VMF July 2023 Newsletter


July 2023


VOL. 3, NO. 7

To view in PDF, click here


“We’re asking agencies to make it easier for spouses employed by the federal government to take administrative leave, telework and move offices. We’re creating resources to support entrepreneurs. And the executive order helps agencies and companies retain military spouses through telework or when they move abroad,”    –First Lady Dr. Jill Biden

Jill_Biden_speaking_at_Fort_Libery.jpeg Fort Liberty, N.C., June 9, 2023.
The President and First Lady, as a military family themselves, recognize the commitment and resilience of military-connected families as essential to the recruitment,retention, and readiness of our Armed Forces.U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Omar Joseph
22nd Mobile Public Affairs

Editor’s Message —

Greetings. June 9th  President Joseph Biden  and Dr. Jill Biden visited Fort Liberty, North Carolina (formerly known as Fort Bragg) where the Department of Defense Education Activity has nine schools for the children of  U.S. military families. During this visit, President Biden announced the Executive Order on Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors including an event that focused on Joining Forces, Dr. Jill Biden’s initiative that supports military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors.

“You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. And you belong.”

–President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

June 10th during a Pride Month event at the White House, the Biden-Harris administration announced new Executive  Actions to protect the LGBTQ+ community to Protect LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their rights and safety, Support LGBTQI+ kids so they can thrive, Shield LGBTQI+ Americans from book bans that threaten their rights. The U.S. Department of Education publication entitled Creating Inclusive and Nondiscriminatory School Environments for LGBTQI+ Students is an invaluable resource.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Protect LGBTQI+ Communities

Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals 

What can we do? Contact our U.S. Senators and Representatives to let them know we support these initiatives and that we would like them to focus more on how these actions are followed on military bases throughout the world. Unfortunately at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, for example, scheduled Pride activities, including a Drag Story Time at the base library, were canceled in June because a commander was influenced by negative comments from a community member.

Find Your Members in the U.S. CongressContacting U.S. Senators

Find Your Representative, U.S. Representatives    

Happy Fourth of July! Never forget that our American Freedoms are for all Americans.

Terese Sarno

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

Fireworks banner


White House presses agencies to hire more military spouses

Executive Order to Boost Employment for Military Spouses, Puts Focus on Flexibility

Opinion | States Are Silencing the Will of Millions of Voters 

Supreme Court upholds Voting Rights Act in Alabama redistricting case

The Lavender Scare | The History You Didn't Learn

Online for All: Biden, FCC Launch New Connectivity Campaign



AGM 2024 in Costa Rica

Democrats_Abroad_DA_ExCom_2023-2025.jpegDemocrats Abroad DA ExCom 2023-2025 (Counsel Ann Brady not in photo)
What happens to resolutions? DC Statehood was one from 2022. Read next month's issue!

DC_Home_Rule_pamphlet_1943.jpeg three_people_holding_a_sign_"DC_Statehood_is_Racial_Justice".jpeg DC_Home_Rule_50.jpeg
AGM.jpeg two_people_talking.jpeg 5_people_near_Sen_Warren_sign.jpeg AGM_person_with_laptop.jpeg


World War I Memorial, Washington, D.C.

The Capitol

WWI Memorial DC

Pershing General of the Armies

The Capitol


Redistricting scrambles Democrats' primaries in Virginia legislature

Request your absentee ballot now!

September 5th: Rhode Island Special Primary in U.S. Congressional District 1

Request your absentee ballot up until August 6, 2023 now!www.VoteFromAbroad.org

Special primary election on Tuesday, September 5th, to fill a vacancy for the 1st Congressional District, which includes all of Bristol and Newport counties, and parts of both Providence County and the City of Providence. Service members, eligible family members, and overseas citizens can register to vote up until August 6, 2023. Voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote, request a ballot, and update any contact information. After completing the FPCA, voters must print, sign, and send it to their local election office.

Rhode Island voters in the 1st Congressional District who are already registered and want to receive a mailed ballot must send in the FPCA as a ballot request by August 15. Registered voters who prefer to receive their ballot by email or fax can request their ballot up until Election Day. Registered voters can send their completed, signed FPCA directly to their election office by email, mail, or fax.

Rhode Island voters in the 1st Congressional District can return their voted absentee ballot by mail, email, or fax and they must be received by September 8. UOCAVA voters may also access their voting materials including a PDF of their ballot, instructions, and certification document at vote.sos.ri.gov 

If a requested ballot has not arrived, use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) immediately at fvap.gov/FWAB. It works like a backup ballot. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, complete and send in the official ballot, too. Only one will be counted. To make sure your voted ballot is received, go to FVAP.gov, select Rhode Island from the menu, click  "check the status of your voted ballot" button.


Democrats Abroad Get Together in Paris
Jeffrey Cheng, Terese Sarno, Ada Shen


Social isolation experienced by our Veterans

Hero’s Bridge seeks a better quality of life for Veterans 65 and older 

Appeals: Informal conference offers clarity, feedback in higher-level decision reviews

Informal Conference Fact Sheet

Five Commissary app tips Veterans should know

Medical technologists can enjoy a rewarding career at VA 

Improved hiring processes at VA mean increased opportunity for you

New program developed to address mental health needs of military caregivers 

Seeking mental health support after harassment or sexual assault 

U.S. Army Retired Solder Handbook 2022

How to check your PACT Act claim status

Limiting use of Social Security Numbers through mail

Protect yourself online

ChooseVA    Don’t miss out on VA benefits you may have earned.

Executive Order Strengthening Access to Affordable High-Quality 
Contraception and Family Planning Services

The Equal Pay Act – 60 years of progress

Sixty years after the Equal Pay Act was passed,
The gender wage gap is smaller, but still persists.

rainbow_umbrellas.jpegEquality, equity and protection against discrimination all year long

Everyone deserves to feel safe at work and be free from harassment or discrimination. Protecting LGBTQI+ workers and ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is an important part of our mission – not just during Pride Month.




The Bureau of International Labor Affairs and the Wage and Hour Division hosted a discussion on illegal child labor in the U.S. and abroad, and how we can all work together to eradicate this egregious form of labor exploitation.”  

Video: Collective Action to Combat Hazardous Child Labor

Blog: Combating Child Labor Within and Beyond Our Borders

The Photographer Who Forced the U.S. to Confront Its Child Labor Problem

Calendar 2023 & Events


National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 

July is extra special for veterans because of National Hire A Veteran Day.


July 4 – Independence Day

July 7 – Mindfulness Meditation  11am to 12 noon ET by telephone 1-404-397-1596 or 1-833-558-0712 (Toll Free) Participant Access code: 433 794 55, no registration required-for more information E-mail [email protected].

July 8 –   DA VMF Caucus Meeting 07:00 EDT

July 25 – National Hire A Veteran Day

July 27 – National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

July 28 – National Buffalo Soldiers Day

July 29 – Army Chaplain Corps Anniversary

Upcoming  DA Activities


“At a time when folks are struggling with rising costs, from housing to groceries, veterans deserve absolute certainty when it comes to providing for their families.    That’s why I’m proud to have worked with Senator Moran and our colleagues to     deliver a cost of living increase to millions of disabled veterans and survivors across.   the country—including 30,000 in my home state of Montana. As Chairman, I’ll always fight to make sure the men and women who put their lives on the line get the support they need and earned.”                                                                –Senator John Tester

Tester’s Bipartisan Bill to Deliver Annual Cost-of-Living Increase for Veterans 

S. 777: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2023 

Signed into Law by President Joseph Biden on June 14, 2023

Veterans to see cost-of-living boost to their benefits

House committee OKs bill that boosts disability pay for many medically retired veterans

Tester, Rounds Lead Bipartisan Effort to Expand Critical Program for Student Veterans

At Hearing, Tester Seeks Answers from Administration Officials on Improving Veterans’ Access to Long-Term Care & Addressing Nursing Home Staffing Shortages

House Republican seek end to ‘automatic’ federal pay raises, cut workforce benefits 

Tester Pushes VA Officials on Treating Rural Veterans for Substance Use Disorder

Senate defense bill: $2B for amphibious ship, troops pay raise, abortion policy



Fisher Houses Offer Free Stays, Comfort to Ailing Military Families, Vets 

Fisher House Directory In Europe, there are two Fisher Houses in Landstuhl, Germany and in Birmingham, UK

How To Apply For VA Health Care

#ICYMI Video: New benefits eligibility for Veterans exposed to toxins    VA recently joined the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) on Instagram to discuss PACT Act benefits eligibility. Some of your couldn’t make it. Here’s the recap.

VA Innovation Collaboration continues through Greenhouse Initiative

Employees’ wellness improves care for Veteran patients 

Caring for people who experience harassment and sexual assault

You're eating too fast! Slow down!

The risks of too much alcohol

At VA, women's health care is a top priority

Uphold military principles by taking care of yourself

Tai Chi brings a Veteran closer to his family

Reducing loneliness may reduce the likelihood of suicide

Wounded Warrior Project - livestreaming, gaming Veterans support address loneliness  

VA hospitals beat out private facilities, Medicare survey shows

No More Fasting for Blood Tests; VA Apps; VA Benefits Guide

Special issue of Health Equity devoted to improving care for minority Veterans

THRIVE: Helping Veterans and employees find happiness

Live Whole Health #172: Posture, breath and mind 

Live Whole Health #173: Slow down! You move too fast 

Live Whole Health #174: Motion is lotion

Live Whole Health #175: Body and mind reset with yoga



U.S. GI Bill-Amended Requirements for Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)

Breaking News from the  United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – Requirements for Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) effective June 5, 2023

Section 208.3 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, requires all Federal payments made by an agency shall be made by direct deposit (EFT) to a US based (preferred) or Foreign Financial institution.                                                                                     

Have you experienced harassment at VA?

Veteran Recognition:

From the front lines to nurse at Bay Pines 

5 Life Lessons From the NHL Stanley Cup Finals

VA researcher helping to change the future of Alzheimer’s Disease

Military Marks Half-Century of the All-Volunteer Force

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty."             —John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Click here for our Spotlight Find Your Voice!
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 08 July at  07:00 EDT


dog with suggestion box

Do you have a suggestion or comment?

Let us know: [email protected]


Connect with us on    fb.png twit.png Insta.svg  LinkedInLogo.jpg

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)


 “One flag, one land, one heart, one hand,
One Nation, evermore! — Oliver Wendell Holmes