WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced today that she has passed several important measures into law to assist veterans. These items include provisions that Meng attached to the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which was recently signed into law by the President. The measures include the following:
· Requiring the VA to investigate easing the burden of filing disability claims for veterans who participated in nuclear clean-up activities in Palomares, Spain and on Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Currently, these veterans are not presumed to have been previously exposed to radiation when filing claims for disability and medical assistance. Rep. Meng introduced the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act which would provide healthcare benefits to veterans who participated in the nuclear cleanup of Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands during the late 1970s.
The U.S. Secretaries of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DOD) signed a joint statement Sept. 26 pledging that their two departments will align their plans, strategies and structures as they roll out a new electronic health records (EHR) system that will allow VA and DOD to share patient data seamlessly.
Signed by Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, the joint statement reinforces both departments’ commitment to ensuring the successful transition from a legacy patient-data system to a modernized one that will continue to support active-duty service members, Veterans and their families.
“The joint statement between DOD and VA represents tangible evidence of our commitment to change how we deliver Veteran-focused, provider-friendly care,” Wilkie said. “The new EHR system will be interoperable with DOD, while also improving VA’s ability to collaborate and share information with community care providers. This will ease the burden on Service members as they transition from military careers and will be supported by multiple medical providers throughout their lives.”
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JAMES N. MATTIS: Well, good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for being here this morning.
In January of this year, the Department of Defense released its National Defense Strategy. It was the first of its kind in a decade. And in it, we outlined the department's strategic priorities and the guidance that we wanted to give our departments below us for the budget request, tying the budgets to the strategy itself.
Today, thanks to strong bipartisan support in Congress and resulted in $717 billion budget authorization for 2019. And our military continues to grow stronger, more lethal, more agile, and certainly more deployable than a year ago.
When you retire from active duty, your TRICARE plan options will change. Retiring from active duty is a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). A QLE allows you to enroll in a new TRICARE plan or change your coverage options within 90 days of the life event. As a retiree, you’ll need to take action to enroll in a TRICARE plan if you want to continue to receive coverage for civilian care.
Dedicated to collecting the first-hand accounts of all veterans from WWI to present day, the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project (VHP) was created to preserve the memories of wartime veterans. VHP makes those personal accounts accessible to the public, which allows future generations to hear directly from veterans & better understand a veteran's service.
Established in 2000, VHP has more than 105,000 collections already archived & still is accepting new collection every day. VHP Director Karen Lloyd, a retired Colonel who served 28 years in the Army, said VHP is proud of that number.
We are working with the VHP & encouraging members to reach out to veterans within their own community, to listening to their stories & donate their work to their
After more than three years of planning and debate, the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts voted in June to locate the new National Desert Storm War Memorial adjacent to the National Mall at the intersection of Constitution Av & 23rd street, NW , in D.C. The commission voted 4-2 to approve the site, which will commemorate those who served in Operation Desert Shield & Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91.
"No one could have envisioned an American-led international coalition defeating the then-fourth largest standing army in the world in six weeks from the air & 100 hours on the ground," said Scott Stump, VFW life member of the Department of North Carolina & CEO & President of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association. "But we did, & we did so magnificently, all because of our equipment, our training & our leaders - all of whom honed their teeth in Vietnam, where they learned how not to fight the next war."
Attached please find two letters from 38 veteran and military service organization leaders asking US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to stop the rollback of servicemembers' rights under the Military Lending Act.
The letters are in response to Mr. Mulvaney's reported plan to stop the supervisory checks on banks and non-bank lenders for compliance with the provisions of the Military Lending Act, including the MLA's 36% cap on loans to servicemembers, and a plan to allow car lenders to circumvent the rules, as reported in these news articles:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance to better coordinate medication and immunization histories of the nation’s veterans. The new "VA-Walgreens exchange” enables VA doctors to “easily view medications directly that are prescribed to VA-enrolled patients by community providers and filled at Walgreens pharmacies.”
The Department of Defense announced on 13 Aug, it will extend eligibility for Military OneSource benefits from the current 180 days to 365 days after separation or retirement from military service to ensure all service members and families have access to comprehensive support as they transition to civilian life. This change goes into effect today in accordance with the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019.
Military OneSource provides information, resources and support for active-duty, National Guard and reserve service members, their families and survivors. Provided at no cost, Military OneSource gives exclusive access to programs, tools, and benefits designed to help ensure service members and their families are mission-ready and able to thrive in both their military and post-military lives.
In the autumn of 1980, a contractor showed up to grade a parking lot. He had no idea he was about to start digging up the radioactive bodies of dead beagles. But the forked bucket on his bulldozer started pulling up more than soil, and it turned out he was digging in a pit of strontium-90 and dog carcasses that had been buried in an ash-gray tomb: a nest of dead dogs and laboratory waste labeled "Radioactive Poison."
The new parking lot was on the site of the former Naval Research Laboratory dump and its associated incinerator in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-and it was just one of many areas contaminated by an assortment of hazardous waste and chemicals on the base.
About half a mile away from the dump, soon to be known as Site 19, my friends and I were living in our neighborhood, called Paradise Point. We spent our time putting other girls' bras into freezers at slumber parties, playing the Telephone Game, riding our bikes all over the place: to the golf course to steal a cart, to swim at the pool, to play soccer on Saturdays.