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US Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Senate Hearing on Pending Legislation

Last Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs conducted a hearing on pending legislation. VA representatives responded to questions on VA’s policies and procedures regarding rural veterans, maternity care, service dog training grants for veterans with PTSD, “Buddy Check” week, medical cannabis research, and in vitro fertilization. In a statement submitted for the record, VFW National Legislative Service Associate Director Tammy Barlet cited results from two VFW surveys regarding maternity care and the VFW resolution on medicinal cannabis research.

Women Veterans Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act Passes House

Last Thursday, the House passed VFW-supported H.R. 239, the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act. This bill would provide women veterans access to the same no-cost contraceptive care as their non-veteran counterparts.

VA Secretary Wants to Keep Telehealth Appointments

Last week while testifying before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, VA Secretary Denis McDonough stated that VA wants to maintain access to telehealth appointments. He noted that usage of online video appointments is about 18 times higher now than at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials have predicted a sharp rise in the need for health care services as veterans who have delayed care during the pandemic will now need to catch up. McDonough said, “We want to maintain it, because it’s ease of access for vets who don’t need to be seen in person.

Important Date in July

July 4 – Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies claimed independence from England, an event that eventually led to the formation of The United States. Each year on the fourth of July, Americans celebrate this historical event. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historical document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, signed the Deceleration Of Independence with a great flourish so England’s King George could read it without his spectacles.

July 25 – National Hire a Veteran Day

July 27 – National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

July 28 – National Buffalo Soldiers Day

July 29 – Army Chaplains Corp Anniversary

POW/MIA Update

Army Sgt. John E. Hurlburt, 26, of Madison, Connecticut, was a member of the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. He was killed July 7, 1944, during a massive Japanese attack against the 105th on the island of Saipan. Hurlburt will be buried Aug. 14, 2021, in New Haven, Connecticut.

Army Pfc. Philip T. Hoogacker, 23, of Detroit, was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment. He was reported missing in action on July 27, 1950, after his unit was attacked near Anui, South Korea. He died as a prisoner of war. Hoogacker will be buried July 23, 2021, in Livonia, Michigan.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Donald A. Stott, 19, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Navy Chief Machinist’s Mate Ralph A. Derrington, 42, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Army Sgt. Bernard J. Sweeney, Jr., 22, was assigned to Company I, 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division. His unit had been engaged in battle with German forces near Strass, Germany. Interment services are pending.

Army Cpl. Charles E. Lee, 18, was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on July 20, 1950. Interment services are pending.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Walter S. Belt, Jr., 25, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

 

– Charles Castelluccio

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