VFW Action Corps Weekly

VFW Action Corps Weekly

October 11, 2019

In This Issue:
1. VFW to Host Facebook Live Event Today with VA
2. Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019 Now Law 
3. VFW Visits Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors 
4. TRICARE Drug Costs Increasing for 2020
5. VA, Partners Offer Flu Shot
6. MIA Update

 
 

Download this week's Action Corps Weekly in PDF format

 

1. VFW to Host Facebook Live Event Today with VA: Today, VFW National Veterans Service Director Ryan Gallucci will host a Facebook Live event with VA Director of Synchronous Telehealth Dr. Leonie Heyworth and the Executive Director Office of Rural Health Dr. Thomas Klobucar. They will be discussing how technologies improve access to care and will be sharing information about future enhancements of these tools. This Facebook event will give VFW followers an opportunity to have their questions answered regarding care for rural veterans. Visit our Facebook page today at 12 p.m. EDT to join the conversation. If you are unable to watch live today, the event video will be archived.

 

2. Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019 Now Law: Last Monday, the president signed the VFW-supported Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019 into law. The new law provides cost of living increases equal to the same increase granted for Social Security benefits. The increase will be for wartime disability compensation, compensation for dependents, clothing allowance, and dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses and children. These increases will take effect on Dec. 1, 2019. The VFW thanks Representative Elaine Luria (D-Va.) for introducing this legislation, and for her continued efforts to expand benefits for veterans and their families. Learn more.

 

3. VFW Visits Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors: On Wednesday, VFW Washington Office Executive Director Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence met with Bonnie Carroll, founder and president of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). They discussed how VFW and TAPS can work together to support those who have lost a loved one who has served our country. It’s important to note that TAPS supports survivors of all eras and all relationships to the loved one, even if one’s loss was decades ago. One of the VFW’s purposes as defined in our congressional charter is “to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead, and to assist their surviving spouses and orphans” which aligns perfectly with  the mission of TAPS. Learn more about TAPS.

 

4. TRICARE Drug Costs Increasing for 2020: As a result of skyrocketing prescription drug cost in recent years, TRICARE was mandated by Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 to bring their prescription costs compatible with actual costs of prescription drugs in the civilian medical domain. Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, TRICARE prescription drug costs for beneficiaries are set to rise as much as 42 percent. However, prescriptions filled on base will continue to be free. Copayments for Express Scripts mail-order pharmacy prescriptions will increase for generic drugs, brand name drugs, and non-formulary drugs for a 90-day supply. Cost at retail pharmacies for prescriptions will increase as well for generic drug, brand-name drugs, and non-formulary drugs will for a 30-day supply. Learn more.

 

5. VA, Partners Offer Flu Shot: Veterans enrolled in VA and in need of a flu shot can receive it for free at their nearest VA health care facility or at their local Walgreens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, VA, and doctors suggest all individuals get their flu shot during the fall. This is particularly true for individuals over the age of 65, pregnant women, caregivers of infants or family members with health problems, health care employees, and people with heart problems and other chronic illnesses or conditions. Learn more about the flu shot or locate your nearest Walgreens.

 

6. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of four Marines who had been missing and unaccounted-for since World War II. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:

-- Marine Corps Pfc. Louis Wiesehan Jr., was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed, including Wiesehan on the second day of battle, Nov. 21, 1943. Interment services are pending. Read about Wiesehan.
-- Marine Corps Pfc. Robert J. Hatch was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed, including Hatch on the third day of battle, Nov. 22, 1943. Interment services are pending. Read about Hatch.
-- Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. John R. Bayens was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed, including Bayens on the third day of battle, Nov. 22, 1943. Interment services are pending. Read about Bayens.
-- Marine Corps Reserve 1st Lt. Justin G. Mills was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed, including Mills on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read about Mills.

To sign up new veterans’ advocates, visit: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

 

As always, we want to hear your advocacy stories. To share your stories or photos with us, simply email them directly to vfwac@vfw.org.

 

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