The House passed VFW supported H.R. 6411, Support The Resiliency of Our Nation’s Great (STRONG) Veterans Act of 2022. The bill would improve VA’s mental health provider workforce, strengthen the Veterans Crisis Line, expand Vet Center eligibility to include students and survivors of suicide loss, and bolster mental health research. Language crafted by 2021 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellow Eric Sowers to improve the Veterans Justice Outreach Program can also be found in the bill text.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver
On April 25, 2022, the Department of Education (ED) began allowing student loan borrowers seeking financial relief through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to submit a DD-214 to certify periods of eligible employment. Many individuals with outstanding federal student loans may be eligible for PSLF, including eligibility from time served on active duty. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ED is offering a limited-time waiver to allow borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment on loans that would otherwise not qualify. Individuals must have been working full time for a qualifying employer. This waiver is available through Oct. 31, 2022.
Pact Act Passage Delayed
Following the 84-14 Senate vote on the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, known as the Honoring our PACT Act, the House discovered a parliamentary procedure issue regarding one of the provisions in the bill. Since Congress is now in recess, passage of the PACT Act will be delayed. The VFW continues to advocate for the swift passage of this historic legislation.
Important Dates in July
July 4 – Independence Day
July 27 – Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
July 29 – Army Chaplains Corps 247th birthday
History on Independence Day
Also known as the Forth of July, Independence Day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. Two days later, delegates from 13 colonies adopted the Declaration Of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. Did you know that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration Of Independence?
Army Pvt. John P. Cooper, 37, was assigned to Company B, 778th Tank Battalion, as a crewmember of a M4 Sherman tank. On March 7, 1945, while his unit was engaged in battle with German forces near Lampaden, Germany, his tank was struck by an enemy shoulder-fired rocket. With no evidence he survived, the War Department issued a presumptive finding of death on March 8, 1946. Interment services are pending.
Army Sgt. Garland W. Collier, 21, was assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. In the fall of 1944, he was reported killed in action during Operation Market Garden. Following the war, his remains could not be recovered. Interment services are pending.
Army Air Force Staff Sgt. Roy Carney, 20, was assigned to the 345th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force. On Aug. 1, 1943, the B-24 Liberator aircraft on which Carney was serving as a gunner crashed as a result of enemy anti-aircraft fire. Following the war, his remains could not be identified. Interment services are pending.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio