National Legislative Service Deputy Director Tammy Barlet testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs regarding innovation research and expanded public health efforts for veteran suicide prevention. Barlet spoke about multiple VFW programs and outreach opportunities to engage our membership and communities in suicide prevention awareness including Give an Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction, Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations (ATLAS), Green Alert system, #StillServing campaign, health surveys, VFW Unmet Needs, and donations from VFW Posts for suicide prevention innovation. “Veteran suicide prevention awareness is not just a VA, congressional, or veteran organization issue, it is an everyone issue,” Barlet said.
House Holds Hearing on Pending Legislation
Last week, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a hearing on proposed legislation to improve many veteran benefits. Two of the bills discussed originated from VFW/SVA Fellowship proposals including improvements to the VA Work-Study program and stipends for child care. Nontraditional students are the majority of student veterans, and they have different needs from traditional students such as employment and family obligations. Improving success in education for student veterans is one of the VFW’s long-standing resolutions and we are glad to see support from Congress to help make these improvements.
House Passes Automatic COLA Increase
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs passed VFW-supported S.189, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2021. This bill would ensure that whenever there is a cost-of-living increase in benefits for Social Security recipients, VA would increase by the same percentage the amounts payable for veterans’ disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. This legislation, which was passed by the Senate in July, now heads to the president for signature.
Important Days in October
The month of October has many important days. Here are just a few:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Oct. 11 – Columbus Day
Oct. 13 – United States Navy’s 246th Birthday
Oct. 26 – Day of the Deployed
Army 1st Lt. James E. Wright, 25, of Parkton, North Carolina, was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Sept. 11, 1944, after a fighting withdrawal at the Moselle River near Dornot, France. Wright will be buried on Oct. 12, 2021, in Lumber Bridge, North Carolina.
Army Pvt. Donald A. Fabrize, 17, of Chayuga, New York, was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was reported killed in action on July 16, 1950, after a fighting withdrawal along the Kum River in South Korea. Fabrize will be buried in May 2022 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Army 1st Lt. Anthony R. Mazzulla, 26, of Bronx, New York, was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, after a fighting withdrawal near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Mazzulla will be buried in Cranston, Rhode Island. The date has yet to be determined.
Army Sgt. Stanley L. DeWitt, of Royal City, Indiana, was assigned to Medical Detachment, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. DeWitt will be buried in his hometown. The date has yet to be determined.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Buford H. Dyer, 19, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.
Navy Fireman 2nd Class Benjiman C. Terhune, 19, of Watervliet, Michigan, 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