VMF February 2023 Newsletter


February 2023


VOL. 3, NO. 2

To view in PDF, click here

“He (McCarthy) led the Republican Conference in voting against veterans’ health care, voting rights, pandemic relief, gun reform, infrastructure investments, and many other opportunities to address the needs of the American people. Now, as we turn the page to a new Congress, House Republicans are doubling down on their commitment to extremism, proposing an agenda that slashes reproductive freedom, undermines our planet, and strips health care from millions of Americans. As Members of Congress, we take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, including coming together to find common ground where we can. We are resolute in that commitment and are ready to work with Members across the aisle if they can find their way back to the American people.”                        – Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5)


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

Editor’s Message —

Greetings! The recent election of the new Speaker of the House, on the 15th ballot, made it clear how dysfunctional the new slim majority party in the House is. It also gave U.S. Representative Katharine Clark, Democrat, Massachusetts (5th District), the opportunity to highlight how the Democrats have supported the American people and how the other party has refused to support them. When Kevin McCarthy finally had enough votes to be speaker, Clark stated how troubling this was. After all, “no" votes from Republicans included equal pay, child care, paid family leave, the fundamental right to vote for every American, and supporting veteran access to healthcare.

Watch Clark’s House floor nominating speech for Hakeem Jeffries in which she enumerates how the other party does not support the needs of the American people. 

“…When small businesses needed to reopen, and the American people wanted vaccines, they said no…When we capped insulin costs for seniors, at $35 a month, they said no. When we lowered health care costs and premiums for working families, they said no. When we defended the civil rights of LGBTQ+ Americans, they said no. When we protected lives from senseless gun violence, especially in the wake of the horrors of Buffalo and Uvalde, they said no. When we stood up for women and reproductive freedom, they said no. When we brought manufacturing back to America, they said no. When we answered the urgent call to protect our planet and invest in clean energy, and create tens of millions of good-paying jobs, they said no…”

Then watch Hakeem Jeffries’ Alphabet Speech and his historic first speech on the House floor, so that you have no doubt that Democrats are moving forward with a united front to do what is best for the American people.

What can we do? Immediately request our absentee ballots for all 2023 elections at www.VoteFromAbroad.org and start working to secure victory in all upcoming elections! If you vote in Ohio, recent election law changes shorten the amount of time for the receipt of overseas absentee ballots, so please get involved in overturning this!

Terese Sarno


“We believe – that in America our diversity is a strength; it is not a weakness – an economic strength, a competitive strength, a cultural strength. Our diversity is a strength; it is not a weakness. We are a gorgeous mosaic of people from throughout the world. As John Lewis would sometimes remind us on this floor: we may have come over on different ships, but we're all in the same boat now.”                      –Hakeem Jeffries




VA Homeless Programs

2023 VA Disability Pay Chart (Official Guide) Veteran's Affairs money graphic

DOD Expands Military Parental Leave Program 

Women Veterans: We’re here for you - VA News

Calls to veterans suicide hotline spiked over New Year’s holiday

How you can help prevent Veteran suicide in 2023

988 suicide lifeline sees big boost in calls its first months

Survivor Benefit Plan Open Season NDAA2023 enroll before January 1, 2024.  

Enroll in Direct Deposit - Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) 

Interested in filing a VA claim/appeal?
The American Legion provides expert assistance to Veterans and their families, free of charge. Contact Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation. 

Q&A about VA’s newest life insurance program 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Calendar Year 2022 in Review







Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 1, 2023.

No Barriers Warriors seeks Veterans with disabilities for 2023 backcountry expeditions

Get the VA Mobile APP The official VA mobile app helps you manage your VA health care and benefits on your mobile device. Use the app to manage common tasks like checking your claim status and communicating with your VA health care team.

2023 and Events.png

February 3Four Chaplains Day

February 3Mindfulness 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

February 4USO Birthday           

February 4Philippine-American War Memorial Day

February 11VMF Caucus Steering Committee Meet & Greet 14:00 EST link

February 12-18National Salute to Veteran Patients

February 12Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday   Abraham Lincoln: Facts, Assassination

February 13Veteran Career Transition Assistance Program   Virtual   6 pm PT

February 14Transitioning Army & Spouse Virtual Career Fair Virtual 11 am ET

February 16Corporate Gray Virtual Military-Friendly Job Fair  Virtual 11 am ET

February 19Coast Guard Reserve Birthday

February 20World Day of Social Justice

February 20President’s Day     

February 22George Washington’s Birthday  Life, Accomplishments, & Facts


Six states have elections scheduled.


2023 State Voting Information                      2023 Election Dates

Request your absentee ballot today!      

Register to Vote from Abroad!


Ranking Member Mark Takano Announces Veterans Priorities for the 118th Congress

Takano's Statement on House Republicans’ Rules Package That Harms Veterans

Constitutional Amendment to Rein In Unrestricted Campaign Spending

Senators pass Electoral Count Act reform in wake of Capitol riot  December 22, 2022

H.R.6604 — Latest action: 12/27/2022 Signed into law by President Biden

The “Veterans Eligible to Transfer School (VETS) Credit Act” deals with VA assistance for the transfer of credits due to the closure/disapproval of an education program.

H.R. 7939, Latest action: 01/05/2023 Signed into law by President Biden

The “Veterans Auto and Education Improvement Act of 2022,” contains amendments related to VA educational assistance benefits in emergency situations.

It’s official: Military spouses to get employment relief after moving

S.2333 Latest action: 01/05/2023 Signed into law by President Biden The “Equal Pay for Team USA  Act of 2022,” requires equal compensation for all athletes who represent the United States in amateur athletic competitions.

Here's what Biden and Democrats have gotten done over the last 2 years

President Biden has made federal judges a priority. His record reflects that

Breaking down the number of veterans in the 118th Congress

Bills Signed  White House Press Release January 5, 2023

Schoolhouse Rock- How a Bill Becomes a Law

I'm Only a Bill GraphicKids in the House
How a Bill Becomes a Law
What Is Congress
Meet the Clerk
Women in Congress
Black Americans in Congress
Hispanic Americans in Congress
Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Congress



VA Summer Sports Clinic June 4-6, 2023 San Diego-Register before February 10

Foreign Medical Program (FMP) Brochure

VA Welcome Kit

VA Whole Health Home

Foreign Medical Program (FMP) Health Care Benefits Guide

VA’s Stay Quit Coach app helped VA employee quit smoking

#Live Whole Health #150: More than you have imagine

#Live Whole Health #151: Tai Chi Moving Meditation

#Live Whole Health #152: Intention setting

Army general takes charge at Defense Health Agency

VA’s Move to Waive Copays for Eligible American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans



Get Paid Back For Test Fees

Tips to help you understand your benefits

Free career training program a proven benefit for transitioning military families Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute’s Onward to Opportunity training program-free professional certification and support services to transitioning service members, Veterans and military spouses. Syracuse Abroad Program locations outside the U.S.

Hillary Clinton to join Columbia as a professor and fellow in global affairs


Veteran Recognition

“Six Triple Eight” All Black Female Battalion – March 14, 2022 President Biden signed into law a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the battalion 

6888 All Black Female Battalion

Barrier-Breaking All-Black Female WWII Battalion Inspires New Musical

Tyler Perry planning movie on historic Black female Army unit in WWII





Click here for our Spotlight The Emancipation Proclamation

Click here for our Podcast & Social Media Recommendations

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


The Global VMF Caucus Steering Committee meets once a month.

All Democrats Abroad members are welcome to attend.

WebEx link for 11 February at 14:00 EST Password: dems


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


Terese Sarno (Germany)

Veterans and Military Families Caucus Chair:

Kee Adams Evans (Guatemala)


Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” – Abraham Lincoln