VOL. 3, NO. 5
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“Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace–many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth–that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”
– President John F. Kennedy, 1963 proclamation of Armed Forces Day
Editor’s Message —
Greetings! On April 18th, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers. Why an Executive Order? It has proved increasingly difficult to get any legislation passed in Congress on this topic. Care continues to increase in cost and the availability of care workers is steadily decreasing. This affects many citizens’ daily lives and is especially critical for U.S. citizens because often care costs more than the salary one might earn. This usually means that a family member must give up an outside job in order to care for children or older members of the family. This is also a problem on military bases where there is always a waiting list for before and after school programs.
President Biden stated “It is the policy of my Administration to enable families — including our military and veteran families — to have access to affordable, high-quality care and to have support and resources as caregivers themselves. It is also the policy of my Administration to ensure that the care workforce is supported, valued, and paid well. Additionally, care workers should have the free and fair choice to join a union.”
The highlights of the Executive Order include more available and affordable child care and long-term care for families - including military families, easier home-based care for Veterans, increased pay for Head Start teachers and other providers, job quality for long-term care workers, support for family caregivers with services like respite care, and the building of child care facilities for Native American and Alaska Native children.
Let us take some time on World Press Freedom Day on May 3 to remember our fearless real journalists who often put their lives on the line to guarantee that we are kept up to date on situations that affect our daily lives. More than 300 were detained worldwide last year. The month of May also includes Public Service Recognition Week, celebrated since 1985, to honor those who serve our nation as federal, state, county, local and tribal government employees and Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of the month, to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military defending our American freedoms. Take a moment to attend a special Memorial Day ceremony or organize your own ceremony.
One top concern still to take care of is the Equal Rights Amendment which Senator Schumer will be presenting in the Senate but there doesn't seem to be enough support to pass it. By the time you read this, the vote will probably have taken place and if there was a miracle, it would have passed but if not, WHAT CAN YOU DO? Contact your 2 Senators asking them to vote for SJRes 4. Shari Temple, our DA ERA Task Force Chair, needs us to sign the petition created by Carolyn Maloney, a long time advocate for ERA - Support the Equal Rights Amendment | Sign the Petition (sign4era.org).
Sign now and join the first signer Sen. Schumer and second signer Gloria Steinem!
Let’s finish the job!
Please join our caucus to show your support for the U.S. military!
“The stakes could not be higher for women across America. I will continue to fight politically-driven attacks on women’s health. But let’s be clear – the American people must continue to use their vote as their voice, and elect a Congress who will pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v Wade.” –President Joe Biden
WATCH LIVE: Biden gives remarks following executive order on expanding child care
Stars and Stripes Veterans Benefits Guide now available online
Veterans, Gold Star Families: free lifetime pass to national parks, wildlife refuges, other public lands New pass provides Veterans free lifetime access/ waived recreation fees.
"Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard." – President John F. Kennedy
May 1 – Silver Star Service Banner Day
May 1 – Loyalty Day “Today, we salute the Americans whose hard work and sacrifice have strengthened our Nation in common cause…” President Joseph R. Biden
May 4 – National Day of Prayer
May 5 – 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
May 7-13 – National Correctional Officers Week
May 7-13 – Public Service Recognition Week
May 8 – VE Day
May 11-13 – WELCOME HOME! ~The National Mall, Washington
~A Nation Honors our Vietnam Veterans and their Families
Vietnam Veterans who cannot attend an event can receive a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin by providing a current mailing address here.
May 12 – Military Spouse Appreciation Day
May 13 – VMF Caucus Steering Committee 07:00 ET WebEx
May 13 – Children of Fallen Patriots Day
May 15 – Peace Officers Memorial Day
May 18 – International Museum Day - focus: sustainability and wellbeing
May 20 – Armed Forces Day
May 22 – Maritime Day
May 29 – Memorial Day American Monuments in Europe
Upcoming DA Activities
WHAT’S CONGRESS UP TO?
Rep.Takano: "They fought for OUR freedom, and they deserve that same freedom"
“Criminalizing, infantilizing, and denying women veterans’ equal access to the full spectrum of healthcare at VA – including comprehensive reproductive healthcare – is unpatriotic, and an affront to the millions who have worn the uniform. House Democrats are committed to ensuring women veterans have equal access to the full spectrum of care at VA – including reproductive healthcare.”
Senate votes to keep new VA abortion policy in place
“The hard right is telling our veterans that they'll be treated as second-class citizens, and we say no way…Despite everything our veterans have given to our country, it's outrageous. It's wrong. It's dangerous, and it ain't going to happen.”
–Senate Majority Leader C. Schumer, D-N.Y
Support a Congressional Gold Medal for the WWI Hello Girls!
Tell your Senators and Representative that the Hello Girls Deserve a Congressional Gold Medal. Find your state's Hello Girls, and write to Congress.
S.815 and H.R.1572 Senate and House bills to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the female telephone operators of the Army Signal Corps, known as the "Hello Girls"
Bill proposing four-day workweek floated in Congress
“For more than 80 years, the five-day, 40-hour workweek has been the standard for Americans.” Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., is looking to change that. His 32 Hour Work Week Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to ensure that non-exempt employees would receive overtime pay after putting in 32 hours of work.
Building Better Caregivers online workshop
Challenge, adventure awaits Veterans at 2023 VA Summer Sports Clinic
June 4-9, 2023, San Diego – Registration is now open. www.summersportsclinic.va.gov
Get Prescription Refills Quick and Easy with the VA Health and Benefits App.
(N.B. Germany’s mail system-including APO-cannot be used to receive prescriptions.)
Foreign Schools: Education benefits are offered to eligible Veterans to attend approved programs at foreign schools. Visit the VA Foreign School Information for Students page to learn more. You can use the WEAMS Institution Search tool to find foreign schools with approved programs.
Click here for our Spotlight Taking Care of Our People
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
GLOBAL VMF CAUCUS MEETINGS
WebEx link for May 13, 2023 at 07:00 ET
The Global VMF Caucus Steering Committee meets once a month.
All Democrats Abroad members are welcome to attend.
Do you have a suggestion or comment?
Let us know: [email protected]
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)