The Minnesota House and Senate passed a supplemental budget bill that included a provision exempting military retirement pay from state income tax. This provision was supported and championed by Representative Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake), Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Hawaii recently became the eighth state to find photos of all their Vietnam fallen. The addition of Army Sgt. 1st Class Felicisimo Hugo of Wahiawa now means all 277 fallen service members from Hawaii have a photo on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Foundation's Virtual Wall of Faces. The other states who have submitted photos for all their Vietnam fallen are Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
This is the second part of the Agent Orange and presumptions of service connection: Inland waterways and "Blue Water" Navy veterans the first part was published last week. The second part has frequently asked questions about Agent Orange and presumptions of service Connection: inland waterways and "Blue Water" Navy veterans. Who are Blue Water Navy veterans? Blue Water Navy veterans are those sailors and other veterans who served aboard ships that did not enter Vietnam's inland waterways.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) remains committed to ensuring that Vietnam-era veterans receive benefits they have earned through their service. This commitment includes determining presumptive service connection related to Agent Orange and other herbicide exposure.
Gulf War Illness is the "signature" health problem of 1991 Gulf War veterans, affecting an estimated 24-33 percent of the nearly 700,000 who served, according to a new report of the Institute of Medicine, but researchers say its recommendations, "turn science on its head." "The previous IOM report correctly concluded that the illness is not psychiatric and likely results from the interplay of genetic and environmental factors," said James Binns, former chairman of the federal Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses. "This report turns that science on its head."
Service members, retirees and veterans are eligible for a 15 percent discount on monthly wireless service, Verizon announced Jan. 28. The company has identified more than 100,000 accounts that are eligible for the discount, according to a press release, and the discount is being automatically applied to those accounts. Those eligible can also receive a 25 percent discount on certain accessories such as select chargers, cases and extended batteries and 12 percent off certain calling features, such as International Travel to Mexico and Canada, HUM by Verizon and Tech Coach.
Congress passed legislation for a new veterans ID card last summer, but it will likely be another year before any are issued. The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun drafting regulations for production and issuing of the ID cards, designed to give veterans easy proof of their military service for non-federal activities. Legislation authorizing the cards, sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) passed through Congress without objection last July.
When the American Civil War began in April 1861, there were only 16,000 men in the U.S. Army, and of these many Southern officers resigned and joined the Confederate States Army. The U.S. Army consisted of 10 regiments of infantry, four of artillery, two of cavalry, two of dragoons, and three of mounted infantry. The regiments were scattered widely. Of the 197 companies in the army, 179 occupied 79 isolated posts in the West, and the remaining 18 manned garrisons east of the Mississippi River, mostly along the Canada—United States border and on the Atlantic coast.
During ceremonies at Antietam National Battlefield, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor joined the Civil War Trust to announce the preservation of 44 historic acres at the battlefield's epicenter. "This land is exceptionally important to the story of Antietam," said Connor. "It is rare to preserve a property of such historic significance, and I applaud the hard work of organizations like the Civil War Trust who help make sure we can continue sharing our country's history with future generations."
Under federal law, until veterans pay back their involuntary separation pay, they can have their VA disability compensation withheld. After 31-year-old Marine veteran Tim Foster received a 50% disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs in January, he was shocked to discover the compensation benefits would be withheld until May 2016. The reason, Foster explained to Task & Purpose, is that he received $30,000 in involuntary separation pay from the Marine Corps when he was forced out in August 2014, due to personnel cuts.