Action Corps Weekly – August 26, 2016

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In This Issue:

1. Free Flu Shots

2. VFW 2016 Federal Elections Survey

3. VA, DOD and NCI Create Targeted Screening Program

4. VA to Launch Service Animal Pilot Program

5. MIA Update

1. Free Flu Shots: From now through March 31, 2017, all veterans enrolled in the VA health care system can receive free flu shots at any Walgreens or Duane Reade pharmacy. The joint outreach health initiative is designed to help serve veterans closer to where they reside. Veterans must bring their VA identification cards with them, as well as another photo ID, and complete a short four-question application, which will be used to automatically update their VA Electronic Health Records. No appointments are necessary.

2. VFW 2016 Federal Elections Survey: There are 2.2 million service members and 21 million veterans. Including spouses, surviving parents and voting age children, the estimated military/veteran voting bloc exceeds 100 million. However, America’s military/veteran population is politically and ideologically even, according to a CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll taken in 2004, which was the last time two veterans ran for president. With another federal election year upon us, the VFW believes it is important to survey our members to better understand how our community thinks. The 16-question survey will run through Sept. 12, 2016. Please take the survey and share with other comrades: https://www.research.net/r/VFW2016FederalElectionSurvey.

3. VA, DOD and NCI Create Targeted Screening Program: On Tuesday, VA, DOD and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced a partnership to tailor care for lung cancer patients based on the genes and proteins associated with their tumors. The Applied Proteogenomics Organizational Learning and Outcomes consortium, or APOLLO, is part of the wider national Cancer Moonshot initiative. This partnership will leverage the expertise and resources of the largest health care delivery and research systems in the country to significantly improve the efficacy of cancer treatments. The program has the potential of saving the lives of the 8,000 veterans diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the VA health care system alone. To learn more about the APOLLO, visit: https://medium.com/cancer-moonshot.

4. VA to Launch Service Animal Pilot Program: The Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week the creation of the first program specifically for veterans suffering with their mental health who may be eligible for a service dog. The pilot, created by the new VA Center for Compassionate Intervention, foresees being able to enroll up to 100 veterans. Individuals selected for the new program will be chosen based on their medical team’s belief that the veteran’s daily life would be improved by having a service dog. Veterans interested in the program are encouraged to talk to their health care provider or medical team. For more information, please view: http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/va-pilot-to-cover-service-dogs-for-mental-health-conditions.

5. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains belonging to six servicemen who had been missing in action since World War II and Korea. All will be buried with full military honors. Returned home are:

— Army Sgt. James L. Campbell, 18, is being buried today in his hometown of Waterford, Conn. On the night of Nov. 27, 1950, Campbell, who was assigned to the 31st Regimental Combat Team, was attacked and forced into a fighting withdrawal from their positions on the east side of the Chosin River in North Korea. He would be reported missing after the battle. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/919610/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-campbell/.

— Marine Pfc. James F. Mansfield, 19, will be buried Aug. 27 in his hometown of Plymouth, Mass. In November 1943, Mansfield was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Mansfield died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/919624/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-mansfield/.

— Marine Pfc. George H. Traver, 25, will be buried Aug. 28, in his hometown of Chatham, N.Y. In November 1943, Traver was also assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Traver died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/919617/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-traver/.

— Navy Lt. Julian B. Jordan, 37, of Dawson, Ga., will be buried Aug. 29 in Bremerton, Wash. On Dec. 7, 1941, Jordan was assigned aboard the USS Oklahoma, which capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo hits as the battleship was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen. With the exception of the USS Arizona, no single ship at Pearl Harbor suffered more fatalities. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/921305/uss-oklahoma-sailor-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-jordan/.

— Marine Pfc. Anthony Brozyna, 22, of Hartford, Conn. will be buried Aug. 31 in Arlington National Cemetery. In November 1943, Brozyna was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Brozyna died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/924174/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-brozyna/.

— Army Capt. Elwood J. Euart, 28, will be buried Aug. 31 in his hometown of Pawtucket, R.I. On Oct. 26, 1942, Euart was assigned to Headquarters, 103rd Field Artillery Battalion, 43rd Infantry Division, aboard an Army transport ship that struck two mines near Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides, in the Republic of Vanuatu. The ship was beached on a nearby coral reef and evacuated. Hearing that men were trapped inside, Euart entered the sinking ship to help the men escape. The ship rolled and slid off the reef an hour later. Euart was one of only two crewmen lost out of approximately 5,000 troops aboard. The captain would be posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/924176/soldier-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-euart/.

To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

As always, we want to hear your advocacy stories. To share your stories or photos with us, simply email them directly to vfwac@vfw.org.