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  • Senate Agent Orange Bill Introduced U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Steve Daines (Mont.) recently reintroduced the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act" (S. 422), legislation to ensure that thousands of Navy veterans, known as "Blue Water" veterans, are able to receive the disability and health care benefits they earned after exposure to Agent Orange while fighting in the Vietnam Conflict.
  • Help for Veteran Entrepreneurs Bunker Labs DC, a 501(c) 3 organization committed to veteran entrepreneurship, hosted the "Muster DC," to showcase and empower local veteran entrepreneurs.
  • Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) The Department of Defense (DoD) released a report this past March, that was required by the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
  • Happy Birthday Coast Guard Reserve This week (February 19) the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve celebrated its 76th birthday.
  • CBO Recommends Eliminating Concurrent Receipt The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal agency within the legislative branch of government that provides budget and economic information to Congress, recently issued a report with options for reducing the federal deficit.
  • SBP/DIC Offset Repeal Introduced Senator Nelson (Fla.) introduced legislation (S. 339) and Congressman Joe Wilson (S.C.) introduced identical legislation in the house (H.R. 846) that repeals the SBP/DIC Offset for survivors, sometimes referred to as the "Military Widows Tax."
  • VA Secretary Nominee Approved The U.S. Senate unanimously approved (100-0) the nomination of Dr. David J. Shulkin as Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA). In a rare demonstration of bi-partisanship he was approved unanimously by the Senate.
  • New Dental Plan for Active Duty and Reserves The TRICARE dental contract for active-duty family members, Reserve Component members and their families will switch from MetLife to United Concordia on May 1, 2017.
  • FRA Participates in Shore Sailor of the Year Week FRA was very active with the Shore Sailors of the Year event held this past week in Washington DC.
  • FRA NHQ Closed for Presidents' Day The FRA NHQ office will be closed on Monday, February 20, for the Presidents' Day holiday.
  • Support Constitutional Amendment to Protect American Flag Rep. Steve Womack (Ark.) has introduced a proposed constitutional amendment (H. J. Res. 61) that allows Congress to pass a law to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
  • FRA Honors Senator Gillibrand For the past 22 years, FRA has presented its highest award to the member of Congress who goes above and beyond to advance FRA’s legislative agenda.
  • FRA Recognizes Outstanding Marine Performers FRA recognized outstanding Marines this week at the Combined Awards Ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico (MCBQ).
  • DoD Announces New Outreach on Veterans Discharges and Military Records The Department of Defense (DoD) recently publicized a new effort (NR-459-16), to ensure veterans are aware of the opportunity to have their discharges and military records reviewed.
  • SVAC Hearing for VA Secretary Nominee The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC) recently held a confirmation hearing for the president’s nominee for Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Dr. David J. Shulkin, the current VA Under Secretary for Health.
  • Some VA Positions Exempt from Federal Civilian Hiring Freeze President Trump recently announced a hiring freeze that prevents any new civilian government hires who did not receive a job offer before January 22, 2017. Military members are excluded, as are positions “necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.”
  • Commissaries Begin Measuring Regional Savings The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has recently announced, “Savings for Commissary shoppers will be reported more often and better reflect the cost of living where patrons shop,” said Joseph H. Jeu, Director and CEO of the DeCA.
  • President Trump Pledges to Repeal Sequestration Soon after President Donald Trump took the oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” the White House posted two documents declaring they would boost the size of the Navy and Air Force, increase our offensive and defensive cyber capabilities and end sequestration.
  • Relief for Camp Lejeune Veterans The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion throughout the next five years to the nearly 900,000 Marine Corps veterans and their families who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
  • VA Drug Co-payment Changes Coming Effective February 27, 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will change the federal regulations concerning co-payments charged to Veterans for medications to treat non-service connected conditions required on an outpatient basis.

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