Pages tagged “vmf”
Veterans and Military Families Caucus Elections
2023 Democrats Abroad Veterans And Military Families Caucus Elections
Run for something!
On March 15, 2023, the Veterans and Military Families Caucus of Democrats Abroad France will hold elections to renew its leadership. We are seeking candidates for the following positions: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Communications, Social Media, Events, and Outreach/GOTV and 2 Members-at-Large. It’s a good time to get involved!
We work primarily on issues relevant to veterans and military families and share the mission of virtually all the other DA caucuses, i.e. to engage, educate and enlighten our communities while assisting our members to exercise their right to vote from abroad. Remember that change requires voter mobilization and advocacy.
Over the years the DAF Veterans and Military Families Caucus has participated in ceremonies at US military cemeteries honoring the memory of the fallen, written resolutions to support our veterans, advocated to obtain Covid vaccinations for veterans abroad, provided support for homeless veterans and visited the wounded and ill at Landstuhl Military Hospital.
The issues we are fighting for today include overcoming veteran homelessness, obtaining Covid-vaccinations and medical care for veterans living abroad, protecting the memory by preserving the Pershing Hall Collection, and securing GI Bill Benefits for veterans living abroad.
Posted by Alejandra Roman
February 06, 2023
National IT/Database Officer, DA France
VMF Caucus Interview w/ Former U.S. Army Officer Facing G.I. Bill Barrier Through VA
Democrats Abroad's Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus spoke with Christian Pierce, a student veteran in Europe who previously served as a Captain in the U.S. Army. Like many veterans studying abroad, Christian faced a major problem when trying to utilize his earned G.I. Bill educational benefits. But first, a quick background on using the G.I. Bill.
For 77 years, America’s veterans have been able to use G.I. Bill benefits to further their education after leaving the Armed Forces. Veterans have used this vital benefit to learn how to open and run businesses, become doctors and lawyers, learn important trade skills, and much more. For the entire history of this benefit, veterans have been able to freely use their benefits at whatever legitimate institution of higher learning they wanted -- until now.
During the Trump Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made changes to the program approval process for universities to participate in the GI Bill program. For a foreign university to receive tuition payments from VA, the university must open a bank account with a U.S. financial institution and successfully obtain a U.S. Employer Identification Number through the IRS. VA calls this a "mere formality," but as student veterans abroad have come to find out, this is a critical barrier to paying for their education and thus have been left with no choice but to burn through their savings or drop out of school. This extra burden on overseas universities is unnecessary. After being questioned by Congress, VA admitted that the requirement is solely due to their legacy electronic payment system, which cannot process payments to foreign financial institutions. We maintain that this is an unacceptable reason to deny veterans their earned education benefits.
Have a listen to Christian detail his situation. We are in contact with several other veterans and military family members abroad who, sadly, have similar stories, which is why the 117th Congress must urgently fix this problem. Veterans earned their education benefits by sacrificing years of their lives and their health to serve in the United States Armed Forces. We cannot abide by veterans losing access to their earned benefits simply because of where they reside or where they would like to receive an education. Many overseas veterans have been unable to utilize their benefits because of these changes, and some have seen their G.I. Bill benefits expire. At the same time, they have waited for VA to approve their academic programs. Congress and VA must address this issue.
What can we do? Contact your U.S. Senators and the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs to tell them to pass H.R. 7375 immediately. This legislation would require VA to update its electronic payment system within 90 days of enactment to be able to process payments to foreign financial institutions. This would solve many problems for overseas-based student veterans. We believe this podcast interview will enlighten many listeners, and we encourage you to share it with other Americans to urge them to contact their Senators as well.
Posted by Kee Adams Evans
August 06, 2022
DAGT Voting Representative; Veterans and Military Families Caucus Chair
Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre - Dig Deeper
On the morning of May 30, 1921, a young black man named Dick Rowland was riding in the elevator in the Drexel Building at Third and Main with a white woman named Sarah Page. The details of what followed vary from person to person. Accounts of an incident circulated among the city’s white community during the day and became more exaggerated with each telling.
Tulsa police arrested Rowland the following day and began an investigation. An inflammatory report in the May 31 edition of the Tulsa Tribune spurred a confrontation between black and white-armed mobs around the courthouse where the sheriff and his men had barricaded the top floor to protect Rowland. Shots were fired and the outnumbered African Americans began retreating to the Greenwood District.
In the early morning hours of June 1, 1921, Greenwood was looted and burned by white rioters. Governor Robertson declared martial law, and National Guard troops arrived in Tulsa. Guardsmen assisted firemen in putting out fires, took African Americans out of the hands of vigilantes, and imprisoned all black Tulsans not already interned. Over 6,000 people were held at the Convention Hall and the Fairgrounds, some for as long as eight days.
Twenty-four hours after the violence erupted, it ceased. In the wake of the violence, 35 city blocks lay in charred ruins, more than 800 people were treated for injuries and contemporary reports of deaths began at 36. Historians now believe as many as 300 people may have died.
Watch our event commemorating the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Download the slides from the presentation
Listed below are some resources you can use to learn more about this tragedy and make sure nothing like this happens again.
Posted by Angela Fobbs
June 02, 2021
Global Women's Caucus Steering Team; Germany DPCA Voting Rep; Germany Advertising Coordinator; Wiesbaden-Mainz Region Chapter Chair