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!


VETERANS DAY 2021 COMMEMORATIONS

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Public Flower Ceremony

 

Courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery

 

 

For First Time in Nearly 100 Years, Public Authorized to Approach Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza 

10/12/2021 Arlington National Cemetery Media/News Release

ARLINGTON, Va. — For the first time in nearly 100 years, and as part of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration, the public will be able to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and lay flowers in front of the Unknown Soldier on Nov. 9 and 10, 2021.

November 9–10, 2021

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. 

For the first time in nearly 100 years, and as part of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration, the public will be able to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and lay flowers in front of the Unknown Soldier on Nov. 9 and 10, 2021.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Public Flower Ceremony, a two-day event, will be free and open to the public and will allow them to personally pay their respects to the Unknown Soldiers. This is a rare opportunity for the public to walk next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a privilege otherwise given only to the sentinels of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard.” 

► Click here for more information and instructions on how to participate. 

https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Media/News/Post/11412/For-First-Time-in-Nearly-100-Years-Public-Authorized-to-Approach-Tomb-of-the-Unknown-Soldier-Plaza

 

November 11, 2021

A virtual program may be viewed at @ARLINGTONNATL.  
 

•  A U.S. Army Military District of Washington Joint Full Honors Procession, meant to evoke elements of the World War I Unknown Soldier’s 1921 funeral procession (November 11, 2021)

•  An Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath Laying Ceremony followed by the National Veterans Day Observance at ANC’s Memorial Amphitheater (November 11, 2021)

On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the public will be invited to observe a joint full honors procession (meant to replicate elements of the World War I Unknown Soldier’s 1921 funeral procession) and a joint service flyover (aerial review) with aircraft from all branches of the military. The public is invited to stand along a special procession route to participate.

 

Due to COVID protocols, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting an invitation-only Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the National Veterans Day Observance at the Memorial Amphitheater. A virtual program may be viewed at @ARLINGTONNATL.  

 

For 100 years, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has served as the heart of Arlington National Cemetery. As a sacred memorial site and the grave of three unknown American service members, the Tomb connects visitors with the legacy of the United States armed forces throughout the nation’s history. It stands as a people’s memorial that inspires reflection on service, valor, sacrifice and mourning. Since November 11, 1921, the Tomb has provided a final resting place for one of America’s unidentified World War I service members, and Unknowns from later wars were added in 1958 and 1984.

Throughout 2021, Arlington National Cemetery is holding a series of commemorative events, exhibits and ceremonies that will culminate on November 11 in conjunction with the National Veterans Day Observance. The public will have many opportunities to participate in commemorating the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – just as the public was involved in the 1921 ceremony.

 

 

Arlington National Cemetery is pleased to present the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Resource Guide. The guide is a one-stop resource for official DoD and ANC news and information regarding the commemorative program and events. The guide, which will be updated regularly, contains historic photographs, a program of events, media request forms, FAQs, key messages, feature stories and other stakeholder information for use or reprint.   

 

Download the #Tomb100 Resource Guide (PDF) https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Portals/0/Docs/Events/TUS100%20Toolkit%20SEPT24.pdf?ver=2021-09-29-192829-127

Education Highlight: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 

Commemorate the Tomb's centennial this November 9-11. Whether you are visiting the cemetery or learning virtually, our Tomb of the Unknown Soldier education module will immerse you in the history and meanings of ANC's most iconic memorial.

Part of Arlington National Cemetery's new Education Program, the module offers a rich variety of resources for teachers, students and lifelong learners—including lesson plans that align with national and state social studies standards; student worksheets and activities; walking tours (including a tour designed for families); and historical readings and photographs. In this module, learn about the history and meanings of the Tomb, as well as stories of the individuals involved in its creation. Click here to explore the materials. https://education.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Themes/Tomb-of-the-Unknown-Soldier

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bells of Peace

Toll “Bells of Peace” on 11/11 at 11am local time, and honor all those who served and sacrificed in WWI.

This year for the first time, on 11/11 at 11 am  “Bells of Peace” will remember those who served with a ceremony at the new National WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C.

 

From the Doughboy Foundation:

For those of you who are in the Washington, D.C. area, we invite you to join us starting at 10:45 am on November 11th at the National WWI Memorial on Pennsylvania Ave. between 14th and 15th streets NW.

At 11am a bell will toll 21 times, 5 seconds apart. 
This will be followed by a moment of silent reflection.
Next will be a reading of, “The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak” by famed poet Archibald MacLeish – an excerpt this poem adorns the Peace Fountain at the WWI Memorial.
The ceremony will close with the special playing of Taps by buglers in WWI uniforms. It is called “Echoing Taps” and is performed by multiple buglers located around the Memorial.

 

 

Read more

MESSAGE FOR U.S. CITIZENS: PASSPORT RENEWAL IN GERMANY

Planning to travel during the holiday season? Now is a good time to ensure that your family’s passports are still valid. Keep in mind that some countries require at least six months validity remaining on your passport to enter, depending on your destination.

Passport appointments are currently available at all our locations (the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and the U.S. Consulates in Frankfurt and Munich) as early as next week. Most adults can renew their passport by mail. https://common.usembassy.gov/en/passport-renewal-germany/

In Germany, most U.S. passports are processed in about three weeks. As the end of the year approaches, appointment availability is likely to decrease, and processing times may increase. To ensure you are ready to travel, please apply as early as possible.


October National Events

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 
October 10, 2021 - Ms. Veteran America Pageant-The Woman Beyond The Uniform—live streamed
 
October 13, 2021 - Navy Birthday 
 
October 21, 2021 - National Pets for Veterans Day
 
October 26, 2021 - National Day of the Deployed. 
 
October 27, 2021 - Navy Day (in recognition of the birthday of Theodore Roosevelt, who was an Assistant Secretary of the Navy.)

Free Entrance to National Parks for Veterans and Gold Star Families

Veterans get free entrance to national parks, refuges and other public lands

Veterans, Gold Star Families, current Military and their dependents have free access to approximately 2,000 public locations spread out across more than 400 million acres of public lands, which host activities to fit any lifestyle, from serene to high octane, including hiking, fishing, paddling, biking, hunting, stargazing, camping and much 

 

The National Park Service in partnership with Operation Live Well would like to thank military personnel and their families for their service and invite them to enjoy their national parks.

Since Veterans Day 2020, Gold Star Families and US military veterans are eligible to receive free access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests. The free access program is a way to thank America’s veterans, Gold Star Families, and current military and their dependents for their support of our country and to encourage them to explore recreational opportunities on their public lands and waters.

What is the Military, Veterans, and Gold Star Family Free Access Program? 

The Interagency Annual Military Pass was expanded from covering current military to include both veterans and Gold Star Families. On November 11, 2020, agencies began issuing Interagency Annual Military Passes to veterans and Gold Star Families upon request and with proof of eligibility as described below. 

The entrance fee waiver does not cover expanded amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, transportation, special recreation permits, reservation fees or special tours. 

For more information about the Interagency Military Pass Program, please visit USGS Pass Store - Military Pass Frequently Asked Questions.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/veterans-and-gold-star-families-free-access.htm


Commemorating the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and information for LGBTQ Veterans

TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE REPEAL OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL
September 20, 2021
 
 Under this newly-issued guidance, VA adjudicators shall find that all discharged service members whose separation was due to sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status are considered “Veterans” who may be eligible for VA benefits, like VR&E, home loan guaranty, compensation & pension, health care, homeless program and/or burial benefits, so long as the record does not implicate a statutory or regulatory bar to benefits.”

Updated Veterans Resources

"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them."

— FDR
USEFUL INFORMATION
VIETNAM VETERANS VIRTUAL WALLTo find the names of those who left us in Vietnam, click on the link below, then click on a state, scroll to a city, and click. You can click on a name and the details will appear. Click here
 
VA WELCOME KIT—updated June 8, 2021 Click here
VETERANS TRANSITION SURVIVAL GUIDE — To get your free copy, click here
Veterans: Living in a foreign country? Get your COVID-19 vaccine reimbursed
Eligible Veterans can be reimbursed by VA for a COVID-19 vaccine if they had to pay for it

Announcement Regarding Military Retiree Benefits

Dear V&MF Caucus members,

We would like to take an opportunity to share with you some important information regarding upcoming changes to payments you may be eligible for. 

 

From DFAS Retired & Annuitant Pay
Dear Retiree,
You might be surprised to learn that DFAS gets back a lot of undeliverable
mail.  If you've moved your residence and haven't updated your account, we
might not be able to reach you when we have important information to share
about the Survivor Benefit Plan or your retired pay account.

Now is a great time to check the contact information in your retired pay
account.

Login to your myPay account from your web browser on your computer or mobile
device and check your "correspondence address" under "Pay Changes" on the
side menu:  https://mypay.dfas.mil.  While you are at it, if you're not
receiving this at the email address you check often, make sure your best
email address is primary in myPay.

If you haven't logged in to myPay for a while, get our step-by-step,
downloadable how-to guides at (this link is case-sensitive):
https://go.usa.gov/xFnQm
and 
Retirees and Disabled Vets Due for Record Raise Next Year | Military.com