Thankful veteran spouse
December 27, 2012
Caregiver of wounded veteran is thankful for the help
Dear Sgt. Shaft:
Thank you so much for all you did to help me. I only recently learned
the extent to which news spread. Although I think I still only know
about a small portion of the action. It's really amazing to find someone
who can make logical things happen in an illogical world.
I had a wonderful time on my trip. I challenged myself emotionally
and physically and was able to sleep and act without focusing on
everyone else's welfare -- real respite. I'm hoping to use our respite hours
again in late January to take our little ones to Disney. I've never
been, and we're meeting some cousins there, although my children know
none of this.
I went to a caregiver luncheon in Hampton last month and learned that at least
one caregiver was unable to attend because her respite hours were
declined, so I fear the problem still exists. If I struggle again, may I
contact you again, or is there a more appropriate first step for me to
The help you provided last fall was amazing -- and so much more than
many other people could accomplish. If there is anything I can ever do
to assist in your mission, I would be glad to participate.
Thanks again and Happy New Year!
Via the Internet
Thanks should go the powers that be at the Department of Veterans and
Capitol Hill. When they learned of your inability to take time off from
caring for your wounded warrior husband, they made sure that the rest
you needed was made possible. I am sure that Mickey Mouse and Donald
Duck will be happy to have you and your family visit.
* Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans'
Affairs, recently recommended some of his distinguished colleagues in
the House to serve as subcommittee chairs for the 113th Congress:
"The selections I am recommending for the Committee's Subcommittee
Chairmanships represent a diverse group who has served, who are doctors,
and who has advocated for veterans throughout their careers. I am
confident these Members will work with the Committee to improve the
lives of America's veterans, their families, and survivors, as well as
to continue the Committee's work in the previous Congress to provide
oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"I am also delighted to announce my colleague and friend, Rep. Gus
Bilirakis, will continue to serve as Vice Chairman of the Committee. His
dedication has been unparalleled, and I look forward to his continued
* Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs: Rep.
Jon Runyan (New Jersey).
* Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity: Rep. Bill Flores (Texas).
* Subcommittee on Health: Rep. Dan Benishek, M.D. (Michigan),
* Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations: Rep. Mike Coffman
The Sarge is looking forward to working closely with these members to
ensure that the benefits earned by our nation's veterans are not only
protected, but enhanced.
The Sarge joins the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. in its
support of the recent Senate passage of H.R. 4057, the Improving
Transparency in Education for Veterans Act, a bill designed to improve
consumer protections for student-veterans who use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The bill must now
go back to the House for final approval before heading to the White
House for the president's signature.
"The VFW has worked diligently over the past year to build consensus
among other veterans' groups and education advocates to ensure we
provide student-veterans with quality consumer information and consumer
protections when they seek to use their earned GI Bill benefits," said VFW National
Commander John Hamilton, a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran.
"We're proud the Senate took this issue seriously by passing the
Improving Transparency in Education for Veterans Act, and we thank
Senate VA Committee Chairman Patty Murray and Ranking Member Richard
Burr for their leadership, as well as their colleagues in the House,
Chairman Jeff Miller and Ranking Member Bob Filner, for making sure this
could get done before the end of the year."
H.R. 4057 was amended in the House to include several other
VFW-supported provisions to improve veterans' benefits, such as the HIRE at HOME
Act (H.R. 4115), which would ensure states considered military training
for professional licenses in certain technical fields, and the open air
burn pit registry. The additional bills, however, were stripped from the
Senate version because they had been included in other legislation
This procedural issue means that the clean version of H.R. 4057 must
be again approved by the House before it can be signed into law. The VFW
says it anticipates that the House will take it up before the end of the
H.R. 4057 was inspired by VFW action earlier this year, when VFW
authored a letter, signed by a broad coalition of education experts and
veterans' advocates and organizations — to include Student
Veterans of America — to call for improved consumer information
and consumer protections for veterans.
Over the summer, Mr. Bilirakis, who introduced the bill, spoke on the
House floor to champion the merits of H.R. 4057, which passed the House
with overwhelming bipartisan support. This fall, VFW advocates stormed
Capitol Hill, asking Congress to "Finish Strong For Veterans" by passing
the education package. After a slew of meetings and hard-pressed
advocacy, the VFW was able to muster overwhelming support on both sides
of the aisle to ensure H.R. 4057 could pass in the Senate.
For more details, visit the VFW's Capitol Hill blog — www.thevfw.blogspot.com.
* Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900,
Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or