Veteran Policy Update: Senator King in the news; co-sponsored legislation; news & research; lots of events; funding opportunities

May 20, 2019   Hi everyone,   Have a great week!   Senator King in the news: Sen. King: Amid fragile advances in Iraq, ISIS remains a major threat, by Angus King, Tammy Duckworth and Johnny Isakson, Special to the Press Herald, May 17, 2019 To save Iraq, we need to remain engaged with the country’s government and its people. The recent video of Islamic State terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reasserting his presence was a jarring reminder of a grim reality: The battle against terror, in Iraq and Syria and worldwide, is evolving – not over. Contrary to some public perception, ISIS is not defeated and the threat could again intensify if left unchecked.   Senator King co-sponsored (links to for more details): S. 1421 – A bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 23d Headquarters Special Troops and the 3133d Signal Service Company in recognition of their unique and distinguished service as a “Ghost Army” that conducted deception operations in Europe during World War II. S. 1049 – Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2019 S. 1443 – A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a nonrefundable credit for working family caregivers.   ICYMI (Links to the following news and research items are offered in the spirit of outreach and public education. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the Senator or his staff.)   To reach the Veterans Crisis Line call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.  Military Appreciation: What is Being Done for Current and Veteran Military Mainers, MainePublic, May 14, 2019   Listen to Maine Calling’s discussion on support services for Maine’s veterans. We discuss the challenges facing veterans and military families, and the support services available, in a state with no active military bases. Travis Mills, quadruple amputee, veteran and veteran advocate.  Chaplain Col. Andrew Gibson, JFHQ Chaplain & Deployment Cycle Support, Maine Army National Guard Paul Tormey (by phone), Bangor Savings Bank senior treasury and payment services officer, served in the U.S. Army as an armorer and training noncommissioned officer with the 415th Military Intel Battalion, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom David Richmond (by phone), director, Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services VA’s Home Loan Guaranty program notifies Veterans of potential loan fee waivers, VA Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, May 13, 2019 WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced May 13 that Veterans who qualify for a VA Home Loan funding fee waiver are now being notified in their home loan eligibility certificate and disability compensation award letter. The recent change to the Home Loan Guaranty program aims to improve benefits delivery to Veteran homebuyers.  Women Veterans Are Starting More and More STEM Businesses: Here Are the Resources They Need, by Rosalinda Maury and Misty Stutsman,, (most recently posted in NVI’s News you can use, May 10 2019)   Women veterans, active duty women service members and women military spouses may want to explore a program called V-WISE. Today, women veterans comprise 17 percent of the post-9/11 veteran population and are the fastest-growing sub-population of the veteran community, according to data from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). These veterans are also increasingly starting and growing businesses, even in the previously male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineer, mathematics) fields. In fact, women veterans are twice as likely to pursue STEM-related occupations as their civilian counterparts. The Friends of the National World War II Memorial is calling on all World War II veterans to join us at the National World War II Memorial this year as we continue with our four-year WWII 75th Anniversary Commemoration, marking the 75th anniversary of every battle and campaign during World War II. 

Let us Honor You, Recognize You, and Thank You at the World War II Memorial!

Friends is the only organization hosting a four-year 75th anniversary commemoration, marking every battle in which American troops participated during World War II. Since the beginning of the 75th anniversary commemoration on Pearl Harbor Day 2016, Friends has hosted twenty 75th anniversary ceremonies at the Memorial. The Friends of the National World War II Memorial WWII 75th Anniversary Commemoration still has two more years full of ceremonies left, as it will continue through the 75th anniversary of V-J Day on September 2, 2020.

Among the battles whose 75th anniversaries Friends will be marking over the course of 2019 are the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, France on D-Day on June 6, 2019 and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge on December 16, 2019.  In order to honor, remember, and celebrate the Greatest Generation, we want to be joined by as many of our World War II Veterans as possible. But even if our veterans can’t make it in person or if they’ve left us too soon, they can still be honored!  If you are a WWII veteran or you know of one, please be sure to sign up to be remembered today! CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2019 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 75th Anniversary of the GI Bill, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, visited March 7, 2019   How has the GI Bill impacted your life? Share your story! Since 1944 the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill, has impacted the lives of millions of Veterans and their families. The law provided a wide range of benefits to Veterans returning from World War II, including low-cost home loans, education and vocational training, unemployment payments, and an expansion of Veterans’ health care. As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the GI Bill, we will tell the story of how this legislation has impacted Veterans and their families for generations.   Share your story by submitting a video any time between March 1 and June 22, 2019. Whether your story involves getting an education, buying a house, or other VA benefits that impacted your life. Your story may appear on our YouTube page, highlighted on this page, or other VA materials. We’ll be featuring stories from March through June as VA celebrates this important milestone.   Webinars and other events: VA’s national cemeteries to host Memorial Day ceremonies, VA Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, May 15, 2019 WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) will host Memorial Day ceremonies from May 25 to May 27 to commemorate the nation’s fallen service members. Wills for Heroes A pro bono event providing FREE BASIC ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES for veterans and their spouses Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:00-7:00 p.m. Bangor Vet Center  Pine Tree Legal Assistance and the Maine State Bar Association have coordinated several attorney volunteers to prepare wills, and related basic estate planning instruments free of charge for low income veterans living in our community.  We are honored to provide this service to the heroes who have sacrificed so much for this country and community. We hope to see you at one of our clinics! Interested veterans and their spouses should make an appointment by contacting us at or (207) 400-3229. A member of our staff will return messages and provide necessary intake documents which must be returned to a Pine Tree office no later than May 17th. There is limited opportunity for services, and preference will be given to those registered in advance.   Next:  Portland – June 13, 2019, 3:00-7:00 p.m. at University of Southern Maine The Maine Veterans Coordinating Committee’s last meeting until September is   Monday, June 3rd, 2019, 6PM Maine Veterans’ Homes Central Office 460 Civic Center Drive Augusta, Maine The Maine Veterans Coordinating Committee is established as a nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonsectarian organization for the purpose of serving the State’s congressional delegation, the Legislature, local governments and the general public as a clearinghouse of information and suggested legislation regarding veterans’ issues at local, state and federal levels.  MVCC meetings are the first Monday of the month, September – June. All are welcome.  FMI: David Patch, Adult Mental Health First Aid for Veterans and Their Families 
June 11th, 2019
8:30 – 4:30 pm
Bangor Savings Bank
5 Senator Way
Augusta, Maine 04330
Mental Health First Aid is a national best-practice, evidenced-based certification course that is 8 hours in length and leads to a 3 year certification issued by the National Council on Behavioral Health.  This training is only for Veterans, their families and friends. Mental Health First Aid for Military Members, Veterans and their Families teaches people how to notice and respond to signs of mental health and addiction challenges with a specific focus on the cultural factors related to military life. Register Here:… FMI: Cecilia Natale,, 207-622-5767 — VATown Hall
Wednesday, June 12th – 5:00 PM
St. Anne’s Episcopal Church 23 Church Street, Calais, ME June 13th, 2019 Open House event, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Vet Center program All Maine Vet Centers invite Veterans, active duty service members, their families and the general public to visit!  See times below and attached for addresses and background information. Portland Vet Center 12-2pm Sanford Vet Center 4pm-630pm Bangor Vet Center 10am-4pm Lewiston Vet Center 4pm-7pm Northern Maine Vet Center 4pm-6pm A Veterans’ Memorial Inter-Tribal Pow Wow hosted at VA Medical Center-Togus June 15 and 16. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. Grand entry 12:00 p.m. Closing at 5:00 p.m. The weekend will feature Grandmothers Tears traditional Drum & singers, Sacred Spirit, 2 Bears Flutes of Maine, Humble Spirit, Heavy Rain, Fish River Singers, Mountain Spirit, the Wolf Ledge Refuge, Spanish Mustangs, as well as Tipi Displays, 15 vendors and food trucks. FMI, contact Maureen Haley at 207-570-8764. Honor Flight Maine could use your help! Honor Flight Maine is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s Veterans for all their service and sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to tour, experience and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to our most frail veterans – terminally ill veterans of all conflicts and World War II survivors. Korean and Vietnam Veterans are also transported on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis.   The next flight is June 28, 29, 30 – All flights leave/arrive at PWM (with welcome home events on the Sunday of their return).  Honor Flight is looking for WW II veterans who would like to go on this trip! Call 207-370-7210 or go visit their website for more info. Notices of Funding, Proposals, Recognition:  Capitalize on a grant opportunity, a National Veterans Intermediary press release, May 10, 2019
NVI’s sponsor, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, has opened up its Fall 2019 Charitable Investments Program grant cycle! Share this opportunity with organizations in your community doing evidence-based work to improve veteran well-being and quality of life. Eligible nonprofits have until May 31st to submit an application.Are you ready to solve a problem?  Check out 100&Change – from the MacArthur Foundation   The competition launched on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. You must register by Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. Central. Applications are due no later than Tuesday August 6, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. Central. 100&Change is a MacArthur Foundation competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem. Proposals focused on any critical issue are welcome… No sector or field is out of bounds for this competition. All proposals, however, must propose a serious solution to a significant problem that has a charitable purpose. Proposals must then pass through a rigorous application process and meet the requirements of being impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. — As always, I am eager to hear from you. Thank you for all that you are doing! Please feel free to call or write.    Best Regards,

Teague Morris
Outreach Director | Senator Angus S. King, Jr., Maine
4 Gabriel Drive, Suite 3 | Augusta, ME 04330
Tel: 207-622-8292 | Tel:1-800-432-1599| Cell: 207-252-8997
Fax: 207-621-0286 |

Post expires at 4:27am on Friday May 31st, 2019

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