Written by Commander Bob Fullam Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
To show you the strength and power of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, members were asked to contact their representatives and encourage them to vote yes on the VA Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. More than 16,000 messages to congressional offices demanded quick action on the bill. Our voice was heard and made a difference and reminded Congress that they must put veterans, service members and their families before budget wrangling or partisan politics.
We also want to remind you to see how your members voted. For those who voted “nay” make sure we will hold them accountable when we attend Town Hall meetings and go to the ballot box in
Before leaving town for the August recess, the House passed the bill (420-5) and the Senate followed the next day (91-3). The bill, H.R. 3230, provides $17 billion to allow veterans to seek care outside of VA if they face a long wait for an appointment or a long drive to the nearest VA facility. It also allows VA to expand its medical professional staff and building space to deliver more timely care.
In addition, VFW supported language that would grant in-state tuition to veterans attending public institutions, extend the Post-911 GI Bill to dependents of service members killed in action and improvement in MST care included. All New York's Congressional representatives—King, Israel, Schumer and Gillibrand—voted “yes.”
This bill keeps our commitment to men and woman who put their lives on the line to defend our country. It makes certain that we address the immediate crisis of veterans in need of health care. It strengthens the VA so that it will be able to hire doctors, nurses and medical personnel. It also addresses the very serious problem of accountability and makes certain that dishonest and incompetent senior officials do not remain employed at the VA.
The bill was sent to the President for his signature. The President signed the bill into law as of this writing.
Post 9/11 GI Bill Anniversary. Earlier this year we celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the original GI Bill. This week, we commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the post-9/11 GI Bill. According to the VA and DOD, more than $42 billion in benefits have helped over 1.2 million veterans, service members and their families pursue their education goals.
The Post 9/11 bill provides a generous benefit to student veterans, covering the full cost of in-state tuition at all public colleges and universities or up to $19,198 at private schools. It also provides a housing stipend and up to $1,000 per year for books and supplies. The VFW was instrumental in getting the Post 9/11 GI Bill passed, strongly believing that education is critical to insuring that service members are able to successfully transition from military to civilian life
Robert McDonald has been confirmed as the new VA Secretary and has directed that all VHA and VBA facilities hold Town Hall meetings by the end of September.
The VFW is asking all leaders, members and advocates to attend these meetings and speak up. Check in this paper for more information on the meetings as they are confirmed by the VA.
Sunday, 28 September 2014 00:00
More than 2,000 Long Islanders enjoyed the festivities at Captree State Park as Assemblyman Joseph Saladino hosted the ninth annual Marine and Outdoor Recreation Expo on Sept. 15.
Attendees learned about sustainable sources of energy as well as ways to protect the planet, especially the island’s marine environment. There were demonstrations in camping, boating, water safety, renewable energy, wildlife and environmental education, fly fishing, arts and crafts, face painting, clowns, touch tanks, ballon animals and plenty of rock and roll.
Saturday, 27 September 2014 00:00
The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Farmingdale.
With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 13:43
The rivalry between the Farmingdale Dalers and the Massapequa Chiefs is a big one. So big that the school districts and the Nassau County Police Department had to take extra precautions to maintain security. Not everyone who wanted to see this game at Masspequa High School were allowed access to the game. In the past, there was some unruly behavior. So, if you were from Farmingdale you parked on the right side of the school and from Massapequa you were on the left. The stands on both side were full and hundreds standing along the fence to watch this game.
The Chiefs would score first in the first quarter with a 9-yard run by Paul Dilena for a touchdown. The Dalers had some problems moving the ball down field until Daler Danny Mckeon intercepted a pass and ran it back into the Chiefs side of the field. This would set up a 6-yard run for a touchdown for Michael Outing who had 19 carries for 84 yards. With the score tied 7-7, Zach Kolodny kicked a 22-yard field goal to put the Dalers up 10-7 shortly before halftime and the heavy rain that followed.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 13:45
It’s almost time to hit the ice again.
The Town of Oyster Bay Youth Ice Hockey Program will hold its registration on Monday, Oct. 6 and Wednesday, Oct. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. on both nights. Registration takes place at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center in Bethpage.
“The Youth Ice Hockey Program provides youngsters, ages three to 13, with the opportunity to hone their skating and hockey skills under the guidance of ice hockey coaches,” Councilman Joe Pinto stated. “The highly regarded program has earned it recognition by the NHL, which has partnered with the Town to promote hockey programming and youth enrichment through its ‘Hockey is For Everyone’ initiative.”