VFW Washington Weekly, July 6, 2012

In This Issue:
1. Canada Wants to Hire U.S. Vets
2. United Healthcare To Be New TRICARE West Contractor
3. Connect to Congress Today
4. Share Your Fourth of July Stories
5. Stolen Valor Survey Results
6. WWII MIA Returns Home
 
1. Canada Wants to Hire U.S. Vets: The VFW proudly announced this week that its partly owned veterans jobs board has secured an exclusive employment initiative with Alberta, Canada, that could see thousands of skilled U.S. veterans heading north to work on their oil pipeline. “Though America’s Keystone Pipeline is delayed, the Canadians are moving forward on their side of the border and have an immediate need for tens of thousands of workers,” said Ted Daywalt, founder and CEO of VetJobs. There is an anticipated shortage of 114,000 workers in the Alberta area. The positions being offered are long term, with many paying as much as 30 percent more than similar industry positions in the United States. Some positions will require a move to Canada, but many others will allow veterans to commute — working several weeks in Canada, then one week back home. “This is a fantastic opportunity and I’m proud of our affiliation with VetJobs,” said VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer. “Helping thousands of veterans to get well-paying jobs in an important industry just further proves that no one does more for veterans than the VFW.” To apply, go to www.vetjobs.com, click on Search Jobs, then type “opportunity awaits” into the company search field. Additional job postings will be added in the coming months as the Canadian pipeline project progresses. To read the VFW’s full statement on the announcement, click here: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2012-Articles/CANADA-WANTS-U-S-VETERANS-FOR-PIPELINE-WORK/
 
2. United Healthcare To Be New TRICARE West Contractor: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced this week that it was moving ahead with its decision to award the Tricare West region (T-3) contract to United Healthcare. The contract had been held by TriWest Healthcare Alliance who had filed a protest with GAO earlier this year.  TriWest currently serves 2.9 million beneficiaries including active duty personnel, retirees and their families and has more than 175,000 health care providers in its 21-state network. Their current contract continues through March 31, 2013 after which United Healthcare will take over beginning April 1, 2013.  To keep informed about DoD’s transition plans, stay tuned to the Washington Weekly for all the details.
 
3. Connect to Congress Today:  Congress remains on recess for a few more days and returns to a very busy July schedule.  Now is a great time to take a look at what your VFW has done during the 112th Congress. We have testified over 25 times on critically important issues and legislation that affects veterans, service members and their families. Some of the topics included mental and behavior health, employment rights, education benefits and oversight on the VA claims process. We also track how your members vote on those issues when they reach the floor of the House and Senate.  As we begin to wind down the 112th Congress, take a look at some of the issues and bills we were asked to provide comments and how your members have voted when those bills are called up for a vote. To view both items, visit the VFW website at http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/  and use the Connect to Congress box on bottom right.
 
4. Share Your Fourth of July Stories: Members of Congress were in their home districts this week, joining in celebrations commemorating the birth of our nation and listening to the concerns of their constituents.  We know many VFW advocates also took this opportunity to discuss the VFW’s Legislative Priority Goals, urging representatives to support the needs of the veterans’ community. If you have advocacy stories you would like to share for publication on the VFW Capitol Hill blog, simply fill out the online form available here: http://www.vfw.org/Forms/Capitol-Hill-Blog-Submissions/, or send details and photos directly to vfwac@vfw.org.
 
Without the help of our advocates in communities from coast to coast, accomplishments like the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Agent Orange presumption, veterans’ hiring preference, advance health care appropriations and Family Caregiver benefits would not have been possible. We hope that you will send us your stories and help us inspire members to reach out to their representatives and take action!
 
5.  Stolen Valor Survey Results: Last week, we asked you for your thoughts on last week’s Supreme Court ruling, which found the Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional. Here are the results of our poll asking, what do you think about the Supreme Court decision to overturn the Stolen Valor Act of 2005?
  • It was the wrong decision: 85% (349 votes)
  • I don’t like it, but I guess it constitutes free speech: 8% (31 votes)
  • It was the right decision: 3% (12 votes)
  • Other (leave comments): 4% (18 votes)
Thank you for reading, and thank you for leaving more than 100 comments on the blog, Facebook, and poll website. To view the original posting, click here: http://www.vfwonthehill.org/2012/06/what-do-you-think-supreme-court.html
 
6. WWII MIA Returns Home: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Navy Radioman 1st Class Harry C. Scribner, 20, of Seattle. On Aug. 2, 1943, Scribner and two other men were aboard a TBF-1 Avenger aircraft that crashed on the island of Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides—now known as Vanuatu—while on a routine calibration flight. Sixteen days after the crash, one crewman was rescued from the jungle but was unable to assist recovery teams with locating the crash site. Read more at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/.

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