VFW convention will stream live

*The VFW National Convention to Stream live from Charlotte: The National Convention will run from July 23-27. Be sure to have your electronic devices ready as the VFW prepares to live stream coverage from the 117th VFW National Convention on www.vfw.org from the Charlotte Convention Center. Approximately 10,000 VFW and VFW Auxiliary members and guests are expected to attend the week-long convention. Live streaming will begin with the Annual Memorial Service at 8:30 am. and continuing for the duration of the convention beginning at 8:00am on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. During the week of events there will be a health fair, work shops, resolutions committee, business sessions, conference caucus, nominations, elections and installation of National Officers. On Monday, the line up includes the presentation of the VFW Armed Forces Award to the U.S. Army Special Forces, the VFW Hall of Fame Award to Rob Riggle, and appearances by many other notable quests. The VFW Auxiliary will also hold there National Conference at the same times.

* House Committee Holds TBI Hearings: On Wednesday, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a hearing on inadequate examinations for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) claims. In 2008, VA issued a directive stating that any veteran who files a disability claim for TBI, and who hadn’t been previously diagnosed with TBI, must have the initial examination performed by either a psychiatrist, physiatrist, neurologist or neurosurgeon. A later report found that 24,000 veterans’ initial exams did not meet the directive’s guidelines. On May 16, 2016, VA sent letters to all affected veterans, giving them one year to contact VA for reexamination. Hearing participants discussed what caused the failures and whether or not the single letter is sufficient notification to these veterans. To watch the full hearing, go to www.youtube.com.

* The Senate also passed S. 1555, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, which recognizes Filipino veterans for their support of the United States Armed Forces during World War II. However, the Senate failed to act on S. 2921, the Veterans First Act, which would expand caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras, increase accountability of VA employees, and make needed improvements to the Choice Program. The Veterans First Act, which the VFW supports, failed to pass due to a disagreement on how to offset the cost of the bill.

* Korean War Armistice Commemoration: The Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation and the Korean War Veterans Association are inviting all Korean War veterans and families to attend a commemoration in recognition of the 63rd signing of the Korean War Armistice at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 27, at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. RSVP your attendance to Jim Fisher at (703) 740-7596 or jrfisher1121@verizon.net.

* Mia Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of three soldiers who had been missing in action since the Korean War. Returning home for burial with full military honors are: *Army Master Sgt. Charles J. Brown, who died fighting in North Korea on Nov. 2, 1950. He was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment. The date and location of his burial has yet to be announced. *Army Sgt. Harold L. Curtis, 18, was declared missing in action while fighting on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea on Dec. 12, 1950. He was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regimen. The date and location of his burial has yet to be announced. *Army Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence Smith, who died fighting in South Korea on Feb. 12, 1951. He was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment. The date and location of his burial has yet to be announced.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

— Charles Castelluccio