Action Corps Weekly

October 21, 2016

In This Issue:

1. New COLA Stays Stagnant 

2. VFW-SVA 2017 Legislative Fellowship Program

3. MIA Families Sought

4. MIA Update 

1. New COLA Stays Stagnant: Military retirees, veterans receiving VA compensation, and some 70 million Americans on Social Security will see a 0.3 percent cost-of-living increase at the end of the year. Veterans’ benefits are not automatically tied to the Social Security increase, but Congress in July passed legislation to link them in 2017. The slight increase matches the 2016 raise, and marks the third consecutive year COLA has been less than a half percentage point.

2. 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

3. MIA Families Sought: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is seeking families of missing American service members to attend informational update meetings and to collect DNA samples if one is not already on file. Learn more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/Families/Family-Events/

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

  -- Army Cpl. Milton T. Bullis, 19, of Detroit, will be buried Oct. 21 in Holly, Mich. Bullis was a member of Medical Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting a delaying action south from the Ch’ongch’on River to Kunu-ri, North Korea. He was declared missing in action on Dec. 1, 1950, but it would be later learned he died in captivity in early 1951. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/973514/soldier-missing-from-korean-war-accounted-for-bullis/.

  -- Navy Fireman 3rd Class John H. Lindsley, 22, born in the Philippines and raised in Waukegan, Ill., will be buried Oct. 25, in Arlington National Cemetery. On Dec. 7, 1941, Lindsley was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo hits as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/977243/uss-oklahoma-sailor-from-world-war-ii-accounted-for-lindsley/.

  -- Army Cpl. Melvin R. Hill was one of 2,500 U.S. and 700 Republic of Korea soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team on the east side of the Chosin River, when they were attacked and forced into a fighting withdrawal in late November 1950. By Dec. 6, 1950, approximately 1,500 wounded soldiers were evacuated, and the remaining had been either captured or killed. Hill was reported missing in action as a result of the battles. Interment services are pending. Read more at http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/973957/soldier-killed-in-korean-war-accounted-for-hill/.

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.