Action Corps Weekly

October 14, 2016

In This Issue:

1. VFW-SVA 2017 Legislative Fellowship Program

2. Women Veterans Campaign

3. Quarterly PTSD Research Report Released

4. Delay in DOD’s New Electronic Health Care Record

5. Veterans Online Self-Help Resources

6. MIA Update

1. VFW-SVA 2017 Legislative Fellowship Program: The application deadline for the 2017 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship has been extended to October 28, 2016. First held in 2015, the program mentors 10 student veterans as they research policy areas affecting veterans and the military. Once their research is completed, the fellows will advocate for legislative and regulatory fixes related to their selected issues. Part of that advocacy includes attending the VFW’s National Legislative Conference in March where fellows will join more than 500 VFW members in promoting the VFW’s legislative agenda by meeting with members of Congress. Last year, fellows also briefed staffers from the White House and both the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees. The program, with all travel expenses covered, is for VFW members who attend a college or university with a Student Veterans of America chapter. For more information, including the topics for research and the application link, click here: http://www.vfw.org/community/student-veterans-of-america/student-fellowship

2. Women Veterans Campaign: The Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with Lean In Women Veterans to launch the campaign “I Serve” in efforts to highlight women veterans who have answered the call to duty. The campaign aspires to promote the diversity of women veterans and celebrate the many accomplishments they have had in our military. To participate, female veterans are asked to record a 15-second video on their phones reading a specific script–– “I am (name), and this is what a veteran looks like…” (Pause) “I serve/served!”  To learn more about the campaign, visit: https://likeawomanblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/womens-i-servedserve-campaign/.

 3. Quarterly PTSD Research Report Released: The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder released their quarterly report on Tuesday. The publication focused on accelerated aging associated with PTSD that has been researched by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University School of Medicine. This is believed to be mostly due to factors of stress and external environmental factors increased by PTSD that lead to poor physical health. Researchers also believe that mental health directly impacts the physiology of individuals just as much as their external environment. To read the full report, visit: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/newsletters/research-quarterly/V27N3.pdf.

4. Delay in DOD’s New Electronic Health Care Record: This week, the Department of Defense announced it would modify its initial rollout of its new electronic health care record, Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS. Instead of piloting MHS GENESIS in four military installations before the end of the calendar year, DOD will begin the new health care record at Fairchild Air Force Base this calendar year and expand to other inpatient facilities in the Pacific Northwest by June 2017. DOD is still on track for full implementation by 2022. To learn more about MHS GENESIS, visit: http://www.health.mil/News/Articles/2016/10/13/MHS-GENESIS-to-launch-in-February-2017.

5. Veterans Online Self-Help Resources: The Department of Veterans Affairs has created free, online and confidential training for service members and veterans to learn skills and tools to manage stress and to overcome life’s challenges such as parenting, financial difficulties and adjustment issues. To learn more, visit: http://www.veterantraining.va.gov/.

6. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of three Americans who had been missing in action since World War II. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:

  -- Navy Seaman 2nd Class James N. Phipps, 24, of Rainier, Ore., will be buried Oct. 17 in Portland, Ore. On Dec. 7, 1941, Phipps was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo hits as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack on the battleship resulted in 429 casualties. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/969384/uss-oklahoma-sailor-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-phipps/.

  -- Pfc. James S. Smith, 19, will be buried Oct. 17 in his hometown of Liberty, Miss. In November 1943, Smith was assigned to Company C, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Smith died sometime on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/969389/marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-smith-james/.

  -- Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Donald L. Beals, 22, of Brookings, S.D., will be buried Oct. 17 in Arlington National Cemetery. On April 17, 1945, Beals was piloting a P-47D Thunderbolt on an armed reconnaissance mission when he was shot down by antiaircraft fire near Dresden, Germany. He was assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/969380/airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-beals/.

To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: 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.