federal and State
Virginia General Assembly Update 2023
JLC initiative #4 Elimination of spousal burial fees for military spouses.
JLC initiative #6 Free entry to State Parks for members of the Virginia National Guard
Other legislation:Military Police authority to act as Peace Officers in the State of Virginia to serve search warrants jointly with a Virginia Law Enforcement Officer.
Mental Health Services Liaisons at the Virginia Department of Veteran Services.
A study to create a strategic plan for the Virginia Department of Veteran Services.
Licensure of professional counselors Compact with member states
Virginia Department of Veteran Services disclosure of services (paid lawyers must provide notice to their clients that they can get the same services for free).
Special license plates for women veterans.
Special license plates for unremarried surviving spouses.
Requirements that disabled military veterans receive a decision in writing of their qualifying or not for property tax relief.
Virginia Department of Veteran Services providing a military spouse liaison for mental health services
Virginia Department of Veteran Services to contract with hospitals to provide PTSD/TBI treatment.
Virginia Department of Veteran Services to contract with hospitals to provide hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
Pending but likely to succeed:
JLC initiative#1 Constitutional amendment for surviving spouses of those who died on active duty.
JLC initiative#5 Income subtraction for members of the Virginia National Guard Increase-in conference.
Tuition grants at institutions of higher education for members of the Virginia National Guard.
Flight training programs to encourage veterans to become pilot.
Central Virginia Chapter Visits with Delegate Rob Bell (R 58th)
Richmond Area Chapter Joins Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears at 12th Annual Military Appreciation Night
A WORLD OF FEDERAL AND STATE LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY
State and Federal Legislators
MOAA Advocacy in Action 2021
VCOC MOAA Advocacy in Action 2022
Legislative Affairs Advocacy Meeting with District and Capitol Hill Offices of Representative Elaine Luria (VA 02)
The purpose of both meetings was to review MOAA Legislative Affairs topics. The District Office meeting also included time with Mr. Drew Lumpkin, District Director, Senator Mark Warner (D VA) and Gene Garland, Military Outreach Coordinator, Senator Warner.
Left photo below, left to right: Dr. Stuppard, Mr. Lumpkin, CDR Smith, Mr. Garland. Right photo below, Mr. Brodtke, CDR Smith.
VCOC Previews MOAA’s Legislative Priorities 2022 With Offices of Senator Tim Kaine (D VA) and Mark Warner (D VA)
South West Virginia Chapter Meets with Congressman Morgan Griffith
Congressman Griffith was ready for us and after brief introductions we moved to a conference room and got down to business. We let him know that while the SWVA Chapter has 128 members split between his district and Representative Cline's district, and that many of our members are also members of the American Legion, VFW, AUSA, DAV etc. and that his support would get out to more Veterans than just our group.
Congressman Griffith was not aware of what was contained in the Star Act so the delegation informed him this legislation would allow all military retirees to be able to attain concurrent receipt of retired pay and VA benefits if they met the disability requirements. Currently only those members who are retired and served twenty years or more are eligible for concurrent receipt. Congressman Griffith supported this legislation in concept and promised to take a hard look at it. His concerns are the cost, how it will be paid for and what other riders may be attached to the legislation but did agree that concurrent receipt should also be given to those retired for medical or other conditions that resulted in less than twenty years of military service. He did inform the delegation that if it went forward as an amendment to the NDAA he would not vote for it as he has never voted for the NDAA due to language in a specific portion that he strongly disagrees with and has not been able to get taken out of the NDAA.
The delegation also asked him about his Nay vote on the PACT act legislation. The PACT Act, which passed, addressed health care and presumption of service connection for Veterans exposed to toxic substances during military service. This legislation covers issues like burn pit exposure, deployment for specific contingency operations and those who served in specific locations on specific dates. He immediately responded that while he supported the concept of the legislation that it was to expensive and felt that the way the current bill was worded that it would extend this coverage not only to those directly involved (he supported that portion of bill) but also anyone attached to the unit (i.e. support or headquarters staffs that may not even be in country) which he believed was not right and would drive up costs. This was also the view of Representative Scott Perry (R PA) and retired Brigadier General.
Lastly the delegation asked him for his support to keep our military health care benefits. As we explained, even today if you go to a recruiter's office they will tell you one of the benefits of a military career is you can retire after twenty years at 50% and get health care benefits immediately. He agreed that the Nation has made this promise and we need to keep it.
The delegation thanked him for his time to allow us to bring our concerns to him directly. Pictured below: Southwest Virginia Chapter Team with Representative Morgan Griffith (VA 09):
MOAA Advocacy in Action 2023
From the Virginia Delegation
Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant
A Conversation With Congressman Rob Wittman (VA 01)
A Conversation With Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (VA 07)
A Conversation With Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves (R 17th)
A Conversation with Tonya Star, Surviving Spouse of MAJ Richard Star, USA (Ret)
Former United States Senator John Warner (R VA) Passes
Shown below in April 2007, left to right, is COL Bill Flanagan, USA (Ret) and VCOC President, Senator John Warner and LTC Pat Green, USA (Ret) and VCOC Vice President. Senator Warner is holding the VCOC Legislative award, a plaque of postage stamps representing milestones during the Senator’s 60 years of service. To his steadfast support of the uniformed services over a lifetime, fair winds and following seas to United States Senator John Warner.
Colonel Donald B. Kaiserman, USA (Ret) Passes
WHEREAS, Colonel Donald B. Kaiserman, USA, Ret., a respected former military leader, has dedicated his life to the service of his fellow veterans and strives to maintain the Commonwealth’s reputation as one of the best states for members of the military, veterans, and their families to live; and
WHEREAS, Colonel Kaiserman has supported veterans as chair of the Virginia Board of Veterans Services and the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations, which facilitates cooperation between organizations and the Department of Veterans Services; and
WHEREAS, Colonel Kaiserman served as president of the Richmond Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization advocating for military families, and president of the Virginia Council of Chapters of MOAA, where he led and coordinated the Commonwealth’s 18 chapters; and
WHEREAS, at the local level, Colonel Kaiserman volunteered his time with the Fort Lee Retiree Council and currently honors the legacies of the Commonwealth’s veterans on the Board of Trustees of the Virginia War Memorial; and
WHEREAS, over the course of his career, Colonel Kaiserman has achieved success in many initiatives to support military families, and he has earned the respect of numerous members of Virginia state government and the United States Congress, including members of the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services; and
WHEREAS, with his team-based leadership style, Colonel Kaiserman has inspired countless others to support members of the military and veterans in the Commonwealth and throughout the United States; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Colonel Donald B. Kaiserman, USA, Ret., a respected veteran and a stalwart advocate for the military community in the Commonwealth; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Colonel Donald B. Kaiserman, USA, Ret., as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration for his tireless work to honor the service and sacrifices of members of the military and veterans.
Former United States Senator Bob Dole (R KS) Passes
Senator Dole served six years as an officer in the United States Army, serving as a second lieutenant in the 10th Mountain Division. During a firefight against the Germans in Bologna, Italy, in April 1945, Dole aws seriously injured by gunshot wounds from a German machine gun. Capt. Dole received two Purple Hearts along with a Bronze Star with “V” Device for his assisting a downed radioman. He served over three decades in the United States Congress from 1960 to 1996, in both the House and Senate. Throughout his political career, Dole was legendary at forging bipartisan alliances in order to enact legislation. In example, he was a major supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which became law in 1990. He was a driving force to create the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. In March 2019, Congress unanimously passed a bill to promote Dole from captain to a colonel, with President Trump signing the bill into law the following month. Dole chaired the World War II Memorial Campaign, raising funds for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Senator Dole’s service continued through his wife, Elizabeth, who established the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to empower and support military caregivers and family members in 2012. The Dole foundation formed a partnership with MOAA, producing a caregiver guide designed on the multigenerational legal and financial needs of caregivers. The Memorial Service for Senator Dole was held at Washington National Cathedral on 10 December 2021, 11:00am. MOAA Vice President Council/Chapter Affairs CAPT Jim Carman, USN (Ret), usher at the service, was joined in attendance by VCOC Vice President CDR Linc Smith, USNR (Ret).