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Preparation for Possible Lapse in Appropriation
MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF OF STAFF
Department of Veterans Affairs
As many of you are aware, annual funding for the Government expires on September 30. The Administration strongly believes that an appropriation lapse should not occur. There is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations, and the Administration is willing to work with Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical Government operations and allow Congress the time to complete the full year 2014 appropriations.
However, prudent management requires that we be prepared for all contingencies, including the possibility that an appropriation lapse could occur on September 30, 2013. A lapse would mean that a number of Government activities would cease due to a lack of appropriation. It would also mean that a number of employees would be temporarily furloughed. To prepare for this possibility, VA is updating its contingency plan for executing an orderly shutdown of those activities that would be affected by a lapse in appropriations.
I know that your primary concern about any suspension of VA operations is the potential impact on the health and well-being of our Veterans and their families. This concern is shared by our elected leaders. The good news is that the Veterans Health Administration has advance appropriations for fiscal year 2014. This means the majority of our employees will be able to continue to provide services.
The uncertainty of the current circumstances puts the rest of our workforce in a difficult situation, and should a lapse occur, it could impose hardships on many employees. As we approach the end of the month, I am committed to providing you with updated and timely information on any further developments. For now, should you have questions, I encourage you to visit the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Web site, which addresses the most frequently asked employee questions, at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/guidance-for-shutdown-furloughs.pdf. If you have further questions, please contact your HR Liaison.
Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and patience through this process and for your continued service to the Department, the Nation, and our Veterans.
Jose D. Riojas
Sr. Vice-Commander Kenneth Przepiora
of Kent-Meridian Post 6785 presents
Buddy Poppy Award to a young Cub Scout.
During a post visit at Post 7089, a female veteran submitted a Life Member application including a copy of her DD214. Upon reviewing, it was discovered that she had obtained the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. We all understand that Global War on Terrorism is an automatic qualifier for becoming a member. The wording on this DD214 seemed different, so I took the DD214 and called National Headquarters this morning.
I was informed that the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal is the qualifier. The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal does not qualify for membership. This is a very important difference and can only be seen by reviewing the DD214.
A young active duty member must provide proof in writing showing the Expeditionary Medal was received. The Service Medal is equivalent to the National Defense Ribbon.
If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will pursue an answer.
Thank you for your service, the work that you do and your support of veterans and community.
Senior Vice Commander
Department of Washington
Here is the contact information for the Washington State Attorney General's office for those veterans who suspect they have been victimized:
Click Here for Award Criteria.
Click Here for Award Entry Form.
Click Here to read the article from the Community Service Chairman Carlos Almeda.
Another National Convention is over, there were a variety of issues discussed. The biggest of all - the annual dues increase of $10.00 was passed by a 2/3 majority vote and will take effect on January 1, 2014. This opens two doors for us to work with:
(1) Encourage all current annual members to pay their dues prior to the increase taking effect in January.
(2) It also provides us with the perfect opportunity for annual members to convert to a Life Membership.
If a member is 30 years old, an annual member with dues of $40.00 per year until age 70 will pay $1600.00 in dues to our organization. If the same member converts to a Life Membership, at a cost of $425.00 or twelve (12) monthly installments of $38.64, there is a savings of up to $1200.00 at a minimum.
Every member needs to talk to these annual members and provide them with this information. Officers at the Post and District levels should be using the phone, mail or email to ensure this information gets out to our membership. Most importantly - get them to renew by January 1, 2014.
Please focus on recruiting or reinstating members to our great organization. With the membership dropping yearly, our voice in the halls of Congress and to our Legislative representatives becomes weaker. It is our duty to protect the rights and benefits of those who have served and those that are currently serving.
If you are planning a recruiting event, please inform the Membership Chairpersons for help or needed items.
See you at School of Instruction on August 10 at VFW Post 91 in Tacoma. Please bring all questions that you may be having problems with.
In comradeship and dedication,
Senior Vice Commander
Department of Washington
VA Grants up to One Year Retroactive Benefits for Veterans Filing Fully Developed Claims to Help Reduce the Backlog.
Click HERE to view.
to hear about:
- Emergency Preparation
- Pregnancy & Oral Health
- Line of Duty Care
Visit the TRICARE Media Center at www.tricare.mil/Welcome/MediaCenter/Podcasts.aspx to hear this week's TRICARE Beneficiary Bulletin.
VFW FOUNDATION PRESENTS $25,000 CHECK TO ARTIST
On Friday, Feb. 8, VFW Department of Washington line officers presented a $25,000 check on behalf of the VFW Foundation to internationally-recognized artist Michael Reagan, who has drawn the portraits of over 3,200 service members who have died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan: L-R: Fred Green, VFW Department of Washington Junior Vice Commander; Ted Streete, VFW Department of Washington Senior Vice Commander; Krist Huseby, VFW Department of Washington Commander; Michael Reagan
Warrior Wellness Project is meeting at JBLM at the Four Chaplains Chapel Thursdays from 1145 hrs to 1400 hrs. Click Here to view the flyer.