AMVETS in Action

Weekly Recap (June 19 – 23)

Some of the top stories circulating the veteran community.

Miles Migs

Trump to sign VA accountability bill on Friday | By: Associated Press – The White House says President Donald Trump will sign a bill Friday to make it easier to fire Department of Veterans Affairs employees. The measure has broad bipartisan support and is part of an effort encouraged by Trump to fix an agency that provides health care and other services to millions of veterans. The bill was prompted by a 2014 scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center, where some veterans died while waiting for care. Trump promised as a candidate to fire VA employees “who let our veterans down.” VA Secretary David Shulkin supports the measure. The bill cleared the House last week by a vote of 368-55, and the Senate by voice vote. Trump is to sign the measure during a ceremony in the White House East Room.

Pennsylvania Just Made It Illegal To Lie About Military Service | By J.D. PROSE, BEAVER COUNTY TIMES – A bill that would make it a misdemeanor to benefit from lying about military service or receiving decorations or medals unanimously passed the state Senate on Tuesday and now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk to be signed into law.
House Bill 168, introduced by state Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Elizabeth Township, bans anyone from economically benefiting from lying about their service or decorations. Violators could be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor. “Our men and women of the armed forces and their families deserve the utmost respect and praise, and criminals who disguise themselves as illegitimate veterans demean our true American heroes,” Saccone said. “Some people have actually tried to make money by falsely claiming veteran status,” said Saccone, an Air Force veteran and a 2018 U.S. Senate candidate. “They will now be brought to account.” Saccone said lying about military service or medals to make money “is truly an insult and discredit to the men and women who have selflessly sacrifices their lives on the battlefield.” Saccone introduced the same legislation in May 2016, calling it the Stolen Valor Act. It unanimously passed the state House in June 2016, but did not advance in the Senate. When the new legislative session started in January, Saccone reintroduced his bill and it passed the House 190-0 in April. In 2013, Congress passed the federal Stolen Valor Act, which addressed those who might lie about having military decorations and medals, such as the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart, in order to obtain benefits. Those convicted of violating the federal law can face fines and up to a year in jail.

School owner admits stealing $2.8M from veterans program | By: The Associated Press – The owner of a New Jersey computer training center has admitted stealing $2.8 million from a program designed to help veterans find employment.
Elizabeth Honig pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of government funds. The 52-year-old Morganville, New Jersey, resident faces up to 10 years in prison when she’s sentenced Sept. 25. Honig owns the Eatontown-based Computer Insight Learning Center. Federal prosecutors say she helped 182 veterans enroll to receive federal funding under a program designed to help older, unemployed veterans receive training and find employment in high demand occupations. But the vast majority of these veterans were either not eligible or not actually attending the training. Honig admitted logging on to the applications system more than 100 times and certifying that she was the actual veteran who was applying for benefits.

AMVETS Scholarship Recipients Announced! See the list of our students who earned a scholarship: http://www.amvets.org/2017-amvets-natl-scholarship-recipients-announced/

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