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Veterans' News From The Farmingdale VFW
Farmingdale Observer - 3/1/2017
Senate Confirms Shulkin: By a vote of 100-0, the Senate Monday confirmed Dr. David Shulkin as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "Veterans are very fortunate to have Dr. Shulkin voluntarily stay in what has evolved into the most scrutinized and criticized position in the country-and it should be," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. "What he brings to the job is a love for veterans, for doing what's right and for knowing what needs to be done to fix what's broken, to hold employees accountable and to restore the faith of veterans in their VA. The VFW looks forward to working with him and his staff."
Hearing on VA Disability Claims Process: The House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a hearing to discuss how new processes and IT systems, specifically the National Query System, are impacting VA's ability to process timely decisions for disability claims. VA reported the system is helping to Marine Corp Exchange and the Coast Guard Exchange. The VFW has backed this proposal since it was first proposed in 2014, because it is a huge win for honorably discharged veterans and the MWR programs the exchange services support. According to an article published last week in Military Times, the new online shopping privilege will exclude from sale all uniforms, alcohol and tobacco products. The exchange will use existing Defense Department data to determine eligibility. Veterans whose records are incomplete or do not appear in the VA's database will need to register through VA, according to a letter provided to congressional oversight committees.
DOD Military Family Readiness Council: The latest meeting of the Council, which was established to assess and make recommendations to the secretary of defense on the policy, plans and programs impacting military family readiness, focused on: aspects of the Exceptional Family Member Program, including transitioning service members and their families; top ten initiatives of the Defense Liaison Office; and pediatric-focused activities of the Military Health System. Topics to be further discussed are community partnerships, education benefits transfer and Military OneSource.
GI Bill Panel at NASAA Conference: The VFW, alongside the American Legion, Student Veterans of America and the Department of Veterans Affairs, partook in a panel discussion with the National Association of State Approving Agencies (NASAA) to talk about veterans using their GI Bill benefits and the role of state approving agencies. The most frequent topic of discussion focused on SAA's being on the forefront of approving schools for accreditation, and the standards necessary for accreditation for institutions of higher learning to be eligible for GI BILL funding, as well as how to assure student veterans are informed consumers about institutions they choose to attend.