President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 would make the largest investment to date in homeless veteran assistance programs. If passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law, this budget proposal would include:
To learn more about the hearing and to download the archived webcast, click here.
In the VA’s proposed FY 2014 budget, the department also makes the following legislative proposals:
Resolution No. 306 states that The American Legion:
In related news, the national rate of homelessness was 20 homeless people per 10,000 population, while the rate for veterans who are homeless was 29 per 10,000 population, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
The organization held a press conference April 9 when it introduced its new report, "State of Homelessness in America 2013." The report provides a comprehensive, accurate and unique picture of the link between the number of people who are homeless and the economic and demographic factors that drive the problem.
In other news:
Testifying on veterans issues: The Economic Division testified on April 10 before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on the following pending pieces of legislation:
Meetings with Congress: On April 9, members of The American Legion’s Washington office met separately with two members of Congress about veterans issues.
Economic Division staff met with Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and his staff to discuss education policy and legislation, as well as military credentialing, current pilot programs and continued funding for these programs.
Economic and Legislative Division staff met with Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado and his staff to discuss the same issues outlined above.
Career fairs: On April 10, a Hiring our Heroes hiring event was held in Syracuse, N.Y. Through our efforts, we connected 31 employers with 87 job seekers from the local military population. This event would not have been possible without the assistance of the Department of New York, which assisted with outreach. Throughout the day, 226 resumes were collected, 60 interviews were conducted and one job was offered on-site. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also unveiled its online personal branding résumé engine for veterans. This resume builder assists with skills translation, formatting, and job search advice.
National security hearings: Staff attended the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea. An archived webcast of the proceedings can be viewed here.
On Thursday, staff attended the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Pentagon’s FY14 Defense Authorization Request. An archived webcast of the proceedings can be viewed here.
Keystone XL Pipeline: On April 9, staff submitted the Legion’s public comment KXL Public Comment.pdf on the Keystone XL pipeline to the State Department.
Healthcare: Warren J. Goldstein, senior national field service representative, and Ralph P. Bozella, chairman of the Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission and System Worth Saving Task Force conducted a site visit to the Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., April 9-10. The staff also conducted a women veteran’s health care town hall meeting at American Legion Post 9 in Spokane.
Claims: During the week ending April 5, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals reached dispositions on 170 American Legion represented appeals. Of those dispositions, 76 percent of the denials were overturned with outcomes favorable to the veteran. In 52 cases, the board granted benefits outright after considering The American Legion’s arguments. In 77 cases, the Legion was able to point out errors in the development of the veteran’s claims which mandated corrective action under the law. Of the total number of dispositions, 57 (22 percent) were outright denials.
POW/MIAs: President Obama on April 11 presented the Medal of Honor to a hero of the Korean War, an Army chaplain from Kansas who provided spiritual and medical aid to soldiers in the conflict. In a moving ceremony in the East Room of the White House, the president awarded the nation’s highest military award to a nephew of Capt. Emil Kapaun, who died in captivity more than 60 years ago, saying that the Kansas native was "an American soldier who didn’t fire a gun, but who (carried) the mightiest weapon of all: the love for his brothers so powerful that he was willing to die so that they might live."