Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Elderly Veteran Gets a Surprise

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

He had no idea someone was still fighting for him ...


"This veteran's claim came across my desk for appeal review," said VFW Service Officer Mary Bandini of California. "I could not get in touch with him for months, but I continued to work the case on his behalf."

The veteran is John Rizzo*, a Marine in the Battle of Guadalcanal and Air Force pilot in the Korean War. During Air Force training, Rizzo's plane crashed, breaking his back and ending his accomplished military career.

Rizzo was medically discharged and filed his first VA claim way back in 1954. He was denied. In 2008, he submitted another claim. This time for a wheelchair ramp. Again, denied. The unjust denial cost him a broken hip …twice.

"With the help of our National Veterans Service team, we were able to argue for the secondary conditions that required Rizzo to use a wheelchair," said Bandini. "When I finally got word that his claim was headed to the court, I submitted a written statement of support. I still couldn't reach him, so I relied solely on his file."

Rizzo didn't ask for much. All he wanted was a ramp. What he got was full benefits and six-figure retroactive pay dating back to 2008.

When Rizzo's check arrived in the mail, he was skeptical. This must be a clerical error, he thought. He had no idea that someone was still fighting for him.

When Bandini was finally able to reach Rizzo, who is 90 years old, she assured him the check was not a mistake and that his claim had been accepted after all these years. He was beyond elated. 

"He wanted to meet so he could thank me personally, but I feel like he's the one who deserves the thanks for his service," said Bandini.

"Seeing a veteran get approved after so many years is the best part of the job," said Bandini. "I was not able to get him a ramp, but I did get him enough money to build one. The contractor starts working on it next week." 

Bandini is passionate about her job and helping veterans stand their ground against the VA … against the system that so many veterans have gotten lost in. 

"Veterans should put as much priority on advocating for themselves now as they once put on protecting this nation. They have earned that right," Bandini concluded.

*Name changed to protect privacy.


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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

House Passes Two Historic VA Reform Bills

House Passes Two Historic VA Reform Bills


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House passed two pieces of VA reform legislation. The VA Accountability Act of 2015 passed with a vote of 256 – 170. The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 passed with a vote of 385 – 34. Chairman Miller released the following statement:



"I applaud my colleagues for stepping up today to address the troubling lack of accountability eroding VA's ability to care for our veterans. The VA Accountability Act will provide the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs the ability to make real reforms and bring much needed accountability to the department. Today, we stand with our veterans because the status quo has failed them and the American people for far too long.


"Just over two weeks ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that because of its inability to budget, VA hospitals around the country would be shutting down in August. Today, the House passed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 to ensure that does not happen. The bill is designed to rescue a mismanaged VA, providing the resources to keep the doors open, expanding access and choice to veterans and setting the stage to consolidate VA's uncoordinated and wasteful non-VA care programs into the Veterans Choice Program.


"I urge the Senate to take up both these measures immediately. We cannot allow VA's incompetence to continue to harm America's veterans. And I sincerely ask President Obama to sign both in to law – to take the money without the accountability will only lead to continued failure." – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs




Chairman Miller's Floor Statement on The VA Accountability Act of 2015


Chairman Miller's Floor Statement on The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015



 Sean Eagan

 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile

Saturday, July 25, 2015


While we fully support the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and believe the VA health care system is the best model of care to treat service disabled veterans, DAV is not satisfied with the state of VA today. VA absolutely must reform from top to bottom and must refocus its work squarely on veterans.

As we reported last week, there are some key reforms that are essential for building a healthy and robust VA health care system for the 21st Century. Congress must commit to provide the VA the resources it needs to modernize, rebuild and sustain its internal capacity to provide timely, high-quality health care. To better serve veterans, VA needs to restructure and consolidate all non-VA care programs into a single integrated Extended Care Network. VA must also realign and expand its health care services to meet the diverse needs of all generations of veterans, beginning with establishing new urgent care centers out in the community, and continue its extended operating hours. Finally, VA must reform its management culture through increased transparency and accountability.

As we previously noted, some elected officials are proposing additional reforms in VA health care that we believe would ultimately weaken the system and move VA in the wrong direction.  We have warned that these types of proposals risk eliminating VA as a direct care provider-and will fracture the care that veterans would be able to find for themselves. Overly simplistic "choice" proposals sound good, unless you are a wounded, injured or ill veteran with complex and specialized medical needs who is left on his or her own to find care in the private sector, equipped only with a card.

DAV needs grassroots support, and your direct experience with VA, to remind Congress-and even your own VA facility, why the VA system is essential and important to you as a disabled veteran.  Most importantly, please tell them we want to ensure veterans have the choice to get all or most of their care from VA, and for VA to have the resources and flexibility to provide coordinated care in the community when necessary.

In Washington, DAV continues to work with our service organization partners, and with the Administration and Congress, to address the problems that have been identified.  We must work together to ensure a viable health care system for ourselves now, and for future generations of disabled veterans.

We hope in these messages that we have been able to convey the seriousness of the situation, what is at stake for you, and for all veterans nationwide.  We are approaching a Presidential election year and it is more important than ever to collectively make our voices heard.  Between now and the November 2016 election, it is likely the future course of veterans health will be decided.  Please let your elected officials know what is important to you as disabled veterans, and what we need, deserve, and expect from our VA.

DAV hopes this information has helped you understand and appreciate why we are steadfast in our belief that VA is a vital national asset to disabled veterans. We recognize that some veterans have had a negative experience at VA and we appreciate you providing us that feedback.
DAV's goal is to ensure VA is reformed and services improved so that all veterans who chose VA are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and most importantly get the care they need in a timely manner. 

Please join us in this battle.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

Fwd: CVA's Weekly SitRep

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Concerned Vets <>
Date: Saturday, July 25, 2015
Subject: CVA's Weekly SitRep

Top Story: Veterans & Military Town Hall with Sen. Rand Paul coming MONDAY!
Concerned Veterans for America The Weekly SitRep

July 25th, 2015

A weekly Situation Report on CVA's efforts and media. 


Veterans and Military Town Hall w/ Sen. Rand Paul - MONDAY in Charleston:

 Join Us 


CVA's Caldwell Pokes Gaping Holes in Obama's Claims of VA Success



Campaign Holds Lawmakers Accountable That Voted 'No' on VA Accountability Act



Special Guests Headline Defend Freedom Tour in Sunshine State. 7/30 - 8/1


Augusta VA Official Indicted on 50 Counts of Falsifying Veterans Records

The Florida Times Union recently reported that Cathedral Henderson, "the person in Augusta responsible for ensuring that more than 2,700 veterans awaiting approval for care outside the VA were properly handled," has been indicted on 50 cases of "making false statements"-i.e. falsifying veterans' records. "The crime is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine."


Concerned Veterans for America
1405 S Fern St #197
Arlington, VA 22202
This email was sent by: Concerned Veterans For America
1405 S. Fern Street Suite 197 Arlington, VA, 22202-2810, UNITED STATES

Update Profile



 Sean Eagan

 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile

Saturday, July 11, 2015

VFW Action Alert: Military Compensation and Retirement

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ann Markel <>
Date: Friday, July 10, 2015
Subject: VFW Action Alert: Military Compensation and Retirement
To: Sean Eagan <>

Military Compensation and Retirement

Take Action!


Background: Congress established the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission in 2013 to provide the President and Congress with recommendations to modernize the military's compensation system. One of the Commission's recommendations is to provide all service members with a 401(k)-style retirement plan with a government match, and provide retirees with a blended retirement plan – one that has both a defined pension and 401(k)-style plan. Both the House and the Senate have included some version of this plan in their version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) legislation. The differences between these bills are being compromised through a conference committee and will be voted on in the near future.

Prior to the Commission's recommendations, Congress authorized a 1-percent reduction in the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for working-age military retirees who enter service after December 2015. This retirement cut would cost service members 10s of thousands of dollars between military retirement and traditional retirement age. This is nothing more than a cost saving measure that will negatively affect future retirees and it must be repealed.

Take Action: Contact your Members of Congress and urge them to support an NDAA that provides a retirement plan that will grandfather all currently serving service members in the existing plan if they choose, provide an immediate 1-percent employer contribution to a 401(k)-style retirement plan that can be matched up to 5-percent after two years of service, allows reserve retirees options to receive some portion of their pension at the point of retirement, and does away with the 1-percent COLA penalty.

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 Sean Eagan

 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile


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