GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL
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National Association for Black Veterens, Inc.
 
 
 
The Government and Public Affairs Council
 
The mission of the Government and Public Affairs Council is to provide representation, advocacy and liaisons on a national level; and to engage national conversations on issues of priority to constituent populations throughout these United States of America.
 
 
 
 
 

MESSAGE FROM NATIONAL COMMANDER


 

 

I, hereby, ask every NABVETS Chapter to place this on their agenda for November and present lectures throughout the month on the Six Triple Eight. Every chapter must step up to the plate and get this done.

 

Secondly, I ask that all chapters remember the Black Rosie Riveters, approximately 600,000, who labored in the factories producing war materials and accomplishing jobs which normally would have been held by men.


These are just two action items emanating from the CBCVBT.  Others will be discussed in upcoming communications and NCC meetings.  We must never forget the extraordinary services of black women in preserving, protecting and defending American Democracy.




Richard D. Kingsberry

NABVETS, NATIONAL COMMANDER

 

Attending the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust (CBCVBT) was one of the high points of my activities this year. The CBCVBT, a significant component of the CBC Annual Legislative Conference, focused entirely on female veterans, affectionately referred to as “Sister Warriors,” their military experiences to include their trials and tribulations and initiatives to correct injustices and render accurate accounts of their contributions to the defense of America. As time moves forward, I will highlight other experiences and recommendations for NABVETS consideration.

 

However, first, I will seek approval, albeit not necessary, to promote the efforts to secure the Congressional Gold Medal for the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion (Six Triple Eight). Leading the charge for this mission is Colonel Edna Cummings, Ret-USAF, who is committed to whatever it takes to properly recognize these courageous women who labored under the stress of racism and indifference to maintain the morale of all troops in the European Theatre during WWII.

 
 

CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS VETERANS BRAINTRUST

NABVETS National Counciler Richard D. Kingsberry (left), keynote speaker, BG (Ret) Clara Adams Ender, past Counciler of U.S. Army Nurses Corp (middle) and D.C. Counciler Georgia Eaves (right).


 

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  NABVETS founders - Thomas Wynn, William Sims, and others – like Ron heeded the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson and I am pleased to follow the “trail they left behind.”


The great Green Bay Packers Coach, Vince Lombardi, taught his players that “perfection is not attainable but if we chase it, we will catch excellence.”  NABVETS – like the Brain Trust, will continue to pursue perfection.  This year’s focus, on “Sister Warriors,” is the finest example of the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust’s pursuit of perfection.  I applaud all who planned, developed and implemented this year’s activities.


I thank Ron Armstead for scheduling me to bring greetings and I extend heartfelt appreciation to the Congressional Black Caucus for its wisdom and commitment to its constituents.  May God render blessings upon this conference. Thank you!


Clarence "Tiger" Davis, NABVETS GPAC Chairman, and I convey our appreciation to all those who volunteered to manage the NABVETS Booth and especially to those who made financial contributions.

 


Joe Wynn
NABVETS National
Legislative Director



Congressman Anthony Brown (MD), co-chair, Veterans Brain Trust address the attendees.


NABVETS National Commander Richard D. Kingsberry presented greetings to the 31st Annual Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust which were well received.  The following is the heart of his remarks:


Representatives Sanford Bishop, Anthony Brown, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust, distinguished guests and colleagues, I bring greetings from all 120 chapters of the National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. – most often referred to as NABVETS.  Our previous national commander, my predecessor BG Robert Cocroft, passed on to “Glory" earlier this year. Otherwise, he would be here celebrating, the more than 50 years of NABVETS services to America’s veterans and our communities.  


Organized towards the end of the Vietnam War, NABVETS emerged out of necessity and was designed to fill a vacuum – not only for black veterans but all veterans.   


This is my first Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference and I am pleased to join esteem veteran advocates – led by Ron Armstead. 

 
 

 

 

 

From the Desk of Communications Director


Senator Chris Van Hollen announcing bill the WW1 Valor Review Act

 

 

Andy Pierre

 

 

Further, in response to the senseless racist murder of 2nd Lt. Richard W. Collins, III, on the University of Maryland College Park Campus days before reporting to his first duty station – Senator Van Hollen, along with Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman Anthony Brown, introduced legislation in both chambers to extend military death benefit, life insurance and other benefits to ROTC graduates who die before checking in to a first command.

 

Senator Chris Van Hollen, NABVETS GPAC salutes you!

 

“You can't change history but you can correct the record!”


Andy Pierre
Communications Director

NABVETS GPAC proudly stands shoulder to shoulder with United States Senator Chris Van Hollen in his efforts to assure a more perfect union. As he would say, “I cannot change history, but I can pursue accuracy and correct historical errors.” All too often the blood sweat and tears shed by African American Soldiers are ignored, forgotten, or taken for granted. If it weren’t for champions like Senator Van Hollen, the legacy of America’s darker heroes would be less than a memory.

 

Seventy-five years after the American landing at Normandy (D-Day, 6th of June, 1944), very little is known or discussed about the services of African Americans in that event. Senator Van Hollen has not forgotten and he has been working tirelessly to secure the Congressional Medal of Honor for Corporal Waverly Woodson, Jr., AKA Woody Woodson, a medic with the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion (all black combat troops). After sustaining significant injuries, Cpl Woodson, ignored his wounds and worked feverishly to save up to 200 fellow soldiers.


In his mission to right historic wrongs, Senator Van Hollen joined by colleagues in the Senate introduced the WWI Valor Medal Review Act which creates a task force that will aim to reverse the systematic racially biased cover-up of Black Excellence in Military Service. This task force would review the stories of WWI heroes like Sergeant William Butler who single-handedly overtook a German position and free American Soldiers that were being held captive.


 
 

 

We Must Work Together to
Eliminate the “Widows’ Tax”

 

Issue: Under current law, survivors of deceased military members must forfeit part or all of their purchased Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity when they are awarded the VA’s De-pendency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). The loss of any portion of the SBP annuity is known as the widows’ tax. For approximately 66,000 military survivors, the widows’ tax makes SBP the only insurance product in the country that you pay into but are legally prohibited from collecting.

Bottom Line: Congress must end the widows tax. Cosponsor and pass Rep. Joe Wilson’s H.R. 846 and Sen. Bill Nelson’s S. 339. Urge members of the Armed Services committees to include a “Sense of Congress” to end the widows tax in the FY 2019 Defense Bill.

 

 
 
 
 
 
GPAC COMMITTEES
 
 

Sister Warriors Committee-

Co-Chairs, Candance Willett and Angela LaPrade

 
  • Although sexual trauma was experienced by both male and female personnel, women were the most victimized; however, the committee will include sexual trauma as experienced by male personnel, transgender, and etc.
  • Enhancement of services for female specific issues
 
 
 
 
Healthcare Committee-
Chairperson, Jose Merino,
Assistants WB Forbes and Don Bromwell
 
  • Develop expertise on the Mission Act to include analysis as it relates to NABVETS constituents with a focus on Choice
  • Pursue cannabis and alternative/unconventional treatment modalities
  • Expansion and improvement of caretaking services
  • Suicide Prevention
 
 
 
 
Legacy Committee -
Chairperson, Nolan S. Lewis,
Vice Chairman Dr. Elwood R. Gray
 
  • Preservation and maintenance of monuments to African American Patriotism,
  • Pursue the Congressional Medal of Honor for Dorie Miller. 
  • Seek review and exoneration for members of the 24th Infantry Regiment who were convicted by court martial of serious crimes following the Houston Riots commonly referred to as Camp Logan incident.
 
 
 
 
Housing Committee-
Chairperson, George Collins
 
  • Pursue extension of transitional housing as a means to meet the lingering challenges of homeless veterans with a special emphasis on female veterans with children.
  • Affordable housing should be viewed within the context of high-quality rental properties
  • Promote and facilitate homeownership; more friendly VA Homeownership policies
 
 
 
 
Economic Development Committee
Chairperson, KT Tyler
 
  • Interact with the U.S. Department of Labor to enhance veterans’ employment and training.
  • Provide oversight of the Department of Commerce and promote business ownership opportunities
  • Engage and support Vet Force and other initiatives in support of veteran-owned businesses
  • Protect and enhance veterans’ preference
 
 
 
 
Veterans in Need Committee
Chairperson, (Vacant)
 
  • Support all re-integration programs to include but not limited to readjustment to civilian endeavors as it relates to military discharge or release from incarceration (Second Chance)
  • Promote and enhance Veterans Courts on both the federal and state levels
 
 
 
 
 
Voting Rights - Protection of American Democracy
Chairperson, (Vacant)
 
  • This committee will exercise oversight and make recommendations to the NCC for preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States.  Dialogue and language are key ingredients to establish a proper patriotic mindset for African American Leaders who seek to move America towards a more perfect union. See action items (Protecting American Democracy) and Baltimore Chapter’s 2020 Mission Statement in the Appendix.
 
 
 
 
National Security
Chairperson, (Vacant)
 
  • This committee is proposed for the purpose of insuring national security as it relates to the views of retired general staff officers and command NCOs that the current status of America’s youth leaves much to be desired for maintaining a human resource pool for replenishing and supporting national security needs. 
 
 
 
NOTABLE EVENTS

AGENT ORANGE AWARENESS MONTH EVENTS

The entire month of October is devoted to those service members exposed, affected, made ill or died from AGENT ORANGE and,  also to the family members impacted by this defoliant. FACT: Agent Orange was 1 of 5 Agents sprayed, causes Prostate Cancer

 

 
 

General Pulaski
Memorial Day

October 11, 2019

 
 
Casimir Pulaski was a Polish nobleman, soldier and military commander who is credited with saving George Washington’s life and "the father of the American cavalry"..
 
 
 
 
 
Unites States Navy (USN) Birthday
October 13, 2019
 
 
On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress established a naval force, hoping that a small fleet of privateers could attack British commerce and offset British sea power.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ms. Veteran America Pageant (2019)

October 13, 2019

 
 
The purpose of this event is to showcase “The Woman Beyond the Uniform“. Along with being Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Sailors and Coasties; we are also Mothers, Wives, Daughters, and Sisters! Proceeds from this event provides housing for homeless women Veterans and their children.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Columbus Day
October 14, 2019
 
 
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Observed on the second Monday in October, the holiday celebrates the achievements of Christopher Columbus, a man who lived almost three centuries before the U.S. Federal Government even existed,
 
 
 
 
 
 

Military World Games

October 18 - 26, 2019

 
 
The Military World Games are a multi-sports event organized every four years, one year before the year the Olympic Games are organized. It is an event that is based on the CISM and Olympic spirit, without political, religious and racial consideration nor discrimination.
 
 
 
 
 

Day of the Deployed

October 26, 2019
 
 
ALL VETERANS are encouraged to wear a “RED SHIRT” on this day; A day set aside to honor all of the brave men and woman who have been deployed and are sacrificing, or have sacrificed, their lives to fight for our country and acknowledges their families that they are separated from.
 
 
 
 
 
 

NAVY DAY

October 27, 2019

 
 
Navy Day was originally sponsored by the Navy League 1922. Navy Day is designed to give recognition to the naval service. Since 1972 each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion "to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service."
 
 
 
 
 

Halloween
October 31, 2019

 
 
Any military base overseas that allows “accompanied tours”, where spouses and dependents are welcome, usually has some form of the usual Halloween trick-or-treat activities among the base community. In places where there is family housing, the neighborhoods will likely resemble any other American street, with costumed kids and family members going door-to-door. And sometimes, these occasions turn into a cross-cultural learning experience.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. (NABVETS) is a Veterans Service Organization whose mission is to provide strategic advocacy on behalf of its membership with Congress and the federal administration; state administrations; county and city legislators; and other agencies and organizations. NABVETS will provide personal advocacy on behalf of “ALL” Veterans seeking claims against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and will foster community development by creating positive lifestyles for Veterans and their families. NABVETS will generate and preserve the historical record for minority Veterans.;
 
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Copyright © 2019 National Association for Black Veterans, Inc.