News and Updates

Veterans Mental Health Awareness Month – VA’s “1 Step Today”

May 3, 2021 – For mental health awareness month, the VA has launched, “1 Step Today” to inspire Veterans suffering from mental health conditions and “start on a path toward recovery, well-being and a healthier tomorrow, by taking one step at a time.”  Veterans Health Administration’s Acting Under Secretary for Health, Richard Stone, MD, stated, “These and other activities can boost a Veterans mood, enhance their self-esteem and help them to overcome their challenges, either on their own or with support from the VA.” Reference: VA’s 1 Step Today campaign promotes Veteran mental wellness, US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, News Releases, May 3, 2021, https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5661

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Accessing Your Veterans Disability Benefits – Update

April 29, 2021 – Veterans and their families must now go to VA.gov to access their benefits starting on April 30th.  The purpose of going through this site is so Veterans and their families only have to go through one website instead of using multiple website locations to review their status or benefits information.  The Veterans Administration is asking Veterans to begin logging on to the VA.gov site using their current Digital Service (DS) logon or create a new account.  Veterans can create a new account using ID.me.  Ebenefits will continue to function until March 31, 2022, until Veterans have had the opportunity to complete claims started on the new platform.  The VA states, VA.gov, will become the single source solution to access VA benefits and service information online. Reference: VA.gov site becomes central login for assessing benefits, US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, News Releases, April 29, 2021, https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5660

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Army Reserve Birthday

April 23, 2021 – Each year, on April 23rd, we celebrate the Army Reserve Birthday.  The Army Reserves will be celebrating their 113th birthday in 2021.  The Army Reserves celebrates each year on April 23rd, and they celebrate their contributions to World War I, World War II, the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and more missions worldwide. Happy Birthday, Army Reserves!!  Reference: Army Reserve Birthday, https://militarybenefits.info/army-reserve-birthday/

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News and Updates

Purple Up! Day

April 15, 2021 – Did you know the month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child?  This month is dedicated to military children and the important role they play in the armed forces community. April 15th is Purple Up! Day!  This is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and challenges they overcome. Military children have loved ones who may be serving overseas, are deployed to war, and/or are away from home serving our Nation for long periods of time.  This day we support and thank the military youth for their strength and sacrifice while their loved ones are away serving our Nation.  To support our military children, wearing purple is a visible way to show your support and thank our military youth. Reference: Month of the Military Child 2021, https://www.militarychild.org/MOMC_Toolkit

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Compensation and Pension Examinations Resumed Nationwide

April 2, 2021 – The VBA has announced they have resumed C&P examinations nationwide.  The VA states they are using multiple approaches to reduce the backlog and their primary concern, at this time, is the health and safety of Veterans and the examination providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  If you had an in-person C&P examination scheduled during the pandemic, but you were unable to attend, you can now ask the VA to reschedule your C&P examination.  You must contact the original contract vendor identified on your letter notifying you of your prior C&P examination. Reference: “VBA has safely resumed in-person exams nationwide.”, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, VAntage Point Official Blog of the U.S. Dept of Veteran Affairs, VA News Release, April 2, 2021, https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/86896/vba-safely-resumed-in-person-exams-nationwide/

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National Vietnam War Veterans Day

March 29, 2021 – National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed every year on March 29 to honor Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.  9 million Americans served during the Vietnam War Era from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975.  Over 58,000 veterans are memorialized on a black granite wall in our Nation’s capital.  Over 1200 Americans were missing in action (MIA) while serving in Vietnam, and around 2500 were prisoners of war (POW).  Every year, on March 29, many organizations host ceremonies and events to commemorate the anniversary of the Vietnam War.  Today we honor these Veterans and their families.  Thank you for your service! Reference: National Vietnam War Veterans Day 2021, https://militarybenefits.info/national-vietnam-war-veterans-day/

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The Wall of Faces

March 17, 2021 – The Wall of Faces was created to preserve the legacy of those who sacrificed all while serving in Vietnam.  Their goal is to find photos to go with over 58,000 names on the wall.  Family members can share memories or post pictures. Information on how you can submit images or memories can be found here.  Vietnam Veterans Day is on March 29th. Reference: “Virtual Wall of Faces almost complete, needs remaining photos”, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, VAntage Point Official Blog of the U.S. Dept of Veteran Affairs, VA News Release, March 17, 2021, https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/86048/virtual-wall-faces-almost-complete-needs-remaining-photos/

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The American Rescue Plan And Its Impact on Veterans

March 16, 2021 – Veterans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may get some relief.  President Biden’s plan called the American Rescue Plan has now been passed.  A portion of this plan is focused on the Veterans Administration to improve the lives of veterans nationwide.  $17 billion was given to the Veterans Administration to aid in health care, housing support for homeless veterans, debt forgiveness related to copayments, construction grants, the backlog of compensation and pension claims, and much more.  According to the VA, compensation, and pension claims have grown from 76,000 in March of 2020 to more than 212,000 in March of 2021. Reference: “How the American Rescue Plan aids VA in helping Veterans”, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, VAntage Point Official Blog of the U.S. Dept of Veteran Affairs, VA News Release, March 16, 2021, https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/86147/american-rescue-plan-aids-va-helping-veterans/

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National K9 Veterans Day

March 13, 2021 – March 13th is a day recognizing the dedicated K9 units who served.  The military has developed a variety of training methods for K9 units.  March 13th is also the official birthday of the US Army K9 Corps, which was formed in 1942. Military working dogs are trained to protect humans in dangerous situations and have been part of many campaigns.  Since WW1, it is estimated that approximately one million K9’s were killed in action during war.  Our military K9s are trained to track down suspects, save law enforcement or military personnel, find wounded soldiers, locate weapon caches, deliver messages during combat, tactical training for combat situations, and even sniff out improvised explosive devices. Today we honor our military K9s.  We also honor their trainers.  Without their rigorous training and efforts, many more lives would be lost. We thank you for your service! Reference: K9 Veterans Day, militarybenefits.info, https://militarybenefits.info/k9-veterans-day/

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