Thursday, October 31, 2013

Today is National Day of Remembrance for former uranium and nuclear weapons workers.

On October 30, 2009, Congress passed the first resolution recognizing a National Day of Remembrance for former uranium and nuclear weapons workers.  Cold War Patriots is proud to have created and supported this day to honor those who built our nuclear defense programs.
 
Today marks the 5th Anniversary of the National Day of Remembrance!
 
Cold War Patriots would like to take this opportunity, on this special day, to say thank you for all of your hard work and dedication.  You have helped create and preserve the freedoms Americans enjoy today.  Starting with the Manhattan Project and continuing through present day, more than 700,000 patriotic men and women have worked, often in secrecy, and sometimes in harm's way to ensure the safety of our nation.
 
Thank you for all you have done!
 
Cold War Patriots



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 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn








Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) Update

 

Colleagues and Fellow Veterans, 

Thank you for providing your success stories about your Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) experiences.  We received many questions concerning the VRAP program and would like to share some important information to address as many of these questions as possible. 

Please read below for some of the most common questions and answers. You can also view additional Frequently Asked Questions online by going to http://www.benefits.va.gov/vow/education.htm and clicking the VRAP FAQ's Link.

We hope you find this information useful and please continue to send in your success stories.

 

V/R

 

Curtis L. Coy

Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity

Veterans Benefits Administration

Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Can the VRAP program be extended?

Currently the VRAP program is scheduled to end on March 31, 2014, which is the last day VA is authorized to make benefit payments.  There is legislation pending that may extend the program, however, and we will keep you informed via email if anything changes.

 

Can I continue my training after the March 31, 2014 deadline?

Yes, you can continue attending school, although VA cannot pay you any benefits after March 31, 2014.

 

Can I change programs? 

If you've received any VRAP payments and want to change to a different program or school, you must submit a new "Application for VRAP Benefits" (VA Form 22-1990R) listing the new school and/or program of study.  The form is available at http://www.benefits.va.gov/vow/docs/VRAP22-1990R.pdf.

 

I have a Certificate of Eligibility, now what do I do?

To get started, you need to choose a community college or technical school to begin training that leads to an Associate's Degree or Certificate in a high demand field.  The list of high demand fields can be found at the following website:  http://www.benefits.va.gov/vow/education.htm.

 

Will the government shutdown affect my benefits?

No, benefit payments were not affected by the government shutdown.

 



--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn








Friday, October 25, 2013

Fwd: ADVISORY: HVAC and SVAC Leaders, VSOs to Call for Extending Advance Funding of VA Programs

Alert Important Hearings On VA Advanced Appropriations
 
 
 

 

 

Media Advisory    

  

 

For Immediate Release

Oct. 25, 2013

Media Contact: Curt Cashour

(202) 225-3527

 

HVAC and SVAC Leaders, VSOs to Call for Extending Advance Funding of VA Programs

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.— On Wednesday, October 30, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. at the House Triangle on the east front of the U.S. Capitol, leaders from the House and Senate Committees on Veterans' Affairs as well as representatives from leading veterans service organizations (VSOs) will hold a press conference to call for swift congressional approval of legislation to extend advance appropriations to all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs.

 

Currently, Congress funds only the medical care portion of VA's discretionary budget – roughly 86 percent of the total – one year in advance. Thanks to this advance appropriation, even during the recent budget stalemate and government shutdown, VA hospitals and clinics were able to continue operating without interruption. Other VA programs and services, including claims processing, were required to scale back operations.

 

Extending advance appropriations throughout VA would make it easier for the department to plan for key investments in information technology, claims processing and construction projects. It would also give Congress a greater level of oversight on multi-year funding proposals, with one year building off of the next. Additionally, extending advance appropriations to all of VA would help ensure timely, predictable funding for VA services in an era where continuing resolutions and threats of government shutdowns are all too frequent.

 

The following event is open to the press:

 

WHO: HVAC Chairman Jeff Miller, SVAC Chairman Bernie Sanders, HVAC Ranking Member Mike Michaud, SVAC Member Sen. John Boozman, SVAC Member Sen. Mark Begich, representatives from Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Military Officers Association of America

 

WHAT:          Press Conference on Advance Funding of VA Programs

WHEN:          9:00 a.m., Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WHERE:        House Triangle on the east front of the U.S. Capitol

 

###

 

For more news from the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, please visit:

Veterans.House.Gov 

Find us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/HouseVetsAffairs or follow us on Twitter at:

@HouseVetAffairs

 

 




--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn







Veterans Jobs Report Numbers For The 3rd Quarter

Fellow Colleagues and Veterans,

 

Typically we send out the latest BLS statistics the first Friday of the month … however many of us at VA and Department of Labor were involved in the government shutdown. As a result, BLS didn't release the September 2013 and 3rd Quarter data until on their regular schedule. As you can see from the table below, for the month of September the National unemployment rate decreased slightly to 7.2%, while Veteran unemployment increased slightly to 6.5%. We've attached our monthly and quarterly 'cheat sheets' for your convenience and use.

 

 

Cohort (% of total)

Rate

Change

National

7.3%

-0.1%

     >27 Weeks

 

 

All Veterans (100%)

6.2%

-0.2%

     Male

6.0%

-0.4%

     Female

7.7%

1.1%

Post-9/11 Veterans (34%)

10.0%

2.3%

     Male

9.9%

2.2%

     Female

10.3%

2.6%

18-24 Veterans* (4%)

18.4%

1.0%

     Male

22.4%

2.0%

     Female**

9.8%

1.5%

25-34 Veterans (22%)

10.7%

3.9%

     Male

10.2%

3.6%

     Female

12.4%

4.6%

35-44 Veterans (18%)

6.1%

-0.3%

     Male

5.6%

-0.5%

     Female

8.9%

1.1%

45-54 Veterans (20%)

4.7%

-1.0%

     Male

4.3%

-1.1%

     Female

7.1%

-0.4%

55+ Veterans (36%)

5.4%

-1.0%

     Male

5.6%

-1.1%

     Female

2.9%

-0.1%

 

 

The quarterly BLS data was also released today, and because the BLS data is not seasonally adjusted, it is often best to compare data to prior years during the same time period, so below you will find a comparison of the 3rd quarter data going back each year to 2010.

 

 

Quarter

All Veterans

3Q-2010

8.4%

3Q-2011

8.1%

3Q-2012

6.7%

3Q-2013

6.4%

 

 

 




--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn








Wednesday, October 23, 2013

VA misses claims goal by 100k

VA misses claims goal by 100k and will not say why

NOTE: "Even though VA has chipped away at the backlog over the last few months, the department still fell nearly 100,000 claims short of its fiscal year 2013 processing goal," Miller said. "Congress has provided VA with everything it has asked for to reduce the backlog, so why is the department not delivering the results its leaders promised?"

 

VA PROCESSED 100,000 FEWER CLAIMS THAN PLANNED LAST YEAR

By Bob Brewin

Nextgov

http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2013/10/va-processed-100000-fewer-claims-planned-last-year/72389/

 

Despite a budget increase, the Veterans Benefits Administration processed 7.9 percent fewer claims than planned in fiscal 2013, while the number of claims received dropped 20.7 percent below expectations, according to data supplied by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

 

The Veterans Benefits Administration processed 1,169,085 disability and compensation claims in fiscal 2013 -- 99,978 less than planned, Miller said. The agency received 1,044,508 claims, 272,492 less than expected, he said. The Veterans Affairs Department reported it had 717,007 claims pending as of Oct. 21, with 411,704, or 57.4 percent, backlogged more than 125 days.

 

Congress provided VBA with a $1.59 billion budget for management and claims processing in 2013, up 8.5 percent from fiscal 2012.

 

"Even though VA has chipped away at the backlog over the last few months, the department still fell nearly 100,000 claims short of its fiscal year 2013 processing goal," Miller said. "Congress has provided VA with everything it has asked for to reduce the backlog, so why is the department not delivering the results its leaders promised?"

 

The VBA claims processing shortfall in 2013 occurred despite gradual rollout of the paperless Veteran Benefits Management System throughout the year, with all 56 regional offices online in June.

 

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has repeatedly touted VBMS as key to eliminating the claims backlog by 2015. When all 56 offices were hooked up to the system, he said, "This is a big cross-over year for us. We have for decades sat astride rivers of paper. Now we are in the process of turning off paper spigots and turning on electronic ones."

 

VA also instituted mandatory overtime for its claims processors on May 15 through the end of fiscal 2013 to "help us achieve our goal of eliminating the claims backlog," Shinseki said. VA used mandatory overtime in 2012 for seven and a half months, versus five and half months in 2013.

 

VA, in an email statement to Nextgov, said it "completed 1.17 million claims in FY13, an all-time high.  This follows a record-breaking 1 million claims per year the three previous fiscal years. For the first time since 2008, VA has completed more claims than it received in a single year."

 

VA added it has reduced the claims backlog by nearly 31 percent since March, thanks to claims personnel working a minimum of 20 hours per month of mandatory overtime and the full deployment of VBMS.

 

The statement said disability claims processing production dropped 25 percent during the government shutdown, "stalling VA's effort toward reducing the backlog.  The hard work of VBA employees kept the backlog from increasing significantly during the government shutdown."

 

###

 

Curt Cashour

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

curt.cashour@mail.house.gov

202.225.3527

    

 

Please click here to subscribe to the Committee's eNewsletter to stay up-to-date on issues affecting America's veterans.

 



--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn








The VFW Mane Event

Dear Sean,

People are STILL talking about Troy Polamalu's plans to cut his famous hair!

Hundreds of news outlets continue to run stories about his efforts to help raise awareness of the issues our veterans face and to support the ongoing work of the VFW, including USA TodayHuffington Post and CNN!

USA Today Feature

But it's not all talk.

  • More than 300 people have accepted the challenge and set up a fundraising page to help support the VFW Mane Event.
  • Head & Shoulders, the official shampoo of the National Football League (NFL), and Sport Clips, Official Haircutter of the VFW, both recently came on board as official supporters of the VFW Mane Event.
  • Thousands of fans have taken to social media to show their support, including Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates!

One other major update: Polamalu has offered a chance to win an invitation to the haircutting ceremony at Heinz Field, home stadium of the Pittsburgh Steelers, to anyone who makes a donation to the VFW Mane Event between now and November 1. 

Are you in? Veterans Day is just around the corner and our veterans need your help. There's still time for you to take part. Pledge to cut your hair. Or, dare friends and family to cut theirs. Help spread the word to ensure the groundswell of support for the VFW Mane Event continues to grow! 



--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn








IAVA Veterans Day

Get ready.

Veterans Day is one of the most important and historic days of the year for our country and for our community. It's an opportunity to remind everyone that we stand together, whether at a parade, a run, or a service project.

This year, we're asking for more than just a yellow ribbon or a handshake and a cursory thank you. This year, we're asking America to walk the walk. Don't just thank us. Join us.

After 12 years of combat, we're approaching the last Veterans Day before the end of the war in Afghanistan -- so it's more important than ever that we are united as a community.

Join us in unity and support the New Greatest Generation this Veterans Day.

From Dallas to Chicago, from San Francisco to New York, in cities and towns nationwide, IAVA will be boots on the ground at dozens of events across the country.*

Click here to see all of the events -- and bookmark the page, too. We'll be adding more events in more locations as Vets Day gets closer.

Hooah,

Phoebe Gavin
OIF Veteran, U.S. Army
Outreach Coordinator, IAVA

*P.S. If you don't see an event near you and you'd like to host one, please emailveteransday@iava.org with a brief description of your idea, and we'll be sure to help you out!




--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn








Tuesday, October 22, 2013

HVAC Hearing Schedule Oct. 28 – Nov. 1


WASHINGTON, D.C.— Chairman Jeff Miller (FL-01) today released the hearing schedule for Oct. 28- Nov. 1. The following event is open to the press:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hearing:"Focused Issues on Dignified Burials: A National Cemetery Update"

Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs

(10:00 a.m. – 334 Cannon House Office Building and streaming at veterans.house.gov)

 

###




--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn








Ewa Historic Veterans Day Train Ride



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: GM@4Ewa.org
Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Subject: Ewa Historic Veterans Day Train Ride
To: sean.eagan@gmail.com


Aloha Sean,
 
Ewa Historic Veterans Day Train Ride, Monday November 11 
Contact for location, RSVP before charter ride due to limited seats, train ride takes place. Complete information at 4ewa.org
 
Seats $8-$12. The Ewa Historic Veterans Day Family Train Ride narration covers Ewa Plains plantation and military history of MCAS Ewa Field, NAS Barbers Point, Fort Barrette and Battery Arizona. The 90 minute scenic train ride stops at Kahe Point, Waianae, then returns to the Ewa train museum station.

John Bond
Train Ride Event Coordinator



--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn








Returning home



Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 21, 2013

VA Backlog Miraculously Decreases During Shutdown ? What How is That Possible

Chairman Miller Statement on VA Backlog Decrease During Government Shutdown

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement regarding the fact that, contrary to warnings from Department of Veterans Affairs leaders, VA's disability benefits compensation claims backlog fell during the government shutdown.

 

"Instead of debating whether or not VA's dire predictions regarding the shutdown's impact came to fruition, I remain focused on a much more important question: why is the department still falling short of its own backlog goals? Even though VA has chipped away at the backlog over the last few months, the department still fell nearly 100,000 claims short of its Fiscal Year 2013 processing goal. Congress has provided VA with everything it has asked for to reduce the backlog, so why is the department not delivering the results its leaders promised?" – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs   

 

###

 

Related

Final Stats – Total Claims VA Completed in Fiscal Year 2013: 1,169,085 (99,978 less than planned)

 

Final Stats – Total Claims VA Received in Fiscal Year 2013: 1,044,508 (272,492 less than planned)

 

VA Fiscal Year 2013 Claims Receipt and Completion Estimates, as of 8/29/13



--


 

 Sean Eagan


 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Email: Sean.Eagan@gmail.com
Phone:  716 720-4000 
Network: My Fast Pitch! Profile
LinkedIn