VETERANS-FOR-CHANGE NEWSLETTER

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Week Ending Sunday, November 18, 2018

Volume 9, Issue 45

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This-N-That

We hope everyone had a good weekend last weekend and all those who attended the Marine Corps Birthday Ball events enjoyed themselves too!

In a recent rating of Veterans Nursing Homes 92 out of 132 homes have failing grades which isn’t saying a whole lot about administration or human resources, especially when caring for those who have served our country.

With 46,000 Veterans living in VA Nursing homes, this means that 32,200 are receiving inadequate to extremely poor healthcare.

But VA Healthcare all across the board from VA Medical Centers to Nursing homes has been less than stellar for many years, and it would seem that every appointed Secretary of the VA has had their own agenda vs. following protocols and regulations which in my personal opinion has only served to tear down the worlds largest healthcare system.

They even battle against sound and proven medical research siding on the side of old, outdated and just plain bad science, which is the current case with Agent Orange again!

We’ve been pushing for many weeks now for HR 299 which as you recall passed the House 382 to Zero and got bogged down in the Senate because the VA Administration is fighting tooth and nail to provide the earned, much needed medical care and benefits and from what we’ve seen is all based on outdated and bad science all to save a buck, but to save a buck at the cost of human lives.

So again, we’re asking everyone, including our civilian readers to please call the following people and ask that they bring HR 299 to the floor and vote to pass it in the Senate.

Senator Isakson 202-224-3643 & 770-661-0999
Senator Moran 202-224-6521
Senator Boozman 202-224-4843
Senator Rounds 202-224-5842
Senator Sullivan 202-224-3004
Senator Tillis 202-224-6342
Senator Cassidy 202-224-5824
Senator Heller 202-224-6244
Senator Tester 202-224-2644
Senator Brown 202-224-2315
Senator Sanders 202-224-5141
Senator Blumenthal 202-224-2823
Senator Murray 202-224-2621
Senator Hirono 202-224-2621
Senator Manchin 202-224-3954

Your calls are very important to thousands of Veterans, and we’re asking you to make the calls immediately, then if you would, please call them every Friday, slow down their office, drive a point home that this bill must pass and quickly.

Just keep it simple, polite, and when you end your call, be sure to thank them for their time!

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

Respectfully,
Jim Davis
Founder
Jim.Davis@Veterans-For-Change.org

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Off-Base testing for Agent Orange begins

Brian Moyer and Commander John Wells participated in a conference call with Guam EPA prior to start of testing. The GAO report should be due Thursday afternoon, We need to cover the Guam Veteran as well as Samoa, the Marianas and Johnston Island in addition to Blue Water Navy.

To learn more, click HERE.

John Wells, Cmdr. US Navy (Retired)
Military Veterans Advocacy, Inc.

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Remember Those who Served
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TFL, Premium-Based Plans: What to Do During Open Season

TRICARE Open Season is happening now. If you want to enroll in or change your TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select plan for 2019, you have until Dec. 10, 2018 to make an enrollment choice. If you have TRICARE For Life or a premium-based plan and want to stay in your current plan, TRICARE Open Season doesn’t apply to you. You’ll stay in your current plan for 2019 or as long as you’re eligible.

Read the full article here.

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VA Rates 70 Percent of its Nursing Homes as Failures

In a joint release, the national commanders of the VFW and American Legion are demanding that VA Secretary Robert Wilkie bring immediate attention to his nursing home program that currently has 70 percent of its 132 homes receiving failing grades by the VA’s own rating system. The call by VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence and Legion National Commander Brett Reistad is in response to a series of scathing articles by two USA Today and Boston Globe reporters who documented substandard and negligent care at the VA nursing home in Brockton, Mass., which is one of 45 nursing homes that received the VA’s lowest rating of one star. Forty-seven homes received two stars, 16 homes three stars, and 15 homes four stars. Only nine nursing homes received the VA’s top five-star rating. “While much of the media’s attention has been on the proper implementation of VA health care legislation, we cannot forget about 46,000 mostly senior veterans who reside in these nursing homes,” said the two national commanders, who collectively speak for more than 4.6 million members and their auxiliaries. Read the joint release here.

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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 2,230 hits per day, and downloads average 1,907 per day with a total 4,513,135visitors 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.

www.veterans-for-change.org

• Documents Library with over 16,729 documents on-line (Updated: 10/30/18)
• 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: 10/30/18) (37 Added)
• News (Articles On-Line: 7,980)
• Polls
• Web Links, more than 4,407, Added 119 New Links (Updated: 10/30/18)

If you have a submission for the memorial pages, E-Mail: Jim.Davis@veterans-for-change.org

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Military Members, DoD Civilians Are Eligible for Free TSA Precheck

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding all service members and DOD civilians that they are eligible to use the TSA Precheck program and skip some of the hassle when going through airport security. For more details, see this article.

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GI Bill Oversight Hearing Held

This week, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a hearing on the delayed payments of GI Bill benefits to student veterans. This summer, VA was supposed to implement technology upgrades to accommodate changes to the GI Bill. VA failed to implement the changes which led to tens of thousands of student veterans receiving delayed Basic Allowance for Housing payments. The VFW called on Congress to hold an oversight hearing to get to the bottom of the problem and what steps VA has taken to avoid this problem in the upcoming spring semester. The VFW appreciates Chairman Arrington and Ranking Member O’Rourke’s attention to this issue which is affecting the lives of tens of thousands of student veterans. Watch the hearing.

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This month’s featured song:

Goodbye To West Virginia

November’s featured song was written by Sgt George Jeffrey

This song was performed and produced by:

LT Bobby Ross

Featured videos of other songs by LT

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Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance Increase Announced

The Department of Defense has announced that the maximum amount payable under the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) program will increase on Jan. 1, 2019. Beginning in 2019, survivors who are eligible for the SSIA will see the maximum benefit increase to $318. For more details, see this article.

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Hearing on VA’s Oversight of Contract Disability Examinations

The House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a hearing Thursday on VA’s oversight of contract disability examinations. Over the last 20 years, VA has more frequently contracted with private health care providers to conduct disability examinations in order to provide veterans with timely, accurate, and objective evaluations of their medical conditions. While the VFW supports VA’s efforts to provide veterans with contract disability examinations, since 2016 when VA executed its latest contract for disability examinations, there have been new problems which prompted the VFW and other veterans service organizations to call for a hearing to better assess the situation. The VFW submitted testimony detailing problems such as late notification of exam appointments, difficulty in rescheduling examinations, unreasonable distance of examinations from the veteran’s home, and inadequate time with the health care provider. The VFW appreciates Ranking Member Esty highlighting our concerns and bringing attention to this issue. Watch the hearing.

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Take Action: Blue Water Navy Bill Must Pass Before End of Year

Background:  In July, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018, to end the injustice of denying Vietnam, Korean DMZ, and Thailand veterans who suffer from life-threatening health conditions the care and benefits they deserve.
This important bill continues to be 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 passes 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.
Please show your support on social media:
On Facebook (copy and paste the text below):
I stand with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and call on @vachair and the full Senate to pass H.R. 299! Rather than continue studying the health of Blue Water Navy veterans for yet another decade while those veterans sicken and die from diseases related to exposure to herbicides, the Senate must grant long-overdue benefits to the thousands of veterans who served their country off the shores of Vietnam. http://capwiz.com/vfw/issues/alert/?alertid=80552661
Or Call (202) 224-3121 and ask to be transferred to your Senators.

VFW Action Corps Weekly, November 16, 2018

November 16, 2018
 
In This Issue:

1. National Academies Link Hypertension, MGUS to Agent Orange Exposure

2. VA Rates 70 Percent of its Nursing Homes as Failures

3. GI Bill Oversight Hearing Held

4. Hearing on VA’s Oversight of Contract Disability Examinations

5. Blue Water Navy Bill Continues to be Stalled in the Senate

6. First Female Completes Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course

7. DHA MSO/VSO Working Group

8. VA Secretary Vows to Improve Military Transition Efforts

9. TRICARE Prime and Select Open Season

10. TRDP and FEDVIP Update

11. MIA Update


To view this week’s edition, click here: http://www.vfw.org/actioncorpsweekly.

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