Veterans and Military Families for Progress http://www.vmfp.org VMFP Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:26:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Letter to President Trump http://www.vmfp.org/2017/03/1875/ Tue, 07 Mar 2017 02:13:24 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1875 February, 2017

President Donald J. Trump

Mr. Trump, at a February 2, 2017 National Prayer Breakfast you rightfully eulogized the ultimate sacrifice made by Navy Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, who was killed in Yemen during a raid against ISIS. Veterans and Military Families for Progress (VMFP) completely agrees with comments that:

“He died in defense of our nation”, “He gave his life in defense of our people. Our debt to him and our debt to his family is eternal and everlasting”, “We will never forget the men and women who wear the uniform”, “our security has been earned with their sweat and blood and tears”

Members of VMFP and veterans and their families were heartened when you said in accepting the Republican Nomination  “We will take care of our great Veterans like they have never been taken care of before”.

Thus, your Federal freeze on hiring and wages precipitated a great deal of consternation and disillusionment among our members because 31% of federal workers are veterans. Mr. Trump, in issuing your freeze you correctly excluded active military personnel, however at present there are about 2,000 positions unfilled at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the needs of veterans and their families are not being met. As an increasing number of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans start to use and strain the VAHC expanding the number of medical and support personnel will be a necessity in order to properly serve veterans.

Therefore, VMFP asks that you keep your pledge and “take care of Veterans like they have never been taken care of before” by immediately lifting the hiring freeze at the VA and expanding the opportunities for veterans beyond entry level positions.

Veterans and Military Families for Progress is a 501(c)(4) organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. and recognized as a Veterans Service Organization by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  It is made up of members from across the country, and from across the breadth of rank and military services, who served, are serving, or are members of families of those who have heeded the call to serve their country in the U.S. military.

Thank You,

Jack Kreuger
President, Veterans and Military Families for Progress

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Website hacked! http://www.vmfp.org/2016/10/website-hacked/ Fri, 07 Oct 2016 02:27:46 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1855 We were recently hacked.  We are back in business and will be working to beef up our security and to ensure that our recovered site hasn’t missed anything we should have up here.  Please be patient and contact us through webmaster@vmfp.org if you find anything amiss.

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National Membership Meeting http://www.vmfp.org/2015/11/national-membership-meeting/ Tue, 17 Nov 2015 09:33:13 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1819
National Membership Meeting Saturday November 21, noon EST.  Please renew your membership, or join the group by clicking on this link.  Contact Shawn Van Doren (treasurer@vmfp.org) for instructions to join the call.
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VMFP endorsed bills October, 2015 http://www.vmfp.org/2015/11/vmfp-endorsed-bills-october-2015/ Tue, 03 Nov 2015 05:48:11 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1777 The following House and Senate bills were endorsed by Veterans and Military Families for Progress in October, 2015

H.R. 1313: Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Relief Act
Sponsor: Rep. Jerry McNerney [D-CA9]
H.R. 1338: Dignified Interment of Our Veterans Act of 2015
   (Rep. Shuster – PA 9th – R) Priority
H.R. 1560: Protecting Cyber Networks Act
Sponsor: Rep. Devin Nunes [R-CA22]
H.R. 1607: Ruth Moore Act of 2015
   Sponsor: Rep. Chellie Pingree [D-ME1] previously endorsed Changed to Priority
H.R. 216: Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Planning Reform Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Corrine Brown [D-FL5]
H.R. 2256: Veterans Information Modernization Act
Sponsor: Rep. Dan Benishek [R-MI1]
H.R. 251: Homes for Heroes Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Al Green [D-TX9]
H.R. 2691: Veterans’ Survivors Claims Processing Automation Act of 2015
   (Rep. Ruiz – CA 36th – D).Priority
H.R. 294: Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Miller [R-FL1]
H.R. 303: Retired Pay Restoration Act (Rep. Bilirakis – FL 12th – R)
H.R. 3510: Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Strategy Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Cedric Richmond [D-LA2]
H.R. 3849: To amend title 10, United States Code, to ensure access to qualified acupuncturist services for military members and military dependents, to amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure access to acupuncturist services through the Department.
Sponsor: Rep. Judy Chu [D-CA27]
• S.1203: 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act – Reported by Committee on Jul 22, 2015
waiting consideration from the House and floor vote by Senate.
Sponsor: Sen. Dean Heller
• S.1493: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2015 –
   Passed Senate on Oct 22, 2015. Is waiting House consideration.
   Sponsor: Sen. Isakson Priority
• S. 2210: Veteran Partners’ Efforts to Enhance Reintegration Act.
Assigned to Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. No action taken.
Sponsor: Sen. Richard Blumenthal

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Online Self-Help Resource Center, V.A. http://www.vmfp.org/2015/11/online-self-help-resource-center-v-a/ Sun, 01 Nov 2015 14:50:36 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1769 Interactive Online Resources for Veterans Looking for Tips on Parenting, Stress Management and More!

 Are you a Servicemember or Veteran who sometimes finds yourself angry, stressed out or in need of parenting advice? The Online Self-Help Resource Center was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs specifically for Servicemembers and Veterans to help you handle stress, make better decisions, deal with parenting issues unique to the military lifestyle and manage anger effectively.  

Available completely online with no sign-up or registration required, the Online Self-Help Resource Center does not collect personal information. It can be used by anyone, anywhere and there is no cost. You can work through the modules at the time, pace and place of your choosing.

Developed with extensive input from male and female Veterans of all eras, the Online Self-Help Resource Center provides tools to manage the challenges of being a military parent, the transition to life after the military as well as everyday stressful problems and situations. You learn life skills through an interactive online environment featuring videos, exercises and stories from real Veterans.

The Online Self-Help Resource Center consists of three different self-help services:

Parenting for Servicemembers and Veterans: Designed to help manage everyday parenting challenges as well as those specific to military and Veteran families. It provides practical information on ways to communicate with children, how to discuss deployments and methods to positively discipline children. It even explains how to interpret specific emotions and behaviors that children may show at a variety of ages ranging from age 0 to 18.

Moving Forward: Overcoming Life’s Challenges: Provides tools and skills to effectively solve problems, overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. It is especially helpful if you are facing life changes and stressful situations such as transitioning out of the military, moving, financial difficulties or relationship problems. It offers practical tools like developing an action plan to follow when you are feeling overwhelmed to help you reduce stress and negative emotions, increase optimism and find creative solutions.

Anger and Irritability Management Skills (AIMS): Teaches you ways to help manage your temper and respond more positively and effectively to difficult people and events. The online therapy can help you reduce or prevent angry reactions, teach you to identify your personal anger triggers and warning signs and help to plan and prepare for instances when you do become angry or stressed. By the end of the course, you will have developed a personalized anger management plan that applies what you have learned to real-life situations.

For more information and to take the courses, visit www.VeteranTraining.va.gov.

Courses were developed by Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Web Services in collaboration with Department of Defense National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

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VMFP endorses seven additional House Bills and one Bill from the Senate http://www.vmfp.org/2015/06/vmfp-endorses-seven-additional-house-bills-and-one-bill-from-the-senate/ Mon, 01 Jun 2015 23:44:06 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1752
  • HR 675  Veterans Compensation Cost of Living Adjustment Act of 2015
    Sent to Congress for Consideration May 21, 2015
  • HR 677  American Heroes COLA Act of 2015
    Referred to Committee
  • HR 732  Veterans Access to Speedy Review Act of 2015
    Assigned to Congressional Committee
  • HR 1414   Pay as You Rate Act
    Assigned to Congressional Committee
  • HR 1569 To Amend Title 38 of US Code to Clarify that the Estate of Deceased Veterans May Receive  Certain Accrued  Benefits (PRIORITY)
    Assigned to Congressional Committee
  • HR 1607  Ruth Moore Act of 2015
    Assigned to Congressional Committee
  • HR 2214 To improve The Authority of Secretary of VA to Enter into Contracts with Private Physicians to Conduct Medical Disability Exams
    Assigned to Congressional Committee
  • S 841 Prioritizing Veterans Access to Mental Health Care Act
    Assigned to Congressional Committee
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    VMFP announces endorsement of HR 1603 and HR 501 http://www.vmfp.org/2015/05/vmfp-endorses-hr-1603-the-military-sexual-assault-victims-empowerment-act-hr-501-victims-and-service-members-employment-rights-and-housing-act-of-2015/ Sun, 31 May 2015 20:26:53 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1742 In April 2015, Veterans and Military Families Board of Directors voted to endorse two bills:

    HR 1603 Military Sexual Assault Victims Empowerment Act or the Military SAVE Act

    This bill amends the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to make a a veteran who was the victim of a sexual trauma which occurred while the veteran was serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training eligible for treatment in a non-Department of Veterans Affairs entity.

    Introduced in March 2015, the bill has now been referred to Subcommittee on Health.

    H.R.501Veterans and Servicemembers Employment Rights and Housing Act of 2015

    Prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on an individual’s military service and amends the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 to prohibit housing discrimination against members of the uniformed services.

    Introduced in January 2015.  On April 29, 2015 the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections

    Click the links above for more details on these bills and stay tuned for updates.

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    Follow through on commitment to prevent Veteran Suicides http://www.vmfp.org/2015/02/follow-through-on-commitment-to-prevent-veteran-suicides/ Sun, 22 Feb 2015 23:15:30 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1716 Joshua Omvig served an 11-month tour in Iraq. The 22-year-old returned home to Grundy Center, Iowa with no visible injuries, yet he died on Dec. 22, 2005, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His parents, Ellen and Randy Omvig, dedicated a significant part of their lives to get national action so that their experience would not happen in other American military families.
    A law named after their son, The Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, became law on November 5, 2007 (Public Law 110-110). However, the bill was never fully implemented. At the time Public Law 110-110 was signed, there were 18 veteran suicides daily.
    Yesterday (Feb. 12, 2015) in Washington, DC, President Obama signed into law another bill, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. An unfunded law, it intends to do what the Omvig Act had been intended to do. In the interim between the passage of the two laws, the average daily number of suicides climbed to 22 veterans plus one active-duty service member.
    The new Clay Hunt law, named for a Marine combat-veteran sniper who committed suicide in 2011, directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to require annual mental-health evaluations and suicide prevention programs. It also requires a loan repayment program for psychiatrists who agree to serve in the Veterans Health Administration.
    Hunt, a Marine from Texas who served in Anbar Province in 2007 and 2008, was treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at various Veterans Administration hospitals, but he was frustrated by delays, the lack of effective treatment, and difficulty with his disability compensation. Even so, before ending his life, he worked with other fellow veterans who were having difficulty fitting back into civilian life because of PTSD issues.
    At issue now is monitoring of the Omvig-Hunt laws. Who will inform America of actual efforts to reduce or to eliminate suicide in military families? Who will report on the lack of real or effective effort to deal with suicide of those who serve in America’s military?
    Veterans and Military Families for Progress, a national nonprofit group, followed the Omvig family’s lead and helped monitor the bill through Congress. Tom Howe, an Iowa VMFP member, was privileged to visit with and learn from Ellen and Randy Omvig in their living room.
    Now, Howe asks, why, more than seven years after passage of the bill, is America experiencing an increased rate of suicide among its veterans? Why is Congress passing another law to deal with veteran suicides? How many Americans even know the Omvig law’s story of failure? How many know of a lack of follow-up by Congress, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, and the Media? How many Americans assume appropriate care for Americas’ veterans is the existing reality?

    The Joshua Omvig and Clay Hunt stories of suicide represent so many other veteran suicide stories. All of those stories deserve more respect, Howe believes.

    America is in this place, Howe contends, because of the “disconnect” between the reality of the lives of average Americans and the lives of America’s military families. Who will help educate the reality of the “disconnect”? Who will help eliminate the “disconnect” and begin to educate about and advocate for the necessary, real, bottom-up solutions which military families need and have earned by their service to America?

    For further information or follow up:

    Tom Howe, (563.451.9919 cell)
    Chair, Media/Public Relations Committee
    Veterans and Military Families for Progress

    Ronald Scott (414-559-8040)
    President
    Veterans and Military Families for Progress

    Matthew Cary (202-841-1687)
    Executive Director
    Veterans and Military Families for Progress

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    2014 Endorsed Candidates http://www.vmfp.org/2014/12/2014-endorsed-candidates/ Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:34:56 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1698 CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT PROCESS

    Candidates for national office – from any party – that are identified as veterans, military family members, or veterans’-advocates are sent an inquiry as to their interest in endorsement by VMFP. We make every possible effort to contact all candidates for national office so that, if they respond, we can consider their responses. If they respond affirmatively, they are sent copies of our campaign and issues questionnaires. Upon return of the questionnaires, completed according to the instructions contained therein, the questionnaires are considered by the Government Affairs Committee to determine whether the candidate’s answers are satisfactorily in alignment with VMFP policy goals. When the committee determines that a candidate’s responses meet our criteria, a recommendation is made to the VMFP board to endorse that candidate. When the board approves, an endorsement letter and press release are sent to the candidate’s campaign.

    In the 2014 Congressional Election, VMFP endorsed 5 candidates, 4 of whom won their election.

    The candidates VMFP endorsed who were victorious were:

    Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) was reelected in New Hampshire.  She is a vet Family Member. Her husband Bill is a Vietnam Era Vet

    Senator Mark Warner (D) was reelected in Virginia. He is a vet Family Member.  His Father was WWII Marine Veteran of Pacific Theater.

    Cheri Bustos (D) Illinois 17th CD.  She is a vet Family Member. Her Father was a WWII vet.

    Seth Moulton (D) Massachusetts 6th CD.  Seth is n Iraq War Marine Veteran.

    Endorsed but unsuccessful:

    Fred Kundrata (D) 1st Ohio.  He is an Air Force Veteran who lost to incumbent Congressman Steve Chabot

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    Endorsed Legislation during 113th Congress http://www.vmfp.org/2014/12/endorsed-legislation-during-113th-congress/ Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:30:27 +0000 http://www.vmfp.org/?p=1696 The following bills from the 113th Congress have been endorsed by VMFP:

     

    • HR 4276 Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 2014
    • HR 3593 VA Construction Assistance Act of 2014
    • HR 5404 Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014
    • HR 4399 Comprehensive Department of Veterans Affairs Performance Management and Accountability Reform Act of 2014
    • (HR 5059), (S 2930) Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (Clay Hunt SAV Act)
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