $3.6 billion will be diverted from 125 military construction projects in both the U.S. and overseas to fund 11 fencing and barrier projects along the southern U.S. border. In total, this reprogramming will suspend programs in 23 states, three U.S. territories, and 19 nations. These projects include schools, dining and maintenance facilities, upgrades to flight line infrastructure, and upgrades to ballistic missile defense infrastructure.

Patriot Day, Sept. 11

On Sept. 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked. The hijackers then deliberately flew the planes into three important buildings, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The forth crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The loss of life and damage that these hijackers was caused by the biggest act of terrorism ever on the United States soil. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks and the economic impact was immense. Remember to fly your American Flag at half-staff from sunrise to sunset.

September is Suicide Prevention Month

#BeThere is the VA campaign to prevent suicide. VA is encouraging everyone to help prevent suicide by showing compassion and a willingness to find a solution when the veteran may be unable to find the solution on their own. The VFW and Give An Hour will be doing just that on Sept. 14, 2019, by holding the fourth annual A Day to Change Direction, a national day of service and action to change the dialogue on mental health for veterans and their communities.


Army Cpl. Gerald N. Wilson was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was last seen July 25, 1950, while participating in the defense of Yongdong, South Korea. Interment services are pending.

Army 1st Lt. Robert C. Styslinger was a member of Battery B, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported to have been killed in action Nov. 29, 1950, while fighting enemy forces near Hagaru-ri, Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Interment services are pending.

Army Pfc. Harold K. Knight was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 31st Regimental Combat Team. 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. Donald L. Murphy was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, 31st Regimental Combat Team. The 31st RCT was east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio