April 26, 2019
In This Issue:
1. Joint Hearing on Student Veteran Protections
2. AMA Video from Board of Veterans' Appeals
3. New JCS Vice Chairman Nominated
4. VA Provides Adoption, IVF
5. MIA Update
1. Joint Hearing on Student Veteran Protections: This week, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment and the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a joint field hearing at Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif., to address student veteran protections and their success on college campuses. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Takano and Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Chairman Levin both spoke about the importance of protecting the earned benefits veterans use to attain their education goals. The return on investment of student veterans can be incredibly valuable. The VFW thanks Chairmen Takano and Levin for making this issue a priority. Watch the hearing.
2. AMA Video from Board of Veterans' Appeals: In February, the VFW-championed Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) was fully implemented to provide veterans who disagree with their VA rating decision expedited options when appealing their claim to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. This week the Board of Veterans’ Appeals released a video summarizing the AMA options. Watch the video.
3. New JCS Vice Chairman Nominated: The president has nominated Air Force Gen. John Hyten as the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, who is retiring after serving out his second two-year term. Hyten was commissioned in 1981 after graduating from Harvard University. He currently serves as commander of U.S. Strategic Command, and previously headed Air Force Space Command. If approved by the Senate, he will join current Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley at the top of the Joint Chiefs. Milley was previously nominated as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Read Hyten’s bio here.
4. VA Provides Adoption, IVF: Veterans who lost their ability to reproduce due to a service-connected disability may be eligible for their adoption-related expenses to be reimbursed through VA or to receive coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF). VA also provides infertility evaluation, management, and treatment services to veterans enrolled in VA health care –– regardless of service connection. Veterans interested in infertility services should contact their VA provider or their local VA Women Veteran Program manager. Learn more about VA adoption reimbursement. Learn more about IVF.
5. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced the identifications of five American servicemen who had been missing and unaccounted-for since World War II. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Navy Fireman 3rd Class Harold K. Costill was assigned to the battleship USS West Virginia, which sustained multiple torpedo hits as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941. The attack resulted in the deaths of 106 crewmen, including Costill. Interment services are pending. Read more about Costill here.
-- Navy Seaman 2nd Class Ray H. Myers was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo hits as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Myers. Interment services are pending. Read more about Myers here.
-- Army Pfc. Dale W. Ross was a member of Company E, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, who was reported missing in action on Jan. 14, 1943, following a patrol on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. A search was conducted but his remains were not found. Interment services are pending. Read more about Ross here.
-- Army Pfc. Dewey W. Harris was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, who was reported missing in action on Nov. 14, 1944, after fierce combat in the Hürtgen Forest, near the German village. Due to ongoing combat operations and extensive land mines throughout the forest, American forces were unable to search for him. Interment services are pending. Read more about Harris here.
-- Army Pfc. John W. Hayes was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 335th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division, who was killed in action on Jan. 4, 1945, when a German tank round struck his foxhole near Mâgôster, Belgium. Following the war, American graves registration teams had no record of Hayes’ remains being recovered or buried. Interment services are pending. Read more about Hayes here.
Do you know someone who wants to help us fight for veterans? Sign up new veterans' advocates today.
As always, we want to hear your advocacy stories. Email the VFW to share your stories or photos with us.
Missed a previous issue? Visit the Action Corps Weekly archive.