VMF June 2023 Newsletter


June 2023


VOL. 3, NO. 6

To view in PDF, click here

If we are to truly restore the soul of America, we need to protect the sacred right to vote. More people voted in the last presidential election than ever before in our history — in the middle of one of the worst pandemics ever. That should be celebrated. Instead, it’s being attacked.”                                –President Joe Biden

Editor’s Message —

Greetings! Recently on a cable TV channel, viewers saw a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire showcasing one presidential candidate with audience questions from his devoted supporters. Robert Reich in his substack covered this with his usual aplomb, so I am sharing part of his article The danger is now:

“Friends, we do not have the luxury of waiting 18 months until the 2024 election. 

The danger is now. We must speak out against Trumpian fascism.

Demand that Trump be held fully accountable for what he has done.

Condemn the media for allowing him to set the terms for appearing, and for magnifying and legitimizing his lies. Urge secretaries of state and other state election officials to refuse to put him on the ballot — under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars anyone from holding office who, having taken an oath to support the Constitution, has engaged in an insurrection against the United States.

And we must make good trouble, as John Lewis put it: Mobilize to protect equal rights and preserve the rule of law. Call out haters and bigots. Take to the streets, if necessary, to defend our democracy.”

Remember the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword.”? Contact your Senators  and Representatives about how unAmerican this candidate’s positions are. 

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

We must be proactive! Also urge them to support the Equal Rights Amendment

Terese Sarno

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

DA Global Veterans and Military Families (VMF) Caucus Webinar
How the New Ohio Voting Law (HB 458) Affects Overseas Civilian and Military Voters
with Connie Pillich and Zach Roberts, Ohio Democrat


The deal to raise the debt ceiling is being sold as a necessary compromise

Michigan expands absentee voting for military members

Under the Radar, Right-Wing Push to Tighten Voting Laws Persists

Alarm after lawyer who aided Trump’s 2020 election lie attacks campus voting

Austin warns Republican senator’s hold on military nominations will cause ‘profound confusion and disturbance’ for troops and their families

A ‘ticking time bomb’: Pentagon moving too slowly on toxic cleanup at military bases

More Texas women sue the state over its anti-abortion laws

New NC abortion restrictions become law as legislature overrides Gov. Cooper's veto.   

Anti-trans bills in Texas and Florida - devastating consequences for LGBTQ teens

Sen. Fetterman Says Bailed-Out Bank Execs Should Have Work Requirements

Vietnam veterans welcomed home with commemoration marking war’s end

Civil rights groups warn tourists about traveling to Florida

Prevalence of Veteran Support for Extremist Groups and Extremist Beliefs: Survey


How service dogs can help Veterans with PTSD 

Community backs vets in fight against PTSD, suicide 

Veterans Crisis Line        End-of-life planning with VA

Stars and Stripes - Transition Guide - May 18, 2023

VA’s mission to better serve all       Securely accessing your VA account online

Talk data to me: Know your privacy rights and keep your personal info safe 

Social media, the safe way              How smart are your devices?

What the end of the Public Health Emergency means for VA

Access Veterans’ records at National Archives or National Personnel Records Center

Blue Star Museums - Blue Star Families

Blue Star Museums: Frequently Asked Questions

The program is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and thousands of museums across the country.

Resources, networking and other top tips to help you land a VA job 

Work at VA–Leverage our resources to land a job at VA, where you’ll serve those who served by providing them with the care they deserve.

WATCH  “Talk About It Tuesday”,  a glimpse into serving Veterans on LinkedIn

LEARN more about navigating the hiring process.

SEARCH for job openings at VAcareers.VA.gov.

VA Family Caregiver Assistance Program      VA Caregiver Support Program

Free career guidance for Veterans from America’s top companies

Veterans to Farmers determined to expand farming opportunities for women Veterans 

Veteran Readiness And Employment (Chapter 31)

Same mission, new I-DEA: VA supports inclusion, diversity, equity, and access 

Help VA make its digital tools more user-friendly  Veteran Usability Recruiting Project

Update: Overseas Military Service Coordinators
Overseas Military Service Coordinators (OMSCs) have extended virtual support operations to overseas Veterans, Service members, and their dependents. They will  respond to emails and arrange phone interviews for assistance with all VA benefits.

Send your contact information to the email address listed for your location to set up a virtual appointment with an OMSC. 

Veterans residing in European countries: [email protected]

Veterans residing in Asian countries: [email protected]

Germany Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) office:  Ms. Phyllis Barnes, a US Army Veteran, is the new Officer in Charge (OIC) for the Germany Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) Intake Site located at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC).

Contact: [email protected]   For time-sensitive inquiries please call
DSN: 314-590-8200 Comm: 06371-9464-8200.  Staff hours: 8:00 am to 4:40 pm
Intake site hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00AM - Noon and 1:15PM - 3:00PM (CET)

U.S. flags waving with fireworks

“As we continue the sacred work of building a more perfect Union together, let our flag serve as a reminder to us, and to the world, that America stands for and strives for promise of freedom, justice, and equality for all.”                                                     –President Joe Biden

Calendar 2023 & Events


PTSD Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

History of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

June 2 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
no registration required-for more information Email [email protected].

June 4 to 9Challenge, adventure awaits Veterans at 2023 VA Summer Sports Clinic
San Diego – www.summersportsclinic.va.gov

June 5 to 11International Museum Week  2023, celebrating its10th anniversary, will take place both online and offline and explore the important theme of the environment. 

June 5 World Environment Day  #BeatPlasticPollution- 50th anniversary

June 6D-Day


June 7 Career Fair: Virtual Or In-Person 11:00 am-3:00 pm ET (Multiple Locations) 

June 8 World Oceans Day                                    

June 12 – Women Veterans Day

June 14 – Army Birthday

June 14U.S. Flag Day waving U.S. flag

June 11 to 17National Flag Week

June 17 – DA VMF Caucus Meeting link 17:00 EDT, PW: dems, Mtg # 23106061838

June 17Bunker Hill Day

June 19Juneteenth


June 23Coast Guard Auxiliary Birthday 84th birthday

June 27PTSD Awareness Day

Upcoming  DA Activities

Elections calendar - Ballotpedia


Ambassador to Luxembourg Tom Barrett, DA Luxembourg Chair Lynette Stoltzfus Ambassador to Luxembourg Tom Barrett
DA Luxembourg Chair Lynette Stoltzfus
Luxembourg American Cemetery cross Luxembourg American Cemetery

Luxembourg American Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony May 27, 2023
The DA Germany Veterans and Military Families Caucus (VMF) continued the tradition of laying a wreath at the Luxembourg Memorial Day Ceremony in collaboration with DA Luxembourg. The DA Luxembourg officers also organized a wonderful city tour!

DA Luxembourg Counsel Will Bakker
DA Luxembourg Counsel Will Bakker
Luxembourg American Cemetery Gen. Patton's Cross Lt. Gen. John D.Lamontagne
Lt. Gen. John D.Lamontagne

Luxembourg Memorial Day Event Photo


At the American Cemetery in Draguignan, France

Aaron Ambeau, Chapter Chair, DA  Marseille and Susan Fitoussi, DA VMF Caucus at the American Cemetery in Draguignan, France

American Cemetery Draguignan France American Cemetery Draguignan


DA Central Italy attended the Memorial Day Ceremony
at the Florence American Cemetery in Impruneta.

American Cemetery in Impruneta American Cemetery Impruneta



At Budget Hearing, Tester Rings Alarm on Defaulting on Veterans 

Sens. Moran, Tester’s Bill to Deliver Annual Cost-of-Living Increase for Veteran..

New bill aims to expand mental health care for military families

Senate GOP votes down bill calling on VA to study marijuana as PTSD remedy 

H.R.2729 - 118th Congress (2023-2024): Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act of 2023–A bill to establish a commission to study how Federal laws and policies affect United States citizens living in foreign countries.
Ask Your House Representative To Join The Americans Abroad Caucus

Democratic Claims of Veterans' Health Care Cuts in GOP Debt Limit Bill

Ranking Member Takano: "Without action on my amendment today, homeless veterans will lose access to food, shelter, and transportation"

Tester Statement on Appointment of Montana’s Chauncey Parker to VA’s Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs

Testimony: Challenges with VA’s New System Call for Management Improvements

Veterans' Affairs House Committee Votes to Send Seven Bills to House Floor

Review of the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget and 2025 Advance Appropriations Requests...

Hearing to Consider Pending Legislation - U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Veterans Consumer Protection: Preventing Financial Exploitation of Veterans



Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Statistics: 2023 Update

PTSD Bytes: Personal experiences with PTSD: AboutFace 

PTSD VA Ratings: What You Need to Know  Veterans who experienced  traumatic events during their service may be able to receive disability compensation with non-taxed monthly payments and free health care, including specific PTSD treatment.

Healing From PTSD: Art And Expression As A Treatment Modality 

What Is Art Therapy? Types, Benefits And More

The Way Back: Songs of Healing by VA Veteran Nurses.
If you're a veteran, military, or family member interested in our program or looking for help, we're here for you!
Contact - Freedom Sings USA

The STRONG Veterans Act

Foreign Medical Program (FMP) - Community Care   A healthcare benefits program for U.S. Veterans residing or traveling abroad with a VA-rated, service-connected disability.

Foreign Medical Program Video

Veterans have access to acute suicide care, but who is eligible?

Suicide prevention: How to bring up the tough questions

Suicide prevention and LGBTQ+ Veterans 

He Is a Veteran With a Disability -- But Not Technically a Disabled Veteran

How women Veterans can learn about VA health care services

VA services for pregnant Veterans

Download the VA Women’s heaRT Handbook Training Materials

Provisions of the comprehensive Cleland-Dole Act

New VA practice simplifies care for Veterans

Challenges of respiratory health of deployed Veterans

DEAN-Health care innovation: Meeting Veterans where they are

VA-Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning

The Veterans Integrated Service Networks
Veterans’ health care in the U.S. is separated geographically into 18 regions that work together to better meet local health care needs and provide access to care for Veterans.

VA renews EHR contract, higher penalties for performance metrics missed by vendor

Live Whole Health #169: Relax, refresh, recharge

Live Whole Health #170: Chair yoga for the heart

Live Whole Health #171: Rocks and pebbles


Veteran Bystander Intervention Training

Training program paves the way to contracting specialist jobs at VA

House VA committee to weigh restoring GI Bill benefits for defrauded veterans

American Red Cross offers free lifesaving skills training for volunteers
The American Red Cross also offers a 30% training discount for military, military families, Veterans and Veteran families for American Red Cross-sponsored classes on www.redcross.org/take-a-class. Code: MILITARYCOMMFY23   Expires 6/30/2023

Veteran Recognition:

Exeter firefighter and veteran on mission to put spotlight on PTSD

Can making art help with depression and PTSD? Science is finding out

WWII veteran Eugene Brown turns 100

WWII veteran shares his story to remind people the importance of democratic values

Harry Belafonte, World War II Navy Veteran, has died at age 96 

MOVE! program transformed the health of Army Veteran

Marine Corps Veteran receives Purple Heart… 55 years later

A museum curator has volunteered for 25 years, giving 10,494 hours

Filipino veterans honored with congressional gold medals in California

Filipino Veterans of World War IIU.S. House Office of Photography

Click here for our Spotlight Step Up for PTSD Awareness - Virtual Walk 
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 June 17 at 14:00 EDT. PW: dems Meeting No. 23106061838


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)

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.”                       –Michael J. Fox