The PACT Act expands and extends eligibility for Veterans Affairs (VA) health care for veterans with toxic exposures and veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War era and Post-9/11 eras. The PACT Act adds to the list of health conditions that the VA assumes (or “presumes”) are caused by exposure to these substances. This law helps us provide generations of veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.
Every enrolled veteran will receive an initial toxic exposure screening and a follow-up screening every five years. Veterans who are not enrolled but who are eligible to enroll will have an opportunity to enroll and receive the screening.
File your PACT Act claim by August 9th to be eligible for backdated benefits.
The Fourth of July - also known as Independence Day or July 4th - has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain, but did not actually complete the process of revising the Declaration of Independence, originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson in consultation with fellow committee members John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and William Livingston, until two days later, when delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
For more than a decade before the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, tensions had been building between colonists and the British authorities.
The French and Indian War, or Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), brought new territories under the power of the crown, but the expensive conflict lead to new and unpopular taxes. Attempts by the British government to raise revenue by taxing the colonies (notably the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Acts of 1767 and the Tea Act of 1773) met with heated protest among many colonists, who resented their lack of representation in Parliament and demanded the same rights as other British subjects.
Colonial resistance led to violence in 1770, when British soldiers opened fire on a mob of colonists, killing five men in what was known as the Boston Massacre. After December 1773, when a band of Bostonians altered their appearance to hide their identity boarded British ships and dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party, an outraged Parliament passed a series of measures (known as the Intolerable, or Coercive Acts) designed to reassert imperial authority in Massachusetts.
In response, a group of colonial delegates (including George Washington of Virginia, John and Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, Patrick Henry of Virginia and John Jay of New York) met in Philadelphia in September 1774 to give voice to their grievances against the British crown. This First Continental Congress did not go so far as to demand independence from Britain, but it denounced taxation without representation, as well as the maintenance of the British army in the colonies without their consent. It issued a declaration of the rights due every citizen, including life, liberty, property, assembly and trial by jury. The Continental Congress voted to meet again in May 1775 to consider further action, but by that time violence had already broken out.
On the night of April 18, 1775, hundreds of British troops marched from Boston to nearby Concord, Massachusetts in order to seize an arms cache. Paul Revere and other riders sounded the alarm, and colonial militiamen began mobilizing to intercept the Redcoats. On April 19, local militiamen clashed with British soldiers in the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, marking the “shot heard round the world” that signified the start of the Revolutionary War.
When the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia, delegates - including new additions Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson - voted to form a Continental Army, with Washington as its commander in chief. On June 17, in the Revolution’s first major battle, colonial forces inflicted heavy casualties on the British regiment of General William Howe at Breed’s Hill in Boston. The engagement, known as the Battle of Bunker Hill, ended in British victory, but lent encouragement to the revolutionary cause.
Though the movement for American independence effectively triumphed at the Battle of Yorktown, contemporary observers did not see that as the decisive victory yet. British forces remained stationed around Charleston, and the powerful main army still resided in New York. Though neither side would take decisive action over the better part of the next two years, the British removal of their troops from Charleston and Savannah in late 1782 finally pointed to the end of the conflict. British and American negotiators in Paris signed preliminary peace terms in Paris late that November, and on September 3, 1783, Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris. At the same time, Britain signed separate peace treaties with France and Spain (which had entered the conflict in 1779), bringing the American Revolution to a close after eight long years.
From Senator Rick Scott (Florida):
"Almost two years since the historic freedom demonstrations in Cuba, Joe Biden is not standing up for democracy but instead ensuring his legacy will be his horrific failures to stop the spread of evil across the world.
This was sadly confirmed by the Wall Street Journal's reporting of a secret agreement between Communist China and the illegitimate, communist Cuban regime to establish a spy facility on the island targeting American business and military operations.
America's enemies know Biden is too weak to stand up against them, so they are taking advantage of the hospitality offered by the illegitimate communist regime in Cuba. I pray that President Biden will defy our expectations and finally take a stand against this TODAY.
This move by Communist China presents grave threats to America's national security that cannot be ignored. Every American should be up in arms about this. It's not just spying on the government, which is bad enough. It's spying on you, seeing your emails and your data.
If Biden gives a damn about the security of our country and the safety of our people, he will speak on this today, demand that Chuck Schumer set dates for security briefings and public hearings in the Senate and announce action to push back on Communist China's unacceptable aggression. The appeasement and weakness must end now.
We cannot allow these two corrupt, murderous regimes to move forward with their evil plans to harm Americans and weaken the United States."
The following is from Michael Longsdon, a contributing journalist:
Image via Pexels
Why Hiring Veterans is Great for Local Businesses
As a business owner, you may be looking for ways to improve your company. One way you can do this is by hiring veterans. Veterans bring many benefits to the table, including unique skills, experience, and motivation. Keep reading to learn more about how your company can foster their success in the workplace and the reasons why they make such a great addition to any team, courtesy of Rolling Thunder.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring Veterans?
There are many benefits to hiring veterans. One reason why veterans can be a great hire is that they can be highly adaptable. The rigors of a military lifestyle have taught them how to handle difficult situations and how to be resourceful.
Veterans can also be very dedicated employees. Once they have committed to a company, they will often do everything they can to help it succeed. Due to the sheer nature of life in the armed forces, they understand the importance of teamwork and are motivated to work hard.
In addition, many veterans have credentials from their time in the military that can be beneficial to your business. For example, they may have experience in leadership, management, or healthcare. Others understand logistics or have security clearance. This makes them uniquely qualified for certain positions and can give your company a competitive edge.
How Can You Foster Their Success?
There are a few things you can do to help veterans be successful in your business. First, provide them with clear expectations and goals. Second, give them the opportunity to use their unique skills and abilities. Finally, offer mentorship or coaching to help them adjust to the civilian workplace.
Potential Tax Credits and Government Contract Access
As a business owner, you may be eligible for tax credits when you hire veterans. You may also have access to government contracts that are set aside for businesses that employ veterans. This can be a great way to get your company started or to help it grow.
How to Use Social Media to Hire Veterans
While working with local veterans groups is a great way to attract potential candidates, social media is also a powerful tool. You can use social media to raise awareness about your company and to post job openings. You can also use it to connect with veteran groups and to learn more about the veteran community.
Also, while social media is great for spreading the word, don’t forget to incorporate some old-fashioned approaches like handing out business cards, as well. Luckily, you can use business card design templates for free! These serve as an excellent, tactile supplement to your online messaging.
Bet on Veterans and Find Business Success
There are many benefits to hiring veterans. In addition to benefiting from their discipline, drive, and experience, you gain valuable eligibility for tax credits when you hire veterans. Use social media to reach a wide audience with your job postings.
Rolling Thunder is working to educate the public about MIAs and POWs. If you have any questions or you’d like to help out, call (321) 506-4357.
A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time every year on Memorial Day
The Civil War ended in the spring of 1865, and claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, which required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.
By the late 1860’s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there.
Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and repeated the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor the war dead on separate days until after World War I.
Decoration Day gradually came to be known as Memorial Day and originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, including World War II, The Vietnam War, The Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date General Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.
It is still unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings, but in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
Waterloo celebrated its first Memorial Day on May 5, 1866, and was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
Unofficially, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2023, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 14 through May 20, 2023, as Police Week. I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities and salute our Nation’s brave law enforcement officers and remember their peace officer brothers and sisters who have given their last full measure of devotion in the line of duty. I also call on the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
YES IT IS
Perhaps I was asleep at the wheel, but I just discovered this injustice - and it's been going on since Obama Care. The image is dated, and the figure today is around $570. Our government has got to do better by our military families.
I just finished reading a post from Congressman Posey regarding the Chinese Communist Party supplying energy products to the U.S. covertly. His response follows:
"Congressman Posey's bipartisan, bicameral legislation to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for violating U.S. trade laws and support American manufacturers and workers passed the House floor last week.
The bill utilizes the Congressional Review Act to rescind a recent Commerce Department rule which allows CCP-owned and other foreign solar manufacturers to circumvent U.S. trade tariffs by delivering their products to the U.S. through third-party counties, all to the detriment of American companies and workers
“Our federal government should be getting behind American businesses and leading the effort to boost our competitiveness around the world, especially when it comes to our nation’s energy independence. The Department of Commerce rule is a loophole that favors foreign businesses and undercuts American manufacturers of solar panels,” said Congressman Posey."
If eligible, you can get your tickets here: Sea World
On Veterans Day 2022, it was announced that veterans of the U.S. Armed Services and Gold Star Families can obtain a free lifetime pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites spread out across more than 400 million acres of public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests.
“We have a sacred obligation to America’s veterans. This new lifetime pass is a small demonstration of our nation’s gratitude and support for those who have selflessly served in the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Secretary Deb Haaland, whose father served during the Vietnam War. “I’m proud the Department of the Interior can provide veterans and Gold Star Families opportunities for recreation, education and enjoyment from our country’s treasured lands.”
“Our national forests and grasslands represent so much of the beauty of the nation our brave service members have sacrificed so much for,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Though they can never be fully repaid, by connecting the families of the fallen and those who served with these iconic places, we can, in a small way, say thank you.”
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our federal teammates are proud to honor our veterans with free lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas across the nation,” said Lieutenant General (LTG) Scott Spellmon, Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“This is a small token of appreciation for veterans who have bravely dedicated their lives to defending our freedom.” “This pass conveys our immense gratitude and respect for those who have given so much,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “As a veteran, I know firsthand the many sacrifices that members of the Armed Forces and their families have made in service to our country, and I am thrilled that Gold Star Families and military veterans can now enjoy lifetime access to national parks and other public lands.”
Each lifetime pass covers entrance fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle (or passholder and up to three adults at sites that charge per person) at national parks and national wildlife refuges, as well as standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Veterans can present one of the four forms of acceptable ID (Department of Defense ID Card, Veteran Health ID (VHIC), Veteran ID Card, or veteran’s designation on a state-issued US driver’s license or ID card) at participating federal recreation areas that normally charge an entrance fee. Gold Star Families obtain information, self-certify they qualify and download a voucher on NPS.gov.
The Alexander Lofgran Veterans in Parks Act, passed in December 2021, authorized free lifetime access to federal lands to veterans and Gold Star Families. The new lifetime pass for veterans and Gold Star Families is in addition to the free annual Military Pass, which has been available to active duty servicemembers and their families since Armed Forces Day, May 19, 2012.
Federal recreational land management agencies offer additional lifetime passes, including a Senior Pass for US citizens or permanent residents over age 62 and an Access Pass for US citizens or permanent residents with a permanent disability. More information is available on NPS.gov.
The Interior Department and other federal land agencies also offer fee-free entrance days for everyone throughout the year to mark days of celebration and commemoration.
Although the title says FREE, if you order your pass online with your name on it from the USG store, there is a $10 "processing fee" attached.
The posts made on this Blog are those of the author and may or may not reflect the views of Rolling Thunder® National, Chapter 1 Florida, or any of its leadership.
There is no specific topic or agenda, just postings of what the author thinks is of concern or interest.
If you have something you would like to post, email it to our salty Blogmaster.
Thank you, and keep in mind that you can always comment on any post.