Friday, November 18, 2011

VFW Washington Weekly

VFW Presses Senator McCain on Support
Today, VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer expressed VFW's strong opposition to ongoing efforts by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to further balance the budget on the backs of military service members, their families and retirees. In a letter, DeNoyer wrote that McCain's acceptance of proposals to examine the current retirement system along with military pay, allowances and their tax implications, plus to suggest excluding military retirees from TRICARE Prime, implies that his unwavering support of the military exists only as long as you are wearing the uniform. "Troops are of one voice against cutting their pay and benefits," wrote DeNoyer.  "That is why we are so adamantly against any proposal that would have those who sacrifice the most to sacrifice even more." Read the full letter. 

Congress Passes Veterans' Jobs Bill
On Wednesday night, the House unanimously passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a comprehensive veterans' jobs bill that combines the best of two separate House and Senate bills with a tax credit proposed by the White House. The President is expected to sign the bill into law early next week. VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer is proud to see Congress come together to pass a law that addresses the daunting veterans' unemployment crisis. VFW had previously testified in support of comprehensive veterans' employment legislation before both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees. Read the VFW press release. Learn more about the bill. 

VA Committee Discusses Budget Savings
This week, the House Veterans Affairs Committee invited Veteran Service Organizations and the VA to discuss recommendations for possible savings within the VA budget. The VFW, along with our Independent Budget partners, offered several areas of potential savings, while highlighting where better care and benefits could be provided to veterans. The VSO representatives made it clear that any savings should be reinvested to meet the urgent unfunded needs of VA. The VFW is committed to protecting VA healthcare and benefits, and will continue to do so whether or not VA medical care is exempt from potential mandatory cuts. Click here for more on the hearing or to view the recorded webcast. Read our letter to the House VA Committee.

Vietnam Education Center Needs Photos
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is seeking photos of all 58,000 men and women whose names are inscribed on The Wall in Washington, D.C. The collection will be used to highlight their service and sacrifice inside the new VFW-supported Vietnam Memorial Education Center, which is scheduled to break ground next year. So far, 18,000 photos have been submitted by families and fellow comrades-in-arms. Please submit photos to Jan Scruggs, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, 2600 Virginia Ave., NW, Suite 104, Washington, D.C., 20037. Include the deceased's name, location, unit and approximate month/year the photo was taken. Digitized photos can be e-mailed to

WWII Film Sought
Towers Productions, a documentary production company for A&E, History and Discovery Channel, is working on a three-hour World War II special for the National Geographic Channel, to air sometime in mid-2012. They are on the hunt for rare and possibly never-before-seen combat footage—16mm or 8mm color or B&W film at the front or anywhere overseas—as well as field audio. They are currently searching through a myriad of military collections, but believe many VFW members may have a treasure trove of film canisters tucked away in attics and basements that they recorded personally while overseas. If interested, please contact David Cottrell at Towers Productions at (312) 601-4916 or by e-mail at

Keeping Memories Alive
If your Post is named after a fallen warrior interred overseas, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) can help you locate and honor his memory both at home and abroad. Each of ABMC's 24 overseas cemeteries would appreciate having a photo and story of the fallen, and cemetery staff would gladly decorate and/or photograph the gravesite for their namesake Posts and family members. Regarding decorations, a Post can contact cemetery staff for the placement of floral arrangements, which will be photographed and sent back to the Post. Learn more.

Military Family Survey
Blue Star Families has asked VFW to help distribute their 2012 Military Family Lifestyle Survey to active-duty, Guard, Reserve and veteran families. The survey is available online until mid-December. The data collected provides real-time feedback from military families on issues ranging from operations tempo to relationships, stress, caregiving and employment, plus new questions on exceptional family members, civic engagement, public policy and volunteerism.

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Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
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