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VMF April 2023 Newsletter



Masthead

April 2023

Newsletter

VOL. 3, NO. 4

To view in PDF, click here

Social Security and Medicare are a lifeline for millions of seniors. Americans have been paying into them with every single paycheck since they started working. So tonight, let's all agree to stand up for seniors. Stand up and show them we will not cut Social Security. We will not cut Medicare.

                                           -President Joe Biden


Editor’s Message —

Greetings! We are facing an aging crisis and what is being done? The retirement age continues to increase as does the age for Social Security eligibility. In the U.S. military, after 20 years of service, with no specific age, members can retire with a full pension. This could be something to consider for the rest of the U.S. population. France increased the retirement age from 62 to 64 (by 2030). This was passed March 17th. Massive strikes across the country continue. In France, there is a 35 hour work week and very generous vacations with a minimum annual leave of 5 weeks although many get 6 to 10 weeks, besides paid public holidays and an end of year bonus equal to a 13th month of pay! (Similar benefits exist in many European countries.)  The average U.S. vacation time is two weeks! N.B. Congressman Takano has reintroduced the 32 Hour Workweek Act. Time to contact your U.S. Representatives to support this bill.

Life expectancy in France is currently 82 while in the U.S., it has decreased to 77.  Why? The Social Security Fact Sheet lists outdated information on U.S. life expectancy: It  has 81 for men and 84 for women. Life expectancy is a huge concern in the U.S. Working conditions and health care need to improve to benefit American quality of life.

Terese Sarno
Editor

Please join our caucus to show your support for the U.S. military!


“If anyone tries to cut Social Security, I will stop them.  And if anyone tries to cut Medicare, I will stop them. I will not allow them to be taken away. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.”       –President Joe Biden

President Biden’s Budget Honors Our Nation’s Sacred Commitment

to Veterans and Military Families

-The Budget proposals to honor America’s commitment to veterans and military families:

-Expands Health Care, Benefits, and Services for Military Environmental Exposures

-Prioritizes VA Medical Care

-Prioritizes Veterans’ Mental Health Services and Suicide Prevention

-Create a Housing Voucher Guarantee for Extremely Low-Income Veterans

-Honors the Memory of All Veterans

-Invests in Critical Veteran Medical Facilities

-Invests in Caregivers Support Programs

-Supports America’s Commitment to Military Families

-Expands Employment Protections for Military Spouses

President’s Budget Request – Fiscal Year 2024

Biden, House Democrats chart 2024 based on legislative track

Executive Order: Reducing Gun Violence, Making Our Communities Safer

FIVE-ALARM FIRE: The House Freedom Caucus’ Budget Proposal Ships Manufacturing Jobs Overseas, Undermines American Workers

Readout of White House Panel on the Economic Case for the President’s Initiative on Junk Fees

 

ADVOCACY

Military Kids Connect       Support for Military Personnel & Families

VA  Announces New Mission Statement, Sacred Commitment to Serve All Who Served

Check Your VA Claim Or Appeal Status

Find out how to check the status of a VA claim or appeal online.

VA exceeds goal to place 38,000 Veterans in permanent housing 

US Department of Labor announces $25M funding opportunity to help deliver employment supports to veterans to reduce homelessnessHomeless Veterans' Reintegration Program.jpeg

Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program

VA Wants Vets to Use Their Benefits When Choosing a Final Resting Place

Veterans Crisis Line              Resources for Wounded Warriors

Social Security Fact Sheet   Increase in Retirement Age

Comprehensive transition guide–valuable career tips for Veterans, service members.

Transition Guide

Login.gov Provides Access to VA Digital Products Services

DoD Safe Helpline OCONUS Service members can call the Telephone Helpline for free from anywhere in the world by using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology from the Safe Helpline App.      App Store-Apple       Apps on Google Play

Preventing Suicide in the U.S. Military: Recommendations from the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee  (published Friday, February 24, 2023)

Gun restrictions crucial for combating service member suicides, Pentagon report says

Military, VA provide troops, vets more gun safety options to help reduce suicides

Information for Veterans | Internal Revenue Service


Calendar 2023 & Events

APRIL

Month of the Military Child 

Let's Celebrate Our Youngest Heroes!

“Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Shaping the Future"

Universal Pre-K at DoD Schools, Flexible Spending Accounts for Child Care

April 1-30 –Young Lives, BIG Stories Contest – ‘What does it mean to you to be a military child or youth? Open to all Army-connected children preschool to twelfth grade. 

April 2 – Last day for Registration for Veterans Wheelchair Games                         

April 4 – Veterans Town Hall with VA Secretary Denis McDonough, 2:30-3:30 pm ET

Hear the Secretary address the latest VA updates and issues important to Veterans.                                

April 5 – Gold Star Spouses Day

April 5 – PACT ACT Webinar Understanding the PACT Act and Implications for Impacted Veterans 3:00 pm EST Webinar Registration 

April 8 – VMF Caucus Steering Committee 14:00 ET WebEx link 

April 9 – National Former POW Recognition Day

April 14 – Air Force Reserve Birthday

April 14 – Mindfulness Meditation 11:00 am to 12 noon ET offered via telephone:1-404-397-1596 or 1-833-558-0712 (Toll Free)  Access code: 433 794 55

April 15 – Purple Up Day

April 16 – 22  VetServe–VA’s National Volunteer Week                               

April 21 –VetServe National Day of Service                                                          

April 22 – Earth Day   Theme: “Invest in Our Planet.

April 23 – Army Reserve Birthday

April 24-28 – Military Saves Week    Theme: “A Financially Confident You”

Military Saves

Day 1: Saving Automatically

Day 2: Saving for The Unexpected- focuses on emergencies and things that are fun too

Day 3: Saving for Major Milestones- Homeownership, Retirement, Education     

Day 4: Paying Down Debt is Saving- Money you save by paying down debt

Day 5: Saving at Any Age- Focuses on young people and children

April 30 – National Military Brats Day

Upcoming DA Activities

“Those injured in defense of the U.S. Constitution have earned these benefits.
It is time for Congress to address this injustice and change this law.”
–Jack McManus, Vietnam Veterans of America National President


WHAT’S CONGRESS UP TO?

Correcting benefits for medically retired vets a ‘top priority’ for Senate VA Committee

Tester Urges Quick Action on Major Richard Star Act  

HR 5905 has been reintroduced – Moulton, Clyburn Reintroduce Legislation to Provide Black WWII Veterans and their Descendants with Long Overdue G.I. Bill Benefits

How a Supreme Court justice's paragraph put the Voting Rights Act in more danger

32 Hour Workweek Act reintroduced by Congressman Takano. Full text

MOAA Testimony to Joint Congressional Panel Outlines Key Priorities for Veterans

Military doctors must treat DOD civilians’ chronic conditions in Indo-Pacific, DHA says

DOD’s reversal on civilian medical care ‘a move in the right direction,’ advocates say 

Call to ActionEQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT TAKE ACTION! 

Find Your Members in the U.S. Congress                             

Contacting U.S. Senators                                                                

Find Your Representative   

U.S. Representatives


VETERANS’ ISSUES


Health:

US military in Europe cuts transgender care

Challenge awaits Veterans at 2023 VA Summer Sports Clinic June 4-9,2023, San Diego     

Whole Health Home        Discover What Matters. Live Whole Health

100 years of advancing health care for women Veterans

VA EHR linked to veterans ‘fatally harmed,’ but agency still sees way forward for project 

LiveWholeHealth #158: Scale back the back pain with self-care acupressure

Live Whole Health #159: Taking time to look 

Live Whole Health #160: Cooking up Whole Health 

Live Whole Health #161: Posture micro-breaks

Live Whole Health #162: Connecting Mind and Body 3, Sensation of Grounding

Live Whole Health #163: Finding what you're looking for

PACT Act - Doctor VA PACT ACT Performance Dashboard

2018 VA MANILA BENEFITS FACT SHEET

Foreign Medical Program: The eligibility requirements for medical services are different for Veterans outside the United States than for Veterans within the United States. The VA Manila Outpatient Clinic and Foreign Medical Program provide medical care for U.S. Veterans only for a VA-rated service-connected disability, or any disability associated with and held to be aggravating a VA-rated, service-connected disability (38 CFR 17.35). Veterans are advised to enroll in both the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic and the Foreign Medical Program.

* A service connected Veteran may be treated for non-service connected disabilities within the limits of the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic, as stated in 38 U.S.C. § 1724(e). Follow up services/medications required for non-service connected conditions will be the Veteran’s responsibility, including obtaining services and paying all related cost. The Foreign Medical Program is not authorized to treat non-service connected conditions.


Assessing New Toxic Exposure Health Care and Benefits
Accessing new toxic exposure health care and benefits

Education:

Earn certificate in business administration through SBA fellowship program 

Warrior Scholar Project Free one/two-week academic boot camps at college campuses nationwide. Warrior College Boot Camp will help you prepare for college!    

Survivors’ And Dependents’ Educational Assistance

Educational And Career Counseling (VA Chapter 36)


Veteran Recognition:

Biden awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam veteran Paris Davis

A Nation Honors our Vietnam Veterans and their Families ~

May 11-13, 2023  The National Mall, Washington, D.C.

"Freedom Quilts” honor legacy of WWII Veterans 

WWII Marine veteran Donn Thompson receives centenarian celebration

Story of WWII Navy nurse from Pennsylvania gets new attention

 


Click here for our Spotlight Celebrating Military Children

Click here for our Podcast & Social Media Recommendation

Click here for our Poetry Corner

Click here for our Film and Book Recommendations

Click here for our Brain-Zone Quiz

Click here for our Educational Resources

Click here for our Virtual Museum


GLOBAL VMF CAUCUS MEETINGS

The Global VMF Caucus Steering Committee meets once a month. 

All Democrats Abroad members are welcome to attend. 

WebEx link for 8 April 2023 at 14:00 ET.


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Please join our caucus to show your support for the U.S. military!


Editor:

Terese Sarno (Germany)

Veterans and Military Families Caucus Chair:

Kee Adams Evans (Guatemala)

 

“I hope Congress will follow the president’s lead and take up the assault weapons ban and pass other common sense proposals to end the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our communities.”                –Dianne Feinstein, the longest-serving woman U.S. Senator 

Key Moments in Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Political Career

Key Accomplishments 

  • Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, 2022: Senator Feinstein led introduction of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (Signed into law March 2022, Public Law No: 117-103), which funds initiatives to help protect women from domestic violence and sexual assault. The legislation reauthorized VAWA through 2027, preserving advancements made in previous reauthorizations and included a number of additional improvements.
  • Support for homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area, 2021: Senator Feinstein worked with Representative Ted Lieu to secure enactment of the West LA VA Campus Improvement Act (Signed into law June 2021, Public Law No: 117-18).
  • Fighting for military housing reform, 2019: Senator Feinstein secured provisions from her Ensuring Safe Housing for our Military Act in the annual defense authorization bill. The provisions will create stronger oversight mechanisms, allow the military to withhold payments to contractors until issues are resolved and prohibit contractors from charging certain fees. It will also require the military to withhold incentive fees from poorly performing contractors.