NewsBytes November 10, 2023 In this issue: Senate Confirms Military Nominees SCOTUS Upholds Deadline for Retroactive VA Benefits Veterans’ Day/FRA 99th Birthday/Marine Corps Birthday 

Senate Confirms Some Military Nominees

Despite Senator Tommy Tuberville's (Ala.) hold on military appointments over the Pentagon's changes to abortion policy, the Senate confirmed three top military nominees. Navy Adm. Lisa Franchetti was confirmed as the Chief of Naval Operations 95-1. The Senate also approved Air Force Gen. David Allvin as the service's next chief of staff, which fills the positions on the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the first time since July 10. Furthermore, Senators voted 86-0 to promote Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney to general and confirm him as the Marine Corps Assistant Commandant. Gen. Mahoney's confirmation took on added urgency following news that Commandant Gen. Eric Smith had a heart attack. More than 375 appointments are still pending Senate confirmation.

SCOTUS Upholds 1-year Deadline for Retroactive VA Benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously confirmed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) one-year limit for veterans to apply for retroactive disability benefits. In the case, Arellano v. McDonough, Adolfo Arellano was discharged from the United States Navy in 1981. As a result of his service, he suffered from a severe mental health condition that, for many years, left him unable to understand his eligibility for disability benefits. In 2011, 30 years after his military service, he applied for benefits, and the VA granted him benefits, effective on the date the agency received his claim. Arellano appealed the effective date, arguing that he should receive retroactive benefits dating back to when he was discharged from the military. The court's decision emphasizes the importance of veterans filing for benefits as soon as they are able and demonstrates the importance of the military's role in providing service members with VA benefits information as they are separating from the service.

Veterans' Day/FRA 99th Birthday/Marine Corps' 248th Birthday 

This Saturday will mark the 105th anniversary of the armistice ending the First World War, on Nov. 11, 1918. Today, November 11th, is recognized as Veterans Day. It is a long-standing tradition for many FRA shipmates to participate in Veterans' Day ceremonies all across the country. This November 11th also marks FRA's 99th anniversary. The FRA National President John S. Handzuk (Branch 126) will attend a White House breakfast. Later, NP John Handzuk will participate in the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery with the special wreath-laying ceremony.

NED Phillip Reid will participate in a ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, DC. Recently, ADLP Theo Lawson attended Mack's Marines luncheon at the Commandant of the Marine Corps' residency in observance of the 248th anniversary of the Marine Corps.

FRA thanks members for their service in defending our Nation and also for their continued membership. Please note FRA National Headquarters will be closed on Friday, November 10, in observance of Veterans' Day.


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