VFW Action Corps Weekly – August 12, 2016

Action Corps Weekly Logo

In This Issue:

  1. VFW 2016 Federal Elections Survey
  2. Visit the VFW Website
  3. VFW to Host Facebook Chat on Vet Centers
  4. V-J Day Commemoration
  5. MIA Updates


  1. Visit the VFW Website: Each week, the VFW Action Corps Weekly comes to you and summarizes the VFW’s activities for the week. The VFW is on Capitol Hill every day ensuring that you get what you have earned because of your service. To assist you when you call or meet a candidate or member of Congress in your district, the National Legislative Service also provides information on where we stand on issues and how to best address those issues. To learn more, click on the links below:

–The VFW Priority Goals is the overarching position paper which identifies major policy goals of the VFW. Read them here: http://www.vfw.org/uploadedFiles/VFW.org/VFW_in_DC/2016PriorityGoalsBrochure.pdf.

–The VFW’s “LESS=MORE” campaign highlights the impact of sequestration on several programs that help veterans. To read the LESS=MORE campaign literature, click here: http://www.vfw.org/uploadedFiles/VFW.org/VFW_in_DC/Less=More%20packet.pdf.

­­–Numerous policy areas have Talking Points which can be used when you meet with your members of Congress to encourage them to vote in support of veterans issues. Read them here: http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/National-Legislative-Service/.

–The see all of the research we have done on your Health Care desires and the VFW’s recommendations for the future of VA, click here: http://www.vfw.org/vawatch/.

–To find the VFW’s position on legislation that Congress is considering and to read our Congressional Testimonies, click here: http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/Congressional-Testimony/.

If you ever have any questions or comments, feel free to email the VFW Action Corps at vfwac@vfw.org and our National Legislative Service staff will answer your email.

  1. 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 it here: https://www.research.net/r/VFW2016FederalElectionSurvey.

  1. VFW to Host Facebook Chat on Vet Centers: On August 17, 2016, from 7-8 p.m. EDT,
    the VFW and VA will host a video tour of a Vet Center. Eligible service members, veterans and their families can learn about the free and confidential counseling services offered at the more than 300 Vet Centers around the country. VA subject matter experts will be available to answer questions about eligibility, services, and how to locate a Vet Center. If you have served in a combat zone, area of hostility, experienced military sexual trauma or served as part of a drone crew––regardless if you are active duty, reserve, guard, recently separated or served many years ago––please join the conversation on the VFW’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VFWFans. For more information on this event and other #ExploreVA events, visit: http://explore.va.gov/events.
  2. V-J Day Commemoration: Visitors to Washington, D.C., can join in a Victory over Japan Day observance at the National World War II Memorial on Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. The WWII Memorial has very few disability parking spaces, and street parking will be very limited since it’s a workday and still the tourist season in Washington. Taxis to the memorial are plentiful and recommended. The two closest Metro stations, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian, are both about a half-mile away. Learn more about this and other events at: http://www.wwiimemorialfriends.org/.
  3. MIA Updates: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Office has announced burial updates and the identification of remains of 12 Americans who had been missing in action from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:

— Army Pfc. William R. Butz, 19, of Glendive, Mont., is being buried today in Vancouver, Wash. He was declared missing in action on Dec. 12, 1950, after his unit was heavily attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Butz was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Learn more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/906224/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-butz/.

— Navy Ensign John C. England, 20, of Alhambra, Calif., is being buried Aug. 13 in Colorado Springs, Colo. On Dec. 7, 1941, England was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma when the battleship suffered multiple torpedo hits and capsized as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/906114/uss-oklahoma-sailor-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-england/.

— Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert W. Ward, was co-piloting a B-26C Marauder bomber that was shot down near Philippsweiler, Germany, on Dec. 23, 1944. Ward and one other of the nine-member crew were reported killed in action. He was assigned to the 559th Bombardment Squadron, 387th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/906008/airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-ward/.

— Marine Corps 1st Lt. Stanley Johnson, was co-piloting a UH-34D Choctaw helicopter when it was shot down west of Tam Ky Town in South Vietnam on Dec. 3, 1965. Three Americans and nine Vietnamese soldiers were killed in the crash. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/906069/marine-missing-from-vietnam-war-accounted-for-johnson/.

— Navy Seaman 2nd Class Vernon N. Grow, Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Earl L. Melton, and Ensign Verdi Sederstrom, were stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma when the battleship suffered multiple torpedo hits and capsized as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The USS Oklahoma’s 429 casualties were second only to the USS Arizona’s that day. Interment services are pending.

— Marine Pvt. Emmett L. Kines, Pvt. Frank F. Penna, Pfc. Wilbur C. Mattern, Pfc. Ronald W. Vosmer and Sgt. Fae V. Moore, where killed in action when the 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, landed Nov. 20, 1943, against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded; Japanese forces were virtually annihilated. Falling on the first day of battle were Penna, Vosmer and Moore, who were assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, and Kines, who was in Company F, 2nd Battalion. Falling on Nov. 21 was Mattern, who was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion. Interment services are pending.

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.