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COVID-19 Vaccine Update

COVID-19 Vaccine Update: The Montana VA Health Care System (MTVAHCS) is excited to announce that the first shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines arrived at our Fort Harrison VA Medical Center this morning!

The vaccine will be distributed to enrolled Veterans based on a risk stratification table. First, MTVAHCS frontline staff and our Community Living Center residents and staff will be vaccinated. Veterans who are considered highly vulnerable will be the next to receive the vaccine.

As you are identified by clinical staff to be within each risk level to receive the Moderna vaccine, a healthcare team member will contact you to schedule a vaccine appointment. MTVAHCS encourages all Veterans to receive a COVID-19 vaccination (the vaccine is not mandatory). We understand that you may have questions about a new vaccine. Please do not hesitate to send your healthcare team a secure message through MyHealtheVet or call 844-819-0833 to set up a time to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine will be administered in two separate doses, approximately one month apart. Recipients may experience a mild reaction to the first dose (injection site soreness, muscle aches, etc.) and possibly a greater reaction to the second dose (chills, nausea, headaches, fever, fatigue, etc.).

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, reference these COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs.


Army Proposes Limiting Retiree Burials in Arlington National Cemetery

As reported September 16 by Jim Absher for Military.com, the Army is proposing limiting the number of burials in Arlington National Cemetery, and retirees may be the first to be affected. A proposed rule published in the Federal Register seeks public comment on limiting interments, both burials and inurnments, in Arlington National Cemetery to only those who are retired, saw combat, received certain military awards, served as president or vice president, or were family members of otherwise qualified individuals.
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Jon Stewart Leads Renewed Fight on Benefits for Burn Pit Victims

In a September 15 story for Military Times, Leo Shane III reports that veterans advocates on Tuesday launched a new campaign for additional recognition and aid for troops exposed to toxic burn pit fumes during overseas deployments at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, saying time is running out to provide real help to the victims. “This is not about science, this is about money,” said comedian Jon Stewart in an emotional press conference on Capitol Hill featuring numerous families of dead and dying veterans whose rare illnesses aren’t officially recognized by federal officials as stemming from burn pit exposure.
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Veteran News

BREAKING: Takano, Roe, Tester, Moran Statement on House Passage of Groundbreaking Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Bill, Congressional Veterans’ Affairs leaders’ top legislative priority—connecting veterans with life-saving mental health care—heads to President’s desk
https://veterans.house.gov/news/press-releases/breaking-takano-roe-tester-moran-statement-on-house-passage-of-groundbreaking-commander-john-scott-hannon-veterans-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-bill

Tester Spearheads Senate Call to Ensure his Landmark Agent Orange Exposure Bill is Included in Final Annual Defense Bill
https://www.veterans.senate.gov/newsroom/minority-news/tester-spearheads-senate-call-to-ensure-his-landmark-agent-orange-exposure-bill-is-included-in-final-annual-defense-bill-

TAKE ACTION:  Please ask your member of Congress to support Tester/Harder amendment in the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act
https://vva.org/what-we-do/veterans-advocacy/legislative-action-center/

Senate VA Committee Advances Two Bills to Expand Veteran Benefits
https://www.veterans.senate.gov/newsroom/news/senate-va-committee-advances-two-bills-to-expand-veteran-benefits

Lawmakers question VA approach on burn pits, advance bill to help military toxic exposure victims
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/09/23/lawmakers-question-va-approach-on-burn-pits-advance-bill-to-help-military-toxic-exposure-victims/

VA notifies Veterans of compromised personal information https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5519

Vietnam Veterans of America is A Not-For-Profit Veterans Service Organization Chartered by the United States Congress


Unveiling of President Dwight D Eisenhower Memorial

As reported September 9 by Nikki Wentling for Stars and Stripes, the long-awaited presidential memorial honoring Dwight D. Eisenhower will be dedicated and unveiled in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 17 – more than 20 years after Congress commissioned it. The memorial – dedicated to the life, military service, and presidency of Eisenhower – sits on four acres along Independence Avenue, just off the National Mall. It was designed by architect Frank Gehry, now 91, and went through various stages of redesign because of criticism from Eisenhower’s family.
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