DA Germany VMF


DA Germany Veterans and Military Families Caucus

"Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it." — Unknown

Democrats Abroad Germany (DAG) honors the men and women of our armed forces, and is committed to representing their best interests in the democratic process. Government policy must reflect the interests of those who serve or have served honorably, those who support them overseas and their families. In order to support these efforts, DAG established the Veterans and Military Families Caucus (VMFC) in 2018 at the AGM in Hamburg. This caucus works with the leadership of Democrats Abroad Germany and the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) to achieve mutual goals, and to assure caucus members that the Democratic Party is fully supportive of their needs while serving (and after service) on behalf of their country.

 

Join the DAG VMF caucus—https://www.democratsabroad.org/vmf_signup

Looking for 25 new members!  All DAG members are eligible to join.

Send us an email after you join! [email protected]

Ask a friend to join today. Help us reach our goal!


December Events

“My message to the American people is this: America is moving again and your life is going to change for the better.” —President Joe Biden


DECEMBER EVENTS
 
December is UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS MONTH
December 1 - Civil Air Patrol (USAF Auxiliary) Birthday
December 2, 1944 – WW2: General George S. Patton’s troops enter the Saar Valley and break through the Siegfried line.
December 3, 1775 – The USS Alfred became the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag
 (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones.
December 7–Pearl Harbor DayCalled "A day which will live in infamy" by Franklin D. Roosevelt - On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
December 13–National Guard Birthday
Dec 16, 1773 – American Revolution: Boston Tea Party - 2021 is the 248th anniversary -
In 1773, Members of the Sons of Liberty dumped hundreds of crates of tea into Boston 
harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.
December 16, 1944– Battle of the Bulge —2021 is the 77th anniversary
December 18–National Wreaths Across America  
An annual laying of wreaths at veterans cemeteries across the nation.
December 28–Anniversary of the Army Chaplain Assistant/ Religious Affairs Specialist 

Getting Health Care Overseas

GETTING HEALTH CARE OVERSEAS
Useful information for retired veterans who are living overseas. N.B. Use your previous U.S. address, not your APO address, for the DS Logon Registration for e-benefits.

Also important is the fact that you can receive medical care for VA service-connected disabilities through the VA Foreign Medical Program.

 

Veterans Living Overseas

excerpts:   https://www.benefits.va.gov/persona/veteran-abroad.asp                                                            

If you’re a Veteran who lives overseas, you remain entitled to the benefits and services you earned through your military service. Most VA benefits are payable regardless of your place of residence or nationality. VA benefits include  disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment and burial.

 

Getting Healthcare Overseas. 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. 

Foreign Medical Program (FMP) - Community Care https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/programs/veterans/fmp/index.asp

From VA Information For Veterans Living Overseas:                     from MilitaryBenefits     https://militarybenefits.info/va-veterans-living-overseas/

VA Resources For Veterans Living Overseas                               The first thing a veteran or soon-to-be retired or separated military member should do is to visit the VA official site to set up an e-Benefits account, which you will use to manage your VA benefits in the United States or from the overseas location.

You will need to register at the DS Logon Registration page but rather than supplying your last military address, use your last recorded USA address instead.

Veterans In The Philippines                                                             For veterans living in or considering relocating to the Philippines, the Department of Veterans Affairs has special resources. The VA Philippines overseas page includes some important details about getting VA benefits, especially health care.

In the Philippines, veterans may be eligible for care for ”non-service connected disabilities”  at the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic. The VA says this option is only for veterans “who are already receiving care at the outpatient clinic and whether the clinic is able to provide the needed service.” In such cases, the veteran may be required to pay for treatment “for non-service connected disabilities by non-VA care providers or by an outside medical facility.”

How To Prepare To Use Your VA Benefits Overseas                   This is an area that requires more planning and forward thinking than some anticipate; in some cases your access to VA benefits may be a matter of your physical location and any challenges there.

If you choose to live in Germany, where there is a network of U.S. military bases, military hospitals, and related support operations, you may have an easier time accessing some benefits than you might if you decided to relocate to Reykjavik, Iceland where U.S. military members were once stationed at nearby Naval Air Station Keflavik… There is no U.S. military support system in place in Iceland that could compare to what those remaining in Japan, Korea, Spain, Italy, or Germany might enjoy.

Direct Deposit of VA Benefit Payments                                Arranging direct deposit into a non-US bank may require some additional preparation, and in some cases may require the use of a translator. If you have an overseas bank account rather than an account with a company headquartered in the United States, be sure to ask what is typical when arranging such direct deposit payments. You may be required to obtain international routing numbers, SWIFT codes, International Bank Account Numbers, etc.

 

VA Resources For Veterans Living Overseas Or Planning To Do So                                                      If you plan to or already have retired or separated from the military in an overseas location, there are VA resources waiting for you via phone, e-mail, and online:

Basic VA benefit questions and assistance–(412) 395-6272 or visit the VA Inquiry Routing and Information System

Education benefits–(918) 781-5678

International Direct Deposit and currency conversion–(918) 781-7550 or via e-mail [email protected]

VA benefits representatives at American embassies and consulates–online at the Social Security Foreign Country Service Information page

VA Overseas Military Services Coordinator–get contact information online at the VA Overseas Military Services Coordinators page

Finding an accredited representative to help you manage your benefits–online at the VA Manage Your Representative for VA Claims tool

Other VA Resources For Veterans Living Overseas. VA Overseas Military Coordinators (OMSCs) can help service members, U.S. Veterans living or working overseas, and their families and dependents with VA Benefits transition to a life overseas. The following contact information is broken down by geographic region as presented on the VA official site:

 

Germany

Kaiserslautern. [email protected]

Kaiserslautern. [email protected]

Vilseck-Bavaria. [email protected]

 

Italy. [email protected]

United Kingdom. [email protected]

 

Japan/Asia-Pacific

Iwakuni. [email protected]

Okinawa. [email protected]

Yokosuka. [email protected]

 

More information about VA benefits for Veterans living abroad

 Medical Treatment Questions Only

VA Foreign Medical Program Office

PO Box 469061

Denver, CO 80246-9061

Email: [email protected]

 

Education Benefit Questions Only

VA Regional Office

PO Box 4616

Buffalo, New York 14240-4616

 

Website: Education Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Life Insurance Questions Only

VA Regional Office and Insurance Center

P O Box 7208

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101


Veterans Affairs YouTube Update

The official YouTube channel for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLY7mRNUcQyMTpYxbVmoTzsdxsP_BaDgw8

https://www.newengland.va.gov/sitrep

 

"#theSITREP is a show, for Veterans, by Veterans, that provides trusted information about Veterans' benefits such as VA disability, VA home loans, VA health care, VA education and much more."

 

Weekly video series that answers questions about VA disability… be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss future episodes! 

PLAYLISTS BY TOPIC

VA Home Loans & Refinancing | https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLY...

VA Service-Connected Disability | https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLY...

VA Health Care | https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLY...

VA Benefits with 100% Service-Connected Disability | VA Disability | theSITREP - YouTube.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWTa2lW9Qc4

Getting records for a VA disability claim | Department of Veterans Affairs | theSITREP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnE6TzurVdQ

Phone Numbers for Help at Department of Veterans Affairs | theSITREP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DNMe0wZ-qU&list=PLY7mRNUcQyMTpYxbVmoTzsdxsP_BaDgw8&index=10


VETERANS RESOURCES

2022 Veterans Disability Compensation Rates | Veterans Affairs

https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/

 

View Or Change Dependents | Veterans Affairs

https://www.va.gov/view-change-dependents/

Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line.          We’re here anytime, day or night – 24/7

If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with our caring, qualified responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves.

Get more resources at VeteransCrisisLine.net.

 


NEW AIR TRAVEL POLICY FOR ENTRY TO THE UNITED STATES

Message for U.S. Citizens: 

NEW AIR TRAVEL POLICY FOR ENTRY TO THE  UNITED STATES 

Effective 12:01am EST (5:01am GMTon December 6, 2021, all air passengers 2 years or older with a flight departing to the US from a foreign country are required to show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than 1 day before travel.

If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

Air passengers will also be required to confirm in the form of an attestation that the information they present is true.

Children younger than two years of age (any nationality) are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

Exceptions to either the testing requirement (for all travelers) or the vaccination requirement (for non-U.S. citizen travelers) will be considered on an extremely limited basis.  Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt  to inquire about the process to request an exception.   

The CDC has a helpful online wizard here  (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/travel-assessment/index.html) where travelers can confirm exactly what they need to board a flight to the United States. You can also visit the CDC webpage on International Travel  (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/index.html) for more detailed information, including exceptions  and FAQs about the vaccination and testing requirements for air passengers.  


Battle of the Bulge 77th Anniversary

December 10-12, 2021. Battle of the Bulge  77th Anniversary 

Commemoration activities  in Bastogne, Belgium
Let us know if you would like more details and if you are interested in attending.

Virtual Veterans Info Session Recap

November 8, 2021

by Terese Sarno, DA Germany VMF Caucus

 

The DA Germany Veterans and Military Families Caucus collaborated with the U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt to present a VIRTUAL VETERANS INFO SESSION on Monday, November 8, 2021, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm on Zoom. 

We listened carefully to your concerns about U.S. government services available to you in Germany (and around the world) and the Consulate designed a program that covered the topics important to our Veterans, military families, DoD civilians and all Americans overseas. One of the highlights was the discussion on voting while you are overseas and the importance of voter outreach programs since Americans overseas must request their absentee ballots each calendar year.

Representatives from the Consulate’s American Services Unit and from the Federal Benefits Unit discussed many important topics including Passport Renewals, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and Social Security.

The DAG VMF Caucus presented an overview of the VMF caucus goals and programs that have been offered this year and discussed our non-partisan voter registration events. There was a Question and Answer segment that allowed participants to get information needed for their personal concerns that was greatly appreciated. 

The 80 participants, including veterans and civilians from all parts of Germany, highlighted that there is great interest in hearing directly from U.S. Consular Officers and in connecting with staff in the American Services Unit and the Federal Benefits Unit, so we hope to schedule more Info Sessions in the future. Let us know what topics would be of interest to you for a future program. If you would like to receive a copy of the Consulate slides, send us an email at [email protected].

We encourage everyone to join the VMF Caucus- https://www.democratsabroad.org/vmf.


VETERANS DAY LUXEMBOURG AMERICAN CEMETERY

 

Lt Col Haven, USAF, Retired, organized a study trip for forty-one Ramstein High School  AFROTC cadets to the wreath laying ceremony at the Luxembourg American Cemetery on Veterans Day. He commented that the ceremony served as a great tribute to the sacrifice of American military personnel who have, and will continue to serve, across the globe. Several of the cadets wrote the following summary of the trip.

DAY OF REFLECTION

by AFROTC Cadets, Ramstein High School

On Veterans Day the AFJROTC went to the Luxembourg American Cemetery, where 5,074  fallen soldiers of World War II are buried. Forty-one cadets and five adults representing Ramstein High School’s AFJROTC attended the ceremony to honor their sacrifice as well as those who’ve served throughout history. On November 11, everyone met at the front of the school at 8:25 am. Following the 2 hour bus ride, everyone was allowed to look around and see what caught their eye.  The Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, Lt Col Haven, USAF, Retired, also tasked each cadet to find someone who passed that was from the state you most identify with and research them. Then we had to see what the difference was in tombstones for people of different religions. We recognized that the Christian soldiers had a tombstone with a cross and the Jewish soldiers had the Star of David on the top of their tombstone. We also had to find a Medal of Honor recipient and do research on who that was as well, two of which are buried there - Private William D. McGee and Sergeant Day G. Turner.  At 11:11, the ceremony began, and several people went up to give a speech about what this day meant to them and how we were gathered there to honor the fallen soldiers. Following the ceremony, all of the cadets walked around the cemetery, quietly and respectfully, while completing the rest of their assignment and taking it in. Once it was about time to leave, everyone lined up and took a few pictures, then got back on the bus to go to the next cemetery. This next cemetery was for the German soldiers who passed away from the war as well. We noticed that the majority of the men who died were in their 20’s and that our cemeteries were very different. The German cemetery had 4 people to a tombstone and if the men were unknown, they would just put “German soldier.” The cemetery in Luxembourg had spaced out tombstones with names, dates of their death, where they were from, and what religion they were.  Overall, it was a great trip with a lot of reflection, appreciation, and respect. All of the cadets had fun being together, but at the same time learned a lot and enjoyed the experience.

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