Latest Happenings

COLA for Retirees Bouncing Around

Aug 14 – With two months (August and September) to go in the cost-of-living countdown, federal, military and Social Security retirees are eagerly awaiting their 2018 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

Forever GI Bill Now Law of the Land

Aug 16 – “Today military, veterans, and family service organizations have made history – they have willed the Forever GI Bill into law,” said John Rowan, President of Vietnam Veterans of America.

Measure Gives Veterans More Choice in Medical Care

Aug 14 – President Trump has signed an emergency spending bill to continue funding a program that gives eligible veterans the option to receive care from private doctors rather than a VA medical facility.

Vietnam Veterans of America Condemns Neo-Nazis

Aug 14 – Vietnam Veterans of America vociferously condemns neo-nazis, white supremacists, and wanna-be KKKers, whose violent, anti-American tendencies resulted in the death of Ms. Heather Heyer, who was exercising her legitimate Constitutional rights to free speech.

John Rowan to Serve Seventh Term as National President of Vietnam Veterans of America

Aug 12 – John Rowan was reelected to a seventh term as National President of Vietnam Veterans of America on August 11 at the organization’s 18th National Convention in New Orleans. Rowan, who was elected to VVA’s highest office in 2005, has served as the chairman of VVA’s Conference of State Council Presidents, for three terms on the organization's Board of Directors, and as president of VVA’s New York State Council.

POW MIA Ceremony at the National Convention in New Orleans, LA

POW MIA Ceremony at the National Convention  POW MIA Ceremony at the National Convention

Congressman Mike Coffman Honored as 2017 VVA “Legislator of the Year”

Aug 11 – “We are proud to recognize Congressman Mike Coffman as Vietnam Veterans of America 2017 Legislator of the Year,” said John Rowan, VVA National President. “We are recognizing Congressman Coffman for his leadership in introducing and fighting for bills that will have a profound impact on veterans of all eras, as well their children and their children’s children,” said Rowan.

VVA Recognizes Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Judge Who Established Felony Veterans Treatment Court

Aug 11 – “Michael E. Jackson was a Marine lieutenant in Vietnam who called in artillery strikes on his coordinates to save his company from being overrun. He returned home, went to law school, and established a lucrative law practice in Cleveland, Ohio. Several years ago, Jackson ran for a judgeship in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, expressly to establish a veterans treatment court so that veterans charged with felony offenses have an alternative to incarceration,” said John Rowan, National President of VVA.

Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards to Address Delegates At Vietnam Veterans of America’s National Convention

Aug 10 – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will welcome delegates and guests to New Orleans at Vietnam Veterans of America’s 18th biennial National Convention in New Orleans. The Governor will speak at the Convention’s General Session at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 10, in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown New Orleans.

VA Receives $65M in Funding for Cerner EHR Implementation

Jun 15 – The House Appropriations Committee recently released its fiscal year (FY) 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, allotting $78.3 billion in discretionary funding for VA healthcare modernization and improvements.

What's in the Va Secretary's 10-Point Plan to Reform His Department?

Feb 28 – In appearances before veterans groups this week, Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin is outlining his 10-point plan for reforming department operations and offerings, with a heavy emphasis on VA medical improvements.

The plan is separate from the 10-point VA plan President Trump unveiled on the campaign trail last summer, but includes some of the same themes of accountability and a more customer-service focus for department employees.

Qui Tam: Wells Fargo Pays Big For Fraudulent Anti-Veteran Lending Practices

Aug 7 – Wells Fargo to pay over $100 million for allegations of fraud that included overcharging military veterans using the VA Home Loan, thusly overcharging VA and taxpayers.

Solving VA’s Problems, One Innovative Idea at a Time

Aug 8 – More than 4,000 miles separate Alaska and Louisiana, but the two states are working hand in hand to engage and retain Veterans Affairs Department employees. Amy Thames of the Alexandria VA Health Care System in Louisiana, and Roxanne Nilsson of the Alaska VA Health System, are leading JumpStart onboarding efforts in their respective medical centers, and they came to Washington, DC to talk about their progress during the VA Innovation Demo Day.

More Funding, Accountability for VA Choice Program Proposed, Now What? + (audio)

Aug 7 – Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin received his wish last week as the House passed a bill that will add an additional $2.1 billion for the Veterans Choice Program. The bill, also known as the Choice Act, was introduced just weeks before the current Choice program funding was set to expire, and passed as a last-minute decision before Congress left for the August recess.

From Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (PDF)

Jul 28 – Dear Veteran Leader: I wanted to provide an update on recent actions taken by the House of Representatives to expand benefits for veterans and improve health care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Congress Just Made Huge Changes to the GI Bill. Here's What Matters Most for Veterans

Aug 3 – In a rare moment of unity, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., just passed a major expansion to the education benefits for U.S. military veterans.The bill, called the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017, flew through both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the span of three weeks, passing both by unanimous votes. After the Senate’s vote on Wednesday, the bill is headed to President Trump’s desk, where it’s expected he’ll sign.

For Veterans Mustard-Gassed In Secret Tests, Help Now Sits On President's Desk

Aug 3 – Decades after the U.S. government exposed service members to chemical weapons in secret experiments, lawmakers have advanced a measure intended to make it easier for those World War II veterans to obtain compensation. The bill, known as the Arla Harrell Act, advanced to President Trump's desk after Senate approval Wednesday.

From the Desk of Robert McNulty, Sr., Disabled Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient Placards State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

Placards are now available for disabled veterans and members of the Purple Hearts.

Dr. David Shulkin Announced the Department Will Not Be Cutting the IU Benefit Program

Dear Mr. Eckstein:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concern with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposing to eliminate Individual Unemployability (IU) benefit payments to retirement-age veterans. I appreciate having the benefit of your views, as I share them.

As you are well aware, the VA provides IU benefits to veterans unable to engage in substantial work. To qualify for those supplemental benefits, veterans may not earn more than the federal poverty guidelines and generally must be rated between 60 percent and 90 percent disabled.

You will be pleased to know during a hearing before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin announced the department will not be cutting the IU benefit program.

Please know that I will keep your support for this critical benefit in mind as Congress works to ensure veterans receive the care and support they deserve.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Rodney Frelinghuysen
Member of Congress

H.R.95 – Veterans' Access to Child Care Act

H.R. 3218 – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017

Aug 1 – The Congressional Budget Office has completed an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, as passed by the House of Representatives on July 24, 2017. CBO’s complete cost estimate for H.R. 3218, including discretionary costs, will be provided shortly.

Dr. David Shulkin: What New Funding for Veterans Choice Will Mean

Aug 1 – As secretary, Dr. David Shulkin inherited a Veterans Affairs Department only partway through a badly needed transformation. Shulkin discussed the consequences of new funding for the Veterans Choice program just approved by Congress.

Please Join Us at the 2017 VETx Leadership Summit on Aug 24, 2017

An event we are calling VETx, a part of a fellowship program under the Union League of Philadelphia.

Federal Register – Documents from Veterans Affairs Department

VVA Lawsuit Challenges DoD’s Leaking of Personal Information Belonging to Active Duty and Veterans

Aug 1 – Vietnam Veterans of America filed a federal lawsuit today, in order to end the Department of Defense’s systematic violation of veterans’ and service members’ privacy rights. DoD operates a website that reveals details pertaining to the military service of millions of veterans and service members to anybody at all, anonymously, for any purpose.

Please Join Us for Two Great Events to Support The Chapel of Four Chaplains (PDF)

Sep 23 – at 11:00am – 4th Annual Appreciation Event Invitation (PDF)
The Chapel of Four Chaplains, Philadelphia. Program includes Legion of Honor Awards presentation, unveiling of WWII Sub Vets headstone and the unveiling of the 2nd installment of Memorial/Honor Bricks in the Lost at Sea Memorial. Free.