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Author Topic: VFW Washington Weekly, March 18, 2011  (Read 3958 times)

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VFW Washington Weekly, March 18, 2011
« on: March 21, 2011, 08:24:56 am »
In This Issue:
1. Retroactive Stop-Loss Payments End Today
2. Military Tricare Hearing
3. VBA Budget Hearing
4. Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day
1. Retroactive Stop-Loss Payments End Today: Today is the final day veterans involuntarily extended under Stop Loss can register for retroactive payments.  Everyone on active duty between 9-11 and Sept. 30, 2009, is eligible for $500 for every month they were involuntarily extended beyond their normal date of separation.  Payouts have been averaging almost $4,000 per person, but you must apply to get paid.  The VFW asks that you forward this information to everyone you know.  To apply, go to
2. Military Tricare Hearing: The House Armed Services Committee held a series of hearings this week to discuss the military health system for active duty and retirees.  Committee Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC) asked witnesses their views on where changes can be made to mitigate the increasing costs of military health care.  Among those testifying was leadership from all military branches, senior Defense Department civilians, and several military and veterans' service organizations.  Much of the discussion centered on proposed Tricare fee increases.  The VFW strongly opposes any Tricare fee increase, and believes DOD needs to first reduce Tricare Management Activity infrastructure costs before shifting the burden to beneficiaries.  We have asked Congress to support legislation to prevent such increases.  You, too, can help say no to Tricare fee increases by sending a message to your legislator at  For complete coverage of the hearing, visit the committee's website at
3. VBA Budget Hearing: The House VA Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held its hearing on the FY 2012 budget for Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration.  The most critical issue discussed was the disability claims backlog crisis.  With over a million claims still waiting a final rating decision, witnesses asked Congress to provide adequate funding levels so VA can invest in solutions.  Subcommittee Chairman Jon Runyan (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Jerry McNerney (D-CA) both agreed that while some progress is being made, more needs to be done.  The President’s budget request for FY 2012 includes a 6% increase over last year’s funding.  For more information, go to House VA Committee website at
4. Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans: The U.S. Senate declared March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” agreeing unanimously to a resolution introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  On March 30, 1973, U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.  The Senate is encouraging everyone this March 30 to recognize Vietnam veterans for their service and sacrifice.  For the senator’s remarks, go to
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