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VFW Action Corps Weekly, September 21, 2018

September 21, 2018
National POW/MIA Recognition Day
In This Issue:
1. Senate Must Pass Blue Water Navy Bill
2. National POW/MIA Recognition Day
3. Korean War Flag Presentation
4. VA, VFW Hold Facebook Live Event Showcasing VA Video Connect
5. VFW Participates in Army Partnership Conference
6. VFW Supports Relief Efforts for Hurricane Florence
7. Trump Signs Bill to Fund Veterans Programs
8. VA to Hire 50 Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists
9. Senate Passes Defense Appropriations and VA Extenders Bills
10. Gold Star Families Remembrance Week
11. VA Nominees Advanced for Full Senate Vote
12. VA-enrolled Veterans Eligible for Free Flu Shot
13. MIA Update

To view this week’s edition, click here:


Newsletter Header

Week Ending Sunday, September 23, 2018

Volume 9, Issue 37



PTSD Awareness month is here, and we’ve found as much information as we could and have posted to the VFC website, you will be able to find the links to those articles further down in this newsletter under “Links to Other Stories.”

There is information on how to determine if you are affected by PTSD, what to do and where to go to seek help and assistance, and information for friends and family members to help figure out if you need help and more!

And as we find more we will certainly get it posted as quickly as we can so please check back under NEWS, scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the category “Mental Health Care.”

We all need to be aware of our Veterans around us and their actions, words, etc., you never know, you could be the one to save a life!

And if you are a Veteran who might be in distress, feeling anxious, depressed, angry, even thinking about suicide, PLEASE, call someone. A battle buddy, friend, family member, the VA hotline, someone!

One suicide is just one too many!

Blue Water Navy is still in the battle of their lives and truly do need your help!!

In the next block there is a link to their petition and we’re asking everyone to please sign the petition. Once you do, look for an E-Mail to authenticate your signing. If not in your in-box, please be sure to look in your spam folder.

And if you use a mail client vs. logging into the web, and you don’t feel the authentication E-Mail in your mail client, please log into your account via the web and look for it, then click on the link.

Then toward the bottom there is a picture with a red box around it with phone numbers to call both your senators. Please call them both every single week and kindly ask them to please pass the Blue Water Navy Bill HR 299.

Finally the Senate passed S. Res. 522 which will designate the week of September 23rd to September 29th as Gold Star Family Remembrance week!

We can’t tell you how much this was more than needed. To take a week just to remember all our fallen husbands, wives, sons and daughters who have made the ultimate sacrificed of their lives for our freedom!

In the last two weeks we created a new category on our web site under web links called “Health Topics” where we’ve added 353 new links where you can read about symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention for over 1000 diseases, illnesses, health conditions and wellness issues.

We still have approximately 3,000 more to add, but in time they will be uploaded so do check back often, you never know we might post a link to information you’ve been looking for.

On behalf of our Volunteers nationwide and myself, we wish you and your family good health!

Jim Davis

We The People

BWN Needs Your Help!

The United States government, through it’s agency the Veterans Affairs, has a DUTY to TREAT medical problems associated with military service; COMPENSATE veterans (or their families) for early death or disability associated with their service; and MONITOR and DOCUMENT the effects of government policy and MISTAKES that created a higher health risk. For 50 years, VA has FAILED to monitor and document the effects of Agent Orange on military members that served in the “Blue Water Navy” during Vietnam. Congress is attempting to “fix” this dereliction of duty – and VA Officials oppose the change. We the people support treatment and compensation for these medical issues; and believe monitoring and documenting these issues should be the responsibility of VA, not the individual veterans.

Please sign, share on your page, copy and paste web link into an e-mail and send out to your entire e-mail address book and ask all your friends and family to sign, and forward on to their entire e-mail address book too!

You don’t have to be active duty military, or a Veteran, civilians can sign too. 98.000 signatures are needed!

Click HERE

Military Veterans Advocacy

Senate Must Pass Blue Water Navy Bill

On Wednesday, the VFW joined other veterans service organizations in sending a letter to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs urging the Senate to pass H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018, which would provide long-overdue benefits to Blue Water Navy and Korean DMZ veterans. It would also expand benefits to the children of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in Thailand and commission more research on Gulf War Illness. The VFW calls on its members and supporters to contact their Senatorsand urge them to pass this important bill. Read the letterContact your Senators.

Remember Those who Served

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Year-round, and particularly during Suicide Prevention Month in September, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) collaborates with the Department of Defense to empower communities to take action to support our Nation’s Service members and Veterans. Each community across the country plays a role in supporting Service members and Veterans, but as an individual you may not know what to do or where to start.

You don’t need to have special training to support the Service members and Veterans in your life, and we can all do something to help someone who is going through a difficult time. Even seemingly small actions can have a huge impact: Preventing suicide begins with just the willingness to Be There.

Showing your support can be as simple as sending a text message — inviting someone over to catch up or sharing a positive thought are both great ways to communicate that you care. Your words could be exactly what an individual in crisis needs to hear, and could be a reminder of the many people out there who are willing to listen.

Here are some sample text messages:
 “Hey Tom, haven’t seen you around in a while! We should grab coffee this week. How about tomorrow?”
 “Just letting you know I’m here for you if you need anything. Call me anytime!”
 “Hey Amy, hope all is well with you! Been thinking about you today. I miss you!”

When you sense that a Service member or Veteran is not doing well, your words can help. You can make a difference by just starting a conversation. Although it can seem challenging, it is important to talk about difficult feelings and experiences. Keep in mind: Asking questions about thoughts of suicide does not increase a person’s suicide risk. Instead, an open conversation can help someone feel less alone and let others into the Service member or Veteran’s experience — and feeling connected is shown to reduce suicide risk.

Keep these best practices in mind when preparing for a conversation:

If you believe a Service member or Veteran in your life may be contemplating suicide, call the Veterans and Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online. Qualified and compassionate VA responders are on call 24/7/365 to provide guidance on how to connect Service members and Veterans with support and help keep them from harm.

 Show that you are really listening. Remember to maintain eye contact and turn in toward the Service member or Veteran while they are speaking.
 Validate their experience. Even if you can’t relate to what a Service member or Veteran is experiencing, you can tell them you understand that they went through something difficult, and show that you respect their feelings about it.
 Let them decide how much information to share. Supportive and encouraging comments, rather than invasive personal questions, will create a space for open communication and avoid putting a Service member or Veteran on the defensive.
 Don’t be afraid to ask the question. When you are concerned about suicide risk, it’s OK to ask people if they have ever thought about hurting themselves or taken action to prepare for suicide. The answers can help you consider next steps to take.

Simply reaching out to a Service member or Veteran in need and opening the door for a discussion could make all the difference. Learn more ways to show your support and Be There by visiting to find more resources and information.

VA’s Caregiver Support Line assistance is just a quick phone call away. Whether you’re in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the caring licensed social workers who answer the support line can:

 Provide you with information about assistance available from VA.
 Help you access services.
 Connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you.
 Just listen, if that’s what you need right now.

If you’re just getting started with VA, calling the Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 is a great first step to learn more about the support that is available to you.

Blue Star Mothers
Gold Star Family

Gold Star Families Remembrance Week

On Sept. 6, 2018, the Senate passed S. Res. 522, which designates Sept. 23 through Sept. 29, 2018, as Gold Star Families Remembrance Week to honor and recognize “the sacrifices made by the families of members of the Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” and to encourage all Americans to observe Gold Star Families Remembrance Week by performing acts of good will and celebrating the families of those who gave their lives for our freedom. Read the resolution.

VFC Website-002

The Veterans-For-Change website has been under construction since day one back in 2009 and every day since then. The looks pretty much stay the same, but in the background constant improvement and change is being done to make our website the most user friendly “One-Stop-Shop” website to find almost everything you might have tried to find searching the internet.

Almost a hundred people have been involved; collecting web links to documents now houses on the VFC website, collecting thousands of web links for various issues, illnesses and benefits. Creating forums for all eras of service and two forums one just for men and one just for woman where you can go question, comment, share medical and personal concerns, what ever you’d like it to be.

We also have a forum with for Mental Health and are currently seeking a new Licensed Mental Health Worker, where you can seek help or just ask questions.

We average 2,900 hits per day, and downloads average 1,770 per day with a total 4,374,346visitors as of Friday.

If you subscribe you will have full access to the entire website and best of all it’s FREE of charge! You just need a valid E-mail address so the system can send you a confirmation E-Mail. Once received, click on the link to be authorized automatically.

• Documents Library with over 16,662 documents on-line (Updated: 08/27/18)
• FAQ’s with more than 1,600 FAQ’s and answers
• Multiple Forums
o Afghanistan Veterans
o FMP – Foreign Medial Program
o Gulf War & Desert Storm Veterans
o Iraq Veterans
o Korean Veterans
o Men Veterans Forum
o Mental Health for Veterans (Counselor Needed)
o Political Issues
o Suggestion Box
o The Mess Hall
o VA Hospitals and Medical Centers
o Veteran Affairs
o Vietnam Veterans
o Welcome Mat
o Women Veterans Forum
o WW II Veterans
• Job Postings
• Memorial Pages (Updated: 01/11/18)
• News (Articles On-Line: 7,728)
• Polls
• Web Links, more than 4,020, Added 153 New Links (Updated: 09/19/18)

If you have a submission for the memorial pages, E-Mail:


Blue Water Navy Bill Stalled in Senate

Background: During the Vietnam War, veterans who served in the offshore waters of Vietnam drank, bathed in, and cooked with water contaminated by Agent Orange. They are now arbitrarily and unjustly denied benefits for illnesses associated with Agent Orange exposure. On July 25, 2018, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018. This bipartisan legislation would end the injustice of denying care and benefits to veterans who suffer from life-threatening health conditions.

H.R. 299 is now stalled in the Senate. The VFW needs your help to make sure this bill is passed before the end of the year. If the Senate fails to do so, the bill will die and may never be considered again.

Take Action: Contact your Senators to demand that the Senate swiftly pass H.R. 299. The Senate must not delay passage of this important bill while Blue Water Navy veterans sicken and die from diseases related to exposure to Agent Orange.


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Fall Foliage Parade North Adams 2018

Hello, Sorry for the late notice, but due to problems with the parade organizers, information came out late. I couldn’t find a booklet on activities. On Saturday the 29th, from 7pm to ? there will be a Social gathering at the American Legion Post 125, 91 American Legion Drive, North Adams with juke box music […]

WEB SITE for Post 51

We are in the process of re-doing our posts website.once the new website is completed you will automatically be sent a message when ever we post any news on the website so you can go on it and see the updated info..I will let you all know when it is up and running. Frankie PR […]

Changes Coming to Tricare Dental, Vision Coverage

Changes Coming to Tricare Dental, Vision Coverage For the first time ever, Tricare retirees will get to choose from between a variety of dental plans, while most users will have access to vision coverage. (U.S. Air Force/Benjamin W. Stratton)   19 Mar 2018   By Jim Absher Starting in 2019, military retirees will have dental and vision […]

Service Connected Matrix

There are additional benefits that you may be eligible for that are based on a favorable decision for a VA benefit and/or based on special circumstances. These are known as derivatives. Service Connected Matrix Non Service Connected Matrix Circumstance Matrix BENEFIT DERIVATIVE Non-Compensable 0 percent disability rating ·     10 point Veteran preference in federal hiring ·     No cost health […]

SEC Meeting and clover drive

Past commander Billy O and I attended the SEC meeting sunday at Post 30 in Fall River. What a great post it is the views from the post are spectacular. For those who are smokers your allowed to smoke at the Bar! its the only post in the state that allows this.It was nice to […]