Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Protect TRICARE Benefits for Retirees


Protect TRICARE Benefits for Retirees

Background: Last year's National Defense Authorization Act increased TRICARE costs for military retirees who enter the military after January 1, 2018, and their families. Current military retirees and their family members are exempt from these cost increases, but a proposal which was recently advanced by the Senate would remove this exemption. This proposal would result in higher TRICARE fees for military retirees, including pharmacy copayments, which are already three times higher than they were in 2011, and enrollment costs for certain plans, such as the new Select plan, would nearly triple. There is an inherent cost to fielding a professional, all-volunteer military, and the promise of a modest stipend immediately upon retirement and inexpensive health care are keys to retaining our best and brightest service members. The VFW needs your help in defeating this harmful proposal which would require military retirees to pay more for their earned health care.

Take Action: Contact your Senators and Representative to demand that they reject any proposal that would result in TRICARE fee increases for current beneficiaries, and let them know that veterans have paid for their benefits through blood, sweat and tears many times over.

                                                      CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION! 

After taking action, please consider posting about this Alert on social media:

On Twitter, please paste: I stand with @VFWHQ in opposing any #FY18NDAA proposal that would require military retirees to pay more for their earned health care!

On Facebook, please paste: I stand with @VFWfans in opposing any #FY18NDAA proposal that would require military retirees to pay more for their earned health care! http://bit.ly/2ripZ8Q

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mattis Meets With Senior Turkish Leaders in Ankara

Possible Discussion on the Future of Incirlik AFB?

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Aug. 23, 2017 — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis today met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli in Ankara, Turkey's capital city, Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement.

This was the first meeting between Mattis and Canikli, White said. The two leaders discussed the need for ongoing open and honest dialogue, the importance of integrity of Syria and Iraq and concern over Iran's malign influence in the region, she said.

Defeating ISIS

White said Mattis and Canikli further reaffirmed their shared resolve to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Later in the day, Mattis met with the Turkish president, and the two leaders discussed regional security and strategy, White said.

White said Mattis expressed to Erdoğan the United States' commitment to its bilateral relationship with Turkey.

Mattis also addressed Turkey's legitimate security concerns, White said.

Mattis and Erdoğan expressed a shared interest for the two countries to create conditions for a more stable and secure region, she said

Sunday, August 13, 2017

OIR Officials: 2 U.S. Service Members Killed, 5 Injured in Northern Iraq

Click photo for screen-resolution image 
Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve logo. DoD graphic

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

OIR Officials: 2 U.S. Service Members Killed, 5 Injured in Northern Iraq

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Aug. 13, 2017 — Two U.S. service members were killed and five others were injured conducting combat operations in northern Iraq today, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Initial reports indicate the incident was not due to enemy contact.

The incident is under investigation.

"The entire counter-ISIS Coalition sends our deepest condolences to these heroes' families, friends and teammates," said Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.

Townsend added, "There are no words to describe the respect I have for you and sorrow I have for your loss. I hope there is some small solace in knowing their loss has meaning for our country and all the nations of the coalition as the fallen service members were fighting to defeat a truly evil enemy and to protect our homelands."

Further information will be released as appropriate.

In accordance with policy, the coalition defers casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DAV Alert ... Action Needed

On Jun 12, 2017 09:04,

 "David W. Riley, DAV National Commander 

Over the past several weeks, DAV has received hundreds of inquiries from DAV members and other concerned parties regarding the proposal to eliminate the total disability rating based on Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits for veterans over the age of 62 contained in the President's fiscal year 2018 budget. Specifically, the proposal would terminate existing IU total disability ratings for veterans when they reach the minimum retirement age for Social Security purposes (age 62), or upon enactment of the proposal if the veteran is already in receipt of Social Security retirement benefits. In the May 24 House Veterans' Affairs Committee budget hearing, DAV expressed its strong opposition to this proposal. We are aware that the elimination of these benefits would affect not only the veteran's family income, but other critical ancillary benefits, such as dental coverage, Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance, the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA), commissary and exchange privileges, and the value of Social Security benefits. Additionally, this will impact access to some state benefits such as property tax exemptions for veteran homeowners, free vehicle registration and free access to state parks.
Please be assured this is a key priority for DAV and we are trying to respond to your phone calls and email messages as quickly as possible. DAV is actively working to educate Capitol Hill lawmakers and the public about the devastating impact this proposal would have upon service-disabled veterans and their families.
Steps DAV has already taken:
  • Action alert for members:  DAV members and their supporters have sent almost 24,000 emails to Members of Congress through the DAV Commander's Action Network, advising them of our strong opposition to the proposal.
  • Testimony:  On May 24, 2017, DAV, along with our Independent Budget (IB) partners, Paralyzed Veterans of American and Veterans of Foreign Wars, testified on the Administration's budget to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and expressed our opposition to the IU proposal. DAV and its IB parnters will again condemn the IU proposal at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on June 14th at 2:30 PM. There will be a live feed of the hearing on that day.
  • Press Release:  The IB veterans service organizations issued a press release concerning our opposition to the President's budget and IU proposal on May 25, 2017.
Planned actions:
  • OP/ED from DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Garry Augustine to be distributed to major media outlets nationwide.
  • Meetings with Members of Congress to educate them about the negative impact of the IU proposal on veterans and their families.
  • Letter to House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees and Congressional leadership to highlight the impact of the IU proposal and express our strong opposition to it.
  • Developing an information sheet for DAV members to use in their own meetings and conversations with elected officials
Please keep in mind this is ONLY a proposal and the start of the budget process. But it is critical we protect our benefits by educating our elected officials about the negative impact this proposal would have on service-disabled veterans and their families. Please send a message to your elected officials to express your views on this important issue. We appreciate your support in our efforts to assure that America's veterans with wartime injuries and illnesses continue to receive all the benefits they are due from a grateful nation.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

VFW Action Corps Update

May 26, 2017


In This Issue:

1. FY 2018 Budget Request for Veterans Affairs
2. FY 2018 Budget Request for Defense
3. Memorial Day 2017
4. VFW Base Visit
5. Veterans Legislation Clears the House and Senate
6. VFW Attends VA IT Roundtable
7. House VA Budget Hearing
8. VA Financial Management Hearing
9. MIA Update


To view this week's edition, click here: http://www.vfw.org/actioncorpsweekly.



 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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Roe, Walz Lead Resolution to Authorize American Legion Centennial Coin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "House Committee on Veterans' Affairs" <HVACPress@mail.house.gov>
Date: May 18, 2017 15:12
Subject: RELEASE: Roe, Walz Lead Resolution to Authorize American Legion Centennial Coin
To: <Sean.Eagan@gmail.com>

For Immediate Release Contact: Tiffany Haverly
Thursday, May 18, 2017 View Online

Roe, Walz Lead Resolution to Authorize American Legion Centennial Coin

Washington, D.C. - Today, Reps. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, respectively, introduced a resolution to authorize the creation of a commemorative coin in honor of The American Legion's 100 years of service to America's veterans.

"I'm proud to join Ranking Member Walz and my colleagues in the Senate in honoring The American Legion on their centennial anniversary with the creation of a commemorative coin," said Roe. These coins will serve as recognition of The American Legion's century of service to America's heroes and enable the Legion to continue its work to support the veteran community."

"Over the past 100 years, the American Legion has become universally recognized as one of our nation's most well respected veterans service organizations," said Walz. "The Legion's passion for serving those who have served has earned them the respect and admiration of a grateful nation and it is my great hope that the American Legion Centennial Coin may serve as a token of our deepest gratitude."

"The American Legion is honored that the Congress of the United States introduced legislation to commemorate The American Legion's century of selfless service and great fidelity to our Nation," said Charles E. Schmidt, National Commander of The American Legion. "Since 1919, The American Legion has been committed to defending the Constitution, remembering our fallen, and promoting American values. This coin will memorialize the legacy of millions of veterans across the generations. Thanks to Ranking Member Tim Walz, Chairman Phil Roe, Senator Todd Young and Senator Joe Donnelly for their leadership on this important issue."

The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act would authorize the U.S. mint to produce a commemorative coin for The American Legion's 100th anniversary of its founding in 1919. The mint would issue the coins for a one-year period beginning January 1, 2019, and proceeds from the sale of the coins would support The American Legion's program and services, which fall under four categories: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Children and Youth and Americanism.   

Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) introduced the Senate version of this legislation on May 18, 2017.


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Washington, D.C. 20515
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mattis Meets With Turkish Defense Minister in Brussels

02/16/2017 08:19 AM CST

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 15, 2017. DoD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Mattis Meets With Turkish Defense Minister in Brussels

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2017 — In a meeting with his Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of a NATO defense ministers conference in Brussels yesterday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recognized Turkey's contributions to the alliance and welcomed a transparent dialogue with an ally facing significant threats -- within and outside its borders, a spokesperson for Mattis said in a statement.

Strategic Partnership

Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins said Mattis also assured Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işik of the support of the United States as a strategic partner in the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The secretary and minister agreed to continue their full range of bilateral defense activities and consultations, and to look for ways to further strengthen defense cooperation in the future, Higgins added.

Mattis is in Brussels to attend the defense ministers conference and to meet with partners in the coalition countering ISIS. He also will attend the Munich Security Conference in Germany during this overseas trip.

Related Biographies

Jim Mattis
Jim Mattis 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Farmer-Veterans Movement Getting Stronger

Farmer Vet Movement Gathering 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Ground Operations" <info@groundoperations.net>
Date: Feb 10, 2017 10:15
Subject: Farmer-Veterans Movement Getting Stronger
To: <sean.eagan@gmail.com>

Hundreds gathered at 'United We Farm'
View this email in your browser

"United We Farm" Draws 400+ Farmer-Veterans

What a shindig!  Last December, we all gathered in Michigan at MSU for three days of stories, camaraderie, connecting and education.The flag bearers marched in to ceremonial drumming from the local Native nation. "Farming as Healing" delivered the results of a V.A. national study, working with 700 members of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, to track the improvements in their physical & emotional health from working in agriculture. Agribility's Col. Cindi Chastain offered tools and farm equipment for veterans with any type of disability.  The always-fabulous "Successful Farmers Panel" discussed everything from "finding new ways to sell the same crop vs. diversifying to new crops," to ... how to train your kids into paid-employment vs. chores.  The Governmental Partners panel had top leadership from the Dept. of Labor, Small Business Admin. and USDA. AND WE WERE THERE FILMING IT ALL!  So stay tuned for the edited videos coming in the next month.
Beginning the conference day with some warrior yoga at dawn.
Kabota Tractors is a key sponsor of the Farmer Veteran Coalition -- and it looked so darned snappy in the dining room. Don't try this at home!
Our heroes!
Michael O'Gorman of the FVC &
Will Allen of Growing Power,
who have both fed a LOT of people
West Virginia Veterans & Warriors to Agriculture Project

"Other than a combat situation, there's nothing that gets me more present-moment than opening a box of 20,000 stinging insects!"

WVU Small Farms Conference
February 12-14

This month they are launching the Homegrown by Heroes label and the WV State Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

Applications for 2017 

Two separate 10-week courses at the Denver Botanic Garden's Chatfield Farms are scheduled for
May 23 - Aug.3  
Aug. 8 - Oct. 13
Two days a week: Tues & Thurs.
7:00am - 3:00pm
Contact: Rich@veteranstofarmers.org
Coming Soon!!
4th Annual

Empowering Women Veterans
May 3-5 in Santa Rosa, CA

Business, Agriculture, Well Being
"I met my soil sisters at this conference, women with like minds." -- Althea Raiford, Gilliard Farm

Register: http://www.farmvetco.org/ewvc/
Steve Acheson, veteran & founder of Peacefully Organic Produce
will be speaking after a screening of Ground Operations
at the

Food + Farms Film Festival
Madison, WI
March 21 @ the High Noon Saloon

A film screening & discussion of Ground Operations spawned another regional group:

Pikes Peak Veterans in Agriculture
Colorado Springs, CO

With upwards of 600 military leaving Fort Carson alone each month, we are serving a need, helping veterans to continue their mission by contributing to the food security of themselves and their communities.

Contact: info@ppvetsinag.org


Help us reach more veterans

Have a community screening with a school, vet center, community group or church near you

Buy a license (click here)
During these politically polarizing times, it is important to find places of convergence, events that can unite disparate groups, programs that uplift and energize us to help one another face an uncertain future. Supporting veterans to do regenerative agriculture is just such a bridge builder.  We hope you will consider renting, buying or licensing Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields, and sharing it with those you love as well as those with whom you may disagree on many issues.  Good people growing good food unites us all.
Copyright © 2017 Ground Operations, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in our cause. Thank you!

Our mailing address is:
Ground Operations
206 So. Blanche St.
Ojai, California 93023

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Remembering Apollo 1

In memorium.

Lt Col Virgil I "Gus" Grissom, USAF
Lt Col Edward H. White, USAF
Lt Cmdr Roger B. Chaffe, USN
Who 50 years ago yesterday gave thier lives in service to this country and the exploration of outer space.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Exemption From Fed Hiring Freeze for Essential Positions at the VA

News Releases VA

News Release Statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs on federal hiring freeze 01/27/2017 01:55 PM EST
 Statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs on federal hiring freeze

 WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced exemptions to the federal hiring freeze in the President's memo dated January 23rd, 2017. The authorities outlined in the President's memo provide VA the ability to continue filling essential positions that provide public safety services to our Veterans. We strongly believe that these exemptions are in line with the President's intent. "The Department of Veterans Affairs intends to exempt anyone it deems necessary for public health and safety, including frontline caregivers," Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Snyder said. "The President and VA remain committed to seeing that our Veterans receive the quality care and benefits they've earned. This is the right thing to do for our Veterans." The memorandum is available for viewing here. # # # Media Inquiries: Lydia Blaha VA Deputy Press Secretary 202-461-7458 Lydia.Blada@va.gov Keep updated & let us know how we're doing. Facebook Twitter Google Plus Blog Website Subscribe You have received this message because you are subscribed to Veterans Affairs. Access your Subscriber Preferences to make changes to your subscription or Unsubscribe. Get this as a forward? Sign Up to receive updates from Veterans Affairs. Having questions or problems? Please visit subscriberhelp.govdelivery.com for assistance. If you are in crisis and need immediate help, please call 1-800-273-8255 and (PRESS 1) or visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/. Please remember the only secure way to ask personal questions is at https://iris.custhelp.com. Explore VA benefits at explore.va.gov

 Sent to sean.eagan@gmail.com on behalf of US Department of Veterans Affairs 810 Vermont Avenue, NW · Washington, DC 20420

Thursday, January 12, 2017

HVAC Leadership Announced


Thursday, January 12, 2017

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tiffany Haverly

(202) 226-6340


Roe Announces Committee Leadership


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) announced the leadership for the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs for the 115th Congress.


Roe released the following statement:

"These incoming subcommittee chairmen have impressive backgrounds in public service, and many of them have served in the military. They've each been tireless advocates for veterans, and I'm confident they will keep fighting to improve the lives of our nation's heroes as chairmen of their respective subcommittees. I am also glad Rep. Bilirakis will continue serving as vice chairman. I look forward to working with Rep. Bilirakis and the subcommittee chairmen to pass meaningful legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs and continue the committee's diligent oversight."

115th Congress Leadership:


Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL): Vice Chairman


Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL): Chairman, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs


Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX): Chairman, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity


Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH): Chairman, Subcommittee on Health


Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI): Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations


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


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