Carmelita Jones

2016-2017 Legislative Chairman

Department of Idaho

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Department President, Suzanne Millbach, for giving me the opportunity to serve you as the Department’s Legislative Program Chairman for . Program Year 2016–2017.

For your info, this year’s National Legislative Ambassador is Bette Jean Biedrzycki from the Great State of Pennsylvania. She is also the wife of our Past Commander-in-Chief John Biedrzycki (2015-2016). In addition, I have also been asked to be this year’s Western Conference Legislative Chairman. I am looking forward to working with each of you and Bette Jean!!!

As you already know, this is an exciting year where we have the opportunity to elect a new President and Congressional Legislators in November. We need to study the issues and be informed voters. Don’t forget that we must also “go out and vote” in November and encourage everyone to do the same. It is a precious privilege to be able to vote our conscience and have the freedom to cast that vote. Citizens of other countries covet and would die to have this privilege that we enjoy!!! Please take it to heart and exercise it!!!

Following are some helpful hints that we can use to assist our Auxiliary members, family members, friends, and our communities on how to actively participate and get involved in the legislative process:

1. Subscribe to the “VFW Action Corps Weekly”: This is a free weekly e-newsletter that is available to anyone, VFW Members, and VFW Aux Members. By signing-up, you can stay in-the-know on key issues affecting veterans and the military. You’ll get the latest information on a weekly basis on key veteran’s legislation, national security matters, and other news affecting American’s defenders. In addition, you will also receive the VFW “Action Alerts” about urgent legislative activities and how to make your voices heard.

Remember — “ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL!!!” We need you to let our Legislators in Washington, DC, hear our demand to preserve benefits and support our veterans, active duty

1 military, and their families. If they don’t hear from us, they will make the decisions for us and we will have to live with the consequences of OUR inaction!!! Let your voice be heard and make a difference!!!

To sign-up and to find out more information about the service, please visit the following VFW National Web Site:

http://heroes.vfw.org/site/PageNavigator/ActionCorpsSignUp.html

2. Familiarize yourself with the “2016 VFW Priority Goals”:

a. Budget: End Sequestration!!! We need to force Congress to pass a long-term budget plan that would reduce government spending, thereby stopping the “automatic” cuts to all federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD). VFW’s solution is to end sequestration so DoD can effectively recruit and retain the highest quality personnel, and ensure equipment and training meet our readiness and response requirements to operate in an unpredictable and unstable global environment.

b. Accountability: Passing the “Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (HR 3230) is not sufficient – it is only the first step in fixing the Veterans’ Health Care System. The VFW solution is to provide oversight of HR 3230, to include holding ALL levels of VA employees accountable for misconduct.

c. 100% GI Bill Eligibility for Combat Veterans: The VFW believes that all veterans who served in combat should be granted 100 percent eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Currently, the veterans must serve 36 months on active duty in order to be eligible at the 100% rate.

d. Caregiver Services for Veterans of All Eras: The VFW supports the VA Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program. This is a critical benefit, allowing veterans who were severely injured in the line of duty to remain in their homes with the help of a family caregiver, rather than living in an institutional setting. However, the VFW strongly believes that it must be expanded to cover veterans of every era. All severely injured veterans have made incredible sacrifices, and all family members who care for them are equally deserving of our recognition and support.

Please see attached brochure for detailed info. You can also click on the link below to download the brochure for your use from the VFW National Web Site:

Download (PDF, 3.1MB)

3. Use the “How to Guide to Getting Involved in the Election Process” Handout:
Please see attached for ideas on how to get involved!!!

Once again, I am honored and humbled to serve you in this capacity, and to be able to assist our Auxiliary members to actively participate in the legislative process and help protect the benefits that our veterans, active duty military, and their families have earned, deserved and been promised.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need assistance. you.
I am looking forward to a wonderful and rewarding legislative year!!!
I am here to assist

“UNWAVERING SUPPORT FOR UNCOMMON HEROES”
“DREAM, BELIEVE AND ACHIEVE ALL YOU CAN FOR OUR VETERANS”

Sincerely,

Carmelita M. Jones

Download (PDF, 899KB)