Magazine article VFW Magazine

Stay Active on Two Fronts

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Stay Active on Two Fronts

Article excerpt

VFW's annual trek to the nations capital is designed to influence legislative as well as local community issues of concern to veterans.

When I presented VFW's priority legislative goals at the joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs committees in early March, I was struck by the job we have ahead. But also apparent was the need to work simultaneously both locally and nationally.

Moreover, it is clear that to be successful we must address underlying cultural issues at the state and city levels. While what the organization does in the halls of Congress receives the lion's share of attention, what you do or don't do at home is equally important.

But let's deal with the big-ticket items first. Here is a brief rundown on where we stand on key national issues:

* VA Budget: Make funding mandatory, with an increase of $3.1 billion.

* Prescription Drugs: Reform VAs program to allow filling of prescriptions written by private physicians.

* Facility Maintenance: Repair the VA infrastructure for safety and efficiency.

* Claims: Reduce the backlog in compensation and pension claims.

* Information Sharing: Standardize and streamline flow between VA and DoD.

* Active-Duty Personnel: Increase educational benefits, raise pay and reduce stress of extended deployments.

* National Guard/Reserve: Enhance on-duty conditions and retirement benefits.

* Employment: Strengthen protection for those returning to jobs and upgrade services for job seekers.

* POWs/MIAs: Achieve as full an accounting as possible from all wars. …

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