Military Pharmacies Tell Arizona Active Duty Soldiers, Veterans, and Their Families There Is No Money for Prescriptions

Active duty soldiers, veterans, and their families in southern Arizona are being told by pharmacies located on federal military bases that their prescriptions cannot be renewed due to lack of funding. The Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center pharmacy located at Ft. Huachuca, known as an installation pharmacy, is currently undergoing one of these shortages, telling customers there will be no funds available until July 17. The pharmacy is directing customers to commercial pharmacies where they must pay out of pocket for their medications.

Army veteran Jack Dona, who is part of CONELRAD, a think tank looking into election fraud, told The Arizona Sun Times he discovered the problem when attempting to refill prescriptions over a week ago there. He was forced to refill them out of pocket at a nearby Walgreens instead. 

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Music Spotlight: Remembering the Rose Garden Marines

Country music legend Lynn Anderson became the U.S. Marines’ unofficial ambassador 50 years ago when they used her award-winning song, “I Beg Your Pardon (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden),” in a recruitment ad campaign.

The term “rose garden” is an ironic reference that led to one of the most memorable recruitment campaigns in the Marine Corps history, forever linking country music superstar Anderson with the Marines.

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Disabled Connecticut Veterans to Receive Break on Taxes

Disabled Veterans

Connecticut veterans with disabilities will get a break on their property and vehicle taxes under a bill signed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

The measure, which passed the Legislature with bipartisan support, covers veterans with a permanent and total disability rating resulting from their active-duty service. The exemption, expected to impact about 1,200 veterans in the state, will apply to the primary resident owned by an eligible disabled service member or, if they don’t own a home, to one motor vehicle owned by the service member.

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Commentary: DOD Must Strengthen Support for Veterans

Military Veterans

Veterans have positively impacted the success of our nation since its inception. Our nation’s service members make up every aspect of our society and represent every ethnic group at some level. Military service is highly regarded by the vast majority of our nation. For many, it provides a chance to grow, transform and serve something greater than themselves. Countless veterans continue their service to their country as leaders in business, government, and their communities. Their inherent leadership skills coupled with a time-honored ethos make them first-round draft choices for any organization.

Although many veterans find the path to the next chapter of their life a rewarding and exciting time, too many struggle, often because civilian and government organizations have little to no real understanding of military service’s attributes. Some of our nation’s most successful businesses have active recruitment of veterans and veteran resource groups in their companies. This isn’t sentimental – they have benefitted from that investment. Many more could benefit from a more in-depth understanding of what veterans truly offer.

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States File Brief in Lawsuit to Force VA to Cover Gender Affirming Surgery

Doctors performing surgery

A group of states filed a friend of the court brief supporting a transgender veterans group that filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs seeking gender-confirmation surgery for 163,000 transgender veterans.

The Transgender American Veterans Association lawsuit, filed last month, seeks an order that the Department of Veterans Affairs act on the group’s 2016 rule-making petition for gender-confirmation surgery.

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Trump Announces Plans to End Funding for Homeless Hotels and Focus on Veterans

Former President Donald Trump said he would end the funding for homeless immigrants in hotels if elected president.

“Under crooked Joe Biden, the U.S. government has spent nearly $1 billion to house illegal aliens and foreign migrants in expensive, luxury hotels courtesy of you, the American taxpayer, and they want to spend billions and billions more,” Trump said in a video message posted on his social media platform. “In many states, we are running out of hotel space because the rooms are all booked up with illegal aliens living in a very large way on the American taxpayers’ dime.”

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Pennsylvania Eyes Veterans Home Advisory Board

A push to reform the oversight of Pennsylvania’s half-dozen homes for veterans would create an advisory board to improve care and watch over the dwellings.

Senate Bill 933 would give a 15-member Veterans Home Advisory Board the responsibility to provide input on quality of care concerns for the more than 1,300 Pennsylvania veterans living in the six homes across the state.

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Florida Pays $100 Million to ‘Hometown Heroes’ Who Relocate to State

Florida has provided over $100 million in down payment and closing cost assistance for nearly 7,000 veterans, active-duty service members, nurses, teachers, first responders and law enforcement officers as more Americans continue to relocate to the Sunshine State.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature created the Hometown Heroes Housing Program to help those who serve their country and their communities to be able to afford to live where they serve.

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Republican Presidential Candidates Preach Faith, Freedom and ‘Revival’ to Iowa Evangelicals and Veterans

In a campaign conversation Sunday with veterans in Des Moines, biotech entrepreneur and GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy called for a rejection of the idea of a “national divorce” in favor of the beginning of a national revival. 

Ramaswamy, who describes himself as an unapologetic America First candidate, told a packed VFW Post 9127 hall in the city’s Beaverdale neighborhood Sunday morning that his is more than a presidential campaign —  it’s a mission to reclaim the soul of America. 

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Nearly 40 Percent of Veterans Reported Concerns About Being Able to Pay Medical Bills

A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics found that nearly 40% of veterans reported concerns about being able to pay their medical bills. 

Overall, the report found that 12.8% of veterans aged 25-64 had problems paying medical bills, 8.4% had forgone medical care and 38.4% were somewhat or very worried about being able to pay their medical bills if they got sick or had an accident. 

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Biden Budget to Fund ‘Transgender’ Treatments for Veterans

The Biden Administration’s proposed budget for 2024 includes funding for genital mutilation surgeries and hormone treatments for veterans who think they are “transgender.”

As the Daily Caller reports, the budget proposal comes after the Department of Veterans Affairs was ordered to lift a 20-year ban on such transgender procedures in June of 2021, thus allowing such treatments to be covered by Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.

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Anti-Regulatory Overreach Bill from State Representative Justin Wilmeth Passes Through House Floor

Arizona State Representative Justin Wilmeth (R-Phoenix) announced that his bill, House Bill (HB) 2254, aimed at restricting the state from enacting overreaching regulations, passed through the House Floor on Tuesday.

“Burdensome regulations can lead to higher prices, fewer small businesses, and fewer jobs,” said Wilmeth. “HB 2254 says legislative approval would be required before high-cost rules could be implemented by the state.”

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Wisconsin Governor Evers Proposes Expanding Veterans’ Programs

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) on Thursday announced several budget items for Fiscal Years 2023-25 that would expand aid to Badger State veterans. 

Priorities Evers mentioned included programs to assist ex-military personnel with employment, education, mental health and housing security. He said the proposal builds on earlier expenditures the governor and legislature made last year, spurred by recommendations of his Blue Ribbon Commission on Veteran Opportunity. 

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Virginia House of Delegates Passes Bill Eliminating Age Restriction for Military Benefit Tax Relief

Virginia may soon make younger veterans eligible for an income tax subtraction on military retirement pay under a bill that received bipartisan support in the House of Delegates Tuesday. 

House Bill 1436 received broad bipartisan support during a floor vote in the House Tuesday, passing out of the chamber in a 98-0 vote. The bill, authored by Del. John McGuire, R-Goochland, would remove the existing 55 and older age restriction for individuals eligible for a military benefits income tax subtraction. 

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Audit of Florida Veterans’ Nursing Homes Finds Staffing and Procurement Issues

The State Florida Auditor General released this week the results of an audit into the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, which analyzed the department’s nursing home staffing, time and attendance records and followed up a 2019 audit.

The first issue surrounded staff members missing meal breaks during shifts that ranged from 6 to 16 hours, while other staff were missing their entitled two 30-minute breaks during double shifts.

According to the department’s own procedures and policies, staff members must have written approval from a supervisor to be able to work through meal breaks.

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Virginia May Let Younger Veterans Get Tax Break

Virginia lawmakers may soon consider removing the existing age restriction on people eligible for a military benefits income tax subtraction under a bill pre-filed ahead of the 2023 session. 

House Bill 1436 by Del. John J. McGuire, R-Goochland, proposes removing the age 55 or older restriction, which would allow younger veterans to take advantage of income tax subtractions of up to $40,000 in military benefits in the coming years.

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Support for Pennsylvania’s 800,000 Veterans Is Still Lacking

Pennsylvania has the better part of a million veterans living within the commonwealth, but support for them can be lacking.

“I don’t like that veterans have to take care of veterans,” Rep. Joe Webster, D-Collegeville, said, noting a lack of centralized support. “Our nation should be taking care of these veterans. It shouldn’t fall to a 501(c)(3) or a group of guys just helping a veteran down the street … Our nation asks for the full measure – we’re not then taking care of them when they have sacrificed greater than the average citizen.”

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Numerous Programs Exist to Assist, Recognize Florida’s 1.5 Million Veterans

Calling Florida the “most veteran-friendly state,” Gov. Ron DeSantis says state agencies and partners are committed to caring for its 1.5 million veterans through a range of programs and resources. Throughout Military Family Appreciation Month, Attorney General Ashley Moody is also highlighting the state’s efforts to protect them from scams targeting those in the military.

“Florida’s veterans have made countless sacrifices to protect our freedoms, and in return we are working hard to ensure they have the resources and support they need to be successful and take care of their families,” DeSantis said. “My administration will continue to invest in our veterans in the same way that they made sacrifices to invest in the freedom of our nation.”

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Tennessee Representatives Join Letter Demanding Answers from Pentagon over Veterans’ Lack of Access to TRICARE Pharmacies

Tennessee Representatives Mark Green (R-TN-07), David Kustoff (R-TN-08), and Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) joined 25 of their colleagues on Wednesday in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “regarding the impact of the Department of Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) decision to proceed with Cigna/Express Script’s reduced reimbursement plan.”

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‘Honor Vote Program’ Allows Tennesseans to Dedicate Their Vote to a Veteran or Active-Duty U.S. Military Member

Tennesseans are able to ceremonially dedicate their vote in the State and Federal general election this November to a veteran or an active-duty member of the U.S. military. The Tennessee Secretary of State’s Honor Vote Program “lets Tennesseans dedicate their vote to those who are serving or have served our country.”

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Legislation Would Exempt Ohio’s Fully Disabled Veterans from Property Taxes

State Representative Tom Patton (R-OH-Strongsville) is spearheading an effort to end property taxation for fully disabled military veterans and their surviving spouses in the Buckeye State.

According to the legislature’s official analysis of Patton’s bill, Ohio presently exempts $50,000 of the assessed value of homes owned by honorably discharged veterans who the federal Department of Veterans Affairs has given a 100-percent disability rating. Individuals so designated are considered severely impaired and unable to function professionally. A deceased veteran’s surviving wife or husband can access the exemption if the veteran received the benefit the year he or she died, lived at the residence during the veteran’s passing and continues to own that home. 

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More than 100,000 Veterans Hired Through Virginia Program

More than 100,000 veterans have been hired through a Virginia program that educates and trains veterans and helps connect them with employers, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced.

Virginia Values Veterans, which is run by the Virginia Department of Veteran Services, started in 2012. According to a news release, the program works with employers to develop long-term strategies and best practices to recruit, hire and retain veterans. The department also works with more than 2,100 businesses, educational institutions and state and local government agencies.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis Announces Plan to Recruit and Retain Public School Teachers, Calls Florida ‘The State Where Woke Goes to Die’

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced a plan to recruit public school teachers from other sectors of the community and retain effective teachers who can apprentice new recruits.

In a press conference Tuesday, DeSantis discussed three proposals he is presenting for Florida’s 2023 legislative session, all of which seek to recruit “the best and brightest” teachers in the state’s public school classrooms.

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Biden Signs Funding Bill for Veterans Exposed to Toxins

President Joe Biden signed the veterans health care bill known as the PACT Act Wednesday, expanding health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxins.

After a short struggle between Senate Democrats and Republicans, the PACT Act has been signed into law and will offer benefits and services to more than five million veterans exposed to toxins during their time of service.

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Governor Glenn Youngkin Donates Salary to Virginia Veterans Services Foundation

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin elected to donate his second-quarter salary to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, a group that helps fund various veteran-focused services in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The donation, which totaled $43,750, follows previous donations of his gubernatorial salary and Youngkin’s commitment to assist individuals who have served our country.

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Kay Kirkpatrick Assesses State-Run Veteran Nursing Homes for Improvements

The Georgia State Senate’s office announced that State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta), chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security, has been appointed to the new Subcommittee on Veteran Nursing Facilities.

“I am honored to serve as chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security as we work to ensure our service members get the best quality of life possible,” Congresswoman Kirkpatrick said.

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Veteran-Benefit Bill That Would’ve Facilitated Miscellaneous Spending Blocked; Pennsylvania Senator Toomey Urges Refocusing It

On Wednesday, a U.S. Senate vote to proceed with veteran-benefits legislation failed to receive the 60 votes needed for cloture, as Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and other fiscal conservatives noted the PACT Act would have permitted up to $400 billion to be spent on unrelated programs.

Earlier this week, Toomey urged Senate colleagues to accept his proposed amendment to keep the bill focused entirely on aiding those who served in the Armed Forces.

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Senator Ron Johnson Calls for Improved Care of Veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs

Senator Ron Johnson and other colleagues issued a letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis R. McDonough over concerns about access to health care for veterans across the country.

According to the letter from the group, the federal agency has subjected veterans to long waiting periods and is not following guidance from federal statute.

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Actor Gary Sinise to Relocate Foundation from California to Tennessee

Actor Gary Sinise, who played “Lieutenant Dan” in the hit move “Forrest Gump,” is relocating his foundation from California to Nashville, Tennessee.

The organization, entitled the Gary Sinise Foundation, is veteran-focused and has a mission to support “unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities” for those who have served our country.

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Wisconsin Rep. Fitzgerald Introduces Motion to Protect Veteran Benefits from Biden Vaccine Mandate

Wisconsin Representative Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI-05) introduced a motion to protect veteran G.I. Bill benefits from the Biden Administration’s COVID vaccine mandate. Fitzgerald shared his concerns on the floor, saying, “the Secretary of Defense issued a directive requiring mandatory COVID vaccination for all service members, including those in the Ready Reserve, and the National Guard. Despite the challenges this vaccine mandate currently faces in court, the Defense Department has proceeded to discharge those who refuse the vaccine.”

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As Virginia Legislative Session Begins, Bills to Increase School Security Weighed

As the 2021-2022 legislative year begins in Virginia, one bill would mandate security protocols for school board meetings statewide.

HB 12 says schools would be required to “limit to the lowest feasible number the entry points in each public school building in the local school division” and “ensure that each individual who seeks to enter any school building in the local school division is screened with a handheld metal detector wand by a school security officer or another appropriate school board employee who is appropriately trained in such method of screening.”

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Veterans Group Says Biden Administration Undermining Trump-era ‘Mission Act,’ Hurting Veterans in Arizona

Man in uniform saluting

Under the Trump administration, the VA Mission Act (VAMA) was enacted in 2018 to provide veterans access to healthcare outside of the Veterans Administration healthcare system in order to provide more options and speed up accessibility to medical care. Unfortunately, veterans are reporting that the VA under the Biden administration has cut back on that expansion.

VAMA allowed veterans who could not get a medical appointment within 20 days or who had to drive more than 30 minutes to a VA facility to use alternate private healthcare providers instead. This was crucial, because veterans were dying while stuck on waiting lists for medical treatment, Josh Stanwitz of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) told The Arizona Sun Times.

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University of Tennessee System Proposes New Initiative to Offer Veterans In-State Tuition Rate

On Veterans Day this week, the University of Tennessee announced a new proposed initiative that would allow military-affiliated students–veterans, active-duty military personnel, reservists, Tennessee National Guard members, and Army and Air Force ROTC cadets to attend a UT institution of their choosing at the in-state tuition rate, according to a press release.

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Facebook Buys up the Outstanding Invoices of Minority-Owned Small Businesses

Facebook is spending $100 million to buy up the outstanding invoices of small businesses owned by women, racial minorities, veterans, disabled people and LGBTQ+ people, the company announced last week.

The Invoice Fast Track Program allows certain “small, midsize and diverse-owned businesses” to submit outstanding invoices to Facebook. The tech giant then buys the invoices, giving the business cash immediately, and the business’ customers pay Facebook instead.

The program is designed to help “diverse-owned” businesses improve their cash flow and hire more employees, according to the program’s description.

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Study: Virginia Is the 10th Most Patriotic State

Virginia is the 10th-most patriotic state, according to a WalletHub study that looks at citizens’ civic and military engagement. Montana, Alaska, and Maryland make up the top three, while New York, Florida, and Connecticut are the U.S.’ least-patriotic states, according to the study. High military engagement in Virginia helped boost the commonwealth’s score despite a mediocre civic engagement score.

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