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VFW Testifies Before Senate On Toxic Exposures

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing on pending legislation. VFW National Legislative Service Director Patrick Murray testified on the VFW’s top legislative priority of toxic exposure. Murray stressed the importance of combining the best pieces of each bill to cover as many veterans as possible. “Since we seem to expose nearly 100% of our troops to hazardous substances and environments, it is entirely unreasonable that almost 75% of them have their claims denied for exposure. It is time we establish a new framework to take care of veterans who were exposed to hazards both foreign and domestic, now and in the future,” said Murray.

VFW Adds Comment to VA’s Grant

The VFW added a comment to the Federal Register regarding the distribution and selection of grants through VA’s Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program. The grant program is a section of the VFW-supported John Scott Hannon Act, which gives VA the funding for community-based grants to provide or coordinate suicide prevention services for veterans and their families. The VFW believes grants should primarily be awarded to organizations with a proven track record in advocating for comprehensive suicide prevention and mental health services for veterans. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of military culture and service and their ability to perform gap analysis and provide services based on those outcomes.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund to Prioritize Veterans

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was created by the American Rescue Plan which was signed into law in March by President Biden. The fund will provide $28.6 billion in direct relief funds through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to restaurants and other food establishments financially impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. SBA will prioritize veteran applications for the first 21 days. Applications opened Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon.

New Phone Number for Veterans that call the Meadville DAV Rides

The Meadville DAV for rides has a new phone number for veterans seeking rides to call. The new phone number is (814) 860-6603. This number goes into effect Friday, May 7, 2021.

POW/MIA Update

Army Cpl. Clifford S. Johnson, 20, of Valatie, New York, was a member of Headquarters Battery, 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. Johnson will be buried on May 19, 2021, in Schuylerville, New York.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Wallace G. Mitchell, 19, of Los Angeles, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. He will be buried on May 28, 2021, in San Diego.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Harry R. Holmes, 19, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Hugh R. Alexander, 43, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions in saving the lives of several fellow crew members. Interment services are pending.

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Charles L. Saunders, 18, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Navy Fireman 2nd Class Ralph C. Battles, 25, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Russell O. Ufford, 17, 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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