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.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 00:00
If the Farmingdale Rams are going to get over the top and capture the Skyline Conference for men’s soccer in 2014, it will take some more aggressive play. That’s according to team captain and defensive player Vincent Danetti.
“We don’t have a lot of big guys on our team,” Danetti said. “We need to play aggressive.”
Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:00
Bring your four-legged friends—in costume if they’d like—to roam Old Westbury Gardens during ‘Dog Days.’ Twice a year canines are welcome to accompany their (leashed) humans around the grounds of the mansion, and this is Fido’s last shot until spring. On Sunday, enjoy exhibits from rescue groups and animal welfare organizations from 1 to 4 p.m. A dog costume contest and parade takes place at 3 p.m. All activities included with admission: $8, $5 for seniors and $3 for children ages 7 to 17. At 71 Old Westbury Rd., Westbury, Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tel: 516-333-0048.
Friday, 17 October 2014 09:04
The Farmingdale State College Women’s Volleyball team earned a three-set victory of York in a non-conference match on Oct. 8.
Tied 4-4 in the opening set, Farmingdale State freshman defensive specialist Gina Giacalone served for 14 consecutive points to extend the advantage 18-4. The Rams cruised to a 25-8 victory in the first set.
Thursday, 09 October 2014 00:00
Farmingdale team wins annual Bethpage Ocean to Sound Race
On Sunday, Sept. 28, the Farmingdale-based Runner’s Edge team earned first place overall in the 29th annual Bethpage Ocean to Sound Relay. The team, representing the Runner’s Edge running and multisport specialty store located at 242 Main St. in Farmingdale, consisted of Boyd Carrington, Andrew Coelho, Nick Pampena, Tim Lee, Shawn Anderson, Ryan Healy, Kevin Galante, and Brandon Abasolo. It completed the 50-mile course from Jones Beach State Park to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay in 4 hours, 41 minutes, 58 seconds. The runners won by a margin of more than 10 minutes over the runner-up team from the Sayville & Smithtown Running Company, with much of the difference supplied by the strong Leg 2 performance by Andrew Coelho. Runner’s Edge Teams also took second place honors in the Mixed Open and Men’s Masters Divisions of the Relay. The Relay was sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union (“Built to Give You More”), with new Race Directors Glen Wolther and Keith Montgomery managing the event for the host Greater Long Island Running Club.