I am sure that a lot of you are getting tired of hearing about the ‘Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019,’ but In case you missed it, the bill which was passed in the House by a 410 to zero vote a couple of weeks ago, has now passed unanimously in the Senate and is waiting for the signature of the president. It took a long time to finally get this legislation this far. Too many Vietnam vets have been bypassed and died because our Congress and others dragging their feet. Let me suggest that all veterans who expect help from our government might want to consider joining the Veterans of Foreign War, American Legion, DAV or other organization because when these organizations take big membership numbers to members of Congress, they (Congresspersons), have a tendency to listen as these members are also voters.
House bill H.R. 2500, if passed, will authorize $733 billion in defense spending. That includes a 3.1 percent pay increase for all military personnel. It also includes $9.2 million for construction and improvement of military family housing among other items.
Starting October 2019, Veteran’s Affairs will implement a new policy restricting smoking by patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors at its health care facilities. The smoke free policy applies to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, any other combustion of tobacco and non-FDA approved electronic nicotine delivery systems including but not limited to electronic or e-cigarettes, vape pens or e-cigar.
The House Committee on Armed Services voted along party lines to fully integrate women into Marine Corps recruit training. Introduced as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020, the language prohibits gender-segregated training at all Marine Corps recruit depots.
And last, but certainly not least, we want to take note that June 14, the Army celebrated its’ 244th birthday. Let us say ‘Good Job’ to the U.S. Army.
With that in mind, I want to thank all veterans for their service to our country and say God bless Texas and the USA.
Carl Dry is a Korean War veteran, a former Grimes County Veterans Service Officer and the current VFW Post 4006 Commander.