Action Corps Weekly Hero 2021

VFW Action Corps Weekly

Kristina Keenan VFW testimony on toxic exposures combined bill
VFW Testifies Before Senate on Toxic Exposure: On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing on pending legislation. VFW National Legislative Service Director Patrick Murray testified on the VFW’s top legislative priority of toxic exposure. Murray stressed the importance of combining the best pieces of each bill to cover as many veterans as possible. “Since we seem to expose nearly 100% of our troops to hazardous substances and environments, it is entirely unreasonable that almost 75% of them have their claims denied for exposure. It is time we establish a new framework to take care of veterans who were exposed to hazards both foreign and domestic, now and in the future,” said Murray. Watch the hearing, which starts at the 18:27 mark or read the testimony.
Service member meets with career training rep
Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program Open Now: Veterans who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic now have the opportunity for education or training for high-demand jobs with the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP). Veterans can use VRAPP for assistance with programs approved under the GI Bill and Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses to include associate degrees, non-college degrees, and certificate programs. If eligible, veterans can receive up to 12 months of tuition and fees, and a monthly housing allowance based on Post-9/11 GI Bill rates. VRRAP will stop making payments on Dec. 11, 2022, or when the funding limit or the participant limit is reached. Learn more.


Woman holding phone using a computer
New Website for All Benefits and Services: Veterans can now access all their VA benefits and services through one website, All the functions previously found on eBenefits are now available on the new website, however, eBenefits will remain functional until March 31, 2022. According to VA, the site usability and security has been improved, especially with the addition of two-factor authentication. Veterans are encouraged to log on and explore the new site. Learn more.


May is mental health awareness month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month: To spotlight mental health in May, VA is sharing 10 ideas to help improve mental health and overall well-being. VA encourages veterans to use one or more of these ideas to bring about a better quality of life. Veterans can find more mental health resources online. Caregivers can connect with VA mental health resources by contacting the Caregiver Support Line (855.260.3284). For any veteran in crisis you are not alone, you can contact the Veteran Crisis Line at 1.800.273.8255, press 1.    


VFW member with COVID vaccine Band-Aid on arm
COVID-19 Vaccines Available at VA: Almost 2.4 million veterans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at VA, but there are millions more who have not. Herd immunity is vital to slow the spread of COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy stops us from getting there. Thanks to the passage of the SAVE LIVES Act, more veterans, caregivers, and spouses may receive the COVID-19 vaccine at VA. For more information please see VA’s answers to frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine in Part I and Part II.


The POW/MIA flag flying in the breeze
MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced one burial update for a service member who has been missing and unaccounted-for from Korea. Returning home for burial with full military honors is:


-- Army Cpl. Henry L. Helms, 24, of Collbran, Alabama, was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. Helms will be buried May 22, 2021, in Ringgold, Georgia. Read about Helms.

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