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PACT Finally Passes

Biden Signs Burn Pits Bill; The Journey Is Not Done

As reported August 10 by Sara Samora for Stars and Stripes, President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will expand eligibility for healthcare and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins. “As a nation we have many obligations and only one truly sacred obligation: to equip those we send into harm’s way, and to care for them and their families when they come home,” Biden said during the signing ceremony at the White House. “Today, we’re one step closer to filling that sacred obligation.” The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, or PACT Act, passed last week by a vote of 86 to 11. 

40th Anniversary of the Wall

Join us in Washington, D.C., November 11, 2022, for the 40th Anniversary of 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial  

We are the Last Vietnam War Survivors.

Let us show the American public that we have not forgotten.

Join us in a salute to those we lost

and those of us still surviving….

Each of our 48 VVA State Councils

will be represented by a color guard.


  • The “Massing of Colors” is a fitting way for us to show our respect and love for our 58,281 brothers and sisters.
  • This is our “local” VVA event to be held in our nation’s capital to recognize the 9.2 million veterans who served with us during the Vietnam era.


COLA 2023

Record Pay Increase Likely for Disabled Vets and Military Retirees

As reported August 17 by Amy Bushatz for Military.com, military retirees and veterans receiving disability pay from the VA are likely to see record monthly check increases for the second year running, thanks to the pace of inflation, according to new estimates. The annual VA disability pay and military retirement cost-of-living pay adjustment, known as COLA, is typically tied to the Social Security rate change, which will likely be announced in October. An early projection based on national inflation data by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a nonpartisan senior advocacy nonprofit, estimates rates will rise by 9.6 percent. That increase would be the highest veterans and seniors have seen since 1981, when it went up 11.2 percent in response to inflation at the time, according to a TSCL press release.

Parkinson’s Disease Research

Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers

The VA recently established six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers or “PADRECCs.” Each PADRECC delivers state-of-the-art clinical care, conducts innovative research, and offers outreach and educational programs to all veterans currently enrolled in the VA. Eligible veterans include those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and those who have just started to notice PD-like symptoms.

PADRECCs also treat veterans diagnosed with other movement disorders, like essential tremor. PADRECCs are in Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, VA; and San Francisco, CA.

For veterans who cannot travel to a PADRECC, the VA also has more than 51 Consortium Centers—VA clinics that offer specialized Parkinson’s disease and movement-disorder specialty care. These Centers are staffed by movement disorder specialists or clinicians with vast experience and interest in the field of movement disorders. These VA Consortium Centers work collaboratively with the six PADRECCs to ensure the highest level of care for all veterans. To find a VA Consortium Center near you, go to https://www.parkinsons.va.gov/Care.asp

Four Vietnam Veterans Awarded the Medal of Honor

VVA Applauds the Recognition of Four Vietnam Veterans
Awarded the Medal of Honor
(Washington, D.C.) — “Vietnam Veterans of America commends President Joseph Biden for
yesterday’s recognition of the incredible acts of heroism of four U.S. Army Vietnam veterans by
upgrading their previous awards to the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military medal for
valor and bravery,” said VVA National President Jack McManus.

Of the 66 surviving Medal of Honor recipients today, 48 are Vietnam veterans. Our Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients represent an entire generation of Vietnam servicemembers who waited
too long to receive the welcome home and the recognition they deserved,” McManus said. “And
while this public acknowledgement of these heroes is long overdue, coming half a century after
these soldiers left these fields of battle, it’s also vital to keep remembering all those military
servicemembers who put everything on the line to defend our nation and our values.”

“The story of each of these men is truly inspirational,” McManus added. “They embody the men
and women who enter our armed forces, prepared to give their lives. This official gesture toward
setting the record straight is one way that we can honor them and remember their service.”

Staff Sergeant Edward N. Kaneshiro received his posthumous MOH for actions while serving as
an infantry squad leader with Troop C, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, near Phu
Huu 2, Kim Son Valley, Republic of Vietnam. On Dec. 1, 1966, while on a search and destroy
mission, the squad was attacked. Sgt. Kaneshiro destroyed one enemy group with rifle fire and
two others with grenades, enabling the orderly extrication and reorganization of the platoon and
ultimately leading to a successful withdrawal from the village.

SP5 Dwight W. Birdwell’s MOH recognizes his actions while serving with Troop C, 3rd
Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division, in the Republic of Vietnam on January 31, 1968.
Tan Son Nhut Airbase was under attack, and the enemy disabled or destroyed many of the unit’s
vehicles, including SP5 Birdwell’s tank commander. Under heavy enemy small-arms fire, he first
fired the tank’s weapons and then dismounted and continued fighting until receiving enemy fire
to his face and torso. SP5 Birdwell remembers, “I stood on top of my tank with my M-16 rifle to
fire at the enemy. I didn’t want to die, but I wanted to do my job.” After refusing evacuation to
lead a small group of defenders to disrupt the enemy assault, Spec. 5 Birdwell finally boarded a
medevac helicopter, only to crawl out the other side to continue aiding in evacuating the wounded
until he was ordered to seek attention for his own wounds.

SP5 Dennis M. Fujii received the MOH for his actions while serving as crew chief aboard a
helicopter ambulance during rescue operations in Laos and the Republic of Vietnam from
February 18-22, 1971. During a mission to evacuate seriously wounded Vietnamese military
personnel, SP5 Fujii’s medevac helicopter took on enemy fire and was forced to crash
land. Although injured, he waved off a rescue from another helicopter and remained behind as
the only American on the battlefield. During that night and the next day, although wounded, he
administered first aid to allied casualties. On the night of February 19, he called in American
helicopter gunships to assist in repelling an enemy attack. For more than 17 hours, he repeatedly
exposed himself to hostile fire as he left the security of his entrenchment to better observe enemy
troop positions and to direct air strikes against them until an American helicopter could attempt
to airlift him from the area.

Major John J. Duffy received the MOH for his actions while serving as senior advisor to the 11th
Airborne Battalion, 2nd Brigade, Airborne Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, from
April 14-15, 1972. Two days earlier, the commander of the 11th Airborne Battalion had been
killed, the battalion command post destroyed, and Major Duffy was twice wounded. The only
American left with a squad of South Vietnamese soldiers, he refused an order to evacuate, telling
his superiors, “I will be the last man out.” For the next 48 hours, despite additional injuries, Major
Duffy continued directing operations and fighting. After an enemy ambush, he led evacuees,
many wounded, to an evacuation area. Only after ensuring all evacuees were aboard the
helicopters he had called in, did he board as well.