Anna Marie Mattson published Veterans Commemoration September 18, 2020 in News 2020-09-19 14:26:18 -0400
Commemoration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Friday, September 18th at 11am
Suresnes American Military Cemetery
National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag being displayed with the US flag.
©iStockphoto.com/Joseph C. Justice Jr.
As a member of the DA France Veterans and Military Families Caucus, you are invited to an outdoor guided tour of the Suresnes Military Cemetery by the ABMC Staff this Friday, September 18th at 11am followed by a wreath laying on the tomb of the unknown soldier in commemoration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day. There are 974 MIA buried at the Suresnes Cemetery.
Directions: Trains depart from Gare St. Lazare to the Suresnes Mont Valerien station. From the Suresnes station it is a 10-minute walk to the cemetery. Address: 123 Boulevard Washington, 92150 Suresnes.
Many Americans across the United States pause to remember the sacrifices and service of those who were prisoners of war (POW), as well as those who are missing in action (MIA), and their families. All military installations fly the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag, which symbolizes the nation’s remembrance of those who were imprisoned while serving in conflicts and those who remain missing.
National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag being displayed with the US flag.
There are 1,741 American personnel listed by the Defense Department's POW/MIA Office as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, as of April 2009. About 90 percent of the 1,741 people still missing were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam's wartime control, (Source: National League of Families website and cited on the US Army website).
National POW/MIA Recognition Day has been observed since 1979 upon the passing of a United States Congress resolution. As of 1986 onwards, the date was fixed on the third Friday of September.
History of the POW/MIA Flag
The National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag symbolizes the United States’ resolve to never forget POWs or those who served their country in conflicts and are still missing. Newt Heisley designed the flag. The flag’s design features a silhouette of a young man, which is based on Mr Heisley’s son, who was medically discharged from the military. As Mr Heisley looked at his returning son’s gaunt features, he imagined what life was for those behind barbed wire fences on foreign shores. He then sketched the profile of his son as the new flag's design was created in his mind.
The flag features a white disk bearing in black silhouette a man’s bust, a watch tower with a guard on patrol, and a strand of barbed wire. White letters “POW” and “MIA”, with a white five-pointed star in between, are typed above the disk. Below the disk is a black and white wreath above the motto “You Are Not Forgotten” written in white, capital letters.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is not a federal public holiday in the United States but it is a national observance.
Anna Marie Mattson published Anna Marie Mattson-Alternate Delegate Candidate for Joe Biden in 2020 Delegate Candidate Statements 2020-06-05 16:01:11 -0400
I am the Acting Chair of DA's Veterans and Military Caucus and would appreciate your vote. Since 2003 I have been either a Member-at-Large, Vice-Chair, or Media Contact for Democrats Abroad France and attended two DNC Conventions, one as a Volunteer and the other in the DNC Foreign Press Room. I am passionate about Democrats Abroad and even more passionate about representing our Military and Veterans. We also deserve a seat at the table and would be so happy to add our diversity to the DA Delegation. It is a myth that the military vote Republican as our robust and active Caucus can attest to. We would like to share our agenda and issues with other state parties at the Convention and proudly represent you, not only our Caucus but all members of this organization. I am also a DPCA Voting Representative for France.
Article: “Congresswoman, Navy vet calls for cheaper prescriptions for military families, retirees”
Article: “Senate Armed Services shelves 'paper hearing' plans”
Article: “House Democrats Call for Answers on VA’s Mask Supplies”
Op-ed from Rep. Barr (R-KY-6): “Congress taking action to help with COVID-19”
Rep. Barr (R-KY-6) introduced H.R. 6493, the Veterans Benefits Fairness and Transparency Act.
According to the congressman, “This legislation would protect veterans applying for VA disability benefits by requiring the VA to continue to make available on its website disability benefits questionnaires (DBQs) that medical providers and others assisting veterans use to submit evidence supporting disability claims. In addition, the bill cuts down on bureaucratic inefficiencies by requiring the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to accept a veteran’s DBQ for one year after it is completed and filed with the VBA, regardless if the VBA updates or changes the form. Veterans in Kentucky have reported receiving denial of disability claims to which they are legally entitled solely because the VBA changed its forms without their knowledge.”
[bill text not yet publicly available]
Press release/podcast: “Rep. Gabbard Addresses Coronavirus Concerns From Military Families in Latest Tele-Town Hall”
House Ways & Means Committee Republican news bulletin: “No Extra Paperwork for Veterans, Beneficiaries to Get Relief Payments”
Article: “Gottheimer, Pascrell Praise Urgent Aid to Veterans Homes”
Article: “Thornberry wants $6 billion this year to launch counter-China fund”
House Armed Services Committee Chairman’s press release: “Statement on One-Year Anniversary of Trump’s Discriminatory Transgender Ban”
Recent letter from bipartisan group of senators to the Departments of Treasury and VA regarding veterans and the CARES Act
Recent letter from Rep. Axne seeking assistance, clarity for veterans during coronavirus outbreak
Earlier this week, H.R. 4771 (now P.L. 116-137), the VA Tele-Hearing Modernization Act (introduced by Rep. Cunningham (D-SC-1), was signed into law. As a reminder, the new law requires the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to allow veterans with pending appeals to appear before the Board remotely from their personal computers.
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman’s press release calling on Treasury and IRS to automatically distribute stimulus checks to the most vulnerable veterans
Sen. Gillibrand letter to Senate Majority and Minority leader calling for voting protections in the next round of coronavirus stimulus payments
Elsewhere in Gov’t
Article: “The Pentagon is quietly pushing to roll back recent anti-lobbying restrictions”
Article: “Retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins, Medal of Honor Recipient from Opelika, Dies after COVID-19 Illness”
Article: “VA, Treasury still working to get stimulus checks to potentially overlooked veterans”
Article: “Army Decides a Pandemic Is a Good Time to Give GOP Donors $569 Million to ‘Build the Wall’”
Article: “VA Instructs Coronavirus-Exposed Staff to Continue Working, Places Those Who Don’t in AWOL Status”
Article: “Trump’s War on Veterans”
Article: “Pentagon Worries Social Distancing Could Impede America’s Deterrent”
Article: “It's Official: Most Zoom Versions Now Off-Limits to the Military”
Article: “Veterans Affairs denies reports of face mask shortages at hospitals”
VA offering live virtual training to service women: learn to enroll, receive women-specific VA health care
Article: “Veterans’ remote mental health appointments skyrocket amid coronavirus outbreak”
DoD letter to service-members on wearing masks to protect against COVID-19
TV news clip: “Veterans outraged about new VA policy”
Article: “The Space Force is ready to launch”
Article: “Internal memos call into question VA’s still-rising coronavirus count”
TRICARE Pharmacy update: COVID-19 Myths vs. Facts
USAF press release: “Air Force Salutes campaign to honor those working front lines”
USN press release: “Navy Ups the Ante on Reenlistment Bonuses”
Results of Special and General Court-Martial Navy cases convened in February 2020
Results of Special and General Court-Martial Marine Corps cases convened in February 2020
Blog: “The Military’s Pandemic Response—Supporting Civil Authorities”
Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs press release: “VA, Facebook and American Red Cross provide Portal video calling devices to Veterans, caregivers and families”
New CRS report: “U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress”
New CRS report: “Infertility in the Military”
USPS press release: “U.S. Postal Service Tops List Again as Americans’ Favorite Government Agency”
Article: “For veterans who missed out on COVID stimulus cash payouts, VA and IRS have a quick fix”
Article: “No quick exit: US military plans for 'new normal' in COVID era”
Article: “Should GI Bill benefits be extended to civilian medical workers fighting coronavirus?”
Article: “VA secretary refuses to answer questions about COVID-19 supply shortages, lawmakers say”
USAF press release: “Air Force Academy prepares for historic graduation”
FYI: On Wednesday, April 22, at 1 p.m. EST, USMC’s "The President's Own" will release its 2020 Marine Big Band concert as an online streaming event. You can watch here.
Article: “For Young Military Families, The Financial Effects Of The Pandemic Can Be Severe”
Op-ed: “Trump needs to cover all veterans, their families and VA employees during COVID”
DNC comunicado de prensa: “Declaración del DNC sobre el presunto nominado demócrata”
Article: “Millions of veterans to get letters this week on potential reimbursements for medical costs”
Article: “Your 2020 Guide to Military Benefits”
Article: “A Complete Guide For Military Families Considering Adoption”
Article/video: “Hiring our Heroes president: Military spouse employment is ‘critical to national security’”
Article: “How millions of veterans could miss out on coronavirus stimulus checks”
Article: “Germany arrests IS suspects plotting attacks on US bases”
Article: “Tillis challenger Cunningham raises nearly $4.4M in first quarter”
^Related poll from earlier this week (Question #7):
If the candidates for US Senate this fall were Democrat Cal Cunningham and Republican Thom Tillis, who would you vote for?
Cal Cunningham 47%
Thom Tillis 40%
Not sure 13%
Article: “Fired as acting Navy secretary, Modly is now stuck in COVID-19 quarantine”
Article: “Glenna Goodacre, Renowned Sculptor Who Created Vietnam Women’s Memorial, Dead At 80”
Interview/podcast: “A new initiative to prevent veterans suicide during self-isolation”
FYI: to find military hospitals and clinics abroad, click here and then “More Search Options” to view
Recorded webinar: “The US military's role in response to COVID-19”
Article: “The Spanish 'Star-Spangled Banner' Is Being Used to Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19. Here’s the History Behind the Lyrics”
Article: “VFW Urges Congress to Pass the Major Richard Star Act to Ease the Financial Burden of Medically-Retired Veterans During COVID-19 Pandemic”
Op-ed: “Helping Student Veterans Amid the Coronavirus Crisis”
Article: “Veterans group continues legal battle over discharge records”
Friendly reminder: This is what happens to your letter when you contact a member of Congress who doesn’t represent you.
Letter to the editor: “Be sure to give thanks and support to our veterans”
Op-ed: “World War III isn't what the strategists thought it would be”
Op-ed: “Honoring ‘Military Brats,’ their sacrifices for family”
Letter from military families organizations to Congress urging for exclusion of the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) from being counted as income when calculating eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other federal nutrition assistance benefits
Article: “Veterans education program adapts to virtual world”
Anna Marie Mattson published Last Call to Run for Delegate to the DA Regional and Global Conventions in News 2020-04-14 06:05:31 -0400
Dear Democrats in the Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus,
Hope you are all taking good care of yourselves in these strange times and keeping your spirits up. We have plenty of work to do in order to win in November, so if you have any extra time, please let us know!
Last call to send in your Candidacy form to run as a Delegate of Democrats Abroad for the DNC Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where the next President and Vice-President will be nominated. Also, last call to run as DNC member for Democrats Abroad.
This Delegate Candidate nomination form must be returned by Friday, April 17th. It is online. In this form you are required to write a 150-word candidacy statement. Our Chair, Julia Bryan will submit these candidacy forms to the campaigns who will vet our list. So you are encouraged to target your message to the campaigns in order for you to be included.
You may run as a Regional Delegate in all or any of the Regional Conventions May 16-17 and as a Global Delegate for the Convention June 6th-7th. These Conventions will be held on-line so no travel expenses required. At the Regional Conventions 4 Delegates will be elected for Biden and 9 for Sanders. At the Global Convention, 4 Delegates will be elected for Sanders.
Any DA member is eligible to run to be one of the Delegates and DNC members who will comprise the 21-person delegation that Democrats Abroad will send to the Democratic National Convention this August (13 Elected Delegates + 8 DNC members). In particular, those from historically marginalized groups are encouraged to run to Delegate: Women, African American, Hispanic American/Latinx, Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, LGBT, Persons with Disabilities, and Youth (Under 36). More information here from our Affirmative Action Team.
Again, the DEADLINES are:
Delegate Candidate nomination form must be returned by Friday, April 17.
DNC Member Candidate nomination form must be returned by Monday, April 20. Information about running to become a Democrats Abroad DNC member.
Questions? Please email [email protected]
More information can also be found here Briefing for Delegates
All the best, Keep healthy,
Anna Marie Mattson on behalf of the Steering Committee
Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus
* * * Letter from Democratic senators to the Veterans’ Affairs Secretary requesting that VA act swiftly to cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment under the VA’s Foreign Medical Program (FMP) for veterans living and traveling abroad
As a reminder, the VA web site currently states this:
“As a Veteran living or traveling abroad, you can receive medical care for VA service-connected disabilities through our VA Foreign Medical Program. Under this program, we assume payment responsibility for the necessary treatment of service-connected disabilities. You can visit our Foreign Medical Program page for more information. There are regional toll-free phone numbers on this page that you can call for additional assistance.”
Op-ed: “Sen. Martha McSally has quarantined herself in Trump's pocket”
Letter from Democratic senators to the Dept. of Treasury, Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs, and the Social Security Administration regarding CARES Act stimulus payments to veterans
Article: “Lamborn Urges DoD To Help Struggling Military Families”
Article: “House Armed Services chairman calls for removal of Navy chief”
Statement: “House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman & Subcommittee Chairwoman’s statement regarding VA’s delay of the Electronic Health Record Modernization project”
Press release: “Ohio’s Senators Applaud Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Approving Extension for Filing of Claims and Appeals for Veterans’ Benefits”
Statement by Rep. Thornberry, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, on the resignation of Acting Secretary of the Navy Modly
Elsewhere in Gov’t
Article: “Acting secretary of the Navy resigns after calling ousted aircraft carrier captain 'stupid'”
Article: “Trump Orders VA to Stop Withholding Money from Veterans”
Article: “Veterans Affairs Hospitals Facing ‘Serious’ Shortage of Protective Gear, Internal Memos Show”
Report: “OIG Inspection of Veterans Health Administration’s COVID-19 Screening Processes and Pandemic Readiness”
Artículo: “Los veteranos tienen acceso a pruebas de COVID-19 a través del VA o Tricare”
Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs press release: “CARES Act helping VA boost protections for Veterans”
Article: “With Camp Casey infection, coronavirus spreads to nearly every major U.S. base in South Korea”
News from MN: “Walz announces $6.2 million in coronavirus grants for Minnesota veterans”
Article: “Seven VA health care workers dead from coronavirus as cases mount”
Article: “4th US aircraft carrier hit with coronavirus”
News from WI: “Gov. Evers suspends many Assistance to Needy Veterans Grant program provisions”
Statement from the White House: “Proclamation on National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, 2020”
Article: “VA Gets New Acting No. 2 Official After Predecessor's Firing”
Article: “Trump says voting by mail is bad. US troops do it all the time”
News from the Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs: “File a pre-discharge claim while overseas”
Article: “VA COVID-19 update: over 3,500 cases, 174 patient deaths as officials downplay equipment shortage concerns”
New CRS report: “Protecting Military Whistleblowers”
American Legion Auxiliary April Newsletter: The pandemic can exacerbate feelings of isolation, economic despair, and depression. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line are experiencing an increase in calls.
Editorial from Virginia: “Deterring veteran suicide remains a Virginia priority”
Report: The U.S. Military’s Role In Response To COVID-19
Op-ed: “Treasury is needlessly requiring millions of veterans, seniors to file taxes to receive stimulus checks”
Editorial: “Veterans Affairs has the country’s largest health system. It might prove useful against COVID-19”
Editorial: “Failing to protect those who protected us”
Article: “What Americans Don’t Know About Military Families”
Article: “Veterans and Gold Star families mobilize to battle coronavirus isolation
Article: “”VFW Lobbied For ‘Star-Spangled Banner’”
VVA press release: “VVA Calls on President to Reverse the VA’s Removal of the ‘48-Hour Review Policy’”
IAVA press release: “As Veterans Seek Vital Information in Time of Crisis, VA’s Disjointed Communication is Reckless, Counterproductive, Says IAVA CEO”
Joint VSO Letter to Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Wilkie on Recovery Rebates
Op-ed: “The U.S. Should Fight COVID, Not Venezuela”
Article: “Letter from President Maduro as U.S. threatens Venezuela with war”
Article: “'Trump,' 'chaos,' 'money:' What Mexico and Canada said when asked for one word to describe US”
Article: “Steve Carell to launch Netflix comedy Space Force in May
To all Veterans and Military Families,
We hope you and your families are all keeping safe and healthy. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the first responders and caregivers, doctors, nurses who are coping with this situation as best they can. Our first concern as a Caucus is also to reach out to our community in solidarity during these uncertain times so we are phonebanking all our members.Read more
Anna Marie Mattson published Leah Daughtry, former CEO of the 2016 DNC Convention talks about GOTV for the DA Veterans and Military Family Caucus in Postcasts & Social Media 2019-08-04 08:45:28 -0400
Leah Daughtry, former CEO of the 2016 DNC Convention talks about GOTV for the DA Veterans and Military Family Caucus
Leah Daughtry, co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics. came to Paris in July to talk to Democrats about the critical 2020 Get Out The Vote effort. She took time out to answer questions for the Global Veteran and Military Families Caucus of Democrats Abroad giving keen advice on how to move forward.
Daughtry has worked as Chief of Staff to notable political figures, such as former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexis Herman, and former Chairs of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean and Terry McAuliffe. She served in 2008 and 2016 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention, she is the first person in Democratic Party history to hold the position twice.
Named one of the 12 most influential Democrats in the nation on faith and values politics by Religion News Service, Leah also works with Faith in Action, the Democratic party’s outreach program to communities of faith. Leah currently serves as pastor of the House of the Lord Church in Washington, D.C. Further, Leah served as Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics where she focused on the role of faith and values play in American politics. Leah sits on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Negro Women. An electrifying speaker full of power and charisma, she transforms corporate teams, congregations, and communities for the better. Beyond her amazing career, she’s also a loving aunt, dedicated mentor, and avid shoe lover.
Anna Marie Mattson published Global Veterans & Military Families Caucus in Caucuses 2019-07-03 07:20:03 -0400
DAF VMF Caucus Co-Chair; DPCA Voting Rep
Co-Chair of the DA France Military, Veterans and Military Families Caucus in formation. Appreciating the opportunity to serve our military community.