This week at American Veteran, we will be following VA's announcement of its FY2011 budget proposal, which takes place at VA headquarters in Washington this afternoon. AMVETS National Executive Director Jim King and National Legislative Director Ray Kelley will be on hand for the announcement. VA will formally present its budget proposal to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on Thursday.
AMVETS is a partner in the Independent Budget, a comprehensive line-by-line analysis, compiled by the nation's top VSOs, explaining how the veterans' community believes Congress should allocate funds for VA each fiscal year. To learn more about the IB, Click Here.
American Veteran will also be following several key hearings in the House and Senate this week, such as tomorrow's hearing before the Senate Armed Service Committee where Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen will announce their plans for addressing the military's controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
In the wake of last week's State of the Union address, AMVETS clarified its stance on the issue, as voted on by AMVETS membership.
American Veteran will also follow Wednesday's hearing in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs where VA and Humana will discuss the Project HERO pilot program, which was designed to offer critical health care services to rural and remote veterans consistent with VA standards. AMVETS has made rural and remote veterans' access to care a top legislative priority for 2010.
Next, today is Feb. 1--the day VA claimed all Post-9/11 G.I. Bill requests would be processed, should all necessary paperwork be received by Jan. 19. AMVETS leaders will be following the situation closely, though initial reports suggest that veterans are already receiving payment for their spring semester living stipends. If you hear otherwise, please let us know by posting on this blog or contacting the AMVETS National Communications Department via email.
AMVETS will also participate in meetings this week with the Department of Labor to further discuss the Veterans Employment Initiative, which is designed to help veterans enter the federal workforce. AMVETS is one of the few VSOs working directly with the Department of Labor to ensure the program succeeds.
As always, we're eager to hear from our readers and from AMVETS posts and departments around the country. Last week, we posted our first Keeping Posted Online story. We're eager to share as much as we can down the road. Check back regularly for updates.