TITUSVILLE – The annual convention of veterans of foreign wars and auxiliaries of the Department of Pennsylvania is held in Pittsburgh.
For the VFW, this is the 102nd Pennsylvania State Convention. The convention, held at 500 Mansfield Ave., begins today and runs through Saturday.
There will be a memorial service, business sessions, an awards ceremony as well as the nomination, election and installation of officers.
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Last week, VFW National Legislative Director Patrick Murray testified before the Senate Veterans Committee on behalf of the VFW, Independent Budget Partners, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).
The hearing focused on President Joe Biden’s national infrastructure plan, which includes an $ 18 billion proposal for the capital needs of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Murray said, “We very much appreciate this proposal and given the funding gap identified by the VA Capitol Strategic Investment Planning process, such an infusion is certainly warranted.”
Murray also emphasized the need to refocus recruiting initiatives within VA in order to increase VA’s critical building capacity.
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Veterans who may not have a video device or broadband connection for telehealth appointments can contact the VA Digital Divide Consult for assistance.
Through this program, a social worker will help determine if the veteran is eligible for the VA Connected Devices Program, the Federal Communications Commission Lifeline Program, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, or a local ATLAS site.
Telehealth enables a continuum of care between a Veteran and a health care provider, eliminates long travel and wait times, and allows the Veteran to choose a safe location for their appointment. The phone number for Erie VA Medical Center is (814) 274-8387.
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Part of the American Rescue Plan Act provides for an improved child tax credit for 2021.
Many ex-combatant households with children under the age of 18 will soon be eligible for direct monthly payments per month from July to December.
Eligible households will receive $ 300 per child aged 5 and under and $ 250 per child aged 6 to 17.
It is also possible to qualify for a one-time payment of $ 500 for children aged 19-24 and full-time students.
These direct payments are expected to help solve the problem of hunger in the veteran community, as veteran groups have found that nearly 40% of U.S. military families needed food during the pandemic, including 1 in every veteran. 4 of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Here’s this week’s update on prisoners of war and the missing:
• Navy Radioman 3rd Class Earl M. Ellis, 23, of Hope, Arkansas, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was docked at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. He will be buried on October 23 in Sutter Creek, California.
• Navy Fireman 1st Class Neal K. Todd, 22, from Akeley, Minnesota, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was docked at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. He will be buried on July 10 in his hometown.
• The army sergeant. Lloyd A. Alumbaugh, 21, of Jasper, Missouri, was a member of Ambulance Company, 7th Medical Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on November 28, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near Chosin Reservoir. Alumbaugh will be buried on June 25 in Reeds, Missouri.
• Army Pfc. John J. Sitarz, 19, from Weirton, West Virginia, was assigned to L Company, 3rd Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces. Sitarz will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on a date yet to be determined.
• The army sergeant major. Raymond C. Blanton, 19, from Richmond, Va., Was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces. Blanton will be buried on July 1 in his hometown.
• Cpl. Kenneth R. Foreman, 19, was a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on December 2, 1950, after his unit was attacked by enemy forces as they attempted to withdraw near Chosin Reservoir. Burial services are on hold.
• The army sergeant. Elwood M. Truslow, 20, was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on December 12, 1950, after his unit was attacked by enemy forces as they attempted to withdraw near Chosin Reservoir. Burial services are on hold.
• Army 1st Lt. Myles W. Esmay, 21, was a member of B Company, 236th Engineer Combat Battalion, reinforcing the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), also known as Merrill’s Marauders. Esmay was reportedly killed on the last day of the fighting. Burial services are on hold.
• Leading Seaman Walter R. Pentico, 17, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Burial services are on hold.
Charlie Castelluccio, a resident of Titusville, is the Chaplain of the 28th Foreign War Veterans District of Northwestern Pennsylvania and is a member of Titusville Foreign War Veterans Extension 5958.