VFW Testifies Before House

On Wednesday, VFW National Legislative Service Deputy Director Tammy Barlet testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health regarding several pieces of pending legislation. Barlet spoke about the Green Alert system, expanded eligibility for student veterans at VA Vet Centers, clarification and improvement of the caregiver program, and increased flexibility for VA’s leasing process. “Phase II veterans and their caregivers have been patiently waiting their turn for far too long,” Barlet said on the importance of holding VA accountable to open the Caregiver Program Phase II application process.

House Hearing on VA Appeals

Last week, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held an oversight hearing on the VA Appeals Program and the state of modernization efforts. Issues discussed included the Board of Veterans Appeals’ increase in virtual hearings, efforts to reduce the appeals backlog, and IT improvements. The Government Accountability Office recommended that VA take measures to monitor timeliness, quality, and accuracy of appeals decisions, as well as take into consideration veteran satisfaction. If you filed an appeal before Feb. 19, 2019, visit VA’s legacy appeals webpage for more information or to check the status of your appeal.

House Hearing on VA Police

Last week, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing to discuss VA police and potential reforms. Subcommittee Chairman Chris Pappas (D-NH) began his opening remarks by identifying changes and reforms that were recommended years ago but have still not been implemented. VA police are often the first individuals veterans see when arriving at VA facilities. They protect and serve the veterans and their health care professionals. The VFW is grateful for the VA police force and the services they provide to everyone within the VA system.

POW/MIA Update

Army Pfc. Louis N. Crosby, 18, of Orangeburg, South Carolina, was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 1, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Crosby will be buried Aug. 18, 2021, in his hometown.

Army Pvt. Warren G.H. DeVault, 24, of Rhea, Tennessee, was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces near Hürtgen, Germany. DeVault will be buried Aug. 14, 2021, in Dayton, Tennessee.

Navy Metalsmith 1st Class Leonard F. Smith, 29, of Albany, New York, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. He will be cremated on Sept. 1, 2021. The family has elected to not hold a funeral service.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio